Experienced Investors on Judging Panels

All judges are investors with years of experience in investing and working with startup companies.

Time expectation from our busy judges schedule is estimated to be 15 hours over a 2.5 months period.

Pismo Ventures National Venture Plan Competition

IMPORTANT JUDGES’ INSTRUCTIONS

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR ALL JUDGES: Please go to the All Events Calendar and select the virtual Live Judging Event that corresponds to panel you selected to judge and save it to your own calendar. Please repeat for each of the panels you have selected to judge.

You are welcome to attend all the webinars and workshops. Use the calendar to save the times and dates for the webinars and workshops you would like to attend as well.

All links for the virtual Live Judging Events and Webinars and Workshops will be provide few days before each event.

You will receive an invitation to register/login into a platform in order to evaluate the applicants submissions (application, plan, deck and video pitch).  For instructions on how to register and evaluate applicants, please watch this video.

The rubric and scoring will all be online through the platform.  Here is a sneak peek at the rubric and how to score.

Between parenthesis next to each judge’s name is the category/panel number(s) each judge has selected to be on. Here is a list of the categories/panels by number:

1.Business Products or Services (B2B)
2.Consumer Products or Services (B2C)
3.Life Sciences and Healthcare
4.Social Enterprise
5.Clean Technologies (Cleantech)
6.Financial Technologies (FinTech)
7.Hardware or Software Technology
8.AI, Blockchain, Robotics
9.Digital Solutions (Media, Web, App, E-Sports, etc…)
10.Other (Government, Military, Education, Sports, etc…)

Investors Judges

Dave Berkus (1,7)
Dave Berkus

Dave Berkus

Dave Berkus has a well-established track record in operations, venture investing and corporate board service, both public and private. As an entrepreneur, he has formed, managed and sold successful businesses in the entertainment and software arenas. As a private equity investor, he has obtained healthy returns from over twenty-five liquidity events from investments in early-stage ventures. He acts as CEO coach and advisory board member to a number of technology companies, both public and private.

Dave is current or recent Board Chairman or board member for numerous public and private technology companies. Active in a total of over forty companies, he was recognized as “Director of the Year” by the Orange County-based Forum for Corporate Directors, and “Technology Leader of the Year” by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

Dave is co-author of fourteen books for entrepreneurs, investors and corporate boards. He speaks of his lessons learned and those of “his” entrepreneurs in keynotes worldwide.

He has made over 197 investments in early stage ventures, for which he has an IRR of 105%, and manages six early stage funds, including Berkus Technology Ventures, LLC, Kodiak Ventures, L.P., Wayfare Ventures LLC, and three Tech Coast Angels ACE Funds, where Dave is also Chairman Emeritus of TCA.

Dave serves as a Trustee of Occidental College, where he is Vice Chair of the Board. He is often engaged as keynote speaker for events worldwide, speaking on trends in technology and of success factors for early stage companies.

Richard Sudek (5)
Richard Sudek

Richard Sudek

Richard Sudek, Ph.D. is UCI’s Chief Innovation Officer and Executive Director of UCI Applied Innovation.

Sudek earned a Ph.D. in management and master’s degrees in business administration and organizational behavior at Claremont Graduate University. His research focuses on the angel investment decision process, examining how and why angel investors choose their investments.

Sudek received a B.S. in Information and Computer Sciences from UCI in 1981. He founded Nadek Computer Systems, a data networking design business and served as its CEO for 17 years. In 1999, he sold the company to Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), an international firm and was a vice president at SAIC before pursuing his academic career.

Universities and businesses throughout the world have benefited from Sudek’s expertise in entrepreneurial finance, strategy and leadership, as well as angel investing, executive coaching and business partnerships. He has served as an advisor to several MBA programs, served as a reviewer for the National Science Foundation, and has judged business plan competitions in the U.S. and Europe. He has taught entrepreneurship at Chapman University, INSEAD in France, the Rotterdam School of Management in the Netherlands, and the Peter F. Drucker & Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management at Claremont Graduate University. He also has served on advisory committees for Microsoft, IBM, Novell and Cisco.

Sudek has been an active angel investor through direct investment and angel funds in over 100 startup companies since 2000. He has served on the Angel Capital Association board, a national trade group, and is Chairman Emeritus of Tech Coast Angels (TCA), the largest angel organization in the U.S. investing $235+ million in over 400 startup companies. In addition, these companies have attracted over $1.8 billion in follow on investments. Through TCA, Sudek has screened over 1,000 startup companies. Sudek currently sits on the TCA Board of Governors, as well as boards of engineering and high-tech firms. 

Fred Haney (1,3,7)
Fred Haney

Fred Haney

Dr. Fred Haney is the founder and President of the Venture Management Co., a firm that provides startup guidance to high tech companies. He is the author of “The Fundable Startup: How Disruptive Companies Attract Capital,” published on February 6, 2018, by Select Books of New York.
Other accomplishments include: 1) Founder, Monday Club, a 1000-member mentoring network (MondayClub.com) that has helped hundreds of startups raise capital; 2) Co-founder, Tech Coast Angels, one of the largest angel investor groups in the U.S.; 3) Founder and manager of 3i Ventures, California, a venture capital fund that was the largest fund in Southern California in the 1980s and that invested $80 million in 60 companies and produced 19 public companies and highly profitable, top quartile returns.
Dr. Haney has been a co-founder of five startup companies, including: NovaDigm Therapeutics, the first fungal vaccine tested in humans; DRC Computer, the most powerful gene sequencing computer in the world; NMR Finder, an artificial intelligence nuclear magnetic resonance imaging accelerator.
He served as a director of Orange County’s Parcel Pending, leading supplier of kiosk-based locker systems for package delivery, which was acquired in January, 2019, for over $100 million.
He served on the Board of Directors of Rainbow Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: RNBO), a provider of digital security products, until it was acquired by Safenet, Inc. in 2003 for $457 Million.
He has been a director of over 30 high-tech companies.
In 1999, Dr. Haney was selected “Mentor/Angel of the Year” by the American Electronics Association in Orange County.  In 2002, he was named “Director of the Year for Early Stage Companies” by the Forum for Corporate Directors.
Before 1983, Haney held senior management positions with Xerox, CSC, and TRW.
He earned a Ph.D. degree in Computer Sciences from Carnegie-Mellon University, an M.S. in Mathematics from Colorado State University, and a B.A. from Ohio Wesleyan University.

John Harbison (2,7)
John Harbison

John Harbison

John Harbison is Chairman Emeritus of Tech Coast Angels where he has led 14 deals and invested in over 60 startups. He is also an active investor in public companies, and has realized returns from 100x – 1100x in five companies (Microsoft, Apple, Abbott Labs, Nucor and McGraw-Hill). He currently serves as a Board Director on the Angel Capital Association and multiple early stage companies. Previously he co-founded Next Autoworks – a disruptive new American car company backed by Kleiner Perkins and Google Ventures. Before that he served as CEO of network security software SilentRunner Inc., and as President of Raytheon Commercial Ventures Inc. where he launched four businesses in two years leading to two successful exits and a third company which achieved $700 million in annual revenue within eight years. Earlier in his career, he led Booz•Allen Hamilton’s Aerospace/Defense Practice and its Strategic Alliances functional practice. He has an BA cum laude from Harvard College, an MS in accounting from NYU Stern and an MBA from Harvard Business School with first year honors.
Jeff Bocan (7)
Jeff Bocan

Jeff Bocan

Jeff Bocan is a Partner at Okapi Venture Capital. Jeff is an 18-year veteran venture capitalist and executive in the technology industry, and serves as the deal lead for Okapi on several deals including: WhiteFox Defense Technologies, TrackStreet, CloudKeyz, Nimble for Good, CLI Studios, Daasity and Trellis Research.

Prior to joining Okapi, Jeff served on the executive team for 3+ years of one of his portfolio companies as the Senior Vice President of Mophie, helping drive revenues to $250+M and a successful exit. Prior to joining Mophie, Jeff was a venture capitalist for 13+ years, last serving as a Managing Director at Beringea where he sourced, led, or managed the investments for 35 of Beringea’s portfolio companies and served on 22 boards including: Mophie, eSpotting, MergerMarket, Steak Digital, Sakti3, amongst others. Jeff has also been an active angel investor with several successful exits, with the most notable as one of two angels in Duo Security (acquired by Cisco for $2.4 Billion).

Jeff earned undergrad and MBA degrees from University of Notre Dame, the University of Virginia, respectively.

Grant Van Cleve (4,8)
Grant Van Cleve

Grant Van Cleve

Grant, the Chairman of the prestigious Tech Coast Angels, is involved in 74 start-ups, serving as a board member or formal advisor in a quarter of those. He is also Managing Partner of Hangar 75 Ventures. Grant has served as CEO and Executive Chairman of portfolio company, Buy It Installed, Inc, which uses artificial empathy to automate the installed-sales process, allowing any manufacturer or retailer to bundle national installation at the point of sale. Alongside SoCal startups, Grant also does real estate development locally and in Eastern Europe, and clean-tech and education projects globally. Grant pours time into catalyzing the entrepreneurial ecosystem locally and in the developing world, and can be found in leadership roles in his church and in local politics. He returned to CA in 2010 after studies at Wharton followed by 19 years in Europe. Grant is regularly on the OC50 list of top influencers in Orange County, CA.

