Speakers

Susan Amat
Susan Amat

VP for Education and Executive Director of GEN Accelerates

Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN)

Dr. Susan Amat is the VP for Education and the Executive Director of GEN Accelerates at the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN). GEN operates in 190 countries celebrating and connecting entrepreneurs, ecosystem builders, and policy makers. GEN Accelerates offers a platform and customized intensive training programs that have supported entrepreneurs and ecosystem builders from more than 100 countries through accelerators, universities, and government programs. Additionally, her team designed and runs Entrepreneurship World Cup, the largest startup competition globally with more than 175,000 applicants from over 195 countries in the 2020 edition. A serial entrepreneur, she built media businesses for over a decade, including the first CD-Rom magazine and a national television show. She is the founder of Venture Hive, an entrepreneur education company, and Flitepath, a SaaS solution that provides accountability and transparency tools and content to support innovation management and entrepreneurship programs in Fortune 500 businesses. 

 
After completing her MBA, Dr. Amat developed pediatric health monitoring products and earned a Ph.D. in Strategic Entrepreneurship (coursework in industrial engineering, business, and education). While teaching at the University of Miami, she founded The Launch Pad, which was considered the top model in entrepreneurship education. Her program and platform were replicated internationally as Blackstone LaunchPads in universities including USC, UCLA, and Case Western Reserve University. 
 
Dr. Amat served as the founding Chair of the STEM Board for Miami-Dade County Public Schools and a Trustee of Miami Dade College. She actively speaks about entrepreneurship and innovation education internationally and has worked with the US State Department, the Kauffman Foundation, and the World Bank on program development, training, and evaluation. In 2012, Dr. Amat was honored as a Champion of Change at the White House.

Susan Amat is speaking in the following session:

Greg Brodsky
Greg Brodsky

Co-Director

Start.coop & Equitable Economy Fund

Greg is a serial entrepreneur, and the Co-Director of Start.coop, which is the nation’s premier accelerator for shared ownership companies. Greg brings a powerful background of financial strategy, tech, and entrepreneurship. Greg's work has ranged from business development to strategic planning for multiple cooperatives. Prior to launching Start.coop, Greg founded and led the Bike Cooperative, a division of CCA Global Partners, and also helped to launch the nation's only purchasing co-op for craft breweries. Greg also previously served on the board of the Cooperative Development Institute for 10 years and was board chair for 3 years. Greg also convenes the Equitable Economy Fund, a pilot fund convening angel investors to scale shared ownership. 

Greg Brodsky is speaking in the following session:

Chris Brummer
Chris Brummer

Professor

Georgetown University Law School

Chris Brummer is Agnes N. Williams Research Professor and Faculty Director of Georgetown’s Institute of International Economic Law. Prior to joining Georgetown’s faculty with tenure in 2009, Brummer was an assistant professor of law at Vanderbilt Law School. He has also taught at several leading universities as a visiting professor including the universities of Basel, Heidelberg, and the London School of Economics.

Professor Brummer recently concluded a three year term as a member of the National Adjudicatory Council of FINRA, an organization empowered by Congress to regulate the securities industry, where his work was praised as making a significant contribution to advancing investor protection.

Professor Brummer was nominated twice by President Obama in 2016 and 2017 to serve as a Commissioner on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. He received unanimous approval in the vote by the Senate Agriculture Committee, though no floor vote was immediately scheduled after the election. The nomination was withdrawn by President Trump.

Dr. Brummer lectures widely on finance and global governance, as well as on public and private international law, market microstructure and international trade. He is the author of several books, most recently Fintech Law in a Nutshell (2019).  His current research examines how China’s internationalization of its currency is producing novel systemic risks for the global financial system.

Chris Brummer earned his J.D. from Columbia Law School, where he graduated with honors, and he holds a Ph.D. in Germanic Studies from the University of Chicago. Before becoming a professor, he practiced law in the New York and London offices of Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP. He has also served as a Senior Fellow at the Milken Institute and was awarded the C. Boyden Gray Fellowship for Global Finance and Growth at the Atlantic Council, where he launched the think tank’s Transatlantic Finance Initiative.

