• Innovators Panel
  • Fintech
  • India Venture Capital
  • Climate and Clean Tech Innovators
  • Young Turks
  • Healthcare
  • Venture Capitalists
  • Social Entrepreneurship
  • Innovators 2
  • Women in Tech
Innovators: The Journey

Our panelists will share insights into how they started their businesses, from idea to execution, and discuss some of the challenges & opportunities they have encountered.

Miki Agarwal Miki Agrawal is the CEO and Co‐Founder of THINX, a high‐tech, beautiful underwear solution for women to wear during their periods. She teamed up with AFRIpads in Uganda to fund a pack of reusable cloth pads for every underwear sold to get millions of girls back in school. To date, Miki and THINX have helped over 30,000 girls go back to school. THINX has gone viral 5 times since launching the company in 2014. She was named 2015 Social Entrepreneur of the Year at the World Technology Awards and THINX was named Time Magazine’s “25 Best New Inventions of 2015.” Miki was also the recipient of the TriBeCa Film Festival’s Disruptive Innovation Award and was named one of the “Top 20 Millennials on a Mission” by Forbes.
Umang Dua Umang Dua is the Co‐Founder and COO of Handy. Prior to founding Handy, Umang founded College Connect, an online platform in India that connected aspiring college students with enrolled students around the world. Earlier, Umang was a Business Analyst at McKinsey & Company. Umang earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Political Science from Amherst College.
Simon Enever Simon Enever was born and educated in Britain, graduating with an Industrial Design degree from a top UK Design school. After a brief spell at London based design consultancy, Native, working on high end products for Microsoft, HP and Bower & Wilkins he moved to New York in 2010. Here he took a position at Yves Behar’s Fuseproject, designing for a range of brands from startup to established such as Sabi, Nivea and GE. In 2011 Simon moved on to Lead Design at ECCO, again mixing startup consulting with Major project leads for Lenovo, LG, Panasonic and Herman Miller before conceiving and founding quip in 2013 where he acts as CEO, Creative Director and Brand Visionary.
Devaraj Southworth Devaraj Southworth is the CEO and Co‐Founder of Thirstie, a leading national on‐demand liquor, wine, and beer delivery company with a content driven commerce platform. Devaraj has been a leader in business, online media and mobile technology for close to 20 years, and is a serial entrepreneur with a number of successful ventures to his name. Prior to Thirstie, Devaraj built a digital agency to over $10M in sales, sold the Creative Services BU to an Inc. 500 Company, was a VP of Mobile Strategy for Amex, and is a former Deloitte and Accenture Strategy consultant. Devaraj studied Organizational Psychology and Investigative Journalism at Ohio Wesleyan University and earned a Fellowship in business Management and Japanese at Kansai International University. Devaraj is also the Managing General Partner of Tailfin Ventures, a LP and Fund Advisor to ENIAC Ventures, and Vice‐Chair of the Second Chance Foundation.


Our panelists will share insights into how they started their businesses, from idea to execution, and discuss some of the challenges & opportunities they have encountered.


B. Sriram has been the Managing Director and Group Executive of National Banking at State Bank of India since July 2014. Sriram served as the Managing Director of State Bank of Bikaner & Jaipur from March 1, 2013 to July 16, 2014. He served as the Chief General Manager of Delhi at State Bank of India. He served as the Chief General Manager of Rupee Markets & Global Markets at nation’s premier bank State Bank of India (SBI).He has more than 28 years experience in various departments of SBI. He has exposures in handling credit division, IT & Branch operations. He worked in various roles in domestic as well as in international markets at SBI. He served the State Bank of India in various capacities like Deputy General Manager – zonal office (Mumbai) and Deputy General Manager – zonal office (Dehradun) and was Deputed to State Bank of India’s foreign office at Singapore and SBI Capital Markets Limited.

He has been a Director of State Bank of India since July 2014. He serves as a Director of Gujarat State Energy Generation Limited, SBI Life Insurance Company Limited, and HDFC Venture Capital Limited. He served as a Director of State Bank of Bikaner & Jaipur from March 1, 2013 to July 16, 2014. He served as a Non Executive Director of Multi Commodity Exchange of India Ltd., from April 2010 to January 10, 2012. He served as a Director of National Bulk Handling Corporation Ltd. He holds CAIIB certification. Sriram holds M.Sc., in Physics from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi and has an AIMA Diploma in Management.

Don Ganguly

Don Ganguly is the founder and chief executive officer of HomeUnion, an online real estate investment management firm specializing in single-family rental (SFR) investment properties for the individual investor. Don is an entrepreneur and expert in the acquisition and management of residential real estate. He was the founder and chief executive officer of what is now Oracle Financial Services BPO (originally Equinox), a subsidiary of Oracle, which provides loan processing, servicing and back-office financial reporting services for banks and large private equity investors.

In addition to serving as an advisor to Acqura Loan Services, a special servicer of distressed residential loans, now owned by Apollo Funds, Don was also co-founder of NexGenix, a leading IT services (eCRM focus) firm. NexGenix was recognized twice as an Inc. 500 company, and was acquired by TCG, a private equity firm. Don has a degree in Engineering from IIT Kharagpur, and an MBA from the Wharton School, where he has been a mentor. He is a charter member of TiE.

