Danai Nhando is a Human Rights Lawyer, Equitable Education Activist and Social Justice Technologist. She has dedicated her career to helping the poor, fighting injustice and leveraging technology to advance Equity and Social Justice for underrepresented and marginalized communities.
As a Human Rights Lawyer who is passionate about technology, Danai has always been intrigued by how technology can be leveraged to advance and scale social justice and equity. She particularly thrived in equitable education and EdTech projects, including the design and delivery of Ruzivo Smart Learning, an EdTech platform in Zimbabwe endorsed by the Ministry of Education used nationally by over 1,6 million primary and high school students and over 26,000 teachers. She Co-Founded KasiMaths, an interactive after-school Maths Enrichment Hub designed to help students from underprivileged township schools to develop mathematical skills, and increase their enjoyment of mathematics using tools such as robotics, eLearning and coding.
Presently, Danai serves as the Country Director, South Africa for Change.org where she has set up and scaled Change.org’s first Country office on the African continent. In her role she has supported some of the biggest people-powered digital campaigns in South Africa from the plight of the homeless, equitable education, refugee rights, health equity rights and Gender Based Violence.
Danai holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Law and Economics, as well as a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) from Rhodes University. She also holds an MBA (with Merit) from Royal Holloway, University of London.
Alessandro Di Lullo
Alessandro Di Lullo is Co-Founder of SuperCharger Ventures, a leading edtech accelerator with offices in London and Hong Kong that is helping great entrepreneurs change the way education works. SuperCharger supports founders as they grow their business, raise funding and expand internationally. To date, they have supercharged 39 edtech companies.
Alessandro’s previous experience includes Director of Academia & Entrepreneurship at CFTE, a world-renowned online education platform in the field of Fintech and Artificial Intelligence, where he worked with governments and financial institutions in Europe, Asia, and Middle East to launch transformational education projects to upskill hundreds of thousands professionals and individuals.
Alesasandro holds a bachelors in Economics and Management from Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Italy, a Masters in Finance from the University of Hong Kong, and is currently a PhD candidate in Central Bank Digital Currencies at the University of Hong Kong. He also teaches Innovation and Venture Capital at top universities in Europe and Asia such as EDHEC Business School and Chulalongkorn University.
Liam Pisano is a Managing Partner at EduLab Capital Partners. Prior to co-founding EduLab Capital Partners, Liam was the Managing Director at LearnLaunch, an early-stage education technology investment platform, and co-working space. There he managed investment activity and drove domestic and international strategy for the organization. He has over 18 years of direct investing experience, holding investment professional positions at Spectrum Equity Investors, Hercules Capital, and Patriot Capital. He also co-founded one of the first MOOC’s for student use, Academic Earth, which was named as Time Magazine top websites of 2009 and was eventually sold to an ABRY Partners portfolio company.
Liam received his B.A. in Political Science from Williams College, where he was a member of the two time National Championship Division III cross country team. He received his M.B.A from Yale University where he was a founding member of the Yale Economic Review.
Liam is a proud 21-year member of the Big Brothers Association of Massachusetts, a two-time big brother and former Big Brother of the Year. He is also co-founder of the William Gaines Foundation (Biggie’s Kids), a non-profit organization serving underprivileged inner-city high school students. The father of two boys, he counts coaching the Yellow Team to a 2nd grade soccer league title as one of his greatest accomplishments.
Jing Zhao is an entrepreneur, investor and founder with a passion for transforming the STEAM space for young children both in China and the US. She is an Investor, Shareholder, and Advisor to Fröebel Education, the first official authorized Chinese partner of HABA digital workshop, an initiative which has rolled out across Germany and has won the “100 Innovative Projects” award from the German government. Fröebel has rolled out their first pilot STEAM program center in Wuhan, China for children aged 4-13, and due to high demand, they plan to build 50 STEAM centers across China. Jing is also the founder of Aurora Education, a STEAM-based early childhood educational daycare serving children from Pre-school to Kindergarten that is launching in greater Boston this year. In addition, Jing is an Investor, Trustee and Manager of her family trusts where she identifies promising startups in the fields of education, innovation and technology, and real estate to consider for investment.
Prior to her current roles, Jing worked as an engineer with both Cummings in Indiana and Sun Microsystems in Beijing, China. She holds an M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Michigan Technological University, a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Wuhan University of Technology, and she is currently enrolled in the EdM Learning Engineering program at Boston College. In her free time, Jing enjoys Tennis, Snowboarding, Photography, Dance and spending time with her two cool kids!
