It’s election time!

Over the next few days, Startup Shell will collect candidacy declarations for the following positions:

Executive Director

Executive Director: Startup Shell’s Executive director is in charge of managing all daily operations of the organizations. These tasks may include scheduling director meetings, attending committee meetings, and maintaining Shell’s partnerships and relationships with other organizations and people.

Director of Operations

Director of Operations: The director of operations helps to manage internal operations of Startup Shell including the co-working space, resources, and finances. The director of operations will work closely with the executive director to ensure all Startup Shell operations are being run properly.

Director of Community

Director of Community: Works to foster Shell’s community & works individually with ventures & fellows to help them get the most value out of their experiences at Shell. Frequently collaborates with the Director of Events and Communications to ensure that Shell is a transparent, inclusive and welcoming community for all by leading efforts to achieve this. Also organizes endeavors in recruitment, orientation, internal community events, and alumni engagement.

Director of Events

Director of Events: Plans & executes all of Shell’s events (this is a big task, since our events are the main thing we do). Frequently collaborates with the Director of Community and Communications to create engaging and constructive events for both Startup Shell members and the UMD community at large.

Director of Communications

Director of Communications (New!): Responsible for managing and growing Shell’s external communication (Newsletter, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) & will be the PR spokesperson for Startup Shell. The Director of Communications will work closely with Directors of Events and Community in alumni outreach and coordination.

After the request for candidacy is complete, we’ll have a vote right here on this page.

Interested in running for one of the above positions?

Director Candidacy (Live)

Candidate:Ryan Perpall

Running for:Director of Community

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Ryan Perpall. I have a strong passion for people. I think there is nothing more powerful than community. It's the reason I transferred to Maryland. I would describe myself as a creative, extrovert who can find 100 things to talk about with anyone. I enjoy learning about perspectives other than my own. I am a senior Environmental Anthropology major and the founder of Break Box Recycling.

Why do you want to be in this position?

I want to be the Director of Community because I believe all Shell members deserve to know each other.

I would like to work hand in hand with the Director of Communication to establish the best channels to reach Shell members quickly. I would like to see the Shell community assemble at 24 hours notice to help a fellow Sheller with a pop-up event or be a support of some kind at a pitch competition. My primary focus will be to create good energy amongst every Shell member. I would like to establish Morning meet-ups catered by Dunkin or some breakfast place ( I am excellent at getting free food for events!). I also want to take social gatherings outside of the Shell and into the city of College Park. I believe there is a time to work and a time to get rowdy . My 2nd priority as Director of Community will be to help members remember to LIVE while they work on their ventures. This will be done through having wellness check ups and accountability partners for work and social life.

What (in your opinion) makes you qualified to hold this position?

I have been a student leader since childhood. My earliest leadership position was in the Boy Scouts as a Senior Patrol Leader for several years. After the Scouts I took on a leadership role as a varsity wrestler at DeMatha Catholic High School. In my senior year in high school, I founded 'Start-Up DeMatha'. It was a club that grew from 2 students to 48 by the end of my senior year. I created a board of students who worked with me to create a curriculum for our members to explore social and business entrepreneurship. We had a series of speaker events and heard from 9 alumni entrepreneurs. Our curriculum covered many topics of the course of the year which included rapid prototyping, design thinking, media production, wire-framing and a social ventures workshop.

I originally attended Towson University for 2.5 years. At Towson I was the Chief of Staff of RECN (The Real Estate Club). I helped the board run smoothly and grow the club to 70+ members. We covered many topics like house flipping, marketing and real estate brokerages. At Towson I was also a Entrepreneur Aide at the Towson Student Launch Pad. I held 15 office hours per week for 1 year. I met with students and members of the Towson community who wanted to start a social or business venture. I connected them with resources to get their idea off the ground. In addition to all of that, I founded my own community focused startup called Break Box Bottle Throwing ( Break Box Recycling). We invite members of the community to our mobile trailer to suit up in safety gear and break glass bottles by throwing them into our custom 'Break Box'. I had to make many connections to develop Break Box this far and that skillset will be a asset to me in the role of Director of Community. Please vote for me!

Candidate:Matthew Herrity

Running for:Director of Events

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m Matthew Herrity, a rising sophomore and member of the Startup Shell’s Nu Batch. I’m a business major although professionally I work as a data scientist for MarginEdge. Previously I’ve worked for the 9:30 Club/I.M.P. and in High School I managed a rap group Concept Collective. Professionally my interests lie in the intersection of Music and Technology.

Why do you want to be in this position?

I would like to be a director of events because I love throwing events. In high school I threw concerts everywhere from middle school theatres to nightclubs in DC. The diversity of expertise/interest inside the shell excites me and I would like to throw targeted events to highlight this. I really enjoyed The Super Nova speaker series last semester and would like to do more themed events like those where we invite people in and outside of the shell to share their expertise with us.

What (in your opinion) makes you qualified to hold this position?