David Friedman (1,6,7)
David Friedman

David Friedman

David Friedman is a tech-savvy marketing and business executive and angel investor with more than 30 years’ expertise in bringing to market new technology. His passion is innovation and commercializing technology to meet the needs of customers. He is currently President, TechCoastAngels OC.
During his career he has commercialized more than $1.5 billion in new products. He has helped companies build top line revenue growth and EBITDA while mentoring the next generation of business leaders. David has been CMO for Narus, a cyber company, executive vice president and Chief Marketing Officer for ATX Group (now Sirius Connected Car), and VP of Marketing and Direct Sales for Connexion by Boeing.
Friedman holds an MBA (economics) from George Washington University, an MSEE degree from Columbia University, and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering (summa cum laude) from City College of New York.
Lisa Walker (7)
Lisa Walker

Lisa Walker

Lisa Walker is an entrepreneur and an angel investor with Tech Coast Angels. Her successful career includes leading two businesses to acquisition and guiding and mentoring startups, turnarounds, and larger organizations through growth to profitability. Her focus is in technology and aviation industries. She holds eight world records and countless National Championship medals in Formation Skydiving, is an instrument-rated private pilot, a marathon runner, and an advanced scuba diver.Lisa Walker is an entrepreneur and an angel investor with Tech Coast Angels. Her successful career includes leading two businesses to acquisition and guiding and mentoring startups, turnarounds, and larger organizations through growth to profitability. Her focus is in technology and aviation industries. She holds eight world records and countless National Championship medals in Formation Skydiving, is an instrument-rated private pilot, a marathon runner, and an advanced scuba diver.
Jim Pickell (1,9)
Jim Pickell

Jim Pickell

Jim Pickell is the chair of Tech Coast Angels OC Fund. He’s spent the last decade building scalable, hyper-growth, innovative businesses, across modular building (using shipping containers to build schools and affordable housing), HomeExchange.com (allowing people to put vacant homes to use while saving on travel) and OpenEnglish.com, Latin America’s leading language school. As SVP at Sony he helped forge new business models for film, music and games. Jim started as an attorney focused on M&A, but ultimately sought to collaborate with like-minded thinkers and influence positive change. He holds degrees from UC Berkeley, Loyola Law School, and Anderson business school.
Thomas Lee, MD (3)
Thomas Lee

Thomas Lee

Dr. Thomas Lee, M.D., M.B.A.: Dr. Lee is the Chair of the Medical and Life Sciences Committee for the Orange County chapter of Tech Coast Angels (TCA). He has been the deal lead for several of Tech Coast Angels’ medical and life sciences companies and also heads the medical/life sciences prescreen process for TCA-OC. Dr. Lee is a practicing anesthesiologist in Orange County, California with interests in neurosurgical and trauma anesthesia. He has recently taken a keen interest in the burgeoning field of aesthetic and regenerative medicine and will soon be opening the Jade Phoenix Aesthetic Medicine Medical Spa to put into practice what he has learned. Moreover, Dr. Lee has published works in the medicinal natural products research space and is heavily involved with the medical, pharmaceutical, and medical device startup community in Orange County.
Patrick Flynn (1,7,8)
Patrick Flynn

Patrick Flynn

Patrick Flynn is an investor and advisor focused on understanding market opportunities, identifying solutions and helping develop teams to build and grow businesses. Success requires an instinct for spotting value and opportunity and seeing this in people, technology, an innovative product or an opening in the marketplace. Patrick has deep experience in customer relationships, product development and lean manufacturing. Bringing people together who thrive on challenge is the common thread in these accomplishments.
Girard Miller (6,10)
Girard Miller

Girard Miller

Girard Miller is a seasoned expert investor and corporate executive, now active as an angel investor in the Southern California venture capital marketplace. He is an active member of Tech Coast Angels. Having begun his career in the public sector, Girard has led investment and business teams over three decades years in the executive capacity of CIO, CEO and COO at three major national investment management companies. In 2019 he authored Enlightened Public Finance to encourage fiscal literacy. Girard has been qualified previously as a Sarbanes-Oxley financial expert and as a federal court expert witness on pension finance and investments. He is an MPA graduate of the Maxwell School of Public Affairs, Syracuse University, and a MA Economics graduate of Wayne State University with a BA degree from the University of Washington, Seattle. Now writing a biweekly public finance column for Governing.com, Girard is a retired CFA charterholder.
Steven Mednick (4)
Steven Mednick

Steven Mednick

Steven Mednick is Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship at the Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at the USC Marshall School of Business and is an expert in entrepreneurship, corporate entrepreneurship, strategic alliances and angel funding. He is the past Associate Director of Marshall’s Center for Global Innovation and Academic Director, Graduate Programs, Lloyd Greif Center, and is an author and frequent speaker and writer in the field. Professor Mednick currently teaches in the Marshall MBA, EMBA and Master of Medical Management programs and is a two-time winner of the Marshall Golden Apple teaching award. Education: JD, MPA, University of Southern California; BA, UCLA.

Outside of USC, he has advised over 1400 early stage companies through his thirteen-year relationship with the Small Business Administration’s Small Business Development Centers. Steve’s clients have reported over $750 million in economic impact to the SBA, and he has been awarded the SBA’s State Star for outstanding performance. Steve is also a member of Tech Coast Angels, Orange County.

During the “dot com” era, Mednick established the corporate ventures office for a $2.3 billion global computer hardware company in Silicon Valley where he contributed $100 million+ in new revenue through investments, strategic sales and alliances.

In the mid 1990s, Mednick launched and ran a new division of publicly traded healthcare company wherein the division became cash flow positive within twelve months and established a new distribution channel of over 100 partners.

In 1990 he joined a very early stage data services company in Orange County as Vice President of Sales & Marketing and General Counsel. Within 30 months, revenues grew 945% without outside capital, marketing and sales expanded nationwide, a number of key strategic partners were established and venture capital funding was secured positioning the company for eventual purchase.

Volker Hüther (1,2,3)
Volker Huther

Volker Huther

Volker Hüther, a trilingual German, with a passion which goes far beyond numbers, who always strives to be the catalyst for improvement in any situation. Volker started his career in Investment Banking. He then ventured into the Life Science sector and the Health Care Industry before founding his personal corporation, Hüther Consulting, which focuses on change management.

With over thirty years of experience in enterprises ranging from Startups to Fortune 500 companies, he possesses the know-how needed to provide council to a broad spectrum of businesses. He is a member of the Harvard Alumni Association (both in the US and Germany), the Senate of Economy, Device Alliance, the Greater Irvine Chamber, OCRA, Pacific Council on International Affairs, Tech Coast Angels and PCA Orange County.

Phil Gill (1,5,10)
Phil Gill

Phil Gill

Phillip Gill served as CTO for The Gill Corp, privately owned, developing sustainable competitive advantages that still exists. He also ran sales and operations. Gill grew from $1M to $24M over the 25 years. We manufactured advanced composites, notably aircraft flooring for large commercial jets.
As CEO of Royal Engineered Composites, we made advanced graphite/epoxy composites for aircraft, both military and commercial. He Grew the company from $0.6M to $24M with no outside investors and for 20 years no bank loans. This limited growth but that was how I understood business.

Phillip turned around a manufacturer of aluminum honeycomb for aircraft in Maryland, to be close to daughter who had breast cancer while pregnant.

Phillip Gill has B.S. in Chemical Engineering. He is an expert in advanced composite manufacturing. He is an active angel investor with Tech Coast Angels.

Eelco Niermeijer (1,3)
Eelco Niermeijer

Eelco Niermeijer

Eelco is a partner at B2B CFO, the nation’s largest CFO firm and is an angel investor. He was the CFO for a mountain bike manufacturing company with global sales and production. Prior he was the CFO and member of the Board of Element Materials Technology, a Private Equity owned group of 30 materials testing laboratories in the US and Western Europe. Prior to joining Element, Eelco worked as a controller for several operating companies of the Stork Group in finance and accounting positions serving the Chemical, Oil & Gas and Infrastructural sectors in Europe. Eelco has a master degree in Business Economics.
Garrett Brown (4,7)
Garrett Brown

Garrett Brown

Garrett Brown began his career as a corporate lawyer representing entrepreneurs but decided to leave the law and join a tech startup that would allow him to follow his passion. His first role was selling corporate sponsorships for Fastpoint Games, an online gaming platform. Eventually, he was promoted to run Fastpoint’s Sales and Business Development efforts as VP of Business Development until the company was acquired in 2011. He then helped launch and scale Bitium, an enterprise software company where he served as Chief Revenue Officer until the company was acquired by Google in 2017. Garrett joined Google in a Revenue Management role where he worked with a wide variety of internal teams and learned countless lessons about the inner workings of one of the most recognizable companies in the world. He is now an active startup investor and advisor, an adjunct professor at USC’s Marshall School of Business, and a founding partner of Agency18, a firm that helps companies, build, scale, and inspire sales and revenue teams.
Hans Imhof (8,10)
Hans Imhof

Hans Imhof

Hans started EPE Technologies in Costa Mesa, a manufacturing firm which built power protection equipment for computers. The company grew from 2 to 550 employees and $65 million in sales. He sold the company in 1992 to Merlin Gerin, a billion-dollar French company. Since selling the company in 1992 he has been involved in startup of eight different companies and has sold five of them successfully. As a member of Tee Coast Angels since 2008 he has invested in 43 startup companies.

