Initiative Leaders & Partners

The Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative is housed in the Lam Family College of Business, but relies upon the interdisciplinary expertise and generosity of faculty partners from across the University. We are always looking to connect with faculty and community members who are dedicated to enabling the entrepreneurial dreams of our student body. 

Initiative Leadership

Mark Ciotola, J.D., MBA

Director of Entrepreneurship Legal Resources for the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative.

Mark holds a Juris Doctor from the University of New Hampshire School of Law and has over 20 years of experience working in technology- and law-related roles in the SF Bay Area and Australia. He is a member of the Minnesota Bar Association and the SFSU Intellectual Property Task Policy Force. He is the founder of Course.Cafe and the award-wining start-up Sustainspace. He has reviewed several hundred product concepts and start-up endeavors, ranging from software, satellites and biotechnology to caregiver services, business innovations and nonprofits. He has taught law-related courses since 2001, particularly in the area of intellectual property.

Nara Jeong, Ph.D.

Nara leads the pitch competition programming within the University. She is an associate professor in the Management Department in the Lam Family College of Business at San Francisco State University. Her primary research focuses on how strategic leadership and corporate governance structure influence firm engagement in corporate social responsibility. She received her Ph.D. in management from Washington State University.

Sybil Yang Ph.D.

Faculty Director of Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative

Sybil has nearly two decades of operational, investment and advisory experience across a multitude of industries including information technology, food and beverage, restaurants, and consumer products.  

Prior to her role at SFSU, Sybil had a career in econometric pricing and revenue management where her clients included Disneyland, First Watch Restaurants, Sbarro, and Panera Bread; venture capital at SkipStone Ventures; and investment banking at Salomon Smith Barney’s online media and telecommunications group.

Sybil received her BS in Business Administration from the University of California at Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, and her MMH, MBA, and Ph.D. from Cornell University. 

Faculty Partners

Amy Dorie, Ph.D.

Associate Professor & Program Director of  Apparel Design and Merchandising at San Francisco State University

Amy Dorie holds a PhD in Apparel Merchandising and Design with a minor in Statistics from Iowa State University, a BSc in Apparel Design & Merchandising, and a MA degree in Family and Consumer Sciences from San Francisco State University. Her research focuses on generational fashion and activist apparel design, and has interests in the apparel purchases of the "Encore" generation. Her design work has been exhibited nationally in juried exhibitions of the International Textile & Apparel Association and California Association of Family & Consumer Sciences.

Amy's work with the I&E initiative has resulted in the incubation of two IncuGator concepts:

  • GreenCollar (2023)
  • Adrenalyn (2020-2021)

Isabel Song, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Computer Science

Isabel Hyo Jung Song has around 20 years of experience in consumer electronics industry. She has received her Ph.D. in Computer Science from KAIST (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology), and completed postdoctoral research at University of California at San Diego.

Isabel worked at Samsung Electronics, Korea, where she led the company's development of Java mobile technology (J2ME, Java 2 Micro Edition). Her work was embedded for all Samsung Java phones, which enabled users to enjoy Java games. In 2011, she became the first female engineering VP in Samsung Mobile. Since then she has led the product development of Samsung Internet browser, used for all Samsung mobile phones, Gear VR, Samsung TVs and Samsung smart refrigerators.

Isabel is now an assistant professor of computer science at SFSU. She has a keen interest in transforming her consumer electronics experience into agile experiences for young entrepreneurs in start-ups. Her mentoring preferences are with digital health, mobile, IoT, and wireless companies involved in big data analytics.

Ilmi Yoon Ph.D.

Professor, Computer Science

Ilmi is a Professor of Computer Science at San Francisco State University (SFSU). She is an expert in Computer Science Education, Machine Learning applications, particularly in Human-in-the-Loop ML applications. 

She has developed “DeBugger” Multiplayer Online Game for Educating Computer Science since 2011 and started to focus on various computational education research. She is co-PI of NSF INCLUES, NSF Broadening Participation in Computing (Socially Responsible Computing), CS4ALL, AI-STAARS (S STEM) and a PI of CAWIT (Center for Advancing Women in IT) PINC (Promoting Inclusivity in Computing) project. She is also a PI of Ability Central's grant on the Video Accessibility for Blind and Low Vision users since 2020 and Center of Inclusive Computing funded by NorthEastern CIC.

Ilmi's work with the I&E initiative has resulted in the incubation of two IncuGator concepts: