mHUB’s mentor networks is comprised of a broad base of industry leading experts. Our mentors have backgrounds ranging from technical to business development. They provide support to our members in areas that include but are not limited to manufacturing innovation, IoT, electronics and other cutting-edge technologies, business development, sales and marketing, various areas of the law, and financing.
We value diversity of our mentors, not just in terms of skills and expertise but also diversity of race/ethnicity, gender, experience, and thought. Our mentors hail from Chicago, the Midwest, and across the US. They volunteer their time and expertise to offer guidance and leverage their networks in support of mHUB members. These generous contributions directly impact the success of our members.
Mentors commit to a four-month period with four one-hour sessions per month. Mentors are selected based on the skill set and knowledge demands of mHUB's member community.
Partner & Director of Engagements, Ballistix
I am a seasoned senior executive, advisor, and investor who has demonstrated the ability to engineer organizations for growth. As a Partner & Director of Engagements at global consultancy, Ballistix (ballistix.com), I lead strategy and a team of sales process engineering consultants implementing a division of labor across the sales and operations functions.I have a deep understanding of sales and customer service/success environments and processes, having overseen more than 150 Ballistix implementations for clients selling directly and/or indirectly through channel partners in manufacturing, industrial distribution, technology, and service verticals for organizations in start-up to $6B. I have a proven track record of (re)designing, building, and growing inside and outside sales teams, streamlining and improving customer service and customer success team functions, strategy and optimization, and process improvement and performance. Over my career, I have earned a reputation for my commitment to helping organizations and people identify, implement, and accomplish goals. I would love to share my expertise with the next generation of innovators!
How do you engineer your organization for aggressive growth?How do you generate sales opportunities at scale?How do you build a sales environment where salespeople are actually selling?
Director of Human Resources, Vail Systems
Strategic executive-level leader with record of achievement working with entrepreneurs to design and develop scalable Human Resources operations. Build company infrastructure and execute programs to meet expansionary goals. Evaluate new investments and offer insights related to business-critical global initiatives. Build culture of performance and focus on talent acquisition and complete transformations and transactions that provide sustainability for future. Serve as valuable resource to all constituents.
Industries served include: engineering, manufacturing, high-tech, finance, insurance, services, research, health care, and non-profit.
Attorney, DLA Piper
I am a corporate attorney and member of DLA Piper's Emerging Growth and Venture Capital practice group. My practice focuses on early-stage, high growth companies in matters related to business structuring, corporate formation, venture capital financing, and intellectual property protection.Prior to joining DLA Piper, I was an intellectual property attorney and concurrently served in an operational capacity with a Chicago-based technology accelerator. In this role, I provided in-depth strategic and tactical business guidance, while also connecting participants to opportunities, allies, and capital. I’ve worked with entrepreneurs throughout my career and I am constantly intrigued by the excitement and energy of new founders building companies. I love being a part of that process and helping to grow and shape big ideas into viable businesses.
Briana's focus areas are:
Legal: business structuring, corporate formation, incentive equity, intellectual property protection
Fundraising: Venture capital financing (series seed and beyond), convertible debt financing
Owner, Interface Technologies
For more than 20 years, Waterloo has combined his technical skills and training with his knowledge of systematization and automation to create and grow small businesses. He began his career as a Field Engineer, and later held several positions in sales of technical instrumentation products and software. As a Reseller of Computer Aided Engineering software he developed advertising, lead generation, and systematic electronic and print communications, and created systems to organize and manage data for generating orders and revenue. Recently, he created a direct-mail business that uses a “private cloud” to store clients’ data. He has extensive knowledge of php software for email marketing.
Dan's main focus areas are:
CEO, Jezetk Automation
20 years of business experience in IT service industry. Serial Entrepreneur. I started doing angel investing and am a mentor of EO accelerator here in Chicago, 1871, and Nameless Ventures.
