Steve Adelman, Executive Director

Steve Adelman is the founder and Managing Director of Nexus Partners, and is Project Faculty in the Wharton School’s Global Consulting Practicum and a mentor in Steve Blank’s Lean Launch Pad classes at Stanford and UC Berkeley.

Steve was President of Broadware (acquired by Cisco), one of the first streaming Internet video companies. Following that, he was Vice President of Corporate Development at Novell, responsible for investments, acquisitions and strategic partnerships.

Previously, as Executive Vice President at Reuters NewMedia, he managed early stage investments and partnerships with companies including Yahoo!, Verisign, Wired and Infoseek/Disney. Steve was a Senior Managing Partner at Gartner Consulting, and a strategy consultant with Booz & Co. He started his career at AT&T’s Bell Laboratories.

He holds a BS in computer science from Columbia University and an MBA from the Wharton School, and served as a paratrooper in the Israel Defense Forces.

Gail Gannon, Director of Programs and Co-Chair Global Women in Tech Program


Gail has 20+ years of experience helping entrepreneurs turn their great idea into market success. She guides them through identifying target markets, persuading investors, prototyping, and refining their products, defining the business model, securing their first customers, and growing into new markets.


She is instrumental in helping companies build to scale and to successful acquisition. Her most recent ventures include business coaching on behalf of the World Bank-Georgia, to helping ex- US startups establish commercial partnerships.


Previously, Gail worked with PATH-Gates, allocating health investment dollars. She works with entrepreneurs around the world. Gail earned her master’s degree from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, a Certificate of Honor in Biotech, UC Santa Cruz, and an AB from UC Berkeley. Gail routinely speaks at international congresses and investor forums. She is known among VCs and many active angel investors seek Gail’s advice on promising startups.

Ira Szot, Director of Marketing

Ira Szot has nearly four decades of marketing agency experience in diverse leadership and get-it-done positions. His combined knowledge and skills gained in strategic, creative and production positions arms the Foundation with an extraordinary resource. Whether working as COO, Creative Director, Strategic Planner, Production Manager, Copywriter or Designer, Ira has always epitomized a professional "whatever it takes" philosophy.  


While Ira currently focuses on working with startups, he worked with hundreds of nationally and globally recognized companies and brands such as American Express, BMW, P&G, Nestle and Merck. He also brings a wealth of experience from the non-profit world, helping to lead the corporate development agency for American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, American Red Cross, Alzheimers Association, Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, and other leading charities.