The Garage Team
Melissa is a startup veteran and entrepreneur with a decade of experience at consumer technologies companies in Silicon Valley. She has worked in-house at Google, YouTube, Polyvore (acquired by Yahoo), and Luvocracy (acquired by WalMart Labs). Most recently, she built her own influencer marketing agency called Storylark. Melissa received her BA in computer science from Dartmouth College in 2003.
Billy began his career in his family business—a diversified forest products and steel manufacturer. He launched his first startup, M-Tec Corporation, in 2003, and a second one, Reach360, in 2007 after leading the successful sale of his family business. Billy works with Design For America, advises numerous startups and was an adjunct professor at Northwestern prior to starting at The Garage. Billy received his BA in history and political science from Northwestern in 1998 and his MBA in finance and strategy from Indiana University in 2003.
Assistant Director of Operations & Finance
Elisa Mitchell is an accomplished attorney and CPA with 18 years of experience in the financial securities industry, bringing new investment products to market. As a team member at Allstate, Van Kampen, Morgan Stanley, and Invesco, Elisa helped business leaders navigate a complex competitive landscape and a challenging regulatory framework. She brings strong organizational skills, attention to detail and a can-do attitude to every project. She is thrilled to be the Assistant Director of Operations and Finance at The Garage and enjoys helping each student start a unique entrepreneurial journey.
Senior IT Manager
Ben Williams is a lifelong technology enthusiast, AV systems whiz, and US Army veteran. While deployed to Balad Air Base, Ben assisted as security escort for the ASV fielding and recovery services. During his career, Ben has provided AV/IT services at sites such as The Pentagon, Securities and Exchange Commission, Scott and Nellis Air Force Base, Chevron Headquarters, and ExxonMobil’s Houston campus.
Elisabeth is a marketing pro with experience in the public and educational sectors, with a special interest in international relations and social entrepreneurship. She joins The Garage with a passion for work in higher education and a love of all things student centered. Elisabeth received her BA in anthropology and her MPA from Northern Illinois University.
Patrick King has spent his career working in higher education at Loyola University, Tufts University and Northwestern. In addition to his work in university administration, he has extensive experience as an educator and a practitioner of theatre. He has worked as a literary manager and actor in Chicago and as a graduate instructor and writing/public speaking tutor at Tufts in Boston. He holds a BS from Northwestern, an MA from Tufts, and is currently writing his dissertation in pursuit of a PhD in Theatre and Performance Studies at Tufts.
Student Aids and Interns
Junior, Cognitive Science & Computer Science
Favorite Thing About The Garage: The technology: 3D Printers and Oculus Rifts and drones, oh my!
Senior, Computer Science
Favorite Thing About The Garage: The fact that almost every wall is a dry-erase board… for those spontaneous, constantly evolving ideas.
Senior, Electrical Engineering
San Jose, CA
Favorite Thing About The Garage: so many people to have idea-driven conversations with.
Junior, Biomedical Engineering
Sugar Land, TX
Favorite Thing About The Garage: Access to technology, like the 3D printer.
Junior, Computer Science
Iowa City, Iowa
Favorite Thing About The Garage: Northwestern's smartest students come here to build some impressive ideas.
Senior, Computer Science and Theater
Favorite Thing About The Garage: I love how you can come in here at any given hour and people are inventing things.
Senior, Mechanical Engineering
Favorite Thing About The Garage: The fast-paced environment filled with crazy ideas and innovative people!
Junior, Computer Science & Kellogg CPU in Managerial Analytics
North Brunswick, NJ
Favorite Thing About The Garage: It's a place where ideas come to life!
Sophomore, Communication Studies and Economics Major
Favorite Thing about the Garage: Amazing people, cool high-tech equipment, and startups galore!
Sophomore, Computer Science
Favorite thing about The Garage: The people and the laid back but work hard environment!