The BE.INnovative Symposium is an annual event to connect the tech, creative, and academic communities in the Brooklyn Tech Triangle. This year’s highlights include panels on the theme of "Innovation for All," practical discussions geared toward job searchers who want to land that coveted position (or create their own), and a hackathon tackling local sustainability challenges. Formerly known as Tech Triangle U, the symposium is hosted by BE.IN member institutions in collaboration with the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership.


All-Star Innovators

A discussion featuring key innovators of major companies in the Brooklyn Tech Triangle.

  • Matthew Burnett
    Co-Founder and CEO, Maker’s Row

    Matthew Burnett is the CEO and Co-Founder of Maker’s Row, an online marketplace for American manufacturers with a network of over 9,500 manufacturers and 90,000 brands creating products in the USA. Matthew, a Detroit native, received a BFA in industrial design from Pratt Institute. His early career began as a timepiece designer for Marc Jacobs, Diesel, and DKNY. Before Maker’s Row, Matthew has founded a watch company and leather goods line (The Brooklyn Bakery) which exposed him to the firsthand benefits of manufacturing domestically in order to maintain control over the quality of production and form closer relationships with suppliers and contractors. In 2011 Burnett partnered with Tanya Menendez on The Brooklyn Bakery to manage sales and operations. From this collaboration, with Burnett’s background in manufacturing and Menendez’s experience with operations, they began to develop the blueprint for what is today, Maker’s Row.

  • Tanya Menendez
    Co-Founder and CMO, Maker’s Row

    Growing up in California, Tanya studied technology and its socioeconomic impacts on rural economies at UC San Diego. Tanya’s research in ethnography and sociology was published in several industry-leading journals. Before Maker's Row, Tanya managed operations within Google, Goldman Sachs and a leather goods line, The Brooklyn Bakery. While at The Brooklyn Bakery, she came up with the idea to create a platform for entrepreneurs to be able to easily access American manufacturers. Combining her experience in operations and automation with Matthew’s experience in global manufacturing, they started Maker’s Row.

  • Jesse Middleton
    Co-Founder, WeWork Labs

    Jesse Middleton is the Head of WeWork X at WeWork and co-founded WeWork Labs, WeWork's global startup incubator. Prior to WeWork, Jesse was the co-founder and CEO of Backstory, a venture backed startup, where he led product and business development. He was a mentor and advisor at Blueprint Health and High Peaks Venture Partners. Jesse began his career working across the United States, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Israel and China as a network security engineer and eventually worked his way up to New York City where he became the head of information technology at LivePerson, a publicly traded technology company (NASDAQ:LPSN).

    Jesse is also an active angel investor and advisor to many early stage technology startups including Benny, Camelot Metrics, fitmob (acquired by ClassPass), inDinero, Jackpocket, Rukkus, Squīr, Symple, Thunderclap and YourTrove (acquired by LiveNation).

  • Elisa Padilla
    Senior Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer, Barclays Center

    As Senior Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer for the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center, Elisa Padilla oversees all of the marketing efforts for the team and arena, including branding, advertising, merchandising, database research, creative, websites, and social media.

    Padilla seamlessly led the rebranding strategy of the Nets from New Jersey to Brooklyn, and is the creator of the award-winning branding campaign, Hello Brooklyn. She played a key role in establishing the brand identity for Barclays Center by branding its five programming franchises. Padilla is also leading the marketing efforts for the venue’s sixth programming franchise, the New York Islanders, who began playing in Brooklyn in Fall 2015.

    Prior to joining the Nets, Padilla accumulated nearly 20 years of experience in the marketing industry, working with high profile sports and entertainment companies such as AT&T, HBO Sports, Nickelodeon, the NBA and the New York Knicks. During her time at AT&T, she developed marketing plans targeted at the Hispanic Segment that resulted in solid customer acquisition and retail distribution expansion in key highly Hispanic traffic areas. She also spearheaded marketing efforts for the opening of the first AT&T store in New York City’s Chinatown.

