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Rattan L. Khosa SeedCon

Rattan L. Khosa SeedCon

8:15 am - 8:50am // Introductory Remarks

Rattan L. Khosa, ’79

Rattan L. Khosa, ’79

CEO and Founder, AMSYSCO

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Rattan L. Khosa, ’79

CEO and Founder, AMSYSCO

Rattan Khosa, MBA ’79, started AMSYSCO in 1981 out of the basement of his home that he shared with his wife and young son, with lifetime savings of $44,000 and no other financing. After nearly four decades, he has grown it into a highly profitable company that provides post-tensioning systems on commercial structures, and occupies a 55,000 square foot facility; the company captures some 65% market share.

“Starting a business from scratch is like jumping off a cliff in the middle of the night while blindfolded, hoping that there is a safety net down below,” Khosa said.

“When more than 80 percent of companies fail within the first year – even those with ample funding – it’s clear that there is much more to a startup’s success than just money,” Khosa said. “I don’t simply want to provide the money for this new program; I plan to serve as a thought leader, mentor and guide for these aspiring entrepreneurs, so that my years of experience, my struggles and my successes may serve as an additional resource to help them succeed.”

“I know from personal experience that everyone needs help at some point in their lives. No one has succeeded on their own.”

Khosa is actively involved with the Polsky Center as a member of its advisory board, the Polsky Council.

Learn more about Rattan Khosa’s story.>>

Starr Marcello, MA ’04, MBA ’17

Starr Marcello, MA ’04, MBA ’17

Deputy Dean for MBA Programs, Chicago Booth

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Starr Marcello, MA ’04, MBA ’17

Deputy Dean for MBA Programs, Chicago Booth

As Deputy Dean, Starr oversees the Full-time, Evening, and Weekend MBA Programs, as well as the work of the Polsky Center and Rustandy Center at Booth. Prior to her role as Deputy Dean, Starr was the Executive Director of the Polsky Center, working with University of Chicago students, faculty, and staff to launch the next generation of high-impact ventures. She grew the entrepreneurship program at the University of Chicago from 2005 to 2020, and continues to champion the Center’s work today.

During Starr’s time as Executive Director at Polsky, she ran and expanded the Edward L. Kaplan New Venture Challenge (NVC), which awards over $1M in funding and services to top entrepreneurial companies each year. The NVC is ranked the #1 university accelerator program in the nation. Since 1996, the NVC has fostered more than 800 startups, with 180+ that are still in operation and growing strong, has created thousands of jobs, and has produced exits of over nearly $6 billion, including Grubhub (NYSE: GRUB) and Braintree Venmo (acquired by eBay’s PayPal for $800 million). In 2017, Starr testified before the U.S. Congress’ Committee on Small Business on the role of accelerator programs in creating new jobs and positively influencing economic development.

9:00 am - 9:50 am // State of Consumer Businesses Panel

Mia Saini Duchnowski

Mia Saini Duchnowski

Co-Founder and Board Member, Oars + Alps

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Mia Saini Duchnowski

Co-Founder and Board Member, Oars + Alps

Mia Saini Duchnowski is a journalist, engineer, investor, and a successful entrepreneur who sold her first VC-backed company, Oars + Alps, to SC Johnson. Currently, she serves as the cofounder and Board Member of Oars + Alps, a digitally native skin care brand for people who lead an active, on-the-go lifestyle. The products are made with naturally-derived, premium ingredients and are sold on Target and Amazon to name a few. The company launched in 2015 after Mia quit her high-profile job as a TV reporter/anchor with Bloomberg TV, one of the largest financial TV networks in the world.

Mia spent over three years with Bloomberg TV in Hong Kong and in New York City where she was responsible for global economic, political and business coverage. She was the first person at the network to interview the chairman of Microsoft, John Thompson, after he became chairman. She’s interviewed hundreds of CEOs and heads of states including the former CEO of Burberry, Angela Ahrendts, and Virgin founder, Sir Richard Branson. She’s routinely covered breaking news stories, such as the disappearance of MH 370, Nelson Mandela’s death, and Steve Job’s passing.

Prior to joining Bloomberg in June 2011, Mia served as an anchor and reporter for Forbes TV. She reported from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland as well as interviewed prominent business leaders including Warren Buffett, former FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair, Blackstone co-founder Pete Peterson, former Bear Stearns CEO Ace Greenberg, SAP CEO Bill McDermott and more. Earlier in her career, Mia was a financial analyst at Goldman Sachs, working in hedge fund sales and marketing. There, she helped establish strategic relationships with hedge funds representing over $1.2 billion in portfolio value.

Mia earned an MBA from the Harvard Business School. She earned a double major from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in neuroscience and media studies, and a double minor in civil engineering and management science. While at MIT, she interned at NASA Ames Research Center doing artificial intelligence research. She was featured in Glamour Magazine as one of their Top Ten College Women in 2004.

Mia was named as one of Crain’s Magazine 40 Under 40 in 2020 and was the emcee for the 2020 TedX Wrigleyville event. Currently, she sits on the Auxiliary Board of the Chicago Lincoln Park Zoo. Mia actively interviews high school seniors looking to study STEM subjects at MIT. She is also active in the Chicago startup ecosystem and enjoys mentoring students. She loves cycling and watching film noir movies and lives in Chicago with her husband and their five kids: Tabytha, Thiesson, Kempson, Aubrienna and Sienna.

Veena Krishnan, MBA ’21

Veena Krishnan, MBA ’21

Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer, Daybird

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Veena Krishnan, MBA ’21

Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer, Daybird

Veena Krishnan (she/her) is the Co-Founder and COO of Daybird, an anti-beauty brand creating clean and vegan functional makeup for a one-step routine, giving you back your time and mental space to do what matters most with your morning. As a South Asian woman and daughter of two immigrants, the idea of covering and curing her face didn’t resonate with Veena as she struggled to even find products on the shelf that matched her skin tone when she was younger. This ultimately inspired her to build Daybird and a brand that allows people to redefine their relationship with beauty.

Veena is a chemical engineer with an expertise in supply chain and operations. She started her career at ExxonMobil, where she led manufacturing operations, regulatory compliance, and maintenance projects. Veena is passionate about building strong relationships to create a flawless customer experience and optimize product development and supply chain. She loves connecting with customers and seeing how products directly impact their lives. Veena has leveraged her engineering expertise to give her an edge at consumer startups like Quince and GrowSquares. She brings a deep understanding of integrated processes and how to efficiently scale them, and she has helped multiple early-stage consumer startups assemble and understand their supply chains.

