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Past Conferences

Conference Details - Speakers

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2018 MIT Startup Ecosystem Conference

Innovating in AI, Data, and Hard Tech
May 15, 2018
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Alex Amouyel
Executive Director, Solve
Alex Amouyel is the Executive Director of Solve, an initiative of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Solve is a community of cross-sector leaders devoted to identifying and supporting solutions to actionable challenges through open innovation. Previously, Alex was the Director of Program for the Clinton Global Initiative, where she curated the content for the Annual Meeting. She also worked for Save the Children International in London and across Asia, the Middle East and Haiti, and at the Boston Consulting Group. Alex holds a double Masters from Sciences Po, Paris, and the London School of Economics, and a Bachelors from Trinity College, Cambridge, UK.
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Ali Azarbayejani
Chief Technology Officer, Cogito
Ali has 18 years of commercial experience as a scientist, entrepreneur, and designer of world-class computational technologies. His pioneering doctoral research at the MIT Media Lab in probabilistic modeling for 3-D vision was the basis for his first startup company Alchemy 3D Technology, which created the market in the film and video post-production industry for camera match-moving software. He has consulted in software development and business strategy and has been on the research staff at Mitsubishi Electric Research Labs contributing to leading technologies focused on software-based digital signal processing and computational modeling and algorithms.
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Alex Benik
Partner, Battery Ventures
Alex joined Battery in 2001 and currently works out of the firm’s Boston office. From 2001 through 2006, he was based in Menlo Park. Alex focuses on investments in infrastructure technologies for enterprises, data centers, and wired/wireless service providers. He is also one of the firm’s focal points for relationships with technologists and end users at Fortune 1000 companies and large, web-scale operators. Alex is particularly interested in the challenges of building web-scale, data-center networks and distributed computing and storage systems.

During his tenure at Battery, Alex has been involved with investments including Anobit Technologies (acquired by Apple), MaxLinear (NYSE: MXL), Optichron (acquired by Netlogic), Veraz Networks (NASDAQ: VRAZ), VSS Monitoring (acquired by Danaher), and ZeroG Wireless (acquired by Microchip). He is currently involved with Battery’s investments in Cask, Catchpoint, Cumulus Networks, Fungible, GuardiCore, Interana, Nutanix, Plixer, Stratoscale and Vivid Cortex. Alex was named one of the top cloud infrastructure investors by GigaOM.

Prior to Battery, Alex was an analyst at The Yankee Group, where he conducted market research and consulted on data communications. While in this position, he executed strategic marketing and competitive analysis for clients including major networking equipment vendors and service providers. Alex earned a BA in government from Wesleyan University, which has not prevented him from impersonating an engineer in his professional life.
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Kristin Brief
EVP of Business Operations and Corporate Development, Ambri
Kristin Brief, EVP of Business Operations and Corporate Development, Ambri, is commercializing battery technology invented at MIT. Ambri’s solution reduces the need for new power plants and power lines, it makes it easy to manage more wind and solar resources, and power prices will be lower. Their solution is low cost, reliable, and safe.

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Daniel Curran
Senior Vice President, Head of the Center for External Innovation
Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, Inc.
Daniel Curran leads the Center for External Innovation (CEI) for Takeda, whose mission is to source, transact, and support innovative external ideas to create new therapeutic options to treat disease in Takeda’s therapeutic areas of interest. The responsibilities of CEI include overseeing all research and development, business development activities, strategic venture investments, academic alliances, externalization/spin-outs, and supporting merger and acquisition efforts. CEI has concluded more than 120 transactions since it was established in 2015 and put $1.5 B in capital to work in external relationships and investments. Prior to establishing the Center for External Innovation, Dr. Curran led the corporate development group at Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company and was a member of the executive management team of Millennium. In that role, he led the development and execution of corporate strategic business development initiatives, including licensing arrangements, acquisitions, and a range of other transactions. He has twenty years of pharmaceutical experience in business development, project leadership, and development roles. Prior to Millennium, previous professional experience includes a business development role in the Product Planning and Acquisition group at DuPont Merck Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Curran received his MD from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, his MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and his BS in chemistry from King’s College. He currently resides in Wellesley, MA with his wife and four children.
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Marcus Dahllöf
Program Director
MIT Startup Exchange
Marcus Dahllöf facilitates connections between MIT-connected startups and corporate members of the MIT Industrial Liaison Program (ILP) through networking events, workshops, the STEX25 accelerator, and opportunity postings. He is a two-time tech entrepreneur (one exit in cybersecurity), and has previously held roles in finance, software engineering, corporate strategy, and business development at emerging tech companies and Fortune 100 corporations in the U.S., Latin America, and Europe. Dahllöf was a member of the Swedish national rowing team, and he is a mentor at the MIT Venture Mentoring Service.
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Ann DeWitt
COO, The Engine
Ann DeWitt, COO of the Engine, was most recently at Sanofi where she held senior roles in business development and strategic venture investment. Prior to Sanofi, she was at Flagship Ventures. DeWitt started her career in R&D at 3M Company, working across fields of materials, biology, engineering. DeWitt holds an MBA from Harvard and a PhD in Chemical Engineering from MIT. She serves on the Board of Women in the Enterprise of Science and Technology and on the Life Science Council of Springboard Enterprises.
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Greg Dracon
Partner, .406 Ventures
Greg joined .406 in 2007 and is involved in all aspects of the investing and portfolio management process. He brings 22 years of venture investing and technology operating and management experience.

Prior to joining .406, Greg was a Vice President of Core Capital Partners, a venture capital firm focused on early-stage venture and small to mid-sized growth technology companies. At Core, Greg focused on cybersecurity, digital media, technology-enabled services and wireless applications.

Before becoming a venture investor, Greg spent over a decade as an operator within the high tech industry and held various operating and management roles in worldwide sales, business development, product distribution and digital signal processing applications.

Greg received his MBA, with majors in Entrepreneurial Management and Finance, from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and his BS in Electrical Engineering from The Pennsylvania State University.
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Julien Etaix
Portfolio Manager and Senior Investment Partner, Airbus Ventures
Julien Etaix is an Investment Partner and Portfolio Manager based in Silicon Valley. Prior to joining Airbus, Etaix was an Investor at J.P. Morgan Asset Management, where he oversaw multi asset-class investments within advisory and discretionary portfolio for privately-owned corporations, non-profit organizations, and UHNW families. Etaix was previously a reorganization project manager at Barclays, and a business analyst consultant at Airbus as a supply chain management engineer. Etaix completed his masters degree in supply chain and IT enterprise resource planning project management at Ecole des Mines d’Albi-Carmaux in France.
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Gregory Falco
Cofounder, NeuroMesh
Gregory Falco, Cofounder, NeuroMesh, a managed security and intelligence platform for IoT and industrial IoT devices. They have created a vaccine for IoT by repurposing malicious hacker weapons for good.

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Karen Gleason
Associate Provost
Alexander and I Michael Kasser Professor of Chemical Engineering
MIT Office of the Provost
Dr. Karen K. Gleason is Associate Provost and the Alexander and I. Michael Kasser Professor of Chemical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She has been a member of the MIT faculty since 1987 and has served as Executive Officer of the Chemical Engineering Department, Associate Director for the Institute of Soldier Nanotechnologies; and as Associate Dean of Engineering for Research.

Professor Gleason’s research focuses on the near room-temperature synthesis of ultrathin, conformal organic films by chemical vapor deposition (CVD). Gleason has authored more than 250 publications and holds 18 issued US patents for CVD polymers and their applications in optoelectronic, sensing, microfluidic, energy storage, and biomedical devices, and for the surface modification of membranes.

Gleason is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineering (AIChE) and held the Donders Visiting Professorship Chair at Utrecht University, Netherlands. Her awards include the ID TechEx Printed Electronics Europe Best Technical Development Materials Award, the AIChE Process Development Research Award, and Young Investigator Awards from both the National Science Foundation and the Office of Naval Research. She has delivered the Van Ness Award Lecture at the Rensselaer Polytechnic University and the Tis Lahiri Lecture at Vanderbuilt University.

In 2001, Prof Gleason co-founded GVD Corporation, which has successfully scaled-up and commercialized technology invented in her MIT lab. GVD is headquartered in Cambridge, MA and has manufacturing facilities in Greenville, SC. In 2014, she co-founded Drop-Wise for improving the efficiency of steam power cycles.

