Lepage Center announces 2019-20 Innovators-in-Residence
The Albert Lepage Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Tulane University's A. B. Freeman School of Business has announced a new cohort of executives, investors and entrepreneurs to serve as 2019-20 Innovators-in-Residence.
Launched in 2018, the Innovators-in-Residence program connects student startup founders with experienced business professionals for one-on-one coaching and mentoring. The program complements existing Lepage Center efforts to support entrepreneurship on campus, including the Student Venture Accelerator course, which guides students from the idea phase through customer research, developing products and creating revenue models, and the Startup Incubator, which offers students workspace and services from partners such as HubSpot, Amazon, IBM Watson, Lucid, Stripe and law firm Stone Pigman.
The 15 Innovators-in-Residence will mentor student ventures, serve as guest lecturers in the Student Venture Accelerator course and offer career advice during office hours. Student ventures are paired with Innovators-in-Residence according to background and needs.
“We have a great group of Innovators-in-Residence this year, and we are grateful for their commitment to entrepreneurship at Tulane,” said Rob Lalka, executive director of the Lepage Center. “Our students loved working with our IIRs last year, so we’ve added a number of new investors and business leaders who will mentor our students in 2019-2020. They each bring incredible expertise and networks that will make a real difference in the education and careers of our students.”
This year, the Innovators-in-Residence include a wealth of investors from Boston, New York and San Francisco, as well as right here in the Gulf South to advise our students as they consider early-stage investment. Lepage Center students will benefit from the vast experience of Timothy Bovard of Search Fund Accelerator, Jeffrey Silverman of Laconia Capital Group L.P. and Mike Katz of Tahoga LLC, who have invested in companies such as TripleLift, ALICE, StubHub, Dollar Shave Club and 23andMe. They will also learn from Jimmy Roussel of the New Orleans Startup Fund, who helps fund startups locally, as well as Joe Truhe of Jefferson Capital Management and Juan Linares of Callais Capital.
Several of the Innovators-in-Residence offer valuable expertise in banking, healthcare, education and marketing. Stacey Berger uses his years of experience in commercial banking and real estate to help students understand capital needs for expansion. Cardiologist Dr. Christopher Damm assists students considering healthcare ventures, while Wallace Boston shares expertise in higher education. Sally Forman, who served as director of communications for the city of New Orleans, shares her expertise in storytelling. Former lawyer and current founder & CEO of Camelback Ventures Aaron Walker shares experience facilitating deals for companies and supporting students who are solving social problems.
Many of the Innovators-in-Residence have founded their own ventures or worked on startup founding teams, including David Olk of ShopKeep and Voray and Stella Templo, who served on the WeWork founding team. John Elstrott, former chairman of the board at Whole Foods Market Inc. and former emeritus executive director of the Freeman School's Levy-Rosenblum Institute for Entrepreneurship, and Jim Christian, formerly of Anschutz Investment Company and Paribas, bring expertise that comes with being on the ground floor of what later became large ventures.