2024 MIT Startup Ecosystem Conference

April 30, 2024
8:00 AM - 5:30 PM (EDT)
2024 MIT Startup Ecosystem Conference
Conference

Location

Boston Marriott Cambridge
50 Broadway
Cambridge, MA 02142

Accommodations

Secure your hotel room at Marriott at a special group rate of $379+tax.

To benefit from this discounted rate, guests are encouraged to make their reservations using the provided reservation link by no later than April 8, 2024.


Overview

The 2024 MIT Startup Ecosystem Conference brings MIT innovation & entrepreneurship resources together to showcase MIT’s rich startup ecosystem. Along with executives from industry-leading corporations and founders, they will engage in lively discussions about breakthrough technologies, technology transfer, funding science-based startups, and startup & corporate engagement, among other topics. 

The conference, organized by the MIT Startup Exchange, showcases fourteen startups affiliated with MIT startup resources across campus. They will present and exhibit their game-changing companies throughout the day. Attendees will have the chance to meet the entrepreneurs to learn more about their impactful products and technology.


Registration Fee
  General Public: $1,350 
  ILP Member: Complimentary
  Current MIT Faculty/Staff/Student: Complimentary
    * MIT Alum, Sloan Exec Ed, and Professional Education Member: 70% discount Send an email for a discount code.
    * MIT Startup Exchange Member: Send an email for a comp code.

Live Streaming available to ILP members and MIT Community
  Online live streaming will be available to ILP members and MIT Community. Live Streaming link will be sent a week before the conference.

Registration Questions: ocrevents@mit.edu
  • Overview

    The 2024 MIT Startup Ecosystem Conference brings MIT innovation & entrepreneurship resources together to showcase MIT’s rich startup ecosystem. Along with executives from industry-leading corporations and founders, they will engage in lively discussions about breakthrough technologies, technology transfer, funding science-based startups, and startup & corporate engagement, among other topics. 

    The conference, organized by the MIT Startup Exchange, showcases fourteen startups affiliated with MIT startup resources across campus. They will present and exhibit their game-changing companies throughout the day. Attendees will have the chance to meet the entrepreneurs to learn more about their impactful products and technology.


    Registration Fee
      General Public: $1,350 
      ILP Member: Complimentary
      Current MIT Faculty/Staff/Student: Complimentary
        * MIT Alum, Sloan Exec Ed, and Professional Education Member: 70% discount Send an email for a discount code.
        * MIT Startup Exchange Member: Send an email for a comp code.

    Live Streaming available to ILP members and MIT Community
      Online live streaming will be available to ILP members and MIT Community. Live Streaming link will be sent a week before the conference.

    Registration Questions: ocrevents@mit.edu
Register

Agenda

8:00 AM

Registration & Networking
9:00 AM

Opening Remarks
Executive Director, MIT Corporate Relations
Gayathri Srinivasan photo
Gayathri Srinivasan
Executive Director

Dr. Srinivasan is a distinguished scientist who received her PhD in Microbiology from The Ohio State University in 2004, where she contributed to the discovery of the 22nd amino acid, Pyrrolysine (2002). She first came to MIT as an NIH Postdoctoral Fellow in Prof. Tom Rajbhandary’s lab, where her research focused on understanding protein synthesis mechanisms in Archaea.

 Dr. Srinivasan subsequently moved into the business development and technology licensing space, serving in MIT’s Technology Licensing Office, where she helped commercialize technologies in medical devices and alternative energies. She then moved to UMass Medical School’s Office of Technology Management in 2009 and to Emory University in Atlanta in 2014 as the Director of Public and Private Partnerships for the Woodruff Health Sciences Center. In 2019, Dr. Srinivasan joined Emory’s Office of Corporate Relations as Executive Director, and in 2021, she led the Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations.

Catarina Madeira
Director

Catarina has been working with the Cambridge/Boston startup ecosystem for over 10 years and joined Corporate Relations with a solid network in the innovation and entrepreneurial community. Prior to MIT, she was part of the team that designed and launched the startup accelerator IUL MIT Portugal, which was later rebranded as Building Global Innovators. She was based in Lisbon and worked in direct relation with the Cambridge team. She held positions including Operations Coordinator, Program Manager, and Business Developer. The accelerator soon achieved steady growth in large part due to the partnerships that Catarina led with regional and global startup ecosystems. After that, she worked at NECEC, leading a program that connects cleantech startups and industry. In this role, she developed and built a pipeline of startups and forged strong relationships with both domestic and European companies. She has also held positions in Portugal and France, including at Saboaria e Perfumaria Confiança and L’Oréal as Technical Director and Pharmacist. Catarina earned her bachelor's in chemistry and pharmaceutical sciences in Portugal. She went on to earn her Master of Engineering for Health and Medicines in France.

9:15 AM

Inside Real Innovation: Challenges for Corporations and Universities

CEO of Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) and the Merton C. Flemings SMA Professor, MIT Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Eugene A. Fitzgerald
Eugene A. Fitzgerald

CEO of Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) and the Merton C. Flemings SMA Professor, MIT Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Since 2019, Eugene A. Fitzgerald has been CEO of SMART, MIT’s Research Enterprise in Singapore. He is the Merton C. Flemings-Singapore MIT Alliance Professor of Materials Engineering at MIT. He is the Co-founder and Chairman of his recent enterprise, a new semiconductor company, NSC (New Silicon Corporation) Pte. Ltd.  His research work at the start of his career at AT&T Bell Laboratories resulted in the discovery of high mobility strained silicon in 1991, necessary for the continuation of Moore’s Law since 2004 and used in most silicon integrated circuits today. Strained silicon was the basis for the founding of his first company, spun out from MIT in 1998. He is a practicing researcher, innovator, and serial entrepreneur, founding or co-founding seven enterprises. He is co-author of the book “Inside Real Innovation”.  He received his undergraduate degree from MIT in 1985 and his PhD from Cornell University in 1989.

To move from an idea to market, a technical concept must be implemented for a market application. Incremental innovation involves introducing uncertainty predominately in only one aspect of innovation (technical, implementation, or market application) to minimize risk and use current organization knowledge.  For more fundamental innovation that results in larger impact over a greater amount of time, uncertainty must be simultaneously introduced in market application, technology, and implementation. Processes to optimize such search for value are unnatural in hierarchical organizations. Corporations and Universities working in a ‘Third Place’ will be more effective at shaping such long-term innovation productivity, producing new enterprise that can bridge the gap between organizations.

10:00 AM

University and Corporate Tech Transfer
Moderator:
Executive Director, MIT Corporate Relations
Gayathri Srinivasan photo
Gayathri Srinivasan
Executive Director

Dr. Srinivasan is a distinguished scientist who received her PhD in Microbiology from The Ohio State University in 2004, where she contributed to the discovery of the 22nd amino acid, Pyrrolysine (2002). She first came to MIT as an NIH Postdoctoral Fellow in Prof. Tom Rajbhandary’s lab, where her research focused on understanding protein synthesis mechanisms in Archaea.

 Dr. Srinivasan subsequently moved into the business development and technology licensing space, serving in MIT’s Technology Licensing Office, where she helped commercialize technologies in medical devices and alternative energies. She then moved to UMass Medical School’s Office of Technology Management in 2009 and to Emory University in Atlanta in 2014 as the Director of Public and Private Partnerships for the Woodruff Health Sciences Center. In 2019, Dr. Srinivasan joined Emory’s Office of Corporate Relations as Executive Director, and in 2021, she led the Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations.

Panelists:
Lesley Millar-Nicholson
Lesley Millar-Nicholson
Executive Director

Lesley Millar-Nicholson is the Executive Director of MIT’s Technology Licensing Office (TLO) and was part of the Founding Leadership team of MIT Office of Strategic Alliances and Technology Transfer (OSATT) formed in 2019. As TLO Executive Director, she leads a team of technology transfer professionals. Together, they manage MIT’s intellectual assets and technology transfer process involving over 11,000 unique pending and issued US and foreign patents, and hundreds of copyright and open source assets. The team engages broadly with stakeholders to facilitate engagements leading to licenses for qualified third parties to deliver on the TLO mission to have impact through technology commercialization.

Prior to arriving in Cambridge Ms. Millar-Nicholson had served for ten years as Director of the Office of Technology Management (OTM) at the University of Illinois, Urbana/Champaign.

Ms. Millar-Nicholson is a past President Board of Governors of Certified Licensing Professionals Inc, a member of AUTM and the Licensing Executive Society, and a past Board Member of Cambridge Enterprise, UK. A native of Scotland, Ms. Millar-Nicholson has a B.Ed., M.Ed., MBA and is a Certified Licensing Professional.

