Dave Eastman – Director, Viterbi Startup Garage

David Eastman is an experienced technology investor, executive and advisor, currently serving as chairman of one private company and on the boards of two others; he has also served as an adjunct instructor in national cohorts for the National Science Foundation’s i-Corps program to train startup managers. He helped to found MediaShift, Inc. in 2010 and served as its CFO from 2010 to 2013 and its COO from 2010 to 2012, taking the company public during his tenure. Mr. Eastman has also served as a Managing Director at Hunter Capital Group, Prospector’s management company, since 1998. Mr. Eastman holds a B.A. in Economics from Harvard University and an M.B.A. in Finance from UCLA’s Anderson School.

Trina Gregory – Associate Director, Undergraduate Initiatives

Trina Gregory is a senior lecturer for ITP teaching technology, programming, and mobile classes. She began teaching at USC in January 2007 as a part-time lecturer and transitioned to a full-time, non-tenured track faculty position in August 2009. Trina created and oversees the Mobile App Development minor. After getting a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics-Computer Science from UCSD, she worked full-time in the computer science field for over 12 years. She mainly worked for SAIC developing, writing, and managing software for the Department of Defense. She received a master’s degree in Computer Science from USC. Trina loves helping students achieve their goals and is thus involved in various student organizations and initiatives supporting entrepreneurship.


Ellis Meng – Vice Dean, Office of Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Ellis Meng is Professor of Biomedical and Electrical Engineering in the Viterbi School of Engineering at the University of Southern California where she has been since 2004. She was previously Dwight C. and Hildagarde E. Baum Chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering from 2015-2018 and is an inaugural holder of a Gabilan Distinguished Professorship in Science and Engineering. She received the B.S. degree in engineering and applied science and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Pasadena, in 1997, 1998, and 2003, respectively. Her research interests include biomedical microelectromechanical systems (bioMEMS), implantable biomedical microdevices, microfluidics, multimodality integrated microsystems, microsensors and actuators, biocompatible polymer microfabrication, and packaging. Dr. Meng is a member of Tau Beta Pi, the Biomedical Engineering Society, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and the American Society for Engineering Education. Her honors include the NSF CAREER award, Wallace H. Coulter Foundation Early Career Award, 2009 TR35 Young Innovator Under 35, Viterbi Early Career Chair, ASEE Curtis W. McGraw Research Award, and 2018 IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society Technical Achievement Award. She is a fellow of IEEE, ASME, BMES, and AIMBE. She is on the editorial board of the Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering and Frontiers in Mechanical Engineering, Micro- and Nano-mechanical Systems. She was co-chair of the 2017 IEEE MEMS conference. She is also an active educator and authored a textbook on bioMEMS.


Arcelia Navarro – Facilities Manager, Viterbi Startup Garage

Arcelia Navarro has over a decade of experience in building and developing grassroots programs from the ground up. Throughout her career, she has created and managed program operations both locally and abroad. She is an advocate at heart and is staunchly committed to supporting the needs of those who deserve representation. Her studies and fascination with human cognitive behavior motivate her efforts in developing programs that highlight individual strengths while addressing weaknesses by way of support strategies. Her ideal work environment is one that embodies all of these aspects in a fun and respectful way, anchored in routine and consistency, preparedness, but above all measurable through data to guarantee fidelity.


Farzin Samadani – Instructor

Farzin Samadani has a diverse background in business and technology. As co-founder of Curious Me, LLC, he provides business modeling and advisory services for early stage startups. This builds upon 15 years of experience as founder of startups in the education technology, heavy construction and food & beverage industries and executive/senior management experience at Fortune 100 companies, such as the Coca Cola Company and HP. Farzin’s specialities include: lean startup methodology, customer development, business formation, product development, business development, high tech ventures, deal structure & negotiations, and sales & marketing. Farzin is also a member of the national teaching faculty of the National Science Foundation Innovation Corps (NSF I-Corps) program and part of the teaching team of Innovation Node-Los Angeles, serving as instructor for various entrepreneurship programs. He is also a national instructor for the Hacking 4 Defense program. Farzin’s education is in Business Management and Accounting from the University of Maryland.