The Women Innovating Now (WIN) Lab launched in 2013 in order to serve a small class of Babson students who were looking to take their ideas and prototypes and turn them into a business. Today, the program continues to innovate its offerings to ensure its diverse set of women entrepreneurs, who are building big businesses, have access to the the experts, curriculum, and role models they need in order to reach their full potential.
In 2018, one of the biggest additions to the WIN Lab was the launch of the Mastermind Experts, a group of impressive individuals who, in Boston alone, came armed with over 230 years of combined experience in the C-Suite and on boards of Global companies. Leading organizations such as Talbots, Paint Nite, and Reebok, they tap into vast amounts of leadership know-how and sit down with WIN Lab founders in order to guide them as they create, implement, and adjust their strategic objectives over the course of the five-month program. Interested in working with them? Consider applying to the WIN Lab, here.
Meet the Boston Mastermind Experts:
Uli Becker, Founder, Beckerei LLC
Uli's career has been succession of growth and leadership positions that has included working in Europe and North America with hands-on participation in businesses across Asia and South America. Recognized as a strong brand strategist, visionary leader and turnaround expert with extensive experience in the global world of sports, he has taken his knowledge and built his consulting business which is active in footwear and game changing healthcare apparel.
Geoff Chasin, President, NRX Logistics
Geoff Chasin is President and owner of NRX Logistics, Inc., a Third-Party Logistics (3PL) provider that offers solutions for Last Mile Delivery of furniture and appliances for companies such as GE, Restoration Hardware, and Bob’s Discount Furniture. Before NRX, Geoff and a partner purchased the east coast franchises for Dial-A-Mattress (1-800-Mattress, Mattress.com), which, after great success, was sold to Sleepy’s in 2009.
Stephanie Crimmins, CEO, Volvo Car Mobility USA
A consumer savvy, dynamic leader with a successful track record developing and building businesses, Stephanie was recently brought on board as CEO at Volvo Car Mobility. At the start of her career, she spent approximately a decade at Fidelity Investments, then joined Panera Bread in 2005. There she led the company’s entry into Canada, created the international expansion strategy, and developed Panera's social responsibility strategy. She also created the business plan, and launched and built Panera's packaged goods business, which she grew to $150mm in retail sales.
Kate Keough, COO, Pepperlane
Kate is a committed leader specialized in providing scalable structure to high growth companies. Before joining the startup team at Pepperlane, Kate was the Chief Operations Officer at PaintNite for three years, joining the team less than a year after the company was founded. Her passion revolves around working in partnership with teams to identify changes to improve quality, culture, and increase profitability all while being a customer advocate at the core.
Lizanne Kindler, CEO, Talbots
Lizanne Kindler is Chief Executive Officer of Talbots, a multi-channel retailer of women’s apparel, shoes and accessories. Ms. Kindler returned to Talbots as President, after two years as the EVP of Product Development at Kohl’s, in August of 2012 and was promoted to CEO nine months later. Under Ms. Kindler’s leadership, the Talbots brand has experienced a remarkable renaissance, and reclaimed its rightful place as an iconic American fashion brand.
Vance Loiselle, CEO, Boston Logic
Vance is a proven CEO with a balanced mix of Product, Go to Market and fundraising experience. He was formerly the co-founder of BladeLogic, which went through a highly successful IPO, and was an executive at four public companies, including BMC, BladeLogic, Accenture, and Breakaway.
Eliane Markoff, Founder, Art In Giving
Markoff comes from the business world where she spent twenty years working for a Fortune 500 high tech company managing work forces in the United States and Europe. She lent her considerable listening and mediation skills as an unofficial ombudsperson to build bridges among corporate divisions and individuals who needed to collaborate to be successful.
Smaiyra Million, Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives, Babson College & Founder, soaVentures LLC
Smaiyra Million spent 30 years as a successful operator of luxury hotels, spas, and health clubs. As CEO of Millennium Partners Sports Club Management (Sports Club/LA and Reebok Sports Clubs), she was named to the Top 100 Women Led Businesses in Massachusetts in 2011, 2012, and 2013. In 2014, she was inducted into the YW Academy of Women Achievers. Today, Million is an angel investor and an Operating Partner at Highland Consumer Partners which focuses on retail and consumer sectors. She joined the investment world with the goal of leveraging her sales, operating, and team building expertise to benefit up-and- coming entrepreneurs.
Meet the Miami Mastermind Experts:
Susan Cunningham, Community Leader/Manager of Operations, Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC) Miami
Susan is currently leading the Community/Operations Team at CIC Miami, driving culture, programming and support for 600+ individuals comprising 200+ companies, ranging from individual entrepreneurs to small and mid-size businesses. Prior to CIC, she spent nearly 8 years as Co-Owner and Managing Director overseeing operations, producing creative, and managing clients for Dwyer Productions, a digital/broadcast production company in San Francisco. While in the Bay Area, Susan also served on the management team of an education technology start-up to help develop and launch StudySync, an integrated print and digital English language arts product distributed by McGraw-Hill for grades 6-12. Her 18+ years of experience also includes consulting, marketing, and advertising, both on the agency and client side. Susan likes to surround herself with smart, passionate people whose efforts contribute to the greater good.
