2023 Online Launch Global Ag-Biz & Entrepreneurship: Ignite Agtech Startup Venture
2023 Online Launch Global Ag-Biz & Entrepreneurship: Ignite Agtech Startup Venture
Our team comprises experts in horticulture, water management, engineering, business development, public health, and more. We can tackle various global threats to agriculture and food security with a comprehensive and multidisciplinary team.
Ryann Hodge, CPA
Ryann received her B.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting from Colorado State University. And went on to complete the Enrolled Agent designation, passing each of the three exams on the first attempt! With 13 years of hands-on experience helping small businesses, there are few industries in that Ryann hasn't helped to create accounting processes and systems. Her passion, however, is working with service-based businesses and non-profits.
Ryann is a fourth-generation native of Fort Collins who has been involved in small business since a very young age. By age seven, Ryann was helping her family's small businesses with everything from data entry and inventory to selling shoes and completing ledgers. She has always loved the flexibility of being an entrepreneur and the chance to help other entrepreneurs understand the financial side of their businesses and lower their tax liabilities. She is running a financial consulting company in Fort Collins.
Jill Wallace, Program & Grant Director
Jill Wallace holds an MBA in Global Social and Sustainable Enterprises from Colorado State University and over five years of experience in marketing and consulting for startup businesses. She is passionate about developing innovative business solutions to address global challenges faced by the world's most vulnerable populations. She has recently begun consulting international projects using the Human Centered Design methodology. Jill also holds a B.A. in Spanish and Latin American and Caribbean studies and has experience living and working in Latin America.
Paulo Brito, Global Project Advisor
Paulo Brito is a business consultant and a Faculty Instructor in the Management Department at Colorado State University, USA. He teaches Entrepreneurship, Social and Sustainable venturing, and International Business courses using a design thinking approach. Brito earned a B.S. in Economics from the Presbyterian Mackenzie University in his home country of Brazil and made an M.S. in Environmental Science from the Universidade de Sao Paulo (USP) and an M.S. in Agricultural and Resource Economics from Colorado State. Before coming to CSU, Paulo was the founder of the Brazilian chapter of a conservation-focused non-profit which promotes collaborative conservation efforts worldwide. Brito has also organized and contributed articles to two award-winning books about social, economic, and environmental synergies for sustainable development. His current research focuses on the business opportunities created by the bio-economy and circular economy to tackle world poverty.
Ajay K Jha, Ph.D., MBA
Founder and President
A serial entrepreneur, Dr. Jha has used his 20 expertise with rapid startup venture growth and investment attraction through blended finance for International Development. He has a Ph.D. in Biotechnology from the University of Delhi, India, and an MBA from Colorado State University (CSU). He developed innovative education, sustainable enterprise, and appropriate technology transfer for USA, Israel, India, Afghanistan, and Nepal.
As a faculty at CSU, Dr. Jha has led and managed multi-disciplinary, multi-agency, and extramurally funded global educational programs for Nepal and Afghanistan valued at over $20 million. In addition, he successfully managed a $15 million USAID/Afghanistan AWATT program for water, technology transfer, and institutional building between US Land Grant Universities and Afghanistan Universities. As an Advisor, Dr. Jha led the USDA-FAS team in Afghanistan to formulate an in-country capacity-building program and promote sustainable rural enterprise. Dr. Jha furthered this work by serving as the Advisor for the Israeli Agency for International Development Cooperation (MASHAV) in India, where he supported 20 joint ventures in education, food processing, IT infrastructure, and pharmaceuticals. Wanting to use his expertise to educate others, Dr. Jha developed the Global Social Sustainable Enterprise (GSSE) MBA program as a founding member of the College of Business at CSU and mentored various innovative and sustainable enterprise startups at Colorado Blue Ocean Challenge and the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business.
Dr. Jha has authored and co-authored over a hundred publications. His global development and enterprise work have received widespread media coverage by CNN, Bloomberg TV, ABC News, South Asian TV channels, and USA Public Radio. Several countries have invited him as an advisor to develop educational programs, institutional building, and strategic roadmaps for economic development.
IGATT BOARD OF ADVISORS
Mohan Reddy Junna, Ph.D.
Director of Water and Natural Resources
Dr. Mohan Reddy is the Water and Natural Resources Director at IGATT and helps clients and partners to identify optimal water management and irrigation systems. He is a leading irrigation system design, evaluation, and management specialist having 35 years of teaching, research, and consulting experience. His areas of expertise are in the optimal design and evaluation of surface, sprinkle, and trickle irrigation systems; optimal automation of irrigation canals; and management and modeling of hydraulic structures, groundwater, and salinity control with considerable expertise in a variety of modeling software. Over the years, Dr. Junna has done extensive consulting work in the area of irrigation water management in Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Egypt, El Salvador, Georgia, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Romania, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, and has visited irrigation schemes in more than 25 countries, including the countries of Australia, Burkina Faso, China, Ethiopia, France, Ghana, Greece, Mexico, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, and Turkey. On these assignments, he worked extensively with multi-disciplinary teams and national scientists/officials from ministries of irrigation and agriculture.
