Ryan Coles, Moderator: is an Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurial Management whose research program analyzes entrepreneurship, technology commercialization, and firm growth strategies. Ryan has active studies across a variety of national contexts including: the U.S., Mexico, Peru, Colombia, and the Kingdom of Jordan. Ryan’s quest to understand the social foundations of entrepreneurship has lead him to Tahrir Square during the Arab Spring, Latin American communities with a history of drug cartel violence, the Amazon rain-forest, and more. Outside of academia, Ryan has worked with start-ups in the volun-tourism and fin-tech sectors, and has advised V.C. firms on investments in the ed-tech, biotech, and fitness sectors. Ryan is also a fluent Spanish and Arabic speaker, avid wrestler, and advocate for equality, sustainability, and scientific exploration.
Tunde Tella: has a first degree in Mathematics and Statistics from the University of Lagos, Lagos State Nigeria. He worked with Oceanic Bank Plc in various position Senior Position in Operations between 2013 to 2017. Tunde resumed at UConn School of Business for his MBA program in August 2017, while at UConn he worked on various initiatives within the school program including the ING Reporting team, CCEI, and the GE EdgeLab. Tunde left for Nigeria in May 2009 immediately after his MBA program. He rejoined Oceanic Bank working with the Strategy team from July 2009.
In 2017, Tunde and some partners established Valley Ridge Energy Services Limited, to provide Specialty Services to the major players in the Upstream Oil and Gas Sector. This Business in the last 3 -4 years worked with Companies like Addax Petroleum, ENI, Baker Hughes, Exxon Mobil, Shell and other indigenous players.
Keith Crawford: is the Global Head of Mergers and Acquisitions for State Street. He is responsible for leading the execution of strategic and financial transactions along with the negotiation, due diligence and structuring of the investment opportunities. Keith also manages and serves as State Street’s liaison to external advisors. He led the execution of State Street’s $2.6 billion acquisition of Charles River expanding State Street’s capabilities into the front-office.
From 2013 – 2016, Keith served as the CFO and Global Head of Strategy for State Street Global Advisors. Prior to this he was the International Head of Mergers and Acquisitions residing in London. While in Europe, Keith led the execution acquisitions of Intesa Sanpaolo’s securities services business and the Bank of Ireland Asset Management. He received his BS in accounting from the University of Connecticut and an MS in finance from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI).
Ashmi Pancholi: is an experienced commercial executive with a focus on helping organizations scale and transform through digitization. Her career has included leadership roles across commercial functions, including marketing, sales, strategy, and operations, and across industries including, healthcare, manufacturing, energy, and software services. She is currently leading commercial strategy and operations at AWS, helping the world’s largest organizations leverage cloud technology to improve operations, increase the speed of digital transformation and to better serve their customers. Ashmi holds a BA in English Literature from The George Washington University and an MBA from The University of Connecticut. She lives in Connecticut with her husband, daughter, and puppy.