- Other Years
CONSUMER PRODUCTS ONLY. Products or services designed for individual use with the intention of improving efficiency and productivity. Examples include: hardware tools, photography and audio equipment, productivity applications, educational tools, etc.
Linda is based in Mountain View, California, where she is an Industrial design lead within Google’s fast-growing hardware design team. She is currently focused on designing Google’s next generation of Pixel and Chrome products.
With a background in consumer electronics, Linda has a passion for designing a future based on innovation and compelling experiences. Prior to joining Google, Linda served as the Head of Industrial Design at Essential Products, a Palo Alto-based startup that launched its first PH-1 smartphone in 2017. Before moving to Silicon Valley, Linda was a Senior Designer with Motorola’s Consumer Experience Design team in Chicago, Illinois.
Linda was born in Chengdu, China but grew up in countries across the globe, including Belgium, Spain, and eventually the United States. She received a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Product Design from the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan. Go Peacocks!
Kelly Custer is the Founder and Creative Director of Knack, a product design studio with passion for products that move. Whether for a startup, a major corporation or anything in between, Kelly leads her team in designing user-centric products that build desire.
Driven by the belief that design powerfully impacts people and business, Kelly’s mission is not only to prove the value of good design to the world, but to shake up the way designers work
while she’s at it. Her approach brings new energy, empowerment and mentoring to her teams.
Kelly earned a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Transportation Design from the College for Creative Studies in the “Motor City”, Detroit, MI. That motor oil runs through her veins.
Mike currently serves as Director of Product Design at Playground Global, which is a venture investment firm with an added studio of product development and technical experts. Here he blends his consulting, product design, and entrepreneurship experience to help aspiring hardware startup companies create great products and strong businesses. Prior to joining Playground, Mike worked for Google where he built a team and managed the product design and mechanical engineering efforts first with Android and the Nexus line of products and then adding projects with Chrome and Chromecast. Before that, Mike led product design efforts for startups, created new products and businesses at Lunar Design, and ran his own consulting practice. Through these experiences, he has helped develop products across industries and for many clients such as Apple, Danger, HP, Motorola, and SanDisk.
Mike first realized his passion for designing and inventing products while earning his degree in the Product Design program at Stanford. He later went on to fuel his interest in business and entrepreneurship by obtaining an MBA at MIT’s Sloan School of Management. Mike grew up in Montana, and he loves to return to his home state for skiing, fishing, and simply taking in the Big Sky.