Innovation Under Pandemic -- NECINA 2020 Annual Conference

NECINA 2020 Annual Conference

Innovation Under Pandemic

How technologies help us transition towards new normal?

Date: June 27 Saturday, 2020
Time: 9:30 am– 15:00 EDT
Venue: Online (Zoom meeting ID will be provided after registration on EventBrite)
Cost: Free to all NECINA community members and invited guests.


COVID 19 is a pandemic, as declared by WHO. It has changed so many aspects of our lives. Most of NECINA community members were forced to work from home during this on-going pandemic. It has been a truly global crisis, not just a public health, but in so many fronts.

However, life must go on, so must innovation. We must face the challenges caused by this unprecedented crisis, and continue to innovate and development or improve modern technologies so that we can move on as a society. So even though COVID 19 has made so much damage, but it also presented us an opportunity not only tackle the virus, but also increase the efficiency and productivity, as well as to improve our quality of life.   

On Saturday June 27, NECINA Annual Conference will be held online for the first time ever in 24 years of NECINA history. We will focus on the theme of  “Innovation under pandemic - how technologies help us transition towards new normal”. We have invited distinguished speakers such as the chairman of NECINA board Cheng Wu, a successful serial entrepreneur and well-acclaimed industry veteran;  Sridhar Iyengar, CEO and Founder of Elemental Machines; Rob Toomey, CEO and co-founder of Type-Coach, Andrew Yu, Founder and CTO of Modo Labs; Sean Li, CEO and co-founder of; And Dr. Mingsheng Hong of Google.

You are cordially invited to join us on Zoom. Please register on EventBrite to receive your Zoom meeting ID and updated information. See you on June 27!


9:30-9:35  Open Remark, By Harry Gao, President, NECINA
9:35-9:45  Post COVID-19 Innovation, By Cheng Wu, Chairman, NECINA Board
9:45 – 10:15 What Pharma can Learn from Tesla, By Sridhar Iyengar, CEO and Founder, Elemental Machines
10:15-10:45 Remote team communication and engagement Innovations: Tools & Best Practice, By Rob Toomey, CEO and co-founder, Type-Coach
10:45-11:10  TBD, By Andrew Yu, Founder and CTO, Modo Labs
11:10 – 11:30  Listening and pivoting to what the market asks: from charity work to changing business models, By Sean Li, CEO and co-founder,
11:30 – 11:50  The future of Big data and AI, By Dr. Mingsheng Hong, AI & Big Data expert, Google
11:50 – 12:00  NECINA organization culture By Chikong Shue, Founding member, NECINA Board
12:00 – 12:30  YES 14 Awards + winning team demo
12: 30 – 12:45   NECINA Officer Award
12: 45 – 13:00   NECINA new president speech

***** Extended Online Networking *****
13:00 – 13:30    Lunch break (on your own)
13:30 – 15:30    Social Networking Event (open to all NECINA community members)


Cheng Wu  Chairman, NECINA Board

Cheng Wu was CEO and co-founder at Azuki, responsible for the company’s vision, corporate strategy and setting the overall direction in the marketplace. Cheng is a successful serial entrepreneur and well-acclaimed industry veteran, having founded and led numerous businesses spanning a range of different industries. Azuki was sold to Ericsson in 2014.

Before that, Cheng served as Chairman of Acopia Networks, a leader in high-performance, intelligent file virtualization solutions, which was acquired by F5 Networks for $210M in September, 2007. Cheng founded and became Chairman of Acopia Networks in December, 2001 after leaving Cisco Systems. He joined Cisco Systems in June 2000 through Cisco’s $5.7B acquisition of ArrowPoint Communications, where he held various executive positions, including Group VP and General Manager of the Content and Multiservice Edge Group (CME). CME’s technology focus was to enable the migration of existing client-server multi-protocol networks toward high value, multiservice (data, voice, and video) architectures capable of supporting the next wave of e-business applications and edge services for Enterprise and service provider customers.

