Think Tank Review: The Videos

We’re gearing up to the 6th installment of our Future of X Think Tank series and would like to share the videos of the think tanks the MIT Enterprise Forum of NYC hosted in the past two years:

The Future of TV. (January 2014) — List of Lead Participants.

The Future of Advertising. (April 2014) — List of Lead Participants.

The Future of Retail. (October 2014) — List of Lead Participants.

The Future of Healthcare. (January 2015) — List of Lead Participants.

The Future of Music. (April 2015) — List of Lead Participants.


Watch The Video: The Future of Music (4-16-2015)

The Future of Music: Where is the Money? (4/16/15): Lead Participants

While The Future of X Think Tank sessions know no designated panelists, we invite seasoned and fresh innovators, entrepreneurs who are currently monetizing the changing landscape, marketers and representatives from within the industry as well as investors who provide the capital that moves the needle to serve as featured lead participants. Find a growing list of our lead participants below, along with details on how to be a lead participant. (The event page and signup form for regular participants are at

  • Ray Archie, CEO and co-Founder, MixLuv, Inc., a social platform designed for musicians, songwriters and engineers to easily collaborate, create and manage their world of music. As a technologist & Director of Streaming Operations for CBS Radio Corporate, I managed a team to build, from the ground up, one of the largest streaming networks in the world.  I also personally handle reporting for Sound Exchange, ASCAP, BMI, etc. As a musician/engineer, I have performed with Leonard Bernstein, Michael Tilson-Thomas, London Symphony Orchestra, SF Symphony orchestra, and more — and have consistently spoken at both Audio Engineering Society and European Broadcasting Union international conventions for several years.
  • Bob Barbiere is President of Dubset Media Holdings, a technology company specializing in licensing and rights management of derivative works. Dubset has created the music industry’s first identification, licensing, and distribution platform enabling the legal streaming of mix and remix music content. The new platform, powered by its proprietary MixSCAN® technology, has recently completed a two year industry trial and is now being utilized and endorsed by the world’s largest DJs. It has the potential to create over $1 billion in new streaming revenue annually to the music industry. Over the years, Bob’s passion for applying new technologies to marketplace challenges has led to break-through digital products including the first national fantasy sports games, the world’s largest communications routing and trading platforms, and multiple advertising and music registries.
  • Rob Behnke is Co-Founder and Company Director of MicSwap, the first and only Studio, Mic Modeler + recorder for iOS. A Serial Entrepreneur who also produces/composes electronic music as The Blue and Red, Rob is CoFounder of The Brooklyn Salsa Company – carried at retailers such a Whole Foods Market and FreshDirect. Rob earned his BA and MBA from Rider University in Business Management, where he also holds an advisory board seat on the University’s Sustainability minor program.
  • Jacqueline Bosnjak is CEO of Q Department Studios. A South African born American hyphenate, Bosnjak founded IDEALOGUE,  an independent transmedia studio and is a partner in the award winning music studio Q Department Studios. Instagram @qdepartmentstudios
  • Sairam Chilappagari is the founder & CEO of He runs day to day operations at, which believes in giving people control over the music they listen to, in any social setting with a simple touch. makes it easy for venues to host a jukebox and patrons to play their favorite music right from their smartphones. He loves to create and evolve services from ideas into something truly valuable to the end user. He is a technologist with demonstrated success designing and implementing services for more than ten years. Before, he built/lead teams at Jetsetter and Disney interactive media group.
  • Claire Cunningham, MIT 15’09, is CEO and Co-founder of, an online marketplace for music educators looking to engage with a global student audience. Since its launch in 2013, Lessonface offers a new monetization path for musicians who delight in sharing their craft. Claire also had key roles in CleanEdison, an education company acquired by Kaplan in 2014, BiblioBazaar, a publishing company based in Charleston, SC, and Celedu, an educational mobile app for literacy developed out of the MIT Media Lab.
  • Scott Freiman is the co-founder and CEO of Qwire Holdings (, a technology company that develops software to integrate the work of everyone involved with music for picture. Qwire’s software has been used to streamline music tracking and rights management for television series, such as Parenthood, House, and Grey’s Anatomy, and for studios, such as ABC/Disney Television. Mr. Freiman is also the founder of Deconstructing The Beatles ( Mr. Freiman holds a B.S. in Computer Science and Music from Yale University and a Masters of Music Composition from New York University.
  • Howard Homonoff, Principal/Managing Director, Homonoff Media Group, is a rare resource for leaders who need to keep abreast of the ever changing world of media; changes that are driven by new and emerging technologies, changing business models, and dynamic regulatory and social environments. Howard is a well-recognized thought leader, author and speaker, including as a Senior Fellow at the Columbia Business School’s Institute on Tele-Information, as executive producer and host of the New York City-based cable program “Media Reporter”, and as a weekly columnist for, where he has devoted considerable work to examining the dramatic changes in the music industry environment.
  • David Hughes, SVP, Technology, Recording Industry Association of America, has over 18 years’ experience in online music distribution. He joined RIAA in 2006, where he represents the recording industry’s technology interests and coordinates technology efforts, including metadata standards, new technologies and formats, and outreach to the technology community. In 1996, he became responsible for formulating a digital music distribution strategy for Sony Corporation in Tokyo. In 1998 he moved to Sony Music in New York, as Vice President of Technology Strategies and Digital Policy, where he created the industry’s first digital business department and formulated digital policy for distribution and antipiracy. David has contributed to a number of formats and standards including MPEG, DVD-Audio, SACD, Blu-ray and UltraViolet and holds a number of patents in the music technology space.
  • Laurie Jakobsen. President, Jaybird Communications. Laurie has 20 years of public relations and marketing communications experience, ranging from artist representation to start-up dot-coms to major multi-national music companies.  She started Jaybird Communications in 2009 to provide a full range of strategic communications services for digital businesses, especially startups, B2B, and entertainment-related ventures. Jaybird’s current clients include Border City Media, 7digital, the Music Business Association, NY Tech Meetup, ole, and Paltalk, and previous clients include Audiokite, Bandsintown, CISAC’s World Creators Summit, Digital Entertainment Ventures, Fantrotter, authors Fred Goodman and Robert Levine, Indaba Music, MediaNet, OpenAura, and TV Entertainment.
  • Gary Levitt is a co-founder of Future Moments LLC, the company behind MicSwap, the first and only studio, mic modeler + recorder for IOS. He is a veteran of the music industry. Besides being a professional recording engineer and musician over the past 20 years. Gary earned a BA in Audio Production. He’s had the experience of recording with Grammy winning producer Nellee Hooper (Bjork, Smashing Pumpkins, etc.). He’s recorded Grammy winners and rock stars. As a musician he’s been signed to Virgin Records, started his own label Young Love Records and has toured the US and EU several times over.
