The eLab Mentorship Program aims to provide tremendous value and benefits for both students and mentors. The purpose of mentoring must be mutually established by the mentor and mentees, with clearly deﬁned goals and outcomes. We suggest that mentors and teams discuss goals and expectations for the summer prior to the start of the program.
Mentors should not have a vested interest in their startup team; they may not seek to invest in the startup, assume a board position, or take on any other company role. If a mentor is interested in establishing any such role with the startup, the Keller Center program manager must be notified and resignation from the mentor program will be necessary. However, the mentor may take on a more official (advisory/board) role after the program finishes, if they wish.
Mentoring requires a trusting, confidential relationship based on mutual respect. Any individual engaging in University programs shall understand and abide by the University’s Rights, Rules, and Responsibilities and take note of the recently updated policy on Sex Discrimination & Sexual Misconduct.
- Pairing with a student startup for the duration of the program (fall/spring or summer)
- Bi-weekly mentor-team meetings over the course of the program
- Meetings can be held via phone/Skype if geographically necessary
- Invitations to various Keller Center events throughout the year
A key component of eLab is mentorship, and the Keller Center is always seeking individuals who are interested in lending their time and expertise to the program. Faculty, alumni, local entrepreneurs, and industry experts are invited to learn more about the eLab Summer Accelerator Program and find out how they can contribute to the success of Princeton’s budding entrepreneurs.
For questions or more information, please contact Stephanie Landers, Keller Center Program Manager: firstname.lastname@example.org, 609-258-3979.
eLab Mentors 2019
Jennifer Morrow Eident
Jennifer Morrow Eident is an industry-leading marketing expert and serial entrepreneur. She is CEO & Co-Founder of Morrow Lane, a full-service, results-driven marketing company focused on high-growth start-ups. Previously she held multiple executive marketing roles and worked at TPG Growth, Cambridge Associates and the High-Tech Investment Division of the Abu Dhabi government. She was also CEO & Co-Founder of Vixely, a leading iPad publication in Women's Health.
Jen received her MBA from Stanford University where she helped launch a startup incubator between the d. (design) School and MBA programs. She received her BA from Hamilton College where she played tennis. She serves on the board of or as an or advisor to several start-ups, accelerators, nonprofits and universities including Barnard's Athena Center of Innovation and Stanford University. She is also Co-Founder of Morrow Sloan, a jewelry and lifestyle brand that donates a portion of proceeds to helping female entrepreneurs.
Karthik Eticala has a track record in leading strategic new business innovation within CPG, Healthcare, Oil & Gas and EPC industries. He has 15 years of experience in new product development, operations management, supply chain management, and large scale plant design. Karthik is an innovative and resourceful problem solver with consistent success at delivering exceptional results, leading change, and driving forward-thinking transformational capabilities. Karthik received his MBA from New York University and his B.S. and M.S. in Chemical Engineering from New Jersey Institute of Technology. He enjoys playing basketball, golf and spending time with his family in East Brunswick, NJ.
Natasha Gajewski is the founder of Princeton-based Symple Health, a platform that helps patients understand and visualize health information, and efficiently communicate with their providers and other stakeholders. The consumer-facing Symple app has been a featured app in the iTunes medical app store for almost three years and is one of Apple's favorite apps for patients. The Symple community creates millions of data points every day and offers a fascinating view of what health *feels* like around the world.
Simon is a serial entrepreneur within the enterprise software sector with a track record of founding and growing businesses. Since starting his career with Accenture, he has worked for high-growth organizations in Europe, SE Asia as well as the US, including CEO of ROC Americas, COO of Axon Solutions and CEO of Lemongrass US. Simon is a hands-on manager with experience of technology, operations and business development, together with two buy-outs, four acquisitions and an IPO. As a member of the New York Angels, he is closely involved with a number of local start-ups, and has been an eLab mentor for the past 5 years.
Simon is a graduate of Imperial College, London, and a Harvard Business School alumnus. He lives in Princeton with his wife Clare, and their three children.
