The MIT Startup Exchange Lightning Talks listed below are part of the full agenda for the 2022 Startup Ecosystem Conference, which ran between 9:15 AM and 6:00 PM, EST.
The 2022 MIT Startup Ecosystem Conference is a celebration of entrepreneurship, offering a window into the exciting technology, projects, and research being led by the MIT community and beyond.
Throughout the day, entrepreneurs, business leaders, and innovation groups will come together to discuss strategy, partnerships, diversity, and community, among other topics. The event also features some of the most promising startups emerging across campus at MIT.
The conference is a must-attend for executives at industry-leading corporations, especially for those who work in innovation, emerging technology, corporate venture capital, and/or corporate development/strategy.
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.
Elizaveta (Lisa) Freinkman joined Immunai as Director of Strategic Research in January 2022. Her effort focuses on ensuring that Immunai’s single-cell multi-omics and AI platforms are strategically and programmatically positioned to deliver value for both the internal therapeutic discovery pipeline and external partnerships.
Lisa’s technical background is in protein and lipid biochemistry and metabolomics. After earning a Ph.D. in Chemical Biology at Harvard, Lisa co-founded and then directed the Metabolite Profiling Core Facility at the Whitehead Institute of MIT, where her work contributed to over 25 high-profile peer-reviewed journal articles. Lisa subsequently joined the R&D group at Metabolon in Durham, NC, focusing on lipidomic platform development, novel metabolite identification, and generation of molecular-level insights from large-scale datasets. A growing interest in translational research and program management took Lisa to Locus Biosciences, where she rose to the rank of Director of Translational Medicine. In this capacity, she led a team of six scientists in the design and execution of rodent models of infectious disease and IBD, including IND-enabling studies of the company’s lead therapeutic asset. In parallel, Lisa also served as the program/alliance lead for a large pharma-partnered research collaboration.
Livio focused his career at the intersection between scientific innovation and public-private partnerships, with specific focus on expanding access to healthcare technologies. Prior to co-founding Vaxess, he worked as an economist at the United Nations, where he financed and implemented silk production programs across Asia. Livio received a Masters in Public Policy (MPP) from Harvard Kennedy School of Government and a bachelor and masters in economics and management from Bocconi University in Milan, Italy.
Kfir Schreiber is Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer at DeepCure Inc. where he reimagines small-molecule drug development using a revolutionary Artificial Intelligence platform. Kfir is an AI enthusiast and firmly believes in its immense potential to transform the pharmaceutical industry by unveiling new chemical horizons, and delivering affordable and improved therapeutics to patients. Kfir is a passionate mathematician as well as a pilot and officer in the Israeli Air Force, where he headed diverse teams and various large-scale R&D projects, consisting of tens of people, and 200 million of USD under management. The systems he developed are deployed on multiple platforms and used in active duty. For his research in the field of AI and drug development, Kfir was honored with the inaugural Marvin Minsky Fellowship for AI researchers of great promise. He holds numerous prizes and awards including the Air Force Outstanding Officer Award and the E14 Fellowship. Kfir received a Master of Science degree from the MIT Media Lab, and a B.Sc. in Mathematics and Computer Science degree from The Open University of Israel.
Megan O’Connor is co-founder and CEO of Nth Cycle, a metal processing company that has developed technology to enable a clean, domestic, and streamlined supply of critical minerals for the clean energy transition. Dr. O’Connor leverages years of experience working on sustainable technology in many of America’s top research labs, where she helped develop the electro-extraction processes she and her team are commercializing at Nth Cycle. Prior to founding Nth Cycle, Dr. O’Connor was an Entrepreneurial Fellow in the Innovation Crossroads program at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and was a visiting researcher at Yale University’s Center for Green Chemistry & Green Engineering. Dr. O’Connor received her PhD in environmental engineering from Duke University and was recognized by Forbes on its “30 under 30” energy list in 2019.
Nth Cycle is based in Boston, Massachusetts, and is supported by a world-class team of investors including Clean Energy Ventures, VoLo Earth Venture Fund, the Department of Energy, and Elemental Excelerator.
After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering with a minor in Mathematics, I worked for ExxonMobil for almost 9 years in various roles across commercial shipping, refining, and logistics. My headquarters experience included optimizing regional marine fleets to move crude oil & refined products most efficiently, global digital project design and implementation, and managing regional inventory levels and supply chains for all North America specialty refined products. While at the Baton Rouge refinery, I led several projects at the intersection of manufacturing and logistics that developed new products, increased sales, and improved the customer experience without sacrificing refinery throughput or cost in the specialty refined products & asphalt markets. I have been the Business Development Lead at Amogy since December 2021, where my role is to establish, develop, and maintain connections with industry partners as well as to develop our strategy and lead some of our maritime projects.
