A spin off of CNBC’s Disruptor 50 list—which identifies 50 innovative companies every year—the Disruptor 50 Roadshow will bring together Disruptor 50 company founders, leaders and investors to discuss the challenges and opportunities available to entrepreneurs who are looking to accelerate their businesses, and share actionable insights that can help you take your small business to the next level.
Who Should Attend: Entrepreneurs, small-business owners, start-ups and VCs who want to:
Philadelphia-native Jennifer Carroll is the executive chef and partner at Spice Finch, a modern Mediterranean restaurant and bar located in the Rittenhouse neighborhood at 220 S 17th St. She is also the owner and executive chef of Carroll Couture Cuisine, a catering and consulting company that has traveled worldwide to create delicious experiences for almost a decade.
After attending Philadelphia’s Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College in 1996, Carroll worked at Chef Derek Davis' Sonoma and Arroyo Grill, as well as Neil Stein's Avenue B under Chef Patrick Feury. She then spent time in the kitchens at both Julia and Café Kati, under chefs Julia McClaskey and Kirk Webber in San Francisco as sous chef. Shortly after, Carroll moved to New York City in 2003 and began training under three Michelin star chef Eric Ripert at Le Bernardin, where she worked for 9 years. During that time, she was tapped by Ripert to become the chef de cuisine at his 10 Arts restaurant.
In 2014, she began working with chef Marcus Samuelsson at the Red Rooster in Harlem and launched his Bermuda Samuelsson at Hamilton Princess. In September 2015 Carroll and her fiancé, chef Billy Riddle, moved to the nation’s capital, where she designed and built French-Mediterranean restaurant Requin.
Most recently, Carroll returned to Philly to fulfill her long-time dream of planting culinary roots in the town she has always called home. In July 2018, she and Riddle opened Spice Finch together where they showcase dishes inspired by the herbs and spices of the nations bordering the Mediterranean Sea.
Kevin O’Leary was born in Montreal, Canada on July 9th, 1954. As the son of a United Nations ILO official, he had the opportunity to live and be educated in Cambodia, Cyprus, Tunisia, Ethiopia, France and Switzerland.
Kevin attended the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada where in 1977 he received an Honors bachelor’s degree in environmental studies and Psychology. He attended the University of Western Ontario where he received his MBA in 1980.
After working briefly as an assistant product manager at Nabisco Brands, he left to pursue a career in television production and became a founding partner in Special Event Television, an independent production company that produced original sports programming such as “The Original Six”, “Don Cherry’s Grapevine” and “Bobby Orr and the Hockey Legends”.
Kevin co-founded SoftKey Software Products in Toronto, Canada in 1986. SoftKey was the first software company to apply the principles of consumer goods marketing to the software industry. SoftKey grew quickly as the price of personal computers declined and millions of North American families began to buy software for family education and entertainment.
In January of 1994, SoftKey became a catalyst of consolidation in the software industry, raising over $ 1 billion in a series of debt and equity financings and completing the first trans-border three-way pooling, merging with Spinnaker Software and WordStar International. As a result of this merger the company moved its headquarters to Boston, Massachusetts. In late 1995, SoftKey acquired Compton’s New Media and The Learning Company. In early 1996, SoftKey completed the acquisition of the Minnesota Educational Computer Company. In late 1997 and early 1998, the company acquired three more of its competitors, Creative Wonders, Mindscape and Broderbund making SoftKey the world leader in the development of educational, reference and home productivity software and the world’s second largest consumer software company with annual sales over $800 million, two thousand employees and subsidiaries in 15 countries. In 1996 SoftKey changed its name to The Learning Company. In early May 1999, The Mattel Toy Company acquired The Learning Company for $4.2 billion.
In 2003 he became co-investor and a director in Storage Now, a leading developer of climate-controlled storage facilities. Through a series of development projects and acquisitions, Storage Now became one of Canada’s largest owner/operator of storage services with facilities located in eleven cities serving such companies as Merck and Pfizer when it was acquired by the In Storage REIT in March 2007 for $110 million.
