Periods of disruption have historically produced marquee startups. Newcomers are nimbler and better suited than incumbents to take advantage of rapidly changing market conditions. COVID-19 has introduced dramatic disruptions in many markets and geographies, all while exciting new technologies are currently or will soon be reaching states of relative maturity and market adoption.
Our founders target emerging opportunities and design their ventures with the rules of new paradigms in mind.
Founder & Managing Director
As the Founder and decade-long CEO of MassChallenge, John is obsessed with entrepreneurship and has worked with thousands of startups since 2010. MassChallenge is the most-startup-friendly and largest startup accelerator on the planet, and has graduated nearly 3,000 startups which have cumulatively generated billions of dollars of revenue and have created over 160,000 jobs. While launching and running MassChallenge, John generated a vast network of new and established founders, corporate partners, investors, and innovation talent. Furthermore, John gained unrivaled experience working to support startups as an advisor and connector, learning which teams, models, and partners create sustainable success
most consistently. John left MassChallenge in 2019 to launch Two Lanterns in 2020.
John holds a BA from Bowdoin College, an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management, an Honorary Doctorate from Suffolk University, and certificates for Leadership and Innovation from Harvard, Yale and Princeton.
Michal Gilon-Yanai has been the founder and director of multiple entrepreneurship programs in the US and in Israel. She founded the MBA Innovation & Entrepreneurship track at IDC, directed two programs at MIT’s entrepreneurship center and, most recently, founded and led the Biomedical Entrepreneurship Program at the NYU school of medicine. Through this work, she developed a keen understanding of technology and science commercialization and supported dozens of innovators and entrepreneurs over the course of two decades. Michal began her career at a healthcare IT startup where she filled several roles and served as a member of the company’s management team. During this time, she gained valuable experience addressing the many challenges facing startups from the inside.
Michal also played a critical role in launching the MassChallenge Israel program, joining its advisory board for several years. She has outstanding access to deal flow, and contributes deep startup experience to Two Lanterns.
Michal served in the IDF Intelligence corps, received computer science and law degrees from Tel Aviv University, and earned her MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management in 2007. She joined Two Lanterns Venture Partners in 2020.
Founder Cascade Communications, Sycamore Networks, etc
Serial mentor, investor, philanthropist
Life-member of the MIT Corporation
Founding Board Member, MassChallenge
PhD Queens University
B.Tech. IIT Madras
Israeli Super Angel with extensive experience as an investor (over 200 investments) and investment advisor
Transaction manager for some of Israel’s most recognized exits, managing each from inception to exit
Pivotal advisor for creation of MassChallenge Israel
MBA Tel Aviv University
BS EE/CS Technion University
Managing General Partner at Mission BioCapital
Founder and Director, LabCentral
Life Sciences Champion, MassChallenge
President and CEO, Cequent Pharmaceuticals
General Partner Ampersand Capital Partners
BS, MS Columbia University
DriveU.auto is an Israel-based developer of a superior connectivity platform for autonomous vehicle teleoperation using cellular bonding and dynamic encoding. The platform is already deployed and used live on public roads.
StrongArm Technologies (SAT) is an Industry 4.0 platform that delivers a technology solution to keep industrial workers protected and productive, and has reduced injuries by over 40% YoY for major enterprises including Walmart and Toyota. The solution includes a wearable device with multiple sensors (including COVID-related functionality via worker proximity), a smart dock with a touch-screen that delivers customized micro-training, and a software platform that shares actionable insights with management.
Lex is creating a securities marketplace for fractionalized commercial real estate investments. LEX sources investment opportunities in Core and Core+ assets, and structures and prices them for an offering using the RegA Tier 2 exemption. LEX then facilitates secondary trading on an Alternative Trading System using NASDAQ technology.
ShipIn delivers visibility, productivity and safety to maritime transport, the backbone of global trade. ShipIn provides ship owners and managers with advanced fleet management solutions, improving operations and financial performance across global fleets. The maritime industry is embarking on an extensive digital transformation. ShipInSystems is at the forefront of smart shipping development, posed to deliver significant value to industry stakeholders.
Akooda is developing an AI platform to help distributed teams understand and optimize how they communicate with each other to improve performance and productivity. Akooda is led by Yuval Gonczarowski, formerly CTO at ClimaCell ($100m+ in funding), McKinsey, Apple, Intel, and 8200-IDF.
Loora is developing an affordable and always available AI language tutor. Necessary technology leaps to enable AI-powered conversation have only just occurred. Loora will offer an AI tutor that is always available and 10x more affordable than a human tutor.
Secure AI Labs, Inc. (“SAIL”) provides a digital rights management solution for hospitals to manage and audit access to patient data in a secure manner. SAIL’s technology enables hospitals to maintain control of research collaborations to fully protect the privacy of their patients and the security of their patient records.
As the solution for navigating mortality, Cake uses data to match consumers with the right products for their end-of-life needs. Cake is the first stop for consumers and is the largest in the industry, on track to dominate an overlooked trillion-dollar industry. Founders are graduates of MIT and Harvard and have deep experience in healthcare and digital marketing. The CMO was an early employee at TripAdvisor.
TheXPlace is a Marketplace for the $217B Video Games industry, connecting Game Development Companies with the talent to get the next “hit” produced, and connecting video gaming professionals (soloists, contracting companies, studios and agencies) with work. Founder is Technion & MIT grad with 20+ years experience and extensive contacts in the gaming industry.
Knox is the first automated wealth advisor and management company for property investors delivering superior investment outcomes end-to-end – from payments to banking, leasing to insurance, financing to tax, vacancy avoidance to maintenance. Knox is democratizing access to preferred rates of return via the $1.25T/yr residential investment property market. Founder sold prior real estate startup to Private Equity firm.
Because Intelligence helps bridge front-end store design and back-end data to create a more intelligent content experience for the $1.3T
e-commerce industry. Through an intelligent data engine, user-defined automation, no code content creation, and A/B testing, they're helping growing Shopify businesses to optimize conversion of site visitors at scale. Founder won Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2015.
Gravity AI is a marketplace for enterprise-ready AI. Engineers can browse 3rd party AI technologies that are secure, vetted for compliance, and automatically standardized in a custom container for easy, low-code implementation, all through a single procurement process that vastly increases speed to market for product teams.
Cooklist is an all-in-one grocery app for consumers to manage the full cycle of buying and using groceries efficiently. It is the first and only service that connects directly to grocery store accounts so consumers can automatically track the food they buy, keep track of expirations, find recipes they can cook right now, create meal plans and shopping lists, and send orders to local stores for pickup or delivery. The app works with over 80% of the grocery stores in the US and millions of recipes.
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