Kosta Ligris is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship and a Lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management.
He came to MIT as an experienced entrepreneur and was the founder of the Ligris family of companies, a collection of professional services, real estate, consulting, and tech companies. Along with its affiliated title agencies, ACES Title – the Ligris companies have overseen over $70 billion of real estate matters during his leadership.
Kosta is admitted to practice law in Massachusetts, New York, Washington D.C., and the United States Federal Court for the First District. He has been recognized as a real estate “Super Lawyer” for ten consecutive years (2012-2021). Kosta has represented and performed consulting services for some of the nation’s largest banks and real estate companies and has developed real estate in the Greater Boston markets for over a decade. Kosta develops systems, protocols and technology to create greater efficiency, security, compliance, and oversight in the real estate and title/settlement industry.
Kosta mentors, advises, and invests in startups in fintech, “real-estate tech” or “Proptech”, and blockchain – disrupting the real estate and title insurance verticals. He has written about innovation in real estate for several national industry publications including the M Report in a feature entitled “The Scramble for Innovation” and is often quoted discussing “Responsible Innovation” – the responsibility to ensure that innovation in fintech doesn’t create new obstacles to credit and financial services to the underrepresented.
Kosta is now the co-founder of Stavvy a venture backed digital transaction platform providing lenders, their vendors and other organizations with eSign, remote notary and identity solutions to provide for safer, more transparent digital transactions.
Kosta has been a mentor at MIT’s Leadership Center & Sandbox Innovation Fund and has researched corporate engagement with MIT’s Innovation Initiative based in Kendall Square. He is passionate and has written about culture in the workplace and using tools to mitigate anxiety and stress for busy executives and professionals. When he is not practicing his amateur photography skills, he is an active philanthropist, serving various boards benefiting the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, to name a couple.
Kosta holds a B.S. in Physiology and Chemistry from Boston University, a J.D. with honors from Suffolk University Law School (where he serves on the Dean’s Cabinet and as a University Trustee), and an M.B.A. from MIT’s Sloan School of Management.
Kevin D. Johnson, president of Johnson Media Inc. and a serial entrepreneur, has several years of experience leading his marketing and communications company that now serves many of the most notable global businesses, such as Porsche, Chase, and The Coca-Cola Company. As an innovative leader, he has appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America, CBS, and in Forbes, The New York Times, FastCompany, and The Wall Street Journal. Moreover, he has appeared on CNN frequently. He is author of the bestselling book, The Entrepreneur Mind: 100 Essential Beliefs, Characteristics, and Habits of Elite Entrepreneurs. Kevin is currently a Leadership Fellow and EMBA student at MIT’s Sloan School of Management.
Before founding his company, Kevin engineered web applications and produced computer software for leading companies. He was a software developer for IBM, CNN en Español, and Accenture.
Born in Youngstown, Ohio and raised in Boxford, Massachusetts, Kevin attended Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, where he studied computer science as a NASA scholar and Spanish, graduating with honors. While in college, he started Johnson Media Inc., which created one of the first online content management systems, called OmniPublisher. He later sold it to a publishing company. Realizing the tremendous opportunity in applying Internet technologies to media and marketing, he decided to focus his business on this growing market.
Kevin was also the director of economic gardening for the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG), one of the nation’s largest nonprofit trade organizations for technology. In this role, he was responsible for leading an innovative approach to economic development that focused on providing resources to high-tech businesses located in Georgia’s coastal region. Similarly, he was a business mentor for Creative Startups based in New Mexico, helping entrepreneurs in the leading accelerator for creative companies.
In 2015, Kevin was invited to the White House for a special event regarding entrepreneurship with President Obama and other dignitaries such as Mark Cuban, owner of Dallas Mavericks; Steve Case, Chairman and CEO, Revolution, LLC and Co-Founder of AOL; Brian Chesky, Co-Founder and CEO, Airbnb; and Rich Barton, Founder, Expedia, Zillow, and Glassdoor. The White House brought together approximately 100 emerging entrepreneurs from across the United States and around the world to recognize them, to create innovative solutions to world challenges, and to highlight the importance of the President’s commitment to helping young entrepreneurs.
Furthermore, Kevin teaches (in Spanish) in the engineering postgraduate program at Anáhuac Mayab University in Mérida, Mexico. Specifically, his course is “Marketing: Transmitting Innovation” for those obtaining a master’s degree in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Kevin is the first international teaching fellow for the program. Anáhuac Mayab University, with approximately 4,600 students, is the leading private institution of higher learning in the southeast of Mexico.
In his spare time, Kevin enjoys mentoring entrepreneurs, volunteering and serving on boards for nonprofits, listening to salsa and jazz, playing piano in his Latin band, reading, golfing, traveling, and running marathons. He often is a keynote speaker at conferences and universities around the world. In 2016, Kevin was appointed by his local city’s mayor to serve as a commissioner.