Meet our 2018 judges below. Check back soon to find out who will be judging the 2019 prizes!
Aetna Foundation Prize for Health Equity Innovation
Chief Technology Officer, DAI Global Health
Bobby Jefferson has a relentless entrepreneurial passion for using mobile solutions for social development, and clinical applications, finding ways to use technology innovations to address health needs of the poor and most vulnerable in rural areas. He is responsible for sourcing, evaluating, and implementing technology startups investment opportunities. He performs technology reviews of strategic corporate investments in early-stage companies, startup innovations, and early stage social ventures. His role includes due diligence of pre-revenue startups, early seed round innovators, niche health solutions. He collaborates with incubators and Global Accelerator Networks in Denver, Maryland, Boston, and North Carolina. Bobby supports minority investments in exciting technology start-ups and business mentor to health tech startups. He is appointed as Board Adviser and Board Observer during (post-deal ) implementation, to protect investment , assess soundness of the business model and foster the venture’s impact to achieve scale.
Executive Director, Health Equity Solutions
Tekisha Everette has built a successful career in public policy, particularly health care policy, and advocacy in the nonprofit, state, and private sectors. Before taking the helm of Health Equity Solutions (HES), she served as the Managing Director of Federal Government Affairs with the American Diabetes Association where she provided strategic leadership on policy and advocacy initiatives with the White House, several federal agencies, and Congress, which led to important victories for people both with and at risk for diabetes. Everette earned her doctorate in Sociology from American University with a concentration in race, gender, and social justice as it relates to social policy. She received her Master’s of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the Center of Public Administration and Policy at Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University (popularly known as Virginia Tech) and holds two Bachelor of Arts degrees in Political Science and Interdisciplinary Studies from the same institution.
Yale University Department of Psychiatry, Chief Medical Officer, Medical and Digital Innovation, Magellan Healthcare
Seth Feuerstein is on the clinical faculty at the Yale School of Medicine, on the advisory board of the Yale Center for Biomedical and Interventional Technology, and as a psychiatrist for the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services as well as chief medical officer of medical and digital innovation at Magellan Healthcare. In this role, he leads the development of effective business and clinical programs that leverage technology in several areas. Feuerstein, a psychiatrist by training, developed the nation’s leading computerized CBT software suite and platform as the founder of Cobalt Therapeutics. Cobalt was acquired by Magellan in 2014. These virtual therapeutic programs address 90 percent of behavioral health complaints. Feuerstein developed this virtual care platform to achieve better health, better care, and lower costs for problems such as anxiety, insomnia, depression, OCD and substance abuse. He is also active in the health technology ecosystem as an advisor and board member to several medical and behavioral companies and investment firms. Feuerstein received his bachelor’s degree from Cornell University, his medical and law degrees from New York University, and completed his medical internship and residency at Yale University.
Founder and CEO of access.mobile, Inc
As a Founder and the Chief Executive Officer, KP Yelpaala, MPH ’06 drives the technology vision, global strategy and operations of access.mobile, Inc., a Colorado-based business that offers enterprise software for high growth frontier markets. He has several years of experience working with international businesses and nonprofits. KP has start-up experience in national-scale health and agriculture program design, launch and implementation with the William J. Clinton Foundation and international management and strategy consulting experience with Dalberg Global Development Advisors.
Senior Vice President at Digi Smart Solutions
Will Crawford is an experienced technology industry operating executive and investor, often working at the intersection of healthcare, consumer healthcare engagement, and the Internet of Things. Most recently, he's been involved in building one of the world's largest healthcare focused IoT networks, with over a hundred thousand devices monitoring tens of thousands of pharmacies and healthcare institutions around the world. From 2013 to 2017 he was a Vice President of Engineering at Fitbit, where he led the growth of Fitbit’s Boston Office and was responsible for software engineering teams, web and mobile functionality and analytics infrastructure. Earlier in his career, Will was CTO at Invantage, Inc. (a pioneer venture backed SaaS company, acquired by PAREXEL in 2002), a Health IT advisor for the US Department of Health and Human Services, and was Founder and CEO of Linked Medical (a Massachusetts General Hospital spin-off that was acquired in 2013). He is also the co-author of several popular books on software development, including Java Servlet Programming, Java Enterprise in a Nutshell and J2EE Design Patterns. Mr. Crawford holds a BA in Economics and History from Yale University, an MBA from MIT's Sloan School of Management, and an SM from the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology's Biomedical Enterprise Program.
