Nicola Corzine, Executive Director
Nicola Corzine serves as the Executive Director of the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center, a non-profit that delivers world-class resources and mentoring to enable every entrepreneur across the globe to realize their maximum potential. As Executive Director, Nicola is responsible for strategic and operational leadership that help drive research, programing, fundraising, and operations for the organization. In its first two years of operations, the Center has enabled over 7,500 entrepreneurs from 68 countries to receive quality education, resources and mentoring to propel their businesses and ensure global economic advancement.
Nicola brings over 15 years of strategic business development and entrepreneurial thought leadership programming experience to the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center, most recently in her role as Deal Manager for the Band of Angels, a position held since 2004 as well as Investment Partner in the 2009 Acorn fund which includes investments in Practice Fusion, Niveus Medical, and Flywheel, one of the biggest names in the E-hailing industry. During her time at the Band, she was as an early advisor to Startup America and led the development of the first national and regional Angel Capital Association conferences.
Prior to Band of Angels, Nicola was the founder and executive director of Financing Partners, an organization that delivered education to both entrepreneurs and investors to enable them to reach their mutual objectives. Before Band of Angels, she was part of three startup companies in the US and UK.
Nicola is a frequent speaker on angel investing, technology trends and seed financing at Universities including Stanford, Wharton and Duke, national conferences, including IEEE Women in Engineering, NVCA and Innovation Enterprise, and has served as a formation advisor to several regional and international angel groups and seed funds.
VICE PRESIDENT OF OPERATIONS
Cristina Tramutola, Vice President of Operations
As Vice President of Operations, Cristina is responsible for improving and executing strategies that support how the Center delivers world class training, resources, and mentorship to entrepreneurs. A right- and left-brained problem solver, Cristina is constantly making connections across our organization to help our team, partners, and sponsors be successful. Cristina also oversees our 13,000-square-foot facility, which hosts programs daily in our event, classroom, and studio spaces. Prior to joining the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center, Cristina spent 3 years as the Director of Private Events at Cloud Catering in New York City, served as Assistant Producer on multiple Food Network and Cooking Channel shows, and was Personal Assistant to Bobby Flay. She holds a Grand Diploma in Culinary Arts from The French Culinary Institute (now International Culinary Center) and a BA in Government from Skidmore College.
VICE PRESIDENT OF STRATEGY
Celena Aponte, Vice President of Strategy
A problem solver and strategist, Celena is constantly looking at creative ways to help organizations build products and solutions that emphasize learning.
Celena brings over 10 years of international brand development experience. She began her career as a PR director managing musicians, actors, and supermodels. She went on to become a data strategist at Cisco, where she organized big data teams to build marketing solutions based on customer behaviors. More recently, teaching Creativity and Innovation at San Francisco State University has kept her constantly curious and focused on building transformational learning experiences. At the dinner table, you’ll hear her talking about her love of ‘90s fashion, Italy, and design.
Colin Mahin, Program Manager
As Program Manager for the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center, Colin Mahin develops and executes programs to educate founders on all aspects of starting and growing a business, and serves as a recommendation engine on how each entrepreneur can solve his or her business challenges to realize success in a sustainable way. He develops relationships with key influencers in the entrepreneurial education ecosystem, ensuring the Center continues to entrepreneurs across the globe.
Prior to joining the Center, Colin worked for UC Berkeley’s Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center, developing a software as a service strategic business plan for the organization’s global earthquake analysis tool. Colin holds a BA degree in Business Administration with a Concentration on Management, and an MBA in Sustainable Business and Social Innovation from San Francisco State University.
Tom Flynn, Marketing Advisor
Tom Flynn has been a transformative sales & marketing executive in the Silicon Valley for 15 years. In 2016, Tom sold Lavante, Inc. (co-founded by Flynn) to PRGX Global (Nasdaq: PRGX). In the transition, Tom took over as the acquiring firm’s VP of Marketing. The milestone marks the second sale of a technology firm for Tom in the last four years.
In recent years, Tom has been selected to the 2016 Silicon Valley 50 by ITLG, in addition he was honored by SVUS as 2016’s top Marketing Executive, and by TMT as the Best Software CMO in California in 2016. He was additionally featured as a content marketing expert on huffingtonpost.com and honored as a 2015,16,17 “Pro to Know” by Supply Chain Magazine.
Prior to his work with Lavante/PRGX Tom was the CEO for a leading e-commerce gifting platform and has held various leadership positions with other technology companies. Outside of work, Tom sits on the Board of Silicon Valley Shakespeare and serves as an advisor for various technology startups. Tom is also a mentor for the UCLA Alumni Association and for SpartUps accelerator.
Matt Paget, PR Advisor
Matt Paget is Managing Partner of Extension PR, an LA-based PR agency which mainstreams global companies from a variety of industries, including tech, consumer and lifestyle. He previously worked at Rogers & Cowan and Hill & Knowlton, and began his career at Citigroup. Paget sits on the steering committee of Auction Napa Valley and is a graduate of Cornell University.
Demetris Papaiacovou, Research Advisor
Mr. Papaiacovou is heading up the Center’s longitudinal research, peeling back the layers of an entrepreneur’s journey to reveal the critical component parts and to better understand the art and science of entrepreneurship. His ability to identify business problems, navigate complex data across digital and social media, and architect processes and analyses leads to insights that offer new perspectives.
Mr. Papaiacovou serves as Chief Data Scientist for marketing and sales strategy at major Fortune 100 companies. He has over 20 years of experience across advanced analytics, marketing and sales program management, and information technology. He holds master’s degrees in Operations Research from UC Berkeley and Econometrics from City University of New York, and is a doctoral candidate in Business Administration at Golden Gate University in San Francisco.
Center Advisory Board
The Center Advisory Board consists of entrepreneurs and industry experts who provide counsel, identify opportunities and help us build resources for the Center’s growth.