SPEAKERS LIST: Founders Live Prime Time 2022

Founders Live fully appreciates our partners and guest speakers who gave their time and energy to teach and inspire entrepreneurs around the world during Prime Time 2022.

Julie Pham – CuriosityBased

Dr. Julie Pham is the founder and the CEO of CuriosityBased, an organizational development firm based in Seattle. Dr. Pham has been recognized with numerous awards for her community leadership. She has applied her community building approach to building strong, collaborative and curious teams. She was born in Saigon, Vietnam and raised in Seattle. Dr. Pham earned her PhD in history at Cambridge University as a Gates Cambridge Scholar and she graduated magna cum laude from University of California, Berkeley as a Haas Scholar. She earned her real life MBA by running her family’s Vietnamese language newspaper during the 2008-2010 recession. She has worked as a journalist, historian, university lecturer, marketer, nonprofit executive, and management consultant. Dr. Pham will speak about her new book, 7 Forms of Respect: A Guide to Transforming Your Communication and Relationships at Work, a #1 Amazon New Release and Bestseller.

Gary Malcolm – Key Growth Coaching and Consulting

For more than 25 years, Gary has been a successful Director of Operations, General Manager, and Entrepreneur, developing multiple businesses and training thousands of people. His passion is moving companies and the people who own them forward, from long-standing traditional brick & mortar to tech startups. His hunger for developing leaders and geeking out on communication from an inquiry led him to build his dogma called The Voice of the Business. Gary enjoys speaking, training, developing, and coaching, helping others discover rewarding professional success and unprecedented personal fulfillment.

Gary is actively involved with his community, continuously developing his personal/professional transformation, and values his family and friendships as his greatest sense of wealth.

Igor Belagorudsky – FastCTO

Startups – I build, advise and scale them. From a germ of an idea through seed, VC rounds, strategic partnerships and anything that comes next. Sometimes, I invest in them too.

Entrepreneurs – I help you make good decisions about product, team, processes and everything in between.

As a CTO, a confident full stack enterprise architect in several technology ecosystems. Trusted leader and mentor of professional services and R&D teams in multiple time zones and industries.

As a leader, a champion of smart and transparent teams, open communication across the entire organization, repeatable processes and leadership by example.

As a human, an ardent believer in equality, equity, fair pay, science and continuous pursuit of knowledge.


PROFESSIONALLY: technology evangelist, software architect, thing explainer.
ENTREPRENEURIALLY: startup founder, startup failure, startup founder.
PERSONALLY: skier, diver, hiker, dad.

Where I fall on common disputes: 2 spaces, thin crust, light mode, stouts, skiing, typed, Anna, cats, Stargate, Iron Man and no Oxford commas.

Ryan Nash – Gust

Ryan is currently the COO at Gust Launch and has been with Gust for many years in executive roles both technical and operational. He has worked directly in or supported startups at almost every possible stage for the last 15 years, from a late stage infosec startup acquired by Boeing to the thousands of day-zero companies started on Gust Launch each year. Along the way he has struggled through the countless stumbles and occasional successes inherent in product launches, pivots, spin offs, strategic partnerships, acquisitions, funding rounds, scaling teams, and many other sources of chaos present in the turbulent tides of working in startups.

Jordan Babineaux – Pivot to Win

I spent nearly a decade playing professional football in the NFL after a DII college football career. Leaving the world where I spent so much energy trying to attain was a pivotal moment in my life. I went from the highest achievement in a sports career to navigating life’s emotional and psychological transition after sports.

Change is challenging, even if we prepare for it.

It didn’t stop me from pursuing other ventures, and I was still hungry for more. But I had to redefine success. It was no longer putting on a jersey, making big plays, or tackling Tony Romo before running into the endzone.

At the same time, I was eager to grow in my leadership capabilities, increase my business acumen, and find purpose-filling activities to contribute to humanity beyond my athletic ability. So, I went back to school, wrote a book, and started a personal development journey. It’s led me here with you.

Today, I help achievers think like an athlete to raise their performance.

We all want something better – a better lifestyle, better income, better relationships, better understanding of our contribution to life.

With nearly two decades of seeing, experiencing, and understanding the ever-changing landscape of professional sports, I translate the success attributes into helping achievers develop their leadership styles and drive performance.

I approach improvement by helping clients understand their personality – the characteristics necessary for career success and how they might perform under pressure. The outcome is to discuss specific behaviors that may enhance work performance collaboratively.

Jordan is Hogan certified and a Certified Professional Coach (CPC). He graduated from Seattle University in 2021 with an Executive MBA and holds a B. A. in Communications from Southern Arkansas University.

Di Ye – Zhennovate

Di Ye is founder and CEO of Zhennovate, a platform that scales professional leadership/career/life/team coaching resources to boost individual and organizational potentials. Di brings a cross-disciplinary approach to her passion for innovation and human development. As an experienced professional certified executive and career coach, and a woman of color, Di has helped diverse leaders in Ivy League universities, national research labs, Fortune 500 companies and startups navigate life/career transitions, grow leadership/management skills, and achieve greater satisfaction with life and work. Prior to coaching, Di designed and developed software as a Program Manager at Microsoft Office. Di obtained her degree in electrical engineering and computer science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Sandra Phillips – Pebble Health

A former non-profit founder, Sandra made the jump to venture-backed startups following her MBA at the University of Oxford. As a Chief of Staff at Pebble Health, she has stood up talent acquisition and employer branding; oversees accounting, regulatory, and compliance functions; and leads strategic partnership and pipeline growth initiatives. She believes in the disruptive power of startups and venture capital, and knows the importance of each foundational team member.

Al Doan – Entrepreneur

Alan Doan is a bearded Missourian, entrepreneur, husband and father, pickup basketball legend, investor and mentor.

