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John Absmeier is Chief Technology Officer of Lear Corporation and leads all aspects of the company's technology and innovation efforts.
Mr. Absmeier has outstanding academic credentials and deep automotive technology, engineering and business experience. Most recently, he was responsible for the ADAS/Autonomous business unit as Senior Vice President and General Manager at Harman International, and the Vice President of Smart Machines at Samsung Electronics, where he led the acquisition of Harman by Samsung. He joined Samsung in 2015 from Delphi, where he had a 19-year career and held job roles such as Founder and Managing Director of Delphi Labs @ Silicon Valley and Autonomous Driving, as well as Business Director for Electronic Controls and Electrification in Asia-Pacific.
Mr. Absmeier also held several roles of increasing responsibility at Delphi in the areas of Hybrid and Electric vehicles, Fuel Cells and Telematics. He joined Delphi after serving in the U.S. Marine Corps and earning a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University. John also has a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering and a Master in Management Technology from the University of California at Berkeley.
Neil Ackerman, MBA, MS, and PMP, is the Head, Advanced Technologies, Global Supply Chain, Middle East and Africa for Johnson and Johnson across Pharmaceuticals, Medical Devices and Consumer Products. Currently in a Global Expatriate leadership assignment that is based in Israel. In this leadership position in the Middle East and Africa, Neil is leading a global team while creating the holistic eco-system focused on collaborative partnerships in support of broad innovation for the global supply chain. Recently, Neil, an industry expert on Fulfillment and Marketplaces, is featured in a best-selling book, Always Day One, focused on Technology Titans and making history at Amazon.
Prior to this role, Neil was the Senior Director, Global Supply Chain Enterprise Plan and Innovation at Johnson and Johnson. This includes expertise on Machine Learning and Cognitive Automation. Neil held various positions at Amazon.com, including Strategy Head for Fulfillment by Amazon and the General Manager and Inventor of the Amazon Small and Light global program. In addition, Neil was the Global Director of Integrated Supply Chain, eCommerce and technology innovation at Mondelez International. In this role, Neil was recognized in global publications for inventing the Direct to Consumer Supply Chain Models. Neil is an expert on eCommerce and supply chain and is published, given multiple keynotes globally on the eCommerce Flywheel and its impact on the supply chain.
Neil holds 8 US patents and is quoted, interviewed and written about in WSJ, Bloomberg, Inc., Forbes, Business Week, CNBC and numerous international publications. Neil is a winner of numerous leadership awards including the prestigious Amazon.com “Just Do It” Award and is a Distinguished Visitor for the US Navy. Currently, Neil sits on various Board of Directors including Solstice (a 400+ retail store premium sunglass corporation) and multiple start-ups globally including Flexe, Project Verte, and OneRail. He is a graduate of University of Richmond, UVA and MIT, and he holds a PMP, MBA and MS. He is active contributor to academic networks at MIT and UVA. Neil is married for many years with 3 children and a goofy dog!
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Irene Arias Hofman is the CEO of IDB Lab, the innovation laboratory of the Inter-American Development Bank Group, the leading source of development finance for Latin America and the Caribbean. The purpose of IDB Lab is to drive innovation for inclusion by supporting early-stage entrepreneurial solutions capable of transforming the lives of vulnerable populations.
Previously, Irene worked for 20 years at the IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, where she managed the Financial Institutions Group and also the LAC region with its 16-billion-dollar portfolio. Her focus has been on innovation and technology, venture capital, and organizational development.
Markus Bechmann combines technical expertise with business acumen. After more than 10 years’ experience in management consulting for global utility companies, he combined his technical and business skills to build up the SAP Business Transformation Service team for the Utilities industry. Since 2012, he has been in a global leadership role in the SAP Industry Business Unit for Utilities. As Global VP for Innovation and New Business Models, he is advising international utilities companies how to make use of intelligent technologies to be successful in both traditional and innovative business models.
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Pavel Cyrani serves as a Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Commercial and Strategy Officer of the CEZ Group, an integrated energy conglomerate with operations in Western, Central, and Southeastern European countries. Prior to joining the CEZ Group more than 14 years ago, Pavel spent 7 years at McKinsey working on a number of complex projects in various segments.
He holds a Master’s Degree in International trade, University of Economics in Prague, Czech Republic and MBA in Finance at Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, USA.
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Yinnon Dolev is the CEO of Sompo’s Digital Lab in Tel Aviv. His group is responsible for partnering and investing in innovative startups in areas such as Insurtech, Digital Health, Smart mobility, Cyber security and more. Prior to that, he founded and managed the startups partnerships program by General Electric (GE) Digital in Israel, the first of its kind dedicated to the industrial internet. In this role Yinnon was responsible for creating partnerships with 26 Israeli software companies, 3 capital investments and the acquisition of IQP, a Japanese-Israeli startup. Yinnon spent 13 years at GE, where he was a graduate of the Experienced Commercial Leadership Program and held various management positions in strategic marketing, product management & business development in the US and in Israel. Prior to joining GE Yinnon was a software engineer and he is also a retired Major in the Israeli Defense Forces. Yinnon holds a BA in Computer Science from the Interdisciplinary Center in Israel an MBA from Cornell University.
Yuval Engelstein is the Industry 4.0 sector lead and research analyst at Start-Up Nation Central, responsible for researching Israeli innovation and world market activity relating to the strategic development of the Industry 4.0 and Smart Mobility industries. In close and continuous contact with innovators and entrepreneurs of these industries, Mr. Engelstein supplies the organization with knowledge and insights regarding both the technologies and the corporate or socio-economic challenges they could help to alleviate. Previously, Mr. Engelstein served as an analyst in the Research Divisions of the Central Bank of Israel, and of the Ministry of Transport. He holds a Master’s Degree in Financial Economics and a BA in Philosophy, Political Science and Economy, both from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Construction has been in Zachi’s blood before being born growing up in an engineering family, and building upon this is 20+ years of experience in the industry. Hands on experience ranging from being a licensed civil engineering, to overseeing construction software sales, to being a head of his time in developing parking algorithems, and over the past several years making Tel-Aviv the epicenter of Construction Technology with ConTech.
Zachi holds a B.S in Civil engineering from the Technion (Haifa) and M.S in Geography (GIS program) from TAU (Tel Aviv University)
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Adrian is an experienced founder, operator, engineer and investor in the industrial technology sector. He is a Managing Director at Mercury and leads the Intelligent Manufacturing practice at Mercury Fund. Mercury Fund is an early-stage venture capital firm. With $300 million under management, Mercury focuses on entrepreneurs and technology innovation originating in the U.S. Midcontinent. The Mercury investment themes target SaaS, Cloud, and Data Science/AI platforms that make the industrial ecosystems of Middle America more competitive and efficient.
Prior to joining Mercury, Fortino was the Managing Director of Detroit Innovate, a seed-stage investment fund targeting seed investments in enabling technologies in healthcare, transportation and industrial applications. During this time, Fortino was also the Managing Director of the First Step Fund, a micro-investment, industry agnostic fund focused on seed-stage companies in Southeast Michigan.
Fortino also co-founded three software companies: Sidecar (acq. by GM), ShepherdIS, and FlockTAG. Prior to his entrepreneurial experience, Fortino was the Manager of Powertrain Development Group at Ricardo, a global engineering consultancy focusing on the automotive, cleantech, military and industrial sectors.
Adrian holds a BSE in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan and an MBA with High Distinction from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan
Nir is a seasoned cybersecurity expert with extensive IT/OT security knowledge and experience implementing complex products and projects at scale. Following a lengthy career in the Israeli Elite Cyber Defense Unit, Nir co-founded CyberX, acting as its International General Manager and CTO. CyberX has become the most widely deployed solution worldwide for protecting IoT & OT environments culminating with its successful acquisition by Microsoft in 2020. The solution since then has become the Global Microsoft solution for protecting IoT & OT networks worldwide.
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Omri has been leading sales and business activities globally in different companies focusing on utilities and different industry verticals.
Prior to joining Grove, Omri was leading APAC activities in Claroty (part of Team8 group) and was co-founder and Vice President of business development at ICS2 - a cyber security startup focusing on protecting power, oil, gas, and petrochemicals plants.
Omri has over a decade of experience as global sales and business executive in technology driven companies such as Dune Networks and Broadcom where he led innovative technology projects in power generation, communication and wireless technologies.
Omri was promoted to Investment Partner after a tenure as Grove’s Investment Principal and is now leveraging his engineering background and managerial experience to create value to Grove’s portfolio companies with their global business activities.
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Scott Hiipakka assumed the role of the Chief Executive Officer of the Michigan Israel Business Accelerator in May 2019 where he is responsible for accelerating Michigan’s innovation ecosystem, one Israeli connection at a time. With a focus in mobility, defense, cyber/AI, food+ag tech, and health/life sciences, his vision is to make Michigan a premier partner for Israeli innovation.
Prior, he served as the Director of the Office of Performance and Transformation for the State of Michigan where he was responsible for the integration of strategic programs along with overseeing planning, audit, process improvement, program management, and employee engagement for over 40,000 state employees. Previously, he was the Program Management Director-Executive Office of the Governor. His responsibilities include oversight and integration of key state strategic initiatives, including synchronization of programs and deliverables that supported the Governor’s priorities.
Prior to his role in state government, Hiipakka worked in the private sector at a startup in the homeland security industry along previous experience in the medical, pharmaceutical, and manufacturing sectors.
Hiipakka is a member of the Michigan Army National Guard where he currently serves as the Land Component Commander and holds the rank of Colonel. His active duty military experience includes service in the US Army Ranger Regiment and other key leadership and advisor roles. Hiipakka has over 25 years of military service.
Hiipakka holds a bachelor’s degree in advertising from Michigan State University, a master’s degree in homeland security from Penn State University, and a master’s degree in strategic studies from the US Army War College.
Professor Eugene Kandel is the CEO of the Start-Up Nation Central, a non-profit dedicated to strengthening Israel’s innovation ecosystem and connecting the world business, government, and NGO leaders to the people and technologies in Israel that can help them solve their most pressing problems.
Between 2009 and 2015 Professor Kandel served as the Head of the National Economic Council and as the Economic Adviser to the Prime Minister, and played a central role in all the major decisions on economic policy.
Kandel is the Emil Spyer Professor of Economics and Finance at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He holds a BA and an MA from the Hebrew University, and an MBA and a Ph.D. in Economics from the Graduate School of Business at the University of Chicago. Professor Kandel’s primary area of expertise is Financial Markets and Financial Intermediaries, and his research has been published in various world-leading Finance and Economics journals. his research was instrumental in the 1997 redesign of the Nasdaq trading rules.
Daniela Kandel is the Senior Director of Innovation Bridges, leading the Global Finder Network initiative and Country Relations at Start-Up Nation Central (SNC).
Leading the organization’s ecosystem-to-ecosystem work, Daniela develops bridges between innovation ecosystems around the globe by leveraging Israel's unique assets and capabilities. Daniela and her team develop two main kinds of innovation bridges – the Global Finder Network and Impact Bridges – in order to increase the positive impact of Israeli technologies in developing markets, with activities in India, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. Daniela is building a global network of online discovery platforms (Global Finder Network) around the globe to develop opportunities for multilateral collaboration in the tech sector. She previously led SNC’s efforts to strengthen Israel’s innovation ties with Europe, and before that, she led SNC’s efforts to alleviate the shortage of human capital in the Israeli high-tech industry.
Prior to joining SNC, Daniela was a Milken Institute Fellow stationed at the Department of the Accountant General in Israel’s Ministry of Finance. Focusing on financial innovation, social entrepreneurship, and impact investing, she was involved in developing Israel’s first social impact bond for the prevention of Type 2 Diabetes.
She holds an M.A. in financial economics and a B.A. in economics and statistics, both from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Pavel Konečný graduated in cybernetics and biomedical engineering. He began his career in the IT consulting company, where he participated in more than 35 technological and strategic projects for 25 clients on 3 continents. About 5 years ago, Pavel founded Neuron Soundware, an innovative, award winning Czech start-up that “listens to machines” and using artificial intelligence can predict failures and malfunctions of machines.
