About the Entrepreneurial Institute
The Mark and Debra Leslie Entrepreneurs Lab is a 6,800 sq-ft space where entrepreneurs from across NYU can connect, collaborate, and explore how to turn ideas and inventions into startups. The Leslie eLab offers vast array of resources available to the NYU community.
Andy is the Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Entrepreneurial Institute, and Director of the Blackstone LaunchPad at NYU. He founded Lean Launch Ventures, a tech accelerator, invested, advised and trained other entrepreneurs, has founded and sold a technology startup, and is a member of the New York CTO club. Previously, he spent 17 years at Microsoft where he launched/managed several businesses.
Carol OurivioCommunications Assistant
Carol provides graphic design and marketing creatives support for the Institute team. She graduated from NYU Steinhardt, with a major in Media, Culture, and Communication and a minor in Web Development and Applications. She is a graphic and UI/UX designer, and a vintage camera enthusiast.
Dee DaoVenture Associate
Dee is a Venture Associate for the NYU Innovation Venture Fund, focusing on investment opportunities in life science and healthcare. Prior to joining the Fund, Dee did product development and intellectual property strategy in therapeutics and diagnostics for Ludwig Cancer Research. Dee holds a Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics /Developmental Biology from Columbia University.
Desiree FriesonProgram Manager
Desiree Frieson is the Program Manager for Blackstone LaunchPad at NYU, focusing on matching startup coaches with NYU entrepreneurs. She is the lead organizer with 3 Day Startup, a nonprofit organization teaching entrepreneurial skills to university students. Desiree worked with NeighborWorks America prior to joining the Entrepreneurial Institute.
Frank RimalovskiExecutive Director
Frank heads the Entrepreneurial Institute and is the Managing Director of the NYU Innovation Venture Fund which invests in early stage NYU startups. He is a member of the national teaching team for the National Science Foundation’s I-Corps program and an Adjunct Faculty at the NYU School of Engineering. He has been a venture capitalist for over 15 years.
Jen CurtisProgram Coordinator
Jen is the Program Coordinator at the Entrepreneurial Institute, where she oversees the Leslie eLab operations and provides administrative support for the Institute's senior leadership. She is a returned Peace Corps Volunteer and recently worked at the UN World Food Programme. Jen holds an M.A. in International Relations from St. John’s University.
Kunal MehtaVenture Associate
Kunal is a Venture Associate with the NYU Innovation Fund. Prior to joining the fund, Kunal was the founder of Unfold Mobile Labs and worked at the non-profit charity: water. Kunal began his career on Wall Street at J.P. Morgan as a Smart Start Scholar and graduated from the NYU Stern School of Business in 2011. He is the author of Disruptors and Finding Genius.
Remya ThomasCommunications and Community Manager
Remya is the Communications and Community Manager at the Entrepreneurial Institute where she manages the digital marketing and communications strategy and execution. She previously worked at public relations agencies in New York and Chicago. Remya holds a M.S. in Communications Management from Syracuse University.
Risa CohnEvents Manager
Risa is the Events Manager for the Entrepreneurial Institute. She oversees events produced by the Institute and coordinates programming for NYU’s faculty and researchers, including the I-Corps program. Prior to NYU, she was a consultant at a startup venture focused on adolescent education.
Sarah MaibachProgram Manager
Sarah is the Program Manager for the Entrepreneurial Institute where she builds technical programming and grows external partnerships. Prior to joining the Institute, Sarah worked at General Assembly and Stanford University. Sarah holds an M.A. in Comparative International Education from Columbia University.
Our Guardians & Interns
Dhinhawati (Nana) SembiringSPS '17
Nana is a second-year graduate student studying Integrated Marketing. Coming from an entrepreneurial upbringing, she has played in diverse businesses in Indonesia. Her interests in Education, Innovation & Design, and Technology grew deeper after she relocated to New York City. She is a mobile photography enthusiast and an aspiring entrepreneur who is devoted to knowledge-sharing.
Felipe ValenciaStern '18
Felipe is a citizen of the world. From Colombia and lived in China, France, Canada, and the USA has sparked his passion in cultures and languages. This has led him to learn Spanish, English, French, and Mandarin, but most importantly, it has allowed him to break down cultural and social barriers and make friends around the world. Felipe loves learning, being inquisitive, and being challenged.
Joakim Gregersen QuachTisch ' 17
Joakim is a second year graduate student at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts Interactive Telecommunication Program. He is a guardian at the Leslie eLab and provides support and guidance in the Prototyping Lab. Joakim is a Danish born, NYC-based creative developer, with experience in prototyping, software and hardware development.
