Boston Episode 16 – Mike Masterson – Managing Partner at Breton Capital Ventures

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Mike Masterson / Breton Capital Ventures

Mike Masterson is an entrepreneur and executive with extensive experience in the pharmaceutical, biotech, advanced materials, and alternative energy industries. Throughout his career as an entrepreneur, Mike has strived to build sustainable companies in collaboration with thought leaders from world-class industrial and academic institutions. His career incorporates venture creation experience as a founding CEO, Board Chairman, and Venture Capital Partner.

Mike’s early career as a simulation and controls systems expert included assignments with Pfizer, Procter and Gamble, and Dupont. At the time Mike was a leader in the emerging field of optimal control theory as applied to chemical systems. After a successful career in the petro-chemical industry, Mike brought his skill set to an emerging alternative energy field called solar-generated industrial process heat (IPH). The Department of Energy (DOE) hired Mike to help build the largest IPH system ever constructed. Mike successfully designed, installed, and started up the first ever control systems for the multi-acre parabolic solar collector system for DOE’s Solar Energy Research Institute (SERI) in Golden, Colorado.

Mike then pivoted and used his control system expertise to enter the pharmaceutical industry. He joined a Massachusetts MIT spinout called Kaye Instruments which specialized in temperature control systems for sterilization unit operations. Mike became an expert at writing the software behind the control systems and managed the applications business for Kaye. During a downturn, Mike negotiated to buy out the applications business – and launched his first entrepreneurial venture called Masterson and Company. Mike continued to build applications, but also noticed that the FDA was beginning to ask questions about the quality of the software imbedded in the manufacturing control systems. Mike realized an opportunity was available to build a business to test software – and subsequently founded KMI which became the largest FDA computer system validation consulting company in the world. KMI was successfully acquired by Parexel, one of the largest global Clinical Research Organizations (CRO) in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry.

Mike led the consulting business at Parexel for three years before joining the venture capital firm Flagship Ventures in Cambridge, MA. As a venture partner at Flagship, Mike was the founding CEO for EnGeneOS (Engineered Genomic Operating System), Genstruct (Genomic Computer System), and BG Medicine (Beyond Genomics Systems). After Flagship, Mike continued to launch new companies. He co-founded a nanotech company called ALD NanoSolutions (ALDN) which is currently the world leader in using atomic layer deposition to functionalize the surface of nano-particles – and is focused on the battery, lighting, and life science markets. He also became CEO of the biotech company Xcellerex which revolutionized the approach to manufacturing biologics through single-use disposable technology. Mike also co-founded Sundrop Fuels, the first company to convert biomass to gasoline via high temperature solar energy systems. He also co-founded Nemucore Medical Innovations and Intrata which are focused on nanoparticle delivery systems for cancer therapeutics. Mike also was the founding Board Member for Bostonbased ezCater, a unicorn-bound venture-backed e-commerce company.

Mike received an M.S. in Chemical Engineering (Summa Cum Laude) from the University of Colorado (Boulder), a B.S. in Chemical Engineering (Magna Cum Laude) from the University of Massachusetts (Amherst), and graduated from the Harvard Business School Owner-President Management (OPM) Program. He also received Distinguished Engineering Alumni Awards (DEAA) from both the University of
Colorado and the University of Massachusetts. Mike is a licensed professional engineer in Massachusetts and Texas. Mike currently serves as the CEO of Oxford Innovations LLC, as Managing Partner in Breton Capital Management, and as an Investment Committee Member for the Maroon Venture Fund at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Mike has also been a Trustee at the Wentworth Institute of Technology since 2010 and has served as Chair of the Board since 2015. He lives in Newton, Massachusetts, with his wife, Suzanne, and their three children.




Ted Jenkin / Oxygen Financial

Mark Scribner / Oxygen Financial

Mike Masterson / Breton Capital Ventures