  • Ted Southern
    President, Final Frontier Design

    Ted Southern, President of FFD, artist, and designer, began his career in aerospace by entering the NASA Astronaut Glove Challenge in 2007 as part of his MFA thesis at Pratt Institute. In 2009, Ted and co-founder Nikolay Moiseev took home a cash prize and created FFD from the winnings. Prior to space, Ted’s work focused on technical garments for movies, theatre, and television including wings for Victoria’s Secret and costumes for Cirque du Soleil.

  • Moderator: Christopher Wink
    Co-Founder and Editorial Director,

    Christopher Wink is the cofounder and Editorial Director of local tech news and events network He has reported on Brooklyn and other emerging entrepreneurship communities for the last seven years. Previously, he worked for a homeless advocacy nonprofit and was a freelance reporter. He writes frequently about media and entrepreneurship on his personal blog at, tweets @christopherwink and rides his bicycle a lot.

April 7


LIU Brooklyn
Luntey Commons


Her Innovation: Breaking Through the Glass Ceiling

Why in 2016 are we still having conversations about getting more women involved in the innovation economy? Because only 1 in 4 professional technology positions in the US workforce are held by women. Hear about resources and new approaches to helping female entrepreneurs succeed in the innovation economy.

  • DJ Martin
    Founder, Astia Angels

    D.J. Martin in a Founding Member of Astia Angels (the angel investing arm of whose mission is to fund exceptional women-led high-growth ventures. He in an investor in numerous female-led startups and is a founding shareholder and former Board Member of Juice Beauty, Inc., a female-founded line of Organic Skin Care. He is co-owner of recently opened Tangerine Hot Power Yoga in Downtown Brooklyn (female co-founded) and is a former self-taught independent futures trader who for one winter in Chicago had to ride his bicycle to work because he could not afford subway fare... so he knows all too well what it feels like to be down & out / fail over and over, but not give up!

  • Edward Rogoff
    Dean of the School of Management, LIU Brooklyn

    Edward G. Rogoff is the Dean of the LIU Brooklyn School of Business, Public Administration and Information Sciences. Prior to that he was the Lawrence N. Field Professor of Entrepreneurship in the Department of Management of the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College, The City University of New York. He was also Chair of the Department of Management. He received a B.A., M.B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. from Columbia University where he wrote his thesis under the supervision of Nobel Laureate William Vickrey. Dr. Rogoff has served as the Academic Director of the Lawrence N. Field Center for Entrepreneurship at Baruch College, teaches, and conducts research in entrepreneurship, particularly relative to minority and later-life issues. Dr. Rogoff was named the 2010 Outstanding Entrepreneurship Educator of the Year by the United States Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

    He is the author of Bankable Business Plans and co-author of The Entrepreneurial Conversation. His most recent book is The Second Chance Revolution: Working for Yourself after 50, co-authored with David Carroll. He has published in such journals as The Journal of Business and Entrepreneurship, The Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship, Family Business Review, and Journal of Small Business Management. Dr. Rogoff has been Guest Co-Editor of the Journal of Business Venturing and the Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship and is currently on the Editorial Board of the Entrepreneurship Research Journal. He initiated and supervised the largest study of minority entrepreneurs in the United States, the National Minority Business Owners Survey. Since 2007, he has led a research partnership with Babson College under which Baruch and Babson constitute the U.S. team of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, the largest, longest continuing, and most respected international study of entrepreneurship in the world.

    Professor Rogoff has written articles for the New York Times, Forbes, and Newsday, as well as having been a guest on CNN. Prior to joining the faculty at Baruch College, he was an entrepreneur in the radio broadcasting industry where he headed two companies that operated 23 radio stations throughout the United States.