Head of Collaboration & Scouting North America, BASF
Tom Holcombe
Thomas Holcombe
Head of Collaboration & Scouting North America

Tom Holcombe is a Ph.D. chemist by training and currently leads the North America Collaboration & Scouting team for BASF’s central research division. As the largest chemical company in the world, BASF is active in research that touches many aspects of our daily lives, and we strive to create chemistry for a sustainable future. Tom helps to establish collaborations between BASF and external partners, primarily from the academic and startup ecosystems, that enable BASF research to thrive and address the challenges of tomorrow. He does this with the help of a talented team and strong global network throughout BASF, scouting for matches to existing technical challenges and maintaining a radar function for business and technology leaders within BASF – always on the lookout for opportunities where BASF can help advance a nascent technology effort and benefit our business segments at the same time. He likes to say, “An invention isn’t an innovation until it hits the market.” Tom completed his B.S. in Chemistry at the University of Texas at Austin, a Dean’s Honor graduate and Beckman scholar. He went on to complete his Ph.D. at the University of California Berkeley, a recipient of both the NSF IGERT and NSF Graduate Research Fellowships. 

President, CEO, and Director, Bilayer Therapeutics
Thomas Collet
Thomas A. Collet
President, CEO, and Director

Thomas Collet is a serial life sciences entrepreneur with deep drug development expertise. He serves as President, CEO, and Director of Bilayer Therapeutics. Dr. Collet has founded and led several life sciences companies including ProNAi Therapeutics (subsequently went public, now Sierra Oncology); Neural Intervention Technologies (subsequently acquired by W.L. Gore); and Rubicon Genomics (subsequently acquired by Takara Bio). He also served as Vice President of Business Development at Integrated Protein Technologies, a unit of Monsanto Company that Dr. Collet helped start. Prior to entering the start-up space, Dr. Collet served as Vice President at Tullis-Dickerson & Company, a healthcare focused venture fund, and as an Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Company. He earned a PhD in Biological Chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and completed post-doctoral studies in Dr. Richard Lerner’s laboratory at The Scripps Research Institute. 

This panel will focus on the most effective approaches for operating at the nexus of university, industry, and early-stage ventures. From invention to market, creating a favorable environment for technology development, collaborations, and accelerated commercialization. 

10:45 AM

Networking Break
11:10 AM

MIT Technology Review’s List of 10 Breakthrough Technologies
Executive Editor of Operations, MIT Technology Review
Amy Nordrum
Amy Nordrum
Executive Editor of Operations

Amy Nordrum is the executive editor of operations at MIT Technology Review. She coordinates the annual lists of 10 Breakthrough Technologies and Innovators Under 35 and oversees the newsroom’s copy flow processes, freelance contributions, fellowship program, and engagement team. She joined the staff as a commissioning editor in July 2020. Amy has a master’s degree in Science, Health and Environmental Reporting from New York University and an MBA from NYU’s Stern School of Business.

Every year, MIT Technology Review’s list of 10 Breakthrough Technologies highlights the technological advances that will have the biggest impact on the world in the years to come. Join MIT Technology Review’s Executive Editor of Operations, Amy Nordrum, as she presents the 2024 list.

11:40 AM

Startup Lightning Talks I
Manager of Partnerships & Engagement, MIT Startup Exchange
Tricia Dinkel
Manager of Partnerships & Engagement

Tricia Dinkel comes to Corporate Relations with several years of experience in the innovation ecosystem and managing relationships with startups and corporates. Tricia previously worked as Director of Navigate (NECEC’s flagship innovation program) at the Northeast Clean Energy Council (NECEC) in Boston where she led all operations and partnership development for 400+ startups, 65+ innovation partners, and 200+ investors & corporates in North America and Europe. Prior to that role, Tricia held positions with increasing responsibility in program management at NECEC. Before that, her experience included Director of Data Analytics and Sustainability Reporting Manager at WegoWise Inc. in Boston, Associate Director at the Committee on Capital Markets Regulation in Cambridge, Senior Sustainability Coordinator at A Better City in Boston, and Assistant Director at The Green Alliance in Portsmouth, NH.

Tricia earned her B.A., in Environmental Studies/Natural Resource Policy at the University of Colorado, and her M.A., in Environmental Science Education at the University of New Hampshire. She served on the NECEC Diversity & Inclusion Committee and as a member of the USGBC (U.S. Green Building Council), Massachusetts Chapter.

Advancing Women’s Cardiovascular Research and Care Through Personalized Diagnostics
Alicia Chong Rodriguez
Founder and CEO, Bloomer Tech
Alicia Chong Rodriguezis
Alicia Chong Rodriguez
Founder and CEO

Alicia Chong Rodriguez is the Founder and CEO of Bloomer Tech, a company addressing sex differences in cardiovascular care for women by using Tech-AugmentedGarments (TAG) for personalized healthcare. She graduated from MIT with a degree in Electrical Engineering &Computer Science, along with the MIT Integrated Design and Management Program. Her research focused on sex-specific, computationally-generated cardiac biomarkers at the MIT Computational Cardiovascular Research Group. She received the MIT Legatum Fellowship and the Biennial MIT Graduate Women of Excellence Award. Her TED Talk on A SMART BRA FOR BETTER HEART HEALTH has over 1.9million views. In 2023, Bloomer Tech was awarded as a Tech Pioneer by the World Economic Forum. She has also been recognized as a TED Fellow, Medtech Boston 40 under 40Healthcare Innovator, and in the top 100 Female Founders across the U.S. by Inc Magazine.

Go Beyond Zero Trust with Gradient Security Mesh
Christian Wentz
Founder and CEO, Gradient
Christian Wentz
Founder and CEO

Christian Wentz is the founder and CEO of Gradient, a secure data infrastructure company developing a solution for protecting computing and sensor infrastructure from silicon up to software across edge-to-cloud devices.  Gradient serves enterprises broadly, with a focus on critical infrastructure, fintech, and defense intelligence applications.

Previously, Christian was the founder and CEO of Kendall Research Systems, a neural interface company acquired by Kernel. Co in 2017.   He was a member of the founding team at Misfit, Inc., which was acquired by Fossil Group (NASDAQ: FOSL) in 2015 for $270MM. Wentz received the inaugural Forbes’s 30 Under 30 award in Science & Innovation and was awarded the Hertz Foundation Myhrvold Family Fellowship to pursue a PhD at MIT. He earned an M.Eng in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science under Profs. Ed Boyden and Rahul Sarpeshkar, and an S.B. in Electrical Science and Engineering, both from MIT.

The World's Most User-Friendly Data Analytics Hub Leveraging AI-Powered Analytics Agent.
Daphne Pariser
CEO, HeronAI
Daphne Pariser
CEO

Dr. Daphne Pariser has over 15 years in STEM, where she spent her postdoc at Harvard and MIT, focusing on bioinformatics to deep dive into infectious diseases. During this time, she started two companies; the most recent is HeronAI, which focuses on providing a 360-degree view of business analytics automatically in 5 minutes.

Empowering SMBs with Instant, AI-Driven Embedded Lending Solutions
Jerry Shu
Co-Founder, Lendica
Jerry Shu
Co-Founder

Jerry Shu has a passion for innovative fintech solutions with a focus on quantitative finance and risk management. Shu is in charge of product management, system architecture and the underwriting program. Before co-founding Lendica, Shu built a derivative trading platform for blockchain assets and worked as a quantitative researcher at J.P. Morgan. Shu is a full-stack engineer, a lover of spicy food, and, as he is known around the office, the company’s authority on data. Shu has a Masters in Finance from MIT.

The Venture Creating Circular Plastics with Zero Carbon Emissions
Stwart Peña Feliz
Co-Founder and CEO, MacroCycle
Stwart Peña Feliz
Co-Founder and CEO

Stwart Peña Feliz graduated from Cornell with a B.S. in chemical engineering in 2017. After graduation, Stwart went on to work in various engineering roles at ExxonMobil (including Exxon’s first recycling unit), Air Products, and a hydrogen startup called Utility Global. He then went on to earn his Master of Business Administration from the MIT Sloan School of Management, where he founded MacroCycle Technologies with his technical co-founder. After experiencing the reality of chemical recycling in industry, Stwart is now working to lead MacroCycle’s technology to become the largest producer of upcycled PET plastics through their upcycling, zero-emissions process.

Secure Resilient Data Mesh for the Digital Edge
Sujeesh Krishnan
Sujeesh Krishnan
CEO

Sujeesh Krishnan is the Chief Executive Officer of Kinnami and has over 25 years of experience leading strategy, sales, market development, and product management in the high-technology industry. His career spans the private sector, where he has brought new technologies to optimize supply chains and solve critical data management issues to market in the aerospace, defense, oil & gas, and chemical industries, as well as public sector organizations, including the Carbon Trust and the United Nations.

