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Erik Azulay and Rick Gauthier have decades of experience in helping entrepreneurs succeed. As successful entrepreneurs and industry experts they're  passionate about sharing their knowledge and  expertise with the next generation of innovators

Erik Azulay, President, ACIR

Erik Azulay is a technology commercialization expert and serial entrepreneur specializing in small business startups and international market strategies. He has managed commercialization and incubation projects in 12 countries around the world, and launched and sold two international logistics companies. ​Mr. Azulay's experience includes overseeing the creation and running of the National Technology Commercialization Center in Kazakhstan. Under his leadership the Center incubated Kazakh start-ups to bring their innovations to market and created a multi-million dollar small business commercialization grant program which continues to this day.​As President of the Alliance for Commercialization and Innovation Research, he currently runs the Nexus Innovation Hub and Incubator. The Nexus Incubator is funded by the U.S. State Department and provides best practice training in incubation and entrepreneurship from the United States.   To date, 206 startups have graduated from the Nexus program and these startups have raised over $65 million in outside funding from as angel investors, VC funds, grants and competition prizes. 

Rick Gauthier, President, Gauthiq Consulting

High-impact technology leader with leading U.S. and international IT organizations, including Microsoft and Amazon. Rick has deep experience in global online/cloud service delivery and a passion for delivering solutions that optimize the engineering experience and improve the end-to-end process resulting in increased efficiency, productivity and client satisfaction.   He successfully led a diverse team of Technical Program Managers, Engineers, and Operations staff in Amazon’s Mergers & Acquisitions group to successfully integrate three high-profile acquisitions valued at over $10 billion. Rick now specializes in nurturing and developing the leadership abilities of entrepreneurs, helping them navigate the complexities of the business world.  He helps startups craft compelling pitch presentations that effectively communicate their unique value propositions, increasing their chances of securing funding and partnerships for sustainable growth and long-term success. 

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