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Startup Yale Prize Judges

Meet the expert practitioners and innovators who will serve as judges for Startup Yale's 2021 pitch competitions.

Miller Prize

June Choi
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June is CEO/Founder of Serval Ventures that is evolving the venture investment model by applying data-driven strategies and honing human capital to more consistently increase startup and social entrepreneur success. She also consults, advises, mentors and teaches nonprofits, startups, entrepreneurs and professionals. Throughout her career, June has worked with a range of organizations including service organizations, philanthropy, institutions and startups in various roles from executive to consultant to board member. She has been featured in the Chronicle of Philanthropy, the NEA Tapes, Kyopo Project, served on numerous panels, spoken at many conferences and workshops on topics ranging from management, philanthropy, nonprofit issues, diversity issues, policy matters and career management.

Jenny Fielding
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Jenny Fielding is the Managing Director of the Techstars New York City Accelerator , where she leads the program. She is also the founder of The Fund, a first check fund investing in local founders. Her portfolio includes more than 120+ companies. Jenny is an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University and Kauffman Fellow. Previously, she ran Corporate Venture at BBC Worldwide and has founded several companies including Switch-Mobile (acquired in 2009).

Raj Gorla
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Raj Gorla is the CEO of Cortieno Health.  Raj has played a leadership role in strategic planning and advisory consulting in the healthcare technology domain and managed highly efficient teams in the areas of EMR implementation/optimization, Healthcare Data Analytics/Interoperability and Mobile Health. His passion lies in technology innovations that can improve health outcomes and increase universal access to healthcare.

He is the founder and president of Suraksha, a non-profit educating and empowering girls with disabilities in South India and has traveled globally for health infrastructure, disaster relief and sustainable development projects.

Raj is also a managing partner in GHSI Capital Partners, an impact investing firm that invests and accelerates global health and social impact innovations. Raj has an MBA from Yale University and has prior undergrad and graduate degrees in Computer Science.

Brendan McGuire
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Brendan McGuire is a Portfolio Manager and the Director of Research at North Sound Management. At North Sound, Brendan leads the analytical team both overseeing research as well as strategic planning. Brendan is a Chartered Financial Analyst and received his C.F.A. designation in 2017. Prior to joining North Sound in 2014, Brendan was an Associate at Commonfund Capital, where he invested in venture capital and private equity backed companies and funds. Prior to Commonfund, Brendan was an Analyst at Deutsche Bank in their investment banking division. Brendan graduated from Princeton University (magna cum laude) with an AB in Politics and a Certificate in Political Economy in 2010. Brendan serves on the Alumni Board of Rye Country Day School.

Gary Stewart
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Gary Stewart is the former CEO of Wayra UK, where he built a portfolio of 185 start-ups worth $1.1bn and scaled Wayra UK to 7 cities.  He’s also a form entrepreneurship professor at IE Business School and a Governor of the University East London.  Serial entrepreneur with successful exit.  Yale College and Yale School of Law graduate, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa.

New Haven Civic Innovation Prize

Dara Kovel
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Dara Kovel  is the Chief Executive Officer of Beacon Communities LLC, a multi-family housing development, investment, and management company with properties throughout New England, New York, and the eastern seaboard.  Dara began at Beacon in 2015 as President of Beacon Communities Development LLC, overseeing the all development activities for Beacon Communities. Dara has been actively involved in the development of affordable housing her whole career. Prior to her joining Beacon, she was Vice President and Chief Housing Officer at the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority (CHFA) where she oversaw all multifamily lending and tax credit allocation activities, as well as the homeownership programs. 

Before working at CHFA, Dara ran the New England office of Jonathan Rose Companies, a New York-based, green, real estate development and investment company.  Her previous work was with Mercy Housing California, where she ran the Southern California office and developed affordable housing throughout the state of California.  

Dara currently serves on the Urban Land Institute’s Terwilliger Center’s Workforce Housing Board and the Home Connecticut Steering Committee.  She is LEED accredited and holds a BA and MBA from Yale University.

Bruni Pizarro
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Bruni Pizarro is the Executive Director at Junta for Progressive Action. Most recently, she was on the Environment & Climate Change Committee of the Transition Team for New Haven’s Mayor, Justin Elicker. Her scholarly work is at the intersection of race, class and the built environment. Bruni's recent scholarship and advocacy centers on climate-induced disaster, colonialism and the impact of forced migration on displaced Puerto Rican women. Her work explores how American urban inequality and the built environment shape the lived experience of Black & Latinx communities.

