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New York, NY
Patrick Ambron is the CEO and co-founder of BrandYourself.com, the first DIY platform that makes it simple for anyone to take control of their own search results. Patrick is recognized as a leading expert in online reputation management and Search Engine Optimization. In 2011, his company was named New York's # 1 Emerging Technology Business, making his team the youngest company ever to win the $200K prize. Most recently, he was recognized by the White House as one of the Empact 100 Top CEO's under 30 and named Young Entrepreneur of the year by the SBA. Patrick has led BrandYourself to secure over $1 million in venture capital and grow to over 8 full time employees. They were recently named the the overall StartUp winner at SXSW. His ideas on Online Reputation and business have been quoted in Fox News, the Huffington Post, FastCompany, Mashable, TechCrunch, the New York Post, the WSJ, the NYTimes, PandoDaily, US News & World, ABC, NPR and more. He is recognized as a thought leader in the new media landscape and co-developed the new media curriculum at the #1 School of Information studies in the U.S. at Syracuse University. Awards White House Empact 100: Top 100 CEO Under 30 Small Business Association Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award SOHO Awards Top Business 6-10 Employees Videos Fox News Interview Grow Hacking Presentation Presenting on stage at the Launch Conference Presenting at Pivot Con
San Francisco, CA
Arjun Arora is the founder and Chairman of ReTargeter, a simple and effective online advertising platform. ReTargeter focuses on bringing bounced visitors back to your website, improving your conversion rates and overall ROI, and is available to businesses of all sizes. Prior to ReTargeter, Arjun was the Head of Business Development at Yahoo! Real Estate, where he first saw the opportunity in retargeting. Traditionally, retargeting was only available for $50,000+ minimum spends, but through ReTargeter, Arjun was able to democratize the technology and made it available to businesses of all sizes at a low cost. Coming from a family of entrepreneurs, Arjun has learned much from his father, grandfather, and younger brother, and has applied these lessons toward his own venture. Focusing on efficiency and building relationships, Arjun bootstrapped ReTargeter and has turned it into an advertising powerhouse, running campaigns for startups like Twilio and KISSinsights, to big brands like Microsoft and ING.
Miami Beach, FL
Alfredo Atanacio's business venture, Uassist.ME, a boutique firm dedicated to providing remote administrative support, has quickly become a reference in the worldwide outsourcing industry, earning him recognitions such as the Miami Herald Business Plan Challenge People's Pick Award and the Power 30 Under 30 Honor in 2012 and reaching the top of the 30 Under 30 entrepreneur list on Inc Magazine in 2012. In addition to serving as COO and strategist at Uassist.ME, he shares his expertise as a part-time professor at the School of Economy and Business (ESEN) in El Salvador teaching Business Innovation, is a member of the Art Museum of El Salvador and an avid seeker of new business ventures, recently setting up a human resources consultancy and headhunting company in San Salvador, El Salvador.
Jeff is currently VP of Business Development at IdeaPaint, an early member of the YEC and is a Venture Partner at Gen-Y Capital.
IdeaPaint is a dry-erase paint product that can transform any “paintable” surface into a high performance dry-erase writing surface. He joined the team shortly after graduation from Babson College while IdeaPaint was in product development. Jeff was influential in raising both angel and institutional financing now totaling $14mm. Jeff was directly involved in commercializing IdeaPaint’s first-generation commercial product, determining the company’s channel strategy, acquiring its first customers and driving scale. Jeff currently focuses on managing IdeaPaint’s new business development and focusing on establishing large strategic partnerships to take IdeaPaint to the mass market.
Jeff started his first business with his younger brother Greg – the Water Dog Lobster Company, a lobster fishing and wholesaling operation, when he was 12 years old. Waterdog quickly grew to a full size commercial lobster business with over 400 traps. Jeff still maintains an active involvement in his first business, the Water Dog Lobster Company, which harvests lobsters off the Massachusetts coast and sells them at wholesale.
Jeff has had numerous other entrepreneurial ventures in athletic apparel, real-estate and events.
Jeff holds a B.S. in finance and entrepreneurship from Babson College and traveled the world with Semester At Sea in the fall of 2004.
Dasmariñas City, Calabarzon
Co-Founder & Vice President of National Sales at Yodle
Dasmariñas City, Calabarzonhttp://www.yodle.com
In 2005, John Berkowitz partnered with Nathanial Stevens and Ben Rubenstein to co-found Yodle. Berkowitz has played a crucial role in the growth of the company. He has held many roles throughout his nearly five years with the organization including sales development, training, managing client relationships, opening Yodle’s first two regional offices, and most recently launching and leading the National Accounts department and YodleFranchise. Under John’s leadership the National Accounts department has become the fastest growing division at Yodle, partnering with over 150 multi-location, national, and franchise brands.
Prior to Yodle, John attended The George Washington University School of Business where he graduated with his B.A in International Business. Throughout his childhood and during college, Berkowitz worked closely with his father in their family Commercial Contracting business. That experience has helped John to bring a “Customers Rule” focus to Yodle and set the bar for delivering the highest quality products and services.
Owner/CEO at adventur.es
I’m obsessed with creating value primarily through innovation and entrepreneurship. I am the Owner/CEO of adventur.es (#28 on 2011 Inc. 500), which provides equity investments, marketing resources, strategic planning, and operations management that accelerates growth. We’ve started companies, funded companies and acquired companies. The mission for my life is to positively transform the world (set big goals right?). Every day the vision for this accomplishment evolves. I try to allocate at least 20% of my time to non-profit activities, mostly focused on poverty-related issues. I also try to help Joplin, MO recover from the F5 tornado and was nominated for a 2011 VH1 Do Something Award (lost to Lady Gaga) as the result of my efforts. I’m blessed beyond belief with wonderful friends, family, and partners, who appreciate my faults and embrace my hurricane-like enthusiasm.
I attended Harvard undergrad. I am also a Forbes columnist, Adjunct Professor at Georgetown and was recently named a Tech Titan by Washingtonian Magazine. I founded Speek in 2012 and was recently appointed as the Entrepreneur in Residence to the US Dept of Health & Human Services by the White House.
I am an entrepreneur and an expert in Lean startup, agile, web & mobile technology, product development & marketing, user acquisition & growth.
See more at
New York, NY
Founder/CEO at 16 Handles
New York, NYhttp://16handles.com/
Creative entrepreneur Solomon Choi is a seasoned food service industry leader, raised on the philosophy that "passion brands" are built by engaging with consumers in ways that enrich their daily lives. Solomon’s parents, franchise owners of the largest seafood buffet in San Diego, put him to work at a young age. Over the years he learned the operations side of the franchise business, starting as a busboy and graduating to managerial positions that eventually led to a vice president role in the family business. Later, working as a Director for a Hospitality Group that included a Gelato franchise and full service restaurants in Los Angeles, Solomon gained even more business operations knowledge as his responsibilities increased to managing food costs, margins, leases and more. Recognizing a niche market in self-?serve, frozen yogurt, Solomon studied the dessert business firsthand by apprenticing in one of the original self-?serve frozen yogurt shops in California. He parlayed that knowledge by taking his deep industry insights and relocating to New York to launch 16 Handles™, where the brand has since exploded into a regional phenomenon. In 2008 the very first 16 Handles opened in New York City’s East Village. At the time, there were eight direct competitors within a three-block radius. Through smart marketing that merged grassroots, social and strong PR efforts, Solomon pioneered the concept into what is now 37 operating locations across the east coast with 13 additional stores in development. Today the company remains well poised for continued growth and has since incorporated a corporate chef to help drive flavor innovation. A multiple-time guest panelist for NYU Stern’s Annual Marketing Conference, Solomon has been featured on MSN, MSNBC, Bloomberg News, ABC News, Fox Business and in The New York Times, among many others. He is a graduate of the Marshall School of Business at USC with a degree in Marketing.
