General Atomics and the Path to Fusion Energy

fusion energy burst

General Atomics and the Path to Fusion Energy 


  1. Powers the sun and other stars in our Universe
  2. Clean, safe source of carbon-free electricity
  3. Hydrogen fuel is cheap, renewable, and abundant
  4. Attracting billions of investment dollars
  5. At a critical juncture in the U.S.

On Wednesday, February 19, we are honored to get firsthand understanding of the past, present, and future of fusion energy from San Diego’s 60-year old celebrity in the field – General Atomics (GA).

GA’s Director of Business Development Zabrina Johal will discuss the rich history of nuclear energy and GA’s role in developing the most prolific nuclear fission reactor program in the world. She will also talk about GA’s six decades of research in fusion energy. We will learn how GA is supporting the drive toward practical fusion-powered electricity by providing the “heart” of the ground-breaking ITER experiment and operating the largest magnetic fusion research facility in the U.S. – right here in San Diego.

This is a unique opportunity to talk with Ms. Johal. Please join us!

Wednesday, February 19
5:30pm – 8:30pm
@Knobbe Martens
12790 El Camino Real, San Diego, CA 92130



5:30: Registration, Networking, food and drinks
6:30: Program
7:30: Audience Q & A
8:00: Program Concludes, Networking, Coffee & Dessert until 8:30


Zabrina Johal photoZabrina Johal
Director of Business Development, General Atomics

Zabrina Johal has nearly two decades of experience in nuclear energy management, development, and communications. She began her career as a Nuclear Engineering Officer in the U.S. Navy, where she led female integration activities on the USS Paul Hamilton and served as the Tomahawk Strike Warfare officer in Operation Enduring Freedom. She also served aboard the USS Carl Vinson during Operation Iraqi Freedom and managed safe operations of the nuclear reactor core and associated systems. She is a certified nuclear engineer by the Naval Reactors division of the Department of the Navy and Department of Energy.

After leaving the Navy, Ms. Johal joined General Atomics in San Diego, where she has been for the past 13 years and is currently Director of Business Development for the Energy Group. Ms. Johal is responsible for overseeing efforts in business planning, capture, and proposal development, as well as marketing, strategic communications, and media outreach.

Ms. Johal is a recognized expert in business models and financial analysis for commercialization of high-technology solutions, and she is regularly called upon to provide high-level presentations to internal stakeholders and external customers. She holds Master’s degrees in Business Administration and Commercial Real Estate from the University of San Diego, a Master’s in Engineering Management from Old Dominion University, and a B.S. in Biology and Chemistry from Santa Clara University.

CANCELED: Innovations in Impact Investing + The New Normal

six metal swinging balls

CANCELED: Innovations in Impact Investing + The New Normal 

In an abundance of caution regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, MIT Enterprise Forum-San Diego is canceling the Forum on March 18 that was to take place at Knobbe Martens. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you.

If you have already registered and paid to attend this Forum, you will receive a full refund.

As soon as we’re able, we will reschedule this particular Forum and let you know.

In the meantime, stay safe and healthy!

Your Friends at MIT Enterprise Forum SD


Can you really align your values to your personal or business financial goals and will you have to sacrifice performance to do so? Where do you even begin with accessing such solutions? And, how are you able to measure the true impact?


At the next Forum on March 18, we are distilling down the notion of impact investing and discussing traditional and non-traditional ways of deploying capital to make the biggest impact at both a global and local community level.

Hear from San Diego innovators, David Lynn, CEO & Co-Founder of Mission Driven Finance, and Christian Braemer, CEO & Founder of Benefunder, who are filling the know-how gaps to serve individuals and businesses to achieve their financial goals while making positive impacts in the community and world around us.

Additionally, Merrill Lynch Managing Director and Associate Market Manager, DeAnne Steele CFA®, CAIA, will breakdown the history and future of impact investing; address performance myths and realities, and highlight available investment solutions.

