SPEAKERS2017

Frank Bonsal III 
Director of Entrepreneurship, Towson

Frank Bonsal III is a pioneer in the field of education technology and investment. He has 25 years of experience advancing efficacy, innovation, and productivity in and around education and the knowledge economy. As the first Director of Entrepreneurship at Towson University, venture capitalist, and angel investor, Bonsal has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs. His direct investment experience includes over 25 education companies, half of which have been realized and whose solutions have impacted tens of millions.

Bonsal serves as a mentor or advisor to several education entrepreneurship organizations and is a frequent startup event participant. He has spoken extensively on entrepreneurship, education, and investing to a range of audiences, at universities such as Harvard, Stanford, and Penn. Bonsal has been widely interviewed and quoted in Education Week to EdSurge, The Washington Post to The Baltimore Sun, and more.

Bonsal is a former General Partner of Bonsal Capital and New Markets Venture Partners, where he co-founded a mission-driven venture fund dedicated to education technology. With respect to the above partnerships, Bonsal provided board service to 10 education companies, three of which have been realized.

Per duties to Towson University, Bonsal runs an incubator, leads entrepreneurship programs, teaches in the college of business, and works to build, grow, and sustain an education innovation ecosystem increasingly known as Baltimore EdTech. For over a decade, Bonsal began his career as K-12 teacher and coach. He has served numerous education-related nonprofits.

 
 
Katherine Pinkard 
President, Pinkard Properties, LLC

As the President and Managing Partner of Pinkard Properties, Ms. Pinkard oversees the daily operations of the certified woman-owned firm, including leading the teams for Development and Asset & Property Management. Over the past several years, she has grown the firm from a start-up to a robust book of management, brokerage, development, and consulting clients. Recent successes led by Ms. Pinkard include (1) Pinkard Properties’ selection as the lead local developer for Brandywine Realty Trust’s team for the redevelopment of Penn Station in Baltimore City for Amtrak; (2) work with Caves Valley Partners on their $350M redevelopment project Towson Row and (3) work with Caves Valley Partners on their $275M redevelopment project Stadium Square. From local developers to large public companies such as these, Ms. Pinkard has leveraged the firm’s talented and experienced staff to create lasting partnerships with major players in the local and regional real estate markets. Additionally, Ms. Pinkard has efficiently managed significant capital planning and upgrades to existing large urban and suburban office and retail properties across the company’s footprint. An active member of CREW, BOMA, and NAIOP, she has developed extensive relationships within the industry to ensure that all clients receive top-of-the-line service using the latest information, technology, and strategies. A strong proponent of giving back to the local community, she has established herself as a leader for two significant non-profits in Baltimore, The American Red Cross and The Homewood Museum.

 
Ashley Llorens 

Chief, Intelligent Systems Center

Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL)

As Chief of the Intelligent Systems Center at APL, Mr. Llorens leads research and development activities in machine learning, robotic and autonomous systems and applied neuroscience towards addressing the nation’s most critical challenges from defense to health. During his 15 years at APL, Mr. Llorens has led diverse technical teams in applying machine learning to advance autonomous sensing capabilities for the U.S. Armed Services and has served as advisor to the Defense Science Board on artificial intelligence and autonomy. Mr. Llorens is a voting member of the Grammys in recognition of his five studio albums, produced under the name “SoulStice.” His unique brand of hip hop music has been featured in films and on TV. Mr. Llorens was awarded a Master’s of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 

 
Dave Wolf
Managing Director at KPMG

Dave Wolf is a Managing Director in KPMG’s Digital and Mobile Solutions Group and serves as a leader in its Digital Advisory business.  He has 20 years of technology, innovation, and high growth strategy experience and has consulted across a wide variety of industries including high tech, healthcare, consumer markets, media and sports.  Prior to the consulting world, his background comes from the software industry and he has held senior technology, sales and marketing positions at large enterprise technology companies including Microsoft and Sybase.  Dave joined KPMG on the acquisition of  Cynergy, a Digital Agency he helped found in 2004 and today he leads up KPMG’s Sports Technology business, where he works with major sports leagues including the  NBA and Major League Baseball around using technology to enhance the business of sports. 

