Hi, I'm Maria

I help companies attract the next generation of creative leaders while amplifying the company mission.


How do I do this? By building a talent incubator within the organization that connects the dots between unique creative opportunities and projects that physicalize the company mission.

I’m looking for a mission-driven company that’s interested in creating deeper connections between their brand or product and the people they want to engage - both internally, and externally. If this interests you, let’s talk.


There are many benefits to a creative incubator. Besides attracting top talent, it’s a low-risk way of discovering rising stars. It fosters creativity and collaboration which increases team productivity. A creative incubator contributes to the culture of the organization and creates opportunities to innovate and give back to the community which garners goodwill and good press.


I build exceptional teams that do exceptional work.

I have cultivated and led 11 high-functioning, cross-disciplinary cohorts that created award-winning projects from products to documentary films to immersive events. Through the project-based journey we spent time on the often overlooked “soft skills” like emotional intelligence. Hard skills are the cost of entry, it’s the soft skills that make an exceptional team. When the program ends, the talent is funneled into the organization.


72andSunny, (Adage US agency of the year 2013Fast Company most innovative companies 2015WNW 50 companies creatives would die to work for) was in a hyper-growth phase and needed to attract the best talent. 

What I delivered was 72U, a 12-week creative residency that discovered top global talent, and promised participants a chance to get hired at one of the best creative agencies in the world. I helped 72andSunny find and nurture the next generation of creative leaders - people they would not have had access to using traditional recruiting methods.

To date, the program has a 3% acceptance rate, and those hired by 72andSunny after the program have a 66% higher retention rate than average junior talent in the industry.

Besides becoming award-winning creative minds at 72andSunny, participants have gone on to become:  

  • Virtual Reality Designers for Leap Motion and Google
  • Founding Director of Next Art, an art and technology production company
  • Interaction Designer at Carnegie Mellon working with robotics
  • Product engineer at Robo3D, a 3D printer manufacturer
  • Filmmaker and UX Designer at Intel working with drones, vr and autonomous vehicles
  • Commercial Directors working for Vice, New York Times and Netflix
  • Hybrid Designer at Applied Minds
  • UX Designer at Sonos
  • ...And emotionally intelligent, creative problem-solvers at many other exceptional companies.

While at IDEO as a Creative Resident, I co-led a team, while managing the national research phase of the project. Within 9 weeks we delivered a customer experience for a telecommunication product; identified key insights, archetypes, opportunities to express the value proposition, a roadmap for implementation and a clickable prototype.


The work we made helped solidify 72andSunny as a top innovative company according to Fast Company

Here are some examples of the projects I led:

Award-winning documentaries on the topics of social media and death, automation, and Lolita fashion, that have screened at over 25 international film festivals + A collaboration with Interscope Records to redesign the live music experience by turning each song on BØRNS’ EP Candy into a physical environment that the audience could interact with + A product based on sensory stimuli research, that lets you know if you’re in the ideal environment to create + A park  in Venice Beach that we designed and built, to foster community and host non-profit events + A partnership with River LA where we designed bracelets made with concrete from the demolished 6th street bridge, benefitting the non-profit + An interactive piece of art that creates original music, that we designed and built + An interactive music video using a faux Craigslist site as the interface for story-telling + Custom porcelain sculptures modeled after people’s risk-taking profile + A pop-up gallery and concept retail store exploring the democratization of luxury and the fetishization of food, starring the avocado.


Our work got people talking.


Opportunity attracts talent, a culture keeps talent.

A creative incubator should inspire the organization. Sometimes, it’s as simple as creating an unexpected moment of joy.