- Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu was born and raised in one of the most impoverished and marginalized communities of Ethiopia. Seeing that Ethiopia had plenty of charity “brands” but not a single global brand of its own, Bethlehem set out to change that. In 2005, Bethlehem founded the trailblazing footwear company soleRebels to provide solid community-based jobs. Now hailed as the Nike of Africa, soleRebels is proud to be the planet’s fastest growing African footwear brand and the very first global footwear brand to ever emerge from a developing nation. SoleRebels currently employs almost 200 people.
Bethlehem’s achievements include being the very first female African entrepreneur to address the Clinton Global Initiative as both a speaker and panelist. The World Economic Forum named her one of 2011’s Young Global Leaders. In May 2011, Bethlehem was invited by the World Bank to address the World Bank/UN LDC trade enhancement policy formulation sessions in Istanbul, marking the first time a female African entrepreneur was invited to help formulate global policy in this forum. In December 2011, soleRebels was chosen from over 3,300 African companies as the winner of the prestigious 2011 Legatum Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship.
- Charles Best leads DonorsChoose.org, a nonprofit organization which provides a simple, personal, and accountable way for people to address educational inequity. At DonorsChoose.org, public school teachers post classroom project requests, and donors can pick the projects they want to support. Every donor then gets photographs and thank-you letters from the classroom he or she chose to help.
Recognition of DonorsChoose.org includes the Amazon.com Nonprofit Innovation Award, selection by Ashoka, and election by the TechCrunch community as the website “most likely to make the world a better place.” Fortune Magazine has twice featured Charles in the “40 under 40” list of “business’s hottest rising stars.” In 2010, Oprah Winfrey announced DonorsChoose.org as one of her “Ultimate Favorite Things.” In 2011, Fast Company listed DonorsChoose.org as one of the “50 Most Innovative Companies in the World,” the first time a charity has received this recognition.
- As CTO and Co-founder of BaseKit, Simon Best blends technology expertise with entrepreneurial drive. Three years ago, Simon started building the core of BaseKit’s platform, which has now evolved into a professional web application used by hundreds of thousands of users around the world. BaseKit users can build websites without the need to write code.
Prior to BaseKit, Simon ran a web development agency and lead generation business. Simon holds a Master’s Degree in Electronic Engineering from The University of Bristol. Before starting his own business ventures, Simon was an engineer with Imagination Technologies (IMG) developing software for consumer audio devices such as home cinema systems, MP3 players, digital radios and set-top boxes.
- Sundeep Bhan has over 15 years of leadership experience with building teams, developing talent, and successfully growing, managing and selling businesses in healthcare marketing and technology. Prior to Medivo, Sundeep was the CEO and Co-founder of Medsite, Inc. (sold to WebMD in 2006). He established Medsite as a leader in online pharmaceutical marketing and services by building an extensive online community of health care professionals, including over 400,000 US physicians. He secured financing from a range of blue chip investors, including JP Morgan Partners, Morgan Stanley, Bain, and Reuters. After the sale of Medsite to WebMD in the fall of 2006, he worked on integration, new product development, and corporate strategy at WebMD.
Mr. Bhan received his BA from the Annenberg School of Communications at the University of Pennsylvania, with a concentration in business from the Wharton School of Business. He was selected one of the ‘Top 5 Under 35’ by the Asian Indian Chambers of Commerce, and was a 3-time finalist for the Ernst and Young “Entrepreneur of the Year” award. He is currently a Director of the Board of Terasol Energy and serves on the Advisory Board of KNB Communications, Inc.
- Neil Blumenthal loves helping people see. Determined to radically transform the eyewear industry, Neil and three friends launched Warby Parker (www.warbyparker.com). Warby Parker designs and sells vintage-inspired frames and prescription lenses for $95 whereas comparable quality glasses cost $500. And, for every pair sold, a pair is given to someone in need.
