Brunch with Leaders in Entrepreneurship


Brunch with Leaders in Entrepreneurship

Event Description - Brunch with Leaders in Entrepreneurship
Join MIT Club of SoCal for a special, interactive event on entrepreneurship. We've invited prominent startup leaders and booked a great venue for the Saturday morning event. 

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 Registration, Interactive Networking & Breakfast Buffet 
11:05 - 11:45am
 Keynote by Jeff Katz '80
12 - 1pm
 Panel Discussion with Jeff Katz, T. K. Pillan, Peter Lee
 1 - 1:30pm    Post Event Networking 

Speakers' Bios:

Jeff Katz '80
Jeff Katz Photo

Jeffrey G. Katz is a technology and travel industry veteran whose success has spanned some of the most innovative companies nationwide. Katz joined leading comparison shopping company Nextag as Chief Executive Officer in March 2010.  At Nextag, Katz is driving an ambitious strategic blueprint encompassing acquisitions, global expansion and the development of new service features to capitalize on consumer trends such as mobile applications, personalization and the integration of social commerce.

From 2006 to February 2010, Katz served as President and CEO of LeapFrog Enterprises - a designer, developer, and marketer of innovative, technology-based learning products and related proprietary content - and he still serves the company in his capacity as Executive Chairman.  From 2000 through 2004, Katz was the Chairman and Founding CEO of Orbitz, Inc. Under Katz’s leadership, Orbitz quickly grew to become one of the top three online travel sites, with over $4 billion in gross sales. From 1997 to 2000, Katz was President and Chief Executive Officer of Swissair, a publicly held airline, and from 1980 to 1997, he served in a variety of roles at American Airlines, including positions in finance, pricing and sales, before being named Vice President of American Airlines and President of the Computerized Reservation System Division of SABRE.  

Katz received a B.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Davis, and holds M.S. degrees from both Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In addition to serving on the board of directors for Leapfrog, he previously served on the board of Northwest Airlines, and City of Hope National Cancer Research Institute.

T. K. Pillan '90 
T.K. Pillan Profile Photo
Pillan co-founded Veggie Grill, which opened its first location in November 2006, out of a personal desire for delicious, wholesome, convenient food. Voted Orange County’s Best New Restaurant (OC Register) and SoCal’s Best American Restaurant (LA Times), Veggie Grill revolutionizes the way guests eat, talk and think about vegetarian food. There are now 16 Veggie Grill’s across the West Coast, with plans to grow to 30 by the end of 2013.

Prior to Veggie Grill, Pillan co-founded Guidance Solutions in 1995, an e-commerce development firm and incubator that helped companies launch their online business platforms during the first wave of the Internet. The company was one of LA’s 15 fastest growing technology companies three years in a row. Pillan received a B.S. in Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management.

Pillan currently resides in Manhattan Beach, CA, with his wife and two daughters. When he’s not helping to lead Veggie Grill’s expansion plan, Pillan enjoys playing beach volleyball and coaching his daughters’ sports teams, trying to reclaim his glory days of playing division III college baseball and basketball at MIT.

Peter Lee '96
Peter Lee Profile Photo​​​​Peter Lee is a Partner at Baroda Ventures and actively manages Baroda's new investments and current portfolio.​

Previously, he was an investor at Clearstone Ventures and Prism Ventures. Prior to entering venture capital, he was the Vice President of Operations and Product Management at Goldpocket (acquired by Ericsson), a startup developing a platform for creating, distributing and managing interactive TV digital media systems.

Earlier, Peter was a manager with McKinsey, where he focused on the digital media, consumer electronics, and internet industries. He also worked as a product manager at Microsoft in their wireless device group as well as at Virtual Ink (acquired by Dymo Corp), a venture-backed startup in the consumer electronics and collaborative online meeting space.

Peter earned his B.S. and M.S. in engineering product development from MIT where he was elected into the Tau Beta Pi Honor Society and was awarded a full-tuition graduate fellowship. He also holds an M.B.A. with honors from Harvard Business School.​

James Brown '70 - Moderator
James Brown 70 - Moderator

James L. Brown is Principal at J. L. Brown & Co., a strategic advisory and venture development practice in Los Angeles. He provides research, analysis, counsel and interim leadership services to entrepreneurs and investors. Over the past 20 years, Mr. Brown has helped bring forward new ventures for Kodak Corporation, NCR Corporation, Teradata Corporation and Xerox Corporation. He has also guided the commercial development of over 50 advanced technology ventures through public workshops, private counsel and contracted research and representation services. His current focus is the development of advanced technology ventures from university and industrial laboratories and the Federal SBIR programs..

Previously, Mr. Brown was Director of Strategy at Teradata Corporation (massively-parallel database technology), Director of Analyst Relations at Pyramid Technology Corporation (high-performance computing) and held earlier marketing, sales and corporate MIS positions with Xerox Corporation, TRW and several software ventures. He is a founder of the Caltech/MIT Enterprise Forum (Pasadena) and served on the board of MIT Enterprise Forum, Inc. (Cambridge). Mr. Brown holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University and an SM in Management Science from the MIT Sloan School of Management. He earned the Bronze Star as First Lieutenant, U.S. Army Signal Corps, and was a defense policy analyst for several years thereafter.

$28 - Members 
$39 - Non-members
Contact Information
Primary Contact
Danish Khatri
 Secondary Contact
Date & Location
Date: 3/16/2013
Time: 10:00 AM to 1:30 PM
Location: Covel Commons at UCLA
330 De Neve Drive,
Los Angeles, CA 90095

Parking ($11 per car):
Park at the PSV Sunset Village parking structure adjacent to our venue, Covel Commons

Directions to the parking structure:
1. From the 405 Freeway, exit on Sunset Blvd. Proceed EAST on Sunset Blvd. and enter the campus by turning RIGHT onto Bellagio Drive.
2. Proceed to the stop sign at the top of the hill. Turn LEFT at the stop sign onto De Neve Drive.
3. Proceed 3/10 of a mile down the hill to the PSV (Sunset Village) parking structure. The structure will be on your right.
4. Purchase a parking permit for the Sunset Village(PSV) lot from the attendant at the gate. Park in any unrestricted space.
5. Affix your parking permit to the inside lower left front windshield. Parking permits are good for only one lot per day (i.e., you  may not move your car to another lot without paying an additional charge.)
6. Take the elevator or stairs (located in the southwest corner of the parking garage) to the Lobby level (L)..
The Covel Commons building will be directly infront of you as you exit the elevator.