As stated before I have been in the business of event planning/promotion since my junior year of high school. This summer I brought these skills to College Park and threw a Summer Concert Series out of the Shell where we curated small lineups of local artists to showcase their talent. Beyond my DIY experience I have also worked in event promotion professionally for the 9:30 Club.

Candidate:Alex Onufrak

Running for:Executive Director

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hey, my name is Alex Onufrak and I am a rising senior majoring in Information Science. I grew up in Northern Virginia as a brother to two and a son to entrepreneurs. Having both parents build successful ventures inspired me to start my own, so the summer before transferring to UMD, I started Solr Tech (the Solar Umbrella Retrofit). Almost immediately after starting my first semester, I was introduced to Startup Shell, the heart of student entrepreneurship on campus. Despite being rejected in my Fall 2017 application, the encouragement and involvement of the Shell community pressed me to keep going. I joined Shell in Spring 2018 (Mu Batch) as a founder eager to grow my idea into a business. With the help of aspiring designers, engineers, and driven, like-minded entrepreneurs found only at Shell, I was able to turn that idea into a funded business with sales.

Outside of school, I love to play ice hockey, golf, soccer, and to snowboard (we need a shell ski trip). Growing up with a mom that started her own translation company, I was exposed to the love of language and the heightened ability to learn more about cultures with common tongue. I speak English (kinda), Russian, French, and some Chinese. I occasionally work as a freelance web developer and have built sites for several medium-sized businesses.

Why do you want to be in this position?

I have been involved with Startup Shell for nearly two years and have seen everything Shell has to offer, how its evolved, and where it needs improvement. I've seen multiple directors come and go, seeing exactly where they succeeded and failed. I am running for Executive Director to continue to apply what has worked over the years, but make changes to what has not, in order to strengthen the best entrepreneurship community UMD has to offer. To me, Shell has always been about its community, bringing fellows and founders together to create something great, and building friendships and relationships that will last far past graduation. I believe I bring the strong leadership experience that builds a community that keeps our space clean, helps build our resources, involvement, and facilitates awesome events.

What (in your opinion) makes you qualified to hold this position?

Since coming to UMD, I have tried to get involved with as many entrepreneurship programs the university has to offer, and have built entrepreneurship organization relationships across campus. With Solr Tech, I've been through Terp Startup, the summer incubator program at the Dingman Center, boothed at 2 Shell expo events, participated in the Do Good Challenge, and participated in the Pitch Dingman Competition this past year, placing 2nd place. I've also volunteered at various entrepreneurship events on campus. With all this help and the help from Shell peers, I was able to bring my idea into a fully-fledged marketable product. I know what it takes to work with many different groups with different mindsets within an organization towards a central goal. I hope I am chosen to help make Shell better for everyone during my remaining year, and beyond.

If you have any questions or want to get to know me better, shoot me a text. (703) 409-5900

Candidate:Naveen Raman

Running for:Director of Communications

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I'm Naveen Raman, and I'm a Statistics and Computer Science major at the University of Maryland. I joined Startup Shell last Spring because I loved hanging out at Startup Shell, talking to the members, and learning about all the interesting projects and talks that occur at Startup Shell. I love writing and solving puzzles, and I love incorporating random bits of pop culture and geography along with what I learn in Computer Science class to write

In addition to puzzles, I love to do research and learn new things. I enjoy working at the intersection between Computer Science and other disciplines, such as biology, linguistics and sociology. I like using data science and machine learning techniques to optimize cancer categorization, online discourse and kidney exchanges (for example).

Why do you want to be in this position?

Startup shell has a vibrant community, including current members, potential recruits and former alumni. Informing these people about what's happening at Startup Shell is essential to building and maintaining the Startup Shell community.

Startup shell currently recruits primarily from people in STEM fields, but this shouldn't be our limit. As director of communication, I would use mailing lists from non-STEM activities to try and get people from a variety of backgrounds. I would also continue to actively use Twitter/Facebook/Instagram pages, and post pictures of cool projects and cool events that are happening at Startup Shell (like the different shell talks).

For people currently in startup shell, I would proactively use the facebook group + messaging to inform them of any upcoming events. I would also do a monthly email newsletter to set up a schedule for upcoming events, both events hosted by shell, and events not run by shell, but run by shell members or related to shell.

What (in your opinion) makes you qualified to hold this position?

I think my qualifications comes from past experience and willingness to work. I have had past experience helping to lead puzzle tournaments, and from that I learned how to advertise information about the hunt, and organize deadlines. I also helped with organizing Bitcamp last year, and for that, I again had to manage deadlines and schedules. For Bitcamp, I was part of the technology team and I dealt with designing parts of the website; those web skills are also transferable for using our website to communicate with the community.

Candidate:Shaurya Srivastava

Running for:Director of Operations

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hello everyone! My name is Shaurya Srivastava and I am a rising sophomore at the University of Maryland College Park. I am studying to get a degree in Computer Science. I joined Startup Shell with the Xi batch (Spring 2019) as a fellow with the focus of software development. I am the eldest child and a brother in my family of four. I am originally from Silicon Valley, which is dominant in innovation and entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship has always inspired me from a young age. Growing up in Silicon Valley, I have seen many startups become huge and always wanted to create my own. However, realizing that I have many ideas but no clue about what it takes to build a startup, I was motivated to join Startup Shell. I hope to continuously learn and grow through my experiences in Startup Shell.

