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Introducing our Master of Ceremonies, Live Correspondent and Coaches!

Here at Daily Grommet we are so excited that our big event From Home Plate to a a Home Run is less than one week away! Every day exciting things are being added to the agenda and today we are happy to announce our Master of Ceremonies, Live Correspondent and our coaches (panel experts) ! We've been lucky enough to recruit the best in the business from media, design venture capital and more to take part in this event. Here's the lineup.


Scott Kirsner

Master of Ceremonies: Scott Kirsner, Technology Reporter, The Boston Globe

Twitter: @ScottKirsner

Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. Scott's popular Innovation Economy blog can be found on The Hive. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. - See more here.


Michael Morisy

Live Correspondent: Michael Morisy, News Producer, The Boston Globe

Twitter: @morisy

Michael Morisy covers start-ups and innovation for Boston.com's The Hive. An experienced tech reporter who runs a start-up himself, Morisy has covered stories ranging from disaster recovery efforts to cybercrime and government surveillance. He is involved helping organize meet-ups, events, and and awards throughout Boston's start-up community, and has previously been published in the New York Daily News, Commonwealth Magazine, and dozens of other local and national Publications.


Michael Salguero

Coach: Michael Salguero, CEO, CustomMade

Twitter: @mikesalguero

Mike Salguero is the CEO and co-founder of CustomMade, an online matchmaker connecting Buyers who want one-of-a-kind Creations with professional and passionate Makers. While an undergrad at Boston University, he met Seth Rosen, CustomMade co-founder and best friend. In 2009, Mike was completing his masters at Babson College when Seth stumbled across www.custommade.com while looking for a coffee table and they raised funds to purchase the site. In 2011, backed by Google Ventures and other VCs, they flipped the business to the matchmaking model that operates today. Born in Paraguay, Mike calls himself “an experience junkie”; having dove with sharks, lived with street children in Mongolia and ran the Boston marathon, he’s always looking for a crazy experience and living to tell the tale.


Chris Farinacci

Coach: Chris Farinacci, Head of Enterprise Marketing, Google  

Twitter: @cfarinacci

Chris Farinacci leads Global Enterprise Marketing at Google, where he is responsible for the marketing strategy and execution for Google enterprise solutions to businesses, students, and governments. Chris is a seasoned marketing executive with over 20 years of experience in business IT, having shaped the development of new software categories and introduced innovative enterprise products.  Prior to joining Google, Chris was the CMO of Hara, a fast growing Kleiner Perkins startup that is pioneering the new environmental and energy management market. He also served as CMO at public product lifecycle management company Agile Software, which he helped lead to record revenue growth and later acquisition by Oracle, where he ran global marketing for Oracle supply chain and manufacturing products.  Previously, Chris held leadership roles in marketing, sales, services, business development and product management at i2, Aspect Development, and SDRC (now Siemens PLM).


Jeff Moriarty

Coach: Jeff Moriarty, General Manager, Boston.com

Twitter: @jeffmoriarty

Jeff Moriarty is responsible for strategy, design and development of digital products at The Boston Globe, including Boston.com and BostonGlobe.com. In October 2012, he also assumed the role of General Manager of Boston.com, where he is responsible for building on the success of the Boston market’s largest website. BostonGlobe.com, The Globe’s premium Web site, has received accolades since its launch in 2011 for its unique use of Responsive Web Design techniques, its news-reading focused interface and app-like features. Jeff joined The Boston Globe in September 2010 with 15 years of experience developing and managing digital products across The New York Times Company. Prior to The Globe, Jeff managed the product group at About.com (previously owned by The New York Times Company) where he was responsible for the user experience and advertising products. Jeff also was vice president for new media at The New York Times Company Regional Media Group, where he was responsible for the Internet strategy and operations for the Group's 14 newspapers. He joined the Times Company in 1993 and has served as vice president for product and technology for Boston.com; director of classifieds operations at NYTimes.com; vice president and general manager for GolfDigest.com (previously owned by The New York Times Company); and vice president for regional and emerging properties, New York Times Digital. Jeff, who has a BS in journalism from the University of Florida, started his career in the newsroom of The Gainesville Sun. He launched his first website for the Sun in 1994.


