Elyssa is an entertainer and entrepreneur who was watching a little too much “Shark Tank” when she got the self-submit callback that hatched an idea finally bringing her odd combination of Musical Theatre Major and Computer Applications Minor to use.
Elyssa founded Booktress LLC on this idea last year, and was acquired several months later as a Co-Founder of Castmate, Inc. She now manages AUDITION HERO – Castmate’s first product offering. In addition to “entrepreneuing,” Elyssa is an actress/singer who performs on both the stage and screen, and regularly as a concert/cabaret vocalist. She holds a BFA in Drama from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts (CAP21, Playwrights Horizons, The Viewpoints, NYU in Athens) and is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association.
Phil was thrust into the entertainment industry when he booked a commercial for Continental Airlines at 3 weeks old. His passion for acting was further fueled by acting camp, conservatory classes, and a BA in Theater from Muhlenberg College.
As he worked on various stage and film projects in NYC, he discovered a love for connecting people. This led him to develop an interest in learning how technology can be utilized in better connecting offline communities. Philip and Ian started their first company, Your NYC Concierge, to help tech startups recruit new users with offline street teams. This company was then acquired by one of their clients: Gett. His dream is to one day make finding talent as easy as ordering a black car.
Ian has always had a love for being creative, which stems from his drive for playing and writing music. After picking up the guitar at age 13, he played with many bands, recorded albums, and even opened for the once famous "Hanson Brothers".
Looking for another avenue to hone his skills, Ian discovered a passion for marketing and advertising while at Ithaca College. Ian and Phil started a company together called “Your NYC Concierge”. They helped New Yorkers discover new things to experience in NYC through the use of new apps. At the same time, they aided these tech companies in process of recruiting thousands of new users. After several months of doing business with a specific client, Gett, Your NYC Concierge was acquired by them.
Ron Kagan headed customer care and community for Backstage Magazine. He is a marketer and product manager born and raised in Manhattan, a graduate of LaGuardia HS for the Performing Arts, Hunter College and the Florida State University/Asolo MFA conservatory.
He was called the "next Dustin Hoffman" by award-winning Shakespearean actor Roger Rees and was one of "Twelve Superior Actors" hailed by Terry Teachout of the Wall Street Journal for work in the Asolo Rep's production of 12 Angry Men. Ron lives in Harlem with his wife and their pet rabbits.
Kristoffer Tonning is an experienced and accomplished software engineer with over 15 years of experience envisioning and building great and intuitive applications and websites. A team player with passion to keep things simple and easy to use. When not typing away at the keys, engulfed in "The Matrix" he's out playing football, the real kind—not the 'hand-egg' version but what you Yankees call soccer.
Jason is a Creative Director with over 17 years of experience in digital creative for marketing and advertising. He started his career in animation working on programming for Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon. Today he is a Creative Director focused on building products and social media creative for Universal Pictures, ABC, The Weinstein Company and other clients. He has won awards for digital creative with HBO on Flight of the Conchords, AMC's Mad Men Yourself and most recently for Universal Picture's The Purge and the Fast & Furious franchise.
Raymond is a web developer and network administrator born in the Dominican Republic. After graduating high school, Raymond studied Web Development at Bergen Community College. He also studied Computer Technology and Information Security at NJIT. After coding (from scratch) Nasdaq's Stock Ideas Delivery System and CRM as a Stock Analyst and IT Specialist, Ray worked for a large NJ car dealership providing a Ticketing System and HR Management System. Since then, Ray has worked for numerous businesses as a web developer.
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