Meet the 2017 Creative>>Founder Lab Ensemble

We’re excited to welcome our 2017 Creative >> Founder Lab participants to the Media Center for a summer that’s sure to be filled with new ideas and lots of professional growth. Over the course of eight weeks, this talented ensemble will work out of the Media Center to develop their ideas and projects while tackling fourteen courses designed specifically to give them the skills to get to the next level, including Vision and Strategy Statement Development, Agile and Lean Methodology, Design Thinking and Rapid Prototyping, Marketing Strategy, and more. These offerings will help them define and elevate their business models so they can begin implementing their concepts in the real world.

But who are the talented individuals in this year’s lab, and what are their projects?

With a wide range of interesting concepts – from a digital ad agency to a feature film to a creative technology studio – we have the perfect mix of interesting ideas, projects, and entrepreneurs that will surely make this lab one for the books!

So, without further ado, here are the 2017 Creative>>Founder participants:


Sam Reetz

Sam is the founder of Millennial Ethics Productions, a company that represents a team of artists – including directors, writers, producers, cinematographers, musicians, photographers, actors, and dancers – that utilizes visual storytelling as a creative medium to make waves and challenge popular perception of the status quo. MEP’s debut effort, Don’t Schmuck It Up, dealt with defying stereotypes in everyday situations. Next up is Not One, a narrative drama challenging our perception of homeless millennials.

For more info:,, Instagram: @millennialethics


Emma Doss

Emma is the Founder of DOSS Media, a one-stop digital agency and news network that offers complete creative solutions for brands and small business owners.

For more info:,


Stefan Riecher

Stefan’s project involves conducting personal interviews on a daily basis for 365 days with Americans from all 50 states and from all socioeconomic, educational, and ideological backgrounds in order to foster debates about current topics and build a community.


Empress Varnado

Empress is the co-founder of Black Brown and Digital – a collective of independent content creators of color who celebrate each other’s work through live events and media that empower, educate, and entertain audiences while exposing them to the beauty and diversity of work that mainstream media neglects to show.  Her current project to turn #bbdigital into an app that will serve as a centralized hub for people of color, LGBTQI, and the disabled who are working as media makers to grow, collaborate, list events, curate content, and more.

For more info:


Inam Quazi

Inam’s goal is to create a platform for minority actors, writers, and producers to find opportunities in the entertainment industry and for the entertainment industry to help connect with talented minority artists.


Lina Kattan

Lina is making a dark comedy mini-series about a homeless couple which she hopes will shed light on the lives and daily struggles of homeless people throughout the world. She already has the pilot completed, and episodes two and three are in pre-production.

For more info: Vimeo

Sandra Davila

Dual citizenship is a worldwide phenomenon and while having two nationalities is seen as an advantage, we don’t talk about the social challenges of being binational. Sandra’s project will help a peer network of middle income dual citizens build a critical path for retiring in both nations. This community driven project enables a group of people to save together and help share information about investing in real estate between two nations as an alternative to traditional retirement funds.

For more info:

Lisa Leid

Lisa is the Founder and Curator of Techncolor, a tech news and platform dedicated to putting the spotlight on the narrative of how the world views women of color in tech and the digital media industry.

Website coming soon!

Albert Beniada

Albert is the Executive Director of FilmShop, a nonprofit collective of independent filmmakers committed to developing new work through peer support and collaboration. There are many creative challenges when making a film – honing your vision, finding resources, bringing out the best in your team, and staying the course – Filmshop makes the process much less lonely, providing you with a community of emerging cinematographers, editors, writers, and directors to give you the creative and emotional support necessary to see your project through to completion.

For more info:

Bowale Taiwo

With a passion for traveling and planning events, Bowale is developing a company that makes destination travel simple and comfortable, and ultimately creates the perfect destination event for any and every client.

Website: (coming soon!)


Simone Maurice

Simone is creating a platform that will help filmmakers design websites for their projects through a simple process that will result in a simple and elegant site.


The program will conclude on August 9th, and we invite you to meet these participants as they close out the lab with a final presentation and project pitch in front of the Media Center community and stakeholders.