Upcoming Events
Need Assistance?

Schedule an appointment today!

Make Appointment

The Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship is a product of collaboration between student entrepreneurs, college faculty and administration. Students come from a variety of grades, majors and interests. These students are the driving force behind the center’s operations. There are currently 10 student leaders and 14 student facilitators working everyday to foster entrepreneurship on the 5C’s. Applications for facilitator positions are released in the fall but any student interested in helping should contact the center right away. Below are bios covering the background and interests of the CIE team.

Janet Kiholm Smith

Director of the Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Janet Kiholm Smith is the Von Tobel Professor of Economics at Claremont McKenna College and Director of the Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship. She received a Ph.D. in economics from UCLA, and has been on the faculties of Arizona State University, University of Southern California, and Oberlin College. At CMC, she has served as Chair of the Department of Economics, Director of the Financial Economics Institute, and the founding Dean of the Robert Day School. She is coauthor of Entrepreneurial Finance: Strategy, Valuation and Deal Structure (Stanford U Press), with translations into Japanese and Chinese. She is the author of numerous journal articles on topics ranging from IPO pricing to corporate philanthropy, including publications The Journal of Finance, Journal of Financial & Quantitative Analysis, Journal of Corporate Finance, Journal of Legal Studies, Journal of Law, Economics & Organization, Journal of Industrial Economics, Journal of Banking and Finance. Current research interests are in the areas of new venture finance, investment behavior of not-for-profit institutions, and behavioral aspects of risk-taking. She teaches courses on entrepreneurial finance, strategy, and a practicum on new venture development.

Tyler Sonnemaker - '15

Executive Student Director (Studying Abroad Fall 2013)

Tyler is a junior at CMC majoring in Philosophy & Public Affairs with a sequence in Leadership Studies. He is originally from Oregon, but is currently on hiatus from the rainy corner of the country, calling Texas home for the time being. Outside of his interests in entrepreneurship, Tylerenjoys sports, writing, and working relentlessly on his music in the event a backup career becomes necessary.

Julian Mackie - '15

Executive Student Director (Studying Abroad Fall 2013)

Julian was raised in Santa Rosa California and is currently a Government major completing the Leadership Sequence. He is a Lead Consultant with SOURCE, an on-campus non-profit consulting company, and a ASCMC student senator. He is interested in using entrepreneurship to help solve social issues around the globe and create innovative, sustainable types of ventures. His favorite company is Pacific Community Ventures, an investment and consulting company that focuses on small high-growth companies with positive missions.

Chad Newbry - '14

Director of Venture Development

Chad Newbry grew up in Corvallis, Oregon. He is currently studying Economics and plans on graduating in 2014. In his spare time he loves working on various business ventures which to date have included shave ice and a flash game studio.

Charlie Montgomery - ’15

Director of External Relations

Charlie Montgomery is a sophomore from Los Angeles who is dual majoring in Economics and Government with a Sequence in Leadership. At CMC, Charlie enjoys debating world events over a game of croquet and reading the economist by the pool. Charlie is fascinated by the idea of turning what he loves into a successful venture and has aspirations of being the next Willy Wonka. Charlie enjoys dancing to the music of Diana Ross and the Supremes while wandering through the Southern California chaparral.

David Wych - '15

Director of Venture Development

David hails from Chatham, New Jersey and is a Physics major. He is a member of Shades, the premier A Capella group on campus and is interested in politics, philosophy, and New York Giants football. He is interested in entrepreneurship because, as he says it, “There will always be something that needs innovating, and being able to take a brilliant idea and turn it into profit as quickly as possible is 100% American and 200% awesome.” His favorite company is Apple.

Josh Rael - '14

Director of Resources

Josh is a Computer Science major at CMC. After growing up in the creative city of Santa Fe, in close vicinity to the more scientific Los Alamos, he became interested in the intersection of art and technology. Since then, he has been fortunate enough to hold two Product Management positions and he continues to learn what it means to create innovative solutions to our everyday problems. When his time in Claremont has come to an end, he hopes to continue his career in User Experience design.

Samantha Kunz - ’15

Executive Student Director

Samantha is a sophomore at CMC hailing from Aurora, Colorado. She is an Economics-Accounting major who plans to also complete the Financial Economics Sequence. On campus, she is a member of the CMS women’s soccer team and enjoys contributing to various community service projects. Her entrepreneurial interest was sparked in high school after competing in the Future Business Leaders of America state finals for Entrepreneurship. Her favorite company is Barnes & Noble.

