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Michael Barnathan

Entrepreneur • Advisor Greater New York City Area, US

Founder, Mountaintop, Clipless (acquired by 8coupons), Living Discoveries, Polymath Foundation. Ex-Googler, Machine Learning Ph. D.

Founder, Mountaintop, Clipless (acquired by 8coupons), Living Discoveries, Polymath Foundation. Ex-Googler, Machine Learning Ph. D.

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Primary Skillsets

  • Classroom Teacher
  • Data Science
  • Full Stack Engineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Other Engineering
  • UI/Design
I have an idea I'm commited to

Primary Cofounder Skillsets

  • • Classroom Teacher
  • • Data Science
  • • Full Stack Engineering
  • • Biomedical Engineering
  • • Electrical Engineering
  • • Other Engineering
  • • UI/Design

Involved In


Alight App Studio
The Mountaintop Program
Living Discoveries


Biomotion Suite
Mote Labs

Side Projects



Founder and Freelance Developer Alight App Studio September 1997 - present
Co-Founder The Mountaintop Program January 2015 - present
Founding Director and Instructor The Polymath Foundation March 2008 - present
Director of Engineering Amplify August 2014 - September 2015
Adjunct Assistant Professor New York City College of Technology, City University of New York January 2015 - May 2015
Head of Mobile 8coupons October 2013 - December 2013
Founder Clipless March 2013 - October 2013
Director of Software Engineering Owen Software Development Corporation October 2012 - May 2013
Founder Living Discoveries October 2011 - April 2013
Associate Director of Software Engineering Owen Software Development Corporation October 2012 - January 2013
Senior Software Engineer Google September 2010 - September 2012
Director of Machine Learning Biomotion Suite September 2011 - August 2012
Software Engineer Google September 2010 - June 2012
Chief Software Developer Wixity June 2010 - September 2010
Data Scientist Dstillery December 2009 - July 2010
Researcher and System Administrator Data Engineering Laboratory, Temple University August 2006 - April 2010
Freelance Software/Web Development and Data Mining Freelance Data Mining September 1997 - November 2009
Adjunct Professor of Computer Science Monmouth University September 2008 - May 2009
Owner August 2005 - January 2008
SCEP (Supply Systems Analyst) Ft. Monmouth C4ISR, Logistics and Readiness Center September 2005 - June 2006
Tutor Monmouth University September 2004 - May 2006
Freelance web developer RDA International May 2005 - July 2005
Researcher / Software Developer Monmouth University September 2003 - May 2005
Lead Web Developer / System Administrator Kaller Historical Documents May 2001 - March 2003


Temple University Computer and Information Sciences (Machine Learning, Computer Assisted Diagnosis) 2006 - 2010
Monmouth University Computer Science, math minor 2002 - 2006

Interested In

Cofounder With
  • • Business Development
  • • Fundraising
  • • Marketing
Advisor With
  • • Digital marketing
  • • Public relations
  • • Business Development
Markets of Interest
  • • Cloud Services
  • • Data & Analytics
  • • Education
  • • Green
  • • Hardware
  • • Healthcare
  • • Local
  • • Mobile
  • • Music
  • • Photos
  • • Recruiting
  • • Robotics
  • • Smart Home
  • • Social Impact
  • • Video
  • • Wearable Tech
  • • In-classroom learning (K-12)
  • • Lifelong Learning (outside of school)
  • • Higher Education
  • • Teaching
  • • software development
  • • machine learning
  • • human learning
  • • medicine
  • • computer vision
  • • IoT

You Should Know About Me

Key Strengths

Python • Linux • Java • Machine learning • Perl

Key Accomplishments

You will find me difficult to classify, so consider me an engineer turned social entrepreneur with teaching experience. But that turned out to be hard and I needed some serious capital for it, so I started an app called Clipless all by myself and raised it from idea to acquisition in 8 months by violating dogma. (Investors rationalize their own presence by claiming that a smaller percentage of a bigger pie is still a good return; I netted a nice return by flipping that on its head, focusing all of my efforts on product development instead of fundraising, exiting with 100% of a small pie in a short period of time, and freeing myself to begin baking a second one while most people haven't even finished preheating their ovens yet.)