Ned May Ned May joined the Financial Partners team of Napier Park Global Capital in 2015 and has over 10 years of experience investing in and advising financial services businesses. Previously, Ned was a Vice President at Morgan Stanley Global Private Equity, Morgan Stanley’s middle market private equity fund, where he helped to lead the team’s efforts in the financial services sector. Prior to joining Morgan Stanley, Ned was an Associate at Lightyear Capital and before that, an Analyst in the Investment Banking Group at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods. Ned received a BA from Williams College and an MBA from the Wharton School.
Vinayak Vinayak Gurjar is Chief Risk Officer at CommonBond. Prior to joining CommonBond in April 2015, Gurjar was Global Head of Governance in Treasury Capital Markets at Citigroup, where he led authorization for issuance of Citigroup’s third-party debt, including securitization. He also managed liquidity risk metrics for the holding company and led assessment of internal controls for compliance with policies. Prior to Citigroup, Gurjar worked as a Director at Standard & Poor’s for more than seven years, where he rated structured finance transactions backed by both consumer and commercial assets. At S & P, Gurjar had an instrumental role in leading credit and structure analysis for a variety of issuers of asset-backed securities (ABS) covering consumer assets such as credit cards, student loans and auto loans/leases, as well as commercial assets. He also worked as Principal Associate at Capital One. Gurjar received his MBA from UNC-Chapel Hill, and graduated from the National Institute of Technology, India with a Bachelor of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering.

German Soto Sanchez is an Executive Director and leader of JPMorgan’s Corporate and Investment Bank (CIB) FinTech Team. As leader of the CIB FinTech Team, German is responsible for setting the broader FinTech agenda for the CIB, identifying how JP Morgan can partner with startups and innovators to address wholesale banking industry problems and for the management of the JP Morgan In-Residence program. The JP Morgan In-Residence is a platform for solving complex wholesale banking challenges during a six month residency targeting startups and entrepreneurs.

Prior to his role leading the CIB FinTech Team, German was a member of the JPMorgan Chase Strategic Investments team, where he focused on the sourcing, diligence and execution of early-stage investments in businesses whose solutions were of strategic importance to JPMC. German has executed investments in areas, including cybersecurity, financial messaging/communications, peer to peer payments, credit underwriting, market infrastructure, big data analytics and capital optimization.

Previously, German was the Head of M&A for a shelf chartered bank holding company that acquired failed/distressed financial institutions throughout the Southeastern United States and a Principal at AIC Private Equity, where he specialized in control investments in Financial Services and Telecommunications and raised over $250MM from investors. German has also served as an Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Co. Inc. where he was a member of the Financial Institutions Group and a Senior Associate Consultant in the Principal Investments Group at Bain & Co. Inc. German received his MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business and a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from MIT.


Rajib Das is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Lexington Park Group and leads the firm’s Investment Banking and Principal Investments practice. Das has successfully led over $8 billion in capital raising transactions and over $10 billion in private equity, principal investment and advisory transactions across the Americas, Europe and Asia.

Prior to founding Lexington Park Group, Das was a Managing Director at Dubai International Capital, a private equity firm with over $11 billion in assets under management. Das led investments and managed portfolio investments across the Middle East, North Africa, India and Southeast Asia. Previously, Das founded the Private Equity practice at BroadStreet Group, served as the firm’s Chief Investment Officer for the firm’s private equity investments and was a Member of the Executive and Investment Committees. He led the firm’s investments practice focused on special opportunities in the United States, Asia and Europe. His investments ranged from growth capital in emerging markets to distressed and restructuring opportunities. Das also led the firm’s interactions with regulatory and governing bodies in the US, UK, India, Bermuda and Singapore.

At UBS, Das was an Executive Director and founding member of the team recruited to develop Structured Product and Special Opportunities business at the Bank. As an Executive Director he was responsible for leading the bank’s cross-border investments, financing and hybrid capital practice out of New York and London. His transactions included “First Ever” cross-border, tax and regulatory efficient, hybrid capital, funding and investment structures for financial services, technology and energy majors in the US, Europe and Asia. Das started his career at Merrill Lynch where he was a Vice President at the Investment Bank. He received a B.A. degree, cum laude, in Economics from Cornell University and is registered with FINRA. He also is TiE charter member.

annu W  Accomplished Business and Information Technology Chief Risk Officer with over twenty five years of experience in the financial services industry with extensive experience in management of large-scale global risk, and business continuity programs. • Specialties include: • Regulatory Exams for Technology • Operational Risk Management • Technology Risk Management • Disaster Recovery Management • Technology Risk Assessments, Risk Register • CISA, CRISC certified • Program Management. • Vendor Risk Assessments • Business Process Optimization • Team Building • Off shore Team management • Business case development and internal customer engagement • Identifying new and improved consulting methods, approaches, tools, templates • Significant experience in mentoring talent, as well as college recruiting, staff development and engagement.
 The Changing Landscape of India Venture Capital and Private Equity: Creating Value and Managing Risk

Our panelists will discuss venture capital and private equity perspectives on opportunities in India, across sectors, and share their learning curve from the last cycle. We explore the experience and outlook of venture and private equity, in determining the opportunity, time line, and the qualities of the entrepreneur in that emerging market. We also examine the point of view of entrepreneurs who have found scale and exit.