Kyra McAndrews - '15

Director of Events

A New Yorker born and raised, Kyra is currently trying to enjoy the California lifestyle as a Junior, studying Government at CMC. In addition to her role of Director of Events at the CIE, Kyra serves the Claremont community as co-leader of impACT, a campus-wide initiative to make Claremont McKenna College a hub for social innovation and entrepreneurship. Kyra aspires to use social entrepreneurship to improve the lives of people across the globe and solve the world’s most pressing problems.

Harry Pellicoro - '15

Legal and Venture Facilitator

Henry (Harry) Pellicoro  is a junior at Claremont McKenna College, dual majoring in Government and Philosophy, Politics, & Economics. Originally from New York City, Harryhas worked at the CIE since his sophomore year of college. Having caught the supposed “travel bug” at a young age, Harry traveled to Hawaii, Mongolia, Scotland, England, Spain, Netherlands and Germany in the past year alone. Harry is also a devout New York sports fan, an avid reader, and a dedicated FIFA enthusiast. Outside of the CIE, Harry participates in CMC’s Student Investment Fund, CMC’s Model United Nations team, and works as a Tech at the CMC Bike Shop.

Chris Albanese - '14

Startup Project Leader

Chris is a Science and Management major with a Chemistry Sequence at CMC. He is particularly interested in entrepreneurship as a vehicle for social and environmental change. Feel free to take a look at his LinkedIn profile: www.linkedin.com/pub/christopher-albanese/35/7b3/5a3/

Chris Ferrer - '14

Startup Project Leader

Chris is a Senior at CMC, currently studying abroad in Paris, France. Chris is majoring in Literature and Philosophy. Hailing from Hawaii, his interest in entrepreneurship began with searching for a solution to Maui’s rising gas prices. He along with two partners created a company called Hydrogen Solutions that made dry cell hydrogen generators, which increase a car’s gas mileage. After graduating from CMC, Chris plans to attend law school.

Remy Guercio - ’16

Director of Social Media

Born and raised in New Orleans, Remy Guercio is a freshman dual majoring in Economics and Computer Science at CMC. This past semester, he was on the sponsorship committee of the 5C Hack Club where he helped raise money to fund the biannual 5C hackathon. His entrepreneurial interests are mainly focused on web and mobile start-ups in both the consumer and B2B spaces. Remy also looks out for hardware startups doing innovative work in new fields. Remy’s favorite startup is Planetary Resources and he always looks forward to the new technologies coming out of Microsoft’s R&D division.

Tom Daham Lee - ‘16

Assistant Director of Social Media

Tom Daham Lee is a sophomore from Seoul, South Korea majoring in Economics/Government at Claremont McKenna College. He serves as an advisor for TEDxYouth Seoul and YOUTHECA.org and is a member of the ASCMC Public Engagement Committee and the ASCMC Venture Council. Tom is interested in social media and software developments and enjoys reading publications like the Verge, Engadget, TechCrunch, etc. He also loves watching movies in his free time and is excited for the 2015 release of Star Wars VII.

Liza Rizzo - '15

Startup Project Team Member

Liza Rizzo is a junior majoring in organizational studies with a concentration on entrepreneurship. She is originally from Seven Springs, Pennsylvania and is interested in technology, economic development, skiing, cooking, and traveling. This past summer she worked on a startup for makeup application, and is currently working with an education startup based out of New York City.

John (Sang Yeob) Kim - '17

Startup Project Team Member

John is a freshman at Pomona from Seoul, South Korea. Although currently undeclared, he is interested in economics, history, and environmental analysis. John likes to involved in various activities around the campus. He is on the EQC (Environmental Qualities Committee), a writer for The Claremont Ekklesia (A Journal of Christian Thought), and a farmer taking care of a plot shared with his hallmates. He also enjoys music and singing, which led him to the Pomona College Choir that he is now part of. While having ramen parties, he loves engaging in late night talks with his friends.

Surya Sendyl - '16

Startup Project Team Member

Surya is a sophomore at CMC majoring in Philosophy and Economics. He is from Bangalore, India and has been interested in entrepreneurship since high school. He is excited about working on the startup team and hopes to gain hands on experience with creating startups.