Tomomi Kosaka is the president of Honda Engineering, responsible for the global automobiles, motorcycles, power products and aviation products manufacturing. In addition, Kosaka is an operating officer of Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
Kosaka previously served as the vice president of Fuel Cell System Manufacturing LLC (FCSM) – the auto industry's first manufacturing joint venture to mass-produce an advanced hydrogen fuel cell system that will be used in future products .
Prior to joining FCSM, Kosaka was president & CEO of Honda of America Mfg., Inc., responsible for manufacturing operations of three auto plants and an engine plant in Ohio.
Kosaka's powertrain experience includes serving as general manager of the Power Train Production Engineering Division of Honda Engineering Co., Ltd. in 2007, as engine division manager at Honda Manufacturing of Alabama, LLC in 2008 and chief engineer and plant manager of the Anna Engine Plant in Anna, Ohio. Honda's largest auto engine plant in the world.
Kosaka joined Honda in April 1984 at Honda Engineering Co., Ltd. in Japan.
Emmanuel Lagarrigue is the Chief Innovation Officer of Schneider Electric (SU.FP) and a member of its Global Executive Committee. His mission is to create new profitable growth platforms for the company and to drive a culture of open and collaborative innovation. He has the direct responsibility of Schneider Electric’s Energy Transition businesses, including mircrogrids, eMobility, solar power and the Energy Transition Hub. He also leads Schneider Electric’s venture activities, investing in or collaborating with hundreds of startups across the world. And he has led the creation of new ventures in energy and infrastructures, such as AlphaStruxure, a joint venture between The Carlyle Group and Schneider Electric or GreenStruxure.
Emmanuel serves on the boards of AlphaStruxure LLC, GreenStruxure and JBTC (NYSE: JBT). He is also the Chairman of the Menorca Preservation Fund, a non-profit organization in Spain.
Emmanuel was previously the Chief Strategy Officer of Schneider Electric. He also held multiple operational and general management positions for the company in Europe, South America, Asia and the United States. Emmanuel graduated from IESE Business School in Barcelona, Spain and from ENSEEIHT in Toulouse, France.
Lotan is a partner at Grove Ventures. He has been an early stage technology investor since 2012 in the areas of IoT, Digital Health and Enterprise IT, and was responsible for Grove’s investments in 3D-Signals, Lumigo and Rapid API. Prior to joining Grove, Lotan was a Strategic Consultant at TASC, an international management consultancy firm where he focused on the Telecommunication sector.
Lotan holds a Bachelor of Law degree (LLB) and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree (BA) from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
Yariv Lotan brings 20 years of experience in technology and financial ventures, with a proven track record as an executive, an entrepreneur, and an investment professional. Before joining Start-Up Nation Central, Mr. Lotan led Value-Focused Investments, an investment banking boutique, dealing in cross-border mid-market mergers and acquisitions focused on Israel and China. Prior to that, Mr. Lotan has founded and headed the first Corporate Venture Capital arm of one of the largest insurance groups in Israel, investing and managing a portfolio of over $100 USD of VC, private-equity and real-estate investments. In addition to his active involvement on the boards of many public and private companies, Mr. Lotan voluntarily served as Executive Chairman of Shiluvim, the Alumni Association of the Faculty of Engineering at Tel-Aviv University (TAU). He also served on the Steering Committee of the Industry Affiliates Program of Faculty of Engineering at TAU.
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Leyre Madariaga is a Bachelor of Economics and Business Sciences. A great part of her professional experience has been directed towards International Relations and Foreign Trade, and especially those with a high technological component.
Her most recent positions have been since 2013, Director for Foreign Affairs at the Basque Government President’s Office and since 2020, she is the Director for Digital Transformation and Entrepreneurship at Basque Government too
Viktor Miskovsky is an Investment Director and Member of the Board of INVEN CAPITAL, he joined the team in May 2016.
After almost 7 years with Arthur Andersen, Viktor moved to the industry where he held several senior manager positions and served as a board member of large corporations (including an electricity distribution company with more than 1 thousand employees) as well as smaller enterprises.
Viktor holds a Master‘s Degree in Chemistry from the University of Chemical technology in Prague and the Professional certification at the Association of CharteredCertified Accountants in Glasgow (ACCA).
