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The Team Behind Snorble
Snorble Board of Directors
Todd is an entrepreneur and globally recognized creative thought leader, who holds a Master’s in Business Administration from Harvard Business School and Bachelor of Science from Lehigh University.
Todd boasts more than 25 years of experience in rapidly growing revenue and scaling businesses, making him uniquely positioned to run high growth technology-focused businesses. He is an internationally recognized security expert, entrepreneur, author, and speaker. He was a Director at PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he spent a decade leading various divisions of their information security consulting practice and creating their business model for cybersecurity.
Steve, who is currently an Ed.L.D. doctoral candidate at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education, has more than 25 years of high-tech CEO, sales, and marketing experience.
As President of Nuance Communications, the global leader in voice recognition and artificial intelligence solutions, Steve was responsible for revenue generation rising from millions to billions. He led a $2.1b revenue operation while negotiating deals with Apple, Samsung, Google, Amazon, Mercedes, Ford, Toyota, Bank of America, Federal Express, and Verizon, as well as other leading global organizations. Steve has led both start-ups and large tech company operations and serves as CMO of Sense, Inc., named by VentureBeat in 2019 as one of the world’s top 100 artificial intelligence companies.
Mike is the CEO and co-founder of Snorble. Mike is an award-winning creative leader in the technology / robotics industry with experience in organizations ranging from startup to $75M global businesses, with proven performance managing revenue goals up to $10M, operational budgets of up to $16M, and capital expense budgets of up to $2.5M. He is a capable mentor with a track record of attracting, recruiting, and advising teams.
Doug, after two decades of building innovative technologies for education, became the CEO of NRCCUA in 2020. Previously, Doug served as CEO of Surgarai, Inc., a medical technology startup, and as chief product officer at Knewton, recently acquired by Wiley. Prior to that, Doug spent 17 years at McGraw-Hill Education, in various senior leadership roles including chief sales officer, director of digital partnerships, and executive brand manager.
Howard has a background in computer science, a medical postgrad, numerous company exits, a commercial pilot’s license, and even a few patents. During his career, he has founded startups and worked with many others to build or turnaround companies, develop new technologies, resolve conflicts, and serve on public and private boards. Thanks to this, Howard is capable of seeing any situation from take-off to landing.
Snorble Board Observers
Snorble Advisory Board
Steve, with 25+ years of high-tech CEO, sales, and marketing experience, has led both start-ups and large tech company operations. He currently serves as CMO of Sense, Inc., named by VentureBeat in 2019 as one of the world’s top 100 artificial intelligence companies.
Previously, he served as CEO of Jibo, Inc., building the world’s first consumer social robot for the home, having closed approximately $87m in funding from various venture and strategic capital sources. Prior to Jibo, he served as President of Nuance Communications, the global leader in voice recognition and artificial intelligence solutions. In that capacity, Steve led a $2.1b revenue operation and negotiated deals with Apple, Samsung, Google, Amazon, Mercedes, Ford, Toyota, Bank of America, Federal Express, and Verizon, as well as other leading global organizations.
Steve has been SVP for worldwide sales for SpeechWorks, one of the top IPOs in Massachusetts’ history and served as General Manager and CMO of Polycom Corporation (formerly PictureTel), the global leader in video, voice, and content collaboration, leading operating activities in more than 35 countries across 22 product lines.
“I believe the team at Snorble has figured out the magic formula in this competitive field that seeks to employ AI, robotics, and advanced technology to assist parents in developing a healthy lifestyle for their child,” said Mr. Chambers, who is currently an Ed.L.D. doctoral candidate at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education.
Bob is an entrepreneur renowned for his pioneering in robotics with the creation of Pleo, the first life-like robot using the LifeOS AI platform. Bob also co-founded Anybots, the first telepresence robot for virtual meetings, and Jibo, the social robot for the home developed by Cynthia Breazeal from MIT Media Labs.
As a hardware entrepreneur, Bob utilizes his product development experience with visionary know-how as a mentor at Highway 1 (a PCH company), StartX (Stanford accelerator), and Qualcomm’s robot accelerator.
