Kaon Interactive CEO to speak as part of URI’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Lecture series

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KINGSTON, R.I. – March 17, 2009—Gavin Finn, president and chief executive officer of Kaon Interactive, Inc., will discuss “Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Which Comes First?” in a lecture at the University of Rhode Island on Wednesday, April 8 in Cherry Auditorium in the Kirk Technology Center on the Kingston campus.

The lecture, part of the Anthony J. Risica Endowed Lecture Series on Innovation and Entrepreneurship and sponsored in collaboration with the URI College of Business and College of Engineering, begins at 3 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

In his lecture, Finn will explore the concept of innovation through his successes and failures at bringing new technologies and business innovations to large and small companies. He will share his experiences of learning the hard way, identifying battles worth fighting, and identifying key characteristics of organizations and people that are indicators of potential success in introducing disruptive innovation.

With Kaon Interactive, a leading provider of interactive sales and marketing solutions for manufacturing companies, Finn developed the company’s business model and marketing strategy. He also transformed the company’s product innovation process, resulting in the introduction of several award-winning solutions that have revolutionized the way that Kaon’s customers bring their products to market.

Prior to joining Kaon, Finn was president and chief operating officer of Bluestreak, Inc., an Internet advertising and marketing infrastructure software company, and led the company through three acquisitions. Before that he was president and chief executive of Prescient Technologies, Inc., a software company that provided engineering data quality solutions for engineering and manufacturing companies in the aerospace, automotive, and heavy industrial markets. He was previously the senior vice president of Stone & Webster Advanced Systems Development Services.

Finn holds a Ph.D. in computer-aided-engineering and a Master of Science degree in structural engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering from Oklahoma State University. He teaches courses in entrepreneurial marketing and sales at Tufts University.

The Anthony J. Risica Endowed Lecture Series on Innovation and Entrepreneurship was established in 2003 with a donation from Risica, a URI engineering alumnus who was involved with two telecommunications start-up companies, Arris Networks and Sonus Networks.

For more information about the lecture, call the College of Engineering dean’s office at 401-874-2186.