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 has 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.
Office Coordinator, Human Resources
Over 15 years of expertise as administrator and HR with strong interpersonal communication and listening skills, creative problem solving and writing acumen.
Office Coordinator, Human Resources
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.
Expertise in discovering strategic business opportunities across a broad range of sectors spanning chemicals, materials, technology, consumer goods and more.
Since 2013, Dima has been working with Fortune 500 companies helping them discover strategic opportunities. During his time at Inovo, he has worked with companies operating in chemicals, materials, oil & gas, technology, consumer goods, and other sectors.
Dima is passionate about helping his clients understand the big picture – how macro PESTEL trends and forces will impact their business and their immediate environment in the future. His curiosity for understanding the current events and their impact in the world around him translates into valuable insights for the businesses of Inovo’s clients.
Dima holds a Master’s degree in Information Science and Bachelor’s in Economics, both from the University of Michigan. When he is not helping his clients understand the future, he can be found competing in triathlons, trail running, skiing, mountain biking or rock climbing in the mountains around Boulder, Colorado.
A strategic marketer with expertise in Marketing Program Management, Marketing Strategies, Customer Services and Market Research.
Payal is a strategic marketer with high degree of flexibility. She is focused on leveraging her expertise for planning and managing multiple marketing campaigns. Payal has worked for 9 years in creating and running various creative campaigns via Digital Marketing and Social Media/Paid Advertising.
She is collaborative and focuses on achieving project goals through in-depth research, high attention to detail and effective consultations to support business ideas. She strives to build long-term sustainable client relations and augment bottom-line business growth.
Payal holds an MBA in Marketing Management along with a Masters Degree in Environmental Sciences from India. She is passionate about writing and learning digital marketing technologies. As a result, she launched a digital start-up while working in Germany. Payal gained valuable experience due to this entrepreneurial initiative in market research, consumer behavior and product promotions. She is multi-lingual with fluency in English and German and also a published author.
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. As a keen reader and 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.
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.