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The Team

Mammen Thomas, Director
Jacob Tanz, Director Emeritus
Richard Moses, Director
Demetris Paraskevopoulos, Managing Director
Manohar Ayyagiri, Director
Avi Barel, Director
Kelly Brix, Director & CFO
David Harrison, Director Emeritus
T Paul Lee, Director Emeritus
Bob Osann, Director
Felix Rosengarten, Director & CFO Emeritus
Lloyd Nirenberg, Director
Robert Strain, Director

Nif/T performs as a Catalyst Partner for


  • Start-up firms


  • New Business within established firms


  • Corporate Spin-outs




Peter Salmon, Director

Demetris Paraskevopoulos

Managing Director

Paraskevopoulos has been managing Nif/T during the last ten years. He has over 35 years experience in high tech development and management, in start up company environments as well as large corporations. His experience ranges from new product development and introduction, to extensive operational management in marketing and sales. In addition, he has extensive accomplishments in business development and strategic negotiations. His previous roles included General Manager of Tower Semiconductor USA, Inc. and VP of Business Development at an Internet related startup firm. Earlier positions were VP of Marketing and Sales at National Semiconductor and he held several management positions in technology management and operations at Xerox Corp.


He received a Sc.M. in Electrical Engineering from Brown University, an M.A. and Ph.D. in Physics from Boston University, an MBA in Financial Economics and Marketing from University of Rochester, and completed post-doctoral studies at MIT. Dr. Paraskevopoulos has 4 patents issued and over 40 professional publications. He is currently an active member of various professional associations, including the Silicon Valley Band of Angels and the Association for Corporate Growth; he has served, or currently serving, on six Boards of Directors. 

Manohar Ayyagiri


Manohar has over 20 years of experience in the high tech industry, with focus on semiconductor intellectual property. He has held various engineering, marketing and business development positions at Open-Silicon, MoSys Inc., Achronix Corp., Altera, Lightspeed Semiconductor, and Actel. He was at Open-Silicon from 2012 to 2015, where he was responsible for intellectual property business unit. Prior to that, he was involved in design, support, marketing, and licensing of various semiconductor IPs. 

Manohar has extensive expertise in ASIC, FPGA, PLDA, networking, communications, memory sub-systems, interconnect technologies, high performance analog PHYs, and Electronic Design Automation (EDA). 

He received a Bachelor degree in Electrical and Electronics engineering from University of Calicut, Kerala, India and a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from University of South Carolina. 


Avi Barel is a veteran business executive with over 35 years experience in the high tech industry starting as a development engineer through executive in sales and general management positions.  His experience varies from new product design and development thorough managing business units and worldwide sales, all of semiconductor based products such as wired and wireless communication and speech processing devices.  His previous roles include Corporate VP Sales and VP & General Manager Multimedia Processor Division at DSP Group, VP & General Manager of Winbond/ISD Israel, and Business Line Manager at National Semiconductor. 


He received M.Sc. in Computer Science as well as B.Sc. in Mathematics & Physics at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Director & CFO

Kelly is a Certified Public Accountant with a background in corporate/partnership taxation and assurance services.  In the role of Chief Financial Officer, Kelly brings over 15 years of diverse tax, accounting and business consulting experience from both private industry and the public accounting sector.  Kelly has held the positions of CEO, CFO, COO and Director of Finance for entities in various industries providing a well-rounded background and proficiency in her scope of work.


Kelly received a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance and Marketing from Loyola Marymount University and a Certificate of Advanced Accounting Proficiency from Santa Clara University. 



Harrison has over 35 years experience in leading complex software development projects and developing advanced architectures. He was Vice President of Software at Cradle Technologies and Plus Logic. Harrison also held various senior Technical positions at Cirrus Logic, Xilinx, Teknowledge, ESL, Computer Sciences CSC, and Triad Computing Systems. 

David developed and deployed the first computer system on a North Sea oil platform, the first CODASYL database management system, the first systolic processor, the first expert system that reasoned about 3-dimensional geometry, the first CPLD software that optimized for three-levels of logic and made multi-core technology contributions. At Xilinx, David was a key contributor to the highly successful 9500 series of products. David has 10 issued patents, primarily in the areas of computer architecture and EDA.

