Jinane Abounadi is Executive Director of the MIT Sandbox Innovation Fund Program. She brings a unique combination of experiences, from academic research to senior operational and strategic roles in start-up companies and large businesses. After completing her graduate work, she worked as a research scientist at BBN and as a postdoctoral lecturer at MIT, and advised undergraduate and graduate students. She held leadership roles in two of the most successful local Boston area start-ups, ITA Software and Kayak, where she gained deep knowledge about the travel technology sector. Most recently, she ran a global portfolio of 3rd party products for Travelport, giving her the opportunity to establish partnerships with companies across the globe and to advise and evaluate a number of start-ups in the travel sector.
Richard is a solutions oriented cross-cultural coach/trainer whose solutions are based on 30+ years experience managing multi-cultural and distributed, application development, IT operations, and service management projects and divisions. For 10 years, his passion has been helping individuals and teams meet the challenges of globalization
Afarin's professional life has revolved around commercializing nascent technologies in a variety of roles: as a technologist (MIT, BBN), strategist (Analog Devices, Intel, Shawmut), investor (Intel Capital), evaluator (Transtrategy), licensee (Intel) and licensor (MIT TLO), teacher (Madrid and IAP workshops), as well as through nurturing startups as a catalyst/mentor/advisor (Deshpande, VMS, TLO, Sandbox, MIT Water Prize). This lifetime of experiences along the technology development and distribution pipeline has shaped her understanding of the commercialization process and what affects its success or failure.
Transformation engineer Othman builds transformational tools and strategies using game design, developmental psychology, systems engineering, and hypnotherapy. He developed a reflection practice that blends dialogue and mind-mapping, and consults with companies on their flexibility and self-transformation.
Maureen has 25 years of experience developing strategies for early stage tech companies and new business units within Fortune 100 companies. She created strategies for seven start-ups while Partner at Ignition Ventures, enabling Series A funding or acquisition. Created Asian market entry strategies for SABMiller while living in Hong Kong. Built internet strategies for 20+ companies while Associate Partner in IBM’s Strategy & Change practice and at Mainspring, an internet strategy consulting firm. Led IBM’s Institute for Business Value Strategic thought leadership for four industries. Early career at Bain & Company in strategy consulting provided analytical toolkit, financial framework, and capability to operationalize strategy. International experience working and living in HK, Australia, Fiji, and England. Since 2016 she has been a cofounder and managing partner at Good Growth Capital Investing in 30 early stage technology-based startups. She is a mentor for MIT’s Sandbox Fund.
consulted with teams based throughout Europe the Middle East, and in China. Her areas of specialization were large-scale change management programs (ERP), Team Mediation and the introduction of Organizational Learning into executive teams. As a French Business Angel she coached entrepreneurs, making them investment ready as well as judging competitions. As an adjunct professor in three MBA Entrepreneurial programs in France she taught Leadership courses, coached students in business plan development, and judged student competitions. Marilyn’s current entrepreneurial coaching projects include serving as MIT Sandbox Mentor, Tufts Fletcher School of Diplomacy Entrepreneurial Coach, ChangeLabs Egyptian Accelerator Mentor and Hult Prize Global Competition,Team Wellness Coach.
Business Consultant Irene provides consulting services, including hands-on project implementation, to small and medium-sized businesses focused on business transformation and process optimization, development and implementation of new business and growth strategies, screening of investment proposals and underwriting of complex equity investments.
Marwan is the current Executive Director of the Explorer Program and a long time mentor with the MIT Sandbox Innovation Fund. Marwan’s background includes academic experience as a professor of electrical and computer engineering as well as over 22 years of entrepreneurial and startup experience as co-founder, CEO, CTO and SVP with several ventures and various outcomes. Marwan firmly believe that a successful startup journey can start at any time, cannot be measured by a singular outcome, and can impact a lifetime and is committed to helping young entrepreneurs take their early steps towards realizing their dreams.
Kathleen is a distinguished entrepreneur, startup founder and advisor, philanthropist, and computer networking specialist. She is an active mentor and instructor with MIT’s Venture Mentoring Service (VMS), as well as a mentor with the MIT Sandbox Innovation Fund Program and Graduate Women at MIT (GWAMIT). Professionally, Kathleen was co-founder and CEO of Pico Innovation (now Tiga Energy Services),. She was also founder and CEO of Silver Beech Networks, Prior to that, Kathleen was Co-founder and VP of Business Development for Iron Bridge Networks, where she helped raise over $130M in venture funding.
