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Ford Center for the Fine Arts

Mike Burke '72

President/CEO, Cryothermics Systems & TREK Diagnostic Systems Inc.

Major in Political Science

Mike is using his experience to help Knox students as a StartUp Term judge and at mock interview and networking events.

Mike Burke is the President and CEO of Cryothermics Systems & TREK Diagnostic Systems Inc.

Mike Burke ‘72 has more than 35 years of experience in the healthcare industry. He serves in several leadership positions for both start-up and Fortune 100 companies, and has additional experience in IPO and private equity. In 2017, Burke came back to Knox and served as a judge for StartUp Term. He also revisited campus during Homecoming 2017 and took part in the Mock Interviews and Networking Reception.

You were a judge for StartUp Term. What was that experience like?

I have seen many startup presentations for early-stage funding and I have to say I was very pleasantly surprised with how sophisticated the student’s presentations were and how well prepared they were for the questions that we asked. It was a great job done by the students and professors because of the real-world experience they received.

How did your Knox experience prepare you for your career?

I came to Knox as a very naïve and inexperienced kid. Knox gave me the confidence and the skills to think independently and handle many of the challenges that I faced. On a few occasions I was challenged extensively, but values that I formed while at Knox made a difference. 

How has your professional background prepared you to give back to the college in this way?

I have been very fortunate to work for some very good companies that invested in me and gave me increasing responsibilities. I have led large and small organizations, been exposed to many business situations and in the process have hired and fired and reviewed hundreds of business startup opportunities. By avoiding pitfalls that I fell into, I want to help others accelerate their progress. I take the time to come back to Knox to get involved in programs like StartUp Term and the networking event because it’s also fun! I think I can help and I really enjoy the atmosphere.

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Printed on Monday, July 22, 2024