Harrison Hughes, Ph.D.
Director of Horticulture
Dr. Harrison Hughes is our Director of Horticulture, who works with our partners and clients to identify the best plant species, technologies, and methods to maximize agricultural crop production in resource-limited situations. Dr. Hughes has over 40 years of education experience teaching and training students in general horticulture, plant propagation, and applied plant biotechnology. He is an experienced researcher studying plant propagation and tissue culture, emphasizing micropropagation, germplasm preservation, and DNA fingerprinting using RAPD technology. Dr. Hughes is an awarded member of various international groups, receiving the Khalifa International Date Palm Award from the International Science Committee. Dr. Hughes holds a Ph.D. in Plant Genetics and Breeding from Purdue University.
Megan Dietz, DVM(c), MPH
Director of Livestock and Public Health, Communication Advisor
Megan Dietz is the Director of Livestock and Public Health programs at IGATT, who helps our clients improve improved animal welfare, food security, and malnutrition alleviation. Megan has worked for USAID Innovation Labs, adapting Southeast Asian and Sub-Saharan African livestock systems to climate change; researched antimicrobial resistance across human, environmental, and animal sources; and worked with small farmers to improve their animal welfare while increasing market access and profitability. Megan currently focuses her research and career on finding joint solutions to animal welfare and worker health and safety in the livestock industry. Megan holds a BS in human nutrition from the University of Texas and an MPH from Colorado State University. She is currently at the University of California at Davis pursuing her DVM.
Prof Anchal Arora, Ph.D.; Communication & Marketing Director
Dr. Arora is a Professor of business and commerce and helps IGATT with communication and marketing and managing global promotion.
Also, managing Environmental and Community engagement, including collaboration and partnership with various public and private institutions.
Nir Krakauer, Ph.D., MS; Advisor and Collaborator
Dr. Nir Krakauer studies the earth's water and carbon cycles, particularly the effects of global warming and other human impacts. His recent projects include (1) Working with New York City and NASA to understand the water budget of the watersheds that supply water to NYC to predict supplies in droughts and under climate change. (2) Biodiversity and climate hazard mapping and pilot adaptation strategies for smallholders in Nepal, funded by the USAID, and (3) Improving seasonal forecasts of temperature and precipitation through dynamic modeling and application of information theory and monitoring water resources, droughts, and floods from Earth-observing satellites. He works with colleagues at NASA-GISS to better understand the impact of plants, soil moisture, and groundwater on weather and climate. Nir received his Ph.D. and MS in Geochemistry from the California Institute of Technology, focusing on and completing his Postdoctoral Fellowship in Climate and Global Change from the University of California, Berkley. He currently serves as a member of the ASCE Committee on Adaptation to a Changing Climate and editor for Open Geosciences, Cogent Geoscience, Advances in Meteorology, and various special issues.
Narendra Lakhankar, Ph.D.; Advisor and Collaborator
Dr. Tarendra Lakhankar received his Bachelor of Engineering in Civil-Water Management from SGGSIE&T, Nanded, M.Tech. in Environmental Engineering from VNIT, Nagpur, and Ph.D. in Civil Engineering (Water Resources) from The Graduate Center of the City University of New York in 2006. He was an NOAA-post doc fellow at CIRA at Colorado State University. His research experience includes using advanced mathematical and statistical methods for data processing, mining, and web communications from environmental satellite and meteorological datasets and field observations. Dr. Lakhankar's outstanding analytical, problem-solving, and innovation skills are demonstrated by excellent academic, research, and professional development throughout leading committees, mentoring, advising, and outreach activities in science and technology education and research. He worked on several research projects, including a satellite-based flash flood warning system, snow characterization and product development, urban hydro-meteorological testbed, and climate adaptation strategies for human and livestock populations. Dr. Lakhankar is an active member of multiple international professional organizations and has been selected as chair and co-chair in International Conferences.
IGATT has past and ongoing projects in seven countries worldwide. Our partners and clients have included various universities, corporations, and national governments working together through IGATT to solve emerging agricultural and food security issues. To meet our and our partner's goals, we have collaborated with and secured funding through such groups as the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), African Development Bank (AfDB), BRICS New Development Bank, and the World Bank.
Through our ever-growing network of partners, collaborators, and supporters, IGATT has a global presence that is ready and able to educate and shape the agricultural leaders and innovators of tomorrow. IGATT is also closely connected with the US Land Grant Universities and various institutions around the world for appropriate technology transfer project partnership and building small business enterprise.
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