Chris Brummer is moderator of the following session:

Brant Cooper
Brant Cooper

Speaker, Author, Disruptor

Brant Cooper helps organizations big and small innovate. He is the author of the New York Times Bestseller, The Lean Entrepreneur, and is a sought after speaker, startup advisor and mentor. He has over 16 years experience helping companies bring innovative products to market. His startup career includes Tumbleweed, Timestamp, WildPackets, inCode, and many others. He has experienced IPO, acquisition, rapid growth, and crushing failure. Brant previously authored The Entrepreneur's Guide to Customer Development, the first purpose-written book to discuss Lean Startup and Customer Development concepts. He has worked with thousands of entrepreneurs across the globe. Brant is the Co-Founder of Moves the Needle Group, which has advised the innovation practices of such leading companies as Qualcomm, Intuit, Capital One, Pitney Bowes and 7-11.

Brant Cooper is speaking in the following session:

Brant Cooper is moderator of the following session:

Geerte de Visser
Geerte de Visser

Innovation Practice Expert lead

Geerte de Visser is the global lead for PACE at ING Bank. PACE is ING’s way to innovate, based on Design Thinking, Lean Start-up and Agile. She has joined ING in 2006 and performed several roles in the area of change business development management before taking on a PACE expert role in 2016. As a PACE expert she worked on new product development in ING’s innovation labs by coaching teams in different parts of the business, and trained colleagues in understanding and implementing the PACE practices. In her current role she focusses, together with the community of PACE experts, on making PACE an integrated part of everyday work.

She graduated with Masters in Spanish and European Studies at the University of Amsterdam and did an MBA at the Amsterdam Business School during her career, next to following several courses to further grow her expertise in the area of Design Thinking, Lean Start-up and Agile.

Geerte de Visser is speaking in the following session:

Vilas Dhar
Vilas Dhar

President and Trustee

Vilas Dhar is President and Trustee of the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation, a 21st century philanthropy advancing artificial intelligence (AI) and data solutions to create a thriving, equitable, and sustainable future for all. A leading voice on equity in a tech-enabled world, Vilas champions a new social compact for the digital age that prioritizes individuals and communities in the development of new products, inspires economic and social opportunity, and empowers the most vulnerable. Vilas serves as a Trustee of the Christensen Fund, Co-Chair of the Global AI Action Alliance at the World Economic Forum, a Senior Fellow of the Berggruen Institute, Advisor to MIT SOLVE, and as a Director of the New England International Donors. Vilas holds a J.D. from NYU School of Law, a Master’s in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and dual Bachelor's degrees in Biomedical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of Illinois.

Lydia Dobyns
Lydia Dobyns

President and CEO

Lydia Dobyns is the President and CEO of New Tech Network, a leading design partner for comprehensive school change. During her career, she has been a technology entrepreneur and executive and also worked in education policy and in the nonprofit sector. Dobyns and CEO of Getting Smart, Tom Vander Ark, are co-authors of Better Together: How to Leverage School Networks For Smarter Personalized and Project Based Learning.

Her entrepreneurial and executive career features work in the high tech, online services, consumer products and health care industries. She graduated with a B.A. in English from the University of California, Berkeley.

Lydia Dobyns is speaking in the following session:

Ria Escher
Ria Escher

Business Development Consultant

Previously Global Head of Innovation Transformation at ING, Rita now consults on business strategy and innovation.

Ria Escher is speaking in the following session:

Kim Folsom
Kim Folsom

Chairwoman and CEO

Kim Folsom is the founder and CEO of Founders First Capital Partners, Inc, (FFCP) a revenue-based investment and advisory support investment platform. FFCP is the largest private provider of growth funding for service-based businesses and the only black and women-led, revenue-based venture platform with $100M in committed capital. FFCP is focused on partnering with employer-based, contract revenue generating small businesses ($500K to $5M), to provide them with flexible and non-dilutive funding, expertise and resources to achieve exponential growth in underserved communities. Kim is also the founder of Founders First CDC, a not-for-profit, community development organization and micro-small business accelerator with a mission to help underserved and under represented small business owners overcome the challenges they face due to by lack of access to capital and human capital business growth expertise to assist them with increasing business capacity resulting in higher revenue growth and providing more jobs. Since their founding in 2015 the firm has provided funding and growth support to approximately 500 companies.

