Contact Entrepreneurship Team

  • Dr. Mark Hilton

    Program Manager, Entrepreneurship

    Dr. Mark Hilton is a scientist turned entrepreneur. After earning his Ph.D. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, he became the Program Manager of Entrepreneurship at the Wond’ry, in addition to co-founding his own medical device company, Optomar Technologies, where he is the COO. Mark has a passion for working with “deep technologies” and with a focus on “Inclusive Innovation.” When not working, he can be found working out in the gym or the pool. Mark also enjoys spending time with his wife, Michelle, and Pokemon, Zelda and One Piece.

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  • Kyle Caruso

    Program Coordinator, Entrepreneurship & Innovation

    Kyle Caruso is a national award-winning innovator with 10+ years of working with startups in various roles -- including innovations at MIT and the launch of an incubator at West Liberty University. Caruso is a Regional I-Corps Program Instructor at Vanderbilt University. In addition, Caruso is currently expanding his product design and engineering expertise as a graduate student at Carnegie Mellon University.

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  • Destane Garrett

    Program Coordinator, Biomedical Innovation

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  • Cameron Russ

    Program Coordinator, Biomedical Entrepreneurship

    Holding a degree in biomedical engineering, Cameron (Cam) Russ harnesses her expertise in medical device innovation with a fervent enthusiasm for healthcare technology. As a member of the Entrepreneurship Team, she not only champions advancements in the medical field but also advocates for diverse innovation across all sectors. Cam's belief in the power of diverse ideas fuels her commitment to supporting individuals from varied industries in bringing their visions to life. With a wealth of leadership experience, Cam has consistently been a driving force behind numerous projects. Her ability to lead extends beyond the realm of healthcare, making impactful contributions in various industry-agnostic areas as well. As a Georgia Tech alum, she exudes the "Go Jackets!" spirit, perfectly melding her professional achievements with her personal interests. Outside of The Wond’ry, Cam's is an avid gamer and a national champion competitive ballroom dancer.

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  • Alexa Papanikolaou

    Mid-South Hub Coordinator

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  • Shannon Ware

    Lead Regional Instructor

    Shannon Ware is a dedicated professional with a passion for nurturing innovative startups and small businesses. With an entrepreneurial journey spanning 9 years in Nashville TN, Shannon partnered in founding and led a successful marketing and data consulting agency called The Virtual Collective. She also launched a separate venture called Her Data Method, an online course tailored to women business owners, emphasizing data collection and effective strategy development. Through a successful crowdfunding campaign on iFundWomen, Shannon funded this course and further utilized it as a platform for speaking engagements and educational events, focusing on critical aspects like crafting a Value Proposition, identifying Customer Segments, and data-driven content development. Since 2018, Shannon has led around 20 I-CORPS regional cohorts at Vanderbilt University and is the lead instructor for other entrepreneurial programs at Vanderbilt’s innovation center, The Wond’ry.

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