Meet the Team
Winston Ibrahim, Co-founder & Executive Chairman
As Co-founder and Executive Chairman for Hydros, Winston is tasked with taking the lead on crafting the company’s overall growth strategy, pursuing new business opportunities, exploring ways to ensure long-term financial stability, managing investor relations, and ensuring strong corporate governance with close oversight over the rest of management. Winston first started at Hydros as an Advisor and Board member in late 2009. Later he served as EVP of Business Development, taking the lead raising the company’s seed, Series A, and follow on rounds of financing. Winston has already been responsible for the recruitment of the majority of the company’s Board of Directors including renowned Entrepreneur Shazi Visram, Founder & CEO of Happy Family Brands, and Adnan Durrani, Founder & CEO of American Halal Corporation. He assumed overall leadership in his current position as part of a corporate restructure in January 2012. Ibrahim also serves as Executive Director of Operation Hydros, with overall strategic and operational responsibility of the company’s social mission to address the Global Water Crisis by financing clean water infrastructure projects in the developing world.
Winston is also Co-founder of the Ibrahim Leadership and Dialogue Project in the Middle East, a pioneering effort to develop a generation of U.S. leaders sensitive to inter-cultural understanding. He serves on several boards including Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC), anorganization that works to engage religious diversity by building interfaith cooperation oncollege and university campuses, and ThinkImpact, a leading social entrepreneurship education company. Prior to Hydros, Winston worked as an investment banking analyst at Janney Montgomery Scott in Philadelphia. He received his Bachelor of Art degree in Political Science from the Johns Hopkins University in 2009.
Aakash Mathur, Co-founder & CEO
As CEO of Hydros, Aakash Mathur spearheads strategic efforts and oversees sales & marketing and financial initiatives. An aspiring entrepreneur since the 8th grade, Mathur conjured up the idea of Hydros in the basement of a dorm at the University of Pennsylvania in 2009, when he was just 21. Frustrated by the feeling that he was not heading down a path that would allow him to leverage his education and personal motivations to make a larger impact on the world, Mathur turned his attention to finding away to contribute to greater global good during his senior year of college.
Aakash earned a Bachelor of Science in Economics with Concentrations in Finance and Management from the Wharton School as well as a Bachelor of Art in History from the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania in 2009.
Jay Parekh, Co-founder & COO
Jay combined the experience leading his university's Engineers Without Borders — where he saw the effects of the global water crisis first hand — with his interest in sustainable product design to launch Hydros. In his role as chief operating officer for Hydros, Jay directs product innovation, research and design, as well as oversees all manufacturing and operations for Hydros.
He currently serves on the board of Philadelphia Global Water Initiative, a group of individuals and organizations committed to helping meet the UN Millenium Development Goals for water/sanitation throughout the world. Jay earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania in 2009.
Board of Directors
Shazi Visram, Director
Shazi first created her vision for convenient, healthy meals for babies and children as she listened with a compassionate ear to a friend's anguish about the difficulty of finding the time to make her own baby food between caring for her baby, keeping up with her work, and all of the other demands of her very full life. In that instant, HAPPYBABY was born. A passionate supporter of health, wellness and sustainability, she was saddened to see the choices for parents when it came to store-bought baby food and understood the importance of starting babies on the tastes of fresh whole foods. She saw the opportunity to create a business that could positively impact the health of our children from the very start, offer parents peace of mind, support sustainable agriculture and simultaneously give back to those in need.
In a past life, Shazi founded and ran a marketing and media buying consultancy to help small business grow their brands. Her desire to utilize her talents to make a difference in the world coupled with her entrepreneurial nature took her to business school where she began developing HAPPYBABY in 2003. Shazi holds a BA from Columbia University in History and Visual Arts and an MBA from Columbia Business School in Management and Entrepreneurship. She lives in Jersey City, NJ with her husband Joe and had her own first HAPPYBABY in January, 2010!
