Entrepreneurship Advisory Board adds five members

New board member head shots

The John W. Altman Institute for Entrepreneurship has announced the addition of five members to its Entrepreneurship Advisory Board. The board is made up of startup and business professionals with a diverse range of knowledge, skills and backgrounds to provide strategic advice and focused input to faculty and staff.

The group helps leadership from the Department of Entrepreneurship and the Altman Institute establish and prioritize the strategic priorities for the program and helps faculty and staff engage with alumni and key ecosystem builders across the U.S.

Ben Hoffman

Ben Hoffman

POSITION: Senior Vice President, Chief Strategy Officer at Fifth Third Bank

Ben Hoffman joined Fifth Third Bank in March 2016 and currently serves as the Chief Strategy Officer.  In that capacity, Ben leads the Corporate Strategy, Decision Sciences, and FinTech teams.  Prior to his current role, Ben has served as Head of Corporate Strategy / Fintech and Head of Digital Lending for Fifth Third. 

Before joining the bank, Ben spent over a decade in consulting as a Partner in the Financial Services practice at Oliver Wyman where he advised leading banks and other financial institutions in the United States and globally.  Ben has written on behalf of Oliver Wyman and the World Economic Forum, chaired the American Banker Marketplace Lending & Investing conference, and sits on the board of The Santi School Project, a non-profit dedicated to giving girls and disadvantaged ethnic minorities in Nepal access to quality education. 

Along with his wife and two children, Ben lives in Cincinnati and is enjoying his return to suburban living, even as he maintains his passion for international football and world travel. 

Jason Holland

Jason Holland

POSITION: President and Chief Business Officer at Firework 

Jason Holland serves as President and Chief Business Officer at Firework, the global leader in bringing short-form video designed to inspire a shoppable, livestream video experience on any website. Since joining Firework in July of 2020, Jason has been integral to the company’s meteoric rise in profile and rapid expansion into markets across the globe. To fuel such growth, Jason draws from a 20-plus-year wellspring of experience as a leader, innovator, and driver of change within the digital media and marketing ecosystems of multiple Fortune 500 companies, including Coca-Cola, Kraft, Unilever, Kellogg’s, among others. Jason plays a pivotal role in the ongoing success of Firework introducing the company’s vision for the future of e-commerce to direct-to-consumer brands, retailers, and media publishers — a decentralized future in which brands can create and host immersive, shoppable video content on their own websites by adding just a single line of HTML code. Jason is continuously spearheading strategies for company partners to cater to new consumer demographics with short-form and livestream video, including the company’s recent industry-first partnership with grocery goliath Albertsons Companies, Inc.

Prior to joining Firework, Jason served as Global Chief Operating Officer and Partner at Evolve Media LLC. Throughout his 8 years at Evolve, Jason oversaw internal and external global operations playing a critical role in the company’s private equity rounds plus expanding the company’s footprint beyond the US, successfully establishing their international brand in markets such as Canada, the UK, and Australia. By the time he ended his tenure at Evolve, Jason had led their TotallyKidz brand to become the 3rd largest online platform for children in the world, generating a 20+% increase in global gross margin. Today, Jason remains as an Advisor to the business.

In 2020, Jason was named a finalist for Digiday’s Publishing Executive of the Year Award. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Logistics and Supply Chain Management from the Farmer School of Business at Miami University.

Maria Katris

Maria Katris

POSITION: Co-Founder and CEO at Built In

Maria Katris is Co-Founder and CEO of Built In, which has revolutionized the way the tech industry recruits and hires top talent. She transformed the company from its start as a networking site for the industry to the disruptive platform it is today, a national home for tech professionals and more than 1,800 customers, including innovative companies of all sizes across sectors. Headquartered in Chicago, Built In employs more than 220 professionals. 

Monthly, Built In attracts 3 million tech professionals globally. They rely on the platform’s content to learn about tech trends and news, grow professionally and discover opportunities at companies with missions they want to join. For its customers, Built In puts the stories of their cultures, technology and people in front of this otherwise hard-to-reach audience, helping companies fill their roles of the future.

