Meet the team.
Founder & CEO
Marcel Botha is an entrepreneur, engineer, architect, and investor who experiments with simple hardware ideas on the edge between consumer and medical products, commercializing relevant experiments when they arise. Marcel specializes in guiding product development teams from concept to viable product and has a passion for product acceleration and digital manufacturing.
Christina Sicoli is an industrial and brand designer, specializing in creating experiences through products. With a diverse background, her process is defined by the ability to blend interior, industrial and graphic field experience into different design approaches. Her work focuses largely on examining relationships between people, objects, and environments to create meaningful interactions; challenging people to look past objects, and engage in their surroundings. Sicoli’s minimalist style distills objects to their fundamental purpose, providing reason for her design decisions. This ensures simple yet engaging pieces which aim to stay with their users for years to come.
Director of Operations
Caitlin Dickerboom is a business and operations strategist who develops and leads internal operations, while creating collaborative learning environments for high-functioning teams. With a background in biochemistry, healthcare ethics, and design management, she applies systems thinking and process design to internal and venture initiatives.
Head of Europe
For the past decade, Manuel has helped his clients bridge business and design by combining a deep expertise in developing and implementing communication strategies with an unmatched ability to craft compelling visual storytelling. In 1998 he joined Zago and helped shape the design consultancy into a world-class corporate identity and visual communication practice. Under his leadership the studio broadened its scope of services, industry reach and its creative vision. Manuel holds an MFA in photography and related media from the School of Visual Arts, where he also taught as a faculty member, and a BFA in photography from Corcoran School of Art in Washington, DC. He serves in the communications advisory board at Human Rights Watch, is a board member of photo agency VII, and acts as National Director of Social Engagement for Design for Good at the AIGA. Manuel has lived in the Soviet Union, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and England, before relocating to the United States in 1988. He is fluent in Italian, Spanish and English.
Director of Engineering
Michael Circosta is a mechanical engineer with over fifteen years experience taking products from sketch through high-volume mass-production. He has developed successful products in a wide range of markets including apparel, injection-molded consumer goods, and high tolerance mechanical assemblies. Michael also brings a wealth of model making and fabrication experience to the team. This enables him to efficiently construct models and test fixtures to both drive design decisions and validate product performance.
JAN DU PREEZ
Senior Industrial Designer
Jan du Preez is an industrial designer with more than a decade of experience in product design. He has collaborated on several projects to achieve prestigious awards like the Red Dot Design Award. From concepts that are playful to the technical side of engineering his work ranges from consumer electronics, medical device design, architectural installations, jig and tool design, and interactive kiosks. Combined with a good understanding of the client’s needs and an in-depth understanding of manufacturing, he has successfully positioned numerous products on the global market.
Senior Industrial Designer
Johan Bredenkamp is an Industrial Designer, keen camper and sports lover. He is inspired by functional aesthetic design that pushes technical boundaries to deliver within time and budget constraints. He has over 19 years of experience in Product Design, Short run and Mass production. With production ranging from low to high, more than 100 of his designs and design collaborations has been produced and sold in various forms. These include Consumer Products, Medical Products, Packaging and Furniture products. Johan has a thorough understanding of all processes involved with New product development with a passion to design products to have value for both client and end user by balancing Features, Quality, Aesthetics, Development Costs, and Unit Price. For the past 11 years he has also been involved as a Product Design Manager and Product Designer developing products to obtain funding for the next phase in development or for exit strategies. He thus understands the importance of determining where you are in the development phase, and where you want to end up with the next phase.
Simon Ellison is a New Zealand born native, driven by creativity and innovation. Since arriving, Simon has built interactive clouds, developed revolutionary kitchen equipment, and helped to kickstart products across the world. After taking time off to sail the North Atlantic Ocean Simon soon realized his most valuable days were spent creating. As an ode to thirty days spent drifting between horizons he vouched to spend an entire month devoted to creating one product per day. His pursuit to create daily only grew stronger and he now channels that into the daily work at 10XBeta.
Ellen Crane is an Industrial Designer from the Victoria University School of Design, NZ. There she developed a real interest for human-centered design and the foreseen applications of 3D printing technologies in the medical industry. After participating in many streams of design, she continues to hone her skills in user research and concept development. Ellen has a passion for creating and innovating products that have an impact, and is constantly developing her skills as a holistic design thinker. Recently, Ellen gained experience is in physical prototyping and prop building in the film industry, where she learned a great deal about material qualities, applications, and fabrication.
Berk Ilhan is a product and experience designer transforming unpleasant experiences into delightful ones. His portfolio includes an extensive variety of projects ranging from healthcare experiences to modular furniture systems, and virtual reality interfaces to futuristic household appliances. Berk’s work has been recognized by various international design competitions such as the iF Design Award, IDEA, Red Dot, and A’ Design Award.
Thomas Lloyd is a multidisciplinary design engineer with experience working on robotic solar energy capturing devices and autonomous underwater vehicles. Recently graduating from the Auckland University of Technology with an honors degree in mechanical engineering, he brings a combination of creative and technical skillsets to the team. Aside from engineering, Thomas has been a professional action sports photographer in New Zealand, Japan, and Korea in addition to taking part in the skiing, mountain-biking and climbing he photographs.