Prior to Warby Parker, Neil was the Director of VisionSpring, a non-profit social enterprise that trains low-income women to start their own business selling affordable eyeglasses to individuals living on less than $4 per day in South Asia, Africa and Latin America. He was responsible for developing VisionSpring’s award-winning strategy (Fast Company Social Capitalist Award ‘08, ‘07 and ‘05) and expanding VisionSpring’s global presence from one to 10 countries. In 2005, Neil was named a Fellow for Emerging Leaders in Public Service at the NYU Robert F. Wagner School for Public Service. Prior to joining VisionSpring, he worked with the International Crisis Group and attended the Institute for International Mediation and Conflict Resolution in The Hague, Netherlands. Neil received his BA from Tufts University and his MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania where he was both a Social Enterprise Fellow and a Leadership Fellow. Neil, his wife, jewelry designer Rachel Leigh, and his son Griffin, live in NYC.
- Sidhartha Kumar Bhimania is the Co-founder and CEO of EnNatura Technology Ventures. EnNatura is a clean-materials company focused on eco-friendly polymers and biochemicals from renewable feedstocks. EnNatura is an R&D spin-off from the International Institute of Technology Delhi (IITD). EnNatura has been featured on BBC News, and in The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal as a leading cleantech start-up from India.
EnNatura was founded in 2006 to commercialize research conducted in Prof. Ashok Bhaskarwar’s laboratory at IITD. Sidhartha heads marketing, management and operations at EnNatura. He has been recognized by the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) and the Indian Department of Science and Industrial Research (DSIR) as a young innovator/technology entrepreneur.
Sidhartha completed his BTech in chemical engineering from IIT Delhi. Subsequently, he went to Rice University in the United States for post-graduate studies in chemical engineering, returning to India midway through 2005. He has conducted research in the areas of eco-friendly polymers, colloids, natural gas hydrates, effluent treatment, and fluid turbulence with leading lights.
- Bryan Burkhart is the Co-founder and CEO of H.BLOOM (www.hbloom.com), the first online floral subscription service of its kind. In conjunction with his business partner, Sonu Panda, Burkhart is turning the floral world upside down. H.BLOOM’s service delivers to corporate and consumer clients seeking beautiful bouquets on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis, with a variety of package options ranging from Classic to Exotic and starting at just $29 including delivery. Burkhart realized that the subscription model would also provide an extraordinary business advantage – eliminate waste by only buying what had been subscribed for already. After an initial launch in New York in April 2010, H.BLOOM has since expanded to Washington DC, Chicago and San Francisco, with plans to open nationwide over the coming years.
Growing up in the small town of Wheeling, West Virginia, Bryan Burkhart dreamed of one day starting and building a big company. After studying Entrepreneurial Management at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, he traveled to Austin, Texas to join Trilogy Software before moving to San Francisco at the age of 23 to join a pre-revenue start-up called Callidus Software. Rising to the position of Senior Vice President of Global Sales and Business Development and moving to New York City, Burkhart helped to grow the venture to over $100 million in revenue and a successful IPO.
When he’s not working to build H.BLOOM, Burkhart enjoys spending time with his wife and three children and running the occasional marathon.”
- Daniel Callaghan is the Founder of MBA & Company, a global marketplace for companies to access the world’s best talent in a freelance fashion. The business has thousands of MBAs and PhDs from leading schools in over a hundred countries with clients ranging from global brands with international projects to entrepreneurs who need 10hrs of financial modeling delivered.
- Prior to starting MBA & Company, Daniel worked in marketing developing media strategies for clients such as Procter and Gamble, 20th Century Fox, and the British Government. Daniel has an MBA from IESE Business and a dual honors degree from Durham University. As well as winning multiple awards for entrepreneurship, Daniel has recently had his first book published, called “Buy Me! 10 steps to selling yourself in business,” which is designed to help young professionals build their careers.