Other Topics to be Discussed:

  • Performance misconceptions vs. realities
  • This is not a trend, it’s the way of doing business now
  • United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)
  • You do not need to be an accredited investor to make a positive impact through investments

Impact Themes that May Surface:

Climate change, Clean water and sanitation, Clean energy, Homelessness, Health & Wellbeing, Childhood Education, Gender Equality, Sustainable Business Practices, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Working Conditions

And, We’ll Discuss Different Avenues to Invest:

  • Private vs. Public
  • Equity + Debt vs. Alternative Asset Classes (uncorrelated)
  • Global vs. Local
  • New Channels for Funding – Philanthropic Dollars

JOIN US! Wednesday, March 18
5:30pm – 8:30pm
@Knobbe Martens
12790 El Camino Real, San Diego, CA 92130



5:30: Registration, Networking, food and drinks
6:30: Program
7:30: Audience Q & A
8:00: Program Concludes, Networking, Coffee & Dessert until 8:30


Kaitlyn WilczinskiKaitlyn M. Wilczynski, CIMA®, CPFA, First Vice President, Wealth Management Advisor and Senior Portfolio Advisor; Bradshaw, Wilczynski & Associates;  Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc.

Kaitlyn joined Merrill in 2008, spending six years within Merrill Private Wealth Management Group and later joining Merrill Lynch Wealth Management to form Bradshaw, Wilczynski & Associates.

She enjoys working with successful women and their families to organize their financial lives and find ways to invest in a meaningful and impactful way while helping them achieve specific financial goals.

She earned the Certified Investment Management Analyst® (CIMA®) and the Certified Plan Fiduciary Advisor (CPFA) designations, holds the CA Life, Accident & Health license, as well as, the Series 7 & 66 FINRA registrations. She earned a B.S. in Business Administration degree from Bryant University with a focus in Financial Services and a minor in Communications.

Kaitlyn is President of the Merrill Women’s Exchange – San Diego Chapter and is actively involved with the MIT Enterprise Forum – San Diego and a member of the National Association for Women Business Owners (NAWBO) San Diego. In her spare time, she enjoys trying new restaurants, wine and craft beer, Pilates, skiing, traveling and all things San Diego has to offer. Originally from Boston, MA, she and her fiancé Matt now call La Jolla, CA home.


Christian BraemerChristian Braemer, CEO, Benefunder

Christian is the CEO and founder of Benefunder, a platform that connects philanthropists with leading researchers and entrepreneurs across life sciences, tech, environment, education sectors to help bring new innovations to market. Benefunder has over 700 leading researchers under contract and profiled on the platform which it integrates with major wealth management platforms and family office networks to provide a solution for rising client demand for impact.

Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, Christian began his career as a financial advisor with Morgan Stanley and later, Merrill Lynch. In 2006, he founded Joe Media, the first national free WiFi network which was later acquired by a leading digital out of home media company.

Throughout his career, he has always volunteered with various non-profits in both a board and executive capacity. Christian currently serves as an entrepreneur in residence with CONNECT and is a past speaker at TEDMED and MIT Enterprise Forum.

Christian completed military service as sergeant/section commander in the 1st light infantry division in the royal Danish army, where he was also elected vice national spokesman for enlisted personnel. He has a degree in international business from Copenhagen Business School.

David LynnDavid Lynn, CEO, Mission Driven Finance

David Lynn has been working in the financial and philanthropic sectors for over 20 years. He found a way to blend those two worlds in 2016 as the founding CEO of Mission Driven Finance, a private impact investment firm dedicated to building a financial system that ensures good businesses have access to sufficient, affordable capital. Mission Driven Finance manages multiple private funds that provide inclusive commercial financing to small businesses, social enterprises, and nonprofits, all with the goal to close capital gaps that close opportunity gaps.

Prior to focusing on impact investing, David specialized in private investment management,
including reporting and risk management. Most recently, David has been the Investment
Manager for the Price Group, a family office and charitable foundation environment, including
directly running an actively managed equity derivatives portfolio and serving as a director with
the Price Philanthropies Foundation.

With a long dedication to community involvement, David has served in a board leadership capacity for a variety of nonprofit and philanthropic initiatives, including San Diego Grantmakers, San Diego Impact Investors Network, Education Synergy Alliance, Mission Edge San Diego, San Diego Social Venture Partners, and San Diego Humane Society.

David is a San Diego native with a BS in Mathematics from Whitman College. When not
working or volunteering, he’s likely to be found adventuring in the mountains with the dogs or
other crazy people.

DeAnne SteeleDeAnne Steele CFA®, CAIA, Managing Director and Associate Market Manager, Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc.

DeAnne Steele CFA®, CAIA is Managing Director and Associate Market Manager at Merrill. She brings years of wealth management and leadership experience to her role with expertise in the many strategies and services within our firm to help drive impact for our advisors, clients and community. She welcomes any opportunity to share her experience and knowledge and is a frequent speaker on topics such as the global economy, financial markets, ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance), Women and Wealth and Diversity and Inclusion and enjoys mentoring those building their careers in our company.

