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Race, Social Justice and Culture

Meet with Entrepreneurs-in-Residence

Want to speak to an experienced entrepreneur, investor, or corporate executive about how to get your business idea off the ground? Email stacey.sikes[at]hofstra.edu in advance to make an appointment or just stop by the ideaHUb (246 Axinn Library).

Chris Lopinto

Chris Lopinto

Chris Lopinto is a serial entrepreneur, mentor and angel investor. Since founding ExpertFlyer in 2004, he has been a pioneer in providing airline data transparency to consumers. Prior to ExpertFlyer, Chris founded, built, and then sold an IT consulting company in Long Island New York. Prior, he served as the Director of IT at ProductivityNet, a network management software startup. Chris is a co-founder of Started on LI, a Long Island based entrepreneur mentorship group, and has mentored various Startup Weekend events. He is a graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Aaron Foss

Aaron Foss

Aaron Foss is an accomplished serial entrepreneur with 5 companies under his belt. In 2011, he was a part of Techstars (NYC) with SideTour, a marketplace for unique experiences, which was acquired by Groupon in 2013. His current startup, Nomorobo, has stopped over 68 million unwanted and illegal robocalls from reaching consumers since launching in 2013. Nomorobo was chosen as the winner of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Robocall Challenge and named “Best New Product” by CableLabs. Aaron has been featured in the New York Times, Wired, CNN, CNBC, and Fox News. He lives in Port Jefferson, NY.

Peter Kestenbaum

Peter Kestenbaum

Since exiting the workforce in 2006, Peter has worked with dozens of startups in the New York area, held similar Entrepreneur-in-Residence positions or adjunct roles at several universities including Montclair, Rutgers, and NJIT. He is Managing Partner of 1099Partners, a firm that consists of ex-senior executives that service the emerging market space. He currently advises, coaches or is an investor in eight local firms. Kestenbaum was an early employee (1983-1998) of Sun Microsystems and over 15 years held a variety of positions culminating as Field Marketing Director for North America. His Silicon Valley pedigree includes working directly for or with people such as Eric Schmidt (currently Chairman at Google) and Scott McNealy, founder of Sun Microsystems. During the “.COM” era he served as the Chief Marketing Officer for Agency.COM in New York as it transitioned from a startup and early silicon alley pioneer through its IPO. He also has held an advisor role to senior staff at IBM.

Nicola Hawkinson

Nicola Hawkinson

Nicola Hawkinson is the founder of SpineSearch, a nationwide recruitment and continuing educational company. Nicola received her Bachelor's of Science in Nursing from the University of Delaware, Master's Degree (Nurse Practitioner Program) from New York University and Doctorate of Nursing Practice at Case Western Reserve University. Her career in nursing has spanned from the operating room, neurosurgical oncology, to orthopedic spine. Simultaneously, Nicola remains an adjunct clinical professor at NYU's College of Nursing. Nicola has presented and published extensively in the field of Spine, first as a clinician, and now she continues to utilize this academic platform to speak and write extensively regarding recruitment, retention, and staffing needs in pain management, spine, orthopedic, neurosurgical practices, ambulatory surgery centers and a variety of other companies that service the spine market.

Barbara Roberts

Barbara Roberts

Previously a Wall Street executive and then serial entrepreneur, Barbara Roberts is now an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Columbia Business School and Group Chair at Tiger 21, the peer learning group for very high net worth people and entrepreneurs who have sold businesses for $10 million or more. She is also a member of the Suffolk County Planning Commission. She is a well-known speaker and writer on all stages of entrepreneurship, and the economic and leadership progress of women. Roberts develops and leads programs and workshops for entrepreneurs at all stages for institutions and government agencies, including Columbia Business School and University, the Women’s Presidents Organization, WBENC, the New York City Economic Development Corp., Brookhaven Labs, Suffolk County, NY and the New York Science, Industry and Business Library. She is a member of New York Angels and serves on the boards of a number of privately held companies. She is certified as a master coach by the Hudson Institute of Santa Barbara and trained in facilitation and mediation. Ms. Roberts has an Economics and Philosophy degree from Goucher College.

James Droskoski

James Droskoski

James is an experienced enterprise SaaS entrepreneur and sales executive with a history of bringing innovative technologies and services to market.  He has been involved with software start-ups for over 15 years.  Most recently, James was responsible for helping build and execute the sales and customer acquisition strategy at WorkMarket.  While there for 5+ years, he established sales best practices and procured some of the company’s largest and most notable customer accounts.  Earlier in his career, James was one of the early team members of AGENCY.COM in the late 90s which became one of the largest interactive marketing agencies in the world, went public and was then acquired by Omnicom.  James has had a consistent track record of sales leadership and product development while developing and positioning disruptive, high value technology solutions for customers.


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