San Diego Fellows
Adam Riggs-Zeigen is the Chief Rocker of Rock My World, a digital music service for active people. Prior to Rock My World, he worked at Qualcomm, where he was most recently Senior Manager of Business Development working with brands such as Universal Music Group, Major League Baseball, Fox Television Networks and Disney to adopt Qualcomm technologies. Prior to Qualcomm, Adam founded Fantasy Workz, a company focused on in-venue entertainment using tablet computers, Inamed, a medical device company and was an touring club DJ playing both nationally and internationally. He specializes in the world of mobile and web technologies - both from a technical and industry perspective. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from UC Santa Barbara and an MBA with emphasis in eCommerce and Entrepreneurship from San Diego State University. He is a fan of all things sports and never misses a Miami Dolphins game, no matter how awful they are. Adam is passionate about utilizing the emotional effects of music to inspire, excite, console, enrage and drive people to accomplish their goals. He is 2012 Fellow in the Startup Leadership Program in San Diego.
Ben Connealy is an enthusiastic and adaptable leader with a decade of diverse project management experience. The Founder and President of Connealy Insurance Agencies, he successfully markets and sells a commodity loathed by literally everyone. Ben uses his expert analytical skills to strategically plan marketing, streamline business efficiency, and improve client satisfaction. Ben holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Nebraska, and is relentlessly charming and cripplingly attractive. Ben is passionate about making complex information meaningful and useful to people everywhere, and is proud to be a 2013 Fellow in the Startup Leadership Program of San Diego.
Brad Pruitt is the founder and CEO of nPruv, a patient recruitment startup using health IT + social media intelligence to facilitate patients in finding, matching and sharing clinical trial opportunities with their friends and family. Brad is an entrepreneurial, innovative and pragmatic thinker in every aspect of his life. He is an energetic public speaker, a published author in academic and business journals and has one patent pending. Pruitt is the President & Managing Director of Prucor, a healthcare consulting and market research firm. He has worked with McKesson, EndoStim, Sotera Wireless and other health technology companies. Pruitt was the recipient of the Rady Fellowship Award and the Latham & Watkins-Wolfe Family Fellowship in both 2010/11 and 2009/10 and he placed 1st in the High-Tech/IT track and 4th overall in the 2011 UC-San Diego Entrepreneur Challenge $100,000 Business Plan Pitch Competition while at the Rady School of Management. Pruitt holds a medical degree from Michigan State University and an MBA from the University of California, San Diego. Brad takes advantage of water in all states and appreciates 90-minutes of vacation each day. Pruitt is passionate about personalized and patient-centric healthcare services derived from disruptive technologies, platforms, and applications that pull healthcare toward a globally connected ecosystem. He is 2013 Fellow in the Startup Leadership Program in San Diego.
Brina is an experienced business leader with solid experience solving complex issues and strategically growing a brand. Brina has been serving as CEO of The Younique Boutique, inc. for over a decade. Her passion for art and design coupled with a love of technology made an ecommerce gift boutique the perfect fit for her diverse skill set. Prior to founding The Younique Boutique, she worked as a software interface designer for Shea Homes, Franchise.com and iVillage. Brina's current company is a consumer web startup called StokeBox where members trade up boxes of their best, gently used and outgrown stuff. StokeBox won 3rd Place at Startup Weekend San Diego 2012. As a mom of two kids, she is passionate about helping families use their outgrown stuff as collateral towards the things they need. Brina holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from San Diego State, University. She is a 2013 Fellow in the Startup Leadership Program in San Diego.
Byron Chen is an experienced leader of organizations in high stress, high tempo environments. He is currently a Company Commander at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, where he leads Drill Instructors in training civilian recruits to become Marines. Byron has been serving this country as an officer in the Marine Corps for the last five years, which included a deployment to Iraq in 2009. He has been awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal and Commendation Medal for his leadership of various organizations. He holds a degree in Ocean Engineering from the United States Naval Academy. Byron's passion has always been to serve those in need, and his next goal is to channel his experience and vision to leading entrepreneurial pursuits with socially conscious objectives. He is a 2012 Fellow in the Startup Leadership Program.
