Member New York Angels and Co-Chair, Frontier Tech Committee Nisa Amoils is an active angel investor, Board advisor and entrepreneur. She is a member of New York Angels where she invests in a variety of technology and is the co-chair of the frontier technology committee which encompasses AR/VR, robotics, drones, AI, driverless cars, autonomous innovations, cybersecurity, remote sensing and other cutting edge technology. She also has sector and investment expertise in entertainment, beauty, marketplaces and digital media. She has startup operational experience in areas such as strategic and digital marketing, business development, product and package development, distribution, staffing, fundraising, management and legal. She is a regular judge/panelist on CNBC, MSNBC and Fox and does podcasts on investing. Prior to this, she spent many years at media companies, including Time Warner and NBC Universal, looking at Internet 1.0 deals and executing strategic partnerships with film and television on behalf of Fortune 500 brands. She holds a BBA (business) degree from the University of Michigan and a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania, where she serves on the Board of the Design School. She is a mentor at the Wharton Entrepreneurship Program and judges student competitions and a Mentor at XRC Labs.
VP Strategy and Globalization, PrecisionHawk Thomas is a business development, marketing and sales leader with a decade of experience building new business opportunities, maximizing customer impact, and identifying strategies for global economic trends. Currently he leads global strategy for PrecisionHawk – overseeing strategic direction, ecosystem development and commercial focus. Previously Haun was a member of DuPont corporate’s Management Leadership Development Program where he built new market opportunities for DuPont Pioneer’s Encirca services business and internal commercial strategy development for several DuPont businesses. Prior to DuPont, he managed customer relationships, led proposal development, and provided business analysis for Northrop Grumman Corporation. Haun holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, BS in Mathematics and BA in Economics from the University of Maryland.
IBM Fellow, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, IBM Watson Rob High is an IBM Fellow, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, IBM Watson. He has overall responsibility to drive Watson technical strategy and thought leadership. As a key member of the Watson Leadership team, Rob works collaboratively with the Watson engineering, research, and development teams across IBM. Prior to joining the Watson team, Rob was Chief Architect for the SOA Foundation and member of the IBM Academy of Technology, Rob championed an open industry architectural definition of the principles of business and IT alignment enabled by SOA and Business Process Optimization, as well as ensuring IBM’s software and services portfolio is architecturally grounded to enable for efficient SOA-based solutions. This responsibility extended across the IBM software portfolio, including WebSphere, Rational, Tivoli, Lotus, and Information Management offerings. Rob has 37 years of programming experience and has worked with distributed, object oriented, component-based transaction monitors for the last 26 years, including SOMObject Server, Component Broker, and the WebSphere Application Server. Rob previously served as Chief Architect for the WebSphere foundation with architectural responsibility for the WebSphere Application Server and the related products integrated on that core runtime.
Founder, suitX Dr. Homayoon Kazerooni is the founder of suitX, the Berkeley, California-based robotics company which designs and manufactures medical and industrial exoskeletons. Dr. Kazerooni is also a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, serving as the Director of the Berkeley Robotics and Human Engineering Laboratory. With more than 30 years of mechanical engineering experience and a doctorate degree from MIT, he is a leading expert in robotics, control sciences, exoskeletons, human-machine systems and augmentation, bioengineering, mechatronics design, artificial locomotion, intelligent assist devices, and power and propulsion. Prior to his more well-known research on lower extremity exoskeletons, Dr. Kazerooni led his team at Berkeley to successfully develop robotics systems that enhanced human upper extremity strength. The results of this work led to a new class of intelligent assist devices that are currently used by manual laborers in distribution centers and factories all over the world. Dr. Kazerooni’s later work focuses on the control of human-machine systems specific to lower human extremities. After developing BLEEX, ExoHiker, and ExoClimber–three super-light, load-carrying exoskeletons–his team at Berkeley created HULC (Human Universal Load Carrier). It is the first energetically-autonomous, orthotic, lower extremity exoskeleton that allows its user to carry 200-pound weights in various terrains for an extended period, without becoming physically overwhelmed. The technology was sold to Lockheed Martin and now is used for a variety of military applications. Dr. Kazerooni has also developed this lower-extremity technology to aid persons who have experienced a stroke, spinal cord injury, or have health conditions that obligate them to use a wheelchair. His medical exoskeleton, Phoenix, has successfully allowed those who have been paralyzed to walk, stand, and speak face to face with peers in an upright position. Over the years, Dr. Kazerooni has won Discover Magazine’s Technological Innovation Award, the McKnight-Land Grant Professorship, and has been a recipient of the outstanding ASME Investigator Award. His research was recognized as the most innovative technology of the year in New York Times Magazine. He has served in a variety of leadership roles in the mechanical engineering community and is notably the editor of two journals: ASME Journal of Dynamics Systems and Control and IEEE Transaction on Mechatronics. A recognized authority on robotics, Dr. Kazerooni has published more than 200 articles to date, delivered over 100 plenary lectures internationally, and is the owner of numerous patents.