Veena grew up in Austin, Texas, and often credits her entrepreneurial journey to her father, who has been involved in the Austin tech startup ecosystem for over 20 years. These days, she can either be found in Chicago, or traveling and working remotely with her husband and dog. She holds a MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a BS in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Sonia Nagar

Sonia Nagar

General Partner, Pritzker Group Venture Capital

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Sonia Nagar

General Partner, Pritzker Group Venture Capital

Sonia Nagar is a Venture Capitalist, angel investor, and board director. Sonia is currently a General Partner at Pritzker Group Venture Capital responsible for sourcing, diligence and oversight of the firm’s investments in marketplaces, consumer products and services, and emerging technology companies. Before joining PGVC Sonia was vice president of product and head of mobile apps for RetailMeNot, responsible for leading an app redesign that earned a People’s Voice Webby Award for Best Shopping App. Sonia joined RetailMeNot in 2014 following its acquisition of Pickie, the venture-backed mobile shopping start-up she co-founded in 2011. Prior to Pickie, Sonia was a senior associate for Booz & Company, and worked in product management, investment banking, and engineering roles with Amazon, Goldman Sachs and General Motors.

Jason Starr, MBA ’07

Jason Starr, MBA ’07

Founder & Managing Director, Consumer Ventures

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Jason Starr, MBA ’07

Founder & Managing Director, Consumer Ventures

Jason has over two decades of experience spanning operations, technology, venture capital, and private equity. Jason is the founder of Consumer Ventures™, a venture capital firm focused on investing in and building emerging consumer brands and companies. Before Consumer Ventures™, Jason was the fund manager at CircleUp in San Francisco, through which he invested in dozens of consumer ventures. Prior to CircleUp, Jason spent over eight years at Winona Capital Management, a consumer-focused private equity firm in Chicago with over $300 million under management. Before Winona, Jason worked at venture capital firm Opus Capital in Silicon Valley and was a founder or early employee at several high-tech start-ups in Denver including BoldTech Systems, a “Deloitte Tech Fast 50” and “Inc. 500” company that was acquired by Perficient (NASDAQ PRFT). Prior to his entrepreneurial ventures, Jason spent over five years at Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) where he was a project manager and software engineer. Jason graduated from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business with an MBA and holds a BSBA and MAS from the University of Denver, where he was an alumni scholar and graduated summa cum laude.

Jordan Tepper, MBA ’13

Jordan Tepper, MBA ’13

Co-Founder, Apologue

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Jordan Tepper, MBA ’13

Co-Founder, Apologue

Jordan Tepper is the co-founder of Apologue, a forward-thinking cocktail company. Currently, Apologue offers three spirits brands under its umbrella: Hoste – a line of ultra-premium bottled cocktails, Big Star Cocktails, a line of tequila-based, ready-to-drink canned cocktails inspired by Chicago’s iconic Big Star restaurant, and its eponymous Apologue, a line of palate-provoking cocktail liqueurs. Previously, Jordan worked in food & beverage venture capital as an Investment Principal for Cleveland Avenue, management consulting for BCG, and investment banking for Mesirow Financial. Jordan has an MBA in Marketing and Entrepreneurship from the University of Chicago-Booth (’13) and BBA in Finance from University of Wisconsin-Madison (’08).

9:00 am - 9:50 am // State of CleanTech Panel

Ozge Guney-Altay, PHD

Ozge Guney-Altay, PHD

Director, Resurgence CleanTech Accelerator, Polsky Deep Tech Ventures

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Ozge Guney-Altay, PHD

Director, Resurgence CleanTech Accelerator, Polsky Deep Tech Ventures

Ozge Guney-Altay, PhD, is the director of Polsky Science Ventures. In this role, she is responsible for leading and managing the startup initiatives for science and technology at the University of Chicago.

Ozge is an entrepreneur specializing in strategic and fiscal development of tech businesses. She is also an operations executive specializing in R&D operations, translational research, technology and innovation, IP protection, and commercialization. She has a PhD in Chemical Engineering from Texas A&M University.

After almost a decade as an academic, she was recruited as the Director of Operations and Outreach of NERC, a $20 million research center at Northwestern University. During this time, she also completed the executive leadership program at the Kellogg School of Management and started her pursuit as an entrepreneur.

Ozge cofounded was and was former CEO of GSI, a startup company providing chemistry decision-making and synthetic planning software product, Chematica, which was acquired by Merck KGaA in May 2017. Since the successful exit of GSI, she has been working with the acquiring company in addition to her consulting activities and enterprises as an investor. She currently serves as an innovation mentor for various incubators and accelerators that specialize in tech businesses and medicine in the US, Europe, and Africa. She also serves on various industry advisory boards in academia and startups.

Clay Curran, MBA ’23

Clay Curran, MBA ’23

CEO & Co-Founder, FreshX

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Clay Curran, MBA ’23

CEO & Co-Founder, FreshX

Clay Curran is the CEO and co-founder of FreshX, a digital marketplace for temperature-controlled logistics (“Expedia for food shipping”). His professional background is in freight technology, private equity, and early-stage transportation venture capital. Clay founded FreshX in 2023 and brought the company through Chicago Booth’s Social New Venture Challenge and the Techstars Chicago accelerator. Clay’s favorite place is Yellowstone National Park.

Batchimeg Ganbaatar

Batchimeg Ganbaatar

Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Nomadic Venture Partners

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Batchimeg Ganbaatar

Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Nomadic Venture Partners

Batchimeg is the Co-founder and Managing Partner of Nomadic Venture Partners, where she focuses on deal flow sourcing, portfolio management, investor relations, and partnership development.
Prior to co-founding NVP, Batchimeg led a successful career in marketing by managing global advertising campaigns and sponsorships on behalf of top brands including Airbnb, Allstate, Boeing, KraftHeinz, and Twitter. While at Publicis Groupe, she worked on global business development and helped convert Visa and Red Bull into clients.
She is passionate about innovation and has supported startups on growth strategy and customer acquisition. Batchimeg has worked with Lofty Ventures and Gen 1 Capital by providing advice and counsel to portfolio companies and organized the inaugural Lofty Founders Showcase attracting hundreds of investors, accelerators, and others in the midwest ecosystem. Batchimeg also cofounded a FinTech startup in MENA and participated in Flat6Labs and Startupbootcamp accelerator programs, gaining pre-seed funding and Bahrain FinTech Sandbox regulatory approval.
Outside of work, Batchimeg is a community organizer and co-founded MNG Summit, a non-profit organization supporting Mongolian students and early career professionals. She received her MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and B.S. in Marketing from University of Illinois at Chicago.