Eric Corl has spent his entire career helping entrepreneurs launch their ideas. In 2004 he was part of the founding team behind Startups.co, the world's largest fundraising platform for startups, which has grown to over 400,000 small businesses over 20,000+ accredited investors. Three years later in 2007, Eric launched IdeaBuyer.com, the first Online Marketplace for Intellectual Property to allow for the licensing and sale of patents. IdeaBuyer.com has since listed over 10,000 patents and has attracted an all star list of buyers including Johnson and Johnson, HP, 3M, and GE. In 2011, Eric co-founded Fundable.com, the largest business crowdfunding platform. Eric currently serves as the President of IdeaBuyer.com.
New York City, NY
Co-founder and CEO at ironSource
New York City, NYwww.ironsrc.com
Chris is a Digital advertising and technology serial entrepreneur with a love for mobile. His leadership as landed as a featured speaker at various global events including InternationalCES, Cannes Lions, Webit, IAB's Annual Leadership Meeting, dmexco, Web Summit, f.ounders
He is a regular contribution to CNBC & Bloomberg TV via on-screen appearances, active leader in the IAB and former co-chair of IAB Social Media Committee and Native Advertising Task Force, has been named one of the "Most Important People in Mobile Advertising" by Business Insider and was a EErnst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist 2 years in a row
Today Chris is the Head of Mobile at ironSource a software company specializing in application distribution andmonetiation across device. The company is headquartered in Tel Aviv and has offices across the globe including SF, China and New York. ironSource employees over 400 people has a $300mm annual revenue run rate is profitable and most recently raised $100mm in capital in advance of it's pending IPO
Chris lives in Tribeca NY with his wife and two boys you can learn more here about.me/chriscunningham
Adam DeGraide, CEO and Founder of Astonish started his first company, BZ Results, in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1997. BZ Results is a digital marketing company that helps car dealers use the Internet to grow their businesses. In 2006, with over 1,600 dealership clients and 150 employees, DeGraide and his partners sold BZ Results to Advanced Digital Processing (ADP). After the sale of BZ Results, DeGraide started Astonish, which was recently ranked 267th on the Inc. 500 list of fastest growing private companies in the U.S. As the founder and CEO of Astonish, DeGraide and his team are the driving forces behind a vision to help the insurance industry across the country grow their businesses by using the Internet. Now currently serving over 800 retail brokers in America Adam DeGraide and his team at Astonish are encouraging the insurance industry across the country to “Join the Internet marketing revolution, or get left behind!”
New York City, NY
Phil Dumontet is the founder and CEO of DASHED, the leading restaurant delivery service in the Northeast. In 2013, DASHED was recognized as one of the fastest-growing companies in the U.S., ranking #119 nationwide and #7 in Massachusetts on Inc. Magazine’s Inc. 500 | 5000 list. Phil prides himself on the company’s unique partnerships with higher-end restaurants, as well as their efforts to keep delivery green and eco-friendly.
San Francisco, CA
Joe Fernandez is the Founder and CEO of Klout. While his jaw was wired shut for nearly three months after surgery, Joe began to develop a deep fascination with the evolution of influence within the social web. The way individuals could instantly broadcast questions, opinions, and ideas to their trusted network sparked his curiosity. In 2008, Joe started Klout in an effort to help businesses understand this individual user impact by providing context around who a person influences and what topics they are particularly influential in. Klout is currently the standard for influence on the social web. Joe grew up in Las Vegas and attended University of Miami and Oxford University.
New York, NY
ceo & founder at Greatist
New York, NYhttp://www.greatist.com
Derek Flanzraich is the founder & ceo of Greatist, a health & fitness media startup on a mission to make better choices easier for everyone. Flanzraich graduated from Harvard in 2010, as previously at Clicker.com (acquired by CBS) and NBC Universal's Digital Entertainment Strategy & Operations, and has been building media-related organizations that last since a dog-walking business at 10 years old. He loves theme parks & theme bars.
Rent the Runway
Co-Founder & President at Rent the Runway
Jennifer Fleiss is the President and Co-Founder of Rent the Runway, a business that provides Cinderella experiences by enabling women to rent designer dresses and accessories for all of life’s special occasions. Since its inception in November 2009, Rent the Runway has quickly grown to acquire three million members and has signed on over 175 top designer brands and entry into new categories such as weddings, beauty and intimates. Jenny has been honored with Inc.’s “30 Under 30”; Fortune Magazine’s “Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs”; Fast Company’s “Most Influential Women in Technology” and was a finalist for Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year. She started her career at Morgan Stanley in the Strategic Planning Group crafting long-term company strategy. She then moved on to Lehman Brothers’ Asset Management Group where she was responsible for analyzing business growth opportunities through acquisitions, international expansion and new product strategies. A natural entrepreneur, Jenny founded an essay-editing and coaching service for college applicants, and built the company into an online tutoring service. In 2007, Jenny began at Harvard Business School where she met fellow co-founder and friend, Jennifer Hyman. As sectionmates, the two women would meet frequently to discuss entrepreneurial ideas, one of which was Rent the Runway. Jenny received her Bachelor of Arts from Yale University in 2005 graduating Cum Laude and her Masters of Business Administration from Harvard Business School in 2009. Jenny is a member of the New York Economic and Development Corporation and a member of the Young Entrepreneurs Council. She currently resides in New York City with her husband and daughter.
I'm the Founder of CoachUp, the nation’s leading sports coaching company. CoachUp has gone through several rounds of venture financing, and I'm proud of our all-star team of investors (led by General Catalyst Partners), Advisors (Including Paul English (co-founder of Kayak.com)), Sarah Dekin (CMO of Zipcar)), and David Pace (former General Council of Reebok), celebrity endorsers (including Julian Edelman (NFL) and Nerlens Noel (NBA), talented management team (including the former CMO of the Princeton Review, and the former SVP of Product & Engineering at Kayak.com), and incredible employees that have turned our startup into a national success story. With over 13,000 coaches, 100,000 athletes, 25 full-time employees, and $10million in venture funding raised to date, CoachUp has come a long way, and we are just getting started!
I'm also very involved in the Boston startup/tech community, having invested in over 30 startups over the last three years through the Bridge Boys Fund -- a seed-stage technology fund I co-founded and manage -- and am an active mentor at Techstars Boston: https://angel.co/bridge-boys. I'm always looking to connect with great entrepreneurs and investors, and hope to form long-lasting relationships with other members of YEC!
