The Eugene Lang Entrepreneurship Center at Columbia Business School is excited to launch a new Entrepreneur in Residence Program open to the Columbia University community. The purpose of the program is to engage successful business school alumni and other accomplished practitioners who can provide entrepreneurial advice and guidance to students, faculty and staff.
These entrepreneurs in residence members are busy professionals who have agreed to be of service to others. Please be respectful of their time.
Note: We will automatically approve you when you use your GSB.COLUMBIA.EDU lifetime ID to signup. See more FAQs on how to use this group at support.mentii.com
Laurence (Laur) has extensive experience in the business of medicine, as an entrepreneur, operating executive and as an investor. He is currently the CEO & President of Syntimmune, Inc, which he co-founded in late 2013. Immediately prior to this, Laur was Senior Vice President, Project Management at Kadmon Corporation, responsible for leading cross-functional and cross-regional activities with respect to integration and coordination of new product development activities. He also led business development at the time of the company’s founding in 2009. In the four years since its inception, Kadmon raised approximately $500 million and has created a fully integrated biopharmaceutical company with commercial operations and research & development activities from novel preclinical to Phase III programs. Prior to Kadmon, Laur co-founded Syntonix Pharmaceuticals, Inc in 1998 with his brother Richard Blumberg, MD, and served on the board of directors through the company’s sale to Biogen-Idec in 2007. Syntonix has formed the basis of the Hemophilia program at Biogen-Idec and is anticipating regulatory approvals in 1H2014. From 1999-2007, Laur was Managing Member of Blumberg Capital Management, a life science and healthcare investment partnership and prior to that Laur was the senior global biotechnology and medical device analyst for Alliance Capital from 1994-1999. In his earlier career he served in associate level roles in venture capital and public equity all in life sciences at The Castle Group, Ltd, and S Squared Technology Corp respectively.
Laur also serves, since the first half of 2013, as an Entrepreneur in Residence at Columbia Business School and has a passion for innovation and is committed to entrepreneurship.
Laur received a BA from Brandeis University in 1983, magna cum laude, with highest honors in physics, an M.D. from Temple University School of Medicine in 1987, and an Executive MBA from Columbia University School of Business in 1994. He completed an Internship in Surgery at Abington Memorial Hospital and subsequently received Otolaryngology training at Geisinger Medical Center. If you are affiliated to Columbia University, join the Entrepreneur-In-Residence mentoring community to talk to Laurence.
Okere is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Computer Warehouse Group,
one of the fastest growing Information and Communication Technology companies
in Africa today.
Warehouse Group was founded by Mr. Okere in September 1992. It has grown over
the years from just a computer hardware supply company to a Pan-African
Multinational Systems Integration Corporation with direct operations in
Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda and Cameroon, and serving customers in 17 other African
countries. From an initial annual turnover of under a million dollars, CWG now
has a turnover of about US$130 million, and staff strength of about 650
He holds a BSc
(Hons.) degree in Computer Sciences from the University of Lagos, and an
Executive MBA degree from the International Graduate School of Management
(IESE), Spain, after a preparatory period at the Prestigious Lagos Business
School. He has had 25 years industry experience covering roles in systems
analysis, sales and marketing, and corporate management, with 20 years as Chief
Executive Officer of the Computer Warehouse Group.
Austin was named ICT Man of the Decade by ICT Watch Africa Digital Network, and
CWG was named Conglomerate of the Year. In 2011
he was also named the ICT Personality of the year by Technology Africa, and the
most outstanding ICT Personality of the Decade in 2010 by ICT Watch Africa. The
Computer Warehouse Group was recently ranked among the top 50 Technology
Companies in West Africa.
The journey to
these achievements has been documented in a Case Study by the Columbia Business
School, and has been used in various Entrepreneurship Development Centres and
Business Schools in the United States, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Kenya.
interest in inspiring young entrepreneurs has been globally recognized through
his invitations by the Eugene Lang Entrepreneurial Center to guest lecture at
the Columbia Business School over the past five years, and also at MIT’s
Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship in Boston. He has facilitated the Lean Launch Pad Block Week at
Columbia Business School with serial entrepreneurs Steve blank and Bob Dorf,
co-authors of the ‘Start-up Owner’s Manual.’
