- Phil Palmedo, M.S, Ph.D. CEO, Palmedo Associates
Insights from CEBIP's Advisory Board
On the face of it, the arts and entrepreneurship would not seem to have much in common. But that’s not how Philip F. Palmedo sees it, and his own background supports that view.
Palmedo’s career spans multiple fields: physics, finance, corporate management and entrepreneurship, and on the educational side, he holds a Master of Science and a Doctor of Philosophy degree, both from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). One of the original CEBIP Advisory Board members, Palmedo also serves on the boards of two companies as well as acting an advisor to several early-stage private companies.
That’s the business/science side of his background. But he is also the author of several books on sculpting and sculptors, most recently, The Experience of Modern Sculpture. Explaining his two seemingly divergent lines of interest, Palmedo said, “I’m fascinated by human creativity, whether it manifests itself in a piece of sculpture or a new company,” adding, “I really believe that if you encourage creativity through art, music, or whatever, it enhances the capability in a business career.”
As for what draws him to working with start-ups, Palmedo said, “I enjoyed it when I started my own company, and I enjoy being involved in these companies because it’s an interesting aspect of human creativity.”
Interesting but challenging, with start-ups often facing the twin challenges of lack of funds and lack of experience. That’s where Palmedo’s background comes into play. As an advisor, he evaluates what is missing in their view of where they are and where they want to be. “If you’ve been through it and helped companies go through it, you know what’s required in terms of their attitude, their plans and so forth. And you try to determine where the missing elements are or where they need the help”—all focused on helping them refine their pitch to secure financing.
“Venture capital usually moves to later stages in the corporate development process, because early stage capital is very risky,” he said. “So these entrepreneurs need early-stage angel investing, which is usually provided by experienced business people who bring both capital and practical knowledge. CEBIP works closely with the Long Island Angels Network and one of the things we concentrate on is preparing the companies to make an effective to pitch to them.”
Palmedo also works with a few companies on a more permanent basis, acting as an advisor over multiple years. He noted that CEBIP’s Executive Director David Hamilton has encouraged experienced people on the board and the Long Island business community as a whole to have a deeper involvement with individual companies.
“Start-ups, especially tech-based companies, are a fundamental part of what makes economic development happen in this country,” he said, which links to his own reasons for his affiliation with CEBIP. “It comes back to two things: I enjoy the start-up process and I think it’s important to assist entrepreneurs successfully start and grow their businesses. And it’s nice to combine those two aspects.”