Michael Franklin - '14

Startup Project Team Member

Michael Franklin is a senior at Claremont McKenna majoring in Economics and doing the masters in finance program. He is originally from Newport Beach California who loves traveling and hanging out with his friends. Michael is a big Golden State Warriors fan but also likes following European soccer and the NFL. On the Silicon Valley Program, Michael and some of his friends created an online ordering system that was going to be implemented at the hub.

Josh Cohen - '14

Vanguard Writer

Josh is a senior Philosophy, Politics, and Economics major from the Boston Area. In his free time, he enjoys watching and playing sports, traveling, and exploring film. Josh is hoping to pursue a job in the tech field after graduation and is writing his senior thesis on Google Glass’s potential effects on our interactions.

Jack Shaked - '14

Startup Project Team Member

Jack Shaked is a senior at Pitzer majoring in Politics at Pomona College. He enjoys snowboarding, improv and stand up, and will always stay in and watch a movie if the opportunity presents itself. Jack is interested in how social entrepreneurship will be a force of change in the market place and civic sphere of the future. Jack’s favorite companies are Nest, Uber, and Grameen Bank. Jack is eager to work with the CIE and create something exciting.

Hannah Bottum - '17

Vanguard Writer

Hannah Bottum is a freshman who originates from Winnetka, Illinois, a north suburb of Chicago. She intends to study International Relations, and her interests include social entrepreneurship, running, and yoga.

Ciera Fleming - '16

Assistant Events Coordinator

Ciera is a sophomore at Pitzer from Kapolei, Hawaii who is majoring in Organizational Studies and planning on minoring in Economics. She is particularly interested in social entrepreneurship and wants to spread more information about entrepreneurship around the 5Cs.

Angelo Huakai Liao - '16

Startup Project Team Member

Originally from China, Angelo has been a fan of SoCal weather. A lover of travel, religions and human rights, he spent last the two breaks abroad. He spent the winter exploring the religions of India and the summer helping Tanzanians fight against HIV/AIDS. Rumors around says he plans to spends his junior year living in Silicon Valley. Currently a Psychology and Economics major, he enjoys pretending to be a confederate in the psychology lab or looking through funny responses from participants for the Berger Institute. When not working on the new Start-up projects, he plays for the club ultimate frisbee team, jams in his drum kit, tells crazy jokes and simply watches tons of TV shows in the cube. Angelo is excited to join the CIE’s team of entrepreneurs!

James Havlicek - '14

Director of 5C Outreach, Vanguard Editor

James, who hails from Connecticut, is a senior majoring in Economics and International Relations. He enjoys music, writing, and has experience in marketing and business analysis. He has recently discovered a passion for entrepreneurship, and looks forward to expanding CIE’s influence through both consortium outreach and The Vanguard.

Thomas Hague - '16

Executive Student Director

Hailing from Newport Beach, CA.,  Thomas is currently a freshman at CMC who hopes to establish the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship’s Alumni Network, mentorship program, and influence on campus. In his spare time, Thomas enjoys catching up with old friends, jumping off boats and bonding with seniors over an Arnold Palmer in Palm Springs. His favorite advertising campaign is Apple’s “Think Different”, as he is awed by its simplistic embodiment of those who change the world. Products that he is currently most interested in are 3D printers, the Tesla model S, Google’s self-driving cars.

Pooja Reddy - '14


Pooja is a Senior majoring in Computer Science and Psychology.  In her free time, she enjoys dabbling in the creative arts, including painting, drawing, cooking, reading, filming, and attending concerts. Although she is a Seattle area native, she can’t imagine herself living anywhere but California now that she has grown to love its sunny weather. She is currently writing her thesis on Gender Disparity in Venture Capital.

Michael Levy - '15

Director of Marketing

Michael Levy is a new member of the five C community transferring after two years at Vanderbilt University.  He is currently enrolled at CMC as a junior with hopes to graduate in 2015 and entering the businesses world soon after.  Originally from McLean, Virginia, Michael is a dual major in Spanish and International Relations and will ultimately focus his major more closely towards South and Central America or Spain.  In his free time, Michael enjoys playing soccer and baseball, hosting a sports talk radio show and learning about the entertainment industry to potentially launch a career in marketing once his days of playing sports are done.

CIE Building
530 N. Mills Ave View on Google Maps