Fadzi Makanda '07
Fadzi Makanda graduated from Princeton University in 2007 as an English major and received her MBA from Harvard Business School. Her experience includes executing investment and acquisition opportunities at Sony and iHeartMedia. Previously, Fadzi worked at iROKOtv, the largest distributor of African content online. As Head of International Content Acquisition, she led the start-up's international content strategy and structured licensing deals with major Hollywood studios. Fadzi began her career at Credit Suisse within the Equities division, where she worked with $BN+ institutional investors. Fadzi has spoken at industry events such as South by Southwest and Harvard Business School's annual Dynamic Women in Business Conference, covering topics including the African tech landscape and trends in digital media.
Elisabet Mas is the co-Founder and founding CEO of WASHROCKS. The first Spain-based App for laundry and dry-cleaning delivery service in 24 hours with two-hour notice pick up and real-time laundry status checking. In the era of last-mile delivery, WASHROCKS, is a success case of real-time route optimization, new commodity, and disruptive business model. Before that and in the same arena, Elisabet Mas was a founding team member of today’s global company ByHours.com. The first microstays booking platform where hotels can be booked on an hourly basis.
Born in Barcelona, Spain, Elisabet Mas received her BA from ESADE and her MBA from Pompeu Fabra where she was awarded a full scholarship as one of the best disruptive entrepreneurs of the year in 2015 in Barcelona.
Today Elisabet Mas is a digital business strategist consultant with a deep understanding of early-stage companies, go-to-market strategies, digital marketing, online marketplaces, on-demand delivery services, managerial finance, legal business structures, investment fund structures.
George McLaughlin '58
George has been an entrepreneur in a variety of domestic and international businesses including food processing, small business financing, communications, drug discovery, records management, and air quality. He also worked on Wall Street as president of the world’s largest gold and silver dealer. George served as President of Mocatta Metals Corporation, a world leader in gold bullion trading. He has founded and managed several highly successful start-up companies in the consumer products and financing industries. He is an entrepreneur in the food industry. Since 1989, he held executive positions in the following companies: Ideal Macaroni Company, Weiss Noodle Company, and Food Tree, Inc. He serves as the Chairman of the Board, American Specialty Foods, Inc. He has been a Director of AOL MovieFone, Inc. (MovieFone Inc.), since March 1994 and serves as a Director of PsychoGenics Inc. George served as an officer in the U.S. Navy Supply Corps, received a BA degree in economics from Princeton University and an MBA degree from Harvard Business School.
Steve is a financial executive with a background spanning multiple industries and companies of differing scales and scopes. He currently serves as CFO to a leading civil engineering and capital project firm. Steve holds active licenses as both an attorney and a CPA. He received his BS in Accounting from Pennsylvania State University, and JD and MBA degrees from Temple University.
Theresa is a senior strategic executive with over 15 years of in-depth financial, operating and strategic consulting experience. She is a Director at Otsuka Pharmaceuticals. Theresa has led or participated in a significant number of complex, multi-faceted advisory engagements, with senior management roles in both global institutions and start-up platforms. She has provided strategic and operational advisory services to global pharmaceutical companies, hospital systems, and leading medical device manufacturers. While at Mercer Management Consulting, Theresa advised Fortune 500 companies, a broad range of international conglomerates, and governmental authorities in the United States, Latin America and Eastern Europe. After Mercer, Theresa created a global growth strategy and operational redesign for the medical device division of a leading global electronics company. Theresa also directed the North American business lines of European-based financial advisory and consulting firm. Theresa earned her M.B.A. from The Wharton Graduate School of Business, her M.A. from Johns Hopkins University and her B.A. Magna cum Laude from Dartmouth College.
Beth Ann Murphy
Beth Ann Murphy is a scientist with experience in the pharmaceutical and life sciences biotech sectors. Presently she is the Founder of BAM Consulting LLC, whose mission is to share industry know-how with scientist-entrepreneurs to advance their ideas from the lab to commercialized products. Prior to starting BAM Consulting LLC, Dr. Murphy held positions in a start-up company that spun out of an academic lab at Rutgers University and most notably, 25 years as a research scientist at Merck & Co. She has extensive and holistic experiences in all aspects of drug discovery across multiple disease areas and contributed the success of innumerable drug discovery programs.
