Travis Sheridan – Travis is the founding Executive Director of Venture Café Foundation – St. Louis. Travis has spent the past decade working with more than 400 startups in California and St. Louis. His goal is to use innovation and entrepreneurship to drive community and economic development. Travis is a co-founder of both 59DaysOfCode and GlobalHack. These competitions are creators of community and help identify talent. A frequent speaker, Travis honed his skills while doing standup for more than three years. Always looking for a new way to engage smart people, Travis hosts a monthly Boozestorming session that encourages people to drink outside the box and change the world one sip at a time.
Kaori Yazawa – Kaori is the founding Program Manager of Venture Café Foundation – St. Louis. Kaori was a strategic change management consultant at a big 4 before shifting course in 2013 to immerse herself in the innovation community. She left corporate consulting confident that businesses can, should, and need to use innovation and creativity to create a better world. Yes, businesses can make money and do good, too. Kaori loves light bulb moments and holds a master’s degree in Public Policy and Management and a bachelor’s in Decision Science and Psychology from Carnegie Mellon University. She serves on the advisory board for P3 Strategies Inc and is a committee member for Prosper Women Entrepreneurs.
In an effort to broaden the definition and application of innovation, it was important to assemble a team of advisors comprised of the unusual suspects who are leaders in their respective industry. This advisory board helps guide the mission of Venture Cafe – St. Louis.
- Marc Bowers – St. Louis Makes, Founder & Chief Volunteer
- Patrick Brown – City of St. Louis, Special Assistant to Mayor Francis Slay
- Bijal Desai-Ramirez – University of Missouri, St. Louis, Executive Director of Education Innovation
- Jim McCarter – BioGenerator, Entrepreneur in Residence
- Sultan Meghji – Virtova, Founder & Director
- Chris Miller – The Mission Center L3C, CEO
- Kristina Van Dyke – Pulitzer Arts Foundation, Director
- Diana Zeng – Washington University in St. Louis, Student