Your guides to a national network of collaborators

Esther Dyson - Founder

Esther Dyson


Founder of HICCup and chairman of EDventure Holdings, Esther is an active angel investor, best-selling author, board member and advisor concentrating on emerging markets and technologies, new space and health. She sits on the boards of 23andMe and Voxiva (txt4baby), and is an investor in Crohnology, Eligible API, Keas, Omada Health, Sleepio, StartUp Health and Valkee, among others. From October 2008 to March of 2009, Esther lived in Star City outside Moscow, Russia, training as a backup cosmonaut.

Rick Brush - CEO

Rick Brush


Rick is CEO of HICCup and an innovator in health-impact investing. His startup, Collective Health, is laying the groundwork for the first Health Impact Bond in the U.S., focused on reducing childhood asthma emergencies in Fresno, California. Before turning entrepreneur, Rick led corporate strategy in health and financial services, including nearly a decade at the health insurer Cigna, where he was chief strategy and marketing officer for the national employer segment and launched the company's Communities of Health venture.

Marvin Avilez - Chief Operating Officer

Marvin Avilez

Chief Operating Officer

Founder and CEO of VisualOps, Marvin is a serial entrepreneur, operations expert, and consultant in the development of numerous startups. He was COO at Social Amp and IN2, and led new media and product roles at Oracle, Apple and Macromedia. A former U.S. Marines Sergeant, Marvin is an active volunteer for a number of organizations, including Team Rubicon which unites the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams.

Marya Stark - Chief Investment Officer

Marya Stark

Chief Investment Officer

Marya Stark is a social entrepreneur in leadership development and impact investing. She was the founding executive director of Emerge America, a national training program for progressive women in politics with hundreds of alumnae who run for public office at the federal, state and local levels every election cycle. Marya is also a founder of the Angel Fund, a women’s angel investing group in the San Francisco Bay Area. She writes for the Financial Times and Quartz (part of The Atlantic), and holds a finance degree from UC Berkeley and a master's degree in applied statistics from Georgetown University.

Brad Perkins, M.D. - Advisory Chairman

Brad Perkins, M.D.

Advisory Chairman

Brad serves as chairman of the HICCup advisory group. He is chief medical officer of Human Longevity, Inc. From 2009-2013, Brad was executive vice president for strategy and innovation and chief transformation officer at Vanguard Health Systems. Prior to that, Brad was chief strategy and innovation officer for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where he worked closely with CDC’s director to lead the first large-scale modernization of the CDC’s strategic direction since 1977. Brad is an early-stage venture investor focusing on health and wellbeing, health care, and sustainability.

Karen Watson - Advisor

Karen Watson


Karen is a veteran communications and public policy expert with broad experience building consumer demand for health and wellness. As Nielsen’s Managing Director, Government and Public Sector, Karen tackled public policy issues around the world, such as obesity, hunger, sustainability and the digital divide. First Lady Michelle Obama hailed Karen’s work as "groundbreaking." She started her career at The MacNeil/Lehrer Report and NPR's Morning Edition and later managed the FCC’s office of Public Affairs. Karen has worked with the World Health Organization, World Economic Forum and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in pursuit of sustainable enterprise.

Marcia Conner - Advisor

Marcia Conner


Marcia advises executives at some of the world’s largest companies on how human ingenuity can address profound global challenges. Former vice president and information futurist at PeopleSoft and worldwide leader at Microsoft, Marcia is a TEDMentor, Batten Fellow at the Darden School of Business, a member of Telefónica’s Disruptive Council, and writes for Fast Company. She is a keynote speaker and author of books on learning, culture, technology and emergent change.