2023-2025 James R. Swartz Entrepreneurial Fellows
Ruben Antonio Quesada
Masters in Business Administration, Tepper School of Business
Ruben, a first-year student at the Tepper School of Business, hails from San Jose, Costa Rica. After high school, he moved to the United States, where he earned a Bachelor's degree in Architecture from Auburn University. Following his graduation, he started his professional career as an architectural designer with ZGF Architects in Seattle, WA. At ZGF, he contributed to various commercial building projects across the Pacific Northwest, including a multi-use development in South Lake Union and Building 42 for Microsoft in Redmond, WA.
Five years later, he earned promotions to the roles of Associate and Project Architect at ZGF's Washington, D.C. office, where he engaged in a diverse range of project typologies for clients such as JBG Smith, the University of Virginia, and Amazon. Over the course of five years, he played a critical role in Amazon's HQ2 development in Crystal City, serving as one of the Project Architects for Phase One. Here, he collaborated closely with development and contractor teams to successfully navigate a complex construction process. It was during this project that Ruben developed a keen interest in sustainable construction practices and strategies for reducing the embodied carbon in buildings. As Amazon actively sought innovative solutions to reduce carbon emissions, ZGF Architects, in partnership with engineering consultants and other stakeholders, worked diligently to identify effective carbon-saving measures.
Additionally, Ruben's dedication to making a positive impact in his community was recognized when he received the John Wiebenson Award from the American Institute of Architects and the Washington Architectural Foundation in 2020. His involvement with local philanthropic organizations, such as So Others Might Eat and Liberty's Promise, underscored his leadership in work related to the public interest.
Ruben's overarching goal is to explore the intersection of entrepreneurship and sustainability within the construction industry. He firmly believes that this sector, renowned for its challenges in reducing emissions, presents significant opportunities for innovation. Business, in his view, is a powerful catalyst for change and plays a fundamental role in accelerating the commercial adoption of new sustainability strategies and products. He aspires to leverage the resources available at Carnegie Mellon to establish his startup venture dedicated to the decarbonization of buildings.
Beyond the classroom, you can find Ruben traveling to new destinations or enjoying happy hours at local dive bars. As a passionate Auburn football enthusiast, you'll also spot him cheering on the Tigers every Saturday. Don't hesitate to reach out to him on LinkedIn to connect!
Zubin Aysola, is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of the University of Michigan, and boasts a rich background blending research and real-world applications. During his time at Michigan, Zubin delved into and discovered a deep passion for Artificial Intelligence. Following his academic endeavors, he stepped into the corporate arena, leading a data science team at Solvvy Inc. His leadership and innovative contributions helped the company grow to the point that it was acquired by Zoom in 2022.
Shifting gears, Zubin joined Twitch as a Machine Learning Engineer. There, he was instrumental in scaling Twitch's recommendation systems to cater to over three hundred thousand requests per second. Zubin also led development efforts to improve applied science workflows, leading to faster ML iterations.
Zubin has a passion for Natural Language Processing technology, he has always been driven to create AI systems that are both resilient and precision-focused. He harbors a profound entrepreneurial spirit that he hopes to hone as a Swartz Fellow. Zubin is incredibly excited to pursue his entrepreneurial ambitions and make an impact in the prestigious Swartz Community.
Jennifer is a 1st year PhD student in Mechanical Engineering, striving to be a conduit for product strategy and innovation.
As a little girl, Jennifer always dreamed of working in Mission Control at NASA. This manifested throughout her early career pursuits, including her undergraduate experience at UC Berkeley, where she majored in Astrophysics with a specialization in quantum and particle physics. In practice, this looked like taking on projects ranging from quantum technology for satellites to optimizing novel composite aerostructure fabrication with quantum computing algorithms to leading a rocket science team competing to be the first university in the world to launch a bi-propellant rocket to space.
On the entrepreneurial front, Jennifer has experience founding multiple startups, one of which was a climate tech app that was accepted into UC Berkeley’s incubator and subsequent acceleration programs and launched live on the Google Chrome store. Beyond her own startups, Jennifer also worked in startup strategy consulting, venture capital, and private equity, where she spearheaded investment strategy in aerospace, deep tech, sustainability, and defense technology sectors. Prior to starting her PhD she worked full time as a Technical Program Manager, and her research now focuses on physics-informed artificial intelligence and machine learning systems for product strategy, problem solving, and innovation.