He also is a Board Member of the University of California, Irvine Innovation Board and Manager of The UCI Cove Fund. (A Fund to create Companies from UCI patents and Technologies).

He currently is a member of Vistage in Orange County. Past board member of two public electronics companies and a member of Tee Coast Angels since 2008. At the present time he is on the board of six companies.

Xandra Laskowski (1,2,9)
Xandra Laskowski

Xandra Laskowski

Xandra Laskowski is a startup advisor with over 25 years of entrepreneurial experience with large
multinational tech companies as well as startups as founder, investor, advisor and board member. She has
held positions as Worldwide Commodity Manager and National Major Accounts managerial roles before
moving into the Angel Investment and startup worlds. She founded OSEA Angel Investors in 2017, a
woman focused angel investment group based at the UCI Cove, University of Irvine, California. OSEA
Angel Investors is an investment partner with Tech Coast Angels, Titan Angels (CSUF) Angel
Syndication Network and Family Office Networks. Through Xolas, Ms. Laskowski provides startup
consulting assisting entrepreneurs in producing their “Startup Roadmap”.

In 2019 Ms. Laskowski was included in the Orange County Business Journal OC 500 Directory of
Influence for Innovation and in February 2020 was nominated to the Orange County Business Journal
Woman in Business Awards. In March 2020 Ms. Laskowski was nominated as a Women of Influence
Awards finalist for the Gamechanger Award.

Ken Hubbard (2,4,9,10)
Ken Hubbard

Ken Hubbard

Mr. Hubbard has been involved in investing in early stage companies for over 12 years. He has coached well over 1,200 CEO’s on the art of the pitch.

After running a successful angel investment network for over 5 years, he developed Pitch Pro, to improve the success of fundraising entrepreneurs. The unique program, improved fundraising by 6-fold. It includes video coaching, pitch pitfalls, and investor insights (www.pitchproceo.com). He also has investments in medical device, streaming video, team recruiting as well as brick and mortar companies.

Mr. Hubbard started his entrepreneurial career in 1988 with the launch of Kenne Sport. He successfully exited in 1991 going on to work for some of the fastest growing and global tech companies in California. His focus recently has been on guidance for CEO’s on all aspects of company governance, capital structures and financial strategies to streamline corporate fundraising.

John Morris (1,7,9)
John Michael Morris

John Michael Morris

I offer nearly 40 years of diverse executive experience including career experience in venture capital, investment banking, angel investing, corporate and financial management.
 
As a Vistage Chair since 2010, I have coached CEOs, many of their direct reports and facilitated their monthly peer advisory board meetings. Members rely on this unique peer group interaction for trusted and unbiased advice on their most critical decisions. My goal was to improve each member’s leadership effectiveness. The previous decade from 2001, I was a managing partner with GKM Ventures, a later-stage venture capital firm based on Los Angeles. From 1992 to 2000, I was affiliated with several regional investment banking firms focused on sell side M&A.
 
Throughout my career, I have been an active member of the Los Angeles business community. I am particularly proud to have been a co-founder, past president and Chairman Emeritus of Tech Coast Angels. Today TCA is the largest angel investor organization in the United States.
 
I have also been a co-founder and director of several well-known business groups, including the Forum for Corporate Directors, the LA Venture Association, the VC Alliance, the So Cal Tech Network, the Tech CEO Network and Launchpad LA.
 
For 12 years since 2005, I have been an adjunct faculty member at the UCLA Anderson School of Management. My focus was coaching the fully-employed MBA candidates in the Global Access Program (GAP) which served as their graduate thesis project.
 
After graduating with my MBA from the Tuck School of Business, I enjoyed career experience as a CFO, an investment banker and eventually as a venture capitalist, initially with First Interstate Bancorp in 1988 to 1992. These various roles provided the opportunity to play leading roles in a diverse set of financings, including mergers, acquisitions and venture capital investments.
 
During my career, I have served on a number of public and private boards, and presently serve as a director for several venture-backed companies.
 
My wife Teddi and I have enjoyed adventure travel across the South Pacific for scuba diving or in Africa for safari. More recently we have cruised the major rivers of Europe. My two hobbies are golf and digital photography. I am a proud father of two adults, Tyler and Elise. We are blessed with three wonderful grandchildren, Jonah, Oliver and Victoria.
Mike Benvenuti (1)
Mike Benvenuti

Mike Benvenuti

Mike Benvenuti is a member of the Investment Committee of OC Cove Fund I, LLC. He is an active Expert in Residence at UCI Applied Innovation, and an advisor or board member with several early stage startups. Mr. Benvenuti was previously a service sector business executive with a long history in recurring revenue business where keeping customers for life is the key to building shareholder value. In 1985, he joined the nascent wireless industry, was an early stage employee for PacTel Cellular that had an IPO as AirTouch in 1994 and was purchased by Vodafone in 1999 for approximately $60B. Subsequently, he held positions of Senior Vice President, Divisional President and Chief Operating Officer for both private and publicly held companies in the education sector. Mr. Benvenuti received a BS (cum laude) in Civil Engineering and an MBA in Finance from UC Irvine.
Scott Fox (1,9)
Scott Fox

Scott Fox

Scott Fox is a serial Internet entrepreneur, best-selling author, startup ecosystem evangelist, and angel investor. After early careers as an investment banker and attorney, he has founded, worked for, invested in, or coached hundreds of startup ventures. An advocate for early stage entrepreneurs, Scott has also written 3 best-selling books to help first-time entrepreneurs get started, including the classics Internet Riches (2006) and Click Millionaires (2012). Today he invests through Tech Coast Angels, is the OC chapter Chairman of Stanford Angels & Entrepreneurs, and also serves as CEO of the Startup Council, a community service association dedicated to accelerating tech startup company success in Orange County, California. Learn about how the OCSC’s monthly MasterMinds Startup Accelerator Workshops for founders can help your startup with fundraising at http://MasterMindsWorkshops.com, and join the Startup Council for publicity at http://StartupCouncil.org.
Bob Warshawer (3,7)
Bob Warshawer

Bob Warshawer

Currently:
Investor, father of 7 kids, 9 grandkids, and 1 great grandkid. Happily married. Love boating.

Work History:
General Redneck – furniture maker, welder, logger
Owned and operated Waterworks drilling company
Founder of Application Group (human resources consultants and Peoplesoft implementations) & Application Resources (contract technical resources). Sold to ADP and Renaissance) in 1993. San Francisco California
Founder of Black Rock Cable (fiber optic utility). Sold to Wave Broadband in 2013. Bellingham Washington
Major investor in Optic Zoo Networks (fiber optic utility). Sold to Zayo in 2018. Vancouver Canada

Mike Krebs (3)
Mike Krebs

Mike Krebs

I started my professional life as an auditor with a public accounting firm in Chicago. While I had good passion for my fellow auditors (I married one) I had no passion for accounting. I returned to school for an MBA and a career switch. This led me to 25 years in the west coast auto industry working for 2 OEM’s in product development and operations.

The background I bring to angel investing is quite broad – from accounting to product development through product launch. I discovered angel investing when someone showed me a deal sheet for the Pasadena Angels. To me the deal sheet was a menu of exciting (mostly) ideas and interesting founders. I had my application in to join the Pasadena Angels that evening and am currently invested in 7 different start-ups.

I especially enjoy meeting entrepreneurs and learning about companies through pitch events. I’m looking forward to meeting you all someday in person.

John Murphy (3,7)
John Murphy

John Murphy

John Murphy is an experienced executive with success in both hardware and software companies. He was Founder and President of D S Technologies Inc., an enterprise software company. Prior to that, he was President of Grabert Systems Inc., a CAD/CAM software company. Prior to Grabert, he was Vice President Marketing and Sales for American Datacom, a communication terminal manufacturer. As an active entrepreneur, he has invested in and taken the lead role in several start-ups, including SMS Corp, SinoAm International, a software conversion company; The Mast Restaurant Corp, and others. His association involvement includes The Tech Coast Angels, (Board Member, OC Hall of Fame Member, Deal Lead, Executive Committee Member, Chair of Seed Track and Coach of Fast Pitch, UCI, (liaison between TCA and UC Irvine), OCTANe, (liaison between TCA and OCTANe), American Electronics Assoc. (National Board), the Forum for Corporate Directors, and The Monday Club. He has served on numerous boards and judged numerous Venture Plan Competitions, both regionally and nationally. John has a B.A. in Management from St. Mary’s College.
Mike Napoli (6)
Mike Napoli

Mike Napoli

Mike Napoli has been mentoring and investing early stage companies since 1997. He has been a member of the Tech Coast Angels, the largest angel investor network in the U.S., since 2000. He currently is the President of the Tech Coast Angels Inland Empire Network and serves on the Tech Coast Angels Board of Governors.
Mike was the Chief Investment Officer and head of Wilshire Associate’s Hedge Funds Group and Funds Management Division. In this role, he worked with large institutional investors in the implementation and monitoring of equity, fixed income and alternative investment programs.  Mike was a member of
Wilshire’s Board of Directors, Chairman of Wilshire Mutual Funds and a Director of the Wilshire Emerging Markets Institute. In the 1970’s and 80’s Mike held senior positions with Bankers Trust Company and Drexel Burnham Lambert. In 2008 Mike founded Performing Arts LIVE, a community service promoting performing arts events in Southern California. He is the Executive Director at Performing Arts LIVE and advises numerous Performing Arts organizations on a variety of strategic and marketing issues.
Jiri Modry (1.3.5.7)
Jiri Modry

