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Advisory Board

Alex Kazim

Founder of FuelX

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Alex Kazim is CEO of FuelX. Prior to FuelX, Alex was Senior Vice President for HP.com, where he had P&L responsibility for the $1B retailer operating in 25 countries around the world.

Alex held a number of executive roles at eBay Inc. from 1998 to 2007. As VP of Marketing & Business Operations at PayPal, he more than tripled revenue, led the integration efforts with eBay, and launched PayPal’s Merchant Services Business. In 2004, he was Senior Vice President of eBay’s New Ventures business unit and launched eBay’s Classifieds sites in over 50 cities worldwide. From 2005 to 2007, Alex was Senior Vice President of Product and subsequently led Skype as President.

Alex began his career as a software engineer at Apple Computer where he worked on the Mac OS and Powerbook computers. Alex graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Rice University.

Bryan Hassin

Co-Founder & CEO of Smart Office Energy Solutions

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Bryan Guido Hassin (Lovett ’10) is an energy technology entrepreneur and global startup leader. He is cofounder and CEO of Smart OES, a rapidly growing IOT startup that uses artificial intelligence and behavioral science to optimize the energy use of large buildings and electrical grids. Passionate about aligning economic value with social value, he is also a Founding Director of givewatts.org, which deploys solar energy resources to schools and clinics throughout East Africa. Previously he has led IOT businesses around the world, including Poken, R7 Solutions, and Antmachine Technologies.

Bryan received his MBA with Honors and Leadership Distinction from IMD in Lausanne, Switzerland.  He has a Master’s in Computer Science and undergraduate degrees in Computer Science and Electrical Computer Engineering from Rice, where he played football for the Owls and later served as Entrepreneur in Residence.  Bryan’s greatest achievement by far has been marrying Katie Barrett (Lovett ’04), with home he co-chaired Rice’s Centennial Homecoming and Reunion.

Emily Keeton

Head of WeWork Labs Texas

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Emily Keeton is the Chief Operating Officer at Goodfair, based in Houston.  Prior to her to Goodfair, she was the Head of WeWork Labs Texas, after working as Global Head of M&A and Managing Director of the Creator Fund at the company.  Before her time at WeWork, she was co-Head of Mergers and Acquisitions for IAC, overseeing M&A activity across the IAC portfolio, as well as identifying new opportunities outside of the company’s existing focus areas.

Ms. Keeton has also served as Co-founder and CEO of Flavour, a food and restaurant discovery app acquired by Tasting Table Media in 2015. Prior to this, Ms. Keeton was Senior Vice President and Head of Corporate Development at Scripps Networks Interactive, where she was responsible for M&A, partnerships and international strategic development. Previously, Ms. Keeton served as Senior Vice President of Corporate Development at Ascent Media Group Inc., as well as Managing Director in the Media and Telecommunications Investment Banking division at Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette (now Credit Suisse), where she worked on financing and strategic transactions for media and entertainment companies.

Ms. Keeton is the Co-Founder of Station Houston, a technology incubator in Houston, Texas. She received her M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and her B.A. from Columbia University.

Frank Liu

Founder & President of Lovett Commercial

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Frank Liu is the founder of Lovett Commercial, Lovett Homes, and InTown Homes.  Liu is a Chinese American, born in Taiwan.   At the age of 3, he moved to Saigon, Vietnam where Liu’s father took a position as a Textile Engineer.  He lived there during an interesting and historic time; he was there during the Tet Offensive, an event that would change many lives, including his own.  He left his family in Vietnam and came to the US in 1971, residing in Houston since 1973.

After graduating from Rice with a civil engineering degree, Liu’s family of companies began in 1980 when he and his Lovett college roommate started Lovett Homes, a premium urban residential development company.  In 1995, Frank began Lovett Commercial, specializing in commercial development and redevelopment.  In 2003, he started InTown Homes, a design-driven and environmentally-friendly residential development company working in emerging neighborhoods.

Through his various companies, he has developed over $3 billion in projects throughout Texas, including retail, office, industrial projects, adaptive reuse historic buildings and thousands of homes.  Additionally, his real estate projects have been the two time winner of two prestigious ULI (Urban Land Institute) First place awards.  He is a proud and active supporter, underwriter and board advisory member for many arts, education and community development organizations throughout the Houston area.

Liu has been married to Cindy for over 36 years and is the proud father of 2 sons, Kirby and Frank Jr.  He has been truly blessed to realize the American Dream.

Matt Harrigan

Co-Founder & Managing Director of Company

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Matt Harrigan is Co-founder and CEO of Company; he is also Managing Partner at CompanyVentures. In 2013 Matt cofounded Grand Central Tech, a highly-competitive no-equity-fee, year-long accelerator program. By 2018 the value of curating and co-locating top tier companies had made itself clear and the decision was made to expand. GCT thus evolved into what is now Company, a 1.1million-square-foot, multi-tenant tech campus in the heart of Manhattan. Tenants range from the firm’s community of 150 startups, to VC firms, to divisions ofFortune 500 companies. Company Ventures focuses on the startups that inhabit Company, leveraging the advantages of time and proximity to both support and evaluate the companies.In addition to his role at Company, Matt serves on the boards of The Advisory Council for NYCx, New York City’s municipal tech engagement program; and WiTNY, Women in Tech New York.Matt started his career at Booz Allen Hamilton in international economic development. His clients were primarily USAID and the World Bank, leading Matt to spend the better part of 3 years living and working inAfrica:Ghana, Zimbabwe, and primarily Tanzania. After Booz, Matt worked as an innovation strategy consultant at Fahrenheit 212. From there, he moved to ESPN, overhauling the analytics infrastructure across all mobile products.