Julia Kemp

Coach: Julia Kemp, Discovery Director, Daily Grommet

Julia is a Discovery Director at Daily Grommet, and like Jules, an Industrial Designer with an MBA. She received her undergrad degree from The Savannah College of Art and masters from Simmons College. She was recruited out of school to design for Target. There, she developed numerous product collections, but noticed how the new products on the shelf couldn’t talk. No matter how strong the packaging, the most innovative didn’t seem to get the traction and attention they deserved. Just as she was finishing up her MBA from Simmons, she joined the Grommet team to help bring product creators and their inventions closer to consumers through product story telling. Julia has led the launch of over 275 Grommets and is known as a passionate flag bearer for the company.

Ben Einstein

Coach: Ben Einstein, Managing Director, Bolt

Twitter: @BenEinstein

Ben Einstein is an experienced product designer and entrepreneur. Ben is currently the Managing Director of Bolt, a program built from the ground up to help early-stage hardware companies get to market more quickly and cost-effectively. Bolt provides seed capital, full-time engineering staff, a prototyping shop, extensive relationships to manufacturing resources, and assistance with retail distribution. Prior to starting Bolt, Ben ran Brainstream Design, a product design and development consultancy in Massachusetts. Ben has been directly responsible for bringing a long list of products to market covering diverse sectors including consumer electronics, high-performance audio, sporting goods and green energy.


David Krauser

Coach: David Krauser, Director, Highland Capital

Twitter:  @dkrauser

David Krauser is a Director in the Highland Consumer Fund assisting with investments in the retail, consumer goods and services sector. He has a particular interest in natural products, nutrition, juvenile products, and e-commerce. David is actively involved in Highland Consumer Fund's investments in Merrick Pet CareO BeveragesPinkberryTrue Science and Trupanion. David joined Highland in 2007. Previously, David worked on the Retail Finance Team at CapitalSource Finance LLC, a commercial finance company, where he provided senior cash flow and mezzanine debt to support private equity buyouts of retail and consumer products companies. Prior to CapitalSource, David worked at Wellington Management, an asset management firm in Boston. While at Wellington, he worked with the firm’s corporate pension fund clients and portfolio managers to open, monitor, and analyze separate accounts and asset allocation portfolios.


Jules Pieri

Coach: Jules Pieri, CEO, Daily Grommet 

Twitter: @julespieri

Jules Pieri is Founder and CEO of the product launch platform Daily Grommet.   The company’s “Citizen Commerce” platform is reshaping how consumer products get discovered, shared, and bought.  Jules started her career as industrial designer for technology companies, and was subsequently a senior executive for large brands such as Keds, Stride Rite and Playskool.  Daily Grommet is her third startup, following roles as VP at Design Continuum and President of  Ziggs.com.  She completed her undergrad degree at the University of Michigan and people tell her she is the first designer to graduate from Harvard Business School, where she was recently appointed an Entrepreneur in Residence.


Adam Grossman

Coach: Adam Grossman, SVP of Marketing & Brand Development, The Boston Red Sox

Twitter: @GrossmanAdam

In this role, Grossman is responsible for directing strategic marketing and branding for the Red Sox, and plays a vital role in managing all key Red Sox marketing programs including advertising, branding, broadcasting, social media and fan analytic initiatives. He also directs the club's fan loyalty programs including Red Sox Nation and Red Sox Kid Nation. Grossman began his career with the Red Sox in 2002 and was named Special Assistant to President and CEO Larry Lucchino in 2004. He was promoted to Vice President of Marketing in 2008 and oversaw the club’s advertising campaigns, worked with MLB International on all aspects of the team’s presence in Japan and played a key role in expanding event opportunities at Fenway Park, including the “Futures at Fenway” minor league doubleheader games, which brought the first official minor league games to the ballpark. Grossman received a BA in Public Policy from Duke University in 2002, where he co-founded a student-led organization to improve all aspects of the Durham Bulls Youth League (DBYAL) and spearheaded a $450,000 renovation project to refurbish two baseball fields in Durham’s inner city. He later went on to attend Harvard Business School as a part of their Program for Leadership Development, Executive Education in 2009.


Larry Kahn

Coach: Larry Kahn, Partner & Managing Director, Beechwood Capital

A seasoned operator and investor with over 15 years of experience in management, operations and marketing, Kahn co-founded Beechwood Capital to identify and invest in unique growth-stage branded consumer product companies.  The founders of Beechwood Capital have deep entrepreneurial and operational experience, including founding and building The Holmes Group (with such brands as Crock-Pot®, Rival®, and Bionaire®) from a start-up to an $800 million branded consumer products leader, which they sold to the Jarden Corporation in 2005.  After The Holmes Group, Kahn stayed on with Jarden and led the $170 million Food Storage division (and the Seal-a-Meal® and FoodSaver® Brands).  Kahn spent his early career as a Partner at Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide. Kahn has earned a B.S. in Marketing from Lehigh University and an M.B.A. from The Anderson School at UCLA.  He currently sits on the boards of IdeaPaint®, Genetic® and Revolate Holdings.


