TYLT LAB ADVISORS
We maintain a board of world-class advisors with deep domain knowledge across various fields who assist with investment screening and offer guidance and value-add for portfolio companies.
Gadi Amit is a San Francisco based designer behind some of the most innovative and lasting technology devices created over the last decade such as the Fitbit tracker line, the Lytro Camera, the Netgear router and many others. As the creative leader of NewDealDesign, the 2013 National Design Award honoree, Gadi is relentless in his commitment to crafting delightful and workable objects of design for everyday use. Gadi approaches technology design from the inside out, blending the practical with the magical, for both the largest brands and youngest start-ups. Named a ‘Master of Design’ in 2010 by Fast Company, and leading his team to over 100 design awards, Gadi regularly speaks at design conferences and contributes his insights to top publications worldwide
DAVID Y. CHOI, PHD
David Y Choi, Ph.D. is a national award-winning teacher of Entrepreneurship; Faculty Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship; and Director of the Business Incubator at Loyola Marymount University. He has also been a visiting professor at Peking University, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, and Korea University. He was a researcher and founding member of the Leadership Initiative at Harvard Business School. As an entrepreneur, David has co-founded and operated three biotech companies with two exits, and is also a co-founder of Nivo Systems, a battery technology company, among others. He started his career in management consulting working for The Boston Consulting Group in Los Angeles and Seoul. David received his Ph.D. in Management from The Anderson School at UCLA and a M.S. & B.S. in Industrial Engineering from UC Berkeley.
Wade is the CEO and co-founder of Beacon, an all-you-can-fly solution for the Northeast. He was previously the CEO and co-founder of Surf Air, a members-only service that provides travel between top US cities, giving the luxury service of private flying to passengers who could not afford it otherwise. Starting in 2011, Wade led the company from its initial stages to over 80 employees and successfully transitioned the company into its growth phase when he handed the reigns to the former CEO of Frontier Airlines ahead of its $73MM raise in 2014.
Prior to founding Surf Air, Wade worked in national defense as a Senior Business Consultant for the NSA and as an intelligence officer with the Department of Defense. He worked on two Presidential campaigns, including time as a Press Advance Representative for Vice President Dick Cheney and also served in Iraq, where he built quantitative models that were used to predict conflict and to help keep soldiers safe. He received the Secretary of Defense medal for the Global War on Terror as well as the Civilian Joint Service Commendation for his work abroad. Wade also serves as the founder of Offerboard, a New Jersey-based Fintech startup providing algorithmic insights into company competitiveness in the fundraising marketplace, as a board member of Dallas-based Rise Airways, and as an advisor to a number of startups. Wade earned a B.A. in International Economic Policy and Cross-Cultural Relations from Central Missouri State University and a Master’s in Public Policy and International Development Management from Brigham Young University.
Nicolas Jammet is a Founder + Co-CEO of sweetgreen, the much-loved, organic, farm-to-table salad shops launched in Washington, D.C. in 2007. As Co-CEO, Nicolas oversees the strategy, growth, and operations for all of sweetgreen’s locations. Together with his two co-founders and fellow classmates from the Georgetown University McDonough School of Business, Nicolas has built sweetgreen to become the market leader in local, organic, healthy fast food, with over 1,000 employees and 29 stores throughout Washington, D.C., New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Virginia, and Maryland, and with expansion plans into the West Coast. Sweetgreen has received numerous accolades from the press, including The Washington Post, USA Today, Food & Wine, Forbes, Bloomberg, the Washingtonian, CBS, and CNBC, and Nicolas and his partners have been selected as Forbes magazine’s “30 under 30: Food & Wine” and Food & Wine magazine’s “40 Big Food Thinkers 40 and Under.” In 2010, he and his co-founders also founded sweetlife, which has grown to become the region’s largest music and food festival, and a carbon-neutral event committed to sustainability.
JAMES P. CLEARY
James "Jim" Cleary is a member and partner at Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo PC, one of the world's leading law firms. Jim focuses on patent law, including preparation and prosecution of patent applications, rendering of opinions on infringement and validity, licensing, due diligence investigations, and client counseling, with an emphasis on electrical, telecommunications, software, and mechanical technologies. James is also founder of the action sports and apparel practice at Mintz Levin, representing top clients in the surfing, skateboarding, kite surfing, and fitness industries. While serving in the Air Force, James was a senior test engineer and product team leader for the US Air Force Defense Dissemination Program (1991 – 1994), and a program manager and technical representative for Northrop Corporation, USAF Office (1989 – 1991). Jim received his B.S. from the U.S. Air Force Academy, his M.B.A. from Chapman University, and his Juris Doctor from the UC Davis.
Mehrzad Emanuel is the Vice President of Product Development for BakerCorp, the industry leader in providing temporary liquid and solid containment solutions with over 100 locations in North America and Europe. As the founder and President of Cameron Environmental, from 1993-2004, Mehrzad has a first-hand experience and deep understanding of the process of taking an innovative idea and developing it to a successful business model with sustainable growth. He has 25 years of experience building businesses in the Environmental, Clean Technology, and Pollution Control fields. Mehrzad holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Penn State.
MARIE JOHNSON, PHD
Dr. Marie Johnson is CEO and President of AUM Cardiovascular, Inc., a Northfield, Minnesota based medical device company developing game-changing wireless diagnostic devices for detecting coronary obstructive blockage. Dr. Johnson has 25 years of experience in product development and manufacturing in both Fortune 500 companies and university environments. Prior to founding AUM Cardiovascular, she created and led the University of Minnesota Medical Device Innovation Fellowship, modeled after the Stanford biodesign program. Dr. Johnson holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering, a MS and PhD in Biomedical Engineering and has completed three post-doctoral fellowships. Dr. Johnson has patents and patents pending in the United States, Europe, China, India and Taiwan in a broad range of disciplines including orthopedic, cardiovascular, ob/gyn, automotive and food safety. Dr. Johnson holds an adjunct faculty position and holds the medical device emphasis advisor position in Biomedical Engineering department at the University of Minnesota.
Kevin is founder and CEO of Kombo Ventures where he consults, advises, and invests in early to mid-stage tech startups and brands. Kevin developed extensive entertainment and media relationships while working in the talent and non-scripted departments at William Morris Endeavor, the world's largest talent agency. These unique relationships and his passion for technology led to Kevin advising top tier startups on how to amplify and grow their businesses through strategic entertainment partnerships. Kevin is driven by entrepreneurs and the amazing ideas and companies they create.
As founder and Creative Director of Design Studio Nuovo, Frank Nuovo Sc.D. brings an exciting 25 years of product and brand design experience into sharp focus. Nuovo began his career as Design Director for BMW/Designworks/USA. Honing his design, strategy, branding and communication skills there led to Nokia’s invitation to lead as global VP and Chief of Design where he built their first in-house global design organization. Nuovo’s unique brainchild, Vertu, is EQT’s (Formerly Nokia’s) globally successful and rapidly growing brand of luxury communication devices which pioneered an entirely new market category. Nuovo’s many years of design leadership have resulted in scores of award winning designs, and in particular, under his creative direction, Nokia led the mobile industry over a decade with innovations and sales, including numerous best-selling mobile phones of all time. Nuovo is also the creator and co-founder and CEO of Datzing, a new cross platform “Micro Discovery” mobile application and service.
Larry Paulson has been involved in the wireless industry for over 28 years. He currently serves as vice president of product management at Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. In this role Paulson is responsible for product management efforts across the Qualcomm Reference Design (QRD) program, where he manages the business’ global reach and expansive portfolio. He spent more than 20 years at Nokia where he held numerous leadership positions, including global senior vice president and general manager of Nokia’s worldwide CDMA device business. He also oversaw the company’s original design manufacturing process with partners in China, Taiwan and Korea, with responsibility for strategy, R&D, customer development and product management, and product marketing. Internationally, he led various Nokia product management teams based in Bejing, Singapore, Dubai, Sao Paulo and the USA. Paulson also served as Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for BrightPoint Inc where he oversaw global strategy and business development activities.
Scott Wilson is Founder and Chief Creative Officer of MINIMAL, an award- winning product development and brand incubation firm based in Chicago. Founded in 2007, Wilson’s vision for MINIMAL has been to create a hybrid design studio that merges his love of consulting with top global brands, partnering with start-ups, and intense passion for self incubated ventures. Equal parts visionary designer and serial entrepreneur, Wilson has created some of the most recognized consumer design icons. He consistently delivers disruptive yet thoughtful solutions to market across a diverse range of industries from technology, medical, and consumer products, to lifestyle, furniture, and environments. A former Global Creative Director at Nike, Wilson has been a design leader in organizations such as Thomson Consumer Electronics, IDEO, Fortune Brands, and Motorola. Wilson’s work has been acknowledged with countless international design awards and accolades, including the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award for Product Design (2012) and being recognized as one of Fast Company’s ‘50 Most Influential US Designers’ and ‘Most Creative People In Business’.
Brad Zutaut is a founding member of Company 28, a company dedicated to creating simple technology solutions for everyone. His passions include Crown Prep Academy, a Los Angeles Charter School where he serves as a founding board member. He has served as founder and CEO for a number of technology start-ups including Xingtone Inc., the first mobile company to send a full-length song to a wireless handset. His vision for the digital realm began while serving as CEO of Red Earth, Inc. This worldwide retail company employed Mr. Zutaut to help increase awareness of its brand outside of Australia and he created the company’s web site in 1993, before traditional retail business had discovered the Internet. Zutaut has been portrayed as a leader and an authority in various media outlets including CNN, The New York Times, MSNBC, Reuters, MTV, Rolling Stone, USA Today, Billboard, The Wall Street Journal, Wireless Week, Time, C/Net, RCR Wireless News and many more. He has spoken at numerous prominent industry events, including CTIA Wireless, CTIA/Mobile Entertainment Summit, Mobile Entertainment & Gaming Expo, Digital Hollywood, CEA, and SXSW, among others.