MBA Innovation Summit 2015

Friday, April 10th | New York, NY

The Innovator's Journey

The MBA Innovation Summit (MBAIS) is a student-led initiative, jointly organized by students from Columbia Business School, The Wharton School, and the Yale School of Management. The purpose of the summit is to introduce top MBA students to the leading companies and thinkers driving innovation across sectors. The MBAIS brings together leaders from innovative companies, clients with innovative problems, and students who have innovative dreams to discover how we can learn from each other to build disruptive and evidence-based ideas for the future.Check last year's summit for more details.

Tickets on sale now! CBS & Public / Yale / Wharton


Learn from industry leaders, innovative companies, and each other about innovation


Build disruptive and innovative ideas for the future


Sustain and manage innovation through the company life cycle


Reina Arakji

Parsons Strategic Design & Management Program

Reina Y. Arakji is a design and innovation strategist with transdisciplinary expertise in providing insights that drive business decision-making. She is currently Assistant Professor and Director of the undergraduate Strategic Design and Management program at Parsons NYC. More about Reina »

She teaches undergraduate, graduate and executive courses, publishes in leading peer-reviewed journals in the area of innovation strategy, as well as leads research and advisory projects that build innovation opportunities in situations of economic and social change. Reina is also Managing Partner of ANKA, an innovation strategy consulting firm offering services to progressive organizations throughout the design, tuning and transformation cycles of their evolution. Twitter: @ReinaArakji

Miles Begin

VP of UX and Design
American Express

Miles Begin is a design maker and thinker. He’s VP of UX and Design at American Express where heleads the Enterprise Growth design team, which develops products and services that bring new customers to Amex. He has a talent for collaborative problem solving and has worked to build a strong culture of design across the company. More about Miles »

Miles joined American Express in 2012 after founding a Manhattan office and building an interaction design group for product innovation consultancy Kaleidoscope. With a background in Industrial Design, Miles’ hand can be seen in products of all sorts – from electronics, to medical devices, to consumer packaged goods. He is also a co­founder of The Design Gym, which empowers people and companies to create change and innovate through access to the power of design thinking.

Stacey Benseler

Director, MinuteClinic Business Development
CVS Health

Stacey Benseler, JD. joined CVS Health in November of 2011 as Senior Manager of Medicare Product Management. Shortly thereafter, she took on the role of Director, Business Development for MinuteClinic. Stacey has more than 14 years of experience in the healthcare industry. More about Stacey »

Her current strategic focus is on the expansion and implementation of business development opportunities and the investigation and evaluation of new business to generate increased business and revenue for MinuteClinic. Prior to working at CVS, Stacey worked for Independence Blue Cross (“IBC”) in Philadelphia where she was responsible for Independence Blue Cross's entire book of Medicare Advantage and Medicare prescription drug plan business; as well as, IBC’s Medicare supplement and ancillary product portfolio. While at IBC, Stacey developed, implemented and managed Pennsylvania’s first ever senior-specific ancillary product, offering only hearing, dental and vision benefits to enhance IBC’s overall senior portfolio. Stacey worked closely with local Philadelphia advocacy groups and community leaders and was often called upon by local government leaders to speak on Medicare issues - specifically regarding Dual Eligibles. Prior to taking on that role, Stacey practiced law, specifically in the areas of Medicare and Medicaid. Stacey was formerly served on the Board of Directors for the West Chester Area Senior Center and St. Mary’s Family Respite Center – a respite center for families affected by HIV and AIDS. Stacey is a graduate of the Gettysburg College, holds her Juris Doctorate from Widener University School of Law and is currently obtaining a Masters in Healthcare Leadership at Brown University.

Farrah Bostic

The Difference Engine

Farrah is the founder of The Difference Engine, a product strategy company devoted to helping companies transform customer intimacy and empathy into a business asset. More about Farrah »

Her expertise in digital strategy and design; technology, web, and mobile trends; mobile utility; and product and service design thinking ensures her clients’ brands and strategies deliver a seamless experience online and off. She has honed her expertise as an advisor to the world’s most respected brands, including Apple, Microsoft, Disney, Samsung and UPS. She has led innovation and strategy practices at Hall & Partners, OTX/Ipsos, and Digitas. She is a frequent speaker on Lean approaches to research, empathetic design and use of data, and building interdisciplinary teams.

