13 years helping companies with strategic innovation. Specializes in company culture and administrative capabilities.
Brian is a managing partner and co-founder of The Inovo Group. In addition to working closely with clients, Brian serves as Inovo’s chief operating officer. In that role, he focuses on building Inovo’s administrative capabilities. Most importantly, he works on an organization’s cultural foundation in order to best serve clients. The culture that he, with partners Larry Schmitt and Steve Schwartz, strive to create suffuses the organization with the same sense of curiosity, possibilities and a Test-and-Learn mindset that Inovo brings to its clients.
Brian rediscovered his passion for innovation while a vice president at Whirlpool more than a decade ago. He left Whirlpool in 2005 to pursue a dual challenge. He wanted to help large companies accomplish their ultimate challenge – strategic innovation – while simultaneously growing an innovation consulting firm. The Inovo Group reflects his belief that large, mature organizations can indeed create nimble new businesses and innovative cultures but often need a catalyst to do so.
Brian and his wife moved back to Ann Arbor a few years ago. They first met as students here in a physical chemistry course (no kidding) at the University of Michigan, where he earned a BS in chemical engineering. He also holds an MBA from the University of Chicago. He is an avid reader, runner, Hobie Catter and fair-weather golfer.
Five years of experience in industrial design and project management roles.
Scott’s experience as a designer has been a front-seat view to the fruits of collaboration. He worked alongside talented peers in engineering, marketing, and business management. It showed him the old adage “two heads are better than one” is especially true working together with and for complex organizations. He finds projects involving diverse stakeholders not only to be the most personally rewarding and engaging, but oftentimes the ones with the best outcomes as well.
Scott has had the fortune of experiencing design from many vantage points over the last six years in both corporate and consultative settings. He is enthusiastic about design’s ability to reinvigorate old ideas and inspire thoughtful new ones.
Scott came to the Inovo Group by way of University of Michigan’s Masters of Integrative Design program, where he graduated in the Spring of 2018. He also holds a Bachelors of Fine Art from the Cleveland Institute of Art where he graduated from the department of Industrial Design in 2012.
A technology enthusiast with expertise in analytics and delivering strategic business insights for clients in food, automotive and pharmaceutical industries.
Since joining Inovo as an Analyst in 2014, Hannah has worked on projects in the energy, food, chemical, and petroleum industries, bringing her attention to detail, passion for technology and thirst for learning to the team.
Prior to joining Inovo, Hannah worked as an engineer with companies in the food, pharmaceutical, and automotive industries, working on a variety of projects involving process engineering and regulatory verification.
Hannah is passionate about lifelong learning. Outside of school, she has studied topics such as systems engineering, rhetoric, management, and outdoor survival. She is fluent in Spanish and is studying German.
Hannah holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from Western Michigan University, with a focus on sustainability and renewable energy development.
Experienced financial administrator with expertise in diverse financial and accounting services across various industries.
Andrea is the financial administrator for The Inovo Group . She manages their diverse financial and accounting functions. Andrea is a veteran in marketing, finance and accounting. She earned her BA in Marketing and Finance from Michigan State University. In addition to holding different jobs as Commercial Lending Officer, she did Finance and accounting for large corporations.
Andrea is also a pro-active and driven entrepreneur. She used to own and operate a successful furniture store for 18 years. Due to her renewed interest in expanding skills, she went back to school in Eastern Michigan University to obtain MSA in Accounting.
At the current stage of her long career, Andrea is motivated to help youth and children. She is focused on how she might volunteer to “directly impact the lives of recent high school graduates aging out of the foster care system and seeking further education.”
15 years of demonstrated expertise in orchestrating strategic innovation and opportunity creation for delivering customer values in several leading innovation research projects.
Evelyn Jabri, PhD
Evelyn is a self-starter, an innovator and systems level thinker. She is passionate about opportunity creation and growing business portfolios in strategic innovation. She is a critical thinker and an empowering entrepreneur. As a result of her strong business and analytical skills, she creates simple yet compelling insights that provide value to businesses.
Evelyn holds a Ph.D in Biochemistry and Biophysics from Cornell University. She also received her BA in Chemistry from the University of Colorado. Evelyn has more than 15 years of expertise in managing and implementing innovative solutions. She focuses on strategies for identifying innovative opportunities in Product and Business Development. She is highly collaborative. In addition to partnering with The Inovo Group, she is a strategist at E&A Innovation Group. Evelyn launched this startup to help several decision makers and influencers in scientific as well as corporate sectors explore new product and service options.
Evelyn’s intense curiosity for science and technology drives her to approach each project with deeper understanding of the strategic needs of clients. She works together to arrive at the goals for each assigned innovation project within the required scope. She has a penchant for helping clients and businesses through her multi-disciplinary skills and insights.
Has experience in both technical and management roles. Specializes in research and delivering strategic business opportunities.
Vinod (Vinny) Kaimal, PhD
Since joining the Inovo team early in 2013, Vinny has researched and delivered strategic business opportunities on behalf of our clients in a number of areas, including consumer products, health care, energy, and advanced materials.
