Click on the links below to watch each episode of Northeastern’s Season 3 of our Masterclasses in Innovation, Leadership and Entrepreneurship (MILES), brought to you by the Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative, McCarthy(s) Venture Mentoring Network, and Alumni Relations at Northeastern University. In this series, we dug deeper into important topics that affect founders and panels of experts dove into topics ranging from fundraising to e-commerce to manufacturing and more. These sessions were filled with tools and insights invaluable to building a business.
Tuesday, March 1, 2022 4-5 pm ET
Navigating direct to consumer (D2C) sales can be a challenge for any early-stage startup. Understanding how to leverage ecommerce and bring your product to consumers is an important aspect of growing your business. We have invited experts in selling direct to consumer, ecommerce strategy, and product experience to share their knowledge on this important topic.
Thai-Anh Hoang is a Northeastern University alumni 2006, who founded EmBeba, a CLEAN sensitive skincare brand with a mission to introduce today’s families to old-world remedies in an innovative way. Since officially launching in 2021, EmBeba has been widely recognized by the industry and media as the new disruptor in the space. Thai-Anh was also named “Boston 40 under 40” and “NEU Women Who Empower Innovator Award” in 2021. She is also the WWE ambassador at NEU and came out of NEU Venture Mentor Network for Startups. They recently closed $1M angel round to scale the company.
Jamie Dooley is an award-winning eCommerce executive with more than 25 years of experience in Digital and Brick & Mortar Retail. He has led Retail Merchandising and eCommerce strategy both for multi-billion dollar brands such as Keurig Dr Pepper and Safety 1st, and for retailers that include Wayfair, Target, Staples, Dunkin’ Donuts, and BabiesRUs.com / ToysRUs.com.
Jamie is currently a Partner in the eCommerce Practice at TPG (a management consulting firm), and lives in NH with his wife and two sons.
He received a BS in Business Administration from Northeastern University and MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management.
Lesley Mottla is a product management and customer experience leader, board advisor and investor with a track record of scaling startups and building disruptive global products, services & teams. Her experience spans DTC eCommerce, membership/subscriptions, sharing economy, urban mobility, B2B software, integrated supply chain, hotel/food operations, sustainable & regenerative foods, social impact, artisan fashion & the future of work.
Wendy is a passionate program and volunteer manager who is dedicated to supporting entrepreneurs. She serves as the Associate Director for the McCarthy(s) Venture Mentoring Network (VMN) and is primarily responsible for all operational and strategic oversight of the program.
Before joining the VMN team, she worked as a volunteer and event manager at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Wendy earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from Emerson College and her Master’s in Nonprofit Management from Northeastern University.
When not at Northeastern Wendy can be found pursuing her own entrepreneurial aspirations as a body confidence coach and fitness instructor for her business, WE Empower: https://www.empowerbywe.com/.
Tuesday, April 5, 2022 4-5 pm ET
Managing manufacturing and supply chain logistics for an early stage startup can be challenging. This panel will cover common pitfalls for startups within manufacturing, what to have ready when approaching manufacturers, and the importance of planning for sustainable supply chain logistics at an early stage.
Jordan Erskine is a highly motivated entrepreneur who has co-founded & sold a few successful businesses. Jordan has almost 20 years in the beauty/skin care industry. He currently serves as Co-Founder & Principal for the award-winning contract manufacturer Dynamic Blending and as Chief Executive Officer for NarcX, a startup aimed at ending the opioid crisis.
Jordan has spent his entire career in the manufacturing and R&D world. Jordan started his career at a large contract manufacturing facility, Wasatch Product Development, in Draper Utah where he wore many hats in manufacturing, formulations, and in R&D developing new and innovative personal care/skin care products. Jordan then moved to Oratech, a large dental manufacturing firm, where he provided technical formulations assistance for two large Fortune 500 company accounts, Glaxo Smith-Kline and Colgate-Palmolive.
In 2015, Jordan started Dynamic Blending with Gavin Collier to offer a full turnkey solution in the skin care contract manufacturing industry. Dynamic Blending has seen over 12,000% growth in 4 years and has won multiple awards including #17 on the Inc. 5000 list and #1 Fastest Growing Company in Utah for both the MWCN and BusinessQ magazine.
Jordan holds an eMBA in International Business from Northeastern University.
Barbara Finer is a serial entrepreneur who has successfully launched many companies and products to market, energizing and aligning teams.
At FORGE, Barbara leads the organization’s Northeastern Massachusetts presence. Barbara identifies and manages opportunities to engage and grow the rich network of manufacturing resources offered in the region with the startups we serve, providing connections and support for both suppliers and startups.
With an extensive background helping technology-based, business-to-business companies across industrial, automation and medical sectors, Barbara has a technical background and degree (BS, Northeastern University) and MS in management of innovation and technology (MSA, Boston University). With a superpower in product marketing, Barb has developed the messaging, business models and go-to-market plans for large and startup companies. She has helped attract funding for dozens of startups, and founded the STEM incubator TechSandBox, Southie Autonomy, TeleRadx, and CxO Management Group.
