Garnet is a first year MBA student originally from a rural lumber company-owned town in Northern California. Her passion for adventuring in the outdoors began with backpacking and fishing trips with her father and younger sister. As an undergraduate at Princeton University, she majored in Geoscience, focused on large scale database analysis and model forecasting for circulation patterns in the oceans and atmosphere. Meanwhile, her outdoor interest expanded to include rock and ice climbing and she had the invaluable experience of volunteering as an EMT and rescue technician with the Princeton First Aid & Rescue Squad.
Since graduation, Garnet has worked as a Field Engineer in Drilling & Measurement for oilfield services provider Schlumberger, based out of St. John’s, NL, Canada – the eastern-most point in North America. Stationed on land and offshore oil rigs for several weeks in a row, she was responsible for operating well positioning and geological analysis technologies while drilling. Excited to be back out west, she has continued to explore the outdoors wherever she is and volunteers with the Utah STEM Action Center. As a student associate, she looks forward to the hands-on experience with the New Ventures Development team.
I received my Bachelor’s in Chemistry from Idaho State University and a minor in Mathematics. Currently I am a doctoral student in Chemical Engineering at the University of Utah. I have always been passionate about business and entrepreneurship and LNVD program is one place for me to grow and learn about business that I may miss out as a scientist. I plan on getting a MBA and a JD l after I have my PhD degree. During my free time I enjoy outdoor activities like hiking and snowboarding. Any outdoor activities or sports you can always count me in.
Katie Aiello is currently a fifth year PhD student in the Department of Bioengineering. Her dissertation research is focused on developing and using mathematical models of large-scale genomic data to identify novel signatures for the personalized prognosis of brain cancer. She received a Master of Science in Bioengineering from the University of Utah in 2014 and a Bachelor of Science and a minor in Engineering Business from the University of Virginia in 2012. Katie is passionate about innovative interdisciplinary problem solving for clinical applications, and has research experience in the fields of computational cardiac biomechanics, proteomics, and cancer genomics. Outside of the lab, she enjoys hiking, rock climbing, and modern dance.
Nikita Bagri is pursuing her MS in MSIS at the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah. Prior to joining the University of Utah, Nikita was an entrepreneur. She successfully started her own venture in 2010 after she refined her business skills with a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) with a focus in marketing. Nikita was able to gain invaluable experience running her venture. As a student with the Lassonde New Venture Development program, Nikita wishes to improve her entrepreneurship skills further by learning how to apply her skills to startup businesses across various domains. In her spare time, Nikita is looking forward to exploring all the recreational activities Utah has to offer.
Sarah Broderick is a dual degree student, earning a master’s in Bioengineering and a master’s in business administration. She has been very involved in and successful in several Lassonde programs. She developed an award winning medical device for treating postpartum hemorrhage through Bench to Bedside and designed the first place Corporate Wellness app in Games 4 Health. Both of her projects earned extra funding through Get Seeded. She is a selected professions fellow with the American Association of University Women and brings a unique perspective to what she does with her technical expertise and business training.
Matt Byrne is an M.S candidate in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. His thesis work involves the regionally dependent, mechanical property testing and computational modeling of retinal vasculature. Matt received a BS in Economics with a Business minor from the University of Utah. While he worked on that degree, he had the opportunity to work as a Business Administration Intern with Northrop Grumman. After graduation, he immediately re-enrolled at the University of Utah and earned a second BS degree in Applied Physics. It’s no surprise then, that Matt finds a great deal of interest where the worlds of science and business intersect.
Ryan Coombs graduated from Brigham Young University with a BS in Business Administration and emphasis in marketing in 2010. There he was awarded the global management certificate which is the highest form of academic achievement in international business that the Marriott School awards. He also helped in facilitating BoomStartup, a seed capital and mentor-focused investor program for tech and web entrepreneurs. After graduation, he moved to Boston and worked as the primary liaison between Harvard Business School Publishing and Harvard Business School. He is currently a second year MBA student at the University of Utah and an intern sales support manager for several brands at Amer Sports Corporation. Upon graduation, he hopes to be a marketing manager for a global organization. He enjoys team and action sports such as soccer, skiing, mountain-biking, and fly-fishing.