In July of 2007 Kevin became a founding investor and Director of Stream Global Services Inc., focused on the growing outsourcing business services market.
Kevin O’Leary is the Chairman of O’Leary Funds the Manager of the publically traded family of O’Leary Global Equity and Income Funds. He also serves on the board of The Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario. He is a member of Boston’s 107 year old Hamilton Trust. Kevin O’Leary is a contributing columnist to CTV, BNN and the Bell Media Radio Network. He is a contributor to CNBC, ABC News and Good Morning America and an entrepreneur/investor co-host for the Discovery Channels Project Earth series that explores innovative ways man could reverse global warming implementing large scale geo-engineering infrastructure projects. He is also an investor/host of ABC Television’s Emmy Award winning venture capital reality program “Shark Tank” produced my Mark Burnet/Sony/ABC.
Kevin O’Leary is an active photographer, guitarist and author of three number #1 best selling books “Cold Hard Truth”, “Men, Women and Money” and “Family Kids and Money”.
Renowned internet entrepreneur Michael Rubin is the Founder and Executive Chairman of Fanatics, the global leader for licensed sports merchandise which is changing the way fans purchase their favorite team apparel through an innovative, tech-infused approach to designing, making and selling fan gear. As founder/CEO of Kynetic, he also owns two other businesses at the forefront of online commerce that enhance the way we shop in today’s on-demand culture: the Rue Gilt Groupe, owner of two of the top online private sale destinations in the U.S., and ShopRunner, a members-only service aggregating shopping benefits from top retailers and brands.
At a time when the retail industry is seeing massive upheaval, Rubin has envisioned a new model for commerce – Vertical Commerce. This V-Commerce approach allows for incredible speed-to-market of fan gear, benefitting leagues, teams and retailers looking to serve the insatiable real-time appetite of fans worldwide, fueled by explosive growth in technology, mobile and social media.
Rubin has always been on the cutting edge of commerce. Prior to creating Kynetic, he was the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of GSI Commerce, a network of e-commerce, multichannel and digital marketing businesses. In a span of 12 years, Rubin built GSI to service 150 of the top 500 internet retailers before selling the company to eBay for $2.4 billion. He started his entrepreneurial career at the age of 12, when he opened a ski-tuning shop in his parents’ Philadelphia basement. At age 25, Rubin became one of the youngest CEOs ever of a NASDAQ-listed company.
Named annually as one of the most influential people in sports business, Rubin is also co-owner of the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils.
Maureen Sullivan serves as COO of Rent the Runway, where she drives growth and delivery of customer experience across all areas of the business. In her role as COO, she oversees numerous functions across the company including brand, marketing, product marketing, communications, design, creative and UX, as well as brand partnerships, fashion, merchandising and production. She also oversees the Customer Experience function -- including the RTR store experiences. In her charter as COO, Maureen helps drives cross-functional teams to deliver world-class experiences for RTR customers and reach financial objectives to fuel future growth. Previously, Maureen worked at AOL as President of AOL.com and Lifestyle Brands, where she led all elements of the AOL.com experience including programming, product, and engineering, as well as overseeing strategy, partnerships, and operations. Prior to this role, she was Senior Vice President of Brand, Marketing and Communications at AOL, a role in which she managed brand development and led the global re-branding of AOL. She managed consumer marketing and media investments, as well as public relations, internal communications, and company-wide CSR initiatives. Prior to that, Maureen was Chief of Staff at Google to the Global President of Advertising & Commerce. She serves on the board of the nonprofit Network for Good. Maureen graduated from Stanford University and lives in New York City with her husband and 3 children.
