2018 Speakers

 


 
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Peter Cortle

Peter is a a startup enthusiast passionate about people, product, and philanthropy. He is the founder of Life Changing Labs, a non-profit summer incubator and mentorship network for Cornell entrepreneurs, and head instructor at Life Changing Summer, a program teaching entrepreneurship and programming to high school students from across the world. Taking lessons from these experiences, he currently leads StartupTree as its CEO to help fuel the growth of university entrepreneurship globally. His first venture was a philanthropic apparel brand, Life Changing Apparel. Since then he has been involved with a number of startups as co-founder, operator, or primary advisor, and mentored hundreds of students over the past few years. To date, these early stage ventures have collectively raised millions in financing and reached well over a million dollars run rate.

 

 
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Fred Blackburn

Fred Blackburn tackles some of the country’s most critical issues--terrorist activities, drug interdiction, and even driverless vehicles. He leads the Justice, Homeland Security, and Transportation division of Booz Allen Hamilton, a top consulting firm based in Washington, D.C. Previously, he led both the analytics and predictive intelligence business areas for commercial, civil, defense, and security clients. He is an expert as using data and analytics to solve today’s complex problems. Before joining Booz Allen in 2008, Fred headed up the management consulting division at Northrop Grumman/TASC. As a director, he was responsible for acquisition management, decision analysis, cost and risk analysis, financial management, intelligence analysis, and change management. Recognized for his achievements, Fred was awarded two Director of Central Intelligence Meritorious Unit Citations for his contributions to the Future Imagery Architecture Joint Management Office and his support to the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency.
 

 
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Katie Ford

Katie Ford is the founder of Freedom for All and former CEO of one of the largest agencies in the world, Ford Models. Her experience scouting and searching for models drew her to fight human trafficking. She was stunned by parallels between how the modeling industry scouts talent and humans end up in modern day slavery, She started a non-profit Freedom for All, combats sex trafficking, debt bondage, forced labor and child labor, providing education, job skills training, and community prevention programs in vulnerable areas, in the U.S. and internationally.

 
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Christina Soriano & CHRISTINA HUGENSCHMIDT, PhD

Christina Soriano is the director of the dance program and associate professor at Wake Forest University. She founded a program IMPROVment™ which is an integrative method that emphasizes physical and mental fitness by encouraging participants to create their own movement in response to auditory prompts. She also teaches a dance class in Winston-Salem, NC, to those living with Parkinson’s disease and has been involved in three scientific studies how improvisational dance can help the mobility and balance of people living with neurodegenerative disease. She collaborates with Christina Hugenschmidt, a Neuroscientist and Assistant Professor in Gerontology & Geriatric Medicine at Wake Forest School of Medicine. Her research interests lie in the interplay between physical health and brain function. Together, they received funding from the National Parkinson Foundation, Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC, and most recently the NIH to conduct a randomized clinical trial, testing her improvisational dance method in a community of adults living with Mild Cognitive Impairment and their carepartners.

 

 
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Sebastian Terry

Everyone has an idea of what they want to do before they die. Some even have a list. But how many goals and dreams on this list are actually achieved? Sebastian Terry has set out to accomplish this. He created a crazy, adventurous list of 100 Things. His only goal is to check every item off. It’s not a bucket list, but instead a wish list of things to add meaning to his life. “100 Things” takes him on an epic adventure around the world as Sebastian continues on a journey that has no plan. Sebastian has boldly re-shaped his reality as he attempts to fulfill the dreams and aspirations of not just himself, but people everywhere. He also developed a community of “Campaigners” for people to share their dreams and goals. Support for his journey has been immense. What started as a journey about one man has now developed into a journey about many. He leaves you with one question: what’s on your list?
 

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RAINA HAQUE

Raina is the founder of Erdős Intellectual Property Law + Startup Legal and practices as an IP and business law attorney. She enjoys being an advocate for innovation across multiple industries. Her technical background is as a software developer in bioinformatics and fintech. She counsels software companies, design firms, startups, small businesses, and inventors across industries. She is among the first blockchain tech patent attorneys and serves on the North Carolina Bar Association's Future of the Law Blockchain Committee where she is tasked to come up with guidance on blockchain technologies/cryptoventure law for members at large.

 
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Spence Spencer

Spence’s passion lies in improving lives by bringing new health and medical technology to market. He became interested in the power of health and fitness after suffering from debilitating medical conditions at a young age. He has been dually inspired by his own ability and the ability of people around him to recover and build their bodies back from  traumatic injuries. Initially, he aspired to be physical therapist. During his schooling, he realized a lack of correlation between what was being taught and practical application. Spence has a voracious curiosity for new, innovative medical techniques. He has traveled the world studying various medical practices. He was excited to discover various apprenticeships with world class scientist to learn about their technology and begin the process of bringing their gifts to market.
 

 

Know someone who should speak at TEDxWakeForestU 2019? 

Contact tedx@wfu.edu with information on why they have "ideas worth spreading."