  • Rhonda Schaller
    Director of Career + Professional Development, Pratt Institute

    Rhonda Schaller is passionate about mentoring and paying knowledge forward. She is the founder of the Meditation Incubator Project and Create Meditate. She is the author of Create Your Art Career (Allworth Press/2013) and Called or Not, Spirits are Present (Blue Pearl Press/2009). She is a leader in the use of meditation and visualization in career planning, art making and living a creative life. She is a certified career planning and development coach, the director of Schaller + Jaquish Art Projects; director of career and professional development at Pratt Institute; she has been faculty for the Masters of Professional Studies in Digital Photography at School of Visual Arts (SVA); Division of Continuing Education (SVA); and is currently a guest lecturer in MPS Art Therapy (SVA), and Visiting Associate Professor at Pratt Institute. She cofounded the Ceres Gallery, NYC in 1984 and was a board member and faculty of the New York Feminist Art Institute until its closing. A graduate of Queens College (BA/1980), and Pratt Institute (MPS/2015) her works are in the permanent collections of the Memorial Art Gallery University of Rochester, C. Everett Coop Institute, Art of Healing Gallery Dartmouth University Medical School, and the Exit Art/Reactions collection Library of Congress.

  • Calena Jamieson
    East Coast Program Manager, Black Girls CODE

    Calena Jamieson is the East Coast Program Manager for Black Girls CODE, a nonprofit working to increase the number of women of color in the digital space by empowering girls of color ages 7 to 17 to become innovators in STEM fields, leaders in their communities, and builders of their own futures through exposure to computer science and technology. Prior to joining the Black Girls CODE team, she served as a lead volunteer for their New York City chapter.

  • Moderator: Brooke McIntyre
    Founder, Inked Voices

    Brooke McIntyre is the founder of Inked Voices, helping writers write more and write better through its platform for online writing groups and its app Ink On. She’s passionate about using technology to facilitate peer learning, about connecting with people on a human-level on the web, and, of course, about writing. Brooke received her undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia and her MBA from the University of Michigan. She lives with her husband and two young children in Brooklyn.

April 7


LIU Brooklyn
Sanford Lecture Hall


Civic Innovation: Opportunities for a better Brooklyn

How can government, non-profit leaders, and the private sector collaborate to solve Brooklyn’s toughest challenges? Hear from experts in the world of civic technology about specific projects being tackled in the Brooklyn Tech Triangle and how to better deploy innovation to answer major social issues in the neighborhood.

  • Jonathan Askin
    Founder/Director, Brooklyn Law Incubator and Policy Clinic

    Professor Askin founded the BLIP Clinic when he joined Brooklyn Law School in 2008, bringing more than a decade of experience in the communications industry from both the public and private sectors. He has provided legal and policy counsel and strategic advice for companies that build and develop communications networks and Internet applications, as well as for other technology-oriented enterprises and startups.

    Professor Askin is also the Innovation Catalyst for the Brooklyn Law Center for Urban Business Entrepreneurship, a Visiting Professor at the Centre for Commercial Law Studies, Queen Mary University of London, a Fellow at the Columbia Institute for Tele-Information, an Adjunct Professor at Columbia Law School, and Founder and Advisor to iLINC, a network of legal support clinics for the European startup community.

    A sought-after expert in the field of Internet law, he played a key role in the tech task force of President Barack Obama’s 2008 election campaign. He has also served as president and general counsel for the Association for Local Telecommunications Services and was a senior attorney at the Federal Communications Commission. He is actively involved in developing Brooklyn as the 21st century “Silicon Alley,” recognizing the borough as a burgeoning hub for innovative start-ups, and is affiliated with the Dennis J. Block Center for the Study of International Business Law.

  • Hannah Calhoon
    Director, Blue Ridge Labs@Robin Hood

    Hannah Calhoon is the founder and Director of Blue Ridge Labs @ Robin Hood, an initiative of the Robin Hood Foundation that supports innovators who are developing digital tools & platforms to help New Yorkers build better lives for themselves and their families. As Director, she leads the design and implementation of the Labs’ fellowship and incubation programs, serves as an advisor to program participants, and oversees program operations. Before starting the Labs, Hannah worked in the Boston Consulting Group’s Global Public Health & Development practice, at Acumen on domestic impact investing strategy, and at Embrace Global, a social enterprise based in Bangalore, India.