Resident Physician, Orthopedic Sports Medicine
An orthopedic surgeon with an interest in musculoskeletal health, digital health, wearable technology, and the business of medicine. History of working with medical device and digital health companies as a physician advisor to help grow and scale these companies. History of mentorship and recruitment of medical students, resident physicians, and entrepreneurs interested in healthcare.
1. Does my med-tech medical device, health wearable tech have the potential to scale?2. What are the issues/concerns facing physician providers in the digital health or orthopedic device space?3. Any questions about musculoskeletal health including devices, orthotics, therapeutics, and physical therapy
Chief Marketing Officer, InstaNatural, LLC
Ethelbert Williams has more than 20 years of global commercial leadership experience in consumer and B2B sectors. He is currently Director of Ecommerce at The Boston Beer Company. Ethelbert previously drove go-to-market and channel expansion for the personal and facial cleansing category at Kimberly-Clark Corporation. He has held leadership roles at Procter & Gamble, L’Oreal and Unilever. Ethelbert is also an active investor and advisor to exceptional entrepreneurs. He holds a Bachelor of Science from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University where he also severs as an Adjunct Professor leading collaborative learning for digital marketing, media and innovation curriculum.
Ethelbert's 3 main areas of focus are:
President, TotalWorks, Inc.
A successful set of professional board and executive experiences delivers a valuable perspective to mentoring. Skilled in thriving during challenging market and financial situations. A passion for leadership development and gender inclusion are an extra dimension. Important to give back to the community knowing it provides me with benefits as well.
What are the financial metrics to keep me on track?What sales channels are best for my products and how do I best utilize them?How best to market and manage my product information, including e-commerce?
Harold Alexander attended DeVry Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia where he majored in Electronic Engineering Technology. Later, he worked at Albany International where he was a field service engineer, installing and repairing rapid roll doors for some of the largest companies in America. This includes Anheuser Busch, Campbell Foods, and GM to name a few.A few years later Harold branched off on his on and started Alexander Software, Inc. where he continued networking doctor offices, and started writing software applications for these offices. This led to Alexander Software’s first written application called Doc Orders which was a medical scheduling software application that allow doctor offices to keep track of patients records and schedule via the cloud. It was one of the first purely cloud medical application on the market that still being used to this day. In almost 16 years Alexander Software, inc. generated in excess of over 2 million dollars in total revenue.In 2017 Harold Alexander started on his 20 year dream of creating a social media application that collects all undiscovered artists and places them in one spot so they can be easily found. This application is called Underground App. Underground App is the world’s first social media site that connects fans with undiscovered artists using machine learning. After doing 100% of the development for 3 years Harold launched Underground App in its beta version on December 5, 2020 with it official launch in March 2021.
As a long time software engineer and entrepreneur, Alexander is excited to lend his expertise to the aid of other entrepreneurs through engagement and mentorship.
What is the best programing language to develop an application?Can Java be used if I'm building an IOT device?What stack should I use when creating my application?
Senior Business Resource Manager, World Business Chicago
Jazmin Garcia is a queer, first-generation, Mexican-American dedicated to aiding founders/ entrepreneurs/ small business owners to start, grow or scale their business. Professionally, Jazmin has extensive experience in fundraising and grant-making specific to entrepreneurship, small business expansion, jobs, skills and neighborhood revitalization. She also manages ChiBizHub, Chicago’s premier free digital portal (with over 180 resource providers) for entrepreneurs and small business owners to find resources from start-up capital to networking tools to procurement opportunities to scale their business. Jazmin is dedicated to the development of all youth and entrepreneurs and is an avid volunteer with ChicagoNext, Forge – Founders Illinois, Chicago Sister Cities International, The Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (Latinx Incubator), Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute amongst many other organizations. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of San Diego, and is the National Vice President of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Alumni Association (PPF 2015-2016).