Some fun facts about me:
-I love to travel a lot. Recently, I just went to the beautiful country of Switzerland. I have been to almost 15 countries and almost every state in the US.
-I enjoy going outdoors in nature. I am an Eagle Scout. In Boy Scouts, which took me to many national parks and campsites, I experienced many outdoor activities such as backpacking, climbing, and kayaking.
-I am a third degree black belt holder in Taekwondo.
-I enjoy solving puzzles such as Rubik’s Cubes and Sudokus. I can solve any cube from the 3x3x3 to the 7x7x7 and can also solve the dodecahedron megaminx.
-I like to workout at the gym and play badminton.

Why do you want to be in this position?

I am running for the Executive Director role because I want to be more involved in Startup Shell and lead this amazing organization into its next phase. Startup Shell is an amazing organization where people can execute their ideas into a business or contribute and help launch other people’s startup ideas. It’s an excellent place for people to learn new things, meet new people, and have fun. Currently, I am involved in Startup Shell’s software track, where we are planning how to transition the managing of Startup Shell data into the Salesforce platform. Startup Shell has also allowed me already to connect to new people and understand what it takes to launch a startup successfully. However, I think that Startup Shell can be further improved as an organization for its members. And I feel that as an executive director, I can do a lot more to contribute to the growth and success of the founders, fellows, and this organization.

What (in your opinion) makes you qualified to hold this position?

I believe I am qualified for this role because I have had solid experiences of leadership and resilience through challenges. Martial Arts is one of those experiences. I faced many challenges during my time in Taekwondo: unable to break the board, run 3 miles within 30 minutes, and break a slab of concrete; yet, I persevered through the hurdles and was able to succeed. Martial Arts developed my nature of always remaining resilient through whatever challenges are thrown my way. Another experience of mine was being in Boy Scouts. I am an Eagle Scout. During the time in my troop, I held the roles of Patrol Leader and Senior Patrol Leader (SPL). I also coordinated many outings for my troop to go on, including a week-long outing to Death Valley. As SPL, I had to deal with the issue of rearranging patrols to make both the scouts and adults happy with new arrangements. I also had to deal with the next set of older scouts being rebellious to whatever decisions I made for the troop. My leadership positions in Boy Scouts taught me how to lead groups, deal with conflicts, and manage people. As a leader, I learned how to make smart risk decisions without being affected by the few who always disagree with the decision made. I learned how to delegate tasks to make things run more efficiently.

Candidate:Jacob Garnett

Running for:Director of Community

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hi, my name is Jacob. I am a Material Science and Engineering Major going into my Junior Year. I joined Startup Shell in the Nu Batch(Fall ’18) as a fellow with a focus in CAD & Physical Product Development. I joined Shell because I had always been interested in entrepreneurship and working with Alex Onufrak to create designs for Solr Tech showed me that I really enjoyed working in the startup environment, so I wanted to pursue it more and applied to Shell.

Outside of classes and Shell I am involved in Terrapin Works, as the design team coordinator and as a senior lab manager, and in The Bio-Inspired Advanced Manufacturing Lab leading a team of Highschool Researcher for the summer. Also, I am in the process of turning my part-time design gigs into a full-fledged consulting, 3D design, 3D printing, and prototyping firm. I spend a lot of my free time making cool stuff to 3D print so if you see me in Shell you should definitely ask what I have with me because there is a 100% chance that I will have something with me.

Why do you want to be in this position?

I want to be a director because during the year I’ve been in Shell I have seen stuff that I thought could be done better. My three primary focuses for changes and improvement as director of community would be to find an alternative to the Facebook group for shell events so that people don’t need to be on/checking Facebook, to further develop the track program started with the Xi Batch(Spring ’19), and to restart the recording of Shell Talks and Shell Technical Workshops for the Startup Shell YouTube Channel as they are an invaluable resource which should be maintained for all those who come after us.

Another thing that I hope to work with the other directors on is developing a system/database for all Shell members and alumni that is easy for everyone to use so people will be able to find connections through the Shell network.

What (in your opinion) makes you qualified to hold this position?

I think I am qualified for the position of director of community because I have been in leadership positions before, such as my Eagle Scout Project and Design Team Coordinator at Terrapin Works, and I am passionate about wanting to make organizations I am part of, like Startup Shell, better for everyone who comes after me.

Startup Shell will be holding elections for Director positions for the 2019-2020 school year. All current members are eligible to run. If you are interested in running please apply here. If you have any questions about the process or the available positions please contact Harrison Linowes at harrison@startupshell.org.

Congratulations to our new director team!

All candidates ran unopposed.

Your new team is as follows:

Matt Fan
Executive Director

Nathalyn Nunoo
Director of Events

Ben Khakshoor
Director of Community

Nick Bentley
Director of Resources

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