Shaun Dubash is the Chief Product Officer and founding member of Emeritus, a company that is building the largest reskilling platform to allow people from across the world to reskill for the jobs of the future. It does this by collaborating with more than 50 top-tier universities across the United States, Europe, Latin America, Southeast Asia, India and China, offering short courses, degree programs, professional certificates, and senior executive programs. Emeritus was included in the 2022 edition of the GSV Ventures EdTech 150 list of transformative growth companies in digital learning.
A founder, board member, entrepreneur and angel investor, Sean is a self-proclaimed “startup junky”, currently in his 3rd successful startup. Prior to his tenure at Emeritus, he was previously at Travelguru, where he spent 7 years and was part of the pre-funded founding team and also led the supplier relations and the b2c business. He was also previously the COO at Angara Inc, which redefined the online jewelry shopping experience.
Sean’s core strengths are in spotting opportunities and in execution. He is able to understand the key drivers of a business through extensive data analysis and then put processes in place to scale a business.
Shaun holds a Bachelors in Commerce from the Government of Maharashtra Sydenham College of Commerce & Economics, and has extensive post-graduate business and executive management training at the Indo-German training center, The Wharton School and MIT Sloan School. He recently moved from Boston to Miami where he is enjoying the warm weather!
Tetyana Astashkina is an experienced fund manager bringing perspectives from investing in a broad range of industries across several continents. She started her professional career in Switzerland with Europe’s most active angel network and a group of funds called btov Partners. Tetyana led btov’s deal scouting and partnerships activities in international markets (India, Turkey, Eastern Europe, USA, Israel). Also, Tetyana co-managed operations for multiple funds. Tetyana’s past investments with btov covered Seed Stage companies across different themes including clean technologies (e.g. wind tech, bio tech, renewable energies) and diverse internet-enabled consumer-facing businesses (e.g. travel, fashion, e-health).
Tetyana joined LearnLaunch Accelerator II in 2017 as a Venture Partner and in 2018 as a General Partner. In addition to investments and portfolio management work, Tetyana is responsible for fundraising, and all aspects of fund operations. Through her lead role on a capacity building project sponsored by the Lumina Foundation back in 2018, Tetyana built deep expertise in the Workforce Edtech vertical having co-authored “The State of the Workforce Edtech” report.
In 2020, Together with Jean Hammond and two more fellow founders, Tetyana co-founded Edinno – the learning community for early stage edtech entrepreneurs. She has been an active contributor and a coach to entrepreneurs participating in Edinno’s programs. Tetyana’s other past volunteer work includes being a mentor & trainer at MassChallenge, mentor at Global Venture Catalyst, CRDF Global and Social Innovation Forum, as well as expert reviewer for female-focused angel network Astia Angels.
Tetyana received her BA and MA degrees in International Affairs from Lviv Franko National University in Ukraine and a Master of European Studies (MES) degree from European University Viadrina in Germany.
Joel Lamstein has dedicated more than 43 years of his life to education and public health. In 1971, Joel co-founded Management Sciences for Health (MSH), a nonprofit international health organization. In 1978, he co-founded John Snow, Inc. (JSI), named after the father of epidemiology, John Snow, and initially launched as a small for-profit business focused on health care in the United States. In 1979, Lamstein launched an affiliated nonprofit partner, JSI Research & Training Institute, and in 1980, the organizations began working internationally. In addition to leading JSI, in 1982 Lamstein assumed the role of president of World Education, an organization founded in 1951 to meet the needs of the educationally disadvantaged, particularly women and girls.
Up until his retirement in January 2022, Joel led more than 4,100 staff from all three organizations in 45 countries, implementing more than 350 projects that strengthened health and educational systems, built community skills and support, and addressed people’s health care and literacy needs.
Joel is an adjunct senior lecturer at the Harvard School of Public Health, an adjunct professor at the Boston University School of Public Health, and a visiting professor at Tulane University’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. He has also lectured at various universities including: the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, MIT Sloan School, the Boston University School of Public Health, and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government on organizational strategy, nonprofit management, international development, and strategic management. Today, he is chair of the board of Seed Global Health and the advisory council of the Children’s Health Fund in New York. He is also chair of the dean’s advisory boards at Boston University School of Public Health, the University of Michigan School of Public Health, and the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies. Joel served on the board of the Global Health Council from 2004 until 2012.