Courtney Titus is the Co-Founder & CMO of GIViNGtrax, a multi-user marketplace that empowers local communities in ways never before possible and provides the handshake between the members of a community who make a good cause a great success! We provide web-based & mobile-based tools for managing donations, fundraising, and GIViNG. In a way, we play "matchmaker" to local businesses, nonprofits, and individuals who otherwise may have never met. Prior to GIViNGtrax, she spent the last several years in Internet & Social Media Marketing. The last 4 years of her career were spent in the automotive industry where she led marketing operations for 7 dealerships of various brands. Courtney's well diversified experience includes launching several websites, installing CRM platforms, media buying, and internet & social marketing. Courtney has a passion for philanthropy & cause marketing and specializes in creating engaging campaigns that bring consumers, nonprofits, and businesses together! She graduated from Santa Clara University in 2007 with a BS in Marketing and is a 2012 Fellow in the Startup Leadership Program in San Diego.
Dave Hawkins is CEO & Founder of BioQuan Inc., a digital concierge for mHealth. With 14 years of business development and sales experience, he has successfully introduced emerging technologies and products to the market, mostly in early stage software, Internet and FDA cleared medical device ventures. As VP of Business Development & COO, Co-Founder of NuFACE, Dave was involved in growing the company to one of the leading FDA cleared at-home use aesthetic device companies. NuFACE is a nationally recognized brand, with international expansion rollout plans, that quickly gained attention by beauty consumers, dermatologic professionals, blue-chip multi-nationals, major media outlets, and major retailers including QVC’s “hi tech beauty” merchandising category. Its first device, garnered 2009 and 2010 QVC customer nomination for “best beauty tool” and its next generation device NuFACE-Trinity, as a 2012 QVC customer nomination for not only “best beauty tool” but also “breakthrough beauty product of the year” among others. Dave has earned Chairman’s Club and President’s Club sales awards earlier in his technology career, including a top revenue generator worldwide for a $500M company operating in over 20 countries. He holds a BA in Economics from the University of Arizona, is a native S. Californian and truly believes San Diego is “America’s Finest City”. Dave is a 2013 Fellow in the Startup Leadership Program.
David Lee is the CEO/founder of GP International, a mobile health & wellness company empowering users to improve their health with apps like Period Tracker for iOS, Android and WindowsPhone. Prior to GP International, David worked at a non-profit where he was the founder. He holds a degree in Political Economy from UC Berkeley. He's an avid learner of strategy, marketing, UX and innovation and is passionate about solving the problem of sickness and suffering. He is a 2013 Fellow in the Startup Leadership Program in San Diego.
Elizabeth Seckel is the founder and CEO of Neurotherapy International, a nonprofit organization that uses nothing more than a mirror to eliminate once thought of as intractable pain. Prior to Neurotherapy International, Elizabeth worked as a scientific consultant at the neuroengineering company Emotiv, which holds the proprietary patents on a nascent technology for an inexpensive and reliable EEG neuroheadset with potential to revolutionize the way researchers obtain EEG data. Her work focused on the development of medical applications for the neuroheadset, which awarded her a nomination to the Young Global Shapers community for the World Economic Forum, Davos. Elizabeth’s background is in behavioral neuroscience research and her work has received recognition from President Bill Clinton and been featured in the popular press on the Discovery Channel, in New Scientist, Sunday Times Magazine, and Scientific American Mind. She holds a degree in physiology and neuroscience. Her journey has taken her from digging up dinosaur fossils under the brutal Montana sun with paleontologist Jack Horner, to working with the creative force of English musician Dave Stewart (of the Eurythmics), to flying in zero gravity alongside physicist Stephen Hawking. Elizabeth is a 2013 Fellow in the Startup Leadership Program (San Diego).
Grant Fraley is CTO of TerraPan Labs, a geospatial web startup developing the “pan.io” spatial data synchronization and hosting platform that will accelerate the transition of the geographic information system market to cloud computing. Prior to TerraPan Labs, Grant received his Master’s of Science in Geographic Information Science at San Diego State University, where he specialized in modeling with genetic algorithms for spatial models of natural hazard scenarios, particularly large scale evacuation. He led a group of student volunteers to produce online maps during the 2007 wildfire storm in San Diego and received cooperation from Google, KPBS news, and the San Diego County Emergency Operations Center. While at San Diego State University, Grant met the co-founders of TerraPan Labs and developed a drone (unmanned aircraft) for aerial mapping, which was taken to market with operational users in Europe and the United States. He is an expert in the design and application of geographic information systems and avid developer and systems architect with experience in a variety of programming languages. Grant is an evangelist for craft beer and founded a microbrewery, ChuckAlek Independent Brewers, in Ramona, CA. Grant is passionate about solving the challenge of “Big Data” in geographic information systems. He is a 2013 Fellow in the Startup Leadership Program in San Diego.