David received his Bachelor and Master of Arts in Natural Sciences in 1974 and 1978 respectively from Cambridge University..

T Paul Lee


Lee has been in the computer software industry for more than 35 years. After his graduate study, he worked at Bell Labs in New Jersey in Unix operating system performance and cellular switch overload control algorithms. He came back to Silicon Valley in 1989 as a consultant for various corporations for over ten years. In that period, he taught evening graduate classes in data structure and algorithm, computer graphics, and computer networking at Santa Clara University as a part-time adjunct faculty member.  


He worked at IBM Almaden Research Center for three years on fibre-channel workload balance algorithms to meet service level agreement. He later joined Sun Microsystems working on various Solaris operating system components and software globalization.  While he was with Sun, Lee was stationed in Beijing for four years as manager of software development teams. Later Sun was acquired by Oracle, and he worked on many distributed storage projects.


He received his B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from National Taiwan University, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Computer Science from University of California at Berkeley. He has five patents issued and over 15 professional publications. He is currently involved in open-source storage projects in cloud native computing platforms. Lee is a PADI-certified open water scuba diver and an instrument rated, tailwheel endorsed private pilot.


Richard Moses is a Professional Engineer and a patent and technology specialist, he has provided patent services for  the past 10 years assisting Fortune 500 clients with patent assessment and monetization - including assertive licensing, brokering and portfolio management. 

Richard is subject matter expert in semiconductor products and their use in the industry.  Prior, Richard spent over 15 years working for leading semiconductor companies including IBM and Hitachi (now Renesas). His experience includes strategic program management, IC design, technical marketing and application engineering.  Richard started his career as a systems and hardware engineer with Philips Information Systems designing personal computers and enterprise communication systems. 

Richard graduated with honors from Concordia University with a BS and MS in Electrical Engineering and is a member of the LES, IEEE and Professional Engineers of Ontario. He received the F.A. Gerard Prize, the EE Medal and scholarship from the National Research Council of Canada.


Nirenberg has over 25 years experience in the electronics industry as both an engineer and an executive. In 1998, he co-founded IP Valuation, Inc. a firm that provides software for computing the price of Intellectual Property designs. IPV's MediciTM software applies the financial engineering theory of Real Options to solve the contingent claims associated with IP reuse. Previous to IPV, he was Director of Business Development at National Semiconductor, where he took technology acquisition and IP licensing deals from strategy through due diligence and closure. At National, he also served as Director of Strategic Marketing for Wireless Communications.


Nirenberg has General Management experience in packet switching (Tymnet, Inc.), satellite and digital radio industries (Avantek Corp.), and System Engineering expertise in digital signal processing and packet switching (Hughes, Aerospace Corp.). He has 8 IEEE papers published. He has a B.S. (EE) from the University of Michigan, and M.S.(EE) and Ph.D.(EE) degrees from UCLA. 


Osann is a veteran business executive with over 35 years of marketing, sales, engineering, and intellectual property experience. He was CEO at MeshDynamics, a leading wireless mesh equipment manufacturer, from 2004-2005. He was the founder and initial CEO of Lightspeed Semiconductor, the first Structured ASIC company, and also served as a Vice President at P-CAD, SunRise Imaging, Aptix, Prolinx, and JigSaw Tek. From 1987 through 1989 he was a key consultant at Actel.  In 1981, he founded Assisted Technology, the first PLD software company, which merged with P-CAD in 1985.


Osann has domain expertise in FPGA/PLD/ASIC/DSP, wireless networks, smart phones, MEMS sensors and security solutions, streaming video, and IC packaging. 


He has a BSEE degree from Cornell University.  He has 56 patents issued and 6 patents pending."

Emeritus Director & CFO

Rosengarten has over 35 years of senior management experience in a technical environment with emphasis in all functions of the high tech industry, with significant emphasis over the last eight years as Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of finance and all administrative functions. He has been responsible for Finance, Investor Relations, Human Resources, Business Systems & Information Technology, the Purchasing, Facilities, and Security Departments and various administrative matters including all legal interface, and patent management. In addition to the usual fiduciary responsibilities associated with the CFO position, he also has served as Assistant Secretary of the Board of Directors, coordinated with the Compensation Committee of the Board and active in the Audit Committee. He has directly participated as a CFO in equity financing through five preferred share series, two IPO's, a public offering, and a corporate merger.