I'm in the ideation phase and not sure where to start or look to?I want to scale my business and I'm looking for procurement opportunities with city of Chicago or state of Illinois.I'm having trouble with marketing my business and unsure of what tools to use.
Managing Partner, T2G Ventures
Expertise in building tech companies from start-up to sale. I'm a Venture Capitalist working in the areas of digital analytics software, building efficiency sensors and software, energy storage, and digital manufacturing / industrial start-ups. Current companies are in digital ic manufacturing, water purification, machine learning software / autonomous vehicles, and advanced materials. Previous roles include board member, early CEO, and strategic adviser. Chair of annual Global Midwest Alliance Corporate Venture Capital Events, 2015 - 2017.
John's core focus areas are:
Director of Chicago Chapter, Black Women in Science and Engineering
I consider myself a bit of a manufacturing geek. My 20+ year career has been about the love I have for the manufacturing of products. Early in my career, I was a process/assembly engineer responsible for a multitude of activities including line balancing, safety, and tooling. I eventually took a role where I persuaded design engineers to design for manufacturability. I have been fortunate as my career progressed to hold leadership roles in supplier management, quality assurance, supply chain management, and operations. I have mentored suppliers through improving their processes to ensure the quality of their products and reduce costs. I have mentored professionals about their career paths and been a resource for making critical connections for their career progression. I would love to take all of this knowledge and become a mentor to others who are also as passionate about manufacturing.
COO, Science on Call
At age 11 I started my first company making designer plush toys and sold to stores and art galleries across the country – from then on I knew I would always be an entrepreneur. After graduating from DePaul in 2015 with a degree in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, I started my second (and current) startup, Science On Call: The IT Helpdesk for Restaurants & Retailers. In the past year we participated in the Food Foundry Accelerator program, grew our team to 7 people, completed our first fundraising round, and nearly tripled our customer base (all during a pandemic!). As a lifelong entrepreneur with a passion for creativity and hospitality, I am eager to help other entrepreneurs fulfill their dreams.
- How do I find product market fit?- What are some resources and strategies for early stage financing?- Who do I need on my team? (Co-founders? Board Members? Employees?)
Owner, Howard Medical Company
I purchased a medical distribution company called Howard Medical from my father in 2016. Our mission is to solve Chicago's healthcare supply chain challenges. I am very well versed in most aspects of the medical supply chain as it relates to disposable supplies for hospitals and have learned business leadership and managerial skills through trial and error. I can speak to the challenges and rewards of managing and growing a medical distribution company by 400% during a global pandemic.I have been searching for a way to utilize my time, energy, and knowledge to have a positive impact on entrepreneurs from underserved communities who have not received the same opportunities as myself. I consider myself a problem solver. Whether inside my business or for my clients, I am driven to uncover the challenges and find solutions.
Major Accounts Manager, Better Business Bureau
Senior Marketing Innovation Manager, The Kellogg Company
Paul Luna is a Senior Marketing and Innovation Manager who works with The Kellogg Company to bring new products to shelf and sustainable new businesses to market.
Paul has significant experience in the full innovation process, from idea generation through launch, in-market promotion and business incubation. Paul believes in the power of customer insights and Design Thinking to deliver successful new products and the importance of an integrated marketing plan to raise awareness and drive sales. Prior to Kellogg’s, Paul worked in marketing and innovation at General Mills, Kraft and Land O Lakes and as an engineer in the energy and environmental consulting industries.
Over the past fifteen years, Paul has successfully developed and launched over fifty new products into market, developed multiple marketing and advertising campaigns, and is currently working at the intersection of Technology and Food to help Kellogg’s meet the food needs of customers in the new intelligent machine age.
Paul was awarded a patent for a high-pressure processing sensor and was previously a licensed Professional Engineer. One of Paul’s new products was selected as a Best New Product of the Year by Better Homes and Gardens and Dairy Foods magazine.
Paul holds a MBA with concentrations in Marketing & Finance from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota, a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Minnesota and a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Iowa State University.