Dov is the managing partner of Grove Ventures and is known as a pioneer of several flash memory technologies, most notably as the inventor of the USB flash drive. He was a founder and CEO of M-Systems (NSDQ: FLSH), a world leader in the flash data storage market. Under Dov's leadership, M-Systems grew to $1B revenue, and was acquired by SanDisk Corp (NSDQ: SNDK) for $1.6B. Dov has invested in many successful start-ups in the digital health, media, SaaS and IoT sectors. He currently serves on the boards of Glucome, Rapid API, TriEye and Neuroblade, and was previously the Chairman of Tower Semiconductors (NASDAQ:TSEM). He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering at the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, in Haifa.
Petr Míkovec is Managing Partner INVEN CAPITAL where he was responsible for the successful raising of EUR 50 million from the European Investment Bank, investments into sonnen, tado°, Forto, Eliq, zolar and others and serves on various boards of Inven’s portfolio companies. As well he was responsible for the successful exit of sonnen which was acquired by Shell in 2019.
Petr has over 10 years of experience in the Energy sector, and over 5 years in Investment Banking. Prior to joining INVEN, Petr worked at various positions in CEZ a.s. where he, as Corporate Development Director, implemented the corporate venture fund as one of the key building blocks of CEZ group strategy and raised EUR 190 mil from CEZ group.
He holds a Master’s Degree in Finance and Managerial Information Systems at the University of Economics in Prague and a professional Diploma in Business administration at UC Berkeley XT (California).
Doug co-founded eLab Ventures, an early-stage Venture Capital firm, in 2012 with a goal to invest in the growing Michigan entrepreneurial ecosystem and bridge those investments to their network in Silicon Valley. eLab has invested in over 17 companies since its inception.
Doug previously served as Executive Director of the University of Michigan Center for Entrepreneurship and held leadership positions at Hewlett Packard, Symantec, and iPass, and co-founded Mobile Automation, which he sold in 2005.
Doug is a frequent guest speaker and panelist in the Michigan entrepreneurial ecosystem and serves on the boards of Blue Medora, New Vital Signs, Akadeum, Voxel51, Refraction.AI, and the Michigan Venture Capital Association. Doug is also a co-founder and on the steering committee for the Ann Arbor Entrepreneurs Fund (A2EF). Doug has a bachelor's degree in computer science from Central Michigan University.
Cody Norton is the Co-Founder of Ignite the Spark, the Israeli Energy Tech Innovation Community, which focuses on supporting the Israeli Energy Tech Ecosystem through both domestic and international partnerships. Cody is a graduate of Indiana University, receiving degrees in Business Entrepreneurship from the Kelley School of Business and Economics.
Besides having a passion for clean energy, Cody works to bring the brightest minds from around the world to intern at Israeli companies and he is always looking for new projects.
Cody is a 28 year old, originally from Los Angeles, USA and currently resides in Israel.
Fabrizio Opertti, an Uruguayan citizen, was appointed Manager of the Integration and Trade Sector (INT), effective October 2018.
Mr. Opertti coordinates the sector’s operational program and technical assistance, the support to regional initiatives, policy research agenda and capacity building programs, as well as several public-private policy dialogues and inter-institutional partnerships with international trade and multilateral agencies, with the goal of promoting trade and investment, economic integration and regional cooperation in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).
Prior to his appointment, he led the Trade and Investment Division (TIN) between 2011 and 2018, where he led the Bank’s support to LAC countries in trade facilitation - including border coordinated management, trade logistics and single electronic windows for trade - as well as goods and services export promotion and international investment attraction operations. Mr. Opertti also led an IDB Group-wide team in the design and implementation of ConnectAmericas, the first social network for business in the region designed to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) carry out more and better international trade and investment transactions. It was launched in March 2014 and currently has over 370,000 businesspeople registered from over 209 countries and territories.
During his 20-year tenure at the Bank, Mr. Opertti has also led the creation and organization of several key IDB’s pan-regional trade events, including the CEO Summit of the Americas (Colombia 2012, Panama 2015, Peru 2018), the Global Services-Outsource2LAC Business Forum (Uruguay 2011, Colombia 2012, Argentina 2013, Guatemala 2014, Mexico 2015, Costa Rica 2017, Argentina 2019 and the virtual version of the forum – O2LAC Virtual 2020), the Asia-LAC Fora (Korea 2007, 2011, 2015, 2017 and 2019; China 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018; Japan 2013 and 2016), among others.
