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April 10, 2017

Futureworks Incubator Mentors from Adam Winski to Zach Dunham

Now that applications for Futureworks Incubator are closed, we get to welcome our community of Mentors. From designing for manufacturing to marketing and storytelling to financial modeling, our Mentors will help companies grow here in NYC. Last night, we got together at Alley NYC in Chelsea to strategize how to make the program incredible. A big thanks to Alley and to our partners The Bronx Beer Hall.

Adam Winski
Growth Strategy and Innovation Advisor

Adam is an entrepreneur and advisor who helps award-winning startups and iconic brands like Nike and AT&T create, commercialize and scale products and services. Join Adam on Twitter.

Aleef Mahmud
Aleef is an award-winning leader with a successful history of driving innovation through Lean Six Sigma and Agile Development. He’s led product development in VR, IoT, robotics, medical devices, SaaS, mobile apps, wearables, 3D printing, and autonomous vehicles. Aleef is also the recipient of the Maritime Heroes Award from US Sailing. Learn more about Protyo and join Aleef on Twitter

Alex Tosti
blink blink
Alex is COO and cofounder of blink blink, a company that develops creative circuit kits for kids. Alex has a BFA in philosophy from Santa Clara University and a MFA in Design & Technology from Parsons. She has a background in branding, marketing, and production consulting and is currently a freelance web designer and product strategist. Alex was a Fellow in last year’s New York’s Next Top Makers cohort. Learn more about Alex and join her on Twitter.

Babak Kia
Boston University
Babak Kia is a senior lecturer at Boston University’s College of Engineering. He is a product-design and strategy advisor to high-impact technology companies across the country. Learn more about Babak Kia and join him on Twitter.

Bart Clareman
Clareman & Co., Tiggly
Bart is the founder of Clareman & Co., a management consulting company that works with IoT clients and media companies with a focus on consumer retail. Previously, Bart was cofounder and COO of Tiggly, where he was responsible for retail sales, marketing and biz dev. Tiggly is in more than 2000 retail stores, including Apple Retail, Target, Toys R Us, and Best Buy. Bart contributes at AlleyWatch and volunteers at Venture for America. He has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA in history from Williams College. Prior to earning his MBA, Bart worked in the Executive Office Client Service Group at Goldman Sachs. Learn more about Clareman & Co and join Bart on Twitter.

Brynna Tucker
Brooklyn Public Library
Brynna Tucker joined the Brooklyn Public Library as the BKLYN Incubator Manager in August 2016. Before BPL, Brynna built The Refinery incubator at Pratt Institute’s Center for Career and Professional Development. She is a founding member and serves on the Leadership Council of the NYC Innovation Collective which works to shape and strengthen the innovation ecosystem through increased collaboration, transparency and access in the new economy. Learn more about the BKLN Incubator and join Brynna on Twitter.

Casey Rieder
Coalition for Queens
This is Casey Rieder’s second stint in New York City. He left the city in 2006, after deciding that a PhD in Ethnomusicology did not offer much of a career trajectory. Returning to his hometown of Philadelphia, he co-founded a pharmaceutical data management consultancy. After a few years, his partner and he sold their software and closed their doors. Casey proceeded to work in operational, financial, and managerial roles at several clean energy startups. Eventually, he returned to New York to pursue opportunities as a financial and management consultant cleantech and healthcare startups. Somewhere along the way, Casey earned an MBA and taught himself software development. These days, he spends his days creating a hardware program at the Coalition for Queens. Casey is an avid runner, a novice furniture designer, and an aspiring roboticist. Learn more about Coalition for Queens and join Casey on Twitter.

Charles M. Doomany
Darwin Launch Lab
Charles is an inventor and independent product developer. He is an expert in prototyping and making things work. He holds an MA and MSc from the Royal College of Art and Imperial College London in Innovation Design Engineering as well as a BFA in Industrial Design from Carnegie Mellon University. Learn more about Darwin Launch Lab and join Charles on Instagram.


