Stay tuned for 2017 APTE Summit Speakers! 

APTE 2016 Speakers

Buddy Teaster, Soles4Souls

Buddy Teaster is the President and CEO of Soles4Souls – a global non-profit social enterprise that collects new and used shoes and redistributes them through direct donations to people in need and through micro-enterprise partners. Soles4souls has donated over 22 million pairs of shoes to people in over 127 countries. Buddy’s energy and enthusiasm for work spills over to his passion for running. Having run his first marathon in 1994, Buddy enjoys trail and long distance running and has since finished numerous ultra-marathons (50K +) including almost a dozen 100-mile runs. 

Laura Weiss, GoBox

Laura Weiss is the founder of GoBox - an innovative sustainable business designed to reduce the waste associated with Portland's fabulous food carts. Laura has 25 years experience in the non-profit and government sectors working in environmental management, including waste management, renewable resources/materials, water quality, toxics and energy as well as an MBA in Sustainable Business.

Logan Pugh, ReWork

Logan is the Search Director of ReWork - a mission-driven search and professional development firm connecting exceptional people with organizations making social, environmental, and cultural progress. Logan grew up in Appalachia and holds a Masters of Public Policy from the University of Virginia. Prior to working with ReWork, Logan was the Executive Director of Virginia’s most prestigious internship program.

Paula Haines, Freedom A La Cart

Paula Haines is the President Freedom A La Carte’s Board of Directors. Freedom a la Carte, a non-profit social enterprise that empowers adult survivors of human trafficking to live an independent life gained through personal and economic self-sufficiency. Freedom a la Care seeks to accomplish their mission by helping to facilitate the “Path to Freedom” through personal restoration and workforce readiness.

Shivang Dave, PlenOptika

Dr. Shivang Dave, a bioengineer and nanotechnologist, has been passionately been involved with global health and is a founding member of PlenOptika – an MIT based startup devoted to providing quality eye care for all. Dr. Dave has co-developed commercial strategies to numerous technologies, including drug-eluting intraocular lenses to reduce post-surgery infection burden in developing countries such as India and has won multiple entrepreneurship and innovation awards for his work.


APTE 2015 Speakers


Joe DeLoss, Hot Chicken Takeover

Joe, who also founded FreshBox, now serves as Founder and Head Fryer at Hot Chicken Takeover. HTC provides second-chance employment and skills training while teaching adventurous Columbus residents a thing or two about spicy chicken.  


Jim Ziolkowski, BuildOn

After working in corporate finance at GE, Jim founded BuildOn with the mission of breaking the cycle of poverty, illiteracy, and low expectations through education both at home and abroad.

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Bita Diomande, MIT fellow

Bita Diomande is a 2nd year MBA student and Legatum Fellow at MIT Sloan. She is an entrepreneur with a focus on social enterprise and online platforms. Her current start-up is an jobs platform for job seekers in the Ivorian market, with a focus on recruiting African diaspora. As an Ivorian-American, Bita has always been very passionate about economic development in low-income countries. Prior to coming to Sloan, she founded Sarafina, a U.S.-based e-commerce fashion company that sourced merchandise from small-scale artisans in Africa and Asia.

Previously, Bita worked in international development implementing public health projects in Cote d’Ivoire, Vietnam, Bangladesh, and Ethiopia. Though she believes strongly in the international development and public health fields, she came to realize that her interest was more in directly providing job opportunities in low-income countries.


Christian Nicolas Desrosiers, Qorax Energy

Christian Nicolas is a Chicano entrepreneur and co-founder of Qorax Energy, a pioneer renewable energy product distribution company that works in Somalia. 


Quijano Flores, NextDrop

Quijano co-founded NextDrop Inc. which provides citizens alerts about water supply--when it's on, when it's not, and when there's a delay--for those living in urban India. He became interested in creating products to increase access to clean drinking water when he met his NextDrop partners while attending UC Berkley. 

Quijano loves building small teams around interesting problems and is an avid rock climber and cyclist. 

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Jennifer Jin, MIT fellow

Jennifer began her career at Google in Silicon Valley, managing the development of Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google AdWords into international interfaces and local content. In 2010, she worked as a Kiva Fellow with Kenyan microfinance institutions. Over the next two years, she helped re-open Ashoka’s East Africa office and launched Youth Venture East Africa, a program that encourages youth to use entrepreneurial thinking to solve problems in their communities.  Most recently, Jennifer led business development for D-Rev which develops radically affordable medical devices for patients living on less than $4 a day.


Demetri Patitsas

Demetri Patitsas is a social entrepreneur who operates out of 7 countries throughout the world in various venture startups, charities, and organizations including Exela Ventures LLC and St. Paul's Fellowship of Labor. His organizations support local entrepreneurs and provide educational opportunities for collaboration and partnership between them and US universities.



+ more announcements soon

APTE 2014 Speakers


Veronica D'Souza, Ruby Cup 

Veronica co-founded Ruby Cup the mission of breaking the 'bloody taboo' for young girls in Kenya. Ruby Cup specializes in serving the Base of the Pyramid with healthy, high-quality, and long-lasting menstrual cups so Kenyan girls can live happier, safer, more involved lives. 


Marika Shioiri Clark, MASS Design + SOSHL Studio

As a grad student at MIT Marika Clark, helped found MASS Design and build one of Africa's most consciously designed hospitals. Afterwards, she moved to Cleveland and started SOSHL Studio, a design firm dedicated to social impact through architecture.    

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Neil Bellefeuille, The Paradigm Project

Neil co-founded The Paradigm Project which works to create sustainable social, economic, and environmental value within developing countries. The Paradigm Project sells locally-produced, safe stoves to the base of the pyramid while employing sales people, repair people, and trainers to provide income for locals and their families.  

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Lindsay Stradley, Sanergy

Lindsay co-founded Sanergy which designs and builds low-cost toilet units, dubbed Fresh Life Toilets, and then sells them to local entrepreneurs in Kenyan slums who then become franchise partners.