  • Dinorah Cantú-Pedraza
    Director, The GovLab Academy, GovLab

    Dinorah Cantú-Pedraza coordinates the GovLab Academy, a Knight-Foundation funded online institute aimed at helping government and social innovators take innovative projects from idea to implementation. Under her direction, the Academy has worked with over five hundred innovators from more than 30 countries online and off over the last two years. Thousands more have watched its skill-building videos. She has put together over 12 Coaching Programs, the Academy’s signature mentoring and peer to peer learning initiative, where over 95% of whose participants complete the program.

    The Academy is a project of the Governance Lab, based at New York University. GovLab focuses on the use of technology to improve how we govern. Dinorah has also designed the GovLab’s Crowdsorcerer expert system, a software tool to deliver customized case studies to government leaders about open innovation. Working together with lawyers and education experts from NYU, she also designed an expert system to help universities determine the legal requirements for offering online education. She also runs the GovLab’s Demos for Democracy video series where she interviews leading technologists about new platforms to advance the public interest.

  • Noel Hidalgo
    Co-Founder, BetaNYC

    Noel Hidalgo is the co-founder and Executive Director of BetaNYC, the Nation's largest open government and civic technology meetup. In 2013, he joined the board of StreetsPAC, a political action committed to improving the safety, mobility and livability of one of New York City's greatest assets: its streets. He was a charter member of the New York City Transparency Working Group (nycTWG), a group of NYC civic groups who advocate for greater transparency in city government. In 2012, nycTWG lobbied for the passing of NYC Local Law 11 of 2012, America's premier municipal Open Data law. In 2009, he forged the NYC cycling community in to using #BikeNYC, a peer-to-peer tool to organize and communicate. In 2005, he co-founded one of the first Drupal User Groups, the NYC's Drupal user group and hosted DrupalCamp.

  • Moderator: Matthew Stempeck
    Director of Civic Technology, Microsoft

    As Microsoft’s Director of Civic Technology in New York City, Matt leads strategic outreach and develops creative engagement opportunities. Previously, Matt researched and designed technologies for civic impact at non-profits, startups, consultancies, and other technology companies. He has a Master's of Science from the MIT Media Lab’s Center for Civic Media, where he quantified global media attention to stories like Trayvon Martin, studied the emerging field of tech-driven peer-to-peer humanitarian aid, and built award-winning creative tools to fight misinformation online.

    Prior to MIT, Matt led online campaigns, communications, and tech trainings for the New Organizing Institute, Americans for Campaign Reform, and EchoDitto. Matt also holds a BA with honors from the University of Maryland College Park, where he wrote a thesis on the disruption participatory media brought to political journalism. He grew up outside of Boston and has also lived in London, San Francisco, and Washington, DC.

April 7


LIU Brooklyn
Sanford Lecture Hall


Inclusive Innovation: Communities empowering themselves through technology

Come hear from this diverse panel how communities are using technology to help level the playing field in the working world. We have a documentary filmmaker with MS, an instructor in a program that teaches entrepreneurship to veterans, and a professor tackling Disabilities Studies by teaming up students and members of the community to create person-centered stories.

  • Jason DaSilva
    Founder, AXS Map

    Jason DaSilva has been a prolific filmmaker for the past 10 years. He has directed four short films (OLIVIA’S PUZZLE, A SONG FOR DANIEL, TWINS OF MANKALA, and FIRST STEPS) and two feature-length documentary films (LEST WE FORGET and WHEN I WALK). Many of his films have won awards; OLIVIA’S PUZZLE premiered at the 2003 Sundance Festival and qualified for an Academy Award. Three of his films have had national broadcasts on PBS, HBO, and CBC. He also produced Shocking and Awful, a film installation on the anti-Iraq war movement, exhibited at the 2006 Whitney Biennial. Each one of these works advanced Jason’s objective to give voice to those on the periphery of society. In 2006 Jason took a short break from filmmaking to earn his MFA in Applied Media Arts from Emily Carr University.