Chris Chavez
prime produce
Chris creates collaboratories. He is the cofounder of prime produce, a guild for 21st-century craft in Hell’s Kitchen promoting a decelerator model for entrepreneurship. He also leads expansion for House of Genius, a global neighborhood of entrepreneurs who want to make neighborhoods as resourceful as the world and the world feel as intimate as a neighborhood. House of Genius has locations in cities including New York, Tel Aviv, Sao Paolo, London, and Bangalore. His best learning comes through you. Learn more about prime produce and join Chris on Twitter.

Chris Gorges
Infinia Group
Chris is Managing Director of Infinia Ventures, part of Infinia Group, where he focuses on brand strategy and design for early-stage ventures. Equally comfortable with ideation, analytics, research and content, he was previously with Havas Worldwide New York, orchestrating multichannel digital and brand strategy for IBM clients, including the Watson team. As a freelance consultant, he has collaborated with senior leaders of Droga5, CHI&Partners, Firstborn and Clear M&C Saatchi. He spent five years in management consulting at Booz Allen Hamilton and IBM Global Business Services in the Washington, DC, area. Chris holds an MBA from the NYU Stern School of Business and a BSBA in Business Administration from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at UNC Chapel Hill. Learn more about Infinia Group and join Chris on Twitter.

Christina Yugai
New York Public Radio
Christina Yugai is the partnerships and fundraising manager for New York Public Radio, where she is helping define public radio in the digital era. Specifically, she is tasked with fundraising for internal innovation and startup in the digital audio space. Prior to joining New York Public Radio, she was the head of programming at FilmBuff, a digital-first film distribution company. Christina is currently obsessed figuring out how to engage young audiences in civic media and looks forward to nurturing startups in this space. She holds an M.B.A. from New York University and B.A. from George Washington University. Learn more about New York Public Radio and join Christina on Twitter.

Daniel Gross
Myers Wolin
Daniel Gross is an intellectual property attorney at Myers Wolin. He brings experience from his work as in-house counsel at a financial technology company, where he built and maintained patent and trademark portfolios. He has also worked independently with clients to develop patent and trademark strategies for diverse technologies. Daniel’s research experience as WIPO Senior Fellow for Fordham Law School’s Center on Law and Information Policy, as well as his participation as a finalist in the International Manufacturing Science and Engineering Conference Design Competition, give him a unique perspective on the technical aspects of invention and innovation. Learn more about Myers Wolin.

Davar Ardalan
Davar Ardalan is an NPR News veteran and current director of storytelling & engagement at the open innovation agency SecondMuse. At SecondMuse, she is leading storytelling strategy campaigns for partners such as NASA, Nike Inc., USAID, The Australian Aid program, and The World Bank. The campaigns have centered around food security, ocean health, materials innovation, and big data. She’s been at the forefront of experimenting with new storytelling tools and techniques including 360 capture, VR, and drone storytelling. Most recently at SecondMuse, she lead a Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality Development Hackathon in Australia and a global call-out for VR/AR immersive storytelling content to drive healthy food and nutrition outcomes. Learn more about SecondMuse and join Davar on Twitter.

Digant Dave
UnCommon Consulting
Digant is a product-design professional, experienced in taking products from concept to market using a data-driven and customer-centric approach at companies ranging from growth startups like Elemental Path and MakerBot to Fortune 500 clients like Stryker and IBM. Learn more about UnCommon Consulting and join Digant on Twitter.