San Francisco, CA
Sharam Fouladgar-Mercer is the co-founder and CEO of AirPR, a technology platform to increase PR performance. He was a former Entrepreneur in Residence at Shasta Ventures focused on consumer internet and the social graph. Prior to joining Shasta, Sharam was a Senior Associate at Sierra Ventures focused on consumer internet, enterprise software (cloud computing / virtualization), and mobile. He served on the Board at Makara (sold to RedHat) and TouchCommerce. Prior to joining Sierra, Sharam was in Mergers and Acquisitions at JP Morgan. Sharam began his career as a technologist at Appian Corporation, a business process management software startup. At Appian, he managed the first enterprise-wide tracking system for the Department of Homeland Security, concurrently managed the development of three software products, delivered training seminars, and authored white papers, best practices documents, and technical notes on Web Services. Sharam has lectured at universities, events, and conferences such as SXSW, and judged business plan competitions at Princeton, Harvard, Stanford, and Syracuse. He is also an advisor and mentor to Acceleprise, an enterprise focused incubator, and eLab, the Princeton accelerator. Sharam graduated with honors with a BSE in Computer Science from Princeton University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Born in Syracuse, NY, Sharam played NCAA Division I ice hockey and is fluent in Farsi. He also enjoys barefoot waterskiing and playing with new technologies.
College Hunks Hauling Junk
President at College Hunks Hauling Junk
Nick Friedman is President and Co-Founder of COLLEGE HUNKS HAULING JUNK & COLLEGE HUNKS MOVING, the largest and fastest growing US-Based Junk Removal & Moving Franchise Opportunity. Nick started in college with his childhood best friend, now business partner, Omar Soliman in a beat up cargo van, and has grown to at least 50 franchise locations nationwide. Nick has since been named among the Top 30 Entrepreneurs in America Under 30 by INC Magazine and was named on the same list as Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook as one of the 30 Most Influential CEO's Under 30 by Under30CEO.com. Nick was a Kauffman Foundation Empact 100 Honoree, was listed as one of the Top 35 Entrepreneurs Under 35 on Bisnow.com, and is a two-time Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award Finalist. Nick has been featured in numerous business books and textbooks, as well as Forbes, Fortune and on the AOL Homepage. Nick was also featured in a Newsweek story entitled 'College Kid to Millionaire',' along with the founders of Fedex, Dell Computers, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft. Nick’s company was recently awarded an inaugural Inc. Hire Power Award for job creation, was named #156 on the INC 500 List of Fastest Growing US Companies, has been profiled numerous times on CNN, MSNBC, CBS, NBC, FOX News, and has appeared twice on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Nick has appeared as a guest on National Television shows such as CNBC's The BIG Idea with Donny Deutsche, Fox Business News, Bravo’s Millionaire Matchmaker, and ABC's reality based show about entrepreneurs entitled Shark Tank. He has been interviewed by Entrepreneur and Fortune Magazine as well as the Wall Street Journal for his expertise on franchising and branding. He also participated with MTV on a panel at the White House about young entrepreneurship. Nick also Co-Authored his first bestselling book along with his business partner Omar Soliman, entitled Effortless Entrepreneur: Work Smart, Play Hard, Make Millions (Random House, 2010), which aims to motivate aspiring entrepreneurs with his fun and entertaining approach to business. Nick is an active Board Member of the Entrepreneur's Organization, a global organization which comprises founders of high-growth companies, and he completed a 3-year Entrepreneurial Masters Program at MIT. He is a founding member of the Young Entrepreneurship Council, and a founding investor in the Gen-Y Capital Partners, which seeks to invest in young start-ups. Nick has been a guest speaker at numerous high schools, colleges, universities, chambers and entrepreneurship groups, including INC Magazine’s Leadership and GrowCo Conferences, the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship Conference, the Orlando Business Innovation and Growth Conference, the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship, and the Extreme Entrepreneurship Campus Tours. Nick Friedman received his Bachelors Degree in economics from Pomona College in California. Nick competed four years on the Men's Varsity Basketball Team at Pomona, which was also ranked among the top 5 liberal arts colleges in the nation by US News and World Reports. Nick won the Pomona College Coach's Award, was named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches Academic Honor Roll, and was designated a Pomona College Scholar. He brings his leadership skills and competitive drive to entrepreneurship, along with his work experience as an economic research analyst with Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc.(NYSE:MMC). Nick is fluent in Spanish and spent a college semester studying economics in Madrid, Spain. He continues to be active in the community, volunteering his time as a basketball coach and mentor to aspiring entrepreneurs. Nick Friedman is available for select keynotes and lectures.
Main Street ROI
New York, NY
Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Main Street ROI
New York, NYhttp://www.mainstreetroi.com
Phil has extensive experience in pay per click advertising, search engine optimization, sales conversion optimization, and lead generation for both B2B and B2C markets. Over the years, Phil has created and managed hundreds of successful direct-response online advertising campaigns using proven analytics and landing page optimization techniques. Prior to founding Main Street ROI, Phil managed a one million dollar per year Pay Per Click advertising budget for an affiliate marketing business. He was directly responsible for scaling the business to over $1,000 in profit per day using detailed tracking, split testing, and bid optimization techniques. Phil is the co-creator of several online marketing training course including: The Local SEO Formula, AdWords Success Formula, and the Main Street Inner Circle membership program. On a select bases, Phil manages online advertising campaigns and is currently managing over $100,000 per month in ad spend for clients. When Phil is not working, he enjoys running “barefoot” (he wears huarache sandals since his wife no longer lets him run totally barefoot) in Central Park in New York City. He is also a member of the Determination running team where he raises money for the American Cancer Society by running road races in the 5 boroughs of NYC. Phil earned his Master of Engineering Management degree from Thayer School of Engineering and Tuck School of Business and his Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Engineering degrees from Dartmouth College.
Las Vegas, NV
Jared Fuller is a self-described lifetime student of philosophy, entrepreneur, occasional writer, speaker, and advocate for free people and markets. Jared currently resides in Las Vegas, Nevada with his wife Brittany Fuller where they both relentlessly build JobHive. Jared has spoken at dozens of conferences and seminars on the topics of free markets, entrepreneurism, and social libertarianism. Prior to withdrawing from Wake Forest University, he helped educate and train hundreds of students on the ideals of freedom where he played early roles in the growth of Young Americans for Liberty and Students For Liberty. His first company, Market Aces, was a design-driven technology agency originally aimed at elevating political causes. During Market Aces’ growth, Jared developed what he called his Core Concept Marketing Strategy to build hundreds of websites, applications, videos, and marketing campaigns for everything from presidential campaigns, to international news media organizations, to the world’s fastest motorcycle. While expanding and encountering the many horrors of hiring and growing the company, Jared partnered with two co-founders to seed invest and build the early stages of what would become JobHive. As Co-Founder & CEO of JobHive, Jared spends every waking moment obsessing over solving the jobs crisis by making finding a new job or hiring a new team member as human, meaningful, and empowering as possible. He leads the growth of the team, vision, culture, and even developed “The Hive Handbook,” to codify & inspire the JobHive vision of why taking a job is one of the most fundamentally important human interactions we make as free people. He writes occasionally at FullerFreedom.com and can be followed on Twitter @fullerfreedom.
New York City, NY
At 19, Jordan Goldman got 30,000 current students to send him reviews of their colleges. He edited the results to create "Students' Guide to Colleges," published by Penguin Books. Jordan turned "Students' Guide" into a series, released by Penguin in five annually updated editions.
