Innovation Fellow Cohorts
Ibrahim is a startup professional that has worked in early-stage companies in Silicon Valley across the advertising and digital identity/authentication spaces. Most recently, Ibrahim worked on an authentication solution that combined zero-knowledge cryptographic proofs with blockchain technology for the purposes of self-sovereign digital identity on the Internet. Ibrahim has built, led, and scaled product and sales teams as an executive and is now looking to found his own company. He is extremely excited about the DIAL Fellowship and hopes to launch a company in the space that drives global value. Ibrahim is originally from Pakistan (a country with 40% of its economy tied to agriculture), which is part of the reason he is striving to make an impact in the agri-food industry.
Ibrahim is an ex-professional polo (think horses not water) player and an avid outdoorsman: he likes to spend his free time hunting, spearfishing and spending time with his black lab, Sterling.
Jonas Cleveland is an entrepreneur focused on the areas of AI and robotics. His passion is in building a better world using technology! After completing his undergraduate at Carnegie Mellon University in Electrical and Computer Engineering, Jonas spun his first company out of graduate school at UPenn's Robotics Lab. COSY uses computer vision to power mobile robots in warehouses. Jonas scaled the company as CEO through several partnerships and Series A round with funding from Intel Capital, Great Point Ventures, and 500 Startups.
Jonas holds several US patents and has been recognized by some of the largest forums in his field – including MIT Technology Review’s 35 Under 35 Award and LinkedIn’s NextWave Award for rising entrepreneurs.
A corporate attorney by trade, and the founder of a strategic initiatives consultancy, Kylee has spent her career developing businesses, launching special projects, and helping business owners access and connect to the resources they need to succeed. Kylee has held executive roles in both the private and non-profit sectors, where she has provided strategic and tactical leadership in a variety of capacities ranging from a multi-million-dollar investment campaign at a regional economic development organization to the development of a new business division at the country’s largest independently owned insurance brokerage agency. During her time as a corporate attorney, she concentrated her practice in the areas of corporate and securities law, representing clients and companies of all sizes throughout Northeast Indiana.
Kylee is the founder of Lemonade Day Fort Wayne, an initiative that encourages youth entrepreneurship. She currently serves as the board chair for the Fort Wayne Downtown Improvement District and serves on the board of the Fort Wayne Downtown Development Trust.
Krishna is a renowned entrepreneur who was nominated to Forbes' 30 Under 30 list in 2021 for his work on helmet-mounted HUDs. He secured multi-million-dollar agreements to partner with automotive industry titans and integrate his technology into their products. He studied at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He is excited about the fellowship and is looking forward to learning more about the market and its challenges. He intends to leverage his knowledge and experience to build a business that will propel the industry forward.
Krishna is an avid car enthusiast; Porsche recognized his passion and sent in a crew from all over Europe to make a Porsche Classic film as well as write an article about him and his car! The film: A New York state of mind, and the article: A New York road trip in a classic Porsche Boxster Spyder.
Stephen is a seasoned entrepreneur and executive who has built three companies to acquisition across retail, e-commerce, and automotive. He conceptualized and built one of the most prominent Hertz brands in the last 30 years, Hertz Dreamcars, helping to scale that across Europe through franchising. Stephen has held multiple C-suite roles with a strong focus on leadership and operational excellence. Stephen has mentored and advised hundreds of founders in the startup ecosystem based on years of building companies through the 0-1 stage, growth, and scaling phases. Stephen cemented his place in the world of Startups becoming the CEO of CoFoundersLab, a global founder platform, and accelerator, as well as an Innovation leadership role with Silicon Valley’s Founder Institute.
Stephen is from London but moved to Colorado to spend as much time in the outdoors as possible. He is fanatical about Tottenham Hotspur, his football (soccer) team.