Mr. Opertti holds an MBA from Johns Hopkins’ School of Business, a master’s in science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, and a Bachelor of Arts in International Political Economy from American University.
Bill Pescatello is the managing partner at Evolv Ventures, a $100m venture fund backed by Kraft Heinz. Bill brings over 13 years of venture experience, where he helped build multiple top performing funds for both strategic and purely financial funds.
Bill was a partner at the Chicago based seed fund Lightbank. While at Lightbank, Bill led and/or served on the boards of Udemy, Fooda, Locu, Perblue, Ionic, Hireology, CoffeeMeetsBagel, Ovia Health, and Snaptravel.
Prior to Lightbank, Bill was a founding member of the Peacock Equity Fund for NBCUniversal, where he sat on the boards of Greystipe, Ramp and Vivox. Bill also worked at GE Capital, where he helped finance early stage life science companies and was a Financial Analyst at Morgan Stanley.
Bill is a Chartered Financial Analyst, holds a Bachelor Degree from Northwestern University and graduated with honors from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Dan is currently a consultant to a number of high tech companies and hardware manufacturing and cleantech accelerators nationwide. He also leads the Nation’s first Industry 4.0 Accelerator supporting manufacturing technology firms globally. Dan also serves as the Director of the Lawrence Technological University Centrepolis Accelerator, a program that helps accelerate and scale small manufacturers and innovators of new “hardware” physical products.
Dan has served as a developer for DOE / Lawrence Livermore National Lab training curricula, Build4Scale, that educates product developers / companies with “hardware” based products on how to scale their business. Dan has instructed extensively using the Build4Scale curriculum for both Centrepolis Accelerator in Michigan and FuzeHub in New York. He has been an instructor and curriculum developer for DOE / ARPA-E I-Corps Program; and has served as an advisor for the National Governor’s Association’s (NGA) Clean Energy Economic Development Policy Academy program, and as a contributor to DOE’s Industry Peer and Annual Merit Review activities. Dan has developed a unique tool for coaching and mentoring early stage hardware physical product developers Commercial / Technology / Manufacturing Readiness Assessment and Planning Tool that is being adopted by the State of Michigan, and FuzeHub in New York.
Dan was formerly the Chief Strategy / Operating Officer for the Optimal Group, small businesses and start-ups focused on product development, competitive business strategy, product benchmarking, product development and engineering. While at Optimal Dan was responsible for diversifying the company’s business model to evolve into full vehicle development with specialization in electric vehicle development, growing the revenue by $20 million annually, and scaling the business globally to over 350 employees.
In his prior role as Vice President of Industry and Venture Development at NextEnergy, Dan led all market and technology analytic efforts to support the growth of early-stage and mature energy technology firms in areas such as wind, solar, advanced batteries, power electronics, vehicle electrification, smart grid, micro-grid, natural gas, and energy efficiency. This included NextEnergy’s venture and incubator services, supporting the commercialization efforts of approximately 1,000 new developers of advanced energy technologies; and helping over 120 manufacturers successfully diversify into the clean energy supply chain. Dan also orchestrated a number of global innovation challenges with corporate partners such as Ford Motor Company and Wells Fargo that crowdsourced the best ideas in building and automotive lighting, battery and smart cities technologies.
Radomski frequently serves as an advisor, judge, mentor and committee member for regional and national accelerators and cleantech competitions, including NextCorps MCorps, SecondMuse MCorps, ITAC, FuzeHub, TechStars Mobility, CleanTech Open, Clean Energy Trust Challenge, Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition, DTE E-Challenge, Great Lakes Entrepreneur’s Quest, and the Michigan Clean Energy Venture Challenge.
Prior to NextEnergy Dan was co-founder of a clean energy technology consultancy with offices in Berkley, MI and Barcelona, Spain. Dan also worked for the Society of Manufacturing Engineers on product development for advanced manufacturing technologies and disciplines including lean manufacturing, machining, fabrication, composites, micro- and nano-manufacturing.
