Kat Manalac is a partner at Y Combinator and originally joined as its first Director of Outreach. Kat focuses on finding great entrepreneurs for the program. Prior to YC, Kat worked as Chief of Staff to Alexis Ohanian, cofounder of reddit and investor. Before that, she was at WIRED Magazine. She is a graduate of Northwestern University.
Jack Studer - April 8th - 12pm
Jack is certainly no stranger to Chattanooga’s entrepreneurial community. After graduating from Baylor High School, he attended Princeton University and eventually worked on Wall Street in corporate finance, mergers, and acquisitions for Credit Suisse. Jack next founded a software company, Draftspace, which was later acquired by Moody’s Investor Service. After success in Silicon Valley, he returned to Chattanooga and began to make waves in the burgeoning local startup scene. He co-founded the Chattanooga Renaissance Fund, an angel investment fund for southeastern entrepreneurs, as well as Lamp Post Group, a venture capital incubator which has created hundreds of local jobs and millions of dollars in local economic impact and successful exits. Before joining CO.LAB as executive director in 2016 he also co-founded Torch, a WiFi router with built in parental controls. Jack also serves as the chairman of the board of the Erlanger Hospital System, a billion dollar safety net trauma hospital. He spends his spare time reading, playing with gadgets, and having quality time with his wife and two daughters.
Laurie Stach - April 8th - 5pm
Laurie Stach is an MIT instructor, founder and executive director of Launch high school entrepreneurship program, and Commander of MIT ProtoWorks maker space. Laurie brings together a unique combination of engineering and design background with business experience to engage and inspire others, plus create real change in education. The Launch Program that she founded seeks to help students build entrepreneurial skills and mindset through students starting real companies. The flagship is a summer program where students come from all over the US and world to MIT campus to gain knowledge, mentorship, and take action on startup ideas. Launch is continually expanding to reach more students, most recently through Launch Clubs and an online course provided on edX. Laurie has a degree in mechanical engineering from MIT and MBA from Harvard Business School.