Paul Seidler

Paul Seidler

Managing Director, Evergreen Climate Innovations

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Paul Seidler

Managing Director, Evergreen Climate Innovations

Paul Seidler is the Managing Director at Evergreen Climate Innovations, where he oversees the organization’s investment activities and portfolio management. Paul has participated in more than 30 transactions totaling nearly $6 million since joining Evergreen in 2014. He has served or is currently serving as a board director or observer for 14 portfolio companies. Paul is also responsible for managing structured fundraising initiatives on behalf of portfolio companies seeking to raise institutional capital. Additionally, he leads Evergreen’s CEO Summit, an annual leadership seminar for portfolio company founders and CEOs. Prior to joining Evergreen, Paul oversaw business development for Applied Thin Films, Inc., an advanced materials company developing ceramic coatings and composites for the energy, aerospace, and defense industries. Paul was recognized by the Midwest Energy News in the “40-Under-40” class of 2017. Since 2014, he has served as a mentor at the Summer Institute on Sustainability and Energy (SISE) at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Paul completed his undergraduate studies in economics at the University of Michigan and earned an MBA with honors from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Aviv Shalgi, MBA ’18

Aviv Shalgi, MBA ’18

CEO, Solar Simplified

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Aviv Shalgi, MBA ’18

CEO, Solar Simplified

Aviv Shalgi is a serial entrepreneur, and is the CEO of an energy tech startup, Solar Simplified. His military background, engineering career, and consulting experience have allowed Aviv to become a well-rounded business leader. As an innovator, Aviv has always been focused on positive disruption in industries where there are opportunities to solve fundamental problems. This is what drew him to Solar Simplified, where he strives to make affordable renewable energy accessible to everyone, while providing consumers with guaranteed savings and making the process simple and transparent for consumers, solar developers and regulators.

10:10 am - 11:00 am // State of FinTech Panel

Victor Lyonnet

Victor Lyonnet

Visiting Assistant Professor of Finance, Chicago Booth

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Victor Lyonnet

Visiting Assistant Professor of Finance, Chicago Booth

Professor Victor Lyonnet is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Finance at Chicago Booth.

Professor Lyonnet is visiting from The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business where he is an Assistant Professor of Finance. His research interests include entrepreneurship, corporate finance, financial intermediation, and life insurance.

Professor Lyonnet earned a Ph.D. in economics from École Polytechnique/CREST. During his Ph.D. studies, he was a visiting scholar at HEC Paris (2016-2018), Harvard University (2015, 2017), and Columbia University (2014). He received the 2018 AFFI FNEGE best thesis award in corporate finance.

Outside of academia, Professor Lyonnet worked as a researcher at the Bank of France (2016) and the International Monetary Fund (2014).

Jason Barsema

Jason Barsema

Co-Founder & President, Halo Investing, Inc.

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Jason Barsema

Co-Founder & President, Halo Investing, Inc.

Jason Barsema is the Co-Founder and President of Halo Investing where hemleads the team and product vision. With over a decade of experience managing Structured Notes, he built the Halo platform to provide all investors access to this incredible investment product. Jason previously was a Partner on a large Private Banking team at Credit Suisse, where he managed portfolios for Ultra High Net Worth Individuals & Institutions. Jason has his B.A. in Economics from Northern Illinois University and his M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Hanane Bouchareb

Hanane Bouchareb

VP & Head of Operations, M1

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Hanane Bouchareb

VP & Head of Operations, M1

Hanane Bouchareb oversees all of M1’s operations, working to ensure a positive experience for all clients as they invest, borrow, and spend. While at M1, Hanane spearheaded the launch of the M1 Spend checking account, expanded the operations team from 10 to 100 employees, and harnessed her operational knowledge to improve products on the platform. Previously, Hanane worked for Enova International, where she focused on launching new products and operationalizing processes.
Hanane is of Moroccan heritage and loves cooking traditional cuisine, playing tennis, and reading inspiring work from authors such as Brené Brown. Hanane holds a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree in Finance and Marketing from Loyola University in Chicago.

Cole Lundquist, MBA ’14

Cole Lundquist, MBA ’14

Principal, QED Investors

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Cole Lundquist, MBA ’14

Principal, QED Investors

Cole Lundquist is a principal at QED. Before QED, Cole led the investment team at Peregrade Ventures, a Chicago-based single-family office. While at Peregrade Ventures, alongside leading new investments, he managed a large portfolio across asset classes, stages, sectors and capital structures. Prior to Peregrade Ventures, Cole held various roles at ApplePie Capital, including credit, corporate development, FP&A and capital markets. Cole began his career at Equity International, an emerging markets growth equity firm. Cole holds an MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business with concentrations in Analytic Finance and Accounting and a B.A. in International Economics from Emory University. Outside of his role, he spends his free time with his senior dogs and experimenting with brewing spontaneously fermented beer at his small brewery.

10:10 am - 11:00 am // State of Healthcare Panel

Brian Coe, MBA ’99

Brian Coe, MBA ’99

CEO, Belay Diagnostics

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Brian Coe, MBA ’99

CEO, Belay Diagnostics

 

Brian Coe began his entrepreneurial career in 1995 as co-founder and CEO of Litholink Corporation, a CLIA laboratory with integrated clinical decision support software that grew to serve approximately 25% of the US urology market and 10% of the nephrology market with national payer coverage before its acquisition by LabCorp in 2006. At LabCorp (NYSE: LH), Brian was promoted to Senior Vice President and led the expansion of the programs to other diseases that eventually included chronic kidney disease, cardiovascular disease, bone disease, coagulation disorders, and diabetes as the platform fully integrated into the broader organization. Litholink’s programs currently serve ~9MM pts/yr.

