Professor Alex "Sandy" Pentland directs the MIT Connection Science and Human Dynamics labs and previously helped create and direct the MIT Media Lab and the Media Lab Asia in India. He is one of the most-cited scientists in the world, and Forbes recently declared him one of the "7 most powerful data scientists in the world" along with Google founders and the Chief Technical Officer of the United States. He has received numerous awards and prizes such as the McKinsey Award from Harvard Business Review, the 40th Anniversary of the Internet from DARPA, and the Brandeis Award for work in privacy.
He is a founding member of advisory boards for Google, AT&T, Nissan, and the UN Secretary General, a serial entrepreneur who has co-founded more than a dozen companies. His most recent books are `Social Physics,' published by Penguin Press, and 'Honest Signals', published by MIT Press.
Bijan primarily invests in digital canvases and online communities for people at work and at play. He typically invests in startups after becoming a passionate user of the product. In particular, he looks for new approaches to building communities through the sharing of ideas and interests. Bijan led early investments for Spark in Trello, Stack Exchange, Crowdrise, Foursquare, OMGPOP (acquired by Zynga), thePlatform (acquired by Comcast), Runkeeper (acquired by Asics), Tumblr (acquired by Yahoo) and Twitter (NYSE:TWTR).
Before becoming an investor, Bijan led product management and/or business development at GameLogic (acquired by Scientific Games), Moxi Digital (acquired by Digeo) and WebTV Networks (acquired by Microsoft Corporation).
Bijan holds a B.S. degree from Boston College. He lives in Boston with his wife and three kids and is a passionate amateur photographer.
Kat Manalac is a partner at Y Combinator and originally joined as its first Director of Outreach. Kat focuses on finding great entrepreneurs for the program. Prior to YC, Kat worked as Chief of Staff to Alexis Ohanian, cofounder of reddit and head of the nonprofit Breadpig. Before that, she was at WIRED Magazine. Kat attended Northwestern University where she studied communications and worked with the university's Web Use Project. Kat was born in the Philippines and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Magatte Wade was born in Senegal, educated in Germany and France, and launched her entrepreneurial career in the San Francisco Bay Area. Magatte is a serial-entrepreneur and passionate advocate of positive change in business, gender roles, and Africa. Magatte is a Forbes “20 Youngest Power Women in Africa”, a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum at Davos, a TED Global Africa Fellow and a "Leading Woman in Wellness” award winner by the Global Wellness Summit (she later got invited to join the Board, where she now serves). Magatte also serves on the Advisory Board of the Whole Planet Foundation, of Whole Foods Market.
Jerry Colonna is an American venture capitalist and certified professional coach who played a prominent part in the early development of Silicon Alley. He is the recipient of numerous awards and a speaker on topics ranging from leadership to starting businesses. Colonna has been named to Upside magazine's list of the 100 Most Influential People of the New Economy, Forbes ASAP's list of the best VCs in the country, and Worth's list of the 25 most generous young Americans. He is a co-founder and CEO of the executive coaching and leadership development company, Reboot.io. He also serves as chairman on the Board of Trustees at Naropa University.
Jennifer Hanley brings twenty years of strategic communications experience to Tusk’s clients across politics, finance, corporate communications and the regulatory environment.
Prior to joining Tusk Ventures, Jennifer was the head of global communications and corporate engagement at Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR), a leading global investment firm that manages investments across multiple asset classes including private equity, energy, infrastructure, real estate, credit and hedge funds. Jennifer successfully oversaw all internal and external communications and launched the firm’s corporate philanthropy program.
Prior to joining KKR in 2012, Jennifer worked at J.P. Morgan Chase, where she was a Managing Director working on the firm’s international expansion efforts, as well as Global Head of Marketing & Communications for the Treasury & Securities Services (TSS) business. She also served as a senior adviser and member of the executive committee to the TSS CEO.
Before joining J.P. Morgan Chase in 2008, Jennifer spent close to six years as press secretary for Hillary Clinton during her tenure as a U.S. Senator and during her presidential campaign.