Anthony is a software developer turned entrepreneur, and the founder and former CEO of RevZilla.com. After being acquired in a 2016, Anthony left RevZilla’s day-to-day and is currently angel investing, advising and mentoring within the tech and startup communities. He also sits on the boards of Comoto Holdings (RevZilla / Cycle Gear), the Tony Hawk Foundation and goPuff along with advisory boards for the National Retail Federation and Drexel University. He lives in the Philly suburbs with his wife and five children and is always on the lookout for his next adventure, business or otherwise. Catch up with him and his latest musings at anthonybucci.com
Donna De Carolis, Ph.D., is the founding Dean of the Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship and the Silverman Family Professor of Entrepreneurial Leadership at Drexel University.
As founding Dean of the Close School, the nation’s first freestanding, degree-granting school of entrepreneurship, De Carolis has initiated a pioneering approach to entrepreneurship education. Her vision is to empower all university students with the belief that they can be entrepreneurs – by broadly defining entrepreneurship as an attitude that incorporates innovative thinking and doing in all facets of life, career and profession.
De Carolis has been a champion of entrepreneurship education in her various roles as Associate Dean and Management Department head at Drexel’s LeBow College of Business, and as Associate Vice-Provost for Entrepreneurship Education.
De Carolis’ research has appeared in journals such as the Strategic Management Journal, the Journal of Management, and Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice. She is the recipient of the prestigious Lindback Foundation Award for Distinguished Teaching and the Distinguished Teaching Excellence Award from Executive MBAs. She frequently speaks to companies about leadership and innovation.
Well-known throughout the Philadelphia region as a lecturer and media personality, De Carolis contributes weekly commentaries to KYW Newsradio. In addition, her commentary has appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Business Journal, and Forbes On-line.
An active member of the Alliance for Women Entrepreneurs, De Carolis was the 2015 recipient of their Iris Newman Award, given each year to a woman business leader who has demonstrated a strong commitment to helping advance women entrepreneurs. De Carolis is a current member of Drexel University’s Biomedical Engineering Community Advisory Board advising the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems, advising on translational research, medical device development and entrepreneurship. De Carolis is also a board member of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Exchange (EIX), which provides entrepreneurship resources to colleges and universities. Additionally, she participates in numerous councils and advisory boards for startup companies and is an executive board member of the US Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE), in addition to being a member of the Board of Directors for both the Barra Foundation and Faith In the Future Foundation, making a highly positive impact on our local communities.
Prior to coming to Drexel, De Carolis served as a strategy consultant and lobbyist. She earned her doctoral degree in strategic management from Temple University and holds an MBA from Villanova University.
She is the mother of two wonderful sons, one amazing daughter, and Louie, the sweetest Scottish Terrier.
David Hall is a Partner at Revolution's Rise of the Rest Seed Fund and is responsible for investment sourcing, execution, and oversight for Revolution portfolio companies. David began his career with Revolution in 2006, serving as an investment professional for Revolution and has been working with the portfolio companies ever since. David has worked closely with and served as a Board Observer for Revolution Money (American Express), Booker (formerly GramercyOne), Vinfolio, Koofers, SnagFilms, BenchPrep and Homesnap.
Prior to Revolution, David was with The Washington Post Company as Director of Planning and Development. In this capacity, he managed corporate M&A and investments and launched new print and digital publications. Earlier in his career, David held positions as manager of Business Development for Akamai Technologies, Inc. and senior financial analyst for Morgan Stanley & Co. Inc.
David received a B.A. in Economics from Morehouse College and a Masters in Business Administration from Harvard Business School.
Jorge Mazal is Vice President of Product at Duolingo, the largest language-learning platform and most downloaded education app worldwide. Prior to joining Duolingo in 2017, Jorge was Director of Product at Lucid Software. Before that, he held various product roles at San Francisco-based companies MyFitnessPal and Zynga. He was also a Product Fellow at Kleiner Perkins. Jorge holds an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, an MPA from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, and a BS from Brigham Young University.