Ryan Critchfield is addicted to creation. For him, nothing is more satisfying than starting with raw materials, and then applying intelligence and skill, to create something of value. This passion carried him through his IT career, where he designed hardware and software systems that helped businesses become more profitable. Now, as a second year MBA student, he gets to build every day. He is honest and capable in all that he does and his colleagues and former employers have an immense amount of trust for him. He still consults with nearly all of them now, years after leaving, because they have learned to trust in his knowledge and strategies. He is looking forward to learning in the Lassonde program by utilizing his deep technical knowledge in tandem with what he is learning as an MBA student to build innovative products and services.
Rainey Cornaby is currently pursuing joint Masters Degrees in Mechanical Engineering (MS) and Business Administration (MBA) at The University of Utah. She obtained her Bachelors of Science (BS) from Emory University in 2013 where she studied Biology and Spanish. Having worked in the varied fields of Emergency Medical Services, Surgical Research and Device Prototyping and Commercialization, Rainey has acquired diverse professional experience related to medical and research technologies. Her work and studies have given her opportunity to work with many interdisciplinary teams and she enjoys working alongside other impassioned individuals. Upon graduation, she hopes to use this experience in conjunction with her affinity for problem solving to develop and commercialize technologies within the medical field.
Dallas Shi is a MD/MBA student from SLC, UT. She attended the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, CA and majored in Biology. She received a PhD in Human Genetics from the University of Utah in 2015 under the guidance of Dr. Dean Y. Li. Dallas’s passion include the seamless integration of research, medicine, and technology for the advancement of patient care. Outside of her coursework, Dallas is involved with the Sharing Place, a nonprofit organization to help children who have lost one or both their parents. She also participated in Bench-to-Beside, a medical device competition, where her team was awarded “Best in Engineering”, “Best in Business”, and “Overall Runner-up”. Besides studying and volunteering, Dallas enjoys hiking, camping, reading, and hanging out with her family.
Michael Eixenberger is a third year law student at the University of Utah’s S.J. Quinney College of Law. Prior to entering law school, Michael graduated summa cum laude from the University of Utah with a Bachelor’s degree in civil and environmental engineering. In the summer of 2016, Michael had the opportunity to work at a large law firm where he focused on intellectual property law. In addition to participating in the Lassonde New Ventures Development Program, Michael is a Fellow for the Center of Law and Biomedical Sciences and an Articles Editor for Utah Law Review. Michael has participated in several business startups, and enjoys the nexus between business, law and technology.
Josh Erramouspe graduated from the University of Utah with a BS in Mechanical Engineering, and is currently a second year MBA student focusing on operations. Following his undergraduate degree, Josh went to work for Intermountain Electronics Inc. a nationwide company which designs, manufactures, and sells electrical distribution equipment for the mineral extraction industries. He was responsible for all mechanical design within the Product Development department and was directly responsible for the development of six major products. Most recently Josh has been working as a project manager for a program providing energy efficiency services to the oil and gas industry in Utah and Wyoming. Josh hopes to merge the experience that he has gained from these industries to help companies use energy in the most efficient and sustainable way possible.
Sarah Fallon is in her third year of the Doctoral Physical Therapy program at the University of Utah’s College of Health. She obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Human Physiology with a publication in Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, and a minor in Philosophy at Gonzaga University followed by 2 years of volunteer work in Lima, Peru. Since acceptance into the DPT program at the University of Utah, Sarah has worked in the University Rehab and Wellness clinic aiding in re-evaluations of patients who had suffered from cerebro-vascular accidents. Sarah has volunteered for free pro bono physical therapy care through the U of U, tutored students, interned at outpatient and neuro PT clinics, volunteered for an intensive stroke camp, all the while enjoying the nature and recreational activities in the mountains of Wyoming and Utah.
