Ross Baird - President of Village Capital and Author of The Innovation Blind Spot: Why We Back the Wrong Ideas and What to Do About It
Ross Baird runs Village Capital, a firm he co-founded five years ago. They find, train, and fund entrepreneurs solving global problems, and they build communities around these entrepreneurs that help build better businesses. Their peer-selected investment process delivers better results for investors and entrepreneurs. Village Capital has supported over 500 entrepreneurs through programs over the past five years and their companies have created 7,000 jobs and raised $100 million in follow-on capital. Ross also teaches courses in entrepreneurship and impact investing at the University of Virginia, and he works closely with two training programs, Impact Business Leaders and Frontier Market Scouts. Before launching Village Capital, Ross worked with First Light Ventures, a seed-stage venture fund and also participated in the founding and development of four education-related start-up ventures. He has an MPhil from the University of Oxford, where he was a Marshall Scholar, and a BA from the University of Virginia, where he was a Truman Scholar and a Jefferson Scholar.
Rene Antanesian – President at HRBDx New York Inc.
Rene Antanesian is the principal of HRBDX, Inc. a design and construction firm that begun as a family business. With over twenty years in the business, Rene has contributed to some well-known projects including Tao, Nobu, Bond Street and recently, the renovation of the Friars Club in New York. Rene has built out the various IHOP chains and the iconic Loews Theater on 42nd Street, also known as the Regal Theatre. His firm prides in meeting deadlines that they designate to their clients. He also runs a luxury tile company and a cabinetry design brand. He prides himself in having his firm become a one-stop shop resource resource for his clientele.
Allison Gondoli – Founder of A Genie’s Dream
Allison Gondoli is the founder of A Genie’s Dream, a monthly subscription service for ladies, providing all types of sustainable products to ease your worries during that time of the month. Each monthly package will take young women on a mystical journey to “unleash the goddess you already are.” They include pamper products, organic tampons, chocolate, teas, and mysteries.