Alan "Ace" C. Eversley
Program Consultant, Aetna Foundation
Currently serves as Program Consultant for the Aetna Foundation - an organization focused on improving healthy equity, promoting healthy eating & active living, and leveraging innovative solutions for health advancements. He provides program and operations support for a portfolio of national, international and strategic grants. Additionally, he assists with the foundation’s grant-making process, leads a number of communication initiatives, and serves as local Chair of Aetna’s African American Employee Resource Group. Before joining the Aetna Foundation in 2014, he worked on Aetna’s National Accounts Sales Support team as a Proposal Writer, and then on the Public & Labor Sales Support team as a Sales Consultant. Ace led the development of proposal strategies, focusing on financial positioning, product offerings, and organizational values. Ace holds a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Marketing from Central Connecticut State University; is a multi-faceted entrepreneur; and currently lives in the Greater Boston Area.
Thorne Prize for Social Innovation in Health or Education
Margaret Yates Thorne
Managing Partner, Sociable Weavers; Owner, Niknats
Margaret Yates Thorne is the Managing Partner of Sociable Weavers, providing seed investing to transformational start-ups in education and healthcare. Margie is also the owner of Niknats, a personalized needlepoint gift business. She has worked for the last twenty years with a wide range of non-profits, providing support in start-up management, fundraising, and finance. Margie has chaired the boards of The Bronx Preparatory Charter School and Peer Health Exchange and served on many boards including Student Sponsor Partners and READ, and is a judge for the Teach for America Social Innovation Award. Margie has a BA from Yale and also studied educational psychology at Columbia’s Teacher’s College. Prior to her work with non-profits, she worked for fifteen years at Citigroup. Margie is married to Nate Thorne, previously head of private equity at Merrill Lynch and Blackrock, and is the mother of two sons. The whole family are Yale graduates.
Managing Partner, Elm Street Ventures
Rob Bettigole is the founder and Managing Partner of Elm Street Ventures, a seed and early stage venture capital firm in which Yale is the largest investor. He serves as Chairman of P2 Science and Samara Innovations. Rob is also a board member of AxioMx, Inc., and is Elm Street’s observer on the boards of Arvinas, Inc. and Device42. Previously, Rob was a board member of ShareGrove and Retail Optimization Inc., and served as an observer on the boards of Affomix, BioRelix, and ixMetagenomix. Before founding ESV in 2006, Rob ran an infrastructure business and helped found several start-ups. Earlier in his career, he was a venture capitalist with Rothschild Inc. and Investor AB. Rob is an Executive Fellow and helps teach courses on entrepreneurship at the Yale School of Management and has served on the Operating Board of the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute since its inception in 2007. He is also on the Investment Committee of the YEI Innovation Fund.
Senior Advisor, Partners In Health
Shin Daimyo, RN, is Senior Advisor at Partners In Health, providing guidance on mental health systems building in Haiti, Rwanda, Lesotho, Malawi, Peru, Mexico, and Russia. At PIH, he managed the scale up of community-based mental health services in the Central Plateau/Artibonite region of Haiti, and acts as Co-Investigator for the development of community mental health services by nurses in the Burera District of Rwanda. Shin also was Behavioral Health Advisor to the Office of the Deputy Executive Commissioner at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, providing expert guidance on integration of behavioral health into primary care and social-services organizations for First Lady Chirlane McCray’s $850 million ThriveNYC Initiative. He was a Policy Fellow at the World Health Organization, and has advised NGOs in India and Pakistan on developing mental health services for the poor. Shin also served on the Board of Directors of Do Good Well, a nonprofit aimed at accelerating social entrepreneurship in young leaders. Shin is a board certified registered nurse and a psychiatric nurse practitioner candidate at the Yale School of Nursing, a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow, a graduate University of Southern California and Boston University School of Public Health, and a Humanitarian and Human Rights Policy Fellow of the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University.
