Hyder Arain

Background - Hi I'm Hyder. I'm from the southwest suburbs of Chicago where I grew up. My undergraduate degree is in mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. I've worked in a few different engineering, product, and project management roles. I am now the manager of Global Business Intelligence at Progress Rail, a division of Caterpillar that manufactures locomotives and rail infrastructure. I launched here at Booth in Fall 2020.

Ask Me About - Industrial automation, data science/engineering, AI/ML, manufacturing, innovating at a big company, race cars, mountain biking

Involvement in Tech - While in engineering school some friends and I founded a company called STEMfunder, a platform for empowering student STEM projects through crowdfunding and crowdsourcing. I currently lead a team of data engineers and data scientists building ML products at Progress Rail.

Fun Fact - In my spare time I'm a high-performance driving instructor and enjoy teaching people how to drive fast.

Favorite recent books or podcast - AIQ by Nick Polson, Face Value by Alexander Todorov, Chicago Capital, The a16z podcast

Gouthami Kamalnath

Background – Hey, I'm Gouthami! I am originally from Dubai, UAE but moved to the US a couple of years back for school. I completed an undergraduate degree in Computer Science from Purdue University, Indiana, and then joined Microsoft as a software engineer in the M365 group. I am now a Senior software engineer in Substrate, Microsoft's data store that powers intelligent scenarios in M365 apps. I launched at Booth in Spring 2022.

Ask Me About – software engineering, Azure stack, data science, working in tech, Xbox gaming, Singing (techniques or otherwise), and Star Wars.

Involvement in tech – I have been in the tech industry since my undergrad so I am pretty much very involved in tech. Why I joined tech? Well, I really enjoy thinking through and solving complex problems, and tech (like any other space) has an abundance of them. The fact the solutions I help come up with impacts several hundreds (maybe millions?) of people is an added benefit.

Fun Fact – I love singing and have been taking professional voice lessons for a while.

Favorite recent books or podcast – Nonfiction: When breath becomes air by Dr.Paul Kalanithi, fiction: anything by Bernard Cornwell (his world-building in Warlord Chronicles is sublime!).

Cory Jbara

Background - Hello! My name is Cory. Originally from the suburbs of Detroit, I have lived in Chicago for 6 years. I graduated in 2017 from the University of Notre Dame, with a degree in Computer Science. Since graduation, I have worked for several different tech companies of various sizes, including Here Technologies, ParkWhiz (now Flash Parking), and FanFood. My current role is at Scoop, a small startup specializing in hybrid work coordination, helping people be more connected in the hybrid work environment. I launched in Spring 2020. In my free time, I'm always trying to find a new hobby. Previous hobbies have included sailing, grilling, video games, plants, stand up comedy, and most recently pub trivia around the city.

Ask Me About - Tech startups, CBF, Work / Life / School balance, networking in the Midway club

Involvement in Tech - I have always been passionate about building technology that helps people. Whether it is tech that makes peoples life moderately easier or solving larger problems through technology, I want to be involved. I also love helping others break into the technology industry, since the world is trending towards tech encompassing all industries.

Favorite recent books or podcast - Atomic Habits by James Clear