Bipin Manuel Bipin P. Manuel is an attorney in New York. He represents partnerships, individuals and portfolio companies, on international and domestic matters. Mr. Manuel has over 15 years of experience in international business transactions, as an operator, consultant and counsel for companies operating within the US and India.  Mr. Manuel has served in legal and operating manager roles for start-up, early stage and growth stage venture and private equity funded companies. Mr. Manuel has organized industry panels on the subject of the US-India trade including Infrastructure and Energy Investment in India, US Bound Acquisitions by Indian Companies, and Private Equity India Outlook.  Mr. Manuel is a member of the TiE NY Board. Mr. Manuel attended the University of Texas at Austin, McCombs School of Business. He received a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance, graduating with Honors and serving as a member of the Texas Union Board of Directors. He also attended Southern Methodist University, Dedman School of Law, as the Donald C. Fitch Scholar, where he completed a Doctor of Jurisprudence. He is admitted to practice in New York, Connecticut and Texas.
Avik - Facebook Picture Avik Mukhopadhyay, executive director, heads the Tactical Direct Investments group for J.P. Morgan Asset Management – Global Real Assets.  Avik is responsible for sourcing transactions, and coordinating with the various internal investment, business development, and capital raising teams, and external clients, across a global platform of real estate, infrastructure and maritime investment strategies.  Avik joined J.P. Morgan from CIM Group where he was a Vice President in the investments group.  At CIM, Avik was involved in all aspects of the investments process – responsible for sourcing transactions, overseeing the development of valuation models, drafting investment committee memos, comprehensive investment thesis due diligence, negotiating definitive documents, financing, helping asset manage during the hold, supporting investor relations with messaging to limited partners, and monetization of existing assets.  Prior to CIM, Avik was a Financial Analyst at Nicholas Investment Partners, a multi-product public equities oriented investment management firm, where he focused on primarily on the fundamental analysis of investments ideas for the global long/short opportunistic product.  Earlier in his career Avik was an Analyst at Goldman Sachs’ Real Estate Principal Investments Area, where he helped invest the Whitehall Street Real Estate funds, and in Corporate Treasury, where he helped analyze acquisitions made by the firm, monitor funding and liquidity risk, optimize the firm’s global collateral flows, and assisted in managing relationships with the Rating Agencies.  Avik graduated with a degree in Operations Research and Financial Engineering with honors from Princeton University, and an MBA from the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University.
Pankaj Jain

Pankaj Jain is a Partner at 500 Startups, a California based seed fund and accelerator program. Pankaj focuses on investing in early stage startups across New York City, India, South Asia and has led investments in over fifty companies at 500 Startups across 6 countries.

After getting his B.S. from NYU’s Stern School of Business, Pankaj spent over 12 years in the Financial industry at firms such as JP Morgan, Long-Term Capital Management (LTCM) and GlobeOp Financial Services.

At Long-Term Capital Management (LTCM), Pankaj served in various roles including enterprise mortgage risk management, application development architecture, and market data infrastructure.

From there, Pankaj went on to become one of the founding employees of GlobeOp Financial Services in late 1999, where he headed the firm’s trade management, pricing and data infrastructure as well as customer service areas.

In 2007, Pankaj’s adventures in India began, where he started a company building an on-demand, employment marketplace for the under-served. In 2008, Pankaj became a co-founder of the HeadStart Network Foundation and the led the efforts in Delhi. In late 2010, he began the process of founding Startup Weekend in India and led the organization until 2013.

In early 2012, Pankaj began working with TLabs, an Indian accelerator, where he helped source, select and invest in startups for the first two cohorts. In late 2012, Pankaj joined 500 Startups to lead the firm’s investments in Indian startups. Pankaj moved back to New York City in late 2013 and continues to focus on Indian startups targeting the domestic Indian market as well as a global market.

Pankaj loves to eat, play video games, write really bad Perl code and sit on tropical beaches doing nothing. He sometimes blogs at and can be found on Twitter at @pjain

Raju_Narisetti_-_International_Journalism_Festival_2015 (1)

Raju Narisetti is Senior Vice President, Strategy, for News Corp.

He is primarily involved in new ventures and acquisitions that help drive digital growth and ongoing reshaping of News Corp., through new companies or by expanding existing operating units.

Mr Narisetti directly oversees News Corp’s India businesses, which include a significant stake in, a digital real-estate business; The VCCircle Network, India’s oldest and largest startup/private equity/venture capital focused information, data, events and training company; and, a startup that demystifies personal financial decision-making. He Chairs the Board of Singapore-based Elara Corp., which owns PropTiger, and also NWS Digital Asia Pte Ltd., the News Corp Asia investment vehicle.

Previously, Mr. Narisetti served as a Deputy Managing Editor of The Wall Street Journal and Managing Editor of The Wall Street Journal Digital Network. In this role, he headed editorial teams and content strategy for,, WSJ Live video platforms, and Wall Street Journal and MarketWatch Radio Networks.

Mr. Narisetti also served as Managing Editor of Washington Post Co. 2009-2011, overseeing digital content, news products and new businesses, as well as its editing, design, photo, video, engagement and social media teams. Teams he oversaw won three Pulitzer Prizes during his tenure.

Prior to joining the Post, Mr. Narisetti served as Founder/Editor of India’s Mint newspaper, which is now India’s second-largest business newspaper, by circulation.

During his previous journalism tenure with WSJ, starting as a Summer Intern in 1991, Mr. Narisetti held multiple roles, eventually becoming Editor of The Wall Street Journal Europe in 2006, where he led the re-launch of the European and Asian multi-platform editions of the Journal. He began his journalism career at The Economic Times in New Delhi, India, and later worked as a Staff Writer at The Dayton Daily News, Dayton, Ohio.

Mr Narisetti was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2007, where is on the Alumni governance board.

He is a trustee of the International Institute of Education (IIE), which administers the Fulbright fellowships and the Scholar Rescue Fund, and a Vice Chairman on the board of, the International Center for Journalists.

