Getting Involved

Contribute to the Athena Entrepreneurship Fund:   The Athena Center has established a special fund that will support our entrepreneurship programs.  Gifts of $5000 or more can be made on an annual or multi-year basis and can include stock or equity in start-ups. Email for additional information.

Athena Summer Innovation Institute: Startup founders, investors and advisors are recruited to form part of our expert panel at the final pitch event of the 10-day Entrepreneurship summer camp program that we call the Athena Summer Innovation Institute. The summer camp is held at Barnard, in collaboration with the Barnard Office of Pre-College Programs.

Brain Trust: The Entrepreneurs@Athena brain trust was created to support the overall strategy of Athena Center's entrepreneurship programs. We're honored to have the brain power and support of such distinguished entrepreneurial leaders.

Brian Cohen serves as Chairman of the New York Angels, the #1 most active angel group in the country. As a new author, Brian‘s book entitled “What Every Angel Investor Wants You To Know: An Insider Reveals How To Get Smart Funding For Your Billion Dollar Idea”, was published and released in April 2013. As a social entrepreneur, Brian is the founding Board member of Center4, NYC’s. As a disruptive media entrepreneur, Brian co-founded, with his son Trace in May 2012. As a social medial specialist, Brian created iFluence PR in 2009. As a technology media communications strategist, Brian is considered one of the fathers of science & technology strategic communications, and co-founded Technology Solutions, Inc. with his wife Carol in 1983. As a researcher, Brian created Focus Technology. As a publisher, Brian was a pioneer in helping start a number of the first computing publications. As an educator, Brian created the AIMS (Advanced Internet Media Studies) Program. He also advises entrepreneur students at NYU and Columbia University. As a recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award, Brian holds a Masters Degree in Science Communications from Boston University's School of Public Communications.

Sarika Doshi is the CEO & Co-Founder of Rank & Style where she leads content, strategy, public relations, business development and fundraising efforts. Recently listed as one of the "100 Most Creative People in Business" by Fast Company, Sarika brings broad based startup and business building experience to founding Rank & Style. As a member of the management team at a venture-backed growth company, she was responsible for growing and managing a $20 million business segment in London and New York. In this role, she gained hands on experience in product development, business development, marketing, operations and strategy. Prior to that, Sarika spent three years practicing international corporate law in London. Sarika studied at Columbia University and the University of Michigan Law School.

Jennifer Gilbert is the Founder and Chief Visionary Officer of the New York based, 30 million dollar, special events company Save the Date®. She earned the “Entrepreneur of the Year” award in 1998, followed by recognition in Inc. Magazine as one of the “Great Companies Started” and received the Entrepreneur Award of Excellence from Working Woman Magazine. Jennifer’s new memoir is titled I Never Promised You a Goodie Bag.



Vanessa Pestritto is currently a Partner at Lattice Ventures and an Xpring at Ripple. Prior to that, she was the Executive Director at New York Angels. She manages the deal flow pipeline, sources companies, and constantly improves the membership experience for investors to increase engagement, investment and startup community participation. She is a true optimizer and is on a mission to make the world work efficiently. After graduating from the NYU Stern School of Business, she worked in technology management consulting on product development as a business lead. She then managed a number of art organizations where she restructured operations, implemented successful marketing campaigns and managed sales.  She currently mentors for the NYU Venture Competition and blogs at

Adam Quinton is Chief Financial Officer of Nopsec and is responsible for financial planning and forecasting, budget management and investor relations. He is Founder/CEO of Lucas point Ventures and an active investor in and advisor to early stage companies. Adam is a Board member at Thrive Metrics. He serves on the Advisory Boards of leading Board and executive search firm RSR Partners and San Francisco based SwoopTalent. He is and member of and/or advisor to several angel groups including Astia Angel where he is a founding Angel and sits on the Astia Global Advisory Board. In the not for profit space he is a Trustee of International House New York and a member of their Executive Committee. He is a Board member at the Center for Talent Innovation. Adam has over 25 years of investing and management experience most recently at Bank of America Merrill Lynch where he was Managing Director and head of Global Macro Research. Additionally he is an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University, School of International and Public Affairs where he is a Capstone workshop advisor and member of the Management and Gender & Policy faculties. He holds a MA in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University and an MBA from Cass Business School, London.

Sarayu Srinivasan is the founder and CEO of Kaargo, an online consumer transport marketplace. She is a venture capitalist and advisor to companies in the US, Asia and Europe, most recently serving as CEO, Americas of a global $30MM sports technology provider. Ms. Srinivasan is also a Practice Fellow at the University of Edinburgh. Ms. Srinivasan was a Director at Intel Capital investing in sector and stage agnostic international and cross-border technology businesses. Ms. Srinivasan, who is American, moved to India to deploy Intel’s first targeted $250MM emerging markets fund in 2006. Ms. Srinivasan began her career as a brand manager at the Pepsi-Cola Company running a $300MM brand, Mug Root Beer. She has authored research, case studies and papers including contributing to the award-winning textbook Business Analysis & Valuation Using Financial Statements. Ms. Srinivasan has also published a range of academic and practitioner’s literature on investment, technology and business. She is a frequent speaker on venture capital and entrepreneurship. Ms. Srinivasan earned a BA in Architecture from Barnard College/Columbia University, an MBA from Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussees, a Certificate in Medieval Studies from Cambridge University, and held a research fellowship at the Harvard Business School pre-PhD.

Jeanne Sullivan has more than 20 years of private equity experience and has spent 28 years in the technology sector encompassing both extensive operating and investing experience with technology companies.  Over the past 20 years as a founding principal of StarVest and previously with Olivetti Ventures, Ms. Sullivan has served on the boards of multiple private and two public companies and has extensive experience creating “go to market” plans for expansion stage companies. Her expertise also includes strategy, an understanding of the technology landscape and industry trends. Ms. Sullivan holds a BS from the University of Illinois and a JD from Creighton University School of Law. She was part of the founding group for the New York New Media Association Angel Investors Program, one of the first Angel groups in NYC and this is the predecessor to the current New York Angels. She is active with the Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC), a nonprofit New York City-based organization that lobbies for environmental reform, and established the New York area Environmental Entrepreneurs group comprised of business and technology leaders. She serves on the board of the New York Venture Capital Association (NYVCA) and has a passion for supporting and mentoring rising stars as entrepreneurs and investors and is a member of the Astia Board of Trustees.