Member Rieg and Associates Carol Rieg is Founder of Rieg and Associates, a public relations firm. As a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) innovation leader, Ms. Rieg builds collaborative public/private partnerships that leverage business and education resources. By joining together people, organizations and resources to address global challenges, Carol creates solutions to tough problems through the application of innovative technology to provide a better quality of life for all. Recently Carol served as the Corporate Foundation Officer at Bentley Systems, the global leader with comprehensive engineering software solutions for advancing the design, construction, and operations of infrastructure with $650 million in annual revenues. Carol was responsible for establishing and building the corporate global giving program in 50 countries throughout North America, South America, Europe, Africa and Asia. Prior to that, she co-founded and served as national director of the Future City Competition “STEM” program. Over a 16 year period, she grew the program to reach over 500,000 middle school students nationwide utilizing gaming technology and engineer mentors through the DiscoverE Foundation. Carol is also a member of the Global Women’s Leadership Network and the Women in High Technology Coalition. Carol currently serves on Twomentors, LLC Board of Advisors. She previously served on the Board of Directors for the Maryland Transportation Authority focusing on the building of the $2.5 billion “Inter-County Connector” 18-mile tollway. Carol started her professional career as a senior auditor with PwC.
Founder and CEO, MoonLab Dr. Sabine Seymour is a serial entrepreneur and researcher focusing on the next generation of wearables and the intertwining of aesthetics and function in our garments. Sabine founded Moondial in 1998, a consultancy working with Fortune 500 companies worldwide to invent new products, to examine manufacturing processes, and to build prototypes. She recently founded Moonlab. Moonlab has engineered the SoftSpot [patent pending], a biometric sensor system for clothing that automatically connects a garment with the “Internet of Things”. Sabine has received numerous grants and awards. She was awarded the Michael Kalil Endowment for Smart Design Fellowship, is a Women of M2M 2016 winner, won the WomenWhoTech Challenge, was selected as a member of the inaugural group at NewInc incubator, was a finalist at the SXSW2015 Accelerator Wearable Technologies and the DKNY Challenge. Sabine is the first professor of Fashionable Technology at Parsons School for Design in New York and chairs the Rockefeller Foundation Grant funded project Computational Fashion at Eyebeam. She is an international adviser and jury member and authored the successful books “Fashionable Technology, The Intersection of Design, Fashion, Science, and Technology” and “Functional Aesthetics” and co-edited “Computational Fashion”.
Production Manager, ABC News, Good Morning America Maria Stefanopoulos is an Emmy Award Winning Production Manager for ABC News, Good Morning America. She feels very passionately about using drones to enhance storytelling for journalists and believes they’re a great tool which allows viewers to experience the scope and scale of an event like never before. She loves when drones are used as stedicams, jibs and helicopters and believes they provide the most compelling vantage that captivates viewers. Maria was responsible for the production of GMA’s LIVE drone coverage over the erupting Bardarbunga Volcano in central Iceland, where viewers were able to see the volcano from just 380 feet above. She also pitched, managed the production and live drone produced GMA’s “Hidden Worlds, Son Doong” show, from uncharted terrain in a place where there’s no map of a route, inside the world’s largest cave system hidden deep in the jungle of Central Vietnam, 8,000 miles away from ABC’s studio. This show won the News and Documentary category at the 2016 NYC Drone Film Festival. Two of her most recent LIVE productions included using the very latest in drone technology to watch a daring team of elite ice climbers venture down into a vertical ice drop located in the Breidamerkurjokull glacier in Southeast Iceland, where researchers and scientists study formations to understand how the ice melts and sweeps into the ocean. This past February, she managed another epic GMA expedition, this time LIVE on safari from Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania, where 2 drones and 3 other cameras were launched on a mission to find animals near extinction. During this amazing journey, the drones came face to face with lions, elephants, rhinos and hippos, all in their natural habitat. The best part is that before drone technology, showing the world these marvels in such a way wouldn’t have been possible. Maria has experienced a feat that’s unprecedented in television history.
Founder, Vecna Daniel co-founded Vecna in 1998 with the mission to empower humanity through transformative technology after working on the Mars Rover program as a researcher at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. Vecna is a leader in logistics automation and telepresence with thousands of robots deployed worldwide. Daniel also co-founded Vecna Cares (2008) and Mass Robotics (2015) both 501(c)3 organizations with missions to improve the lives of people around the world through ethical application of technology to solve some of the world’s toughest problems. Not only do Vecna’s talented and dedicated employees make it a fun and profitable business, they also have contributed over 100,000 hours of community service to date. Daniel has a blast serving as the Chief Innovation Officer at Vecna and currently serves as the President of MassRobotics.
CEO, Fetch Robotics Melonee Wise is the CEO of Fetch Robotics, which is delivering advanced robots for the logistics industry. The company introduced their robot system, including Fetch and Freight, in May of 2015. Prior to joining Fetch, Melonee was CEO and co-founder of Unbounded Robotics. Before then, Melonee was Manager of Robot Development at Willow Garage, where she led a team of engineers developing next-generation robot hardware, including the PR2 and TurtleBot from Willow Garage. Melonee also has extensive experience in the growth of ROS as a research and commercial platform. Melonee is currently a Mentor in the Qualcomm Robotics Accelerator.