Alan is an innovative agribusiness professional who conceptualized and managed the implementation of a beef supply chain traceability system utilizing blockchain technology designed to connect information and value. He has extensive experience in creating branded beef programs for domestic and international customers and was a senior member of the team that launched Missouri Prime Beef Packers in 2021. He holds a Master of Science in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University, an MBA from Indiana University, and a Bachelor of Science in Finance from the University of Arizona. As a Fellow, Alan looks forward to collaborating with other Fellows and industry leaders and in being a part of the bright future of agriculture and ag-tech.
Alan lived in Brazil for two years, speaks Portuguese, and has an interest in Brazilian agriculture. He enjoys spending time with his wife and five kids.
Amanda was awarded the Waste360 "40 Under 40 Award" (awards are presented by Waste360 to recognize and reward the rising stars and young professionals within the waste and recycling industry). She is a successful serial entrepreneur building companies in unexpected, large, total addressable markets. Most recently, she founded and scaled a commercial equipment startup that provided nationwide service to more than a dozen fortune 50 companies within the first two years. She graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural leadership and development. As a Fellow, she is excited to collaborate with industry partners and research leaders to identify critical challenges in the agri-food industry and discover potential solutions to address those challenges. Also, the opportunity to innovate at an accelerated rate through the venture studio model in one of the fastest growing technology segments.
Amanda enjoys listening to business podcasts, traveling to new places, and spending time with her husband and their three sons.
Charles conceptualized, bootstrapped, developed, and launched the first “rep-free” program in the U.S. to help hospitals remove sales bias from their clinical areas. He also achieved ranking as the top distributor for Biomet Spine in the world. He attended the University of Dubuque and graduated in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science degree in business. As a Fellow, he is excited about immersing himself in the DIAL Ventures program, learning through all of the varied experiences and travel opportunities.
Charles lived in Europe and speaks French.
Cilas helped his team at Blueridge Development Group hit top 1% in sales competing with all of North America. He also raised $100,000 in funding for a DOD project for Mosaic Labs. Cilas has a Bachelor of Science degree in management information systems from Colorado State University. As a Fellow, he looks forward to the opportunity for proving grounds and mentorship.
He enjoys musical arts from Broadway, a capella, and musicals.
Kerrigan led the Customer Service and Web/eCommerce divisions of a large company and generated $3 billion in revenue within 5 years. At PCH International, he led a product development organization in Shenzhen, China where he more than doubled their revenue and helped bridge the gap between the San Francisco and Shenzhen offices. He graduated from the U.S. Navy Storekeeper A School. He is excited about being a Fellow because of the opportunity to learn from industry experts and ultimately the possibility of having a positive impact in the agri-food sector.
Kerrigan’s daughter and son were born on the same day, two years and one hour apart. "I'd like to take credit for the planning, but it was pure luck."
Shashi launched the P2P interoperability network in Thailand enabling 100 million people to send money to each other. He also was featured in the New Economy Forum for his work in Inclusive ID that eventually scaled to three countries. Shashi has a degree in management from the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, and a degree in metallurgical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras. As a Fellow, he is excited about learning more about the industry, its unique challenges and using his experience to build a business to solve those challenges.
Shashi won a prize awarded by Plein Air Magazine for his watercolor titled “Shelter from the Storm.” It was awarded the best (watercolor) landscape among more than 800+ entries nationwide.
Steinl is an industrial engineering graduate from Purdue. He worked for Walmart’s automation engineering team as an intern, and in 2020, he founded the university’s first blockchain-focused student group, educating and connecting students to blockchain projects. He also led Purdue’s student consulting association, providing services to internal departments and external corporate clientele. He currently works as a Business Analyst at Kearny in Chicago.
Travis has an agricultural background and has helped companies of various sizes, in both leadership and individual roles, deliver complex software solutions. He received a master’s degree in sustainable resource management from the Technical University of Munich in Germany where he utilized geospatial modeling (GIS) to model and predict deforestation, soil loss, and disaster risk in Nicaragua. Travis is now the CTO for our first studio company, Croft Technologies.