Matt is a graduate of Rice University, earning a BA in history and foreign policy studies.He currently sits on the board of theNYC Leadership Council for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. Matt is a New York native and lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Rebecca, and their son, Henry. He is an avid skier, and a loyal, if also laboring, Mets and Rangers fan

 

Rakesh Agrawal

Founder & CEO of SnapStream

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Rakesh Agrawal is the Founder and CEO of SnapStream Media, Inc., whose software enables the Daily Show, John Oliver, the White House and a few hundred others to record and search TV.

Rakesh is also a direct investor in 100+ early stage software and life science companies and a limited partner in a variety of venture capital and cryptocurrency hedge funds. Rakesh’s investments include Cruise Automation (acquired by GM), Onit, Lowercase Capital, and Wag.

Rakesh grew up in Houston and New Delhi, India. He serves on the boards of Houston Exponential and the Post Oak School.  He graduated from Rice University with a BS in Mechanical Engineering and a BA in Computer Science. Rakesh and his wife Shonali have three children.

Stephen Wong

John S. Dunn, Sr. Presidential Distinguished Chair in Biomedical Engineering, Department of Systems Medicine & Bioengineering at Houston Methodist

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Stephen Wong is a hybrid scientist and chair professor at Houston Methodist focusing on convergent-based approaches to solve disease problems, notably in cancer, neurological disorders and metabolic disorders. He serves as an Associate Director of Houston Methodist Cancer Center, the Director of T.T. and W.F. Chao Center for BRAIN, and Chief Research Information Officer at Houston Methodist. He contributed to the development of the first enterprise-wide digital radiology system (PACS) at academic medical centers and hospitals while at UCSF, first web trading system while at Charles Schwab, and first VLSI MB computer memory chip while at Bell Labs.

He was a Professor at Harvard Medical School and the Founding Director of Functional and Molecular Imaging Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital before joining Houston Methodist in 2007 as Vice Chair of Radiology and Chief of Medical Physics.  Prior to Harvard, he led integrated clinical product development for Philips Healthcare and web trading development for Charles Schwab during the dot-com era.  He received his PhD in Computer Science from Lehigh University, BSc (hons) in Electrical Engineering from the University of Western Australia, Postdoc in Artificial Intelligence from Japan’s Fifth Generation Computer Project, and senior executive education from Stanford Graduate School of Business, Columbia Business School, and MIT Sloan School of Management.

Yan-David Erlich

Managing Director of Coatue Management

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Yan-David Erlich is the current Managing Director of Coatue Management. Previously, he was the Founder & CEO of Parsable (formerly known as Wearable Intelligence), a Silicon Valley based company transforming the lives, productivity, and safety for the 70% of the global workforce whose jobs aren’t performed at a desk. Parsable is replacing paper & walkie talkies with Sera: a collaboration app for industrial teams. With it, enterprises can digitize their procedures and have their mobile workforce collaboratively execute them for the first time. Parsable is backed by Lightspeed Venture Partners, First Round Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Google Ventures, Kleiner Perkins, Schlumberger Technology Corporation, Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures, and a handful of angels.

Mr. Erlich was also a Managing Partner at Outlier Ventures (a micro seed fund), and a founding Venture Partner at MuckerLab, Los Angeles’ premier startup accelerator. Prior, Mr. Erlich was the Founder & CEO of ChoiceVendor, which was acquired by LinkedIn (LNKD) in 2010. He was also the Founder & CEO of Mogad, which was acquired by iSkoot (now a division of Qualcomm: QCOM) in 2008, and the Founder of Happiness Engines. Yan-David has been an Entrepreneur in Residence at Matrix Partners, Trinity Ventures, and Battery Ventures. He started his career with software engineering and product management roles at both Google and Microsoft and holds Bachelor of Science degrees in both Computer Science and Electrical & Computer Engineering from Rice University and an MBA from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business (class of ’05).

Yan-David enjoys advising other entrepreneurs and counts himself fortunate to have been involved since the early stages with companies including Mixer Labs (acq Twitter), Thumbtack, MasterClass, CircleUp, Twenty20, and Vidme. Mr. Erlich has been featured in Forbes, Fortune, Fox, The Wall Street Journal, among other publications.

Alex Kazim

Founder of FuelX

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Bryan Hassin

Co-Founder & CEO of Smart Office Energy Solutions

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Emily Keeton

Head of WeWork Labs Texas

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Frank Liu

Founder & President of Lovett Commercial

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Matt Harrigan

Co-Founder & Managing Director of Company

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Rakesh Agrawal

Founder & CEO of SnapStream

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Stephen Wong

John S. Dunn, Sr. Presidential Distinguished Chair in Biomedical Engineering, Department of Systems Medicine & Bioengineering at Houston Methodist

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Yan-David Erlich

Managing Director of Coatue Management

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