Our Experts and
VIP Mentors

Get guidance from our seasoned experts and entrepreneurs.

The Harvard Innovation Lab offers i-lab resident teams who have been accepted into the Venture Incubation Program have the opportunity to be paired with a mentor. i-lab mentors agree to work with teams over the full term of a team’s residency in the VIP program (typically between a semester and a full school year). Our mentors are seasoned entrepreneurs who have a wide range of startup industry and functional expertise. Their purpose is to align themselves with student founders and share their advice on strategic and operational issues facing the team. Below you'll find a listing of current mentors available for students in the VIP.

Subject Matter
Industry Focus

Salim Afshar

Dr. Afshar is passionate about design thinking and innovation. He has a background in the arts and engineering, and worked as a care coordinator after college, followed by medical and dental school at Harvard. He completed his surgical residency within the Partners Healthcare System and brought human factor design and innovation into his surgical practice and work. During the past 15 years he has solved system and design challenges both large and small with solutions that were inspired by processes and systems found in nature (biomimicry) complemented with human factor design. He is passionate about the user and has played a key advisory role in the implementation and design of healthcare software systems and has designed several devices and implants in the medical technology space. In addition to being the founder of several companies including his current startup, ClinicalBox, he is also an active surgeon at Boston Children’s Hospital.

Bob Allard

Bob Allard co-founded ExtensionEngine to combine his expertise in facilitating productivity through leading-edge technology with his dedication to offering clients the best in world-class solutions and service. ExtensionEngine’s continued growth and profitability are a testament to those capabilities and values. Allard’s technology career spans more than 15 years and includes experience in software sales, product marketing and strategic business development. He has worked in disciplines such as high-performance computing, wide-area networking, database development and mobile applications for leading companies including Integrated Computing Engines and Predictive Systems.

Philip Beauregard

Phil Beauregard is the co-founder and CEO of talent optimization tech startup Objective Logistics, backed by Google Ventures, Atlas Venture, and NextView Ventures. Beyond Objective Logistics, Beauregard also helped found Rekindle, a newly-launched mobile app to reconnect old friends and former flames (also backed by Google), as well as Unpitch, an event that puts early-stage entrepreneurs in front of investors — for free. What’s more, Beauregard is an angel investor and has poured small seed investments into the likes of StarStreet (Acq. by DraftKings), Draft, CommandIQ, BuysideFX, Take the Interview, The Tap Lab, EveryLabs, and, of course, Rekindle.

Jill Becker

Currently, Dr. Becker is CEO and Founder of 02139 Inc. 02139 Inc. is a consulting company that she started in 2013 in order to provide executive consulting services and investment advice to both public and private companies with a heavy focus on accelerating growth and the creation of jobs in a variety of industries. Prior to that, Dr. Becker was CEO and Founder of Cambridge NanoTech Inc. that she started back in 2003 straight from her Ph.D thesis at Harvard University. Under her leadership the company was instantly profitable and had operated at a profit every year since then and had been one of the fastest growing private companies for numerous years in the US from 2008-2012 until it was sold. Dr. Becker is a member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and has won numerous awards including the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

Jeffrey Beir

Jeffrey is a successful entrepreneur, CEO and investor. He is currently the Managing Partner of seed2A, an advisory firm that helps early stage companies grow from seed to series A. Jeffrey was formerly a general partner with North Bridge Venture Partners, EVP of Products for Documentum,and co-founder and CEO of eRoom Technology which was acquired by Documentum/EMC in December 2002. Jeffrey received his MBA from the Harvard Business School, a MSEE from Syracuse University and a BSEE from Northwestern University.

David Birnbach

David Birnbach is head of the STEAM Studio Education Foundation, which is developing a network of public innovation schools that integrate the Arts with science, technology, and engineering – www.steamstudio.org David is also on the teaching team for several action learning courses at MIT Sloan, where he help students put classroom theory into practice, as students work side-by-side with organizations to apply classroom lessons to high-impact business and society challenges – http://mitsloan.mit.edu/actionlearning/ David has 20 years’ experience launching startups, building markets, and creating innovative engineering teams. He has played leadership roles with global firms and startups that went public and got acquired, including CEO, SVP sales and marketing, head of emerging technologies, and lead engineer. David holds an MS in management of technology from the MIT Sloan.

Matthew Blumberg

Matthew Blumberg is a social entrepreneur focusing on digital media and technology. He is founder and executive director of GridRepublic, a nonprofit that uses social media and “volunteer computing” to provide large scale computing power to scientific and medical research. Other distributed computing projects, with commercial partners, include “Charity Engine” and “Progress Thru Processors” (*with Intel). Previously, Matthew was a partner in TGT Energy Ltd., a company commercializing proprietary technology for industrial-scale energy storage (deployed in transit systems in New York City, London, Hong Kong, Paris, and elsewhere); and was Producer of the feature film “Amongst Friends” (a Sundance Film Festival Selection).

David Boghossian

Dave founded PowerSteering Software, Inc. and since 1998 served as its President. Mr. Boghossian has twenty years of experience as a management consultant where he has focused on using innovative tools to deliver more focused strategic information to decision makers. Prior to joining PowerSteering Software, Mr. Boghossian co-founded Story Street Partners, a successful start-up to build integrated strategic information resources on corporate Intranets. As a management consultant, he was the founder of Real-Time Systems, an executive development firm focused on strategy development, leader of the Strategy Practice of Dove Associates and a Director of Alliance Consulting Group. He serves as a Director of PowerSteering Software, Inc. Mr. Boghossian holds AB and MPA degrees from Harvard University.

David Brown

David is currently founding two stealth social enterprises, one focused on early childhood education and one on criminal justice reform. David has led initiatives focused on accelerating business growth in the Greater Boston area, with his work cutting across major industries in Boston including technology, healthcare, clean technology, and social innovation. Prior to his startups David held roles as Vice President of Innovation Leadership for the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, Director of partnerships for ZappRx and as the Executive Director of Technology Underwriting Greater Good (TUGG). David has an MBA, summa cum laude, from Babson College, and a BA from Williams College. In his spare time, aside from chasing around his two young boys, he is an active startup investor, has run the social impact track at Mass Challenge for four years, and sits on the boards of City Awake, Arts Connect International, and Innercity Weightlifting.

Brendan Ciecko

Brendan Ciecko is the founder and CEO of Cuseum, a platform that helps museums engage their visitors. Ciecko has been building technology since the age of 11 and has been featured in Inc.’s “30 Under 30” list, as well as Entrepreneur, The New York Times, The Guardian, Esquire, and PC Magazine for his work in design, technology, and business.