Residents  2018-19

Established in response to the rapid rise in anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim hate crimes from the 2016 US Presidential election cycle, Interfaith Ventures is a nonprofit incubator that produces products and programs that promote interfaith unity and dialogue. Its flagship program is the "Shabbat Salaam" interfaith dinner series, which has been hosted across the US -- from San Francisco to New York's Times Square. More than 1,000 attendees have participated in the program. The organization's first product is the first-ever "Interfaith Meat" that is both (Zabihah) Halal and (Glatt) Kosher. The combined production process helps food businesses save time, money, inventory space, and food waste, while making faith-based foods more accessible. It is distributed through Abe's Meats (AbesMeats.com). 

Interfaith Ventures is represented at the DS Labs Residency by Founding Director Mohammad Modarres, Financial Officer Brian Lai, Director of Shabbat Salaam Juni Hoppe (not photographed), and the organization's first Entrepreneur-In-Residence Arshiya Kherani.

Bolex Studios is a full-service production company focused on social documentaries, narrative, and branded content production. Past work has been featured in the MoMA, Netflix, NYFW and the TriBeCa institute. Clientele ranges from start-ups to fortune 500 companies such as NASA and LVMH. TJ Ferrari and Brandon Warrick met while in undergrad at NYU Tisch film school, where they received top training in tv/film production. Known for "Made For New York" NYU Langone Health campaign and honored as New Filmmakers of New York, the duo decided to open a satellite office in Los Angeles. 


Createvores _  Julian Locke has spent his career in TV production and worked as an Executive Producer for a number of multi-episodic shows including House Hunters International on HGTV, Man Caves on DIY Network, Disaster Guy on A&E and Taste in Translation on the Cooking Channel. In January 2017, Julian started Createvores a staffing and recruitment agency for TV and Video Production. The company is positioned to sit between the job boards and the big Hollywood agents staffing below the line positions. Createvores is build off the back of an influential Facebook networking group called NYTV People, which boasts 18,000+ members from TV and digital production industries. The group recently expanded into LA, DC, Atlanta, Austin, Chicago and Miami giving them a nationwide reach. Julian is excited to join the DS Labs Residency Program and is looking forward to collaborating with the other participants.



NY TV People

Simon Carriere is a social entrepreneur who’s passionate about storytelling, climbing mountains and building good stuff. He is currently in New York City where he is spearheading Nalu, a clothing line with the mission of enabling students to stay in school through giving school uniforms. His obsession with responsible apparel started when he saw the dark side of the industry first hand while visiting manufacturing plants in Asia. Since then, he’s committed to learning as much about the fashion world in the hopes of seeing it evolve into a responsible and human-centred industry.


Gabriele Carriere _ Passionate about design, technology and all things in between, Gabriel Carriere is a recent marketing graduate who currently resides in New York City where he works as a brand strategist for Nalu, a clothing company with the mission of enabling students to stay in school. Prior to joining Nalu, Gabriel worked for a consulting firm specialized in brand management and freelanced as a content creator for various brands in the music and fashion industry. Originally from Montreal, Canada, Gabriel lived in Australia, Hungary and Nepal before finally moving to the Big Apple. Driven by social and environmental challenges, he seeks to harness the power of business for the greater good.


Canal (Jonathan Ngan) is inspired by the iconic street in New York City, Canal exists as the sum of these influences and more. The brand concept was conceived in 2006. At the core of our movement lies the intersections of skateboarding, art and design.


Rebecca Goldberg has more than 10 years of experience leading large scale public health initiatives to prevent the spread of HIV and to strengthen the quality of care accessible to people who use drugs. After directing one of the largest Harm Reduction programs in New York City, her work has become focused on developing the leadership qualities of the workforces that serve marginalized communities.
In 2017 she launched Growing Into Power, a website for women and people of color who haven’t seen people who look like them in positions of power, and who have been historically excluded from the sphere of professional leadership grooming. Twice weekly Rebecca posts practical tips for a new generation of diverse leaders to help them create inclusive and effective workplaces. In addition, she provides organizational management support for nonprofits, individual career strategizing, and trainings on management best practices for the community.
She holds a BA from Bard College.


Advisor 2018-19

Amanda DeSantis _ Technology
Entrepreneur and Corporate Executive

DeSantis’s great passion is innovation and creating leading-edge products and business models.  She has built data-driven strategies, operational structure, and industry level and stakeholder partnerships from the ground-up while shifting between technology startups and corporates in multiple sectors that are changing the world - mobility, food/agriculture, energy, and the built environment.