  • Mani Mahjouri, Co-Founder, Spit 16. A calculated risk taker, with an uncanny ability to forecast market trends, Mani combined his passion for music with his knowledge of technology and ability to grow successful investments to co-found Spit16, a new social media and technology platform designed to empower urban music artists striving to have their voices heard while maintaining their creative authenticity. Mani studied at MIT where he earned three simultaneous bachelors degrees in mathematics, physics and finance. For the past 15 years, he has built a successful career building and running major hedge funds and proprietary trading businesses. Mani now resides in Colts Neck, NJ with his wife and son.
  • Larry Miller, founder of Musonomics and Clinical Associate Professor in the Music Business Program of the NYU Steinhardt School where he teaches courses in Entrepreneurship, Music Analytics and the Business Structure of the Music Industry. He founded Musonomics to work with industry leaders and growth-stage music/tech companies and their investors, providing strategic and operational counsel in areas including licensing, rights administration, pricing and acquisitions. Clients have included EMI, BMG, Rogers & Hammerstein, NPR, ABC, Arbitron, Bonneville Broadcasting and the Avedis Zildjian Company. Larry started his career in the radio industry and, in 1995, co-founded digital music startups a2b music at AT&T Labs Research and Reciprocal.
  • Deborah Newman, Esq., Founder, MUSICSTRAT.  Ms. Newman founded MusicStrat in 2008 to combine her deep experience in the music, television and video businesses with her interest in copyright and digital media. MusicStrat advises early stage music/tech start-ups on digital music copyright, content acquisition and licensing. Newman was an early pioneer in the digital distribution of music in the 1990s, serving as VP Marketing at online retailer Music Boulevard and early subscription services FullAudio and Pressplay. Prior to that she spent 20 years at CBS Records (Sony Music).
  • JJ Rosen, CEO, Indaba Music. Indaba is a leading musician services company, connecting over 900,000 members with career development and marketing opportunities. Previously, JJ served as EVP of Sony Music’s Commercial Music Group.  Rosen oversaw core strategic marketing and business development efforts, including synchronization licensing. He also supervised the Custom Marketing Group, including music product deals with major consumer brands, and overseeing the digital marketing activities for CMG. Rosen joined Sony in 2002 when the company he co-founded, Run Tones, was acquired by Sony Music as part of the launch of the company’s Mobile Products Group. Earlier, JJ was the co-founder and a President of N2K Inc., a publicly traded music company, acquired by CDNow.  Rosen holds a BA in Political Economy from Tulane, and an MBA in Finance from Rutgers.
  • Bill Rosenblatt, President and Founder, GiantSteps Media Technology Strategies. I’m a strategy consultant in digital media for the past 15 years, with a background that includes computer science as well as radio. Recent clients have included two of the three major record companies as well as various digital music startups. I have served as an expert witness in digital music royalty disputes and statutory rate setting proceedings. I’ve worked with public policy bodies regarding digital copyright in the US and Europe, and I’m a columnist on digital music and other areas of digital media. I also chair and co-produce the annual Copyright and Technology Conferences.
  • Maurice Russell is the Senior Vice President of Client Services for the Harry Fox Agency, Inc. (HFA), the nation’s leading provider of rights management, licensing and royalty services for the music industry. Russell is responsible for all relationship management activities associated with publishers, music distributors and HFA’s Slingshot rights administration clients. During his tenure at HFA, Russell has been responsible for licensing and royalty collection and distribution services on behalf of HFA’s over 48,000 affiliate publishers. Before joining HFA, Russell was Vice President and General Manager of Razorfish Studios, and was also Senior Director, Business Development and Licensing, at Red Ant Entertainment. Russell began his career as a Senior Director, Contract Administration, at Polygram Records.
  • Steve Savoca is Vice President, Content & Distribution at Spotify where he oversees the global rights holder relations teams. In this role Steve manages Spotify’s day-to-day relationships with rights holder partners, directs all music content across the service, and oversees artist marketing and promotional activities. Steve also spent several years on the Board of Directors of Merlin Network and currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Music Business Association.
  • Drew Silverstein is the co-founder and CEO of Amper Music, a technology company focused on the intersection of artificial intelligence and music creation. With a platform that allows anyone to create professional-quality music for their video content without needing to know anything about music, Amper is fast at work at democratizing music creation and unleashing the creativity in every content creator. Before founding Amper, Drew was an award-winning composer for film, television, and video games, based in Los Angeles.  Drew has worked on projects including Horrible Bosses, The Wedding Ringer, Galavant, Supernatural, and Mass Effect 3.
  • Daniel Susla, Vice President, Product Licensing and Music Operations at TouchTunes Interactive Networks. Touchtunes is the largest in-venue interactive music and entertainment platform, featured in over 71,000 bars and restaurants across North America and Europe. Susla is responsible for all global music licensing strategies as well as managing the digital music operations and International music programming for our multi-territory music catalogues. Before joining TouchTunes, Daniel was the Director of Digital Copyright, Royalties and Licensing at Sony Music and Manager of Business Affairs and Licensing Technology at HFA. Most importantly, Daniel was selected to Billboard’s 2011 Twitter 140 “Top Music-Industry Characters You Need To Follow” @dsusla
  • Eric Sussman, Artist Manager/Label Head for Amanda Palmer/8ft. records. International performing artist and writer, Amanda Palmer has built a sustainable business through grassroots community building and hardcore direct-to-fan initiatives. From early days with her band the Dresden Dolls, to the formation of the independent 8 Ft. Records following their split from the majors, Amanda has never shied from emergent tech – whether early-adopter twitter sales, to a 2012 record-breaking Kickstarter project, to her current Patreon campaign. Eric joined the 8 ft. enterprises in 2008 as Amanda’s tour manager, before shifting to artist management in 2011. Prior to 8 ft. he toured internationally with Snoop Dogg, The Police, Black Kids, and the Slits; and produced regional shows for Pacific Northwest independent promoter Mike Thrasher Presents
  • David Tockman – David Tockman Consulting. I have been consulting in the Digital space for about a year. Prior to that I ran Entertainment Business Development at AOL and Huff Post. I was involved in every sort of Music deal including the blanket agreements with the majors for AOL Sessions, the ASCAP and BMI rate court limitations, Internet radio negotiations with SoundExchange as member of DiMA, joint ventures, original content creation, and all manner of licensing. Prior to my stint with AOL I was a Music Lawyer for 12 years with time at EMI, Zomba, RED/Edel and a boutique music firm. Music is my passion and my expertise.
  • Bill Wilson. Vice President of Digital Strategy and Business Development, Music Business Association. Bill leads the charge on all things digital at the trade organization, the Music Business Association, working to explore and resolve objectives related to enterprise-level digital music commerce. He has driven the creation of user-friendly resources to facilitate the adoption of industry standards, and resources such as the API Directory, the Music Startup Network, and the Music Startup Academy to help newcomers to the industry create healthy, sustainable music-based businesses. Bill’s two decades of experience includes varied roles within independent and major record labels, internet ventures, and mobile content, and he continues to manage the catalog of Blackout Records, the New York hardcore punk he started in 1989.
  • .More leads TBA — please check back for updates as we add leads during our signup process

This is no panel discussion but a unique Think Tank event format that asks all attendees to actively participate. Lead participants are not panelists, and do not give prepared remarks, but are “first among equals,” expected to be especially active in the give and take of our highly interactive dialog format.

Qualified attendees are invited to introduce themselves to the organizers so they can be considered as lead participants — Please email to with the subject “Think Tank Participation,” and include(a) your name and title/company and (b) short blurb on your background as it relates to this topic (please keep it at 100 words), as well as any other comments to the organizers on your interests. (Regular participants please signup at

Session attendance is limited to facilitate a highly engaged discussion. If registration has been closed, some reserved places for highly qualified participants may still be available.

We will update this page as we add lead participants. Have a look at our lead participants from past events: The Future of Television, The Future of Advertising, The Future of Retail, The Future of Healthcare.

The Future of Music: Where is the Money? (4/16/15): Working Topic Outline and Resource List

Preliminary 2/11/15 )   We invite registered Think Tank attendees to share the topics they’d like to see addressed during the interactive session. Here’s a working list of possible topic areas for the Future of Music (Thursday, April 16, 2015), reflecting input from our lead participants and registered attendees.  The main event page and signup form are at Feel free to add a comment with your own topics and themes or highlight the ones you find particularly compelling. (You can also email to with the subject “Think Tank Topics.)

The Future of Music:  Where is the Money???

Key Issues and Challenges:

  • Disappearing recording revenues — Napsterization, piracy
  • Pay for art??? – cultural attitudes – sources/levels of artist income – impact on sustainable artist careers
  • Power shift from labels to iTunes …to Spotify?
  • Subscription services / licensing fairness
  • Direct to fans / Low barriers to entry – Freedom vs. “the tyranny of too much consumer choice”

Promising Solutions

  • New modes of consumption and distribution — rent vs. own — “The Celestial Jukebox”
  • New monetization models – subscription, freemium, pay what you want, crowdfunding, etc.
  • Powerful data and analytics to optimize decisions, improve services and drive discovery and consumption
  • Pricing differentials? Owned / programmed / listener-selected?  New / pop / long-tail?
  • New modes of creation, programming and experience — and blurring boundaries
  • New social collaborations in creation and listening
  • Disintermediation? Re-intermediation?  Power to the artist? New kinds of support and distribution services? (Label vs. Publisher vs. Creative Agency vs. Dev company?)
  • Comprehensive music licensing reform and “the next great Copyright Act”
  • Changing balance of recorded (vs. merch)?
  • New consumer technology — mobile, wireless homes, discovery and programming
  • New creation and recording technology
  • Quality and compression — From Hi-Fi to MP3 to Hi Def?

Change Resistance

  • Intermediaries — Labels, Distributors, Venues, Rights Organizations (PROs/MROs/GMROs)
  • Rights — equity and law (and MROs)
  • Infrastructure and technology


Links to relevant items by our participants (latest additions first):*

Bill Rosenblatt

Richard Reisman

Links to other background of interest (latest additions first):


*We invite all participants to submit relevant resources to be listed here.  (These should be thought-leading or opinion pieces, not marketing for an individual or firm.)

The Future of Healthcare (1/21/15): Working Topic Outline

(Preliminary 11/18/14) We invite registered Think Tank attendees to share the topics they’d like to see addressed during the interactive session. Here’s a working list of possible topics for the Future of Healthcare, taking place on Wednesday, January 21, 2015, reflecting input from our lead participants and registered attendees.  The event page and signup form are at Feel free to add a comment with your own topics and themes or highlight the ones you find particularly compelling. (You can also email to with the subject “Think Tank Topics.)

Key Issues and Challenges:

  • Empowered patients with powerful technologies
  • Cost-effectiveness / Affordability / Business models
  • Complexity / Variability / Hidden variables
  • Human error / Judgment
  • Data access/privatization
  • Current costs vs. uncertain future benefits
  • 4Ws: Who pays?…benefits?…suffers?…profits?

Promising Solutions

  • Systems Medicine:  Predictive, Personalized, Preventive, Participatory (P4) + Population (P5)
  • Consumer empowerment and nudging
    • Tracking
    • DIY Diagnosis
    • Wellness / Prevention / Health management
  • Quantified Self
    • Personal Health platforms
    • Sensors (wearable/implantable)
    • Contextual data
    • Electronic Health Record / Personal Health Record
  • Personalized medicine
    • Consumer genomics
    • Epigenetics, microbiomes, etc.
    • Data-driven treatment / Predictive analytics
  • Orchestrated care
    • Big Data and the Cloud
    • Integrative medicine
    • Telemedicine
  • Business models
    • Crowdsourced medicine
    • Outcomes pricing
    • Government-industry initiatives
    • Single Payor? High deductible?

Change Resistance

  • Perverse economics (Multi-party payors, blockbusters, …)
  • Regulation / Privacy / Trust / Safety

________________________________ Some links to background of interest:

The Future of Healthcare (1/21/15): Lead Participants

While The Future of X think tank sessions know no designated panelists, we invite seasoned and fresh innovators, entrepreneurs who are currently monetizing the changing landscape, marketers and representatives from within the industry as well as investors who provide the capital that moves the needle to serve as featured lead participants. Find a frequently updated list of our lead participants below. (If you want to sign up for the event, please do so here.)