    He recently produced and directed an Op-Doc (opinion documentary) for the New York Times called ‘The Long Wait,’ published in January 2013. DaSilva’s latest film, WHEN I WALK, was an Official Selection of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and won Best Canadian Feature at HotDocs 2013. Following the film’s theatrical release this fall, it will air on POV on PBS in 2014. He currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

  • Darshan Desai
    Professor, Berkeley College

    Dr. Darshan Desai is a professor, researcher and consultant. She is teaching at Larry L. Luing School of Business, Berkeley College, New York. She received her MBA from Gujarat University and PhD from Nirma University of Science and Technology, India. Her research addresses technology innovations, gamification, big data, analytics, customer relationship management, emerging countries and entrepreneurship. She has been a pioneer in designing innovative experiential learning initiatives to bridge the digital skill gaps and developing gamified online courses. Her research has been published in reputed international journals, magazines, conference proceedings and book chapters. In addition, she has years of consulting and business analysis experience, and spearheaded microfinance and entrepreneurship development initiatives in the remote villages of India.

  • Allan Goldstein
    Senior Lecturer, NYU Tandon School of Engineering

    Allan B. Goldstein, NYU Tandon School of Engineering Senior Lecturer, teams student innovators, inventors and entrepreneurs with disabled community members to create digital stories that make society care and remember. Being a sibling of a survivor of the notorious Willowbrook State School for the Mentally Retarded, his personal experience writing explores the social barriers impeding an inclusive society. Goldstein is on the screening committee of the Sprout Film Festival, which features films by and about people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

  • Jenny Young
    Owner, Brooklyn Robot Foundry

    Jenny Young is the owner of Brooklyn Robot Foundry, a place that empowers kids through building. She has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University. She grew up working alongside her father in his garage shop and doing arts and crafts projects with her mother. From an early age she was exposed to the joys of building and designing things from found items. Prior to starting the Foundry, she worked in the educational technology and medical device fields as a project manager and engineer.

  • Moderator: Paul Russo
    Current Vice Provost & Dean, YU School of Graduate and Professional Studies

    Dr. Paul Russo is Vice Provost at Yeshiva University and Dean for Yeshiva University’s School for Graduate and Professional Studies. He is also a member of the faculty at NYU Tandon School of Engineering, Department of Technology Management. Before joining Yeshiva, Dr. Russo held positions as Assistant Vice President for Curriculum and Instruction at Long Island University and Director of Online Programs at The City University of New York (CUNY).

    Dr. Russo has over fifteen years experience in leading self-supporting higher education divisions. At LIU, he led the university’s strategic planning process for online education and faculty development. His accomplishments include incorporating new methods for labor market research into degree planning to ensure curricula are tightly aligned with employer needs and that students graduate ready for high-growth, high-wage careers.

April 7


LIU Brooklyn
Sanford Lecture Hall


Networking Mixer

Join us for this happy hour to mix and mingle with Downtown Brooklyn students and industry professionals from the Brooklyn Tech Triangle. Find your next internship or job, build your professional network and start to build your entrepreneurship “dream team” for the weekend’s Hack Brooklyn Innovation Challenge.

April 7


Ava Brew
100 Willoughby Street



Open Office Tours

These curated tours offer students and recent grads the opportunity to visit innovation firms and incubators in the Tech Triangle and learn first-hand about the culture, qualifications, and perks to working there. A very limited number of spots are available to the public to attend. If you are interested in joining, send an email to noting which tour you would like to attend.

Companies include:

April 8

10am — 12pm

Multiple Locations


Get the Job

Recruiters from companies in the Tech Triangle discuss what potential candidates should know about getting in the door and how to be successful once they get there.

  • John Jeltema
    Executive Director, JPMorgan Corporate and Investment Bank Global Fund Services Product Development

    John Jeltema is a currently the Global Middle Office Product Development lead responsible for the design and implementation of the Global Middle Office Product. Prior to his current role he was the senior member responsible for the day to day middle office oversight of the trade capture/OTC/fixed income/bank loan and cash management teams. John has over 17 years of experience in investment and middle office operations. John joined Paloma Partners in 1998. In March 2006, J.P. Morgan acquired the middle/back office/accounting and technology platform from Paloma, creating J.P. Morgan Hedge Fund Services. John completed his degree at Western Connecticut State in economics.

