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Genius Bar

Get Help with Entrepreneurship and Innovation

The Genius Bar provides mentorship and coaching to Rice University students. Successful entrepreneurs as well as faculty mentors are available to meet throughout the academic year both in person and remotely.

Need advice?  Each mentor brings a unique set of experiences and expertise. Schedule time with a faculty mentor or reach out to Caitlin Bolanos (cab24@rice.edu) to connect with a community mentor.

Entrepreneurs in Residence

Roberto Moctezuma

FOUNDER AND CEO, FRACTAL RIVER

Best for support related to: growing an existing idea/product, technology entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, AI/machine learning/immersive technologies

Rupa Parekh

Designer-in-Residence

FOUNDER AND CEO, UMANI DESIGNS

Best for support related to: design thinking, technology, media, corporate innovation

John S. Reale, Jr.

GENERAL PARTNER, INTEGRATED CAPITAL

Best for support related to: the discovery process, building your team, go to market strategy, elevator pitching, fundraising

Michael Sklar

ACCELERATION COMMITTEE CHAIR, HOUSTON EXPONENTIAL

Best for support related to: refining business ideas, customer discovery, market sizing, defining minimum viable product, prioritizing next steps, and troubleshooting when you feel stuck

Jay Steinfeld

FOUNDER & CEO, BLINDS.COM

Best for support related to: articulating a tantalizing vision, culture, OKRs, talent acquisition and retention, creating a Board or advisory board, transitioning from founder to CEO

Anderson Ta

Maker-in-Residence

FOUNDER AND CEO, OPEN FACTORY

As our "Maker-in-Residence", office hours with Andy are intended to provide you with the opportunity to discuss design, prototyping and manufacturing considerations when developing a product. Any work beyond these discussions are outside the intended scope of these office hours. If you need assistance beyond these office hours, please reach out to the Lilie team and we'll work with you to get what you need.

Rice University Faculty & Staff Mentors

Jamie Jones, Ph. D.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, LIU IDEA LAB FOR INNOVATION & ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Best for support related to: Finding an idea, developing a roadmap for exploring an idea, social entrepreneurship, impact investing, emerging market ventures, career paths

Schedule Office Hours with Jamie Jones, Ph. D.

Hesam Panahi, Ph. D.

LECTURER, JONES GRADUATE SCHOOL OF BUSINESS

Best for support related to: Finding an idea, developing a roadmap for exploring an idea, technology entrepreneurship, career paths

Schedule Office Hours with Hesam Panahi, Ph. D.

Kerri Smith

MANAGING DIRECTOR, OWLSPARK ACCELERATOR

Best for support related to: Startup acceleration, ecosystem building, technology transfer, Lean Launchpad methodology, OwlSpark Accelerator, NSF I-Corps and the Rice Alliance

Schedule Office Hours with Kerri Smith

Al Danto

LECTURER IN MANAGEMENT - ENTREPRENEURSHIP & IT

Best for support related to: New enterprises, enterprise acquisition and divestiture, entrepreneurial financing, E-Labs, valuations and due diligence representation

Schedule Office Hours with Al Danto