Leaders & Collaborators

Rene Salgado, PhD

Founder and President

Rene is interested in leveling entrepreneurial opportunities particularly for the less privileged. He is a strong believer in the power of ecosystem actor synergies, entrepreneurial social capital, and in the ethical and productive use of Internet technologies for positive social change. Rene combines his entrepreneurial skill-set and values, with an intrapreneurial experience of more than thirty years in economic and social development projects, entrepreneurship growth, and higher education. He has worked with international organizations, private companies, and university institutions in the US and Latin America, and continues to do consulting work in areas pertaining to entrepreneurial growth and innovation. Rene holds a PhD in Policy Sciences (Policy and Economics) from the University of Maryland. LinkedIn Profile: linkedin.com/in/rbsalgado

David Audretsch, PhD

Entrepreneurship and Innovation Advisor

David Audretsch is a Distinguished Professor and Ameritech Chair of Economic Development at Indiana University, where he is also serves as Director of the Institute for Development Strategies. He is co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of Small Business Economics: An Entrepreneurship Journal. He was awarded the Global Award for Entrepreneurship Research by the Swedish Foundation for Entrepreneurship. Audretsch is a member of several advisory boards, including the American Center for Entrepreneurship and the Scientific Advisory Board of the University of Siegen in Germany.

Patricia G. Greene, PhD

Entrepreneurship and Innovation Advisor

Professor Emeritus, Babson College. Most recently, Patricia served as the 18th Director of the Women’s Bureau of the U.S. Department of Labor. Previously, she held the Paul T. Babson Chair in Entrepreneurial Studies at Babson College where she served first as Dean of the Undergraduate School, then Provost, and the founding National Academic Director for Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses. Dr. Greene holds a BS from The Pennsylvania State University, MBA from the University of Nevada – Las Vegas and a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin.

Octavio Martínez, PhD

Entrepreneurship and Innovation Advisor

Director of the Latin American Center for Competitiveness and Sustainable Development, INCAE Business School, Costa Rica, where he is a Professor of Competitive and Corporate Strategy. Octavio has significant experience as a Business Planning and Evaluation consultant for companies in the food and beverage, agribusiness, energy, and real estate industries. He has also conducted several pioneering studies on current managerial and economic challenges faced by small and medium enterprises in Central America. Octavio holds a PhD from the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto.

Jason Roncancio, PhD

Entrepreneurship and Innovation Advisor

Jason is a visiting professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and an adjunct professor at Vesalius College (Brussels, Belgium). His research seeks to position innovation and entrepreneurship outcomes as key components of sustainable development. His work has been published in Q1 journals (TFSC, IJEBR) and with top authors in the domains of entrepreneurship and innovation. In addition, he has been an advisor and mentor to international organizations (e.g., OAS, Clinton Foundation, Novartis Foundation) in support of startups and entrepreneurs. Jason holds a Ph.D. in Business Economics from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, an MBA from the National University of Colombia, and has studied innovation at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Randall Trejos, MBA

Entrepreneurship and Innovation Advisor

Randall has been a consultant and applied researcher for more than ten years in the intersection of business, finance, and social and environmental impact. He has worked with startups, private companies, NGOs, research centers, and international development organizations. Randall is the author of the pioneering study, "Costa Rica Startup Ecosystem Mapping: Actors, Connections, and Best Practices." His work is based on qualitative interviews with different startup community members. It discusses some of the main challenges facing the country's startup enterprises. Randall holds and MBA from INCAE Business School and a Master's in Behavioral Economics from City in London.

Samuel Salazar Genovez, MBA

Entrepreneurship and Innovation Advisor

Director of PROinnova, Salvadoran Foundation for Economic and Social Development (FUSADES) that promotes SMEs’ technological Innovation and entrepreneurship development in El Salvador. Samuel has worked on the design and implementation of investment events with innovative entrepreneurs and SMEs. He was responsible for the Introduction of the First-Tuesday Platform in El Salvador and supported the introduction of the platform in other Central American countries. Samuel has Engineering degrees from the Latin American Technical University and the University of Utah, and a specialization in Business Administration from the Francisco Marroquín University.

Plubio Monterroso, BS International Marketing

Entrepreneurship and Innovation Advisor

Full-time professor in the Entrepreneurs Development Program of Rafael Landivar University, Guatemala. His areas of work include business development, development of entrepreneurial skills, application of the Business Model Canvas, international marketing, and Internships Supervision. Plubio is the creator of two Guatemalan companies -- Deregreso and Apollo Cargo – and provides advisory and consulting services in international marketing. He is a graduate of the Marketing, International Trade, and Commercial Propaganda Program, Rafael Landívar University.