As a social entrepreneur, Ms. Folsom is dedicated to leveraging the power of market forces and sound business practices to address disparities in revenue and job growth among businesses led by underrepresented founders. Prior to Founders First she has raised more than $30 million in institutional venture financing, created over 500 premium wage jobs and has founded or served as a key executive for six successful ventures, including showUhow (acquired by Sellpoints), DriveCam (now Lytx) and Seminarsource. Before devoting her energies to entrepreneurship, Ms. Folsom was an executive at National Dispatch Center, Luce Forward and Alltel Systematics and Great American First.

As part of her mission to help underserved and underrepresented entrepreneurs build sustainable, growing businesses, Ms. Folsom has taught at several prominent universities including most recently  at National University. She earned her MBA degree from the University of Pepperdine and a bachelor’s degree in information systems a minor in economics from San Diego State University. As part of her commitment to ensure diverse future tech leadership, Ms. Folsom co-founded a STEM and Robotics enrichment program to benefit underrepresented middle school children living in Southern California.

Mark Graban
Mark Graban

Author, Measures of Success

Mark Graban is author of the award-winning book Lean Hospitals: Improving Quality, Patient Safety, and Employee Engagement. Mark is also co-author, with Joe Swartz, of Healthcare Kaizen: Engaging Front-Line Staff in Sustainable Continuous Improvements. His most recent book is Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More. He is also the creator and editor of the anthology book Practicing Lean.

He serves as a consultant to organizations through his company, Constancy, Inc and also through the firm Value Capture. He is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus. He has focused on healthcare improvement since 2005, after starting his career in industry at General Motors, Dell, and Honeywell.

Mark is also a professional speaker, having appeared a numerous “Agile” conferences and has been a main-stage speaker at the Lean Startup Week event.

Mark is the host of podcasts including “Lean Blog Interviews,” “My Favorite Mistake,” and “Habitual Excellence, Presented by Value Capture.”

Mark has a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Northwestern University and an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering and an M.B.A. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Leaders for Global Operations Program. 

Mark Graban is speaking in the following session:

Erin Grau
Erin Grau

co-founder and COO

Charter

Erin Grau is the co-founder and COO of Charter, a media and services company that aims to transform every workplace. Erin is a talent and operations leader who has spent 15+ years in global organizations and startups, steering companies and people toward the future. 

Prior to launching Charter, Erin was the company's first Vice President of Transformation at The New York Times. There, her job was to build the systems and culture to transform work, ultimately creating the conditions that fully realized human potential. During her seven years with The New York Times, she served as co-chair of the Women’s Network, she founded and led the company’s diversity and inclusion program, including the nationally recognized Women in Tech committee, and launched the company's mentorship and sponsorship programs. She was previously VP of Organizational Development at Away, where she built an integrated global talent organization and oversaw the growth of the team from 50 to 550 employees as the company reached a $1.4B valuation. Erin started her career as a television news producer and was nominated for two Emmy Awards before moving into digital media. 
Erin holds a B.A. in Journalism from NYU, and is a graduating fellow of the Sulzberger Executive Leadership program at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, where her work focused on change management, DEI and women in the workplace. Erin lives in New York with her husband and daughters.

Erin Grau is speaking in the following session:

Jonas Koffler
Jonas Koffler

Co-founder at Lada Labs / Author, Consultant & Entrepreneur

Jonas Koffler is the New York Times and Los Angeles Times bestselling coauthor of HUSTLE: The Power to Charge Your Life with Money, Meaning, and Momentum (Rodale Books), which has been published in more than 10 languages globally. He is co-founder at digital health venture Lada Labs and principal at Influence Works Media, a creative consultancy where he advises internationally recognized thought leaders, authors and artists, as well as startups and billion-dollar organizations alike. He previously was a founding partner of Radical Wellness Inc., a mental wellness content platform that was acquired, and award-winning media producer, writer, and partner at film and storytelling boutique Koffler Pictures in Austin, Texas. Jonas suffered a stroke while at work in his 20s. He recovered and focused on behavior shifts for improving health, resilience, joy, and the pursuit of rewarding professional and creative endeavors. 