  • Dawn Kissi
    CEO, Emerging Market Media

    Dawn Kissi is an award-winning journalist, executive producer and author covering global markets, finance and business. Throughout her career she has interviewed and profiled some of the world's most prominent individuals and businesses, landing exclusives with countless newsmakers. In 2015 she was awarded one of the first Made in NY Entrepreneur Innovation grants via the New York City Mayor's Office of Media & Entertainment (MOME) for a new, single-topic news website that focuses on emerging markets. She is a graduate of Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, is based in New York City and works internationally.

  • Sean Petterson
    CEO + Founder, Strong Arm Technologies

    Sean Petterson was born and raised in Long Island, New York. He is a graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology. He is responsible for overall execution at StrongArm and design innovation. His hobbies include design, skateboarding and motorsports.

  • Eugene Yee
    Lead iOS Engineer, Teleport

    Eugene has been developing iPhone apps for the past 6 years and specializes in apps that enhance friendships. Before joining Teleport, he worked at, where communities thrive both online and offline. In 2013, he developed "Super Friend: A Friendly Reminder App", to help people keep in touch with their friends. He currently organizes the "iOS Side Projects" Meetup in NYC twice a week, to help aspiring software developers begin their career in iOS Development. He also has two blogs: and Eugene graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in 2006.

  • Moderator: John Edwards
    Executive Director, Brooklyn Navy Yard Employment Center

    For more than two decades, John Edwards has been at the forefront of the workforce development and training services field. John has devoted his expertise to aid jobseekers that face difficult times in the age of job loss, downsizing, competition, as well as navigating multiple barriers.

    While at the Consortium for Worker Education, John commanded their career and outplacement services and effected immediate results among the clients. Directing one of New York City’s largest training and development operations, John earned the respect and praise from both clients and colleagues. With John’s sophistication spanning the entire corporate and nonprofit spectrums, he left the Consortium for Worker Education and to lead workforce development teams at organizations such as Vocational Foundation and Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corp.

    With this breadth of experience, John secured a position with Metropolitan College of New York where he directed operations for the Office of Career Development. Over the years, John has played a major role in the development of resources and activities for New York City jobseekers and career changers, as well as routinely participating in various workforce committees.

April 8


LIU Brooklyn
Sanford Lecture Hall


Create the Job

If you don’t see the job you want, create it! Not everyone follows a traditional career path. If you’ve got an idea for starting your own company or want to explore life in the startup world, you won’t want to miss this panel.

  • Elana Duffy
    CEO + Co-Founder, Pathfinder

    Elana (Lana) Duffy obtained a Masters in Engineering from Cornell, working in civil engineering with a major firm for a year before deciding something was missing. She enlisted in the US Army and subsequently served for nearly a decade as a human intelligence collector, interrogator, and investigator. During her service she saw some of the nicer places in the world such as Hawaii and Germany, and had the joy of blending those experiences with time spent in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Fort Bragg. After coming face-to-face with an improvised explosive device in Iraq, Lana was medically retired from the Army in 2012 as a Sergeant First Class with a Purple Heart and a few other awards. She returned to New York, near where she'd grown up, and dusted off her degrees to start two businesses:, a content creation and ghostwriting firm, and www.pathfinder,vet, a "Yelp for Veteran resources" platform intent on improving the community through sharing experiences Veterans and the supporting community have with local organizations and services. She also freelances in writing and code for several outlets, and volunteers with multiple charity organizations. She lives in Manhattan with her two cats and a boyfriend who is allergic to pets, and spends her almost non-existent off-time rock climbing and mountaineering.

  • Robert Gelabert
    Entrepreneurship Student, LIU

    Robert Gelabert is a senior from Long Island University majoring in Business Administration. He is the Director of the university-run consulting firm, LIU-iQ Consulting, which has a number of clients across the globe. Robert is also a member of the LIU START-UP NY Internal Review Committee. He previously interned in real estate analytics at Luxottica and as a Consultant with Vistage.