Sujeesh serves on the Board of Directors for CLASP, a leading non-profit focused on improving energy efficiency globally as well as on the advisory boards of several early-stage technology startups. Sujeeshholds an M.S. in Manufacturing Systems Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MBA from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Pioneering the Future of Transporting Goods
Saman Amarasinghe
Co-Founder, Venti Technologies
Saman Amarasinghe
Co-Founder

Saman Amarasinghe is a Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a member of its Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), where he leads the Commit compiler group. His research interests are in discovering novel approaches to improve the performance of modern computer systems without unduly increasing the complexity faced by the end users, application developers, compiler writers, or computer architects. In addition to Venti Technologies, Saman was a co-founder of Determina, Lanka Internet Services Ltd., DataCebo, and Exaloop corporations. Saman received his BS in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Cornell University in 1988 and his MSEE and Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1990 and 1997, respectively. He is an ACM Fellow

1:30 PM

Startup & Corporate Engagement, Success Cases
Moderator:
Ron Spangler
Ron Spangler
Director

Ron Spangler serves as the Director of Corporate Relations, managing a diverse portfolio of companies in the mining, energy, aerospace, and defense sectors. Before joining MIT Corporate Relations, Ron dedicated two decades to an industry career, primarily focusing on various MIT-connected startup companies. In 1994, he earned his doctorate in Aeronautics and Astronautics from MIT, and his extensive contributions include numerous publications and patents. Notably, Ron is also an FAA-licensed pilot with a glider rating.

Panelists:
Co-Founder & CEO, SiTration
Brendan Smith
Co-Founder & CEO

Brendan Smith is the Co-Founder & CEO of SiTration, Inc., an advanced materials startup that aims to drastically reduce cost and resource consumption of important industrial separations on a global scale. Spun out of MIT in 2020, the company is developing its core technology, an ultra-durable electrified filtration membrane, to impact the extraction and recovery of critical materials from end-of-life electric vehicle batteries and various mining streams. Brendan earned a Ph.D. in materials science & engineering from MIT and a B.S. in nanotechnology engineering from the University of Waterloo and is passionate about developing new materials to address big societal challenges.

Chief Advisor of Research & Development, Rio Tinto
Saskia Duyvesteyn
Saskia Duyvesteyn
Chief Advisor of Research & Development

Saskia Duyvesteyn is the Chief Advisor of Research & Development for the Rio Tinto Copper product group and manages the portfolio of innovation projects across the entire value stream, including ore body knowledge, underground & surface mining, mineral processing & metallurgy, tailings, and digital projects. Saskia has over 20 years of experience in operational, technical, and leadership roles based in Nevada, California, and Utah for a range of commodities, including copper, gold, silver, borates, molybdenum, and other critical minerals. Prior to her career in mining, Saskia was an assistant professor at the University of Utah’s Department of Metallurgical Engineering. Saskia has a Ph.D. in Extractive Metallurgy & Mineral Processing and a Master of Science in Minerals Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. She has a Bachelor of Science in Materials Science & Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is also a Senior Rio Tinto Expert. 

Head of Knowledge, Innovation, and Development Center, Dubai Police
Captain Aisha Saeed Harib
Captain Aisha Saeed Harib
Head of Knowledge, Innovation, and Development Center

Captain Aisha Saeed Harib is a researcher in the field of future innovation and emerging technologies, philanthropist, and social entrepreneur who has devoted her career to giving back to the UAE. She is a national expert in the niche sector of public innovation and, through her day job and Ph.D. studies, is invested in developing radical solutions to pervasive social and environmental problems.

CEO, SplitSage
Joshua Sarmir
CEO

Joshua Sarmir is the CEO of SplitSage. He studied finance and computer science at Boston College and has cofounded multiple companies and has helped Fortune 500 companies and government agencies tackle significant challenges over his 25-year career. When presented with a problem, he sees opportunity. As a former executive of Raytheon, he helped commercialize research to help protect the safety of our military and bring innovation to companies like Apple. Today he brings the opportunity to leverage groundbreaking science from MIT to improve effectiveness and increase safety across many industries.

Fostering collaborations between MIT-connected startups and corporates is part of MIT Startup Exchange mission. This panel features two successful collaborations that Startup Exchange and ILP helped form with startups and ILP corporate members. Panelists will talk about the different types of engagement, how they took shape, and what’s next as they keep progressing.

2:15 PM

Startup Lightning Talks II
Program Coordinator, MIT Startup Exchange
Irina Gaziyeva
Program Coordinator

Irina Gaziyeva comes to Corporate Relations from the Mechanical Engineering Department at MIT where she worked 10 years as Administrative Assistant where she has supported four senior faculty members and their research groups (20-25 graduate students). Since 2018, Irina has acted as program coordinator, teaming-up with the program manager and program faculty lead for the MechE Alliance program. She has facilitated 45+ virtual seminars, workshops, and mentoring events in this informal role. Irina has also actively connected members of the MechE community to support student career development, mentorship, and networking opportunities with MIT alumni and industry. Before MIT, Irina held positions as Administrative Assistant and Member Representative at Brookline Dental and Tufts Health plan, respectively. Irina has also been a Community Organizer in Worcester, MA.

Irina earned her B.A., Management (with Innovation & Entrepreneurship track) at Clark University in Worcester, and her M.S., Program and Project Management from Brandeis University in Waltham. She has received many awards at MIT for outstanding service, and she has extensive community volunteer work to her credit.

High-Quality, Permanent, Carbon Removal
John Greenfield
Head of Business Development, Noya
John Greenfield
Head of Business Development

John Greenfield is the head of business of development at Noya, an Oakland-based startup scaling the high-quality, permanent carbon removal that the IPCC has identified as necessary in order to limit global warming below 1.5℃. Prior to Noya, John held various executive roles while scaling Everactive, a startup at the intersection of renewable energy and industrial automation, from Seed Stage to Series C and beyond.

Throughout his career, he’s repeatedly earned the trust of founders, investors, and engineers, driven product-market fit, and scaled organizations from “0 to 1” and “1 to n.” Along the way, he has helped raise more than $125M from top-tier VCs and CVCs – including NEA, In-Q-Tel, and ABB. John holds a BA in Environmental Economics from Colgate University and an MBA from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia, where he earned the William Michael Shermet Award. He lives in the Bay Area with his awesome wife and daughter, and enjoys spending as much time as possible moving (running, skiing, or biking) in the mountains.

Build 3D AI Chips Faster
Tairan Wang
Co-Founder & CEO, Sangtera
Tairan Wang
Co-Founder & CEO

Dr. Tairan Wang is co-founder & CEO of Sangtera, a spin-out company from MIT Lincoln Laboratory focused on building high throughput high precision advanced packaging systems to enable the production of next generation 3D AI processors. Prior to MIT LL, Tairan was the Chief Operating Officer of AFFOA, a manufacturing innovation institute for advanced fiber and textile. Before that, he held executive positions in operations and engineering for start-ups in medical devices, and integrated photonics. He holds dual Bachelor of Science degrees in physics and electrical engineering, and Ph.D. in physics from MIT, and is a graduate of Harvard Business School General Management Program.

Making Navigation More Resilient with No GPS, Cellular or Wi-Fi Connectivity
Kanwar Singh
CEO and CO-Founder, Skyline Nav AI
Kanwar Singh
CEO and CO-Founder

Kanwar Singh is the CEO and Co-Founder of Skyline Nav AI, Inc. As a mission-driven company, Skyline Nav AI's goal is to keep the US and our allies competitive, safe, and resilient in the 21st century. We specialize in harnessing the power of computer vision algorithms and reference datasets to navigate and position effectively without relying on GPS, cellular, or Wi-Fi. Our solution allows you to confidently operate in urban canyons, and in environments where GPS may be degraded or entirely absent.  Our product, Skyline Match AI™️ gets you within five meters in urban areas with an unobstructed view, 95% of the time, with no GPS, cellular or Wi-Fi connectivity. Skyline Nav AI is backed by the US Air Force, NASA, US Army, National Security Innovation Network, MassChallenge, Draper Labs, and many other customers and partners. Join us in revolutionizing the future of AI-powered mobility and making navigation more resilient.

The AI-Powered Talent Marketplace for Business Leaders
Chris Mannion
Founder, Meander
Chris Mannion
Founder

Chris Mannion is the founder of Meander, an AI recruiting platform that improves hiring quality by using competitive talent intelligence to predict post-hire performance. He founded Meander in 2021 after spending three years building the first recruiter enablement, analytics, and operations function supporting 400+ recruiters at Wayfair. After three years in supply chain analytics, Chris moved into recruiting to lead the 30-person campus and programmatic hiring team. He holds an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management. Before his MBA, he was an aerospace engineering officer in the Royal Navy and served on various counter-piracy and counter-terrorism deployments across the globe.

