Dan Ledger is founder and principal at Path Collaborative, an advisory and research firm working at the broader intersection of wearable technology, connected health, IoT and machine intelligence. Path Collaborative is a network of industry experts who help OEMs and service providers in the wearable technology space with product strategy, partnerships, go-to-market planning, and technology differentiation.
Prior to forming Path Collaborative, Dan was a principal at Endeavour Partners where he led a great deal of work and research on wearable technology. He has advised numerous startups, larger service providers, and OEMs on product definition, service design, ecosystem strategy, and go- to-market planning within this space. Dan has appeared on NPR, Bloomberg and CNN talking about the future of wearable technology. His research in wearable technology has been covered by GigaOm, The Guardian, Fast Company, Fortune, Forbes, TechRepublic, and CBS. Dan has multiple engineering degrees from Washington University in St. Louis and a Masters degree from MIT.
The Smart Textiles Institute, Sweden
Susanne Nejderas is Director of the Smart Textiles Institute, Sweden and Vinnova Wallenberg Fellow at Nordic Innovation House, Palo Alto, USA. She has extensive experience within the textile and fashion industry, both within the smart and sustainable segment but also in relation to other businesses such as the automotive industry. Her international work has brought with it a strong grasp of innovative business strategies and product development in order to achieve targets. Nejderas has held several leading positions in the industry as well as in academia including her degree in M.Sc. in Textile and Polymeric Materials at Chalmers University of Technology and The Swedish School of Textiles.
The Smart Textiles Institute is one of the leading international players in the next generation of smart fabrics, wearable health care and sustainable textiles and fashion. The academic institute (part of Science Park Boras, Sweden) brings together strategic partnerships across academia, business and policy-makers with over 450 research- and company project since the start in 2006. With both national and international partnerships, Smart Textiles is an established player on the international arena with Silicon Valley as example.
Sam Shames is the co-founder of Embr Labs. Sam co-founded Embr while studying at MIT and has been full-time with the company since completing his degree in materials science and engineering in 2014. As a co-founder, he has been involved in all aspects of the business from research and development, to engineering and manufacturing, and marketing and sales.
Steven Webster has spent the past 20 years at the forefront of the fusion of technology and design, having held a variety of leadership roles at Adobe and Microsoft. A 4th degree black belt, Steven is also one of the most successful sports coaches in British university sport. Moving to California in 2009 after the sale of his company to Adobe, he most recently left Microsoft in 2014 to combine his passion for sport coaching with his deep expertise in technology. He is now the CEO of asensei, a disruptive sports technology company that brings together technologies such as smart apparel with integrated sensors, motion capture and posture recognition, with machine learning and data science in the creation of an artificial intelligence personal coach.
Director, Energy Harvesting and Wireless Charging Strategyat
Michelle Farrington is responsible for the Energy Harvesting and Wireless Charging strategy at Analog Devices, focusing on providing system level power solutions for IoT sensors and Wearables. Michelle is also leading the development of sensor and actuator systems for smart textile applications. She has a BSEE and an MBA from Northeastern University and an MSEE from the University of Virginia.
Professor Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineeringat
Tom Martin is a professor in the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Virginia Tech, where he is the co-director of the Virginia Tech E-textiles Lab. He received his Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Cincinnati.
His current research includes electronic textiles, location-based applications, and interdisciplinary design teams for pervasive computing. Martin is vice-chair of the IEEE Technical Committee for Wearable Information Systems and has published more than 50 refereed technical articles. In 2006 he was invited to the White House to receive the NSF Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers for his research in e-textile-based wearable computing.
Co-Founder and CEOat
Venk is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Nanowear, a New York-based connected-self technology platform for non-invasive diagnostics and chronic disease management built on first-of-its-kind cloth-based nanosensors. The Company was founded in September 2014 and received its first FDA 510(k) Class II clearance in December 2016 for SimplECG, an undergarment capturing and transmitting multi-channel ECG, heart rate and respiratory rate continuously via an iOS mobile application and HIPAA-compliant web portal. Nanowear’s first product launch, SimpleSense, is an undergarment for Congestive Heart Failure monitoring and management
Before Nanowear, Venk Varadan spent ~7 years in Technology Investment Banking, focusing exclusively on venture-backed software and communications technology in which he successfully advised growth companies in over $3bn USD worth of transactions at UBS Investment Bank, Citadel Investment Group and Wells Fargo Securities in New York. Prior to his Wall Street career, Venk spent ~ 3 years in sales and marketing at Eli Lilly and Sanofi Aventis Pharmaceuticals in New York.
Venk received his Masters of Business Administration from Columbia University in Finance & Entrepreneurship and his Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from Duke University.