Prior to joining Cisco, Cheng founded ArrowPoint Communications in 1997, where he served as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer leading the company to a successful IPO in April of 2000 with annualized revenues of $250M.

Preceding Cheng’s time with ArrowPoint, he founded Arris Networks, a Massachusetts based startup that developed high-density Internet access products that was acquired by Cascade Communications for $217M in May, 1996. He later served as Cascade (now Lucent Technologies) Communications’ Vice President for remote access engineering.


Sridhar Lyengar  CEO and Founder, Elemental Machines

A serial entrepreneur in connected medical devices and wearables, Sridhar is focused on strategy and management at Elemental Machines. Previously, Sridhar was a founder and director of Misfit, makers of elegant wearable products, which was acquired by Fossil in 2015. Prior to Misfit, he founded AgaMatrix, a blood glucose monitoring company that made the world’s first medical device connecting directly to the iPhone. AgaMatrix shipped 15+ FDA-cleared medical products, 2B+ biosensors, 6M+ glucose meters, with partnerships with Apple, Sanofi, and Walgreens. Sridhar holds over 30 US and international patents and received his Ph.D. from Cambridge University as a Marshall Scholar. Beyond Elemental Machines, Sridhar has been known to run 13.1 miles on occasion and has sometimes been spotted on stage behind a wall of drums.




Rob Toomey  CEO and co-founder, Type-Coach

After five years as a corporate attorney for two different large firms in Boston, Rob's career took a major pivot in 2004 when he began providing coaching and training centered around practical applications of personality type. He has personally coached and trained thousands of executives, leaders, and sales professionals in Japan, Australia, Canada, England, France, Germany, Sweden, and throughout the United States. His first company, An Extraordinary Life was formed in January 2004 and remains focused on assisting professionals through complex career transitions. In 2005, Rob joined forces with SpeedReading People, growing its client list to include more than 20 Fortune 500 firms. TypeCoach represents the latest incarnation of Rob's focus on delivering personal and professional results through the application of personality type.

Rob's law practice began with Testa, Hurwitz & Thibeault and then with Weil, Gotshal & Manges in Boston, where he focused primarily on venture capital and leveraged buy-out transactions. He holds a B.A. with honors in both Philosophy and English Literature from Trinity College in Hartford, CT, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa. Rob also holds a J.D. from Boston University School of Law.


Andrew Yu  Founder and CTO, Modo Labs

Andrew Yu is an expert on smartphones and mobile devices, with more than 17 years of Internet and mobile software experience in the U.S. and Asia. Prior to founding Modo Labs, Andrew led a team of mobile developers from MIT to create the MIT Mobile Framework, an open source project that started in 2007 to help universities create compelling mobile web applications. Andrew graduated from Harvard University in 1994 with a BA honors degree in physics and East Asian studies. He also studied electrical engineering and computer science at MIT. Andrew also serves on Modo Labs’ board of directors.


Sean Li  CEO and co-founder,

Sean Li is the cofounder and CEO of CaterCow, a food delivery website where you can order catering from local restaurants. Since the pandemic, with business revenues down 98%+, Sean has pivoted the focus of his team to donate thousands meals to the hospital frontline from local restaurant partners across Boston, NYC, DC, SF, and LA. With the health scare hopefully subsiding, the CaterCow team is currently working on a big project that Sean hopes will reinvent how food delivery works in a sustainable and fair way to both restaurants and diners.

Sean was born in Beijing, immigrated to the US at 5-years old, and grew up in Atlanta. He graduated from Princeton University and worked in investment banking at Morgan Stanley before CaterCow.

Mingsheng Hong  AI & Big Data Expert, Google

Dr. Mingsheng Hong leads the engineering work of Google's TensorFlow runtime, the AI infrastructure. Prior to this role, Mingsheng worked in Big Data engineering leadership roles at Google, Hadapt and HP Vertica. During his five years at Massachusetts in 2008-2013, Mingsheng was fortunate to volunteer at NECINA and served as its 17th President during the 2012-2013 term. Mingsheng obtained his Computer Science Ph.D. degree at Cornell University, and co-founded the Microsoft CEDR research project, commercialized as SQL Server StreamInsight. Mingsheng has given talks, lectures and demos at industry and academic forums such as TensorFlow Developer Summit, Hadoop World, and Harvard Business School.


