Entrepreneurs@Athena Office Hours



Entrepreneurs @ Athena provides the service of matching students with entrepreneurial leaders in various fields, who generously office hours in support of student entrepreneurs. 

Drawing upon successful entrepreneurs, Barnard alumnae, the New York City startup community, and program staff, these one-on-one sessions will provide mentoring and support for Barnard and Columbia student entrepreneurs and provide information on available resources such as workshops, brainstorming labs, pitch-fests, competitions and hack-a-thons offered by the Columbia Venture Network and the greater New York startup community. 

Email athenaentrepreneurs@barnard.edu to request an office hours slot with one of our experts (full list of this year's experts to be published in September, 2014)

How to prepare:

Your 1 minute elevator pitch (your own personal, career or business pitch), a specific problem and/or burning question. Think of this as speed dating for entrepreneurs or aspiring entrepreneurs. We match you with the experts, you bring the specific questions with follow on questions to cover, if time-allows. Also, read the fine print below.


Past Office Hours

Adam Quinton

Adam is an active investor in and advisor to early stage companies. He is a Managing Director at Golden Seeds. He serves as a Mentor for 37 Angels and the Women Innovate Mobile accelerator program. Adam, is a member of the Global Advisory Board for Astia and a Founding Angel at Astia. He is also an Advisor at Topstone Angels. Adam supports Women2.0 as a first stage judge for their San Francisco and New York pitch competitions. Adam is a Board member at Thrive Metrics. He serves on the Advisory Board of leading Board and executive search firm RSR Partners as well as Philadelphia based start up Cloudamize. In the not for profit space he is on the Board of the Center for Talent Innovation and International House, New York. He is also a member of the 2020 Women on Boards New York Steering Committee. 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. He was a top ranked sell side investment analyst in the UK, Asia and the US. Additionally he is an Adjunct Associate 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.


Kara Eschbach

Kara is the co-founder, editor in chief & publisher of Verily Magazine, a new women's fashion and lifestyle publication that celebrates the best of who women are, and is the host of Catching Up with Kara and Monica on SiriusXM radio. Kara speaks and writes on women’s issues, particularly on women in media and in the workplace, and on entrepreneurship. Before starting Verily, she was on the investment team for Credit Suisse’s secondary private equity fund and has experience in corporate finance, accounting, consulting, and investment banking. Kara earned her BS with highest distinction from Purdue University, where she was a member of the varsity golf team and selected as the class commencement speaker.



Nathalie Molina Niño

Nathalie Molina Niño spearheads entrepreneurial programs at the Athena Center. A business consultant and playwright, Molina Niño is a consummate entrepreneur who launched her first tech startup at the age of 20. She also was involved in launching and growing a multinational business within Lionbridge (NASDAQ: LIOX) into a nearly $100M operation within 6 years. Prior to her role as business consultant, Nathalie spent 14+ years advising industry leaders in both the for- and non-profit sectors ranging from multinationals (Disney, Microsoft, MTV, The Discovery Channel, Mattel), early stage startups (Cranium, Onvia) and non-profits (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, World Affairs Council, Seattle International Film Festival, Hedgebrook). She is passionate about supporting women entrepreneurs and believes that the single most important skill in business is storytelling.

We were pleased to advise the following student projects in September Office Hours:

Sarika Doshi

Sarika Doshi CO-FOUNDER & CEO 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.



We were pleased to advise the following student projects in October Office Hours:

    • Jon Lou
    • 3 additioal students with as yet unnamed projects


    Jovanka Ciares

    Jovanka Ciares is a former music/entertainment executive turned Holistic Wellness Coach, author and nutrition consultant. She is the creator of the Clean Foods Diet Method, an online weight loss program that focuses on cleansing, nutrient-rich foods for natural weight loss. Jovanka teaches how to adopt a healthier, more conscious way of life, and motivates to adopt wellness ideas that inspire action and positive change. Jovanka studied nutrition with best-selling author and Cornell University professor emeritus, Dr. T. Colin Campbell and coaching at the Spencer Institute. Jovanka has been featured at Fox News LA, NPR, CBS and Veria Living as well as in Spanish-language media outlets like Telemundo. She is also a guest blogger at some of the top wellness blogs including The Huffington Post, MindBodyGreen, BlogHer and PositivelyPositive.



    Andrew Scheinman

    Andrew has a long record of success combining his expertise in business, law and science to engage with entrepreneurs to develop, refine and, most importantly, advance their businesses.

    Andrew is also a licensed patent attorney, and in this capacity has spent the last 10 years in multiple roles building company Intellectual Property (IP) around business products. And equally important, building company business direction based on IP strategic analyses. Andrew has a B.S. in biochemistry (University of Illinois, Urbana), a Ph.D. in biology/molecular biology (UCLA).

    Andrew is a great resource for all startup related questions but especially for questions around entrepreneurship ideas that involve inventions and products that may involve trademarks or patents.

    Cynthia Hellen

    Cynthia Hellen is a Peruvian-American, entrepreneur, writer, producer, director, and speaker. In her role as Founder and Chief Executive Officer, at SMPLCT Lab, Hellen is involved in all aspects of the company’s social and environmental impact. SMPLCT Lab is a for-profit R & D lab located in New York, NY, with a mission to create cross cultural collaboration between sectors; artists, designers, technologists, scholars, researchers, policy-makers, and citizens worldwide; design simple solutions for those living on less than $2 a day; and better educate society on sustainable living. Before SMPLCT Lab, she co-founded, directed, and produced GIRLS WHO ROCK during Internet Week NY, sponsoring girls’ education worldwide. Cynthia is a speaker on social entrepreneurship and technology in emerging markets. Cynthia is a global ambassador and co-author Innovating Women: Past, Present, and Future, a campaign to crowd-create a book featuring research, stories and perspectives about women’s global participation in the innovation economy. She serves on the leadership board of New York Women Social Entrepreneurs, a nonprofit promoting young women social entrepreneurs by providing training, development, resources, networking opportunities, and general support for members.


    The fine print: 

    • Our experts are donating valuable time out of their busy scheduled because they are passionate about developing young (especially female, but not exclusively) entrepreneurs. So show them how passionate you are and come prepared with questions and having researched their background and field of expertise.

    • You will have 30 minutes, be prepared, bring notes, get to the point, quick. And then, listen and take notes.

    • Don't be prompt, be early! 

    • Good conversation? Ran out of time? If the expert gives you his/her email, be sure to follow up within 24 hours with a specific, well articulated ask.

    • No-shows or cancellations within 24 hours for anything other than a medical emergency will preclude you from participating in future Office Hours.