2019 Meet the Innovators Forum Presenters



Sandhiprakash Bhide

Sandhiprakash Bhide


President, Anwaya Consulting LLC
Sandhiprakash (Sandhi) Bhide is the President of Anwaya Consulting LLC which specializes in consulting and advising Internet of Things (IOT), private equity, hedge fund, and other financial institutions and as well as other professional consulting firms on IOT and digital transformation. Most recently, Sandhi worked as the Director of Innovation/CTO/GM of a $2M internal IOT platform startup at Intel. He developed key strategies beyond product group roadmaps, and advised executive staff on future opportunities and investment areas. He has 35+ years of recognition as an innovator/visionary in leading the strategy, development, implementation of new innovative and profitable products/businesses through acute understanding of the interplay between technologies, UX, and innovative business models. He is considered a recognized expert on Multimodal and Adaptive Interfaces, Context-Aware Computing, Sensors, and end to end IOT systems (semiconductor, platforms, ecosystem, energy harvesting, value chain, AL/ML/DL, analytics, security, UX and other technologies) and digital transformation. His recent focus areas are: IOT and smart (cities, lighting, homes, buildings, retail, offices, healthcare, industrial, energy etc.), wearable and ambient computing, smart/advanced sensors, M2M, & Smart Objects/nodes.

Sandhi has BE in Electronics and Telecommunication from University of Pune, India, MS in Computer Science from University of Wyoming, and Executive MBA in strategic management from University of Oregon. He is a sought out speaker at many IOT conferences worldwide and holds several patents in IOT and high tech. He is also a founder, coordinator, singer of “Soor Aur Saptak™” (Notes and Octave) Bollywood Music Charity Group which has raised over $110K over six years through benefit concerts for the Seva Foundation (Berkeley, CA) to help restore eyesight to hundreds of blind/visually impaired/financially disadvantaged pediatric patients in rural India.

Joanna J. Bryson

Joanna J. Bryson


Associate Professor, University of Bath
Joanna Bryson is an Associate Professor (Reader) at the University of Bath. Bryson’s first and third degrees were in Psychology (Chicago, Edinburgh), while her second and fourth were in Artificial Intelligence (Edinburgh, MIT), so she approaches AI from the perspective and for the purpose of understanding human behaviour. Before her postgraduate education she did programming and system administration in Chicago's financial industry, and has since consulted for a number of companies on AI, notably LEGO. Bryson has worked off and on in AI ethics since 1996, and helped author the UK research councils’ Principles of Robotics in 2010. In the last two years she’s consulted to the Swiss National Science Foundation and the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research on researching the impact of AI on society, the Red Cross on autonomous weapons, Chatham House on the impact of AI on the nuclear threat, and the British Parliament, the British Financial Conduct Authority, the European Parliament and Commission, the Council of Europe, and the OECD regarding the regulation of AI.

Dr. Christine Gulbranson

Dr. Christine Gulbranson


Senior Vice President, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, University of California System
Dr. Christine Gulbranson is Senior Vice President, Innovation and Entrepreneurship for the University of California System. UC's Board of Regents approved Gulbranson as its "first systemwide innovation guru in 2016 and the former engineer, venture capital executive and entrepreneur appears to be the perfect evangelist for the university." With an annual operating budget of ~$32B it is the nation’s largest public research university with ten campuses, five medical centers, three affiliated national laboratories, and a statewide agriculture and natural resource program; it is comprised of more than 250,000 students, 200,000 faculty and staff and ~1.8 million living alumni.

Gulbranson is leading system-wide efforts to empower greater collaborations and translation of research and innovation into the marketplace. She is forging alliances and partnerships in the private, investment and philanthropic sectors, and government to create new opportunities for economic growth.

For more than a decade Gulbranson was CEO of Christalis, a strategic advisory firm. She was founding CEO of the first renewable energy accelerator, NIREC and has built national entities - Advanced Energy Economy.

As a senior fellow with the Kauffman Foundation, Gulbranson led the think tank's clean technology initiatives and supported the development of commercial innovation. She was a partner at venture capital firm, GCP where she invested in seed and early-stage companies in IT, software and materials.

Gulbranson has been recognized as “Innovator of the 21st Century” by MIT Technology Review and “40 Under 40” of Silicon Valley business leaders. She was a judge on “The Big Brain Theory,” the Discovery Channel’s engineering competition show, which aired globally in over 100 countries.

Gulbranson has served for 15+ years as Director on various boards and speaks as an expert on innovation, strategy, technology, entrepreneurship in the US (e.g. White House, Dept. of Commerce, World Bank, International Finance Corporation) and internationally (EMEA, Nordic, Asia) and has given various radio and television interviews.

