Brandon manages the development and application of Numerate’s AI platform and is responsible for Numerate’s technological vision. Numerate is a privately-held computational drug design company that is transforming the discovery of new medicines that fill significant therapeutic gaps by harnessing the vast computational power of the cloud and the ever-increasing amounts of drug discovery data by applying proprietary artificial intelligence algorithms.
Stephanie Webb (Ph.D '20) Founder Sea+Tech
Sea+Tech is a team of software engineers and community supported fishery operators working to develop a web-supported, mobile-based platform that seeks to bolster alternative seafood markets’ ability to be competitive in global economies as well as grow consumer and fisherman knowledge about value-based, sustainable seafood markets.
Jacob Martinez (Oakes '05) Founder-Executive Director Digital Nest
Digital NEST is working to create sustainable and scalable technology centers in vulnerable communities all over California, creating economic equality for the residents of low income and rural communities, teaching young people the technology skills needed to become competitive and self-sufficient in the digital future.
Dan Heller (Rachel Carson '85, M.F.A. '13) Co-Founder Two Pore Guys/Ontera
Dan Heller has worked with a number of startup companies. He served as the Co-Founder and CEO of Two Pore Guys, and created the Center for Entrepreneurship at UC Santa Cruz in 2010.
Sue Carter Professor/Provost/Co-Founder Soliculture
Sue has served as the chief technical advisor and/or scientific founder at four startup companies, including Add-vision (sold in 2011), Solexant (now Siva Power), Soliculture and IRIS Science Academy (both founded in 2012). From 2009 to 2012, Carter also served as a scientific adviser to Nitto Denko and Integrated Biometrics. Carter holds six patents and one patent-pending. In addition to directing the Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurial Development, she is a professor of physics and sustainable innovations and provost of Rachel Carson College at UC Santa Cruz.
Michael Lopp (Cowell '92) VP Product Engineering @Slack
Michael Lopp is a Silicon Valley-based engineering leader who builds both people and product at companies such as Borland, Netscape, Palantir, Pinterest, and Apple. While he’s not worrying about staying relevant, he writes about pens, bridges, people, leadership, and werewolves at the popular weblog, Rands in Repose. He works as the VP of Product Engineering at Slack in San Francisco where he’s furiously working on helping teams reinvent work.
Michael has written two books. His first book “Managing Humans, 3rd Edition” is a popular guide to the art of engineering leadership and clearly explains that while you be will be rewarded for what you build, you will only be successful because of your people. His second book “Being Geek” is a career handbook for geeks and nerds alike.
Michael bikes, tinkers with drones, and drinks red wine in the redwoods of Northern California whenever he can because staying sane is more important than staying busy.
Shawn Simpson (Porter '97) CEO-Founder Boutique Air
Shawn founded Boutique Air in 2004. The company is a boutique airline and charter service company serving passengers in the United States, Mexico, and Canada. They help people get around in style.
Andrew Beldin (Stevenson '09) Opportunity Hunter & Fund Manager-Leatherwood Capital
Leatherwood Capital is a family office actively partnering with great companies in the pacific northwest. They work in a broad range of private capital investing and take a steady long-term approach. Andrew has been investing professionally for 8+ years and takes the lead role in managing private investing for the family. Andrew is an avid steelhead angler and can often be found on waters around Portland, OR and the greater Pacific Northwest with a spey rod in hand.
John DeWees (Stevenson '73) Venture Partner-Saxon Webber
John is a New York City based investor, entrepreneur, and business mentor. He joined Saxon Weber Group as Venture Partner focusing his interests on early stage and medium stage technology, textile/fashion, and consumer businesses.
John’s passion projects are centered on mentoring minority and women entrepreneurs, the DoughMain Financial Literacy Foundation, and working at Stop the Traffik USA where he is a director.
John is also Managing Partner at FFAH Inc., Co-Founder of On the Right Track Systems, Inc, Co-Founder of Hudson & Broad, and is on the Board of a number of companies and brands.
Alfred Young (Porter '15)CTO- Co Founder/ Code Naturally
Alfie is the CTO and Co-Founder of Code Naturally. Code Naturally was founded in 2015 at UC Santa Cruz. They came into existence thanks to a students struggle to learn to code and shift in perspective that made it possible.
John W. Tauriac CEO-Founder Santa Cruz Waveworks
John is the Founder & CEO of Santa Cruz Waveworks. Santa Cruz Waveworks provides real-time, streaming, continuous surf forecasts to surfers, mariners, and anyone else who spend time in the ocean, so they can monitor surf conditions without spending countless hours at the beach. Our Remote Information Sensing Technology, collects wave categorization data, creating real time surf condition reports, data visualizations, and text notifications.
Parul Wadhwa (M.F.A. '18) Founder- VeRve (Lets Get Social) XR Artist-Designer-New Media Researcher-Creative Entrepreneur Immersive Media Augmented, Virtual and Mixed Reality
Parul Wadhwa is a new-media artist and documentarian. She is currently working to create new-media which blurs the boundaries between film and technology to create immersive environments. Her research interests include interactive, digital storytelling and Virtual-Augmented-Mixed Reality(VR/AR). She is excited about the utility of new media to create social impact through participatory storytelling. Previously, she has worked in the film industries of UK, South Korea and India in production, post-production and digital film-restoration. She is also an MFA graduate of the Digital Arts and New Media Program at University of California, Santa Cruz.
Tye is an entrepreneur, strategist, cloud evangelist, traveller, and dogfather. He has spent over two decades at the intersection of technology and the human experience, where he has built teams, divisions, and businesses from the ground-up, and delivered enterprise consulting program engagements worldwide. He has an MBA, a Master’s of Organizational Psychology, and various additional credentials that speak to his expertise in integrating the spectrum of technology, business, and human processes required to accelerate organizational success.
Sheryl Ratnam (Crown '19) Co-Founder Foodzi
Foodzi is a mobile-based application that connects users with fresh, cost-efficient home cooked meal options sourced within the local community. Our primary value proposition is enabling access to affordable, healthy meals and traditional recipes. By partnering with DoorDash, Foodzi brings homemade meals right to your dinner table at a tap of your phone screen. Foodzi also creates economic opportunities by making it easy for home chefs to follow their passion without the costs of starting a restaurant.
John Felts (Graduate Researcher '17) CEO & CoFounder CruzFoam
John Felts and his business partners/co-founders—UCSC engineering prof Marco Rolandi and fellow engineer Xiaolin Zhang have put a distinctly Santa Cruz stamp on their effort to save the world. Cruz Foam transforms chitin, a biopolymer found in shrimp shells, into structural foams with an environmentally friendly process. Cruz Foam addresses both the front-end and back-end of a ‘green’ product by up-cycling chitin found in waste to create foam to replace petroleum-based foams. Cruz Foam matches the mechanical properties of current polystyrene and polyurethane structural foam.