Gleason received her PhD from the University of California at Berkeley. Her BS and MS degrees are from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she also won All-American honors in swimming.
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Nan-Wei Gong
Cofounder and CEO
Nan-Wei Gong, Cofounder and CEO, figur8, offers the only wearable platform to quantify the micro-expressions of your body movement. figur8’s modular, flexible sensors can be applied to one or more locations on the body, set up in seconds, and wirelessly transmit the muscle activity and 3D body movement data to your mobile devices. Their activity-driven software couples the quality of body movements with meaningful performance strategy feedback to help you unlock your performance potential.

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Alex Gruzen
CEO, WiTricity
Alex Gruzen is the Chief Executive Officer at WiTricity and has a proven track record helping companies accelerate growth and deliver value for customers. Before WiTricity, Gruzen co-founded Texas-based Corsa Ventures, where he focused on building leading technology companies via early-stage investments. Prior to that, he was the senior vice president of the consumer and small medium business product group at Dell, and previously led the company’s global notebook business. His experience spans product development, global sales and marketing, operations and growth through mergers and acquisitions, having also held leadership roles at Hewlett Packard, Compaq, and Sony. Gruzen holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a M.S. and B.S. in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
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Keith Hearon
Cofounder and CEO, Poly6
Poly6 is catalyzing a global materials revolution in which energy intensive, toxic, and waste producing material chemistries are replaced with new, simple, bio-based, high-performing chemistries. Keith Hearon is the inventor of Citrene™ and is a postdoctoral fellow in Professor Robert Langer’s group at MIT. Hearon has 8 patents granted/pending in materials science.
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Travis Hunter
Program Manager
MIT Sloan Global Programs
MIT Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program
Travis joined MIT in 2016 to support the MIT Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program (MIT REAP), a program of MIT Sloan Global Programs. Each year, MIT REAP accepts up to 8 regional teams to a two-year engagement to develop strategies to support innovation-driven entrepreneurship (IDE) in the regions. MIT REAP teams consist of representatives from government, risk capital, corporates, academia, and entrepreneurs who play a key role in the region’s innovation ecosystem. Travis was previously the Director of the Quincy Center for Innovation (QCI) where he expanded the program to support over 50 startups spanning 16 industries. During his time at the QCI, he oversaw partnerships with private and public organizations, expanded programming, and brought together funding opportunities for incubated startup companies. Travis also has a strong personal interest in real estate development and sustainability.
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Max Kanter
Cofounder and CEO, Feature Labs
Max Kanter, Cofounder and CEO, Feature Labs, makes it easier to create new machine learning products and services. Enabled by tools and API's for automated feature engineering, Feature Labs helps data science teams deploy impactful machine learning solutions 10 times faster. Feature Labs is changing the way organizations in the retail, marketing, financial services, and manufacturing industries approach solving machine learning problems.

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John Kelly
Director, Empower Innovation, BAE Systems
John Kelly is the Director of the Empower Innovation team within the Electronic Systems sector at BAE Systems. His team of professional technology scouts focuses on creating, supporting, and transitioning technology-based disruptive adjacent market opportunities into the ES product lines. Inspiration for their new market opportunities primarily comes from the ideas, creativity, and concepts of ES’ workforce, as well as monitoring technology trends in academia, private-equity start-ups, technology incubators, defense competitors (largely in the DARPA and service lab ecosystems), ES’ Technology Solutions LOB, and various innovation forums. Prior to his current role, Kelly held several positions within ES including Director of ISR’s Target Development Lab, Director Strategic Development of Technology Solutions, and Director of Advanced ISR Applications. He joined BAE Systems in 2003 as a systems engineer on the Compass Call program. Prior to joining BAE Systems, Kelly held various systems engineering positions at the Joint Warfare Analysis Center (JWAC), and was a senior intelligence officer with the Defense Intelligence Agency. He holds a BS in industrial engineering from Northeastern University and an MS in systems engineering from George Washington University.
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Aditya Khosla
Cofounder and CTO, PathAI
Aditya recently completed his PhD in machine learning and computer vision at MIT. He completed his MS at Stanford in 2011 and BS at Caltech in 2009. In his research he developed new methods for an array of applications in computer vision, including eye-tracking, prediction of image memorability, and visualization of deep networks. He is the recipient of a Facebook Fellowship and his work has been widely covered by various media outlets including BBC, The New York Times and The Washington Post. He has published over 30 papers in the fields of deep learning, computer vision and neuroscience.
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Cory Kidd
CEO and Founder, Catalia Health
Dr. Cory Kidd is the founder and CEO of Catalia Health, a patient care management company. The company develops a hardware and software platform that uses a combination of psychology and artificial intelligence to engage patients through interactive conversations. These conversations happen through mobile, web, and interactive robotic interfaces; together these interfaces create a relationship that can reach patients at any time they need support. The data reported back through the system gives Catalia Health’s customers valuable information to understand the daily activities and needs of their patients.

Dr. Kidd is a serial entrepreneur who has been working in healthcare technology for nearly two decades. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. at the MIT Media Lab in human-robot interaction and his B.S. in Computer Science at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
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Scott Kirsner
Editor & Co-Founder, Innovation Leader
Scott Kirsner is a journalist who writes about innovation and entrepreneurship. His “Innovation Economy” column appears Sundays in the Boston Globe, and he is also editor of the site Innovation Leader (www.innovationleader.com), , which focuses on R&D, product development, corporate venturing, and new initiatives within large companies. Scott has been a regular contributor to Fast Company, BusinessWeek, Variety, and Wired. His books include Fans, Friends & Followers: Building an Audience and a Creative Career in the Digital Age, a technological history of Hollywood. He can be reached at scott@innovationleader.com and his Twitter handle is @ScottKirsner.
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Karl Koster
Executive Director
MIT Corporate Relations
Karl Koster, Executive Director, MIT Corporate Relations, oversees the MIT Industrial Liaison Program (ILP) and MIT Startup Exchange. Koster and his staff work with the faculty leadership of MIT and senior corporate executives to design and implement strategies for corporate partnerships with the Institute. Koster served as the immediate past chair of the University-Industry Demonstration Partnership (UIDP). He earned a BA in geology and economics from Brown University and an SM from MIT Sloan School of Management.
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Devin Leake
Head of DNA Synthesis, Ginkgo Bioworks
Devin Leake, Head of DNA Synthesis, Ginkgo Bioworks, uses the most advanced technology on the planet – biology – to grow products instead of manufacturing them. Ginkgo Bioworks’ technology platform is bringing biotechnology into consumer goods markets, enabling fragrance, cosmetic, nutrition, food, agriculture, and pharmaceuticals to make better products.

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Tom Leighton
Chief Executive Officer
Closing Keynote
Day 1, 3:15
Dr. Tom Leighton co-founded Akamai Technologies in 1998 and served as Akamai’s Chief Scientist until he became CEO in 2013. Under Leighton’s leadership, Akamai has evolved from its origins as a Content Delivery Network (CDN) into one of the most essential and trusted cloud delivery and cybersecurity platforms, upon which many of the world’s best brands and enterprises build and secure their digital experiences. During his initial four years as CEO, Akamai’s revenue and profit grew by 70%, and annual revenue from Akamai’s security business grew 15-fold to more than $400 million per year.

As one of the world's preeminent authorities on algorithms for network applications and cybersecurity, Leighton discovered a solution to freeing up web congestion using applied mathematics and distributed computing. Akamai used this technology to create the world's largest distributed computing platform, which today delivers and secures tens of millions of requests per second to billions of users around the world.

Leighton holds more than 50 patents involving content delivery, Internet protocols, algorithms for networks, cryptography and digital rights management. He was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2017 for his inventions in content delivery.

Leighton has served on numerous government, industry, and academic advisory panels. He is one of nine CEOs who make up the Technology CEO Council, the information technology industry's leading CEO advocacy organization, and he was one of 18 CEOs invited to the White House in 2017 for the launch of the American Technology Council to develop solutions to modernize and secure the U.S. government’s IT systems. From 2003 to 2005, he served on the President's Information Technology Advisory Committee and chaired its Subcommittee on Cybersecurity.

