Greg Olsen was the third private citizen to orbit the earth on the International Space Station (ISS). After training for five months (900 hours) at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Moscow, he launched on a Russian Soyuz rocket TMA-7 on October 1, 2005 with Cosmonaut Valeri Tokarev and Astronaut Bill McArthur (Expedition 12). He then docked to the ISS on October 3, and returned to earth on Soyuz TMA-6 on October 11 with Cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev and Astronaut John Phillips (Expedition 11). He performed more than 150 orbits of the earth and logged almost 4 million miles of weightless travel during his 10 days in space.
After an illustrious career as a research scientist and entrepreneur, Greg is now president of GHO Ventures in Princeton, NJ where he manages his “angel” investments, South African winery, Montana ranch, and performs numerous speaking engagements to encourage children – especially minorities and females- to consider careers in science and engineering. He is active in the New Jersey Technology Counsel (NJTC), NJTC Venture Fund, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the NJ Commission on Science and Technology.
Greg received a BS Physics (1966), a BSEE and MS Physics (1968) from Fairleigh Dickinson University, then was awarded a Ph.D. in Materials Science from the University of Virginia (1971). He performed post-doctoral studies at the University of Port Elizabeth (South Africa), taught elementary physics classes, and then worked as a research scientist at RCA Labs (Sarnoff Center) from 1972 to 1983. He developed vapor phase epitaxial crystal growth of optoelectronic devices, including laser diodes and photodetectors for fiber optic applications based on the material indium gallium arsenide (InGaAs). He was awarded 12 patents, wrote more than 100 technical papers, co-authored several book chapters and has given numerous invited lectures to both technical and trade journal audiences. Greg is an IEEE LEOS Fellow and the first recipient of the prestigious IEEE Aron Kressel Award.
Since 2012, Brian has been a partner at Bridges Ventures, a global asset manager specializing in sustianable and impact investing. Prior to Bridges, he was the Chief Investment Officer of Acumen Fund, where he oversaw $75M of investments into companies that were delivering health, water, energy, and agriculture services to economic base of the pyramid in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. As CIO, he was a member of Acumen’s management team and helped build out the network of country operations that worked closely with the entrepreneurs. Brian was also a co-founding board member of the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) and was one of the principal architects of impact management software tool, Pulse, and the Impact Reporting and Investment Standards (IRIS). Prior to Acumen Fund, Brian worked as a consultant at McKinsey & Company, was a lead environmental staff person at the Corporation for National Service, and was involved in a range of non-profit and for-profit start ups. Brian has an undergraduate degree from Harvard University, an MBA from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, and an MA in City & Regional Planning from the University of California at Berkeley. Brian was the first impact investor to go through the Kauffman Fellows Program of the Center for Venture Education, and is a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute.