Education & Innovation

See here for the agenda.

This event is free of charge and breakfast is included.

Register here

Universities have long fostered the development of innovative ideas and over the last decade, have increasingly played a key role in incubating new startups and the next entrepreneurs. On most campuses, there is no shortage of entrepreneurial activity such as educating students on starting new business ventures, providing seed funding, and showcasing their startups through pitch competitions. Oftentimes, universities specifically create one or multiple entrepreneurship centers and hire teams to lead these efforts.


9:00     Breakfast with Refreshments & Networking

9:15    Welcome and Opening Remarks  

Words of welcome by

  • Oliver Schramm (Consul General of Germany in San Francisco)
  • Zahar Barth-Manzoori (Director DWIH San Francisco)
  • Priya S. Nayar (Executive Director, University Alliance Ruhr)

Introduction by

  • Cheryl Matherly (Vice President and Vice Provost of International Affairs, Lehigh University)

9:25    Panel on Advancing Entrepreneurship through Public-Private Partnerships


  • Dr. Tessa Flatten, Vice President of International Affairs, TU Dortmund University
  • Nicola Corzine, Executive Director, Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center
  • Hedi Razavi, Managing Partner, German Entrepreneurship

Moderated by:

  • Samantha Dewalt, Managing Director, Lehigh@NasdaqCenter

9:45    Discussion Tables

Table 1: Led by Prof. Dr. Tessa Flatten

Table 2: Led by Dr. Samantha Dewalt

Table 3: Led by Nicola Corzine

Tabe 4: Led by Dr. Hedi Razavi

Confirmed Speakers:

Oliver Schramm, Consul General of Germany

Oliver Schramm took up his post as the Consul General of Germany to Northern California, Oregon, Washington (State), Alaska, Hawai’i, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and American Samoa in August 2021.

From 2017-2021 he served as Minister for Economic and Global Affairs at the German Embassy in London. From 2014-2017, he served at the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Berlin as the Head of Division for German Schools Abroad and International Sports Cooperation. His various roles within the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs have stationed him in Seoul, Boston, Washington/DC, Rome, Lima and London. Oliver began his professional career in 1991 working first in the Political Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Bonn and then in the Federal Chancellery as a member of the Chancellor’s speech-writing group from 1995-98. He studied at Harvard from 2001-2002 and received an MPA from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

Prof. Dr. Tessa Flatten, Vice President International Affairs, TU Dortmund University

Dr. Tessa Flatten was elected vice president of the TU Dortmund University on 3 July 2020. As a member of the new Rectorate of the TU Dortmund University, she took over the new International Affairs division on September 1, 2020. She was appointed as Professor for Technology Management at TU Dort­mund University in 2015, having previously worked as an economist at RWTH Aachen University. She has many in­ter­na­tio­nal contacts in the USA, Asia, and Russia, among others, and has been a lecturer at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand, for ten years. At TU Dort­mund University she is a member of the advisory board of the Center for Entre­preneur­ship & Transfer (CET) and of the IT & Media Center (ITMC). She has been advising companies for many years and is advisory board member of Soptim AG.



Samantha Dewalt, Ed.D., Managing Director, Lehigh@NasdaqCenter

Dr. Samantha Dewalt is an entrepreneurial leader and strategic thinker passionate about inspiring others to reach their greatest potential through education and authentic leadership.

Dewalt serves as the inaugural Managing Director of Lehigh@NasdaqCenter, an exclusive education-industry partnership between Lehigh University and the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center in San Francisco. Lehigh@NasdaqCenter fosters the entrepreneurial mindset in students from diverse backgrounds and across all disciplines to create the risk-takers and change-makers of tomorrow. As managing director, Dewalt provides strategic and operational leadership for the center, develops innovative programs focused on entrepreneurial talent development, and promotes Lehigh@NasdaqCenter as a powerful platform for engaging with students, faculty, alumni and global partners.

Dewalt has 16 years’ experience leading strategic innovation in entrepreneurial environments, serving industries including retail, healthcare, technology and higher education. Dewalt joined Lehigh University in January 2015 as the inaugural Senior Director of Industry Engagement within the newly formed Office of Economic Engagement. In this role, Dewalt created a new model for industry engagement and led the team in its mission to create university-level strategic partnerships that advance education and build capacity for innovation. She also currently serves as an Adjunct Professor at Lehigh University, and as Faculty Advisor for the Lean-In Circle, a student led organization that supports the advancement of women in technology and leadership.

Prior to joining Lehigh, Dewalt spent three years as the inaugural Associate Director of IT Corporate Engagement at the University of Oklahoma, following six years in business as Vice President of Marketing for Cole Technology Group and as Partner and Vice President for Hal Smith Marketing Group. Dewalt graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Oklahoma. She earned a doctorate in Organizational Leadership at Pepperdine University and completed her dissertation on authenticity and women in technology leadership.

Nicola Corzine, Executive Director, Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center 

Nicola Corzine serves as theExecutive Director of the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center, a non-profit that delivers world-class resources and mentoring to enable every entrepreneur across the globe to realize their maximum potential. As Executive Director, Nicola is responsible for strategic and operational leadership that help drive research, programing, fundraising, and operations for the organization.

Nicola brings over 15 years of strategic business development and entrepreneurial thought leadership programming experience to the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center, most recently in her role as Investment Manager for the Band of Angels, a position held since 2004 as well as Partner in the 2009 Acorn fund. During her time at the Band, she was as an early advisor to Startup America and led the development of the first national and regional Angel Capital Association conferences.

Prior to Band of Angels, Nicola was the founder and executive director of Financing Partners, an organization that delivered education to both entrepreneurs and investors to enable them to reach their mutual objectives. Before Band of Angels, she was part of three startup companies in the US and UK.

Nicola is a frequent speaker on angel investing, technology trends and seed financing at Universities including Stanford, Wharton and Duke, national conferences, including IEEE Women in Engineering, NVCA and Innovation Enterprise, and has served as a formation advisor to several regional and international angel groups and seed funds.

The event is organized by the German Center for Research and Innovation (DWIH) San Francisco, The University Alliance Ruhr (UA Ruhr) North America, Lehigh University and Lehigh@NasdaqCenter.

Hedi Razavi, Ph.D., Managing Partner,

Dr. Hedi Razavi is an entrepreneur, business leader, advisor, and technologist with a passion for building impactful ventures. She is currently the managing partner at German Entrepreneurship and leads the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Competence Center with a mission to enable the adoption, expansion, and internationalization of AI technologies and products developed in Germany.

Previously, Hedi was the director of products at C3 AI, the leading provider of enterprise AI solutions, and managed various AI enterprise products. Prior to that, she co-founded and led a Silicon Valley AI+IoT company, Keewi Inc., from idea to exit and focused on transforming electrical outlets to powerful sensors that render the built space more environmentally efficient. Hedi lived in Germany before her entrepreneurial endeavor while leading a global team at St. Jude Medical from the world-renowned Heart Center in Leipzig, Germany. She worked on developing AI-enabled products for heart failure patients resulting in 25 patents and numerous peer-reviewed journal publications.

Hedi completed her M.S. and PhD in Bioengineering at Stanford as a National Science Foundation Fellow and a Siebel Scholar. She received her BS in Bioengineering from the University of California at Berkeley as the recipient of the departmental citation award, the highest honor bestowed upon a student in recognition of distinguished work.

Register here

Event Information

February 1, 2023, 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM

Nasdaq Center, 505 Howard St, San Francisco, CA 94105
Organizer(s): DWIH San Francisco, UA Ruhr, Lehigh@Nasdaq