Hello, we’re Vital Vio
We’re a group of engineers, scientists, designers, and health experts – and we’re all passionate about one thing; solving complex problems that will make the world a healthier place. We believe that innovation is key to the advancement of human health and want make it easier for everyone to manage the levels of their bacteria.
We’re on a mission to make the world a healthier place.
Colleen Costello was a junior in college when her grandmother was admitted to a hospital after a mild accident. What was expected to be a routine single night stay turned into more than a week when Costello’s grandmother was diagnosed with a MRSA infection. After some research, it became apparent to Costello that this wasn’t an isolated incident. One in 25 patients contract a healthcare-related bacterial infection in hospitals. While still in school Costello and her team began researching smarter ways to manage bacteria levels. This led to growing a talented team and subsequently the development of Vital Vio’s patented white-light disinfection solution.
Today, Vital Vio is focused on making their products available to any facility that is interested in protection from bacteria.
Meet the Vital Vio Team
Stephen J. Petti
Following a 20 year career in Big Pharma, Stephen went on to become a Founder or Co-Founder and CEO of 4 different healthcare start-up companies, including Hibernaid, Inc., Blue Note Pharmaceuticals, and Empire Pharmaceuticals, which was acquired by a publicly traded company in 2004. Mr. Petti also participated in the start-up phase of DOV Pharmaceutical, a CNS specialty Pharma company, which he helped guide from first money through IPO in the space of three years. While at DOV he also served as the President of two major product development collaborations involving Elan and Biovail. Over the course of his career he has participated in six successful NDAs/PLAs over a wide range of therapeutic areas and clinical indications. In the CRO arena, he served as Vice President of Global Clinical Consulting at Barnett International in the process establishing the company’s first overseas office in Paris, the headquarters from which he managed the company’s European operations. A former critical-care R.N. (BSN), Stephen is a Fellow of the American Heart Association and the Stroke Council and a member of the American Society of Hypertension and the Society of Critical Care Medicine. In 2011, Stephen received the Technology Entrepreneur Award from the Center for Economic Growth in Albany, NY.
Colleen A. Costello
President & Co-Founder
Colleen’s career spans clinical research, engineering, biochemistry, product development, and technical entrepreneurship. She has held positions as a researcher on master thesis projects at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Weill Cornell Medical College, NYC, in surgical device design and pre-clinical studies at Covidien Surgical Devices, and in tissue engineering research at RPI. Colleen has several patents pending and holds a degree in Biomedical Engineering with a minor in Technological Entrepreneurship from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, NY. She has additionally been featured on CNBC, Bloomberg, ABC was named as a Forbes Magazine 30 Under 30 recipient in Enterprise Technology, Inc. Magazine 30 Under 30 Most Brilliant Young Founders, 50 Emerging Global Entrepreneurs to Watch by Inc. Magazine, Albany Business Review 40 Under 40 and is a selected member of the Kairos Society.
Sara Stark, Ph.D.
Lead Microbiologist and Dept. Manager
Sara runs Vital Vio’s microbiology lab, designing and performing experiments to help optimize current technology and testing new developments to help ensure optimal germicidal efficacy. She also manages and facilitates external studies which test the company’s technology in real world settings; including in hospitals, outpatient clinics, and veterinary hospitals. She has almost a decade of experience at the laboratory bench in such areas as: a number of academic laboratories, pathology labs, and the NY State Police Forensic Investigation Center. She also has several years of experience teaching undergraduate labs. Sara has an undergraduate degree in Molecular Genetics from SUNY Fredonia, a Master’s in Forensic Biology from the University at Albany, and a Ph.D. in Biology from the University at Albany.
Director, HR & Corporate Services
Meredith ensures the company achieves business objectives both internally and externally. While heading up the company’s over-arching policies, she also manages multidisciplinary project tracking, budget and finance mechanisms, and assists our CEO in implementing organizational strategies. Additionally, Meredith directs all of Vital Vio’s Human Resource requirements. Meredith received her Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) from The Sage Colleges of Albany with a concentration in healthcare services and Human Resources.
Director of Operations
Jan is a manufacturing professional whose career spans 35 years of expertise in production startup, operations management, and design for manufacturing of electromechanical products. He has been involved in product concept and mechanical design to laying out and managing complete manufacturing facilities often using his lean manufacturing and six sigma experience. Jan’s career focus has primarily been in the lighting and optics industries and has worked on everything from microscopes to some of the first ever commercial LED products.