After graduating Jordan founded Unigo.com, an online community of college students who generated 100's of thousands of college reviews, photos & videos. The NY Times called Unigo's reviews "so evocative they make the one-page U.S. News summaries read like junk mail." As Unigo's CEO, Jordan hired a talented team, brought in investment from McGraw-Hill Education Ventures, News Corp and the Gates Foundation, and turned Unigo into a popular destination site that has helped more than 40 million families make better decisions about their education. Jordan also founded Unigo Connect, a SaaS technology licensing business, with clients including Macmillan Publishing, NY Board of Education and Colgate University.
In 2014, Unigo.com and Unigo Connect were acquired by Aequitas Capital, a $750 million private equity firm that wholly owns companies in the education, healthcare and financial services sectors. After the acquisition Aequitas re-named its education division "The Unigo Group." The Unigo Group operates companies - including Unigo.com, Unigo Connect and ScholarshipExperts.com - that reach more than 50% of all college-bound students. It also provides more than $300 million in student loans. The Unigo Group has 45+ employees and offices in New York, Portland & Florida.
For his work on Unigo, Unigo Connect and The Unigo Group, Jordan has been named “One of the Top 30 Young Entrepreneurs in America” by Inc Magazine, “One of the Top 100 Young Entrepreneurs in America” by the White House, and “One of the 100 Most Influential People in NYC Business and Technology” by Business Insider. He is on the advisory board of the YEC and is a Lead Mentor at the TechStars startup accelerator.
San Francisco, CA
<p>Daniel Ha is the CEO and cofounder of Disqus. Daniel studied computer science engineering at UC Davis and interned at big companies before deciding to drop out of school to pursue the startup world. Disqus is the web's discussion network, reaching over 700 million unique visitors every month and spanning nearly any topic or type of community imaginable. Disqus is funded by Y Combinator, Union Square Ventures, North Bridge Venture Partners, as well as many great angel investors.</p>
Influence & Co.
John began his entrepreneurial career at the age of 19 when he bought his first investment property that quickly expanded into a student housing business. He is currently the Cofounder and CEO of Influence & Co. - they assist individuals and brands in growing their influence through products and services ranging from creating and publishing bylined articles to facilitating in residence programs for brands and much more. Influence & Co. is one of the leading providers of high quality expert content to the world's top publications.
at Startup Institute
Jason is the Managing Director of the Startup Institute and part of the startup ecosystem as a founder, board member, advisor, mentor and investor. Jason is active as a mentor across the Techstars network. He’s previously helped found PerkStreet Financial, Britemoon and US Genomics. He is an investor in Blacksmith Applications, Blueleaf, Fundly, Helpscout, Seahorse Biosciences and Zagster. He is also the past President of the Massachusetts’s Service Alliance and advisor to City Year Jason was previously a founder of PerkStreet Financial, a Managing Director of the venture firm Rock Maple Ventures and a consultant / interim executive for early stage companies as a Managing Director at Acceleration Partners. Previously, Jason was a founder and served as the Chief Operating Officer of U.S. Genomics, a venture-backed developer of ultra-high throughput sequencing technologies and an interim executive / board member of Britemoon (an email marketing company acquired by ClickTactics). Before joining the world of early stage ventures, Jason was a strategy consultant at Monitor Company, where he specialized in strategy design and industry restructuring, and project engineer for Deluxe Corporation where he participated in the redesign of the company’s core manufacturing process and the development of systems to exploit new business opportunities. Notable companies Jason has worked with, and / or sat on the boards of include: Brightmoon (acquired by ClickTactics), BlackDrumm, Blacksmith Applications, Blueleaf, First Marblehead (NYSE: FMD), Fundly, Help Scout, Judy’s Book, Seahorse Biosciences, LookStat, LocaModa (acquired by MonsterMedia), Memento Security (acquired by FIS), Morphotek (acquired by Eisai Pharmaceuticals), Versamed (acquired by General Electric) and Zagster. He is also the past President of the Massachusetts’s Service Alliance and advisor to City Year. Jason began his education in leadership and engineering at the United States Military Academy at West Point and completed studies in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Sciences at Harvard University. In his free time, Jason can be found searching for the perfect wave, running even in the harshest of conditions, or undertaking some form of home improvement project.
Ministry of Supply
Kit Hickey is the co-founder of Ministry of Supply, a brand which is inventing the future of men's professional wear. The company has been featured in NYT, TechCrunch, Inc., Forbes and Elle Magazine. In addition, Kit is a lover of mountain sports and has half an MBA from MIT. Follow her: @kit_hickey
San Francisco, CA
Brad Hunstable founded Ustream more than six years ago with a vision to bring live broadcasting technology to the entire world; Ustream was originally created to connect military service members to family and friends across the world. Since then, the company has established itself as a socially-fueled communications platform for businesses, non-profit organizations, and individuals of any size to easily reach an infinite audience and share experiences in real-time.
Brad serves as Ustream's CEO and has grown the company to more than 250 employees and 80 million users globally. He has been ranked among 50 "Digital Power Players" by the Hollywood Reporter and on Variety's Producers Guild of America's Digital 25: Visionaries, Innovators and Producers for his work at Ustream. Brad is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point and holds an MBA from The Ohio State University.
The Marketing Zen Group
Known as the “Zen Master of Marketing” by Entrepreneur Magazine and the “Millennial Master of the Universe” by Fast Company, Shama Hyder is a visionary strategist for the digital age.
She is the bestselling author of the Zen of Social Media Marketing and an acclaimed international keynote speaker who has been invited to share the speaking stage with the world’s top leaders, including President Obama and the Dalai Lama.
A trusted media expert and sought-after TV personality, Shama has frequently appeared on Fox Business, CBS, CW33 and Fox News. As a thought leader, she’s been featured in many major publications, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Huffington Post, Entrepreneur, Inc Magazine and Forbes.
As the CEO of the award-winning Marketing Zen Group, she’s led the organization through explosive growth, averaging 400% growth annually since its start in 2009.Under her leadership, the company has grown to include a team of 30 and clients that range from publicly held, Fortune 500 companies to privately held small businesses and non-profit organizations across the globe. As a result of her success, Shama has been the recipient of the prestigious Technology Titan Emerging Company CEO award. She was also named one of the “Top 25 Entrepreneurs under 25” by Business Week in 2009 and one of the “Top 30 under 30” Entrepreneurs in America in 2013. In addition, Shama has been honored at the White House as one of the top 100 young entrepreneurs.
Beyond her roles as a media personality, international speaker, and CEO, she also serves as a mentor to the next generation of entrepreneurs. She is passionate about empowering youth and works closely with the Young Entrepreneur Council in fostering youth entrepreneurship around the world. In 2011, she was the only woman delegate invited by the U.S. State Department to mentor tech entrepreneurs in Cairo as part of President Obama’s initiative in the region. Shama represents the best her generation has to offer.
She holds a Masters degree in Organizational Communication & Technology from the University of Texas at Austin, and prides herself in being a constant learner.
New York City, NY
Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer at 2U
New York City, NYhttp://2u.com/
Andela is a global talent accelerator that produces world-class developers and connects them with top employers. With an acceptance rate below 1%, Andela is the most selective technology training programs in Africa. Andela Fellows, some of the brightest in the world, undergo an intensive training experience with cutting-edge education technology designed to give them the skills and experience needed to thrive as full-time, remote developers for companies around the world. Andela is backed by the founders of companies like Facebook, Ebay, and AOL.