Gulbranson holds 5 degrees from UC Davis: BS in physics; BS, MS & PhD in chemical engineering & materials science; and MBA.

Yann LeCun

Yann LeCun


VP and Chief AI Scientist, Facebook and Silver Professor, NYU
Yann LeCun is VP and Chief AI Scientist at Facebook and Silver Professor at NYU affiliated with the Courant Institute and the Center for Data Science. He was the founding Director of Facebook AI Research and of the NYU Center for Data Science. He received an EE Diploma from ESIEE (Paris) in 1983, a PhD in Computer Science from Université Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris) in 1987. After a postdoc at the University of Toronto, he joined AT&T Bell Laboratories. He became head of the Image Processing Research Department at AT&T Labs-Research in 1996, and joined NYU in 2003 after a short tenure at the NEC Research Institute. In late 2013, LeCun became Director of AI Research at Facebook, while remaining on the NYU Faculty part-time. He was visiting professor at Collège de France in 2016. His research interests include machine learning and artificial intelligence, with applications to computer vision, natural language understanding, robotics, and computational neuroscience. He is best known for his work in deep learning and the invention of the convolutional network method which is widely used for image, video and speech recognition. He is a member of the US National Academy of Engineering, the recipient of the 2014 IEEE Neural Network Pioneer Award, the 2015 IEEE Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence Distinguished Researcher Award, the 2016 Lovie Award for Lifetime Achievement, the University of Pennsylvania Pender Award, and honorary doctorates from IPN, Mexico and EPFL.

Kevin McGinnis

Kevin McGinnis


Founding Executive, Sprint Accelerator

Kevin McGinnis is vice president of Pinsight Media+, a subsidiary of Sprint, and founding executive of the Sprint Accelerator. In his 20-year career at Sprint, Kevin has performed in a multitude of functions and various stages of new and emerging businesses – ranging from long distance in the 90s, to Sprint’s partnerships with cable companies, early product innovation leveraging the Internet to its current venture in wireless. This range of experience has established Kevin as a thought leader in the communications and digital industry.

Over the past several years, Kevin has been a driving force behind much of the corporate support for the entrepreneurial community in Kansas City. Under Kevin’s leadership, Sprint as reestablished itself a community leader in economic development and the advancement of Kansas City’s technology scene. He serves as board chair for KC Tech Council, the Technology Council of greater Kansas City and sits on numerous advisory boards related to making Kansas City “America’s Most Entrepreneurial City”. In 2013, he founded the Sprint Accelerator in the Crossroads District where Sprint hosts the Sprint Mobile Accelerator program among other entrepreneurial and innovation initiatives.


Ginni Rometty

Ginni Rometty


Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, IBM

Since becoming CEO in January 2012, Ginni Rometty has led IBM through the most significant transformation in its history, reinventing the company to lead in the new era of AI, blockchain, cybersecurity and quantum technologies, all delivered on IBM’s enterprise-strength cloud platform. Today, IBM is the world leader in AI and cloud computing for business, underpinned with trust and security.

Beginning her career with IBM in 1981, Ginni held a series of leadership positions across the company and led the successful integration of PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting, creating a global team of more than 100,000 business consultants and services experts.

Ginni has a Bachelor of Science degree with high honors in computer science and electrical engineering from Northwestern University, where she later was awarded an honorary degree. She also has an honorary degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

She serves on the Council on Foreign Relations, the board of trustees of Northwestern University and the boards of overseers and managers of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. She is co-chair of the Aspen Institute’s Cyber Group and is a member of the advisory board of Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management.


Diana Zhou

Diana Zhou


Director of Project Strategy, Virgin Hyperloop One

Diana is the Director of Project Strategy in Virgin Hyperloop One’s Projects team and leads strategic company initiatives related to project and regional opportunities, analyzing critical decisions on project development to achieve commercialization goals and identifying key risks.

Prior to joining Virgin Hyperloop One, Diana was a strategy and management consultant at Oliver Wyman in New York, where she advised private sector companies and governments around the world on business and corporate strategies, risk and economic modeling, planning and operations, product development and market entry decisions, and strategic and regulatory trends. She is also a member of the Global Shapers community, an initiative of the World Economic Forum. Diana holds an MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and an MPA-International Development from the Harvard Kennedy School, where her focus was on the intersection of business, technology, and economic development. She received a grant from the Harvard Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation for her research on the development of an electric vehicle industry in China. She received her BA in Economics and International Studies from the University of Chicago.