Prior to joining the firm, DeAnne co-managed a mutual fund in addition to serving in various leadership and investment positions. She has written, co-authored and contributed to articles for various publications and has appeared on Reuters and Bloomberg Television.

DeAnne earned her MBA in Finance from UCLA Anderson School and a BA in English and Political Science from UCLA. She has received the Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA®) and Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst designations and is a member of the CFA Institute.

As first-generation college-graduate in her family, DeAnne believes in giving back to the community and is active in many community organizations, including serving on the board of directors of the San Diego Center for Children.


State Data Privacy Laws Effective Jan 1: Complying and Unintended Consequences

Data Protection + Privacy image

State Data Privacy Laws Effective Jan 1:
Complying and Unintended Consequences

Privacy and Security by Design

January 15, 2020
5:30 – 8:30 pm
@Knobbe Martens (12790 El Camino Real, San Diego, CA 92130)

Register Today!

Panel Discussion

Who should attend?
This session is for chief technologists, R&D, product managers, developers, and designers who want to better understand the principles of Privacy by Design.

California has two new laws that go into effect January 1: the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and SB 327, an IOT security law which mandates that manufacturers that sell or offer to sell a connected device in California equip the device with “reasonable security features.”

This makes California the first state to specifically regulate the security of connective devices, which are commonly referred to as Internet of Things (IoT) devices and the CCPA is one of most comprehensive state privacy laws to go into effect since the EU enacted General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in 2018.

In contrast to California data privacy laws protecting only personal information, the new security law aims to protect the security of both IoT devices, and any information contained on IoT devices.

Given this focus on legislating privacy and security we should be thinking ahead and addressing these principles during the design process. While SB 327 focuses on IoT specifically (this includes connected things such as connected cars, industrial devices, retail point-of-sale or medical devices, to name a few), privacy can impact other products and apps as well, including social apps, media, and telecommunications.  Across the board, these two new acts have an impact on a wide number of products and services.

Examples where Privacy by Design was needed

When we look at the Facebook data privacy scandal around the collection and sharing of personally identifiable information on as many as 87 million people or read in recent news about hackers who have been able to spy on children via popular “smart home” security apps, we realize that even honestly designed products can end up with unintended consequences.  As our world becomes more mobile and more connected, how can developers build privacy and security into their products to keep their customers safe and secure?

Panel Focus

This panel will consist of technical, product, and design professionals who will focus on how we can apply design principles that will make our new products safe and secure.

What is Privacy by Design?

The term “Privacy by Design” means “data protection through technology design.” “Privacy by Design” along with “Privacy by Default” are one of the key changes that were brought into the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that went into effect in Europe in May 2018.

“Privacy by Design” and “Privacy by Default” have been frequently discussed topics related to data protection. The first thoughts of “Privacy by Design” were expressed in the 1970s and were incorporated in the 1990s into the RL 95/46/EC data protection directive. According to recital 46 in this Directive, Technical and Organizational Measures (TOM) must be taken already at the time of planning a processing system to protect data safety.

Startups and New Product Introductions: MVP vs. Privacy / Security

As entrepreneurs we tend to think in terms of Minimally Viable Product or MVP when we first launch a product or app, and typically instantiating privacy or security at that point is thought to take up too much time or investment and risk “holding us back” in a competitive space. Yet that leaves a window of vulnerability. When should we consider designing in privacy and security? Is there “right” timing?

For that answer and more, join us Wednesday, January 15.


5:30: Registration, networking, food and drinks
6:30: Program
7:30: Audience Q & A
8:00: Program concludes, followed by networking, coffee & dessert until 8:30

Register Today!


kathleen glass

Kathleen Glass  (moderator)
VP of Marketing, 2B Advice

Kathleen Glass is global VP of Marketing for 2B Advice, providers of outsourced privacy management services and data privacy compliance software.  Kathleen brings over two decades of B2B sales and marketing experience in SaaS and managed services industries for emerging technologies including IoT, CyberSecurity, Privacy, and Analytics. As a passionate advocate of sales and marketing alignment, Kathleen advises companies across the US in best practices for inbound and outbound demand generation processes and technology adoption.