  • Stephanie Cion is the principal at Cion Consult. The serial entrepreneur is incredibly passionate about health and technology. Stephanie has over fifteen years of experience in the healthcare industry at the nexus between healthcare and technology. She has developed a unique expertise and perspective working in a variety of capacities including; as a venture capitalists, creating strategy for industry stalwarts including Aetna, as well as having been involved with numerous start­up ventures at different stages of development! Stephanie attended The Dalton School, The George Washington University and New York University’s graduate program for Healthcare Finance and Policy.
  • Richard DeSimone is the Managing Partner of Roxiticus Ventures specializing in heathcare and technology.  Mr. DeSimone is a serial entrepreneur with multiple business successes including EKR Therapeutics, a Pharmaceutical company, sold to Chiesi, USA in 2012.  He currently serves on the board of Hackensack University Medical Center. He previously served as Chairman of HUMC’s Advisory Board.  Mr. DeSimone has served for 40 years as an executive and director in healthcare and technology businesses. He was honored as NJ’s CFO of the Year in 2010.   He currently serves board member of P4 health network developer CarpeVITA, Inc. and CVGenomics.
  • Deborah Estrin, PhD, is a Professor of Computer Science at Cornell Tech and co-founder of Open mHealth. Her current focus is on mobile health and small data, leveraging the pervasiveness of mobile devices and digital interactions for health and life management (TEDMED). Estrin was the founding director of the NSF-funded Science and Technology Center for Embedded Networked Sensing (CENS) at UCLA (2002-12). Awards include: ACM Athena Lecturer (2006), Anita Borg Institute’s Women of Vision Award for Innovation (2007). Member of American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2007), National Academy of Engineering (2009). PhD, MIT (1985); BS, UCB (1980)
  • Elizabeth Golluscio, co-founder and CEO of Altah Net. Elizabeth founded Altah Net, a digital platform for integrative primary care, after a career in sales, marketing and product management with software start-ups.  After painful experiences with conventional medicine and payer reimbursement debacles, she wanted to apply her professional skills in technology and marketing to her personal passion for health education, wellness, and self-care.   She holds an Engineering degree from Cornell and an MBA from MIT Sloan.  Connect with her @egolluscio.
  • Adam Griff is COO of Medstartr, the only company with a unique funding and engagement platform that combines the power of crowdfunding and crowdsourcing to guide healthcare startups from idea to successful exit. Previously, he co-founded Sarahcare, a comprehensive aging in place solution focused on post-acute and chronic care management, that he grew from a presence in two markets to fifteen.  Originally trained as a designer (Course IV at MIT), Adam uses his background in design thinking in creating new healthcare business models and strategies.
  • Dr. Karin Hehenberger, MD, PhD is CEO and founder of Lyfebulb. She is a leading medical and business expert in the biopharmaceutical industry and has more than 15 years experience in leadership positions at JNJ, Eyetech Pharmaceuticals, Coronado Biosciences, and also as an investment professional at two large funds, Brummer & Partners and Scandinavian Life Sciences Ventures. Her dedication to diabetes is reflected by her time on the senior team at the JDRF and conducting her post-doctorate at the Joslin Diabetes Center, Harvard Medical School. She received her MD and PhD at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, where she retains a position with the Department of Endocrinology and Surgery.
  • Julie Holley is the Founder of Right Hook whose Wearable solution provides an ergonomic, self-powered, cross-platform device for use among Physicians and Patients.  Upon adoption/use the necessity of charging communicators externally will be eliminated. Her Wearable solution was derived from her unique point of view as an upper extremity amputee, her knowledge of nano-materials and her association with the Behavioral Working Group at the USC Center for Veterans and Military Families. Prior to her current work, she has been a Technologist and Technology Journalist.  She studied Journalism at Columbia University and graduated from Mount Holyoke College in 1987.
  • Fard Johnmar is the Founder and President of the Digital Health Innovation Consultancy Enspektos, LLC. Fard Johnmar is a digital health futurist and bestselling author who has been recognized for helping the health industry understand how digital health technologies have influenced the activities, perceptions and beliefs of customers, medical professionals and others. He is co-author of ePatient 2015: 15 Surprising Trends Changing Healthcare, which explores how health technologies are shaping the future of how consumers, caregivers and others will think about and receive care.
  • Srdjan “Serge” Loncar is founding president and CEO of CareSpeak. Serge started CareSpeak guided with the belief that the mobile phone, the most personal accessory, will play an increasingly important role in managing one’s health. Prior to starting CareSpeak, Serge was the President of Songbird Hearing, the manufacturer and marketer of the first disposable over-the-counter hearing aid. Before that he headed up strategic business development at that was acquired by Bertelsmann AG. In his pre-entrepreneurial life Serge held numerous domestic and international brand marketing and sales positions at Johnson & Johnson health care and medical device divisions, and Pepsi Cola International. Serge received his MBA from New York University’s Stern Business School.
  • Hugh Ma is a co-founder and Managing Partner at CIEN Ventures, a firm built on the thesis that early-stage healthcare companies face unique challenges, ranging from complex technical integrations, entrenched (and, let’s be honest, old-school) stakeholder mentalities, and excruciating sales cycles. Previously, Hugh was Head of Strategy and Innovation at Healthagen, a division of Aetna that offers HIT services to providers, payers, employers, and consumers.  Prior to Healthagen, Hugh was a Principal at Booz & Co and Diamond Technology (both acquired by PWC) and focused on the intersection of payers and providers.
  • Jean-Luc (“JL”) Neptune is currently Executive Director and manager of the Accelerator program Blueprint Health. Prior to his current role, the physician, innovator, technologist, and entrepreneur was Senior Vice President at Health 2.0 and Director of the Health 2.0 Developer Challenge program. JL co-founded two digital health startups in New York City including Healogica, an online clinical trials matching platform, and ExpertConsensus, a virtual second opinion service. JL is an investor in a number of web-based ventures and serves as a formal and informal advisor to more than a dozen digital health start-ups.
  • Richard A. Robbins, Therap Services CEO, co- founder. The unique combination of experiences Richard brings to the company is critical to its success serving the developmental disabilities community. In addition to founding and managing several successful technology-based companies, he has a direct operational understanding of developmental disabilities providers. He earned a Bachelor’s in Economics from Brandeis and MBA from Harvard School of Business, and was an investment banker before becoming an independent financial advisor, investor, founder, and manager of a number of companies heavily dependent on large-scale, highly secure and reliable technical systems. He is also on the board of the Genetic Disease Foundation at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.
  • Bob Schulz, General Partner and Co-Founder, Health Enterprise Partners and CB Health Ventures. Bob has been investing in innovative healthcare information technology companies since 1997 when he co-founded CB Health Ventures and its successor fund, Health Enterprise Partners.  At HEP (, he works with 23 of the largest hospital systems and health plans that are investors in HEP to identify, evaluate, fund and grow healthcare information technology companies that are transforming the delivery of healthcare.   Entrepreneurs embrace the access that HEP provides to its LPs which are very substantial potential customers for their innovative solutions.  HEP’s LPs include Cleveland Clinic, Intermountain Healthcare, Sutter Health, Dignity Health, Humana, Cigna, Horizon, Highmark, etc.
  • Simon Schurr, CEO and Chairman of Collaborative Medical Technology Corporation (CMT Corp) has over twenty five years of technology innovation and entrepreneurial experience, and has focused the last ten years on building transformational global healthcare technology solutions. Simon’s expertise is in business development, operational direction, project management, marketing, sales; he starts, invests and engages in companies focused on global medicine, remote and Telehealth applications, medical tourism, and doctors. Simon founded CMT Corp to enable “medicine without boundaries” using a solutions suite – the “Physician Collaboration Platform” – to securely collaborate. Simon holds an M.S. from Lehigh University, and a B.A. from the Hebrew University.
  • Stacey Seltzer, Partner, Aisling Capital. Ms. Seltzer joined Aisling in 2008 and currently serves as a Partner. Previously, Ms. Seltzer was at Schering-Plough, where she held roles in business development, marketing and sales. Prior to Schering-Plough, Ms. Seltzer was the Director of Business Development for Akceli, a biotechnology company developing cell-based microarrays, and she began her career as a management consultant for McKinsey & Company.  Ms. Seltzer serves as a director of Miramar Labs and previously served as a Board observer for Agile Therapeutics, Durata Therapeutics and ZELTIQ Aesthetics. Ms. Seltzer received her M.B.A. from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and received her M.S. and B.S. from Yale University, awarded cum laude in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry.
  • Dr. William Sherman is an oncologist with a focus on both pancreatic cancer and autoimmune neurological disorders. His recent success, published in CANCER, illustrates the protocol he developed increases a patients three year survival rate by over 18%. Dr. Sherman has vast experience evaluating medical data from office records, hospital records, institutional clinical trials and national clinical trials. During the 1980’s he developed COMTRAC, a computer based medical tracking system, which employed graphical displays to assist the clinician in assessing treatment of each individual patient. Dr. Sherman continues to display a keen interest in how evolving technologies can assist doctors in evaluating medical data to help improve patient outcomes.
  • Stephen P. Squinto, Ph.D. is Venture Partner at OrbiMed. Dr. Squinto has recently joined OrbiMed in New York as a venture partner. Prior to this Dr Squinto was a co-founder of Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and served as a Corporate Officer since August 2000. At Alexion, Dr. Squinto was the Executive Vice President and Chief Global Operations Officer, was a member of the Executive Steering Committee and was responsible for Global Manufacturing, Quality and Project Management. Prior to 2013 he was the Global Head of Research and Development, a position he has held since 2007 where he was responsible for Clinical Development, Medical Affairs, Regulatory Affairs, Pharmacovigilence, Drug Discovery, Translational Medicine and Portfolio Management.
  • Robert Stern, MA is the founder and CEO of @Point of Care, decision-making mobile platform for HCP’s..and a StartUp Health company. Stern is also the founder and CEO of MedPage Today, acquired by Everyday Health in 2010, and serves on the advisory board. Stern was the president of,; and co-founder of Fingertip Formulary.  In 2009, Stern was named one of the 100 most inspiring and influential people in life sciences by Stern received a BFA from the New York University Tisch School of the Arts and a master’s degree in education from New York University.
  • Unity Stoakes, Co-founder and President at StartUp Health. Unity is the President of StartUp Health, a global startup platform to accelerate health and wellness innovation.  StartUp Health is creating a new model for helping startups grow and scale in the health sector and is helping build 1,000 digital health companies by 2020.  The company provides health and wellness innovators with a structured curriculum, access to customers, and peer support designed to help navigate the unique challenges of building a sustainable growth business.  Learn more at or connect @unitystoakes.

