mHUB’s mentor networks is comprised of a broad base of industry leading experts. Our mentors have backgrounds ranging from technical to business development. They provide support to our members in areas that include but are not limited to manufacturing innovation, IoT, electronics and other cutting-edge technologies, business development, sales and marketing, various areas of the law, and financing.
We value diversity of our mentors, not just in terms of skills and expertise but also diversity of race/ethnicity, gender, experience, and thought. Our mentors hail from Chicago, the Midwest, and across the US. They volunteer their time and expertise to offer guidance and leverage their networks in support of mHUB members. These generous contributions directly impact the success of our members.
Mentors commit to a four-month period with four one-hour sessions per month. Mentors are selected based on the skill set and knowledge demands of mHUB's member community.
Director of Human Resources, Vail Systems
Strategic executive-level leader with record of achievement working with entrepreneurs to design and develop scalable Human Resources operations. Build company infrastructure and execute programs to meet expansionary goals. Evaluate new investments and offer insights related to business-critical global initiatives. Build culture of performance and focus on talent acquisition and complete transformations and transactions that provide sustainability for future. Serve as valuable resource to all constituents.
Industries served include: engineering, manufacturing, high-tech, finance, insurance, services, research, health care, and non-profit.
Attorney, DLA Piper
I am a corporate attorney and member of DLA Piper's Emerging Growth and Venture Capital practice group. My practice focuses on early-stage, high growth companies in matters related to business structuring, corporate formation, venture capital financing, and intellectual property protection.Prior to joining DLA Piper, I was an intellectual property attorney and concurrently served in an operational capacity with a Chicago-based technology accelerator. In this role, I provided in-depth strategic and tactical business guidance, while also connecting participants to opportunities, allies, and capital. I’ve worked with entrepreneurs throughout my career and I am constantly intrigued by the excitement and energy of new founders building companies. I love being a part of that process and helping to grow and shape big ideas into viable businesses.
Briana's focus areas are:
Legal: business structuring, corporate formation, incentive equity, intellectual property protection
Fundraising: Venture capital financing (series seed and beyond), convertible debt financing
Owner, Interface Technologies
For more than 20 years, Waterloo has combined his technical skills and training with his knowledge of systematization and automation to create and grow small businesses. He began his career as a Field Engineer, and later held several positions in sales of technical instrumentation products and software. As a Reseller of Computer Aided Engineering software he developed advertising, lead generation, and systematic electronic and print communications, and created systems to organize and manage data for generating orders and revenue. Recently, he created a direct-mail business that uses a “private cloud” to store clients’ data. He has extensive knowledge of php software for email marketing.
Dan's main focus areas are:
CEO, Jezetk Automation
20 years of business experience in IT service industry. Serial Entrepreneur. I started doing angel investing and am a mentor of EO accelerator here in Chicago, 1871, and Nameless Ventures.
Chief Marketing Officer, InstaNatural, LLC
Ethelbert Williams has more than 17 years of global commercial leadership experience in consumer and B2B sectors. He is currently Head of Ecommerce at The Boston Beer Company. Ethelbert previously drove go-to-market and channel expansion for the personal and facial cleansing category at Kimberly-Clark Corporation. He has held leadership roles at Procter & Gamble, L’Oreal and Unilever. Ethelbert is also an active investor and advisor to exceptional entrepreneurs. He holds a Bachelor of Science from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University where he also severs as an Adjunct Professor leading collaborative learning for digital marketing, media and innovation curriculum.
Ethelbert's 3 main areas of focus are:
Managing Partner, T2G Ventures
Expertise in building tech companies from start-up to sale. I'm a Venture Capitalist working in the areas of digital analytics software, building efficiency sensors and software, energy storage, and digital manufacturing / industrial start-ups. Current companies are in digital ic manufacturing, water purification, machine learning software / autonomous vehicles, and advanced materials. Previous roles include board member, early CEO, and strategic adviser. Chair of annual Global Midwest Alliance Corporate Venture Capital Events, 2015 - 2017.
John's core focus areas are:
Senior User Researcher, UL
Kathryn Mizuchi is a Senior User Researcher on Emergo by UL’s Human Factors Research & Design (HFR&D) team. She has been with the team since 2018, and has a background working in new product development in both medical and consumer categories. She has worked with cross-functional teams throughout the full product development cycle from early research and ideation to design validation, creating products that are both safe and satisfying to use. As part of the Emergo HFR&D team, Kathryn leads early research efforts to identify user needs and to better understand context of use, as it relates to risk potential and overall user experience. She is also knowledgeable in human factors engineering, and is skilled in test administration and data analysis for both formative and summative testing. She holds a B.S. in Industrial Design from the University of Cincinnati.