Natalie Smith
Founder of Freshmeet U.

Natalie is a native of Baltimore, Maryland.  For the past ten years, she has enveloped herself into the world of web and graphic design.  Although Natalie studied at Villa Julie College (now Stevenson University), and took some undergraduate classes at Catonsville Community College, her expertise in web and graphic design are all self taught!  While working with a local Baltimore City television station, she was able to speak with many high school students about their future goals.  Most of the students that she had in depth conversations with, really didn’t know what paths they wanted to pursue after high school.  And some didn’t even know if they were going to college.  They didn’t have the proper guidance or support.  This is where Freshmeet U. was conceived.  Natalie spent countless nights creating, envisioning and developing a tool that would help students in their future endeavors as well as give support to guidance counselors who don’t have the time to speak with each and every student in their schools.  She created that extra help where needed.  Freshmeet U. was now born!

 
 
 
Crystal Smith
Founder of Freshmeet U.

Crystal Smith is a native of Baltimore, Maryland and a graduate from Villa Julie (Stevenson University) in Stevenson, Maryland.  She has been in the entertainment industry for over twenty years as an actress and a casting director for TV and film.  As a casting director for TV and film, Crystal has worked with incredible talent.  She recently helped win an Emmy for a national television children’s show.  With Crystal’s background as an agent, her job involved advertising and marketing her actors/models and negotiating contracts.  As a motivational speaker, she’s able to encourage and strengthen the mindset of groups of people.  She has a great eye for finding the right connections and making things work!  Natalie asked her sister to join forces with her because these two minds together will make Freshmeet U. an exceptional tool for many out there in need of guidance.

Paige Cantlin

Founder and CEO of GoTab Inc.

Paige is the founder and CEO of GoTab Inc.

 

She is an avid marathon runner, running over 30 marathons across all 7 continents including Antarctica. She is also an active volunteer for CASA, Helping Up Mission, and the Shine Foundation.

 

Before founding GoTab, Paige studied economics at the Johns Hopkins University and worked in finance for 6 years. As a team member in the private client group at Brown Advisory, she worked closely with high net worth individuals and foundations to provide strategic financial advice in the realms of investment allocation, tax, estate and charitable planning. While working full time supporting multiple client relationships, she also went on to earn her M.B.A. from Johns Hopkins University.

 
Nick Schmitz 

Partner of Verdad Advisors

Before joining Verdad, Nick worked at Goldman Sachs.  He received an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a Masters of Philosophy from Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. Nick served as a Captain in the Marine Corps in Afghanistan and taught Political Science at the US Naval Academy.  He minored in Japanese at the US Naval Academy and has lived in Japan, completing language immersion in Tokyo and working at the Japanese Defense Academy in Yokosuka. Nick has also published academic articles on US Constitutional Law and testified before the US Congress on his research.

 
 
 
Seal Bin Han 

Founder of FitMango

David West 

President & CEO of Proscia

Param Shah 

CEO at Fusiform

 
Ben Supik 

President, Activate Fitness

 
Michelle Jackson
President & CEO of PR Solutions LLC

Michelle Jackson is the Founder and Executive Director of the i.Invest National Youth Entrepreneur Business Competition and President & CEO of PR Solutions LLC, a business consulting firm that specializes in strategic marketing. Before creating i.Invest in 2015, Jackson worked for six years for the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED). She led the policy development effort to create the InvestMaryland program, a first of its kind legislative initiative that raised $84 million for seed and early-stage ventures.

 

Jackson also led the Agency’s first division focused on innovation and entrepreneurship - the Office of Strategic Industries and Innovations (OSII). The division’s role was to create partnerships with the state’s tech community and to nurture economic growth in fields like Cybersecurity, Health IT, Energy and Manufacturing. One of her key contributions was the creation of the InvestMaryland Challenge, the state’s first international business competition. From 2012 to 2015, Jackson helped the state award close to $2 million in cash and in-kind prizes to high-tech companies from across the U.S. and abroad.