Brian left LabCorp to serve as co-founder and CEO of Talis Biomedical (NASDAQ:TLIS) (FKA SlipChip), a point-of-care molecular diagnostics platform for infectious disease. He led the company from conception through its IPO, led by JPM and BAML, raising approximately $500MM in equity capital over 9 years, with an additional $50MM in non-dilutive grant funding. Brian currently serves as an adjunct professor at Chicago Booth, where he previously co-created and taught Entrepreneurial Discovery course with Prof Mark Tebbe, instructs the I-Corps course at the Polsky Center, and serves as an active advisor in multiple life science start-up companies.

Imran Ahmad, MBA ’13

Imran Ahmad, MBA ’13

EIR, QED Investors

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Imran Ahmad, MBA ’13

EIR, QED Investors

 

Mr. Imran Ahmad serves as Board Member at AMOpportunities. He served as Chief Operating Officer at HealthiPASS and as Partner at OCA Ventures. He brings over ten years of experience in financing, investing, and founding early-stage technology and middle-market companies. He was a Co-Founder and Advisor at MouseHouseApp. Prior to joining OCA Ventures, he worked as a mobile strategy and operations analyst for PayPal Mobile where he helped launch PayPal Here in domestic retail and international markets. Additionally, he was a private equity associate for JMH Capital where he invested in growth equity and leveraged buyout transactions in healthcare and business services. He began his career as an investment banking analyst for William Blair. Despite spending significant time on the investment side, Prior to MouseHouseApp, he started and sold a staffing management software platform for shift-based healthcare service providers. He has significant experience with enterprise sales and has firsthand experience with many of the issues that first-time founders face on a daily basis. He completed his MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business with concentrations in Entrepreneurship and Management and received his BA in Economics from the University of Chicago.

Asif Khan

Asif Khan

Co-Founder & CEO, Hucu.ai

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Asif Khan

Co-Founder & CEO, Hucu.ai

Asif Khan is a successful health-tech entrepreneur with a track record of developing scalable businesses through amazing and engaging technologies. He has over 25 years of experience in healthcare. Asif serves as Entrepreneur in Residence and Coach for Advocate Aurora Health System Innovation teams. Prior to launching Hucu.ai, Asif founded and scaled CareMerge, a leading EHR, eMAR, Senior and Family Engagement platform for Senior Living industry. Asif is committed to improving outcomes and efficiency and helping transform value based healthcare.

Before Caremerge, Asif held various global leadership roles at GE, in several businesses including GE Transportation, GE Energy, GE Capital, and GE Healthcare. Asif worked as an Intrapreneur at GE developing and taking to market newer software products including FDA, CE, and other global approving agencies worldwide in over 100 languages. During his tenure at GE, Asif was awarded several leadership awards.

Asif has been a frequent guest speaker at many healthcare conferences and has received numerous awards and recognition across the country because of his pioneering vision and related efforts in simplifying healthcare.

Asif is a Six Sigma Black Belt (from GE), and has a B.A. in History and Journalism, and a B.Sc. in Business and Computer Science. He also has an MBA in Entrepreneurship and Finance from Booth School of Business – University of Chicago. He lives in Chicago with his wife (PCP with focus on aging seniors), two kids and an Alaskan Malamute. He enjoys winding down his days by doing outdoors activities (gardening, hiking, motorcycling, anything else that requires the outdoors).

Kara Scheer, MBA ’23

Kara Scheer, MBA ’23

Director of Strategy & Business Operations, Belay Diagnostics

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Kara Scheer, MBA ’23

Director of Strategy & Business Operations, Belay Diagnostics

Kara Scheer, MBA, University of Chicago Booth School of Business, has over ten years of healthcare experience. She started her career at Epic Software Systems in 2012, and in 2017, she founded Salus Consulting, where she provided strategy and tailored guidance to clients comprising some of the leading healthcare organizations in the US. She has advised digital health and biotech startups in technology development, business model strategy, process improvement, financial modeling, and strategic execution. She is passionate about bringing innovation to market, improving the world through technology, and helping mission-based organizations succeed.

She currently serves as Director of Strategy and Business Operations at Belay Diagnostics, an early-stage brain cancer diagnostics startup in Chicago formed in 2022 that closed its Series-A funding round in October 2023 and is launching its first product in early 2024.

Uma Veerappan

Uma Veerappan

HealthTech Investor, Flare Capital Partners

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Uma Veerappan

HealthTech Investor, Flare Capital Partners

Uma is a Senior Associate at Flare Capital Partners.

Uma serves as a Board liaison to Greater Good Health, Knownwell, Oui Therapeutics and supports Flare Capital’s investments in Elektra Health and Visana Health. In addition, she also led the firm’s Flare Scholar Ventures investment in a company that is currently in stealth mode.

Uma began her career as a Fulbright Teaching Grantee in South Korea. After returning to the US, she was a Strategy Consultant at EY, where she advised C-Suite executives in healthcare and technology on launching next-generation products, improving the customer experience, and creating go-to-market strategies for recently acquired startups. She explored areas including surgical skills assessment and artificial intelligence.

Uma gained exposure to healthcare startup operations through her work with Hazel Health, a pediatric telemedicine startup, and Care+Wear, a healthcare apparel startup. These experiences have given her perspective on hospital sales cycles, clinical workflow integration strategies, and payor engagement. In her subsequent project at Intuitive, she highlighted the most promising opportunities for digital health in the robotic surgery market, incorporating key considerations related to data sharing, artificial intelligence applications, and clinical decision support.

Uma’s prior experience in healthcare-focused venture capital includes her roles at BBG Ventures and Portfolia. At both firms, she recognized the importance of investing in underrepresented founders and markets.

Uma has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Educational Studies from Emory University, where she was a Woodruff Dean’s Achievement Scholar. She earned her MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business. While completing her MBA, Uma was engaged with Flare Capital as a Flare Capital Scholar.

11:20 am - 12:10 pm // State of B2B / SaaS Panel

Allison Weil Lechnir, MBA ’17, MPP ’17

Allison Weil Lechnir, MBA ’17, MPP ’17

Partner, Hyde Park Venture Partners

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Allison Weil Lechnir, MBA ’17, MPP ’17

Partner, Hyde Park Venture Partners

Allison is a Partner at Hyde Park Venture Partners and has been with the firm since 2019. 

