Got a great idea and don’t know where to begin?

Thrill Mill works with ENTREPRENEURS from all industries, offering funding, a depth of hands-on programming, MENTORSHIP, INVESTORS, growth-focused partnerships and access to a first-class collaborative workspace.

 

START YOUR JOURNEY HERE



 
 
 



 

THRIVAL FESTIVAL


 
 
 




 

ENTREPRENEURS


 
 
 




 

MENTORS


 
 
 


 
 
 


PORTFOLIO COMPANIES



 
 
 



 


OUR TEAM



 
 
 
 

Bobby Zappala

CEO

Bobby is currently the CEO and President of Thrill Mill, Inc., a new startup incubator in Pittsburgh, PA that provides annual free office space, mentorship, programming and investor relationships to a group of companies across all industries that are selected through a competitive business plan competition. Bobby co-founded the organization in November of 2012, at which time he left his position as a corporate attorney at Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC, a national law firm headquartered in Pittsburgh to assume the role of CEO and President of the new non-profit entity.He is a member of the PowerUp Pittsburgh Innovation Council, a Associate Delegate of the World Economic Forum and on the East Liberty Chamber of Commerce.

Bobby was born and raised in Pittsburgh. He left to attend Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, where he majored in Public Policy Studies and Economics. Bobby worked in Washington, D.C. for then-Senator Joe Biden in his legislative office before returning to Pittsburgh to pursue his law degree at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

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Bobby Zappala

Bobby Zappala

CEO

Kenneth Hendrata

COO

As COO of Thrill Mill, Kenneth handles Thrill Mill’s Information Technology, accounting and operational needs, which include event management, the mentorship program, and internship management. Kenneth brings 6 years of experience in entrepreneurial ventures. Kenneth co-founded MapMedi and founded a game studio, leading a team of 15 individuals. Kenneth is knowledgeable in software and game development, with over 10 years of software engineering experience. Self motivated, resilient, and analytical MBA with a can-do attitude and abilities to solve problems and create structure out of ambiguous situations, he has worked across strategy, marketing, sales, human resources, information technology, and operations.

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Kenneth Hendrata

Kenneth Hendrata

COO

Dan Law

VP of Business Development

Dan Law is the Vice President of Business Development at Thrill Mill, Inc. He is responsible for resource development, fundraising, strategic planning, and growing the Thrival Innovation + Music Festival.

Dan joined Thrill Mill after serving as a Program Officer at the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh, where he managed and coordinated a programming portfolio that promoted a deeper understanding of key contemporary international issues - and why they matter - in order to increase Pittsburgh's competency and competitiveness in a 21st global environment. He was also the producer and co-writer of the Pittsburgh Global Press Conference, the Council's weekly radio program on KQV All News AM 1410. An experienced leader within Pittsburgh's nonprofit and NGO community, he was a graduate fellow for the Heinz Endowments (2011) and President of the New Pittsburgh Collaborative (2012-2014). Dan is the current Curator of the Global Shapers Pittsburgh Hub, an initiative of the World Economic Forum and a partnering organization for both Food Revolution Pittsburgh and the Thrival Innovation + Music Festival.

Dan grew up in Northeast Ohio. He has an MPIA from the University of Pittsburgh's Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA) and a B.A. from Washington and Jefferson College. He is a graduate of Leadership Pittsburgh's Leadership Development Initiative XXI.

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Dan Law

Dan Law

VP of Business Development

Luke Skurman

Chairman of the Board

Luke Skurman is the CEO and Founder of <a title="Link to www.niche.com" href="http://www.niche.com">Niche</a>. Niche provides in-depth reviews and analysis on colleges and K-12 schools. Luke originally started the business as <a title="Link to www.collegeprowler.com" href="http://www.collegeprowler.com">College Prowler</a> and has since grown it into one of the largest content start-ups in the United States. Luke grew up in San Francisco, he came to Pittsburgh in 1998 (and where he currently resides) to attend <a title="Link to www.cmu.edu" href="http://www.cmu.edu">Carnegie Mellon University</a>, where he received his bachelors and masters degrees. Luke is the youngest trustee in the history of Carnegie Mellon, he sits on the finance and research technology & commercialization committees. Luke is a Co-Founder and Chairman of <a title="Link to www.thrillmill.com" href="http://www.thrillmill.com">Thrill Mill</a>, a non-profit innovation accelerator, it has three parts – business plan competition, incubator and music festival. Luke is the founding curator of the <a title="Link to www.globalshapers.org" href="http://www.globalshapers.org">Global Shapers Pittsburgh Hub</a>, an initiative of the World Economic Forum. Luke is also a board member of the <a title="Link to www.sproutfund.com" href="http://www.sproutfund.org">Sprout Fund</a>. Luke has won national awards related to entrepreneurship from Business Week, Fast Company, and Inc. Magazine.