Bruni is a graduate of the Yale School of the Environment, where she received a Master's degree in Environmental Science. Prior to Yale, she worked as a Research Assistant on an ethnobotanical study at the New York Botanical Garden where she focused on the cultural knowledge of medicinal plants of Latinx and Caribbean communities in New York City. Through her research and advocacy, Bruni hopes to bring forth a racialized and class-based understanding of the downstream effects of disasters on oppressed communities of color.

Bruni previously served as a judge for the New Haven Civic Innovation Prize in its inaugural year (2020).


Daud Shad
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Daud Shad is a senior at Yale University from New Jersey and his primary academic interests are in urbanism and sustainable development. He served for two years as co-coordinator of Dwight Hall's student executive committee and helped develop programs such as New Haven Interns, Volunteer Corps, Homework Helpline, and the Peace Initiative. Daud has also been an ex officio member of the Hall's board of directors, co-coordinator of the First-Years in Service program, and vice president of the Yale Rotaract Club. Within the City of New Haven, Daud was a Dwight Hall Urban Fellow at the Department of Transportation, Traffic & Parking for a semester and a Yale President's Public Service Fellow at the Newhallville Safe Neighborhood Initiative for a summer. He joined a national network of students engaged in service by receiving the 2019 Newman Civic Fellowship. One of Daud's favorite things to do is bike around the many parks in New Haven.

Arthur Thomas
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Arthur W. Thomas III received his Bachelor’s in Industrial & Labor Relations from Cornell University.  Upon graduation, he worked in finance for many years while preparing the transition to investing in real estate and community development. Once transitioned, Mr. Thomas focused on residential rehabilitation for both his personal investment company, and in a consultation capacity for other investment organizations. With a heart for his hometown of Newark, and experience in redevelopment, Mr. Thomas partnered with the City of Newark to beautify depressed areas with the construction of new multifamily residences. 

During this time, Mr. Thomas became extremely active in a local church, and formed the Divine Grace Foundation aimed at empowering historically marginalized residents with academic proficiency, financial literacy, health care, and workforce development skills.  Mr. Thomas recently graduated from a master’s program at Yale Divinity School to enhance his ability to evaluate the ethical intentions and outcomes of community empowerment programs, and build strategic partnerships to reduce socio-economic inequities.  He has also serves on the board of directors for Community Health Network and the Glendower Group CDC. He is co-chair of the Faith in Action outreach ministries at Christian Tabernacle Baptist Church, and is in the ordination process with the American Baptist Convention.

Most recently, Mr. Thomas joined The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven as the Director of Entrepreneurial Initiatives and Inclusive Economic Opportunity – providing the platform for collaborative cross-sector leadership and strategies for equity and empowerment.  As such, He is currently holding conversations with a variety of anchor institutions and community leaders to think through ways of building an equitable entrepreneurial ecosystem in NH. 

Genevive Walker
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Genevive Walker was raised in New Haven, Connecticut.  She attended Educational Center for the Arts and studied theater and graduated from Wilbur Cross High School and subsequently attended and graduated with cum laude distinction from Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies.

After a few relocations in her young adult life, she received her Master of Arts in Elementary Education at Teacher College, Columbia University in the City of New York.  Through the years and during her time at Columbia University, Genevive nurtured her passion for education and developing youth through her service in afterschool programs, summer youth development programs, and youth ministry programs in Harlem, New York, Bridgeport, and New Haven, Connecticut.  Her deepest interests have been supporting the voices of children and young adults in an effort to bring about empowerment and readiness for adulthood.

Genevive is a veteran 5th grade teacher, having served in both the New Haven and Hamden Public school districts.  She is currently the Chief Executive Officer at the Connecticut Center for Arts in Technology in New Haven, CT, where she previously served as Director of Programs and Chief Operating Officer.  During her tenure as Director of Programs, she designed and oversaw the implementation of the Adult Career Training programs, and  Youth Arts After School and Summer programs at ConnCAT.  She has demonstrated her deep passion for education, literacy, and youth through her previous involvement as board members on the Elm City College Preparatory Executive Board and the Literacy Coalition of Greater New Haven Executive Board, Cold Spring School Board of Trustees, and the Youth 2 Youth Network Board. Her hope for New Haven is further demonstrated by her participation as a Facilitator for the Community Leadership Program.  