Elli Papadopoulos
Skopos Collective
Elli works with entrepreneurs to design their business’s financial systems so it informs business strategy and engages third-party funders. She has helped implement project plans and connect business owners to more than $20 million in capital. After seven years working with the Grow America Fund, a nationwide Community Lender, and having to reject dozens of applications for funding, she set out on a mission to work on the other side of the equation with business owners. With Skopos Collective, Elli helps business owners organize their financials, use business intelligence to devise strategies for growth and apply for the right kind of funding. When she’s not helping small businesses thrive, you can find her traveling, at a live music show or snapping photos. Elli serves on the Board of ACCION East, and fosters dogs in need of homes with In Our Hands Rescue. Elli earned her B.S. in Business Entrepreneurship from the University of Southern California. Learn more about Skopos Collective and join Elli on Twitter.

Ekin Binal
Sonavox, HAX, SOSV, First NYC
With an extensive experience in R&D and technical management, product development, and generating new revenue streams, Ekin is one of the pioneers in bringing ‘smarts‘ into the HiFi world. He has helped countless audio brands tool up to stay relevant in the Sonos age. As President of BICOM and VP of Business Development for Sonavox he focuses on integrating cutting edge IOT capabilities into the old-school audio world. Ekin has a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an MBA from Fordham University. All this being said, he still thinks one of his top accomplishments is entering the Guinness book of world records for a non-stop movie watching event sponsored by Netflix. Learn more about Sonavox, HAX and SOSV.


Erica Dorn
Good Work Institute
Erica Dorn is Managing Director at The Good Work Institute, started by Etsy, where she choreographs experiential and participatory business leadership programs. Erica champions the notion of ‘deep scale’ in business – she believes we can all contribute to building inclusive and compassionate economies through appropriately-scaled, collaborative enterprises. Learn more about Good Work Institute and join Erica on Twitter.

Erum Azeez
Erum works on innovation strategy for messagingLab, a consulting firm for the life sciences. She has a B.S. in Forensic Chemistry & Toxicology from West Chester University of Pennsylvania. For five years, she worked on drug development at GSK before moving to Johnson & Johnson. Erum left the lab in 2010 to work as Fellows Program Director for INK (formerly TEDIndia), where she curated the talks of 25 fellows. She then worked with Mindvalley to develop a technology ecosystems and produce the Singularity University Global Impact Competition. Later, she joined the founding team of Carbon Continuum, a sustainable nanomaterial manufacturing company which she now advises. Besides her work at messagingLab, Erum is on the founding team at Memory Lane, a reminiscence therapy software on Amazon’s Alexa. She is also an advisor to the Emerging Leaders of Energy & Environmental Policy and Delta Phi Epsilon Sorority at NYU. Learn more about messagingLab and join Erum on Twitter.

Ethan Meyer
Bristol Palmer
Ethan is an entrepreneur building the next-generation outsourcing service provider and focusing on high-growth companies. He began his career at Goldman Sachs, then jumped to mortgages in the secondary market, building out a trading platform for Quicken Loans. He’s obsessed with finding a better way and process optimization is his passion. Ethan believes the companies we build today will shape the world for those who will come after us, and loves being able to have a small part in structuring that future. Learn more about Bristol Palmer and join Ethan on Twitter.

Greg Castro
Varick North
Greg Castro is a serial entrepreneur with extensive experience in strategy, sales, and marketing. As the CEO & cofounder of Varick North, a full-service marketing firm for high-growth companies, he understands what it takes to build scalable companies. Varick North is the marketing arm of Interplay Ventures and services a diverse range of clients, from startups to Fortune 500s. Learn more about Varick North and join Greg on Twitter.

Jamie Dwyer
Electric Wonder
Jamie Dwyer is a creative director, artist and brand consultant with a deep focus on design and innovation. He speaks and consults on trends in emerging technology, brand storytelling, strategy and design. After 11 years as Senior Creative/Digital Director with Zandl Group, an NYC-based trends & insights agency, he founded Electric Wonder in 2012, a creative outfit specializing in art direction, trends in experience & innovation, and brand strategy across advertising, business, art and tech. He holds both a BA in Digital Art and an MA in Art & New Media from New York University. He’s also a regular guest lecturer in Advertising and Marketing at NYU. Learn more about Electric Wonder and join Jamie on Twitter.

