Hofstra-Digital Remedy Venture Challenge

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Max Bidna
Co-Founder & CEO

Max is the founder of Hell’s Creative, a boutique growth agency in Hell’s Kitchen, NYC.

As a founding member of Hofstra University Start-Ups in 2012 and as a former President of the club, Max is thrilled to be back supporting the Hofstra Entrepreneurship community. While at Hofstra, Max walked on to the golf team but left after a couple seasons to pursue his business drive. He completed 6 internships at various investment funds and start-up accelerators. After a brief stint helping middle stage companies raise capital as an investment banker he founded Hell’s Creative, a boutique growth agency in Hell’s Kitchen, NYC. He currently serves as a partner at the firm helping start-ups and small businesses grow their sales.
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Jon El Kordi-Hubbard
Founder, Craft + Logic

Jon El Kordi-Hubbard is the Founder & CEO of Craft + Logic, a product lab that builds tech and content to tackle consumer problems.

Formerly he was a Co-Founder of Hell's Creative LLC, a growth marketing agency in NYC, and was a Digital Strategist for DDB Health, a global advertising agency that focuses on creating compelling campaigns for healthcare professionals. Prior to that, he founded College Startup Magazine, the nation's first website that highlighted the startup stories of students from around the globe. At Hofstra he was a President of HUSU, an executive board member of HAMA, and conducted a thesis on how workspace design impacts entrepreneurs. He graduated in December 2013 with a BBA in Entrepreneurship and Information Technology.
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Matt Greenbaum
VP, International Shoppes

Matt Greenbaum is the Vice President of International Shoppes, an airport retailer that primarily operates duty free stores and high-end branded shops. 

International Shoppes is a family owned and operated enterprise and has been operating for over 65 years. Matt focuses primarily on business development, working with brand owners and airport operators to maximize revenue opportunities and the customer experience. As part of the ownership group, Matt is also inserted into all facets of the business, including operations, accounting, human resources, marketing and more. Matt is local to the area, having grown up in Westbury, NY and currently resides in Glen Head, NY. He graduated from Cornell University in 2001 with a degree in Applied Economics & Management and earned his MBA from NYU's Stern School of Business in 2011.
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Peter Kestenbaum
Entrepreneur in Residence

Peter is Managing Partner of 1099Partners, a firm that consists of ex-senior executives that service the emerging market space.

Since exiting the workforce in 2006, Peter has worked with dozens of startups in the New York area, held similar Entrepreneur-in-Residence positions or adjunct roles at several universities including Montclair, Rutgers, and NJIT. He is Managing Partner of 1099Partners, a firm that consists of ex-senior executives that service the emerging market space. He currently advises, coaches or is an investor in eight local firms. Kestenbaum was an early employee (1983-1998) of Sun Microsystems and over 15 years held a variety of positions culminating as Field Marketing Director for North America. His Silicon Valley pedigree includes working directly for or with people such as Eric Schmidt (currently Chairman at Google) and Scott McNealy, founder of Sun Microsystems. During the “.COM” era he served as the Chief Marketing Officer for Agency.COM in New York as it transitioned from a startup and early silicon alley pioneer through its IPO. He also has held an advisor role to senior staff at IBM.
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Michael Lai
CEO & Co-Founder, Cress Health

Michael is the founder and CEO of Cress Health , a tech company that creates disruptive technologies to enhance individual mental wellness.

Michael is also creator of Cress Health’s flagship product, Callie , which is the world’s first AI-driven personal wellness companion. Cress Health was named one of Fast Company’s 2020 World Changing Ideas and is backed by the Clinton Foundation, 1517 Fund, Accelerate New York Seed Fund, and Microsoft. While at Hofstra, Michael represented Cress Health in numerous business competitions and was the 2nd place winner of the 2019 Healthcare Entrepreneurship Community Challenge, 1st place winner of the 2019 Long Island Business Plan Competition, 3rd place winner of the 2019 Hofstra-Digital Remedy Venture Challenge, and the national grand prize winner of the 2019 GMAC “Think Like an Entrepreneur” competition. Outside of Cress Health, Michael is extremely passionate about impact-based social entrepreneurship and has founded Cress Cares (Cress Health’s non-profit arm) in which he works with community partners in Africa to deliver cost-free mental wellness resources and increase mental health literacy for refugees in the Kakuma refugee camp, adolescent youth in Nairobi, Kenya, and for women affected by sexual and gender-based violence in Liberia. He is also the founder of SciSquare , a non-profit organization that connects underprivileged high school students from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in STEM to mentorship and summer research immersion opportunities. For his efforts, Michael was named a 2020 Innovator of the Year by Innovate Long Island. As part of the NextGen Advisory Board, Michael is excited to give back to Hofstra by supporting and mentoring the next generation of Hofstra entrepreneurs.
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Christian Ladigoski
Co-Founder & COO NextCore Media

Christian Ladigoski is a Multi-Media Entrepreneur, diversifying his experience in digital marketing, production and filmmaking.