Jorel C. Lalicki
CTO & Director of Electrical Systems
With a lifetime of experience in analog and digital electronics, Jorel’s work is wide-ranging, from signal processing to dynamic LED lighting systems to high voltage power electronics and microcontrollers. Past and present projects include networked intelligent lighting that responds to environmental sensors and user input, custom designed lab equipment for Physics courses at RPI, and the commercialization of a UV-VIS-IR spectrometer at 10% of previous market cost. One of the lead mentors at RPI’s Center for Open Source Software, Jorel is also well versed in software design and development cycles. Specializing in bridging the gap between code and hardware, from mobile app control systems, to a CNC milling with control software, to automated lab and diagnostic equipment with user-friendly computer and mobile based interfaces.
Associate Dir., Compliance Engineer, R&D
Robert is a Computer Engineer with deep experience in embedded systems and programming. He has worked extensively on R&D at Vital Vio preparing next generation LEDs for manufacture. Robert has also designed multiple in-house systems for photometry testing and calibration. His other work includes co-founding a hardware start-up with the vision of bringing new open-source hardware to the hobbyist and education markets through custom embedded hardware systems. Robert lead PCB and software design for physical computing platforms designed to make learning electronics easy for elementary school students. He has spent countless hours in classrooms iterating on his approach to making electronics and programming simple to learn for everyone. He also worked extensively with graduate students at UMass Amherst assisting in the ground up development of patented smart video conferencing systems. Robert received a degree in Computer and Systems Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York.
Business Development Manager
Meghan is responsible for managing business development efforts at Vital Vio, with a focus on generating and overseeing growth opportunities, promoting product offerings, and developing a strategic vision toward achieving company objectives while also maintaining customer relationships. Meghan brings her technical background and passion for innovation to this role, with a M.S./B.S. in Mechanical Engineering (’15) and a B.S. in Design, Innovation & Society (’14) from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Meghan spent the first year of her career as a design engineer at GE Power and has interned in the Innovation Lab at Under Armour, in addition to working with multiple start-up companies. Meghan previously represented RPI as a University Innovation Fellow and currently contributes to a start-up focused on improving hands-on STEM education in elementary school classrooms. She joins the Vital Vio business development team with a strong desire to help enable Vital Vio to positively impact as many people as possible with their products and technology.
Product Design Engineer
Kasia (KAH-shuh) is an industrial designer graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology. She works on researching new markets in which to apply Vital Vio’s Viosafe™ technology as well as developing product concepts for these markets. Kasia uses CAD and lighting simulations to test concepts digitally before creating physical prototypes.
Manufacturing Engineering Technician
Aram joined Vital Vio in 2016, and brings with him over 13 years of diverse professional experience within New York’s Tech Valley. With experience ranging from space simulation testing, cleanroom management and engineering support, to product development, production coordination and implementation of Lean Six Sigma methodology, Aram’s adaptable skill set enables him to perform and contribute cross-functionally. Aram’s most recent projects include the instrumentation and commissioning of the world’s most advanced Early Warning Weather Detection System, consisting of 125 state-wide installations, as well as a project managing the design, production, and installation of a Space Simulation Chamber, used to simulate the environmental conditions which a product deployed into outer space will be exposed to. Aram has worked extensively with Continuous Improvement teams of industry leaders such as GE Energy, X-Ray Optical Systems and Albany Molecular Research, and has made notable improvements to their bottom line through product development, value stream mapping and facility layout. Aram attended HVCC for Mechanical Engineering Technology in 2005, currently attends a Clean Energy Management program, and holds professional certificates from Stanford University in Energy Innovation and Emerging Technologies, and The Center For Economic Growth in Lean Enterprises.
Jesse Marsh began at Vital Vio as a summer Business Intern, working mainly within the Human Resource department, but became such a valuable resource he was retained after his internship ended. Today Jesse works as Office Manager, providing administrative support for all departments, handling general company inquiries, assisting with company objectives, and overseeing Social Media. Finishing up his last year at The University at Albany (SUNY), Jesse anticipates graduating with a Bachelor of Science in both Business Administration and Psychology, with course work focusing most heavily on marketing and organizational studies. His choice to pursue a dual candidacy stemmed from his interests in human resources, marketing, corporate communications, and organizational structure. Jesse is excited to contribute to a company whose products help to make the world a healthier place.