Mr. Narisetti holds a BA degree from Osmania University in Hyderabad and an MBA from the Institute of Rural Management in Anand; a Post Graduate diploma from The Times School of Journalism in New Delhi; and an MA in Journalism from Indiana University.

He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his author wife Kim Narisetti and two daughters Leila and Zola.

He is often found @raju.


Kunal Shah is the Founder & Chief Executive Officer at FreeCharge. He started FreeCharge along with Sandeep Tandon in August 2010 with the aim to build a business that turned Recharges in to Rewarding Experiences for its consumers. 

In April 2015, FreeCharge was acquired by Snapdeal (India’s largest online marketplace). As a result of this, together the entity is India’s largest Mobile Commerce company with over a Million Transactions per day and a 40 Million strong user base. This also is the largest acquisition ever done in Indian Startup ecosystem; post acquisition FreeCharge continues to be an independent entity under Kunal’s leadership

FreeCharge emerged as a leader in mobile commerce in 2014, witnessing over 1000% growth and crossing over 10 million app downloads, making it the fastest growing app in the shopping category in India.

Kunal also led the acquisitions of Wishberg and Preburn, two emerging technology startups, in 2014. In its journey, FreeCharge raised over $115MM of venture capital from a host of marquee investors – Sequoia Capital, Ru-Net, Sofina, Tybourne, and Valiant Capital Partners.

FreeCharge is also widely known as a business concept that was specifically developed for India (not a copycat business from the West).

Kunal, an avid believer in the power of free, was struck with the idea of taking the most common transaction in the country, the mobile recharge, and making it virtually free via premium coupons and vouchers from some of the country’s most desirable brands.

In his spare time, Kunal is a voracious student of behavioral economics and science. He is an avid Texas Hold ‘Em poker player, and a proud college dropout from the NMIMS MBA program in Mumbai.

Kunal’s current mission: to get every single Indian to experience a single transaction via FreeCharge

Dharmendra M  DHARMENDRA MANWANI – FOUNDER & CEO With a deep-rooted knowledge of the beauty and salon industry, Dharmendra Manwani founded Marie Lou & D in 2015. Having spent the last seven years as founder and CEO of Jean-Claude Biguine Salon and Spa group in India, his innovative ideas have placed him at the forefront of salon and spa industry in the country, by defragmenting and offering consumers consolidated services under one roof and pioneering the cause of making premium services more accessible. Under his leadership Jean Claude Biguine group has been featured as one of top 100 brands in India offering high quality services to a base of more than 10,000 customers monthly across their 10 salons. Serving as a model in creating a better salon experience worldwide, Dharmendra created Marie-Lou & D with the same approach. “There is nothing more appealing than having beauty experts from across the world in your neighbourhood to help make you feel your best. Our brand promise is of expertise, trust, confidence, accessibility and consistency, and we hope that together we can make the world a more beautiful and chic place.” Dharmendra’s constant focus on expertise and quality of products and services has led Marie-Lou&D to curate top of the line hair and beauty brands such as Wella, Caudalie, Perron Rigot, Shu Uemura and Kerastase and working closely reference names in the hair industry such as Vidal Sassoon Academy, Romain Colors Paris to ensure the team is constantly updated on latest trends and techniques and ready to offer a fresh take on the salon experience. Marie-Lou&D flagship location in SoHo, NYC is now home to many global celebrities who visit the salon to get pampered by hair , spa and nails experts. Just few months into the official launch, Marie-Lou&D was listed as one of the top 8 Salon & SPA brands by Refinery29 and was featured in many other notable beauty and fashion publications such as the French Vogue, Marie-Claire,Page Six etc. Dharmendra’s vision is to replicate and expand the Marie-Lou&D model to 300 salons in the top 30 urban cities across the world over the next years.
 Rajesh Tripathi is a National Leader for the India Business Group of Grant Thornton LLP in McLean, Virginia.Experience Rajesh brings more than 15 years of international tax experience. As a National Leader for India Business Group, he advises U.S. and Indian multinational companies on various cross border tax, transfer pricing and tax treaty issues. He also advises U.S. multinationals and foreign public and privately held companies with U.S. operations on international tax issues such as subpart F income, foreign tax credits, as well as day-to-day international outbound/inbound tax issues, cross-border transactions, and tax treaty issues. Rajesh has also worked closely with clients in Mauritius and India with primary focus on U.S. Inbound tax issues, Tax Treaty analysis, FATCA, FBAR filing and PFIC analysis. He has worked in several countries and is very familiar with cross cultural issues, as well as building strong cross functional relationships.
Climate and Clean Tech Innovators

Panelists provide a landscape view and a deep dive into global energy and food, transitional and transformational solutions.

Isha datar  


Isha has been pioneering the field of cellular agriculture since 2009, when she began a deep-dive investigation into the technical challenges and opportunities involved in producing cultured meat. In 2010 Isha published “Possibilities for an in-vitro meat production system” in the food science journal Innovative Food Science and Emerging Technologies.

Isha quickly discovered that cellular agriculture research was not held back by a lack of interest or expertise, but instead by a lack of designated funding channels directed at this intersectional work. Thus began her quest to establish the field of animal products made without animals, one recognized by researchers, funding agencies, and investors.

A stint in Policy and Public Affairs at GlaxoSmithKline illuminated the cooperative relationship between non-profits, academia, and companies in translating beneficial science out of the lab and into society. Isha has used a model often used in advancing medical research to advance cellular agriculture, by funding early stage, foundational research in academia and starting cellular agriculture companies on more ready-to-market technologies.