Prior to HPVP Allison ran business operations for Civis Analytics, a Chicago-based data science software startup. She also co-founded Flag Analytics, a predictive analytics company focused on public safety, and spent her early career in healthcare consulting at Accenture. She is a 2017 MBA/MPP from the University of Chicago. 

Ablorde Ashigbi

Ablorde Ashigbi

Founder & CEO, 4Degrees

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Ablorde Ashigbi

Founder & CEO, 4Degrees

 

Ablorde Ashigbi is the Co-Founder and CEO of 4Degrees, a Chicago-based technology company applying machine intelligence to help teams in relationship-driven industries manage their most important source of opportunity – their professional networks. Prior to 4Degrees, Ablorde has held various investor and consultancy positions at companies including Pritzker Group Venture Capital, Bain & Company, and G2 Crowd. When he’s not doing that, you can usually find him lifting weights, reading books, or eating BBQ.

Troy Henikoff

Troy Henikoff

Managing Director, MATH Venture Partners

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Troy Henikoff

Managing Director, MATH Venture Partners

Troy is a seasoned entrepreneur who has built multiple successful technology-based businesses from the ground-up over a 30+ year period. With one foot firmly rooted in technology and the other firmly rooted in business he seamlessly bridges the divide between business and technology to create profitable organizations quickly. Troy excels in situations where innovation and creativity are required to solve real business problems.

Caitlyn Truong

Caitlyn Truong

CEO & Co-Founder, Zengines

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Caitlyn Truong

CEO & Co-Founder, Zengines

Caitlyn is the the CEO and Co-Founder of Zengines.

She is a start-up geek who embraces technology disruption, a people leader who believes in finding and shining a light on the best of each individual, a high energy team player who likes to get things done, and an angel investor who pays it forward.

Caitlyn has 20+ years in Strategy Consulting and Transformation Design & Implementation. She is an expert in Financial Services and Capital Markets, and a problem solver across Digital, Data, Technology and Automation.

11:20 am - 12:10 pm // State of Social Impact Panel

Christina Hachikian, AB ’02, MBA ’07

Christina Hachikian, AB ’02, MBA ’07

Clinical Associate Professor of Strategic Management, Chicago Booth

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Christina Hachikian, AB ’02, MBA ’07

Clinical Associate Professor of Strategic Management, Chicago Booth

Christina Hachikian is a Clinical Associate Professor of Strategic Management at Chicago Booth. She teaches several of Booth’s social impact courses, focusing on topics including scaling social innovation and social enterprise strategy. She also serves as a coach for the John Edwardson, ’72, Social New Venture Challenge, the social impact track of the university’s nationally ranked startup launch program, as well as the College New Venture Challenge, the track focused on start-ups led by students from The College. She speaks on social entrepreneurship and innovation globally, on topics including the evolution of the social sector with an eye towards global trends, as well as how social impact is evolving at business schools.

Prior to moving into this full-time teaching role, Hachikian was the founding executive director of the Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, as well as an adjunct associate professor of strategic management. Since its establishment in 2012, Hachikian led the center’s global work as the hub for people solving complex social and environmental problems. Under her leadership, the center became an integral part of the university’s social impact ecosystem and was a force for embedding social impact as an integral part of Booth. She was instrumental in building the center’s support base, including a more than $30 million endowment. Over her eight year tenure, she built a team of more than 20 people operating in Chicago, Hong Kong, and London dedicated to advancing research and developing the people and practices that will accelerate social change.

Prior to joining Booth, she was vice president and head of investor relations and corporate development for Cole Taylor Bank. Prior to Cole Taylor, Hachikian was an assistant vice president at ShoreBank (now Urban Partnership Bank), a triple-bottom line community development bank. There she was responsible for managing projects including growth strategy, capital raising initiatives, and operational efficiencies.

Hachikian has contributed substantially to the education and workforce development sectors. She is also a board member at two for-profit, early stage companies: including AIM Clinics, which provides autism therapy in underserved markets, as well as AutonomyWorks, a for-profit marketing services firm employing adults with autism, on which she serves as the company’s social benefit director under benefit corporation status. She has volunteered since 2014 as executive coach for the executive director of VOCEL, an innovative early education nonprofit. In 2020, Hachikian was appointed to the Governor’s Commission on Equitable Early Childhood Education and Care Funding, and was a 2017 McCormick Foundation Executive Fellow, the Erikson Institute’s leadership program for the advancement of access to quality early education. She has served on a variety of other committees and boards, including the City of Chicago Office of the Mayor’s Early Childhood Workforce Committee and UChicago Impact, the implementation arm of the Urban Education Institute at the University of Chicago.

Hachikian holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, with a focus on strategic management and managerial and organizational behavior. She also earned an AB in public policy from the University of Chicago.

In 2019, Hachikian was included in the Crain’s Chicago List of 40 Under 40.

Bridget Allen

Bridget Allen

Director of Growth, Kadeya

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Bridget Allen

Director of Growth, Kadeya

Bridget leads Growth at Kadeya, a start up that’s transforming worker hydration on construction sites. She has more than 10 years of marketing & business development leadership experience in innovative industrial technology organizations. Previously, she served as Global Marketing Manager at 3M, where she led product management of IoT devices and business development of corporate partnerships. Prior to joining 3M, Bridget had responsibility for technical sales & business development with Air Products, where she began her career as a chemical engineer building world-scale hydrogen plants. She is a graduate of Harvard University, where she earned her MBA, and of Villanova University, where she earned her undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering.

Euler Broleph

Euler Broleph

Founder and Managing Partner, VestedWorld

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Euler Broleph

Founder and Managing Partner, VestedWorld

Euler Bropleh is the Founder and Managing Partner of VestedWorld, an early-stage fund manager that aims to catalyze growth and development in some of the most underserved markets around the world. VestedWorld leverages its deep knowledge and networks to identify businesses that can play a role in transforming industries and communities where they invest. VestedWorld is committed to being a leading early-stage investment fund manager for emerging markets. They have supported more than 30 African startups addressing critical social and market needs in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda.