Looking to build out your egineering team? Learn why Andela has the highest quality/value index in the industry.
Prior to Andela, Jeremy Co-Founded 2U, an education-technology company that partners with went public in March 2014 and partners with preeminent institutions of higher education such as Georgetown, UNC Chapel Hill and USC to deliver transformative online degree programs. Find Jeremy at @JeremyJ.
Costa Mesa, CA
Co-founder at Affiliate Marketing
Costa Mesa, CAhttp://www.affiliateprograms.com
Warren Jolly has been a successful Entrepreneur since his High School years. Founding his first business (Nebulant Corp) at the age of 17, Warren quickly established himself as a well-recognized expert in the field of affiliate marketing, also known as online pay-for-performance marketing. The company was acquired by a AIM-listed company in 2003 and gave Warren the opportunity to first experience an M&A transaction. Today, at the age of 26, Warren has built his current company (Affiliate Media) into a fast-growing media empire which is focused on helping companies establish affiliate marketing strategies on the internet alongside educating consumers on launching their own online marketing business to gain their own financial freedom. Affiliate Media was recognized by Inc. Magazine as the 129th fastest-growing privately-held company in the United States in 2009 and the 11th fastest-growing company in Orange County, CA by OC Business Journal. Warren has ran the company's sales efforts, product development, and marketing efforts, in addition to recruiting a dynamic, intelligent team of professionals whom have all contributed to the company's success.
Warren is active in the South Asian and Entrepreneurial communities. A few of the organizations which Warren has supported include South Asia Network, Young Entrepreneur's Organization, and local community Entrepreneurship mentoring associations. Warren has also been interviewed by the India Journal, Mixergy, Young Entrepreneurs, and others.
New York, NY
Hailing from Conde Nast Publications Kim described her years there as a combination of "the best scene from The Devil Wears Prada combined with the worst scene from The Hunger Games." Enduring the slash and burn recession of 2008 where Conde Nast closed four magazines and condensed all publications into their infamous 4 Times Square address, Kim learned that nothing kept you on your toes more than the fear of imminent disaster and the opportunity to create something entirely fresh and new. Staying on-board during the re-brand and re-launch of the magazine 2009 from a bi-monthly to monthly publication, it was only after the dust settled, and the excitement of the re-launch completed, that Kim’s itch for change could no longer be ignored. After a few months at the DDB-affiliated agency Fathom Communications, Kim quickly realized that it was not the right match. Fortunately she discovered the "ying" to her "yang" Brittany Hodak, whom she had met at the agency. Over drinks in a mid-town bar they hatched a plan to play up their strengths, backgrounds, and contacts and the idea of ‘ZinePak was conceived. Eager give ‘ZinePak the nurturing it deserved, Brittany and Kim started earnestly working on the business in March 2011, leaving the comfort of their corporate benefits and job security behind. They completed six projects in the first year of business, but knew that it was only the start. "In the beginning I think the only people who envisioned how successful this could get was Brittany and I. Everyone else¬—parents, friends and significant others—thought we were well on our way to crazy town." ‘ZinePak experienced tremendous 400% growth in 2012, completing 24 projects in a single calendar year and working with superstars such as Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, and the Beach Boys. With $2.6 million in revenue the girls rounded out 2012 with the same attitude as they did in 2011, seeing their accomplishments as just the beginning of something big. "Custom content creation and fan engagement is certainly not limited to music. There are countless platforms where you will find die-hard, passionate fans—the Met’s stadium, Iron Man premiere, or World of Warcraft release date. Music fans are not the only ones engaging in an immersive and interactive experience." When not building upon her dream of ‘ZinePak with Brittany, Kim enjoys good music, witty banter, and time with her friends and family. If you don’t interrupt her during one of her beloved Florida Gator games, she is always up for a conversation, laugh, or figuring out a master plan on how she can meet and hug one of her idols, Harrison Ford.
New York City, NY
Co-Founder, Principal at Convene
New York City, NYhttp://convene.com/
Chris is the co-founder of Convene and evoJets. Notable Achievements: Inc. Magazine 30 Under 30 for evoJets (2011) Inc. Magazine 30 Under 30 for Convene - formerly "Sentry Centers" (2011) Empact 100 Recipient (2012) Crains New York Entrepreneur of the Year (2013) Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist, Real Estate (2013) AMEX Open "CEOs to Watch" (2013) Member of NY Senator Kirsten Gillibrand's "Small Business Working Group" Convene, 2009-Present Convene combines service and design to improve the workplace experience. Since opening in 2009 the company's portfolio of over 110,000 sq.ft. of real estate makes it the largest owner of day conference centers in New York and is quickly expanding to serve demand in other cities and for management services. Unique in contrast to other high-growth companies, Convene is a brick and mortar service business that is both human and capital intensive. Despite these inherent challenges the company and its team of over 100 professionals relentlessly develop and adopt new and ambitious best practices that improve meetings and collaboration. Convene's client list includes more than 65% of New York's Fortune 500 companies and hundreds of other business, organizations and associations. In his role Chris applies reasoning, strategy and creativity to successfully navigate the company through its various growth stages with a focus on sales, marketing & brand development, operations and systems infrastructure. evoJets is a private jet charter brokerage overseeing marketing and logistics for a global network of over 4,000 safety certified aircraft. Founded in Aspen Colorado and currently based in New York, the Company is known for its industry leading service and safety standards. Chris currently serves in a passive, advisory role while his wife, co-founder Adriann Wanner and her team continue to grow evoJets. Chris graduated from the Villanova School of Business (2004) and remains actively engaged with the small business community. In 2011 Chris was appointed as a member of NY Senator Kirsten Gillibrand's "Small Business Working Group" and along with the entire Convene team, is a leading sponsor of Nourishing NYC, a community food program that strives to achieve "nutrition for all". Outside of work, Chris' passion for traveling in developing economies has taken him to over 30 countries on 5 continents.
Culver City, CA
Sean Kelly is a Johns Hopkins and Columbia-University-trained biomedical engineer and nutrition-focused social entrepreneur who co-founded HUMAN (Helping Unite Mankind And Nutrition) in 2008 to make healthy food more convenient than junk food. HUMAN is an award-winning socially-responsible franchisor of healthy vending machine businesses, healthy micro markets and healthy snack delivery services with hundreds of franchisees and thousands of machines and markets placed across the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. HUMAN is ranked by Inc. Magazine as the #168th Fastest-Growing Company in America, by Entrepreneur as a "Top 100 Brilliant Company" and by Forbes as one of "America's Most Promising Companies." The company also has its own charitable arm, HUMAN Everywhere, with the mission to teach social entrepreneurship to students in underserved communities. More can be learned about the company and its practices at www.HealthyVending.com.