Graciela Aldana

Digital Marketing Associate

Graciela Aldana is a member of the EmpreSomos Digital Marketing team and responsible for its Facebook page, including the design of infographics and the preparation of messages for the growing EmpreSomos audience. Graciela is a student of International Marketing at the prestigious Rafael Landívar University in Guatemala and has participated in a variety of conferences and workshops on entrepreneurship, business, and digital marketing strategies on social networks.

David Morera, MA

Information Technology Advisor

David is a current Director of User Experience at ExpatBuddy. He is a conscientious and methodic interaction designer who works with cross-disciplinary teams to create innovative products, services, and ventures that tackle complex design challenges; from a mobile application that helps smallholders adapt to climate change, to more empathic and inclusive government services, to ventures that can help people better accommodate to a new culture or feel safer in conflictive zones. He holds a degree in Graphic Design from the Universidad de las Ciencias y el Arte, Costa Rica, and a Master’s degree in Interaction Design from Universidad Veritas.

Boone Gorges, MPhil

Information Technology Advisor

Lead Developer of the City University of New York Academic Commons. Boone is interested in creating tools for individuals and organizations to reclaim their online lives from corporate entities. Boone is a Core Committer for WordPress and a Lead Developer for BuddyPress. He is a consultant specializing in custom plugin development, code review, and WordPress/BuddyPress architecture. He attended Cornell College and the CUNY Graduate Center.

Ben Taitelbaum, MSc

Information Technology Advisor

Technical Solutions Consultant at Google, San Francisco Bay Area, Ben is a serial entrepreneur. Most recently a CTO of Reframe it, and previously a founder and president of Coshx Labs, a technical consulting and development firm. Between running a business, doing development, and advising, he finds time to teach web development to aspiring developers. He has a Master in Computer Science from the University of Virginia.

Daniela Herrera, Bach. AE

EmpreSomos Knowledge Repository Coordinator

Daniela has participated in several applied research projects at the Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica, School of Business Administration, some of them related to the comparative analysis of Costa Rican universities entrepreneurship ecosystem vis-à-vis others in the Latin American region. She has also worked as a volunteer for national and international nonprofit organizations in social and environmental projects. Daniela has a Bachelor in Business Administration from the Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica and is a graduate student at the same institution.

Earlier Advisors, and Pro-bono Professionals

Karen Wilkins, MBA

Karen is an experienced project manager professional with a demonstrated history in the aerospace industry, along with many years of volunteer service in the nonprofit sector. She is skilled in Customer Service Management, Product Support, Contracts Management, and Cross-Functional Team Leadership. She holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Aerospace Engineering from Florida Institute of Technology and a Master's in Business Administration from Seattle University.

Juan Jose Juarez Calvo, MSc

Senior Project Manager at Fundación Bertelsmann, Spain. On the basis of experience from other countries and relevant studies, the Foundation designs and carries out sustainable and scalable pilot entrepreneurship projects in partnership with other business development entities. Juan José holds a Master Degree in Coaching and Talent Management from EUDE, and a Master in Management of Non Profit organizations from ESADE.

Ralph Griffith, PhD

Ralph is an Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship and business incubation, business planning, and commercialization expert at Lenoir-Rhyne University. He also consults with universities and corporations on creativity, workforce development, incubation, and creating innovation within organizations.

Tom Georgevitz, MBA

Tom is a Senior Project Analyst at Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation. He is a consulting professional with experience working in developing countries and a track record of quantifying business opportunities, building partnerships, and selling recommendations to stakeholders. Expertise in unstructured problem solving, strategic planning, and gathering and analyzing data. Tom holds a Master of Business Administration from the Universidad de Notre Dame.

Matthew Zamora, BSc

Serial technology entrepreneur who previously founded Enact Productions, a digital marketing and production company. He has a diverse set of technical knowledge and skills including advanced web application development, mobile application design, and digital marketing. Matthew holds dual degrees in Psychology and Physiology/Neurobiology at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Jose Enrique Samayoa, MBA

Financial Consultant at the Inter-American Development Bank, where among other things, monitor services provided by counterparties for the operation of cash and safekeeping accounts.

Ascanio Graziosi, PhD

President of Innovative Financial Inclusion Solutions, a finance boutique that provides advisory services with financial and digital providers to deliver sustainable, market transparent and affordable products. Specialization in Start-up, Growth-up enterprises. Ascanio holds a doctoral degree in Economics from La Sapienza, Universita di Rome.