The Rita Wilson Prize Fund in support of Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Tim Adamson
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Tim Adamson is the CTO and co-founder of KovaDx, and also a Yale PhD student in the computer science department. He loves robotics, AI, and using cutting-edge technologies to serve underprivileged communities. 

Kaveh Khoshnood
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Kaveh Khoshnood, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies at the Yale School of Public Health and executive committee member at Yale Council on Middle East Studies. He is co-founder of Yale Violence and Health Study Group and a faculty member of the Program on Conflict, Resiliency and Health at the Yale MacMillan Center and serves as the Faculty Director for InnovateHealth Yale (IHY). Dr. Khoshnood is trained as an infectious disease epidemiologist and has more than three decades of domestic and international experience in HIV prevention research among people who use drugs and other at risk populations. Dr. Khoshnood's research interests include: 1) epidemiology and prevention of HIV/AIDS, 2) research ethics and 3) humanitarian health. His projects are primarily in China, Lebanon and Bhutan. Dr. Khoshnood teaches courses on public health ethics and global health and is developing a new course on humanitarian health.

Rafael Pérez-Escamilla
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Rafael Pérez-Escamilla, Ph.D., is Professor of Public Health, Director of the Office of Public Health Practice, and Director of the Global Health Concentration at the Yale School of Public Health. He is the PI of the Yale-Griffin CDC Prevention Research Center (PRC). His global public health nutrition and food security research program has contributed to improvements in breastfeeding and other maternal, infant and young child nutrition outcomes, iron deficiency anemia among infants, household food security, and early child development. His health disparities research involves assessing the impact of community health workers at improving behavioral and metabolic outcomes in vulnerable communities.

He has published over 280 research articles, 3 books/monographs, and numerous journal supplements, book chapters, and technical reports. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Medicine (elected in 2019) and served in the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) Food and Nutrition Board from 2012-18. He has been a senior advisor to maternal-child community nutrition programs as well as household food security measurement projects funded by the World Health Organization, the Pan American Health Organization, UNICEF, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),  the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and many other entities.

David Rosenthal
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Dr. David Rosenthal is currently Chief Medical Officer of Tesseract Health and Liminal Sciences, 4Catalyzer companies in Guilford, CT. He is a Primary Care Physician, an Adjunct Professor in the Section of General Internal Medicine at Yale School of Medicine.

From 2012-2020, he served as the Medical Director of the Homeless Patient Aligned Care Team for VA Connecticut, a medical home model of care with specialized access for Veterans experiencing homelessness located in the Errera Community Care Center. He has special areas of expertise in the development, testing, implementation, and scaling of innovative technology products and healthcare services for vulnerable populations. The VACT HPACT clinic was awarded VA/VISN 1 Quality Improvement Award for Best Population Health Program, the Best Clinical Innovation by Yale Department of Psychiatry, and was part of the CRRC team awarded large grant from Congress for large expansion to new clinical site in 2018. In August 2015, USICH officially recognized Connecticut as first state to functionally end chronic homelessness in Veterans, in January 2016, recognized as second state to functionally end homelessness in all Veterans.  

He helped conceive, develop, and deploy the Buprenorphine Home Induction Mobile App on the iOS and Android platforms with grant funding from the VA Innovation Center and private startup accelerators, and helped incorporate mandatory Buprenorphine X-waiver training for all Yale Medical students in the Capstone Course. In 2020 he was the lead medical advisor for the City of New Haven COVID isolation respite shelter, helping to develop the strategic and operational respite document, and was awarded a Proclamation by New Haven mayor Justin Elicker for his commitment to the public health and well being of our community, and awarded a C.H.A.I. (COVID-19 Hero Award for Innovation) by the COVID in 20 show, hosted by National Program Director for VHA Emergency Medicine. 

Rothberg Catalyzer Prize @ Yale

Rothberg Catalyzer Prize @ Yale

Owen Kaye-Kauderer
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Owen graduated from Yale University in 2016. He worked at the management consulting firm Bain & Company before joining Jonathan Rothberg's 4Catalyzer accelerator. At 4Catalyzer, Owen co-founded three companies: Liminal Sciences, Tesseract Health, and Detect. He now serves as Chief Business Officer of Detect, a company that is making a home molecular test for Covid-19.