Daniel is hoping to build MBA & Company into a global platform that is frequently used by large corporations as a central resource pool for all of their requirements as well as a means for startups to access the same talent as McKinsey or Goldman Sachs in the most cost-effective and flexible manner possible.
- Shawn Cheng founded hoopCHINA.com in 2004 with his partners Bing Yang and Remus Wang. hoopCHINA is currently the largest sports website in China, covering basketball, soccer and other major sports. Its sports fan community has over 20 million active members. Additionally, hoopCHINA organizes various sporting events in hundreds of cities across China. Its revenue sources include advertising, online games, sports lotteries, and e-commerce.
Shawn Cheng received his bachelor’s degree at Tsinghua University, Beijing, in 2001 and his PhD in Mechanical Engineering at Northwestern University in 2009.
- Rachael Chong is the Founder and CEO of Catchafire, the world’s first and largest online pro bono service provider. Catchafire was named #1 in Huffington Post’s Innovators Series and has appeared on New York Times, Mashable, NPR, FOX Business, CNNMoney, Crain’s, Forbes, Fast Company, TechCrunch, Daily Candy, and Change.org.
Prior to Catchafire, Rachael leveraged her investment banking experience to help start-up BRAC USA, the US affiliate of BRAC, the largest nonprofit organization in the world. There, Rachael created a strategy to effectively mobilize a dozen skills-based volunteers that freed up her and the President & CEO’s time to raise $40 million in less than nine months.
Fresh off her success with BRAC USA, Rachael founded Catchafire, a New York City-based social mission business and a certified B-Corporation, with the vision to make it easy for every professional to use their skills for good, and to make it easy for every nonprofit and social enterprise to access and effectively use pro bono as a way to build capacity within their organization. Rachael has a Masters of Public Policy Degree from Duke University and graduated magna cum laude from Barnard College at Columbia University. Born in Australia, Rachael grew up all over Asia. She writes for the Huffington Post.
- Jennifer (Jenny) Fleiss, President of Rent the Runway, is an entrepreneur at heart. She started her career at Morgan Stanley in the Strategic Planning Group crafting long-term company strategy. She then moved on to Lehman Brothers’ Asset Management Group where she was responsible for analyzing business growth opportunities through acquisitions, international expansion, and new product strategies. A natural leader, Jenny founded an essay-editing and coaching service for college applicants, and built the company into an online tutoring service.
In 2007, Jenny began at Harvard Business School where she met fellow co-founder and friend, Jennifer (Jenn) Hyman. As sectionmates, the two women would meet frequently to discuss entrepreneurial ideas, one of which was Rent the Runway. Designed to solve the common “closet full of clothes but nothing to wear” problem, Jenn and Jenny launched Rent the Runway in November 2009.
Now more than two years into the business, Rent the Runway has quickly grown to acquire over one million members and has signed on 150 top designer brands. With an inventory of 25,000 dresses and 4,000 accessories, and entry into new categories such as weddings and beauty, Rent the Runway has become the one-stop shop for life’s special occasions.
Jenny received her Bachelor of Arts from Yale University in 2005 graduating Cum Laude, and received her Masters of Business Administration from Harvard Business School in 2009.
- After an international career in the luxury goods industry which propelled him to become the youngest CEO of Lalique North America, Guillaume Gauthereau chose to parlay his talents towards a new purpose. As Co-founder & CEO of Totsy, Guillaume is one of the key players of a successful team building the leading US private sales website on the family segment.
Prior to Totsy, Guillaume founded the advisory firm Sequoia Lab. Sequoia Lab is dedicated to helping corporate and private clients implement sustainable green practices and lifestyles. Guillaume has also worked at Louis Vuitton / LVMH in Paris. Preceding retail, he was the founder of an internet start-up, Alidoo.com, and worked in the Health & Pet Industry for Nestle and Hill’s Pet Nutrition Colgate Palmolive. Guillaume received a PhD from the Veterinary School of Maisons-Alfort in Paris. He also holds a certificate in Marketing & Communication.
