Our Team

The Neurala management team is comprised of savvy entrepreneurs and industry experts, bringing years of experience to a young company. They cultivate our strong culture and work tirelessly to help our team scale, grow, and succeed.

Neurala Leadership

Dr. Massimiliano Versace CEO Neurala
Co-founder and CEO

Dr. Massimiliano Versace

Max continues to lead the world of intelligent devices after his pioneering breakthroughs in brain-inspired computing. He has spoken at numerous events including a keynote at Mobile World Congress Drone Summit, TedX, NASA, the Pentagon, GTC, InterDrone, GE, Air Force Research Labs, HP, iRobot, Samsung, LG, Qualcomm, Ericsson, BAE Systems, AI World, ABB and Accenture among many others. His work has been featured in TIME, IEEE Spectrum, CNN, MSNBC, The Boston Globe, The Chicago Tribune, Fortune, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, Nasdaq, Associated Press and hundreds more. He holds several patents and two PhDs: Cognitive and Neural Systems, Boston University; Experimental Psychology, University of Trieste, Italy. Max’s appetite for advanced technology rivals his anachronistic music taste, saying “I don’t listen to Beethoven, he’s too commercial”.

Dr. Heather 2020 Headshot
Co-founder and COO

Dr. Heather Ames

Heather contributes diverse executive skills ranging from overseeing multi-million dollar applied research initiatives, strategic planning, product management, and leading translation of research into commercial products. Heather has spoken at TechCrunch, Forrester, The Robotics Summit and more. She was honored as a finalist in EY's prestigious Entrepreneur of the Year award and at Google's headquarters as being one of the Top 10 Women in Cloud emerging technology. Heather has served as the Executive Director of the NSF-sponsored CELEST Science of Learning Center at Boston University. She holds a PhD in Cognitive and Neural Systems, Boston University and a BS in Cognitive Neuroscience, University of California at Berkeley. Heather was the first person in her family to graduate college.

Dr. Anatoli Gorchet Co-founder And CTO Neurala
Co-founder and CTO

Dr. Anatoli Gorchet

Anatoli has over 20 years of experience developing massively parallel software for neural computation, he is a pioneer in applying general-purpose computing on graphics processing units to neural modeling. Anatoli has spoken at every major neural network conference as well as at GTC, DARPA, The National Institute for Aerospace and a keynote at the Embedded Systems Conference. He holds several patents, has authored over 30 publications on neural networks, and advises Fortune 500 companies on how to use AI to improve operational efficiencies. He has a PhD in Cognitive and Neural Systems, Boston University; an MS in Computer Science. The highest he has been is 3122m above sea level and the lowest is 30m below sea level.

Dan Curtis CFO Neurala
CFO

Dan Curtis

Dan brings over 25 years of financial and operations experience. His career includes diverse public and private company experience, from Fortune 500 to venture-backed start-ups, and Big Four public accounting. He is experienced in complex mergers and acquisitions, has managed debt and equity raises totaling over $150 million, and driven process and operational improvements and infrastructure build out. He was previously CFO at Vitrue (acquired by Oracle), Kova Solutions (acquired by Berkshire Hathaway) and SiteAdvisor (acquired by McAfee). He holds a BS, with honors, from Boston College. Dan spent his honeymoon at the US Open in Oakmont, PA.

VP of Sales

Stephen Walsh

Steve is an international sales and marketing executive with 20 years’ experience. He joined Neurala from Building Engines, a leading SaaS provider of real estate operations and tenant engagement solutions where, as VP Sales, he scaled revenues which culminated in a growth equity investment of $26.5 million. Steve was Co-CEO at datango AG (sold to SAP), managing international expansion, channel development, consulting services and direct sales. His career includes leadership roles at Enlight AB (sold to datango AG), x.hlp AS (sold to Enlight AB), Fast Search & Transfer AS (sold to Microsoft), and RM plc. Steve’s an avid golfer, aging soccer player and awful skier. He spends most of his time with his wife, two sons and two dogs – all of which contribute to his gray hair.

VP of Marketing

Sue Sokoloski

Sue is an accomplished marketing executive who has spent the last several years developing innovative GTM strategies for industrial automation in the manufacturing sector, applying leading-edge marketing initiatives to a target market adapting to change. Her experience ranges from start-up to enterprise-sized organizations. Sue was VP of Marketing at Rethink Robotics, a category creating robotics company, and part of the Sr. Management team at Constant Contact, an early SasS email marketing company, that orchestrated a successful IPO. Her career includes diverse experience in software, hardware and services, primarily in ground-breaking technologies. Sue can prepare 50 different lobster-based dishes, and is authoring her second cookbook.

VP of Engineering

Vesa Tormanen

Vesa leads the talented engineering team. Before Neurala, he started out as a software engineer, and began managing products, product line organizations, and engineering teams at Nokia in Finland, USA, and India. After Nokia, he led engineering teams at Fiksu, an ad tech company. With roots in software engineering, Vesa has been managing products and engineering teams for 15 + years in a variety of continents. He holds a Master of Science in Computer Science from Helsinki University of Technology, and an MBA from Aalto University, both in Finland. Outside neural networks, he enjoys working out, and geeking out about Formula One.

Vice President of Client Operations

Daniel Glasser

Daniel Glasser has over 15 years of experience delivering innovative technology solutions for Fortune 100 companies, government agencies and startups. Daniel specializes in AI-based solutions in a number of industries, including industrial drone inspections, automotive, logistics, and smart devices, and holds an MBA from Boston University’s Questrom School of Business. Daniel is an avid cyclist and rides over 1800 miles per year commuting to and from work.

