Behind the Mask

A Fusion of Materials, Chemistry, & Textile Engineers

Our team of material scientists, chemists, and textile engineers came together to build personal protective equipment that puts the human element first and leverages leading-edge science, design, and manufacturing. An ideal personal respirator or mask is invisible in terms of its impact on our comfort and communication. Doctors and ordinary people deserve a mask that provides comfort and protection, with negligible trade-offs in breathability, communication, and identity. From the masked pediatrician who wants to soothe a child with a smile, to the masked surgeon who needs to ensure clear communication in the operating room, to the masked oncologist who needs to share a difficult diagnosis with compassion, BendShape's transparent masks and respirators enable human connection, improved communication, and shared smiles. Our team is hard at work to build the new coatings, materials, textile stackups, mechanical designs, manufacturing methods, and equipment that will underpin this protective equipment revolution.

Leadership

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Steven Sanders

Steven Sanders is BendShape Mask’s Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Sanders founded sensing pioneer Tactual Labs Co. in 2012. Steven grew Tactual into a leading human-sensing provider with $5MM+ in revenue and a patent portfolio spanning over 70 issued US patents. He is an inventor on 32 US patents spanning capacitive, optical, and RF sensing hardware and software. From 2009-16, he helped to found and served as a Senior Research Analyst & Principal at Sanders Capital, a value-oriented institutional asset manager with over $25B AUM as a senior technology analyst. From 2006-09, Mr. Sanders worked as a principal banker and strategist for Merrill Lynch Global Wealth management and Bank of America.

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James Holbery, Ph.D.

Dr. James Holbery is BendShape Mask’s Chief Operating Officer. Dr. Holbery is a pioneer in advanced materials, textiles, and mechanics. Previously, his research focused on polymer science, advanced fiber composites, and energy-related materials. Prior to joining BendShape, he served as the Microsoft Group Leader of the Advanced Materials & Mechanics Team, developing human-computer interface technologies and shipped hardware. He has founded two companies, the first a sporting goods company acquired by K2 Sports, most recently GridMobility, an IoT energy sustainability company, winner of the 2011 Global CleanTech Open and other national awards. Earlier in his career, he spent four years as a Mechanical Engineer within Spacecraft Engineering at Ford Aerospace Space Systems; three years as Senior Scientist at the Swiss Center for Electronics & Microdevices in Neuchatel, Switzerland; and five years as Staff Scientist at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory – U.S. Department of Energy. Jim has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and M.S./Ph.D. in Materials Science & Engineering from the University of Washington.

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Alan Bluestine

Alan Bluestine is BendShape Mask’s Chief Financial Officer. He brings over 30 years experience in finance, accounting, and operations across technology and financial services companies to the BendShape team. Alan has managed a venture capital investment strategy as a Principal in Blue Square Ventures, LLC since 2019. In 2012, Alan was a co-founder of Tactual Labs Co. and served as Tactual’s COO & CFO from 2016-2018. From 2007-2016, Mr. Bluestine served as the COO of RockView Management, LLC, with a peak assets under management (AUM) of ~$1 Billion. Previously, Mr. Bluestine was COO & CFO at Zpoint Advisors LP, a hedge fund with $350M AUM, from 2002-2007. From 2000-2002, Alan was the EVP Strategy & CFO for Wireless Assets, Inc. Prior to that, Mr. Bluestine spent 8 years at Sands, Brothers & Co., Ltd. as a Managing Director in Investment Banking from 1992-2000. From 1988-1992, Alan worked at Arthur Anderson & Co. in the Troubled Company / Bankruptcy Consulting division.

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Mark Bisbee

Mark Bisbee is BendShape Mask’s Chief Marketing Officer. Mark is a seasoned tech executive with over 18 years of leadership experience in international sales, marketing, and business management. Mark has a strong track record of successfully selling products to large Fortune 100 companies and small start-ups. Mark excels at analyzing market trends, creating corporate strategy, and leading cross-functional teams from product ideation through customer adoption. From 2015-2017, Mark served as Qualcomm's Senior Product Manager of Touch Interface Technologies. From 2005-2015, Mark held various senior business management and executive account management roles at Maxim Integrated. Mark began his career at Texas Instruments and Cisco Systems in technical sales and engineering.

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Jason Mohlman

Jason Mohlman is a Senior Sales Director on the BendShape Mask team. He brings over 17 years of experience in medical device sales. From 2017-2020, he served as the Territory Business Manager at American Medical Depot. From 2008-2020, he was an Account Manager at Owens & Minor. From 2003-2008, he served as the Director of Business Development at Holdaway Medical Services.

Technology

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Anlong Li, Ph.D.