He’s started the Missouri Star Quilt Company, a 14-year-old business with a focus on reimagining the commerce experience of shopping for fabric online. The company now has over 400 employees and ships several million orders annually. As part of that focus, the company has rebuilt a rural midwestern town into the “Disneyland of Quilting” launching 14 quilt shops, three restaurants, and a hotel all in a town with a population of 1,800.

He went on to start Let’s Make Art. A business focused on experience and education in the watercolor paint world, it grew to 1.4m in ARR in 4 months and then transitioned into a Missouri Star Quilt Company brand.

Those two companies are now owned by Creativity, Inc. where Alan serves as the Executive Chairman. The company holds the Missouri Star Quilt Company, Nancy’s Notions, One Big Happy Yarn Co, Let’s Make Art, and Crafting.com.

He built and shut down Pretzel, a consumer finance app that turns your money into stories. He is currently quasi-retired, busy with his farm, spending time with his 3 kids, and with his beautiful wife, Drea.

He’s been recognized at the Whitehouse as a small business person of the year, an Empact 100 business leader under 30, and an Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

Nicole Glaros – Venture Capitalist

Nicole got her entrepreneurial start in the 4th grade, orchestrating cousins into theatrical plays and charging neighbors admission. From there, she founded 3 startups which is the source of her passion for helping grow startups. Since then, she’s spent nearly 20 years working with and funding early-stage web software companies. Most recently, Nicole was the first employee at Techstars through nearly 14 years of blood and sweat, eventually rising to become it’s Chief Investment Strategy Officer. Nicole was a key catalyst in growing the organization from 2 people to a global powerhouse with >50 programs worldwide, events in over 500+ cities, and a market cap of over $77B with nearly $1B assets under management. She’s an expert in growing global organizations, leadership, human performance, building startup ecosystems, working with early-stage startups, venture capital, and more. She sits on boards, has invested in over 100 companies, was named one of the “Coolest People in New York Tech” by Business Insider, Marie Claire named her one of the “NewGuard”, and Entrepreneur Magazine called her “One of the 7 most powerful women to watch”.

Currently, Nicole sits on the Board of Directors for the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Denver Branch, One Way Ventures, Greater Colorado Venture Fund, and the University of Colorado Leeds School of Business. She previously served on the Board of Directors for Pana through its acquisition by Coupa Software, SimpleEnergy through its acquisition by AES, Nextbite, and Greathorn.

Nicole graduated with her Master’s Degree in Sport Psychology from the University of Florida, likes to do at least one philanthropic thing annually, and shares the wonderment of parenthood with the love of her life, Mark.

In her free time, you’ll find Nicole speaking at large events, on her bike, on a trail, or on the slopes, hanging with her big fat greek family, traveling to some exotic destination, or generally making a fool of herself to entertain others (like boxing!).

Brea Starmer – Lions and Tigers

Brea Starmer is the Founder of Lions and Tigers, a marketing, operations and strategy consultancy building a bridge to the future of work. Her team of nearly 100 consultants work flexibly and part-time, bringing highly-skilled workers to tech enterprises through her innovative and inclusive business model. Brands like Microsoft, Google and other tech-industry organizations call on her team to both transform how they work and who they are able to bring in across their virtual boardroom tables. Brea works flexibly herself as the Mom to three kids under 6. Brea’s work has been featured on King5, in the Puget Sound Business Journal, Seattle Women’s Magazine and she was recently named as Geekwire’s Geek of the Week. She is a writer and speaker on the topics of flexibility, working parenthood, and the human-side of the future of work.

Melissa Reaves – Story Fruition

Melissa Reaves is an Executive Storytelling Mentor & Advisor who helps professionals hone the craft of business storytelling for a variety of use cases. Her thriving company, Story Fruition, mentors Executives globally as she shows them how to create “Mind Movies” that mesmerize their listeners. She has mentored leaders at Microsoft, Broadcom, World Affairs Council, Washington State University’s Executive MBA program, Seattle U’s Entrepreneur program, The Korean Start-Up Center, and an expansive list of 100’s of start-ups and nonprofits. 

Story Fruition offers corporate workshops, investor pitch decks, Story Library Building and private 1:1 coaching and keynote coaching.  Melissa says, “I’m on a mission to create millions of amazing, emotionally connected leaders in business across the globe. That’s where storytelling skills come in.”

Her interactive and entertaining business book, The Storyteller’s Mind Movie, comes out January 26, 2023.  

Kt McBratney – OwnTrail

Kt McBratney is an entrepreneur, community builder, recovering marketer and the co-founder and chief community officer at OwnTrail, the social platform to own your story and achieve your next milestone in life and work.
She is an active voice in the startup community, advocating for life-work balance and people-first business.

Prior to launching OwnTrail, Kt served as chief marketing officer at Seed&Spark, rose the ranks of an award-winning digital agency and got her career start at one of the best zoos in the world.

Luis Antezana – Create yours dude

Nick Hughes – Founders Live

Nick is a successful American entrepreneur with business achievements in e-commerce, social media, digital payments, and technology startups. He excels at interpersonal leadership, communication, business and product development.

Nick currently holds the position of CEO and Founder of the global entrepreneur platform Founders Live. In addition to creating Founders Live, Nick stays busy as an advisor to numerous startups and occasionally takes positions in sales or biz dev roles if needed. He is also cofounded Callin’it, a fun fan engagement and predictions app for sports fans. Previously he founded the mobile payment startup Seconds as well as helping start Coinme, a company built around expanding bitcoin and digital transactions into the physical realm via Bitcoin ATM’s. As a sought-after adviser, entrepreneurial speaker and writer with guest appearances on popular technology and media outlets, Nick enjoys helping others discover their unique entrepreneurial path.