Jennifer received a B.A. from American University in Washington, DC.
Dr. Gil is a leading technologist and senior executive at IBM. As Vice President of Science and Solutions of IBM Research, Dr. Gil directs a global organization of some 1,500 researchers across 11 laboratories. He has direct responsibility for IBM’s science agenda, with a broad portfolio of activities spanning the physical sciences, the mathematical sciences, healthcare and the life sciences. Dr. Gil is also responsible for IBM’s cognitive solutions research agenda, which aims to create scientific and technological breakthroughs to differentiate IBM’s solutions businesses and serves as an incubator for future cognitive industry solutions for IBM and its clients.
Prior to his current position, Dr. Gil was the Director of Symbiotic Cognitive Systems, where he led the creation of cognitive environments, highly interactive physical spaces designed to improve the quality of decision-making through always-on ambient intelligence. During his tenure he was responsible for the design and creation of three pioneering laboratories and experiential centers: the Cognitive Environments Laboratory, the IBM Research THINKLab and the IBM Watson Experience Center.
Dr. Gil is a passionate advocate of collaborative research business models and is the creator and Founding Director of two research consortia: the IBM Research Frontiers Institute and the Smarter Energy Research Institute. An expert in the field of nanofabrication, he led the team that built the world’s first microprocessor with immersion lithography in 2004.
Dr. Gil is a frequent speaker at business events, conferences (including TED), universities, research institutions and foundations. His research results have appeared in over 20 international journals and conferences, and he is the author of numerous patents. Dr. Gil is a member of the Future Trends Forum, the Industrial Advisory Group of the Institute of Photonic Sciences and an elected member of the IBM Academy of Technology. He received his Ph.D. in electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Patricia is a General Partner of Oak HC/FT where she focuses on growth equity and early-stage venture opportunities exclusively in financial services technology. Since Oak HC/FT’s launch in September 2014, Patricia has led the fund’s investments in Fastpay, Feedzai, Insureon and Trov among others, and sits on the boards of each. She is also a Board Observer on Poynt.
Patricia joined Oak Investment Partners as a Venture Partner in 2002 and continues to serve on the Boards of Duedil and Freshbooks. Some of Patricia’s past portfolio activity includes Vesta Corporation, Acculynk, Argus Information & Advisory Services (acquired by Verisk Analytics), Harbor Payments (acquired by American Express), NetSpend Corporation (acquired TSYS), Point Carbon (acquired by Thomson Reuters), and TxVia (acquired by Google).
Patricia’s history includes over 11 years of senior management experience at Cendant (formerly CUC International). At various times she was responsible for the marketing, operations, or general management of a variety of direct marketing credit card affinity programs. Patricia has also previously held positions at Hewlett Packard and Merrill Lynch.
Tricia earned a BA and MBA from Stanford University.
Tony Tjan is an entrepreneur, strategic advisor, and venture investor. He is the author of the New York Times best-seller Heart, Smarts, Guts, and Luck and CEO of The Cue Ball Group, a private investment and venture capital firm based in Boston. He is also the Chairman and co-founder of MiniLuxe, a retail services brand focused on transforming the nail care services industry with studio locations in Massachusetts, Texas, and California. Prior to joining Cue Ball, Tony served as Vice Chairman of The Parthenon Group and as Senior Advisor to the CEO of The Thomson Corporation (now Thomson Reuters), where he worked to transform the publishing company into one of the world’s largest information services corporations. He began his career at McKinsey & Company, and in 1996 founded the Internet services firm ZEFER, a pioneering early commercial web initiative that eventually grew to more than $100 million in annual revenue.
Tony holds degrees from Harvard College and Harvard Business School, and has also served as a Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and an Entrepreneur in Residence at Harvard Business School. He is a regular contributor to the Harvard Business Review and a member of the Advisory Council for the MIT Media Lab.
Bradley started Tusk Ventures to help startups work with governments at scale.