Today, Bob leads innovation and investing on behalf of Mitsubishi Chemical Company at Diamond Edge Ventures where he actively engages startups in IoT, robotics, sensors, and sustainable materials for the circular economy. Before Diamond Edge Ventures, Bob headed up innovation for Panasonic in North America where he led Panasonic’s robot strategy and development for commercial markets.
“Snorble provides a wonderful opportunity for families to introduce a lovable character into their home to inspire fun and healthy habits through innovation,” said Mr. Christopher. “I am excited to advise Team Snorble as we move forward.”
David is a successful serial entrepreneur and has extensive experience in the financial industry. He was managing director at JPM and co-founded Aperture Investors with Generali committing a $4 billion seed round. Aperture was a new asset manager aiming to disrupt the financial market by aligning fees paid by the clients to performance generated by portfolio managers.
More recently, he set up Alumia, a platform that helps asset managers raise assets in the international market. David acts as an advisor to a large number of institutional investors and family offices around the world and is the co-founder and director of several financial companies, including UFP Jump Start.
David worked for Rothschild & Co. in multi-asset solutions, managing portfolios for international institutional clients and ultra-high net worth clients. He was elected Fixed Income personality of the year in 2017.
“I am excited to help the success of a disruptive family tech firm and take innovation to new markets,” said Mr. Saab.
Michael oversaw educational new media research and technology-rich classrooms, and funded laboratories worldwide at Apple’s Advanced Technology Group. He advised Steve Jobs in the early days of Mac and NeXT. He focuses on learning, digital media, and games, strategy, research, design, and development.
In Paris he studied with brilliant observers of human experience including Claude Levi-Strauss, Jacques Lacan and Michel Foucault. He advised Vint Cerf when he founded the Internet Society, made a home for Douglas Engelbart's Bootstrap Institute at Stanford University, and was coached by Chairman of the Board of Intuit, William Campbell.
At Apple’s Advanced Technology Group, he oversaw educational new media research and technology-rich classrooms, and funded laboratories worldwide. He shaped the curriculum that Oxford, Stanford and Yale delivered to their alumni online and created programs with faculty from leading business schools at Pensare.
At Digital Pictures, he created ‘What's My Story?’ to help children learn to tell their stories. As Chief Playwright at Zookazoo.com, he designed and produced games for kids in a virtual world to help them appreciate endangered species and conserve natural resources. He helped design a new generation of online mathematics courses for the Hewlett and Gates foundations and created more than a dozen math games to help students decipher arithmetic and master algebra.
“I am honored to have been invited by such a dedicated and passionate team to help bring the best learning to the kids they will serve,” said Michael.
Heather has more than 30 years of leadership experience in the child and youth care field.
Heather has published several journal articles and book chapters and has presented at multiple national and international conferences. Her areas of interest include residential care, family involvement, child and youth care worker development, supervision, organizational culture, and holding environments.
Heather is a former president of the Council of Canadian Child and Youth Care Associations and the Child and Youth Care Association of Newfoundland and Labrador, a founding board member of the Child and Youth Care Educational Accreditation Board of Canada and a former board member of the Child and Youth Care Certification Board. Heather is the Chairperson of the Board of Governors of the International Child and Youth Care Network, an editorial board member of the Relational Child and Youth Care Practice journal and a member of the Steering Committee of the Global Social Services Workforce Alliance.
Heather has an MSc in Child and Youth Care Administration from Nova Southeastern University and a PhD in Child and Youth Care from the University of Victoria, where she is also a sessional instructor. In 2017 Heather received the YWCA Woman of Distinction Award for Community and Social Development in Newfoundland and Labrador, in 2018 was the Atlantic Canada nominee for the RBC Women of Influence Social Change Award, and in 2019 was shortlisted for the Lynn Factor Stand Up for Kids Award.
“I am honored to be joining the advisory board of Snorble,” said Heather. “I truly believe Snorble has the potential to be transformative for children experiencing sleep and bedtime issues.”
Brent is a proven leader in identifying and transforming new opportunities into market success with a wealth of expertise in health tech operations and financing.