Jiri Modry

Active Angel investor. Career spans Multiple CEO & Senior Sales Positions. Successful Entrepreneur as well as Accomplished Senior Corporate Executive (General Electric). Board Member, Advisor and Investor in several companies in Diverse Industries.
Extensive Experience in Hi-Tech, both Domestic and International, driving High Growth through Focus on Market Disrupting Innovation. Several Startups and Turn-Arounds, with several High Multiple Exits. Operational experience range – startup companies, mid-size companies, as well as GE Security with $2B in revenue.
Interests: Angel investing, with focus on Due Diligence and Post investment engagement – as an advisor or board member.
Jim Brandt (2)
Jim Brandt

Jim Brandt

I went to Columbia Law School, practiced law for a couple of years, and then joined my family’s business—we owned and operated a chain of movie theaters on the East Coast, a Broadway theatre, and a beautiful art deco nightclub in South Beach built in the Roaring 20’s (capacity 3,000). When the real estate under some of our movie theaters became far more valuable than the movie theaters, we transitioned to managing a real estate portfolio which includes the Apple store in Lincoln Center as a tenant. For the last 11 years, I’ve been an angel investor and member of Tech Coast Angels’ Los Angeles network and was a member of its Executive Committee for some years. I was gratified to be designated TCA/LA’s Most Valuable Member in 2018. I’ve invested in approximately 100 startups (and helped a number of them raise additional capital), and I spend a significant amount of time meeting startup founders and generally networking the LA and San Diego startup ecosystems.
Jeff Koenig (1,2,6)
Jeff Koenig

Jeff Koenig

Jeff Koenig owns Open 4 Business, providing fractional CEO and CFO strategic planning services to small businesses from pre-launch to exit. With his own outside-the-box methods and tools, Jeff offers an executive education program and lab series in strategic financial planning to expert COOs who need help rounding out their CEO and CFO skills. Jeff also prolifically invests in alternative asset classes including angel capital and institutional real estate with a portfolio of investments spanning many States, GPs and angel groups. On the board of the Desert Angels and two committees of the Angel Capital Association, Jeff enjoys screening, due diligence and process re-engineering with a desire to help the next generation of investors spot investable companies. Jeff advocates as a Trustee of the National Small Business Association and on the National Regulatory Fairness Board. With what time is left, Jeff practices risk assessment as a technical mountain biker.
Scott Lopez (3,5,8)
Scott Lopez

Scott Lopez

Scott Lopez is a Senior Vice President and Private Client Advisor at Bank of America Private Bank in Orange County, CA. He has more than 25 years of business, leadership and management experience, working with business owners, individuals and their families.

Scott began his career at the Private Bank in 2018. He is part of a collaborative team that strives to help high net-worth clients manage the complexities of their wealth and legacy planning, and to develop an integrated wealth strategy tailored specifically for their goals and aspirations. Scott can also offer clients access to banking, credit and lending opportunities from Bank of America, N.A.

Prior to joining Bank of America Private Bank, he served as Managing Director at Primary Capital LLC, providing him with experience and insight into investment banking and the public markets, as well as working with high net-worth investors, venture capitalists, private equity and family offices. Early in his career, he served as a Fighter Pilot and Public Affairs Officer in the United States Marine Corps.

Scott obtained an M.B.A. from The Thunderbird School of Global Management. Scott is an active member of OCTANe, Executive Next Practices and Disabled American Veterans.

Matt Kelliher (1,3,4,8)
Matt Kelliher

Matt Kelliher

Matt is an acknowledged entrepreneur and innovator in global healthcare, with over 30 years of experience improving health care systems at public and private insurers, academic medical centers, community hospitals and medical group practices worldwide. He has been a frequent university lecturer, author of many innovative papers on the future of healthcare and co-author of the acclaimed book “Status One: Breakthroughs in High Risk Population Health Management”.

Matt is currently an executive advisor and investor in Omada Health, one of the fastest growing digital health startups, based in the Bay Area. In 1997 he founded StatusOne Health Systems in Boston. StatusOne was the first remote SaS, licensing an internet application for B2B and was acquired in 2003 by Healthways Inc. In addition, Matt has held senior leadership positions at Healthways, UCSD, Harvard Health and BCBS. He is a native of Massachusetts and enjoys the Red Sox, Patriots and Celtics. He now lives in Dana Point.

Barry Easterling (1,3,10)
Barry Easterling

Barry Easterling

Barry (Bear) has been a Medical Device company leader, proven strategist, and tactician with a 30 year track record of success driving company or division sales and profits to the next level. He is an active Angel Investor and member of Tech Coast Angels (TCA). Barry is on the TCA Orange County MedTech Device Committee. While being a successful serial entrepreneur he concurrently was a decorated Army Aviator Company Commander of an Air Assault unit in the Ohio Army National Guard. In addition to being an Army Helicopter pilot he also wears the Air Assault and Airborne badges along with many other prestigious awards as an Army Officer. Barry has had several successful exits in his career. His most successful exit was American Table Manufacturing to STERIS. From scratch his company designed, engineered and manufactured the most sophisticated minimally invasive carbon fiber surgical table in the world. He accomplished that along with being awarded 3 patents, UL, CE mark, FDA 510k all within a 3 year time frame from start to exit. STERIS is a 2.5 Billion dollar leading medical manufacturer. He achieved this with an exceptional multiple. He donates a lot of his time to mentoring startups and early stage businesses in addition to Angel Investing.
Greg Buchert (3)
Greg Buchert

Greg Buchert

Greg Buchert, MD, MPH is the CEO of GSB Health Management Solutions, an independent consulting firm. He is also engaged in angel investing and serves on the advisory boards of several healthcare start-ups. He is the former President and Chief Executive Officer of Blue Shield of California’s Promise Health Plan that serves 500,000 Medicaid, Medicare and Dual Eligible members in California. He previously served as the Chief Executive Officer that launched Centene’s first Medicaid Managed Care Plan in California and later as Chief Medical Officer of HealthNet. His previous positions include work as a Principal Consultant with Health Management Associates, a national healthcare consulting firm, and as the Chief Operating Officer and Medical Director for CalOptima, a public managed care company for which he was a founding executive. Greg started his career as a Pediatric Emergency Physician serving in leadership positions at two children’s hospitals and as administrative director of a medical group.
Howard Mirowitz (2,4,9)
Howard Mirowitz

Howard Mirowitz

Howard Mirowitz is an active private equity and venture investor with 40+ years of experience in starting and growing businesses, formulating and executing growth strategies, and managing new high- tech product development. He is a Manager of Cove Fund II, a seed-stage VC fund located at UCI Beall Applied Innovation, and serves on the EvoNexus Selection Committee.  He sits on the Boards or Advisory Boards of several startups, and is a member of Tech Coast Angels and Wharton Angels. Previously, in the private equity field, Mr. Mirowitz served on the Board of Razorfish (NASDAQ: RAZF). He also managed Mitsubishi Electric’s U.S. high-tech incubator, which seed-funded several startups, including OpenWave (NASDAQ: OPWV) and General Magic (NASDAQ: GMGC), that developed fundamental enabling technologies for the first wireless Internet smart phones, built by Mitsubishi and launched by AT&T (PocketNet) and NTT DoCoMo (iMode) in 1995.  As VP – advanced product planning and Director – Product Marketing for Mitsubishi’s U.S. electronics business, Mr. Mirowitz defined and launched several products that achieved leading market shares, including the company’s first export PC, which captured 7% of the U.S. market within a year after introduction. At Western Digital, Mr. Mirowitz led the acquisition of Paradise Systems, which became the worldwide leader in the PC display controller market within 18 months. Earlier in his career, he headed market research and planning at Microdata Corporation and directed Touche Ross’s Philadelphia IT consulting practice. Mr. Mirowitz is a Board member of the Illumination Foundation, past President of the OC Mental Health Association, and former co-Chair of the Taxpayer Oversight Committees for the OC Transportation Authority’s Measure M and the Newport-Mesa Unified School District’s Measure A bond issues; he was also Foreman Pro Tempore of the 2006-2007 Orange County Grand Jury.  He was named 2015 Mensch of the Year by the OC Jewish Federation and received the 2013 OneOC Volunteer of the Year Award.   In addition to teaching entrepreneurship at UCI’s Merage School of Business, he serves on the Advisory Board of UCI’s Beall Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and is a volunteer instructor in UCI’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. A Dartmouth College graduate, Mr. Mirowitz received his MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Eric Hsiao (1,2)

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Eric Hsiao

Eric Hsiao

Eric is an active Angel investor and Entrepreneur at heart. He has been a member of Tech Coast Angels Orange County for 5 years. He is part of TCA Executive Committee and Sponsorship Chair for the TCA Orange County Chapter.