Director of Marketing

Hannah Murray

Hannah Murray is a marketing and PR expert with both agency and corporate experience. She has worked with dozens of high tech B2B companies, healthcare organizations, and small businesses to launch products, acquire and announce funding, and develop integrated marketing and PR strategies. Hannah focuses on AI, adtech, and robotics, and her work has been featured in Forbes, Adweek, and Entrepreneur. Hannah spent five months living in France taking wine and cooking classes and is fluent in French. 

Director of Product

Carly Franca

Carly França is a product leader with experience in AI, fintech, and edtech. Her background is in creative and UX design, and she brings her passion for Design Thinking to Neurala. Carly has worked at software companies like Balihoo and Creativ.com, and spent five years at Fidelity Investments’ incubator, Fidelty Labs, where she developed a student debt tool to help people understand their loans and how to tackle them. Carly was raised on the mean country roads of Boise, Idaho and studied Graphic Design and Advertising Design at the Art Institute of Colorado and the Art Institute of San Diego, CA.

BOARD AND ADVISORS

Principal | Pelion Venture Partners

Ben Lambert

Ben Lambert

Ben is a Principal at Pelion Venture Partners. He’s inspired by entrepreneurs who are leveraging technology to change the world and has advised a diverse set of companies from ecommerce to artificial intelligence. Ben currently serves on several boards including Fastdata.io and Teal Drones. He holds both a BS in Economics and an MBA from Brigham Young University and has received awards from BYU, The Wharton Buyout Competition, Adobe Digital and more. Ben enjoys spending time outdoors with his wife and two daughters and watching college football.

Partner | 360° Capital Partners

Cesare Maifredi

Cesare Maifredi

Cesare has been working as a Venture Capitalist since 2010 when he joined 360 Capital Partners after a 4-year experience as Engagement Manager in McKinsey & Company. Cesare invested in several deep tech (e.g. Electro Power System SA – listed EPS.PA and Invendo Medical Gmbh – acquired by Ambu A/S) and digital companies (e.g. Shopfully SpA and Supermercato24 SpA) mainly in Europe. Cesare is a board member of the Italian Association of startups, incubators and venture capital firms. He is a mechanical engineer by training and earned a MBA degree from the Darden Business School of the University of Virginia. Cesare loves cycling and he cycles more than 5.000 miles per year.

COO | Neurala

Dr. Heather Ames

Dr. Heather Ames

Heather contributes diverse executive skills ranging from overseeing multi-million dollar applied research initiatives, strategic planning, product management, and leading translation of research into commercial products. Heather has spoken at TechCrunch, Forrester, The Robotics Summit and more. She was honored at Google's headquarters as being one of the Top 10 Women in Cloud emerging technology. Heather has served as the Executive Director of the NSF-sponsored CELEST Science of Learning Center at Boston University. She holds a PhD in Cognitive and Neural Systems, Boston University and a BS in Cognitive Neuroscience, University of California at Berkeley. Heather was the first person in her family to graduate college.

CEO | Neurala

Dr. Massimiliano Versace

Dr. Massimiliano Versace

Max continues to lead the world of intelligent devices after his pioneering breakthroughs in brain-inspired computing. He has spoken at numerous events including a keynote at Mobile World Congress Drone Summit, TedX, NASA, the Pentagon, GTC, InterDrone, GE, Air Force Research Labs, HP, iRobot, Samsung, LG, Qualcomm, Ericsson, BAE Systems, AI World, ABB and Accenture among many others. His work has been featured in TIME, IEEE Spectrum, CNN, MSNBC, The Boston Globe, The Chicago Tribune, Fortune, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, Nasdaq, Associated Press and hundreds more. He holds several patents and two PhDs: Cognitive and Neural Systems, Boston University; Experimental Psychology, University of Trieste, Italy. Max’s appetite for advanced technology rivals his anachronistic music taste, saying “I don’t listen to Beethoven, he’s too commercial”.

Partner | Pelion Venture Partners

Chris Cooper

Chris Cooper

Chris is a Partner at Pelion Venture Partners where he has spent the past 11 years investing in early stage software startups. Previously he spent the better part of two decades as an operator in the enterprise software space. In addition to roles in R&D, strategic alliances and corporate development, Chris was a part of network company Novell’s corporate venture organization investing directly in software companies as well as VC funds. Chris enjoys the outdoors and endurance sports and misses his native New England so being involved with Neurala is a win/win!

Partner | College Heights Partners

Matt Mosman

Matt Mosman

Matt is Managing Partner of College Heights Partners, a mergers and acquisitions advisory firm specializing in helping software companies maximize their opportunities. Previously he spent 20+ years as an internal M&A professional, notably serving as Senior Vice President of Corporate Development at Oracle Corporation as well as heading up the corporate development departments at MEMC and at Sequent Computer Systems. Matt was also CEO of three software companies. Matt is a native of the sparsely-populated Idaho panhandle, and enjoys golf, the beach, and any time he can get with his family of six sons, four daughters-in-law and eight grandchildren.

Advisor | Formerly Apple, Perceptio

Nicolas Pinto

Nicolas Pinto

Nico was directing fundamental privacy-preserving AI research efforts at Apple until 2018. Apple acquired his company Perceptio in late 2014 and shipped the latest iOS, macOS, and iPhone filled with its deep learning technology since 2016. He co-founded Perceptio in 2012 which pioneered privacy-preserving mobile deep learning technology, running entirely on smartphones. He received two M.Sc. in computer science with a focus in Artificial Intelligence. After originating brain-inspired deep neural networks running on GPUs & PlayStation 3s in 2006-2007, he received his Neuroscience Ph.D. from MIT in 2010 and taught GPU & HPC programming at Harvard & MIT. Nico is now in stealth mode, back to research and entrepreneurial trenches, focusing on unsupervised learning (AI) and decentralized intelligence (blockchain) technologies…

Investors