Ariel Rosenfeld is the CEO of 3d Signals. He previously served as SVP at M-Systems (NSDQ:FLSH), a world leader in the flash data storage market, where he grew the revenue of the DiskOnKey business unit from single to triple digit (in $M) in 3 years. After M-Systems, Mr. Rosenfeld developed algorithms for automated transactions in the stock market. He holds a B.Sc. in Industrial and Management engineering from Tel-Aviv University. Mr. Rosenfeld embraces challenges and as such, he is a competitive ultra-marathon runner that participates and wins races around the world.
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Tali drives the internal and external (open) innovation strategy for the Manufacturing Engineering Segment in Siemens Digital Industries Software.
This includes building an innovation culture, where everyone has the motivation and tools to innovate; nurturing new ideas from inception to launch; testing new technologies and business models; working with research bodies and more.
Tali is also a founding partner in Siemens Dynamo – an open innovation program for startups in Israel, meant to accelerate integration of innovative technologies into Siemens Digital Industries. Dynamo’s goal is to bridge the gap between the corporate world and the startup eco system.
Tali has over 20 years of experience in manufacturing and software development. She joined Siemens through the UGS and Tecnomatix acquisitions.
Tali has a B.Sc. in computer engineering and a MBA from the Tel Aviv University in Israel.
Michal Seror is the Director of Ecosystem Development at Start-Up Nation Central, an independent non-profit organization that builds bridges to Israeli innovation, accumulate knowledge and generate in-depth insights about Israel’s innovation sector. For the last three years, Michal has been responsible for supporting and strengthening Israel’s tech communities, connecting Israeli entrepreneurs and key players, and helping increase their commitment to each other. As part of the Business Development team at Start-Up Nation Central, she is committed to increasing the Israeli ecosystem understanding of global needs and challenges, in order to help create innovative solutions for a better tomorrow.
Farid Sevilla has 15 years of experience in Supply Chain, Operations, and Innovation with expertise in disruptive strategy, digital supply chain transformation, and intelligent supply chain capability enablement. He leads a global team focused on bringing emerging technologies to drive Procter & Gamble’s USD$71 Billion supply chain. His efforts focus on delivering strategic, end-to-end solutions for optimizing supply chains through emerging technology capabilities.
Farid received a BS in Industrial & Systems Engineering from Rutgers University and MBA from The University of Texas at Austin.
Gal Shaul is Co-Founder and CTO at Augury - a Digital Machine Health company building a future where people can always rely on the machines that matter. He and his team work with customers and partners to transform how they work to make products, deliver services and improve lives. Gal has extensive experience in signal processing, software engineering and embedded systems. Prior to founding Augury, Gal was the Head of Software development at EndyMed, a medical devices start-up. He also worked at Zoran, a chip manufacturing company, as a firmware engineer. Gal holds a B.Sc. in Computer Science from the Israel Institute of Technology (Technion).
Mahesh Sudhakaran is the Chief Digital Officer for IBM’s Energy, Environment and Utilities Industry. In this role, he leads strategy, product management, partnerships and ecosystem development for the industry. He manages 3 global teams - Enterprise Operations, Customer Experience and Asset Management. He works with the world's top city governments and utilities to lead in the era of Energy Transition with exponential technologies - Cloud, AI, IoT and Blockchain. In the past 2 years, he has led 3 industry software products - from concept to launch – that have transformed operational reliability and resilience in asset heavy industries. In 2020, he was elected to the IBM Industry Academy, an elite cohort of IBM's preeminent technology and industry leaders.
Mahesh has over 18 years with IBM and Schneider Electric. He is a recognized thought leader in 3 Industries - Energy and Utilities, Industrial and Public Sector. He is a frequent speaker in global industry forums on AI and IoT and has been featured in Forbes, Yahoo Finance and US News. He is a member of the Forbes Technology Council. He is also an Executive Member of IBM’s Asian-American Diversity Council.
Mahesh has a BS in Electrical and Electronics Engineering, First Class with Distinction, from the National Institute of Technology, India and an MBA, Director's List, from the University of Cambridge. He is a global shaper and has lived in 7 countries and loves the milieu of technology, culture and business.