Dr. Murphy holds a bachelor’s degree from Muhlenberg College, a master’s degree from Seton Hall University and a PhD from Rutgers University. Notably, she undertook her doctoral degree and training while maintaining her full-time career track position at Merck. She was also awarded a 2-year paid sabbatical numbering among the top 5% of applicants to be selected to this competitive, company-wide program.
Beth is a member of several professional organizations, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Women in Science Association, and the New York Academy of Sciences. She is a frequent grant reviewer for the NIH Cardiovascular Small Business Study Section and an NSF I-Corps Instructor. She is passionate about promoting roles for Women in STEM and volunteers to mentor girls and women interested in careers in science. She is a history buff and avid traveler.
John Rudikoff is the CEO and Managing Director of the CUBE (the Center for Urban Business Entrepreneurship) at Brooklyn Law School, a law center that trains lawyers to serve startup businesses and entrepreneurs through clinical practice. John also serves as an Adjunct Professor of Law, teaching the Law of Entrepreneurship – a 3 credit upper-level course.
John is Co-Founder and Principal for LeapStep Design, a consulting practice that enhances the design and energy performance for the built environment.
John also serves as Co-Chair of the board of directors of Terreform ONE [Open Network Ecology] a non-profit architecture group that promotes innovation and smart design in cities; and a member of the board of directors of the American Institute of Graphic Artists, New York Chapter (AIGANY), and the Friends of the Brooklyn Queens Connector (BQX), a non-profit group working to develop a new light rail transit system connecting the two boroughs.
Jerry's work experience started with a twenty-three year career at American Cyanamid working in chemicals, plastics, paints, and building products, and culminated in five years as President of the Polymer Products Division. For the ensuing five years he was the COO of Ivax Industries, a specialty chemical subsidiary of Ivax Corporation which I grew from $25M to $75M. Jerry spent the next five years as CEO of Management Cleaning Controls, a Private Equity build-up company in facility maintenance for retail stores, which he founded and built from zero to $45M with Bank of America Capital Investors. He was also founder, owner, and CEO of PebbleFlex, a polyurethane rubber surfacing manufacturer of safety surfaces for playgrounds and water play facilities. After seven years Jerry sold PebbleFlex to Landscape Structures, a leading global playground equipment company. After that, he became President of Landscape Structures' Surfacing Division and ultimately became a consultant to the company which role has continued to the present. Jerry is currently a Management Consultant concentrating on helping small to medium size company owners improve operating performance. His education includes Providence College (BS), Boston College (PHD) Carnegie Mellon (Executive MBA Program).
Joe Seldner has a diverse background in business, entertainment and journalism. He was a Pulitzer Prize nominated reporter, an Emmy nominated producer, creative executive to actor Tom Hanks, is currently developing a TV series, runs a non profit, climbed to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in 2013, and foolishly plays touch football every Sunday. He has degrees from Yale and Columbia.
Tony's background includes Foreign Service Officer and Deputy Director of Peace Corps in Tunisia responsible for program planning, operations and government relations. Tony was also Managing Director at Chase Manhattan Bank with 20 years’ experience in International Lending and Capital Markets. The group created Commodity Derivatives and Tony managed teams in London and New York. He has lived and traveled extensively in the US, Central and Latin America, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East providing lending and product delivery to clients. He was Principal at Development Alternatives Inc. and CEO of NMB the largest bank branch network in Tanzania. He was also Chairman of the Tanzanian Bankers Association which comprised 31 banks and developed several policy initiatives with the government involving credit policy and labor regulations, and a member of the CEO roundtable in Tanzania, which worked on policy recommendations to the government and developed linkages with small business for local supplies. He restructured a small but strategically important Tier 2 Financial Institution in Uganda with a branch in the border area of Sudan and Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
Tony was Regional Director for Africa and Chairman of five affiliates of Finca International, one of the largest global providers of microfinance, with operations in Central America, Africa, and Central Asia including Afghanistan and Russia. As Chairman of the Board and Regional Director oversaw strategy as well as operations. Tony has been a guest lecturer on microfinance at Wharton and NYU and has been an advisor to the summer Executive MBA class at Wharton on entrepreneurial payment solutions in Africa. Tony is also mentor to students at the University of Wisconsin Madison (MPA 1973) and former employees who have created or are running entrepreneurial business.