  • Eric Vieira, PhD is the Director of Special Research Programs for the City University of New York (CUNY) and the Bioscience Leader for the Bio & Health Tech Entrepreneurship Lab of NYC (ELabNYC). Eric is an economic catalyst and innovation explorer who has built a career at the interface of academia and industry helping to move ideas from discovery to commercialization. He has worked with numerous life scientists, medical specialists and independent entrepreneurs to foster innovation, accelerate technology development and launch companies. At CUNY, he is responsible for science workforce development efforts and helping to align educational training with industry needs. Eric is deeply rooted in New York’s bioscience ecosystem and is a Board Member of the MIT Enterprise Forum of New York City. He received his PhD in Developmental Genetics from NYU in 2003 and has worked on Wall Street as a biotech/pharm analyst.

The event page and signup form are at

Qualified attendees are invited to introduce themselves to the organizers so that they can be considered as lead participants. Please email to with the subject “Think Tank Participation,” and include(a) your name and title/company and (b) short blurb on your background as it relates to this topic (please keep it at 100 words), as well as any other comments to the organizers on your interests.

Attendance is limited to facilitate a highly engaged discussion. If registration has been closed, some reserved places for highly qualified participants may still be available.

We will update this page with our lead participants. Have a look at our lead participants from past events: The Future of Television, The Future of Advertising, The Future of Retail.

The Future of Retail (Oct 14): Working Topic Outline

(Updated 9/26/14)

We invite registered Think Tank attendees to share the topics they’d like to see addressed during the interactive session. Here’s a suggestive working list of possible topics for the Future of Retail, taking place on Tuesday, October 14, 2014, reflecting input from our lead participants.  The event page and signup form are at

Feel free to comment with your own topics and themes or highlight the ones you find particularly compelling. Please email to with the subject “Think Tank Topics: Retail.

Key Issues and Challenges:

  • Digital consumers:  Web, Mobile, Wearables
  • Digical (Digital+Physical), Omni-channel blends vs. pure-play
  • Smart stores/in-store devices
  • Process changes: showrooms, purchasing, logistics, after-sale support
  • Tracking, targeting and location: online and in stores
  • Foot traffic and eyeballs: online, to stores, in stores
  • Changes in behavior: online and in stores, “zero moment of truth”
  • Speed to Market: fast fashion and inventory control
  • Differing strengths of physical and digital — delivery, inventory, personalization, luxury, staffing, …

Promising Solutions

  • Drones! (really?)
  • Integrating Bricks & Clicks
  • Targeting, Big Data
  • Activity and location tracking (real/virtual)
  • Checkout everywhere
  • Mass Customization – manufacturing,  packaging, offers, shops
  • Beacons, augmented reality, virtual reality, custom fitting
  • Mobile devices as shopping assistants
  • Payment innovations
  • The Subscription Economy / The Sharing Economy
  • Relationship/membership/loyalty programs
  • Dynamic bricks (pop-ups, trucks, etc.)

Change Resistance

  • Vendor view vs. customer view
  • Silos:  Bricks vs. clicks
  • Privacy and intrusiveness


Some links to background of interest are here:

The Future of Retail (Oct 14): Lead Participants

Updated October 10, 2014. While The Future of X think tank sessions know no designated panelists, we invite seasoned and fresh innovators, entrepreneurs who are currently monetizing the changing landscape, marketers and representatives from within the industry as well as investors who provide the capital that moves the needle. Find a frequently updated list of our lead participants below. (If you want to sign up for the event, please do so here.)

