NSF I-Corps Northeast Hub welcomes three new lead mentors

Nov. 15, 2022

Three new lead mentors joined the National Science Foundation Innovation Corps (NSF I-Corps) Northeast Hub. The role of the lead mentors is to recruit, vet and train Hub mentors, match I-Corps teams with appropriate mentors based on the needs of each team, provide mentoring during the regional I-Corps programs, and take on other responsibilities that will promote growth and success of the Hub.

The new lead mentors bring valuable experience to the Hub as serial entrepreneurs and/or investors. Their passion for entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial education make them vital assets to the Hub.

Yazmin Feliz

Yazmin Feliz

Yazmin Feliz will focus on recruiting new teams and mentors through various forms of outreach and content development. She also serves as an adjunct instructor for the Hub.

Feliz currently serves as Chief of Staff at Investors of Color Network, an investment group focused on diversifying startup capital. She also sits on the investor panel for PitchForce, a weekly pitch event for high tech, clean tech, medical device and biotech startup entrepreneurs.

Feliz recently completed a postdoctoral research position in biomedical engineering at Columbia University Medical Center, where she focused on developing low-cost ultrasound prototypes. As an NSF Graduate Research Fellowships Program (GRFP) Fellow and National Consortium of Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Engineering (GEM) Fellow, Yazmin has been actively pushing technology from the lab to market and supporting commercialization efforts for early-stage companies at Columbia University in conjunction with Columbia Tech Ventures.

She previously participated in the regional and national I-Corps programs as an entrepreneurial lead, and is actively involved with diversity student recruitment. She also previously served as an adjunct instructor for the Columbia Start Me Up Bootcamp. 

Feliz holds both a master’s degree and PhD in mechanical engineering from Columbia University, and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics of computation from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. 

Mona Parikh

Mona Parikh

Mona Parikh will focus on a variety of asynchronous tasks that will promote development and success of the Northeast I-Corps Hub, such as developing a mentor database. She also serves as an adjunct instructor for the Hub.

Parikh currently serves as Chief of Staff for City Council in Wilmington, Delaware, as well as an adjunct instructor for Horn Entrepreneurship at the University of Delaware.

Parikh has spent most of the past decade as a co-founder and in several notable business development roles. She is best known for galvanizing Delaware’s startup ecosystem as Managing Director of Start It Up Delaware which, among other things, facilitated the opening of Delaware’s first major coworking space and hub for entrepreneurs. 

In 2020 and 2016, she was selected to represent Delaware as a delegate at the Democratic National Convention. Also in 2020, Mona was appointed to Governor John Carney’s The Israel Innovation Fund (TIIF) Council. In 2017, she was invited to be a member of the entrepreneurship subcommittee for New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer’s transition team. That same year, Mona was appointed to an economic development task force by Governor Carney pursuant to his very first executive order. 

Parikh began her professional career as a corporate restructuring attorney. She earned her law degree from Delaware Law School, and earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Delaware.

David Stengle

david stengle

David Stengle will create and lead NSF I-Corps Northeast Hub mentoring programs and teams.

David Stengle is the founder and CEO of Board++, a company that develops executives from underrepresented groups by placing them on startup boards.

He is also the Princeton Chapter Director of Startup Grind, a global organization that inspires, educates, and connects entrepreneurs in over 600 cities and 125 countries around the world. David has organized over 100 startup events in NJ. He is one of four directors globally to have received the Startup Grind Inclusivity Award.

He is a member of the New Jersey Economic Develop Authority Technology Advisory Board and a formal mentor in multiple programs including Women Unlimited and SOSV’s dlab blockchain accelerator. Startups are his passion, particularly startup community building, culture, governance, inclusion and metrics.

Stengle spent his career in venture-backed enterprise software companies, raising nearly $100M and achieving multiple successful exits. He has held a variety of C-suite roles and led the sales, business development, product, marketing, technology, and operation functions. He spent five years as CTO of an accelerator and led their technical due diligence function. Before serving as an executive, David was a computer programmer. He is also a US Navy veteran.