David is President, CEO, and Director of Indigo. He is a serial entrepreneur who has founded and built three innovative companies in the last 20 years, leading the last two through successful IPOs and to multi-billion dollar market capitalizations, and raising over $950 million, while generating significant returns for investors.
David was most recently CEO and Co-Founder of Anacor Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ANAC), a biopharmaceutical company discovering and developing novel small-molecule therapeutics to treat infectious and inflammatory diseases. The company was acquired by Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) in 2016 for approximately $5.2 billion. David previously co-founded and served as CEO of Chemdex (NASDAQ: CMDX), later creating its parent company Ventro Corporation (NASDAQ: VNTR), a business-to-business marketplace focused on the life sciences industry. At its peak, Ventro was valued at $11 billion and was later sold to Nexprise.
David is Founder and Chairman of the San Francisco-based digital health startup Better Therapeutics (f/k/a FareWell) and a Board Director of the human microbiome company Evelo Biosciences.
In 2000, David was named Entrepreneur of the Year in Northern California by Ernst and Young. He holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Tulsa. He also attended the United States Air Force Academy, where he was a National Merit Scholar.
Julia Boorstin is CNBC’s Senior Media & Tech Correspondent based at the network’s Los Angeles Bureau. She covers media with a special focus on the intersection of media and technology. Boorstin also plays a key role on CNBC’s bi-coastal tech-focused program “TechCheck” (M-F, 11AM-12PM ET/8AM-9AM PT) delivering reporting, analysis and interviews around streaming, social and the convergence of media and technology. She joined CNBC in May 2006 as a general assignment reporter and in 2007 moved to Los Angeles to cover media.
In 2013, Boorstin created and launched the CNBC Disruptor 50, an annual list she oversees, highlighting the private companies transforming the economy and challenging companies in established industries. Additionally, she reported a documentary on the future of television for the network, “Stay Tuned…The Future of TV.” She also helped launch CNBC’s ‘Closing the Gap’ initiative covering the people and companies closing gender gaps, and leads CNBC’s coverage of studies on this topic. She is currently writing a book called, “WHEN WOMEN LEAD: What they achieve, Why they succeed, and How we can learn from them,” about female founders that Simon & Schuster’s Avid Reader imprint is publishing in October 2022.
Boorstin joined CNBC from Fortune magazine where she was a business writer and reporter since 2000. During that time, she was also a contributor to “Street Life,” a live market wrap-up segment on CNN Headline News.
In 2003, 2004 and 2006, The Journalist and Financial Reporting newsletter named Boorstin to the “TJFR 30 under 30” list of the most promising business journalists under 30 years old. She has also worked for the State Department’s delegation to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and for Vice President Gore’s domestic policy office.
She graduated with honors from Princeton University with a B.A. in history. She was also an editor of The Daily Princetonian.
Jim Cramer believes there is always a bull market somewhere, and he wants to help you find it. He is host of CNBC's "Mad Money," (M-F, 6PM ET) featuring lively guest interviews, viewer calls and most important, the unmatched, fiery opinions of Cramer himself. He serves as the viewer's personal guide through the confusing jungle of Wall Street investing—navigating through both opportunities and pitfalls with one goal in mind—to help them make money.
Cramer is also co-anchor of the 9 a.m. ET hour of CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" (M-F, 9AM-11AM ET) and the founder of TheStreet, a multimedia provider of financial commentary.
He graduated from Harvard College where he was president and editor-in-chief of the prestigious daily, The Harvard Crimson. After graduation, he became a reporter for the Tallahassee Democrat and later for the Los Angeles Herald Examiner, where he covered stories ranging from homicides to sporting events.
Cramer is a former hedge fund manager and founder/owner and senior partner of Cramer Berkowitz. His compounded rate of return was 24 percent after all fees for 14 years at Cramer Berkowitz. He retired from his hedge fund in 2001, where he finished with one of the best records in the business, including having 36 percent-plus year in 2000.