Isha become CEO and President of New Harvest in January 2013. She co-founded Muufri, making milk without cows, in April 2014 and Clara Foods, making eggs without chickens, in November 2014.

Isha has a BSc. in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Alberta and a Masters in Biotechnology from the University of Toronto.

Steve Johanns Steve Johanns is the co-founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Veriown, the principal subsidiary of New Generation Power International in the United States. Prior to joining the company, Johanns developed and led the US central region energy and infrastructure business strategy for Eaton Corporation, a multinational power management company based in the United States. Johanns also owned and operated a business strategy firm where he worked with companies ranging from pre-revenue to Fortune 100 as well as leading venture capital firms.  Johanns holds a B.S. in Computer Engineering from Iowa State University.
johndyonge  John de Yonge brings over 16 years of experience in launching and building insight-driven programs focused on market transformations in innovation capital, cleantech and energy. He currently leads the natural resources agenda for EYQ, a new network of excellence at EY focused on helping organizations seize the upside of disruption

Young Turks

Our panel explores the world of university level startups and the explosion of young talent and innovation and how universities are ground zero for some very innovative thinking. We speak with entrepreneurs from the college ranks and hear from their venture experience and perspectives.

Pradeep Udhas

Pradeep Udhas is a senior Partner of KPMG, currently seconded to the US firm to drive the strategic alliances and growth of a number of global conglomerates of Indian origin.

Most recently, Pradeep served as the Chairman of KPMG India Global. He was the Member of KPMG India Board and Leadership Team and served in the roles of Head of Sales and Markets and National Sector Leader for Technology.

Pradeep has been associated with KPMG for more than two decades and worked in national, regional and global leadership roles in US, India and the MESA regions. He is one of the founding partners of KPMG in India that currently has more than 7000 professionals. He also led the Sourcing Advisory practice of KPMG, globally, and was responsible to oversee Risk Advisory Services for the Middle-East and South-East Asia (MESA) region as a Chief Operating Officer.

Pradeep was the founder of e2e Technologies and served as Managing Director of Greater Pacific Capital, an Indo-China private equity firm, heading India operations. In addition to that, he worked with IBM in the US for more than a decade, where he pioneered the offshore delivery paradigm and helped setup their India operations in 1990.

Pradeep has served as a member of the Executive Council of NASSCOM. He has been an Information Technology advisor to the Prime Minister of the Bahamas – Perry Christie. He has served as the western region President of the Indo-US Chamber of Commerce. Recently held the position of President at the TiE, Mumbai and is on the advisory board of St. Xavier’s College.

Pradeep is also a well-known musician, composer and singer who has contributed to Bollywood movies and performs in large public concerts.

 The healthcare panel will explore the richness of innovation happening in the healthcare space, watch-outs for innovators, and getting beyond assumptions around what the possibilities are. The panelists span pharma, payors, investors, startups and academics.

Ramesh Kumar

CEO & Co-founder Zakipoint Health

Experienced CEO and Entrepreneurial executive with excellent Technology and Data Science skills. Passionate about building amazing products that have an impact and solve a problem. Expertise in big data analytics, Healthcare and Mobile Technologies. Outstanding ability to conceptualize, lead and turn new ideas into a successful business. Deep knowledge of the internet and mobile technologies and commercial models. Experience in building a leading diverse teams of data science, technology, sales and marketing. Specialties: business development, marketing strategy, data science, big data analytics, alliances, marketing strategy, setting up sales organisation, sales, contract negotiation, commercialising technology, identifying new opportunities, product development, industry expertise in Internet and Mobile marketing

P1110527 Dr. Jahan Ali is a founder of Octane Ventures, which helps bioscience and health IT companies grow their businesses and meet milestones. Jahan has spent the last 16 years on various sides of early stage biotechnology commercialization and startups. Most recently, she was the Senior Vice President at the Partnership Fund for New York City Investment Fund, a private economic development fund founded by Henry Kravis, where she managed the fund’s investments in the health care sector. While there, Jahan led the BioAccelerate NYC program, a proof of concept program aimed at funding technologies at academic medical center that could be spun out into companies. Jahan also spearheaded the successful effort and received $5M from NYS to provide seed stage investments to these companies. Jahan also led the New York Digital Health
portrait_Gucciardi_condensed Scott Gucciardi is chief business development officer of EagleDream Health, an early stage healthcare big data analytics company in Rochester, NY, and has 25 years of experience in the global medical technology business having held a variety of executive leadership positions in his tenure at Welch Allyn. Most recently, Scott was responsible for new ventures for Welch Allyn as Sr. Vice President & General Manager of new healthcare delivery solutions, leading two major strategic business growth initiatives in the health IT space. He was previously the top executive responsible for marketing and new product development in the $700M company, and oversaw global product line management including P&L responsibility. Scott is also adjunct professor of entrepreneurship at Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management and an instructor in the Boots to Business entrepreneurship program of the Institute for Veterans and Military Families. He is board chairman of MedTech Association, a New York State trade association, an advisor to healthcare start-ups PurpleSun Inc. and Rachel’s Remedies LLC, and is a director on the board of Liberty Resources, Inc. Scott has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Clarkson University and an MBA from the Simon Business School at University of Rochester.
profile pic  Ram Swaminathan is a serial entrepreneur with a focus on algorithmic highly scalable technologies spanning across healthcare and digital media. Recently he co-founded and leads BUDDI Health, a New York based Ai startup innovating on a disruptive deep learning platform focused in the U.S Healthcare Revenue Cycle space hosted in partnership with Microsoft on a HIPAA Secure cloud. ‘BUDDI’ helps providers across the country to improve insurance reimbursements and reduce administrative costs by automating critical medical billing tasks like medical coding across all specialties and helps predict/prevent potential claim denials, even prior to claim submissions to the insurance or clearing-house firms.
Nancy S

Nancy Steele

VP Strategy, Pfizer

Nancy has worked at Pfizer for 29 years in a variety of strategy and business development roles, most recently focusing on the development of consumer wellness products.  Among her business ventures, Nancy founded and ran a health services start-up, Pfizer Health Solutions, a subsidiary delivering large-scale technology solutions for chronic condition management. Prior to Pfizer, Nancy’s experience included clinical research in a psychiatric hospital, marketing in a biomedical start-up, leadership development at IBM, and a ward psychologist in a large mental health facility.