Nathan Firouzi is a third year law student at the University of Utah’s S.J. Quinney College of Law. His legal interests include tax, securities, venture capital, and business law. While in law school, Nathan has clerked for the Securities & Exchange Commission and the Utah Attorney General’s Office. Prior to attending law school, Nathan worked in forensic accounting constructing business valuations and cash tracings. He received a bachelor’s degree in accounting and in corporate finance from Brigham Young University – Hawaii. Nathan’s non legal interests include the beach, motorcycles, movies, and hiking.
Saurabh Gagangras is currently a graduate student in the department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Utah. His thesis work at the Anticonvulsant Drug Development Program at the U is focused on understanding the contribution of galanin receptors in the antiseizure effects of galanin, and characterizing novel galanin-based drugs for the treatment of epilepsy and related neurological disorders. Before coming to Utah, Saurabh received a Bachelor’s degree in Pharmaceutical science from University of Mumbai, India in 2011. Saurabh is looking forward to his work as a Lassonde New Venture Development Associate, contribute with his technical skills and expand his knowledge base in technology innovation and commercialization. In his leisure time, he enjoys playing tennis, being outdoor and traveling.
Krishna is a PhD student in the Computer Engineering department at the University of Utah since Fall 2015. His research interest lies in “Human Computer Interaction“, which brings together knowledge from multiple disciplines including computer science, psychology, and design among others. Overall it deals with the design, evaluation and implementation of interactive computing systems for human use. His present work is based on analyzing the influence of online repute while using a network of web pages as a source for content creation in education technology and education psychology domains. Prior to joining the U, Krishna was running his own start up creating custom web solutions for clients across the world. In summer 2016, he completed an internship designing financial trading software for Fidessa in New York. He lists Steve jobs and Bob Dylan as major influences in his life. When not working on his code files, he enjoys listening to jazz, classical music, cooking pasta and reading philosophy.
Being associated with Lassonde, he hopes to be involved in brave ideas and interact with daring people.
Russ Haynie is a graduate student in the MBA program at the University of Utah. He completed a Business Management undergraduate degree from Brigham Young University in 2010. Russ started his career working as a Project Manager and has gained experience as a Business Intelligence Analyst and as a Procurement Specialist. He has a passion to use data analysis to solve complex issues for businesses. In the future, Russ wishes to work as a business consultant providing innovating management options and create a more efficient work environment.
Paul Holman graduated from the University of Utah with a BA in Spanish Language and BS in Biomedical Engineering in 2014. He is currently pursuing joint Masters degrees in Bioengineering (MS) and Business Administration (MBA) with graduation expected in May 2017. Most recently Paul has worked in regulatory affairs at Bard Access Systems (CR Bard), creating strategies for new product market entries. He enjoys implementing design, marketing and operations to solve business problems. Paul is excited to share his MBA experience to develop and commercialize impactful technologies at the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute.
Marytheresa Ifediba is currently a postdoctoral fellow at Huntsman Cancer Institute where she studies melanoma cancer. She earned a B.S./M.S. in Bioengineering from the University of Utah and a PhD in Medical Engineering and Medical Physics from the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology. Her graduate work focused on developing therapeutic imaging contrast agents for brain cancer and stroke. Marytheresa is actively engaged in STEM education outreach programs and has a strong interest in translational medical research.
Mark was born in St. George, Utah. He served a two-year mission in Tampico Mexico. He got his undergrad degree in international business, while doing track and field at Utah Valley University. He was awarded Walk-On of the Year and was a Conference Champion in the Javelin. He has 7 years in Logistics and Operations. He is currently attending the University of Utah and is on the 2nd year of his MBA. He is also the founder of a tech startup called Timesent. Mark, his wife and daughter love all outdoor adventures.