He has written for The New York Times and been featured in outlets such as National Public Radio (NPR), MarketPlace, FastCompany, Time, Yahoo!, Fortune and Success Magazines. He regularly speaks at conferences like SXSW, FestForums and the Future of Work, and at venues like The Wharton Club on topics ranging from personal innovation, risk and creativity to self-care, and building conscious communities. Jonas has contributed to award-winning films, bestselling books and social innovation projects globally. He is currently at work developing his next book, along with a documentary on musicians and mental health, and growing his startup to improve collective wellbeing. He is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin.

Visit JonasKoffler.com to learn more.

Jonas Koffler is speaking in the following session:

Kelly McAdoo
Kelly McAdoo

City Manager

Kelly serves as the City Manager and Chief Executive Officer for the City of Hayward, California, a municipal corporation with over 900 employees.  She began her tenure as City Manager in August 2016 after serving six years as the Assistant City Manager/Chief Operating Officer for the organization.  The City of Hayward is located on the eastern shore of the San Francisco Bay with a community population of over 150,000 that has been identified as the second-most diverse in the State of California.  Prior to joining the Hayward team, Kelly worked for the cities of Palo Alto and Fremont.  The interplay of local governments in the Bay Area with technology companies located in those communities inspired Kelly to experiment with Lean methodologies as a way to think and act differently about local government service provision and community engagement. 

Kelly earned Bachelor’s degrees in Political Science, Economics and International Studies and a Master’s degree in Public Administration, all from the University of Kansas.  

Kelly McAdoo is speaking in the following session:

Hugh Molotsi
Hugh Molotsi

Founder

Hugh Molotsi is the founder and CEO of Ujama, a messaging platform where people in communities help each other. Hugh is a seasoned product and technology leader with over 30 years of experience developing global solutions for small businesses and consumers. Hugh is an accomplished innovator and has helped launch several disruptive products. He has expertise in leadership development and digital transformation and has led diversity and inclusion initiatives.

Hugh had a 22-year career at Intuit where his last position was Engineering Fellow and Vice President of Innovation. In 2011, Hugh became the first recipient of Intuit’s Founders Innovation Award for his contributions helping launch Intuit’s payments business.

Hugh serves on the boards of Barloworld (BAW:SJ) and the Mozilla Corporation.

Hugh is the co-author of The Intrapreneur’s Journey, a book on how to develop a culture of innovation at large companies. He is passionate about fostering grassroots innovation and giving voice to good ideas wherever those ideas may come from

Hugh Molotsi is speaking in the following session:

Karsten Newbury
Karsten Newbury

Executive Advisor, Fashwire - Formerly Chief Strategy and Digital Officer

Karsten is responsible for strategy and digital transformation for Gerber Technology, including end to end solution development, strategic account programs, innovation initiatives. Most recently he led the sale of Gerber Technology to Lectra S.A.. He implemented a strategic account program and new business initiatives with global sales & marketing teams. During the pandemic, Karsten led Gerber's global PPE Task Force to address PPE shortage by converting their conventional manufacturing base to PPE production.

Karsten Newbury is speaking in the following session:

Wil Reynolds
Wil Reynolds

Founder and VP of Innovation

A former teacher with a knack for advising, Wil has been helping companies develop brand marketing strategies since 1999. As the industry evolved, so has Wil’s approach. In recent years, Wil has been leading the charge in leveraging “Big Data” to break down silos between SEO, Paid Media, and traditional marketing -- helping clients see the big picture by combining and analyzing data from various sources (even billboards). Wil’s data-driven approach to consulting helps clients and their teams make better, more strategic, cross-channel decisions and hit the ground running with honest, actionable insights to start generating results and revenue. 

Wil likes helping people too. While data is at the forefront of Wil’s approach, so is wanting to help others grow and better themselves. Seeing the need for an agency that does good by its team, clients, and community, Wil started Seer Interactive in 2002 as a one-person operation out of his living room. Today, Seer is a remote-first company with offices in Philadelphia and San Diego that employs over 200 people. As Seer’s VP of Innovation, Wil develops strategies to help clients find opportunities where the typical tools do not. His methods have shaped the search industry worldwide, and he regularly speaks for marketing conferences all around the world. When he’s not working, you can catch Wil hanging out with his wife Nora, sons Rio & Niko, checking out the best craft beer spots he can find, or keeping up with his running goals. 


Wil Reynolds is speaking in the following session: