About Us

Advisory Board

Vasudev Bailey

Vasudev Bailey

PhD, Principal at Quid, and Co-PI for STEM to Market

Vas Bailey is a Principal at Quid and leader of the Global Healthcare practice. He guides senior leaders on their business and commercial strategy through the use of data science, software technology and Big Data. Prior to Quid, Vas co-founded and served as the Global General Manager of the GLG Institute where he built two businesses and added $10M to topline revenue in less than two years. In this role, he recruited over 1,500 Fortune 100 C-suite executives and built a business connecting their expertise to aspiring leaders. In addition, Vas continues to draw on his strategy consulting background at McKinsey & Company as well as his experience from having several acquired technology startups. In addition to his role at Quid, he currently serves as an advisor to four Bay Area startups: Medikly, Diassess, Impraise and TeaDrops. Vas has more than 10 years of strategy and operational expertise. He has four patents and more than 30 publications. He has founded, advised and operated startups that have been successfully acquired. He is a frequent speaker at conferences and guest lecturer at Johns Hopkins, UCSF and University College, London. Vas received his PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine where he was recognized as both a Siebel and a Medtronic Scholar. He holds four provisional patents from his research in nanotechnology for the early detection of cancer and has over thirty conference and journal publications. He graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from UC Irvine where he was also recognized as both a Regents and a Henry Samueli Scholar.
Ngozi Bell

Ngozi Bell

Partner, Trans Sahara Investment Corporation

With an extensive multidisciplinary technology and business leadership background, Ngozi Bell an entrepreneur and investment partner at Trans-Sahara Investment Corporation, was Regional Advocate for the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy, representing the mid-Atlantic states. Prior to her appointment, Ngozi Bell was Vice President of Birchmere Ventures Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, an early stage Venture Capital firm focused on Clean Technology, Medical and Technology with over $160M under management. Prior to that, she was a director at LSI Corp and held senior management and technical roles in Agere Systems, Lucent Technologies, AT&T Microelectronics and R.W. Beck. Ngozi Bell holds a degree in Physics and a masters in Electrical Engineering and has more than 23 years of experience ranging from core technology development and support, marketing, corporate and business development and mergers and acquisitions roles. Bell who is also an adjunct professor of Business Law and Management, is a speaker, and has been featured on Voice of America as an expert on Africa-US matters and most recently on TEDxLehigh-River.

Melissa Bradley

Melissa Bradley

BS, MBA, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Sidecar Social Finance, and Founder/Director of Project 500

Melissa L. Bradley is a tri-sector leader with more than 20 years of experience in entrepreneurship, impact investment, venture capital, social responsibility and media. She is Co-Founder and Managing Director of Sidecar Social Finance, a social impact agency that provides impact investing advisory and capital services to individuals, institutions, and social enterprises. She is currently Founder/Director of Project 500, a partnership with the Deputy Mayor of Greater Economic Opportunity, committed to helping five hundred diverse entrepreneurs in the District grow in revenue and size. She is Chief Curator of Venture DC, an initiative that empowers emerging entrepreneurs who address the most pressing challenges in Wards 7 and 8. Melissa is the Entrepreneur in Residence for the District of Columbia, seated in the Office of the Deputy Mayor of Greater Economic Opportunity (DMGEO), focused on solving access to physical and financial capital for diverse businesses via programs and policies. As a faculty member with the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University, she is as an expert lecturer on Impact Investing, Social Entrepreneurship, Peer-to-Peer Economies and Innovation. Melissa served as a Presidential Appointee under President Obama from 2012-2015, as Chief Strategy Officer at the Corporation for National and Community Service, and at the Department of Education. She secured over $20 million in public-private partnerships to support national service and My Brother’s Keeper. She is a Founding Advisor to the Dell Center for Entrepreneurs and a Senator with the Board of Governors at Georgetown University. She is Founder and Former Chair of the Georgetown Entrepreneurship Alliance and was a Founding Member, The Woodhull Institute for Ethical Leadership. Melissa holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Finance from the School of Business at Georgetown University, and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration in Marketing from American University Kogod School of Business.
Ramphis Castro

