Viktor Brandtneris, Instructor, has a diverse financial and general management background from experiences in both corporate and entrepreneurial environments. In his early career he worked in the computer industry in numerous Financial Planning and Modeling roles for companies including IBM and Computervision. His first entrepreneurial endeavor was as co-funder of the Devonshire Trust Company, a boutique money management and mutual fund company in Salem, Massachusetts. After the sale of Devonshire Trust, Viktor stayed active in the financial markets and small business consulting. As Principal of Brandtneris Consulting, he provides business-modeling services centered on the Lean-Start Up Customer Discovery process. Viktor is a member of the national teaching faculty of the National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps (I-Corps) Commercialization program and Director of Ann Arbor SPARK’s Entrepreneurial Boot Camp. He is also part of the teaching team for the University of Michigan, Center for Entrepreneurship’s regional I-Corps . Viktor has an MBA in Finance & Marketing from Boston College and a double major B.A. in Economics & Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania.
Andrea Belz, Principal Investigator, is the inaugural Vice Dean for Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. She serves as the Director of the NSF Innovation Corps (“I-Corps”) funded Innovation Node – Los Angeles and has served as Entrepreneur-in-Residence, with faculty appointments in the USC Viterbi School of Engineering; the Iovine and Young Academy for Arts, Technology, and the Business of Innovation; and the USC Marshall School of Business. She also currently serves as Visiting Professor of Engineering at the California Institute of Technology. Her research focuses on modeling technology-based entrepreneurial ecosystems, particularly in the with an emphasis on the NASA SBIR program, and she has published research in optical systems, nuclear physics, geomicrobiology, and systems engineering. She is the founder and chair of the Technology Transfer and Infusion session at the IEEE Aerospace Conference. Dr. Belz is Managing Director of Kinetic Intelligence, an intellectual property strategy consultancy, and has previously guided strategic planning for world-class innovators including Avery Dennison, BP, California Institute of Technology, CVI Melles Griot, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Occidental Petroleum, Raytheon, SPIE, and UCLA, as well as venture capital firms, university technology startups, and international public-private partnerships supporting technology transfer ecosystems. An active angel investor, she serves on the Board of Directors of Caltech spinoff laser manufacturer Ondax. She holds a B.S. in physics from the University of Maryland at College Park, with High Honors in physics and University Honors in political economics; a Ph.D. in physics from the California Institute of Technology; and an M.B.A. in finance from the Pepperdine University Graziadio School of Business.