Leighton has been personally committed to increasing the pipeline of students pursuing STEM careers for over thirty years, first as a mathematics professor at MIT and now through his leadership at Akamai. He is a strong supporter of the Akamai Foundation, which promotes mathematics education, and he oversaw the creation of the Akamai Technical Academy, an innovative program developed in-house and aimed at training diverse non-technical professionals for technical careers. He also supports numerous charitable organizations dedicated to improving STEM education and opportunities for K-12 students, including The Center for Excellence in Education, the Society for Science and the Public (sponsor of the Intel Science Search), The Mathematical Association of America (sponsor of the Math Olympiad), the Math Competition for Girls, and Girls Who Code.

Leighton graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University with a BSE in electrical engineering and computer science. He received his PhD in applied mathematics from MIT.
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Quinn Li
Vice President & Global Head of Qualcomm Ventures
In this role, Quinn oversees Qualcomm’s $1 billion strategic venture investment portfolio of over 140 investments. He currently serves as a board member or observer in AMEC, Brain Corp, Cohesity, Lytro, OneWeb, RetailNext, Tango, and Verve. Previously Quinn has led investments in A123 Systems (AONE), Consert (acquired by Landis+Gyr), InvenSense (INVN), Placemeter (acquired by Netgear), PowerCloud Systems (acquired by Comcast), and Siimpel (acquired by Tessera).

Prior to joining Qualcomm Ventures, Quinn held various engineering and management roles in the wireless industry. He worked in product management and business development at IBM Systems and Technology Group, and spent several years in Broadcom and the wireless infrastructure group at Lucent Technologies.

Quinn received his MBA from Cornell University, and his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis.

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David Mindell
Frances and David Dibner Professor of the History of Engineering and Manufacturing
Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Engineering Systems
Founder & CEO, Humatics
David Mindell is an engineer and historian. An expert in human relationships with robotics and autonomous systems, he has led or participated in more than 25 oceanographic expeditions. From 2005 to 2011 he was Director of MIT’s Program in Science, Technology, and Society. He is the author of five books and co-founder of Humatics Corporation, which develops technologies to transform how robots and autonomous systems work in human environments.
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Erik Mirandette
Head of Customer Success, Tulip
Erik Mirandette is Head of Customer Success at Tulip, where he has led the implementation of digital transformation projects for multiple Fortune 500 companies in aerospace and defense, apparel, medical device, pharmaceuticals, consumer electronics, and contract manufacturing. Prior to Tulip, Mirandette served as a military officer for more than six years, assigned to the AFOSI Strategic Counterintelligence Branch with tours in Afghanistan, Southeast Asia, and Japan. He was awarded both the Army and the Air Force Commendation Medals for meritorious service while serving overseas. Mirandette, a Tillman Scholar, also spent time in the non-profit space based in North Africa and in venture capital. He holds a BS from the Air Force Academy, an MA from Norwich University, and an MBA from MIT. He is the author of “The Only Road North,” a memoir of his experiences in Africa.

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Jonah Myerberg
Cofounder and CTO, Desktop Metal
Jonah Myerberg is a Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer at Desktop Metal, a company committed to accelerating the transformation of manufacturing with end-to-end metal 3D printing solutions. As CTO, Myerberg is responsible for leading the vision and direction of Desktop Metal’s 3D printing solutions. His duties include translating the technology behind the company’s metal 3D printing systems into reliable parts for customers, and identifying opportunities to expand manufacturing capabilities through additive manufacturing.

Prior to joining Desktop Metal in 2015, Myerberg held senior positions with a variety of organizations focused on battery development and performance, including Renovo Motors and Boston Impact, which he founded, and A123Systems. At A123Systems, Myerberg established a new business unit focused on the development of high performance batteries. His team designed a new high performance cell for Formula One, as well as number of automotive partners. Additionally, he helped launch Gradiant Corp., where he managed the deployment and operation of large scale water desalination plants that converted fracking water into fresh water. Myerberg also held engineering and product development roles at both Bose and Black & Decker.

Myerberg earned his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Lehigh University and his M.S. in Mechanical Engineering and Manufacturing from Johns Hopkins University.

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Alec Nielsen
Founder and CEO, Asimov
Alec Nielsen, Founder and CEO, Asimov, programs living cells to create previously impossible biotechnologies. Asimov's genetic engineering platform combines computer-aided design, artificial intelligence, and synthetic biology.

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Matt Osman
Cofounder and CEO, Legit
Matt Osman, Cofounder and CEO, Legit, offers a responsive AI-powered software that provides a remedy to how companies previously captured inventions. Legit’s software is engaging for the inventor, accessible anywhere at any time, and scalable for the IP and R&D departments.

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Max Pieri
Vice President for Cooperation with MIT, Eni
Massimiliano Pieri is Eni's Vice President for Cooperation with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In his position, Pieri is responsible for Eni's research project portfolio with MIT and cooperation opportunities with startups in the MIT ecosystem. Previously, he held senior management roles in oil and gas in the Far East, Africa, and Europe. Prior to joining Eni, he was part of the GE Capital M&A team in London, was a consultant for McKinsey, and an executive at Edison S.p.A. Pieri holds an MBA from Columbia Business School in New York and an MSc in mechanical engineering from Polytechnic of Milan.

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Andrew M. Radin
Cofounder and Chief Marketing Officer, twoXAR
Andrew M Radin is Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer of twoXAR, a company dedicated to transforming how large biological datasets are harnessed to accelerate the identification and validation of new medicines. As Chief Marketing Officer of twoXAR, Andrew is focused on understanding the market, identifying partners, and communicating the business. He formerly worked as an investor in venture and private equity funds at Macquarie Bank and has designed, built, and managed several small organizations. Andrew co-founded a mobile platform startup while at MIT.

Andrew holds a Master in Business Administration degree from MIT Sloan, a Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry and cell biology from UC San Diego, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from UC San Diego.
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Tor Jakob Ramsøy
CEO & Founder, Arundo
Founded in 2015, Arundo's proprietary software for asset-intensive industries enables "edge"-state streaming and analytics, rapid cloud deployment of machine learning models, and enterprise-scale models management.

Our approach is unique. We enable our customers to take control of their data across a broad range of assets leveraging existing investments to accelerate time to insight and action. Arundo provides industry context with asset hierarchies that help take advantage of trapped or previously unutilized data. With our customers, we are revolutionizing operational performance by delivering solutions that are shaping the digital journey, unleashing the business value of data, and enabling human and machine collaboration at scale.

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Damian Roskill
VP of Marketing, Gamalon
Damian Roskill, VP of Marketing, Gamalon, recognizes that two thirds of data crucial to customer experience and digital transformation is free-form, and therefore cannot be used. Gamalon’s AI platform takes unstructured survey text, chat messages, trouble tickets, and more, and outputs drill-down customer analytics, sales and marketing responses, and database-ready information.

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Leon Sandler
Executive Director, MIT Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation
As Executive Director of the Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation, Leon Sandler wears many hats: He is responsible for guiding the center’s strategic direction, ensuring successful execution of its mission, and managing day-today operations.

With a strong background in the assessment of technologies for commercialization, Mr. Sandler leads a process the center calls “select, direct and connect”. Through this process, faculty research projects are chosen to receive Deshpande Center grants, based on a project’s potential commercial and social impact. Research teams then receive intensive guidance in how to bring their inventions to the marketplace and form new spinout companies.

Among his related duties Mr. Sandler:

- Mentors faculty and student researchers
- Coaches and lectures on technology innovation and entrepreneurship at the MIT Trust Entrepreneurship Center and the MIT Sloan executive education program
- Advises organizations around the world on how to move technologies from the lab to the marketplace
- Serves as the Deshpande Center’s fundraiser-in-chief, responsible for keeping the center on a sound financial footing.

To ensure the success of all these activities, Mr. Sandler builds and continually renews a broad network of relationships. These include connections within MIT’s well-developed entrepreneurial ecosystem and external ties with venture capitalists, corporate supporters, government agencies, and educational institutions.

Business, Entrepreneurial and Educational Background
Before joining the Deshpande Center in 2006, Leon Sandler held senior positions in general management, marketing, finance and business development at companies such as Boston Consulting Group, Eastman Kodak, Texas Instruments and Digital Equipment Corporation. He founded the consulting firm Monmouth Group, where he provided management, marketing and business development assistance to over twenty early-stage companies. This included co-founding and serving as the CEO of Nuvonyx, a maker of industrial laser systems; serving as CEO of several start-ups; and assisting many ventures as an interim executive or advisor.