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Luke Skurman

Luke Skurman

Chairman of the Board

Mark Broadhurst

Board Member

Mark Broadhurst is the Vice President of Corporate Dining & Retail Development for Eat’n Park Hospitality Group. Mark joined the company in 2004 to design, develop and open a new restaurant concept for the company called Six Penn Kitchen. Since that time Mark has overseen all new restaurant development for Eat'n Park, including The Porch at Schenley, and Hello Bistro and oversees the expected growth of these new concept restaurants.

Mark is active in the Pittsburgh community and currently sits on the boards of the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, that aims to improve the vitality of Downtown Pittsburgh; Point Park University; and is the Chair of the Board of the Sprout Fund, a nonprofit organization supporting innovative ideas and grassroots community projects that are catalyzing change in Pittsburgh. Mark graduated from the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, attended culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, France and brewing school at the Siebel Institute in Chicago, Illinois.

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Mark Broadhurst

Mark Broadhurst

Board Member

Kevin Heher

Board Member

Kevin is currently President of Liberty Insurance Agency, the 5th largest independent agent and brokerage firm in the Pittsburgh region according to the Pittsburgh Business Times. On a daily basis he focuses on client development, management, and agency operations. He is a current board member for the National Kidney Foundation of the Alleghenies, an avid fly fisherman, and a member of Longue Vue and Nevillewood Golf Clubs. Kevin graduated from Villanova University in 2004 and currently resides in the Lawrenceville section of Pittsburgh. He is also a founder of Thrill Mill.

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Kevin Heher

Kevin Heher

Board Member

Justine Kasznica

Board Member

Justine M. Kasznica is a Partner at <a title="Schnader - Justine Kasznica Bio" href="http://www.schnader.com/professionals/xprProfessionalDetailsSchnader.aspx?xpST=ProfessionalDetail&amp;professional=309&amp;op=fullbio">Schnader Harrison Segal &amp; Lewis LLP</a>, focusing her practice on supporting technology and high growth potential start-ups, universities and research institutions seeking to commercialize new technologies, later stage companies developing innovative products and services, as well as investors. Prior to joining Schnader, Ms. Kasznica served as Executive Director of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law Innovation Practice Institute. She continues to teach as an Adjunct Professor at Pitt Law.

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Justine Kasznica

Justine Kasznica

Board Member

Tom Link

Board Member

Tom is the Director of the Center of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh, which invests in several programs including Pittsburgh Life Science Accelerator, the Venture In and Venture Out Program and Urban Innovation 21; these programs have helped over 500 companies. In addition Tom directs the URA's commercial real estate investments, which  has invested over $66 million while leveraging over $360 million in over 300 commercial and business developments, leading to the creation of over 5,000 jobs. Mr. Link represents the URA on the Pittsburgh Urban Initiatives, LLC New Market Tax Credit Governing Board, the Northside Community Development Fund’s Loan Review Committee, the Urban Innovation 21 Board of Directors and the Steel Valley Enterprise Zone’s Board of Directors.

Tom has a MBA degree from the University of Pittsburgh and a Master of Science in Public Policy and Management (MSPPM) degree from Carnegie Mellon,  and is certified by the Urban Land Institute in Real Estate Development Finance.

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Tom Link

Tom Link

Board Member

Serge Smailbegovic

Board Member

Serge Smailbegovic is a Vice President, Global Procurement at BNY Mellon where he leads a team of category managers focused on strategic, global sourcing in a variety of categories. Serge has close to ten years of wide-ranging business experience and has led negotiations on over forty multi-million dollar deals with companies headquartered in the United States and abroad. Born in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serge has lived extensively in Croatia and Germany. He is fluent in three languages and holds a BA from St. Vincent College. Serge was one of Pittsburgh’s 40 under 40 winners in 2012.

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Serge Smailbegovic

Serge Smailbegovic

Board Member

 
 


 


SUPPORTERS AND SPONSORS



 
                    
 

 

 
 
RK Mellon          URA          C-leveled          University of Pittsburgh Innovation Institute

 
 
 


 


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