Ramphis Castro

BS, JD, Co-Founder of ScienceVest

Ramphis is the co-founder of ScienceVest (YC F3), a VC fund and platform for hard-tech and life science companies, and Impact Science Angels, an angel group focused on investing in companies that can impact 1MM+ lives. He is a Kauffman Fellow and co-Chair the NYC chapter of the Society. As a Fellow, he focused his research on the funding gaps for radical science companies in the U.S., collecting interviews of over 200 stakeholders across the research & commercialization ecosystem in the U.S. He is a Founding Board Member for the New York City Innovation Collective – a nonprofit alliance of NYC’s top technology organizations comprised of 70+ accelerators, incubators, and other platforms of innovation working together to support and grow the amazing NYC community. He is a trained computer engineer/IP lawyer, serial entrepreneur, and investor. Ramphis invests in high-impact, translational scientific research companies “too late” for grants, but “too early” for traditional venture capital. Areas include AI, Robotics, SynBio, Medtech, Diagnostics, Materials, Energy, among others. He syndicates deals through https://angel.co/ sciencevest/syndicate.
Jennifer Clark, MBA

Jennifer Clark, MBA

Senior Advisor, Intentional Investor Outreach, STEM to Market

Jennifer Clark most recently served as the Obama Administration’s Small Business Advocate for the Pacific Northwest. She championed the Office of Advocacy’s national efforts to increase diversity in entrepreneurship, particularly in STEM sectors. Additionally, Clark launched Advocacy’s Innovation Initiative, a platform to reduce barriers for small businesses to bring innovations to market. Previously, Clark served as the National Deputy COO for the 2008 Obama campaign, where she built and led several departments from the campaign’s inception through the election. She then headed Personal Operations for the Transition Team, overseeing the systems development for all personnel intake to staff the federal government. Prior to politics, Clark co-founded a consulting firm, Veracity Analytics. Earlier in her career, Clark held progressively senior positions at several Dun & Bradstreet divisions, culminating as the inaugural Director of Change Management at ACNielsen. Internationally, Clark worked for Dun & Bradstreet in England, and for Unilever in Sweden. Clark earned her MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, received an AB in English Literature from Bryn Mawr College, and is a graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy. Her interests include curriculum reform and equal access to education and economic opportunity. Clark’s contributions to turning around a school in Chicago are captured in the book “How to Walk to School: Blueprint for a Neighborhood School Renaissance,” which includes a forward by former Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and an afterward by former White House Chief of Staff and current City of Chicago Mayor, Rahm Emanuel.
Brady Forrest

Brady Forrest

BS, Co-Founder and VP at Highway1

Brady most recently co-founded and served as Vice President of the hardware accelerator Highway1, established in 2013. In this role, Brady helped more than 70 startups (including Navdy, Cue, Modbot, Ringly) with early stage prototyping, team-building, product development, and fundraising; In total, Highway1 companies have raised more than $115M in subsequent funding. Brady is currently a part of the Kauffman Fellowship’s 22nd class. Brady shares his knowledge and experience in talks around the world (TechCrunch, O’Reilly, Gigaom, Summit, SXSW), and co-wrote The Hardware Startup book. Previously, Brady worked on the investment team at Khosla Ventures and was a Venture Advisor to 500 Startups’s first fund. Earlier, he was at O’Reilly Media and chaired conferences around the world including the Web 2.0 Expo, Where 2.0, ETech, and Foo Camp. Brady wrote for the Radar blog and worked with OATV, the venture capital arm of O’Reilly. Earlier in his career, Brady joined Microsoft through their acquisition of MongoMusic, a music streaming startup that became MSN Entertainment. Later at Microsoft, he was on the founding team of Bing where he launched search features and developer outreach programs. Prior to this, Brady worked as a supply chain management consultant and system designer at Numetrix and i2. His first job was as a busboy in a New Jersey diner. Brady is also co-founder of Ignite Talks – now Ignite Talks PBC – a franchised global talk format that has been used thousands of times around the world on every continent. Recently, the format has been adopted by Google, the White House, the Gates Foundation and the Ford Foundation. Brady earned his BS in Industrial Management Engineering at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Brady is a Board Member for CAST, a non-profit that purchases and renovates building for arts organization around the Bay Area. He attends Burning Man most years and most recently built and ran an Escape Room there. He is excited to join the Board of Advisors for STEM to Market.
Joan Herbers

