Dr. Vanessa Z Chan is a professor, maker, angel investor and working parent in a dual career family that is making it work. She is a leading thinker in innovation & entrepreneurship having spent 20+ years at the interface of technology and business. As the inaugural Jonathan and Linda Brassington Professor of Practice at the University of Pennsylvania, the Undergraduate Chair of Materials Science & Engineering and a member of the Executive Committee for Penn Health Tech, she is transforming how engineers are educated by bringing real world skills into the curriculum and building a growth mindset in her students. Prior to Penn she was at McKinsey & Company, where she was the first woman elected partner in the NA Chemicals Practice. As a partner she co-led their innovation practice and helped corporations with deep R&D portfolios commercialize their technologies and acquire start-ups for their portfolio. She was a founding member of United Technology Corporation's Innovation Business Development Advisory Council and is on various boards including Vanguard's Venture Board. She currently is also a partner at Robin Hood Ventures, an angel investment group where she invests in and mentors startups. She was inspired to become an angel investor when she launched her own company, Redesign Studio and brought her invention loopit to market. You can learn more about her hopes for the next generation, in her Commencement Speech to Penn Engineers at www.failingislikefarting.com. She has a Ph.D. from MIT and a B.S.E. from the University of Pennsylvania.
Anyone who has a creative idea. I've seen hundreds of companies through my two decades at the interface of technology and business. From my McKinsey & Company days and beyond, I have an extensive network of people that I can connect founders to. As an example, I founded in Summer of 2020, Kinetic Creators (www.kinetic-creators.com) which is a pre-accelerator for students whose internships were taken away. For that effort, mobilized 50+ C-suite executives and Founders to support our Creators.
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