Guest Speakers

Students have the opportunity to meet and learn from successful, high-caliber entrepreneurs.

Abhi Beniwa

Once receiving a Bachelor’s in Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University, Andy Laats then pursued a job at Burton Snowboards as a Snowboard Product Manager. In 1995, he left that job to obtain an MBA from Stanford University and upon graduation decided to co-create Nixon in 1997. Laats and his business partner won the 2005 Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for consumer products, a very esteemed award, in San Diego. Now, Nixon generates about $100MM in yearly revenue and has subsidiaries in 4 other countries around the world.


Abhi is focused on research and development of innovative technology solutions for retail, brands and CPGs. With an extensive global network of leading technology companies and start-­ups, Abhi is leveraging his knowledge and experience in developing future strategies and technology products for Retailers and Brands.


An industry leader and technology strategist, Abhi is actively working with global retailers in developing private brand platforms, merchandising technology and intelligent retail innovations. Abhi has global experience and worked with retailers in North America, Europe, Africa and Asia.


Specialties: Retail Innovation, Merchandising Software, Machine Learning/AI, eCommerce, Brand/Product Development, Intelligent Retail, Data & Analytics, Mergers and Acquisitions, Innovation and Lean IT

Janet Fitzgerald, Public Speaking Coach

For more than 25 years, Janet FitzGerald has been helping people and organizations achieve greater communication impact through insightful analysis and innovative strategies. She melds her science-based background as a Speech/Language Pathologist with her business experience. Clients include: IBM Research, Bayer Corporation, Gartner, Aetna, Fed-Ex, NYU, CNBC, Cintas, FedEx, San Francisco’s Bay Area Metropolitan Transportation Commission and Taiwan’s Institute for Information Industry.

Jai Bhagat

Jai Bhagat, a Wireless hall of Fame Inductee, is a long time pioneer and entrepreneur in wireless communications. Currently he is Executive Chairman and co-owner of Hollywood Casting and Film. The company provides casting and production services for actors and production companies. Mr. Bhagat currently serves on the board or as advisor to several companies in the wireless and wireless healthcare sectors including eMedOnline, Tagnos, Haystack Technologies, and Owaves.

Joe Kudla

Founder and CEO of Vuori. Vuori is an active lifestyle apparel brand that draws inspiration from the aspirational coastal California lifestyle, an integration of yoga, surf, sport, art and a strong visionary spirit. Vuori makes products that stand the test of time and hopes to inspire others to be healthy, vibrant and live their dreams.

Manish Sheth

Division chief and medical director at several medical centers, psychiatrist specializing in Treatment Resistant Depression (TRD) and new options for treatments, using various protocols including psychotropics, ketamine treatment and TMS.


In 2020, Dr. Sheth earned the honor of Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and joins a distinct group of psychiatrists who make significant contributions to the field of psychiatry.

Sameer Gupta

Dr. Gupta is an established doctor of immunology and allergy with experience from all across California, and he currently runs his own private practice in Temecula. Dr. Gupta is lucky to have an amazing and intelligent wife, Monika, as well as two wonderful daughters, Aryahi and Suriyani. Born in San Francisco, Sameer moved often through his childhood for his father’s work as a civic engineer. He took inspiration from his parents and their classic immigrant story, as they worked hard and faced many struggles to make sure he had all the resources to succeed…and he has! Sameer is a mentor for the group IncLOOSEive, and he appreciates how engaging and energetic his students are. He is especially proud of their Phase 2 presentation, and how much promise their idea showed! He admits that the team has faced difficulties, but his gentle nudging and their determination to succeed has brought out all their best qualities. Sameer wants his students to remember and take advantage of the life-skills they have inherited from this great program, and he wishes them well for all their future endeavors!

Steve Morley

Professional Executive specializing in development and launch of new products and services primarily for startup and fast growing companies. Skilled in organizational structuring and operations management for rapidly evolving companies. During 21 year experience as Vice President at Qualcomm Incorporated, led several business units from startup to maturity and helped grow the company from 10 to more than 10,000 employees. Education and early experience specialized in advanced digital signal processing engineering (Stanford MSEE) and business management. Holds more than 25 patents and has published articles in several key industry publications.


Specialties: development and implementation of strategic business initiatives as both an entrepreneur and intrapreneur; wireless communications technologies; digital media processing; location-based and IoT technology and services; wireless and enterprise networking.

Vivek Chhabra

Past responsibilities in IBM Research, Center for Development of telematics, Mitel Networks, Atsana (startup), Texas Instruments. Extensive experience in engg, product management and marketing of products in mobile handset, Cellular IoT, STB and infrastructure including Tier-1 OEM design wins, Content Ecosystem and Tier 1 Carriers globally. Build lead teams and advised teams in startups in silicon valley. As a partner at 21IQLabs, he enabled global go-to-market strategy, cutting edge technology, and ecosystem development and at Marvell, he was responsible for BU, Global Marketing and business development of Marvell products to OEMs, Global Operators, ODMs and ecosystem in NA, Europe, China, India, Indonesia, etc with C level relationships.

Vijay Varadarajan

A strategic-minded MBA/MSEE with progressive experience in leading BI Teams, Customers, Product Managers, Data Scientists, SW Leads to solve complex customer problems by analyzing/processing multi-source data-sets, deploying Advanced Analytics (data mining, machine learning, predictive analysis) based Data Models, innovating new business models and designing UX/CJ. Proven track record of delivering technical concepts to a non-technical audience, interpreting impact of predictive models and making strategic recommendations. Led teams to create, monitor, maintain and retrain machine-learning models to adapt to evolving business needs. Drove advanced pricing analytics such as price elasticity price optimization and campaign effectiveness.