Our Advisory Board
Vice President, New York City Economic Development Corporation
Karen Bhatia is Vice President at the New York City Economic Development Corporation, leading Creative and Applied Tech strategies and initiatives to promote economic development and entrepreneurship throughout the city. Karen is also an attorney, entrepreneur and startup advisor. She was the principal of her own law firm advising tech startups on corporate issues, financing and overall business strategy. As an entrepreneur, Karen founded ActionCam, an educational platform explaining public policy issues and providing resources for people to take action. Karen also founded and is President of Stanford Startups NY, a business network of over 650 Stanford entrepreneurs and investors in the area. She is also on the Board of Trustees of Mott Hall, a middle school in the Bronx. Karen has a B.A. from Stanford University, a Master's degree in Public Policy from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and a J.D. from George Washington University Law School.
Startup Ecosystem Lead NY, Google Cloud
Tejpaul Bhatia is the Startup Ecosystem Lead in NY for Google Cloud. He was most recently an Entrepreneur in Residence at Citi Ventures. He is a three time investor backed startup founder, with one exit, one failure, and one startup still in operation. Prior to his ten years as a startup founder, Tej was Senior Manager of Product and International Strategy for ESPN, where he launched ESPN3 in the US, Mexico, Brazil, and Europe. He graduated from Columbia University with a degree in Computer Science. He and his family live in the Hudson Yards area of New York City.
CEO & Founder, VentureOut
Driven by a passion for technology and startups, Brian planted his flag in NY’s tech community when he joined Gotham Ventures in 2009. Brian began charting his own path after launching VentureOut in 2012, which is now ranked as one of the top 10 most active accelerators in the world. He has been named one of NYC tech's 35 people to watch in 2016 by Built In NYC. Brian is also an advisor to fitness AI platform Actively and a founding member of the Innovation Council for FWD.us, a Silicon Valley nonprofit focused on immigration reform. Prior to VentureOut, Brian’s career spanned venture capital, startup consulting, and finance having worked at Gotham Ventures, OTR Global, and Standard & Poor's. Brian received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Richmond.
Program Director, Developer Advocacy North America, IBM
Kelcey Gosserand is the City Leader and Program Director for IBM, overseeing Developer Advocacy for North America. Kelcey is driving the strategy and execution of developer engagements focusing on Blockchain and emerging tech. Her team is responsible for building the trust and respect required to engage with today’s new developers. Kelcey is a pioneer in the blockchain landscape entering the scene as an early investor and participant in the crypto-economy. She founded the blockchain community building engine, Trellis, working with clients in new market development, brand positioning, and strategy. Kelcey is a community builder, storyteller, and blockchain evangelist.
Director of Runway and Spinouts, Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute at Cornell Tech
Fernando Gómez-Baquero holds a Ph.D. in Nanoscale Science and Engineering from the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering at the University at Albany SUNY. His research has focused on advanced nanomaterials for energy storage applications, on the economic impact of pervasive nanotechnologies, and on tech entrepreneurship. Dr. Gómez-Baquero has more than 15 years of experience in the nanotechnology industry, starting with production and characterization of carbon nanotubes and developing of polymer/nanotube composite materials. Dr. Gómez-Baquero is recognized as a leader in the fabrication of nanoengineered electrodes for lithium-ion batteries using semiconductor processes and using nanotechnology to improve the performance of lithium-ion batteries. Dr. Gómez-Baquero has several publications in nanomaterials research and on the economic impact of nanotechnologies and number of patent applications in diverse applications of nanomaterials. Dr. Gómez-Baquero is also the Director of Runway and Spinoffs at the Jacobs Technion – Cornell Institute at Cornell Tech, where he is helping postdoctoral entrepreneurs build companies out of digital technologies in diverse fields such as digital health, telecommunications, education, cybersecurity, and IoT.
Kelly LeValley Hunt
Venture Partner, XLP Capital
Over the past 20 years Kelly has worked in the technology industry while living in the US, Europe, Africa, South East Asia, and China. Kelly worked with Emerson Network Power, now Vertiv, as EMEA Director of Strategic Accounts leading a team of Mechanical, Electrical, and Software Engineers in the Data Centre industry advising on strategic builds in telecommunication, collocation and managed service sectors. Kelly’s experience in the Technology industry heavily influenced her interest in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space as an early investor. In 2017 Kelly invested in and joined BlockApps as Global Vice President of Sales. Kelly has been recognized in Forbes Magazine as a ‘Pioneer’ in Blockchain and Microsoft awarded Kelly their award for Hypergrowth Innovation Leadership in 2018. BlockApps is a leading Blockchain organization, the first company incubated out of ConsenSys in 2015 with Kieren James-Lubin as one of the Founders and CEO. BlockApps is headquartered in Brooklyn, New York.
John is a globally recognized expert in startup accelerators via his work at Cela, where he and his colleagues build accelerator programs with universities, corporates, governments, and other large organizations. He is also a community leader in the NYC tech ecosystem, and has been featured in the media on Forbes, at the Nasdaq, and a range of other channels. John has also spoken on innovation and acceleration across the United States, China, Japan, and other world stages. His work at cela includes working with Cornell University to produce a comprehensive accelerator study, as well as the cela Summit, which has been recognized by Techstars and the Global Accelerator Network as the first and only industry-level gathering for accelerators. TechDay has partnered with John to build a great content program and to host TechDayTalks and Founder Summit in NYC.
Managing Director, Plug and Play Los Angeles
Alex is the Managing Director at Plug and Play, recognized as the most active venture capital firm in the United States with over 270 global investments every year, to develop a significant presence in Southern California. Alex is working to not only oversee and run the operations, but also to build the core team, expand the corporate network, and form new strategic partnerships in the region. He is also leading the startup technical due diligence process to evaluate pre-seed, seed and Series A investment decisions at Plug and Play Los Angeles.
Founder & CEO, Karen.care
Paul is a serial entrepreneur with 20+ years’ experience in product design, development and marketing. He is currently founder and CEO of Karen.care, a SaaS platform that helps families care for their aging parents. He also co-founded GroupDragon, the first mobile platform for accountability groups, and KOR Water, a fast-growing consumer products brand. Previously, Paul held senior product and marketing roles at Adobe, Sony and Microsoft. He holds a BA from Purchase College, an MBA from Indiana University's Kelley School of Business, and a Masters in Human-Computer Interaction from New York University.
CEO & Managing Director, NUMA New York
Frances is an international launch expert in the New York City startup scene. She has helped establish and grow operations in multiple cities, including Boston, Chicago, DC, and New York, for startups like Sittercity, Startup Institute, and now NUMA New York. She has worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs across the globe and has established one of the largest entrepreneurial communities in New York City. Her key strengths are in operations, business development, community building, negotiations, and many levels of sales from small tickets to enterprise.
Managing Director, Founder Institute New York
Having built a portfolio of over 100 early stage technology companies, Kevin Siskar is a highly ambitious investor with a vision for a futuristic tomorrow. He is the Managing Director of the Founder Institute New York, host of the Ambition Today podcast, Venture Partner with Outbound Ventures and a co-founder of the NYC Innovation Collective.