Raffi Minasian / Chairman of the Board
Raffi is a designer, educator, innovation specialist, and start-up mentor. He holds degrees in Product Development and Transportation Design. His impressive twenty-five year career includes projects with Boeing aircraft, Mattel toys, car designs for Toyota, Subaru, Moal Coachbuilders and award winning scale model cars. A pioneer professor in the California College of the Arts DMBA program Raffi teaches industrial design and innovation and is a noted speaker at museums and corporate events on the subject of futurism, new ventures, and creative process. Raffi devotes much of his professional energy to educational programs for young people interested in design professions, including his Board of Directors position with the Collectors Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to serving youth in the automotive community through scholarships, grants, and museum support. At age eight, Raffi took up the violin, and by age seventeen had recorded with several bands and orchestras including the bluegrass group Hayfever.
Asher is a founder at venture-backed Silicon Valley companies including Redback Networks, Tollbridge Technologies, and Peakstream, where he has held key positions in engineering, marketing, technology, and general management. He holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of Minnesota and a master’s degree in philosophy from MIT. He serves on SFMOMA’s Architecture and Design accessions committee and the Palo Alto Utilities Advisory Commission. He and his wife collect American ceramics and furniture.
Marina is a futurist and social scientist who serves as executive director to the Institute for the Future (IFTF). Marina’s current research focuses on how social production is changing the face of major industries. She has blogged and written for BoingBoing.net, FastCompany, Harvard Business Review, and major media outlets. Marina has also keynoted such international events as the World Economic Forum, The Next Web Conference, NEXT Berlin, the World Business Forum, the National Association of Broadcasters annual convention, and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges annual conference. She holds a BA in psychology and a master’s of public policy from UC Berkeley.
On top of being critical to the strategic development of Zoo Labs, Brandt is also an accomplished guitarist and avid mandolin player. His deep love of American roots music and jump blues motivates organic, reactive and uplifting solutions that artists connect with. Brandt is also an amateur grilling champion, with a small but growing following around his homegrown cuisine.
Suzanne Walsh is a Deputy Director on the Postsecondary Success Team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation where she leads the Foundation’s institutional transformation strategy. Before joining Gates, Suzanne worked at two other foundations: Lumina Foundation in Indianapolis where she managed the Making Opportunity Affordable initiative, which was aimed at increasing college productivity by bringing about fundamental change in the way higher education does business; and, The Heinz Endowments in Pittsburgh where her diverse portfolio included community colleges, universities, workforce development, tech commercialization and transfer, city/county consolidation, immigration and regional economic development. She got her start in community college work as the Coordinator of Special Projects at Cuyahoga Community College. And she began her professional career as an attorney at Oklahoma Indian Legal Services. Suzanne has her juris doctorate and masters in social work from Case Western Reserve University, a bachelor’s of science from Cornell University, and an associate’s degree in applied science from Hudson Valley Community College. She is a member of a number of international, national and local organizations: the World Economic Forum’s Future of the University group, Carnegie Mellon University’s Global Learning Council, Seattle CityClub board and the advisory boards for Roadtrip Nation, as well as education start-up Uncollege. She is also a proud judge for Dance Your PhD.
Vinitha is an entrepreneur, design strategist, and artist. She opened Google’s first office in India, was a fellow at the Institute for the Future, and sits on the boards of Nexleaf Analytics and California College of the Arts. Vinitha is the founder and Executive Director of Zoo Labs, the world's first music accelerator. Zoo Labs sits at the intersection of art and business and is about re-imagining entrepreneurship as a creative endeavor and supports teams of artists leading with their vision and craft. With roots in Silicon Valley our non profit brings together some of the best mentors in tech, business, and art to have a hand in shaping the future—something bigger than its parts. Sometimes people ask her if she’s crazy. And she might well be.
Dave is a music producer and computer scientist. In 2007, he co-founded The Zoo (the first incarnation of Zoo Labs), a music incubator located in Oakland, CA, where he is still an actively involved as a music producer and mentor. Prior to that, he worked for Google, Inc as a Staff Software Engineer. David holds a B.S. in Creative Studies from UC Santa Barbara.
Brandt is a lifelong musician and serial entrepreneur. He has been a co-founder and on senior leadership teams of several successful start-ups. Most recently he was the CMO and strategist at a Fortune 500 Company where he also served as an intrapreneur creating new business opportunities. Brandt was co-founder of an enterprise software venture that was later acquired by Amazon. Brandt sees the future of Zoo Labs as the platform for developing creative entrepreneurs. He spends his downtime playing the guitar and mandolin with the band The Real Placebos and as an Adjunct Professor at California College of the Arts.
Brad is an inspired producer, engineer and guitarist. A Bay Area native, he has been cultivating art & community through music since his youth. His passion for merging our human connection into sonic landscapes that move people has carved out a place for Brad to help others achieve their greatest creative visions. This has lead him to elevate artists such as Bob Weir, Finish Ticket, G-Eazy & The National to new musical heights. Brad comes to Zoo Labs with a deep desire to infuse new energy, ideas & heart into reclaiming value for art.
Lance has worked in the music industry in a number capacities including being a digital strategist, artist , and social weaver. He has worked on projects for Kanye West, Drake, Jeezy, Jill Scott, America's Cup, Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, T.I., G-Eazy, and more. As an artist he has been featured on XXL, MTV, and has amassed a large online following. His experience gives him unique in-depth understanding of new technologies, the intricacies of content creation and how to work with artists and technology companies while recognizing the nuances of their constraints and motivations.
Bosko started his music career music while still at USC completing his Mechanical Engineering Degree by producing the theme song to hit TV show In Living Color. His career blossomed from there as his production, songwriting, and mastery of the talkbox led to a Grammy with Kanye West, two additional Grammy Nominations and hit records with platinum recording artists Drake, Skrillex, Big Boi, J. Cole, Janelle Monae, and many more. In addition to being a singer, songwriter, and producer, he is a Mechanical Engineer and founder of a new music tech hardware startup called ElectroSpit, a wearable voice synth that supercharges your vocals.
Victor is a techie musician – a budding songwriter, singer, keyboardist and producer in his original band – paired with professional expertise in building driven cultures that foster radical innovation. Victor joined Redbubble as CTO to lead the amazing technical team creating a home for thousands of artists to make a living! Previously, he held engineering leadership roles at Indiegogo, Yelp and VMware. He is passionate about bringing the successful tech entrepreneurship practices into the world of music to help independent artists scale.