Dan Mazzucco, Ph.D., Co-founder, President and Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Mazzucco has been in the medical device industry for more than 17 years. Prior to joining ZSX Medical, Dr. Mazzucco served as Director of Regulatory Affairs and Project Management at Aqumen Biopharmaceuticals, a Japanese ophthalmic biotechnology startup. Dr. Mazzucco directed manufacturing, preclinical, clinical, and regulatory development. He managed Aqumen’s lead product from initial manufacturing activities through initial pre-NDA validation work and from first pre-IND meeting through Phase III clinical trials. Prior to his work at Aqumen, Dr. Mazzucco provided technical consulting to both established and early-stage medical device companies at Exponent, Inc. He earned a doctorate in medical and mechanical engineering from Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the Division of Health Sciences and Technology, and is a graduate of Dartmouth College.

Eric Rugart, Co-founder, Board of Managers

Eric Rugart is the CEO of Feta Med, Inc., a medical supply business servicing the ob/gyn community. Feta Med has been doing business for more than 40 years, and supplies over 300 hospitals. Mr. Rugart has an extensive entrepreneurial pedigree. Prior to owning and operating Feta Med, Mr. Rugart had run several companies, including a financial service company and a biometric security technology company. Mr. Rugart is also a seasoned investor in early-stage companies, including Nano-Pack, Inc.; Lifeguard Mobile; CaseNetworks, Inc.; and Crestline Technologies, Inc. Mr. Rugart is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania.

As a youth, Eric honed his passion for science by optimizing solar refraction configurations of convex and Fresnel lenses for ambience modification of hymenoptera as well as exploring the effects of hypernatremia on gastropod epithelial migration patterns. He continues to torture colleagues and associates to this day.

Lou Berardi, Board of Managers

Lou Berardi is a retired entrepreneur who serves on the board of managers of ZSX Medical. Mr. Berardi's extensive pharmaceutical expertise includes significant financial, operational and M&A experience, both domestically and internationally. As Executive VP of Corporate Development, Mr. Berardi spearheaded the sale of three companies – Roberts Pharmaceutical (1999), ESP Pharma (2005) and Esprit Pharma (2007).


John Crombie, Research and Development

John Crombie is the head of Research and Development at ZSX Medical. In the past, he has developed innovative products for orthopedics, sports medicine, spine surgery, plastic and reconstructive surgery, general surgery, women’s health procedures, diagnostic medical software, consumer, recreational, and global emerging markets. Previously, John was employed by Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon and Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics, by Pfizer’s Howmedica and Leibinger, by Alergan, and by several private organizations and startups. He holds dual Bachelors degrees in Physiology and Mechanical Engineering and a Masters degree in Business Management. Most notably, John has commercialized 70% of his 30 patents into new products spanning across 6 companies.

Jesse Butch, R&D Engineer

Jesse has been a project engineer with ZSX Medical since 2013. He has worked on the Zip-Stitch project since its first proof of concept. Throughout development, Jesse has aided in intellectual property development (US Patent Application No. 61/928,271), developed various pre-verification test models, implemented a quality management system, evaluated and selected suppliers and service providers, developed supply channels, and developed manufacturing techniques. Jesse has also supported grant writing efforts that resulted in NSF SBIR Phase IIB funding award (NSF Award ID 1430810) as well as supplemental funding under the same award.

Jesse received his BS in mechanical Engineering from Rowan University and has also received his EIT certification in 2013 and ASQ Certified Six Sigma Green Belt in 2016.

If you can't find him inside of the Pennovation Hub, he is likely either participating in community development through church, riding (and repairing) his bike, paddling in his kayak on a lake, or cherishing time with his wife, family, and friends.

Stephen Kita, R&D Engineer

Stephen Kita Stephen Kita is a 2014 Bioengineering graduate from the University of Pittsburgh, and a 2016 Fellow with Venture for America. His senior design project at Pitt involved writing a complete DHF for a vibration belt therapy system. Stephen also has three years of medical device and mechanical product development experience, which come from designing a children's bouncer seat at 4moms and performing quality assurance on a blood analyzer at Abbot Point of Care.

Stephen's interest in entrepreneurship through Venture for America comes from playing sports in high school and the belief that small teams can make a big impact. Outside of work, he also enjoys food, music, and spending time outside. Stephen, or "Steven", as is friends call him, was also formerly rated as the most attractive member of PLEXUS. But now PLEXUS is under construction so we had to move, and there are more people who work at the Pennovation center.

Ryan Brown, R&D Engineer

Ryan Brown Ryan graduated from Brown University with a Bachelors in 2015 and a Masters in 2016, both in Biomedical Engineering. His research concerned the fluid dynamics and evolutionary mechanics of bat flight. During his time at school Ryan also spearheaded student involvment in the growth and development of the Brown University School of Engineering. Now a 2016 Venture for America Fellow at ZSX, he is excited to help build things that matter.

In addition, Ryan has an IQ of over 900 and plays professional ultimate frisbee in Philadelphia. He also likes being outside, and aspires to one day be as well-liked as Stephen. He is happy you made it all the way to the bottom of this page. Peope usually don't. Good for you.