Eric also has over 25 years of banking, lending, financial services, and investment experience working with individuals, families, business owners, institutions and/or private equity firms throughout the nation. Eric has held several management and leadership positions with many financial banking institutions throughout his career. Eric spent part of his career managing and leading M&A, business, real estate, and/or construction financing transactions in the franchise restaurant and c-store/gas industries with CitiCapital, Merrill Lynch Capital, and GE Capital. Eric was part of the leadership team that started a successful line of business amassing over $1.5 Billion in assets for a large banking financial institution, which was subsequently acquired by another large institution within 3-years.

Currently, Eric is a Sr. Banker with BNY Mellon Wealth Management working with clients on their wealth plan and reaching their long-term financial, estate, and legacy goals through investments and lending.

Eric also serves on the Board, Treasurer, and Chair of the Finance Committee for Irvine Public Schools Foundation. Eric has a BA from UCLA in Psychology and Business Administration.

Roland Schumann (2,7,10)
Roland Schumann

Roland Schumann

Roland Schumann co-founded SwapDrive, Inc. in 2000 to enable businesses to backup and share their mission-critical information online using secure data centers located away from their regular company offices. His venture capital-funded company created one of the first consumer Internet ‘clouds’ and was acquired by Symantec Corporation in 2008 for more than $100 million. For two years following the acquisition of SwapDrive, Mr. Schumann served as a Senior Director at Symantec where he continued managing day-to-day operations of the cloud storage business unit, overseeing one of the largest data storage infrastructures in the world. He is an active member of the Angel Capital Association as well as President of Sierra Angels (an angel investing group based in the Lake Tahoe Basin). He and his colleagues screen more than 100 investment opportunities each year and choose selected companies to pitch their ideas to the broader membership. Throughout that process, Mr. Schumann coaches and advises entrepreneurs to help them succeed.
Bruce Virga (2)
Bruce Virga

Bruce Virga

Bruce Virga, CEO and Co-Founder of Title3Funds, is an accomplished leader with over three decades of experience driving growth, profitability, strategic alliances, and operational success for companies ranging from insurance to consumer and enterprise software. Bruce joins Title3Funds from WIRIS, which acquired Design Science, a successful software company he bootstrapped and built.
John Pollara (6,7)
John Pollara

John Pollara

John Pollara is the retired Chairman and CEO of Zieman Manufacturing Company.

John has actively supported his community through his dedication and involvement as a member of the Whittier City Personnel Board, Whittier Host Lions Club, Whittier Citizens for Responsible Government, Skills for Adolescence Foundation, The Whittier College Board of Visitors and the California Poly University School of Business Leadership Board. He was named to Cal Poly’s Accounting Hall of Fame in 1995 and was named the Distinguished Alumnus of the College of Business Administration for 1999.

He has also served as a director of the National Bank of Whittier and McFarland Energy, both publicly traded Corporations.

He is a former International Chair of the Institute of Management Accountants and continues to serve on its Board of Directors.

He is currently an active member of The Orange County Tech Coast Angels.

Kathie Priebe (5,7)
Kathie Priebe

Kathie Priebe

Kathie has a lifelong commitment to advancing innovation and entrepreneurship and has been an active Angel Investor since 2014 with memberships in Sierra Angels, E8, Tech Coast Angels, Alliance of Angels, and an Alumni of Golden Seeds. Her career focus has been on hardware / software solutions serving in international positions at The RAND Corp (Computer Sciences), Danet GmbH, TECSI, S.A (acquired by Steria) and nationally as Software Business Development Manager for Intel, and Director of Software Engineering on the founding team for semiconductor company, Xilinx.

She is co-founder of the MIT–Stanford Venture Lab which is now VLab and the Wyoming Women’s Foundation which invests in the economic self-sufficiency of women and opportunities for girls. Kathie is an active philanthropic investor.

John Kensey (2)
John Kensey

John Kensey

John Kensey is a founding member of the Tech Coast Angels, a Manager of the Cove Fund 1 and Managing Member of Avalon Capital Corporation, a private investment and consulting firm whose clients/investments include several start-ups. He is a serial investor in early stage companies having invested in over 50 in his 30 year investment career. His experience includes founder/management roles in two successful start-ups and an LBO of an engineering/distribution company which was subsequently acquired by a large European company. He received his BS in Industrial Engineering from Stanford University in 1959 and his MBA from the Harvard Business School in 1963.
Michael Lynch (1,2)
Michael Lynch

Michael Lynch

Michael has been investing in early stage companies since 2014, and exclusively since 2018 as a member of the Pasadena Angels, vetting companies for consideration and leading deals. Prior to that time, he accumulated 37 years of experience investing $6 billion in commercial real estate. He was President of a $2 billion fund at Black Creek Capital and Chief Investment Officer of GE Capital’s Arden Realty, Inc. Michael was Senior Vice President of Investments at Equity Office, a Sam Zell company. He was heavily involved in the $39 billion sale of the company to the Blackstone Group in 2007. Additionally, he led real estate investment activities at PS Business Parks, 2 family offices and oversaw a national portfolio for Wachovia Bank.

For over 35 years Michael was a full member of the Urban Land Institute and served on an Advisory Board associated with American Homes for Rent, a real estate investment trust. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from Mt. St. Mary’s College and a Master of Architecture from Virginia Tech. Additionally, he is a trail runner in Angeles National Forest, plays tennis, is a student of modern European history and enjoys traveling with his wife, Beth.

Sanjay Shrivastava (3)
Sanjay Shrivastava

Sanjay Shrivastava

Dr. Sanjay Shrivastava is an entrepreneur, investor, and a corporate executive in the field of medical devices. He has been involved in developing, commercializing, evaluating, and acquiring medical devices for the past 20 years. After holding leadership positions in R&D, business development, and marketing at Medtronic, Abbott Vascular, Edwards Lifesciences, and BTG, plc, he cofounded BlackSwan Vascular–a funded medical device startup company, where he serves on the board of directors. Sanjay also serves as a member of the board of directors at Hancock Jaffe Laboratories, Inc., which is a Nasdaq traded medical device company based in Irvine, CA. In addition, Sanjay currently works as a director, business development at Johnson & Johnson in its cardiovascular group of companies. He is also a part of the Tech Coast Angels and TIE Angels groups.

Sanjay serviced as a vice president, upstream marketing and strategy at BTG, plc, when it was a $800MM revenue company traded at London stock exchange. BTG was later acquired by Boston Scientific. As a director, global marketing at Medtronic, he was instrumental in starting and building its vascular embolization business. Prior to that, he was a director, R&D, where he led the development of Solitaire FR clot retriever for treating acute ischemic stroke through its CE mark and IDE approval for the US clinical trial SWIFT. He also led R&D teams for various stents and other interventional products through their FDA clearances and approvals. Sanjay holds 30 issued US patents and numerous International patents in medical devices and has edited two books including one titled “Medical Device Materials” published by ASM International. He was named among 100 Notable People in Medical Device Industry by the prestigious MD&DI (Medical Devices and Diagnostics Industry) magazine. He has been an invited speaker at clinical, business, and engineering conferences to speak about medical device innovation and commercialization. Sanjay holds a doctorate in materials science and engineering from the University of Florida and a bachelor’s from the Indian Institute of Technology. He resides in Southern California with his wife and two children.

Lawrence Jordan (1,2)
Lawrence Jordan

Lawrence Jordan

Lawrence(Larry) S. Jordan is a member of the OC Network of the Tech Coast Angels for 23 years. During this time he has invested in and mentored numerous companies that have achieved successful exits. In addition he has served on numerous Corporate and Non Profit boards

His working career included business development and corporate management positions of various startups primarily in IT. Those roles included VP and CEO roles in public companies that achieved up to $billion dollar market caps.

In addition to the Tech Coast Angels, Mr. Jordan is Director Emeritus of the Forum for Corporate Directors, and has served on the Advisory Boards of the UC Irvine Schools of Art and Computer Science. He has also served as Coach, mentor and judge at Loyola Marymount University EMBA and the UCI MBA programs. He continues as judge for the UCLA Anderson School Global Access Program.

Mr. Jordan received a BS Economics from Arizona State University. He also holds a certification from the Directors Institute UCLA.

David McNeil (9)
David McNeil

David McNeil

David is widely known as a Renaissance Man due to his varied interests. He is a former executive of United Artists Entertainment and is in Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in Industry & Finance as one of the original developers of the Pay-Per-View television concept.

David was also Executive Producer for a full-length feature film, THE BIG DAY.

Executive Producer of a number to TV shows: FACETStelevision, EyeOnBusiness, The Judge’s Chambers, Orange County Most Wanted, Innovation, The Berkus Report, Street-savvy Business, Ask Dino Show, EyeOn Entertainment

David’s passion for photography has expanded his photography resume’ to include:

The OSCARS, Supermodels Grammy Party, Night of 100 Stars, Music Videos; Book Covers; Model Portfolios, TEDx conferences, Movie Set Stills, Custom Product Shots,. And, of course, Landscapes & Exotic People.

David’s video work has been seen on ACCESS HOLLYWOOD, FOX, PBS, TED and GOOD DAY LA.

David has been an active investor in the fields of Insurance, Digital Media, Social and Finance. His investments are directly with private parties or via Tech Coast Angels.

