Lynn Banaszak - Producer and Co-Host
Prior to her appointment as the Executive Director of the Digital Transformation & Innovator Center at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), Lynn was recruited to be the founding Executive Director of the Disruptive Health Technology Institute (DHTI) at CMU. After launching DHTI in 2013, she led the $26M initiative and the investment of more than $5M to 38 new, disruptive technologies that are bringing transformational improvements in the affordability, accessibility, quality and simplicity of health care solutions.
All of Lynn’s work at CMU is focused on leveraging AI and machine learning, robotics and autonomous technologies, manufacturing, and policy development or collaborative processes that are likely to improve quality of life for large populations. Lynn is a national thought leader that through nearly 100 invited talks, has motivated, inspired and led diverse groups of people to understand the importance of collaboration, innovation, community building and civic engagement.
Lynn is the producer and co-host of the nationally-ranked podcast, Innovation Unleashed which engages curious people who love discovering the “what’s next” in technology solutions to help all of us live better lives. To date, she has scripted, produced and co-hosted nearly 60 episodes.
In her role, as Chief Relationship Officer at the Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse (PLSG), she served as an office of the organization and was instrumental in many regional, national and global efforts positioning Southwestern Pennsylvania as a technology leader and an ideal place for business retention and creation. As the Chief Marketing Officer, she was the organization’s spokesperson, expert voice on healthcare technology and life sciences and was a founding Director of the region's first ever life sciences-focused venture fund; the $8.1M Accelerator Fund, LLC. During her time with PLSG, she worked with 400 start-up companies and was on the executive team that made 173 investments for $18.7 million in 76 companies; leveraging nearly $1 billion in additional capital into the region.
Lynn’s innovation efforts have included; raising more than $80M in economic development initiatives over the last decade, being appointed a member of the invited White House Business Council Economic Development Group, being appointed to Pittsburgh Mayor Peduto's Transition Team and serving on County Executive Fitzgerald’s Transition Innovation Team. Lynn was also a sector expert for the Allegheny Conference media relations team during the Global G20 Summit.
Lynn contributes on a number of boards and committees to work collaboratively with a diverse group of partners to create a vision for the future of technology and provide strategic civic leadership and perspective to establish programs, goals, strategies, plans, and policies to create opportunity, belonging, intersectionality and wealth creation for underserved constituencies.
Along with her sisters, Lynn founded The Caileigh Lynn McDowell Foundation in honor of the beautiful life of her 17 year old precious niece Caileigh, who tragically passed away in April 2016 due to catastrophic injuries from undiagnosed Crohn’s Disease. The foundation is working to help young people transform political, social and economic systems and institutions to create a kinder, more equitable and just society for all.