Managing Director, MATH Venture Partners
Mechanical Engineer undergrad turned entrepreneur, I love building companies and have spent the last dozen years helping other entrepreneurs - Teaching at Northwestern and U of C, co-founding Excelerate Labs which became Techstars Chicago, investing in companies as an angel, through FireStarter Fund and now MATH Venture Partners.
Director of Business Process Optimization, Marmon Holdings
Globally, the US has plenty of opportunity to lead in manufacturing if we create products that leverage our strengths: flexibility and scale.I would love to share my experience with emerging businesses to help grow their operation to scale and while delighting their customers.With over 12+ years in optimizing operations across multiple industries (aerospace manufacturing, airline operations and e-commerce), I have helped businesses meet their objectives by breaking through operational challenges varied in uniqueness and size. I have formally and informally mentored many engineers and business professionals at Boeing, United Airlines and a few startups; and believe in working to your strengths to unlock your unique competitive advantage and nurturing a growth mindset.
Executive Coach, The Center for Advanced Emotional Intelligence
Alicia has over 20 years of professional experience in a broad range of roles, including finance, operations, strategy, and sales. She most recently served as GM of a $200MM sales region within PepsiCo. At AEI, Alicia applies her executive experience, her academic studies, and her passion for developing people. Alicia finds that success in the long-term depends on emotional intelligence and developing this in the leader at the level of identity. Alicia focuses on the whole person to help leaders increase both self-awareness and social-awareness resulting in meaningful and sustainable growth.
How can I elevate my leadership practice?How can I help increase my team's effectiveness?What should I consider when strategically building my personal brand and social capital?
Executive Managing Director, GE Ventures
Karen Kerr leads a team focused on making investments and developing partnerships in the advanced manufacturing ecosystem and is also an mHUB Board member. Karen comes to GE with two decades of experience in developing technology based businesses and venture investing. Previously, she served as senior director of new ventures and alliances at the University of Southern California (USC) Stevens Center for Innovation where she was responsible for accelerating the formation of startup companies out of university research. Before joining USC, Karen led business development at Intellectual Ventures, served as a managing director at ARCH Venture Partners, and founded Agile Equities LLC, a venture development company specializing in emerging technology companies. Focused on venture education and technology advancements, Karen has held a variety of board roles for organizations including the Center for Venture Education, the National Science Foundation SBIR/STTR Advisory Committee, and National Institute of Standards and Technology Visiting Committee on Advanced Technology. Highly acclaimed, Karen was named one of LA’s Top Innovators in 2012 by C Suite Quarterly, selected to C200 leading business women in 2004, and selected by Crain’s Chicago Business for its 40 under 40 list of leading business professionals in Chicago. Karen earned a Doctorate in Physical Chemistry from the University of Chicago and an Bachelor's degree in Chemistry from Bryn Mawr College.
How should I build my team? How should I build my board? How do I attract the right investor syndicate?
Senior User Researcher, UL
Kathryn Mizuchi is a Senior User Researcher on Emergo by UL’s Human Factors Research & Design (HFR&D) team. She has been with the team since 2018, and has a background working in new product development in both medical and consumer categories. She has worked with cross-functional teams throughout the full product development cycle from early research and ideation to design validation, creating products that are both safe and satisfying to use. As part of the Emergo HFR&D team, Kathryn leads early research efforts to identify user needs and to better understand context of use, as it relates to risk potential and overall user experience. She is also knowledgeable in human factors engineering, and is skilled in test administration and data analysis for both formative and summative testing. She holds a B.S. in Industrial Design from the University of Cincinnati.
Her core focus areas include:
Coleman Foundation Clinical Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship, Illinois Institute of Technology
Startup finance and strategy
Sales & partnerships
Founder issues - personal and relationship
How do you deal with founder issues? family relationships? investor relations? board development and management? What questions should I be asking that I haven't asked yet? How do I access university resources?
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