Venture Capitalists: Looking Forward

A group of distinguished VCs will discuss current and future trends, their portfolio companies, challenges facing the VC business and how venture capital is changing and innovating itself.

Michael Greeley Michael Greeley currently serves as a General Partner at Flare Capital Partners. Prior to joining Flare, Michael served as the founding general partner of Flybridge Capital Partners. He also served on the board of International Data Group, the initial flagship Limited Partner for the IDG Ventures global network of funds and Flybridge Capital Partners. Michael serves as chairman of the Entrepreneurship Committee of the Massachusetts Information Collaborative and on the Investment Committee for the Partners Innovation Fund and Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary.
Jalak Jobanputra Jalak Jobanputra is a technology veteran with over 20 years as an entrepreneur and VC. She founded Future\Perfect Ventures in 2014. She has invested in over 80 early stage companies over the past 15 years, resulting in several multibillion dollar acquisitions and IPOs. Previously, Jalak was a director at Omidyar Network managing mobile investments in emerging markets, and Senior Vice President at the New York City Investment Fund where she launched a seed tech fund and the Fintech Innovation Lab.
Nihal Mehta Nihal Mehta is an entrepreneur, investor, professor and philanthropist. He was lucky to discover his passion in 1999, in mobile technology, which drove him to co-found five startups and the mobile-first seed venture fund, Eniac Ventures. Nihal has over 100 mobile-first investments including AdMob (acq: Google), AirBnB, Boxed, InVenture, SwiftKey (acq: Microsoft), Saavn, Tapad (acq: Telenor), and Uber. Nihal co-founded the charity “Project Ahimsa” to provide music education to disadvantaged youth and is part of the brain trust of his wife Reshma Saujani’s “Girls Who Code,“ working to close the gender gap in the technology and engineering sectors.

Christina Bechhold is Co-Founder and Managing Director of Empire Angels, focused on sourcing and leading group investments as well as supporting portfolio companies. She is a Regular Contributor for the Wall Street Journal on startups and small business, a mentor at The Brandery and Venture for America and a member of VFA’s Rise Committee focused on increasing diversity in entrepreneurship. She is a frequent speaker and panelist at events in the U.S., Europe and Asia and was recognized by the New York Business Journal as a 2016 Woman of Influence.

Christina is also an investor at Samsung’s Global Innovation Center, focused on early stage investments in software and services. She was previously a Vice President at Citigroup with background in capital markets, emerging markets and structured finance. She serves as Chairman of Hope on a String, a non-profit, grassroots organization that seeks to foster an environment of social transformation and economic development in Haiti through participation in music as well as Vice President of the Board of Governors of the Hotchkiss School Alumni Association. Christina graduated cum laude from the honors program of Boston College with a B.S. in Management and majors in Finance and Philosophy.

JonAxelrod Jonathan Axelrod is a technology and media entrepreneur, and managing director at Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator. A veteran of emerging technologies, he is an active entrepreneur, investor and start-up advisor. Jonathan was Co-Founder and Co-CEO of MusicGremlin a venture-backed startup that was sold in 2008 to SanDisk Corporation. Prior to launching MusicGremlin, Jonathan was Co-Founder and President of Music123, a first-mover musical instrument e-commerce company that became one of the largest musical instrument retailers in the United States. Jonathan started his career as a McKinsey & Company consultant, where he focused on e-commerce initiatives and the financial services industry. Jonathan currently serves on the Board of Overseers of Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City. He holds an A.B. in Social Studies magna cum laude from Harvard University.
Inventing New Metrics for Success as Agents of Change: Social Entrepreneurship

Our panelists define the social entrepreneurship space, its inception and re-invention over the cycles. We will discuss trends within the space, the challenges of raising money, the role of corporate giving and the metrics of successful ventures. Entrepreneurs in the space will share their perspectives, and identify key factors in their success while offering insight from their journey.