Before he came to Inovo, Vinny spent eight years working in technical and management roles at start-ups as well as multinational companies in the pharmaceutical, medical device, and biomedical software industries. Vinny’s broad knowledge base in engineering and scientific disciplines, paired with his diverse global business experience, provides a strong foundation for his passion around strategic innovation.
Vinny holds a PhD in Biomedical Engineering and an MS in Electrical Engineering, both from the University of Cincinnati.
Experienced behavioural and health economics researcher with a deep passion for innovation and product development. Additional expertise in data analytics.
Lisa is an experienced behavioral and health economics researcher. Additionally, she worked as a data analyst at Uber, the multinational transportation and technology company. She has a love for strategic problem solving that she utilizes in many fields to bring a fresh perspective to new challenges. Her core skills include being analytical, working with data and generating useful insights. She is also a creative person.
Lisa holds a Master of Science degree in Design Science, with a focus in Product Innovation and Design Research. She received her degree from the University of Michigan College of Engineering. She also obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics, with minors in Design and Psychology from Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University.
Lisa has a deep passion for innovation and product development. Her studies have additionally spanned many fields from business to biology. It is this intrinsic curiosity for the world and new environments that guides her through life. Outside of work she can be found traveling, trying new food, and trying to feed the Michigan squirrels.
More than 15 years in the administrative field. Expert in helping companies stay organized and providing superior customer services.
Courtney is an Executive Assistant at The Inovo Group. She handles a variety of activities ranging from supporting the leadership team to assisting with Sales, Marketing, and Finance. Prior to joining Inovo, Courtney worked in various sectors from construction to non-profit. She even managed a custom handbag store in Ann Arbor.
She has over 15 years of skilled administrative experience. Consequently, she is an expert in helping companies stay organized. Courtney is adept at anticipating the team leadership’s immediate needs for managing varied tasks within set time schedules. Since she is collaborative and focused on efficiency, it helps her to be highly productive.
Originally from Arizona, Courtney holds a BS in Recreation from Arizona State University. She likes to spend time outside of work enjoying yoga and kayaking. Courtney is passionate about learning new skills in the technology field. She gives every bit of effort to help teams be successful. As a result, she adds valuable insights for the smooth functioning of a company’s administrative capabilities.
Growth oriented and tech-savvy marketing professional with focus on marketing tools, program management, marketing strategies and consumer research.
Payal has productive experience in marketing strategies and managing marketing programs. She creates and implements results-driven marketing campaigns. She works closely with team leadership to deliver on company’s business goals. Payal focuses on strategic promotions, lead generation and inbound marketing. Additionally, she dives deep into analytics and consumer behavior. She has more than 8 years of marketing and sales experience. Payal is tech-savvy with high flexibility. Consequently, she can be seen working with diverse marketing tools and technology.
Payal works hard to learn about innovation topics via secondary research. She is very collaborative and has a high attention to detail. As a result, she achieves project goals within set deadlines. She strives to build long-term sustainable client relations that augment bottom-line business growth.
Payal holds an MBA in Marketing Management and a Masters Degree in Environmental Sciences. She is passionate about setting up and running new project ventures along with digital technology. So, she launched a digital start-up while working in France and Germany. Payal gained valuable marketing and sales skills due to this new initiative. She loves writing and is also a published author. She is multi-lingual with fluency in 4 languages including English and German.
Over 5 years of experience in automotive and food/beverages industry with multiple expertise in treasury, corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, and operations.
Brillie likes to start her day with a cup of pour-over coffee while reading the Wall Street Journal. Being a keen reader with an inquisitive mind, she brings fresh perspectives to problem solving in various areas of strategic innovation. She is team-oriented and has a track record of leveraging efficient practices and automation strategies to transform operations and reduce time and waste. Brillie has two years of productive experience working as an analyst for Continental Services that is one of America’s top 50 largest noncommercial contract dining management companies. At Continental, she worked diligently with upper management decision-makers and reported directly to the CFO. Brillie has also worked in corporate taxation for a global automotive company and in treasury at Indiana University.
She holds a Master of Science degree with high distinction in Business Analytics from University of Michigan-Dearborn, and a Bachelor of Science in Finance with a minor in Information Systems from Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, Bloomington. While Brillie’s academic pursuits have focused on business, finance, and data science, she is intellectually curious and holds a breadth of knowledge spanning various industries and topics. Outside of work, Brillie enjoys having insightful conversation with friends, running, cooking, learning to fence, and taking music lessons.
Worked for more than 20 years in B2B manufacturing. Growth-focused with deep expertise in innovation, strategic marketing, product management and new business development.
Paul is an Innovation Consultant at The Inovo Group. His main focus is on strategic innovation in B2B manufacturing, industrial automation, robotics and IoT. He has over 20 years of experience in the field of marketing, sales and product management.
