Minority Innovation Weekend is a weekend summit dedicated to aiding minority innovators launch tech-focused startups & exploring emerging technologies.
MIW Disruptive Podcast Episode 2021-005: Prasanna Naik, Product Manager
Prasanna Naik went against the odds and quit his job as a Product Manager for Airbnb during a global pandemic. However, it was for the right reasons - to follow his dreams and launch a tech startup. Prasanna sits down with the MIW podcast team to discuss the importance of building a solid foundation for a startup company. Although, he can't share the details of the start up (just yet) he gives tons of advice to prepare others in their journey.
MIW Disruptive Podcast Episode 2021-004: McKeever Conwell, Founder and Managing Partner, RareBreed Ventures
Mac Conwell is an experienced software engineer and former tech startup founder. Currently Conwell is using his talents, investment philosophy and expertise to raise 10 million dollars for his venture capital firm, RareBreed ventures. RareBreed Ventures is closing in on that goal and is investing in founders before everyone else. Conwell sits down with MIW podcast team and shares how he's found great entrepreneurs in areas where many aren't looking.
Episode 2021-003: Monique Mills, MBA, PMP, Founder & Chief Strategist, TPM Focus
MIW Disruptive Podcast Episode 2021-003: Monique Mills, MBA, PMP, Founder & Chief Strategist, TPM Focus
Monique Mills received her undergraduate electrical engineering degree from the Rochester Institute of Technology and her MBA, with a concentration in Management of Technology, from the Georgia Institute of Technology. After many years of corporate industry experience, she took the plunge and stepped out on her own to create and lead the growth of her own technology company as well as a multidisciplinary management consulting company, TPM Focus. TPM Focus provides revenue-focused strategy to startups and small to medium-sized businesses by synchronizing their marketing, sales, technology, and customer success with revenue goals (finances).
Monique's earliest entrepreneurial experience began while simultaneously working in her engineering career. As a result of her love of real estate and desire to manage her personal investment transactions, she became a licensed Realtor and launched a real estate sales and consulting business, Focused Realtors, to assist other investors in strategic planning and execution of their real estate ventures. Monique has personal experience and expertise in buying, selling, leasing, and construction management of both residential and commercial properties. She is a Member of the Atlanta Commercial Board of Realtors.
The real estate experience combined with constant curiosity and a love of using technology to solve problems, provided the genesis for her first technology company, ThePartyMatch Technology -– a software(SaaS) application designed to match underutilized commercial properties with those seeking to co-locate temporarily or more permanently. In addition, the technology included artificial intelligence components to provide real-time availability, cost information, customer service, and leasing details-– it was ahead of its time.
Monique was requested and honored to pitch ThePartyMatch in a private, invitation-only casting for ABC's Shark Tank, a reality television show for cutting edge entrepreneurs, as well as for Steve Case, an American innovator and Founder of AOL, during his Rise of Rest tour around the nation. She's been a staple in the Atlanta tech scene since the resurgence of the startup activity in 2013 and received a nod of acknowledgement from TechCrunch, the most respected online newspaper focused on high tech and startup companies.
As a certified PMP (Project Management Professional) with many years of project management experience across several industries and as Principal of TPM Focus, Monique uses a strategic approach based upon PMI Project Management principles, Blue Ocean Strategies, Design Thinking, and Agile and Lean Startup Methodologies to develop innovative ideas into early-stage startup companies and help mature small businesses upgrade and expand their operations with cutting-edge strategies and technologies to remain competitive in the market.
Monique is an Advisory Board Member for Stem to Market, an initiative by the Association for Women in Science, that provides entrepreneurial education and support to STEM women with research or technology they want to commercialize.
Monique is a Research Faculty member of Georgia Institute of Technology, serving tech entrepreneurs at the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), the oldest technology incubator in Georgia. ATDC has an international reputation for fostering technological entrepreneurship by helping tech startups navigate the ambiguous journey of taking an idea from concept, to prototype, launch, and finally, to scale. Participating companies have created hundreds of jobs, millions of tax revenues, and raised over a billion dollars in outside funding from angel investors and venture capitalists.
Monique served as an Adjunct Professor at Georgia State University in the College of Business as part of the University's Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute. She taught students how
Episode 2021-002: Dr. Sanna Gaspard, PhD, CEO, Rubitection
Dr. Gaspard has a passion for entrepreneurship, healthcare, medical devices, and innovation. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering (BME) at the University of Miami in Miami, FL (‘04). She completed her Masters (’05) and PhD (’11) in BME at Carnegie Mellon University. While earning her graduate degrees she founded and served as CEO of two biotech companies, TLneoCare, LLC and Rubitection Inc, to commercialize her innovations. As CEO she developed the business strategy, IP strategy, and raised initial financing. She has ideated novel technology for infant physiotherapy, vascular surgery, and wound care. She has received recognition and awards including being selected as a finalist for the Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards(’13), a semi-finalist for the Big C competition (’14), a finalist for the Mass Challenge Business accelerator in Boston, and taking 1st place at the 3 Rivers Investment Venture Fair’s Technology showcase (‘11). Her vision is to make the Rubitect Assessment System the global standard solution for early bedsore detection and management.
E2021-001 Black and Brown In STEM
According to a Pew Research Center report, “the majority of STEM workers in the U.S. are white (69%), followed by Asians (13%), blacks (9%) and Hispanics (7%).”
In this episode we discuss African American and Hispanic American experiences in the STEM workforce with Andres Marquez (Software Engineer at Facebook), Jazmine Staten (IT Project Manager at Dell Technologies), Marisol Monzon (Medical Student at University of Utah), Tori Sombright (Educational Technology Coordinator, Plano Independent School District), Carlton Sapp (VP of Analytics and AI at Gartner), and Lee Pham (Principal - Cybersecurity, Privacy, Intellectual Property, and Governance at Teleiosis)
MIW Disruptive Podcast Episode 2020-026: Christopher J Allen, Serial Innovator & Founder, CJA Systems
Mr. Chris Allen is a serial innovator and founder of CJA Systems sits down with the MIW Podcast team to discuss innovation and being a founder of a tech startup.