Through his work at VestedWorld, Euler serves as a Board Member at Viamo and Vanu, as well as a Board Observer for Jetstream Africa and Victory Farms. These are just some of the aforementioned African organizations that VestedWorld has funded and worked with. This business is a huge passion point for Euler as a Liberian native who left the country during the Liberian Civil War. He understands firsthand how conflict, instability, and lack of economic growth can impact the lives of people in developing countries.

Before starting his journey as an entrepreneur, having founded VestedWorld in 2014, Euler had experience working at leading law firms. He spent 6 years in law working as an Associate at Latham & Watkins as well as Vedder Price P.C., where he represented Fortune 100 companies, venture capital and private equity firms, and emerging businesses worldwide. This laid the foundation for his work as an angel investor.

Euler attended Emory University where he earned his Bachelor of Arts in International Studies. He then attended the University of St. Andrews where he earned his MSc in International Strategy and Economics and was a Bobby Jones Scholar. Following his time at the University of St. Andrews, Euler attended the University of Chicago Law School. Here he earned his JD, was a Donald E. Egan Scholar, and received the Ann Watson Barber Service Award.

Euler splits his time between Accra, Ghana, and Chicago, IL. He serves on the Board of the African Leadership Foundation (which supports the African Leadership Academy and the African Leadership University), mothers2mothers, AgriCorps, Ingenuity, and The Field Museum.

Brittany Henry, MBA ’17

Brittany Henry, MBA ’17

Senior Associate, Impact America Fund

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Brittany Henry, MBA ’17

Senior Associate, Impact America Fund

Brittany Henry, a Booth alum, is on the investments team at Impact America Fund, a venture capital firm investing in tech-driven businesses that provide economic opportunities to communities of color in the US. Brittany focuses on investing in fintech solutions such as personal finance tools as well as technology to support the growth of small to medium businesses. Prior to joining IAF, she worked as a management consultant in the strategy practice at KPMG, focusing on mergers and acquisitions for large corporate clients, and on financial process improvement for clients at Accenture.

Michelle Mbekeani, JD ’14

Michelle Mbekeani, JD ’14

Senior Legal & Policy Advisor for Justice Reform, Cook County State's Attorney's Office

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Michelle Mbekeani, JD ’14

Senior Legal & Policy Advisor for Justice Reform, Cook County State's Attorney's Office

Michelle is an attorney with a decade of legal and policy experience in the criminal justice reform space. Michelle earned her law degree at the University of Chicago Law School. Michelle has been on the Forbes 30 under 30 list and the Crain’s Chicago 40 under 40 list. She also is a Forbes Contributor in their Money Section. Her articles analyze costs and return on investment in public finance and policy.

Michelle is an MBA student at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business – there she is a Neubauer Civic Scholar, receiving a full tuition scholarship.

As the Senior Legal and Policy Advisor in the 2nd largest prosecutor’s office in the US, Michelle worked alongside the National Innocence Project and crafted legislation that prohibits an interrogation tactic that has led to false confessions – including the Exonerated Five in the Central Park Jogger case. This historic legislation was the first of its kind in U.S. history.

Michelle both co-authored and lobbied for legislation that resulted in Illinois being the first State in U.S. history to have a voter polling station inside a jail. This enabled those incarcerated pretrial to vote in person.

Michelle was recently appointed as the Chief Director of the Conviction Review Unit within the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. The Conviction Review Unit has the largest caseload in the country. This unit is dedicated to diligently reviewing cases where wrongful convictions may have occurred, especially those resulting from systemic corruption and inefficiency.

Michelle’s most recent achievement at the helm of the Conviction Review Unit was the exoneration of Brian Beals, a 22-year-old student and college football player at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale who was wrongfully convicted in a 1988 murder and served 35 years in prison.

Michelle’s extensive experience in the legal field led her and her teammates in the Social New Venture Challenge to build a software program called “Period – End the Sentence.” This is a SaaS platform free for people in prison that provides tech-enabled legal correspondence to digitally identify, and review their cases. With the development of this software – Michelle and her teammates won the Social New Venture Challenge this past year.

 

1:10 pm - 2:00 pm // Panel: VC and Investing Career Paths

Jason Heltzer, MBA ’02

Jason Heltzer, MBA ’02

Managing Partner, Origin Ventures // Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship, Chicago Booth

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Jason Heltzer, MBA ’02

Managing Partner, Origin Ventures // Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship, Chicago Booth

Jason Heltzer began his career in venture capital in 2001 and is currently a managing partner at Origin Ventures. Heltzer is a board member or observer for Tovala, Vivrelle, Prisidio, Idelic, Blackcart, and several unannounced investments.

Heltzer’s prior investments include Tock (acquired by Squarespace), Cartavi (acquired by Docusign), Base CRM (acquired by Zendesk), Brightnest (acquired by Angie’s List), Alert Logic (acquired by Welsh-Carson), and FeeFighters (acquired by Groupon). Heltzer also worked closely with TradeKing (acquired by Ally Bank). Before his venture capital career, Heltzer spent three and a half years as a software engineer and software architect for Deloitte Consulting. He also led engineering and business teams at 1stUp, a San Francisco-based startup.

Heltzer received a BS in computer science, with highest distinction, from the University of Michigan. Heltzer also received an MBA in finance and entrepreneurship, with high honors, from Chicago Booth, where he was a Siebel Scholar and Wallman Scholar. In addition to his professional responsibilities at Origin, Heltzer is an adjunct professor of entrepreneurship at Chicago Booth, where he teaches the venture capital and private equity lab class.

Jason has an interest in movies, and has watched every Best Picture movie from 1927 to present, plus about 200 documentaries. In addition, for most of his life, Jason has been addicted to video games, which is what prompted him to teach himself how to code when he was 13.

Roei Haviv, MBA ’23

Roei Haviv, MBA ’23

Investor, CMT Digital

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Roei Haviv, MBA ’23

Investor, CMT Digital

“Roei Haviv is an investor at CMT Digital in Chicago with experience in product management and a military background. He previously worked as an MBA Associate at Brevan Howard Digital and as a Product Manager at VMware and Moon Active.

Roei served for 8 years in the Israeli Navy as a navy officer and holds a BA in Business Management and Political Science from Haifa University and an MBA from Chicago Booth School of Business.”