  • Steven Kuyan
    Managing Director of Incubators and Entrepreneurship, NYU Tandon School of Engineering

    Steven Kuyan is Managing Director of Incubators and Entrepreneurship at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering. He co-founded and is responsible for managing two of the three incubators located at Varick Street in Soho and DUMBO in Brooklyn. On campus, Steven develops strategic initiatives to accelerate innovation at the University through programs that catalyze student innovation.

    The incubators at NYU were the first New York City sponsored incubators and developed the model for the city’s Incubator Network. The unique incubation process has graduated XXX companies, nine graduated as acquisitions, with a combined portfolio valuation of $721M. Worth Magazine named the Incubators at NYU one of the top 10 startup spaces in the US.

    Prior to the incubators, Steven founded and co-founded three ventures in the mobile, B2B logistics and retail.

    Steven is an adjunct professor of Graduate Entrepreneurship at Tandon and leads entrepreneurship curriculum across the University, including new courses and initiatives such as the Veteran Entrepreneurship Training (VET) Program. Steven is also the founder, advisor and board member of the NYU’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Association (EIA), Tandon’s largest student organization with a mission of bridging the gap between academia and entrepreneurship to streamline student ventures.

  • Katja Schroeder
    Managing Director, Bloom PR

    Katja Schroeder has created integrated communications campaigns for technology companies in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific to build and strengthen their market position. Her passion is to communicate the positive impact of technology innovation. She has been counseling innovative companies, including SAP, Planet Solar, zkipster, Seed&Spark, tado° and the Race for Water Foundation on their communications strategies. Schroeder was a director at Burson-Marsteller and Senior Vice President at Ruder Finn NY, handling transnational PR programs for clients. She also built Ruder Finn’s technology practice in China to provide clients counsel on market-entry and positioning programs. Schroeder started her career in Europe as a freelancer for K&K Kohtes & Klewes (now Ketchum pleon, Germany), Weber Shandwick Paris (France) and ABC Berlin (Germany).

    Katja Schroeder co-authored the chapter on global corporate communications in “Reputation Management: The Key for Successful Public Relations and Corporate Communications”, by John Doorley/Helio Fred Garcia (2010/2015). She holds both a Master in Information and Communication Sciences from Sorbonne in Paris, France, and a Master of Arts in Communication from Free University in Berlin, Germany, as well as Diploma in European Public Relations. She is a certified CSR practitioner.

    Schroeder is on the Board of the Center for Entrepreneurship at St. Francis College and an Adjunct Professor for International Marketing at the college.

  • Moderator: John Coghlan
    Founder, DUMBO Startup Lab

    John is the founder DUMBO Startup Lab, one of Brooklyn's first coworking spaces. From its roots as a bootstrapped startup, DUMBO Startup Lab has grown to provide more than one hundred startup founders, solo entrepreneurs and freelancers with a welcoming workspace, practical assistance and a supportive community. DUMBO Startup Lab has also helped to grow and strengthen Brooklyn's tech and startup communities through partnerships with numerous organizations focused on increasing participation in entrepreneurship and tech.

April 8


LIU Brooklyn
Sanford Lecture Hall


Hack Your Way To The Top: How Hackathons Help Your Career, Even If You’re Not a Coder

Hackathons bring great minds together from all disciplines – not only coders - to create innovative solutions to common, but difficult challenges. They also help build up your resume when you use high-level problem solving and focused teamwork to come up with a fully fleshed out solution that you can showcase when applying for jobs. This panel is made up of judges and mentors from the weekend hackathon – who knows, maybe you’ll be inspired to take part!

  • Shaun Johnson
    Co-Founder and New York Program Director, Startup Institute

    Shaun is responsible for strategy and operations at Startup Institute. His background includes serving as an associate at TechStars, and consulting for Booz Allen Hamilton’s Strategic Technology and Innovation practice. Combined with his experience in athletics and acting, this allows him to create a competitive and collaborative environment where intelligence and improv conquer all challenges. Shaun holds a B.A. in computer science and sociology from Georgetown University and an M.S. in information systems from Johns Hopkins University.