Guillaume is a veteran social and green advocate. He sits on the Advisory Board of Grameen Bank America. He is a member of the World Entrepreneurship Forum and a mentor for the Women Innovate Mobile (WIM) Accelerator. He is a Board member of Ayoka Productions, a non-profit group that promotes international grassroots initiatives using short films. Guillaume is an advisory board member for the business organization of the internationally renowned artist Alicia Keys, and has been involved with the Clinton Global Initiative for over 3 years.
- “Dave Gilboa is the Co-founder and co-CEO of Warby Parker, a transformative eyewear company that designs and sells vintage-inspired glasses for a fraction of the price of retail stores and distributes a pair to someone in need for every pair sold.
Prior to Warby Parker, David was an Associate at Allen & Company, a merchant bank, where he invested in seed-stage and venture-stage healthcare and digital media companies, and advised M&A transactions exceeding $20B. Previously, David worked at Bain & Company, where he formulated and implemented business strategies for some of the world’s leading retail and technology companies. David was also Special Assistant to the Founder and CEO of The TriZetto Group, and has held strategy and business development roles at Genomic Health and Crescendo Bioscience.
David is on the founding Entrepreneur Board of Venture for America, an organization dedicated to mobilizing graduates as entrepreneurs in low-cost cities. He graduated with a BS in Bioengineering with Honors from UC Berkeley and has an MBA from Wharton Business School.
- Scott Harrison graduated from New York University in 1998 with a B.A. in Communications. After a 10-year foray into special event planning and promotions, he began a small upscale event planning and nightclub consultancy. His clients included MTV, VH1, ABC, Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Xbox (Microsoft), Universal Records, RCA, Island Records, Dunkin Donuts, Bacardi USA, Nike, Anheuser-Busch and more. In August 2004, he left the event business to serve for a year as a volunteer photojournalist onboard the Mercy Ship Anastasis in impoverished Liberia, West Africa. In September 2005, returning home to NYC, he tested the idea behind charity: water by producing a large exhibition of his photographs and videos called Mercy. Despite opening in the midst of the Hurricane Katrina disaster, Harrison’s Mercy show was a success. Visitors contributed more than $96,000 towards providing medical procedures and freshwater wells in West Africa. Harrison returned to West Africa for another 6 month journey in October 2005, before returning to Manhattan in the spring of 2006 to found charity: water which is a non-profit organization that brings clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations.
- Alexa Hirschfeld is the Co-founder of Paperless Post, a technology startup that has delivered nearly 50 million online invitations since it launched in 2009.
Paperless Post has revolutionized both the style and substance of the online invitation. It has introduced top-end design, removed ads, and changed the way people look at the vertical. The company found a new kind of consumer for online invitations who is willing to pay for a product they value, and use the web for the most important events of their lives. The company is currently 35 people, with offices in NYC and SF.
A year after graduating from college, Alexa and her brother James began working on nights and weekends to create the prototype for what would become Paperless Post. In September ‘08, an early beta product was delivered to users and the company raised its first round of financing.
They raised a second round in November 2009 and a third in June 2010. In total the company has raised a total of $6.3MM in outside funding.
Alexa received a A.B. from Harvard College in 2006. She has been recognized as one of CNN Money’s “10 Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs” and was one of Fast Company’s “Most Influential Women in Technology” in both 2010 and 2011.
- Arthur Huang — university professor, engineer, architect, and entrepreneur — has dedicated himself to the creation of executable sustainable products and building solutions since 2004, and established MINIWIZ in 2006. Born in Taiwan in 1978 and educated in the US, Huang graduated from Harvard University with a Master of Architecture degree in 2004, and has worked with companies such as Skidmore Owings & Merrill, Pentagram Design and CYLee & Partners. He lectures at the engineering university NCTU in Taiwan and has won a number of awards and citations including being named the Earth Award 2010 winner in the product design category. Arthur was also the subject of a NatGeo documentary, Megastructures: EcoArk. The Polli-Brick, which are the hexagonal building blocks made with 100% recycled PET used to create the EcoARK, was also a finalist for the Wall Street Journal Asian Innovations Award.