In 2010, Bradley started Tusk Strategies, a political and strategic consulting firm dedicated to helping major institutions run multi-jurisdictional campaigns to shape their public reputation, overcome regulatory hurdles, and proactively engage governments to solve problems and seize opportunities. Tusk Strategies works with Fortune 500 companies like Google, Walmart, AT&T and Expedia, media companies like AMC, NBC News, The Weather Channel, Discovery and Cablevision, institutions like Stanford University, and individuals like Mike Bloomberg.
Previously, Bradley served as the campaign manager for New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s successful re-election bid in 2009.
Bradley served as Deputy Governor of the State of Illinois from 2003-2006. He oversaw the $60 billion state budget in addition to policy, legislation, communications, and operations encompassing 57,000 employees.
After serving as Deputy Governor, Bradley served as Senior Vice President at Lehman Brothers, where he created the lottery monetization group and headed all of its efforts regarding U.S. based lotteries.
Earlier in his career, Bradley served as Special Assistant to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Communications Director for New York Senator Charles Schumer. Bradley also served as Senior Advisor to New York City Parks Commissioner Henry Stern, and was an Adjunct Professor at Fordham University. Bradley is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Chicago Law School.
One of Facebook's first 10 employees.
Kevin Colleran is Managing Director of Slow Ventures, an early stage venture capital fund run by a group of early Facebook executives. Slow manages nearly $250 million in capital financed by a group of 100+ tech industry founders, CEO's, executives as well as a select group of notable venture capital firms and endowments. At Slow, Colleran focuses on early stage tech investments in consumer and enterprise startups including Pinterest, Barkbox, Birchbox, Postmates, Nextdoor, Casper, Pillpack, Classpass, Shyp, Breather, Slack, Product Hunt, Evernote, AngelList, Handy, Wealthfront and 180+ other companies. Kevin was also recently a Venture Partner and Advisor at General Catalyst Partners and wrote a column for the Wall Street Journal (online & print) as part of their "Accelerators" section.
Previously Kevin was one of the first 10 employees at Facebook Inc. having joined in early 2005 as their first advertising sales person. He stayed at Facebook for nearly 7 years on the revenue team leaving in 2012 after having become the longest tenured employee at the company other than Mark Zuckerberg.
Ariadna (Ari) Font Llitjós is Director of Emerging Technology Experiences at IBM Research, with the main mission to bring science to the world. Leveraging design thinking and lean UX best practices, Ari leads a team of researchers, developers, and designers identifying and enhancing scientific breakthroughs and creating and launching experiences that have significant impact on people’s lives.
In her previous life, upon obtaining a Ph.D in Language and Information Technologies in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University (August 2007), she had over 5 different roles at a startup, ranging from computational linguist and UX lead to development manager.
Saikat Dey is a co-founder of Guardhat, Inc., a start up based in Detroit aiming to create an industrial IoT and wearables platform for workers in heavy manufacturing industries like steel, oil and gas and mining. Every year, over 4600 people lose their lives on the jobs in these industries due to unsafe work conditions. Guardhat, aims to change that by creating a wearable IIOT platform that provides real time situational awareness and connectivity to frontline workers in such industries.
Previously, Saikat served as the CEO of Severstal NA, which was the fourth largest flat steelmaker in the US competing against the likes of Nucor, US Steel and Arcelor Mittal. Severstal is considered one of the best examples of heavy manufacturing revival in the United States, with flagship locations in Michigan and Mississippi. Saikat led the successful turnaround and divestiture of these assets in September 2014 to two of its rivals.
He joined Severstal from McKinsey & Co. where he worked in the Global Energy and Materials practice. He is widely recognized as a global thought leader on investment strategies, commercial optimization and operational improvement within commodity industries, and has recently authored the book “Uncommoditized” which serves as a quick read on the DNA of successful players. He holds an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth and an undergraduate degree in Mining Engineering from the National Institute of Technology in India.