  • Tiffany Roesler

    Tiffany Roesler is a CEO, Chairwoman, Advisor and Angel Investor. Her greatest strength is executing on original ideas. She supports in helping organizations build inclusive and skilled teams leading to better problem solving capabilities while increasing retention. Roesler is the CEO of ISPOSSIBLE IN TECH, a technology staffing firm based in NYC with a satellite office in Chicago. She is also the Chairwoman for 2020 Shift which is a a social enterprise that is designed to educate minority millennials on careers in digital media and technology. In February 2015, Roesler made her first Angel Investment in; HER the most popular dating app for lesbian and queer women. She soon after invested in Quantified Care, which helps healthcare organizations manage gaps in patient care through a mobile engagement platform. In July of 2015, with her business partners she formed a dedicated vehicle for investing and advising called As One. Their first investment is in Teckst; which is incredible, textable technology. She is also an Advisor for Defiance Capital, a fund that supports LGBT minority-focused Founders and Startups.​

  • Alyson Martin
    Co-Founder, Cannabis Wire

    Award-winning journalist, Alyson Martin, is the co-founder of Cannabis Wire, a startup news organization that covers the end of a prohibition and the birth of a billion dollar industry. Cannabis Wire has received support from the Brown Institute for Media Innovation (a collaboration between Columbia Journalism School and Stanford School of Engineering) and NYC's Mayor's Office of Media & Entertainment. Martin also co-authored the book, A New Leaf: The End of Cannabis Prohibition, which was published by The New Press in 2014. Martin is an alumna of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and The College of Saint Rose. She is a lifelong Yankees fan.

  • Jeff Soto
    Founder and CEO, Tendigi

    Jeff Soto is the Founder and CEO at Tendigi, a mobile design and development firm based in Brooklyn, NY. As CEO, Soto manages both technical, creative, and clients teams and oversees all company ventures. Before starting Tendigi in 2010, Soto held a position at Apple Inc. as a Quality Assurance Engineer where he led testing on numerous Apple software and hardware products.

  • Moderator: Robert Wu
    Director, St Francis College Center for Entrepreneurship

    Professor Robert Wu, J.D., M.B.A. is the Director of the St Francis College Center for Entrepreneurship and advises entrepreneurs in financial and legal needs. Wu is also an Assistant Professor of Accounting & Business Law at St. Francis College in Brooklyn, New York, where he teaches courses in Elementary Accounting, Auditing, Investment Analysis, Business Law and Accounting Information Systems.

    After beginning his career as a staff accountant for Ernst & Young, LLP, then transitioning into the product control group supporting the high-yield fixed income trading desk within Deutsche Bank, Professor Wu’s legal career started as a judicial extern to a Justice of the New York State Supreme Court (New York County), as a legal assistant to Office of the Chief Counsel, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Immigration & Customs Enforcement. Professor Wu was later appointed Assistant District Attorney within the Office of the Kings County District Attorney, Money Laundering & Revenue Crimes Bureau. He is licensed to practice law in New York, before the United States Tax Court, and in all matters of U.S. immigration law.

April 8


LIU Brooklyn
Sanford Lecture Hall


BE.IN Hack Brooklyn Innovation Challenge Kickoff

Interested in helping to build a better Brooklyn? How about a better resume? If you’re a student in Downtown Brooklyn studying to become the next marketing genius, sales expert, design guru, data scientist, app developer, successful entrepreneur, political maneuverer, or you just love Brooklyn, take part in this weekend’s hackathon. You’ll form a team of fellow students and spend the weekend using your entrepreneurial skills to build prototype products and services for a greener, more sustainable Brooklyn – with dedicated mentoring by top Brooklyn innovation professionals. Hackathon winners receive a $2,000 cash prize. Free food and drink are included all weekend. Note: You must be a student (undergrad or graduate student) to participate.

April 8


LIU Brooklyn
Entrepreneurship Center
Event end: April 10, 5pm

Register for Hackathon