Michael Segal co-founded Boston Materials in 2016 following experiences in product development and business operations. While his primary focus is on Z-axis Fiber™ technology manufacturing scale-up and supply chain, he also oversees business operations and talent acquisition. Michael holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Northeastern University.
companies, making right-fit connections with manufacturing and supply chain experts to help accelerate commercialization. She is here to ensure continuous and impactful support, connections, and events. Day-to-day, Anya manages relationships and program activities, plans and reports programmatic goals and achievements, and supports the growth and management of external relationships and visibility. As a recent graduate of Northeastern University, Anya holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Environmental Studies. Prior to joining FORGE, she worked at Indigo Agriculture, a Boston-based unicorn startup. As a member of the Technology Partnerships team, she helped initiate and establish external partnerships to supplement the company’s internal R&D pipeline. Preceding Indigo, Anya was a Fellow at the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, where she worked to expand access to clean heating and cooling technologies for residents and businesses across Massachusetts.
Tuesday, May 3, 2022 4-5 pm ET
Marketing and social media are key aspects to a growing startup. While these are essential aspects, they can be challenging to navigate and time consuming to get under control. Your marketing strategy is ever more important in this age of social media and influencers. Tune in to hear our panel of experienced marketers and social media experts weigh in on marketing and social strategy and tips for early stage startups. Join our experts to here some important tips to be successful.
Adebukola Ajao is digital media marketer and consultant. She helps small businesses and solopreneurs build their brands through creative direction and strategy, so they can stand out in the highly saturated digital world. Of course, without breaking their bank! She recently graduated with her Master’s in Digital Media Management from Northeastern University. Outside of marketing and design, she works 1:1 with young people interested inSTEM careers and helps prepare for their digital-first futures!
Erin Yasgar’s reputation for innovation and breadth of knowledge inform her work as Founder of Silver Lake Digital
Erin’s expertise includes evaluating tech stack vendors, maximizing first party data usage, organizational design, digital analytics and executing digital media buys. Her work has spanned across several disciplines, such as content marketing, mobile marketing, social marketing and e-commerce. Erin consistently brings new thinking to her work. For Live Nation she implemented programmatic advertising and consumer data management systems to leverage consumer data across search, social, display, mobile and video advertising. She guided the Los Angeles Philharmonic /Hollywood Bowl Marketing team through a digital transformation around their marketing strategy, digital analytics, staffing, and marketing operations and built a recruitment program for President Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative. Erin has also developed social analytics strategies and dashboard solutions for Lexus, Nike, The Grammys and Universal Music
Anna is a 5th year studying Marketing and Graphic Design at Northeastern. Throughout her time at Northeastern, she has been a designer for Scout – Northeastern’s student-led design studio, and was the co-director of WISE – the Women’s Interdisciplinary Society of Entrepreneurship.
She has done 3 co-ops – at the Boston Red Sox, Posh Technologies, and just finished her final co-op at Apple. She is very passionate about the intersections of design and entrepreneurship, building brands, and working on creative strategy projects. Upon graduation, Anna is hoping to move to San Francisco.
Tuesday, June 7, 2022 4-5 pm ET
Ever wonder what it would be like to be an angel investor or how they make their investment decisions? An angel investor is a individual who invests in a new or small business venture, providing capital for start-up or expansion. Angel investors are usually people who have spare cash available and are looking for a higher rate of return than would be given by more traditional investments. Learn the ins and outs of what it takes to become an angel investor while understanding the angel investor mindset, as you consider funding options for your business.
Jodi is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations around deal flow, membership and events at Launchpad.
Prior to joining Launchpad, Jodi held various leadership positions at EF Education and Champion International Paper Company, primarily focusing on operations, marketing and sales.
Jodi graduated from Emory College with a degree in political science and earned her M.B.A. from the College of William and Mary. She serves on the board of the Majira Project and volunteers as a mentor at EForAll and The Capital Network.
Marjorie advises founders on building and scaling their firms, invests in promising early stage companies and encourages a more diverse, inclusive startup ecosystem. Marjorie is a contributing writer for TechCrunch, Venture Beat and Startup Nation and is a member of the Venture Mentoring Network (VMN) Leadership Committee at Northeastern University. She currently sits on the board of QSM Diagnostics in the Veterinary Diagnostics space and is an advisor for other early stage companies. Her love of seeing promising technologies and passionate innovative teams drives her to invest, advise and consult to the next generation of founders.
Marjorie has been a senior executive and leader in Silicon Valley and the Boston biotech sector, where she developed a reputation for driving domestic and international organizational growth through innovation, global market expansion and building robust cross-cultural teams.
She also improved organizational performance by both positioning and evaluating companies for acquisition. Marjorie’s biggest achievement: was growing the life science diagnostic company she led with angel funds, expanded in over 100 countries, and sold it to a multi-billion dollar publicly-held firm.
Marjorie grew up in a family of entrepreneurs, so entrepreneurship is in her blood. Her first entrepreneurial venture at age 19 was a high-profile sailing program. Now she’s paying it forward through angel investing and advising early stage companies. Marjorie invests primarily for impact in life science, diagnostics, tech, food and food tech through Launchpad and Branch Venture Groups.
If you’re a founder pursuing funding, go to Launchpad Ventures (www.launchpadventuregroup.com) and Branch Venture Group (www.branchventuregroup.com), the two angel groups she invest primarily through. Be sure to review the investment criteria and processes.
Katya Pourteymour is a 2022 graduate from Northeastern who majored in Finance, Entrepreneurship and Design. She has completed two internships at BCG and PWC and has experience in Global Real Estate Operations, Mergers & Acquisitions Consulting, and IT Strategy. Katya is also the co-founder of Huntington Avenue Ventures, a $2 million VC fund dedicated to investing in Northeastern alumni founders. She will be returning to PWC joining their Delivering Deal Value team as a 2nd year associate and New York City this summer.
Sr. Associate Director
Entrepreneurship and Career Strategy
Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative
Venture Mentoring Network