More important than what we do is why we do it.

We enable Industry to partner with Education to identify and cultivate individual genius

We believe that all entrepreneurs need a little help in their journey.  We’re not alone as hundreds of thousands of programs exist but still so few can participate.  So our philosophy is to help enable those in education, industry and economic development to serve entrepreneurs.

Startup Genius was founded by Dan Benveniste originally as WilFund (Women in Leadership) with the mission to help female entrepreneurs enter and participate in the 21st Century Innovation Economy.  Early market feedback indicated the problem and need extended to the broader global population and not just females.

Today Startup Genius helps high school students, college students, alumni, white-collar, blue-collar, veterans and senior citizens to: innovate, work as a freelancer and even fund projects in collaboration with industry.


The Startup Genius executive team has over 80 years of entrepreneurial experience.


Gal Bar-or

Serial entrepreneur and CTO with 30-yrs product and technology experience

Greg Hitchan

Founder, Tri-Valley Ventures and advisor to Lawrence Livermore Labs

Marnin Kligfeld, Ph.D.

30-yrs experience in acquisitions and education technology

Jack Porter

Jack is a serial entrepreneur and has been the CEO of 9 successful software companies. He has extensive experience in advanced analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence

Todd Smith

President, Smith Ventures and 20+ years leading national sales teams in the Technology, Data, STEM Education and Business Development fields

Wayne Tamarelli, Ph.D., MBA

Professional angel investor in over 50 early-stage tech companies