Habib is a serial entrepreneur and an early stage investor. He is currently the President and Managing Director of E14 the MIT Media Lab fund focused on early stage companies out of MIT. Prior to that he was the founding CEO of Wamda, a platform of programs and networks that aims to accelerate entrepreneurship ecosystems across the Middle East and North Africa region. He also served as a Venture Partner of Wamda Capital, a growth capital VC fund. His work in the MENA region is credited with playing a key role in strengthening its nascent entrepreneurship ecosystem.
Before Wamda, Habib was based in Boston where he founded Yamli an award winning startup focused on linguistics and the Arabic language. In 2012 he sold the technology to Yahoo! He was also the founding member of Mok3, a venture backed MIT CSAIL spinoff that developed an image based modeling software
In 2009, the World Economic Forum recognized Habib as a Young Global Leader and was named as a top innovator under 35 (TR35) by the MIT Technology review in 2011. In 2013, He was the Vice Chair of the World Economic Forum council on entrepreneurship and currently sits on the Global Future Council on Systems and Platforms.
Habib holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer and Communication Engineering from the American University of Beirut and a Master's Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California.
Peter is the global co-head of McKinsey’s ‘Growth Tech' Practice, serving leading growth stage innovators and their VC / Growth PE investors. The practice is delivering real and lasting impact through a range of approaches that fit smaller companies — CEO counseling relationships, repeatable codified assets such as SaaS Growth Benchmarking, off-the-shelf insights (www.SaasRadar.com), and rapid lean growth focused projects.
Since launching three years ago, Peter has helped build this McKinsey Practice, and as of December 2016 their impact includes 150+ projects in the last couple years for 130+ growth-stage venture backed tech companies.
Prior to his current role, Peter spent nearly 8 years as a leader in McKinsey's 'Tech, Media, and Telecom' Practice. Prior to McKinsey Peter was a Product Manager in Microsoft's Enterprise Server division 2001-2004, a software entrepreneur, and an entrepreneur in residence 1999-2001. He holds a BA in Economics from Harvard University (2000), and MBA with Highest Distinction (Valedictorian) from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth (2006).
Dr. Navjot Singh is a leader in McKinsey's Pharmaceuticals and Medicals practice and Public Sector Practice. He is also the Managing Partner of the Boston Office, and is a leader in the Corporate Finance and Strategy Practice. He is also the co-founder of the Center of Asset Optimization where McKinsey does Asset level work with Innovative, Specialty and Generics companies all around the world. He has over 15 years of experience at McKinsey and over 6 years at GE. He has broad experience serving pharmaceutical companies across the value chain. Some of his experiences include: extensive experiences across the pharmaceutical industry in R&D strategies, operational effectiveness, integration management and leading several engagements with Private Equity clients investing in the Health Care sector
Dr. Singh received a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota, and an M.B.A. from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He has a B. Tech from Indian Institute of Technology. He is a co-author of more than a dozen peer reviewed articles and external presentations on pharmaceutical R&D. He is also a co-inventor on over 15 patents and has published in reputed journals such as In Vivo and Nature Drug Discovery. He is also the Chair of the Board for the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce.
Currently Senior Advisor to the Digital Currency Initiative at the MIT Media Lab, Casey has two decades of experience as a journalist—most recently as a senior columnist at The Wall Street Journal, covering digital currency, global finance, and economics. In addition to co-authoring The Age of Cryptocurrency: How Bitcoin and Digital Money Are Challenging the Global Economic Order — a “timely and colorful book [that] is a rewarding place to learn it all” (The New York Times) and “the most thorough and readable account of the short life of this controversial currency” (The Washington Post)—and hundreds of bylines at WSJ, he has written for Foreign Policy, The Washington Post, The Financial Times and many other publications. He is also the author of two prior books: The Unfair Trade: How Our Broken Financial System Destroys the Middle Class and Che’s Afterlife: The Legacy of an Image. His new book is The Social Organism: A Radical Understanding of Social Media to Transform Your Business and Life (co-authored with Oliver Luckett), about how social media functions just like a living being.
Gareth Keane is an Investment Manager with Qualcomm Ventures, based in the Bay Area. His career to date has stretched from engineering roles to venture capital investment.