Dr. Anlong Li is a Senior Scientist on the BendShape Mask team with an expertise in polymer science and materials chemistry. Prior to joining the BendShape team, over the last 10 years at Oregon State University’s Department of Chemical Engineering, Dr. Li has become one of the world’s leading experts on inherently biodegradable, plant-based polymers. Dr. Li has invented and developed novel plant-based polyesters and pressure-sensitive adhesives as well as their underlying polymer design, synthesis, formulation, and commercial scale-up including in medical clean-room applications. In addition to extensive academic publication, Dr. Li’s invention of plant oil-based polymers that are nontoxic, environmentally friendly and totally renewable has been covered in CBS TV news, the Gazette-Times, OPB news, and the Associated Press.

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Siyuan Ma, Ph.D.

Dr. Siyuan Ma is a Senior Material Engineer on the BendShape Mask team with an expertise in innovating functional materials, manufacturing, and quality processes. Over the last six years working at Apple Inc. and Microsoft Corporation, Dr. Ma has driven development and manufacturing projects spanning information display, flexible electronics, printed electronics, touch sensors, and haptic actuator systems. Dr. Ma’s work has supported iconic consumer products from the Apple HomePod Mini to the iPad to the MacBook to Microsoft’s Surface product line.

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Topher Anderson, Ph.D.

Textile Topher (Dr. Christopher Anderson) is an interdisciplinary textile engineer whose research focus investigates utilizing technical embroidery machines to solve smart textiles, e-textiles, and composites problems. Using the techniques of tailored fiber placement (TFP) and tailored wire placement (TWP), Topher provides solutions and samples to different industry partners. He has designed and analyzed complex carbon fiber composite preforms for the aerospace and automotive industry and has additionally created and programmed customized smart textile flexible circuits for various technology companies. Topher particularly enjoys working as a bridge between designers and engineers helping them to visualize and adopt new textile solutions. In his free time, Topher enjoys creating e-textile and embedded circuit programming tutorials to help mentor growing STEM students. Most weekends you can find him either dancing Argentine Tango or drawing with a cup of Earl Grey tea.

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Gaige Dehaven

Gaige DeHaven is a technical focused industrial designer that aims to create meaningful and unique experiences through product. With an interest in soft goods and medical design, he found himself blending the two to create impactful solutions for his users. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in 2019 from Jefferson University, Gaige made the move from Philadelphia to Seattle to start his career as a design researcher in technical embroidery with ZSK Research and Training Center. Here he worked as a consultant with various technology companies and startups as well as innovating in the smart textile and wearable field.

Advisory Board

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Tuvia Barak

Tuvia Barak serves on the Advisory Board of BendShape Mask. Mr. Barak has been a Venture Partner with Lux Capital since 2005. In 1982, Mr. Barak joined Tadiran, Inc., the North American subsidiary of Tadiran, the largest electronics conglomerate in Israel. During his 12-year tenure, over $3 billion in revenue was achieved under his direction, and Tadiran became one of the major suppliers of tactical communications to the US Army. In 1993, Mr. Barak established his own marketing and consulting practice, advising US and international companies on business development, marketing strategies, technology assessment, and mergers and acquisitions in the aerospace and technology fields. His many clients have included The Carlyle Group, Boeing, L-3 Communications, ITT, General Dynamics, AAI/Textron, BAE, EDS, DRS, Elbit Systems, Schott, Selex, Ness Technologies, Vought Aircraft, SanDisk, United Defense, Mantech International, NanoSys, MapInfo, Rockwell Collins, and Raytheon. Mr. Barak is a member of the Board of Directors of Skyline Software, WhiteCanyon Software, Weatherbell Analytics, and Toonimo. He is a special advisor to Astra Capital Management and Heller Industries. Mr. Barak previously served as a Board Director at Brashear LP., Fairchild Imaging, and Arinc Corp.

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Dr. Guido O. Sarnachiaro DDS

Dr. Guido Sarnachiaro serves on the Advisory Board of BendShape Mask. Dr. Guido is part of the world-renowned SDNY Dental practice working alongside leading experts in implant, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry. He is currently an Assistant Clinical Professor at the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine’s Department of Prosthodontics and at Temple University School of Dentistry’s Department of Periodontology-Oral Implantology. He is a Clinical Professor at the Maimonides University School of Dentistry. Dr. Sarnachiaro has done extensive research in the fields of dental implants and related biomaterials. He has lectured throughout the United States, and in Argentina, Brazil and Italy.

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Stefan Soloviev

Stefan Soloviev serves on the Advisory Board of BendShape Mask. Mr. Soloviev is an expert in commercial and agricultural real estate, development, and construction. He is the 31st largest land owner in the United States. Mr Soloviev is the CEO of the Solow Building Company where he has worked for more than 20 years. He oversees and manages all of the firm’s existing and future commercial real estate projects including the iconic Solow Building, One United Nations Park, 685 First Avenue, One & Two Sutton Place North, One East River Place, 265 East 66th, 7 West 57th Street, and Rivers Bend. His unique vision and experience support a rich company legacy of cultural relevance and award-winning architecture. Alongside his work in commercial real estate, Mr. Soloviev has also spent much of the past two decades building one of the country’s largest privately-held agribusinesses in the U.S., Crossroads Agriculture, based in Colorado, Kansas and New Mexico which spans over 325,000 acres.