How Bold Ideas Get Told
Katie Trauth Taylor
CEO and Co-Founder, Narratize
Katie Trauth Taylor
CEO and Co-Founder

Katie Trauth Taylor is CEO and Cofounder of Narratize AI, the Generative AI storytelling platform for innovative enterprise. Katie is a growth-focused entrepreneur executive with 10+ years experience inspiring teams to design and deliver magnetic products, memorable experiences, and groundbreaking impacts. She has led strategic innovation narratives and served as a senior content strategist within fast-growth tech startups and the Fortune 500, including Boeing, NASA, Hershey, Sunoco, AAA, IFF, Dupont, Edgewell, Cincinnati Children's, Argonne National Lab, Crossover Health, Parsley Health, Omada, Physera, US Dept of Veterans Affairs, Millennium Challenge Corporation, World Food Forum, and the United Nations. She believes that everyone can be an innovator--when empowered to share their bold ideas.

Building the next generation of pathology labs through AI
Tim Spong
CEO & Co-Founder, Vistapath
Tim Spong
CEO & Co-Founder

Timothy Spong is the CEO and one of the founders of Vistapath. Before starting Vistapath, he had a 15 year career in histology, from a histology technician through to managing laboratory networks at large academic medical centers. During his time in the clinical lab, Tim saw how a lack of innovation in histology was negatively impacting patient care; his passion is to bring that innovation to the histology space.

Breakthrough Innovation to Halve Time and Cost for Clinical Trials
Michael Davies
CEO, WKD.SMRT
Michael Davies
CEO

Michael’s expertise and experience cover the spectrum of the key issues involved in high-tech businesses, particularly mobile devices and services and wireless networks, and business strategies for the digital economy. He has worked for nearly thirty years in the telecommunications and related industries with a particular focus on innovation in mobile devices, communications services and network infrastructure. His experience spans the design, development and deployment of mechanical, electrical, electronic and high-tech products; manufacturing; software coding; video; supply chain management; research and development; technology; and strategy.

2:55 PM

Networking Break with Startups and MIT Campus Partners Exhibit
3:20 PM

Myths About Entrepreneurship

Ethernet Inventors Professor of the Practice, MIT Sloan School of Management and
Managing Director of the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship

Bill Aulet
William (Bill) Aulet

Ethernet Inventors Professor of the Practice, MIT Sloan School of Management and
Managing Director of the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship

William (Bill) Aulet is changing the way entrepreneurship is understood, taught, and practiced around the world. He is an award-winning educator and author whose current work is built off the foundation of his successful 25-year business career, first at IBM and then as a three-time serial entrepreneur. During this time, he directly raised over a hundred million dollars and, more importantly, created hundreds of millions of dollars of shareholder value through his companies. Since 2009, Bill has been responsible for leading the development of entrepreneurship education across MIT at the Trust Center. His first book, “Disciplined Entrepreneurship,” was released in August 2013, has been translated into over 20 languages, and has been the content for three online edX courses, which have been taken by hundreds of thousands of people in 200 different countries. The accompanying follow-on book, “Disciplined Entrepreneurship Workbook,” was released in April 2017. He has widely published in places such as the Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch, the Boston Globe, the Sloan Management Review, the Kauffman Foundation, Entrepreneur Magazine, MIT Sloan Experts, and more. He has been a featured speaker on shows such as CNBC’s Squawk Box, BBC News, and Bloomberg News, as well as at events and conferences around the world. He has degrees from Harvard and MIT and is a board member of MITEK Systems (NASDAQ: MITK) and XL Hybrids Inc. (privately held), as well as a visiting professor at the University of Strathclyde (Scotland). On July 1, 2017, Bill was named a Professor of the Practice at MIT Sloan, the first at the school in the area of entrepreneurship since Alex d’Arbeloff received the designation in 2003. Bill has earned external recognition as well for his efforts, which include Boston 50 on Fire, 2017 Favorite MBA Professors from Poets and Quants, and 2018 Nannerl Keohane Distinguished Visiting Professorship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University. In 2019, Bill was awarded the Outstanding Contributions to Advancing Innovation and Entrepreneurship Award by the Deshpande Foundation. In 2021, Bill was recognized by the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE) as the 2021 Entrepreneurship Educator of the Year. Disciplined Entrepreneurship has been translated to versions in Arabic, Audio (via Audible), Chinese Orthodox, Chinese Simplified, Croatian, Danish, German, Greek, Farsi, Japanese, Korean (where it was named one of the top Economics & Business books of 2014 by the prestigious Kyobo Book Store), Mongolian, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish and Vietnamese. It has been a best seller in many countries, including Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam. It has also been the basis of a series of highly successful MIT edX online classes, Entrepreneurship 101, Entrepreneurship 102, and Entrepreneurship 103, as well as the MIT Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamps, which have been held at different locations, including MIT, Seoul (South Korea), and Brisbane (Australia). He has also led the design and delivery of two other online edX courses, “Cultivating Entrepreneurship & Antifragility to Thrive in a Fast-Paced World” and “Fundamentals of Entrepreneurial Finance: What Every Entrepreneur Should Know.”

Entrepreneurship in the last decade has undergone a profound transformation, adapting to the rapid technological advancements and evolving market demands. To meet these new challenges, there's a pressing need for robust and adaptable standards in entrepreneurship education that ensure future entrepreneurs are well-equipped. In this session, we will debunk common myths and misconceptions surrounding entrepreneurship, shedding light on the realities of starting and running a successful business in today's world.

4:00 PM

Investing in Science Based Startups
Moderator:
CEO and Managing Partner, The Engine Ventures
Katie Rae
CEO and Managing Partner

Katie is the CEO & Managing Partner of Engine Ventures. She serves as a Board Member for The Engine Funds’ portfolio companies Commonwealth Fusion Systems, Form Energy, Boston Metal, and Sublime Systems. Katie has over 10 years of experience as an investor and 25 years as a tech executive, helping build Boston into a thriving tech hub. She has invested in nearly 100 companies and advised hundreds of founders from early-stage formation to scale-up. Key investments include Pillpack (acquired by Amazon for $1 billion in 2018), Flywire, Moon, and GrabCAD. Katie has experience in managing startup accelerators and business-innovation programs — she was a Managing Director of Techstars Boston. She was also a co-founder and Managing Director at Project 11 Ventures. In addition to her extensive investing career, she has over 20 years of experience in product development, management & operations including holding management positions at Microsoft, Eons, AltaVista, RagingBull, Zip2, and Mirror Worlds. Katie holds an MBA from Yale and a BA in Biology from Oberlin College. Katie co-founded the Equity Summit, which convenes leading General Partners and Asset Managers of diversity across the venture capital industry.

Business Lead, Investment Committee, Breakthrough Energy Ventures and Co-Founder, Material Impact

Carmichael Roberts

Business Lead, Investment Committee, Breakthrough Energy Ventures and Co-Founder, Material Impact

Throughout his career, Carmichael honed a unique business model of licensing university technology and commercializing it through targeted partnerships with Fortune 500 companies.

Carmichael also co-leads the investment committee at Breakthrough Energy Ventures, a mission-oriented group committed to changing the world by creating and building companies that address the threat of climate change and long-term sustainability of the planet.

Carmichael’s strategy as a venture investor is based on his successful career as an entrepreneur in materials innovation, blending a unique business model of licensing university technology and commercializing it through targeted partnerships with Fortune 500 companies. 

Preceding his career as an investor, Carmichael co-founded several ventures in which he served as President and CEO or Chairman. Prior to his entrepreneurial career, he worked in business development at GelTex Pharmaceuticals, acquired by Genzyme for $1.3 billion, and in new product and business development at Dow Chemical (formerly Union Carbide Corporation).

Carmichael was elected to the Board of Trustees of Duke University in 2013, where he currently serves as Vice Chairman. He was appointed to the Duke University Health System Board of Directors in 2017 and currently serves on the Audit and Compliance Committee. He was appointed Chairman of the Board of the Consumer Technology Association in 2022 and he also serves on the boards for WGBH, and Massachusetts General Hospital Physicians Organization. 

Carmichael was selected by the Aspen Institute to participate in the Finance Leaders Fellowship program as a senior leader in the venture capital industry and was recently selected as the Edison Achievement Award winner for his contributions to innovative technology solutions. He was ranked #1 on the Boston Globe’s Tech Power Players 50 list in 2022.

In this fireside chat speakers will talk about taking science based startups to market. The potential these ventures have to transform sectors and the challenges they face as they invest early on.