Mourad Tamoud was first appointed to the position of Executive Vice President of the Global Supply Chain Operations for Schneider Electric in June 2016. As of January 2019, Mourad will be adding Procurement to his responsibilities, which already include overseeing the Operations, Transformation, Logistics and Network Design, as well as driving the strategic agenda for the entire Supply Chain organization.
He is passionate about the customer and believes strongly in keeping customers’ needs first and foremost in the DNA and culture of the Supply Chain, as it evolves into a Tailored Sustainable and Connected 4.0 supply chain of the future, and Schneider’s engine for business growth.
In 2012, as Senior VP of Global Supply Chain China, Mourad had oversight for manufacturing and distribution operations for the region, and was responsible for safety, quality, customer satisfaction, procurement, and supply chain planning operations.
Having been with Schneider Electric for over 20 years, Mourad has held positions in Low Voltage and Medium Voltage Industrial Operations, Industrial Strategy, Manufacturing Logistics, Production & Logistics, Procurement, and ERP Information Systems.
Mourad holds a degree from Institut National Polytechnique de Grenoble (France).
Ara Topouzian serves as Executive Director of the Michigan Venture Capital Association. In his leadership role at MVCA, Topouzian advocates for Michigan’s entrepreneurial and venture investor community with legislative and government officials and promotes Michigan venture investment opportunities to regional and national markets. He also supports membership growth, fundraising, guides program development and sets strategic direction for the organization.
A strategic leader experienced in both private and public industry sectors, Ara is accomplished in the field of economic development for municipalities. He has a successful track record in attracting international corporations as well as retaining small and large businesses to the area. He is a visionary who excels in the creation and implementation of organizational structure and processes. Ara is a relationship builder who astutely cultivates and utilizes relationships to create win-win situations for all involved parties. His proven abilities in marketing, leadership and operations have made him a creative thinker and problem solver who consistently delivers business growth and development for entities represented. He is also skilled in association management and membership development. To that end, he has presented, moderated and facilitated small and large groups, including service organizations, colleges, libraries, associations and more.
For more than six years, Topouzian was the City of Novi Economic Development Director, responsible for marketing to- and communicating with 2,000-plus large and small businesses by providing them with important local, regional, state and federal resources. During his tenure in Novi, Topouzian was responsible for business attraction projects valued in excess of $100 million in investment, as well as directing the city’s current economic development goals and objectives in both attraction and retention efforts.
For six years, Topouzian was the President and CEO of the Troy Chamber of Commerce, responsible for overseeing one of Oakland County's strongest Chambers with more than 650 members, as well as expanding the Chamber’s role as a champion for small and large businesses. he led Troy Chamber into financial prosperity as well as increased membership and retention as well as elevate the quality of programs and events for its membership.
Council Member, Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (2018-Present)
Board Member, Michigan Society of Association Executives (2017-Present)
Board Chair, Michigan Economic Developers Association (2014)
Board Chair, Creative Many Michigan (2018-2019)
Board Member, Executive Committee, Troy Community Foundation (2016-2019)
President/CEO, Troy Chamber of Commerce (2013-2019)
Economic Development Director, City of Novi (2009-2013)
President, Farmington/Farmington Hills Chamber of Commerce (2000-2009)
Kresge Artist Fellow of Performing Arts (2012)
Mike Conboy Economic Development Award, MEDA (2013)
Wayne State University, Bachelor of Arts – Journalism (1993)
Trinity of Management - Sirolli Institute (Small Business mentorship) (2011)
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Victoria Van Camp joined SKF 1996. She held a number of positions, based in; the Netherlands, US and now in Sweden. Her previous positions include, amongst others; President, Business and Product Development. Director, Industrial Market Technology and Solutions. Director, Product Innovation Lubrication BU.
Victoria was born in 1966 and holds a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering and a PhD. in Machine Elements from Luleå University of Technology Sweden.
Victoria Van Camp is a member of SKF Group Management, Kungliga Ingenjörsvetenskapsakademien (IVA) and she is also board member of Billerud Korsnäs AB and Amexci AB.
To be updated shortly