Krishna received his undergraduate degree in Instrumentation Technology from Bangalore, India. Soon after graduating, Krishna received a position as a Distributed Control System (DCS) Engineer from Yokogawa, an industrial automation company. At Yokogawa he developed software for the DCS. He also travelled to the UAE to meet with the clients and participate in the Factory acceptance test. There he developed strong interpersonal skills and gained experience in a diver cultural background. Krishna is now a graduate student pursuing MS Information Systems at the University of Utah. The Lassonde New Venture Development at the university has provided an ideal opportunity for him to further his interests in data analytics by working with the local entrepreneurs. He enjoys practicing yoga as it maintains his health and peace of mind. He is also an avid tennis player and hiker.
Kellen A. Hilton
Kellen received his undergraduate degree from Utah Valley University with a BS in Exercise Science. He is an MD candidate at the University of Utah School of Medicine and is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Bioengineering in the Bioinnovate tract to further facilitate his passion for medical device design and innovation. He developed his skills for design and innovation while spending eight years as a machinist, both designing and overseeing production of high precision parts for gas and aerospace industry applications. Kellen is also very interested in Global Health and has spent time in both Guatemala and Ethiopia where he performed research and helped found an ongoing research collaboration with Addis Ababa University. In his free time Kellen enjoys playing hockey, getting outdoors, and spending time with family.
Thomas Kessinger is a second year law student at the University of Utah. This past summer Thomas clerked for the Utah Office of the Attorney General in the Department of Natural Resources. His coursework focuses on natural resources, intellectual property and new ventures. Prior to attending S.J. Quinney, Thomas co-founded a local music festival, Crucialfest, worked for local tech startup Instructure (Canvas) and received his B.S. in speech communications. Currently, Thomas’ interests include building bridges between business and conservation, updating the American legal system to contemporary standards of communication as well as understanding the interplay between media, technology, and culture.
Arad Lajevardi-Khosh graduated with a Bachelor of Science Electrical Engineering from Arizona State University in 2013. He is currently a fourth year PhD student in the bioengineering program at the University of Utah. His research is in the field of rehabilitation engineering where he studies underfoot loading and activity monitoring. His ultimate goal is to create affordable medical devices that improve the quality of life for individuals. In his free time, Arad enjoys snowboarding, basketball, and soccer.
Ashley Langell is a student at the University of Utah School of Medicine and is currently taking a year off between her third and fourth years of medical school in order to obtain a master’s degree in bioengineering. Ashley has a long history of research and has worked on various projects with the U of U’s surgery, emergency medicine, chemical engineering, and pediatric oncology departments. She was drawn to the field of biomedical innovation and entrepreneurship by the potential for quick translation of ideas and research into functional solutions. She has been involved with the medical device competition Bench to Bedside for several years, both as a student leader and a participant. During that time, she has worked on interdisciplinary teams to develop two medical devices, one of which recently received FDA approval. She is particularly interested in improving healthcare affordability and accessibility through medical device innovation. Outside of her academic pursuits, Ashley is an animal lover who enjoys yoga, hiking, and skiing.
Ryan Long has considered himself an entrepreneur since his lawn mowing business was featured in the Wall Street Journal at the age of 12. He earned his undergraduate degree in Business Administration with a concentration in finance from the University of Oregon in 2005. In 2007, he implemented a business plan that he developed while attending UO for an all-star cheerleading gym and dance studio in Tigard, Oregon. During that time he also helped start the first special needs cheerleading team and associated non-profit in the Northwest and coached Portland State University’s cheer team. In 2012, he began working for Fidelity Investments as an investment advisor and retirement planner. He earned the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER(TM) certification in 2014, shortly before starting in the Professional MBA program at the U. Ryan enjoys bicycle touring, mountain biking, snowboarding and watching college football in his free time.
Ben Lopez is a second year MBA student. After graduating with a B.S. in Chemistry Ben worked in the pharmaceutical industry where he reversed engineered patent drug products for generic development. Last summer he interned at the University Growth Fund, a student run venture fund and as a consultant for the Sorenson Center for Discovery and Innovation. When he is not at school he loves being with his wife and playing in the outdoors.