Magdalena KovarikTisch '16
Magdalena is a second year graduate student at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts Interactive Telecommunication Program. She is a guardian at the Leslie eLab and provides support to students, researchers and faculty at the Prototyping Lab. Magdalena is an Austrian born interdisciplinary designer, inventor and maker.
Smrati HansTandon '18
Smrati is a first year graduate student at NYU Tandon School of Engineering studying Financial Engineering. She enjoys working with people, organizing events, and coding. Her diverse skill sets has led her to the entrepreneurship pathway. She is an international student from India and loves to travel.
Temirlan NugmanovGallatin '19
Tim is a Gallatin sophomore from Kazakhstan. During his first year at NYU, he served as the class president and founded Fit A.I, a sports technology startup that develops hardware to help athletic teams digitize weightlifting data and optimize sports performance. Tim loves all things entrepreneurial and runs cool startup programs and events at the NYU Tandon based Entrepreneurship & Innovation Association (EIA).
Wiggin and Dana is a full-service law firm with 150 lawyers that represents clients throughout the country and abroad from our offices in Connecticut, New York and Philadelphia.
VentureWell is a higher education network that cultivates revolutionary ideas and promising inventions.
Techstars is the global ecosystem that helps entrepreneurs build great businesses. With 13 programs worldwide, Techstars' mentorship-driven accelerators fund the best companies in the most entrepreneurial communities.
Stryker is one of the world's leading medical technology companies that offers a diverse array of innovative products and services in Orthopaedics, Medical and Surgical, and Neurotechnology and Spine.
McCarter & English, LLP is a firm of over 400 lawyers with offices in Boston, Hartford, Stamford, New York, Newark, East Brunswick, Philadelphia, Wilmington and Washington, DC. In continuous business for more than 170 years, we are among the oldest and largest law firms in America.
Flybridge Capital Partners is an early-stage venture capital firm with $560 million under management. Our goal is to find talented entrepreneurs and then partner with them to build exceptional and valuable companies.
For more than four decades, Fenwick & West LLP has helped some of the world’s most recognized companies become, and remain, market leaders.
At Comcast Ventures, our goal is to turn startups into profitable businesses. We have deep resources, a passion for building businesses and a track record of spotting and scaling innovations since 1999.
Influenced by the enterprising heritage of the firm and its founders, The Blackstone Charitable Foundation is directing its resources and applying the intellectual capital of the firm to foster entrepreneurship in areas nationwide and globally.
Our Advisory Board
Ash is the Founder and CEO of Actifio, a provider of storage software solutions. A serial entrepreneur and founder AppIQ and Serano Systems, Ash was previously a partner at Greylock Capital and served as VP and Chief Technologist at HP.
Carlos is a Co-Founder and Managing Director of Celsius Capital, a TMT focused investment firm. Previously, he was cofounder and President of Vonage, and before that an investment banker at Credit Suisse.
David (Law ’06) is the Managing Partner of BoxGroup, a New York City-based early-stage investment fund. He is also the co-founder and Chairman of Spring, director of the Startup Studio at CornellTech and co-founder of TechStars NYC.
Dong Hyun (“Dean”) Park
Dean (Stern ’80) is the Founder of Dong-A PharmTech Co. Ltd. and serves as its President and Chief Executive Officer. He is a serial entrepreneur who has founded and served as CEO and/or president of a string of successful international companies.
Dr. Paul M. Horn
Paul (Chairman) is the Senior Vice Provost for Research and Senior Vice Dean for Strategic Initiatives and Entrepreneurship, Tandon School of Engineering, responsible for providing University-wide leadership in advancing research at NYU. He was named NYU Distinguished Scientist in Residence in 2007.
Fred (Trustee) is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Union Square Ventures. He has been a venture capitalist since 1987, and previously cofounded Flatiron Partners. Wilson publishes a blog called AVC: musings of a VC in NYC, on topics often related to venture capital entrepreneurship.
Harry (Stern ’74 & ’78) is the CEO of Technology Solutions Partners, a global technology advisory firm.
Jeffrey is the Chairman and CEO of Liquidity Works, a venture capital and strategic advisory firm. He is a serial entrepreneur having founded Whitemarsh Industries and Turbochef Technologies. He is a founder of the World Championship of Ping Pong and several other sports content ventures.
Ken is a Senior Advisor to Teneo Holdings, an advisory firm that works some of the world’s most respected companies, non-profits and governments. Previously he has served as Vice Chairman of Merrill Lynch Capital Markets and Credit Suisse First Boston.
