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Meet Our Team

Incredible experience, smart and innovative, and great to work with!

Ric Upton - Founder

Ric Upton has been involved in the development and growth of technology-based businesses for more than 30 years. As founder of Gloucester Innovation, a Cape Ann-based firm, he is focused on promoting the growth of businesses involved in AI, data analytics, mobility, ocean sensing and autonomy, leveraging the entrepreneurial, financial and academic resources of the Greater Boston area. Ric also holds the position of Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Angle Center for Entrepreneurship, Endicott College. The Center was endowed by Colin Angle, co-founder of iRobot, and his wife Erika.

Ric has held executive positions in commercial and government-oriented firms, including President of Near Infinity Corporation, a Reston, VA small business specializing in cloud, mobile and enterprise software solutions, Executive-in-Residence with General Catalyst Partners, a $3.0B venture capital firm headquartered in Cambridge, MA, and Executive Vice President for healthcare informatics and intelligence with BBN Technologies, a General Catalyst portfolio company (and now part of Raytheon Corporation).

He also served as Senior Vice-President for business development and operations with ALPHATECH, Inc. (now BAE Systems), Chief Technology Officer and Vice-President, Operations for SignCast, Inc., a $30M place-based digital media network backed by AOL/Time-Warner and the Interpublic Group; and TASC, where his responsibilities included Vice-President, Strategic Development, Technical Director and Division Manager. He began his career with the Central Intelligence Agency.

Ric holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Maryland, and an M.S.E and B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania. He has served as an advisor to Accuvant, a leading provider of services and solutions for enterprise information security, Pixel Forensics, a product and services provider of multimedia analytics solutions, and Privaris, a provider of biometric security solutions for physical and logical access security, as well as personal identification verification. He has been on the Board of Advisors for the Computer Science Department, University of Maryland and the Engineering Department, University of California, Riverside.

Tom Balf

Tom has 25 years of environmental experience with expertise in policy, regulations, stakeholder management, fundraising, and communications.

Tom has been fortunate to be on the cutting edge of a number of significant environmental initiatives during his career. In the eighties, he developed the Household Hazardous Waste Wheel to alert citizens to the dangers of household products and the proper management and disposal of those products. In the nineties, he served as Director of Environmental Affairs for the Aveda Corporation and completed the first publicly available, corporate sustainability report in the United States, as part of the company’s commitments to the CERES Principles. In the first decade of the 21st century, Tom was president of Nexus Environmental Partners, a consulting firm, and was active in the greening of colleges and universities including the development of innovative regulatory models for campuses, and the development of standardized sustainability reporting systems for colleges and universities.

A Cape Ann, Massachusetts native, Tom has more recently looked to his ocean back yard and worked with diverse stakeholders to turn the healthy ocean imperative and the current fisheries challenges into opportunities for engagement, learning and entrepreneurship. He served as Executive Director of Maritime Gloucester, from 2012 – 2017, where public programming, educational outreach and exhibits supported a science-based vision of a sustainable maritime economy in the Gulf of Maine. The expanded use of technology for ocean monitoring and the engagement of citizen scientists are critical elements of this work. In his spare time, he maintains, with his wife, a veterinarian, a poor excuse for a small, working farm in Gloucester.

Tom Stephenson

Tom has developed solutions for a highly diverse range of problems across multiple disciplines for over 40 years. At the Harvard/Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA), he developed a computer-based system to collect and process red-shift data for tens of thousands of galaxies leading to the first 3-D map of galaxies. He also developed the control system for the first multiple mirror telescope located at Mt. Hopkins using Forth, a compact threaded language originally developed for astronomy applications.

While at TASC, he led the group that created the first high resolution 3-D maps and animations using high resolution satellite imagery and terrain elevation data processed on Pixar Image Computer (the same ones used by George Lucas to produce Star Wars). Clients included ABC News, ABC Sports (Calgary Olympics) and National Geographic (Yellowstone fires).

With the MIT Media Lab he developed a novel fractal-based method for compressing and enhancing digital images (US patent 5148497 A) by adding image detail consistent with the local fractal dimension. A variant of this approach is used for upsampling images in 4K televisions. And while at ALPHATECH/BAE, he led the development of a probabilistic query engine for managing uncertainty inherent in intelligence data.

Tom is a professional bassoonist and world-class recording engineer with state of the art studios in Boston and Gloucester. He has developed a number of audio signal processing techniques to increase S/N and to increase spatial detail in compromised recordings. His recording of Lorraine Hunt, “Lorraine at Emmanuel” made it to No. 2 on the classical billboard charts. Several hundred of his recordings are available at:

Mark J. Carlotto

Mark has over thirty years of experience in satellite imaging, pattern recognition, signal/image processing, terrain mapping, and mobile applications. He received a Ph. D. in Electrical Engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University and has over one hundred publications in a number of technical areas. Dr. Carlotto currently works in the defense aerospace industry as a principal investigator developing image processing and machine learning algorithms for automated target recognition (ATR) applications.

Dr. Carlotto’s core strength is his ability to analyze, synthesize, and evaluate “out of the box” solutions to complex interdisciplinary problems. An example is the development and application of computer vision algorithms to search for extraterrestrial artifacts (SETA) on the moon, Mars and in space. His work was recognized by the late Dr. Carl Sagan, one of the leading space scientists of his time.

A more recent example is the creation of a variety of custom apps for the iPhone. His early apps used model-based techniques to detect and track pitch, chord, and key changes in live music. One of them called “Pitch to Note” appeared in an early iPhone commercial on TV. Since then, he has gone on to develop numerous navigation, physical sensing, photo/video, and web apps. Over fifty of his apps are currently available on the Apple App Store.

Complimenting his technical skills is an ability to operate in the field as well as the lab. Dr. Carlotto is currently involved in a number of local historical, archaeological, and other scientific investigations. He has written several books on the history and archaeology of the island woods of Cape Ann, and is co-author of a recent archaeoastronomy paper about a possible Native American ceremonial site on Poles Hill in Gloucester. His latest project involves the development and deployment of small underwater data collection devices known as AquiPods for marine research.

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