Kelly has spent her career working across many facets of healthcare innovation and product development. First, as the founder and CEO of a medical device company spun out of Carnegie Mellon’s Biomedical Engineering department, followed by an experience leading new product development and R&D within the medical supply corporation that acquired her startup. Currently, Kelly has a business development role at UPMC Enterprises where she looks to connect startups, corporations, and other health systems with strategic opportunities to partner with UPMC to commercialize innovations in healthcare IT and life sciences. Kelly’s journey has included being a participant and beneficiary of many of Pittsburgh’s excellent entrepreneurial resources, and now is a mentor, speaker, and subject matter expert in support of many of those same local programs. Her passion and unique expertise lies at the intersection of entrepreneurship, healthcare, and corporate innovation.
Don is a serial entrepreneur and visionary leader who has consistently leveraged technology to improve the customer experience and top and bottom-line results. Don has been involved in the growth and development of several businesses, including American Eagle Outfitters, from one to 165 stores as President and CEO, Sundance Catalog Company as Executive Director, and Bear Creek Corporation as Senior VP of Sales and Marketing. He is currently chairman of deal flow for BlueTree Allied Angels, a Pittsburgh-based angel investment organization. Mr. Morrison is actively involved in mentoring and coaching several startup and early-stage companies in the region and serves on several boards of directors and advisors including, Pittsburgh Green Building Alliance and was the previous Chairman of The Linden Pointe Development Corporation which operates The eCenter @ Linden Pointe and The Entrepreneurship Academy program for area high school students.
Rhonda is an entrepreneur and seasoned professional experienced in driving customer-focused, purpose-centric strategy and innovation, especially in complex environments. She is the founder and President of The Synergos Group LLC, a boutique firm providing business and strategic consulting for early stage and evolving organizations across multiple industries and sectors. As an early advocate and subject matter expert on the “local” movement, Rhonda created Local Goodness, a multi-media firm that most recently launched the Local Goodness Marketplace, a website dedicated to offering all the best of all things local. Rhonda serves as the Innovation Coordinator for The Pennsylvania State University in New Kensington, where she develops and delivers innovation and entrepreneurial programming on campus and at The Corner, a co-working and entrepreneur/small business support space anchoring the Corridor of Innovation in downtown New Kensington.
Joanna is a Business Innovation Advisor with Brights Lights Innovations helping small businesses create profitable growth with accelerated times to market. Since 2007, she held various B2B Marketing Executive roles with Westinghouse Electric Company. She helped create numerous business opportunities leveraging a range of advanced technologies. Joanna’s specific expertise includes business model design, product concept development, financial planning, and partnerships with early-adopter customers. Joanna has collaborated with a number of educational organizations on the cutting edge of marketing and innovation, including Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, The Institute for the Study of Business to Business Markets (the only B2B Think Tank) at Penn State’s Smeal College of Business, and the International Center for Studies in Creativity at Buffalo State. She has a BA from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.She also earned a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt certification.
Jessica Trybus is an entrepreneur passionate about envisioning interactive experiences that change lives, employing innovative technologies as solutions. In addition to serving as an entrepreneur in residence in support of the University of Pittsburgh’s Big Idea Center, Jessi is currently “Firestarter of Moonshots” at X, The Moonshot Factory (formerly Google[x]). Jessi also founded Simcoach Games, a Carnegie Mellon spin off which has delivered hundreds of games as learning, safety, and workplace training solutions since 2005. Jessi also served as faculty and Professor of the Practice at Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center from 2004-2018, her efforts dedicated to spotlighting innovation, entrepreneurship, and partnership at the University. In 2015, Jessi was appointed by Governor Wolf to the Pennsylvania Workforce Investment Board, and served as Board Member and Secretary of Partner4Work from 2013-2019. Jessi is a founding member of Remake Learning, and chairs CSforAll Pittsburgh. Jessi is also on the board of The Beckwith Institute, an organization associated with UPMC that is dedicated to improving clinical outcomes through innovation. Jessi received her bachelor’s at Cornell University (majors in English and Theatre) and her graduate degree at Carnegie Mellon University (entertainment+interactive technology).