Keynote Speakers

Pete Giordano, Startup Advisor and Investor, PeteGiordano

Education Finals Keynote Speaker

Pete is a startup advisor and investor, with a passion for empowering early-stage startups to grow and thrive.

During the last 25 years, Pete worked at VMware, DoubleClick, Accenture, two startups, and has founded two companies of his own. He's held nearly every role within a software company and developed a holistic perspective startup "gearing".

Pete is an operator at heart and loves entrepreneurship. He founded ( focused on helping seed stage and Series A companies align product, sales, and adoption.  

In the last several years Pete has volunteered with the UM Center for Entrepreneurship, TechArb, and Desai Accelerator, providing mentoring, workshops, and assisting on the Weather Underground Startup Trek in the SF Bay Area.

Pete graduated from the University of Michigan in 1992 where he studied Aerospace and Industrial Systems Engineering. When he's not working with startups, you can find Pete in his maker shop or taking photographs.

You can learn more about Pete by visiting his blog, and


Lisa McLaughlin, Co-Founder, Co-CEO, WorkIt HealthLisaMcLaughlin

Public Health Finals Keynote Speaker

Lisa McLaughlin is a social entrepreneur and the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Workit Health, a behavioral health company creating an entire new channel for reducing drinking and drug use backed by the National Science Foundation. She is the recipient of the TechWeek Detroit Technology Woman of the Year award for 2017. Lisa serves as a Desai Accelerator Mentor for early stage technology companies and as an advisor to a number of biotech startups.

Lisa has held leadership positions at some of world’s most respected digital health and learning companies. She developed one of the first social sector technology service models in the health informatics space and has facilitated a wide range of learning innovation labs for foundations (Gates Foundation, Hewlett Foundation) and universities. She has extensive training and experience in addiction research, crisis referral, alcohol and drug treatment aftercare, wilderness therapy, disaster response, and college completion. Lisa was previously an Innovation Fellow at the University of Michigan School of Information building social impact programs at the intersection of information science and social innovation (MSI/MSW).