Outside of her research and professional pursuits, Jennifer deeply values drawing inspiration from time spent immersing herself in nature, whether that’s painting in a park, free diving amongst coral reefs, or traveling to her next bucket-list hiking destination. Camera in hand, she enjoys capturing the beauty of the world around her via landscape and wildlife photography. Jennifer is also an avid fan of Formula 1, cycling, happy hours, live music, and finding the best restaurants and cafes that Pittsburgh has to offer. Feel free to reach out to her via email or LinkedIn to connect!
Master of Science - Robotic Systems Development (MRSD) and Juris Doctor - Harvard Law School
Michael is a dual degree student between Harvard Law School’s JD program and CMU’s Masters in Robotic Systems Development program. Michael focuses on commercializing robotics applications to solve problems with compelling business needs.
Before beginning graduate school, Michael was a quantitative researcher and investor at AQR Capital Management, a quantitative hedge fund based in Greenwich, CT. Michael spent his recent summers in graduate school working at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, a leading technology and emerging companies law firm, and at Graham Partners, a middle market private equity firm focused on advanced manufacturing.
Michael graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania’s Jerome Fisher Program in Management and Technology (M&T), where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Economics with a concentration in Finance and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. M&T is a dual degree program between The Wharton School and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.
Master of Integrated Innovation for Products and Services,
Integrated Innovation InstituteMIIPS
Amanda is currently pursuing a Master of Integrated Innovation for Products and Services (MIIPS) at the Integrated Innovation Institute, focusing on human-centered innovation at the convergence of engineering, design, and business.
Prior to CMU, Amanda earned a Bachelor of Applied Science in Biomechanical Engineering from Queen's University, Canada. Alongside her academic pursuits, she was President of the Queen's Chapter of the Medical Makers, spearheading various initiatives to develop sustainable 3D printable medical solutions for underserved populations, notably including a reusable face shield for COVID-19 front-line workers.
During a four-year tenure at medical device start-up, Xpan, Amanda played a pivotal role in co-inventing, designing, and leading a minimally invasive surgical device through FDA clearance. Beyond technical innovation, she worked closely with the CEO on the business, nurturing customer relationships and securing a $2M seed round. She then pivoted to business analysis and strategy with EHN Canada, helping to grow their virtual mental health practice in new markets.
Presently, Amanda's focus lies in product management and new venture strategy within the health and fitness-tech sector. Her core passion remains rooted in tackling meaningful challenges and fostering seamless integration between physical and digital products, ultimately enhancing our quality of life and mobility.
Beyond her professional and academic pursuits, Amanda enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking, surfing, skiing, and competing in triathlons. She is an avid concert-goer and stays curious by delving into literature and podcasts on evolution and neuroscience. Amanda remains an unwavering advocate for women in STEM and entrepreneurship, actively mentoring students who find themselves in similar positions to hers.
Eager to connect with individuals who share her drive and interests, Amanda welcomes opportunities for discussions. Don't hesitate to reach out to her through the following links:
Masters in Business Administration, Tepper School of Business
Julie is a first year MBA student at the Tepper School of Business. She is passionate about startup investing, product, innovation, and diversity. Julie works with early stage companies, angel investors, and institutional investors leading Investments at Fundr, a venture data advisory platform she helped found to remove bias in fundraising and democratize funding.
She previously led financial product and analytics client engagements at Bloomberg, driven to bring alternative data solutions to VC and private equity. She worked in global strategy consulting across many sectors and led joint-ventures at IBM, growing new business and building products on emerging tech platforms like Blockchain, AI, Quantum with various Fortune 500 companies.
She is dedicated to diversifying VC & the innovation ecosystem with her work leading various initiatives with the Angel Capital Association, IncludedVC, Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Institute, Techstars and the Alibaba Foundation to create more resources for underrepresented founders in the US and Africa.
Julie has a BA in Economics from Georgetown University, and a MA in Economics from Columbia University. She is an avid art, musical theater, and coffee aficionado, in her free time working on her green organic wholesale coffee business, Nole Coffee.
Julie is hopeful to bring her enthusiasm to the CMU community globally and would love to connect.
Logan Nye, MD
Masters in Computer Science, Graduate School of Computer Science
Logan is a master's student at Carnegie Mellon University’s Graduate School of Computer Science. Raised on his family’s cattle farm in rural Hartsgrove, Ohio, he ventured to Seoul, South Korea, where he served as a missionary for his church from 2012 to 2014. Following his time in Asia, Logan pursued an undergraduate degree in exercise physiology at Brigham Young University (BYU). His time in college was marked by his active participation in BYU rugby, contributing to the team's national championship win in 2015 and a runner-up national honor in 2016.
Post-undergrad, Logan returned to Ohio to attend medical school at Wright State University. His medical education took him to sub-Saharan Africa and the Himalayas, where he engaged in clinical work. It was during medical school that Logan delved into the world of artificial intelligence, developing his first deep learning models for medical imaging diagnoses. His passion for AI led him to Harvard Medical School, where he spent a year as an AI researcher, further honing his skills in building AI models for patient care. Logan's work has been showcased at various research venues, including a TEDx talk he delivered at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in March 2023.
Logan's diverse experiences, from growing up in a rural community and living in Asia, to volunteering in global health efforts in Africa and India, have shaped his desire to leverage AI to enhance and democratize access to healthcare and medical information worldwide. He envisions a future where technological innovations and scalable productized solutions can address societal health challenges like access to care, medical literacy, finding cures to diseases, and other tasks.
Logan is deeply fascinated by the intersection of healthcare and life sciences with nascent technologies like artificial intelligence and quantum computing. He envisions a future where these fields are seamlessly integrated, revolutionizing the way patient care is delivered and medical research is conducted. One of Logan's primary career objectives is to help pioneer this integration, paving the way for future healthcare providers who aspire to blend medical practice with cutting-edge technology. He believes that technology ventures play a crucial role in facilitating this convergence, providing the necessary tools, resources, and platforms for innovative solutions and frameworks to emerge. By fostering collaborations between tech experts, medical professionals, and researchers, these ventures can help unlock new possibilities and career paths in personalized medicine, disease prediction, and patient care, ultimately transforming the landscape of healthcare and life sciences.
Outside of his academic and entrepreneurial endeavors, Logan is an avid fitness enthusiast who enjoys podcasts and documentaries, photography, woodworking, travel, and spending quality time with family, friends, and animals. He is thrilled to be part of the Carnegie Mellon community and looks forward to the transformative journey that the Swartz Entrepreneurial Fellowship promises.
Masters in Business Administration, Tepper School of Business
Nate is a first-year MBA candidate at the Tepper School of Business, with an undergraduate degree in chemistry. He began his professional journey in consulting, followed by financial crime compliance at an investment bank. While self-teaching software engineering, Nate developed a passion for agile solutioning and AI-based problem-solving. This newfound passion led him to transition into the startup world. At Leaf Logistics, a venture-backed, AI-driven startup, he wore multiple hats, from creating optimization software to data product development, to pioneering a new SaaS business intelligence solution. He also recently co-founded Compos Mentis, a legaltech startup which leverages generative AI to minimize non-billable costs in discovery and transactional due diligence for law firms and their clients.
Driven by the belief that every facet of life can be enhanced through technology, especially AI applications, Nate envisions a world where human biases are minimized by robust AI-driven decision-making. While his post-MBA course is not set, he is certain that it will involve AI-driven disruption at an early-stage startup.
When Nate isn't working on disrupting industries with AI, he can be found outside with his dog, skiing, backpacking, and attending live shows. Nate also loves reading sci-fi, the classics, and novel experiences.
If you're keen to explore the world of startups, disruptive tech, or simply want to connect, don't hesitate to reach out!
MS/Software Engineering (CMU SV)
Jordan is a first-year graduate student at CMU Silicon Valley pursuing an MS in Software Engineering. He earned a BA in Computer Science and a BS in Business Administration with a concentration in Business Analytics from Boston University in May 2023, where he played on the NCAA Division I Men’s Varsity Basketball team.
As an undergraduate, Jordan completed an internship at Qualcomm in his hometown of San Diego, CA. He joined the machine learning team at the company as a software engineering intern in the summer of 2022 and assisted with the implementation of the company’s core data lake API.
Currently, Jordan is working on his first startup project, an application using AI to improve the gifting experience. He is excited to be a part of the CMU entrepreneurial community and learn from all the inspiring people around. Jordan is striving to be a successful founder, and ultimately an investor in Silicon Valley.
In his free time, Jordan enjoys a variety of activities. He loves to play basketball, work out, support the Lakers and the Padres, and go hiking. He is also interested in learning more about cultures around the world and loves traveling. He has been studying French on Duolingo for the last year.
Masters in Business Administration, Tepper School of Business
Emily Torrealba is a first-year MBA student at the Tepper School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University, with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. She brings a wealth of experience, having spent four years working as an engineer and project manager in the dynamic environment of New York City. Her focus during this time was on startups dedicated to promoting renewable energy and sustainable infrastructure.
Her decision to pursue an MBA at Tepper is rooted in her strong commitment to driving sustainable innovation. Emily aims to deepen her knowledge and further her impact in the field of sustainable entrepreneurship, positioning herself to make a lasting contribution to a more eco-friendly future.
Outside of her academic and professional commitments, Emily enjoys teaching yoga at CMU. Her passion for yoga is not just a hobby but a way to share the benefits of holistic well-being with her community. Her ability to balance her multifaceted life is a testament to her dedication and her desire to inspire others to embrace a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle.
Qinyuan (Olivia) Wu
Master of Information Technology, Information Security (MSIT-IS)
Olivia is a graduate student in the Master of Information Technology - Information Security program at the Information Networking Institute. She obtained her undergraduate degree in Computer Science from Johns Hopkins University. In her sophomore year at JHU, Olivia co-founded uCredit, a streamlined degree planning app that simplifies the complex process of academic planning and advising. In the same year, she developed a passion for cybersecurity and wanted to seek innovative solutions to reduce cyber risks and protect user privacy. This dedication led her to
Amazon, where she interned for two consecutive summers as a security engineer and worked on projects related to application security and vulnerability research.
Beyond her corporate experiences, Olivia is a leader and advocate for women in the field of cybersecurity. She established the Women in Cybersecurity JHU Chapter, raised funds, organized chapter activities, and created a safe space for women and non-binary people to advance in this male-dominated field. Her commitment to fostering diversity and inclusion was further highlighted when she was selected as a Keynote speaker at the 2023 WiCyS Conference, where she shared her WiCyS journey.
During her junior and senior years at Hopkins, Olivia had three campus jobs simultaneously, serving as a teaching assistant, study consultant, and group fitness instructor. Olivia designs her own fitness program, including boxing, Pilates, HIIT, and cycling. She is dedicated to promoting physical well-being and inspiring others to lead healthier lives.
In her free time, Olivia works on her photography and poetry portfolio and enjoys outdoor activities like dragon boating and snowboarding. She also teaches group fitness at CMU and feel free to register for one of her classes at Group-X!
Yawen (Christina) Yang
Master of Design in Design for Interactions
Christina Yang is an award-winning human-centred technology
designer and a Master's candidate in Design for Interactions at CMU. Beyond the academic field, she boasts a decade-long commitment to the intricate art of photography, particularly in creative lighting applications. This dedication has enabled collaborations with industry giants like Sony Music, PepsiCo, and PurplePearl Magazine.
She positions herself amidst the juncture where technology and creativity converge. As an innovator at heart, Christina perceives lighting not only as a tool but also as an expansive field for innovation. Her goal is to design an innovative and transformative solution that elevates the art and science of illumination in photography. Wielding her lens as a photographer, she cultivates a nuanced understanding of the problem context; wielding her expertise as an interaction designer, she tailors solutions to address those identified issues. She also developed and executed a comprehensive social media marketing strategy to build and maintain a robust social media presence for her photography works across platforms like Instagram and Xiaohongshu, which hold an audience of 10,000 members in total.
Christina has been involved in business since a young age with her family’s B2B international business in manufacturing and wholesale. She usually participated in international fairs such as the Canton Fair and ISM Cologne. During her undergraduate summer breaks, she participated in Gulfood (2023) in Dubai, UAE, as a sale with a successful transaction volume of over 1 million USD.
Outside of Christina’s professional pursuits, she has a profound passion for playing musical instruments, watching movies, reading and studying astronomy. These pursuits grant her moments of mindfulness, strength, and wisdom. At her core, she considers herself a people’s person, always eager to connect, help, and uplift those around her. She fervently advocates for the power of collective intelligence, believing that when we support and aid one another, we can build a community of shared knowledge. She values every conversation as an opportunity for mutual growth and learning, reinforcing her commitment as a lifelong learner.