Meet The Makers

An innovative collective of like-minded folks making useful and
enduring technology products

gabby shapiro

Gabrielle Shapiro

This is Gabby. She is a senior at UM majoring in advertising and minoring in marketing. Gabby began a jewelry startup when she was 17 and carried it out to The Launch Pad, who have helped immensely with connecting to mentors and lifting her product off the ground.

Gabby thinks Miami is a great environment to start something because of the international and artistic scene. She is super passionate about entrepreneurship and everyday is learning from others, while sharing everything valuable she’s learned with friends and family who have their own ideas.

Currently Gabby is working on her startup’s social media and marketing plans, and is so grateful to have peers from the School of Communication produce content, which they are using to build their creative portfolios.

Kevin Johnson

Kevin Johnson

Student Assistant

Kevin is our student assistant and a junior at the University of Miami. He is majoring in Architecture with minors in History and Urban Studies. Kevin started at TLP in Fall of 2019. While not directly involved in entrepreneurship himself, Kevin has a passion for the design aspect of startups, mainly the design graphics and product schematics of startups.

Enrique M. Triay

Venture Consulting Manager

A longtime resident of Miami, Enrique joined The Launch Pad in 2020, after serving as Director of the Innovation Hub at Broward College. There he developed the Startup NOW Entrepreneur Training Program, a South Florida accelerator in partnership with CareerSource Broward that launched 41 startups since 2016. Enrique’s problem-solving mindset has been a constant in his pursuits in engineering, finance, software development, data analysis & modeling, automation, operations, management, entrepreneurship, publishing, mentoring, education & parenting. Aside from his role at The Launch Pad, he provides strategic and operational expertise and financial advice to selected early-stage and growth companies as a consultant. He holds BS and Master of Chemical Engineering degrees from Cornell University, and an MBA from Stanford University.


Dick Mcdonald

Richard A. Macdonald, Jr.

Entrepreneur In Residence
Internationally experienced business leader who has successfully founded consulting practices around the world, and led and delivered highly complex multi-year digital transformation programs for global companies around the world, as a consulting partner at PwC and consulting executive at Cisco Systems.  Co-founded PwC’s Communications Industry consulting practice in the U.S. and grew practice to $200 million in three years.  Co-founded PwC’s Market & Customer Management consulting practice in the U.S. and grew practice to over $100 million in three years.  Moved to Hong Kong and founded PwC’s Asia Pacific Market & Customer Management consulting practice, and grew practice to $53 million in two years.  Digital transformation programs led and delivered ranged from omnichannel/communications to customer care and billing to contact centers to performance analytics and reporting.
Lived and worked in the U.S., Asia (Hong Kong) and Europe (London).  Mentor and advisor to startup companies ranging from cryptocurrency investing to AI powered employee engagement.  Instructor at startup accelerators and boot camps, including 500 Startups Growth Accelerator, and 500 Startups boot camps including “Go-To-Market Plan”, “Marketing and Sales” and “Building and Leading Exceptional Teams.”  
Experience in the financial services, banking, insurance, communications, computer, high tech, automotive and airline industries.

We’re always looking for talent

Got what it takes to work with us? Great! Send us a link to your resumé or portfolio to become part of our talent pool.