Mr. Sandler received his B.S. degree in 1971 and his M.S. in Chemical Engineering in 1973 from Natal University in South Africa, and his M.B.A. in 1977 from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
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Salvatore Savo
Cofounder and COO, TetraScience
Salvatore Savo, Cofounder and COO, TetraScience, a data platform for science and innovation. TetraScience connects critical information sources to a single dashboard, resulting in faster and more impactful discoveries across several industries. Whether doing experimentation at the bench or monitoring a scale-up process, TetraScience can provide operational visibility and data analytics in a central place.

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Dan Schiffman
Cofounder and CRO, TVision Insights
Dan Schiffman, Cofounder and CRO, TVision Insights, the television attention measurement company pioneering the way brands, their agencies, TV networks, and OTT platforms determine the true value of their video content and advertising. The company’s core technology uses patented computer vision algorithms to passively measure “eyes on screen,” the single most accurate way to measure person-level engagement with video content.

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Jan Schnorr
CEO, C2Sense
Jan Schnorr is Chief Executive Officer of C2Sense. Previously, he was a postdoctoral associate in the Swager laboratory (Department of Chemistry at MIT), and also completed his Ph.D. in chemistry at MIT. During this time, he has worked on functionalized carbon nanotubes and carbon nanotube based chemical sensors. He has published 13 peer-reviewed papers with a total of over 300 citations. He is co-inventor on 6 patents/patent applications including C2Sense’s ethylene sensing and rapid prototyping technology.
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Konomi Scott
Director, Business Development, Corporate Engineering and R&D
Magna International
Konomi Scott has served as Director of Business Development, Corporate Engineering and R&D since 2016. In this role, Scott is responsible for validating and recommending innovation opportunities for Magna. Scott, who has worked in the automotive industry for more than 25 years, began her career in operations for an interior trim company that later became Magna. She has since worked in powertrain, body, safety, ADAS electronics, and mechatronics sectors. She joined Magna Electronics in 2009. Prior to joining the corporate team, she worked in Operations, Purchasing, Project Management, M&A, Product Management, Sales, and Engineering Management.

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Alec Shkolnik
Founder, President, and CEO
Alec Shkolnik, Founder, President, and CEO, Liquid Piston, develops compact, powerful, quiet, efficient, low-vibration, multi-fuel capable combustion engines that are scalable from 1HP to over 1000 HP.

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Brian Spatocco
CTO, Advanced Potash Technologies
Brian Spatocco, Chief Technology Officer, Advanced Potash Technologies, (APT) a mining-meets-agriculture company that aims to disrupt the $20 billion global potassium fertilizer (potash) market. Our technology derives from IP developed at MIT that has been successfully tested in the world’s most respected agronomic facilities.

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Ted Wiley
Cofounder and CEO, Form Energy
Ted Wiley, Cofounder and CEO, Form Energy, hopes to lessen the effects of climate change by replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy as baseload electric power.

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Luke Winston
Global Head of Sales and Services, Formlabs
Luke Winston, Global Head of Sales and Services, Formlabs, designs and manufactures powerful and accessible 3D printing systems and is establishing the industry benchmark for professional 3D printing for engineers, designers, and manufacturers around the globe. Formlabs’ products include the Form 2 SLA 3D printer, Fuse 1 SLS 3D printer, Form Cell manufacturing solution, and Pinshape marketplace of 3D designs. Formlabs also develops its own suite of high-performance materials for 3D printing, as well as best-in-class 3D printing software.

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Gabi Zijderveld
Chief Marketing Officer, Affectiva
At Affectiva, Gabi is responsible for all marketing, leading the strategic direction of its products and solutions, driving expansion into new markets, and growing industry adoption of Emotion AI. In the past twenty years Gabi has held a variety of marketing, product management, channel and international positions at ON Technology, Dragon Systems, Be Free, Centra and Segue Software. Prior to joining Affectiva, Gabi was at IBM where she first led a product management team and then worldwide marketing for Linux and Open Virtualization. Gabi has a graduate degree in Art History and Archeology from Utrecht University in The Netherlands.
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