Volunteer Alumni/ae

Farnaz Bakhtari- Farnaz is the founder of TrainingPal an early stage startup in the online fitness industry. She’s worked as a software engineer in wireless and mobile industries before starting the business. She holds a Masters degree in computer systems engineering from Northeastern University and an MBA from Babson. She believes in value of a rich network in speeding ones career and personal growth and volunteering at Venture Café helps her witness the result of great networking at its best.

Amanda Crisp

Ert DredgeErt Dredge has been developing web sites since 1994, working in fields as varied as the Human Genome Project, political podcasting, e-Commerce, personal ad sites, and networked consumer electronics.  He is an alumnus of Cambridge companies Art Technology Group, Endeca, and Ambient Devices and also San Francisco’s PlanetOut.  When not helping the Venture Café’s tech group, you can find him at the Kendall Square branch of Oracle.  He holds degrees in Software Engineering and Biology from M.I.T. and the University of Houston.

Aslam Karachiwala

Renee Lin - Renee serves as volunteer organizer at Venture Cafe where she enjoys working with her peers to make it a place that is valuable to the innovation community.  Renee is President of Meduvi LLC. Renee’s experience is in implementing systems development projects for corporations and making meaningful people connections. Renee holds a Bachelor’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Renee was recently the Acting Executive Director at Venture Café.

Peter NashPeter might be called a ‘situation expert’, ‘catalyst for change’ or ‘VP of glue’ for his ability to meet the challenges of both emerging companies and entrepreneurial divisions of larger corporations. He is skilled at identifying solutions, removing road blocks, building transformative strategies, and linking key business and technical drivers.  Functioning as an ‘internal entrepreneur’, Peter serves executive teams by bridging the gaps which often form between the business and technical functions as they transition towards scalable growth.

Frank Ottati- Frank has been in technology for more than 10 years. He is the founder of an early stage start-up, Cowadunga.com, and finds the dynamics of Venture Cafe invaluable and a lot of fun. Frank holds a BS in Business Administration from the University of New Hampshire and lives in the south shore with his wife and 2 kids. Find him on Twitter @frankottati.

Dharmishta Rood - Dharmishta studies the internet, and is interested in the intersection of technology, culture and human interactions. In addition to being a researcher at Harvard Business School, she co-directed t=0, a festival for entrepreneurs, which happened at MIT fall 2011. Dharmishta holds an Ed.M. from Harvard University and a B.A. in Design | Media Arts from UCLA. She is currently learning to do handstands.

Pardees Safizadeh

Alex Schultz -  Alex grew up just west of Boston. He graduated from Vanderbilt University where he studied History and played football for the Commodores.  Until recently, Alex worked as the business director for his backpack and luggage start up brand, George Guest.

Matt Hodgson – Matt currently spends his time working as the VP of Engineering at Boundless, a local area Ed Tech startup. Previous to Boundless, he was the CTO of TurningArt, a Boston based art startup. Hodgson holds a B.A. degree in physics from Ithaca College and both a Masters in Engineering Management and a B.E. in computer engineering from the Thayer School of Engineering and Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. When not hard at work, Matt enjoys sailing and snowboarding throughout New England.

Courtney Scott-Howard - Courtney is a senior marketing professional with over 10 years of experience with all aspects of marketing communications, including marketing strategy, brand management, public relations, social media engagement, and web marketing. She provides marketing and brand strategy consulting to small startups and established businesses, and recently founded her own wine club startup, sipwith.me.

Sidney Tam- Sidney is a recent graduate from Northeastern University. Currently he’s a technology consultant at BNY Mellon.  He worked previously at Bain Capital, State Street, and WayFair.com. His academic background is in Marketing and Management Information System (B.S. Northeastern University). Follow Sidney on twitter @sydneytam.

Colin Ulen - Colin has deep technical skills as a electronics engineer in hardware and firmware design, implementation and prototype and high volume manufacturing. He excels at system analysis and designing complex distributed computing capabilities. His strength is his thorough technical knowledge and breadth of experience along with an ability to convey it easily and understandably to technical and non-technical audiences alike. He is currently based in Boston as a Principal Device Engineer at Alarm.com, a DC based wireless security company focused on the commercial/residential space. He has previously worked as Chief Architect for Youcastr, Inc, a Boston based video monetization platform and a partner at Scenario4, a Boston based technology consulting company. Colin holds a B.S. in Computer Engineering with minors in Math and Electrical Engineering from Syracuse University and a Masters of Engineering Management from the Thayer School of Engineering and Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.

Tina Zeng - Tina is the co-founder of ranksocial.net, a general purpose, user-friendly sharing and ranking application.  Its uses range from allowing a company to get feedback on a collection of logo designs, to a group of girls suggesting the perfect prom dress for a friend. Tina tweets about her journey as an entrepreneur at @ranksocial. Tina is also the marketing analyst for extensionEngine, an IT company based in the CIC. She holds a B.S. in biology and neuroscience from Williams College.

Yifei Zhang - Yifei manages client accounts at Tapforge, a mobile app company based in Fort Point, Boston. Ask him about: why everyone should code, how to manage a development project, taming unruly CSS, what 2020 looks like. He designed and themed the Venture Café website.



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