Sharon Mwale
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Sharon Mwale is a Program Manager at HealthVenture and oversees the execution of several company programs and projects. She has been with HealthVenture since it was founded in 2016. Previously, Sharon was a healthcare consultant at Leavitt Partners working on several strategy engagements with clients. Notably involved in developing a growth strategy to expand the retail clinic business of a Fortune 100 company already grossing $550B in sales of health products and services. She holds a Master of Public Health (MPH) in Health Care Management from Yale University. Sharon earned her Bachelor of Arts in Public Health from the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she also competed as a D1 athlete on the Track & Field team.


Alyssa Siefert Jarvi, PhD
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Alyssa joined Foresite Capital in 2018 as part of the investment team that evaluates the technological feasibility of healthcare innovations. Previously, Alyssa served as engineering director for the Yale Center for Biomedical Innovation and Technology (CBIT), where she advised project teams, ran large healthcare hackathons, and managed academic-industry partnerships. She continues to teach engineering at Yale.

Alyssa earned her PhD in Biomedical Engineering from Yale University while completing two years of MBA coursework at Yale School of Management on a Fellowship, followed by postdoctoral training at Yale Systems Biology Institute and Department of Immunobiology. Her research focused on designing nanotechnology for immunotherapeutic applications such as parasitic infections, cancer, infectious diseases, and peanut allergy. She holds a BS in Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, with a minor in Professional Writing, from Carnegie Mellon University.

Ellen Su
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Ellen is the Chief Product Officer at Wellinks, a digital health company focusing on improving care for patients with chronic respiratory conditions. She sits between hardware, software, and service design teams, and focuses on translating high level business strategy into user-first product design and development. She previously founded a medical device startup where she raised funding, directed product, led design, and eventually managed the acquisition of her company by Wellinks.

Eleanor Tandler
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Ellie Tandler, President & CEO at Affinimark Technologies, is a business executive with proven ability to conceive, develop, lead, problem solve and execute in the healthcare space. She has a track record of motivating and developing high-performing teams. With a focus on healthcare, she has over 20 years of experience working in startup leadership roles, venture capital and strategic consulting for companies like UConn Ventures, Radius Ventures and Ernst & Young LLP. Ellie is a former member of the Advisory Committee for the Connecticut Bioscience Innovation Fund and Connecticut Technology Council and currently sits on the Board of Directors of CURE.

Prior to joining Affinimark, Ellie served as the CEO and a founder of NovaTract Surgical, Inc. a venture-backed start-up company founded to develop new, innovative laparoscopic medical devices for surgeons to take minimally invasive surgery to the next level of ease and simplicity. Ellie received a Master’s in Business Administration from New York University’s Stern School of Business and earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics with honors from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Sabin Sustainable Venture Prize

Alexia Akbay
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Alexia Akbay is the CEO and Co-founder of Symbrosia, a marine biotech company based in Kona, Hawai'i developing a seaweed livestock feed additive to reduce livestock methane emissions by over 90%. Symbrosia was a previous Sabin Sustainable Venture Prize awardee. With a background in green chemistry, Alexia's prior research focused on petroleum-based consumer products, medical marijuana, and blockchain-enabled carbon accounting. 

She is passionate about sustainability as a Grist 50 Fixer, climate activist, and board director of Recycle Hawai'i. She received an MPH from Yale and holds a B.S. from New York University in Chemistry.


Liddy Karter
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Liddy Karter is Managing Partner of Mizzen Capital, Mizzen invests in US based, lower middle market companies across sectors including business services, advanced manufacturing, IT and clean tech. 

Previously Liddy was Managing Director at Enhanced Capital where she managed lower middle market credit funds.  She also ran Karter Capital Advisors, LLC a management consulting company. She has had operating success as CFO of a software company, Netkey, Inc., and CEO of a recycling company Resource Recovery Systems, Inc. both of which exited to strategic public companies. She started her career as a Vice President in the Financial Institutions Group at Morgan Stanley and Co. Inc. 

Liddy has worked with many non-profits to promote entrepreneurship including Crossroads Venture Group, the Angel Capital Association, the Angel Investor Forum, and the CT Technology Council.  She is also a frequent speaker and lecturer on funding for small businesses including at Yale, UConn, Singularity University, US Dept of Commerce, the National Institute of Health  and various industry groups.  She serves on several private corporate boards and is on the board of the Center for Business and the Environment at Yale. 