4:30 PM

Closing Remarks
Catarina Madeira
Director

Catarina has been working with the Cambridge/Boston startup ecosystem for over 10 years and joined Corporate Relations with a solid network in the innovation and entrepreneurial community. Prior to MIT, she was part of the team that designed and launched the startup accelerator IUL MIT Portugal, which was later rebranded as Building Global Innovators. She was based in Lisbon and worked in direct relation with the Cambridge team. She held positions including Operations Coordinator, Program Manager, and Business Developer. The accelerator soon achieved steady growth in large part due to the partnerships that Catarina led with regional and global startup ecosystems. After that, she worked at NECEC, leading a program that connects cleantech startups and industry. In this role, she developed and built a pipeline of startups and forged strong relationships with both domestic and European companies. She has also held positions in Portugal and France, including at Saboaria e Perfumaria Confiança and L’Oréal as Technical Director and Pharmacist. Catarina earned her bachelor's in chemistry and pharmaceutical sciences in Portugal. She went on to earn her Master of Engineering for Health and Medicines in France.

4:35 PM

Networking Reception
  • Agenda
    8:00 AM

    Registration & Networking
    9:00 AM

    Opening Remarks
    Executive Director, MIT Corporate Relations
    Gayathri Srinivasan photo
    Gayathri Srinivasan
    Executive Director

    Dr. Srinivasan is a distinguished scientist who received her PhD in Microbiology from The Ohio State University in 2004, where she contributed to the discovery of the 22nd amino acid, Pyrrolysine (2002). She first came to MIT as an NIH Postdoctoral Fellow in Prof. Tom Rajbhandary’s lab, where her research focused on understanding protein synthesis mechanisms in Archaea.

     Dr. Srinivasan subsequently moved into the business development and technology licensing space, serving in MIT’s Technology Licensing Office, where she helped commercialize technologies in medical devices and alternative energies. She then moved to UMass Medical School’s Office of Technology Management in 2009 and to Emory University in Atlanta in 2014 as the Director of Public and Private Partnerships for the Woodruff Health Sciences Center. In 2019, Dr. Srinivasan joined Emory’s Office of Corporate Relations as Executive Director, and in 2021, she led the Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations.

    Catarina Madeira
    Director

    Catarina has been working with the Cambridge/Boston startup ecosystem for over 10 years and joined Corporate Relations with a solid network in the innovation and entrepreneurial community. Prior to MIT, she was part of the team that designed and launched the startup accelerator IUL MIT Portugal, which was later rebranded as Building Global Innovators. She was based in Lisbon and worked in direct relation with the Cambridge team. She held positions including Operations Coordinator, Program Manager, and Business Developer. The accelerator soon achieved steady growth in large part due to the partnerships that Catarina led with regional and global startup ecosystems. After that, she worked at NECEC, leading a program that connects cleantech startups and industry. In this role, she developed and built a pipeline of startups and forged strong relationships with both domestic and European companies. She has also held positions in Portugal and France, including at Saboaria e Perfumaria Confiança and L’Oréal as Technical Director and Pharmacist. Catarina earned her bachelor's in chemistry and pharmaceutical sciences in Portugal. She went on to earn her Master of Engineering for Health and Medicines in France.

    9:15 AM

    Inside Real Innovation: Challenges for Corporations and Universities

    CEO of Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) and the Merton C. Flemings SMA Professor, MIT Department of Materials Science and Engineering

    Eugene A. Fitzgerald
    Eugene A. Fitzgerald

    CEO of Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) and the Merton C. Flemings SMA Professor, MIT Department of Materials Science and Engineering

    Since 2019, Eugene A. Fitzgerald has been CEO of SMART, MIT’s Research Enterprise in Singapore. He is the Merton C. Flemings-Singapore MIT Alliance Professor of Materials Engineering at MIT. He is the Co-founder and Chairman of his recent enterprise, a new semiconductor company, NSC (New Silicon Corporation) Pte. Ltd.  His research work at the start of his career at AT&T Bell Laboratories resulted in the discovery of high mobility strained silicon in 1991, necessary for the continuation of Moore’s Law since 2004 and used in most silicon integrated circuits today. Strained silicon was the basis for the founding of his first company, spun out from MIT in 1998. He is a practicing researcher, innovator, and serial entrepreneur, founding or co-founding seven enterprises. He is co-author of the book “Inside Real Innovation”.  He received his undergraduate degree from MIT in 1985 and his PhD from Cornell University in 1989.

    To move from an idea to market, a technical concept must be implemented for a market application. Incremental innovation involves introducing uncertainty predominately in only one aspect of innovation (technical, implementation, or market application) to minimize risk and use current organization knowledge.  For more fundamental innovation that results in larger impact over a greater amount of time, uncertainty must be simultaneously introduced in market application, technology, and implementation. Processes to optimize such search for value are unnatural in hierarchical organizations. Corporations and Universities working in a ‘Third Place’ will be more effective at shaping such long-term innovation productivity, producing new enterprise that can bridge the gap between organizations.

    10:00 AM

    University and Corporate Tech Transfer
    Moderator:
    Executive Director, MIT Corporate Relations
    Gayathri Srinivasan photo
    Gayathri Srinivasan
    Executive Director

    Dr. Srinivasan is a distinguished scientist who received her PhD in Microbiology from The Ohio State University in 2004, where she contributed to the discovery of the 22nd amino acid, Pyrrolysine (2002). She first came to MIT as an NIH Postdoctoral Fellow in Prof. Tom Rajbhandary’s lab, where her research focused on understanding protein synthesis mechanisms in Archaea.

     Dr. Srinivasan subsequently moved into the business development and technology licensing space, serving in MIT’s Technology Licensing Office, where she helped commercialize technologies in medical devices and alternative energies. She then moved to UMass Medical School’s Office of Technology Management in 2009 and to Emory University in Atlanta in 2014 as the Director of Public and Private Partnerships for the Woodruff Health Sciences Center. In 2019, Dr. Srinivasan joined Emory’s Office of Corporate Relations as Executive Director, and in 2021, she led the Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations.

    Panelists:
    Lesley Millar-Nicholson
    Lesley Millar-Nicholson
    Executive Director

    Lesley Millar-Nicholson is the Executive Director of MIT’s Technology Licensing Office (TLO) and was part of the Founding Leadership team of MIT Office of Strategic Alliances and Technology Transfer (OSATT) formed in 2019. As TLO Executive Director, she leads a team of technology transfer professionals. Together, they manage MIT’s intellectual assets and technology transfer process involving over 11,000 unique pending and issued US and foreign patents, and hundreds of copyright and open source assets. The team engages broadly with stakeholders to facilitate engagements leading to licenses for qualified third parties to deliver on the TLO mission to have impact through technology commercialization.

    Prior to arriving in Cambridge Ms. Millar-Nicholson had served for ten years as Director of the Office of Technology Management (OTM) at the University of Illinois, Urbana/Champaign.

    Ms. Millar-Nicholson is a past President Board of Governors of Certified Licensing Professionals Inc, a member of AUTM and the Licensing Executive Society, and a past Board Member of Cambridge Enterprise, UK. A native of Scotland, Ms. Millar-Nicholson has a B.Ed., M.Ed., MBA and is a Certified Licensing Professional.

    Head of Collaboration & Scouting North America, BASF
    Tom Holcombe
    Thomas Holcombe
    Head of Collaboration & Scouting North America

    Tom Holcombe is a Ph.D. chemist by training and currently leads the North America Collaboration & Scouting team for BASF’s central research division. As the largest chemical company in the world, BASF is active in research that touches many aspects of our daily lives, and we strive to create chemistry for a sustainable future. Tom helps to establish collaborations between BASF and external partners, primarily from the academic and startup ecosystems, that enable BASF research to thrive and address the challenges of tomorrow. He does this with the help of a talented team and strong global network throughout BASF, scouting for matches to existing technical challenges and maintaining a radar function for business and technology leaders within BASF – always on the lookout for opportunities where BASF can help advance a nascent technology effort and benefit our business segments at the same time. He likes to say, “An invention isn’t an innovation until it hits the market.” Tom completed his B.S. in Chemistry at the University of Texas at Austin, a Dean’s Honor graduate and Beckman scholar. He went on to complete his Ph.D. at the University of California Berkeley, a recipient of both the NSF IGERT and NSF Graduate Research Fellowships. 

    President, CEO, and Director, Bilayer Therapeutics
    Thomas Collet
    Thomas A. Collet
    President, CEO, and Director

    Thomas Collet is a serial life sciences entrepreneur with deep drug development expertise. He serves as President, CEO, and Director of Bilayer Therapeutics. Dr. Collet has founded and led several life sciences companies including ProNAi Therapeutics (subsequently went public, now Sierra Oncology); Neural Intervention Technologies (subsequently acquired by W.L. Gore); and Rubicon Genomics (subsequently acquired by Takara Bio). He also served as Vice President of Business Development at Integrated Protein Technologies, a unit of Monsanto Company that Dr. Collet helped start. Prior to entering the start-up space, Dr. Collet served as Vice President at Tullis-Dickerson & Company, a healthcare focused venture fund, and as an Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Company. He earned a PhD in Biological Chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and completed post-doctoral studies in Dr. Richard Lerner’s laboratory at The Scripps Research Institute. 

    This panel will focus on the most effective approaches for operating at the nexus of university, industry, and early-stage ventures. From invention to market, creating a favorable environment for technology development, collaborations, and accelerated commercialization. 

    10:45 AM

    Networking Break
    11:10 AM

    MIT Technology Review’s List of 10 Breakthrough Technologies
    Executive Editor of Operations, MIT Technology Review
    Amy Nordrum
    Amy Nordrum
    Executive Editor of Operations

    Amy Nordrum is the executive editor of operations at MIT Technology Review. She coordinates the annual lists of 10 Breakthrough Technologies and Innovators Under 35 and oversees the newsroom’s copy flow processes, freelance contributions, fellowship program, and engagement team. She joined the staff as a commissioning editor in July 2020. Amy has a master’s degree in Science, Health and Environmental Reporting from New York University and an MBA from NYU’s Stern School of Business.

    Every year, MIT Technology Review’s list of 10 Breakthrough Technologies highlights the technological advances that will have the biggest impact on the world in the years to come. Join MIT Technology Review’s Executive Editor of Operations, Amy Nordrum, as she presents the 2024 list.

    11:40 AM

    Startup Lightning Talks I
    Manager of Partnerships & Engagement, MIT Startup Exchange
    Tricia Dinkel
    Manager of Partnerships & Engagement

    Tricia Dinkel comes to Corporate Relations with several years of experience in the innovation ecosystem and managing relationships with startups and corporates. Tricia previously worked as Director of Navigate (NECEC’s flagship innovation program) at the Northeast Clean Energy Council (NECEC) in Boston where she led all operations and partnership development for 400+ startups, 65+ innovation partners, and 200+ investors & corporates in North America and Europe. Prior to that role, Tricia held positions with increasing responsibility in program management at NECEC. Before that, her experience included Director of Data Analytics and Sustainability Reporting Manager at WegoWise Inc. in Boston, Associate Director at the Committee on Capital Markets Regulation in Cambridge, Senior Sustainability Coordinator at A Better City in Boston, and Assistant Director at The Green Alliance in Portsmouth, NH.

    Tricia earned her B.A., in Environmental Studies/Natural Resource Policy at the University of Colorado, and her M.A., in Environmental Science Education at the University of New Hampshire. She served on the NECEC Diversity & Inclusion Committee and as a member of the USGBC (U.S. Green Building Council), Massachusetts Chapter.

    Advancing Women’s Cardiovascular Research and Care Through Personalized Diagnostics
    Alicia Chong Rodriguez
    Founder and CEO, Bloomer Tech
    Alicia Chong Rodriguezis
    Alicia Chong Rodriguez
    Founder and CEO

    Alicia Chong Rodriguez is the Founder and CEO of Bloomer Tech, a company addressing sex differences in cardiovascular care for women by using Tech-AugmentedGarments (TAG) for personalized healthcare. She graduated from MIT with a degree in Electrical Engineering &Computer Science, along with the MIT Integrated Design and Management Program. Her research focused on sex-specific, computationally-generated cardiac biomarkers at the MIT Computational Cardiovascular Research Group. She received the MIT Legatum Fellowship and the Biennial MIT Graduate Women of Excellence Award. Her TED Talk on A SMART BRA FOR BETTER HEART HEALTH has over 1.9million views. In 2023, Bloomer Tech was awarded as a Tech Pioneer by the World Economic Forum. She has also been recognized as a TED Fellow, Medtech Boston 40 under 40Healthcare Innovator, and in the top 100 Female Founders across the U.S. by Inc Magazine.

    Go Beyond Zero Trust with Gradient Security Mesh
    Christian Wentz
    Founder and CEO, Gradient
    Christian Wentz
    Founder and CEO

    Christian Wentz is the founder and CEO of Gradient, a secure data infrastructure company developing a solution for protecting computing and sensor infrastructure from silicon up to software across edge-to-cloud devices.  Gradient serves enterprises broadly, with a focus on critical infrastructure, fintech, and defense intelligence applications.

    Previously, Christian was the founder and CEO of Kendall Research Systems, a neural interface company acquired by Kernel. Co in 2017.   He was a member of the founding team at Misfit, Inc., which was acquired by Fossil Group (NASDAQ: FOSL) in 2015 for $270MM. Wentz received the inaugural Forbes’s 30 Under 30 award in Science & Innovation and was awarded the Hertz Foundation Myhrvold Family Fellowship to pursue a PhD at MIT. He earned an M.Eng in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science under Profs. Ed Boyden and Rahul Sarpeshkar, and an S.B. in Electrical Science and Engineering, both from MIT.

    The World's Most User-Friendly Data Analytics Hub Leveraging AI-Powered Analytics Agent.
    Daphne Pariser
    CEO, HeronAI
    Daphne Pariser
    CEO

    Dr. Daphne Pariser has over 15 years in STEM, where she spent her postdoc at Harvard and MIT, focusing on bioinformatics to deep dive into infectious diseases. During this time, she started two companies; the most recent is HeronAI, which focuses on providing a 360-degree view of business analytics automatically in 5 minutes.

    Empowering SMBs with Instant, AI-Driven Embedded Lending Solutions
    Jerry Shu
    Co-Founder, Lendica
    Jerry Shu
    Co-Founder

    Jerry Shu has a passion for innovative fintech solutions with a focus on quantitative finance and risk management. Shu is in charge of product management, system architecture and the underwriting program. Before co-founding Lendica, Shu built a derivative trading platform for blockchain assets and worked as a quantitative researcher at J.P. Morgan. Shu is a full-stack engineer, a lover of spicy food, and, as he is known around the office, the company’s authority on data. Shu has a Masters in Finance from MIT.

    The Venture Creating Circular Plastics with Zero Carbon Emissions
    Stwart Peña Feliz
    Co-Founder and CEO, MacroCycle
    Stwart Peña Feliz
    Co-Founder and CEO

    Stwart Peña Feliz graduated from Cornell with a B.S. in chemical engineering in 2017. After graduation, Stwart went on to work in various engineering roles at ExxonMobil (including Exxon’s first recycling unit), Air Products, and a hydrogen startup called Utility Global. He then went on to earn his Master of Business Administration from the MIT Sloan School of Management, where he founded MacroCycle Technologies with his technical co-founder. After experiencing the reality of chemical recycling in industry, Stwart is now working to lead MacroCycle’s technology to become the largest producer of upcycled PET plastics through their upcycling, zero-emissions process.

    Secure Resilient Data Mesh for the Digital Edge
    Sujeesh Krishnan
    Sujeesh Krishnan
    CEO

    Sujeesh Krishnan is the Chief Executive Officer of Kinnami and has over 25 years of experience leading strategy, sales, market development, and product management in the high-technology industry. His career spans the private sector, where he has brought new technologies to optimize supply chains and solve critical data management issues to market in the aerospace, defense, oil & gas, and chemical industries, as well as public sector organizations, including the Carbon Trust and the United Nations.

    Sujeesh serves on the Board of Directors for CLASP, a leading non-profit focused on improving energy efficiency globally as well as on the advisory boards of several early-stage technology startups. Sujeeshholds an M.S. in Manufacturing Systems Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MBA from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

    Pioneering the Future of Transporting Goods
    Saman Amarasinghe
    Co-Founder, Venti Technologies
    Saman Amarasinghe
    Co-Founder

    Saman Amarasinghe is a Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a member of its Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), where he leads the Commit compiler group. His research interests are in discovering novel approaches to improve the performance of modern computer systems without unduly increasing the complexity faced by the end users, application developers, compiler writers, or computer architects. In addition to Venti Technologies, Saman was a co-founder of Determina, Lanka Internet Services Ltd., DataCebo, and Exaloop corporations. Saman received his BS in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Cornell University in 1988 and his MSEE and Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1990 and 1997, respectively. He is an ACM Fellow

    1:30 PM

    Startup & Corporate Engagement, Success Cases
    Moderator:
    Ron Spangler
    Ron Spangler
    Director

    Ron Spangler serves as the Director of Corporate Relations, managing a diverse portfolio of companies in the mining, energy, aerospace, and defense sectors. Before joining MIT Corporate Relations, Ron dedicated two decades to an industry career, primarily focusing on various MIT-connected startup companies. In 1994, he earned his doctorate in Aeronautics and Astronautics from MIT, and his extensive contributions include numerous publications and patents. Notably, Ron is also an FAA-licensed pilot with a glider rating.

