Lua - Press and Media

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Michael DeFranco

CEO, Founder

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Michael DeFranco is the Founder and CEO of Lua, the mobile-first communications solution for high-performance organizations. He began his career at iMapData, an enterprise software company that provides security solutions to the U.S. government and Fortune 500 corporations. He started as a research intern at iMapData and progressed to become the Head Research Analyst for Legislative Intelligence, where he was responsible for intelligence verification, database design and case studies for U.S. and foreign government clients.

To bootstrap Lua, Michael built databases to help launch Bloomberg Government. He continued to work with Bloomberg Government for its ongoing research efforts. He is a participant of the United Nation’s World Forums on Education, a community member of General Assembly, a board member of Halawai (a non-profit organization focused on fostering the Hawaiian and Pacific Island community in New York City) and a New York Leader of the Foreign Policy Initiative.

Michael is a graduate of Wesleyan University where he received a B.A. in International Relations with a focus on Nation Building and The Arab-Israeli Conflict. Michael also studied at the London School of Economics and spent two summers studying Mandarin in Shanghai.


Jennifer Hyman Sutton


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Jennifer is COO at Lua, where she is responsible for the company's strategic, sales, operational and marketing initiatives. Jennifer has over 15 years of experience scaling new businesses and successfully bringing new products and solutions to market.

Prior to joining Lua, Jennifer served as the Chief Marketing Officer and General Manager at ShareThis, a leading social sharing tools and insights platform. While at ShareThis, Jennifer led all marketing efforts as well as corporate communications, branding and sales strategy. Previously, she was Vice President of Marketing at DoubleVerify. Prior to DoubleVerify, Jennifer spent nearly seven years at Google, where she headed up YouTube Marketing. She also focused on Google's early vertical sales strategy as well as the launch of several products including Google Custom Search, Google Accessible Search and Google Finance.

Jennifer is a graduate of the University of Michigan, where she received her B.A. in English.

Eli Bronner

Co-Founder and CSO

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Eli Bronner is Co-Founder and CSO, Director of Client Development at Lua. He has a background in client services and development, business continuity, branding, marketing, global partnerships and strategic product development.

Prior to Lua, Eli co-founded Birthright Earth, an initiative to give young people a chance to see the Amazon rainforest and educate them about its beauty and threats in a truly immersive environment. Before that, he was an analyst for iMapData, an enterprise software company that provides security solutions to the U.S. government and Fortune 500 corporations.

Eli is a graduate of Wesleyan University where he received a B.A.S. in East Asian Studies.


Jason Krigsfeld

Co-Founder and CXO

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Jason Krigsfeld is Co-Founder and CXO, Director of Client Success at Lua.

Jason’s extensive experiences in film production, hospitality, and FEMA ICS emergency management training give him a unique skillset that helps to address common pain points in the industries that Lua is most suited for. He is the direct contact for existing and incoming clients, and is the conduit between them and the product team. In this role he is both fosters successful implementation and adoption of Lua, and relays important client feedback to the product team.

Jason is a graduate of Wesleyan University where he received a B.A. in East Asian Studies with a concentration in Japanese Cinema and Society.


Austin Lane

Chief Product Officer

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Austin Lane is Chief Product Officer at Lua. He has a background in product development and design, as well as experience helping young startups grow and perfect their offering.

Prior to Lua, Austin co-founded Muse Games, an indie video game studio, where he served as creative director. There he created the franchise that serves as the company’s primary product, Guns of Icarus, which has now been through three iterations and sold over half a million copies. Austin seeks to apply the same key principles of simplicity and engagement in game design to the Lua product.

Austin is a graduate of New York University where he received his B.S. in Marketing, Management and Entrepreneurship.

Ariel Zavala


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Ariel is CTO at Lua, and responsible for the development and operations of Lua’s product offerings.

Prior to joining Lua, he served as lead developer and IT Supervisor at EVERTEC, a leader in transaction processing and business process outsourcing in the Caribbean with presence in 16 countries. At EVERTEC, he managed a team dedicated to development and operations support where helped expand and maintain the company’s products and services.

Ariel has a M.S in Computer Science from the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico and a B.S in Math and Computer Science.

Ryan Snell

VP of Sales

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Ryan brings over 17 years of experience in sales, specializing in defining unique strategies to successfully introduce emerging technologies within mature, competitive markets.

Prior to Lua, Ryan led sales for the Americas at Whiptail, growing the company from the early stages to the organization’s acquisition by Cisco in 2013. Ryan led the sales integration at Cisco as Regional Manager of the Americas. Before Whiptail, Ryan served in enterprise sales at Symantec, where he primarily concentrated on the security and management of corporate endpoint devices with his clients. Preceding Symantec, Snell was at Citrix, where he focused on selling into mobile workforces.

Ryan has a B.A. in Psychology and Business Administration from the University of Miami.

Brian Feller

VP of Corporate Development

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Brian Feller is Vice President of Corporate Development at Lua. He has over 20 years of experience in customer-facing and leadership roles in sales, marketing and operations.

Prior to Lua, Brian was the sales founder at WHIPTAIL, the world’s first all flash-based storage vendor, which was acquired by Cisco. Previous to WHIPTAIL, he spent six years at Citrix, where he advanced through the ranks from Field Sales Manager to Northeast Regional Manager, honing his skills in the industry and establishing himself as a true sales leader. When not spearheading sales wins and championing startup success, he’s either playing ice hockey or spending time with his two children.

Brian is a graduate of Immaculata University, where he received his B.A. in both English and Education.

Dan Fried

VP of Engineering

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Dan Fried is Vice President of Engineering at Lua, and leads the engineering team as they continuously improve the Lua platform. He was brought onto the team as an engineer, and has quickly risen through the company to join the executive team.

Dan brings eight years of professional full stack web development to the team. Immediately prior to Lua, Dan was a HackStar at Techstars, where he originally met the Lua team. Preceding Techstars, he was a web developer at Shapeways, a marketplace for 3D printing. Before that, Daniel helped build an online publishing and video platform for Macfadden Performing Arts Media, a publishing company specializing in trade magazines.

Dan is a graduate of the CUNY Baccalaureate Program at Hunter College, where he received his B.S. in Economics.