She has deep corporate and startup expertise and work across government, academia, and NGOs globally – from building a machine learning global innovation platform to accelerate product development to developing partnerships that created sustainability assessment frameworks tha served as industry best practices.
Most of her spare time is spent as an advisor to startups developing ESG investment platforms, blockchain technologies, infrastructure robotics, and social impact initiatives.  

For more, please check out her LinkedIn profile -

Former Residents  2017-2018

Sashko Danylenko is an award-winning animation filmmaker from Ukraine whose work explores wonder and curiosity. He joins folk and contemporary, nature and digital in his works. He creates magic worlds with colorful characters and extraordinary allegories. In 2015, Sashko decided to travel to the USA to broaden his horizons and seek new experiences and inspiration. Now he working on his comic book projects and on documentary animation films. Prior to joining DSLABS, Sasko Danylenko was a resident at TED, Cité Internationale des Arts de Paris, and School of Life in London.


SoaPen (Shubham Issar, Amanat Anand, Yogita Agrawal) is an innovative teaching tool that reimagines the way that kids are taught hand washing to create a habit that they retain for a lifetime. Soap Pen won the Wearables for Good Challenge by UNICEF, ARM and frog design in 2015, receiving mentorship and funding to develop SoaPen and is a Forbes Under 30 recognized young social enterprise. The founders (L-R) Shubham Issar, Amanat Anand are based in New York, USA while Yogita Agrawal is based in Mumbai, India.

During their residency at DS Labs, they were runners up of the James Dyson award and backed by Quickbooks on SoaPen's successful Kickstarter campaign. Currently, the team are fellows at the Halcyon Incubator in Georgetown, DC.


Shaan Couture _ Originally from France, Shaan now lives in New York, NY, after residency in Montreal, QC, and San Diego, CA. With a B.A. in Sociology, and a master in Communication (specializing in emotional and non-verbal communication), Shaan has always been passionate about human interactions.

Shaan is a globetrotter, always carrying her cameras to immortalize serendipitous situations. Capturing people's habits and emotions are her main interests, and even though she speaks 4 languages, she best expresses herself through images, whether they are still or moving (see demo reel).

Shaan experiments with a diversity of techniques to portray a story in the most authentic way. She believes that images have the strongest impact in communicating ideas and emotions across borders.

With an advertising agency background, Shaan co-founded WediaWix in 2011, a film production company that allows her to produce her own projects. In 2014, after a successful crowdfunding campaign, she shot and directed her first long feature documentary during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil (broadcasted on TV in France, Canada, and China). Since then, Shaan shot, directed and produced a variety of documentaries, including her latest one "New York Scherzo" currently in post-production. In 2016, she wrote and directed her first short film entitled “Thin Lines” (35min) that tells the encounter between an aspiring singer and a Deaf man. Since then, Shaan has directed a few short films and music videos who won various festival awards and nominations.Since 2016, Shaan works as a freelance director and line producer. She is mostly based in New York, but often travels between Paris and Los Angeles.


Abby Russell is an Emmy-nominated television producer and filmmaker working to transform experiences, learning and messaging through the magic of cinema.  She recently directed multiple Telly Award-winning films, as both ‘filmmaker-in-residence’ and Executive Producer and Creative Director at Yeshiva University, where she oversaw multimedia and marketing product for the university’s online learning initiative. Abby teaches multimedia storytelling and producing as an Adjunct Professor at NYU, makes MOOCs for Coursera and speaks and consults on how visual media enhances learning.  Abby started in multimedia journalism at local television station NY1 News and has since produced multiple hours of documentary and filmed content – including a James Beard Award winning TV series – for PBS, Discovery, Food Network, MTV, Sundance and Lifetime. She co-directed Eat Drink Laugh: The Story of The Comic Strip, a feature documentary executive produced by Chris Rock that world-premiered at the Just For Laughs International Comedy Festival in Montreal and is currently available on Amazon and iTunes.  She directed comedy specials and shorts for VH1, Nickelodeon and Funny or Die, including viral hit Café Attitude, which the Huffington Post called the parody “we’ve all been waiting for.”  Her first documentary film, Politics… Sifting Thru the Spin, called ‘creative and edgy’ by the News Hour with Jim Lehrer, was funded by the Annenberg Foundation and aired nationally as part of the PBS Democracy Project.  As the founder and CEO of Nuforms Media (and its food media affiliate Food-Pops), Abby creates award-winning, digital messaging and branding content for both non-profit and corporate clients, including Ogilvy, Digitas, Razorfish, Hellmann’s, Jenn-Air, Hess, Rolls-Royce and TED.  Find Abby @abbyrussell on Twitter and LinkedIn or abby@nuformsmedia.com


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