Joan Herbers

PhD, Professor at OSU, and Co-PI for STEM to Market

Joan Herbers is Professor of Evolution, Ecology & Organismal Biology and of Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies at the Ohio State University. Trained as an ecologist, she studied the inner workings of ant colonies for most of her academic life. A few years ago, she developed a second career concerned with gender equity in academia. She is Principal Investigator of Ohio State’s ADVANCE Institutional Transformation Award titled Comprehensive Equity at Ohio State (CEOS) and is author of the recently-published Part-time on the Tenure track (John Wiley & Sons). Joan, a former department chair and Dean, has studied academic STEM women’s participation in entrepreneurship and commercialization. She and her colleagues developed Project REACH, a curriculum that to encourages STEM women faculty to expand the reach of their research by engaging in commercialization activities.
Kaethe Henning

Kaethe Henning

MA, Program Director of Highway1

Kaethe Henning is the Program Director for Highway1, PCH’s San Francisco-based hardware startup accelerator. She oversees Highway1’s program, applications, operations, curriculum, and partnerships. Kaethe has a background in business development, marketing, and operations, and has previously worked in management consulting, non-profit arts management, and the fitness & wellness industry. She also holds a master’s degree in classical voice performance.
Ann Lee-Karlon

Ann Lee-Karlon

PhD, Senior VP at Genentech, and Co-PI for STEM to Market

Ann Lee-Karlon is a senior vice president at Genentech in the San Francisco Bay Area where she oversees drug development teams and financial planning. She earned her PhD in bioengineering at the University of California, San Diego and also holds an MBA from Stanford University. Ann has served on the AWIS Governing Board as a Councilor and then as President-Elect since 2010. Additionally, she also serves on the executive committee for Genentech Women in Science and Engineering (gWISE). In 2011, Ann received the Rising Star Award from the Healthcare Businesswoman’s Association (HBA) and Genentech for her leadership and impact in life sciences and healthcare.
Erin Kelley

Erin Kelley

MA, MBA, Co-Director, STEM to Market

Erin Kelley has a demonstrated professional passion for gender diversity in business and entrepreneurship ecosystems, as well as instructional design and program development. She earned her undergraduate degree in international relations from Mount Holyoke College where she focused on the social, economic and political dynamics of ethnic conflict. She then developed two pioneering financial education programs at REACH Community Development in Portland, Oregon. Both programs empowered different populations of affordable housing residents to think differently about their goals in relationship to their income and assets. Erin earned a master’s degree in international economics and international relations from Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, DC. At SAIS, Erin studied global entrepreneurship ecosystems and the factors that harm or help business starts and growth. Erin earned her MBA at the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia, where she studied general management and corporate innovation. Upon graduation, Erin joined IBM as a Senior Change and Learning Consultant, focusing on training design and implementation in the healthcare and hospitality industries. At the National Women’s Business Council, she served as the Director of Research and Policy, overseeing a research portfolio to further understanding of how policy can support the success of women entrepreneurs. She now works as an independent consultant, specializing in program development, instructional design, gender diversity, and process improvement.
Tawni Koutchesfahani

Tawni Koutchesfahani

MS, Director of Manufacturing Strategy at Relpysa

Tawni Koutchesfahani is an accomplished healthcare executive with 13 years of industry experience in the medical device and biotech sector. Since 2016, Tawni is the Director of Manufacturing Strategy at Relpysa, working closely with Relypsa’s global contract manufacturing sites. Prior to joining Relypsa, Tawni was a key manufacturing leader within the Baxalta (spin‐off as a public company from Baxter) manufacturing network for its BioScience division as well as Baxter’s BioSurgery division since 2009.  In her last role at Baxalta, Tawni oversaw an organization responsible for producing high volume commercial and clinical products. She spent 7 years in various roles of increasing responsibility within operations at Baxalta. Tawni earned an M.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, and a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Jennifer McCullar, PhD

