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Our Founders


Justin J. Shaifer - Co-Founder & Executive Director

Also known as Mr. Fascinate - Justin is a PhD student at Columbia University, professional keynote speaker and popular STEM advocate. He has a B.S. in Marine and Environmental Science from Hampton University, where he graduated with the highest GPA in his department. He is a national board member for the March for Science and the National Hampton Alumni Association, and has earned significant press for his STEM outreach efforts from media outlets across the country.


Lionel Durant - Co-Founder & Director of Operations

A former U.S. Marine and technical recruiter in Silicon Valley, Lionel has been honing his technical skills for decades. Mr. Durant has received a multifaceted education via programs from Cornell University, Ithaca College, Fordham University for business and Columbia University management education. As the CEO of the Modern Black Inventors Exhibit, he performed a 22 city tour presenting to students about the importance of diverse inventors. He is incubating this project with Justin as a member of NYU Veteran’s Future Labs via the Tandon School of Engineering