The MIT Startup Exchange Lightning Talks below are part of the full agenda for 2023 MIT Corporate Innovation and Venturing Forum in New York.
All firms eventually face disruption. If anything, shocks are increasing in both frequency and impact. New technologies like generative AI threaten business models that once seemed secure far into the future. Civil, political, and geopolitical events such as war and a global pandemic have exposed dangerous vulnerabilities in supply chains for energy, high-tech components, and even food. This recent history highlights the importance of investing to position organizations to take advantage of opportunities that dramatic changes create. To prepare for the future, corporations are forming internal venture groups. Corporate venture capital (CVC) initiatives do not just help organizations survive disruptions but also lead and shape the forces transforming their businesses.
This forum will bring together senior executives with thought leaders from MIT to explore the best methods for creating and organizing corporate innovation and venturing groups. We will also discuss how the MIT Industrial Liaison Program (ILP) helps firms engage with the world-leading thinkers at MIT who tackle humanity's most vexing challenges and the entrepreneurs who turn MIT innovations into working solutions.
Join us for an afternoon of talks from distinguished MIT faculty, an industry panel discussion, and lightning talks from MIT-connected startups. We'll finish with a networking hour, so you can connect with other attendees and engage with the startups while enjoying drinks and hors d'oeuvres.
Program Manager, MIT Startup Exchange
Ariadna Rodenstein is a Program Manager at MIT Startup Exchange. She joined MIT Corporate Relations as an Events Leader in September 2019 and is responsible for designing and executing startup events, including content development, coaching and hosting, and logistics. Ms. Rodenstein works closely with the Industrial Liaison Program (ILP) in promoting collaboration and partnerships between MIT-connected startups and industry, as well as with other areas around the MIT innovation ecosystem and beyond.
Prior to working for MIT Corporate Relations, she worked for over a decade at Credit Suisse Group in New York and London, in a few different roles in event management and as Director of Client Strategy. Ms. Rodenstein has combined her experience in the private sector with work at non-profits as a Consultant and Development Director at New York Immigration Coalition, Immigrant Defense Project, and Americas Society/Council of the Americas. She also served as an Officer on the Board of Directors of the Riverside Clay Tennis Association in New York for several years. Additionally, she earned her B.A. in Political Science and Communications from New York University, with coursework at the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey in Mexico City, and her M.A. in Sociology from the City University of New York.
Co-Founder & CTO, Securrency
Dan Doney is Co-founder and CTO of Securrency, Inc, a financial markets infrastructure technology company providing financial services solutions that harness the power of blockchain technology and DeFi to institutional-grade compliance and scalability. Prior to founding Securrency in 2015, Dan served as the US intelligence community’s first Chief Innovation Officer at the Defense Intelligence Agency. Dan is a recognized expert and leader across a wide variety of fields, including enterprise architecture and software development, artificial intelligence, process automation, financial modeling, organization theory, robotics, and signal processing. Dan is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy with a B.S. in Control Systems Engineering and an additional major in Economics He also received an M.S. in Nuclear Engineering from MIT in 1994. Dan and his wife, Jodi, have 5 lovely children and live near Annapolis, Maryland.
Co-founder and CEO, Themis AI
Elaheh Ahmadi is a co-founder and CEO of Themis AI. She received her BSc and MEng in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT. Ahmadi and her peers at MIT CSAIL spun-off Themis AI with the vision to bring fair AI into the industry. Themis AI is a leader in providing high-performance and risk-robust AI solutions — identifying and tackling bias, uncertainty, and other real-world generalization challenges.
Co-founder and CEO, Ikigai Labs
Vinayak Ramesh is the CEO and co-founder of the MIT startup, Ikigai Labs, a platform for building AI Apps. Previously, he co-founded and was CTO of Wellframe, a digital health company focused on AI to help payors better manage their patient populations (acquired by Blackstone). He received his S.B./M. Eng degrees from MIT and is Forbes 30 under 30.
Founder and CEO, Covariance
Dr. Michael Fleder’s MIT research forms the basis for Covariance.ai: A machine learning startup that enables near-real-time competitive and market insight with previously-impossible accuracy and depth. Michael’s work has been featured in MIT News (2021, 2019) and leading modeling conferences. Michael has extensive background in robotics (MIT, NASA/JPL), quantitative trading, and technology advising for the C-Suite at retail banks. Michael earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees from MIT.
Christina Qi is the Co-Founder and CEO of Databento. Previously, Christina founded Domeyard LP in 2012, a hedge fund focused on high-frequency trading (HFT) that traded up to $7.1 billion per day. Domeyard's story was featured in Forbes, Nikkei, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, CNN, NBC, and the Financial Times due to the controversy and fascination with HFT.
No amount of therapy has quashed Christina's impostor syndrome, but she will always be proud of her non-profit volunteer work. Christina was elected as a Member of the MIT Corporation, MIT's Board of Trustees. For five years, she served as Co-Chair of the Board of Invest in Girls, bringing financial literacy education to underserved populations across the US. Christina is a Board Director of The Financial Executives Alliance (FEA) Hedge Fund Group and is a 100 Women in Finance Senior Practitioner. Although "X Under X" lists are a gimmick, she'll admit that Forbes 30 Under 30 positively impacted her life by giving her a community - friends who dragged her out of bed during the lowest days of her life. Christina holds a Bachelor of Science in Management Science from MIT and recently celebrated her class's 10-year reunion.
Co-Founder & Chief Data Officer, VZBL
Dr. Alain Briancon is a serial entrepreneur and inventor with 22 granted patents on AI (81 total). He is the Co-Founder and Chief Data Officer for VZBL. Alain has vast experience in extensive data systems, enterprise software, mobile systems, and the Internet of Things. Over the last ten years, Alain has applied data science to IoT through various startups, predicting appliance failures, political campaigns, food and diet management, customer engagement, surveys, and engineering productivity. Alain graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in ’86. Outside work, he enjoys long-distance swimming, collecting fountain pens, and keeping up with family and dogs.
Eli Paster is the Chief Executive Officer of PolyJoule, a Boston-based MIT spinoff. PolyJoule is on a mission to lower the barrier to entry and enable the universal adaptation of energy storage without sacrificing safety or the environment. He holds an S.M. and Ph.D. in electrochemistry, high-throughput instrumentation, and entrepreneurship from MIT. Eli speaks four languages, is the author of several U.S. and international patents, and has published monographs in chemistry, engineering, biology, literature, and advocacy.
Co-Founder and CTO, Almond Fintech
Yunus is the co-founder and CTO of Almond FinTech. His work centers around promoting equitable access to technology across many fields. Before Almond, Yunus held leadership roles in early-stage ventures commercializing cutting-edge medical research and devised low-tech approaches to poverty alleviation in rural Southeast Asia. He is the author of several patents and scientific papers across medtech, additive manufacturing, and robotics. Yunus holds an MS in Mechanical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University and an MBA from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has recently been named among Singapore's 30 and Under Fintech Leaders.
Disclaimer: MIT Startup Exchange can make introductions that ideally provide open ended discussions in order to share mutual interests and potentially create common ground that incite the parties to collaborate. MIT Startup Exchange introductions may eventually lead to mutual partnerships, but that is not in any way guaranteed by MIT, MIT Corporate Relations, MIT Industrial Liaison Program (ILP) or MIT Startup Exchange, which takes no responsibility for these outcomes and no formal part in such discussions following our introduction. MIT Startup Exchange and its activities and events are not for purposes of soliciting investment or offering securities.