- Jennifer (Jenn) Hyman has been the Chief Executive Officer of Rent the Runway since the company’s inception in November 2009. She is responsible for all areas of the business including technology, fashion, sales, marketing, operations, customer service, and team management, while also serving as the company spokesperson. Most well-known within the entrepreneurial and fashion communities for her phenomenal marketing abilities, Jennifer was named as the Chief Marketing Officer of Fortune magazine’s “Executive Dream Team.”
Jennifer co-founded Rent the Runway with her Harvard Business School classmate Jennifer (Jenny) Fleiss. After receiving approximately $31 million in venture capital, they have quickly built the company to include 1.5 million members, over 60 employees and 150 designer brands. Rent the Runway is a members-only online fashion community that builds customer loyalty for designer brands by enabling women to rent dresses and accessories for all the special occasions in their lives. As the “Netflix for fashion,” Rent the Runway encourages women to live the life they dream today.
Prior to Rent the Runway, Jennifer was the Director of Business Development at IMG where she focused on the creation of new media businesses for IMG’s Fashion Division. She also was an in-house entrepreneur at Starwood Hotels, creating Starwood’s first wedding business which was recognized on the Oprah Winfrey Show for its innovation.
Jennifer received her BA from Harvard University and MBA from Harvard Business School. She currently resides in New York City where she enjoys the entrepreneurial lifestyle, neighborhood restaurants, and socializing with her friends and family.
- Philip James is a repeat entrepreneur with over 10 years of experience in the digital space. He is the Co-founder and President of Lot18, a website that provides consumers with insider access to a curated selection of high-quality wine and gourmet food products, as well as epicurean-themed travel experiences. Lot18 is headquartered in New York City, and is backed by $45 million in venture capital from Accel, NEA and FirstMark Capital.
Prior to launching Lot18, Philip was the founding CEO – and is currently Chairman – of Snooth Inc., a lifestyle media company with several properties, including Snooth.com, TheSpir.it and WhatsCook.in. Snooth is the world’s largest wine website. The other two sites focus on spirits and food, respectively. Philip is also a founder of Gramercy Labs, a New York-based incubator whose companies include Popdust and Fameball.
Philip holds an MBA from Columbia Business School and a master’s degree in computational chemistry from Oxford University. Philip is on Business Insider’s 2011 “Silicon Alley 100” list of the most important figures in the New York tech sector, and Crain’s New York Business placed Philip on its list of “People to Watch in Silicon Alley.”
An avid adventurer and marathon runner, Philip sailed across the Atlantic Ocean in 2002, and in 2003 he played an instrumental role in the world’s highest altitude rescue, on the North Face of Mount Everest.
- Robert Lyngman is Co-founder, Chairman and CFO of Student Competitions. Student Competitions, which was founded in 2010, is a Stockholm-based global talent company specializing in holding competitions and challenges to identify and attract talent. Student Competitions’ clients include Google, The Economist, Honeywell, Dell, Oracle, Ericsson, and several other Fortune 500 companies. The team has won numerous business awards for their business model including the Deloitte Excellence Award and the San Diego Venture Challenge Award in 2011.
Robert received a MSc from The Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. He was also the founder of Solar Cool, which develops revolutionary solar-powered technology for people in developing countries that do not have the resources for a conventional refrigerator. Robert was named the “Best Innovator of the Year 2010” in Sweden.
