Mike Gildea                             Founder & CEO

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Mike Gildea, Founder and CEO of Brain Gain, LLC, has a diverse and outcomes based background that includes startups, angel investing, consulting entrepreneurs, business incubation, government, and youth attraction/retention.


He served as the past Executive Director of the PA Angel Network (PAN) with its 17 angel group members from across PA representing over 450 active angel investors. He managed the associations initiatives benefiting angel investors, startups, and ecosystem providers such as the monthly angel roundtables with angel group leaders, angel education and networking, represented PA angels at national angel events, extensive work with startups seeking angel capital, and developed and implemented the due diligence fellowship program for college students to review startups.


His role with PAN and additional angel group clients have provided him critical insight into angel investors needs and the impact this has on entrepreneurs pitching to raise angel capital.


Mike enjoys providing consulting to entrepreneurs and ecosystem providers such as incubators, accelerators, co-working spaces, economic development, and higher education about best practices in generating interest and investment from angel investors, pitch coaching, feedback on business plans, key decision points for angel investors, updates on angel trends, and adding value to entrepreneurs’ efforts for growing their companies.


His comprehensive work with startups seeking angel investment has resulted in having reviewed over 2,000 pitches, business plans and materials from industries such as web services, software, eCommerce, cyber security, mobile, gaming, healthcare IT, 3D printing, education, healthcare, clean tech, energy, consumer products, retail, food and beverage and life sciences.


Mike serves as a business plan judge for numerous events hosted by economic development, colleges, universities and angel groups, such as the annual Angel Venture Fair in Philadelphia. Mike has engaged student entrepreneurs as a current judge and the past judging chair for the PA State System of Higher Education Student Business Plan contest that includes students from 14 universities across Pennsylvania.


As the Founder and CEO of Pie Shares, Inc., Mike leads this IT startup’s management team with individuals from programming, sales, marketing, finance and accounting while leveraging his own technical experiences on IT product development, website user interfaces, and databases.


In former PA Governor’s Tom Ridge administration, Mike was the first state-wide Director of Gov. Ridge’s $12 million Brain Gain- “Stay Invent the Future” initiative. He was instrumental in the development of the initiative and its multiple components including managing the first ever grant funding process. With over 800 partnerships created, more than $20.7 million dollars of public and private capital was deployed for projects and strategies to retain Pennsylvania’s young people and attract additional young people to the Commonwealth.


His extensive operational experience with business incubators and non-profits includes having served as the Director of a technology focused university based incubator and Executive Director of the Technology Council of Northwest PA which served startups, young professionals, and the overall technology community.


Mike has supported community service through many past board member and volunteer roles and currently services as the John Carroll University Class of 1998 Alumni Columnist/Representative. Mike is a graduate of John Carroll University in University Heights, OH.