Our Experts and VIP Mentors

Get guidance from our seasoned experts and entrepreneurs.

All i-lab residents have access to office hours with some of the most innovative, creative and seasoned experts in the venture space. In these one-on-one meetings, venture capitalists, creative directors, legal guides and serial entrepreneurs share their insight, experience and advice in order to help you take your own venture further, faster. Listed below are the Entrepreneurs in Residence appointed for the upcoming academic year.

Subject Matter
Industry Focus
School

Ajay Agarwal

Ajay (HBS-95) a Managing Director at Bain Capital Ventures in Palo Alto, is focused on early-stage software, mobile, and internet investing. Seven years at Trilogy Software, as head of sales and marketing, gives him strong grounding in customer focused operations. His passion is working with early-stage founders on team-building, culture, iteration of product market fit, and building the early go-to-market operations. His primary investment themes include e-commerce enablement, mobile/location based services, the revolution of the marketing function, and the use of big-data to transform business applications.

Dennis Berman

Dennis Berman has been co-founder and/or seed investor in six companies, all of which went public, achieving a combined value over $7 billion. The most well known of these was Intervu Inc, one of the first software-as-a-service companies which delivered 50% of all online video traffic when it was acquired by Akamai in 2000. Other companies Dennis was involved with include two life sciences groups, Gensia Pharmaceuticals and Viagene, and Kintera, a pioneer in Internet fundraising. Dennis is co-founder and Executive Vice President Corporate Development of Tocagen Inc., a gene therapy company developing treatments for cancer patients.Dennis holds a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania in Economics and a B.S. from The Wharton School in Accounting and Economics. He also holds a General Course Certificate from the London School of Economics and received his JD from Harvard Law School.

Industry Knowledge: computer services and software, medical industry, venture capital, life and health sciences, and online fundraising

Gordon Bloom

Professor Bloom is founder, Social Entrepreneurship Collaboratory (SE Lab) @ Stanford, Harvard and Princeton. He teaches about the design, development and leadership of innovative social ventures in global health, development, and the environment.
Gordon is currently an Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) @ Harvard Innovation Lab (i-Lab) and teaches on the Health Policy & Management faculty at the Harvard School of Public Health. He also served on the faculty at Harvard Kennedy School, as an EIR @ Harvard Business School’s Rock Center for Entrepreneurship, and as Dean’s Visiting Professor in Entrepreneurship at Princeton.
While teaching at Stanford from 1997-2003, Gordon created the SE Lab, a Silicon Valley and technologyinfluenced incubator for social ventures, which takes an interdisciplinary approach to global problem solving.

Industry Knowledge: Innovation & Entrepreneurship for Social Impact,US & Global Health, International Development
Environmental & Social Entrepreneurship

Stephen Bonner

Steve was President and CEO of Cancer Treatment Centers of America from 1999-2013, and continues as a strategic advisor at CTCA. He is an adviser to healthcare PE firms, and an investor and board member for healthcare innovation companies. He is a mentor to students, helping them figure out their entrepreneurial path, whether it’s their own idea, or as part of another’s venture.

A passionate advocate of patient-centric, quality-driven healthcare, he championed putting patients in control of their medical decisions by empowering them with comprehensive, unbiased information about their conditions. His commitment earned him a place on Modern Healthcare’s prestigious list of the “100 Most Influential People in Healthcare.”

Steve served in executive roles at Keyport Life Insurance, McGraw-Hill, and Prudential Insurance. While at Prudential, he created their consumer banking operation. He earned a B.A. in Pol. Sci. from Amherst College and a JD from William Mitchell College of Law.

David Cancel

Mr. David Cancel is a Co-Founder at Buzzster!. He is also a Co-Founder and serves as Chief Executive Officer at Driftt. He served as Chief Product Officer at HubSpot. He co-founded Performable and served as its Chief Executive Officer. He is a Venture Advisor at NextView Ventures. He serves as Advisor of Visible Measures Corporation. Mr. Cancel was the Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Lookery. He co-founded Compete, Inc. in 2000 and served as its Chief Technology Officer and Vice President of Engineering until September 18, 2007 and Advisor since September 18, 2007. Mr. Cancel served as a Vice President of Technology and Chief Technology Officer of BuyerZone. He was a founding member of the Lycos Advanced Product Development group (LAPD). Mr. Cancel served as the Chief Software Architect and a founding member of Bolt.com. He sits on the advisory boards of Visible Measures, Sonian Networks, Yottaa and Shareaholic. Mr. Cancel holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science and Accounting from Queen’s College in New York. He also serves as an Advisor at NextView Ventures. He also serves as Mentor at Rough Draft Ventures.