Steve Statler is the author of Beacon Technologies, the presenter of the Mister Beacon podcast and a Senior VP at Wiliot where he is responsible for consulting, marketing and business development. Wiliot is a fabless semiconductor company connecting people and products with battery-free Bluetooth tags powered by harvesting energy from radio waves.
Prior to Wiliot his consulting company specialized in Bluetooth beacon technology, training and advising manufacturers, venue owners, VCs, as well as makers of beacon software and hardware. Previously he was the Senior Director for Strategy and Solutions Management at Qualcomm’s Retail Solutions Division, helping to incubate Gimbal, one of the leading Bluetooth beacons in the market
Sr. Director & GM, Smart Wearables Segmentat
Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.
In this role, Pankaj is responsible for leading Qualcomm’s efforts to establish and grow its presence across the wearables segments including smart eyewear, smart watches, kid/elderly watches, smart bands, smart headsets, smart clothing, and wearable accessories. Under Pankaj’s leadership, Qualcomm has enabled its customers to ship 100+ products in 30+ countries over the last 3 years. Pankaj joined Qualcomm in late 2013 in a new business development role and has led its efforts to incubate the wearables segment at the company.
Previously, Pankaj was the director of business development and innovation at Intel Corporation where he was responsible for winning, nurturing, and launching mobility products and technologies. Pankaj launched the Intel Atom processor and led the company’s early efforts to establish its presence and momentum in the tablet, mobile Internet device, and smartphone categories. Earlier at Intel, Pankaj played an instrumental role in accelerating the deployment of Notebook PCs in the industry by defining and implementing the company’s product/marketing strategies and launching a range of products including Centrino, Pentium 4 and Pentium III processors. Pankaj joined Intel in 1996 and held a series of executive advisory, strategy, marketing, planning, ecosystem, and business development roles across the company. He holds one of the early/defining patents around implementing low power sub-systems in mobile devices.
Founder and Presidentat
Charla Triplett is the Founder and President of Catalyze, a Consulting Collective, bringing together expertise in Research, Design and Strategy with a focus on Medical Device and Digital Health. Charla is passionate about building relationships and bringing together the right people to tackle big problems. She is a results-oriented leader with demonstrated strength in new business development, strategy and building programs. Her science and engineering background, combined with her business acumen and experience, allow her to tailor solutions to a diverse set of clients.
For over 20 years, Charla has worked with entrepreneurs, engineers, scientists, marketing and business teams, inside companies (large and small), nonprofits, and universities. Most recently, she worked as a product development strategist for a design firm and in business development for an interactive digital marketing agency. Prior to these Business Development roles, Charla spent over 15 years of her career focused on connecting industry and academia in the area of Biomedical Engineering, including founding and running a non-profit with this mission and working with over 60 Universities nationwide.
She has actively served on the OSU College of Engineering board for Chem, Bio and Environmental Engineering for the past 10 years and is a supporter of the OSU College of Business Advancing Women in Leadership program.
Drexel University and HP Inc.
Simge Uzun is an innovative PhD candidate at Drexel Nanomaterials Institute, where MXenes were discovered 10 years ago, and Center for Functional Fabrics at Drexel University. Her work involves synthesis and integration of functional nanomaterials into wearable technologies. Using modern textile manufacturing and inkjet printing, Simge fabricates smart textile devices ranging from capacitors to sensors. Simge also initiated collaboration with HP Inc. during her PhD and worked on the development of printed electronics for smart textile applications. She holds an MS in Fiber Science from Cornell University and BS in Textile Engineering from Istanbul Technical University. The findings of her PhD work have been published in high-impact journals and received coverage in numerous national/international media outlets.
Gobinath (GOBI) Aroganam
PhD Design Researcherat
Gobi, is a PhD researcher at Brunel University London, UK, with an engineering and design qualifications. Having completed his major projects relating to the sports industry, his current area of research is in Wearable technology in sport at amater and semi pro levels.
Michael has been working in the design and manufacturing of Wearable Electronics for the past 16 years. First as President of FITRIGHT Industrial and now as Co-Founder and General Manager of WEEL Technologies, Michael and his team in Taiwan, The Philippines and China have become leaders in the design and manufacturing of Wearable Electronics products for the Outdoor, Sports and Healthcare markets.
Michael graduated from Wichita State University with two BA degrees and was awarded a MA degree from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. He currently splits his time between his home in Greensboro, North Carolina and the WEEL factory in Shenzhen, China.
Dr. Patrick Riehl
Integrated Circuit and Systems Designerat
Dr. Patrick Riehl is an integrated circuit and system designer at Analog Devices in Wilmington, Massachusetts, specializing in low-power system architecture and wireless power transfer. He is the technical lead on the Distributed Motion Sensing Garment project. Patrick is a Senior Member of IEEE. He received the B. A. in Engineering Sciences from Dartmouth College in 1996 and the M. S. and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences from the University of California, Berkeley in 1999 and 2002, respectively.
