Several mentors are joining us for our Spring 2015 Incubation program. Read about them below!
Artist, Organizer, Entrepreneur
Lilia spent her early career building people power for social change, focusing on helping the progressive movement in the United States make the leap from traditional grassroots field organizing to harnessing the power of the netroots online. After five years of rallying thousands of volunteers in the field and millions of users online to advocate for causes like environmental protections and human rights, she headed to Stanford Business School to explore non-political ways to make a positive impact in the world. Her studies led her next to Singularity University, the futurist program started by Google, Autodesk, and Genentech and run on the NASA base in California. As a student in the Graduate Studies Program she explored how rapidly changing technologies can be harnessed and used to solve the world’s greatest challenges, and was on the founding project team for Matternet, the famed company using UAVs to deliver aid in developing countries where roads are routinely washed out or altogether nonexistent. She was asked to return as a teaching fellow in Policy, Law, and Ethics the following year, training students to think critically about the role of government and legal systems in an age when they cannot keep up with the technologies they are supposed to regulate.
Following her studies, Lilia joined the founding team of a fledgling 3-person startup in Silicon Valley working on a mobile app dedicated to relationships management. As User Advocate and VP Product she helped design, test, and launch the multi-platform product, helping it grow to over 1 million users. Today Lilia is working on re-inventing urban housing for the 21st century as a co-founder of JOBI Living and the Singularity Living Lab, and serving as a technology scout for Lowe’s Innovation Labs.
Michael serves as Senior Advisor to the Social Ventures team at the global humanitarian agency, Mercy Corps. Michael leverages his experience launching early stage enterprises to help Mercy Corps identify, invest in, and accelerate impact-oriented, for-profit businesses. Prior to Mercy Corps, Michael was Co-Founder of Simpa Networks, a venture-backed solar energy services company with a bold mission: to make modern energy simple, affordable, and accessible for everyone. Michael has led Arc Finance’s research into micropayment approaches for financing pro-poor clean energy and water enterprises and consulted to the social venture capital fund, Acumen Fund, mapping private sector investments across east Africa. Michael was a founding team member of the first nonprofit pharmaceutical company, the Institute for OneWorld Health, whose goal is clinical development and distribution of affordable new medicines for diseases of poverty in the developing world. Michael spent his early career with the Social Development Department of the World Bank. Michael holds degrees from Duke University (CASE Scholar) and Vanderbilt University (Ingram Scholar) and has studied at the Universidad de la Habana in Cuba.
Zoe is Head of EMEA of Digital Turbine, CEO of Xyo, a technology angel investor and mobile industry entrepreneur. Since founding her first company in 1999, she has built up extensive experience in mobile software, mobile content, B2C products and services for mobile corporations. After her executive roles at Deloitte, Jamster and Fox Mobile, Zoe embarked on her sixth mobile technology venture Xyo, which after 4 years of R&D work was acquired by Digital Turbine. She holds degrees in Cultural Science, Informatics and Electronics, and has always had at least one company running alongside her studies. She is an engineer at heart with a strong background in electronics and informatics. This passion has led Zoe to be a founder of many successful software agencies and has enabled her to be at the forefront of technological advance for the past 10 years. As a resident of Berlin, she has her finger firmly on the pulse of the European tech landscape and is an active technology investor.
Marcin is a Head of Group Technology at Digital Turbine, he has over 30 years of professional programming experience. He is the resident mobile technology leader in his role as Chief Technical Officer and cofounder of Xyo. His experience encompasses all things tech, from coding in assembly to managing large technology teams for companies such as Orange, Hewlett Packard, Newsweek, Jamster, Coca-Cola and Fiat. At Xyo, Marcin leads technology, data quality audits and testing. He focuses on the development and improvement of Xyo’s core technology and has a constant drive and tenacity to solve any programming challenge put in front of him. He holds a master in Computer Technologies from Warsaw University of Technology. He is a frequent online commentator and writer of all things mobile.
Joshua Kaston is Vice President of Financial Alliance Processing Services Inc.
Since joining his families’ business in 2003, Joshua has contributed to expanding the capabilities and presence at Financial Alliance Processing Services. As one of the largest independent credit card processing corporations in the US, FA facilitates credit card processing to merchants via physical credit card terminals, wireless devices, satellite technology and internet based/e-commerce web function.
In 2012, Joshua was Chief of Staff at the G8Youth Summit in Washington DC. He has participated in Meeting of the Minds at American Airlines, teaches a business course at WIBO in Harlem, New York and is on the executive board at TEDxWallStreet. In 2014, Mr. Kaston was selected to participate in an American Consulate program in the Middle East to support entrepreneurs. Additionally, Mr. Kaston is a board member at the Wetzel Foundation supporting research for ALS and Dementia related diseases.
Joshua has obtained a B.A in International Relations from the University of Delaware and currently resides in New York City, USA.
Jeff is Mercy Corps’ Senior Director of Program Technology. He is responsible for the design and implementation use of Information and Communication Technologies to improve the effectiveness, reach, scale, and efficiency of Mercy Corps’ programming globally. Jeff also provides technology strategy advising to Mercy Corps’ incubated social enterprises via his role on the Social Ventures team.
Before joining Mercy Corps, Jeff co-founded and co-lead the Social Impact Program at ThoughtWorks, a global software design and development consultancy. Social impact clients and supported open source projects included: Grameen Foundation, UNICEF, World Vision International, GSMA Mobile for Development, Partners in Health, VillageReach, RapidFTR, OpenMRS, and DataWinners.
Prior to ThoughtWorks, Jeff spent nearly 20 years as a Silicon Valley entrepreneur working in both large organizations and small —as engineer, user-interface designer, product designer, architect, and founder. In 2006, he turned his focus to the use of technology for social good—taking on the role of CTO for Inveneo, a San Francisco based non-profit which designs and implements information technology for developing countries.
Jeff serves on the board of directors for Social Impact Labs (SIMLabs) and Human Network International, developers of the DataWinners data-collection and 3-2-1 information services.
André Eggert is a start-up lawyer from Berlin, Germany. He is a founding partner of LACORE LLP, a law firm that is specialized on transaction advisory services and has a strong focus on the technology and internet industry. André and his teams are considered among the market-leading lawyers in Germany in
such industry, representing more than 200 start-ups in any stage and a dozen of institutional investors. Main fields of advice cover corporate structure and financing or exit transaction, most of them on a cross-border level. André also is a member of a number of advisory boards of start-ups and a mentor in accelerator programs. Being enthusiastic about the development in the technology sector he is also an occasional angel investor in early stages.
André studied law in Bonn, Germany and additionally holds a master in economics from Université III Aix-Marseille (France).