Sai Deepthi Matam
Sai Deepthi Matam is a graduate student in the MSIS program at the University of Utah. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering in Hyderabad, India. Deepthi started her career working as Business Data Analyst for Deloitte. This experience has drawn her interest towards Information Sciences and she is working towards being an expert in the Data Science and Analytics field. In the future, she wants to educate people through public speeches on how data and information can shed light on social issues
Samer Merchant graduated with his B.E in electrical engineering from University of Mumbai, India in 2008 and a M.E. in electrical engineering from the University of Utah in 2010. He is currently a PhD student in the bio-engineering program at the University of Utah. His research is in the field of medical imaging and is focused on developing mathematical models of the heart to aid in medical diagnostics. Since 2010, Samer has also been working as a facility manager in the Small Animal Imaging Facility at the University of Utah. He has been involved with the Lassonde New Venture Development program since 2015, first as a student associate and now as student director. His team won the grand prize in the Utah Entrepreneurship Challenge in 2016. Samer eventually wants to be able to make inexpensive medical devices feasible for third world countries including his native country, India.
Erica Morey is a first year MBA student in the David Eccles School of Business and received a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Brigham Young University with a minor in World Dance. Prior to her MBA, Erica spent 6 years in management and project management positions for the LDS church, most recently with oversight over 76 teams from all 7 continents. As the primary contact for hundreds of translators around the world, she learned to love the international side of business, effectively implementing creative solutions to tricky problems, as well as presenting persuasive arguments to key stakeholders to achieve a desired result. In Erica’s spare time she enjoys traveling, Sudoku puzzles, dancing, and working with nonprofits for sustainability solutions. She loves challenges and is excited to join with Lassonde New Venture associates this year.
Brian Morgan graduated with a degree in Business Management from Utah Valley University in 2012. While in school he worked in wireless communication sales followed by roles in retention and customer support roles for a local start-up SaaS company. Brian is currently in his fourth and final year of a joint JD/ MBA degree. He fosters an entrepreneurial spirit and is excited to use his background experience and education in this capacity.
I am a native of India. Currently, I am pursuing my Masters in Information Systems at the University of Utah. I received a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science & Engineering from G.I.T.A.M University in India. After graduating, I worked with Verizon as a Software Engineer & Business Analyst. I have a particular interest in food & beverage entrepreneurial ventures, having launched a venture of my own once. I seek to gain those skills and abilities necessary to start a business in each of my interests. In my spare time I enjoy meeting new people, traveling internationally, and hiking.
Divya graduated from the University of Utah with a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering in Dec 2012. As an undergraduate, she published her research while working in the Jorgensen Lab, Biology which specializes in cutting edge molecular and genetic analysis of neurotransmitter release. She is currently a PhD student in Bioengineering in the Harold K. Dunn Orthopaedic Research Lab under the guidance of Dr. Kent Bachus. Divya’s research is focused on the development and optimization of therapies for reducing skin related complications in the case of new implant systems for the direct skeletal attachment of prosthetic limbs. Her ultimate desire is to pursue wildlife conservation and inspire people to value nature through education and action. In her spare time, Divya enjoys hiking, travelling and being outdoors.
Natalie Petersen is an entrepreneur, innovator, and second year MBA student. She graduated from the Woodbury School of Business with a B.S. in Business Management, and immediately moved into her MBA degree.
After gaining 9 years of work experience, she left her position at eBay to become a full time student. While a student, she has focused her studies on strategy, management, and entrepreneurship courses.
During the first year of her MBA, she started her own consulting business, Solution Insight Consulting (SIC). SIC provides consulting in the areas of: business strategy, risk management, financial investing, and contract negotiation.
Natalie is excited to bring her knowledge, creativity, and passion to the Lassonde New Venture Development program in this upcoming year.