He was formerly VP of Clinical/R&D operations at Cardialen, President of Virtias, CEO of Lumen Medical, and VP of Once Innovation and Sr Business Program. He was the Senior Business Program Manager for M&A, Integration, Business Development and Technology Scouting at Medronic.
As President & Principal Consultant for business planning, fundraising and program management at Virtias Advisors, Inc, Brent provided start-up Fortune 100 businesses the guidance needed to excel at expansion, fundraising and execution in business, business planning and product development, specializing in medical technologies.
Brent is a dynamic product champion who delivers value to a business by identifying and cultivating high-value business and product innovation for providers and their patients.
“I am excited to be a part of a very talented team focused every day on supporting the development of healthy customized routines for children,” said Brent. “Importantly, the technology that makes Snorble so magical is also extensible to other applications, making Snorble an important platform play beyond the children’s market alone.”
David specializes in investing in companies to provide extensive tools and resources to create and develop strategic partnerships that assist growth. David is the founder and managing partner of Mindich Capital. There, he leverages his network from 35 years of business experience to assist the company’s start-up partners.
In 2006, David established Thermal Paper Direct, a major online platform that sells thermal paper, credit card paper, printer ribbons and many other types of register paper. Under his leadership, Thermal Paper has been recognized as one of the nation’s 5000 fastest-growing companies.
David was also president of Minda Supply Company, heading sales and marketing efforts that established the company’s reputation as the leading wholesale distributor of laundry and dry-cleaning products.
“We don’t just invest in ideas; we invest in people, and Snorble has a very talented team that is developing a wonderful concept into an exciting product,” said David. “We will provide support for our partners, substantial resources and knowledge gained from our extensive experience as Snorble continues to grow and evolve.”
Want to learn more?
Explore our About Us page for further information on the inspiration and mission behind Snorble.
Snorble Press Releases
Media wishing to be added to the Snorble press releases distribution list please email firstname.lastname@example.org and provide your name, organization, position, and email address.
As we continue to work on creating magical experiences for children and your entire family, we're excited to announce our newest venture: Lullaboo Studios.Read more
Steve Hecker has been creating innovative consumer products for more than 25 years, and we're excited to have him as part of the team at Snorble.
Named one of AdAge’s 40 Under 40 for his outstanding work in the areas of broadcast and virtual reality, we're excited to welcome Vaitari to our team.
Snorble Press Coverage
“Devices designed to support the development of healthy sleep routines in children will help us all sleep a little better for a change...and if it takes a magical Snorble to do it...nothing wrong with that!”
“To keep kids safe, Snorble doesn’t connect to the internet, and parents only need to input basic data into an app in order for the robot to track their child’s bedtime rituals—such as how long they spend brushing their teeth or when they wake up.”
“Rather than bring in a drill sergeant to get the bedtime process rolling, Snorble tries to build a regimented routine in a more playful manner. Designed for children one-to-five years of age, Snorble is a cute, animated sleep companion designed to engage children in a variety of settings.”
“Newfoundland-raised entrepreneur Mike Rizkalla reports he has locked in a US$10-million investment just a few months before the launch of his children’s developmental-aid robot, Snorble.”
“We caught up with Mike Rizkalla, cofounder and CEO of Snorble (Skillman), a tech company focused on child development, at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas earlier this month. Snorble was one of a handful of featured companies to have a suite to themselves several floors above the Venetian Resort’s two levels of conference trade-show booths. Numerous other startups were showcased at the adjacent exhibition space called Eureka Park.”
“Social and emotion learning — it’s a huge trend in the toy industry, especially after the Pandemic.”
“Hlifax’s Snorble has raised US$10 million or C$12.3 million from a single investor, New Jersey-based GK Venture Partners, valuing the company at US$40 million or C$50.1 million.The deal, which CEO Mike Rizkalla said in an interview is effectively Snorble’s Series A funding round, comes on the heels of a $2 million raise that closed in January. GK is Snorble’s second institutional investor after consumer tech venture capital fund Legendary Ventures.”
Snorble Brand Assets
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