Ronald Weissman (7)
Ronald Weissman

Ronald Weissman

Dr. Ronald Weissman is Chairman of the Software Group of the Band of Angels, Silicon Valley’s oldest angel organization and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Angel Capital Association, North America’s umbrella organization for angel investors. He has more than twenty years of experience in venture and angel capital. Ron was a Partner and portfolio manager for seventeen years at global venture capital and private equity firm Apax Partners where he focused on North American and cross-border software investing. He has invested or advised more than 60 companies and has served on more than 30 corporate boards.

Today, Ron advises financial and corporate venture funds, national and regional governments and G2000 corporate innovation programs. He is a frequent conference speaker and advisor on startup ecosystems, entrepreneurship, venture and angel capital trends, AI, startup governance, term sheets and valuation, M&A and other aspects of venture and corporate investing. He has advised governmental and private organizations in Emilia-Romagna (Italy), Armenia, Chile, Israel and the Republic of Georgia as well as the US White House on developing effective startup ecosystems. He lectures regularly at Stanford, the University of Santa Clara and other universities in the US and abroad on venture and angel capital trends.

Prior to Apax, he directed Marketing (CMO) and Investor Relations at Verity (enterprise knowledge retrieval), which won “Large Cap Turnaround of the Year” from the Turnaround Management Association) after the company increased its market cap from $50M to nearly $2B and gained top market share. Before Verity, he directed Strategic Marketing and European Marketing for NeXT, reporting to Steve Jobs. Prior to NeXT, Ron consulted for federal agencies on IT strategy and served on the faculty of the University of Maryland, first, as Associate Professor (History) and then as head of Academic Computing, and then directed academic computing at Brown University before leaving the academy join Steve Jobs at NeXT.

Ron invests in enterprise software, analytics, AI and health IT. He has led or co-led dozens of investments, has led M&A deals and secondary public offerings. His current passion is outreach to angels and entrepreneurs at startup hubs worldwide.

He is a former Fulbright Scholar and received his BA, MA and Ph.D. degrees from UC Berkeley.

Tunde Oshinowo (3)
Tunde Oshinowo

Tunde Oshinowo

Tunde Oshinowo is an Associate at the Blue Venture Fund.

He helps manage the Fund’s investments in Verata, ID Experts, and Payfone. Prior to BVF, Tunde was an associate at Abundant Venture Partners, where he focused on digital health and senior care. Tunde started his career in digital product design at Next College Student Athlete, the largest athletic recruiting network in the US.

Tunde holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. An NFL alumni, Tunde also played professional football for four years following his time at Stanford University, where he received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering.

Greg Woodson (1,2)
Greg Woodson

Greg Woodson

Greg is a global consumer packaged goods marketing professional and spent 36 years with the Colgate Palmolive Company. He held management positions in the US, Europe, Latin America and Asia. From his last overseas posting as Vice President Asia Business Development in Hong Kong, Greg was promoted to President Global Fabric Care at Colgate Palmolive’s NYC headquarters and later promoted to President Global Home Care. Greg’s keys to profitable growth: assessing the competitive landscape, consumer insights leading to relevant new product innovations, focus on pricing/margins, building brands, speed to market and developing winning teams. Greg also restructured several businesses and led numerous M&A initiatives.

Greg lives in Lake Tahoe, serves on the Sierra Angel’s Executive Committee and is an active investor. He is on the USC Marshall Business School Dean’s Advisory Board and is Chairman Emeritus of an Educational Foundation. In addition to skiing, Greg enjoys coaching executives, businesses and startups.

Brian Mac Mahon
Brian Mac Mahon

Brian Mac Mahon

Brian Mac Mahon, the founder of Expert DOJO, has consulted and coached in over 35 countries bringing a global perspective to starting and growing a small business. He has been teaching the power of connecting in a community and the process of turning a pay it forward mindset into a revenue generator for years. Brian combines this teaching with the experience of working with thousands of small business over the years. Brian heads the Expert DOJO high-performance accelerator and has access to thousands of experts and mentors who will help any entrepreneur find what they need to pursue their small business dream. He has spoken all over the world about the most efficient ways to start, grow and expand any business. He is a vital partner for any small business team.
Jonathan Hung (2,8,9)
Jonathan Hung

Jonathan Hung

Jonathan Hung is Co-Managing Partner of Unicorn Venture Partners. He is an experienced professional with expertise in operations management, finance, business development, multinational business strategy, entrepreneurship, networking, data analysis, and leadership.

Jonathan has experience running U.S. and China offices as the President of United Overseas Textile Corporation. An international clothing manufacturing and textile business that was started by his father in 1996. UOTC specializes in designing and manufacturing apparel in partnership with retailers such as Amazon, Burlington, and Costco. In addition, he was the Managing Member for his family office fund, J Heart Ventures, which made investments in startup companies such as Gyft, ChowNow, Miso Robotics, Clover Health, Bitmain, etc.

Jonathan has also worked at Morgan Stanley, UBS, and Cummins.

He holds various degrees from the University of Southern California, London School of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Shane Kelly
Shane Kelly

Shane Kelly

Shane believes that technology and content inspire the imagination; and imagination will inspire a more equitable economy. Shane is the founder of Cinematica Labs and Wolverine Angels, an angel investing syndicate of University of Michigan alumni.

As a tech investor in California, he backed founders including Rachel Payne (FEM, Acquired by Nielsen Gracenote), Shane Hegde (Air), and Ramses Alcaide (Neurable).

In total, Shane has invested in 20+ tech startups and participated in financing 20+ feature films. He has spoken on venture investing and human and machine bias to organizations including Female Founders Alliance, F50, Google Developers, and Startup Runway.

An active member of the tech startup community, Shane has served as Entrepreneur in Residence for Techstars Los Angeles, Advisor for Plug In South LA, and Mentor for programs including Backstage Capital and Nex3.

Shane holds an MBA with distinction from University of Michigan and a BS cum laude from Morehouse College.

Paul Voois (8)
Paul Voois

Paul Voois

Dr. Paul Voois is a Fund Manager with Cove Fund (www.covefund.com), an early stage venture fund in Irvine, CA. He is also a member of Tech Coast Angels. As an entrepreneur, Dr. Voois established a track record of building valuable companies with unique, defensible technology in the networking, communications and software industries. In 2002 he co-founded ClariPhy Communications, a venture- backed supplier of optical networking semiconductors that was acquired by Inphi (NYSE:IPHI) for $300M in 2016 and now operates as Inphi’s Coherent DSP business unit. He served as ClariPhy’s CEO until 2011 and as Chief Strategy Officer until its acquisition. Prior to founding ClariPhy, he served as CEO of 8×8 (NASDAQ:EGHT), a market leader in voice and video over IP technology. Dr. Voois received an MS and PhD from Stanford and a BS (summa cum laude) from Penn State, all in electrical engineering. He is an inventor on 34 issued United States patents.
Michael Norsen (3)
Michael Norsen

Michael Norsen

Michael Norsen is an entrepreneurial leader with more than 13 years of experience building, growing and optimizing strategic partnering and business development organizations to support innovation within the pharmaceutical and biotech industry. Michael is currently the Head of LaunchLabs – Columbia in NYC and a Principal in Alexandria’s Venture Investment group. Previously, Michael was the Head of Strategic Partnerships and Business Development at the Regeneron Genetics Center (RGC), a wholly owned subsidiary of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals focused on partnering with academic medical centers and health systems to sequence and jointly analyze patient cohorts in order to identify new genetic targets driving disease. Michael also previously served as the Head of Business Operations and Strategic Planning for the RGC, where he was responsible for building, growing and optimizing the business development, strategic planning, financial management as well as the operations and alliance management functions for the RGC. Prior to the RGC, Michael was part of the founding team of Pfizer’s Centers for Therapeutic Innovation (CTI), an innovative collaboration model that partners with investigators at academic medical centers (AMCs) worldwide to accelerate the translation of novel biomedical insights from the lab to the clinic.  In this role, Michael lead the due diligence, negotiation, execution and governance of collaborations across an array of therapeutic areas while also holding responsibilities in finance & operations as well as market analytics & commercial development.  Prior to CTI, Michael held roles of increasing responsibility in the finance and global supply chain organizations at both Pfizer and Wyeth respectively.  Michael holds a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Business Management and Chemistry from Bentley University and a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) from the Columbia Business School.
Christopher Mirabil (5)
Christopher Mirabile

Christopher Mirabile

Christopher Mirabile is the Chair Emeritus and Public Policy Chair Emeritus of the Angel Capital Association and the co-founder of portfolio management tool www.seraf-investor.com. He is also co-Managing Director of Launchpad Venture Group, a Boston-based venture investment group focused on seed and early-stage investments in technology-oriented companies. Launchpad is top-three ranked group in the U.S. As a full-time angel investor and an active member of the Boston-area angel investing community, in addition to his Launchpad work, Christopher has personally invested in over 65 start-up companies. He was named one of the “Top Angel Investors in New England” by Xconomy and one of “Boston’s Most Helpful Investors” in an entrepreneur survey by Companyon Ventures. Christopher has been a columnist on entrepreneurship for Inc. Magazine, an adjunct lecturer in the MBA program at Babson’s Olin School of Business, a member of the board of advisors of The Capital Network, a regular advisor and mentor to start-ups, and a frequent panelist and speaker. He is a member of the Board of Directors or Board of Advisors of numerous start-up companies and non-profits. Christopher is a member of the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission’s Investor Advisory Committee. Christopher has served as a public company CFO and General Counsel with enterprise software provider IONA Technologies PLC, a corporate and securities lawyer with Testa Hurwitz & Thibeault and as a management consultant with Price Waterhouse’s Strategic Consulting Group.
Quan Nguyen (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9)
Quan Nguyen