- Shauna Mei is the Founder and CEO of AHAlife.com, an innovative global luxury social/e-commerce media company. She started AHAlife after realizing that many of the best products from all over the world were not globally available to consumers. AHAlife is an online platform to discover unique lifestyle products from around the world. Addressing a variety of facets across one’s entire lifestyle – from fashion, accessories, home décor, food, and more – AHAlife has already garnered the support of tastemakers such as Tim Gunn, Bobbi Brown, Daniel Boulud, Donna Karan and Wendi Murdoch. This media-meets-commerce platform has quickly become a go-to resource for those seeking unique content and exclusive products.
Shauna is also the founder of Mobius Strip LLC, a company dedicated to creating responsible, inspiring, and profitable businesses at the intersection between fashion/design and life’s experiences. Her clients included Starwood Hotel Group, Casall, Vivienne Tam, and Nooka.
Prior to Mobius Strip, Shauna co-founded Aronsson Group, a luxury fashion investment and advisory firm, with Jeffry Aronsson (former CEO of Donna Karan International, Marc Jacobs and Oscar de la Renta), where they invested and advised many companies from fashion brands, such as Matthew Williamson, to trading companies, such as Mitsui.
Shauna worked in both Private Equity and Investment Banking at Goldman Sachs where she worked on several deals in the fashion media space, most notably the sale of Neiman Marcus Group. An MIT graduate with a double major in Electrical Engineering/Computer Science, she concentrated on Artificial Intelligence and Management Finance. Originally from Hohhot, Inner Mongolia, China, she is fluent in Chinese (Mandarin) and English and currently resides in New York.
- Kavita Parmar is the Founder and Creative Director of the IOU Project. The IOU Project, which launched in May 2011, is an e-commerce social networking platform that manufactures and retails one-of-a-kind handmade clothes. It seeks to empower the artisan, celebrate uniqueness, and re-vindicate the right to transparency, and believes that technology can make that happen.
Kavita is a designer and serial entrepreneur at heart. She was born in India and was educated in India and England. In 1995, Kavita together with her partner started
Authentic Gear, a venture that secured the exclusive license for India of the well-known children’s wear brand Osh Kosh B’Gosh. As Creative Director, Kavita was responsible for the design and manufacturing of the Osh Kosh B’Gosh collection for the Indian market.
Also in 1995, Kavita became a partner in Elanco limited, a design and product sourcing company based in Hong Kong that manufactured apparel in the Far East for large retailers and wholesalers worldwide. At Elanco, Kavita worked extensively with artisan communities and large scale manufacturers in the region. She sold the business in 2000 to move to Madrid together with her husband and partner Iñigo.
In 2001, Kavita launched her own clothing collection under the label Raasta, a women’s ready-to-wear contemporary collection. Following the success of Raasta, Kavita launched a second label Suzie Wong, a collection of women’s designer eveningwear manufactured in Europe using couture like artisanal techniques and sold to high end boutiques and retailers. From 2007 onwards, Raasta and Suzie Wong have been distributed internationally.
- Bre Pettis is an entrepreneur, video blogger and multimedia artist. He is the co-founder and CEO of MakerBot Industries, a company that produces open source 3D printers aimed at democratizing manufacturing. The MakerBot Replicator can print things as large as an entire loaf of bread. Users can share digital designs via the company’s online community at Thingiverse.com, which is open to anyone with a digital fabrication device looking to share their designs.
Bre is also a founder of NYC Resistor, a hacker collective in Brooklyn. He is known for the DIY video podcast ‘MAKE’ and for the History Hacker pilot on the History Channel. Besides being a TV host and Video Podcast producer, Pettis has also created new media for Etsy.com, and previously worked as a schoolteacher, artist, and puppeteer. He is passionate about inventions, innovation, and all things DIY.
- Yaron Samid is the Founder and CEO of BillGuard, the personal finance security company. BillGuard crowdsources the collective knowledge of millions of consumers to protect everyone from unfair, erroneous and fraudulent charges on their credit card bills. Yaron previously co-founded Pando and DeskSite, two profitable Internet companies servicing over 50M users worldwide.