Jason Saltzman
Jason Saltzman is the CEO and founder of Alley, a post-business incubator and shared workspace for entrepreneurs. He also cofounded the tech company, SeamlessDocs. Jason advises and invests in a variety of early-stage companies and is a mentor for the Techstars accelerator program. Jason has worked with the US State Department, traveling the world to assist the growth of startup communities. On his latest trip to the Middle East, he produced and starred in a documentary about the Kuwaiti startup ecosystem. Jason has published content for CNN, The Wall Street Journal and is a frequent contributor to Entrepreneur Magazine. Learn more about Alley and join Jason on Twitter.

Jessica Califano
Jessica Califano is the director of community, support and publishing at Adafruit, a woman-owned electronics manufacturing company located in Manhattan. She establishes marketing and branding strategies for the company and manages a team in charge of social media, customer support, content creation and management, and community building partnerships. She has represented Adafruit at multiple events including a visit to the White House for the National Week of Making. Jessica graduated from NYU with a degree in Media, Culture, and Communications with a specialty in Technology and Society. Learn more about Adafruit and join Jessica on Twitter.

Jim Allen
Voodoo Manufacturing
Jim Allen is the director of manufacturing at Voodoo Manufacturing, a fast, affordable, and high-volume 3D printing service in Brooklyn. He was also founder of a number of manufacturing startups and an independent consultant to technology companies for 3D printing, manufacturing, business development, funding and economic development incentives. His clients included Shapeways, where he was involved in creating their 3D printing factory in New York City. Jim has spent much of his career in both traditional and advanced manufacturing industries but was also the manufacturing outreach program director at an economic development organization near Chicago. Prior to his career in manufacturing, Jim served as an officer in the US Navy. He holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, a BS degree in electrical engineering from the University of Virginia and is a certified Powder Metallurgy Technologist. Learn more about Voodoo Manufacturing and join Voodoo on Twitter.


John Azubuike
KEC Ventures
John Azubuike is an associate at KEC Ventures, a New York City seed fund that partners with companies in the mobile, digital media, e-commerce, marketplace and enterprise software spaces. John spends his days seeking out and supporting early-stage entrepreneurs in the New York startup ecosystem. Learn more about KEC Ventures and join John on Twitter.

John Briscella
John focuses on technology, art and complexity. His specialties include in industrial design, generative design, 3D printing and scanning as well as automated manufacturing, architecture (urban planning) and store design. Interested in consulting joining projects with emergent technology and software. An American artist, industrial designer, architect, urban strategist, technologist, machinist, entrepreneur, and educator, John is cofounder of AMiNiMAL studio. He’s worked with Autodesk, Makerbot, Herman Miller, Shapeways, Polaroid, Lomography, Ntopology and the Moma store. Learn more about AMiNiMAL and join John on Instagram.

John Tarantino
John began his career in the real estate world, working in various roles in finance, investment, and development. After spending ten years in that industry, he began working on a side project that ultimately turned into Martenero. Martenero is a direct-to-consumer watch company that aims to be the best option in the entry-level luxury category of watches, while also providing an excellent, modern ecommerce experience in an industry that has been slow to adapt to modern ecommerce trends. Learn more about Martenero and join John on Twitter.

John Vaskis
John heads up Indiegogo’s hardware vertical and helps entrepreneurs bring their innovative products to market. Learn more about Indiegogo and join John on Twitter.