Austin is a
member of the Board of the National Competiveness Council of Nigeria (NCCN),
and serves in many other professional bodies including Frontier 100 (Initiative
for Global Development IGD), Nigeria-South Africa Chamber of Commerce, Nigeria
Economic Summit Group (NESG) and Nigerian Computer Society (NCS). He has been
recognized in many publications across the continent as one of the pillars of
African entrepreneurship. He is happily married to Sola, his wife of 18 years,
and they are blessed with two lovely sons, Omimi and Chimezuo.
Asha Saxena is the President and CEO of Future
Technologies, Inc. (FTI), an international Data Management Solutions firm with
global headquarters in Plainfield, NJ. The firm specializes in providing
Management and Technology Consulting around Business Intelligence and Data
Ms. Saxena graduated as a Computer Science Engineer from
Bangalore University, India and attended Management Programs at MIT and London
Business School. In the area of Operational Excellence, Ms. Saxena is certified
as a Six Sigma Black Belt professional. She started her professional career in
a New York based IT firm and enjoyed challenging and diverse assignments in the
Financial Services Industry.
In 1996, she founded FTI and grew the company 100% within
the first five years. FTI has serviced over 100 companies and completed over
500 projects with such companies as Goldman Sacs, JPMorgan Chase, Federal
Reserve Bank, Deutsche Bank, NY Times, Forbes, Movado, and many more. FTI
growth was a result of focused vision with defined goals; creating strategies,
plans and budgets to meet the company’s growth. Ms. Saxena was invited to be a
part of World Economic Forum where Future Technologies Inc.was named as “Global
Growth Company 2007” at the World Economic Forum.
Ms. Saxena’s entrepreneurial spirit has also enabled her
to gain notable success as a New York City restaraunteur, real estate
developer, and major movie studio producer. Ms. Saxena has been a leader in the
community by developing long-lasting relationships with numerous organizations
(both profit and not-for-profit), through memberships, affiliations, and
mentorships, and has received awards for her personal and professional
Kevin spent 21 years, from 1991 to 2012, at Goldman Sachs in a variety of roles up to partner and global chief operating officer of the telecom, media, and technology investment banking business. He joined Goldman in 1991 as an associate in the M&A Department in New York and then relocated to the firm's San Francisco office in 2000, where he focused on the technology sector.
In 2006, he transferred to Japan, where he became chief operating officer of Goldman Sachs Japan, as well as head of the firm's global electronics banking effort. He moved back to New York in early 2010, and was named to his most recent position, global chief operating officer of the Telecom, Media, and Technology Group.
He became a managing director of Goldman in 1999; was elected a partner in 2004; and retired in April 2012. Prior to earning his MBA, he spent three years, from 1986 to 1989, at Bain & Co. in Boston.
Kevin graduated from Columbia College and earned an
MBA from Columbia Business School.
Wim is a proven technology, innovation, and business leader. He is currently an Executive-in-Residence at Columbia University and an adjunct faculty in NYU's entrepreneurship program. He also is a consultant advising several start-ups in the mobile data space.
Until the end of 2012, he was the President of
Alcatel-Lucent's Wireless Division where he lead the global development and
deployment of LTE 4G technology and oversaw the introduction of the award
winning lightRadio small cell portfolio.
Earlier in his role as VP of Network
Technology, Wim took the company’s Applications Enablement strategy from paper
to practice. This strategy allows service providers to open and leverage their
networks for the development of new services and applications.
As founder and leader of Alcatel-Lucent
Ventures, a strategic new business incubator and investment division inside of
Bell Labs, Wim managed the lifecycle, from concept to commercialization, for
eight ventures, ranging from enterprise & consumer applications to
groundbreaking mobile innovations for operators.
An innovator at heart, Wim developed several
compression algorithms including the one used in the JPEG2000 standard. He
authored and co-authored several top cited technical papers and was a member of
MIT Technology Review’s inaugural class of top young innovators, the 1999
TR100. Global Telecoms Business selected Wim for its “Power 100 of 2009” list
for his customer focus, attention to excellence, and accelerating ideas to
market. He is a fellow of the IEEE and member of the Royal Belgian Academy of
Wim received his PhD in Computer Science from
the University of Leuven, Belgium. He lives with his family in New Jersey.
With a background as an operator, investor, Wall Street analyst, and advisor to software companies, Jim brings unrivaled insight to every phase of the business life cycle, from start-up to established public company. Over the course of his career, he has raised more than $4 billion for various software ventures in the U.S., Europe, Israel and Asia.
From his work as an analyst and investor, Jim has gained a deep understanding of fundamental technology trends, including big data/analytics, cloud and mobile computing, social enterprise, cyber security and healthcare IT. He also has unmatched transactional expertise by virtue of his extensive involvement with hundreds of M&A transactions, IPOs, follow-on offerings, and private placements.