CEO, Contineo Health; Managing Partner, Equilateral Ventures; President, Suraksha
Raj Gorla is the CEO of Contineo Health and has vast experience in health informatics in the areas of Clinical Transformation, Population Health, Data Analytics, Interoperability and Mobile Health. His passion lies in technology innovations that can increase access to healthcare and improve outcomes worldwide. Raj has traveled around the world to volunteer for health infrastructure, disaster response and human rights related projects and advises various non-profits on paths to sustainability. At Yale SOM, Raj founded Equilateral Ventures an impact fund that accelerates digital health start-ups that seek to reduce global health inequities. He is also the founder of Suraksha, a non-profit based in South India working to empower and educate girls with disabilities. Raj has an MBA from Yale University and prior Bachelors and Masters degrees in Computer Science.
Chief Clinical Transformation Officer and Senior
Medical Director, Aetna Health and Clinical Services
Jay Rajda is the Chief Clinical Transformation Officer and Senior Medical Director with Aetna Health and Clinical Services where he is responsible for clinical innovation, and the development of innovative, community based personalized care models. Previously, he worked at Aetna's Innovation Labs, where he worked on identifying, validating, and deploying innovative clinical and technology ideas a few years ahead of the market. Prior to that, he was Medical Director at ActiveHealth Management, where he was responsible for the development of clinical analytics, clinical decision support, performance improvement and care management programs. He also provided clinical expertise in implementing value-based care delivery and population health management solutions to several client organizations including plan sponsors, provider organizations and ACOs. Board certified in Internal Medicine and a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, Dr. Rajda has served as Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Rochester. He obtained his medical degree from the University of Mumbai, and an MBA from the University of Rochester’s Simon School. He is an active member of the New York City health innovation community.
Managing Partner, Court Square
Mr. Thomas has been a member of the Court Square Investment Team since 1980. Mr. Thomas received degrees in finance and accounting from the University of Akron. He is currently a director of Conterra Broadband, Mspark and NSM Healthcare. He most recently served on the boards of Fibertech Networks, Harvard Drug Group, Wyle Labs, Cadence Aerospace, Newmarket International and Auto Europe Group. Previous boards include Aviall, Brintec, C&H Sugar, DavCo Restaurants, The Devon Group, Flender, Furnishings International, Hancor Pipe, Interface Solutions, International Airmotive, MagnaChip Semiconductor, Mid-Atlantic Coca Cola, Neenah Foundry, Network Communications, Pamida Stores, People Express Airlines, Smith Alarm, Worldspan Technologies, York International and Zatarains. Mr. Thomas is currently on the advisory council for the Yale School of Public Health Leadership Council.
Sabin Sustainable Venture Prize
President at Andrew Sabin Family Foundation
Andy Sabin does more than simply provide financial support to hundreds of organizations. He is actively engaged with community and environmental programs around the world. He spearheaded the building of a community recreation center in East Hampton, NY. As an extension of his life long fascination with reptiles and amphibians and dedication to environmental education, he founded the South Fork Natural History Museum in Bridgehampton and he continues to lead nature walks for the institution. (Mr. Sabin also participated in an expedition to Papua, New Guinea, that resulted in the discovery of a new species of frog that is named for him: Aphantophryne sabini.) Mr. Sabin has served for several years on the environmental law advisory boards at Columbia Law School and UCLA School of Law, relationships that began through his role as treasurer of The Evan Frankel Foundation, which made grants of more than $17 million during its 15-year existence. Mr. Sabin is also proud to be a member of the board of visitors of the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas since 2005. In 2007, to provide more professional support for his philanthropy and involve his family in charitable giving, he established the Andrew Sabin Family Foundation. Andy's passions are his family, the environment, bicycling and fishing.