Liddy received her MBA from Yale University and a BA from Columbia University.


Anastasia O’Rourke
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Anastasia O’Rourke serves as a Managing Director at the Carbon Containment Lab. She has 20 years experience in the environmental sustainability field, as a consultant, entrepreneur, and researcher in Australia, Sweden, France and the US.  Anastasia has specific subject matter expertise in standards and certification systems, cleantech venture investing, and sustainable and green purchasing. Prior to joining the CC Lab, Anastasia was a Senior Technical Consultant with Industrial Economics, where she led a sustainability consulting practice working with federal and state governments, large companies, NGOs, and International organizations on program design, management and evaluation. She co-founded Big Room Inc, developers of the .ECO top level domain and the Ecolabel Index website. She was also a founding Board member of the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council (SPLC), a US based 501c3 non-profit. 

Anastasia holds a Ph.D. from Yale University with a dissertation focused on cleantech venture investing, a M.Sc. in industrial environmental management and policy from Lund University, Sweden, and a B.A. with first class honors from Sydney University, Australia, for which she was awarded the University Medal. 


Andy Sabin
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Andy Sabin does more than simply provide financial support to hundreds of organizations. He is actively engaged with community and environmental programs around the world. He spearheaded the building of a community recreation center in East Hampton, NY. As an extension of his lifelong fascination with reptiles and amphibians and dedication to environmental education, he founded the South Fork Natural History Museum in Bridgehampton and he continues to lead nature walks for the institution. Due to his global efforts, there are two frogs named after him, Centrolene sabine (aka Sabin Glass Frog) and Aphantophryne sabini, one pigmy chameleon, Rhampholean sabini, and a dwarf lemur, Cheirogaleus andysbini. In progress is the naming of a new gecko species from the Galapagos.

Mr. Sabin has served for several years on the environmental law advisory boards at Columbia Law School and UCLA School of Law, relationships that began through his role as treasurer of The Evan Frankel Foundation, which made grants of more than $17 million during its 15-year existence. Mr. Sabin is also proud to be a member of the board of visitors of the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas since 2005. In 2007, to provide more professional support for his philanthropy and involve his family in charitable giving, he established the Andrew Sabin Family Foundation. Andy’s passions are his family, the environment, bicycling and fishing.

Sam Sabin
Sam Sabin

Sam Sabin graduated from Wake Forest University in May 2017, where he majored in Business Enterprise Management with a minor in Italian Language and Culture Studies. After finishing his degree, he pursued a career in digital marketing strategy at Kepler Group for about two years, working on the New York Times account. Reflecting on his current passions and future career opportunities, he decided that he would like to have a more holistic business perspective that takes into account environmental impact. Therefore, he attended Columbia University's Sustainability Management program, where he was a part of the environmental entrepreneurship club. Since graduating in August of 2020, he is now leading the sustainability strategy at Sabin Metal Corporation and trying to create industry-defining sustainability practices in the industrial space. 

Keno Sadler
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Keno brings over 20 years of experience as a social entrepreneur creating and implementing innovative programs in education, leadership development and social justice. With a background that blends military service, classroom teaching and organizational development rooted in diversity, equity and inclusion, he delivers senior-level leadership and guidance to multi-disciplinary teams delivering social impact. As Senior Director at Purpose, he has worked with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to support their effort to elevate diverse voices that can help broaden the conversation about the issues inhibiting economic mobility and generate deeper awareness and actionable understanding. 

Before Purpose, Keno served as Vice-President of Programs at the Echoing Green Foundation where he provided strategic leadership to Echoing Green’s flagship Fellowship programs designed to identify, develop and support early stage social justice and climate change leaders. A 1997 Echoing Green Fellow himself, Keno also created the Breakthrough Atlanta program, an empowering educational experience that has resulted in equitable access to higher education for over 2,000 Atlanta middle school students and prepared over 400 college-aged teaching fellows for education sector roles. An educator at heart with a passion for leadership development, Keno also co-created and taught the Resilient Leadership course at Yale University and has served as an Executive Coach to a wide range of impact leaders around the world.


