University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

Acara Team

Brian Bell

Assistant Director

Brian Bell

Brian is passionate about impact entrepreneurship, incubation, and investing. As Assistant Director of Acara at the University of Minnesota, Brian facilitates venture start ups seeking to turn a profit while addressing societal and environmental challenges in the US and emerging economies. He is also Network Coordinator with IMNPACT Angels and a Shaper with the Minneapolis Hub of Global Shapers. Brian has an interdisciplinary background in engineering, design, international development, and entrepreneurship with diverse experiences in the U.S., the Netherlands, Uganda, Kenya, Haiti, Nepal, and India. He has been involved most recently with Kounkuey Design Initiative, Envest Microfinance, the Government of India, UN-HABITAT, St. Anthony Falls Lab, Engineers Without Borders-USA, and Inspec. Brian has a bachelor’s in civil-environmental engineering from the University of Minnesota, master’s in sustainable development from Utrecht University, and is currently a student in the Carlson School’s Part-Time MBA Professional Development Program. Email | LinkedIn

Fred Rose

Co-Director of Acara

Fred Rose

Fred Rose is the co-founder and the driving force behind Acara, along with Julian Marshall. Fred has over 25 years of technology and business development experience, most recently as Director of Technology Strategy, Honeywell where he was responsible for strategy and development programs in India, US and China. He is also the co-founder of another non-profit, High Tech Kids. Fred has many years experience in a wide range of technology R&D, emerging markets and global development teams. Email | LinkedIn

Julian Marshall

Co-Director of Acara

Julian Marshall is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Engineering in the Department of Civil Engineering at University of Minnesota. Marshall currently holds a McKnight Land-Grant Professorship. He is a Resident Fellow of the Institute on the Environment, and in 2009 won the Minnesota Young Civil Engineer of the Year award. Julian received his undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering from Princeton University, and his Masters and PhD from the Energy and Resources Group at University of California Berkeley. Email | Bio page 

Acara U.S. Advisory Board

Tim Campbell


Tim Campbell held a wide variety of positions in the aerospace and airline industries, including engineering, finance, and operations.  He has held senior executive positions with Northwest Airlines and Delta Airlines. After his last role as President of Compass Airlines, he formed Mountain Vista Consulting, LLC, which provides a variety of consulting services in the aviation and renewable energy sectors.  Tim has a keen interest in promoting the development of social entrepreneurship, particularly those that engage young adults. Tim received his BS in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Michigan and his MBA from Seattle University.  He served six years on the Board of Directors for Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity and is currently on the board of Iringa Hope, USA, a non-profit entity that promotes and helps manage micro finance in rural Tanzania.

Paul Helgeson


As GNP Company’s Sustainability Manager, Paul Helgeson helped the company clarify a cross-functional approach for integrating sustainability across the organization. Under his leadership, GNP Company participated in the World Resources Institute GHG Product Road Test to help set a worldwide standard for measuring a products life cycle impact on the environment. He also led an effort in which the company partnered with the Carbon Trust to measure and commit to reducing the carbon impact of the company’s Just BARE® branded retail products. He also initiated the publishing of the company’s “Farm to Fork Report”, which outlines the company’s goals and values related to the 4 P’s of sustainability: People, Planet, Poultry and Progress. In 2008 Helgeson founded Egg Module, with goal of developing a shareable model for establishing and running poultry egg production businesses in villages in the least developed parts of the world. Under his leadership multiple projects were established in Eastern Africa. Helgeson was born and raised in St. Cloud, Minnesota and holds both a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Denver. He also earned his Masters of Business Administration from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Business Management.

Acara India Advisory Board

Manaswini Rath

Manaswini is a Technology Strategist at Infosys. Manaswini has experience in leading the innovation system and practices in the organization through the role of deriving the Innovation strategy, process and implementation methodologies. She is a proud contributor towards 21 patents and disclosures and more than 50 publications in National and International journals and conferences. An MBA and MS from Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur.

Sanjay Bhasin

Sanjay Bhasin

Sanjay Bhasin is a Professional Manager (CEO) with global experience in America, Europe and Asia in telecom and technology companies. Sanjay has served as a mentor, advisor and investor in seed stage start up companies particularly in the area of telecom and clean-tech. He is a graduate of IIT Roorkee, India and has a MBA from Santa Clara University, USA. Sanjay is currently based in New Delhi, India.

Suryanarayanan A

Suryanarayanan A has over two decades of senior executive experience in healthcare companies. He is also a serial entrepreneur, having founded and exited three businesses Medybiz, MediAssist and Lifeken. Currently, Surya is currently heading the operations of the Indian Institute of Human Settlements (IIHS) – India’s first independent National Innovation University focused on the challenges and opportunities of its urbanization.
Acara is the impact entrepreneurship program of the University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment in partnership with the College of Science and Engineering and the Carlson School of Management.