President and CEO of the Connecticut Green Bank
Bryan Garcia is the president and CEO of the Connecticut Green Bank – the nation’s first state-level green bank. The “green bank model” is demonstrating how smarter use of public resources can attract more private investment in the clean energy economy – reducing the energy burden on households and businesses, creating jobs in local communities, increasing the deployment of clean energy, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions that cause global climate change. Before joining the Green Bank, Garcia was program director for the Yale Center for Business and the Environment. At Yale, Garcia led efforts to develop a leading global program responsible for preparing environmental leaders for business and society. There he was co-editor of two publications – “Carbon Finance: Environmental Market Solutions to Climate Change” and “Carbon Finance II: Investing in Forests for Climate Protection”. Prior to Yale, he served as Connecticut’s Climate Change Coordinator where he supported the Governor’s Steering Committee on Climate Change. Early in his career, he was a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer specializing in NGO capacity building and environmental education in the Republic of Kazakhstan. Bryan is the Co-Chair of the Financing Solutions Working Group of the State Energy Efficiency Action Network (SEEAction Network), on the advisory boards of the Institute for Sustainable Energy at Eastern Connecticut State University, University of Connecticut School of Engineering, and the Yale Center for Business and the Environment, and recently joined the Board of Directors of the Institute for Sustainable Communities. He holds a B.S. degree in political economy of natural resources from U.C. Berkeley, M.P.A. in public and non-profit administration and an M.B.A. in finance from New York University, and an M.E.M. degree from Yale University.
Special Consultant at Industrial Economics
Dr. O’Rourke has over 16 years of consulting experience providing expert sustainability and analysis services. She specializes in sustainable purchasing and products, standards and ecolabels evaluations, and program design strategies. Dr. O’Rourke has extensive experience supporting programs that promote sustainable industry and the greening of products, cleantech investments, and sustainable entrepreneurship. She consults with clients including the United Nations Environmental Programme; the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA); non-governmental organizations; and several companies. Dr. O’Rourke holds a B.A. (Hons, 1st Class) from Sydney University, a M.Sc. In Industrial Environmental Management from Lund University Sweden, and a Ph.D. in environmental management and finance from Yale University. She is on the Board of Directors of the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council (SPLC).
Elizabeth (“Liddy”) Karter
Liddy Karter is Managing Director of Enhanced Capital Partners, LLC. Enhanced Capital invests in US based, middle market companies across sectors including clean tech, heath care services, advanced manufacturing and IT. Liddy has worked with many non-profits to promote entrepreneurship including Crossroads Venture Group, the Angel Capital Association, the Angel Investor Forum, and the CT Technology Council. She is also a frequent speaker and lecturer on funding for early stage companies including at Yale School of Management, UConn, Singularity University, US Dept of Commerce,the National Institute of Health and various industry groups. Previously Liddy was Managing Partner of IRON Ventures, LLC and Karter Capital Advisors, LLC. She has had operating success as CFO of a software company, Netkey, Inc., and CEO of a recycling company Resource Recovery Systems, Inc. both of which exited to strategic public companies. She started her career as a Vice President in the Financial Institutions Group at Morgan Stanley and Co. Inc. Liddy received her MBA from Yale University and a BA from Columbia University.
Managing Director at Clean Energy Venture Group
Ralph Earle is one of the founders of the Clean Energy Venture Group and an expert in environmental policy, strategy and investing. He has worked with market leading organizations to catalyze superior environmental and financial performance for almost three decades. Previously, Mr. Earle was the founding Director of the Environmental Defense Fund’s Corporate Partnership Program. The projects he led with SC Johnson, Starbucks and United Parcel Service are widely hailed as examples of positive environmental change. Before EDF, Ralph led Arthur D. Little’s Competitive Environmental Strategy practice, where he helped corporations integrate environmental considerations into their long-term decision-making. Prior to Arthur D. little, Mr. Earle served as Assistant Secretary of Environmental Affairs for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts where he led the development of the state’s recycling program and the state’s first Solid Waste Master Plan. Ralph serves as a board observer on the Purpose Energy board; previously, he was a board member of eQuilibrium Solutions and Skystream Markets. He also serves as Co-Chair of the American Cancer Society’s “Pay-If” Committee, a Governor of the Concord Museum, and on the Editorial Board for the Journal of Sustainable Product Design. He is the author of numerous papers and speeches on environmental strategy, environmental management, recycling, life cycle analysis, and socially responsible investing. Ralph holds an MBA from the Yale School of Management and a BA, cum laude, from Harvard College.
