Not Just for Techies

If you think only of tech companies when you hear the word “startup,” think again. Humanities and language studies can also be the spark for a startup, especially in New Jersey and New York City. On the evening of April 16, a panel of experts will explore the intersection of languages, technology and entrepreneurship. The panelists are featured in "Tech in the City," a book about the local startup community, and will examine the vital role that humanities play in today’s international do-it-yourself economy by using Italy as a case study.

Panel includes (speaker bios below):
Maria Teresa Cometto, journalist, and Alessandro Piol, venture capitalist and angel investor. Co-authors, "Tech in the City: The Making of New York’s Startup Community"
Guy Story, CTO and chief scientist, Audible
Claudio Vaccarella, founder and CEO, HyperTV

Event is co-organized and co-sponsored by The Theresa and Lawrence R. Inserra Chair in Italian and Italian American Studies, Department of Spanish and Italian, and the Feliciano Center for Entrepreneurship, at Montclair State University. The panel will be moderated by Inserra Endowed Chair Teresa Fiore and Feliciano Center Director Dennis Bone.

Event is supported by Genova Burns Giantomasi Webster.

Join the conversation on Twitter with #MSUmeetup


6:15-6:45 p.m. Networking with light refreshments
6:45-8:30 p.m. Formal program

Speaker bios:

Maria Teresa Cometto is an Italian journalist with more than 25 years in the media industry. Since 2000 she has been based in New York, covering business, financial markets and high-tech, and writing for some of the most important Italian papers such as Corriere della Sera, which is the daily with the largest circulation in Italy, and Il Mondo, the most authoritative Italian business magazine. Cometto is well known for her articles on the U.S. technology industry and for her many interviews with leading economists, including 14 Nobel Laureates. She is also the author of several books, including "Tech in the City: The Making of New York’s Startup Community" and "Figli & Soldi" (“Kids & Money”). On Twitter: @mtcometto

Alessandro Piol is a New York-based venture capitalist and angel investor with more than 30 years of experience in the technology industry. He is a partner and co-founder of Vedanta Capital. Previously Piol was a general partner of Invesco Private Capital where he headed the technology practice. Prior to joining Invesco, Piol spent 10 years with AT&T where he co-founded AT&T Ventures, the venture capital arm of AT&T where he focused on early-stage new media investments, as well as Pixel Machines, an AT&T-backed startup in the graphics super-computing business. Piol is president of the New York chapter of TiE, a global organization fostering entrepreneurship; he serves on the Entrepreneurial Advisory Board and the Board of Visitors of the Fu Foundation School of Engineering at Columbia University; and he is a mentor, adviser or board member of various private companies. He received a BS and MS in Computer Science from Columbia University and an MBA from the Harvard Business School. Co-author of "Tech in the City: The Making of New York’s Startup Community." On Twitter: @ilmago

Guy Story is CTO and chief scientist at, and drives technology innovation at the Newark-based company. Story joined Audible in 1996 as VP Technology and led the architecture and development of Audible’s innovative mobile audio and Internet commerce technologies. Prior to joining Audible, Story worked in research and development for over 10 years at AT&T Bell Laboratories and Lucent Technologies, where his areas of focus included networked delivery of multimedia documents and interactive television. At Audible, Story is focused on opportunities in wireless, automotive, in-home entertainment, content discovery, and social media. A keen reader of the power of stories and storytelling in today's digital spaces, he argues that technology is transforming the production and consumption of narrative while preserving its essential value for human nourishment. On Twitter: @guy_story

Claudio Vaccarella is the CEO of HyperTV. HyperTV was founded in Rome in 2011 with a mission to develop and commercialize a unique publishing platform that makes it simple to create engaging, interactive, and gamified TV show companion apps. In 2012, HyperTV expanded and opened an office in New York City, where the company began working with its first American client, Al Jazeera America. Previously, Vaccarella was the founder and CEO of Vejo Park, and partner and founder of Show Farm. On Twitter: @clavac @HyperTVX and @HyperTV_US

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