Our new Director and Assistant Director!

Launch Pad Employee, Entrepreneurship, Founders

With excitement, we’d like to welcome the newest additions to The Launch Pad team, Director, Brian Breslin, and Assistant Director, Maria Derchi Russo!

Brian is a native Miamian and has been an entrepreneur for practically his entire life. He is credited with founding Florida’s most significant tech and startup community, Refresh Miami, as well as a series of other tech companies in the software space. His most recent venture, SimCase, builds educational software that enhances student engagement. In light of these notable accomplishments, The Launch Pad thought Brian would be an excellent candidate to take over the role as Director. Brian has been working at The Launch Pad since August 2017, advising students, faculty, and alumni of the University of Miami on all things entrepreneurial and hoping to foster the startup community on campus.

Maria is also a Miami-native and has served as the Executive Director of Refresh Miami for the last 2.5 years. She is also the founder of Women in Miami Tech, a group dedicated to supporting and advancing women in technology in South Florida. In these roles, Maria has focused on organizing events that inspire and educate entrepreneurs, as well as provide them with the resources they need to succeed. Before these roles, she led marketing programs at various startups in South Florida. Her background has given her valuable experience, which she plans to share with The Launch Pad community. Together, she and Brian will work together to help provide the resources needed for University of Miami students, faculty, and alumni to pursue their dreams of starting a business.

We are very excited to see how Brian and Maria will influence and shape The Launch Pad and UM community!