Keith Whittingham
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Keith Whittingham is an Associate Professor at the Rollins College Crummer Graduate School of Business, where he teaches MBA courses in corporate sustainability practices, CSR and Human-Centered Design Thinking. Prior to that, he worked in R&D, Business Development and Human Resources roles with the semiconductor division of Bell Laboratories. He holds a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University and is a certified Sustainability Associate of the International Society of Sustainability Professionals. Keith coached Rollins MBA student teams to four appearances in the finals of the Nespresso Global MBA Sustainability Challenge.

Keith’s research and writing focuses on the role that enterprise can play in advancing global sustainability and sustainable development efforts, including a recent journal article and two book chapters on related topics. Most recently, his work has focused on applying Computer-Aided Text Analysis to understand the corporate discourse regarding the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Keith is a strong proponent of enterprise and entrepreneurship as powerful vehicles in addressing global, social concerns. Putting theory into practice, Keith created and launched the coffee brand Artifx Cafe, to bring real income to small farmers and real impact to their communities.


Thorne Prize for Social Innovation in Health or Education

Nikole Allen
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Nikole Allen is a lecturer of health policy and management at the Yale School of Public Health and Senior Program Director at the Yale Institute for Global Health overseeing the Sustainable Health Initiative. Previously, Ms Allen directed the health and hospital management and preclinical education projects under the Yale-Liberia Health Workforce Program. In this role, Ms. Allen oversaw the design, implementation, and evaluation of projects. Ms. Allen previously managed the Health and Social Care Strategic Leadership Program with the National Health Service in England, the Hospital Management and Leadership Program for public hospitals in China and oversaw implementation of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Leadership, Management and Governance Project’s Senior Leadership Programs in Africa and Southeast Asia. Ms. Allen has worked with teams and individuals from numerous countries and backgrounds addressing complex problems using strategic problem-solving methods. Before joining Yale University, Ms. Allen worked with the Ethiopian Hospital Management Initiative at the Clinton Health Access Initiative. Her work focused on improving key performance indicator reporting among hospitals, including measuring patient and staff satisfaction, the uptake of patient satisfaction best practices and the implementation of the World Health Organization Surgical Safety Checklist. 

Ms. Allen has a B.A. and Leadership Certificate from Western Oregon University and an M.P.H. from the University of Washington Department of Global Health.

Leslie Asanga
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Dr. Asanga is a pharmacist and an entrepreneur with 10+ years of healthcare and entrepreneurship experience. He is the founder and CEO of Pills2Me (an on-demand prescription delivery service) which was launched at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. He is also the co-founder and CEO of UrPharm (an easy way to search, find, and pay for medications in sub-Saharan Africa). He is an innovator and very passionate about using technology to solve healthcare problems especially in vulnerable communities. 

Sam Hayek
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Sam Hayek is a mechanical engineer, banker, organizational consultant and coach. He pursued a career in finance, having earned an MBA from The Wharton School. As a banker, Mr. Hayek led professional teams focused on financing and advising corporate and government clients throughout the United States, Canada, Western Europe, and South America. In addition to leading a structured finance consultancy team, he oversaw numerous business improvement and data/information management projects. In 2010 Sam Hayek pursued a career transition into organizational coaching and consulting. His practice focused on leadership and collaboration across-cultures, as well as business improvement and organizational agility in light of technological shifts and accelerating product life cycles. He also earned a certification in career and personal coaching from NYU. 


Mr. Hayek enjoys science and technology, medicine, languages, sports, as well as history, music and politics. 


Kaveh Khoshnood
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Kaveh Khoshnood, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies at the Yale School of Public Health and executive committee member at Yale Council on Middle East Studies. He is co-founder of Yale Violence and Health Study Group and a faculty member of the Program on Conflict, Resiliency and Health at the Yale MacMillan Center and serves as the Faculty Director for InnovateHealth Yale (IHY). Dr. Khoshnood is trained as an infectious disease epidemiologist and has more than three decades of domestic and international experience in HIV prevention research among people who use drugs and other at risk populations. Dr. Khoshnood's research interests include: 1) epidemiology and prevention of HIV/AIDS, 2) research ethics and 3) humanitarian health. His projects are primarily in China, Lebanon and Bhutan. Dr. Khoshnood teaches courses on public health ethics and global health and is developing a new course on humanitarian health.