Juliet Oberding is the Co-Founder of Predictably Well, a mobile health startup applying technologies like big data analytics and machine learning to health problems. Her team won the 2012 San Diego Apps Challenge Popular Choice Grand Prize for the Good Days mobile health app helping people with immune conditions forecast their wellness. She considers herself an empowered patient having lived with an immune condition, Rheumatoid Arthritis, since 2008. Juliet's health challenges inspired the creation of Predictably Well. Prior to Predictably Well, she founded Oberding Law, a law practice focused on business and intellectual property. Juliet is an expert in intellectual property and internet law. She has co-authored and published several peer reviewed articles including "Designing a Web of Intellectual Property". Juliet holds a Bachelors of Arts in International Relations and a Juris Doctor degree from McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific. She is passionate about empowering patients through personalized, predictive and participatory medicine. Juliet is 2013 Fellow in the Startup Leadership Program in San Diego.
Michael Brown is the founder and CEO of EvenBetterHalf, an online/mobile application that offers couples a competitive, but lighthearted, means for exposing all that they do for each other by gamifying their daily contributions to the relationship. While getting EvenBetterHalf off the ground, Michael works at Digitaria, where he is the Vice President of Media & Entertainment, running strategy, account management and business development for Digitaria's large portfolio of entertainment clients, including Disney, NBC, FOX and more. Prior to Digitaria, he worked as the Director of Production, Digital Media for the Bravo Network, where he managed the launch and day-to-day operations for some of Bravo’s biggest web properties, including; Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, Project Runway, Top Chef and the Real Housewives of Orange County. Michael holds a degree in Communication with an emphasis in Advertising. He has a deep love for technology, indie music and mid-century modern architecture. Michael is passionate about utilizing technology to make peoples’ lives easier and more fulfilling. He is 2012 Fellow in the Startup Leadership Program in San Diego.
Misha Erekhinsky is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Physics at UCSD. His research topic is spin transport and magnetism in nano-structures. He received his M.S. degree in applied physics and math from Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology in 2005. Prior to that he had rigorous scientific training and was a winner of Physics Olympiad in his district. Misha joined the UCSD Entrepreneur Challenge in 2011 where he served in a role of a marketing director. He is passionate about the idea of combining technology and nature and the process of making technological advancements more available to a large spectrum of people with the idea of improving everyday lives. Misha is 2012 Fellow in the Startup Leadership Program in San Diego and looks forward to getting to know all the inspiring bright individuals in this program and learning about the process of creating a business.
Miranda Toledo is the Founder of LifeTree, which provides a community-centric environment for young children and adults where healthy food options and lifestyle choices help lay the foundation for a happy, holistic life. While getting LifeTree off the ground, Miranda makes a difference in the medical device industry where she has worked for several companies ranging from small start-up’s to large corporations such as Cardinal Health, Inc. and CareFusion. She currently works in Marketing at MEPS Real-Time, Inc. which provides a cutting-edge RFID solution for hospitals to manage high-value, critical-dose medication dispensing and delivery to patients. She received her BS degree in Journalism and minor in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from San Diego State University and M. Ed from Point Loma Nazarene University. Miranda is a devoted runner, reader and traveler. She is passionate about inspiring the next generation by volunteering to make a brighter future for the local community. Her hope is to see many generations of vibrant, social-minded businesses and consumers. Her volunteer work has been formally recognized by the cities of Del Mar, Encinitas and San Dieguito as well as the County of San Diego. She is honored to be a 2013 Fellow in the Startup Leadership Program located in San Diego, CA.
Nate Ritter is the co-founder of Perfect Space, Inc., creator of PingBid*, an innovative and transparent platform for the financial lead generation sector aimed at reducing fraud while increasing revenue for lenders and marketers alike. Prior to Perfect Space, he worked at Eventful, Inc., where he refactored the entire front-end codebase for the world’s largest events and venues database. Nate’s web development clients have included Land Rover, Microsoft and Activision/Blizzard. He is an expert in creating scalable web applications using the LAMP stack. Nate was was the first to create keyword filtered RSS feeds, popularized the “hashtag” using Twitter during the 2007 San Diego fires, and has been written about in numerous books and publications including the Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, Wired Magazine, Mashable, and NPR. He holds a degree in Management Information Systems. He is a fan of the microfinance movement, all things related to business strategy, and the Firefly TV series (secretly wishing to become Malcom Reynolds when space cowboys exist). Nate is passionate about solving the problem of banking impoverished, unbankable entrepreneurs. He is 2012 Fellow in the Startup Leadership Program in San Diego.
Nicole Truitt enjoys technology, art, startups, the outdoors, her community and family. Nikki is the co-founder and co-inventor of Code Fluidics, which develops smart materials capable of changing the look and feel of consumer products in real time through the use of microfluidics. As VP of R&D at Agile Nano, she developed nanoliquid shock absorbers embedded in shoes and sporting goods. She has held Research Scientist positions at 3M and Caltech, and is the holder of multiple Patents licensed by GE, Rhevision, Lubris, and Code Fluidics. Nikki co-founded and lead the UCSD Entrepreneur Challenge, a business plan competition focused on building a community of innovators and entrepreneurs in San Diego. She is an accomplished artist, with past exhibitions in Minneapolis, Boston and DC. Nikki studied mathematics and science at the University of Minnesota from 7th-12th grade; holds an S.B. in Materials Science & Engineering from MIT where she ran Varsity Track, was a Navy ROTC scholar and developed microfluidic lab-on-a-chip systems, smart materials, and submarine technologies; and holds an M.S. and C.Phil in Materials Science & Engineering from UC San Diego where continued work on microfluidics and nanocomputing as a Calit2 fellow and active member of the community.
Prince Gupta is an experienced technologist, with a passion to create innovative products and services. Prince’s expertise lies in breaking up complex problems into solvable forms. Prince is a research engineer at Qualcomm Research, designing and implementing Augmented Reality software on mobile phones. He has several years of experience developing Android applications, and has lead teams of 4-5 engineers in app development projects. Prince has created successful seed funded projects in Intra-preneurship competitions. He also likes to participate in and organize Hackathons. Prince holds a B. Tech. in Computer Science from U.P. Tech. University, India, and M.S. in Computer Science from University of Central Florida. Prince holds several patents and publications in IEEE conferences and international Journals. He is a 2013 Fellow in the Startup Leadership Program in San Diego.
Ray Chan is passionate about technology, the entrepreneurship essential for launching ventures, and the capital markets required to resource cutting edge innovation. He is a leader in the medical device industry, directing technology R&D and strategy for Philips Healthcare Imaging Systems. Ray operates at the confluence of academia, startups, large corporations, and Wall Street to realize his vision of rapid innovation cycles which bring compelling products to market. He is a propeller-head at heart with a love for life-long learning that has led to a BSc in Biomedical Engineering from the Johns Hopkins University, an MSc in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT, and a PhD from the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology. Ray is an avid investor and inventor on 50 patents filed or in process. He has used his interest in entrepreneurship to co-found a quantitative finance startup in New York and a mobile computing incubator spanning California and Singapore. In his spare time, Ray juggles his 20-year karate addiction with his wife and family of 3 budding entrepreneurs. He is a 2013 Fellow in the Startup Leadership Program of San Diego.
Renee Zau is Co-Founder of DonationMatch, an online marketplace connecting companies and nonprofits to get donated goods in front of customers at charitable fundraising events. Prior to DonationMatch, she was a fitness center owner and franchisee of Curves International, where she opened three clubs in four years, mentored over 60 other club openings worldwide, and founded the first regional marketing co-op in the company. Renee also chairs a nonprofit and manages several silent auctions each year. She is an expert in charitable marketing, fundraising event planning, and franchisee co-op marketing. Renee Zau was a finalist for the Business Women’s Mega Mixer Entrepreneur Award, San Diego, in 2012. She holds a degree in Bioengineering from UCSD and skates for San Diego Roller Derby. Renee is passionate about helping nonprofits run more efficiently and effectively with a business mindset and helping organizations and companies mutually benefit through win-win solutions. She is a 2013 Fellow in the Startup Leadership Program in San Diego.
