Meet the Founder

Eric Wise founded BreatheWise in 2014 after watching family members require medical oxygen therapy.  He realized that many of the problems facing these patients could be solved through the application of technology.  This led to his involvement in the compressed gas industry.

Prior to founding BreatheWise, Eric worked as a mechanical engineer in the robotics industry.  At Intuitive Surgical, he designed robots to test various aspects of the da Vinci surgical robotics platform and worked on autonomous robotic vehicles at Aethon.  He also completed data analysis work in Westinghouse’s nuclear component engineering division and assisted with research at the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Institute.

Eric earned a double major bachelor’s degree in mechanical and biomedical engineering as well as a master’s degree in mechanical engineering, all from Carnegie Mellon University.

Board of Advisors

BreatheWise is advised by a group of technical and industry experts.

Ilana Diamond

Ilana Diamond is the Managing Director at the hardware accelerator AlphaLab Gear.  Prior to joining AlphaLab Gear, Ilana served as President and CEO of Sima Products, an international consumer electronics accessory manufacturer, which she led to a successful exit.  Ilana is an active angel investor and advisor in Pittsburgh’s startup community and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Pittsburgh Technology Council and Tie Pittsburgh.  Previously, Ilana sat on the Executive Board of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA).

Tom Hayes

Tom Hayes is a technology entrepreneur with a deep technical background.  Tom has over 20+ years of Product Design and Development, primarily in the Embedded Microprocessor space.  He has a strong blend of technical and business experience.  Tom has founded multiple technology companies, with extensive experience raising capital, business case formation, developing high value partnerships and new sales channels.

Dr. Todd Jochem

Dr. Todd Jochem founded and sold two robotics software companies in the transportation and military robotics areas.  He currently consults in the robotics space and serves as an expert and fact witness for self-driving car technology cases.  His background is in machine perception, autonomy software, and robotic system design and development.  Dr. Jochem has an undergraduate degree from Indiana State University and a Ph.D. in Robotics from Carnegie Mellon University.

Josh McElhattan

Josh McElhattan founded Startbot in 2012 to invest in and serve robotics startups.  He directed technology investment for Industrial Scientific starting in 2006, where he led research and acquisition efforts in areas such as predictive analytics, advanced sensors, imaging systems, and robotics.  Previously, Josh was user experience lead at JPMorganChase’s active trading platform, BrownCo (presently Power E*TRADE).  He also led a consulting team for America Online’s AIM product management group and served on business development consulting teams for Arnold Worldwide and Allied Domecq (presently Dunkin’ Brands).

Larry Miller

Larry Miller is an executive in residence at Innovation Works.  Larry has more than 20 years experience in leading and managing medical device companies to identify commercializeable IP and accelerate product development, raise venture capital, manage cash flow, identify market opportunities and generate sales, sustain profits, and implement productivity and quality improvement practices.  His background includes 16 years of P&L and balance sheet management of divisions as large as $600M in sales to as small as a skunk works product development team designing novel permanent magnet based MRI systems.

Kit Needham

Kit is Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Project Olympus where she provides start-up advice, business strategy planning, connections to industry experts, advisors and the business community to student and faculty startups.  She is a member and technical advisor to BlueTree Allied Angels and serves on the Screening Committee.  Kit is an Advisory Board member of Chatham University’s Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship and adjunct faculty in their MBA program.  She also provides consulting services to promote economic growth to Chambers of Commerce, individual entrepreneurs and non-profit organizations.

Dr. V. Emily Stark

Emily is Associate Director of the Carnegie Mellon Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE), responsible for grant writing, program management and research (NSF I-Corps Site program, James R. Swartz Entrepreneurial Fellows program), marketing and public relations, and oversight of the CIE’s daily operations; she also teaches in the English Department at CMU.  With degrees in both rhetoric of science (Ph.D., Carnegie Mellon University) and biological sciences (M.S., Carnegie Mellon University), and professional experience that spans the humanities, the sciences, and the arts, Emily works on strategic planning and implementation to interweave Carnegie Mellon’s culture of scientific, technical, and artistic expertise with its emphasis on innovation and entrepreneurship.

Dr. Conrad Zapanta

Dr. Conrad Zapanta is the Associate Department Head of Biomedical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University.  His research interests are in developing medical devices to treat cardiovascular disease, focusing on the areas of cardiac assist devices and prosthetic heart valves.  Dr. Zapanta is an active member in the American Society for Artificial Internal Organs, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the American Society for Engineering Education, and the Biomedical Engineering Society.  He is also a reviewer for several biomedical engineering journals, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Cardiovascular Sciences Small Business Special Emphasis Panel.



Interested in joining our team?   We are always looking for driven applicants with a passion for creating new products.  Send us a resume at At the moment, we are recruiting the following position:


  • Vice President of Business Development