Her core focus areas include:
Director of Chicago Chapter, Black Women in Science and Engineering
I consider myself a bit of a manufacturing geek. My 20+ year career has been about the love I have for the manufacturing of products. Early in my career, I was a process/assembly engineer responsible for a multitude of activities including line balancing, safety, and tooling. I eventually took a role where I persuaded design engineers to design for manufacturability. I have been fortunate as my career progressed to hold leadership roles in supplier management, quality assurance, supply chain management, and operations. I have mentored suppliers through improving their processes to ensure the quality of their products and reduce costs. I have mentored professionals about their career paths and been a resource for making critical connections for their career progression. I would love to take all of this knowledge and become a mentor to others who are also as passionate about manufacturing.
Major Accounts Manager, Better Business Bureau
Senior Marketing Innovation Manager, The Kellogg Company
Paul Luna is a Senior Marketing and Innovation Manager who works with The Kellogg Company to bring new products to shelf and sustainable new businesses to market.
Paul has significant experience in the full innovation process, from idea generation through launch, in-market promotion and business incubation. Paul believes in the power of customer insights and Design Thinking to deliver successful new products and the importance of an integrated marketing plan to raise awareness and drive sales. Prior to Kellogg’s, Paul worked in marketing and innovation at General Mills, Kraft and Land O Lakes and as an engineer in the energy and environmental consulting industries.
Over the past fifteen years, Paul has successfully developed and launched over fifty new products into market, developed multiple marketing and advertising campaigns, and is currently working at the intersection of Technology and Food to help Kellogg’s meet the food needs of customers in the new intelligent machine age.
Paul was awarded a patent for a high-pressure processing sensor and was previously a licensed Professional Engineer. One of Paul’s new products was selected as a Best New Product of the Year by Better Homes and Gardens and Dairy Foods magazine.
Paul holds a MBA with concentrations in Marketing & Finance from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota, a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Minnesota and a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Iowa State University.
Managing Director, MATH Venture Partners
Mechanical Engineer undergrad turned entrepreneur, I love building companies and have spent the last dozen years helping other entrepreneurs - Teaching at Northwestern and U of C, co-founding Excelerate Labs which became Techstars Chicago, investing in companies as an angel, through FireStarter Fund and now MATH Venture Partners.
Director of Business Process Optimization, Marmon Holdings
Globally, the US has plenty of opportunity to lead in manufacturing if we create products that leverage our strengths: flexibility and scale.I would love to share my experience with emerging businesses to help grow their operation to scale and while delighting their customers.With over 12+ years in optimizing operations across multiple industries (aerospace manufacturing, airline operations and e-commerce), I have helped businesses meet their objectives by breaking through operational challenges varied in uniqueness and size. I have formally and informally mentored many engineers and business professionals at Boeing, United Airlines and a few startups; and believe in working to your strengths to unlock your unique competitive advantage and nurturing a growth mindset.
Executive Managing Director, GE Ventures
Karen Kerr leads a team focused on making investments and developing partnerships in the advanced manufacturing ecosystem and is also an mHUB Board member. Karen comes to GE with two decades of experience in developing technology based businesses and venture investing. Previously, she served as senior director of new ventures and alliances at the University of Southern California (USC) Stevens Center for Innovation where she was responsible for accelerating the formation of startup companies out of university research. Before joining USC, Karen led business development at Intellectual Ventures, served as a managing director at ARCH Venture Partners, and founded Agile Equities LLC, a venture development company specializing in emerging technology companies. Focused on venture education and technology advancements, Karen has held a variety of board roles for organizations including the Center for Venture Education, the National Science Foundation SBIR/STTR Advisory Committee, and National Institute of Standards and Technology Visiting Committee on Advanced Technology. Highly acclaimed, Karen was named one of LA’s Top Innovators in 2012 by C Suite Quarterly, selected to C200 leading business women in 2004, and selected by Crain’s Chicago Business for its 40 under 40 list of leading business professionals in Chicago. Karen earned a Doctorate in Physical Chemistry from the University of Chicago and an Bachelor's degree in Chemistry from Bryn Mawr College.
How should I build my team? How should I build my board? How do I attract the right investor syndicate?
Owner, Howard Medical Company
I purchased a medical distribution company called Howard Medical from my father in 2016. Our mission is to solve Chicago's healthcare supply chain challenges. I am very well versed in most aspects of the medical supply chain as it relates to disposable supplies for hospitals and have learned business leadership and managerial skills through trial and error. I can speak to the challenges and rewards of managing and growing a medical distribution company by 400% during a global pandemic.I have been searching for a way to utilize my time, energy, and knowledge to have a positive impact on entrepreneurs from underserved communities who have not received the same opportunities as myself. I consider myself a problem solver. Whether inside my business or for my clients, I am driven to uncover the challenges and find solutions.
Coleman Foundation Clinical Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship, Illinois Institute of Technology
Startup finance and strategy
Sales & partnerships
Founder issues - personal and relationship
How do you deal with founder issues? family relationships? investor relations? board development and management? What questions should I be asking that I haven't asked yet? How do I access university resources?
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