Smart City Works Venture Studio Announces the Creation of the Board of Advisors


APRIL 2021

Luminaries Align Behind Infrastructure Innovation Initiative

WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 6, 2021: Smart City Works Venture Studio today announced the creation of their Board of Advisors, headed up by renowned industry veteran Tim McManus. Tim has been a Senior Advisor to McKinsey and Company and a consultant and advisor to government agencies and companies involved in the planning, development, and delivery of major infrastructure, urban development and sports projects and capital programs, developing growth strategies, enterprise risk management plans, organizational restructuring, and adoption of innovation strategies. Tim was previously Vice President in the Capital Projects and Infrastructure Practice for McKinsey. Before that, he was Senior Vice President, Director of Global Program Management at AECOM. Tim also sits on numerous public, private, and non-profit boards and is an Adjunct Associate Professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Engineering.

The Board of Advisors will help SCWVS management with market advice, industry interaction, and operational oversight. In addition, members will provide support and mentorship to the aspiring entrepreneurs active in the SCW Venture Studio as they move towards the successful commercialization of their companies. Tim McManus commented, “I am honored to collaborating on the SCW VS Advisory Board with well-known professionals who represent various parts of our industry and have each made significant contributions through their work, leadership, professional and personal commitment.”

Joining Tim as members of the Board of Advisors are:

  • Ibrahim Odeh: Founding Director – Global Leaders in Construction Management (GLCM) Columbia University. Ibrahim Odeh is a unique combination of a strategist, academic, innovator, and entrepreneur. As a globally acclaimed award-winning scholar, renowned speaker, and industry luminary, Ibrahim sits on several advisory boards such as EnTech Engineering, Multi.Green, GoContractor, Flash Labs, and Black Buffalo, as well as additional collaborative consulting with the World Economic Forum, Turner Construction, Skanska, Parsons Corporation, The Vertex Companies, Dentons, AECOM, AI Engineers, and He has pioneered Massive Online Open Courses (MOOC) to educate global learners in the area of Construction Management under the Coursera platform.


  • Yuri Estrada: Vice President at The Carlyle Group. Infrastructure & energy investment professional with international experience across greenfield and brownfield transactions in the transportation, social infrastructure, digital infrastructure (e.g., data centers), environmental infrastructure (e.g., waste to energy), and energy sectors. Yuri was previously an Investment Director at Siemens Financial Services, where she focused on energy and transportation investments and was responsible for due diligence, deal structuring, and leading competitive processes. Prior to that, she was a Director at AECOM Capital, where she focused on deal origination and execution. Before investment, Yuri spent eight years as an engineer and program manager, where she acquired a keen insight into project development and design, construction risks, project life-cycle, and operational requirements. She is a licensed Professional Engineer (PE) and holds a BE and MBA from the City University of New York. Yuri is also a native Spanish speaker and has participated in company-wide LatAm expansion initiatives, including business development and M&A activity in the region. Her deal/project experience extends across the US, Canada, Mexico, Colombia, UK, Qatar, UAE, and Kenya.


  • Mark Smith. Senior Advisor to Deloitte. Mark has over 30 years of capital project consulting experience and has supported a broad range of clients, including: global engineering and construction companies, governments, infrastructure funds, and large multi-national organizations. Mark has led capital project practices for Big 4 advisory firms in the Americas, Asia-Pacific, and Africa.  He currently serves as Senior Advisor to Deloitte, advising on the world’s largest smart city giga project in the Middle East. Mark brings global experience across the whole lifecycle of major capital projects from project financial, organizational delivery, procurement, and real estate advisory.  He holds a Ph.D. in civil engineering as well as being a licensed CPA.  He is a widely acclaimed thought leader and frequent media commentator for strategic and risk aspects in the construction and infrastructure industry.


  • Dan McQuade. Managing Director at Global Infrastructure Solutions (GISI). Dan McQuade is a recognized expert in the design and construction of buildings and infrastructure across a range of market sectors. From 2012 to 2018, Dan served as the Global President for the $9 billion Construction Services Group of AECOM. Under his leadership, AECOM Construction Services’ gross revenue grew from $1.4 billion in 2012 to $8.24 billion in 2018 through both organic and acquisitive investments. Prior to joining AECOM in July 2010 as part of the AECOM Tishman acquisition, Dan served as President of Tishman, appointed October 2005, where he oversaw landmark construction in the U.S. He first joined AECOM Tishman in 1984 as an entry-level Superintendent. Dan is a board member of the U.S. Green Building Council, Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, and the Construction Industry Round Table. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from Cornell University and a Master of Business Administration from Fordham University.