Likeable Local and Likeable Media
New York City, NY
CEO and Chairman at Likeable Local and Likeable Media
New York City, NYhttp://www.likeable.com/
Dave Kerpen is the cofounder and and Chairman of Likeable Media, an award-winning social media and word-of-mouth marketing firm comprised of communications and consultancy agency Likeable Media, and CEO of software platform, Likeable Local. Dave and his wife Carrie lead a team of over 60 people in working with brands, organizations, governments, and small businesses to better leverage social media to become more transparent, responsive, engaged, and likeable. Likeable was named to both the 2011 and 2012 Inc. 500 list of fastest growing private companies in the United States. In 2012 Likeable was named one of Crain’s Best Places to Work in New York City. Dave’s first book, a New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon #1 bestseller, was Likeable Social Media: How to Delight Your Customers, Create an Irresistible Brand, and Be Generally Amazing on Facebook (and Other Social Networks). His second book is titled Likeable Business: Why Today’s Consumers Demand More & How Leaders Can Deliver. (McGraw-Hill, November 2012). Dave is a frequent keynote speaker at venues around the world and a contributing writer for Mashable, Inc, Fast Company, The Huffington Post, Forbes, and The Washington Post. His work has been featured on CNBC’s "On the Money," ABC World News Tonight, the CBS Early Show, BBC World News, and the New York Times, among others. Dave is proud of his Likeable business accomplishments but prouder of his other joint venture with Carrie: Charlotte and Kate, their two daughters at home in Port Washington, New York.
Wendell Charles Financial
Manhattan Beach, CA
CEO at Wendell Charles Financial
Manhattan Beach, CAhttp://www.wendellcharles.com
Evan Kirkpatrick is a Los Angeles based entrepreneur focusing on capital strategies & philanthropy. He is the founder of Wendell Charles Financial, a private wealth management firm for high net worth individuals & institutions. Evan’s companies interact daily with Wall Street, Hollywood entertainment companies, & influential business leaders.
Prior to founding Wendell Charles, Evan began his career at a global Fortune 100 firm & ran the investment division of a boutique wealth management & corporate benefits company. He was a scholarship basketball player at Northwest University & a McDonald’s All-American nominee in high school.
In addition to writing his “Influential Capital” column at Forbes, Evan’s work has been featured in media outlets such as Entrepreneur, Private Wealth, Inc., Venture Beat, the Wall Street Journal, Pivot TV, & on CBS radio. Wendell Charles was selected to the Empact 100 list of the top companies in the United States ran by an entrepreneur under the age of 35. YFS Magazine lists Evan as one of “10 Los Angeles Entrepreneurs to Watch”.
President at K4 Solutions
As Founder and CEO of K4 Solutions, Inc., Ms. Krishnan is a 12-year veteran of the government contracting world and has served in every position from Program Manager to Marketing Director to President. She started K4 Solutions, Inc. in 2001 and has since grown the business into the $20M business it is today. She attributes her success primarily to brilliant mentorship and her unyielding curiosity and drive for understanding. She has faced numerous challenges along the way, but cut her teeth early in her career with her first business challenge being that of hiring, training and managing 75 employees in a period of two weeks to serve HHS/CMS. Since then, and together with her management team, she has won and managed programs for a number of Federal agencies including Homeland Security and the US Army. Ms. Krishnan is passionate about connecting with people -- her employees, partners, and clients. She is driven by her desire to make a difference for the better and believes in being generous enough to oneself to take adequate time out for sleep, rejuvenation, exercise and meditation. She currently volunteers some of her time to Higher Achievement to mentor disadvantaged students and has a passion for developing a peaceful and healthy lifestyle.
Palo Alto, CA
Andrew is the CEO and Co-Founder of Mixbook, Inc., the maker of Mixbook.com, Mosaic and Montage, which he co-founded with his classmate from UC Berkeley, Aryk Grosz. Mixbook is an award-winning web-based photo book service, consistently garnering top reviews from publications and customers alike for its fully-customizable online editor, integrations with social photo sharing sites, and powerful collaboration features. Mosaic is the fast and spontaneous way to make a photo book on iPhone, allowing customers to make a gorgeous printed book in just a few minutes. Mixbook and Mosaic have been praised by the Today Show, New York Times and USA Today, and Mosaic has been featured by Apple repeatedly in over 25 countries. Interactive Memories, Inc. has been recognized in Forbes' America's Most Promising Companies, Inc 500 Fastest Growing Private Companies, and Inc 30 Under 30. Andrew has been recognized by Inc Magazine's "30 Under 30" list of entrepreneurs and Forbes Magazine's "America's Most Promising CEOs Under 35". Andrew started coding at the age of 10, started his first company at age 15, and received a BS in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from the University of California, Berkeley.
Graduated with a Masters in Sociology from McGill University in 2009 I started an online tutoring company that grew to almost 100 online tutors within 2 years. Opened a consultancy on outsourcing and process design and then co-founded Time Doctor, a software platform to manage remote teams. Off the success of Time Doctor we built a second company staff.com which enables employers to get access to full time remote work. I love talking to companies, working on problems and generally getting into trouble.
theDisruptive & SpiritHoods
Los Angeles, CA
at theDisruptive & SpiritHoods
Los Angeles, CAhttp://www.thedisruptive.com
Influence & Co.
Cofounder at Influence & Co.
Kelsey Meyer is the President of Influence & Co. which assists individuals and companies in growing their influence and credibility online through thought leadership and content marketing. Kelsey is very passionate about building entrepreneurial communities. She was the original Director of The League of Innovators an entrepreneurial organization in Columbia, MO and the lead organizer for Startup Weekend Columbia 2011. Kelsey enjoys speaking with other entrepreneurs, mentoring young entrepreneurs and golf.
Think Big Partners
Kansas City, MO
Partner, Director of Accelerator at Think Big Partners
Kansas City, MOhttp://thinkbigpartners.com
Blake Miller, Partner of Think Big Partners, began his entrepreneurial path as an adolescent. At the age of 14, he had already developed his own web design company, creating websites for friends and family with local small businesses. Miller attended the University of Kansas, where he studied Marketing and Entrepreneurship, furthering his startup education and fueling his ambitious ideas. While attending the University of Kansas, Miller continued his passion for web design, became a well-known DJ, participated in Phi Kappa Psi fraternity and was an active member in the Interfraternity Council. In addition, Miller interned for Tyler Prochnow, later assuming the role of Director of Technology for the Expansion Kansas City Brigade Arena Football team. After college, Miller joined Entertainment Concept Investors, LLC (ECI) where he became the company's DJ manager, providing entertainment for numerous venues in the Power and Light District of downtown Kansas City and other ECI Managed properties. Miller's work with ECI also include online marketing efforts of the companies concepts. Miller began working for Think Big Partners in August 2009. Miller is the Director of the Think Big Accelerator Program, a 6-9 month mentorship driven hands on program. The Think Big Accelerator is the first Partner Accelerator with Microsoft Ventures. Miller has cofounded multiple startups to include Bodeefit. He sits on the Board of several companies, while mentoring in Kansas City and nationally. Although he considers himself a general technologist, his expertises lie in Innovation, Product Design, UI/UX, Distribution channels, Growth Marketing, Social Media, Startup Mentoring, Product Management, and connecting the dots. Outside of building, launching, and growing startups Blake is an Avid Crossfitter and is on an Award Winning BBQ Team.
El Segundo, CA
Michael Mothner is the Founder & CEO of Wpromote, a full service online marketing firm with more than 140 full-time employees based in it’s Los Angeles headquarters. Wpromote works with a wide range of companies from fast-growing startups to Fortune 1000 firms, with extensive expertise in e-commerce and B2B.
Wpromote is a seven-time Inc. 500 company, a four-time winner of the LA Business Journal’s 100 Fastest Growing Companies, a Deloitte Technology Fast 500 company and a one of the Best Places to Work in LA four years running.