DanielDelehanty Daniel Delehanty serves as the Chief Program and Strategy Officer at Grameen America. Delehanty joined Grameen America from Capital One, where he worked for nine years and most recently served as Senior Director of Community Development Banking. Prior to his career at Capital One, he focused on economic development in the nonprofit and public sectors at the New York State Banking Department, the Staten Island Economic Development Corporation, and Trickle Up.
LaraGalinsky Lara Galinsky, Entrepreneur in Residence, The Future Project, advises social innovation and purpose organizations. Current projects include working with the Future Project, a national movement to empower the next generation to build the future, one dream at a time, and working with GOODcorps, helping large companies and philanthropies deepen their social impact strategies. For over a decade, Lara served as an entrepreneurial leader at Echoing Green, a groundbreaking nonprofit with the mission to unleash next generation talent to solve the world’s biggest problems. Lara began her career at Do Something in 1997 where she served as the National Program Director and created the Do Something Award to celebrate and financially support the most outstanding young leaders in America generating change in their communities. Lara is the founding co-chair of the Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship at Wesleyan University. She received her Master’s in Communications with honors from Columbia University and her Bachelors from Wesleyan University. Most importantly, Lara’s own sense of purpose is inspired by her three year old son, Azaiah.
 RonMehta Ron Mehta was a serial entrepreneur in the plastics industry, who recently sold his last plastics manufacturing business in California in 2012. Over a 24-year period he started, bought, merged and sold several plastic blow molding companies in New Jersey, California, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Canada that ranged in size from $5 million to $34 million in sales. Prior to starting Crystal Clear Inc., in New Jersey, his first start up in plastic blow molding in 1990, Mehta was General Manager at Combustion Engineering Environmental (now ABB) and was President of an engineering services company in Flemington, NJ called Andersen Engineering Services. He is an active supporter of Clean Drinking Water Plants (CDWP) in remote impoverished villages in India. Mehta is a co-chair of the Water initiative of WHEELS Global Foundation, a US non-profit started by IIT alumni residing in the USA. He is an active volunteer mentor of SCORE Central Jersey, a non-profit resource arm of the US Small Business Administration. The SCORE Central Jersey Chapter provides completely free mentoring services to help guide individuals and small businesses to start, grow and prosper in New Jersey.

Christopher Reim is the Managing Director of the Community Development Venture Capital Alliance, and is a Managing General Partner of the Innovate NY Fund, L.P. Reim brings a blend of private sector and public policy thought leadership to innovation and investment for growth, primarily in economic development and access to capital for low income communities. He focuses on advocacy for public-private partnerships for job creation, economic opportunity, and social impact. Within CDVCA, he leads the management of CDVCA’s $45 million Innovate NY Fund to accelerate innovation and entrepreneurship in New York State.

He has managed venture capital investments for a family office venture capital fund in Denver, Colorado (primarily in broadband infrastructure, IT and software applications), and participated in buyouts for a $2 billion private equity fund focused on engineering services and environmental remediation. Reim previously served as the Interim President of a research firm focused on algae growth systems for water treatment and biofuels. Before his work in venture capital, he managed over $600 million of technology industry acquisitions at a boutique investment bank. He is an accomplished technology entrepreneur, and has served on various corporate and nonprofit boards.

In addition to his work at CDVCA, Reim is an Adjunct Associate Professor at Columbia University (on social innovation and investment), and is an Adjunct Faculty to the National Science Foundation’s Innovation-Corps accelerator program in New York City. He was also elected to public office as a Trustee in the Village of Pelham, NY in April 2014. He holds an MPA in Economic Policy from Columbia School of International and Public Affairs, an MBA in Finance from University of Colorado, and a BS in Economics from the Pennsylvania State University.

Innovators 2

Erica Dhawan

Erica Dhawan is the Founder & CEO of Cotential, a global consultancy that helps organizations transform by delivering collaboration across teams, business units, customers and other stakeholders. As one of today’s most provocative business thinkers on the future of work, Erica advises business leaders and companies to lead markets through innovations that matter, create increasing value for customers and clients, deliver sustainable results and ensure future global competitiveness.

Erica Dhawan is the co-author of the bestselling book: Get Big Things Done: The Power of Connectional Intelligence rated #1 on What Corporate America is Reading. An in-demand speaker, Erica has spoken, worldwide, to organizations and enterprises that range from the World Economic Forum at Davos to U.S. and global Fortune 500 companies. Her clients range from Deloitte, Fidelity Investments, Credit Suisse, and Pepsico. Her writings have appeared in dozens of publications, including Fast Company, Forbes, and Harvard Business Review. In 2015, Erica was listed on the Thinkers50 RADAR list for the emerging management thinkers around the world most likely to shape the future of business, management and strategy and was named one of Levo 100’s Transformers. She serves as a board member to the Lufthansa Innovation Hub. Erica also serves as a member of the Aspen Institute Socrates Society, World Economic Forum Global Shapers, Milken Young Leaders and the Young Entrepreneur Council. She previously worked at Lehman Brothers and Barclays Capital and served as a research fellow at Harvard’s Center for Public Leadership. She has an MPA from Harvard Kennedy School, MBA from MIT Sloan, and BS at the Wharton School.


Komal Minhas is an Indo-Canadian film producer, writer, and investor who started her first company, KoMedia, at 23. She has been deeply committed to improving the lives of women and girls globally, and champions this work with her continued investments and work in film and storytelling.Komal takes on projects that are audacious in nature, and that has been the case with producing and co-founding the documentary, Dream, Girl with her business partner Erin Bagwell.

Dream, Girl tells the inspiring stories of female entrepreneurs and CEOs to empower the next generation of girl bosses to dream bigger. The Dream, Girl movement was brought to life by director Erin Bagwell, and close to 2,000 backers on Kickstarter, with $100k pledged. The momentum behind the film and the push for more #complicatedwomen and #realwomen on screen, is part of a greater shift towards media that reflects our lived reality. The film is set to release in the spring of 2016.

Komal is taking the Dream, Girl movement and its feminist message global to empower more women and girls to dream big in business, media, and beyond.

Komal writes for The Huffington Post and enjoys creating original YouTube content as she travels the world working with women and girls. She has won awards for her gender and film-related work from the Government of Ontario, alongside other Canadian institutions and was selected as a Global Shaper in 2012, an initiative of the World Economic Forum.

Komal was born and raised in Grande Prairie, Alberta and calls Ottawa and NYC home. She received her journalism degree from Carleton University and completed her graduate work in social innovation at the University of Waterloo and looks to complete her MBA at Stanford in the future.