  • Cheryl McKissack Daniel. President/CEO at McKissack & McKissack. Cheryl leads the firm with more than 25 years of experience in all phases of the construction industry and provides executive leadership for project implementation. She serves as Principal-in-Charge and Project Executive on numerous high-profile projects, including major work in the commercial, healthcare, education, and transportation sectors, and is actively involved in project oversight and management, ensuring that diversity is implemented during each phase of a project or program. Cheryl serves on various boards, including the New York Building Congress, New York Women’s Forum, Greater New York ACE Mentor Program, and Women’s Builders Council. Under the leadership of Mayor Bill de’Blasio, she serves on the OneNYC Advisory Board, Jobs for New Yorkers Task Force, and the MWBE Advisory Council. She also served on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee for NYS Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo’s Transition Team. In Philadelphia, she served as Chair of the MWBE Committee for Mayor-elect John Street’s Transition Team. Previous Boards included the National Women’s History Museum, Fisk University, and the National Liberty Museum Board, where she was honored as a “Hero of Liberty” for her support of humanitarian initiatives and for promoting the responsibilities of a free and diverse America. Cheryl is an active member in Women in Transportation Seminar (WTS). Cheryl earned both a bachelor and master’s degree in civil engineering from Howard University. Born in Nashville to architect William DeBerry and teacher Leatrice McKissack, Cheryl represents the fifth generation of the McKissack family’s century-old business, McKissack & McKissack, the oldest minority and woman-owned professional design and construction firm in the nation.


  • Andrew Liu. Senior Vice President for Transportation, AECOM. Andrew is a passionate entrepreneur and intrapreneur educated and licensed in civil engineering, who has co-founded everything from startup companies to a corporate venture group inside a Fortune 200. He also has experience as a senior executive at publicly traded engineering companies with a consistent record of delivering growth and results with public sector clients. His interests are in IoT for the built environment, and is dedicated to coaching and developing talent from co-founders and engineers to vice presidents of Fortune 200 corporations. Currently, Andrew is a Senior Vice President for AECOM, leading their Transportation work for the western region of the United States.  Previously, he was a Senior Vice President for Parsons, leading their Smart Cities work, and was the Chief Product Officer for Connected Communities.

“We live in dynamic and unprecedented times. Our nation’s infrastructure must be rebuilt smarter, better, and more sustainably to make communities more livable and resilient and to position, America to be more competitive. Innovation will be key to accomplishing all of this,” said David Heyman, co-founder of Smart City Works Venture Studio and CEO of Smart City Works Actuator. “The board will help us to amplify this mission to support industry and communities investing in building the future.”

Smart City Works Venture Studio is a joint initiative between Smart City Works Labs and Rocket Wagon Venture Studios (RWVS). According to Don DeLoach, Managing Partner of RWVS and Co-Founder of SCW Venture Studio, “We are thrilled to have such an esteemed group of industry leaders lending their support behind the Smart City Works Venture Studio.  I see this as a strong endorsement of our model, where the value of experience is literally being acknowledged by their actions by industry leaders. Research shows people learn best by experiential learning. Our apprenticeship program does exactly that, delivering entrepreneurs access to capital, talent, and markets.”

The Smart City Works Venture Studio is assembling its team of experienced entrepreneurs across sales, marketing, product, and technical roles ahead of commencing operations this summer. They are also evaluating startups currently or previously involved with the Smart City Works Actuator program as well as other MVP stage startups focused on Infrastructure.

About Rocket Wagon Venture Studios
Rocket Wagon Venture Studios helps to build startups for the cyber-physical world by providing an integrated team of experienced entrepreneurs who also have strong experience in IoT and specific vertical expertise. The RWVS parent organization provides the architectural cyber-physical framework, including considerations regarding devices, security, privacy, data governance and ownership, communications, and a broad range of analytics, as well as shared legal and financial services, underlying operational systems, and corporate relationships. The related affiliate studios are vertically-aligned, university-aligned, or regionally-aligned venture studios operating with the RWVS framework and resources that combine entrepreneurial expertise to de-risk startups and accelerate them to market.

About Smart City Works
SMART CITY WORKS ACTUATOR is a new class of business accelerator, called a BUSINESS ACTUATOR, that can more rapidly move early-stage ventures to commercialization, reduce risk for downstream investors, and improve likelihood of product uptake in the marketplace. Our mission is to accelerate innovation and speed commercialization of urban tech solutions that improve the livability, operations, and resilience of cities. We are uniquely focused on infrastructure and the built environment and on changing the way to build and operate civil infrastructure. Our twice-yearly 90-Day intensive business actuation program is designed to propel graduating companies into the marketplace endowed with proven products and equipped with the skills to grow and compete for funding and market share.

For more information, contact:

Don DeLoach
Managing Partner
Rocket Wagon Venture Studios

David Heyman and Robert Mazer
Founding Partners
Smart City Works Labs