Paul is technically savvy, with an entrepreneurial spirit. He is a strategic thinker with passion for the manufacturing sector and its future. Paul drove strategic marketing and product management initiatives in many innovation projects. As a result, he identified new markets and grew new business developments globally. Additionally, he is adept at aligning business goals with customer value. An expert in Lean, Agile and Stage/Gate, Paul also specializes in strategic planning and tactical implementations.
He collaborates closely with clients and has a focused approach. As a result, he helps B2B companies steadily achieve their strategic growth goals. Paul obtained his MBA in Marketing from Indiana University South Bend. He also has a BS in Chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh. As a Chemist too, he is a deeply engaged experimenter. He brings that skill set to any innovation project. Paul grew up the son of a welder and part-time dairy farmer in Western PA. He is an educator with a coaching mindset. He also trains product managers to drive growth and innovation in the manufacturing sector.
Innovating and creating innovation systems for over 40 years with all size companies.
Larry Schmitt, PhD
Larry’s passion for innovation is a driving force for Inovo, which he co-founded and is a Managing Partner. He lives and breathes innovation, creating new innovation methodologies and systems as well as actively participating in client projects. His deep knowledge advances innovation thinking and the development of new processes, methods, and tools in collaboration with other innovation thinkers. Larry’s desire to help organizations gain the capabilities and insights to solve their critical innovation problems fuels his innovative activities.
Larry draws upon years of experience in both large corporations and startups that wrestled with being innovative. As a matter of fact, he saw firsthand how, if you don’t push your boundaries and constantly innovate innovation itself, you fall behind. This observation has informed Larry’s guiding philosophy at Inovo. Furthermore, it keeps the company continually creating, developing, testing and learning to push the boundaries of strategic innovation itself.
Larry is a voracious reader with wide and diverse interests. He regularly posts his thoughts on innovation on Inovo’s blog and in numerous articles and white papers. He is frequently invited to speak about innovation at conferences, on webcasts, at private events and for colleges and universities.
Born and raised in upstate New York, Larry loves the outdoors. He likes exploring new places with his globetrotting family. He holds a BS in computer science from the University of Michigan; and an MS and PhD in computer science from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
35 years working in innovation and entrepreneurship. Specialize in technology effects understanding and system design.
Steve is an engineer by training, but an entrepreneur by disposition. He has worked for 30 years in various technology and commercialization sectors. The art and science of innovation fascinates Steve. What can new technologies make possible? What do people really want? How can innovators get better at answering these and so many other related questions? Steve is highly passionate about innovation in general as a result of pursuing questions like these. He is deeply engaged in his work with clients.
Steve began his career in the cellular industry during its early days of explosive growth. It was hard to keep up and harder still to predict. He leveraged that experience to use it well in other industries on the verge of similar growth and change: semiconductors, e-commerce, machine vision, and life science. Inovo is now a chance to share what he’s learned – and to keep learning.
He holds a BSE in computer engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; an MS in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.
A lifelong Midwesterner, Steve is active with his family and enjoys sailing. He also takes part in triathlons and plays the piano. His school-age daughters keep him busy and remind him everyday of just how much he has yet to learn.
Experience in energy and medical device R&D with a passion for envisioning possibilities.
Genevieve is an intern at The Inovo Group, contributing to both client and internal work across a variety of responsibilities. She brings to the team her dedication to understanding different viewpoints, enthusiasm for consolidating information into a coherent and compelling narrative, and passion for envisioning possibilities.
She has previously interned in the medical device industry, in both R&D and quality engineering, and at Argonne National Lab on an interdisciplinary team focused on analyzing energy, environmental, and economic systems.
Genevieve is currently a master’s student in electrical and computer engineering at the University of Michigan, and is taking innovation and entrepreneurship classes alongside her major. She holds a BS in electrical engineering from Yale, where she also studied multidisciplinary aspects of global energy challenges.
Technical background specializing in identifying market and product opportunities for science-based businesses
Greg Smith, PhD
Greg is Managing Principal of ScienceSmith Consulting, Inc. (SSCI). Greg specializes in answering critical questions about market or product opportunities for science-based businesses.
SSCI is a specialty technical consulting practice providing both advanced, technical market research and technical project management. Market research projects include work for startup (Angstrom Power, BioTillion, SigNa Chemistry) as well as medium sized (Accumentrics, SPEX SamplePrep, Ultralife Corporation), and large (Appvion, HP, John Deere, Moen, Rohm & Haas, Siemens, Westinghouse, and more) companies.
Examples of project management and technical work include roles as Principal Investigator on NAS HMCRP project HM-14; as chemistry lead for the team selected for PHMSA-RFP-DTPH5616R00002); and as a member of IEC TC-105 (WG-8, micro fuel cell safety standard). SSCI work has also included litigation support (working closely with Alliance Technologies, LLC), with hazardous materials and dangerous goods transport a particular focus.
Specialties: Chemistry, Market Research, Structured Innovation, Product Development, Technical Marketing, Technology & Research Strategy, Reactive Materials, Hazardous Materials/Dangerous Goods Transport.