Rishi Daing

VP Innovation & Incubation Brands

As Vice President of PepsiCo’s Water brands, Rishi Daing oversees the portfolio strategy for PepsiCo’s Water & Hydration brands (Aquafina, Propel, LifeWater, ONE etc). He is also responsible for the Aquafina business, which includes Innovation, Communications and Commercial responsibility. Rishi has led the development and execution of PepsiCo’s water growth since 2014. More about Rishi »

In addition, Rishi also leads PepsiCo Beverages newly created long term Innovation group and the commercial incubation (see brand) unit. Notable brand launches include Caleb’s Kola (a new craft cola launched in Brooklyn, NY, a premium micro filtered brand in Los Angeles called Qua). During his fifteen-year tenure with PepsiCo, Rishi has held a variety of positions in the US and Europe. As Senior Director of Marketing on Pepsi, Rishi was responsible for all marketing campaigns on Brand Pepsi including multiple Super Bowl, Grammy Awards etc. Prior to that Rishi led the marketing agenda for Mountain Dew globally, and was also the architect for PepsiCo’s energy drink expansion into Europe. He has also held a variety of roles, including Insights, and Innovation. Rishi holds a postgraduate degree in Marketing & Finance from the Canterbury Business School at the University of Kent. Rishi, and his wife Ghazal, live in midtown Manhattan.

Stuart Eccles

CTO & Co­Founder
Made by Many

Stuart Eccles is Co­Founder, President of the Americas and Chief Technology Officer of Made by Many, a global innovation company that helps brands invent new digital products that result in stronger customer relationships and new revenue streams.

Nicole Kahn

Director, Design for Change

Nicole Kahn co-leads the Design for Change Studio in IDEO's San Francisco office. She brings her passion for helping organizations be more purpose driven to clients interested in creating the conditions for innovation and creativity to thrive. More about Nicole »

While at IDEO, Nicole has used her background in product design and design strategy to lead complex innovation programs. Nicole has designed for the unbanked in Brazil, created a new food brand for millennials, and reimagined the on-boarding experience . Nicole holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from Brown University and a MS in Product Design from Stanford University. Nicole stays connected to Stanford and continually inspired by teaching students at the

Gene Liebel

Partner, Product Management
Work & Co

Gene Liebel guides clients in their efforts to envision, plan, and roll out best­in­category products and services. Most recently, Gene has led Work & Co engagements at Virgin America, Google, Showtime, and the NBA. More about Gene »

Prior to Work & Co, Gene was Founding Partner, Chief Strategy Officer at Huge, where he created the User Experience discipline and oversaw the development of the agency's unique capabilities and process, including its groundbreaking approach to UX, product design, and analytics. Gene also oversaw several of the company's most successful and newsworthy projects, including HBO GO, while helping to grow the company from three to 600 employees. Previously, Gene was Vice President, Product Management at Silverpop Systems, responsible for the definition and development of all products. At Silverpop, he created the company's first software, leading Forrester Research to call Silverpop ""the vendor to beat in the best­of­breed marketing automation category."" Gene's work has won recognition from Cannes Lions, Ad Tech, Communication Arts, the Emmys, One Club and many others. He holds a B.A. in Classics from Bard College.

Jennifer Lopez

Design Thinking Strategist
Capital One Labs

Jennifer has made it her mission to be a storyteller of the human experience. As a designer and entrepreneur she uses the human centered design process to create new products, business structures and approaches to marketing and strategy.When she isn't digging into design, she is cooking and creating recipes in her small white kitchen in the sunny side of San Francisco. More about Jennifer »

Jennifer currently is a lecturer at Stanford University and works as a Design Thinking Strategist at Capital One Labs.

Dan McClure


Dan McClure has spent 30 years as a hands-on insurgent innovator, working with diverse institutions spanning global manufacturers, fast moving startups, local government consortiums and international humanitarian agencies. Defining and codifying new ways to create value in a rapidly evolving economy is his passion. More about Dan »

He leverages extensive experience (and enthusiasm for) blowing up the status quo to shape and test approaches for innovating in complexity. Today he is a leader of Innovation Design efforts for ThoughtWorks, a global technology and innovation consultancy.