Michael is a thought leader in the online community and a regular speaker at leading industry events including Internet Retailer, Search Engine Strategies, Shop.org, and the Search Marketing Expo. He is a columnist for Inc. Magazine and has been featured on MSNBC, Fox News, the New York Times, WallStreet Journal, Entrepreneur Magazine, and BusinessWeek. He was featured by Inc Magazine as one of "30 CEO's under 30 To Watch" and was the recipient of the PriceWaterhouseCoopers Entrepreneurial Spirit Award.
Los Angeles, CA
Jason Nazar is the Co-Founder and CEO of Docstoc.com, the premier online website for small businesses that provides the best quality and largest selection of documents and resources to help start, grow and manage your small business and professional life. Docstoc is a top 500 worldwide website that reaches over 20M people a month. Jason was previously a partner at Venture LLC, a venture consulting group where he helped grow dozens of companies. He holds a JD/MBA from Pepperdine University and a B.A. from the University of California at Santa Barbara, where he served as the student body president of both universities.
Co-Founder and VP Marketing at KISSmetrics
Neil Patel is the co-founder of 2 Internet companies: Crazy Egg and KISSmetrics. Through his entrepreneurial career he has helped companies such as Amazon, eBay, Expedia, Microsoft, Sun Microsystems, and Walmart make more money from the web. By the age of 21 Neil was named one of the top influencers on the web by the Wall Street Journal as well as quoted in magazines such as Entrepreneur and Inc for his insights on Internet marketing.
New York City, NY
Founder and CEO at Perks Consulting
New York City, NYhttp://www.perksconsulting.com
Lauren Perkins is known for bringing her passion, drive, and commitment to every aspect of her personal and professional life. As an expert in brand marketing and community building and the author of The Community Manager’s Playbook: How to Build Brand Awareness and Customer Engagement (Apress, 2015), she inspires teams to transform the way they work by combining innovative branding techniques and agile marketing frameworks.
As the Founder & CEO of Perks Consulting, a brand-led digital innovation consultancy, Lauren is the driving force behind the firm’s approach: “Think like a Brand. Act like a Startup.™”
With a genuine love for helping and teaching people, she is an active mentor and teacher in the emerging New York City tech and entrepreneurial education community. She is a founding instructor at General Assembly where she teaches digital insights, brand strategy, community management, and agile marketing.
Lauren is also a contributing writer to CMX, Forbes, Inc., author of “An Entrepreneurial Approach to Corporate Innovation” in the book Smarter Innovation (Ark Group, 2014), and has been featured in US News, Mashable, Business Insider and Huffington Post. Lauren can be found speaking at conferences such as CMX, CES, Social Media Week, Internet Week, Catalyst Week and Entrepreneur Week.
Lauren's early days as a competitive swimmer taught her that "Attitude is Everything!" This became, and still is, her personal mantra. Her continued passion for fitness informs her performance-driven approach to business and life. Her community building approach, however, was born from the values of her lively, loving Italian-American family.
Co-Founder & Vice President of Sales Operations at Yodle
Ben Rubenstein, co-founder of Yodle and the Regional Vice President of Local Sales for the Northeast, has been with the company since it was founded in 2005. During his tenure with Yodle, Ben has been instrumental to the company’s explosive growth. He helped to lead the first round of venture capital financing, initiated both the Feet on the Street and Tele-sales models, started the Yodle offices in Philadelphia and New York City, in addition to running the Boston Office. During his time leading the sales team, Ben has sold and closed thousands of customers, including his own father - an attorney in Connecticut. When not at Yodle, Ben enjoys the outdoors playing sports and hiking and is an avid traveler frequenting countries like Argentina, Nicaragua and Indonesia. Ben graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Pennsylvania where he studied History and Latin American Studies.
Anderson Schoenrock brings a diverse background in business, management and finance to ScanDigital. His unique combination of business experience leaves him well positioned to oversee the growth and innovation at ScanDigital. Prior to co-founding ScanDigital. Anderson was Vice President and Co-Founder of Zietsman Realty Partners (“ZRP”). Anderson directly oversaw more than $600 million in commercial real estate transactions and after building a successful platform, ZRP was acquired by Jones Lang La Salle in early 2007. Prior to forming ZRP, Anderson spent more than three years working for Lehman Brothers as an investment banker. Born and raised in Kansas, Anderson departed after high school on an east coast journey with two stops: Hanover, NH where he earned a B.A. in History from Dartmouth College and New York City where he lived and worked for two years. Since 2003, Anderson has resided on the West coast in Santa Monica.
CEO & Founder at UniversityParent
Sarah Schupp is the CEO and founder of UniversityParent.com, the #1 site for college parents to find everything they need to help their student succeed.
Schupp has been named one of Inc. Magazine's Top 30 Entrepreneurs Under 30, BusinessWeek's top 25 Entrepreneurs under 25, one of 10 finalists for the 2010 Alister & Paine Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, and one of the Denver Business Journal's 40 Women Under 40.
She is frequently a guest lecturer in entrepreneurship classes at various colleges, including the University of Colorado, Colorado State University, and Michigan Technological University and her story has been featured in several entrepreneurship textbooks, including "Entrepreneurship: Successfully Launching New Ventures" and "What's Stopping You?: Shatter the 9 Most Common Myths Keeping You from Starting Your Own Business."
Schupp founded UPM because of her experience at the University of Colorado (B.A. Business Administration and an emphasis on Entrepreneurship and Leadership). At CU, Schupp served as the Senior Class President and won the Undergraduate Business Plan Competition. She was also a member of the nationally recognized leadership development program, the President's Leadership Class. Only 10 out-of-state students were accepted to the program out of a class of 5,000.
She resides in Boulder, Colorado with her husband, Josh, daughter, Jenna, and two dogs, Ivan & Stella. She enjoys hiking, rafting, fly fishing, skiing, and playing as much tennis as possible.
Los Angeles, CA
Co-Founder & CEO at Intern Sushi
Los Angeles, CAhttp://internsushi.com/
Shara Senderoff is the Co-Founder and CEO of Intern Sushi (internsushi.com), a platform designed to reinvent and reconstruct the internship application and hiring process. Intern Sushi gives students and employers alike a stage to present themselves and tell their stories.
Throughout her years at Emerson College, Shara interned and studied under producers Scott Rudin (THE SOCIAL NETWORK), Dan Jinks & Bruce Cohen (AMERICAN BEAUTY) and Kevin Bright (FRIENDS), among others. With a love for storytelling and a dream of entering the movie business, Shara moved out to Los Angeles after graduation to begin a career in film. She joined The Mark Gordon Company as mega-producer Mark Gordon’s assistant. In 2009, she was promoted to Creative Executive in Film & New Media where she developed feature films and new media properties. In 2010, she was promoted again to Director of Development where she is currently co-producing her first feature film, DESPERADOS starring Isla Fisher with Universal Pictures.
Shara had been developing her Intern Sushi venture on the side and decided in 2010 to combine forces with Mark. From there she began building her team and her business. Shara is also the founder of Script It, one of Los Angeles’ largest screenwriting organizations designed for work shopping and developing screenplays. Script It just launched a Toronto chapter and will soon open a chapter in Manhattan.