Associate Professor of Management Science at Rollins College
Keith Whittingham is an Associate Professor at the Rollins College Crummer Graduate School of Business, where he teaches MBA courses in corporate sustainability practices, enterprise and sustainable development and CSR. He is a certified Sustainability Associate by the International Society of Sustainability Professionals. Keith’s studies in engineering (Ph.D. ’95 Cornell) led to interests in renewable energy and developed skills in innovation and problem solving. However, with more than a decade of teaching MBA students he has become a strong proponent of enterprise and entrepreneurship as powerful vehicles in addressing global, social concerns. Keith’s research focus is in Sustainable Enterprise and includes study of collaborative efforts to address the challenges facing small producers, primarily in Latin America and the Caribbean. He authored a chapter on that subject in the recent edited volume, Strategy and Competitiveness in Latin American Markets, (2014, Eds. Jager & Sathe), and has a forthcoming chapter on the role of corporations in achieving social impact. Keith was the founding advisor to the Rollins Net Impact chapter and was a founder of the Rollins College Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation Hub, which was instrumental in the college’s Ashoka Changemaker Campus designation. He is also faculty coach for the Rollins MBA teams that were winner or runner‐up in four of the first five Nespresso Global MBA Sustainability Challenges. In addition to his role at Rollins, Keith serves as Visiting Faculty at INCAE, in Alajuela, Costa Rica. He has also developed and taught courses on Social Entrepreneurship for the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Foundation and the Global Leadership Program, in Costa Rica (2012) and Panamá (2013) respectively. He has served on the Proposal Review Committee of the Monteverde Community Fund, an NGO that provides grants and loans for micro‐entrepreneurial projects in Monteverde, Costa Rica.
CIO, North Sound Partners
Brian Miller is currently the Chief Investment Officer of North Sound Partners, a family office based in Greenwich, Connecticut. Through North Sound Associates, the partnership invests in alternative investment strategies which can include hedge funds, private equity, and venture capital funds. Brian also serves as General Partner of North Sound Ventures, which invests directly in early stage growth companies. Prior to founding the North Sound group of companies, Brian spent 21 years at Elliott Associates, a $35 Billion AUM hedge fund based in New York. When Brian retired from Elliott in July 2012 he was one of four equity partners and held the title of Chief Trading Officer. He was a member of Elliott’s Management Committee and also served on the Valuation Committee and Risk Committee. Brian’s responsibilities encompassed all of global trading, including structured products, commodities, fixed-income arbitrage and portfolio protection strategies. Prior to starting with Elliott in August 1991, Brian was a Vice President at Yamaichi International where he specialized in arbitrage strategies. Brian received a B.Sc. in Economics from the University at Albany in 1988. Mr. Miller is a Chartered Financial Analyst and received his C.F.A. designation in 1992. Brian served on the Board of the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research in NYC.
Head of Growth—Local Associates, Amazon
Simran Dua is currently leads the reinvention of retail program at Amazon, where she works with organizations who want to seamlessly transition customers between physical and digital experiences. She was previously the product lead on Kindle sharing where she relaunched the sharing experience across platforms, scaled it to eleven marketplaces, and developed the “YouTube equivalent” to share book samples anywhere on the web. Prior to joining Amazon, Simran built her professional foundation at Unilever and JPMorgan; however, it was a short stint in between the two companies that shaped her career. She started her career in investment banking at JPMorgan where she worked on financings that advanced growth plans for state and local government agencies, universities, hospital systems, and nationwide nonprofits. During the peak of the credit crisis, she resigned to support a family member’s fledging mortgage company and learned about the power of earning consumer trust. Simran transitioned her career from finance to consumer insights at Unilever. Simran learned how consumers connect with brands and products while she served on the Dove Beauty team and launched a global handwashing campaign for Lifebuoy soap in partnership with the Ghanaian government. Today in addition to working at Amazon, she serves as a pitch coach and advisor to start-ups across the country focusing on product and consumer insights. She holds a BS from New York University and MBA from Yale University.