Margaret Yates Thorne
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Margaret Yates Thorne is the Managing Partner of Sociable Weavers, providing seed investing to transformational start-ups in education and healthcare. Margie is also the owner of Niknats, a personalized needlepoint gift business. She has worked for the last thirty years with a wide range of non-profits, providing support in start-up management, fundraising, and finance. Margie has chaired the boards of The Bronx Preparatory Charter School and Peer Health Exchange and served on many boards including Student Sponsor Partners and READ. Margie has a BA from Yale and also studied educational psychology at Columbia’s Teacher’s College. Prior to her work with non-profits, she worked for fifteen years at Citigroup. Margie is married to Nate Thorne, previously head of private equity at Merrill Lynch and Blackrock, and is the mother of two sons. The whole family are Yale graduates. They are actively engaged in restorative agriculture in the Hudson Valley.


Yale Innovators' Prize

Katrina Barlow
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Katrina Barlow is Vice President of Business Development & Strategy at Vox Media, a media company that owns New York Magazine, Eater, Vox, The Verge and several other publications. At Vox Media, Katrina focuses on emerging business opportunities, ranging from software licensing to new consumer products to mergers & acquisitions. Prior to Vox Media, Katrina worked at The Seattle Times, where she contributed to two Pulitzer Prizes and a duPont-Columbia Award. Katrina holds an MBA from Yale University.

Alex Brown
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Alex Brown is a Partner at Epilogue Ventures, focused on mentoring, advising, and investing in early stage technology companies. Alex is also a member of Hyde Park Angels, the Midwest’s largest angel investment group, where he is a deal lead on enterprise technology investments. Previously Alex was the Founder and CEO of 10th Magnitude, the leading Microsoft Azure digital transformation consultancy in the US and a 4-time Global Partner of the Year award winner.  10th Magnitude was sold to Cognizant in 2020.  Prior to this Alex was a Managing Director at Plural, a leading software consultancy which was sold to Dell in 2002. Alex spent 6 years at Dell during which time he led Dell’s Asia-Pacific professional services business (based in Singapore) and led the global solution development organization.  He is a regular speaker at technology industry events where he focuses on channel and partnering strategy and the economics of cloud businesses.  Alex holds a BA in Economics with honors from Oberlin College, and an MBA from Yale University’s School of Management. He lives outside Chicago with his family.

Daniel Kent
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Dan Kent is a senior product manager at Glassdoor, responsible for all machine learning product development at the company. He’s the co-founder of, a patent-pending platform that helps jobseekers manage their job applications and networking.  He also founded Net, a tech-nonprofit that has repurposed and donated over 44,000 computers at no cost.

Dan has served as a judge at UC Berkeley's LAUNCH Accelerator, The Yale SOM Program on Entrepreneurship, and the Tsai CITY Summer Fellowship and Accelerator at Yale University.  His Masters in Information and Data Science is from UC Berkeley and his MBA is from the Yale School of Management. 


Miles Lasater
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Miles is an investor in early-stage startups. As Founding Partner of Purpose Built Ventures, he invests in and supports mission-driven startups. He has invested in and advised dozens of companies at the earliest stages including Honor, Brightside Health, Remix, Notable Health, and Balto Software. As a Venture Partner at F-Prime Capital, he focuses on enterprise tech and fintech businesses. Additionally, he has helped seed nonprofits such as Issue One, One Acre, MakeHaven and Imagine Worldwide.

Miles is an entrepreneur. Starting his career as an entrepreneur while still a college student, he co-founded Higher One in his living room. As senior exec and later board chair, he led the company from idea to $200mil+ revenue, 750+ employees and IPO including making multiple acquisitions. He was proud to campaign internal culture and values including open communication and client service. Higher One also ranked highly on the national Great Place to Work list twice as well as Inc 500 and multiple other fast growth lists. Miles went on to start two other venture-backed startups: SeeClickFix (SaaS for government) where he serves on the board and OneUni (higher education via smartphone). Miles was an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year regional winner and national finalist. Miles also hosts Startups for Good, a podcast exploring high-growth and high-values ventures.

Dianna Liu
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Dianna Liu is the founder & president of ARIX Technologies, an early stage company creating pipe crawling inspection robots and a data analytics software to help manufacturing companies better manage corrosion and schedule maintenance. Prior to founding ARIX, Dianna was an engineer for ExxonMobil with roles in logistics/operations and engineering. She has also had R&D experience in the medical device and pharmaceutical industries and prior entrepreneurship experience in founding and managing a 20-year old continuously operating online horse game.