GVSlabs Speakers

Challenge 1 – Ensure that all children are reading proficiently at the end 3rd grade.  (42% of our public school children are not.) The County of San Mateo and the Silicon Valley Community Foundation are sponsoring the Big Lift, an effort to have all students reading at grade level by the 3rd grade.  What technology tools can be deployed to help students, teachers, parents and administrators achieve this goal?


Startup: Writereader
Presenter: Babar Baig, CEO

Babar is the CEO and Co-Founder of WriteReader.

The mission of WriteReader is to ensure that children are reading and writing proficiently at the end of 3rd grade.

WriteReader is a global literacy platform for children to share self-created books with family members and trusted communities. The platform is scientifically based on helping young children become authors and improve their reading and writing skills. WriteReader was nominated as the best innovation in Denmark by the Ministry of Education & Science.

Challenge 2Ensure that all cities and the county reach the 2020 Recycling Goal to recycle, compost or source-reduce to lessen the impact on our landfills


Startup: One Drop Interactive
Presenter: Jamie Nack, CEO

Jaime Nack is the President of Three Squares Inc., a cutting edge sustainability consulting firm specializing in developing comprehensive sustainability plans for corporate entities, government agencies and academic institutions. In 2013, she launched a sister company, One Drop Interactive – a cloud-based employee engagement platform maximizing sustainability management and cost savings. The program was designed to allow companies to improve environmental and economic performance from the inside out, equipping employees with the education and resources to implement sustainable business practices.

Most notably, Nack was contracted as the Director of Sustainability and Greening Operations for the 2008 and 2012 Democratic National Convention. In 2011, Nack was named as a Young Global Leader (YGL) by the World Economic Forum and a federal appointment to serve as a Council Member of the National Women’s Business Council.

Challenge 3 – Enhancing Early Childhood Education – encouraging more talking, reading, singing, etc with and by children 0-5.


Startup: Herokins
Presenters: Paolo Debellini, CEO

Paolo is the CEO & Founder of Herokins. Prior to Herokins Paolo has been in the digital communications field in Ireland and Italy where he set up startups focused on social media. One day in 2013, while hiking with his nephew Stefano he had the idea of Herokins. He then sold his house and started this adventure (of learning) from scratch in the beautiful San Francisco.

Herokins are little wearable superheroes that connect to your mobile device, allowing you and your child to interact through captivating stories, bringing magic to everyday situations. Herokins will reshape your child’s understanding of chores, safety lessons, healthy habits and more, through fun and interactive StoryQuests. And most importantly: It is an amazing bonding experience for you and your child!

The Future of Commerce


Toby Corey, CEO of tuul

Toby is the CEO of tuul and former Chief Revenue Officer of SolarCity, where he lead the nation’s leader in clean energy services and helped grow the business to over $6B in market cap. Overall, Toby has successfully managed three $1B businesses, two successful IPO’s, raised over $300m in private and public equity financing.

Tuul is a Santa Cruz-based startup, with a vision and plan to create a solution to the real world problem of complicated and frustrating customer service. No more button pushing to navigate impossible phone trees. No more sending emails into a black hole or sitting on hold during “unusually high call volume” periods. Efficient customer support on your terms. As lifestyles become increasingly mobile, tuul will set a new standard for customer service by simplifying interactions between businesses and consumers.