 

After leaving DBED, Jackson harnessed her passion for entrepreneurship and her love for helping youth by creating the i.Invest Competition. The Competition was designed to showcase the innovative ideas of youth entrepreneurs 13 – 19 years old and to connect youth leaders virtually to experienced business and academic professionals.  In 2016, the competition awarded $10,000 in cash and in-kind prizes to youth innovators with an array of patent-pending technologies. i.Invest is one of the few business competitions in the U.S. that allow youth from across the country to compete regardless of their location, school affiliation or GPA.

 

Jackson formed the LifeSkills Foundation, a non-profit organization focused on advocating for youth and youth entrepreneurship in 2016. She is a military wife and published author. Jackson has a Bachelor’s degree in communications from The University of Alabama and Masters of Public Administration from Central Michigan University. 

 
Neil Kleinberg
Founder and CEO of DiliVer Corporate

As founder and CEO, and inventor of its intellectual property, Mr. Kleinberg is responsible for leading DiliVer’s Corporate organizational unit, which includes overseeing its performance and growth functions.  With 25 years of experience as an entrepreneur, executive, management consultant, and lead technology engineer, his expertise spans the commercial and government sectors, including the information technology, financial services, national security, healthcare, judicial, public safety, and telecommunications industries.  In his previous role, Mr. Kleinberg led corporate development buy-side and sell-side M&A activities at enterprise software market leader ASI, and participated in more than 20 initiated transactions, including a private equity raise.  Prior to ASI, as President of VerticalFalls Software, which developed CRM solutions for financial advisors working in brokerage firms, Mr. Kleinberg orchestrated a successful exit as the company was acquired by Sage in 2007.  Before VerticalFalls, he was a founder/owner in two other prosperous high-growth technology companies—EIC, a management consulting firm, and NTC, a specialized high radio frequency electronics firm.  Mr. Kleinberg is also currently an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins Carey Business School, where he teaches Strategic Management, Entrepreneurial Finance, and Corporate Governance courses, and he is a Technology Commercialization Advisory Board member at Johns Hopkins University, where he received his MS in Computer Science and BS in Bioengineering.  Recently, he became a Mentor-in-Residence at Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures.  Mr. Kleinberg is also a mentor of the Washington, DC Metro Chapter of the Founder Institute, a global program for training technology entrepreneurs and preparing them to launch new companies, and he was elected to the MindShare CEO Network and Alumni Association.

 
Keaton Gray 

GE Ventures

Shark Tank Sharks
Imre Eszenyi, CFA
Managing Partner, Orchestra Capital LLP

Imre is an investment banking trained entrepreneur and investor with experience in structuring and execution of capital markets, private equity and venture investments globally.
Founding Managing Partner of Orchestra Finance L.L.P., an investment firm based in McLean and London. The firm makes investments in high growth emerging media and technology enabled businesses, partnering with industry experts and management and co-investing with leading venture capital firms, such as Atrium Capital http://www.atriumcapital.com

and FirstMark Capital http://firstmarkcap.com/ with investments including Pinterest, Lumosity, Riot Games and Shopify.
In this capacity, he has served on a number of boards of directors of both private and public companies. Currently, he is the Chairman of the Harvard Business School Alumni Angels Global Investment Syndication.

Imre is an alumnus of the Harvard Business School, and Ohio University, where he was sponsored by the George Soros Foundation, and also attended the Janus Pannonius University of Economics and Law. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst and is a member of the CFA Institute.

 
Danai Brooks
Managing Partner of Glen Echo Capital

Danai Brooks is the Managing Partner of Glen Echo Capital, a private equity firm focused on investing in small and medium-sized businesses in the industrial, business services and technology sectors. Prior to founding Glen Echo Capital, Danai was Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Dyadic, a public industrial biotechnology company. While at Dyadic, he designed and implemented a 3-year company turnaround plan, and successfully sold the business to DuPont for approximately 2.5x pre-announcement market cap. Before his role at Dyadic, Danai worked in J.P. Morgan’s Mergers & Acquisitions Group where he led transactions in excess of $40 billion. Earlier in his career, Danai held various senior operations and engineering roles at Dell, Mars and Ford, with a focus on lean manufacturing implementation. Danai has a BS and M.Eng in Industrial Engineering from Cornell University and an MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management.