Jonathan Askin
Brooklyn Law Incubator & Policy (BLIP) Clinic
Jonathan Askin is a professor at Brooklyn Law School, teaching technology, telecommunications, and entrepreneurial law and policy. He is the founder of the Brooklyn Law Incubator & Policy Clinic, which represents Internet, new media, communications and other tech entrepreneurs, startups, innovators and organizations on business development, policy advocacy and law reform. He is also the Faculty Chair and Innovation Catalyst for the Brooklyn Law Center for Urban Business Entrepreneurship. Jonathan has served as a Visiting Professorial Fellow at the Centre for Commercial Law Studies, Queen Mary University of London, a Fellow at the Columbia Institute for Tele-Information, an Adjunct Professor at Columbia Law School, and Founder/Advisor to iLINC, a network of legal support clinics for the European startup community. Jonathan spent Spring 2016 as a Visiting Professor at the MIT Media Lab and Summer 2016 as a Fulbright Scholar with the University of Amsterdam. Jonathan chaired the Internet Governance Working Group for the Obama ’08 Presidential Campaign. He is an honors grad of both Harvard College and Rutgers Law School. Learn more about Brooklyn Law Incubator & Policy (BLIP) Clinic and join Jonathan on Twitter.

Jonathan Gass
Nomad Financial
Jonathan Gass is the Founder & CEO of Nomad Financial, a company providing interim CFO, accounting, tax, and banking services for early to mid-stage companies, as well as an Operating Partner at Interplay Ventures. He also spends time as a consultant, advisor, and investor working with both early-stage, venture-backed startups as well as established digital / tech businesses, including Capital New York (acquired by Politico), Drama Fever (acquired by Softbank), and RecordSetter. He previously spent five years at IAC in a variety of strategic, transactional and operational roles, most recently serving as the head of Finance & Business Development at Vimeo, and prior to that was a consultant at Bain & Co. Learn more about Nomad Financial and join Jonathan on Twitter.

Keenan Williams
Keenan Williams is cofounder of REZI, a digital landlord for single-family rental homes and recent Y Combinator graduate. Before launching REZI in 2015, Keenan was at CB Richard Ellis, Barclays Capital and JPMorgan Chase. Learn more about REZI and join Keenan on Twitter.

Kevin Tung
Interplay Ventures
Kevin W. Tung is a partner at Interplay Ventures. Before joining Interplay Ventures he cofounded Image Space Media, an in-image advertising platform, that was successfully acquired by Vibrant Media in 2012. At Vibrant, he led the business development team. Prior to Image Space Media, Kevin cofounded Warsh Tung Partners and together with art investors, they created two private equity funds to invest in art as an asset class. The funds took advantage of an arbitrage opportunity between Chinese contemporary art prices and Western contemporary art prices. Kevin honed his business acumen as an investment. Learn more about Interplay Ventures and join Kevin on Twitter.


Krystal Persaud
Krystal Persaud is an industrial designer and the director of product design at littleBits, an award-winning platform of electronic building blocks that is empowering everyone to create inventions, large and small. A graduate of the Georgia Tech School of Industrial Design, Krystal is also the founder and managing member of the design collective Grouphug and teaches a course on product development processes & materials at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. In her work, Krystal is committed to the idea that product design will revolutionize the fields of education, public health and sustainability, and is passionate about bridging gaps between industrial design and other disciplines. Learn more about littleBits, Grouphug and join Krystal on Twitter.

Lee von Kraus
Halo Neuroscience and Nebulab NYC
Lee conducts research alongside DARPA, NASA, and the US EPA, and has written multiple biotechnology patents, which form the basis of Halo Neuroscience, a company he cofounded in 2012. Based in SF, Halo has since raised more than $10 million in funding and released a first-of-its-kind device that improves human cognition and motor abilities and is currently in use by US Special Forces. In 2014, he founded Nebulab NYC, a Brooklyn-based, privately-funded laboratory conducting pioneering research in neuropsychology and cybernetics. His work has been noted in Wired, Newsweek, TechCrunch, Sports Illustrated, BBC, MoMA, The New Yorker and IEEE Spectrum. In 2013, he assisted NASA in SCUBA search and recovery of organisms exhibiting evidence of unique photosynthetic mechanisms, and in 2016 became an active firefighter for the Broad Channel Volunteer Fire Department. Learn more about Halo Neuroscience and Nebulab NYC and join Lee on Twitter.

