Photo_LinkedInNaveed Ahmad
Facilitator, October 2012 and September 2013

Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, Naveed received his BA in Economics and Political Science from Case Western Reserve University in 2010. He honed his leadership skills in Cleveland, before coming back to Cincinnati to immerse himself in the entrepreneurial world. He’s worked at CincyTech Ventures, as well as a small startup developing iPhone applications. He currently works in the branding and marketing space, and is committed to helping entrepreneurs win.

Dr. John Clarkin
Facilitator, June 2011

John became Director of the Entrepreneurship Institute at Northern Kentucky University last fall, after spending 17 years in Charleston, South Carolina.  After more than 20 years in business, he began his career in academe 2002 at the completion of his doctoral work in entrepreneurship at the University of Stirling in Scotland.  He has taught a number of university and professional development courses in the field of entrepreneurship, including business planning, new venture creation, new venture finance, and social entrepreneurship.

Bill Cunningham
Facilitator, September 2011 and March 2012

Bill consults and coaches new and growing companies through the Cunningham Group.  He just finished a tour of duty as the director of Northern Kentucky University’s Entrepreneurial Institute and professor in the Entrepreneurship program. Prior to NKU, Bill was an Executive-in-Residence with CincyTech,  a co-founder of 5 startup companies, coach to many more and was Director of Xavier Entrepreneurial Center. Bill serves as the Director of Greater Cincinnati Venture Association, Advisor to the Hamilton County Business Center Incubator and was awarded the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Educator of the Year Award in 2000.

Elizabeth EdwardsElizabeth Edwards
Facilitator, October 2011 

Elizabeth is the founder of Metro Innovation and author of the bestselling book, Startup: The Complete Handbook for Launching a Company for Less.

Edwards launched Metro Innovation, a catalyst for innovation and entrepreneurship, in 2009 after seven years in venture capital, private equity, and strategy and innovation consulting. She is a resident of Cincinnati, Ohio, where she serves on the board of the Greater Cincinnati Venture Association and teaches entrepreneurial finance at Xavier University. Elizabeth has been featured in more than 50 local and national media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal.

Kate Hanisian
Facilitator, June 2012 and October 2013

Kate has over ten years of professional experience in various non-profit positions. Before founding Design Impact, she led strategic planning and non-profit capacity building as the Development Director for the Ohio Justice & Policy Center, a non-profit law firm that works for criminal justice reform. After earning her Master’s degree in Education in 2005, she spent four years as a high school Language Arts teacher for students in a low-income, under-performing district. She has lived and worked internationally, leading youth development and program management initiatives in India, Jamaica, and New Zealand. In addition to leading Design Impact, she currently serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Cincinnati Honors College, working with an interdisciplinary team of students on development projects in India. Her experience working with communities affected by poverty in multiple areas of the world drives her passion for positive social change.

Joan Kaup
Facilitator, January 2012 and June 2013
Joan Kaup earned an MBA in Entrepreneurship from Xavier University. She began her career as a ‘road warrior’ selling consumer packaged goods.  She has worked as VP of marketing for Downtown Cincinnati Inc and VP of tourism for Greater Cincinnati Convention and Visitors Bureau. She chaired the marketing committee for the Big Pig Gig, co-wrote the OTR Chamber’s Business First Grant Program, co-founded Second Sunday on Main.  She’s  served on various boards and been engaged in numerous civic projects. In 2007, she ran for city council. In 2010 she was recognized as a Woman of OTR. For years she has been working to improve and promote Cincinnati. Joan Kaup Consulting has worked with start-up companies and established organizations.

Sean MullaneySean Mullaney
Facilitator, September 2012 and March 2013

For over 20 years, Sean has been making kids and adults alike smile with his unique inventions.  He holds over 16 patents and has licensed more than 60 toys, games, and products to Mattel, Hasbro, Milton Bradley, OXO and Spinmaster.

Sean co-founded a small toy invention company in 1992 that quickly grew to one of the top 5 global toy invention companies.  His radio controlled vehicles were consistently top sellers. In 2002, Sean unveiled his unique creative process by starting Toy Lab.  A creative think tank that allowed kids of all ages to imagine, invent and actually build their own toys.  The appeal for this concept was so great that one of the largest consumer products company in the world engaged Sean to facilitate creative ideation sessions. Sean is currently President of Quiggie Design LLC, a toy, game and idea invention company.

PhotoJane Pennells
Facilitator, January 2013 and June 2013

Jane moved to Cincinnati in 1990 from her native England to open a US office for her family pipe organ building business. In 1997 she followed her dreams and started her own small business, which quickly flourished and moved from kitchen table to small studio and finally to a retail store with attached studio encompassing wholesale and e-commerce divisions.  Jane successfully sold the business in 2007 (and it continues to thrive under new ownership) and embarked on new adventures that took her back to England for a short time.  Now back in Cincinnati, Jane continues her passions for all things creative and entrepreneurial in our city by managing a business center that supports start-ups and businesses of all sizes.