Chi Kong Shue  Chairman and President of SDSC Global Foundation and CentriHall, Inc.

He has also been involved in the hi-tech venture and private equity investments in Taiwan, China and U.S. since 2002. He had been the Executive Vice President at Sycamore Networks (1998-2003) responsible for the R&D of intelligent optical transport & switching systems and Asia market development. Prior to Sycamore, he was the VP at Ascend Communications and a Co-Founder of Cascade, and the Vice President of Engineering. Both Sycamore and Cascade had very successful IPO’s (SCMR and CSCC on NASDAQ) in 1999 and 1994 respectively. Mr. Shue had served at Open Software Foundation and Wang Laboratories, Inc. from 1978 to 1989.

Mr. Shue was born in Taiwan. He received a B.S.E.E. from ChiaoTung University in Taiwan in 1974, and an MS Degrees in both Computer Sciences and Operations Research from the Pennsylvania State University in 1978. He also studied in Sloan Graduate School of Management at M.I.T. in 1979. Mr. Shue received the Asian-American Achievement Award from the University of Massachusetts in 1998 for his contributions to the economic and social development of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He served as the President of NECINA in 2000 and as a Board Director since 1998. Mr. Shue currently holds three U.S. data communication patents and is a member of IEEE and OSA.

Harry Gao  President (2019-2020), NECINA

Dr. Harry Gao is the president of NECINA for 2019-2020. He has been serving as the chair of NECINA Entrepreneur Programs – Entrepreneur Club (E Club), NECINA Entrepreneur Workshop (NEW), Youth Entrepreneur Service (YES) for many years. Dr. Gao has more than 25 years of diverse professional experience as a researcher, engineer, manager, international sales director, and business owner. Dr. Gao had worked for many famous companies such as Danaher, ThermoFisher (formerly known as Thermo Electron) etc. Dr. Harry Gao is the founder and President of GNW International, a technology company based in MA. Dr. Harry Gao is passionate about helping young professionals and students in career advancement and development, entrepreneurship and business development, particularly based on innovations in technology with huge market potentials.  Dr. Gao received a Ph.D. in Physics from University of Massachusetts Lowell.

Connie Dai  President-elect (2020), NECINA

Attorney Connie Dai advises emerging to well-established companies on corporate, investment, business transactions, trademark, trade secrets and employment legal matters. She also represents clients in the State and Federal courts as well as before private arbitration and mediations. Before practicing law, Connie advised and counseled business and& start-ups on marketing and growth strategies, financing options and operation optimization, and has negotiated business engagements on behalf of client companies. Earlier in her career, she oversaw the enforcement of anti-trademark infringement efforts by Coca-Cola China, as well as participated in joint venture negotiations that led to the establishment of several Coca-Cola bottling companies in China. Connie has an M.B.A. from University of Calgary and J.D from Suffolk Law School . She is an avid reader, half marathon runner, skier and tennis player.

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NECINA ( is nonprofit organization that was founded 24 years ago by a group of highly successful entrepreneurs. Our mission is to nourish entrepreneurship, facilitate professional career development, and bridge the business and culture gap between New England and Greater China.

As a non-profit organization, we have a subscription contact base of over 5000 people. We run 40+ events per year, and help startup companies raise hundreds of million dollars. The return from Companies founded by our members has been over $10 billion dollars.
Our former speakers include Dean of MIT Sloan School of Management, Chairman and CEO of Qihoo 360, Chairman and President of Oriza Holdings, Partners of Atlas Venture, President of IEEE. Just to name a few.

We also have built partnership with the companies like Dell Computer (EMC), Constant Contact, KPMG, Delta Air Lines, NetBrain, etc.