Christian is the Co-Founder of NextCore Media (A Digital Marketing Agency) and Founder of Gowski Productions (A Film Production Company), he has previous experience at prestigious media companies such as NBC, ABC and HBO. He is also an executive producer, film composer and has created content for film, digital, radio, podcasts, and other mediums for 12+ years.
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Chris Lopinto
Founder, ExpertFlyer

Chris Lopinto is a serial entrepreneur, mentor and angel investor.

Since founding ExpertFlyer in 2004, he has been a pioneer in providing airline data transparency to consumers. Prior to ExpertFlyer, Chris founded, built, and then sold an IT consulting company in Long Island New York. Prior, he served as the Director of IT at ProductivityNet, a network management software startup. Chris is a co-founder of Started on LI, a Long Island based entrepreneur mentorship group, and has mentored various Startup Weekend events. He is a graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
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Lynn Luong
Founder, The 2.0 Collective

Lynn is a founder, startup consultant, and ecosystem builder

Currently based in Charlotte, NC, she works as an ecosystem builder to support the rapidly-growing city working on large-scale projects to bring Charlotte to the forefront of technology and startups. In one of the fastest-growing fintech and startup hubs, she sits as the organizer and founder of Charlotte Innovation Week, the inaugural week-long celebration for Charlotte Innovation, and recently was the director of Seed the South, one of the largest angel investment conferences and pitch competitions of the South. At Hofstra, she—like her fellow NextGen board members—was the president of HUSU - Hofstra University Startups where she credits her beginnings as a lover of entrepreneurship. Her team was the winner of the 2016 Digital Remedy (formerly CPXi) Competition and a top 10 finalist in 2019. With NextGen Advisory, she hopes to give back as much as the Hub has given her.
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Alec Marcus
Graduate Assistant at Center for Entrepreneurship

Alec graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BBA in Entrepreneurship in May 2020, and is now working towards his MBA in Sports & Entertainment Management. 

As an undergrad Alec spent two years as the President of Hofstra University Start-Ups (HUSU), tasked with recruiting a new wave of students and launching their ideas. He was also an inaugural Co-Chair for the Zarb Undergraduate Leadership Council where he grew collaboration, marketing efforts, and recruitment events for all business clubs. He worked as the Student Assistant at the Center for Entrepreneurship where he managed promotions, research, and competitions. He entered the Digital Remedy Venture Challenge three times with three different teams, earning a finalist spot as a sole founder for my current venture MeCard. Alec is now working towards a digital business card app for professional, social, and consumer networking. He also co-manage Quotees, developing t-shirts with inspirational quotes and donating to causes supporting various professions. In my spare time, he enjoys helping people start businesses, analyzing movies, and playing basketball.
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Alec Polsley
Founder/CEO,BrookLAN

Alec enjoys helping young entrepreneurs on GTM strategies and organic growth tactics.

lec graduated in 2016 with a BBA in Marketing from Hofstra University. While there, he assisted in the formation of the Hofstra Center for Entrepreneurship and was a student advisor to the center and Executive Dean, Mark Lesko. While at school he joined the social amplification app, Bettr, as Director of Marketing.
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Barbara Roberts
Entrepreneur in Residence

Barbara B. Roberts is Entrepreneur in Residence at both Columbia Business School and Hofstra University. 

Barbara B. Roberts is Entrepreneur in Residence at both Columbia Business School and Hofstra University. She is also former NY Chair of Tiger 21 and a speaker and writer about all stages of entrepreneurship, family businesses and the economic progress of women. An economist by training, previously Barbara held senior positions on Wall Street and was the first woman to serve on Dean Witter's board of directors. Barbara also served as president and CEO at the stock photography company, FPG International, now part of Getty Images and at the museum audio tour company, Acoustiguide. Barbara has served as chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York's Small Business and Agricultural Advisory Committee and as a member of the Suffolk County NY Planning Commission. As an Entrepreneur in Residence for over ten years, she has helped to launch hundreds of start ups, is an active angel investor and serves on the boards of several private companies. Barbara is the author of four whitepapers about entrepreneurs: Life after an Exit, The Owner's Journey, Women's Entrepreneurial Journeys and Flightpaths. She is certified as a master business coach by the Hudson Institute of Santa Barbara and trained in facilitation and mediation. Barbara has an Economics and Philosophy degree from Goucher College.
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Adam Seeman
Director of Technology, Ocrolus

Adam graduated in 2014 with a BS in Computer Science and a BA in Film Studies in Production from Hofstra University.

Adam graduated in 2014 with a BS in Computer Science and a BA in Film Studies in Production from Hofstra University. While working at Faculty Computing Services, he produced cohort peer grading software for the Hofstra School of Medicine. Joining after graduation, he currently serves as Director of Technology at Ocrolus, which was named as Inc’s #1 Fastest-Growing Fintech Company 2020. Additionally, he wrote the management system for Slate, an interstitial graphics driver used by MLB.tv, HBO Now, and other media platforms. Adam is passionate about pragmatic, sustainable software development and user-driven product design. When he’s not working, you can find him using his Oculus Rift, watching the Cubs, or researching new travel destinations.
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