Brian Karanja is the Office and Ecosystems Manager at Portal Boston. He oversees the operations and logistics of a dynamic co-working space that fosters collaboration and innovation among life science startups. Brian leverages his 11+ years of experience in event production and logistics management to create and execute impactful experiential strategies that showcase the value proposition and vision of Portal Innovations and its members.

He has a proven track record of increasing market reach and conceptualizing event and content strategies for global companies and brands such as Red Bull, Reebok, Converse, Bodega Pirate Radio, and Nike. He’s skilled in coordinating media equipment, project management, and growth strategy. Brian has a Bachelor of Science in Digital Filmmaking and Video Production and is fluent in English and Swahili. Brian is passionate about developing internal and external content strategies, visual storytelling, cross-functional collaboration, and emerging and existing trends. He helped to win Boston Magazine’s Best of Boston 2015 “Dance Party” Award and has been repeatedly tapped to lead high-profile activations, launches, and events.

Tim is an enthusiastic professional stationed at the front desk in Portal’s Chicago offices. He takes pride in providing exceptional assistance to members, and ensuring their needs are met with efficiency and a warm demeanor. He welcomes everyone with a friendly smile while skillfully contributing to the smooth operations at both 1375 Fulton Market and 400 Aberdeen space facilities. He sends out engaging member updates that keep the community informed and engaged. He is excited to be growing and evolving with the Portal Team.

Diana Colocho is a Member Experience Manager at Portal where her main responsibility is to provide members with the best possible support. Diana is committed to helping the team succeed because and collaborate towards a shared goal, where extraordinary things can be achieved. She’s passionate about project management, and enjoys seeing new projects through to the end. Diana enjoys cooking and watching sports in her free time.

Nick is in charge of helping grow the Portal brand on a national level. He joins Portal with more than 10 years’ of experience in marketing and communications within a variety of industries, including financial services, commercial real estate development, and oil & gas, with his most recent role focused on building marketing campaigns at Northern Trust Asset Management. His background consists of public relations, email and web marketing, SEO/SEM, social media, and content development. Nick grew up in Austin, Texas, graduated from The University of Kansas, and still tries to fool himself into thinking Chicago winters aren’t that bad. 

Angie Gill is Portal’s Director of Operations and Member Experience working on the Membership, Operations, and Ecosystem Team. Angie most recently was at Built In where she was a Workplace Operations and Experience Lead where she oversaw a variety of activities from space planning, creating a diverse and inclusive in-person and hybrid workplace, and systematization of processes for Built In’s fast-growing staff. Previously Angie was also a member of the CBRE team which helped to open 1375 W. Fulton and contributed significantly to large events such as Portal’s grand opening.

Angie is working to systematize and grow Portal’s presence in our existing and emerging ecosystems as we begin regularly doing events and other programming in more markets – working closely with Deonta and E.J. Additionally, Angie will be supporting Portal’s internal growth, working to support workplace culture, new processes for our growing team, and generally supporting a growing Portal team during our expansion.

As Director of Operations for our Atlanta expansion, Suna is establishing and leading Portal Innovation’s platform in Atlanta at Science Square Labs. Previously, Suna held clinical R&D roles in pharma, across both early and late stage biologics development. She grew her specialty in pharmacovigilance (safety & efficacy) and immunogenicity assay development at scale—sourcing, developing, and integrating novel diagnostic technologies and robotics platforms—before moving into the early venture space. She has since served as a biomedical science consultant for early-stage startups, ultimately cofounding two VC-backed biotech and digital health startups. In addition to supporting diverse founders, Suna remains an active advocate for youth STEM outreach, having established hands-on afterschool programs in Greater Philadelphia, Washington DC, and a girls’ science mentorship program in Kenema, Sierra Leone. Suna intends to continue supporting and building the pipeline of incredible life science founders and teams capable of bringing life-saving solutions to patients, and scaling innovative biomedical and healthcare ventures that will feed into the economic development in Atlanta and beyond.

Ashley Kim is the Chief of Staff at Portal Innovations. She started her career in New York at a healthcare investment firm where she helped build a drug discovery and development group. She subsequently joined two start-up companies in the gene therapy and genome editing space with a focus on business development, corporate strategy, and alliance management. She hopes to bring her experience to help Portal expand into other regions by focusing on understanding life science ecosystems beyond Chicago and helping to implement the Portal playbook to cities of interest. 

Rose Jones-Boyd is the Executive Assistant to the Founder & CEO.
She is a seasoned professional with over 25 years of experience in professional office executive assistant positions and a track record of strong performance in high-volume, high-pressure environments. She has extensive experience with all administrative tasks including scheduling and correspondence.
As Executive Assistant, Rose ensures the smooth operation of the office. Having held several positions in the University and business fields, Rose can tailor her skills to meet the needs of colleagues and clients. Before joining Portal, Rose worked 13 1/2 years as an Executive Assistant at the University of Chicago.

Kevin is working to help create scalable systems and practices that can be implemented and standardized across all Portal locations as we expand to Boston and Atlanta. His main goal is to design and/or implement tools that can help foster community and collaboration in co-working environments.

Additionally, Kevin works on all content capture, design, editing, and audio production for Lab Rats to Unicorns (a podcast created by John Flavin).

E.J. oversees Portal’s membership experience, administration, and ecosystem development work. E.J. is a leading global expert in entrepreneurship having spent his career growing people, creating companies, and understanding the ecosystems that drive entrepreneurial success. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and many other leading global outlets. Previously, E.J. contributed to entrepreneurial growth through the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Chicago. Additionally, E.J. spent more than a decade building the global footprint of the Kauffman Foundation, the world’s leading philanthropic agent supporting entrepreneurial change.

Deonta welcomes Portal visitors, members, and partners with a smile and pours positive energy into every interaction. From onboarding assistance to office and lab deliveries and all other administrative matters, Deonta creates a seamless and enjoyable experience for everyone. Prior to Portal, Deonta worked as an educator and caretaker.