A seasoned team with practical knowledge in entrepreneurship and strategic growth in all phases.
Pano leads XRC Labs as its Founder and Managing Director. Having founded 4 startups around key platform shifts, he saw the seismic shift coming to retail and with the right vision and timing recruited Parsons School of Design and Kurt Salmon to be founding sponsors. Now with 38 accelerated startups, 10 active world class retail sponsors, 100+ business mentors, Pano has built a world-class ecosystem for retail and consumer goods innovation at XRC Labs. He speaks regularly at NRF national and regional meetings, Shoptalk and RILA executive conferences. He leverages a deep startup network in Silicon Valley, New York, and Boston to fuse leading technology, E-commerce and user experience innovations to existing customer-oriented businesses.
Carly-Ann Fergus serves as the Director of XRC Labs. Her work experience spans from established companies such as Tommy Hilfiger to startup brands such as Nahm. She has experience in high-end retail and has spearheaded the launch of an emerging New York-based women’s wear brand while serving as the director of operations.
Carly-Ann holds a BA in Visual Communications from SUNY Farmingdale and an MA in Fashion Studies with a focus on Strategic Design and Management from Parsons School of Design. She serves as an Advisory Board and Selection Committee member for the 2017 inaugural CFDA and Accessories Council Elaine Gold Launch Pad initiative. Carly-Ann has been featured on Forbes and has been mentioned in outlets such as WWD and Vogue Italia. She was a speaker at the 2017 CFDA Education Summit, 2017 Women in Innovation Forum, and the French Consulate General during the National Retail Federation French event.
Holly is a Managing Director at XRC Labs where she brings over 20 years of investment experience across consumer product sectors at various stages of growth. Prior to joining XRC, Holly led the consumer practice at Golden Seeds, a venture capital firm and angel network that has invested in over 100 women-lead businesses. In the Equity Research department at both Citigroup and Lehman Brothers, Holly led the firms' consumer products equity research before transitioning to the technology and media sectors. She has been consistently recognized by Institutional Investors’ All American Research Team, ranking No, 1 in each of her coverage areas including: Cosmetics, Household Products, Internet portals and E-Commerce.
Holly has also held positions at Jennison Associates, a New York based Money Management Firm, and as a Consultant with McKinsey & Company. Prior to graduating from Harvard Business School, she worked in Brand Management at Proctor & Gamble and in Mergers & Acquisitions at First Boston. Holly is also a consultant and project coordinator for Harvard Business School’s Community Partners, which provides pro-bono advisory services to nonprofit organizations.
KC serves as a General Partner of XRC Labs, primarily responsible for business development for XRC Funds. He joined XRC with more than 13 years of experience in equity capital markets and investment management. Prior to joining, XRC, he served as the COO and CFO of Miller’s Oath, a luxury men’s clothing brand. Previously, he was Managing Director and Head of New York Equities at ThinkEquity and a Director at Deutsche Bank, both in New York City. KC holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Boston University and is a CFA charter holder.
Rima is the Director of Corporate Partnerships at XRC Labs, where she leads the development of XRC's relationships with brands and retailers, as well as XRC's startup sourcing and diligence process. She most recently worked in Strategy and Business Development at Ralph Lauren, with a focus on e-commerce and omni-channel initiatives. Prior to RL, Rima served as an Equity Research Analyst at Goldman Sachs covering the Consumer Staples sector with a focus on Packaged Food and Household Products.
Rima graduated from Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University, where she double majored in Economics and Finance, with a minor in Mathematics. She has also completed extensive coursework in Fashion Marketing at Parsons School for Design. Rima is a Nest Fellow and has volunteered with ethical fashion startup Darzah on Business Development and Digital Marketing Strategy. She was a speaker at the 2017 Fashion Tech Consortium at the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC, the 2017 FashTech Stage Conference in Tel Aviv, Israel, and the 2018 Wearable Technology Show in London, U.K. She is a Level II candidate in the CFA program.
Nancy is the Marketing & Operations Associate at XRC Labs. Most recently, Nancy worked at Pair Eyewear, a children's eyewear startup, and as the head of social media at The Donut Pub. Nancy is a graduate of Bowdoin College, where she studied English.
Kalina Yingnan Deng
Kalina is the Program Manager at XRC Labs. She is also an M.A. Fashion Studies candidate at Parsons School of Design. Kalina received her B.A. in Philosophy cum laude from Wellesley College, during which she researched organizational citizenship behavior at MIT's Sloan School of Management. As a practice-based scholar, Kalina has presented her artwork and research at Harvard and the University of Toulouse in France, among other institutions, and she has a forthcoming chapter about sustainable luxury fashion and the circular economy to be published by Springer Publishing.
In 2017, Kalina engaged in the University of Michigan's Humanities Emerging Research Scholars Program, strategized a more human-centered retail experience for Autogrill in Italy, designed a customizable jewelry box offering for Cartier, and organized the fashion panel for MIT's Hacking Arts Conference. Kalina has also worked in diversity, inclusion strategy, and corporate and business immigration law for Fortune Global 500 companies in the media, publishing, technology, consumer products, and commodities trading industries. In May 2018, Kalina will matriculate into the inaugural class of the Fashion & Luxury MBA program at NYU's Stern School of Business.
Kalina's areas of expertise include qualitative research, post M&A integration and strategy, operations, diversity and inclusion, global mobility, consumer insights, and illustration.
AJ is currently pursuing an MBA at Columbia Business School. An Insite Fellow and Venture Capital Fellow, AJ works closely with start-ups and venture capital organizations to accelerate growth and allocate capital. Prior to Columbia, AJ was a management consultant, where he spent five years helping global retailers and consumer brands identify and then implement disruptive technologies and operating models.
James is a first year MBA candidate at Columbia Business School. Prior to business school, James spent four years working as a financial analyst for HomeGoods and TJMaxx.com. His areas of expertise include operations, finance, and analytics. Passionate about the changing landscape of retail, James hopes to remain in the industry after he completes business school. He hold a BS in Finance and Economics from Boston College.