Early Stage VC Investor, Octopus Ventures
Priscila leads Octopus Ventures’ New York office, supporting the growth strategies of Octopus Ventures’ portfolio businesses and advising companies on best practices for successfully entering, and succeeding in, the US market. Priscila works with a variety of businesses within Octopus’ portfolio of unusually talented entrepreneurs, helping them meet the challenges of scaling their businesses in the US by supporting them in building a relevant network of executives, service providers, corporates and growth stage investors.Priscila is an entrepreneur and investor with experience in investment banking, fundraising and business development. She was the Director of the Mentor Network at the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute, connecting ventures to experienced advisors, and growing Yale’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Prior, she was a business strategy consultant and founding partner of a genomic diagnostics venture. Priscila has taught executive courses on behavioral economics, negotiations and competitive strategy, and is a fellow of the Yale Center for Customer Insights. Her financial career included working with European Equities at Credit Suisse in New York and Latin American Equities at Morgan Stanley in São Paulo, Brazil. She holds a BA and MBA from Yale University. She has served on various nonprofit boards and is a fervent advocate for financial literacy, access to education, the arts and the outdoors.
Partner, VLane Capital
Lily Wan is a Partner at VLane Capital, a venture fund that invests in the global blockchain ecosystem. Prior to VLane Capital, Lily has been a finance professional in New York and a venture investor across sectors and regions. Most recently, she was the Principal at Blue Ivy Ventures, a VC fund built around the Yale alumni community, where she led due diligence and sourcing efforts across stage and sector. In her previous roles, Lily was also an investor/ board advisor to a few China-based startups including Huanteng or "Phantom"; Fast Company later named the IoT company as one of the Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in China. Lily holds an MBA from Yale School of Management.
Chief Maker of MakeHaven
J.R. is a cofounder and executive director of MakeHaven, a 200+ member nonprofit makerspace and FabLab in New Haven, Connecticut. J.R. has a history of nonprofit leadership in New Haven he serves on the board of the Eli Whitney Museum, an experiential learning workshop for students, and families. For several years, during a period of growth, as he served as President of the board of the New Haven Land Trust. He has been active in advocating for the Mill River Trail. At the United Way of Greater New Haven he worked to improve technology for United Way and nonprofit partners. He has earned a master's degree in Public Affairs from Indiana University with a focus on nonprofit management.
Rothberg Catalyzer Prize
Founder, Chairman, Product Architect, and CEO of the Butterfly Network, Inc.; Founder and Chairman of LAM Therapeutics; Adjunct Professor of Genetics, Yale School of Medicine
Dr. Jonathan Rothberg is best known for inventing high-speed, “Next-Gen” DNA sequencing. He founded 454 Life Sciences, bringing to market the first new method for sequencing genomes since Sanger and Gilbert won the Nobel Prize in 1980. Dr. Rothberg sequenced the first individual human genome (The Watson Genome, Nature), and initiated the Neanderthal Genome Project with Svante Paabo. Under his leadership, 454 helped understand the mystery behind the disappearance of the honey bee, uncovered a new virus killing transplant patients, and elucidated the extent of human variation—work recognized by Science magazine as the breakthrough of the year for 2007. The New England Journal described Dr. Rothberg’s innovation as "The New Age of Molecular Diagnostics", Science magazine called it one of the top 10 breakthroughs for 2008. His contributions; cloning by limited dilution, and massively parallel DNA sequencing, are the basis of all subsequent high-speed sequencing methods. Dr. Rothberg went on to invent semiconductor chip-based sequencing, and sequenced Gordon Moore (Moore’s law) as the first individual to be sequenced on a semiconductor chip (Nature). In 2010, Ion Torrent was acquired by Life Technologies for $725 million, the largest acquisition of its kind. In addition to founding 454 Life Sciences and Ion Torrent, Dr. Rothberg Founded CuraGen Corporation, Clarifi, RainDance Technologies, Lam Therapeutics, Quantum-Si, Hyperfine Research and Butterfly Network. Dr. Rothberg was born in 1963 in New Haven, Connecticut. He earned a B.S. in chemical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and an M.S., M.Phil, and Ph.D. in biology from Yale University. He is the first person to be named a World Economic Forum's Technology Pioneer four separate times, is an Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year and received The Wall Street Journal's First Gold Medal for Innovation. He received Nature Methods First Method of the Year Award, The Irvington Institute's Corporate Leadership Award in Science, the Connecticut Medal of Technology, the DGKL Biochemical Analysis Prize, and an Honorary Doctorate of Science from Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Jonathan is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering, and is a life trustee of Carnegie Mellon University.