 
Shaoran Li
CEO at FocusKPI, Inc.

Decades of managerial experience ranging from strategic direction, technology deployment to business operations; from turnaround management to value generation; from startup to fortune 100 companies. Successfully served the frontrunners in various leadership roles, including the CEO of FocusKPI, the President and CEO at KLTUSA Inc., the VP of Technology Enablement at United Health Group, a Senior Director of eBusiness at Quintiles, a Senior Consultant of Healthcare Management Consulting Services at Ernst & Young LLP, Business Development at Hoffmann-La Roche, and Global Program Management at AstraZeneca. Graduated with BS in Biology, ExMSE from the Engineering School and MBA from The Wharton School of University of Pennsylvania.

 
Paul Singh
CEO of Razon8 Capital & Advisory Group

Large public company CEO and Chairman with extensive international experience and solid track record of delivering superior performance. A highly regarded entrepreneur who has created and led three commercially successful businesses during his pat 25 years, including a Fortune 1000 company. Specialties: Creating new enterprises and growing them to large businesses through organic growth and acquisitions; financial and operation restructuring/ transformation of distressed underperforming companies to high performance businesses; Mergers and Acquisitions; Expansion of US businesses in to Global businesses; capital formation for companies in equity, convertible debt, debt, etc. from different funding sources on a global basis; Serving on boards of private and public corporations.

 
 
Jim Denaro
Principle, Hyperco Partners

Jim Denaro, J.D., CISSP, focuses on intellectual property strategies for innovators in information security, with a focus on creating new opportunities. Jim is a frequent speaker and writer on encryption backdoors, export control for exploits, bug bounties, and active counter measures. He has spoken at Black Hat, DEF CON, RSA, and IAPP conferences on a wide range of issues at the intersection of law, policy, and emerging technologies. Jim provides strategic intellectual property counseling for companies with proprietary security technologies and solutions, leveraging their innovation to competitive market advantage. Jim has a degree in computer engineering and has completed professional coursework at MIT and Stanford in information security. He also holds technical certifications from the (ISC)2, Cloud Security Alliance (CCSK) and Cisco Systems (CCENT). Jim is a registered patent attorney and is engaged in graduate studies in national security at Georgetown University. Jim has completed professional coursework at MIT and Stanford in computer security and cryptography. He also holds current technical certifications in information security from the Cloud Security Alliance and Cisco Systems, and has passed the CISSP examination (pending certification).

 
Randy Domolky
Founder and Managing Director for Private Access Network

Randy is the Founder and Managing Director for Private Access Network. He is a seasoned technology and venture capital executive with over 20 years of experience in senior management, business development and financial roles. Randy has extensive experience building and maintaining over $100 million of venture capital and private equity fund-of-funds for institutional, municipal and individual investors.

Randy is also the Managing Director for Liquid Capital Group. Since 2000, Liquid Capital Group has been managing portfolios of top venture funds and superior emerging information technology companies for high net worth individuals and families. Randy is responsible for all operational aspects of the investment funds including: due diligence, investment selection, risk management, investor correspondence, investor reporting, accounting and fund administration.

Between 2006 and 2009, Randy was also a Managing Director at GKM Newport. GKM Newport was a venture capital and private equity fund-of-funds manager with over $1 billion in assets under management. Randy was responsible for expanding and managing the day-to-day operations of the firm’s fund-of-funds offerings and assisting with client services, due diligence and portfolio monitoring for over $800 million in separately managed accounts. He was a member of the Investment Committee for GKM Newport Fund V, LP, where was responsible for due diligence, portfolio construction and day-to-day operations of this $25 million fund-of-funds. Also at GKM Newport, Randy was the primary point-of-contact and chief architect for a $60 million separately managed account for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

In addition to establishing a distinctive track record at Liquid Capital, Randy has been a Principal at NextStep Partners, LLC. NextStep Partners is a business development and financial advisory firm assisting emerging technology companies.