David Chang

David (HBS-01) is an entrepreneur and angel investor in Boston with product, marketing and software development experience at internet and mobile startups. He has a successful track record in operating roles at direct-to-consumer and enterprise companies, six of which were acquired or IPO’d.

Prior Experience: Recently led the PayPal Boston office and co-founded the Start Tank innovation space. Previously co-founder of SnapMyLife, marketing at m-Qube, and product for TripAdvisor. As an active member of the entrepreneurship community, he holds several advisor/board memberships and has made 30 angel investments.

Skills & Expertise: Product management, marketing, strategy, corporate development, angel and early-stage venture capital fundraising.

Interests: As a community builder, he is currently focused on helping founders grow their startups and connecting them with great investors.

Elizabeth Christoforetti

Elizabeth is Design Lead and Co-founder at Supernormal, an urban research and design group on the forefront of translating new forms of granular urban and real estate data into intelligent design, development and planning outcomes. She works across scales, bringing together the disciplines of urban design, strategic planning, and architecture in order to incrementally improve the life of our cities. She received a Master’s in Architecture from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, where she currently serves as Design Critic. Elizabeth has also been a researcher in the Social Computing Group at the MIT Media Lab, where her work on the use of emerging urban data sources for urban development won a Knight Foundation Prototype grant. Prior to her work at MIT, she worked closely with real estate developers on the design of innovative housing and mixed-use building types.

Industry Knowledge: Urban development, Architecture, Urban design & planning, Smart cities, Urban data, Real estate

Tom Clay

Tom Clay (HBS-97), CEO of Xtalic Corporation in Marlborough MA, specializes in the commercialization of advanced technology in design, manufacturing, and materials. Xtalic develops high performing metal alloys that address large, high-value problems in mobile electronics and other fields. His primary interests include sourcing and commercializing advanced technologies and building leading businesses around these technologies. Tom is also interested in education and workforce development to ensure we are prepared to maintain leadership in these fields.

Prior Experience: Before joining Xtalic, Tom was CEO of Z Corporation, a leading pioneer in 3D Printing. Tom served the board of Z Corp and Sensable Technologies (3D Design) and currently serves on the board of Xtalic and Mcor (3D Printing.) Tom is also a member of the School Committee in Westford MA and serves as a Trustee at Mount Wachusett Community College. Tom served as a US Army Ranger before attending HBS.

Sam Clemens

Sam (HBS-04) is Founder and Chief Product Officer at InsightSquared in Cambridge, MA. He specializes in product management and development for B2B software startups. Before InsightSquared, Sam was VP Product at Hubspot, VP Product at BzzAgent, and on the initial team at Elance.com. He also had stints in venture capital with Greylock Partners and management consulting with Booz Allen Hamilton. He has a B.S. in Applied Math from Yale. Skills & Expertise: Product Management, Agile software development, B2B business models, Marketplace business models, Early and growth stage startups, B2B marketing Interests: Rebreather/decompression diving on New England area shipwrecks.

Celine Coggins

Dr. Coggins founded Teach Plus in 2007 to create leadership pathways that retain & empower excellent teachers in urban schools. In ten years, Teach Plus has grown from 16 founding teachers in MA to a nationwide network of over 25,000 teachers. She has grown the organization to an $8M annual budget with nearly 60 staff. Celine started her career as a middle school teacher in Worcester, MA. She earned her PhD from Stanford Univ. and has received Fellowship appointments with the Aspen Institute and The Mind Trust. She is the author of more than two-dozen reports & journal articles and editor of three books. A nationally-recognized expert on teacher leadership, education policy, and union politics, Celine has addressed audiences at the Philanthropy Roundtable, the Askwith Forum at Harvard, and on NBCs Education Nation. She is quoted regularly in major media outlets.

Industry Knowledge: Teacher quality policy, unions, education accountability, nonprofits