Our Team

The Garage Staff

Executive Director

Mike Raab

Office Hours

Mike is responsible for overseeing key programs and initiatives, developing relationships with the Northwestern and Chicago entrepreneurial communities, and building new communities around the world to support Northwestern student founders. Prior to The Garage, Mike was an investor at a venture capital firm founded by Northwestern alumni, where he provided support and mentorship. He began his career serving in a multitude of strategy-focused roles at one of the largest media companies in Los Angeles. Mike is a proud “double” Northwestern alum, having graduated with a BS in Communication focused on TV & Film and MBA from the Kellogg School of Management.

Image of Elisa Mitchell

Assistant Director of Operations & Finance

Elisa Mitchell

Elisa ensures smooth operations and finances to support The Garage’s programs, spaces, and community. She 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.

Technology Manager

Jake Juracka

Jake is in charge of maintaining all technology within The Garage and The Makerspace. Jake found his passion for 3D Printing and Makerspace operations while working at DePaul University’s Idea Realization Lab. After achieving his BS in Video Game Development, Jake put his expertise towards industry, working as Lead Quality Inspector for Fast Radius, a cloud manufacturing company pushing the limits of 3D printing for industrial applications. Excited to be returning to an education role, Jake works to keep all the tools and equipment in The Garage running smoothly, and looks forward to helping students and prospective entrepreneurs realize their creative visions.

Marketing & Community Manager

Carly Kramer

Carly oversees the daily execution of The Garage’s Integrated Marketing & Communications strategy across digital and owned channels. Realizing her passion for creative communication, she attended Arizona State University where she graduated with a BS in Marketing and a BA in Business Law. During that time, Carly gained vast experience at the Interplanetary Initiative – where she aimed to drive student, faculty, and corporate awareness of the university’s advancement into the realm of space exploration. She subsequently excelled in Social Media Management, Public Relations and Community Management roles. She is delighted to join the team at The Garage in reaching aspiring entrepreneurs at Northwestern!

VentureCat Project Administrator

OPEN – Apply Here

VentureCat is Northwestern’s annual student startup competition. The event culminates with a pitch competition in which over $100,000 in non-dilutive prize money is distributed to student ventures. VentureCat is a collaborative event at Northwestern, including efforts through The Farley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, The Kellogg School of Management, the Donald Pritzker Entrepreneurship Law Center, and The Garage.The Program Administrator Sr. oversees VentureCat and provides direction and thought leadership to develop strategic goals and objectives for the program. The Program Administrator also defines associated metrics to measure results and reviews, creates and nurtures internal and external alliances, collaborations and partnerships. 

Administrative Assistant

OPEN – Apply Here

The Administrative Assistant provides a variety of clerical & administrative support for The Garage, which may include drafting & typing letters, reports, charts, graphs, etc. using word processing, spreadsheet, database, and presentation software; screening calls & visitors; preparing agendas & making arrangements including travel for meetings & special events; managing supervisor’s &/or department calendar.

Founders in Residence

Ana Cornell

Founder in Residence

Office Hours

Ana is the CEO and Co-Founder of Acorn Genetics, the first at-home DNA testing company. At Northwestern, she studied biomedical engineering, and has experience building user interfaces for apps, nanotech and hardware, and a deep understanding of genetics and xgenetic technology. While at Acorn, she has raised $70,000, recruited and currently manages 15 undergrads, graduates, and full time employees, and participated in a number of programs including Jumpstart, the national NSF I-Corps, and Propel.

Raman Malik

Founder in Residence

Office Hours

Raman is a graduate student at the Kellogg School of Management and the McCormick School of Engineering. He is currently the CEO and co-founder of Rhetoric – a presentation feedback platform.  Prior to Northwestern, Raman spent six years in data science, the majority on the growth team at Lyft as a Data Science Manager. He is passionate about building products to help founders grow and advance their careers.

Casey Grage

Founder in Residence

Office Hours

With her background in neuroscience and software, Casey Grage founded Hubly Surgical. Through NUvention Medical and the Garage, Grage worked with neurosurgeons at Northwestern Hospital to co-invent, design, prototype, build, and patent their 510(k)-pending advanced intracranial Hubly Drill with autostop for safely drilling holes through the skull without damaging underlying tissue. In five years of being founder/CEO, Casey Grage has won top prizes at over 10 international pitch competitions winning over $300,000 in non-dilutive awards, secured several hospital partners, filed three patents (all of which she is a listed inventor), hired a full-time team, and raised $2M investment to bring the Hubly Drill from ideation to launch.

Mateo Price

Founder in Residence

Office Hours

Mateo studied Psychology and Economics at NU and is passionate about brands, social media, and building digital communities. He’s the founder of Authentic Media Ascension (AMA), which is a creator growth studio helping brands & creators better engage their audiences through data. The business started with a cold email to his favorite YouTuber and has since grown to creating $5M in incremental revenue for their partners.

Medill / Garage Fellow

Alexis Grant

Medill / Garage Fellow

Alexis Grant has over a decade of experience in helping entrepreneurs grow and sell their businesses, as well as founding her own ventures such as blog-management company Socialexis, an online community for writers called The Write Life, and media company They Got Acquired. She earned her Bachelor’s in Liberal Arts from Colby College and her Master’s in Journalism from Northwestern University. 

Student Staff

Elizabeth Savin ’25

Student Aide

Studying Manufacturing and Design Engineering

Hometown: Wilmette, IL

“The community of students is my favorite part of The Garage. Everyone is so supportive and excited to help each other.”

Adrian Ayala-Perez ’26

Student Aide

Studying Social Policy and Data Science

Hometown: Miramar, FL

“I love how The Garage is a space where you can fail. Currently, there is this societal pressure to not face failure because you have to be perfect at everything. At The Garage, you are able to make mistakes and build grit, expand your knowledge, and grow your understanding of complex entrepreneurial problems.”

Ethan Bledsoe ’26

Student Aide

Studying Mathematical Methods in the Social Sciences 

Hometown: West Lafayette, IN

“My favorite part about The Garage is the vibrant community. Everyone here is so welcoming and passionate!”


Please contact us at thegarage@northwestern.edu