Jim keeps up his “hands on” knowledge of the operational side of companies through his investment and close mentoring of tech startups, from advisement on business plans and financial structuring to development of teams and products. He is currently working with companies in cloud computing, mobile gaming, cyber, and new media.
Prior to establishing J. Moore in 2008, Jim was managing director of North Point Advisors, an M&A firm which he helped grow to the $9 billion transaction level. Before that, he was a partner at Alex. Brown, and then, following its acquisition by Deutsche Bank, served as managing director of technology research. Jim established himself on Wall Street and in Silicon Valley as an expert in the enterprise software world, and had the privilege to play a role in the growth of such firms as WebEx, Mercury Interactive, Business Objects, BEA Systems, and Tibco. He also published research for many years on industry giants such as Microsoft, Oracle and SAP.
Jim arrived on Wall Street in the early 1990s after ten years of experience in technical and operational positions with various software companies. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Financial Times, The Economist and Forbes. He has also been a frequent guest on CNBC, CNN and Bloomberg News.
Jim holds a BA in Economics from the University of Colorado and an MBA from Columbia Business School. When not working, he can be found on his ranch just North of San Francisco or running, skiing, or swimming. He was recognized as Man of the Year by the San Francisco YMCA for his dedication to helping underserved youth in the community.
Lee is the co-founding partner of LG Fairmont Group, a technology-enabled real
estate brokerage founded in 2010. The company has since become one of the
fastest growing real estate firms in New York. Mr. Lee is an obsessive
entrepreneur and previously founded companies that range from quantitative
finance to non-profit fundraising. His first venture, Riverbend Capital
Group, was the management company of a quantitative global-macro hedge fund and
investment advisory company. Mr. Lee's areas of expertise include process
invention, digital customer acquisition, behavioral economics, and quantitative
finance. His Theory of Market Dynamics played an integral role in quantitative
trading for Riverbend Capital Partners.
Lee has lectured at several top business schools in the United States and China
and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal and NPR. Derek holds a
B.S. in Finance from the University of Virginia and an MBA from Columbia
Recognized as an expert in all stages of
entrepreneurship, since 2008 Barbara has worked with the Columbia Business
School in a variety of roles. She is an Adjunct Professor, teaching the Lean
Launchpad methodology with Steve Blank, has worked with over 50 Harlem-based
existing businesses as the director for Columbia Community Business Program,
and has helped to launch over 100 companies through her programs and incubators
for Columbia startups. Barbara also
co-wrote the CBS whitepaper entitled “Life after an Exit.”
Trained as an economist, Barbara began her career
on Wall Street and rose to become the first woman on Dean Witter's Board of
Directors. When denied a seat on the executive committee, she left Wall Street
and was included in the Wall Street Journal article that coined the term “The
She then transitioned to become President/ CEO of
FPG International and then Acoustiguide.
As President of FPG, Barbara developed one of the first cd and on-line
delivery systems for photographs and was recognized as an early champion of the
portrayal of non-white models in commercial photography. For this, President
Clinton presented her with the Business Enterprise Award for "acts of
courage, integrity and social vision.” The story of how she led FPG is a
Harvard socially responsible business case study. The company is now part of
As President of Acoustiguide, she restructured a 40
year old company to be an award-winning audio content and technology developer
for museums worldwide and chaired a joint venture with the Chinese government
to run audio and visitor services at their historical sites, including the
Forbidden City. Acoustiguide was merged with Espro.
Barbara has served as Chair of the Federal Reserve
Bank of New York's Small Business and Agricultural Advisory Committee and
helped to develop Silicon Alley as a member of the board of the Union Square
Partnership. Barbara currently is a member of the Suffolk County Planning
Commission and serves as co-chair of the county’s Farm Committee. She is a past president of the Financial
Womens Association and helped found the New York Women’s Agenda and New York Women’s
Foundation. She won the Mayor’s Volunteer Award and was featured as NY1’s
"New Yorker of the Week" for her work with inner-city schools.
In addition to her work at Columbia, Barbara
currently is a group chair for Tiger21, the peer learning group for
entrepreneurs who have sold businesses for $10 million or more. She is an angel
investor and serves on the boards of a number of privately held companies. She
is certified as a master coach by the Hudson Institute of Santa Barbara and
trained in facilitation and mediation. Barbara has an Economics and Philosophy
degree from Goucher College.