Steve Snyder is focused on the strategic planning, launch and operation of new businesses, products and services in the telecom, media and renewable energy sectors in the US and emerging markets. He has over 30 years of international business and technology/ strategy consulting experience in Europe, China, Asia and North America including the launch of Accenture’s Greater China business, the launch of the worlds first commercially scaled and profitable IPTV service, the launch of nationwide VoiP services in the US and Asia, and the launch of multiple ground-up operating wireless and wireline carriers and interactive media/ web businesses. He has been responsible for driving growth, profitability and managing the P&L of services businesses greater than $100m annual revenue and has been actively involved in multiple startups and M&A activities in the media/ IoT/ telecom and services space as investor, board member and mentor. Steve is a frequent speaker at industry events and conferences and has received numerous industry accolades for the research, products and ideas developed under his watch including recent participation in authoring the Economist’s 2015 Digital Disruptions in Telecoms report, Internet of Things (IoT) award in 2015 for new products and services in the sector by Aegis Graham Bell, and business innovations awards at the Global Telecoms Business Awards 2014 for ways to increase broadband penetration and carrier profitability. He continues this passion in his involvement with new startups targeting creative technologies, business processes and operations in the telecom, media and energy sectors. Steve graduated from the Pennsylvania State University in 1979 with honors in Civil Engineering (BSCE) and a focus on construction management and extended this through 1981 with research and Masters studies on nuclear construction optimization, renewable/ solar energy development and the effectiveness of systems technologies for improving business profitability in the construction industry.
Lawrence Spera is founder and managing partner of Residential Capital Asset Management, LLC, a socially responsible investment company that specializes in residential mortgages and real estate related activities. The company specializes in investment and financing alternatives to keep financially troubled homeowners out of default and foreclosure as well as providing access to home ownership to those unable to qualify under current banking requirements.
Mr. Spera is a serial entrepreneur providing seed funding and early stage financing to companies that focus on social innovation and community impact. Investments include start-up restaurants in urban enterprise zones and foodservice businesses that practice sustainability and social responsibility. In addition, Mr. Spera provides grants to non-profit organizations that support community projects and participates as an active member on the board of directors for various non-profit organizations.
He is a lecturer at the University of New Hampshire, Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics on business and entrepreneurial studies and a judge at the annual UNH Holloway Innovation-to-Market Competition.
Mr. Spera is a graduate of North Carolina State University and holds an MBA from Rutgers University School of Business.
Modern Marketing and Channel leader with a successful track record of creating and implementing strategies to generate revenue through integrated digital marketing programs, successful partnerships, and high-growth scalable sales enablement initiatives. Extensive experience identifying and capitalizing on global market opportunities with a demonstrated ability to translate complex IT management strategies into practical and usable business solutions for startup and top tier technology product, solution and service providers. CenturyLink, Lucent/Avaya, Avanade (a joint venture with Microsoft and Accenture), Westcon-Comstor (Cisco’s largest distributor outside the US,) and others. She is a graduate of Hamilton College, completed her masters course work at Boston University in Marketing, sits on the Princeton Environmental Commission and is the Special Education Liaison for the John Witherspoon Middle School. Joan lives in Princeton with her husband, son and two King Charles Cavaliers.
David Stengle is a serial entrepreneur. His latest venture, Board++ cracks glass ceilings, diversifies boards, and prepares our next generation for board seats.
Previous companies delivered enterprise software solutions in fintech, adtech, and digital health. He started as a programmer and later led technology, product, marketing, revenue, business development and strategy at startups as well as CEO of several companies. He spent several years as managing director and CTO of an accelerator. He also advises early stage companies.
David is the founder and director of Startup Grind's Princeton chapter and runs startup, blockchain, and data science meetups.
Ward Tomlinson '75
Ward spent his first 19 years on Wall Street at Bear Stearns where he launched/managed the firm's institutional mortgage and structured credit sales business. He subsequently managed a family-owned sales and distribution business before trying his hand at starting a real-time NASDAQ analytics platform for the online trading universe.