Prior to joining NextStep Partners, Randy served as the Vice President for Business Development and the Vice President of the Mid Atlantic Division for NEON Communications, Inc.
Prior to joining NEON, Randy was the Senior Director for Business Development and the General Manager of the Carrier Sales Division at Winstar Communications, Inc.

Randy has also held a variety of finance, marketing and sales positions with MCI Communications, Inc. and was a consultant to the energy, pharmaceutical and automobile industries while at Putnam, Hayes & Bartlett. Randy holds a B.A. in Economics and Environmental Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. He has also studied at Harvard University and the University of Connecticut.

Jade Dai
Co Founder, Zoom Venture Partners

Co-founder of Zoom Venture Partners and Elite Education, President of World Youth Value Society, Advisor of A-level Capital, and President of Carey Marketing Association. 

 

Jade helps Zoom Venture Partners and Guangdong Holding Group to invest in early stage and middle stage companies with potential of exponential growth. Jade’s team provides financial and intellectual support to boost their value. At Elite Education, Jade’s team provides programs to support college and high school students, including internship opportunities, homestay support, mentoring and consulting, personal growth program, leadership coaching, and summer programs. At the World Youth Value Society, Jade’s team runs various youth charity and educational programs in China, Kenya, and the United States. 

 

Jade got her Master of Law degree from University of Baltimore and now she is taking MBA degree from Johns Hopkins University.

 
 
Ogden Cummings
Owner, FlexRN

Ogden Cummings is currently engaged in the medical staffing business; his company, FlexRN, has placed nurses in hospitals from Baltimore to Richmond since 2002. Prior to that Ogden led a buyout of an Oregon based long term care company which included expanding the business and later selling it to a regional firm. He began his career spending eight years in Chicago as a tenant representation broker for Cushman & Wakefield.

Ogden holds a B.A. in Economic and English from Harvard University

 
Jim K. Liew, PhD
Assistant Professor of Finance, FinTech Data Scientist, and Venture Capitalist

Dr. Jim Kyung-Soo Liew teaches Big Data Machine Learning, Advanced Hedge Fund Strategies, and Entrepreneurial Finance at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School. He enjoys spending time learning from entrepreneurs/innovators. His goal is to inspire his two young daughters (8 and 10 yrs) to become the next generation disruptors. 

Dov Levy
President, Chief Technologist at Dovel Technologies

As the President and Chief Technologist, Dov Levy consistently works at the forefront of technological innovation by leveraging cutting edge technologies to develop complex business systems for the Federal government and the private sector. As co-founder of Dovel, Levy has over 25 years of broad-based experience in the development and deployment of large and complex information systems.

Levy’s technical expertise encompasses large system architecture, system development lifecycle processes, mission-critical system operations, system development methodology, software estimation, Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) and Six Sigma principles. He is highly sought after to perform independent assessments, provide technical expertise, and speak publically.

Under Levy’s direction and leadership, Dovel Technologies expanded its practice area into the design and deployment of Service Oriented Architectures (SOA), Service Oriented Enterprise (SOE), and Service Oriented Infrastructure (SOI) concepts.

Levy completed his undergraduate degree in Tel Aviv University, and he holds a Master’s Degree in Computer Science from George Washington University.

 
Elma Levy
Chair of the Board, Co-Founder at Dovel Technologies

As a co-founder, Elma Levy built Dovel into a successful company with significant business and offerings. Specifically, Levy concentrated on establishing internal processes needed to run a successful company such as accounting and finance, contracting, human resources, business development, and quality assurance processes. Levy established the Dovel advisory board and managed relationships with outside accounting and legal teams.

Prior to her career as a business executive, Levy was a certified Family Nurse Practitioner. She has many years of experience in providing health care and case management in the United States, as well as in Israel and The Netherlands. She came to the United States from her native country, The Netherlands, in 1982.