Quan Nguyen

Quan is a seasoned Patent Attorney experienced in all aspects of IP matters. In particular, Quan concentrates his practice in patent procurement, opinion work (patentability/validity/freedom to operate analysis), and intellectual property management in bioinformatics, biotechnology, chemistry, optics, microfluidics, and medical devices. His clients include publicly traded companies, multinational corporations, universities, investors, and entrepreneurs. Prior to forming Nguyen & Tarbet, Quan was a Partner at Cozen O’Connor, an international law firm based in Philadelphia. Quan also worked at Ionis Pharmaceuticals, a cutting edge biotech company in San Diego, where he was Assistant Director of Patents.
Med Armanious (8,9,10)
Graduated from FDU in 1985 with a BS in Chemistry. Worked at Lonza, Inc. Applied and went to UCLA to get a PhD in Biochemistry. Started buying properties, realized PhD is not the way for me. Purchased gas station in Tacoma, WA in 1991. Grew business to 5 gas stations and 5 car washes. Sold business, but kept real estate. Went back to School for MBA in Strategy and Finance from WUSTL. Started angel investing in 2016.
Hershel Mehta (6,8)
Hershel Mehta

Hershel Mehta

Hershel Mehta is a Venture Capitalist in charge of U.S. investments through his Family Office’s proprietary fund called Mehta Ventures. He has gone through the entrepreneurship journey himself, having published a mobile application in the Apple App Store in 2015, and Hershel uses that experience to help guide entrepreneurs through their own journeys. He finished his Venture Investing Education through the Executive Education Program at the Wharton School of Business. Hershel has invested in 28 startups in the past two years.
Jeff Clark (5)
Jeff Clark

Jeff Clark

For over 30 years, Jeff has worked on behalf of clients and investors to create value for new and existing businesses. Most recently his focus has been on advising new cleantech companies commercialize their technologies. Previously, he has founded and been a managing partner of management consulting, technology commercialization and venture capital firms.
He is an MBA (with Honors and a Specialization in Finance) from The University of Chicago, Booth School of Business and holds a BA (cum laude, with Distinction in Economics) from Whitman College. Jeff was the recipient of The Wall Street Journal Award.
Ray Chan (9)
Ray Chan

Ray Chan

Ray Chan is a prominent investor who has been recognized as one of Orange County Business Journal’s most influential business leaders since 2017. Ray is the Chairman of Koa Accel, co-founder and Managing Director of K5 Ventures, and has been leading county-wide efforts to build the tech and startup ecosystem within Orange County throughout the past decade. He is also an active member of Tech Coast Angels, a former member of their Board of Governors and an Investment Partner for their Angel Capital Entrepreneur Fund I, II and III.

Ray has a 30+ year track record of successful business execution and of being a startup queen/kingmaker. Some of K5 Ventures successful exits include Everyone.net (acquired by Proofpoint), Connectifier (acquired by LinkedIn), SignNow (acquired by Barracuda Networks), Filpagram (acquired by ByteDance, owner of TikTok) and Slack.

Barbara Russell (1,2)
Barbara Russell

Barbara Russell

Barbara Dalton Russell co-founded Cap W – an Advisory/investment Banking firm focused on early/mid-stage tech-enabled companies, characterized by strong female and/or POC founders & teams, solving BIG problems with massive market opportunities. We advance the ability of companies principally focused on the AI/ML, VR/AR, ed-tech, clean-tech and fin-tech sectors to succeed through our model of investing and providing strategic advice that maximizes the ability of these companies to scale via targeted fundraising from optimal/inclusive strategic, venture, and other capital sources.
Barbara serves on the board of several rapidly-scaling, early and mid-stage companies, providing advice fueled from her 28 years of experience in private equity, investment banking, M&A, and capital markets. She also serves on non-profit boards including: Alliance for Business Leadership (ABL)and NFTE, both of which represent her progressive views on diversity and inclusion.
Since the outbreak of COVID, she has been busy! In addition to continuing to raise significant amounts of capital during this pandemic, she just completed serving as a judge in her SEVENTH pitch competition (virtually, of course) since COVID began:
1. Techstars – Boston
2. Techstars – Airforce
3. NY Business Plan Competition
4. Rice University Business Plan Competition
5. BU Pitch Competition
6. NFTE (National Fdn. For Teaching Entrepreneurship – underserved high schools across the US)
7. University of Arizona FORGE Accelerated Entry Program
Prior to Cap W, Ms. Russell was Managing Director of Investment Banking at Detwiler Fenton, co-founder of: the Social Internet Fund (2011) with Lou Kerner; Bold Cap, a woman-focused venture fund, with Kay Koplovitz, Heide Miller,& Barbara Corcoran, and before that, Senior Partner, and Group Head of the Media, Entertainment, New Media investment banking group at CIBC Oppenheimer, where she raised significant amounts of capital as well as provided advice to technology, media, & digital companies.
Ms. Russell is a mentor, judge, and/or investor in several accelerators, angel investment groups, and not-for-profits including: TechStars; LearnLaunch; Harvard i-Lab; NYS Bus.Plan Comp; Rice University Bus.Plan Comp; and MIT Alumni Angels. She is a senior lecturer at Babson, MIT, U-Mass, and BU. She received her MBA from the Sloan School at MIT and a BA in Economics from Boston University.
Pat Hwang (9,10)
Pat Hwang

Pat Hwang

As part of a founding team in a tech startup exited with acquisition by Texas Instruments in 2000, Pat has since focused her mission on investing and nourishing entrepreneurship as her way of “paying forward” to the successful exit she experienced. She had founded and currently manages portfolio of ADP Investment Group, LLC, a privately owned focusing on real estates and venture investments. Some of ADP current holding includes dozens of startups, private equity fund and venture funds such as Okapi, Cove and Vintage Fund.

Pat was involved in engineering and had published research papers in heat transfer and cryogenic cooling. She also managed satellite component manufacturing for PamSat and DirectTV in her prior career. She is an active member of Tech Coast Angel, Context Family Network and Asian American Investment Group.

Pat is a passionate philanthropist. She serves on the board of Mission Hospital Foundation and is a committee member of several charities including United Way, Human Options.

Pat has a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering from USC.

Amy Bann (5)
Amy Bann

Amy Bann

Amy serves on the E8 Board, a cleantech-focused early stage investment group. She has been engaged in cleantech innovation and policy for over two decades. Currently she leads sustainability strategy for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, with a recent focus on finance and ESG (environmental & social governance). Notable past projects include representing industry in United Nations climate talks reaching historic agreements and helping to accelerate commercialization of renewable energy technologies. Prior, Amy worked in government and as an attorney.
Jay Cormier (3)
Jay Cormier

Jay Cormier

Jay Cormier is CEO and Founder of Eyedaptic, and an experienced technology executive and entrepreneur, with a track record of founding, growing, and turning around businesses with multiple successful exits totaling over $750M. He spent over two decades in the semiconductor industry, which included helping industry leaders grow like Analog Devices as well as turnarounds, leading to successful exits, at Mindspeed, Sierra Monoliths and Teridian. Building on both hardware and software expertise lead to Eyedaptic, an augmented reality vision aid MedTech company with the goal of revitalizing life for people with AMD (Age-related Macular Degeneration). Jay earned his BS in Electrical Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and an MBA from Northeastern University, and is member of Tech Coast Angels and the Cove Fund as well as a mentor at the University of California, Irvine Merage Business School.
Victoria Mehran (1,3,6,8,10)
Victoria Mehran

Victoria Mehran

Victoria is an Investment Associate at Expert Dojo; she has over ten years of experience in investment, due diligence, financial analysis, strategic planning, and business development in various industries, including Sensor & Technology, Semiconductor, Oil & Gas, Asset Management, Private Equity, and Venture Capital Industries in the UK, US, and Europe. Since 2018, she has been investing, mentoring, and advising women entrepreneurs in their journey. Additionally, she is an Advisor at Astia Angel Group, Women Network, Green Hill Group and WAYNE in the US and the MENA region.
Robb Stowell (1,7)
Robb Stowell

Robb Stowell

All-American and Professional Athlete turned Venture junkie. I lead Capital Thirteen’s investment efforts in Seed and Pre-Seed stage tech startups. Before launching Capital Thirteen, I spent 5 years focused on early stage tech investments in the local community. In addition to investing, I also consult with and operate our portfolio companies helping with sales management, operations, and financial analysis.

Prior to starting my career in venture investing, I worked at McKinsey & Co. where I advised clients on distressed turnarounds.

I studied at Business Brigham Young University with an emphasis in Entrepreneurship. While there, I was a Captain of the Men’s Volleyball team where I led our team to four consecutive second place finishes and broke the school record for career points.

I am a competitive sports fanatic. When I’m not in the office, you can find me on the basketball court, football field, golf course, soccer pitch, beach or ski slopes.