He helped Steve Brill launch American Lawyer magazine before attending Harvard Law School and earning a law degree. Upon graduating and passing the New York State Bar Examination and being admitted to the N.Y. State Bar, Cramer joined Goldman Sachs in sales and trading. While at Goldman, Cramer wrote for The New Republic about stock market issues.
In December 2013, he published the book, "Jim Cramer's Get Rich Carefully," in which he creates a guide to high-yield, low-risk investing. Cramer is also the author of "Jim Cramer's Getting Back to Even," "Stay Mad for Life: Get Rich, Stay Rich," "Mad Money: Watch TV, Get Rich," "Jim Cramer's RealMoney" and "Confessions of a Street Addict."
Tyler Mathisen co-anchors CNBC's "Power Lunch" (M-F, 1PM-3PM ET), one of the network's longest running program franchises. He is also Vice President, Events Strategy for CNBC, working closely with the network's events team to grow the rapidly expanding business.
Previously, Mathisen was co-anchor of "Nightly Business Report," an award-winning evening business news program produced by CNBC for U.S. public television. In 2014, NBR was named best radio/TV show by the Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW). Since joining CNBC in 1997, Mathisen has held a number of positions including managing editor of CNBC Business News, responsible for directing the network's daily content and coverage. He was also co-anchor of CNBC's "Closing Bell."
Mathisen has reported one-hour documentaries for the network including "Best Buy: The Big Box Fights Back," "Supermarkets Inc: Inside a $500 Billion Money Machine" and "Death: It's a Living." Mathisen was also host of the CNBC series "How I Made My Millions."
Prior to CNBC, Mathisen spent 15 years as a writer, senior editor and top editor for Money magazine. Among other duties, he supervised the magazine's mutual funds coverage, its annual investment forecast issue and its expansion into electronic journalism, for which it won the first-ever National Magazine Award for New Media in 1997.
In 1993, Mathisen won the American University-Investment Company Institute Award for Personal Finance Journalism for a televised series on "Caring for Aging Parents," which aired on ABC's "Good Morning America." Mathisen served as money editor of "GMA" from 1991 to 1997. He also won an Emmy Award for a report on the 1987 stock market crash that aired on New York's WCBS-TV.
A native of Arlington,Va., Mathisen graduated with distinction from the University of Virginia.
Kate Rogers joined CNBC in September 2014 as a reporter based at the network's Global Headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. Rogers covers small business and entrepreneurship for the network appearing on CNBC's Business Day programming and providing daily stories and videos to CNBC.com. She will also contribute to the network's overall markets coverage.
Previously, Rogers was a personal finance and small business reporter for FOX Business and FOXBusiness.com. While there, she reported across FBN's and FOX News' daily programming. She also created and hosted a web series on entrepreneurship and startups called "Growing Your Business" for FOXBusiness.com.
Prior to FBN, Rogers was a reporter at the Nonprofit Times covering the business aspect of nonprofit management, and was an editor at the Union County Local Source.
Rogers holds a bachelor's degree in English with a concentration in Journalism and a minor in Women's Studies from the University of Delaware.
Philadelphia native Michael Rubin disrupted the market for official sports team apparel. Fanatics, the company he created just 7 years ago, pulls in more than $2 billion in annual sales, turning celebratory sports moments into real-time global merchandising opportunities. His playbook emphasizes an agile supply chain and on-demand manufacturing. Rubin is also one of the front-office leaders responsible for the resurgence of the Philadelphia 76ers – an inspiring sports business turnaround story. He’ll talk about all that and more with CNBC’s own Philly fanatic, Jim Cramer.
