Our Advisors

Dr. Jay Kuchta

Chief Microbiologist


Dr. Jay Kuchta is an experienced microbiologist with an eclectic career in both academia and civil service. His Ph.D. focused on plant virus polymerase, and his postdoctoral fellowships were on the regulation of nitrogen metabolism in Salmonella. He’s an expert on legionella detection and disinfection in drinking water with articles published on this and many more subjects. He ran the city of Pittsburgh’s municipal system for more than 30 years before retiring and becoming an advisor to Rorus.

Jay Kuchta

Chief Microbiologist

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Jon Kaplan

Founder & CEO of Melt


Jon is the Founder and CEO of the Melt, a chain of fast-casual restaurants based in San Francisco. Jon founded the Melt in 2011. Prior to this, he founded Pure Digital Technologies, creator of Flip Video cameras, that was subsequently purchased by Cisco. In 2008, Jon was named one of the 25 Most Influential People on the Web by Businessweek. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for POPSUGAR Inc. Jon lives in San Francisco with his wife Marci, with whom he established the Open Field Entrepreneurs Fund at Carnegie Mellon University, which provided early-stage financing for Rorus.

Jon Kaplan

Founder & CEO of Melt

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Ilana Diamond

Managing Director of AlphaLab Gear


Ilana Diamond is the Managing Director of AlphaLab Gear, the hardware startup accelerator where Rorus began. She helps Rorus by leveraging her experience and network gained from over twenty years of leading and growing companies, from early stage to exit. Ilana was CEO of Sima Products, an international consumer electronics accessory company that develops, manufactures and distributes products under the Sima, First Alert, Cherokee, and MGM Studio brands.

Ilana Diamond

Managing Director of AlphaLab Gear