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"Startups By GrownUps" Founders Panel Discuss Transition in Greenwich, CT.

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Cos Cob Library

5 Sinawoy Road

Greenwich, CT 06807

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Come listen to founders in diverse industries talk about their companies and how they got started working for themselves instead of others!

About this Event

This special panel features Columbia alum Rafael Borja, chairman and part of the Soulphia.com team, which is engaging in international economic development and empowerment through training homeless women to provide English lessons to Brazilian students; the husband and wife team of BeatSeat(tm) – ex-MTV artist Mark Pires and Lara Ceccarelli, who are providing percussion instruments that can offer sensory therapy as well as create great music; Felicia Rubenstein, founder of the Havyn, a women-oriented co-working space in Darien, CT; and Columbia alum Dean Gamanos, founder of the Greenwich Wine Society, who has grown his passion project into an opportunity to make new friends. Moderating the panel will be Betty Wong, a Columbia alum, a new products marketer and founder of Stage2Startups.org, an organization that is focused on helping people with work experience to create their own for-profit or nonprofit startups and a community of grownup entrepreneurs.

Panelists:

RAFAEL BORJA:

SOULPHIA partner Rafael Borja spent a career in investment banking before joining his Columbia friend and ex-classmate Felipe Marinho in creating Soulphia, an educational platform where homeless women in America are taught to teach English to students overseas, primarily in Brazil. Today, Rafael has leveraged his experience at Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, Oppenheimer and Bear Stearns to help Soulphia raise funding and plan for its next round of growth. Rafael is a graduate of El Colegio de Mexico and Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. You can learn more about Soulphia at www.soulphia.com and contact Rafael@soulphia.com

LARA CECCARELLI:

BEATSEAT partner Lara Ceccarelli is director of operations and business development in addition to a working mom of three. Lara’s partner is her husband Mark Pires. Lara’s earlier career was in wealth management, trading , advertising and marketing. Lara is a graduate of Emmanuel College and Fordham University. You can learn more about BeatSeat at beatseat.rocks and get info@beatseat.rocks

DEAN GAMANOS:

The GREENWICH WINE SOCIETY founder Dean Gamanos is also the president of the Retele Group, a boutique advertising agency located in Greenwich. Dean’s fascination with wine led to the founding of the Greenwich Wine Society almost 20 years ago, but it was Dean’s earlier expertise in advertising that helped him to promote this local “passion” organization. Prior to founding the Retele Group in the 1980s, Dean worked for Young&Rubicam (a large advertising agency) in New York. Giving back to the next generation, when not working on developing wine trips and working with food and restaurant clients in Connecticut, Dean teaches an entrepreneurship course at FIT. Dean is a graduate of Columbia College and Columbia Business School. To learn more bout the Greenwich Wine Society, visit https://www.greenwichwinesociety.com/ or the Retele Group at https://www.reteleco.com/ or contact Dean at deangws@gmail.com

MARK PIRES:

BEATSEAT founder, inventor and partner Mark Pires is also a Vlog host, a real estate agent and a former MTV star. After traveling throughout the country and performing for over 12 years, Mark realized his show was missing live percussion and he developed the BeatSeat as the solution. After the creation of BeatSeat, they discovered that it is particularly useful for providing sensory therapy to people with disabilities. His partner is his wife, Lara Ceccarelli. To learn more about BeatSeat, visit www.beatseat.rocks or email info@beatseat.rocks.

FELICIA RUBINSTEIN:

HAYVN Founder Felicia Rubinstein is a true trailblazer, starting her career as an engineer at GE and Apple before “Women in STEM” was a movement. After working in Corporate America for more than a decade, she asked Apple for a more flexible schedule after her son was born—and got it—pioneering one of the company’s first-ever job share programs. Eventually she left to start her own business and forge a new path: engineering a better way to work. She created Maven Marketing and later 341 Studios, a Marketing and Branding Agency, one of the first virtual workspaces for independent contractors and freelancers in Fairfield County, and where she held regular educational roundtable breakfasts for clients and partners. The launch of 341 Studios became an unintentional pilot program for HAYVN, a women-centered coworking space in Darien, CT, and her latest venture. Rubinstein designed HAYVN to be just that—a “haven” for women to “connect, create and get stuff done. Felicia is a graduate of Union College and UCDavis.” felicia@hayvn.com 833-HAYVNLY or 833-429-8659

BETTY WONG, Moderator:

Stage2startups.org founder Betty Wong is a serial entrepreneur with new products expertise honed at both for-profit Fortune 500 companies and non-profit organizations. Stage2Startups was started with two other Columbia Business School alumni – Tony Palladino and Janie Nneji- to help people with work experience become founders and to support entrepreneurs and social impact founders. To date, Stage2Startups has offered over 30 events, workshops and coffee hours in New York City in the last two years and is now expanding outside of New York due to global interest and demand. Betty writes a weekly blog about founders at grownupstartups.home.blog and is a marketer and coach through CEO Global Resources Inc. when not working on Stage2Startups or with other startup founders. Betty is a graduate of NYU’ Stern School of Business and received her MBA from Columbia Business School. To learn more about Stage2Startups, visit www.stage2startups.org or to learn about CEO Global Resources, visit www.ceoglobalresources.net or contact betty@stage2startups.org or betty@ceoglobalresources.net.

As usual, there will be refreshments before and after the panel speaks and a Q&A session. We invite you to join us if you are in the Greenwich or Cos Cob area of Southern Connecticut and are considering starting your own company or joining a startup or interested in networking with other founders or potential founders.

Tickets are $20 for Fairfield County Columbia Alumni Assn members and friends and $25 for non-members. To sign up, use this link, which will go to the Columbia site....https://bit.ly/2P8LyqO

The eventbrite signup is only an indicator of interest and there will be no fee involved. If you sign up on eventbrite, you will be sent a link to register directly with the Columbia Alumni Association of Fairfield County. Thanks for your interest!

Stage2Startups team

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Cos Cob Library

5 Sinawoy Road

Greenwich, CT 06807

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