Adnan Durrani, Director
Mr. Durrani serves as Chief Executive Officer and Chief Halal Officer of the Company. Mr. Durrani has been an entrepreneur and investment professional for over 26 years, as President of Condor Ventures, Inc., a venture firm devoted to strategic investing in natural food companies. His entrepreneurial ventures have resulted in a successful track record of scaling and growing niche beverage and natural food product lines into mainstream branded companies, using grassroots marketing strategies and developing distribution relationships with major supermarket chains. Mr. Durrani was also a principal investor and financial partner in Stonyfield Farms, Inc (www.stonyfield.com), and helped build it from $25 million in sales in 1994 to over $70 million and led its sale to Groupe Danone in 2001. Stonyfield today generates over $300 million in sales annually. He was also a principal of Delicious Brands, Inc, which he scaled, with the financial backing of Carl Icahn (www.icahnreport.com), to become the 5th largest cookie brand in the U.S.
He is a Director and Chair of Finance for READ Global (Rural Education and Development Enterprise, www.readglobal.org), a nonprofit devoted to building libraries in war-torn communities in India, Bhutan, and Nepal and which is primarily funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (www.gatesfoundation.org). Mr. Durrani is a Director of O.P.E.N. (www.opennyc.org/) , the “Organization of Pakistani Entrepreneurs of North America” (NY Chapter). He also served on the Board, and was Finance Chairman, of Social Venture Network (www.svn.org). He has been recognized by BBMG and SVN as one of the entrepreneurs who engineered “20 Ideas That Changed The Way The World Does Business”. The select list of these inductees include: Ben Cohen (Ben & Jerry’s), Gary Hirshberg (Stonyfield Farms) , Muhammad Yunus (Nobel Peace Prize, Grameen Bank), and Steve Case (AOL).
Matthew Collins, Director
Matthew Collins is a vice president at Solebury Capital. While at Solebury, Matthew has executed transactions for Allison Transmission, SMART Technologies, LPL Financial, Kinder Morgan, Wesco Aircraft, EverBank Financial, Triumph Group, Spirit Airlines, SS&C Technologies, and Sally Beauty. Before joining Solebury, he worked on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act as part of the Governor's Office in New Hampshire, under the aegis of AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America). Matt received a commendation from the Governor and was featured in New Hampshire's Union Leader for his service to the state.
Prior, Matt was an Investment Banking Associate within Equity Capital Markets at Lehman Brothers and Credit Suisse, performing extensive analysis and due diligence for a variety of deal structures including IPOs, follow-on offerings, convertible and hybrid transactions, return of capital alternatives, structured share repurchases, balance sheet reorganizations, and equity restructuring transactions. At his prior firms, Matt executed equity offerings for Evercore Partners, OneBeacon, Flagstone Reinsurance, Greenlight Reinsurance, Blackstone, MF Global, Apollo, CenturyTel, Nasdaq, and Cinemark, among others.
Matt graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a BA in Economics and has volunteered extensively for the American Red Cross and Lenox Hill Hospital.
Michael Young, Director
Michael Young is a technology entrepreneur devoted to the development and commercialization of optical, electronic, and biologically-active advanced materials. He is co-inventor of the Innova Dynamics advanced materials technology porfolio, and founding member of IonArmour and Hydros. He oversees as Principal Investigator over several million dollar contracts awarded by the US Army Research, Development, and Engineering Command for next-generation antimicrobial protection of medical systems, the US Navy Naval Air Systems Command, and the National Science Foundation.
Michael is active as an advisor or board member to startups, and brings experience from IBM Microelectronics and previous startup companies. He has received international recognitions for his engineering work, including seed capital and the top international Gold prize from UNESCO for disruptively low-cost materials for sustainable development. In addition, his previous nanomaterials engineering work has focused on metamaterials, plasmonics, optical cloaking devices, and nanocircuits. His background spans the MS/PhD program in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University (drop-out), BA in Physics, and BSE in Materials Science Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania.