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Meet Our Cohort 1 Scouts

Over the past few months, we've had the chance to collaborate with and learn more about the individuals who make up our scout community. They're an incredibly accomplished and awesome group of people, and we're excited for you to get to know a bit more about them.

If you're interested in joining, apply here!


Nicole Cacal

Nicole Cacal is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Forbes Ignite, a consultancy that advises leading companies on sustainable transformation and a leadership network that unites global changemakers at the center of technology, sustainability and social impact (Forbes Ignite is a license partner of Forbes Media LLC). Nicole is also a professor at the Parsons School of Design and the Pratt Institute, where she teaches courses on Business Models & Entrepreneurial Strategy, Social Innovation, and Strategic Technology. Nicole hosts the Forbes Ignite podcast, Inner Wealth, which features mission-driven leaders who are redefining what it means to be successful today. She holds a BBA in Finance & International Business from the University of Hawaii, an MSc in Strategic Design & Management from the Parsons School of Design, and an MSc in Technology Management from Columbia University.

Alex Hantman

Alex is a fractional head of ops for early-stage health and wellness startups. He's led business operations at Parsley Health and consulted with execs from Headspace, One Medical, as well as Techstars founders as a mentor. He's also started to angel invest this year (2022) and has made 3 investments. Prior to beginning his career, he studied bioengineering at the State University of New York at Binghamton.

Katie Weiss

Katie spent the first 7 years of her career in VC across two funds (ffVC and R/GA ventures). A few highlights from her days in VC: She was one of the first employees at ffVC, and she helped create what we now call Platform in the VC world. Since then, she's had a couple of operational roles, and over the past few years, she has been supporting startups and VC funds at SingleSprout - a technical product and legal recruitment firm. She focuses on researching and evaluating

everything going on in the hiring market, to advising startups and VCS based on this information.‍

Erick Froede

For the past two years, Erick has worked as a Product Manager with Epion Health. Previously, he worked at Mixlab, a pet pharmacy healthtech company, as a Digital Product Manager and Siemens Healthcare, a leading medtech company, as the Global Product Manager. "You'll find me at the intersection of healthcare, digital products, and human-centered design! I've worked with large corporates as well as scrappy startups, hardware as well as software, and domestic as well as international teams. Currently a Product Manager helping build the digital front door for practices of the future."‍

Bashir Agboola

Bashir Agboola is the Chief Technology Officer and Vice President at the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS), the global leader in musculoskeletal care. Bashir has an extensive leadership and technology management background, ranging from IT Systems integration, Consulting and Healthcare IT. He has spent much of his career serving in various capacities at top-tier academic medical institutions. Prior to joining HSS in 2014, he served at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center where he oversaw the Enterprise Systems group. Bashir is a respected thought leader on various technology and leadership matters and writes and speaks frequently for industry publications and events. He is also a winner of the HMG Strategy Global Leadership Institute award for 2021, the Tech Inclusion Conference 2021 Top 100 CIO/CTO award, and the HMG Strategy 2020 Technology Executives Who Matter award. Bashir is a member of the board of Directors of the Center for Family Support and an advisory board member to the Stillman School of Business (Seton Hall University) Transformative Leadership Program. He also serves on several industry advisory boards and on the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Blockchain in Health Taskforce.

Josh Berns

Josh Berns is an investor with Blue Collective and VCN Capital and advisor to early and growth stage technology companies. Prior to entering the world of venture capital, he founded a venture-backed media and technology company in the hospitality sector.

He also founded The Race, a nonprofit raising funding and awareness for prophylactic breast cancer research benefiting the Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals of Cleveland. Outside of work, Josh is an avid cook and gymnast.

Sharon Mwale

Sharon is passionate about applying her public health training to increase access and availability of resources to improve social determinants of health and outcomes – especially for marginalized populations. She began her career at HealthVenture – an early-stage fund focused on healthcare technologies and digital health. In that role, she was the center point of the firm’s programs and operations for the global team, portfolio and network of partners. She joined the firm as an intern and later its first employee and was responsible for developing programs focused on supporting women in technology, first-time founders and entrepreneurs, and Black and Latinx college students. Thriving in the fast-paced environment she helped the VC to manage a $20M micro-fund, deliver 1,000+ hours of mentorships, build a pipeline of 100+ startups, and welcome ~40 interns over her 5-years with the firm. She joined BCGDV Chicago in August 2021 as a Senior Venture Architect. Since joining, she’s worked on ventures in the IG and FI Pas and supported multiple business development proposals for HCPA. She is also a Co-Editor for the NAMR VC Digest. Sharon holds an MPH in Health Care Management from Yale University. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Public Health with a focus on Gender Woman Studies and a minor in Mathematics from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She’s originally from Nairobi, Kenya and grew up in the Chicagoland area.

Scott Gartenberg

Scott is a product manager based in Long Island City with primary expertise in B2B SaaS. He is passionate about building innovative products and finding simple solutions to problems. Outside of work, you're most likely to find Scott walking and tending to his dog, Kobe.

Adam Wolford

Adam Wolford is a seasoned business leader with 8 years of professional experience. Currently, he is the head of product at haku, an all-in-one software platform for endurance and non-profit customers. He also has a background in M&A consulting leading Fortune 100 big tech organizations during deal activity as well as developing tech products for federal customers. He holds a Bachelors of Science in Engineering graduating cum laude from Cornell University and an MBA from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Stacey Malo

Stacey, a New Yorker of 16 years, is an actor and model, the founder and CEO of a fashion/healthcare startup, and a consultant in early-stage startup fundraising. She's work worked on-camera in Chicago, Los Angeles, London, Hong Kong, and New York for such companies as Mercedes Benz, Keurig, Lee jeans, Wells Fargo, Seagrams beverages, and several pharmaceuticals. She also founded Airveil and the mask collections in 2014 along with sister mask brands, Happyface and Breathe by J. Malo.


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