Corporate Vice President of R&D and Chief Technology Officer, CONMED Corporation
Mr. Kurt Azarbarzin serves as the Chief Technology Officer and Corporate Vice President of R&D at CONMED Corporation since 2016. Mr. Azarbarzin was the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Surgiquest, since 2005 before it was acquired by Conmed at 2016. Mr. Azarbarzin is a Senior Medical Device Executive with an accomplished research and development career in the surgical, cardiovascular, interventional, orthopedic and urological markets. Mr. Azarbarzin has a proven track record of leading development of over 95 new products. He has demonstrated his marketing acumen, manufacturing expertise, regulatory and clinical knowledge and an ability to communicate effectively with medical professionals, the financial community and consultants. Mr. Azarbarzin has diversified experience in all facets of product design/enhancement, encompassing process/manufacturing engineering, team building, finance, vendor relations, regulatory requirements and quality assurance. He has successfully built and directed highly technical development teams, including professionals from technicians to PhDs and managed a myriad of research resources from metallurgy to model shops. Mr. Azarbarzin has over 35 years of experience in Marketing, Research & Development, Manufacturing and Quality Assurance from U.S. Surgical/Tyco Healthcare, Spine Wave and Respimetrix. Mr. Azarbarzin received a B.S. from the University of Bridgeport and a degree in advanced graduate studies in mechanical design from the Bridgeport Engineering Institute.
Laura Kauer Rodriguez
Managing Director and General Partner, Bulldog Innovation Group LLC
Laura is the Managing Director and Member of the General Partner at Bulldog Innovation Group (bulldog.vc). Bulldog is an early stage venture capital firm that is run entirely by Yale alumni and creates value by investing time, knowledge and capital in Yale's entrepreneurs. Previously, she advised venture-backed companies on business planning and growth strategies at Burch Creative Capital in New York. Laura honed her professional finance and strategy acumen during her career as an investment banker at Barclays, executing ~$20 billion in M&A and corporate finance transactions, and as a consultant with Accenture, advising the U.S. Federal Government on strategic planning. Laura holds an MBA from the Yale School of Management and BS Engineering degree from the University of Pennsylvania.
Cofounder and CEO, Wellinks
Ellen is the co-founder and CEO of Wellinks, a wearable medical device company, and handles product design, general operations, and fundraising. She graduated from Yale University and has a background in Product Design, Graphic Design, and Software UI/UX. She is passionate about human-centered design and healthcare and has applied HCD principles in the development of Wellinks, her past work as a UI/UX designer in startups, her work at the CEID, and past research human-machine interaction. As CEO of Wellinks, she has established and negotiated partnerships, built relationships with surgeons, researchers, and patient support groups, and pitched for and raised over $1 million in funding for Wellinks.
Assistant Professor of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging; Medical Director, Emergency Radiology; Clinical Lead, Center for Outcomes Research & Evaluation; Cofounder of Sepdx
Dr. Davis an assistant professor in the Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, Emergency Radiology section. She completed her BA in Chemistry and Psychology at Wellesley College in Wellesley, MA. In 2009 she received her medical degree from the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, SC. Subsequently she completed a Diagnostic Radiology residency and a Neuroradiology fellowship at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, NC. Dr. Davis obtained her MBA in 2017 from Yale University with a focus in healthcare management. Dr. Davis' academic areas of interest include organizational change and innovation within the healthcare space.