In 2019, Maria and her team closed a $22 million Series C funding round led by Updata Partners with participation from MATH Venture Partners, which at the time was the largest funding round closed by a female CEO-led firm in Chicago history.

In 2021, Built In was recognized by the Deloitte Technology Fast 500™, a ranking of the 500 fastest-growing companies in North America. This marked the third consecutive year Built In was recognized on the Deloitte list. Also in 2021, the company earned a place on Inc. Magazine's 5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies in America, with a growth rate of 277% over the previous three years.

Previously Maria was the Executive Director of TiE Midwest, the Chicago chapter of a Global not-for-profit organization dedicated to high-growth entrepreneurs. Immediately prior, Maria founded Nanny Boutique, a Chicago-based nanny placement agency, which she sold within two years. Maria has strategic experience working at Northwestern Memorial Hospital as a strategic analyst to the VPs and CEO. Prior to that, she spent four years as a healthcare consultant at Arthur Andersen and Huron Consulting Group.

In addition to building a fast-growth company that continues to disrupt the tech recruitment space, her top priorities include her awesome husband and being a mother to three amazing daughters. As she creates a path to purpose for her employees and the tech professionals who use Built In, she also follows her own purpose — a mission to show her daughters and team what it means to lead with empathy, accountability, and humility.

Maria was named EY Entrepreneur of the Year Midwest Finalist for 2020 and was recognized by Crain’s in its “40 Under 40” list. She earned her bachelor’s in Finance from the Farmer School of Business at Miami University and her MBA from The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Sean Lane

Sean Lane

POSITION: Founder and CEO at Olive AI and Founder and CEO at Circulo Health

Sean Lane is Founder and CEO of Columbus-based Olive AI, which markets an AI workforce platform built specifically for healthcare that has been adopted by over 600 hospitals, including 22% of the top 100 health systems in the country. The company’s software acts as a router between systems and data by automating repetitive, high-volume tasks and workflows, delivering hospitals and health systems increased revenue, reduced costs, and increased capacity.

In July 2021, Olive AI passed Root’s record for the largest venture capital funding round at the highest valuation in Ohio history with the $400 million round that closed last month at a $4 billion post-money valuation. To-date the company has raised almost $900 Million in funding.

Sean Lane is also Founder and CEO at Circulo Health, a Health Tech company that plans to bring much needed, disruptive innovation to Medicaid Managed Care. Earlier this year, the company closed a $50 Million seed venture round led by current Olive AI investors Drive Capital, General Catalyst, Oak HC/FT, and Silicon Valley Bank Capital.

Sean spent five years an intelligence officer in the United States Air Force and later served as an intelligence officer at the NSA, solving big challenges as a software engineer and technology leader.

In June 2021, Sean was named to Columbus Business First 2021 Power 100 list of the 100 people making the biggest impact in Central Ohio for 2021. He earned his bachelor’s in Political Science and Government at Miami University.

Aaron Ryan

Aaron Ryan

POSITION: Commissioner and President of Overtime and Overtime Elite (OTE) and Investment Committee Member of 1809 Capital

Aaron Ryan is Commissioner and President of Overtime and Overtime Elite (OTE), a transformative global youth basketball league that offers the world’s most talented young basketball players an alternative pathway to becoming professional athletes.

Overtime, named to LinkedIn’s Top 50 Startups list for 2021, has raised more than $140 million in venture funding to-date, including an $80 million Series C that closed earlier this year and was co-led by Sapphire Ventures and Black Capital VC that valued the company at $280 million. Other investors include Andreessen Horowitz, Spark Capital, Bezos Expeditions, Micromanagement Ventures, Morgan Stanley Counterpoint Global, Blackstone Strategic Partners, PROOF, and more than 30 NBA stars, including Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant.

Previously, Ryan had 22-year career at the NBA, where he served as Senior Vice President of the NBA 2K League, the first official esports league operated by an American professional sports league. In addition, Ryan currently serves as a member of the Investment Committee for the new Miami alumni-led growth equity investment fund, 1809 Capital, a $10 million syndicated fund that co-invests with Miami alumni GPs and investment managers at leading institutional venture funds.

Aaron holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Miami University.

The additional members adds almost a third to the board's total membership.