Michael Rubin, Founder & Executive Chairman, Fanatics*; Co-Owner, Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils
Moderator: Jim Cramer, Host, “Mad Money w/ Jim Cramer;” Co-Anchor, “Squawk on the Street,” CNBC
The e-commerce free market is alive and well. Retail startups continue to disrupt the old guard. Some go narrow and deep, building passionate digital communities where commerce thrives. Others find pricing inefficiencies in a market,exploit them on behalf of consumers and pass along the savings at scale. Whatever the model: the more successful the firm; the faster the growth; the more likely the team will find itself – at some point – looking in the rear-view mirror for a guy in Seattle named Jeff Bezos. CNBC Disruptor 50 company Rent the Runway and Philadelphia-born RevZilla have each uniquely found a place in the hearts of a healthy following of customers who’ve remained loyal as they’ve built formidable brands. Any entrepreneur, current, aspiring or even recovering, will learn much from these journeys.
Anthony Bucci, Founder & Former CEO, RevZilla.com
Maureen Sullivan, COO, Rent the Runway*
Moderator: Julia Boorstin, Senior Media & Entertainment Correspondent, CNBC
Is your cheesesteak getting cheaper? If not, you may want to ask “why not?” Sales of wholesale processed cheese are set to decline for the fourth straight year in 2018, and prices are falling with the drop in demand. It’s another slice of evidence that consumers continue to raise the bar for manufacturers when it comes to what’s in their food and where it comes from. In particular, people (and not just millennials) are demanding local, organic, and sustainable food, and many are willing to pay more to get it. All of this makes for a hearty opportunity for venture capitalists and big food companies investing in startups that make food grow easier, last longer, and taste better. A disruptive farmer and one of Philly’s top chefs share how listening to your customers can have delicious results.
David Perry, CEO, Indigo Agriculture*
Jennifer Carroll, Co-Executive Chef and Partner, Spice Finch
Moderator: Kate Rogers, Reporter, CNBC
Earlier this year, Duolingo put up a simple billboard along Highway 101 in San Francisco. “Own a home. Work in tech,” it said, and then “Move to Pittsburgh.” The appeal seems to have worked, and about 85% of Duolingo’s workforce moved to Pittsburgh came from somewhere else, many from Silicon Valley (including our guest, Head of Product Jorge Mazal). So, what can Philadelphia startups do to make similar appeals for high-quality employees? What about keeping some of the half-million talented local undergrads from heading west after graduation? We look for ways Philadelphia can compete.
Jorge Mazal, Vice President of Product, Duolingo*
Donna de Carolis, Dean, Drexel University Close School of Entrepreneurship; CNBC Disruptor 50 Advisory Council Member
David Hall, Partner, Rise of the Rest Seed Fund
Moderator: Julia Boorstin, Senior Media & Entertainment Correspondent, CNBC
Entrepreneurship is not about the pursuit of wealth or money. It’s the pursuit of personal freedom,” says Kevin O’Leary, the prototypical entrepreneur who, from the middle seat on “Shark Tank,” has helped dozens of startups in their pursuit of their own personal freedom. He also relishes the opportunity to share his wisdom with his fellow entrepreneurs, looking for advice on how to maximize their time and effort, and he’s come to Philadelphia to do just that.
Kevin O’Leary, Chairman, O’Shares Investments
Moderator: Tyler Mathisen, Co-Anchor, “Power Lunch,” CNBC
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Comcast NBCUniversal LIFT Labs is a collaborative learning environment where startups serious about developing the next generation of media, entertainment and connectivity innovations connect with Comcast NBCUniversal product teams. Founder-focused, LIFT Labs features events and education, an accelerator run in partnership with Techstars, and engagements between company innovators and startups ready to scale.
Beginning as the first ever private jet charter and management company, NetJets has led the industry for 50+ years. Then in 1986, they revolutionized it with the concept of shared ownership and proceeded to build the largest, most diverse private jet fleet in the world. Today, backed by Berkshire Hathaway, NetJets offers a full range of personalized solutions to meet—and exceed—the incredible needs and high standards of the world’s most notable travelers.