Let’s Innovate: Northside Innovation’s Weekly Speaker Roundup

In Brooklyn, Northside Festival is synonymous with the beginning of summer. This past week, summer arrived in Brooklyn with full force, reminding us that Northside Festival is just around the corner! This week, we’re back with another roundup of who you can see at this June’s Northside Festival’s innovation conference, giving you a look at Beth Comstock, David Gerlach, and Jolak Jobanputra.


Beth Comstock, GE 

Beth Comstock is a change maker. Her mission is to understand what’s next, navigate change, and help people and organizations do the same.  By cultivating a habit of seeking out new ideas, people and places, she built a career path from storyteller to chief marketer to GE Vice Chair.

In nearly three decades at GE, she led efforts to accelerate new growth and innovation, initiated GE’s digital and clean-energy transformation, developed new businesses and enhanced GE’s brand value and inventive culture. As President of Integrated Media at NBC Universal, Beth oversaw ad revenue and the company’s digital efforts, including the early development of hulu.com.

Beth is a director at Nike, trustee of The National Geographic Society and former board president of the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian National Design MuseumHer first book, Imagine it Forward, is about summoning courage and creativity in the face of change.

David Gerlach, A+E

David Gerlach recently joined A+E Networks as Senior Director of Biography Digital, continuing the relaunch of this iconic brand. Previously he founded the video and podcast company, Quoted Studios. Along with producing the award-winning Blank on Blank series with PBS, the studio created work for clients including Microsoft, Spotify, Razorfish, Esquire, and Jazz at Lincoln Center. Before taking the startup leap, he spent a decade at the top of national media, as a lead producer for Diane Sawyer, George Stephanopoulos (ABC News/Good Morning America), and Rachel Maddow (MSNBC). He is an award-winning storyteller who has created content across platforms (print, web, TV, podcast, public radio, digital, social).

Jalak Jobanputra, Future/Perfect Ventures

Jalak Jobanputra is Founding Partner of Future\Perfect Ventures, an early stage venture capital fund in NYC focused on next generation technology such as blockchain and machine learning. FPV’s portfolio includes Abra, Open Garden, Blockstream, Bitpesa, FuseMachines, Everledger and Blockchain. Jalak was awarded Institutional Investor’s Top Fintech Dealmakers in 2017 and 2016. In 2017, she was cited as a “Top 5 Investor Powering the Blockchain Boom” and CB Insights noted FPV as one of the top VC funds in blockchain “before it was cool.” Since founding the firm, she has spoken on blockchain technology at many global conferences, including the Milken Global Institute, Dutch Development Bank/FMO annual meeting, and The Economist Buttonwood Gathering.

Get your ticket to Northside Festival here.


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