Garnet S.Heraman, managing Partner
Garnet is an investor and influencer with 25 years experience in innovation, strategy and new ventures. His current roles include: General Partner of the Futures NYC innovation fund, Investor in Residence at the HVAMC 3D Printing Innovation Lab and board director or advisor to numerous technology startups. Previously, he was a founding partner at Aegis Investment Partners, which provides mezzanine capital for corporate ventures. His resource nexus spans NYC, Denver, St. Louis, Silicon Valley, SoCal, Vancouver/Seattle, Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore.
James A. Kern
James A. Kern is an Experientialist. He is the Founder and Creative Practice Leader of EXPERIENTIALISM, a brand experience innovation firm that leverages Story, Design and Technology to engineer trust in target audiences and create business value for clients. James’ specialty is helping brands develop, define and deliver unique relevance to their markets - driving demand and desire for their products and services while increasing social currency for both the brands and their advocates. James infuses his background in social psychology and media studies with a passion for Experiential Innovation.
The go-to for global agencies and companies, James built his career as an award-winning Experiential Creative Director for Fortune 100 companies. As a culture connector he is an expert at creating influential, engaging experiences for B2B and B2C audiences in IoT, SaaS / Cloud, Automotive, Mobile & Consumer Electronics, Luxury Lifestyle, Entertainment and Sports.
Wallace Patterson is an experienced and driven sales leader with a deep knowledge of 3D printing and faith in the transformative power of 3D design and additive manufacturing. The first salesperson ever hired at MakerBot, Patterson rose to be to its inside sales manager, then global director of enterprise sales, and established the Innovation Center solution - a scalable network of desktop 3D printers combined with software, supplies, training, and support.
Deirdra A. O’Gorman,
Ms. O’Gorman has over 22 years of experience as a senior financial services executive. She has held multiple C-level positions at national institutions, such as Bellco Credit Union and First National Bank of Colorado, with aggregate assets totaling over $20 billion. Most recently she was the President/CEO of The Fourth Corner Credit Union, a financial institution chartered to serve the cannabis and hemp industries. Over the last 4 years, Ms. O’Gorman has been asked to provide thought-leadership around banking compliance. She has given numerous speeches and consults nationwide on these topics, helping entities such as financial institutions and regulatory agencies, better understand these markets. Ms. O'Gorman was selected by the Governor of Colorado to be a part of the Biennial of the Americas Drug Policy, an international think-tank. She also has worked with the Clinton Global Foundation to create financial literacy programs for underserved populations. Ms. O’Gorman also enjoys volunteering her time at many local non-profits.
Rahul Mehta is a corporate development executive at Arconic (NYSE: ARNC). Prior to that he held senior investment banking positions at both Barclays and Lehman Brothers, amassing more than 18 years of experience in M&A, capital markets and corporate finance. He has advised some of the world's most sophisticated companies on deals worth $40+ billion during his decade long career on Wall Street. Rahul focuses on high growth areas at the intersection of industry and technology, with expertise in strategy, process management and negotiation.
Mike Lightman is an experienced international entrepreneur. After completing his MBA, Mike worked with at Excell Partners, a smaller hardware focused VC in New York that invests in pre-seed and seed deals. Mike had the traditional associate role, conducting diligence and finding new deals. Over time he took on a more senior position and led diligence teams for multiple deals.
Mike joined the World Bank in November, 2015. His roles normally involve assessing and redesigning startup support programs, preparing startups for investment, and liaising directly with investors.
In his free time Mike is a part time EIR with Hax, the world’s first and largest hardware accelerator. He mentors companies at Urban-X (a smart city accelerator in NYC) and 1776 (a global incubator). Mike has been on the selection committee of SXSW Eco, is a founding board member of CENTCOM New York tech scout week (where US Central Command meets with technology startups), and is generally mentoring a few startups at any given time.
Lane Jost is currently the Director of Philanthropy at Santander US, where he leads the Bank's $10M annual grants portfolio that includes impact investing in economic development, affordable housing and financial education across Santander'sNortheastern US footprint. He joined the Bank in 2017 from PwC where he had previously spent six years in various corporate sustainability and impact investing roles at both the firm and the PwC Charitable Foundation. He has been involved in a number or projects, as an investor and as a buyer, that have involved early stage startups combining the use of tech as a means to help disrupt the philanthropic world through mission driven, yet for profit models. He regularly advises start ups on client acquisition strategies and has served as a mentor to a myriad of early stage firms. Prior to working in the corporate world, Lane was an entrepreneur and a marketing/PR professional. He has a Master's in International Development Economics from UC San Diego and a Bachelor's in International Studies from Kenyon College.
Jonathan Vivar is a seasoned technology executive, investor, consultant and advisor with 25 years of experience in sales, delivery, business & digital strategy and M&A. Currently, he is a Senior Vice President/ Head of New Business & Logo Sales at Xerox Corporation. Additionally, Jon is an Angel Investor with Charleston Angel Partners and has invested in several successful startups including: Dynepic, Engage Talent, Terrastride and Baebies. He sits on the Board of Advisors for Dynepic and Engage Talent and sits on the Board of Trustees for Oaks Integrated Care, a $125M healthcare provider. Previously, he was an executive with IBM, HP and Oracle where he had various leadership roles in sales, delivery and marketing. He is a graduate of the EDP at Wharton School of Business and attended Temple University for his MBA and the George Washington University for his BBA
James Piacentino is a two-time startup builder and currently a Corporate Strategist within SAP SE’s Global Office of the CEO. With eight years of startup experience and nine years of corporate experience, James has worked with Fortune 100 Corporations, Startups, Incubators and Ventures (career spanning) to drive product incubation through market delivery resulting in startup exits, corporate re-invention and global deal flow. An avid public speaker and blogger, quoted in Forbes and Harvard Business Review. Most recently, our family co-founded a non-profit foundation to drive support for research pertaining to children with pediatric heart defects.
Valerie Toscano is a proven leader and advisor with over 20 years of experience in service delivery, marketing and product development. Prior to her venture into consulting she held leadership positions at JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup and Merrill Lynch where she led multi-disciplined teams through complex technology implementations, e-commerce product development initiatives and change management efforts. She now brings her big corporate expertise to the start up ecosystem applying her strategic planning, process improvement and program management expertise to help businesses in need accelerate scale and effectively meet their business goals.