    Panelists:
    Co-Founder & CEO, SiTration
    Brendan Smith
    Co-Founder & CEO

    Brendan Smith is the Co-Founder & CEO of SiTration, Inc., an advanced materials startup that aims to drastically reduce cost and resource consumption of important industrial separations on a global scale. Spun out of MIT in 2020, the company is developing its core technology, an ultra-durable electrified filtration membrane, to impact the extraction and recovery of critical materials from end-of-life electric vehicle batteries and various mining streams. Brendan earned a Ph.D. in materials science & engineering from MIT and a B.S. in nanotechnology engineering from the University of Waterloo and is passionate about developing new materials to address big societal challenges.

    Chief Advisor of Research & Development, Rio Tinto
    Saskia Duyvesteyn
    Saskia Duyvesteyn
    Chief Advisor of Research & Development

    Saskia Duyvesteyn is the Chief Advisor of Research & Development for the Rio Tinto Copper product group and manages the portfolio of innovation projects across the entire value stream, including ore body knowledge, underground & surface mining, mineral processing & metallurgy, tailings, and digital projects. Saskia has over 20 years of experience in operational, technical, and leadership roles based in Nevada, California, and Utah for a range of commodities, including copper, gold, silver, borates, molybdenum, and other critical minerals. Prior to her career in mining, Saskia was an assistant professor at the University of Utah’s Department of Metallurgical Engineering. Saskia has a Ph.D. in Extractive Metallurgy & Mineral Processing and a Master of Science in Minerals Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. She has a Bachelor of Science in Materials Science & Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is also a Senior Rio Tinto Expert. 

    Head of Knowledge, Innovation, and Development Center, Dubai Police
    Captain Aisha Saeed Harib
    Captain Aisha Saeed Harib
    Head of Knowledge, Innovation, and Development Center

    Captain Aisha Saeed Harib is a researcher in the field of future innovation and emerging technologies, philanthropist, and social entrepreneur who has devoted her career to giving back to the UAE. She is a national expert in the niche sector of public innovation and, through her day job and Ph.D. studies, is invested in developing radical solutions to pervasive social and environmental problems.

    CEO, SplitSage
    Joshua Sarmir
    CEO

    Joshua Sarmir is the CEO of SplitSage. He studied finance and computer science at Boston College and has cofounded multiple companies and has helped Fortune 500 companies and government agencies tackle significant challenges over his 25-year career. When presented with a problem, he sees opportunity. As a former executive of Raytheon, he helped commercialize research to help protect the safety of our military and bring innovation to companies like Apple. Today he brings the opportunity to leverage groundbreaking science from MIT to improve effectiveness and increase safety across many industries.

    Fostering collaborations between MIT-connected startups and corporates is part of MIT Startup Exchange mission. This panel features two successful collaborations that Startup Exchange and ILP helped form with startups and ILP corporate members. Panelists will talk about the different types of engagement, how they took shape, and what’s next as they keep progressing.

    2:15 PM

    Startup Lightning Talks II
    Program Coordinator, MIT Startup Exchange
    Irina Gaziyeva
    Program Coordinator

    Irina Gaziyeva comes to Corporate Relations from the Mechanical Engineering Department at MIT where she worked 10 years as Administrative Assistant where she has supported four senior faculty members and their research groups (20-25 graduate students). Since 2018, Irina has acted as program coordinator, teaming-up with the program manager and program faculty lead for the MechE Alliance program. She has facilitated 45+ virtual seminars, workshops, and mentoring events in this informal role. Irina has also actively connected members of the MechE community to support student career development, mentorship, and networking opportunities with MIT alumni and industry. Before MIT, Irina held positions as Administrative Assistant and Member Representative at Brookline Dental and Tufts Health plan, respectively. Irina has also been a Community Organizer in Worcester, MA.

    Irina earned her B.A., Management (with Innovation & Entrepreneurship track) at Clark University in Worcester, and her M.S., Program and Project Management from Brandeis University in Waltham. She has received many awards at MIT for outstanding service, and she has extensive community volunteer work to her credit.

    High-Quality, Permanent, Carbon Removal
    John Greenfield
    Head of Business Development, Noya
    John Greenfield
    Head of Business Development

    John Greenfield is the head of business of development at Noya, an Oakland-based startup scaling the high-quality, permanent carbon removal that the IPCC has identified as necessary in order to limit global warming below 1.5℃. Prior to Noya, John held various executive roles while scaling Everactive, a startup at the intersection of renewable energy and industrial automation, from Seed Stage to Series C and beyond.

    Throughout his career, he’s repeatedly earned the trust of founders, investors, and engineers, driven product-market fit, and scaled organizations from “0 to 1” and “1 to n.” Along the way, he has helped raise more than $125M from top-tier VCs and CVCs – including NEA, In-Q-Tel, and ABB. John holds a BA in Environmental Economics from Colgate University and an MBA from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia, where he earned the William Michael Shermet Award. He lives in the Bay Area with his awesome wife and daughter, and enjoys spending as much time as possible moving (running, skiing, or biking) in the mountains.

    Build 3D AI Chips Faster
    Tairan Wang
    Co-Founder & CEO, Sangtera
    Tairan Wang
    Co-Founder & CEO

    Dr. Tairan Wang is co-founder & CEO of Sangtera, a spin-out company from MIT Lincoln Laboratory focused on building high throughput high precision advanced packaging systems to enable the production of next generation 3D AI processors. Prior to MIT LL, Tairan was the Chief Operating Officer of AFFOA, a manufacturing innovation institute for advanced fiber and textile. Before that, he held executive positions in operations and engineering for start-ups in medical devices, and integrated photonics. He holds dual Bachelor of Science degrees in physics and electrical engineering, and Ph.D. in physics from MIT, and is a graduate of Harvard Business School General Management Program.

    Making Navigation More Resilient with No GPS, Cellular or Wi-Fi Connectivity
    Kanwar Singh
    CEO and CO-Founder, Skyline Nav AI
    Kanwar Singh
    CEO and CO-Founder

    Kanwar Singh is the CEO and Co-Founder of Skyline Nav AI, Inc. As a mission-driven company, Skyline Nav AI's goal is to keep the US and our allies competitive, safe, and resilient in the 21st century. We specialize in harnessing the power of computer vision algorithms and reference datasets to navigate and position effectively without relying on GPS, cellular, or Wi-Fi. Our solution allows you to confidently operate in urban canyons, and in environments where GPS may be degraded or entirely absent.  Our product, Skyline Match AI™️ gets you within five meters in urban areas with an unobstructed view, 95% of the time, with no GPS, cellular or Wi-Fi connectivity. Skyline Nav AI is backed by the US Air Force, NASA, US Army, National Security Innovation Network, MassChallenge, Draper Labs, and many other customers and partners. Join us in revolutionizing the future of AI-powered mobility and making navigation more resilient.

    The AI-Powered Talent Marketplace for Business Leaders
    Chris Mannion
    Founder, Meander
    Chris Mannion
    Founder

    Chris Mannion is the founder of Meander, an AI recruiting platform that improves hiring quality by using competitive talent intelligence to predict post-hire performance. He founded Meander in 2021 after spending three years building the first recruiter enablement, analytics, and operations function supporting 400+ recruiters at Wayfair. After three years in supply chain analytics, Chris moved into recruiting to lead the 30-person campus and programmatic hiring team. He holds an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management. Before his MBA, he was an aerospace engineering officer in the Royal Navy and served on various counter-piracy and counter-terrorism deployments across the globe.

    How Bold Ideas Get Told
    Katie Trauth Taylor
    CEO and Co-Founder, Narratize
    Katie Trauth Taylor
    CEO and Co-Founder

    Katie Trauth Taylor is CEO and Cofounder of Narratize AI, the Generative AI storytelling platform for innovative enterprise. Katie is a growth-focused entrepreneur executive with 10+ years experience inspiring teams to design and deliver magnetic products, memorable experiences, and groundbreaking impacts. She has led strategic innovation narratives and served as a senior content strategist within fast-growth tech startups and the Fortune 500, including Boeing, NASA, Hershey, Sunoco, AAA, IFF, Dupont, Edgewell, Cincinnati Children's, Argonne National Lab, Crossover Health, Parsley Health, Omada, Physera, US Dept of Veterans Affairs, Millennium Challenge Corporation, World Food Forum, and the United Nations. She believes that everyone can be an innovator--when empowered to share their bold ideas.