Alyssa Jaffee, MBA ’16

Alyssa Jaffee, MBA ’16

Partner, 7wire Ventures

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Alyssa Jaffee, MBA ’16

Partner, 7wire Ventures

Alyssa Jaffee is a Partner at 7wireVentures where she invests in companies that empower everyone to be better stewards of their health. She holds board roles at Caraway Health, NOCD, MedArrive, Brightline, Zerigo Health, and Jasper Health. Previously, Alyssa was an investor at Pritzker Group Venture Capital and Hyde Park Angels. Alyssa is also a cofounder of TransparentCareer, a NVC winning company helping people make more data-driven career decisions. Alyssa spent time at the Advisory Board Company where she launched new technologies and consulted hundreds of hospital executives to understand their needs and recommend solutions.

Alyssa attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison and received an MBA from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. Her work and accomplishments have been featured in Fortune, Stat News, MedCity News, Crain’s, and more.

Victoria Leon, MBA ’23

Victoria Leon, MBA ’23

Vice President, Hyde Park Venture Partners // Investor, Aug X Labs

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Victoria Leon, MBA ’23

Vice President, Hyde Park Venture Partners // Investor, Aug X Labs

Victoria Leon is an investor with entrepreneurship and operator experience. Specialties include community building and being the go-to person to own the unknown.

Named 2007 Global Young Social Entrepreneur and built and operated companies in education, adtech, fintech, and digital health.
Victoria has an entrepreneurial background, having built multiple startups including coding bootcamp Codesmith and co-founding adtech company Prizeout. She interned with HPVP during her MBA program.

She holds a Masters in Business Administration from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a Bachelors in Chemical Engineering with a concentration in Biomolecular Engineering from UCLA.

Bill Pescatello, MBA ’06

Bill Pescatello, MBA ’06

General Partner, Lightbank

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Bill Pescatello, MBA ’06

General Partner, Lightbank

Bill is a General Partner at Lightbank, where he brings over 15 years of venture experience, and has helped build multiple top quartile funds for both strategic and independent funds.

Bill was the Founding and Managing Partner of Evolv Ventures, a top decile venture fund backed by Kraft Heinz. Bill led investments in a number of industrial tech companies, including Fabric, Outrider and Parsable.
Prior to Evolv and a year after Lightbank was initially founded in 2010, Bill helped build out Lightbank’s first fund and led and/or served on the boards of Udemy (NASDAQ: UDMY), Locu (Acq. GoDaddy), Super (fka Snapcommerce), Fooda, Perblue, Ionic, Hireology, CoffeeMeetsBagel, and Ovia Health (Acq. Labcorp).

Bill was also a founding member of the Peacock Equity Fund, a $250m venture fund for NBCUniversal. Worked at GE Capital, where he helped financed early-stage life science companies and was a Financial Analyst at Morgan Stanley out of college.

Bill is a Chartered Financial Analyst, holds a Bachelor Degree from Northwestern University and graduated with honors from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

1:10 pm - 2:00 pm // Panel: Founder Career Paths

CJ Przybyl, MBA ’11

CJ Przybyl, MBA ’11

Co-Founder & CEO, Reserv // Co-Founder, Snapsheet Inc. // Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship, Chicago Booth

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CJ Przybyl, MBA ’11

Co-Founder & CEO, Reserv // Co-Founder, Snapsheet Inc. // Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship, Chicago Booth

CJ is an entrepreneur and business leader with experience in all company stages, from founding/early startups to late-stage growth companies and steady-state corporations. He co-founded Snapsheet after leading the pivot of BodyShopBids from a consumer brand into a B2B innovator at the forefront of the Insurtech revolution, raising over $100M and scaling the business to over 400 employees with over 100 insurance customers. He conceived the Snapsheet app, the first photo-based mobile app for claims, an innovation that has become industry standard.

CJ then led the stealth development and launch of Snapsheet Cloud, a SaaS platform which enables fully automated claims from FNOL to digital payment, in partnership with multiple corporates, including Zurich Insurance, Key Bank, and JPMorgan Chase.  CJ architected and led Snapsheet’s expansion beyond the US, into Canada and multiple countries in Europe.

CJ is an avid angel investor and advisor, focusing on unique GTM methodologies, corporate strategic partnerships, business development and fundraising advice. He is passionate about using technology to enable more automation for humans. In addition to his day-to-day activities at Snapsheet, CJ is an adjunct professor of entrepreneurship at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, an advisor at the Creative Destruction Lab in Wisconsin and Duality (the nations first quantum startup accelerator), an advisor to the OCA Ventures EDGE fund, and he currently serves on the board of directors of the department of physics and optical engineering at Rose-Hulman.

CJ holds a bachelor’s degree in optical engineering from the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Alexander Choi, ’22

Alexander Choi, ’22

Co-Founder & CEO, Natuur Brands

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Alexander Choi, ’22

Co-Founder & CEO, Natuur Brands

Alexander Choi was born and raised in Chicago. Before delving into the business world, Alexander was an avid athlete, excelling as a competitive swimmer, runner, and triathlete. In 2022, Alexander took on the role of Co-Founder and CEO at Natuur Brands, a cannabis processing technology company. He’s also involved as a Founder Network Member at Gold House and with the Cannabis Innovation Lab at 1871. Alexander holds a bachelor’s degree in economics with a Specialization in Business Economics from the University of Chicago. He also completed his MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Liz Tilatti, MBA ’13

Liz Tilatti, MBA ’13

Mentor & Entrepreneur in Residence, 1871 // Founder, ZipFit Inc.

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Liz Tilatti, MBA ’13

Mentor & Entrepreneur in Residence, 1871 // Founder, ZipFit Inc.

Liz Tilatti is the co-founder and CEO of ZipFit Denim, which pairs customers with designer denim brands that help customers achieve the perfect fit for their bodies, boosting their overall self confidence in the process. ZipFit has received funding from multiple investors including Math Venture Partners, Irish Angels, Great Oaks Venture Capital, 606 Capital Partners and many individual angel investors. As ZipFit has rapidly grown over the years, so has its client base including athletes such as Deion Sanders and Troy Aikman. Liz began her professional career in consulting at Mercer and later worked for multiple startups. She holds a BA from Emory University and an MBA from Chicago Booth.