Kathleen is a Chapter Chair for the San Diego IAPP KnowledgeNet Chapter Program for privacy professionals, a San Diego Chapter Officer for the Association of Inside Sales Professionals and serves on the AA-ISP National Advisory Board. Kathleen also serves on the CompTIA IoT Advisory Council.


ro cammarota

Dr. Ro Cammarota
Principal Research Scientist, Intel Corporation

Dr. Rosario Cammarota (Ro) is a Principal Research Scientist at Intel AI Research, where he grows the effort on privacy-preserving technologies and international standards for AI Systems. He received his Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from the University of California, Irvine, in 2013. He serves on the program and organizing committees of several premier hardware and embedded security conferences and workshops. He is a Senior Member of IEEE, a prolific inventor and one of the recipients of the SRC Outstanding Industry Liaison Awards in 2017, 2018, and 2019.

Darin Andersen

Darin Andersen
CEO and Founder, NXT Robotics

Darin Andersen is a distinguished serial Entrepreneur, Cybersecurity, Smart City, Internet of Things (IoT) and professional with over 20 years of experience in industry.  Darin is the CEO & Founder of NXT Robotics which builds an AI security robotics platform.  In 2013, Mr. Andersen founded CyberTECH (CyberHive and iHive Incubators), a global cybersecurity and IoT network ecosystem providing cybersecurity, IoT and Smart City resources, strategic programs and quality thought leader Forums across the nation. Before NXT Robotics, Darin was the CEO of CyberUnited a enterprise cybersecurity firm.  Darin also served as President, North America for Norman Shark, a forensics malware analytics company, acquired by Symantec. Prior to Norman Shark, Darin was the Chief Operating Officer (COO) at ESET, an award winning and antivirus solutions company. While COO at ESET, Darin created the “Securing Our eCity” initiative. The initiative, now an independent Foundation, was recognized by The White House as the “Best Local/Community Plan” DHS National Cybersecurity Awareness Challenge.  Andersen is a distinguished Ponemon Institute Fellow and serves on numerous boards and received an MBA in Finance and Operations Management and 2nd Masters in Information Systems and Operations Systems both from University of Southern California and a BA from Claremont McKenna College.

Emad Georgy

Emad Georgy
CTO, Advisory & Consultant

Emad is recognized globally as an execution-focused CTO and powerful transformational leader. His passion is both developing code and developing leaders. He is a hands-on, execution-focused CTO Advisor and Consultant leading large-scale transformations in architecture, Agile, DevOps, IT, process and leadership development. He helps his clients with scaling and growing pains as well as developing strong leaders in technology. His hybrid approach to technology management, focusing on both the practical and cultural elements of leadership, makes Emad a trusted and valued partner helping both domestic startups and global enterprises scale and grow. He is proficient in talent assessment, tangible leadership and organizational development, as well as data engineering and analytics pipelines, modernizing legacy applications, re-architecture, cloud migrations, DevOps and API integrations. He has held CTO and technology leadership positions at a number of major global brands including Experian. Named a Computerworld Premier 100 IT Leader, Emad is developing tomorrow’s industry leaders.

“Disruptive” is an Understatement: The World on Robotics, Sensors & 5G

“Disruptive” is an Understatement: The World on Robotics, Sensors + 5G

Much more than just faster connections for your smartphone. Yes, 5G technology has the potential to transform the internet and lower latency to single digit milliseconds, but more importantly, it will enable a myriad of new applications and use cases. Think connected smart devices in the IoT; autonomous vehicles; smart cities and connected factories. Now, think of all the new applications that will be needed to make our smart cities and connected worksites work with 5G.

Whether you’re in a technology business or a business that relies on technology…and which one doesn’t?…or perhaps you’re an individual thinking of upgrading to a smart home, 5G is going to make the future we see in SciFi movies possible. The question is when?

For that answer and more, join us Wednesday, November 20.


5:30: Registration, Networking, food and drinks

6:30: Program

7:30: Audience Q & A

8:00: Program Concludes, Networking, Coffee & Dessert until 8:30


Mary Beth McCabe

Dr. Mary Beth McCabe (moderator)
Associate Professor, National University

As National University’s Academic Program Director for Marketing since 2010, Dr. McCabe brings 25 years of hands on experience in television and digital advertising plus business ownership to the College of Professional Studies. She has been an executive in the San Diego business community since 1982, with KUSI-TV and prior, in Chicago at WCIU-TV. Her business clients range from Fortune 100 firms to family run enterprises. Her academic degrees are from Alliant University (DBA, Marketing), DePaul University (MBA, Marketing) and University of Dayton (BA, Communications). Dr. McCabe has been on the marketing faculty at UCSD Extension, San Diego State University, and the University of San Diego. She is co-author of Mobile Marketing Essentials (Stukent, Inc), now in its sixth edition, and author of The World’s First Guide to Independent Travel. She lives in San Diego, and volunteers with American Marketing Association, MIT Enterprise Forum and several community groups. Dr. McCabe received the only National University President’s Award for Online Course Development (2018). She was also recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the San Diego Ad Club.