Jones Plamootil is a graduate student in the MSIS program at the University of Utah. He completed an Electrical Engineering degree from Nagpur, India. He worked for more than 4 years as a Senior Quality Assurance Analyst in Bank of New York Mellon. He also has experience in Business Analysis and is interested in Data Mining and Data Analysis. In the future, Jones wishes to setup an IT consulting strategy company where he could provide optimal solutions to clients’ business problems related to Data Management and Analysis. He is excited to work as a Lassonde New Venture Development Associate and expand his knowledge in technology innovation. Away from school, Jones enjoys playing Cricket and collecting coins.
Danny Powell is a second year materials chemistry PhD student. His graduate research focuses on the design, synthesis, and fabrication of organic semiconducting materials for application in low-cost next generation electronic, thermoelectric, and photovoltaic devices. He earned his BS in Biochemistry from the University of Utah in 2015 and was designated an undergraduate research scholar. He has performed medicinal chemistry research at the U, and molecular biology research at Brown University during a prestigious summer internship. He was the recipient of an academic excellence scholarship from Myriad Genetics, and received both the Mack Thomas Rozelle and Bonner Memorial departmental awards for outstanding achievement.
In 2015 Danny co-founded Tara Fiber, a graphene based corrosion-resistant steel coating technology, and his team received nearly $4,000 in Get Seeded funding for viability testing. Danny has the unique ability to identify scientifically relevant and economically impactful ventures. He also has an extensive background in, and a passion for teaching and mentoring; both as an undergraduate and graduate student teacher. He served a mission in Finland and has assisted in teaching numerous courses throughout his academic career.
In his spare time Danny trains in mixed martial arts and muay thai kickboxing, reads classical literature, and loves any and all activities related to the outdoors.
Lesli Shooter graduated from Appalachian State University with a Master of Science in Exercise Science in 2004. Since then, Lesli has worked as a sport physiologist with the United States Ski and Snowboard Association, Red Bull North America, and the United States Olympic Committee. Lesli has worked with elite athletes, coaches, and as part of interdisciplinary teams helping athletes use physiological data to improve the training-recovery response and to optimize competition performance. Throughout her 12+ year career, Lesli has applied sport science theory to help elite athletes achieve their full potential. Lesli is currently in the Professional Master of Science and Technology Program at the University of Utah. Her desire is to help push innovative technology forward in the context of human physiology and health care.
Tucker Smith is a first year student in the full time MBA program at the University of Utah. He received a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Utah State University in 2014. As an undergrad, he helped design and build a mechanical lift to enable paraplegics to mount and dismount horses. In industry, he worked as a project engineer for a small research and development company where he specialized in the design, testing, and analysis of carbon fiber tanks for high pressure gas storage. His hobbies include spending time with his wife and little boy, fly fishing, auto mechanics, welding, and building prototypes.
Jason Spar graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in Civil Engineering and is back in school as a first year full time Masters of Business Administration student. He has a background in providing engineering services to the Oil & Gas and Semiconductor industries. He recently founded a start-up company and is looking forward to seeing how it progresses as well as analyzing other entrepreneurial opportunities. Upon graduation, he hopes to combine his entrepreneurial and problem solving experiences to advise companies with strategic financial decisions. When not in the classroom, Jason can be found playing sports, hiking, skiing, and traveling around the world.
Summer Sun is a graduate student in the MSF program at the University of Utah. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Weber State University. She also gained experience by being a program intern at the Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy, a financial analyst intern at CJT Communications and a financial intern at the China International Trust & Investment Corporation Securities. In the future, Summer plans to start her own business. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, fishing, watching thrillers and performing classical Chinese dance.
Jason Winkel is a second-year MBA student at the David Eccles School of Business. He earned an undergraduate degree in Business Management – Marketing from Brigham Young University – Idaho in 2006. After graduating he worked in media and account management for two ad agencies developing and implementing strategic marketing plans for clients – many of them new start-ups – while engaged in improving agency processes and technology. Outside of work and school, Jason enjoys camping, fishing, and target shooting.