Rosengarten received a BS (ChemE) from Cornell University, and an MBA from Villanova University. 

Peter Salmon


Salmon is a product developer and inventor with over 30 years of engineering and intellectual property experience. He has served as founder and CTO of several product development companies, including Santek, i-Blades, Salmon Technologies, and The Salmon Group.

Salmon has domain expertise in electrical, mechanical, and system engineering. As an expert witness, he performs as a validity expert or provides litigation support. As a product developer he has developed several prototype printers. For smart phones he has developed roll-up mechanisms and magnetic coupling devices. He is recently active in the domain of roll-to-roll (R2R) manufacturing, with several new patents relating to alignment and patterning methods. Salmon is also pursuing a new approach to water-cooled servers.

He has a BE from Auckland University, an MSEE and the professional degree of Electrical Engineer from Northeastern University. He has 25 patents issued, and several more pending.


Strain started his career in microwave physics, but entered the world of silicon in 1968 at Bell Labs, where he was responsible for contributions in MOS and CCD technology. He introduced major memory families at Harris Semiconductor and National Semiconductor, and he has been responsible for process development, product development and product management at Fairchild Semiconductor in addition to Harris and National. One of his major projects was guiding the design, construction and staffing of Fairchild's Nagasaki wafer fab, and he has been an internal technological consultant and strategist for all three semiconductor companies. He was also employed by Standard Telecommunication Laboratories (Harlow, Essex, England), and he has chaired international conferences on MOS interfaces and semiconductor manufacturing.


Strain received the BSEE, MSEE and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Illinois, and he has 32 patents, 18 publications and several conference papers. 

Jacob Tanz

Emeritus Director

Tanz has spent over 32 years in a variety of executive high tech positions. Over the past few years he has been providing strategic consulting services to various high tech organizations. Jacob's experience spans the high tech landscape as President & CEO of Oren Semiconductor, to Executive Sales & Marketing positions with Libit Signal Processing. Jacob drove and led the acquisition of Libit Signal Processing to Texas Instruments in 1999 for $365M.


As a VP of Sales and Marketing at Terayon Communication Corp, Jacob contributed to the growth of the Broadband Communication though the promotion of Cable Modem technology. For 15 years at Intel Corp, he held various positions, from Corporate Business Development specializing in driving Broadband technologies deployment, to Product and Customer marketing positions for Intel's embedded processors and Intel's leading processor family the x86 (80486dx, dx2, dx4). Most of Jacob's early days at Intel were spent in the field working with PC, Military and various commercial customers.


Jacob holds a B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from UCLA. 

Mammen Thomas


Thomas brings 32 years of local and international management expertise with technology-driven industries. This includes experience as President, CEO and founder of Propulsion Networks,Inc. President of Silicon Recognition, Director of product, test and reliability at DynaChip Corp.; Sr. VP technology and projects at Elan Microsystems; Director of technology and reliability at TFI, Inc. and Manager of Device integration at AMD; and Senior Project Manager at Keltron. His technical experience covers technology development, technology transfer, manufacturing, product planning, product marketing and project implementation. He has successfully raised multi-million dollar series A funds from venture during his tenure as President and CEO of Propulsion Networks. He has been involved in the implementation of multi-year technology projects with Sprague Electric ( Netherlands), Nippon Precision Circuits ( Japan), Pioneer Video Corporation ( Japan), IMP Microelectronics (US), ABB Haffo ( Sweden), and Austria Microsystems ( Austria). He is an inventor with over 38 patents in semiconductor technology, non-volatile technology, packaging, field programmable elements, large scale integration etc.


He is currently a General Partner Technology and Reliability at MEMTEK, LLC ( and Director of Thomas Mammen Associates. He is a senior member of IEEE and a member of OSA.


Thomas holds a B.Sc. in Engineering (Telecom) from College of Engineering Trivandrum (CET), Kerala, India, an MSEE from Univ. of Michigan, and an MBA from Indian Institute of Management (IIM) in Calcutta.

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