Cheryl Goodman
Head of Corporate Communications, Sony Electronics

For more than 20 years, Cheryl Goodman has pushed the boundaries of innovation by expanding cognitive diversity by including more women in tech. She served for a decade at Qualcomm where she leads the dialogue in wireless, display tech, and app development. Goodman left to run Athena, a non-profit designed to advance women in tech & life sciences. In her tenure, she created resources for female entrepreneurs in bio & tech while achieving the organizations highest level of fundraising ultimately being recognized as a leading CEO in the San Diego region. Today she’s at the Global multinational Sony, headquartered in RB. As Head of Corporate Communications, she evangelizes the broad innovations lead by the creative entertainment company. “I take the same mission-focused mindset found in the non-profit world and apply that to the world of technology. My goal is to bring other high-level contributors, who sometimes get overlooked, alongside me as I continue on my journey to demonstrate how technology transforms lives.”

Goodman is a true advocate for assistive technologies as she recently overcame sudden and severe hearing loss in both ears. After enduring a series of correction surgeries, Goodman is a champion of mobile and audio technologies that allowed her to thrive despite not being able to hear.

Abhijit Kudrimoti

Abhijit Kudrimoti is a Product Management Leader at Verizon.

He has worked for several years in the Internet of Things (IOT) space and played a significant role in the development and marketing of Verizon’s Thingspace IoT services platform. Abhijit works with technologies such as Location Based Services, Device Provisioning, Management and Diagnostics, Global Roaming, Public IP and Private Mobile Networking, 5G and Mobile Edge Computing, LTE and Narrowband-IOT, consistently and successfully delivering products to market for Verizon.

Abhijit started his career as an embedded modem software engineer and subsequently did 3GPP2 standards development work at Qualcomm in the area of wireless data internetworking.  Abhijit later worked as a product manager at different mobile device hardware and software vendors such as Nokia and Palm and D2 Technologies.  Abhijit has an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management, Los Angeles CA, and M.S. and B.Tech degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Arizona and the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, India, respectively.

Sudeepto Roy is a Vice President of Engineering at Qualcomm

Sudeepto is a Vice President of Engineering at Qualcomm and has held various leadership positions spanning wireless embedded engineering, customer and startup enablement, patent licensing, product planning and regional strategy. He and his team members have played an instrumental role in the design and worldwide launches of several generations of handsets, IoT, computing, networking, and infrastructure products which effected the industry’s major technology shifts from 2G, 3G, 4G and now, 5G.

Sudeepto holds a B.S. and M.S. in Computer Engineering from MSU, India and ODU, Virginia respectively, and has completed post graduate certificate programs in Engineering Management and Intellectual Property Law at Caltech and UCSD.

Sudeepto volunteers for issues of community interest (particularly, children’s safety and development), and serves on the board of two non-profit schools (“La Petite Ecole” du Lycee Francais et International, and Onkur Bangla Language Academy of San Diego). As a resident of the coastal village of Del Mar with his wife and daughter, his hobbies include family activities, technology writing, travel, gardening, reading, music, and pilates.

chad sweetChad Sweet is CEO of ModalAI, Inc.

Chad has more than 20 years of leadership experience and focuses on system architecture and business development. ModalAI is a leader in autonomous robot and drone perception and communication systems. The company develops highly-integrated artificial intelligence (AI)-powered modules that empower companies in a variety of industries to utilize aerial and ground autonomous navigation systems that communicate via 4G and 5G cellular networks. Through June 2018 he led global robotics R&D at Qualcomm Research. Previously at Qualcomm he led efforts in computer vision and wireless communications with 15 patents granted.

Holiday Mixer


It’s the Holidays! Let’s Celebrate!


Please join us for a special MIT Enterprise Forum Holiday Mixer. CONNECT w/SDVG has graciously offered us their fun space including patio and big red slide. We’re looking forward to welcoming everyone we’ve seen this year, including you!

If you’ve attended any of our monthly Forums, you know that we serve great food and have a self-serve wine and beer bar. We like to keep it casual and hope you’ll join us to mingle and munch.

$20 – MITEF Members
$35 – Non-Members