Rado Kotorov is currently working on a project with and to develop the first Robots Analytics and Monitoring Platform (RAMP). He also serves as the Chief Innovation Officer for Information Builders responsible for market and product strategy and positioning of its BI and Analytics software platform. Information Builders’ Active Technologies, InfoAssist, Magnify, RStat, Mobile Favorites, and the BI Portal are just a few of the products that have been developed and launched by his team.

Dr. Kotorov has a Ph.D. in Decision and Game Theory, and institutional economics from Bowling Green State University. He is an inventor, public speaker and a writer who publishes regularly on topics about business leadership, technology management, innovation and entrepreneurship, emerging technologies, and intellectual property.

HowardLerman Howard Lerman founded Yext in 2006 with a single goal: to build an impactful, great company with super talented people. Along the way, Yext has re-invented three industries: pay-per-call advertising, business listings synchronization; and today, digital location management. With over 500 amazingly talented employees serving over 600,000 customers, Yext is on its way to realizing Howard’s original vision. Yext is Howard’s fourth software company. Howard is also Co-Founder and Chairman of Confide, a leading off-the-record messaging service. Howard is a proud graduate of TJHSST and barely graduated from Duke University.
robert-reffkin Robert Reffkin is founder and CEO of Compass, a technology driven real estate platform. Prior to Compass, Robert worked at Goldman Sachs as Chief of Staff to the President & COO following five years working in the firm’s private equity arm. Prior to Goldman Sachs, he worked at Lazard and McKinsey & Company. In 2005, he was appointed as a White House Fellow to serve as special assistant to the Secretary of the Treasury. Robert is also the Founder of New York Needs You. He received a B.A. and M.B.A. from Columbia University. Outside of work, he recently completed 50 marathons, one in each state, to raise $1 million for nonprofits.
Joya Joya Dass was one of the first South Asian females to be seen on mainstream television in the US. She’s been a business anchor for major networks for the last 15 years, including CNN, ABC, CBS and Bloomberg. She can currently be seen delivering live hourly reports from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange for NY1 News. Joya is currently using her 15 years in television production to support her women’s networking initiative called “LadyDrinks,” ( which works to bring like-minded South Asian female professionals together. In 2014, Joya was named the Executive Director of the South Asian International Film Festival, presented by HBO. She also helms a documentary production company that bears her name.
Women in Tech

 Kelly H

 During my 16+ year career in Enterprise management, I have been repeatedly called upon to build peak-performing teams, which deliver on high value initiatives, launch new ideas and technologies. Through many years of experience with diverse businesses, I’ve become an expert in aligning cross-functional efforts and internal stakeholders to achieve both organizational and technological transformations.

I build strong, cohesive organizational value chains by bringing together the best, brightest, and most energetic individuals from inside and outside of my direct reporting chain, whose complementary skill sets drive new business capabilities, and then I work closely with that team to enable our organizational goals as well as each individual’s personal success. This empowers my organization to deliver world class service to our customers while maintaining high talent retention.

Currently, Jyoti Sarin is the leader for Innovation, Strategy and Planning Organization in Cisco IT. As the founder of this practice, she has overseen its evolution to a central organization for Innovation in IT and a leading practice in Cisco. In addition to Innovation, her organization supports Enterprise strategy, architecture and planning functions.

As a firm believer in Inclusion and Innovation, she enables many global initiatives across the company that sustains diversity and inclusion practices, through employee resource group initiatives, including a focus on Women, Ethnic Diversity, STEM and building an innovative talent pipeline.

Additionally, Jyoti has expertise in Enterprise Architecture, Operations Management, Resiliency/ High Availability and Data Center management as applied in large enterprise systems. As a technology and management consultant for leading consulting companies including Oracle Consulting and Cap Gemini Ernst and Young (CGEY), she has led many re-architecture and business enablement initiatives.

 Tantoco Headshot CWHK2 (1)  Ms. Minerva Tantoco is the first-ever Chief Technology Officer for the City of New York. Raised in Flushing, Queens, Tantoco is a product of New York City public schools and holds four US patents on intelligent workflow and is a speaker and author on mobile, security, big data, and innovation. With over 30 years in tech, Tantoco co-founded technology startup, Manageware Inc. while still in college, and most recently served as CTO at global financial services firm UBS.  Tantoco is a strong advocate for encouraging more women to become involved with technology, and believes that technology can be used to improve education, especially in underserved communities, and that artificial intelligence applied to the massively growing amount of systems, data, and interconnections offers capabilities of which we have yet to dream.
 christine Souffrant

 A globally recognized speaker, Christine Souffrant is a Haitian American entrepreneur with 7 years of business management experience across 30+countries. She was selected for the 2016 Forbes 30 Under 30, AdAge 40 Under 40, and has spoken on leadership, disruptive entrepreneurship and social impact innovation at the United Nations, TEDx and conferences located in Trinidad, Haiti, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, New York, San Francisco, Russia, Romania, LA, Miami and more.

As the founder of Vendedy (a mobile network connecting global travelers to street vendors of developing countries), she has been featured with IBM, Microsoft, Fast Company, the Clinton Global Initiative, the Master Card Priceless Pitch, Chivas Venture Million Dollar Prize, SOCAP Gratitude Network and Manatt Ventures etc. She is also the Managing Director of Startup Grind Dubai, powered by Google for Entrepreneurs-interviewing leading CEO’s and startup influencers in the Middle East & Silicon Valley.