Recruited back to Bear Stearns in 2002, Ward set up the firm's senior relationship management team focused on our largest institutional clients which he managed until 2006 when he was asked to move to Hong Kong to re-build the firm's non-Japan Asia fixed income sales effort.
Post the financial crisis, Ward returned to the U.S. and has spent the last 9 years establishing and growing the senior relationship functionality at both The Royal Bank of Scotland and Societe Generale.
Benedikt von Schröder
Benedikt von Schroder has been active at a senior level in corporate finance and private equity for close to 30 years. Since 2012 he has shifted focus to venture capital. Based in Princeton, he has been mentoring entrepreneurs and investing as a business angel in start-ups both in the US and in Europe. His investments are tech driven and typically at the seed stage. Most recently he has invested in start-ups in the life science, digital health and education-tech sectors. Benedikt graduated from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München in 1984. He serves as an advisor to Lambent Data, Inc. in Princeton, is the incoming board chair of The Princeton Festival and a member of the German think-tank Atlantik-Bruecke.
James Walsh, a life sciences technology commercialization specialist, has spent the past 15 years working with US and European academic centers, and private and public companies to commercialize early stage technologies. He is currently a business advisor to University City Sciences Center QED (Proof-of-Concept) Program. Previously, James worked in technology development and commercialization roles for a number of leading universities in London, UK, and for Enterprise Ireland, the Irish export focused economic development agency. His focus is to ensure early stage and established companies grow through research & innovation and by strategic R&D collaborations with partner companies and international research centers. He has worked across many sectors in the life sciences including medical devices, clinical diagnostics, drug development, bioenergy technology and nutraceuticals. James also has a long track record in basic and applied clinical research with positions at Oxford University, the UK Medical Research Council, and Imperial College London where his research contributed to a number of significant medical research breakthroughs.
James holds a Master’s degree in Intellectual Property Law from Queen Mary College, London PhD in genetics from Imperial College London. He also holds Bachelor of Science degrees from the National University of Ireland. He grew up in Galway, Ireland. He currently resides in Princeton with his family.
Bill Wescott '85
A lifelong intra- and entrepreneur, Bill has worked with startups, corporations, investors, governments, and NGOs to create sustainable enterprises. In addition to being a leader of three Bay Area startups in the domains of e-learning, cleantech, and complex systems simulation, Bill was the Vice President, Innovation for Veolia, working across all businesses (water, waste, energy, and transportation) and across the world. Bill currently serves as a Senior Fellow at the U.S. Council on Competitiveness, a member of the advisory board to the University of Washington, and an advisor to variety of organizations worldwide. Bill has a Ph.D. in Engineering and Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon and BSE in Chemical Engineering from Princeton.
Benedikt started his career as a management consultant at Bain & Company before joining the iconic Italian motorcycle manufacturer Ducati, following its takeover by private equity firm Texas Pacific Group. Here he was in charge of Sales and Business Development. During his tenure, he achieved double-digit growth by restructuring the existing sales & distribution network across multiple international markets and by expanding the company’s high-margin Accessories and Apparel business division. Later, Benedikt served as Chief of Staff to the CEO of Maserati (a Fiat-Chrysler brand), overlooking day-by-day execution of the company’s turn-around and growth plan. After moving to New York, Benedikt joined Alvarez & Marsal, a restructuring firm where he served private equity investment funds as interim manager for several of their portfolio companies, primarily focused on sales & marketing, revenue growth and margin enhancement in a multitude of industries including: Automotive, Renewable Technologies, Apparel, Food, Retail and Luxury Goods.
In 2014, alongside Princeton University lecturer and successful digital marketing entrepreneur Chris Kuenne, Benedikt co-founded Rosemark Capital, a growth-stage investment firm focused on Healthcare IT, Digital Marketing and B2B2C IT solutions. Today, he operates as an independent advisor and investor to few selected start-ups and growth stage companies.
Benedikt holds an MBA from the University of Bologna (Italy), and a degree in Naval Engineering & Yacht Design from Southampton University (UK).