Meet the 2020 London Synapse Cohort

About the cohort & program

We are thrilled to welcome eight students to the 2020 London Synapse program who were selected from a competitive applicant pool of over fifty candidates. This diverse cohort is composed of first-year students to Ph.D. candidates with a wide range of academic interests from Computer Science to Africana Studies.

While in London we will visit Brown alumni, founders, funders, policy makers and companies – small and large – for small meetings, panel discussions, lively conversations and meals. We are grateful to our sponsors and to the individuals and organizations that have agreed to host us including (among others): The Founders Factory, John Atcheson ’81 Co-Founder and CEO of Stuffstr, Tonya Nelson ’96 Director of Arts Technology and Innovation of the Arts Council of England.

We hope everyone we visit will appreciate the curiosity of these students as we focus our attention on the entrepreneurial ecosystem of London in the early days of Brexit.



Jasmine Bacchus, class of 2021 is from Mason, OH studying Politics, Philosophy, and Economics as an Independent Concentrator. Jasmine uses IC to analyze the fashion industry in hopes of better understanding the role of art and beauty in our society. On campus, she is a leader of Kappa Alpha Theta and the Black Pre-Law Association, as well as the founder of Rouge Fashion. Additionally, she competes on the Ballroom Dance Team. Jasmine is primarily interested in learning about entrepreneurship in creative industries and in London is looking forward to visiting fashion and beauty start-ups. Post Brown she hopes to become a fashion lawyer, focusing on Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) and Intellectual Property.

Rose Carrillo, class of 2020, is from Kenosha, Wisconsin. As an Urban Studies concentrator, she is interested in conceptualizing and solving urban equity issues that relate to public space and transit. During her semester abroad in Copenhagen, she studied human-centered design and tactical urbanism. As a field researcher for 3×3 Design, Rose has contributed to the Little Roady Autonomous Shuttle Pilot Project in Providence, RI. She has previously interned for the City of Milwaukee’s Office of the Mayor and with play:groundNYC, an NYC based nonprofit promoting youth’s right to the city. Off of College Hill, Rose enjoys volunteering with HeadCount in Boston. Rose’s interest in entrepreneurship stems from her belief that cities, such as London, work best when committed to conscious innovation.

Ben Hurd, class of 2021, is from New York. He is a computer science concentrator with plans to focus on machine learning, artificial intelligence, and design. Along with computer science, he takes East Asian Studies and entrepreneurship classes at Brown and is also a member of Brown’s club ice hockey team. Ben created a clothing startup in high school, and has continued pursuing his interest in entrepreneurship at Brown through classes such as Entrepreneurship Practicum, which allows students to pursue their own startup ideas for an entire semester. He is particularly interested in London’s startup scene due to their multitude of successful ed-tech startups, which is the field of entrepreneurship in which he is most interested.

Kunzhao Li (Lily) is a 2021 candidate for a masters degree in Biotechnology. Her thesis research concentrates on digital health device usage in the geriatric population. Lily is very interested in fashion and the intersection of healthcare and finance. She is part of the hair and make-up team at Fashion @ Brown and on the executive board of Brown Healthcare Investment Group (BHIG). Lily is very passionate about entrepreneurship. She co-founded a beauty tech company that provides automated manicure service during undergrad. She is a university fellow at Brown for Unshackled Venture focusing on bringing resources to entrepreneurs from minority groups. Lily is very interested in learning more about the fast developing and diverse London entrepreneurship ecosystem.

Alexandria Miller is a doctoral student in Africana Studies. She earned her B.A. with distinction in African & African American Studies and History from Duke University in 2017. Her research interests include Black social movements, digital humanities, Caribbean performance art and music, and Afro-Jamaican women’s protest. Her current research explores the history of Jamaican reggae and contemporary music culture and activism. Alexandria is the US Editor of BASHY Magazine, a quarterly digital and print publication on Jamaica and its diaspora. She was selected as one of the 30 Under 30 Caribbean American Emerging Leaders by the Institute of Caribbean Studies in 2018. Alexandria’s interest in entrepreneurship stems from her passion for the Caribbean diaspora and contemporary storytelling.

Sumu Pitchayan, class of 2021 is from Long Island, NY concentrating in Computer Science-Econ. Through the Nelson Center’s Sweden Entrepreneurship program, he had the opportunity to intern at Qalora Capital in Stockholm this past summer. Working in venture capital made him realize that he wants to pursue a career in tech, and he is excited to experience working in the industry as a Software Engineer intern at Apple next summer. He looks forward to meeting mentors and exploring one of the world’s largest startup ecosystems at London Synapse this Spring.

Bright Tsagli, class of 2023 is from Ghana in the Resumed Undergraduate Experience (RUE) program studying Applied Mathematics and Economics. In his life before Brown University, he graduated with an associate’s degree in Engineering Science from Bronx Community College. He went ahead to work as a paid media analyst for Mindshare – an advertising agency in New York. He was responsible for all the media content that went live on TJMaxx and also launched grand opening social media campaigns for Marshalls, Sierra, HomeGoods, and HomeSense new stores location. He is interested in London Synapse because of the uniqueness of the city. London’s diversity speaks to its breadth of history, as it positions itself at a crossroads not only geographically, but also between the political, financial, and entertainment industries.

Lauren Yang, class of 2021 is concentrating in Economics and History of Art and Architecture. She was a past president of Brown China Summit and is an associate at Brown Consulting Club. She is interested in the global art market and has worked with Sotheby’s Hong Kong and the design gallery R & Company in New York. Lauren is also a founding member of China Rural Mental Health, a Brown and Peking University student-led platform currently undergoing bottom-up market research. Lauren is excited to immerse herself in the possibilities entrepreneurship enacts in investment, art, mental health, and technology. Moreover, she looks forward to exploring London’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, whose diversity and energy reflects the dynamism of her intersecting professional interests.