Russell McLoughlin is Co-Founder and CTO of Dealstruck, a online lending platform for small and medium-size businesses. Prior to founding Dealstruck, Russell worked as a Computer Scientist at the Biodefense Knowledge Center at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory where he applied his expertise in machine learning and large scale knowledge discovery to problems related to biodefense. Prior to Livermore, Russell toured high tech, working at Google, Apple and a number of other technology companies. At Google, he worked as part of the Machine Translation group and while at Apple he created rich client-side web applications. Russell earned both his M.S. and B.S. in Computer Science from the University of California at Santa Barbara. He is 2012 Fellow in the Startup Leadership Program in San Diego.
Shelly Bowen is the founder and principal of Pybop, a web content strategy consultancy, and Red Piggy Press, a children’s book app publisher. Before starting her own business in 2008, she was VP of content at RealAge, a health media company, and principal web editor at Intuit overseeing all web content for TurboTax. Shelly launched her career in children's book publishing at the award-winning publisher Harcourt Brace. Then she followed her heart to the online world, where she has worked in executive positions producing and directing digital experiences for more than 12 years. Recently she has spoken on her content strategy approach at the 2nd annual content strategy conference in MN, Confab, and at the Ad Club’s Interactive Day. She’s also been nominated as Woman of the Year 2011 and 2012 by San Diego Magazine and for the NAWBO BRAVO Award as a Trailblazer in her industry. Shelly earned her BA degree in English and MFA in Creative Writing from San Diego State University, California. She is passionate about helping kids become independent, creative problem solvers and furthering the advancement of education for primary grades as a whole.
Steve Suhrheinrich is Co-Founder of Curvo Labs, an analytics platform that brings winning business opportunities to hospitals and medical device companies in the $150 billion healthcare supply chain. He currently works at Aol where he directs the southern California sales division. Steve has also worked at an online media start-up, an investment fund investing in early stage companies and as an officer in the US Navy. He is an expert in leadership, operations and business development. Steve holds a degree in mathematics and engineering science from Vanderbilt University and a MBA from San Diego State University. Steve is passionate about taking cost out of healthcare through innovative technologies and efficiencies. He is 2012 Fellow in the Startup Leadership Program in San Diego.
Susan Lee is one of the co-founders of GP International, a mobile health company whose goal is to empower people to take their health into their own hands through apps like Period Tracker, a women's health and fertility app on iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone. Prior to GP International, she worked at a nonprofit working with people from underprivileged countries and as an middle school teacher. She holds a degree in English Literature from UC Berkeley and an MA in Education from Biola University. She is 2013 Fellow in the Startup Leadership Program in San Diego.
Thanasi Glavas is a graduate of the University of Maryland with B.A. in Sociology, he is motivated by a passion for understanding and improving the human experience. He is currently the Business Development Manager at the World Resources SimCenter, a facility dedicated to sustainability and conscious decision making. In a recent past position as a Sales Manager with Source Media (American Banker, Bond Buyer) for the conference and event division in New York City, he gained insight and experience dealing with C level clients and providing solutions for fortune 100 companies. Upon relocating to San Diego he has been spearheading the development of the TEDxAmericasFinestCity community which brings people together from various communities and subgroups to examine advancements in technology, entertainment and design while bridging the gap of societal differences. Thanasi has also consulted for various start-up businesses in the technology (GreenRope) and social media space (Saambaa) since moving to San Diego. He believes the sustainable development and advancement of society is within our reach and will be achieved through the development of social enterprises that embrace a triple bottom line of; people, planet and profit.
William Ellerman has worked on internet marketing and web development campaigns for top .coms, fortune 500 companies and newly founded start ups. With a thorough understanding of front end and back end code, conversion optimization, website strategy, branding, and design and the ability to grow website traffic through SEO, PPC, media acquisition, social media, viral marketing, content marketing, email marketing and traffic hacking, William has played an integral role in businesses at all stages. With a degree in business administration and additional education in programming, frameworks, professional writing, web design, image editing, video editing, algorithms and cutting edge internet technology the only thing William can’t do well is sleep.
- June 1 - July 15: Admissions Round 1
- July 31 - Round 1 Decisions
- July 16 - August 1: Admissions Round 2
- August 15 - Round 2 Decisions