Yaron’s design-centric approach to company building stems from leading product management and marketing teams at BackWeb, Zend and Register.com. Yaron advises dozens of startups and is a board member at CloudLock and Pond5. He is also the founder and organizer of TechAviv, the 2,000 member global Israeli startup founders club. Yaron holds a Master’s degree in International Marketing & Project Management from Technion-Machon Technologi Le’ Israel and an undergraduate degree in Marketing from the University of Maryland, College Park.
- Si Shen founded PapayaMobile in 2008. PapayaMobile is an open mobile social network for Android phones focused on casual gaming and virtual currency. Papaya offers developers a fast, easy way to reach millions of users worldwide. Android users love Papaya because they can play multiple games and get a complete social gaming experience all in one, easy-to-use app.
Si Shen has a master’s degree from Stanford University in both computer science and engineering and a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Tsinghua University. Prior experiences include setting up a team for Google’s mobile product development in China and developing the first Python Explainer in China. She was listed on Forbes Magazine’s “Nine Chinese Entrepreneurs to Watch.” In 2010, she was selected to be a laureate of the second “Hai Ju Gong Cheng” and the fourth “1000 Man Plan.” In 2011, she was selected as a “Beijing Excellent Youth Intellectual” and worked with the Beijing government as a “Specialist of Beijing.” She is also one of ten “Promising Overseas Returnees in Zhongguancun 2011.
- As Founder and CEO of Transcendent Endeavors, Bill Z. Tan is leading a team of talented colleagues to address communication challenges in the fields of healthcare, social services, and education. The company’s products include clinical information systems, telehealth outreach platforms, children’s educational television programs, and many more.
Bill is the Principal Investigator of more than a dozen innovation research grants awarded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, totaling over $20 million. The NIH support has enabled the company to pursue a sweeping vision—the creation of an array of cross-cultural communication tools that are technologically advanced, scientifically validated, and economically viable.
Bill received a bachelor’s degree from the Stern School of Business at New York University, where he was elected President of the Entrepreneurs Club. He currently holds an appointment as an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Medicine at New York University School of Medicine. In 2010, Bill was named one of Crain’s 40 Under 40 Rising Star. He is a student of yoga and Argentine tango.
- Vinicius Vacanti is Co-founder and CEO of Yipit, an NYC, venture-backed tech startup that aggregates and recommends local deals based on your preferences and locations. Prior to founding Yipit, Vinicius worked at Quadrangle Group and The Blackstone Group. Vinicius graduated from Harvard College in 2003 with a degree in Applied Mathematics. He serves as a TechStars mentor and writes frequently on the topic of entrepreneurship. His essays have appeared on TechCrunch, Business Insider, and other publications.
- Alexa von Tobel is the Founder and CEO of LearnVest, the leading personal finance and lifestyle website for women. Alexa developed the idea for LearnVest in 2006, during her senior year at Harvard College when she realized she, and most of her peers, had never had any formal education on how to effectively manage their finances. Alexa searched for reliable financial guidance and consistently came up overwhelmed or disappointed. Thus, the LearnVest mission was born – to make trusted personal financial information accessible to millions of women across the country.
Since launching LearnVest in 2009 at TechCrunch50, Alexa has been widely quoted as a personal finance expert and entrepreneur in top tier business and consumer publications. She has also appeared on several major local and national television shows and was recently chosen as one of 26 young business leaders included in a new book published by Harvard Business Review Press called Passion and Purpose: Stories from the Best and Brightest Young Business Leaders.
Alexa has been included on Vanity Fair’s 2011 Next Establishment list, featured on Business Insider’s 2010 and 2011 Silicon Alley 100 lists, named “One of the Coolest Young Entrepreneurs” in Inc. Magazine’s 30 Under 30 feature, and titled a “Woman to Watch” by Forbes. In addition to LearnVest, Alexa is the co-founder of L.W.A.L.A., a 501c3 focused on fighting HIV/AIDS in Africa.
2012 FellowsBrian Ross