Tim Riley

Director of Online Experience
Warby Parker

Tim Riley is the Director of Online Experience for Warby Parker, where he works to make the process of buying eyeglasses online as fun and easy as possible. Prior to Warby Parker, Tim developed strategies for enhancing the customer experience for clients such as Volkswagen, Audi, Walgreens and Kaplan University. He's also done some other interesting stuff but he prefers to leave his bio short.

Cristina Ripperger

?What If!

Cristina unlocks our clients' product and business unit potential through market-focused insight. Her experience includes a diverse range of growth strategy, market entry, and disruptive innovation projects, particularly within the health care industry. As part of the ?What If! Commercial Strategy team, Cristina collaborates with clients to validate, plan, and implement their innovations. More about Cristina »

Cristina was formerly a Principal with the Health Services Practice of Booz & Company. She earned an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BBA from the University of Michigan. In her spare time, Cristina can be found cheering for Michigan football, biking in Central Park with her husband and two daughters, or fundraising for Cycle for Survival, the team cycling event that raises money for research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

Todd Rovak

Managing Partner
Fahrenheit 212

Todd Rovak is Managing Partner at Fahrenheit 212 and the architect behind the unique theory, capabilities and talent that drive the company’s innovation process. He oversees F212’s ability to predictably unlock growth on behalf of both Fortune 500 companies and institutional investors, and is responsible for the commercial impact of the company’s work. More about Todd »

Since joining Fahrenheit 212 in 2009, Todd has developed successful innovation pipelines across a wide array of industries, including financial services, payments, utilities, media, consumer electronics, CPG, technology and retail. His impressive track record led to Todd quickly becoming the firm’s youngest partner in 2011, and later taking on the role of Strategy Practice Lead. In 2013, Todd was named Managing Partner and is now tasked with leading the firm’s evolution and scale. While leading Fahrenheit 212’s strategy team, Todd developed the company’s first teaching methodology that helped transform innovation from a random exercise into a predictable, scalable capability. Asserting that great commercial innovators are developed, not born, Todd believes that innovation is a discipline with underlying tactics that can be analyzed, taught, and refined. His passion as much as his profession, Todd enjoys creating the industry’s playbook as much as running its plays. Leveraging his background in investment management, Todd also successfully led the firm’s entrance into the private equity industry. Fahrenheit 212 has now partnered with the world’s leading institutional investors, addressing the top-line growth challenges of their portfolio companies throughout the investment life cycle. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania summa cum laude and a Ben Franklin Scholar, Todd joined Goldman Sachs & Co. in a strategy role for the Investment Management Division. He then obtained his MBA from Harvard Business School before joining real estate private equity firm Tishman Speyer. Todd enjoys SCUBA diving, running, his Jack Russell terrier Lewis, and anything remotely related to his beloved hometown of St. Louis, Missouri. In contrast to the intensity with which he approaches the innovation process, Todd’s personal writing takes an entirely different tone; his writing has been featured in the McSweeney’s humor books and journals, and a sketch comedy show he penned was recently selected and performed at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York.

Geoffrey Schwartz

Associate Director of Strategy

Geoffrey is an Associate Director of Strategy in frog’s New York office with over 6 years of experience in global innovation. As a hybrid thinker, Geoffrey brings clarity to organizations by integrating holistic­thinking and design research methodologies to inform business strategy. More about Geoffrey »

Over the course of his career Geoffrey has helped innovate, design and implement new business strategies for clients ranging from Fortune 100 to early stage startup. He also co­founded and built an umbrella of e­commerce sites. Geoffrey lives in New York and spends his free time playing music and scrabble.

Davis Smith


Davis is the CEO of Cotopaxi, an outdoor gear brand with a social mission. He was previously the Co­CEO of and, Brazil’s Startup of the Year in 2012, which raised over $40M in venture capital. In 2004, he also founded, and later sold,, America’s largest pool table retailer. More about Davis »

Davis is a graduate of Brigham Young University and of the University of Pennsylvania where he obtained an MBA from the Wharton School and an MA from the School of Arts and Sciences. He is a Fellow of the Joseph H. Lauder Institute of Management and International Studies.

Richard Steele


Dickie joined SYPartners as a Principal in 2013 with over a decade of experience in corporate strategy and organizational consulting. During his time as a partner at Marakon Associates and as a senior partner and head of the New York office at The Bridgespan Group, he advised clients across the consumer goods, media and financial services sectors including senior leaders at Cadbury Schweppes, The Wall Street Journal and ABN Amro. More about Richard »

In the social sector, he has worked on problems relating to education, technology and global development for The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Omidyar Network, and The United Nations Foundation, among others.Dickie has written extensively on strategic management for publications including in Harvard Business Review and Sloan Management Review. He also teaches a course on leadership at The School of International & Public Affairs, Columbia University and serves on the boards of The Atlantic Council, The Association of Public Television Stations and The DO School. He studied at Durham University and has an MBA with distinction from INSEAD.

Daniel Egan

Director of Behavioral Finance and Investing

Daniel Egan is the Director of Behavioral Finance and Investing at Betterment. Betterment is an online financial adviser and investment manager which uses smart technology to ensure clients achieve their wealth management goals. He is responsible for maximizing Betterments customers take-home returns - returns after tax, costs, risk and bad behavior. More about Dan »

He ensures Betterment's users enjoy a behaviorally informed design which drives optimal saving, investing and behavior along the investment journey. Dan was previously the Behavioral Finance Specialist at Barclays Americas and helped found the London team in 2007. He earned his Master of Science in Decision Science from the London School of Economics. Dan is a published author of multiple publications related to behavioral economics and regularly lectures at New York University, London Business School, and the London School of Economics on the topic.

Katherine Prime

VP of Operations

Katherine is the VP of Operations at Spring, a mobile marketplace where customers shop directly within the app from a curated community of brands. She joined Spring from Quidsi (Amazon), where she launched and oversaw the home category across 10 sites. Before Quidsi, Katherine was the GM of Superchannels and of Style and Home at AOL, where she launched the StyleList blog network.

Graham Tuttle


Graham is a Strategist in frog’s New York office. He works in product development and corporate innovation strategies for new market growth.

Jason Wisdom

Co-Founder & Managing Partner
The Design Gym

Jason has spent his career bringing bright minds together to take ideas and push them out into the world. As a Co-Founder and Managing Partner of The Design Gym, Jason has helped build creative capacity and culture change in some of the most forward thinking organizations in the world. More about Jason »

In his role at The Design Gym he oversees the Collaborative Projects practice, creating opportunities for the company’s thousands of community members to come together and tackle incredibly complex organizational challenges for The Design Gym’s clients. His work has spanned across industries with organizations including Capital One,, Etsy, Mozilla and Applegate Farms. Jason’s been quoted and featured in publications including Fast Company, Entrepreneur, Fox Business News and PSFK.

Lauren Wood

Business Development

Lauren works in Business Development out of frog’s New York studio, combining her interests in psychology, technology, and business to support frog’s product strategy and design efforts. She now works with frog teams across North America to grow and develop the portfolio. Prior to joining frog, Lauren spent over four years in wealth management, establishing a deep understanding of critical relationships to support the management of multimillion-dollar portfolios for C-Level executives. More about Lauren »

She graduated from the University of Victoria with a degree in International Business. After spending the final two years of her studies abroad, she settled in NYC. Having worked and studied in seven countries, Lauren brings a unique global perspective to her approach. In her spare time, Lauren enjoys taking dance classes, going to concerts, and exploring the NY restaurant scene.


Schedule for the Summit

Click here for full PDF program

11:30 - 12:00 | Registration
12:00 - 12:30 | Opening Keynote Address
12:30 - 1:15 | Learn Panel: Viewpoints on Disruption in Business
1:15 - 2:00| Learn Workshop: The Power of the Interview
2:00 - 2:15 | Break
2:15 - 3:15 | Build Talks: Insights on Building Innovation
3:15 - 4:45 | Build Workshop: Ideation
4:45 - 5:00 | Break
5:00 - 5:45 | Sustain Panel: Continuing Innovation in Large Organizations
5:45 - 6:15 | Closing Keynote: Learn, Build, Sustain...and Lead
6:15 - 8:00 | Reception (beer/wine will be served)

Studio 450 - 450 W 31st St, New York, NY 10001


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