Join us for a panel discussion on who has emerged and thrived to go beyond 2025. Trends have accelerating 10 years in 12 weeks and we expect seismic changes over the next 5-10 years; however, the future created by COVID is not easily predictable. Discussion with leaders in education technology, sanitation technology, an economist and a futurist to explore what we don’t know on a wider scale. How do you protect your business, people and maximize how to thrive in the future?
Colleen A. Costello
CEO & Co-Founder
Prior to co-founding Vital Vio, Ms. Costello’s career spanned clinical research, engineering, biochemistry, and product development. She has held positions in biochemistry research at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Weill Cornell Medical College, in surgical device design and pre-clinical studies at Covidien Surgical Devices, and in tissue engineering research at RPI. She has been named in Goldman Sachs 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs, Forbes Magazine 30 Under 30, Inc. Magazine 30 Under 30 Most Brilliant Young Founders, 50 Emerging Global Entrepreneurs to Watch by Inc. Magazine, featured on CNBC, Bloomberg, ABC and holds a degree in Biomedical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, New York.
Co-Founder & CEO
Samyr Qureshi is the Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Knack, the fastest growing peer tutoring platform for colleges and universities. The company is venture-backed by Tampa Bay Lightning Owner Jeff Vinik, Precursor Ventures, ETS (creators of GRE), ASU Enterprise Partners, and many other world-class investors, non-profits, and educational institutions.
Currently based in Tampa, Florida, Samyr previously worked as an Account Executive in the Emerging Technology division at Gartner and also formerly served as an iOS Product Advisor at Apple. Samyr has been featured on Entrepreneur.com, Inc’s Top 30 Entrepreneurs to Watch in 2017, and was recently inducted to the 2020 Class of Forbes 30 Under 30 – Education.
Samyr was born in Abu Dhabi, UAE and immigrated to the US with his mother and sister at the age of seven. Landing in Florida, he grew up in the Tampa Bay area and went on to earn his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Florida.
Samyr currently resides in Tampa, Florida where Knack is headquartered. When he’s not traveling, he enjoys playing guitar, listening to live music, and spending time outdoors with his dog Koda.
Amelia Pane Schaffner
Director of Entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurship at Goizueta Business School
Amelia Schaffner MS, is the Emory-Goizueta Business School Director of Entrepreneurship. Amelia is responsible for developing the school’s entrepreneurial culture, thinking, and initiatives, partnering with students, faculty, alumni, and the ecosystem of investors, VCs, organizations. She is involved in a number of co/extra-curricular initiatives, including the RAISE Forum for startups and investors in the Southeast, the Pitch-the-Professors program to support new student concepts working with the Atlanta Tech Village incubator, the Emory Startup Launch accelerator, the Hatchery, the AHIA (Advancing Healthcare Innovation in Africa) initiative, the Siggie Awards for early-stage investors, and more.
She sits on the board of Startup Atlanta. Previously, Amelia was a senior principal at global Consulting firm Accenture, in the Strategy group. Her experience there ranged from high-impact strategy projects with corporations, projects with the World Economic Forum, and leading a global Innovation initiative. Amelia is Italian.
Thomas J. Cunningham, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President and the Chief Economist
Tom joined the MAC in July 2015 following a 30-year career at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. He is a specialist in open economy macroeconomic policy and regional analysis. At the MAC, he manages an internal team that supports the research and advocacy roles of the economic development and public policy departments.
After starting his career at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta as an economist in the Macropolicy group, Tom served at various times as associate director of research, interim director of research, vice president for the Regional group where he was also responsible for the Latin American group, and acting head of the Finance group. He served on the Bank’s Personnel, Information Technology, and Risk Management Committees and as a member of the Federal Reserve System’s Information Security Group and Technology Services Council. He also was the acting director of, and helped establish, the Bank’s Center for Real Estate Analytics. When Dr. Cunningham retired from the Fed, his title was Vice President, Senior Economist and Regional Executive.
A native of Reedley, California, he received a bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, in economics from California State University, Fresno. He earned a master’s degree, a master of philosophy, and a Ph.D. in economics from Columbia University. He previously worked as an economics instructor at Barnard College at Columbia University and as an adjunct instructor at Iona College, Agnes Scott College, and Emory University. He attended the executive development program at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and is a member of Leadership Atlanta’s class of 2018. He is a board member of Atlanta’s Neighborhood Nexus as well as the Georgia Intellectual Property Alliance. Dr. Cunningham has published numerous professional articles and is a member of the American Economic Association, the Western Economic Association, and the Southern Economic Association.
As a serial entrepreneur and executive, Christy has spent 20 years as an accomplished leader focusing on human capital services and technologies. In 2019 following her departure from an executive role in a global human capital technology company, she returned to her roots in entrepreneurship steering her interests towards venture capital investments in startups. Christy saw an opportunity to combine her passion for advocating for startups as well as funding.
In 2019, she joined a private venture capital firm based in New York which offered a unique opportunity to seed startups with their first round of funding with an average check size of $1M+ combined with shared services to scale & grow them to their next stage. In this role, Christy developed and grew the opportunity flow, operational strategy and expansion into other potential markets.
Today, Christy’s passion has expanded into supporting the underserved founder focusing her efforts on female founders and founders of color. In 2020, she moved into the President role for Launchpad2X who’s mission is to scale female founders into CEO’s focusing on education, resources and investment strategies.