Len Gray
Gray Legal
Len is a serial entrepreneur, multiple startup founder and corporate law generalist. Len’s practice focuses on representing small, midsize and emerging growth companies from formation to exit and in the variety of day-to-day matters they will face in between. Len has extensive experience working on a diverse range of corporate and financial transactions, including venture investments, acquisitions and sales of publicly- and privately-held companies, strategic alliances, secured lending arrangements, securities law matters and corporate governance. After graduating from law school, Len was a corporate associate in the New York City office of Latham & Watkins LLP, one of the world’s largest law firms. Len received his J.D. with honors from the University of Michigan Law School and his B.S. in Business Administration (Finance concentration) from the University of Florida. He is licensed to practice in New York. Learn more about Gray Legal and join Len on Twitter.

Marco Perry
Marco is an information sponge, addicted to the news, blogs and audio books. Marco has more than 25 years experience inventing, designing and engineering just about everything from candy to CNC machines and solar chargers. When he is not busy with his work, he loves to build things with his kids. Learn more about Pensa and join Marco on Twitter.

Marjan Tabari
Cambridge Negotiation Organization
Marjan is a former intellectual property lawyer, and currently a business consultant and mentor to social impact startups at MassChallenge, MIT Enterprise Forum and Center for Women & Enterprise. She also sits on the board of advisors of a social impact startup, and is the founder and director of Cambridge Negotiation Organization, which is devoted to advancing the art of negotiation to entrepreneurs. Marjan has law degrees from Harvard Law School and McGill University, where she specialized in intellectual property and business law. Learn more about Cambridge Negotiation Organization and join Marjan on Twitter.

Matthew Epler
Matthew Epler is a technologist and inventor of Kinograph, an open-source, crowd-sourced hardware project for digitizing reels of film. Learn more about Matt and join him on Twitter.

Nicolas Vansnick
Nicolas Vansnick is cofounder of BotFactory, a Next Top Makers Fellow. He’s a double Master’s graduate in robotics (UCL) and wireless communications (NYU), and a maker at heart. He previously designed and built an autonomous robot for the European Robotics Competition, a brainwave reader (EEG) with his BotFactory co-founder Carlos Ospina, a wireless brain implant, and a wireless mouth device. He was a semifinalist of the NYU Entrepreneurs Challenge and a Stanford EBootcamper. Learn more about BotFactory and join Nicolas on Twitter.

Nir Sandbank
Nir is the CEO and Co-Founder of Malltip, a mobile-focused startup that helps mall owners and retailers to engage with mall shoppers throughout the shopping journey. Nir has more than ten years of experience launching and growing early stage ventures both digital and physical. Nir has developed deep knowledge and expertise in bringing products ideas to life through lean testing and prototyping as well as in helping startups identify business models and monetize. Learn more about Malltip and join Nir on Linkedin.

Pepin Gelardi
Tomorrow Lab
Pepin Gelardi works at the intersection of purpose and possibility, exploring the role of entrepreneurship and technology in solving future-facing problems. As a partner at Tomorrow Lab, Pepin leads the industrial design and mechanical engineering teams to invent and develop new, impactful hardware products. After hours, Pepin teaches workshops in design, aspires to become a Pasta Scientist, and creates site-specific art with his wife Teresa. Learn more about Tomorrow Lab and join Pepin on Twitter.

Philippe Laguerre
Myers Wolin
Philippe Laguerre is a registered patent attorney with experience in the full range of trademark and patent matters. He approaches all aspects of his practice with an emphasis on strategy and client communication. His clients can expect deep knowledge of the company targets and goals. Philippe has worked with individual inventors, startups, and Fortune 500 companies. He has experience in many technical areas, including telecommunications, wireless communications (e.g., LTE, TDMA, design), image processing, cryptography, mobile and internet gaming applications, computer software, electronics, medical devices, mechanical structures, and cosmetics. With a professional career path spanning the globe, including France and Brazil, Philippe brings a wealth of international insight to his clients. Learn more about Myers Wolin and join Philippe on Twitter.