Founder, Project Manager, & Mentor Sami is a start-up strategist who built his foundational work experience in project management, customer discovery, and product development. Sami’s current role is in building transnational partnerships at MIT as well as continuing to grow his 2014 Harvard Innovation Lab award-winning social-enterprise PIVOTtheWorld.
Catherine Mannick is an angel investor and former international lawyer. She began her career at Hale and Dorr, LLP, where she was Co-Chair of the firm’s Russian Practice Group. Subsequently she served as General Counsel at a number of businesses with operations in the former Soviet Union and Western Europe, most recently AcadiaSoft, Inc., an international financial software company. Ms. Mannick is a member of Launchpad Venture Group, a Boston-area angel investing group focused on early stage investments in high tech and life sciences. She has mentored start-ups both in the US and internationally, including in Italy, Russia and Ukraine. She serves as a mentor for the MIT delta V accelerator, Sandbox Innovation Fund, and UM6P Venture Explorer programs, and is currently an Expert-in-Residence at the Harvard Innovation Labs. Ms. Mannick holds a B.A. in Russian Studies from Yale University, an M.A. in History from Harvard University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School, and has studied law as a postgraduate at Moscow State University.
Managing Director, Vermont Silvopasture LLC; Arbitrator for American Arbitration Association. Former founding CEO of renewable energy company; fund manager making private equity and listed company investments in emerging markets; international lawyer specializing in emerging/frontier market infrastructure finance; instructor of international project finance at Boston University School of Law.
Khalil is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at MIT. His current project is focused on developing implantable devices for interfacing with the enteric nervous system and modulating the gut-brain axis. He holds a PhD Biomedical Engineering and Medical Physics from the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology division. His previous research experience includes neural drug delivery microprobes, microfluidics, circulating tumor cells, and nanoparticle toxicity
JOE M. RIFE
Executive Coach – Disruptive Technology Business Executive, Engineer and Entrepreneur, Joe Rife helps technical founders of hardware companies create and build successful businesses. Dr. Rife coaches members of startup companies on business strategy, operations, and product development as Executive in Residence at Greentown Labs and mentors early stage companies across the New England cleantech ecosystem. A serial entrepreneur, Dr. Rife founded American Brake and Wheel, a heavy-duty distributer of truck and bus running gear components and GENEVA Group, an enterprise systems integration firm and Microsoft partner. At GENEVA Group, he worked on turn-around projects as acting CIO, CEO and CFO. GENEVA Group sold its operations to Admiral IT and restructured as a holding company. Dr. Rife is an expert in engine technology, enterprise software, distribution, supply chain and management of early-stage business organizations. Current academic experience includes teaching Field Studies in Management at Brandeis International Business School. (IBS) and MIT courses, Management in Engineering and Elements of Mechanical Design. A Kansas farm boy, Dr. Rife came to Boston as a first-year student and earned three degrees at MIT. Connecting with research at the Sloan Automotive Laboratories, he wrote three theses, published papers on engine technology and became Executive Director of the lab after earning his PhD.
Monty Sharma is Managing Director of Massachusetts Digital Games Initiative (MassDiGI). Prior to joining MassDiGI, Sharma, a respected game industry and technology professional, was co-founder/general manager of Vivox, a voice chat service provider in the game industry with key relationships to EA, Sony, Ubisoft, Nexon, Bigpoint and many others. Before Vivox, he held senior positions at Jamcracker, Novell and MT&T.
Brad is a consulting engineer, circuit designer and business consultant. An early developer in microelectronics, he has led and helped found multiple ventures, both successful and unsuccessful. He enjoys business analysis, sharing and developing insights with entrepreneurs of all types.
CEO & CoFounder of Pluto // MIT MBA, MIT M.S Engineering, MIT Media Lab Shana founded Pluto, a B2B SaaS company, out of her graduate research at MIT. Her background is in building humane AI to amplify vs replace our own humanity. Previously, she led technical and creative production for an experimental team at Google, bringing new ideas from concept to final product. Pre-Google, she was a digital producer at Saatchi & Saatchi NY, gaining experience in consumer marketing. She is a proud alumna of the MIT Sandbox program.
