FEATURED SPEAKERS

Amy Divaraniya

AMY DIVARANIYA

Entrepreneur Panelist | CEO & Founder, OOVA

Amy Divaraniya is the founder of OOVA, the first spinout company from the Institute for Next Generation Healthcare at Mount Sinai Hospital. OOVA was born with the goal to help women easily achieve their fertility goals without disrupting their busy lifestyles. Her team of career scientists and engineers are working diligently to make this a reality for all women across the world. Amy is a strong business development professional with a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) focused in Genetics and Genomics Sciences from Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Andrea Xu

Entrepreneur Panelist | Founder, Umamicart

Andrea is the founder of Umamicart, an online grocer, delivering Asian groceries directly to your doorstep. They make it more convenient for their customers to find their favorite Asian ingredients, while celebrating the makers, producers, and suppliers behind the brands and products they carry. Andreas has a 2020 MIT Sloan MBA.

Chitra Nawbatt

CHITRA NAWBATT

VC Panel Moderator | Venture Capitalist

Chitra Nawbatt is a strategic advisor to several venture capital and private equity backed portfolio companies in healthcare, enterprise, consumer and fintech.  Chitra’s unique multi-industry and multidisciplinary expertise powers her work as a business builder. Chitra was the Global Head of Health Assurance Partnerships at General Catalyst. She led the expansion and execution of investment theses, as well as ecosystem business development. This included originating, commercializing and managing strategic partnerships for their many portfolio companies. Previously, Chitra was a broadcast journalist after spending more than a decade in financial services.

Christina Hawatmeh 2.jpeg

CHRISTINA HAWATMEH

Entrepreneur Panelist | CEO of Scopio

Christina co-founded Scopio to change the visual landscape to reflect the world we live in. Scopio is the first female founded photo marketplace to mint and fully distribute photographic and illustrative NFTS. Their marketplace of over 1 million images offers every buyer the chance to be the owner of a one of a kind digital asset, and their global artists can optionally get paid in crypto.
Scopio made Top Entrepreneurs to Follow in 2021 by NY Finance, Forbes30under30, and has been featured in CNN, NBC, Entrepreneur and HuffPost! Christina and her co-founder even found time to publish a book!

Geri Kirilova

GERI KIRILOVA

VC Panelist | Managing Partner at Laconia

Geri is a Managing Partner at Laconia, where she leads pre-seed and seed investments in b2b software companies, predominantly HQ'd in the US & Canada. She was previously at Techstars IoT (NYC), LAUNCHub (Sofia), and Credo Ventures (Prague).
Geri has experience in business development, operations, sales, and early-stage investing. She loves all things tech-, startup- and people-related. She has lived and worked in four countries, speaks three (and a half) languages, and is always on the hunt for a new travel destination.

Jaillian Williams.jpg

JILLIAN WILLIAMS

VC Panelist | Principal at Cowboy Ventures

Jillian is a Principal at Cowboy Ventures, investing in early-stage companies with deep expertise in early-stage fintech and SaaS startups. 
Prior to joining Cowboy, Jillian spent 5 years investing at Anthemis, an early-stage fintech-focused venture firm, focused across North America and Europe. She also led the launch of the Female Innovators Lab, Anthemis’ venture studio in partnership with Barclays that supports female founders.

katie_palencsar_p2.jpg

KATIE PALENCSAR

VC Panelist | Managing Director, Global Head of Venture Studio at Anthemis

Katie Palencsar is a thought leader in early-stage company building, venture studios, and the female founder investment ecosystem. She currently serves as Managing Director, Global Head of Venture Studio at Anthemis and leads the Female Innovators Lab Fund in partnership with Barclays, investing in early stage female founders in fintech. Since launching the fund at the end of 2019, Katie has led its global expansion and AUM growth, now investing across North America, UK and Europe.

Laura Indolfi_2.webp

LAURA INDOLFI

Entrepreneur Panelist | CEO of PanTher Therapeutics, TED Fellow, EIR @MGH Cancer Center

Laura Indolfi is the Co-Founder & CEO of PanTher Therapeutics, an early stage spin-out from MIT and MGH that provides superior technologies for revolutionizing the treatment of locally advanced solid tumors. Her scientific expertise covers a broad range of therapeutic areas (cardio, cancer, regenerative medicine) and approaches (drug delivery, cell therapy, implanted devices). Prior to PanTher, she was an RA at the Harvard-MIT Institute for Medical Engineering & Science, and served as an entrepreneur-in-residence at the MGH Cancer Center. In 2016, she was named a TED Fellow.

Laurel Touby Headshot_p5.jpg

Journalist turned entrepreneur, Laurel is now a venture investor. Following the sale of her company (mediabistro.com), she launched a venture fund known for its massive network: thus, Supernode Ventures. They touch the entrepreneurial community in various ways, including via a monthly co-hosted Cereal Entrepreneurs breakfast, Venture Deal Dinners, Media Dinners and Customer Dinners (for their portfolio companies).

Tara_Bishop_p1.jpg

Entrepreneur Panel Moderator | Founder, Black Opal Ventures

Tara is a venture capitalist, physician, MIT Alum, ex-Director at McKinsey, startup advisor and published healthcare policy expert. Most recently she's a founder at Black Opal Ventures, a newly established VC firm focused on early- to mid-stage entrepreneurial investment opportunities. She brings tremendous life-sciences expertise to her investing, advisory and publishing ventures.

 

JUDGES

Alison Newman

ALISON NEWMAN

Judge | Partner at Fox Rothschild

Alison Newman is a Corporate Partner in the New York office of Fox Rothschild. She advises and guides a wide range of entrepreneurs, startups, venture capital-backed companies and emerging growth companies, as well as public and private companies, investment banks and high-net-worth individuals. Alison earned her law degree at NYU and her undergrad degree at the University of Pennsylvania. She currently serves on the Board of Overseers for the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Engineering and Applied Science and was appointed to its newly formed Technological Innovation and Entrepreneurship Board.

Diana Melencio

DIANA MELENCIO

Judge | Partner at XRC Labs

Diana is an early stage venture investor and advisor passionate about innovative consumer products and next-gen tech-enabled B2B & DTC companies. Previously to XRC, she built and scaled two technology companies in retail and consumer tech: securing funding and successfully leading major partnerships.
Diana has appeared on the Today Show, been quoted in CNN, US News, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Glossy.co, Bustle, MarketWatch, and Monster.com.

Emma Silverman

EMMA SILVERMAN

Judge | Principal at Trail Mix Ventures

Emma Silverman is a Principal at TMV, focusing largely on the Care Economy with work across the fund's five sectors. Emma manages TMV's deal flow and diligence, and collaborates with the firm's General Partners on portfolio support, fund operations, investor relations and marketing. Prior to joining TMV, Emma was on the executive team at Truebird Coffee. Before Truebird, Emma led consumer insights and product innovation at Flamingo. She started her career as a consultant at Bain & Compan. Emma studied English, Creative Writing and Economics at the University of Pennsylvania, where she graduated summa cum laude in 2015.

jenny_berlin.jpg

Judge | Entrepreneur in Residence at MIT Sloan

Jenny is an Entrepreneur in Residence  at the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship and a Lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management. She holds both an MCP and MBA in Urban Planning & Business from MIT. She is also the founder of Optimus Ride, an MIT spinoff company that developed self-driving technologies to enable safe, sustainable, and equitable mobility systems.