Levy completed her undergraduate degree at George Mason University, and she has a Master’s Degree in Health Care from Marymount University.

In addition to her work at Dovel, Ms. Levy is involved with several philanthropic organizations. At Montgomery Hospice, in addition to her work as a patient volunteer, she serves on the Board of Directors as well as on several committees.  As the Chair of the Corporate Council for the Prevent Cancer Foundation she works to introduce companies and corporate executives to the work of the Foundation. She is a certified mentor for SCORE and mentors new and aspiring entrepreneurs on a weekly basis, and she serves as a member of the National Advisory Council of the GW School of Engineering and Applied Science.

 
Kasim Ahmad
Venture Coordinator, JHUTV

Kasim Ahmad is a Venture Coordinator at Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures. Kasim helps student entrepreneurs and organizations navigate the network of resources available at Johns Hopkins and in the greater Baltimore area. He is also a Venture for America fellow. Prior to joining Johns Hopkins Tech Ventures he worked for startups and founded two companies. Kasim participated in an incubator and accelerator program while working on his ventures. He graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a degree in Finance.

 
 
Ian Nabb 
VP, Camden Partners

Ian is a Vice President at Camden Partners in Baltimore, Maryland, where he focuses primarily on growth equity investments in technology-enabled companies.

Ian targets investments in the business services and healthcare industries where he has experience with Software-as-a-Service (“Saas”), enterprise software and cyber security companies. His investment experience includes Collections Marketing Center, Network for Good, and Implantable Provider Group. He has also worked with prior Camden portfolio companies which include WageWorks (NYSE:WAGE) and Prolexic Technologies (acquired by Akamai). Ian currently serves as a board observer for Collections Marketing Center.

Prior to joining Camden, Ian worked as an Analyst for Tobin & Company IBG, an investment banking and advisory firm located in Charlotte, North Carolina. At Tobin & Company, he provided sell-side advisory and valuation services to lower-middle market companies in the business services and technology sectors.

Ian earned his Master’s in Finance from the R.H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland and holds a B.A. with a concentration in Accounting from the University of Maryland.

Arthur L. Edge III 
Biopharmaceutical Technology Manager at GSK

Arthur’s imperative is to serve societies and communities, helping them to overcome societal barriers by giving them the tools and support they need. He is equally a problem solver, leader, and strategist with expertise in the biotechnology sector. As a Biopharmaceutical Technology Manager at GSK, he helps deliver medicines to patients with acute and chronic diseases like inhaled Anthrax, severe Asthma, and Lupus by providing technical oversight for their manufacturing processes.

Prior to GSK, Arthur gained broad experience in research and development.  At Emergent BioSolutions, he created new vaccines and drug therapies to help governments quickly respond to emerging threats and infectious disease outbreaks including Ebola and Zika. While at DSM, a science-based health, nutrition, and material science company, he designed top-quality nutritional supplements and renewable fuels from algae. He manifested such concepts via the 2012 Olympics in London where his team provided renewable diesel to power the BMW low-emissions Olympic fleet. 

When not pursuing his passion to push biotech solutions and build start-up companies, he is always searching for opportunities to enhance the education experience for youth, particularly in math and science. As the President of the Maryland Montgomery County Public Schools, Engineering Advisory Board, he evaluates the success of engineering curriculum across ten high schools and develops new initiatives to promote student success. He’s consulted on the 2015 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) standards setting panel to determine the technology and engineering proficiency of the United States' eighth grade student population. He has also served on the Board of Directors for the National Society of Black Engineers, including two terms as President for the Washington DC Professionals Chapter and as Treasurer for the society's Mid-Atlantic region. Arthur earned a BSE in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, a Master of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from The Johns Hopkins University, and is trained as a Lean Six Sigma Greenbelt.