    Building the next generation of pathology labs through AI
    Tim Spong
    CEO & Co-Founder, Vistapath
    Tim Spong
    CEO & Co-Founder

    Timothy Spong is the CEO and one of the founders of Vistapath. Before starting Vistapath, he had a 15 year career in histology, from a histology technician through to managing laboratory networks at large academic medical centers. During his time in the clinical lab, Tim saw how a lack of innovation in histology was negatively impacting patient care; his passion is to bring that innovation to the histology space.

    Breakthrough Innovation to Halve Time and Cost for Clinical Trials
    Michael Davies
    CEO, WKD.SMRT
    Michael Davies
    CEO

    Michael’s expertise and experience cover the spectrum of the key issues involved in high-tech businesses, particularly mobile devices and services and wireless networks, and business strategies for the digital economy. He has worked for nearly thirty years in the telecommunications and related industries with a particular focus on innovation in mobile devices, communications services and network infrastructure. His experience spans the design, development and deployment of mechanical, electrical, electronic and high-tech products; manufacturing; software coding; video; supply chain management; research and development; technology; and strategy.

    2:55 PM

    Networking Break with Startups and MIT Campus Partners Exhibit
    3:20 PM

    Myths About Entrepreneurship

    Ethernet Inventors Professor of the Practice, MIT Sloan School of Management and
    Managing Director of the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship

    Bill Aulet
    William (Bill) Aulet

    Ethernet Inventors Professor of the Practice, MIT Sloan School of Management and
    Managing Director of the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship

    William (Bill) Aulet is changing the way entrepreneurship is understood, taught, and practiced around the world. He is an award-winning educator and author whose current work is built off the foundation of his successful 25-year business career, first at IBM and then as a three-time serial entrepreneur. During this time, he directly raised over a hundred million dollars and, more importantly, created hundreds of millions of dollars of shareholder value through his companies. Since 2009, Bill has been responsible for leading the development of entrepreneurship education across MIT at the Trust Center. His first book, “Disciplined Entrepreneurship,” was released in August 2013, has been translated into over 20 languages, and has been the content for three online edX courses, which have been taken by hundreds of thousands of people in 200 different countries. The accompanying follow-on book, “Disciplined Entrepreneurship Workbook,” was released in April 2017. He has widely published in places such as the Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch, the Boston Globe, the Sloan Management Review, the Kauffman Foundation, Entrepreneur Magazine, MIT Sloan Experts, and more. He has been a featured speaker on shows such as CNBC’s Squawk Box, BBC News, and Bloomberg News, as well as at events and conferences around the world. He has degrees from Harvard and MIT and is a board member of MITEK Systems (NASDAQ: MITK) and XL Hybrids Inc. (privately held), as well as a visiting professor at the University of Strathclyde (Scotland). On July 1, 2017, Bill was named a Professor of the Practice at MIT Sloan, the first at the school in the area of entrepreneurship since Alex d’Arbeloff received the designation in 2003. Bill has earned external recognition as well for his efforts, which include Boston 50 on Fire, 2017 Favorite MBA Professors from Poets and Quants, and 2018 Nannerl Keohane Distinguished Visiting Professorship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University. In 2019, Bill was awarded the Outstanding Contributions to Advancing Innovation and Entrepreneurship Award by the Deshpande Foundation. In 2021, Bill was recognized by the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE) as the 2021 Entrepreneurship Educator of the Year. Disciplined Entrepreneurship has been translated to versions in Arabic, Audio (via Audible), Chinese Orthodox, Chinese Simplified, Croatian, Danish, German, Greek, Farsi, Japanese, Korean (where it was named one of the top Economics & Business books of 2014 by the prestigious Kyobo Book Store), Mongolian, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish and Vietnamese. It has been a best seller in many countries, including Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam. It has also been the basis of a series of highly successful MIT edX online classes, Entrepreneurship 101, Entrepreneurship 102, and Entrepreneurship 103, as well as the MIT Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamps, which have been held at different locations, including MIT, Seoul (South Korea), and Brisbane (Australia). He has also led the design and delivery of two other online edX courses, “Cultivating Entrepreneurship & Antifragility to Thrive in a Fast-Paced World” and “Fundamentals of Entrepreneurial Finance: What Every Entrepreneur Should Know.”

    Entrepreneurship in the last decade has undergone a profound transformation, adapting to the rapid technological advancements and evolving market demands. To meet these new challenges, there's a pressing need for robust and adaptable standards in entrepreneurship education that ensure future entrepreneurs are well-equipped. In this session, we will debunk common myths and misconceptions surrounding entrepreneurship, shedding light on the realities of starting and running a successful business in today's world.

    4:00 PM

    Investing in Science Based Startups
    Moderator:
    CEO and Managing Partner, The Engine Ventures
    Katie Rae
    CEO and Managing Partner

    Katie is the CEO & Managing Partner of Engine Ventures. She serves as a Board Member for The Engine Funds’ portfolio companies Commonwealth Fusion Systems, Form Energy, Boston Metal, and Sublime Systems. Katie has over 10 years of experience as an investor and 25 years as a tech executive, helping build Boston into a thriving tech hub. She has invested in nearly 100 companies and advised hundreds of founders from early-stage formation to scale-up. Key investments include Pillpack (acquired by Amazon for $1 billion in 2018), Flywire, Moon, and GrabCAD. Katie has experience in managing startup accelerators and business-innovation programs — she was a Managing Director of Techstars Boston. She was also a co-founder and Managing Director at Project 11 Ventures. In addition to her extensive investing career, she has over 20 years of experience in product development, management & operations including holding management positions at Microsoft, Eons, AltaVista, RagingBull, Zip2, and Mirror Worlds. Katie holds an MBA from Yale and a BA in Biology from Oberlin College. Katie co-founded the Equity Summit, which convenes leading General Partners and Asset Managers of diversity across the venture capital industry.

    Business Lead, Investment Committee, Breakthrough Energy Ventures and Co-Founder, Material Impact

    Carmichael Roberts

    Business Lead, Investment Committee, Breakthrough Energy Ventures and Co-Founder, Material Impact

    Throughout his career, Carmichael honed a unique business model of licensing university technology and commercializing it through targeted partnerships with Fortune 500 companies.

    Carmichael also co-leads the investment committee at Breakthrough Energy Ventures, a mission-oriented group committed to changing the world by creating and building companies that address the threat of climate change and long-term sustainability of the planet.

    Carmichael’s strategy as a venture investor is based on his successful career as an entrepreneur in materials innovation, blending a unique business model of licensing university technology and commercializing it through targeted partnerships with Fortune 500 companies. 

    Preceding his career as an investor, Carmichael co-founded several ventures in which he served as President and CEO or Chairman. Prior to his entrepreneurial career, he worked in business development at GelTex Pharmaceuticals, acquired by Genzyme for $1.3 billion, and in new product and business development at Dow Chemical (formerly Union Carbide Corporation).

    Carmichael was elected to the Board of Trustees of Duke University in 2013, where he currently serves as Vice Chairman. He was appointed to the Duke University Health System Board of Directors in 2017 and currently serves on the Audit and Compliance Committee. He was appointed Chairman of the Board of the Consumer Technology Association in 2022 and he also serves on the boards for WGBH, and Massachusetts General Hospital Physicians Organization. 

    Carmichael was selected by the Aspen Institute to participate in the Finance Leaders Fellowship program as a senior leader in the venture capital industry and was recently selected as the Edison Achievement Award winner for his contributions to innovative technology solutions. He was ranked #1 on the Boston Globe’s Tech Power Players 50 list in 2022.

    In this fireside chat speakers will talk about taking science based startups to market. The potential these ventures have to transform sectors and the challenges they face as they invest early on.

    4:30 PM

    Closing Remarks
    Catarina Madeira
    Director

    Catarina has been working with the Cambridge/Boston startup ecosystem for over 10 years and joined Corporate Relations with a solid network in the innovation and entrepreneurial community. Prior to MIT, she was part of the team that designed and launched the startup accelerator IUL MIT Portugal, which was later rebranded as Building Global Innovators. She was based in Lisbon and worked in direct relation with the Cambridge team. She held positions including Operations Coordinator, Program Manager, and Business Developer. The accelerator soon achieved steady growth in large part due to the partnerships that Catarina led with regional and global startup ecosystems. After that, she worked at NECEC, leading a program that connects cleantech startups and industry. In this role, she developed and built a pipeline of startups and forged strong relationships with both domestic and European companies. She has also held positions in Portugal and France, including at Saboaria e Perfumaria Confiança and L’Oréal as Technical Director and Pharmacist. Catarina earned her bachelor's in chemistry and pharmaceutical sciences in Portugal. She went on to earn her Master of Engineering for Health and Medicines in France.

    4:35 PM

    Networking Reception