Adam Wallen is a proven entrepreneurial talent, with noted successes in Venture, Cleantech, MedTech and Healthcare IT. He brings two decades of executive experience, earned at organizations like British Petroleum (BP) and Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV), and he has developed and marketed several innovative technology, product, and service businesses. Adam is now the CEO at VEIR developing next generation high voltage transmission line technology.
Ariadna joined MIT Startup Exchange in a new role as Events Leader in September 2019. She has responsibility for the development and execution of events featuring startups, and for helping to promote collaboration and partnerships between MIT-connected startups and industry. She works closely with the Industrial Liaison Program (ILP), also within Corporate Relations, and with other areas around the MIT innovation ecosystem and beyond. Prior to this, Ariadna worked for over a decade at Credit Suisse Group in New York City and London in a few different roles in event management and later became a Director for client strategy. She has combined her experience in the private sector with work in non-profits as a Consultant and Development Director at the New York Immigration Coalition, Immigrant Defense Project and Americas Society/Council of the Americas. Ariadna also served on the Board of the Riverside Clay Tennis Association in NY for several years. She earned her B.A. in Political Science and Communications from New York University (NYU), also doing coursework at the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM) in Mexico City, and her M.A. in Sociology from the City University of New York (CUNY).
Zoë Cayetano is the Head of Product and Chief of Staff at Pathr.ai™. With a deep background in data science and artificial intelligence, Cayetano drives product strategy and vision. Most recently, she was a Senior Product Manager for AI and IoT at Intel, leading product growth and strategy for Intel® Distribution of OpenVINO™ toolkit, an AI developer software tool, and product management for the Intel® Neural Compute Stick 2 and VPU-based developer kits. Prior to Intel, Cayetano was a data science researcher for a particle accelerator lab at Arizona State University. In 2020, she was a Nominee for Venture Beat's AI Rising Star Award. Cayetano holds B.S. degrees in Engineering Physics/Applied Physics with Honors and Marketing from Arizona State University. She is also the author of the book "Unlearn Dogma".
Rachelle Villalon is Co-founder & CEO of Hosta A.I., and received her Master's & Ph.D. in Computer Vision and Architecture from MIT, a program that only accepts two candidates per year. She's led over $1B in building projects for strategic innovative initiatives and built over 60+ computational tools. Her work focused on the intersection of A.I. and architecture, which serve as the foundation for Hosta’s mission: merging intelligence and infrastructure.
Kota Weaver is a co-founder and CTO of Skylla Technologies, located in Lexington, Massachusetts, and a spin-off from Prof. Harry Asada’s lab at MIT. Skylla is transforming the manufacturing industry with its Jetstream Controller, a robot intelligence platform that features human-aware navigation and exceptional endpoint positioning accuracy. Skylla can help customers quickly and cost effectively deploy mobile manipulators and other vehicular robots for a wide range of applications in manufacturing, construction, and public service. Kota has prior experience at Neurala and Boston Incubation Center, working on various AI/ML, computer vision and robotics projects. He has a BS degree in Computer Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Debbie Yu is the Co-Founder and COO/CFO of ISEE. She spearheads all go-to-market and customer business operations and also oversees scaling of the organization. Having grown up in an entrepreneurial family, Debbie is passionate about building products to solve real-life problems and deliver real value to customers. Her experience spans building startups, investing, and strategy. Before co-founding ISEE, she was an angel investor in over twenty early stage tech startups and co-founded a spatial tech startup that leverages satellite images data and machine learning to predict air pollution and environmental issues. Prior to that, Debbie led growth capital investments in clean energy, automotive parts, and medical device industries at a multi-billion dollar private equity fund. Debbie was recently named a 2022 Power Player in the self-driving space by Business Insider.
Prior to founding Einblick in 2019, Emanuel was a postdoc in the database group at MIT and got his PhD in Computer Science from Brown University. During this time, he worked with Tim Kraska and Andy van Dam on various interactive tools for visual data exploration and analysis. Most of them either influenced or are direct predecessors of Einblick, such as Vizdom that won the VLDB best demo award in 2015.
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 AIis a leader in providing high-performance and risk-robust AI solutions — identifying and tackling bias, uncertainty, and other real-world generalization challenges.
Dr. Leonardo Bonanni is the founder and CEO of Sourcemap. Dr. Bonanni is a frequent lecturer on supply chain transparency and has testified before the US Senate Finance Committee on forced labor enforcement. He has published articles in Fast Company and has been featured in publications including the Wall Street Journal, Fortune, GreenBiz and Sourcing Journal. He has been named among America’s Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs by Bloomberg Businessweek, among the 100 Most Influential People in Business Ethics by Ethisphere and as a 2021 Environment and Energy Leader 100 Honoree. He holds a PhD and Masters degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
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.