Jennifer McCullar, PhD

Innovation Development, Senior Manager

I started in the field of technology transfer seven years ago at University of Washington after a postdoc in hearing research. My doctorate work was in Molecular and Cellular Biology, and a far cry from the Dairy Nutrition Masters I had just completed. In my role in Innovation Development, I have assisted faculty in commercializing research from areas across fields including life sciences technologies to software, engineering tools to diagnostics. I have spearheaded and organized a volunteer program for postdocs and graduate students; co-organized UW’s Idea to Plan workshop, in which faculty are challenged to begin to think entrepreneurially about their technologies, practice pitches and engage in customer validation; and managed projects through the commercialization process, for both start-ups and licensing paths. In my spare time, I co-organize a public science lecture series, Science on Tap, to engage the community in learning and am part of Seattle community outreach for Town Hall.
Heather Metcalf

Heather Metcalf

PhD, AWIS Director of Research and Analysis and Principal Investigator/Project Lead for STEM to Market

Heather Metcalf is AWIS Director of Research and Analysis and PI/Project Lead for STEM to Market. She has undergraduate degrees in applied mathematics and computer science (Clarion University of Pennsylvania), master’s degrees in computer science (The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) and gender studies (University of Arizona), and a doctorate in higher education science and technology policy (University of Arizona). With her unique interdisciplinary background, Heather has research, policy, and programmatic expertise on myriad topics in STEM, such as bias; educational and workplace cultures; harassment and discrimination; innovation and entrepreneurship; career pathways; organizational and systemic change; recruitment and retention; mentoring; sense of fit; self-efficacy; organizational and federal policy; and more. Throughout her career, her work has influenced change in academic, industry and public policy spaces. Heather also holds a patent on unconscious bias training materials, which teach researchers and practitioners to build equity into their daily thought and work.
Jonathan Sposato

Jonathan Sposato

Chairman and Co-founder, Geekwire.com; Chairman and Founder, PicMonkey; Founder, WeCount.org

A successful serial entrepreneur and investor in many startups, Jonathan is Chairman and co-founder of Geekwire.com, one of the tech sector’s top news sites, Chairman and Founder of PicMonkey, the world’s most fun and popular photo-editor, and founder of WeCount.org, the first non-profit to apply smartphone technologies to help the homeless receive items critical to their survival on the streets. He also has the distinct honor of being the first person to sell 2 companies to Google. In 2016, Jonathan made headlines when he announced he would be the first technology investor to only invest in female-founded companies moving forward. This put Jonathan in the national spotlight and he became an honoree of various women-led organizations such as American Women In Science, Vital Voices, and the 2017 recipient of University of Washington’s “Man of Integrity” award. He has invested in many startups founded by women, such as Glamhive, GiftStarter, Runway2Street, Poppy, Scout, Vivify, and others. Jonathan recently handed over the CEO responsibilities of PicMonkey to a successor in order to dedicate himself to the mission of developing, identifying, and promoting more female representation and leadership in business. His new book, BETTER TOGETHER: 8 Ways Working with Women Leads to Extraordinary Products and Profits, will debut in Winter 2017.

 

Soody Tronson

Soody Tronson

MS, JD, Founder of STLGip

Soody is founder of STLGip, a boutique intellectual property law firm, counseling domestic and international clients on intellectual property and technology transactions. Prior to starting her firm, she practiced law at Silicon Valley offices of HellerEhrman and Townsend & Townsend and in-house at HP. She was General Counsel and VP of IP at a successfully acquired medical device start-up company. Before her legal career, she held technical and management positions at Schering Plough and HP. Soody is Advisory Board Member STEM to Market; Chair of Women in Licensing National Committee, Licensing Executives Society (LES), USA & Canada, Advisory Board member and past Chair of Silicon Valley Chapter; and member of Board of Directors and Co-Chair of Patent Section with Palo Alto Area Bar Association. Soody lectures on IP, licensing, technology transfer, and entrepreneurship domestically and internationally, bridging various local and international bodies. Among her civic engagements, she particularly enjoys volunteering as a business coach with Defy Ventures, an entrepreneurship training program for those currently and formerly incarcerated. Soody is a Commissioner with the city of Menlo Park. Soody is inventor on several patents and applications and is working on her new start-up designing a wearable health-tech device in the mother/infant space. She holds a J.D., M.S. in industrial chemistry, and B.S. in chemistry, and is licensed to practice before the State of California and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. With over 25 years of experience in law, technology, and management in start-up and established environments, her strategic insight coupled with her practical approach is a key asset, whether acting as counsel or leading her own ventures.

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