Executive Vice Presidentat
Ilaria is a business expert with over 20 years in executive roles.
In her past roles with vertically integrated retailers, wholesalers, and clothing manufacturers, Ilaria has led teams in retail, real estate, marketing and management.
As Executive Vice President of Myant, she currently leads operations and is heavily involved in the strategic planning and growth of Myant.
Dr. Raj Bhakta
Co-Founder and CEOat
Cohort Five fellow Raj Bhakta and his Funxion co-founder Hasan Shahariar started their journey in the field of smart textiles in Jesse Jur’s research group at the North Carolina State University’s Wilson College of Textiles, where they both earned their doctorates in fiber and polymer science. They further honed the startup’s vision while conducting research at the NSF-funded Advanced Self-Powered Systems of Integrated Sensors and Technologies (ASSIST) self-powered wearables research center. Bhakta and Jur went through the NSF I-Corps program in Los Angeles, CA in Fall 2016 where they discovered the biggest pain point facing market adoption of smart textiles was the lack of a high-throughput, automated manufacturing process.
With a background in physics and philosophy from the University of Texas-Austin, Bhakta came into the textiles world seeing a huge white-space opportunity to innovate a material that sits on our human bodies 90 percent of our lifetime as a second skin. He met Shahariar and they quickly became friends sharing a mutual vision to push the boundaries of smart textiles manufacturing and create a platform for realizing a paradigm shift in the trillion-dollar textiles and fashion industries and create a better quality of life for humanity.
Keith Beers is a Principal Engineer at Exponent, a global, multi-disciplinary consulting firm of close to 1000 full-time consultants dedicated to solving important science, engineering, health and regulatory issues for clients.
He assists clients in solving the technical challenges and risks encountered during the full life cycle of their product ranging from the design stage, qualification, IP management, release and field failure issues, and litigation support. In the area of battery powered electronics, he has experience and expertise with battery and wearable device qualification studies, quality and reliability studies, risk mitigation strategies such as Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA), failure analysis, and product recall support.
Keith holds degrees in Chemical Engineering, with a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley and a B.S. from the University of Colorado, Boulder. He is also a licensed chemical engineer by the California Board for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors.
Silicon Valley U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)
As the Regional Director of the USPTO’s Silicon Valley Regional Office, Wayne Stacy carries out the strategic direction of the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO, and is responsible for leading the USPTO's West Coast regional office in Silicon Valley. Focusing on the region and actively engaging with the community, Mr. Stacy ensures the USPTO’s initiatives and programs are tailored to the region's unique ecosystem of industries and stakeholders.
Prior to joining the USPTO, Mr. Stacy was a partner in the Baker Botts Intellectual Property group. With a computer-engineering background, he has over twenty years of experience litigating high-stakes technology cases, including patent, trade secret, software-based copyright, and technology-licensing disputes. He has served as the lead lawyer in numerous jury trials.
For almost two decades, Mr. Stacy has dedicated his spare time to teaching law students about the realities of litigating technology cases. He has been an adjunct professor at four universities, teaching patent law, patent litigation, copyright law, and PTAB practice. Mr. Stacy also devotes significant time to improving the legal community. He has served on Federal Court local-rule committees, drafting patent local rules. He also served as faculty for the National Institute for Trial Advocacy.
Erika Simmons is the Technical Director for AATCC. Erika is an experienced textile professional with more than fifteen years of standards development experience. Erika received her BS Textile Engineering from NC State University and MBA from Wake Forest University.
Founder & Technical Leadat
Madison Maxey is passionate about materials and creative technology. She focuses on bringing flexible, robust circuitry (e-textiles) to scale as Founder and Technical Lead at LOOMIA (previously The Crated). Throughout the course of her work at LOOMIA, she has developed e-textiles prototypes and workshops for companies like North Face, Google, PVH, Flextronics, Adidas and Corning.
E-Textile Technology Consultantat
Independent Industry Advisor
Meg Grant has over 10 years of experience in the smart textiles and wearable technology industry. Until starting her own practice, she was a Senior Product Development Engineer at BeBop Sensors, a smart textile start-up integrating pressure-sensing fabric into VR motion capture gloves. Prior to BeBop, she worked at Seismic, Inc, a garment-based exo-skeleton project spun out of DARPA-funded research at SRI International.
While employed at TE Connectivity’s Wearable Lab, she collaborated with a team of engineers focusing on e-textile connectivity solutions for both TE Connectivity (TYCO Electronics) and Google
ATAP’s Project Jacquard. She is currently working on an modular connector solution for e-textiles as part of the Residency Program at the Autodesk Technology Center in San Francisco.