First Inventors provides the small business and independent inventor with a suite of services and educational tools focusing on both teaching and guiding the inventor through the critical first stages of invention development. Our senior staff of experienced inventors, technologists and business professionals have over 100 years of combined experience for assisting inventors in achieving their dreams. We complement our senior staff with our Board of Advisors further providing the inventor with additional academic and industrial experienced resources. Finally, our Strategic Partners provide yet another level of experience in manufacturing processes and compliments the experience of our other members.
The mission of First Inventors LLC is to provide superior service and products to the independent and small business inventor for assisting them in transforming their creative ideas into revenue generating innovations. We are a for-profit organization and invest our profits for growing our business and for continually improving and developing innovative products for the benefit of our clients.
First Inventors is pleased to present our senior staff members. Senior staff members are recognized professionals in their respective fields. This team provides over 100 years of combined invention development, marketing, business and product development and engineering design and development experience for assisting each inventor in achieving their individual invention commercialization goals.
William Haller is currently Associate Chair and Professor of Practice of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA. Previously, Mr. Haller was Co-Founder and Chairman of Industrial Vision Systems, Inc., a manufacturer of laser based machine vision products for industrial lumber applications. Prior to founding Industrial Vision Systems, Mr. Haller was Co-Founder and President of SciTronics, Inc., a manufacturer of voice prosthetic devices for verbally handicapped children and adults where he co-designed Alltalk, the first natural sounding prosthetic device used throughout the United States for assisting in educating verbally handicapped children. Mr. Haller holds over 15 US and foreign patents ranging from automatic braking systems for preventing baby walkers from falling down a flight of stairs to microcontroller based circuits for automatically adjusting DC motor efficiency, to machine vision measuring systems. Mr. Haller is also co-director of the ILR (Innovation Leadership Residency) Program at Lehigh where students work with inventors and start-up companies in making presentations to venture capitalists for obtaining project and business financing. Mr. Haller received his BS Electrical Engineering (1972), BS Engineering Physics (1973) and MS Electrical Engineering (1975) from Lehigh. Mr. Haller is a past member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, Society of Manufacturing Engineers, American Society of Mechanical Engineers and Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society, and is a past recognized federal court expert witness in electrical engineering.
Andrea Wittchen is currently a Founder and Partner of ISPRING ASSOCIATES, a company which specializes in analyzing cost saving opportunities for manufacturing companies. Previous to founding ISPRING ASSOCIATES, Ms. Wittchen was instrumental in growing three other companies in her 30 year entrepreneur and business career including a real estate management firm, a consulting/software design firm, and an engineering consulting firm which are all still operating successfully. Her responsibilities in each situation included infrastructure design and implementation, strategic planning, financial controls, administrative design and management, human resources, and marketing. She has handled the varying challenges posed by start-up operations and rapid growth companies as well as established organizations. In recognition of her accomplishments and many contributions to Pennsylvania's business community, she was honored in 2007 as one of the state's Best 50 Women in Business. Ms. Wittchen received a Bachelor of Music degree from Jacksonville University with high honors, a Master of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester and an M.B.A. from Lehigh University. She is well-known throughout eastern Pennsylvania as a professional harpist and she has taught at Lehigh University in both the music and business departments. She holds a certificate in strategic management from the American Management Institute and is a member of the Institute of Management Accountants.
Joe Fuller has a successful 25-year track record leading the development and launch of technology-based products, with a specialty in developing effective go-to-market strategies to deliver new and innovative technologies into the marketplace. He is currently Executive Vice President of AirSage, Inc., a leading provider of cellular-based population location and movement information. Prior to joining AirSage he was Executive VP of Marketing & Business Development at Flexplay Technologies, the inventor of time-limited DVD technology with over 70 patents worldwide. Prior to Flexplay, he was Executive VP at The Convex Group where he led the LidRock business unit. Joe has also been a principal in several startup companies including Arcadus, LLC (Internet software and consulting), ClickChoice (Internet content security), and Abaco Mobile (wireless supply chain solutions). He also held senior management roles in product development, marketing, and corporate development at companies including ADAM Software and Hayes Microcomputer Products, the inventors of the PC modem. Joe earned his bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from Lehigh University and an MBA from Georgia State University.
Gus Gustafson is currently a consultant specializing in small business development, business plan development and finance. Previously he was Vice President of Business Development for Fragrance Manufacturing, Inc. of Allentown, PA. In this position Mr. Gustafson achieved 20% annual growth and established product development and fulfillment functions and initiated full supply chain management systems. Subsequent to Fragrance Manufacturing, he co-founded Millbrook Inc. of Bethlehem, PA, a strategic consulting and data warehouse software company. Millbrook was the recipient of the Ben Franklin Technology Partners Incubator Graduate Award and was cited at the 2000 Republican national Convention by Gov. Ridge as a top PA technology company. Mr. Gustafson, along with Mr. Haller, is also co-director of the ILR (Innovation Leadership Residency) Program at Lehigh where students work with inventors and start-up companies in making presentations to venture capitalists for obtaining project and business financing. Mr. Gustafson also created the course "Executing the Business Plan" which he teaches in the MBA VENTURE Series entrepreneurial concentration for Lehigh University. Mr. Gustafson received his BS Chemical Engineering (1974) from Lehigh University and an MS in Dynamics of Organization from the University of Pennsylvania (1993).
All staff of First Inventors LLC will act with honesty, integrity and openness in all of their dealings with the public. First Inventors LLC promotes a working environment that values respect, fairness and integrity. All of First Inventors products and services support the mission statement and all who work for or on behalf of First Inventors LLC understand, and are loyal to, that mission and purpose.
First Inventors believes in providing the inventor with objective information and consultation and therefore we do not promote, or promise to promote, non-patent pending or non-patented inventions but provide the inventor with a plan and tools necessary to pursue a successful invention development and marketing program. We further do not take any interest, financial or otherwise, in any invention submitted to First Inventors and hold each invention submission under the terms of our confidentiality agreement.