Change in direction at Novotorium; Mike Krupit leaving

Tom Paine

Langhorne, Bucks County-based incubator Novotorium is changing its direction, and losing the person who was the driving force behind its creation - General Manager Mike Krupit - it was announced yesterday.

Gary Baron, Chairman of Baron Innovation Group, which owns and funds Novotorium, will become the interim Managing Director, while the incubator shifts its focus to supporting wellness and healthy lifestyle businesses. This includes Baron's own startup, Healthy Food Now. Baron will be searching for "a seasoned senior executive from the health, wellness and nutrition community" to run the incubator on a permanent basis, the company said in a statement. Novotorium will continue to support the existing startups at the facility, Zuppler and TravelCare; and Baron’s core business, Voice Systems Engineering. The other members of the Novotorium team, Maria Collins, Alberto Janza and Chuck Hall will continue to be involved.

In an email sent to Novotorium supporters in which he announced his decision to leave, Krupit said, "After spending a lot of time and passion over the past year to get Novotorium off the ground, a series of events (dare I say “perfect storm”) has led me to consider my path and and redirect my focus".

Mike Krupit
Krupit described the Philadelphia region as "a pretty challenging startup environment". "Our model looked for bootstrapping companies at the launch and post-launch stage - and we struggled to find enough of them here. We ran into a lot of fences - geographic, institutional, financial. The startup communities in Philly, Princeton, and Lehigh have great spirit and camaraderie, but there is still a fair amount of insulation between entrepreneurs and the region’s big companies, universities, government, and capital".

Krupit also says he plans to continue working with startup businesses and "am now beginning such explorations". His LinkedIn profile shows him to be an advisor to Real Food Works, former Infonautics colleague Lucinda Duncalfe's new startup focused on plant based diets, an interest he personally shares.

Krupit, a New York City native with a computer science background, was an early member of the executive team at Josh Kopelman's first startup, Infonautics, and ended up running another renown area startup, CDNow, after it had been acquired by Bertelsmann.


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