THE MOROCCO MENTORS
Chargée de Projet - Développement durable - UM6P / OCP SA & Présidente de World Merit Rabat et LCFSR
IP manager & Valorization -MAScIR - Moroccan Foundation for Advanced Science, Innovation and Research. Patent drafting, patent prosecution, international filing. Valorization & technology transfer. Training.
Senior Operations Officer au Bureau de l'Ombudsman chez OCP SA Former Sustainability Analyst, Contrôleur pour le Ministère des Finances and Controle – OCP SA
Project Manager (OCP SA) - Managing staff at 1337
NABIL TAZI CHIBI
Directeur des Systèmes d'Information
Associate Professor of Management, Al Akhawayn University Abderrahman has taught various management courses in Morocco, Canada and Germany. He has also consulted various corporate clients such as Pearson Education (UK), SIETAR Europa, Public Service Canada, Algonquin College (Canada), and Intel Corporation.
REDA BOUTALEB HOUSSAINI
Ingénieur Développement: Innovation Lab for Operations Projet fin d'études: Université Mohammed VI Polytechnique - Groupe OCP Application de l’ingénierie des systèmes complexes et mise en place d'un modèle opérationnel de la gestion des exigences. Architecture Iot pour connecter différents capteurs et PLCs d'une usine avec une plateforme Cloud, dans le cadre de la digitalisation industrielle du groupe OCP
Head of missions UM6P & Professor of market research and entrepreneurship
Mr. FIFEL’s specialties are Mechanical Design, construction Management, Project Management, Maintenance Management and Entrepreneurial Skills. Mr. FIFEL has fifteen (15) years of experience in: Mechanical Design, maintenance and revamping of existing plants ; Project Management of Industrial plants ; Advisor within the INJAZ AL MAGHREB association, member of the Junior Achievement Worldwide ; Entrepreneurship Manager and Mentor at EMINES, School of Industrial Management in the UM6P ; Managing numerous projects, Mr. FIFEL was also heavily involved in feasibility studies, projects execution planning, standard policies & procedures development, business development, process, environmental impact study, environmental acceptability, building permit, operating permit. Mr. FIFEL support of Future Managers in their entrepreneurship projects from the conceptual phase through prototyping to the creation of the Start-up. He also worked on a start- up acceleration program UM6P called the “Impulse” in partnership with MassChallenge and supported by the OCP group and its subsidiary OCP AFRICA. Also member of the judging committees of national entrepreneurial competitions (INJAZ AL MAGHREB; Innovation & Entrepreneurial Lab; Impulse Event; EMINES’s Demonstration Lab, Hackathon; Bootcamp…)
RITA IRAQI HOUSSIANI
Rita is an experienced communication manager who is passionate about digital marketing, content creation and entrepreneurship. She started her career in a digital advertising agency working for various clients such as Maroc Telecom, Lesieur, Procter&Gamble, etc. She then joined Régie 3, a Moroccan company that sells 2M and Medi1Tv’s advertising space on TV, Radio and Digital where she managed a large portfolio of clients for the digital part, with clients ranging from L’Oréal, Orange and Inwi to Sopriam, the Accor group and P&G. In September 2018, she joined OCP Group as Digital Communication Manager, working with the ecosystem to recommend and deliver digital content, promote the initiatives launched by the Group and support startup incubators in their communication strategy. She is part of the GAM (Groupement des Annonceurs du Maroc), taking part in the organization of the yearly African Digital Summit among other things.
IHSSANE AFW ALLAH
MOHCINE BEN JELLOUN
KAOUTAR EL MENZHI
JALILA AIT SOUDANE
THE EXPLORER TEAM
ADNANE ALAOUI SOULIMANI
U-Founders Program Manager Mohammed VI Polytechnic University
Executive Director Explorer Program
Executive Director MIT Sandbox Innovation Fund Program
Program Manager, Explorer Program Analyst at U-Founders, UM6P
R&D Analyst UM6P Ventures
Webmaster, IT Specialist Explorer Program
Communications Intern Explorer Program & MIT Sandbox