Why Choose CAF?

The Corporate Accelerator Forum is curated.
Every Membership begins with a conversation.

The Corporate Accelerator Forum gathers corporate innovators who work with startups.  Since 2017, our private curated community has shared stories, tools and techniques for stakeholder influence, startup collaboration, ecosystem creation/enhancement.

If you’re working with startups or thinking about it, you’ll want to join us!  CAF experiences are fully interactive and focused on maximizing insight and learning, with themes developed by members, for members. Learning Scientist Dr Diana Joseph, leads the way.

Open innovation is a crucial element of the corporate innovation toolkit. And it’s not easy — typically corporate processes are designed to favor short-term requirements such as efficiency, alignment and clean reporting, over long-term requirements like brainstorming, experimentation and partnering outside the organization. At the Forum, you learn directly from the experience of pioneers in this work, alongside your peers.

CAF Story

CAF emerged from founder Diana Joseph’s entrepreneurial practice, following the formula she developed, grounded in the learning sciences, Lean Startup, design thinking and her experiences in academia, non-profit, and corporate innovation.  Following a widely-shared vision that everyone needs to be more entrepreneurial, Diana explored multiple missions.

Leading Sponsor

Amanda Cashin, Ph.D.

The Global Head of Illumina Accelerator, a leading company creation engine and investment vehicle focused on building genomics-driven startups. Founded in Fall 2014 in San Francisco, Illumina Accelerator is investing in emerging startups, advancing breakthrough applications in genomics, including applications in therapeutics, women’s health, cancer diagnostics, consumer nutrition, agriculture, synthetic biology, and skin microbiome.

Our Mission and Vision

Everybody has to be more entrepreneurial.  That goes for organizations as well as individuals.  The pace of change is too high to count on a steady, reliable mechanized routine — we all have to see opportunities and experiment our way to impact.  Being entrepreneurial is the path to self-determination.

Corporates play a key role in the ecosystem/s in which we all live and work.  They can’t do everything by themselves — they need partners … and the partnering isn’t easy!  CAF brings together corporate innovators who work with startups.  Together we can see the landscape, develop best practices, and navigate the complex social environment that comes from bridging giant highly-aligned corporates with small high-urgency startups.  CAF is by corporate innovators, for corporate innovators — all events are curated and designed for maximum impact.

Meet Our Team

The Corporate Accelerator Forum is curated — every Membership begins with a conversation. We’re eager to learn about your corporate innovation journey, and glad to share more information about the Forum.

Dr. Diana Joseph

Founder and CEO

Dr. Diana Joseph is a design thinking leader and an innovation and entrepreneurship consultant. A former high-tech innovation director with a doctorate in Learning Sciences, Diana brings together techniques from motivation psychology, education, and Silicon Valley innovation methods such as design thinking and Lean Startup. The idea for the Corporate Accelerator Forum arose in a conversation between Diana and Amanda Cashin of Illumina, wherein Diana offered to wave a magic wand for one wish, and Amanda asked for a meeting between accelerator leaders.  We’ve since learned that other corporate innovation leaders share the same wish!  The Corporate Accelerator Forum is Diana’s way of making the wish come true.

Dr. Felipe Negritto joined the Corporate Accelerator Forum in April of 2024 excited to work with the CAF team on their research and consulting activities related to Open Innovation and corporate accelerators.  Previously, Felipe was with The Walt Disney Company for 15 years in an Investment Planning, Portfolio, and Product management role for the Enterprise Technology group. He arrived at Disney with 10 years of consulting experience from KPMG and a boutique independent consulting firm, where he accumulated a varied experience across industries and organizations including, universities, banks, food service, biotech, transportation, and insurance, which included many Fortune 500 companies. He has also worked in a diverse number of settings – as a member of a startup, as a not-for-profit organization founder (Argentine Children’s Taskforce – ACT), and as an independent consultant.  His experience includes operations work and the management of large teams and P&Ls.  He is bi-cultural and bilingual, has lived half of his childhood in the US and the other half in Argentina. He attended university and worked in Argentina and later continued his education and career in the US.  He has been fortunate to be able to teach for several years at the university and graduate levels, and very recently obtained his Management and Information Science Ph.D. focused on maximizing the innovation benefits of corporate accelerators.

Dr. Felipe Negritto

Consultant & Head of Action Research

Grace Gallardo-Oliver

Operations Lead

Operations Lead Grace Gallardo-Oliver is a startup veteran, community volunteer, tutor, and operational leader with global experience. Grace has previously worked in banking, customer relations, and accounting. She holds a degree of Economics from Santa Clara University. She joined CAF in 2019 and brings over 20 years of experience in planning, implementing and managing projects. She aims to make every CAF experience as seamless and meaningful as possible.