Washington University in St. Louis

University Advancement

VIRTUAL: Disruption and Change: How Startups and Tech will Adjust to a Changing Landscape in 2021 and Beyond​

Monday, October 5, 2020 | 4:00–5:00 p.m. PDT 

Join fellow alumni and parents for a WashU Alumni Panel hosted by WashU in the West, discussing what is in store for startups and tech companies in 2021 and beyond. In this event, our four panelists and moderator will explore how technology ecosystems continue to rapidly evolve.

Our experienced panelists will discuss what their ecosystem looks like now and in the future, what changes have surprised them, and which future opportunities are suddenly now more exciting. The panel will be moderated by Alex Rosenberg, BSBA ’10, ex-Amazon/Graphiq Inc.

Thank you to our panelists: 
Ed Banti, BS ’06, MS ’06, Director, Search Experience at Amazon
Olga Kaplan, AB ’10, MS ’10, Growth Equity Investor at Goldman Sachs
Nate Maslak, BSBA ’11, Cofounder and CEO at Ribbon Health
Aaron Samuels, BSBA ’11, Cofounder and COO at Blavity


About Ed Banti:
Ed Banti graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a BS and MS in computer science in 2006. After graduation, he worked at Microsoft as a product manager on Exchange Server/Office 365 before joining Amazon. His current role is a director in Amazon Search leading the Search Experience team, who are responsible for the customer-facing features on Amazon when you're browsing or searching. Outside of work, he lives in Seattle with his wife, Christina, AB ’03, and newborn baby girl.


About Nate Maslak:
Nate Maslak is co-founder and chief executive officer of Ribbon Health, an enterprise API layer and data platform for the healthcare industry. Ribbon powers health insurers, health systems, and the digital healthcare ecosystem with accurate information on doctors, the insurances they accept, and the costs and quality of care that they deliver. Ribbon is a three-year-old venture-backed start-up with investors like Andreesen Horowitz and Y Combinator.

Prior to founding Ribbon, Nate led the Identity Graph product and business at Datalogix, a venture-backed company acquired by Oracle, and was previously a consultant at McKinsey & Co. Nate earned his BSBA from Washington University in St. Louis and his MBA from Harvard Business School.


About Olga Kaplan:
Olga Lozovskaya Kaplan joined Goldman Sachs in 2010, where she leads $25-200 million equity investments as a part of the GS Growth team, the firm's dedicated growth equity platform. She is focused on high-growth companies across the software and internet landscape and has worked with a dozen portfolio companies ranging from initial investment through IPO or sale during her time with the firm. Olga is also a lead investor for Launch with GS, Goldman Sachs' $500 million commitment to invest in companies and managers with diverse leadership. Olga graduated summa cum laude from Washington University in St. Louis, and lives in San Francisco with her husband and newborn son.


About Aaron Samuels:
Aaron Samuels is the co-founder and chief operating officer of Blavity Inc., a digital community for Black millennials that reaches over 60 million people per month across five digital properties including Blavity News, Travel Noire, AfroTech, Shadow and Act, and 21Ninety. After working at Bain & Co. as strategy consultant, Aaron left his corporate life to pursue his passion as a writer and builder of community. He has since written a book of poetry, toured the country, performed on television, and landed himself on Forbes' coveted 30 under 30 list as a rising star in the tech and media space. Aaron earned his undergraduate degree from Washington University in St. Louis and his MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. When he is not at Blavity, Aaron is a nationally touring poet and speaker. His debut collection of poetry, Yarmulkes & Fitted Caps, was released on Write Bloody Publishing. Aaron Samuels is Black and Jewish.


About Alex Rosenberg:
Alex is an entrepreneur currently taking a sabbatical after 10 years in operating roles across the technology industry. He recently spearheaded Amazon Alexa's multi-voice assistant business strategy and served as a lead mentor to the Alexa Accelerator, powered by TechStars. Alex joined Amazon after leading the end-to-end May 2017 sale of Graphiq to boost Alexa's Q&A capabilities (e.g. "Alexa, what's Apple's stock price?"), Alexa's largest acquisition at the time of close. Alex was a member of Graphiq’s executive leadership team, ran its Enterprise product and business, and led corporate development. Prior to Graphiq, Alex worked at Bain & Company, working with large technology and private equity companies on corporate strategy, new market entry, and M&A. He graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a BSBA in economics, finance, and political science. He married fellow alum Dr. Hilary Meyer Rosenberg (BA ‘10), whom he met the first day of freshman year.


This event is a part of WashU in the West programming. WashU in the West is an opportunity for members of the WashU community in mountain and pacific time zones to connect through programming that is both virtually accessible and geographically relevant. WashU in the West will highlight alumni and parents in the west while centering topics specific to their interests and industries. This will complement our existing Virtual Connections offered to the entire WashU community, and anyone interested in events hosted by WashU in the West are welcome to join no matter their location.

Please note this event will be recorded.

Cost: Complimentary, registration required

NOTE: You will receive a confirmation email after completing registration. If you do not receive one, please email alumniclubs@wustl.edu.