Mittul Patel

Mittul Patel

Founder, Zaars

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Mittul Patel

Founder, Zaars

Mittul Patel was born in India and raised in the US. His studied Biology and Philosophy at the University of Kentucky, and has a master’s in medical sciences from Drexel University. After college, Mittul founded a media agency in Philadelphia and later worked in a healthcare marketing agency where he crafted advertising campaigns for pharmaceutical companies. He is currently completing his MBA at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business where he is actively working on his latest venture, Zaars, a South Asian fashion startup.

Neal Sarraf

Neal Sarraf

Co-Founder & Board Member, First Resonance // Managing Director, Forum Ventures

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Neal Sarraf

Co-Founder & Board Member, First Resonance // Managing Director, Forum Ventures

Neal is a Co-Founder of First Resonance. Prior to First Resonance, he worked at an IIoT startup called Uptake Technologies. At Uptake, Neal worked across the Corporate M&A, Strategy, and Innovation teams focusing on inorganic and organic growth initiatives with the executive team and company leadership.

1:10 pm - 2:00 pm // Panel: Startup Operating Career Paths

Jamie Shah, MBA ’13

Jamie Shah, MBA ’13

President, Chem-Impex International, Inc. // Adjunct Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship, Chicago Booth

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Jamie Shah, MBA ’13

President, Chem-Impex International, Inc. // Adjunct Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship, Chicago Booth

Jamie Shah operates her family’s business, Chem-Impex, a distributor and manufacturer of high purity laboratory chemicals. Prior to Chem-Impex, Shah was the Chief Operating Officer of The Spice House. She was also previously the lead associate at Hyde Park Angels and Hyde Park Venture Partners, and was selected as a Kauffman Fellows Finalist. She started her career at Goldman Sachs as an investment banker in the consumer retail group, and then was a financial analyst for Google Maps.

In addition to teaching Outperform & Outlast:  Operating and Investing in Closely Held Businesses at Booth, Shah is a Polsky Center Entrepreneur in Residence where she provides mentorship and coaching to University of Chicago students interested in exploring topics related to family business and long term ownership and operations.

Shah earned a dual degree (BBA and BS) from The University of Wisconsin – Madison in finance, investments, and banking and Spanish literature and language, and an MBA from Chicago Booth.  In 2023, Shah was selected as one of Family Business Magazine’s Transformational Women in Business.

Shah serves on the University of Wisconsin’s Business Alumni Board and resides in the Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago with her husband, Anish, and their two children Rowan and Sona.

Amrisha Dubey, MBA ’22

Amrisha Dubey, MBA ’22

Operations, Stripe

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Amrisha Dubey, MBA ’22

Operations, Stripe

Amrisha Dubey, NU’16 and Booth ’22 graduate, started her career as a strategy consultant at Deloitte, focusing on financial services clients, and then at Apple in the Operations team, focusing on the APAC Apple Watch market. Her growing interest in Apple Pay and payments led her to join PayPal, in the financial operations team. During her time at Booth she explored growth strategy at Snap Inc. Upon graduating she pursued her passion for payments and joined Stripe as a Program Manager in the Operations team where she leads broad, cross functional strategic projects and helps drive long-term strategic planning.

Megan Lambert, MBA ’20

Megan Lambert, MBA ’20

Director of Client Operations, Crafty

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Megan Lambert, MBA ’20

Director of Client Operations, Crafty

As the Director of Client Operations at Crafty, Megan leads a team of approximately 100 food & beverage experts and client operations managers. Her team leverages Crafty’s unique technology to deliver an unmatched customer experience in the workplace food and beverage space. During her time as the Director of Field Operations at Crafty, she led a complete re-organization and operating model overhaul to meet the changing needs of Crafty’s clients and business. Now, as the Director of Client Operations, she is building on the incredible work they’ve done in field operations by incorporating day-to-day account management and partner operations into their workflows to enable faster communications, better customer service, and more clearly defined professional growth plans. Megan earned her MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business with concentrations in Entrepreneurship, Strategic Leadership, and Behavioral Science.

Mairin Jerse, MBA ’23

Mairin Jerse, MBA ’23

Director of Product, Page Vault

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Mairin Jerse, MBA ’23

Director of Product, Page Vault

Mairin Jerse, and Booth ’23 graduate, started her career as a software developer through GE’s Digital Leadership program, and quickly moved into product management, owning a range of products from mobile apps to globally scaled SaaS products. After four years at GE, she used her time at Booth to explore entrepreneurship and startup strategy and operations. After graduating, she took on her current role as Director of Product at a legal-tech startup, Page Vault, where she leads the development of new and existing products, oversees the software development lifecycle, and drives the long term product strategy.

Cen Qian, MBA ’17

Cen Qian, MBA ’17

VP of Supply Chain, Tovala

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Cen Qian, MBA ’17

VP of Supply Chain, Tovala

Cen is a VP of Supply Chain at Tovala managing the procurement and logistics of both the Tovala oven and the Tovala meal subscription service. The descendant of a long line of chefs, farmers, and shellfish enthusiasts, Cen loves cooking and lives for good food. Before Tovala, she developed her business acumen at Goldman Sachs Asset Management and earned an MBA from Chicago Booth.

Keynote: Coco Meers, MBA '14, CEO & Co-Founder, Equilibria (2:15-3:15pm)

Coco Meers, MBA ’14

Coco Meers, MBA ’14

CEO & Co-Founder, Equilibria

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Coco Meers, MBA ’14

CEO & Co-Founder, Equilibria

Coco Meers, CEO & Co-Founder of Equilibria, is a serial tech entrepreneur and early stage investor.  Her company Equilibria is a venture-backed, 360 wellness platform bringing balance to women through data-driven, personalized nutraceutical routines and 1:1 support. Prior to Equilibria, Coco’s first start-up, PrettyQuick (acquired by Groupon in 2015) introduced major efficiencies to the $70B beauty services industry by offering seamless reservations at salons and spas nationwide. When she’s not building companies, Coco enjoys investing in other consumer-focused female founders as an active angel investor.   Before entrepreneurial life, Coco was based in Paris where she helped market and manage global brands under the L’Oreal SA portfolio.  A passionate arts lover, Coco serves on the Executive Committee of the Joffrey Ballet.  She has an MBA in Finance and Entrepreneurship from Chicago Booth, and graduated magna cum laude from Princeton with a BA in English and French. She is a mom of two and lives in Lincoln Park, Chicago.

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