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

With Education Skills Gap getting wider every day … Startup Genius enables Industry to partner with Education to close the Education Skills Gap through Realworld Gig-economy experiences.

We believe the 21st Century Education Skills Gap can be solved by enabling Industry to partner with Schools to provide Realworld interdiscplinary experiences that unleash every students individual genius potential.  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.

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 unleash their own individual 21st Century skills – typically the mindset identified within the spirt of an Entrepreneur  or a Startup Genius.


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