I also have experience in medicine, and have built a system which can automatically diagnose breast cancer in mammograms ( and an intelligent knee brace which automatically detects Parkinson's symptoms using a built-in accelerometer. I've voice-automated my home, built a brain computer interface from a $30 toy, and created a "working crystal ball" which could predict the movement of my financial portfolio with 60% accuracy until the 2008 crisis; I controlled it with hand waves.

I've had an interesting lifelong relationship with education, which granted me a very unique perspective toward the field. I took to technology very early, taking up software development at age 8 and producing what would be the magnum opus of my childhood at age 12, a 10,000 user online puzzle game called Metasquarer.

I took to programming with such great focus that I neglected my other schoolwork, and fell right through the cracks in the public education system until high school. In an age where the most advanced technology class offered in a school was typing, I lived two lives: a bright but underachieving and unpopular student by day, a revered technical founder of a large online community by night. I graduated, but just barely, and went to Monmouth University, the only school which took me.

I majored in Computer Science, naturally - and I tore through the curriculum, just as naturally - for when I chose to prioritize programming over my schoolwork, I made a decision which would define the rest of my life. With 10 years of experience already behind me, acing the CS curriculum sank to the level of intuition, so I began to branch out into other subjects, discovering interests in music, medicine, photography, and pure mathematics. Most importantly, I took that mathematics interest and began to tutor, where I first fell in love with the act of teaching (something I actually prefer over - or I should say alongside - development to this day).

It was then that I realized that there was something profoundly wrong with the entire structure of the educational system: that developing a skill so foundational to who I am at such a young age could clash so violently with the norms of a classroom which insisted on a standardized lesson plan and curriculum. As I'm likely resisting easy classification now, I did then as well, and what I experienced in high school was repeated all over again when I graduated and enrolled for a Ph. D. at Temple University, this time aimed at the other subjects I had began to explore while at Monmouth, such as medicine and music composition.

It was at this point that I launched Project Polymath, an audacious (some would say crazy) attempt to start a radically different type of university: project-driven, focused on student goals, and extremely modular and versatile to accommodate the unique learning objectives of each individual student. I've conceptualized a similar effort at the grade school level called "Great Thinkers", but that is queued up behind the university effort, which has at last started to gain some traction.

Once I resolved that improving education would be one of my life goals, I took to it with a will, first by teaching Data Structures and Algorithms at my alma mater on the graduate and undergraduate levels as an adjunct (, then by personally launching Project Polymath's initial courses (,and lately by going school to school (Kean and Duke University so far) as part of CS4HS and other programs, teaching high school teachers how to understand and train students in technology (

Upon graduating from Temple University with a Ph. D. in Machine Learning (applied to medicine), I began working full-time to accumulate enough to stake out on my own. I did this first as a Data Scientist at a company called Media6Degrees, then as a Software Engineer and eventually Senior Software Engineer at Google. After 2 years of that, I've now built a financial foundation to chuck it all and focus on my startups (aside from the university, I also have a lower-priority startup called Living Discoveries, because I discovered a way to diagnose breast cancer using a computer algorithm during my Ph. D. and want to get that out to people).

I left Google on October 1, 2012 and now operate in the educational space, aside from my stint in deals.

How I like to work with people As a Cofounder

Primarily, an extraordinary amount of breadth coupled with a superlative mastery of programming, web development, machine learning, and system administration stemming from a deep focus from childhood onward. I'm fairly good at creating creative assets as well: I can do photography near-professionally, I can write and perform music, and I'm fairly good at persuasive writing.

I know when to break rules; what you "should" do in startups is very seldom the right thing to do. Breaking the right rules is how I became a programming prodigy as a child, and also how I started my first successful company 20 years later.

As an educator, I aim for a teaching style that focuses on imparting intuition in the audience, then inspiring and enthusing them with passion for the subject and its applications.

Vision, passion, and purpose. I've made education and medicine the two purposes of my life, to be fulfilled in that order. I *care* about that purpose in a way which makes all else secondary.

If we're talking engineering, the reputability associated with having a former Googler on the team will give you technical cred. Treat it as a secondary bonus; more important is the fact that I can live up to that cred.

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David Saintloth
They're my friends
David is an effective strategic thinker and backs this strategy up with execution on his visions. He's gone through the entrepreneurial proc ... ess several times, and brings careful thought and experience to the table in new ventures.