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.

BB Studios a boutique full-service studio that focuses on producing socially-minded content that is both visually stunning and intellectually stimulating. Working in narrative production, branded content, and documentary feature. We believe in projects produced by passion. Offering media packages to fortune 500 companies as well as boutique and start-up clients. Applying classic cinematic techniques to modern media, Bolex Brothers LLC was founded by TJ Ferrari and Brandon Warrick in 2015.


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.


Shaan Couture _ Originally from France, Shaan lived in Montreal, Canada, and San Diego, CA, before moving back to New York where she currently works as a freelance film director/producer. 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. 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. In 2011, Shaan co-founded WediaWix, a production company, specializing in documentary film making and short films, which allows her to produce her own projects. Among other things, Shaan is currently shooting a new documentary film entitled "Harlem Beats".


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.


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

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

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.



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