Prior to Qualcomm Ventures he worked for two years in the corporate development teams at National Semiconductor and Texas Instruments, focused on strategic investment, corporate M&A and corporate strategy. Previously he worked for PMC-Sierra and a number of other technology firms across both hardware and software.
Gareth has an MBA from The Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania, a PhD in Electronic Engineering from The Queen’s University of Belfast and a BE in Electronic Engineering from the National University of Ireland, Galway. Gareth is also a Kauffman Fellow.
Roberto Rigobon is the Society of Sloan Fellows Professor of Management and a Professor of Applied Economics at the MIT Sloan School of Management.
He is also a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, a member of the Census Bureau’s Scientific Advisory Committee, and a visiting professor at IESA.
Roberto is a Venezuelan economist whose areas of research are international economics, monetary economics, and development economics. Roberto focuses on the causes of balance-of-payments crises, financial crises, and the propagation of them across countries—the phenomenon that has been identified in the literature as contagion. Currently he studies properties of international pricing practices, trying to produce alternative measures of inflation. He is one of the two founding members of the Billion Prices Project, and a co-founder of PriceStats.
Roberto joined the business school in 1997 and has won both the "Teacher of the Year" award and the "Excellence in Teaching" award at MIT three times.
He received his PhD in economics from MIT in 1997, an MBA from IESA (Venezuela) in 1991, and his BS in Electrical Engineer from Universidad Simon Bolivar (Venezuela) in 1984. He is married with three kids.
Karl Iagnemma is CEO of nuTonomy, the leading developer of state-of-the-art software for self-driving cars, which he co-founded in 2013. As CEO, Karl has established nuTonomy's US and Singapore offices, spearheaded nuTonomy's fundraising efforts, and led the recruitment of a world-class 50+ person technical team.
Karl was previously a Principal Research Scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he directed the Institute’s Robotic Mobility Group. His research has resulted in more than 150 technical papers and 19 issued or filed patents, and has found application in passenger vehicle safety systems, robotic surgery, and Mars surface exploration, among other domains.
As an author of multiple fiction novels and short story connections, Karl won several major awards including the Paris Review Discovery Prize and the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Cultural Council.
Soma joined Madrona in November 2015 and is a Managing Director at Madrona. Prior to Madrona, Soma had a successful twenty-seven year career at Microsoft Corporation. His last role at Microsoft was Corporate Vice President of the Developer Division.
Soma has long been an angel investor with investments across a wide range of technology areas both in the U.S. and internationally. At Madrona, he is focusing on Machine Learning/Artificial Intelligence, Intelligent Applications, Developer centric platforms and tools, and the emergence of new technologies such as VR/AR. He has authored several pieces outlining Madrona’s thinking about how these technologies will evolve.
Kent Bennett, a Partner in Bessemer's Cambridge, Mass. office, joined the company in 2008. Kent focuses on investments in the "big data", data-infrastructure sectors as well as tech-enabled consumer service models.
At Bessemer, Kent has been involved in investments including data-management companies Endeca (acq. by Oracle), Streambase (acq. by TIBX), Vertica (acq. by HP), Hadapt, Infinio Systems, Netuitive and Portrait Software; mobile-communications companies BroadSoft (IPO), Millennial Media (IPO) and Enforta; as well as in Blue Apron and Goal.com.
Prior to joining Bessemer, Kent was a creative executive for an entertainment-production company, where he developed and sold original material including a network television pilot and a feature film. He began his career with Bain & Co.
Kent holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, where he was a Baker Scholar, and a B.S. degree, summa cum laude, in systems engineering from the University of Virginia, where he was a Jefferson Scholar.
Elliot C. Cook is a partner in Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP’s Reston, Virginia office. Mr. Cook maintains a diverse intellectual property practice, including patent litigation, post-grant patent challenges, patent prosecution, and patent monetization. He focuses on helping clients strategically develop patent portfolios that effectively block competitors and build corporate value. He works closely with clients to ensure that their patents align with and advance their business goals, thereby optimizing value and minimizing cost.