Katie Rae

Coach: Katie Rae, Managing Director, TechStars Boston

Twitter: @ktrae

Katie Rae is the Managing Director of TechStars in Boston, and is also a founder of Project 11, a firm that invests in and assists early-stage startups.   Katie specializes in rapid product development and customer growth strategies for Internet businesses that scale.

She has spent her career building significant Internet businesses in the community, self-publishing and search spaces.  Most recently she was the Head of Product for Microsoft Startup Labs, an early stage product development lab focused on collaboration, location-based services and social applications, where concepts were tested for consumer enthusiasm.   Before that she was SVP of Product at Eons, a business focused on new products for 50+ community.  Katie pioneered early freemium business models at Lycos for the Tripod and Angelfire communities. She learned the ropes of product and business development at AltaVista, RagingBull, Zip2 and Mirror Worlds. She holds an MBA from Yale University and a BA in Biology from Oberlin College.


Michel Arney

Coach: Michel Arney, Principle, Continuum Boston

As a Principal at Continuum, Mike Arney translates ideas into real experiences. He combines his background in product design with a deep understanding of how people see the world to create products and experiences that are meaningful to consumers. Mike
understands that in order for an insight to be truly valuable, it has to be understood and usable by the entire development team. This shared understanding is what drives both development and evaluation, and ultimately business success.  While with Continuum, Mike has led projects for dozens of major brands, including  L.L.Bean, P&G, Samsung, Herman Miller, Fellowes, AMF, Johnson & Johnson, Bunn, Thermador, Holmes, Intercontinental and Boston Acoustic.  Mike is a regular presenter at the Boston University School of Management, and has  spoken at the International Housewares show and the APDF conference. Prior to joining Continuum, Mike held design positions with Wang Laboratories, Henry Dreyfuss Associates and Tonka Toys. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Design from the University of Cincinnati College of Design, Art, Architecture and Planning.


Joe Rizk

Coach: Joseph Rizk, Venture & Business Design, IDEO

Twitter: @jfrizk

Joe Rizk is a Venture & Business Designer at IDEO, working with early stage businesses as well as helping bring new corporate innovations to scale. Prior to IDEO, Joe worked as an investor with Lerer Ventures, a seed-stage venture capital firm and within the Business Development group at GroupMe, a mobile messaging company (sold to Skype/Microsoft).  Joe's experience also includes roles within JPMorgan Asset Management and Jefferies Private Equity & Venture Capital Fund Placement.  Joe holds an MBA from Columbia University where he was an InSITE Fellow and a BS from Georgetown University in New Business Management & Finance.  Joe is a Board Member of the Columbia Venture Community (CVC) and Co-Founder of Venturing Hoyas. Joe writes at rizkonceptions.com and tweets at @jfrizk.

Kate Drane

Coach: Kate Drane, Director of Market Development, Design and Technology, Indiegogo

Twitter:  @KateDrane

Kate Drane believes in the power of "we" over "me,” and crowdfunding is a perfect gratification of this. In the fall of 2011, she and a team ran a fundraising campaign for her small business, The Can Van, which helped hone her crowdfunding skills and know-how. Now, she is lucky enough to live and breathe crowdfunding each and every day in her role as Indiegogo’s Director of Market Development for Design and Technology. In addition, she is an organizer of SoupSF, which brings crowdfunding to the community

level, connecting great projects directly with the local residents who will want to see them thrive. Indiegogo is the largest global crowdfunding platform, empowering anyone, anywhere, anytime, to raise funds for any idea. Since launching in January 2008, Indiegogo has enabled campaign owners to launch campaigns from every country around the world. With millions of dollars distributed globally each week across the site, Indiegogo is democratizing the way the world raises funds for any project - creative,
cause-related or entrepreneurial. Indiegogo is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices in Los Angeles and New York. For more information, visit www.indiegogo.com and follow us at www.twitter.com/indiegogo and www.facebook.com/indiegogo.

What are you most excited about seeing at this event? Have you checked out our new "Hub" page yet for up to date information on all things #grommetpitch?

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