RJ Wafer
Startup Consultant
RJ works with innovative companies to assist in the growth and expansion stages, keying on strategy, vital personnel, distribution & reseller streams, and partnerships to build momentum for launch and growth. RJ has led market expansion efforts in 3D printing and telepresence robotics and is currently involved in launching a VR platform. Join RJ on Twitter.

Robert Steiner
Roboto.NYC is New York City’s premier light fabrication service specializing in 3D printing, 3D scanning, laser engraving/cutting, CAD, and model making. Located in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, the company was founded by former MakerBot executives, engineers, and designers. Learn more about Roboto.NYC.

Roxann Stafford
Roxann Stafford brings together the worlds of social impact and design thinking. Her background in mechanical engineering, business, and psychology combines the analytical rigor and empathy necessary for sustainable systems design. She is the Director of Program (NYC) for Matter, a startup accelerator and venture capital firm grounded in the principles of design thinking that supports early-stage media entrepreneurs and mission-aligned media institutions building scalable ventures that make society more informed, inclusive, and empathetic. Roxann has extensive international experience identifying big system problems in regions from the Pacific Islands to East Africa to the Caribbean, and cultivating opportunities for entrepreneurship to solve those issues. Roxann has been named a tech innovator by NPR, for whom she is a commentator on diversity, inclusion and innovation. Learn more about Matter and join Roxann on Twitter.

Sacha Thompson
Sacha Thompson is an attorney, research scholar and human-centered design facilitator. Her work focuses on community development initiatives that incorporate sustainable technologies and financial innovations. Her recent projects include developing a speaker series for African American female tech founders and creating design thinking workshops to help product developers better understand the needs of human rights organizations.

Sam Utne
Madcap Factory
Sam is a development strategist, entrepreneur, and creative director. He is cofounder of Madcap Factory and former managing director of Impact Hub NYC. He is focused on understanding the challenges that businesses face and helping them forge a path to success. Sam develops programming, products, and businesses with an eye on community building and authentic brand storytelling. Sam advises on numerous startups and has consulted many organizations at all stages. Learn more about Madcap Factory and join Sam on Twitter.

Sarah Meister
As manager of hardware and design at Indiegogo, Sarah Meister works with technology companies from around the world to bring their ideas to life. Before Indiegogo, she was head of projects at Vann Alexandra, a creative agency for crowdfunding campaigns, where she worked on more than 30 campaigns with a variety of different clients across film, technology, design, and publishing. Prior to that, she worked in post-production and live TV as well as freelance public relations, e-commerce, social media, and marketing. Sarah loves to learn and graduated from The University of Puget Sound with a bachelor’s in history and a minor in sociology, and even went to culinary school. She speaks regularly at industry events across all verticals. Learn more about Indiegogo and join Sarah on Twitter.

Shana Dressler
NYC Innovation Collective
Shana Dressler has built a decades-long career leading and nurturing entrepreneurs, creative professionals, and social change leaders. As the executive director of Google’s 30 Weeks, Shana ran a distinguished incubator for design entrepreneurs that Fast Company named one of the World’s Top 10 Most Innovative Companies of 2015. Shana is an Aspen Institute Scholar, a member of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, a judge for The Webby Awards and a graduate of the THNK School of Creative Leadership. Shana makes her way around New York on a midnight blue Vespa. You can follow her @shanadressler. Join Shana on Twitter.

