PAA Presents: The Entrepreneurial Creator- Mindsets and Skillsets

Get inspiration and information from five Pitt alumni as they share their entrepreneurial insight during a live online panel discussion. Join Dr. Sharon Alvarez, the Thomas W. Olofson Chair in Entrepreneurial Studies at the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business, as she leads a conversation with five remarkable alumni business leaders.

Date: Thursday, November 19, 2020
Time: 7:00 P.M. EST
Location: Zoom
Moderator: Sharon AlvarezEntrepreneurial Studies at the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business, University of Pittsburgh
Joe Constanty (A&S ’02), Director of International, NIU Technologies
Jess Edelstein (A&S ‘11), Shark Tank alum and Forbes 30 under 30: Retail and Commerce honoree
Michael Halperin (KGSB ’98), Founder, FreeBridge
Jeb Hurley (KGSB ’83), Co-Founder & CEO, Xmetryx
Gilson Torii (KGSB ’16), Co-Founder & Operations,

More about the Panelists:

Joseph Constanty (A&S ’02)

Joe Constanty has been in China for 20 years. He first went there in the summer of 2000 with the Pitt in China program. He has built a handful of startups, from ed-tech to footwear, most recently servicing as the director of international at NIU Technologies (Nasdaq:NIU), where he is responsible for the company’s overseas expansion to more than 40 countries. NIU is a global leader in smart electric urban mobility vehicles. Joe is passionate about shaping the development of cities around the world, and mobility is a key component to that future.

Jess Edelstein (A&S ’11)

Jess Edelstein is a wellness entrepreneur and neurodiversity advocate whose focus on the psychological aspects of entrepreneurship is shaping the way new companies will be formed. This Shark Tank alum is focused on helping creators and visionaries work through the startup process. As recognition of her innovation, Jess is a proud member of EY Winning Women class of 2017 and Forbes 30 Under 30 class of 2018.

Michael Halperin (KGSB ’98)

Michael Halperin is a certified EOS (Entrepreneurial Operating System®) implementer who has worked with over 20 entrepreneurial leadership teams to help them get what they want from their businesses. He has founded three companies, led four IT Services practices, and served as CEO of Apogee IT Services. During his three-plus years leading Apogee, the company grew by nearly 300%, developed a best-in-class growth engine, scaled from less than 20 full-time employees to over 70, and was recognized as one of the top 150 managed service providers worldwide.

Jeb S. Hurley PhD (KGSB ’83)

Jeb Hurley is co-founder and CEO of Xmetryx, a startup with a mission to make teams better through behavioral science. Jeb’s career journey in the tech industry began in sales and product management. Over the past 25-plus years, Hurley has held senior leadership roles at Fortune 100 companies as well as startups, including three software companies he co-founded. Jeb is the author of “Team Relationship Management” (2019) and “The One Habit” (2017), along with over 70 articles on team behavior and leadership.

 Gilson Torii (KGSB ’16)

Gilson Torii is a technology industry leader with experience in product, marketing, customer success, professional services, and operations teams in South and North America, Europe, and Asia. He helped build a business-to-business software company that became a Top 20 global provider in its field, supporting its scale-up growth while also acquiring other companies.

Currently, he is an angel investor and co-founder of, an artificial intelligence HR technology company based out of Toronto. Torii serves as a member of the Pitt Alumni Association board of directors.