Management Bios

Mark DeSantis 

[email protected]

Mark is the Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder of kWantera and was previously CEO of Apangea Learning, Inc., a venture-funded online tutoring company. Previously, Mark was a U.S. Managing Director of ANGLE

Abhishek Sharma  

Vice President of Products 

[email protected]

Before co-founding kWantera, Abhi developed large-scale intelligent systems for the retail industry and defense companies.  Prior to that, he served in a number of research positions as Principle Investigator and Co-Principle

Bruce Smith  

Vice President of Sales

[email protected]

Bruce has been a Principal of Achieving Sales Results, a sales consulting company where he helped small companies like RedZone Robotics, Clark Testing and Apangea Learning realize sales growth.  He began his IT

career with IBM Sales in Philadelphia.  For 15 years at BT North America, Bruce held various sales and sales management positions, including National Sales Manager for Data Base Management, Eastern Region Manager for Private Network Sales, Central Regional Manager, and Director of Business Development for Latin America.  Prior to BT, Bruce was recruited to become Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Westinghouse Communications in Pittsburgh.  He later joined Vanstar and Inacom in the infrastructure services business as Director of International Business Development and was also the Compaq Alliance Director.  Bruce was the Northeastern Regional Vice President of Sales for Metamor, responsible for SAP and Oracle implementation sales, and was the Senior Vice President of Commercial Operations for Paradigm Solutions.  Over the course of his career in sales and sales management, Bruce achieved 18 of 20 sales clubs.  He obtained a BA in English from Albright College.

Ken Durrett   

Chief Financial Officer

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Ken is currently a partner in a national firm which provides CFO services to small and midsize business by helping them improve profitability, obtain financing, raise capital, and meet other financial objectives. Previously,

Ken was President and VP Finance for a $90M division of World Kitchen, a consumer products company. Other positions include serving as Chief Financial Officer of American Outpost, a $100M specialty retailer, and of ServiStar, a $1.8B hardlines lumber and building materials wholesale distributor/franchisor.  In these positions, Ken gained expertise in financial management, financing, raising capital, developing infrastructure to support large scale growth and expansion, business turnarounds, and improving overall profitability.  Ken began his career at Price Waterhouse where he obtained his CPA.  He has a BS in accounting from Central Washington University.  

Chief Executive Officer

Technology, PLC, a publicly traded venture capital firm and consultancy. Mark has also co-founded several technology businessesand serves a director to others. Prior to moving to Pittsburgh, Mark was the Director of Government Relations for Texas Instruments in Washington, DC and was responsible for managing TI’s public sector relationships in the US and abroad. Mark also served in several policy positions in the U.S. Federal government including Senior Policy Analyst in both The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the U.S. Department of Commerce in the administration of George H. W. Bush. He was also on the staff of the late U.S. Senator John Heinz and previously a management consultant with Booz Allen & Hamilton. Mark holds a BA and MBA from the University of Dayton, an MS in Technology Management from The American University and a PhD in Public Policy from George Mason University.

Investigator on R & D contracts with DOD agencies such as DARPA, US Army Research Lab, and the Office of Naval Research.  Abhi’s other professional experience includes positions with Daimler-Chrysler Research in Germany, INRIA in France, and CalTech.  He has authored numerous publications and has several pending patents in the domain of intelligent systems. Abhi received a Bachelor of Technology in Electronics and Communication Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, and an MS in Robotics from Carnegie Mellon University.