 
Noble Ackerson  
DubLabs Director of Product

Noble is a seasoned technical product manager with over a decade of shipping products that meet the needs of hundreds of thousands of users in the enterprise and consumer space. Prior to joining DubLabs as Director

 of Product, he led the award-winning DC-based Augmented Reality for fitness startup, LynxFit. He sits on the Alumni Leadership Board for the leading online education startup, Udacity. Acts as a member of the Alumni Board at Lynchburg Colleges and is a Publicity

 Chair for Ubicomp and ISWC, two top-tier conferences for the internet of things and wearable technology. When Noble is not focused on product, he is spending time with his daughter, running with bulls in Pamplona, Spain, running a marathon or quantifying his

 fitness whilst competing in a Spartan Race.

 
 
Wataru Akahata, Ph. D.  

Founder & CEO & CSO at VLP Therapeutics

I worked for Vaccine Research Center/NIH over 10 years’ experience in vaccine development against emerging infectious disease such as HIV and alphaviruses. In particular, vaccine developments against alphaviruses utilize patented virus-like particle technology, resulting in strong immune responses and protection. The chikungunya virus vaccine has now completed Phase I clinical trials at NIH. In 2012, I founded VLP Therapeutics to pursue further vaccine development together with Dr. Ryuji Ueno and Dr. Sachiko Kuno. VLP was established based upon a novel, proprietary i-VLP technology, with the mission of developing innovative medical treatments to address global unmet medical needs and to combat the 21st century global public health problems. VLP is currently developing next generation of preventative and therapeutic vaccines to treat cancer, infectious diseases and neurological diseases.

Jonathan Weinberger  

VP Innovation and Technology at Auto Alliance

Jonathan Weinberger is Vice President of Innovation and Technology at the Auto Alliance, and coordinates industry programming on issues surrounding autos and the “IoT.”  Weinberger most recently led strategic efforts behind the launch of an “IoT” technology firm.  Prior to that, Weinberger served as Executive Secretary and Associate General Counsel in the White House Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.  He was lead litigator on autos related trade disputes with China, and served as the intermediary with executives from several automakers.  Weinberger also served as Executive Secretary of the U.S. Treasury, and on the staffs of two Secretaries of State.

 
Amir Manbachi  

Director of Innovations at Johns Hopkins Carnegie Center for Surgical Innovation

Dr. Manbachi is a Faculty Research Associate in the Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University. In addition to that, he serves the school of medicine in the capacity of the “Director of Innovations” at the Johns Hopkins Carnegie Center for Surgical Innovation.

Currently, Amir's research focuses on image-guided surgery. He obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Toronto, under the supervision of Dr. Richard S.C. Cobbold. Prior to joining Johns Hopkins, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology (2015-16) and the founder and CEO of Spinesonics Medical (2012-2015), a spinoff from his doctoral studies.

Amir has (co)authored over 15 peer-reviewed journal articles, 3 worldwide patent applications and a book entitled “Towards Ultrasound-guided Spinal Fusion Surgery”. His interdisciplinary research has been recognized by a number of awards (including University of Toronto’s 2015 Inventor of year award, and Ontario Brain Institute 2013 fellowship); as well as many peer-reviewed funding grants. Dr. Manbachi has extensive teaching experience, particularly in the field of medical imaging, for which he received the university’s Teaching Excellence award.

Having recently joined the Carnegie Center, he is excited to build a scientific career in the forefront of biomedical engineering and surgery, combined with his aspirations in the worlds of innovation and entrepreneurship. The Center is a nationally unique resource for research, education, and translation of imaging and image-guided interventions. Located in the heart of Johns Hopkins Hopkins Hospital and formed in collaboration between the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Department of Neurosurgery, the Center provides a synergistic co-location of expertise to identify major clinical needs, drive the development of new technology, translate advances to clinical use, and cultivate the next generation of engineers and clinicians.

 
 
Brian Corbett 

Director of the Seed Investment Fund at the Maryland Technology Development Corp

Brian Corbett is the Director of the Seed Investment Fund at the Maryland Technology Development Corp (TEDCO).  Brian holds a MBA in Finance and Entrepreneurship from St. John’s University and BS in Finance from Marist College.  He and his wife live in Baltimore with their three children.