Mario Leite, Class of '98 (CLAS)
President/Founder, Tea-rrific! Ice Cream
Mario is the President and Founder of Tea-rrific! Ice Cream, a company based in Bridgeport, CT, crafting super-premium tea-infused ice cream. Under Mario's leadership, the company has grown from local distribution in a handful of stores in CT in 2011, to distribution throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and northern California. Some of the company's largest accounts are Whole Foods Market, ShopRite, Stop and Shop, Wegman's, King's Supermarket, and Fairway.
The company's product can also be found at the corporate headquarters of LinkedIn and Facebook, along with universities, such as UConn, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and select CIBO Markets at John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia Airports. Mario is currently working on scaling operations for exporting to various international markets.
Prior to founding Tea-rrific! Ice Cream, Mario was an investment banker for RBC Capital Markets in New York, focused on the Life Sciences sector. At RBC, Mario worked on various strategic and financial transactions, including royalty financings, mergers & acquisitions, leveraged buyouts, and private investments. Prior to starting his career in investment banking, Mario filled various R&D and supervisory roles at CuraGen Corporation, a bio-pharmaceutical company based in New Haven, CT.
Mario was born in New Haven, CT, and is a member of the CT Specialty Food Association, the Specialty Food Association and The Luxury Marketing Council of Connecticut and Hudson Valley. Mario has a BS in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of Connecticut, and an MBA from Columbia Business School.
CCEI is sponsoring appointments for individual coaching with Mario at our facility in East Hartford (or other locations if needed). Initial consultations are one hour in length, and can be replicated based on the type of challenge and assistance needed.
General Areas of Expertise:
- Business Formation
- Identifying Target Markets
- Market Sizing
- Developing Business/Revenue Models
- Building Financial Projections
- Raising Capital
- Exit Strategies
- Product Development / Clinical Development Timelines/Costing
- Regulatory Considerations
- Licensing/Partnering Strategies
- Operational Optimization
- Sales & Marketing Strategies
- Distribution Strategies
Rick Kollmeyer, Class of '82 and serial entrepreneur has returned to UConn to help coach student and faculty entrepreneurs.
Rick brings a breadth of experience spanning marketing, technology and business development and growth to this new role. His most recent company, Direxxis, was acquired by Broadridge Financial Solutions late last year.
Rick is currently the founder of Blue Edge Labs, a technology incubator based in Boston, MA and Stonington, CT. He is also the founder and organizer of the Boston Marketing Technology Group, a meet-up in Boston whose 650+ members bridge the marketing and technology world.In the past Rick has also worked for Apple Computer, and founded two other Boston based technology firms.
CCEI is sponsoring appointments for individual coaching with Rick at our facility in East Hartford. Initial consultations are one hour in length, and can be replicated based on the type of challenge and assistance needed.
Key Areas of Expertise:
- Building Your Startup Team
- Leadership Skills
- Business Operations
- Bootstrapping a Business
- Software and Product Development
- Monetization Strategies
- Marketing and Marketing Technology
- Enterprise Software
- Cloud Computing
- Database Technology and Database Design
- Building for Exit