William (Heights '58) serves as an Advisory Director at General Atlantic LLC, a leading global private equity firm. Previously, he was a Managing Director at the firm, and before that was a VP and corporate officer at IBM.
Lean Launchpad Educators
Ali is Adjunct Faculty at the School of Engineering and is currently the Director of Technology Program Management at HBO. She is also the Chief Technology Officer and cofounder of Kwivo, revolutionizing in-flight experiences by aggregating data from disparate databases to enable airlines to offer a differentiated passenger service.
Chris DickeyGlobal Public Health
Chris is a Clinical Associate Professor of Global Public Health and an international development innovator and public health entrepreneur who has worked in more than 20 countries with the UN and other agencies. He co-founded a company that provides clean water and primary care to villages in India.
Cynthia is the senior associate director for the Leonard N. Stern School's W.R. Berkley Innovation Lab. There she oversees the development and implementation of various initiatives that nurture entrepreneurial talent at NYU.
David is an Industry Professor at the School of Engineering, where he directs the Innovation and Technology Forum. Previously a journalist, he worked as a reporter for the New York Daily News, the China News in Taiwan, and Newsday and as a co-producer of the PBS talk show The Digital Age. Lefer also served as COO of Scigus, Inc., a high-tech defense contractor he helped found.
Erica is an adjunct faculty member at Steinhardt, where she teaches Lean Launchpad, and Principal at Quantum Media. She is a recognized leader in television, advertising, and digital media, and former CEO of Food Network. As a management consultant, she advises media and entertainment companies like the BBC, Conde Nast and others. She shares the pain and joy of startups as co-founder of MusEDWorks, Inc., enabling music-making for all.
Hans is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Business and Society at Stern. He teaches courses in social entrepreneurship, social impact and professional responsibility and leadership. He is a co-founder of Preferred Brands International, a food company that manufactures a range of natural and organic meals under the brand Tasty Bite.
Jen van der MeerTisch (ITP)
Jen is an Adjunct Faculty at ITP where she teaches the Lean Launchpad. Jen is a serial entrepreneur, currently serving as the Founder and CEO of Reason Street, where she creates business models for social impact.
Josh KnowlesTisch (ITP)
Josh is an Adjunct Professor at ITP where he teaches the Lean Launchpad. Outside of teaching, he designs and develops systems that help people do things together better – whether it be collaborating about research or politics, expressing themselves, making art, or playing games.
Larry is a music and technology entrepreneur and advisor and host of the Musonomics podcast. He is a Clinical Associate Professor and Director of the Music Business Program, and teaches undergraduate and graduate courses Music Entrepreneurship, Music Analytics, Strategic Marketing and the Business Structure of the Music Industry.
Lucas is Adjunct Faculty at the School of Engineering, and is a Principal at Gotham Ventures and proud geek. As a hacker turned VC, Lucas brings a unique mix of technical depth and business knowledge to bear when Gotham Ventures works with a company.
Maaike is a visiting Assistant Professor at Steinhardt’s Educational Communication and Technology program. She works at the intersection of educational software and learning theory. In her role as VP of Product Development at Taskstream, she helped build the company from a 7 to 100 people, serving 400+ institutions in the US.
Mike is an Industry Professor and Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the School of Engineering.He is the founder of three startup companies; Atrium Networks, $15M startup developing 40GB optical transceivers, as well as Mode 1 and Asension. He previously worked at Motorola, Agilent, and Lockheed-Martin.
Ravi is Associate Professor in the departments of Medicine and Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology. His research has led to the novel finding that the glucose metabolizing enzyme, aldose reductase, assumes a critical role in the pathogenesis of myocardial ischemic injury in diabetics and non-diabetics.
S. Alex RuthmannSteinhardt
Alex is a researcher, educator, and musician whose research and practice explores new media musicianship, creative computing, the creative processes of young musical creators, and the development of music and media technologies for use in school- and community-based youth programs.
Steve is Managing Director of Incubators and Entrepreneurship at the School of Engineering, as well as an Adjunct Faculty. Steve oversees two tech incubators for NYU (Dumbo and Varick St) as well as several programs including InnoVention and the SPIKE program.
Tom IgoeTisch (ITP)
Tom is a faculty member at ITP, where he is the area head for physical computing courses. He is a co-founder of the Arduino open source microcontroller environment and has written four books for makers. His research interests include physical interaction design, networks, sustainability in technology development, and monkeys.