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Please join us on November 21st for our Startup Grind Pitch Competition. Take this chance to support entrepreneurs, meet early-stage startups, or get inspired by our judges' feedback.
From 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm meet us at the heart of innovation in Princeton, Biolabs, where participants will have 5 minutes to pitch and 2 minutes to answer questions from the judges. This year's pitch competition will host startups from many different industries from food tech to Healthtech to GreenTech.
The prize is a heavily subsidized booth at StartupGrind Global 2020.
*Applications submission is closed.
In Focus Brands/Startup Grind NY-Capital Region
Executive in Residence
Community Curator & Entrepreneur
Founder and CEO
I'm an Army brat who has lived in Germany, Austria, Hawaii, and several less exotic locations. Words and engaging people are my superpowers. 25+ years of experience in the private, non-profit, and state government sectors, provide the eclectic background that serves me well as an industry-agnostic business analyst, researcher, and content creator. Domain expertise includes writing, customer discovery, startups, broadcast media, prospect research, business development, marketing, and group facilitation.
As Senior Project Manager/Business Analyst at In Focus Brands, I deploy as the primary point of contact onsite at client locations; using strong analytical and organizational abilities to engage key leadership and internal divisional stakeholders. I conduct audits to assess existing business processes and help develop branding, messaging, strategic action plans, and change management processes.
As Director of Startup Grind NY - Capital Region, I lead conversations with successful business leaders, who share lessons they learned while building great companies. It’s the place to learn best practices about getting and keeping customers, increasing revenue, and lowering costs.
The Word Architect is my boutique content creation firm focused on helping brands tell stories that attract the right clients and drive revenue.
Former Managing Partner with Accenture with 30+ years of technology/ business launch/ strategy experience. Lived 10+ years in Greater China, running $150+m businesses in China, India, AsiaPac and the US. Currently involved on boards of early-stage and mid-range companies via Princeton eLab/ Keller Engineering Center, New York Angels (NYA) and the Clean Energy Venture Group (CEVG). Via Haven Partners, LLC - primary focus: Helping companies launch new products and services.
Currently, I am also on the advisory board of Zinnov, LLC, a highly specialized PES/ strategy firm and am a Clinical Professor with the capstone course - Enterprise Management Consulting - with Temple University's MBA program.
A brief career history: 2016-present my focus has been specifically on early-stage to mid-cap companies providing practical, hands-on guidance to help build their businesses, launching new products and services. The specific focus has been primarily commercial services strategy and launch (communications sector), renewable/ distributed energy (energy sector), and advanced distributed services (telecom, IoT, autonomous vehicles and sensing technologies).
From 2010-16 I led Wipro's Media practice globally with a P&L of over $120m. In 2013 we consolidated Comms/ Media creating a new BU chartered to build consulting and innovative client offers across Comms/ Media which resulted in profitable investments, partnerships and sales of IoT-relevant companies along with the launch of 3 new business offerings for Wipro across Comms/ Media groups.
Previously (through 2007) I was a managing partner in Accenture with 27+ years of international business and technology consulting experience. Industry focus included energy, telecom, high tech and new media. My focus on business launch and clean energy/ solar/ wind led to founding the alternative energy finance entity Haven Energy Partners, LLC from 2008-2010.
Karin began her career in partnerships and marketing in the music industry with some of the world's most renowned individuals and companies. Her experience ranges from curating guerrilla marketing campaigns for Eminem, the best-selling artist of the 2000s in the United States, to strategizing consumer concert experience programs for Live Nation, the largest global entertainment company. Because of her natural passion for connecting people, she also launched a successful professional women's network in two major cities in the U.S. After being introduced to the tech community through a random "deep walk" path of connections. Shortly after that, she began organizing for her local Data Science Meetup with an on-going hackathon to put machine learning in the hands of cancer biologists. This journey eventually led her to her current role as a Program Manager for Community Development for the leading graph database in the world, making connections in a company that helps makes sense of connected data. She's currently in the process of building software to help people utilize their social capital.
Sheri Kurdakul is the Founder, CEO, and SuperSHEro of VictimsVoice, a tool that eases the legal documentation burdens victims face when recalling details for reporting acts of discrimination, harassment, and abuse.
Prior to founding VictimsVoice, Sheri worked with startup companies, implementing their operational infrastructure and go-to-market strategies. She was the Managing Partner of Holistic Business Solutions, a small business and nonprofit consulting firm, volunteered as Marketing and Technical Advisor for the NJ Farm to School Network, and acted as the Operational Event Manager for the National Farm to Cafeteria Conference.
Sheri has served on the board of Urban Tree Connection in Philadelphia, PA and mentors professionals in the area of marketing strategy, effective networking, and personal branding.
Sheri is a FounderGym graduate, for which she won a Google for Startups scholarship, and was recently named as a semi-finalist for Startup of the Year. She has been a Startup Grind member for several years.
And finally, she likes to be followed (pause) - on social @VIctimsVoiceApp
Board++/Startup Grind PrincetonSee Bio
I've been doing startups since long before they were cool. My passions include startups, data science, and coffee.
My latest venture, Board++ breaks glass ceilings, diversifies startup boards, and develops our next generation of leaders by placing corporate executives from underrepresented groups on startup boards. I founded the Startup Grind Princeton chapter in 2014 and live in downtown Princeton.
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