  • David Berkowitz is Chief Marketing Officer at agency MRY, part of Publicis Groupe. During his career, he has worked with clients such as JCPenney, Saks, and Pizza Hut, along with various retail partners and customers such as Visa, Johnson & Johnson, and Kraft. In his previous role as VP Emerging Media at 360i, he authored the agency’s Social Commerce Playbook. He has contributed more than 500 columns to outlets such as Ad Age and Mashable, and has spoken at more than 200 events globally, including Internet Retailer, the DMA, and summits hosted by Canon, Coca-Cola, and Google.
  • Barry Berman, President, NexPet Retail Co-op. Established in 1999, NexPet is the only national US co-op of independent pet stores, with 600 member locations in 48 states and over $500 million in retail sales. NexPet provides product, marketing, training, technology financial and networking services to its member stores. The co-op also owns the Grandma Mae’s Country Naturals pet food brand, which is sold in both member and non-member stores . Prior to founding NexPet, Berman worked closely with national, regional and independent retailers in the pet supply, jewelry, and home furnishings industries while working with both public and private companies. Berman holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.
  • Trae Bodge, Senior Lifestyle Editor, Shopping and retail expert Trae Bodge is the senior lifestyle editor and consumer spokesperson for digital offers destination She has appeared on NBC News, the Today show, Reuters, ABC News, Fox News, Wall Street Journal Radio, CNN and multiple top-market radio and television stations. She has also been quoted by the Associated Press,, The Los Angeles Times, Yahoo Shopping and MarketWatch.
  • Micah Clasper-Torch, CEO & Founder of CityBird Registry  – A multi-faceted entrepreneur with 9 years experience in the world of art and fashion, event production and e-commerce, Micah has worked with with a variety of companies including Sebastian + Barquet, Ralph Lauren, Coach and Bonobos. She most recently founded CityBird Registry, a wedding registry and gifting website that allows people to purchase a curated variety of experiences such as dinner and drinks, cooking classes, wine tastings and museum memberships, and is passionate about small business, big ideas, and collaboration.
  • Anthony Dorment is VP, Business Development for Phigital Inc., a technology company that has built a unique mobile platform for brands, retailers and venues to engage meaningfully with their customers, not simply to push them endless offers and notifications. Phigital uses geo-location and BLE beacon devices to craft highly immersive, rich-media experiences and to reward users for taking specific actions in the physical world. Anthony was formerly General Manager of Asia for travel company Lonely Planet and he is a graduate of Columbia Business School and Princeton University.
  • Javier Fernandez is the Director of Retail Strategy at Bonobos. His team is responsible for the roll-out of new Bonobos Guideshops, an innovative offline store with online order fulfillment, as well as driving technology and customer experience enhancements within the shops. Previously, Javier was the Director of Global Operations at Michael Kors. He began his career as a retail consultant at Kurt Salmon Associates, where he specialized in Vertical Retailing, Supply Chain Strategy, and Store Operations. He holds a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Georgia Tech and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
  • Melissa Gonzalez is the Founder of The Lionesque Group. Beginning with the vision of the branded experience, the Lionesque Group guides clients throughout the entire lifecycle of the “pop-up experience”. In 2014 their work was honored with the CLIO Image Award for experiential engagement. She began her career on Wall Street at Credit Suisse, while juggling a dual t.v. hosting career for BET.  In the fall of 2009, Gonzalez co-founded THE MARKET, with clients including Johnnie-O, Ariana Rockefeller and Ellen DeGeneres’ Halo Pets Foundation. In 2013, she joined the Advisory Board of the innovative online marketplace for short-term real estate spaces, Gonzalez is an active guest blogger on pop-up and immersive retail strategies and presents at conference across the country. She has been awarded the Wall Street Journal’s Donor of the Day and one of the Top 100 Young CEOs via Our Time’s White House Initiative.
  • Karen Kranack, Executive Director of User Experience, Estee Lauder Online. Karen has specialized in e-commerce retail for most of her 18 years in the Internet industry as a UX practitioner. With her experience at agencies and on the client-side, she brings a multifaceted perspective to all engagements relating to user-centered design.  She has worked with companies such as Estee Lauder, Coca-Cola, Sony, Johnson & Johnson, Google, MasterCard, Seamless, Star Wars .com, Second Life (on their virtual real estate store), Barnes & Noble .com, Verizon, General Mills, and Orbitz.  Karen designs with a mobile-first point-of-view, integrating omnichannel initiatives and service design principles into her work.
  • Nikki Lawrence, CEO & Founder, Stealth Startup. Nikki is currently focused on launching her own startup venture, which resides in the luxury secondaries space. She started her career in emerging markets VC, based out of Paris and Bombay. She then joined Quidsi, where she was a senior member of the founding team for, running both the Health & Beauty business lines (about half of the overall business, which grew to $60M in year one, culminating in acquisition by Amazon, and $100M in year two). She joined Gilt Groupe subsequently, spearheading new site launches. Nikki holds a BA in Social Psychology from Brown University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
  • Komal Kushalraj, CEO & Co-founder, NUMARI. Komal is currently building NUMARI with a vision to fundamentally change the way women shop for clothes. She grew up in a family business environment in India and operated her family’s wholesale clothing & jewelry business for many years before moving to the United States. While shopping for work clothes in the US she was amazed at how overpriced ill-fitting clothes were with all the markups. With NUMARI she is building a vertically integrated brand that offers high quality, made-to-measure apparel at an everyday affordable price point.
  • Dana Ostomel is the founder and Chief Gifting Officer of the crowdfunding website, the most fun, flexible, hassle-free way to raise money online for anything that matters to you. Dana is a marketing and branding expert with over a decade of experience developing integrated marketing solutions for brands in a wide range of industries, from Snapple and CENTURY 21 to The Home Depot, DIRECTV and MasterCard before she left to launch Deposit a Gift 6 years ago.Deposit a Gift have been reinventing the world of gifting to put the power in your hands to get exactly what you want, not stuff you don’t! originally launched as a cash gift registry service for people to register for cash gifts for all of life’s Big Events, and in 2013 evolved to a full-fledged crowdfunding platform as the concept expanded to charitable gifts. People use Deposit a Gift for everything from honeymoons to home down payments and group gifts, to charitable gifts for schools and nonprofits.
  • Greg Spielberg, Founder, Imagination in SpaceImagination in Space creates story-driven pop ups with entrepreneurial artists, next-gen brands and brilliant makers. We bridge the gap between creation and retail and help organizations build authentic experiential stories. Our collaborations include the NYCEDC Next Top Makers program in all five boroughs, Out to See in South Street Seaport, Creeds Collective in Soho, The Allies new modern art gallery in the East Village, 10,000 Balloons in KabulAmerican Dreams in London and yoga + silent dinner in Greenpoint. Greg is a former innovation journalist for Businessweek, Bloomberg and Harvard’s Nieman Journalism Lab and a graduate of Bowdoin College and Missouri School of Journalism.
  • Maja Svensson, Swedish born Brooklyn-based fashion entrepreneur, left her corporate job in December 2011 to become the passionate business woman she always dreamt of. She started ELSA AND ME, a clothing business for women like herself, business women and corporate office workers who craved for a more diversified and feminine look at the office. ELSA AND ME offers custom ladylike dresses for work and the cocktail party, ethically produced in Nairobi, Kenya, inspired by Maja’s elegant grandma Elsa. Not seeing how a small clothing business could be profitable through traditional retail sales, and to avoid taking on too much risk, Maja started her business on the basis of direct sales, and made-to-order; meeting customers at their office or home, offering the opportunity for them to try out their size alternatively get measured for a custom dress.

The event page and signup form are at Qualified attendees are invited to provide a short introduction to the organizers so that they can be identified and featured in discussion as lead participants. Please email to with the subject “Think Tank Participation: Retail.” Attendance is limited to facilitate a highly engaged discussion. If registration has been closed, some reserved places may still be available. We will update this page with our lead participants. Have a look at our lead participants from past events: The Future of Television The Future of Advertising