Darren M. Jiron is a partner in Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP’s Reston, Virginia office. Mr. Jiron has extensive experience in patent procurement, patent litigation, and post-grant patent proceedings before the PTAB. With this combined experience, Mr. Jiron enjoys helping clients build strategically developed patent portfolios that align with and support their business goals, block competitors, and build corporate value. He is also skilled in defensive and offensive patent portfolio assessment, patent validity and infringement opinions, due diligence, product clearance studies, and patent portfolio management.
Coppelia Marincovic is the Investment Manager North America at Solvay Ventures, the venture capital fund of Solvay. With over 100m EUR under management, the fund invests in advanced materials with application in energy transition, health & well being, industry 4.0, with a strong sustainability component.
Her prior experience in VC was at Sofinnova Partners, a large VC fund based in Paris where she specialized in cleantech and industrialbiology. Before joining Solvay, Coppelia was an Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Company, advising top-tier pharmaceuticals and chemicals corporations on strategy and resource productivity. While at McKinsey, she won a Gold Medal at the McKinsey New Ventures competition (formerly Practice Olympics). Prior to her MBA, Coppelia was a project manager with Thinkstep (formerly PE International), a leading sustainability consulting firm.
Coppelia holds a MBA from INSEAD, MSc. in Environmental Sciences from Harvard and MSc. in Chemistry from Chimie ParisTech.
AJ (Alfonso) Perez is the founder and Chairman of New Valence Robotics (NVBOTS), a Boston-based robotics company that has developed the world’s first fully automated cloud 3D printing management platform and multi-metal 3D printing. AJ holds a BS '13 in Mechanical Engineering and Masters of Engineering in Advanced Manufacturing '14 from MIT. His studies focus on mechanical design and manufacturing processes automation. AJ has developed and taught several classes during his career. Most recently, he co-developed the first graduate level 3D printing class for the department of Mechanical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Prior to founding NVBOTS, AJ worked as a strategy consultant in Boston and London. AJ is also a serial inventor with patents granted and pending in the fields of additive manufacturing, advanced manufacturing, and medical devices.
TJ Parker is the co-founder and CEO of PillPack. Parker is a second generation pharmacist and holds a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. He was named one of Forbes' '30 Under 30' in 2015 and Inc Magazine's ‘30 under 30’ "Most Dynamic Young CEOs in America" in 2016.
Ziad leads Product Management for Newsstand, Google Play’s premium newsreader installed on one billion mobile devices. Prior to joining Google, Ziad founded Nextly, a venture-backed curation platform used by top publishers including the Wall Street Journal and the BBC.
Previously, he was a Venture Capitalist with Longworth Venture Partners, and is currently an Angel Investor. Ziad holds a B.S. and an M.Eng in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT.
Mr. Ratha is credited to be the first to analyze and formalize the global significance of remittances. In 2012, he founded KNOMAD, a multidisciplinary, global hub of knowledge on migration. He is the focal point for the World Bank’s Migration Working Group and the Diaspora Bond Task Force, and a co-coordinator of the (G20) Global Remittances Working Group. He is the chair of the Board and first CEO and founder of the Migrating out of Poverty Research Consortium. He is also the brain behind the African Institute for Remittances. He is a Senior Visiting Fellow at the South Asia Institute, Harvard University and a member of the World Economic Forum Council on migration.
Besides migration, he has done pioneering work on innovative financing including diaspora bonds, future-flow securitization, and shadow sovereign ratings.
He has a Ph.D. in economics from the Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi where he worked as a visiting lecturer and helped build a CGE model for the Planning Commission of India.
Dilip hosts the PeopleMove blog. His TED Talk, “The hidden force in global economics: sending money home,” has over a million views.
Matt Marx is an associate professor of Entrepreneurship at Sloan. Previously, he worked as a software engineer and an executive at technology startups SpeechWorks and Tellme, where he received six patents. He holds a B.S. in Symbolic Systems from Stanford University, a master's degree from the MIT Media Lab, and an MBA as well as a doctoral degree from Harvard Business School.