Peter Mantas

Peter Mantas

Commercialization Partner
CEO | Serial Entrepreneur | Evangelist - Tech - Startups - Ecosystems | Mentor - Teacher - Advisor - Coach

Commercialization Partner, Arizona Optics Initiative, 300 Mentors

Peter is a Silicon Valley serial entrepreneur with diverse technology company background. He is experienced in leading organizations from early stage start-ups to large high-tech public companies. His career highlights include the creation of a disruptive strategic business unit, which he grew to over $52M in annual revenue within 5 years of inception. He has mentored well over 3,000 startups in over 20 years. This includes 17 years of mentoring MBA and PhD students at the University of California Berkeley. While he still mentors UC Berkeley teams; he spends most of his time as a commercialization partner and mentor for numerous startups out of the University of Arizona. He also mentors global entrepreneurs and supports the MIT Enterprise Forum and other incubators and accelerators. Also participated as an industry mentor in both local and National NSF I-Corps cohorts.

Peter invests a significant amount of time learning about each mentee’s aspirations both personally and venture related. He uses this discovery to challenge entrepreneurs to be scrappy and singularly focused to the success of their venture. He provides examples on how to think out of the box and to assess opportunities from the perspective of customers, partners and other stakeholders. He is passionate about developing great entrepreneurs who build great ventures; not necessarily that one they’re currently working on. He has also led startup weekends as a lead instructor and mentor.

Peter has used Steve Blank’s lean startup concepts with UC Berkeley Launch and UArizona for over 13 years.  These concepts include lean canvas, agile business and development practices, customer interviews, minimum viable product, and pivoting vs creating elaborate business plans. He has helped companies build-out their teams, through customer discovery, how to tell a compelling story using the customer’s voice, protect IP, connect with industry experts, get MVP into customers’ hands, prove their scalable business model, and pitch to investors.

Areas where Peter has significant experience and teaches include: market segmentation, customer discovery, evaluation of idea/IP, assessing market size, customer discovery, product market validation, competitive landscape, development of compelling story, value proposition, go-to-market strategy, key analytics, financial pro forma, building teams, legal considerations and strategies, establishing boards, raise capital, and assessment of exit vehicles. My engineering/business background and out of the box approach have enabled me to assist teams in biotech, medical devices, biofuels, hydrogen fuel cells, integrated circuits, IoT, SaaS, PaaS, e-commerce and industrial automation..

Career Progression includes the following: Production Manager, Senior Electrical Design Engineer, Applications Engineering, Business Development, Sales Director, VP Sales & Marketing, Business Unit Head, President & CEO, Board of Directors.