Partners & Supporters
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Jason Pontin, Editor in Chief and Publisher at MIT Technology Review, and Global Chairman at MIT Enterprise Forum, is responsible for the editorial direction, media platforms, and business strategy of MIT Technology Review, including the rapidly expanding U.S. and international websites, the award-winning print magazine, videos, newsletters, business reports, and live events such as EmTech, the company's annual flagship conference focused on emerging technologies. He also serves as chairman of its international entrepreneurial network, the MIT Enterprise Forum. Mr. Pontin joined MIT Technology Review in 2004 as its editor and was named publisher in August 2005. Mr. Pontin has written for national and international publications, including the New York Times, the Economist, the Financial Times, and Wired.
Emilia Garito is an engineer in computer science and the founder of the first patent and design broker firm in Italy, Quantum Leap – Ideas for sale, as well as the creator of a world first business model New Trends Domains, whose activity consists of booking the future by finding emerging or forthcoming trends in all innovation fields. Both firms are under the hat of innovation hub Infinity Edge S.r.l. Emilia is also the organizer of TEDxRoma, the largest TEDx event in Italy.
Xavier Hervé has a 25 year track record of building businesses and materializing innovations as well as experience in several technologies and engineering intensive domains such as aviation, information systems, simulation, and green tech. Having deployed business on an international export scale and achieved great exits, he now actively gives back to the Montréal innovation community. His dedication to innovation leaders and his passion for entrepreneurship led him to found the District 3 Innovation Center, which leverages proven innovation methods and coaching for the building of success. He’s a dedicated mentor, entrepreneur, and a contagiously creative person.
Alexandre Cadain leads the Post-digital research lab at Ecole Normale Supérieure, which explores possible futures of deep technologies, specifically AI. He is an entrepreneur and researcher in hybrid intelligence and exponential imagination. He is a graduate of Ecole Normale Supérieure, HEC Paris and La Sorbonne University, where he studied the intersections of modern science, art and economics. Committed to the idea that our Digital Renaissance should be about distributing the future evenly in the world, he went on a developing countries tour to investigate how governments and energy companies could leverage exponential technologies to tackle grand challenges in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Fang Yuan is a Director at Comet Labs, a VC fund and incubator specializing in early-stage AI and robotics investments with a focus on AI applied to specific industry verticals such as healthcare, transportation, agriculture, retail, etc. She is currently leading a special project at Comet Labs focusing on AI for social good. Previously, Fang worked in business operations for two fast growing startups, and prior to that was a general management consultant with years of experience working in emerging markets such as Brazil, Mexico, India, Nigeria, etc. She is a graduate of Harvard College.
Kenny Chen is the Program Director of Ascender, a Pittsburgh-based startup incubator that also produces the annual Thrival Innovation + Music Festival. Kenny focuses on curating innovative programs and building relationships locally, nationally and globally. He also hosts startup competitions and speaks at conferences around the US. Kenny's career interests in cross-sector collaboration have led him to work in education, behavioral research, federal government, local government, nonprofits, foundations, economic development, and entrepreneurship. He was raised in Las Vegas, NV, graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Social Psychology, and worked in Washington DC, San Francisco, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Guangzhou prior to moving to Pittsburgh.
Stephen Ibaraki has received numerous lifetime achievement awards and recognitions for innovation and held more than 100 executive roles in the technology field. A few of Stephen Ibaraki’s positions include: chairing as social entrepreneur and futurist digital financial services and artificial intelligence events at the flagship UN ITU World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly, UN ITU Telecom World, and UN ITU Kaleidoscope; co-chair Practitioner Board Association for Computing Machinery; founding chair Global Industry Council and vice-chair board IP3 International Federation for Information Processing and founding managing partner REDDS Venture Investment Partners.
Hamet Watt is a Venture Partner at Upfront Ventures. He is also co-founder and Chairman of bLife, a wellness innovation company, and co-founder and Chairman of MoviePass. Previously, Hamet was an entrepreneur-in-residence at True Ventures and a General Partner in the New Africa Opportunity Fund, a $120 million venture capital fund, which was the first US-backed venture fund investing in post-apartheid South Africa. Hamet has received numerous awards for technology innovation and entrepreneurship including a “Top 10 Black Innovators Award” and was named by Business Insider Magazine one of 2014’s “46 Most Important African-Americans in Technology.”
Kristian Hammond is the Chief Scientist and co-founder of Narrative Science and a professor of Computer Science and Journalism at Northwestern University. At Narrative Science, Kris’ main priority is future of Advanced NLG, the democratization of data through automatic language generation and the challenges and opportunities of interfacing with machine through language. Prior to moving to Northwestern, Kris founded the University of Chicago’s Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. His research has always been focused on artificial intelligence, machine-generated content and context-driven information systems.
Naresh Soni is a technology industry veteran most recently involved in the development of Enterprise Immersive applications using AR/VR, artificial intelligence and predictive analytics using machine learning with applications in industrial, entertainment and healthcare sectors and in developing human-centric computing. He has also developed rich-media software for mobile uses and hold several issued and pending patents in the field of computing, wireless and video compression technologies. He has held executive positions at blue chip companies, such as Interdigital, Nokia and STMicroelectronics and technical positions at IBM and AT&T Bell Labs.
Mohamed Alkady is the president of Hart, a medical software technology company in Orange County empowering people to easily access and engage with their health. He and his business partner founded Hart in 2012 after identifying a critical need for improvements in the flow of patient data within and across multiple health networks. Today Alkady’s world-class team at Hart develops products and services to help clients stay on the cutting edge of technology. Under his guidance, Hart is fulfilling a vision of an industry that can better serve patients by maximizing, rather than resisting, the perpetual changes and transformations so inherent to it.
Jessica Brillhart is the principal filmmaker for VR at Google. Since directing, WORLD TOUR – the first VR film made with the Jump ecosystem – Brillhart has continued traveling the world, filming and experimenting, all in an effort to better understand and help inform others about this emergent medium.
Hilary Mason is Founder and CEO of Fast Forward Labs, a machine intelligence research company, where she leads a team of applied researchers advising Fortune 500 executives, governments, and startups. She's also the Data Scientist in Residence at Accel Partners, a silicon valley venture capital firm. Previously, Hilary was Chief Scientist at bitly. She co-hosts a DataGotham, a conference for New York's home grown data community, and co-founded HackNY, a non-profit that helps engineering students find opportunities in New York's creative technical economy. She’s on the board of the Anita Borg Institute and an advisor to startups including Sparkfun Electronics, Wildcard, and Wonder. Hilary served on Mayor Bloomberg’s Technology Advisory Board, and is a member of Brooklyn hacker collective NYC Resistor.
Mark Schelbert is the CEO of Gracelock Industries an international e-commerce business in recreational boating, power sports, and home décor. Mr. Schelbert is also the Managing Partner of Shackleton Equity Partners, a special-situations private equity investment firm that has focused on virtual reality technologies, aerospace and electronic component manufacturing. Prior to Shackleton, he worked at Chanin Capital Partners, a leading investment bank specializing in debt restructurings. Mr. Schelbert graduated with a Master’s in Business Administration from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara.