2016 Entrepreneurship Forum Panelists

Breakout Session Title Meet our panelists  
Getting Your Venture Funded

Elizabeth Galbut is the Founding Partner of two start-up venture capital firms, SoGal Ventures and A-Level Capital, which collectively have invested in 18 startups this year. During Elizabeth's graduate studies at Johns Hopkins University & Maryland Institute College of Art, she consulted with hundreds of start-ups and identified the lack of pre-seed funding as the major issue preventing these startups from succeeding. To solve this, she created A-Level Capital, the student-led venture capital firm powered by Johns Hopkins students. With her team of 24 student venture capital partners, A-Level Capital aims to invest in 80 JHU student and young alumni startups in the next five years.

Upon finishing grad school, Elizabeth knew the venture capital firm she desired to work for currently did not exist, so she set out to create her own. SoGal Ventures is the first female-led millennial venture capital firm, with an investment focus on exceptional, diverse founding teams that have plans for global domination through tackling major consumer or healthcare problems in the U.S. and Asia. SoGal Ventures represents how far our generation has come, and how deep our impact on the world can be. Elizabeth’s favorite investment area is the intersection of smart design and machine learning/AI fueling major health tech innovation. Her placements include digital pathology standout Proscia, mobile health platform eMocha, smart air detector Birdi, lab research platform Nebulab, smart water bottle HidrateSpark, and mental health app Docz.

Prior to graduate studies, as a Strategy and Operations Consultant at Deloitte Consulting, Elizabeth focused her attention on developing long-term strategy for a variety of large healthcare clients. She contributed to business development efforts leading to over $200M of new work. Elizabeth is a proud alumnus of Georgetown University, London School of Economics, Johns Hopkins University, and Maryland Institute College of Art.

Getting Your Venture Funded Paul Grossinger is a twenty-six year old New York and mid-Atlantic entrepreneur, angel investor, and syndicator. Details for everything can be found on his website www.pgrossinger.com.He is the Founder of Gaingels, the first investment network backing LGBT founders, which has 120 members worldwide and which led or co-led investment of $5m+ in 10 companies in 2015, and Blue Jay, the first investment network backing Johns Hopkins alumni, which led or co-led investment of $3m in 7 companies in 2015. He is also GP of A-Level Capital and of Defiance Capital.

As a private investor, he has backed eight funds, including Brooklyn Bridge, Rothenberg, Co-Venture, and Angelfire, and has made 74 startup investments to date, including standouts Reserve, Epi.ep, Tradeit, and Tinybop. Paul is a senior advisor and investor in early-stage standouts including: Puzzle Social, Mycotechnology, MPowerd, Emocha, and Elemental Path. As an entrepreneur, he is currently Chief Evangelist at Imperative, where he is also the lead investor, and was co-founder at Pervasive Group and L&M Media. 

As a philanthropist, he has served as a Board of Governors member for Startout, advisor to Out in Tech, and Board Member for Marriage Equality USA.He writes regularly for Inc.com and is a graduate of Columbia University’s School of Journalism and the Johns Hopkins University.
Adding C-Level Members to the Team Brian Fruchey career has spanned multiple states and industries.  Currently, he is an analytics lead for Facebook in Menlo Park, CA focusing on HR data structures, reporting, and insights. Before Facebook, he served in the same capacity for eBay and as a Technical Program Manager for an eCommerce start-up company eBay acquired - Magento. Before his Silicon Valley tenure, he was an Executive with Accenture in Washington, DC in the human capital function.  He teaches the GMAT, GRE, and LSAT - helping to develop and write Kaplan's course material for the GMAT and LSAT.  He is a recent addition to the Blue Jay Network and A-Level Capital - both Hopkins-affiliated early stage funding organizations.  In his free time, he can be found presenting at HR conferences on topics of HR analytics and innovation.  Originally from rural Ohio, Brian duel majored in Economics and Russian Linguistics at Ohio University.  At Johns Hopkins, he graduated with his MBA in 2010 and continues to study statistics with Johns Hopkins faculty through Coursera.
Adding C-Level Members to the Team

LouAnn Conner is the Founder and CEO of SagaciousThink, LLC a consulting company focused on business operations in areas such as start up, global growth, M&A and process improvement. SagaciousThink has worked with companies around the globe and in technologies ranging from Clean Tech to Big Data to Cyber Security. Companies are small startups to Fortune 100 such as Cisco, Ebay, and Gap.

LouAnn received her MBA from Johns Hopkins Carey School of Business and she has an Civil Engineering Degree from Iowa State University. She started her career in telecommunication building networks around the world before branching into consulting with the DoD at Booz Allen, she also supported efforts at Nasa and led process improvement, and governance implementation at Pricewaterhouse Coopers. She’s a proud Minnesotan but happy to spend her winters in the Bay Area.

Finding Great Partners

Amy Smith is Co-Founder & CMO of Gado Images, a software and content company that provides innovative technologies and services to digitize, manage, and monetize historical collections, generating revenue for cultural heritage organizations and delivering unique content to creatives worldwide. Gado is currently partnered with institutions including Johns Hopkins University, Getty Images, Internet Archive, the Afro American Newspapers, and Sheet Music Plus. Gado also partners with small institutions and individuals including Stuart Lutz Historic Documents, Laguna College of Art + Design, the Clarence Gatson Collection, and Aalto University.

Amy is also the Principal of Amy Smith Consulting. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Amy helps technology and professional services companies reach their audiences through marketing, public relations, communications, and social media efforts. Amy has a wide range of technology experience in cybersecurity, big data analytics, business process management, biotech and life sciences, edtech, open source, visual content, and digital image processing. Specializing in media relations, Amy has earned coverage for her clients in a variety of national, local, business, tech, and trade publications including Forbes, CIO, Human Resource Executive, Training Magazine, and Los Angeles Times. Amy’s work has involved strategic partnerships with Getty Images, Johns Hopkins University, GlaxoSmithKline, the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and numerous smaller firms. 

Previously, Amy was a Board Member of Women In Consulting, where she served first as Social Media Director, and then as Marketing & PR Director for the organization. Ms. Smith graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Johns Hopkins University with a degree in the History of Science, Medicine & Technology and a minor in Theatre Arts & Studies. 
You can contact Amy at amy@projectgado.org or follow her @amydenisesmith. You can visit Gado Images at http://projectgado.org/. 

Finding Great Partners

Princessa Bourelly is currently a co-founder of SociallyN, established to connect networks mutually interested in helping community members reach the first step on the housing ladder while simultaneously reducing the effects of gentrification on the housing structure in the Bay Area. 

She posses a Masters of Business Administration and is a Johns Hopkins University, Carey Business School alumna and a Georgetown University alumna whose career has spanned the spheres of accounting, business administration, and operations leadership with both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. 

She has over 15 years of strategic planning experience and has technical competence in various areas of finance and leadership. Prior to co-founding SociallyN she worked as an independent consultant where she helped launch more than 10 start-ups embracing numerous financial structures. 

Her work as a business support has generated more than $100 million for triple bottom line efforts. Consulting has taken her across the U.S., to assist numerous organizations and has contributed to more than 100 socially entrepreneurial strategic plans.

Finding Great Partners Eli Solomon is co-founder and CEO of Voga Coffee, which develops Ground Control, the first "batch" coffee brewing technology to be brought to market since drip coffee was introduced in 1954.  Prior to forming Voga, Eli managed the team at Alpha Dominche, designers and builders of automated beverage brewing equipment. Eli played a key role in bringing the Alpha Dominche Steampunk to market.  Winner of the Specialty Coffee Association of America 2012 Award for "Best New Product for Commercial Coffee or Tea Preparation and Serving Equipment," the Steampunk is considered by many coffee experts to be the most advanced single cup brewer on the market today.  Eli has a BA/BS/MA from the Johns Hopkins University, a JD from Harvard Law School, and an MBA from the Wharton School. 
Managing Remote Teams

Luci Gabel holds a Master’s in Business from Johns Hopkins University, a Master’s in Exercise Physiology from the University of Maryland College Park, and a Bachelor’s of Arts in Physical and Psychological health from Binghamton University.  She completed the 4-year Nutrition and Dietetics program at the University of Maryland College Park. She is certified by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) as an Exercise Physiologist and by the American Council on Exercise (ACE) as a Personal Trainer and as a Health Coach.

LuciFit, LLC is a concierge fitness provider, providing health, nutrition, fitness and wellness solutions for customers who prefer premier professionals with experience and expertise. The LuciFit team boasts excellent educational and professional backgrounds, and upholds only the highest standards of professionalism and customer service. Luci and trainers meet clients on location in their places of work, private gyms, and on line via webcam. Since 2010 LuciFit has additionally provided a variety of online courses to lead participants to finding their own healthy balance of nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle and create healthy habits that can last a lifetime.

Managing Remote Teams Jess Ladd is the Founder & CEO of Sexual Health Innovations (SHI), a nonprofit dedicated to creating tech to advance sexual health and wellbeing in the United States. SHI's main initiative is Callisto, an online sexual assault reporting system. She has been honored as a TED Fellow, a Fearless Changemaker by the Case Foundation, and an Emerging Innovator by Ashoka and American Express. Before founding SHI, Jess worked in the White House Office of National AIDS Policy, as a Public Policy Associate at The AIDS Institute, and as a sexual health educator and researcher for a variety of organizations. She also founded The Social Innovation Lab in Baltimore. Jess completed her Masters in Public Health (and part of a PhD in infectious disease epidemiology) at Johns Hopkins and her BA in Public Policy/Human Sexuality at Pomona College. 
Managing Remote Teams Mark Belinsky is an entrepreneur and technologist who has developed projects at the intersection of technology and social good in over 26 countries. Currently he is CEO of Birdi, a company that creates elegant smart devices for the home. Prior to this, he worked as creative technologist constructing privacy and security software with The Guardian Project and building tools aiding international development as CTO of Peter Gabriel's, The Toolbox. He co-founded Digital Democracy and appeared as a guest on Al-Jazeera English, BBC Radio and NPR, testified at US Congress and consulted with numerous heads of state. Mark graduated from The Johns Hopkins University.