Board of Directors
Richard Frederick is an experienced C level executive and serial entrepreneur with over 35 years of experience. He spent the last fifteen years of his career building and growing early stage companies. He has served as a mentor and coach to over 100 companies in the past 5 years. In 2001 he co-founded Autotask, one of the nation’s first pure play Software-as-a-Service companies. He played a major role in raising over $14mm for Autotask from Angel and Seed investors as well as A and B Round Venture Funds. In 2008 he co-founded WhatEveryBabyNeeds.com, an Internet based retail and social networking site providing Organic products and content to new moms and infants from birth to age 4. The founders bootstrapped the initial funding and now rely on revenue to fuel the growth. In 2009 he founded The Best and The Brightest.biz, a virtual business incubator designed to create and accelerate the growth of early stage companies. This activity was self-funded and is pre-revenue.
Dr. Hrusovsky is one of the Managers of the General Partner and serves as general manager of IGH Ventures, LLC. Dr. Hrusovsky has over 30 years of diverse experience in general business management and medical leadership. She has extensive business experience in medical devices, diagnostics and pharmaceuticals and has won numerous awards acknowledging her leadership and entrepreneurial skills. Most recently, Dr. Hrusovsky was the Chairman, President, and CEO of EraGen Biosciences Inc., a clinical molecular diagnostics company. She joined EraGen in 2002 and transformed the company from a research laboratory to a fully integrated high growth commercial operation leading to a successful M&A exit in 2011. Prior to joining EraGen, she served as Vice President of general medicine/medical marketing strategy/clinical operations at GlaxoSmithKline. Before her position at GlaxoSmithKline, Dr. Hrusovsky spent over 20 years at Abbott Laboratories, where she held various executive management positions in pharmaceuticals, medical devices, clinical diagnostics, licensing and business development and in various internal business venture groups. Dr. Hrusovsky is a board certified pediatrician who received both her B.S. in Biochemistry and Genetics and her M.D. from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. She serves on the Technology Councils and Investment Committees for two angel funds, Phenomenelle Angels and BELLE Capital, LP, and participated as a limited partner in TechAmp Venture Capital.
Stephen J. Petti
Colleen A. Costello
President & Co-Founder
Candice H. Brown Elliott is an entrepreneur, executive, and technologist / inventor in the flat panel display and microelectronic industries. She has founded several technology companies most notably Clairvoyante in 2000 which was acquired by Samsung Electronics in 2008. Candice has nearly a hundred US patents issued. She was awarded the Otto Schade Prize for her work in color displays, particularly PenTile subpixel rendering. Candice is presently CEO of Nouvoyance, a technology development, tech transfer, and consulting firm. She is an advisor for start-up company boards, entrepreneurs, and two venture capital firms; Belle Capital and Springboard Fund. When not gardening around her house, Candice can be found at the local airport where she is a flight instructor.
Barry Weinbaum is an accomplished Board Director, Senior Technology Executive, business leader and serial entrepreneur whose career has uniquely spanned the gamut from Fortune 100 to early stage companies. Following a successful 21-year career at Lucent Technologies where he served as General Manager for a range of established $B+ portfolios, paradigm shifting new businesses and M&A (for Lucent’s Optical Networking Business Unit), Mr. Weinbaum served as the CEO and Board Director of Venture Capital backed companies NanoOpto (nanotechnology engineered components), Renaissance Lighting (LED Lighting) and Lumenergi (Advanced building control systems). Following the sale of Renaissance Lighting to lighting industry leader Acuity Brands, Mr. Weinbaum served as Acuity’s Vice President, Strategic Marketing. More recently, Barry is engaged with a number of strategic consulting and Advisory Board appointments for a range of technology companies, including the co-founding of a consumer internet platform company, Social Learning & Payments (aka, Slap) where he also serves as COO. Barry holds a BS in Computer Science and Mathematics from Union College, NY and a Masters in Computer Science from Columbia University, NY. Mr. Weinbaum resides in Rockville, MD.