Entrepreneurs Lecture Series
The Entrepreneurs Lecture Series (ELS) is designed to showcase outstanding innovation and entrepreneurship among NC State alumni and partners. This semi-annual event features a lecture from prominent entrepreneurial leaders followed by a networking reception. The lecture series, made possible by a grant from Andy and Jane Albright, is sponsored by the NC State Entrepreneurship Initiative.
We were pleased to welcome Aly Khalifa, ’93, owner of Gamil Design and co-founder and owner of Designbox LLC, as our keynote speaker for the Fall 2013 Entrepreneurs Lecture Series. Read more about Mr. Khalifa’s distinguished career below. More information about the Spring 2014 event will be available during the spring semester.
About the Fall 2013 Speaker
Aly Khalifa is addicted to inventive culture. His firm, Gamil Design, specializes in invention development and has launched products for some of the most exciting sports brands in the world.
Trained as both an engineer and a designer, Aly has traveled extensively for 19 years to design and manufacture sporting goods and technologies. His collaborations have resulted in work that has garnered more than 16 patents and a Grammy nomination and has been exhibited in the Louvre.
Aly is a co-founder of Designbox, a leading multidisciplinary workspace for creative professionals. Additionally, he founded and leads SPARKcon, the nation’s largest open-source festival that promotes local creative culture. As a result, he has received significant attention as a voice for the creative community and has lectured on creativity around the world.
As an Eisenhower Fellow for 2012, Aly met with top leaders in Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore and the Philippines to explore the connections among creativity, innovation, design and manufacturing and the impacts of those efforts on small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) development and global partnerships.
Aly and his wife, Beth, founded Lyf Shoes in 2012 to put their latest patent to work. Lyf fuses technology with just-in-time assembly at the retail shop while eliminating adhesives to achieve a new standard in sustainability. The company was seed-funded by Cherokee Investments Group in 2012.
Most recently, his team used the Kickstarter crowdfunding platform to successfully fund a new coffee brewer and technology called the Impress. Fulfillment from that campaign was completed ahead of schedule, and the Impress launched to consumer markets in late spring 2013.
Aly earned a B.S. in product design engineering from NC State in 1993, where he created a specialized degree to focus on mechanical engineering of products.
About the ELS
The lecture series, made possible by a grant from Andy and Jane Albright, is sponsored by the NC State Entrepreneurship Initiative. The goal of the Entrepreneurship Initiative is to build a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship for NC State Students through programs and opportunities that help prepare them to be North Carolina’s job creators and leaders of tomorrow.
Past speakers include John Norris*, president and CEO of Fuel Tech Inc.; Steve Yauch*, president and owner, Carolina Electronic Assemblers; Robert Young, founder of Lulu.com; Jim Goodnight*, CEO of SAS; Bill Nussey*, co-founder of DaVinci Systems and current CEO of Silverpop; Scot Wingo*, CEO of ChannelAdvisor; Thomas R. McPherson Jr.*, former president and CEO of Hatteras Networks; Barbara Mulkey*, president and CEO of Mulkey Engineers & Consultants; Richard Holcomb*, current CEO and chairman of StrikeIron, former CEO and chairman of Haht Commerce; Nick England*, founder and current CEO of 3rd Tech, founder of Ikonas Graphics Systems, founder of Trancept Systems; Jerry Neal*, Bill Pratt and Powell Seymour, founders of RF Micro Devices; Neal Hunter*, founder of Cree Inc. and LED Lighting Fixtures Inc.; Matthew Szulik, chairman and CEO of Red Hat; Joseph Forbes, COO of Consert Inc; Marshall Brain, founder of How Stuff Works; Chris Evans*, philanthropist and entrepreneur; David Anderson* and David Gardner*, co-founders of PeopleClick ; Peter Lehrer*, co-founder of Lehrer McGovern; Josh Whiton*, founder and CEO of TransLoc; Andy Albright*, co-founder and president/CEO of National Agents Alliance; Heather Hesketh*, founder of hesketh.com; John Harthorne, founder and CEO of MassChallenge; Gerard J. Hall, founder, president and CEO of SMT; Jesse Lipson, vice president and general manager of data sharing, Citrix Systems Inc; Grant Williard*, founder of JouleBug; and Thushan Amarasiriwardena*, co-founder of Launchpad Toys.
* NC State alumni