Jon Fichman, Strategic Advisor, StartUp, FinTech & Accelerator Champion
Currently a Venture Advisor, Entrepreneur-in-Residence and mentor with several South Florida startup accelerators and universities. Jon has mentored, founded, and/or managed over 60 startups. He has extensive international and domestic experience in diverse industries of public, private and non-profit companies / organizations, and is qualified under NYSE and NASDAQ rules to be chair of the various Board Committees including the Audit Committee. Jon has an impressive resume and great knowledge in many diverse industries, some areas of focus include: FinTech, payments, entrepreneurship, Wall Street, wealth management, banking, digital transformation, process management, blockchain, consulting, government, and non-profit business areas. He holds a Six Sigma Black Belt accreditation (understands the power of data) and serves on multiple for profit and nonprofit boards.
Lauren Fishbane, Royal Caribbean International, Manager of Retail Operations
Lauren Fishbane currently oversees the $500M retail business across 25 ships at Royal Caribbean International. Previously, she drove strategic initiatives in digital, social, and e-commerce marketing at Perry Ellis International, a fashion retailer with a portfolio of lifestyle apparel brands. Lauren also held roles in planning, merchandising, and strategy at Ross Stores, Macy’s, and Burlington Coat Factory. She is passionate about optimizing the customer experience while driving results. She graduated from Tulane University and received her MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Stephanie Genauer, SVP Field Operations, Moocho, INC.
Stefanie began her career as a Client Service Manager at New York City based ad-tech startup Quattro Wireless. After Quattro Wireless was acquired by Apple Inc. in 2009—a new division of the company devoted exclusively to mobile advertising was established, where in Stefanie helped to build out the business and become one of Apple’s youngest managers. During her nearly seven years with Apple, she assisted in the launch of their first self-service ad platform, participated in the monetization of Apple’s first music streaming service, iTunes Radio, and the launch of a mid-market advertising sales team— winning several awards for her revenue achievements. Stefanie currently leads operations and sales efforts at Moocho —a mobile payment and rewards application for college campuses. Previously she ran North American operations and revenue growth for a Home-Sharing start up and a Facial Recognition startup, both located in Miami.
Pilar Guzman Zavala, CEO, Half Moon Empanadas
Pilar Guzman Zavala is the president of Half Moon Empanadas, a fast casual concept in Miami that provides retail and catering services, offering 11 flavors of Argentinian-style empanadas. Half Moon has been successfully in business for 10 years and has 7 locations. Before joining Half Moon Empanadas, Guzman-Zavala worked at The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation managing the National Programs grant process. Her previous work includes: Director of the Office of International Affairs for the state of Veracruz, Mexico; Consultant at the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank. Pilar is passionate about helping others and making a difference. She has been involved in the community as past Board Member of Amigos For Kids, and supported the launch of Unite for Good in Miami. Pilar is a graduate of Georgetown University and Tecnologico de Monterrey. She is also a Ricardo Salinas Scholarship recipient for the Aspen Institute and a Young American Leaders Program fellow from Harvard School of Business.
Catherine Jones, Mastermind Expert
Catherine is currently an In-House Generalist with former law firm specialties and Capital Markets (Securities), Mergers and Acquisitions and general corporate. Experienced in a wide range of international matters in particular Latin American securities offerings and restructurings Specialties: Securities, Mergers and Acqusitions, Corporate, Compliance, Contracts, Trademarks, International Aspects of Corporate Transactions, Latin America, and the Hospitality Industry.
Misha Kuryla Gomez, Founder, Misha’s Cupcakes
Misha's Cupcakes began in 2005, shortly after the birth of Misha’s first child, Ella. Misha introduced her cupcakes to a number of cafes and restaurants around Miami and in 2007, operations moved from her home to a warehouse. In 2008, the first retail shop opened and by mid 2018 there were a total of 9 Misha's Cupcakes locations in Miami and Broward. Today, Misha's Cupcakes makes more than 10,000 cupcakes a day, in over 36 flavors. The company also expanded the product line to include cake-in-a-jars, cakes, brownies, cookies, cookie dough (to bake at home), bars and muffins. Misha spends her days working in the business and managing her team of 90+. She is involved with the community and last year alone donated over 80,000 cupcakes to local charities, functions and events.
Katy Stoka, Inventor of Magnetic Lash, Founder of One Two Cosmetics
Katy invented the magnetic lash in 2014 and launched her company, One Two Cosmetics, in 2016. Earning the Best of Beauty Breakthrough award in 2016 from Allure Magazine, Katy has been featured in hundreds of magazines and dozens of TV news stories. She also sells live on "Beauty Report" on HSN. Before inventing One Two Lash, for over a decade Katy was a successful Real Estate Development Sales Director in Miami Beach. She managed over $1.5 billion in sales for the international elite, comprised of world famous business people, athletes, and celebrities.
Carlos Vazquez, CEO, videoRehearser
Carlos Vazquez is a seasoned Educator, Technologist and Entrepreneur who has earned the reputation as an innovative leader in the Ed Tech space. Throughout his career, he has cultivated extensive versatile experience leveraging technology anywhere learning occurs and finding disruptive solutions for ineffective systems. Currently, Carlos is the CEO & Co-Founder of CDG Innovations and the Founder of Miami EdTech. He also serves as an Adjunct Professor at Miami Dade College and on the Vice Provost’s Council at FIU. Most recently, Carlos led the development of the first product for CDG called videoRehearser, which is a cutting-edge interactive video-based platform that empowers organizations to improve on-the-job learning and performance outcomes. He and his dedicated team also built the API that enables educational effectiveness for a variety of content using neurobehavioral and educational principles.