Shanley Knox
Olivia Knox Inc
Shanley Knox began her career as a social entrepreneur, working on issues ranging from poverty and gender inequality to domestic violence and the spread of HIV/AIDS. Discovering a love for strategy, she began applying what she learned to the world of brand and product innovation, conducting in-depth research and analysis for leading companies including Nike, Google ATAP, Facebook, Adidas, Bailey’s, and GM. Still deeply committed to solving social issues through innovative enterprise, though, Shanley is also building her own company, Olivia Knox, that is shifting the perception of East Africa from unreliable sourcing partner to the premier destination for luxury manufacturing. Current partners include Oscar De La Renta, Restoration Hardware, Google, Chopard and more. Learn more about Olivia Knox Inc and join Shanley on Twitter.

Spencer Wright
Centerline Labs
Spencer is a writer, a product manager, and an engineer. His career spans small scale fabrication, residential robotics, consumer electronics, and industrial additive manufacturing. He blogs at Learn more about Centerline Labs and join Spencer on Instagram.

Stephan von Muehlen
Stephan von Muehlen is a product designer and entrepreneur based in NYC. He graduated from the Joint Program in Design from Stanford University and has worked in New York City as a designer, engineer, and fabricator on a wide range of projects. He previously cofounded and was the design director at EnergyHub, a startup in Brooklyn that creates technology to help people use less electricity in the home. Currently he is founder and CEO at Poursteady, a Next Top Makers Fellow, and a company that manufactures automated pourover coffee machines for retail coffee businesses. Stephan also teaches at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program. Learn more about Poursteady and join Stephan on Twitter.

Story Bellows
Brooklyn Public Library
Story recently joined the Brooklyn Public Library as Chief Innovation and Performance Officer. Prior to coming to Brooklyn, she cofounded and served as Director of the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics in Philadelphia, a civic idea and innovation incubator and R+D lab inside City Hall. Story previously was Director of the Mayors’ Institute on City Design, a leadership initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the American Architectural Foundation and United States Conference of Mayors. An urban designer by training, Story started the city-focused phase of her career in private design practice in Chicago, where she founded an interdisciplinary research group and worked with leaders in the public, private and nonprofit sectors on urban, education, healthcare, and environmental projects and initiatives. She holds a BA from Colgate University and MSc from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Learn more about Brooklyn Public Library and join Story on Twitter.

Sumeet Shah
Brand Foundry Ventures
Sumeet handles sourcing and managing new opportunities as a Principal at Brand Foundry Ventures, a seed-stage venture capital firm focused on low-tech and high-tech consumer products and devices. He has over 6 years of experience across the startup and private equity industries, formerly running new business strategies at Gist Digital and handling business development and project work at Gotham Consulting Partners. He also assisted in the creation of XRC Labs, a consumer and retail accelerator run by Kurt Salmon and Parsons, as the Program Manager for their inaugural class and was Head of Strategic Partnerships for their second class. Sumeet graduated from Columbia University with a Bachelors of Science in Biomedical Engineering, where he specialized in Biomechanics. Learn more about Brand Foundry Ventures and join Sumeet on Twitter.

Ted Ullrich
Tomorrow Lab
Ted Ullrich is the founding partner of Tomorrow Lab, an internationally recognized product design and engineering studio based in NYC. Tomorrow Lab develops smart hardware products for their clients, and was recognized on the cover of Entrepreneur Magazine in 2014 as Top Tech Innovators. Ted regularly speaks on the role of design studios as invention centers and the application of science and design to entrepreneurial ventures to create new technology products that solve big problems. Ted holds a Masters of Industrial Design from Georgia Tech, a Bachelors of Inventive Design Engineering from Purdue University, and has taught design studio courses at Drexel University in Philadelphia, the School of Visual Arts in NYC, and the Copenhagen Institute of. Learn more about Tomorrow Lab and join Ted on Instagram.

Zach Dunham
Zach Dunham is Kickstarter’s design and technology communities outreach lead. Based out of NYC, he helps creators across these two diverse categories to launch their projects, and find their voice on Kickstarter. Zach is also a creative technologist with a focus on acoustics and music; the co-creator of The Public Radio; and an alumni of the School For Poetic Computation and Bard College. Learn more about Kickstarter and join Zach on Twitter.

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