Shara holds a B.A. in TV Development & Production and a B.S. in Marketing Communication from Emerson College. She has completed programs in Animation and Creative Writing. Shara is a die-hard sports fan – when it comes to baseball and football, her heart belongs to the city of Philadelphia.
New York City, NY
Shane Snow is a New York City-based technology journalist and founder of Contently. Originally from Idaho, he studied business at BYU-I and journalism at Columbia University, lived in Hawaii, and has built several web companies. A member of Sandbox Network and the Royal Society Of The Arts, Shane currently writes for WIRED Magazine and Fast Company, and has designed infogaphics for MTV, Gizmodo, and The United Nations. Shane has an unhealthy obsession with pizza and loves science, surprises, and pet ferrets.
College Hunks Hauling Junk
Omar Soliman is a published author, entrepreneur and TV personality. During his senior year at The University of Miami he submited a business plan for COLLEGE HUNKS HAULING JUNK to the Leigh Rothschild Entrepreneurship competition. Omar won 1st place and $10,000 in the competition for his business concept which included junk removal, moving services and an online junk exhange. Today, COLLEGE HUNKS HAULING JUNK is a national franchise and is listed in the INC 500 for fastest growing companies in the nation. Omar was named 'Top 30 Entrepreneurs in America Under 30' by INC magazine and is an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalist. Omar has appeared as a frequent guest on FOX Business News, MSNBC and ABC's TV show Shark Tank. He was also a finalist for Tampa Bay CEO of the Year. His book EFFORTLESS ENTREPRENEUR is receiving pop culture success and is a must read for anyone looking to start a business. Omar has been a guest speaker at universities, high schools and corporate events. His goal is to excite and motivate the younger generation about entrepreneurship.
Canoga Park, CA
Travis Steffen is a serial entrepreneur with multiple successful exits and is currently the founder of UP (upshare.co). Travis is one of numerous founders and VCs sharing their insight and advice with other entrepreneurs at MentorMojo – an entrepreneurial e-learning platform. Follow him on twitter - @TravisSteffen.
The Bouqs Company
Marina del Rey, CA
Founder & CEO at The Bouqs Company
Marina del Rey, CAhttps://www.thebouqs.com/
Born in Pittsburgh, PA, John grew up in the rural hills of Fox Chapel Area School District. John was Valedictorian of his High School class at FC and an All-State Captain of the WPIAL Champion soccer team in 1995. John attended The University of Notre Dame on an academic scholarship and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BS in Finance and Computer Applications. Post-undergrad, John spent time at Bain & Company and Noble BBDS advertising in Chicago, prior to moving to Los Angeles to attend UCLA Anderson, where he studied on Fellowship with concentrations in Marketing & Strategy. Upon graduating with honors, Mr. Tabis worked for 6 years in Disney Corporate Strategy with a focus on Consumer Behavior and Brand Management. In particular, John worked on building and evaluating brand performance, the impact of technology on consumer behavior, and the brand and consumer behavior side of acquisitions. John left Disney as a Director in the group, having worked on global brand and consumer strategy with portfolio businesses including ESPN, ABC, Parks & Resorts, Disney.com, and Disney Consumer Products. John entered the world of VC-backed startups as VP, Brand & Corporate Development at ShoeDazzle, where he worked on broad corporate initiatives including pricing strategy, UX, customer research, PR, social media and celebrity relationships, including bringing Rachel Zoe into the brand. In the Fall of 2012, John left ShoeDazzle to launch The Bouqs Company with a stated mission of fundamentally changing the supply chain and consumer experience in online floral. Bootstrapped with almost no funding, TheBouqs.com gained rapid recognition including a segment on The Today Show as well as features in publications including Forbes.com, WSJ.com, Daily Candy, Thrillist, Maxim, Oprah Magazine, Pop Sugar, MSN.com, Refinery 29, E!, US Weekly and many, many more. John speaks regularly on brand strategy and his journey into the startup world, and loves the intersection of brand, technology and consumer behavior. He lives at the beach in Venice, CA with his wife, son and boston terrier named Billie Jean 'Snotmuhluvah. Seriously.
Siamak is the co-founder & CEO of Grasshopper. A lifelong student of marketing & branding, Siamak is one of the youngest CEOs to have lead a company to the Inc. 500 list of the fastest growing private companies in U.S., has been named to BusinessWeek’s Top 5 Under 25 entrepreneurs list, Inc. Magazine’s 30 Under 30 list, and was named as the Massachusetts Young Entrepreneur of the Year by the SBA. He has been featured in various publications including the Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, CNN, FOX News, and other media.
SkyBell Technologies, Inc.
Andrew Thomas is co-founder of SkyBell - a Wi-Fi video doorbell that allows users to answer their door from a smartphone. When a visitor presses the button, SkyBell sends a live video feed that allows you to see, hear and speak to the person at your door whether you’re at home or on the go. SkyBell completed a highly successful Indiegogo campaign with customers in over 50 countries and has been covered by TechCrunch, Fast Company, Engadget, TIME Magazine and many more. SkyBell was named as a 2014 CES Innovations Award Nominee, a highly coveted and regard designation for innovations in design and engineering. Andrew is passionate about creating useful technology that positively impacts our daily life. Through SkyBell, Andrew intends to reinvent the doorbell to give users control over their front door and a stronger connection with their home. Prior to SkyBell, Andrew founded a digital asset development company and co-created an app allowing consumers and businesses to locate portable GPS trackers they attach to people, vehicles and assets. Andrew started his career as a member of the Google search relevancy team. A sense of adventure led him to Shanghai, China where he managed web development projects for one of China’s largest video game development companies. Andrew specializes in marketing and UX development for products and software. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of Southern California.
San Jose, CA
Andrew Vest is an entrepreneur to his core. He’s a natural businessman who’s passionate about creating Strategic Partnerships, Consulting around Cloud Solutions and overall being a Connector within his network. Currently, Andrew is Director of Business Development for Redapts Applications Modernization & Cloud services.. While at Redapt he advises multiple start-ups including one he founded called Preferling, an interest-based recommendation engine for products and services. As a small business founder himself who wants to give back, Andrew is sympathetic and dedicated to helping and empowering entrepreneurs to reach their dreams. Before Preferling, Andrew was Co-Founder of The Agency, a Social Media and Strategy Consulting Firm based in the Seattle area. While leading the operations and business development efforts at The Agency, Andrew was also co-founder and a member of the team developing the word-of-mouth marketing platform brandbuddee.com, launched in Oct. 2012
Buzz Marketing Group
Tina Wells, CEO of Buzz Marketing Group earned her B.A. in Communication Arts graduating with honors from Hood College in 2002. Currently a Wharton School of Business student for marketing management, strategies for numerous clients within the beauty, entertainment, fashion, financial, and lifestyle sectors. Tina has worked with clients including: Maidenform, SonyBMG, PBS, P+G, Sesame Workshop, and American Eagle Outfitters. Essence’s 40 Under 40 Award, Billboard’s 30 Under 30 Award, and Inc’s 30 Under 30, just to name a few. She is the author of the tween series Mackenzie Blue, published by HarperCollins Childrens Books, and the Chasing Youth Culture And Getting It Right, which will be published by Wiley in Spring 2011. Tina serves on the board of directors of the Philadelphia Orchestra Association, The Franklin Institute, and The South Jersey Food Bank. She resides in Southern New Jersey with her vast collection of shoes.