Neal Bloom (1,10)
Neal Bloom

Neal Bloom

Neal Bloom is the Managing Director of Rising Tide Partners, an angel investor, and the Chair of Startup San Diego, a non-profit for entrepreneurs, mentors, and investors who have created a platform to grow the greater San Diego startup community. He previously co-founded education technology startup Portfolium and he has recently founded media entities Fresh Squeezed Tech and Fresh Brewed Tech to help bring awareness about the Orange County and San Diego startup communities.
Dhaval Kapadia (1,2,3,6,7,8,9,10)
Dhaval Kapadia

Dhaval Kapadia

Dhaval Kapadia is a serial entrepreneur who has built, operated and exited several businesses. Dhaval started his career on the product development team in Citi’s Private Equity Division. From there, he moved to Apollo Global Management, one of world’s leading alternative investment managers. After Apollo, he went on to form REAM Partners, a global asset management platform that had over $300 million of asset under management. Dhaval holds an MBA from Baruch College, CUNY and a B.S. in Biology from Long Island University. Dhaval is an investor and a member of the due diligence team of TiE SoCal Angels. He also advises new entrepreneurs and small business owners on how to develop a strong business and financial strategy that is focused on growth.
Robert Stasey (1,3,6,7,8,9)
Robert Stasey

Robert Stasey

Robert Stasey is an investor with Hub Angels, one of the oldest angel organizations in Boston. He is a member of the Angel Capital Association deal syndication task force.

Robert Stasey was the Director of Strategic Initiatives for twenty years at Analog Devices (ADI). He directed the Six Sigma program, headed process improvement and led a Corporate entrepreneurial program. Entrepreneurial program participants developed skills in identifying attractive market segments, validating business models and creating effective go-to-market strategies. His entrepreneurial ‘boot camp’ developed ADI’s future leaders.

Prior to joining ADI, Mr. Stasey served as Consulting Partner with Coopers & Lybrand in charge of New England’s Manufacturing Strategy Practice.

Previously, Mr. Stasey was the Durant Digital Instrument Plant Manager at Eaton Corporation. He applied strategic and productivity improvement skills toward achieving a remarkable plant turn-around chronicled in his book, Crossroads (published by Dow Jones Irwin in 1991).

Mr. Stasey earned an MBA in Management, a B.S. in Finance and was certified as a CPA in Illinois.

Cary Ortiz (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10)
Mr. Ortiz is the Founding Managing Partner at Praetorian Venture Partners, LLC, a Southern California based venture capital, and private equity firm focused on direct capital investments at the Seed – Series A & Series B round(s) for early and mid stage initiatives.
Jonathan Wallace (1,2,7,8,9,10)
Jonathan Wallace

Jonathan Wallace

Jonathan Wallace started with Expert Dojo upon its inception after working with many startups. Over the last 4 years, Jonathan has built relationships with the largest VC firms and angels around the world. Jonathan has personally lead over 30 deals with Expert Dojo and continues to find great companies around the world.
Samer Yousif (2,4,10)
Samer Yousif

Samer Yousif

Technology (GIST) Investor mobilization training programs, working closely with local partners and Embassies to plan and implement training, mentorship, and networking programs for angel investment networks in emerging markets. Samer has led early-stage startup training programs in over 10 countries, working with innovators from the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Latin America, and Central Asia. Previously, he spearheaded the North America outreach strategy for Ashoka. Samer has a Masters of Global Policy Studies, with an emphasis on international entrepreneurship, from the University of Texas at Austin.
Stacey Feinberg (1,2,3,6,9)
Stacey Feinberg

Stacey Feinberg

After years running a hedge fund and investing in pre ipo companies Stacey shifted her focus to funding start ups particularly those founded by women and minorities.
Jon Freeman (4,6)
Jon Freeman

Jon Freeman

Jon Freeman is a Managing Director of Praetorian Venture Partners, LLC, a Southern California based venture capital, and private equity firm focused on direct capital investments at the Seed – Series A & Series B round(s) for early and mid stage initiatives.

Jon cut his teeth as an analyst for Amplite Capital where he did a lot of market review and financial strategy analysis for an incubator up in the bay called plug n’ play. While completing his masters at UCI he came on full time at praetorian and handles all things operations for the firm.

Jon enjoys participating in numerous mentoring and philanthropic efforts, as well as golfing, boxing, investing, and travel.

Tony Caramagno (1,2,6,8)
Tony Caramagno

Tony Caramagno

Tony is a business and technology professional with a success record in leading and delivering technology products and projects from idea to completion. His experience spans the full corporate entity spectrum ranging from “4 guys in a garage” startup environments to well established companies with a background in capital markets and financial engineering encompassing consulting, operations, project management, product management, software engineering, and business development.

Tony is a partner and founding member of Projection Capital Markets. In lieu of trading as individuals, the partnership trades its non-ERISA assets as a corporation using hedge fund trading strategies. Tony currently serves on the Advisory Board for Airion Dynamics, Incorporated. He serves as an Expert-In-Residence with University of California, Irvine – Applied Innovation and as a mentor for the Master of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program in the University of California, Irvine – Paul Merage School of Business. His LinkedIn profile is

Janice Varney-Hamlin (1,2)
Janice Varney-Hamlin

Janice Varney-Hamlin

Janice Varney-Hamlin is founder and CEO of Marketing Immersion, a boutique marketing agency with an expertise and passion for building businesses and brands profitably. Ms. Hamlin holds several Board of Director and Advisory positions within the start-up and nonprofit communities. Her scope of expertise spans the entertainment, consumer products and retail industries where she built billion-dollar global brands.

Varney-Hamlin’s roles include head of Business Development and Franchise Management for Disney ABC Television Group, Global Vice President for Warner Bros. Retail, Marketing and Product Development managing brands like DC Comics, Batman, Superman, Director of Global Marketing for Barbie and Hot Wheels, Mattel Consumer Electronics, serving as VP of Strategy for Nickelodeon across all business units and reporting into Viacom Board of Directors. She has collaborated with Industry leaders from Fortune 100 companies like Sara Lee, McDonald’s, Champion, Pepsi, Foley Wine, PBS, Sony Entertainment, Paramount Studios, Helzberg, Martha Stewart, Apple, and Toshiba as part of her portfolio of powerful promotional and strategic partnerships. Her expertise is truly global—among other accomplishments, she successfully brought Barbie to Japan, Looney Tunes to Europe and Australia, SwimWays to South America, and Asia. In addition to her work with entertainment and consumer companies, Janice has worked with numerous retailers including Walmart, Target, Sears, and Lowes. She won “Vendor of the Year for Excellence” on behalf of from these retailers as an executive at Mattel, Warner Bros. and as Vice President of sales, marketing and product development for Swimways. She holds 2 Masters an MBA Nad in Digital Marketing. She has been featured on the covers of the WSJ, DSN, USA Today, etc.

Janice Orlando (1,6,7,9)
Janice Orlando

Janice Orlando

Janice is a skilled entrepreneur with successful and profitable exits. Her industry expertise as founder/operator is varied including FinTech, Aerospace Manufacturing, Commercial/Investment Real Estate and specialized IP. With a mind for mentorship focused on performance, high-growth, and capturing market value, she Co-founded VentureTwelve, an investment syndicate empowering entrepreneurs with innovative tools for transition, funding and scale.

Her investments include Early Seed to Series B funding. She serves on multiple Boards as Adviser and/or Director, including Vice Chair for the Board of Directors of the Pasadena Angels and Chairs the Portfolio Management Committee.

Anil Ramineni (1,2,7)
Anil is the CEO of CQ Information Technologies Inc, as well as being an Entrepreneur and Angel Investor. CQ InfoTech Inc., is an IT solutions company that specializes within the end-to-end managed IT space. They are focused on Infrastructure and Global delivery of the following: — Solutions Outsourced Services, (SOS) — for their clients, and with a staff of over (250) Engineers and Developers — specializing in several technical competencies; they are servicing clients ranging from Small to Regional Companies, which include some Fortune 500 Multi-National Corporations throughout the world.

Anil is a resourceful technical leader and solutions-driven strategist with a passion for leveraging emerging technologies to achieve key business objectives. He has experience in leading technically complex Solution(s), and Delivery/Operations Management initiatives for multiple companies, as well as including his more than 20 years of On the Job Training (OTJ) — to get the job done! — this work ethic has led to CQ InfoTech Inc, — bringing Success to their Clients.

Jim Huston (1,3,5,8)
Jim Huston

Jim Huston

25 year venture investor with more than 125 investments. Co-founded Portland Seed Fund in 2011 which is now a majority female firm. We are a professionally managed venture firm but invest at the style and stage of angels, and co-invest with many angel groups.
Faisal Mushtaq (1,2,7)
Faisal Mushtaq

Faisal Mushtaq

Faisal is an innovative, dynamic, and inspirational executive and entrepreneur with extensive leadership experience. He has built global organizations, delivered innovative products, driven growth, improved efficiencies and gained market share, both in fast pace startup environment as well as Fortune 500 companies.

Currently he is serving as CTO of Sleep Number corporation, a leader in smart bed space redefining the future of sleep with individualized sleep experiences, where he leads the global technology, product development and innovation. Previously he was VP Technology at GlobalLogic leading Global Cloud/DevOps Practice organization and responsible for providing thought leadership and technical excellence in areas of public/private/hybrid clouds, DevOps, Containers and SDN/NFV. He was also a Founding member/VP of Engineering at multiple startups from PLUMgrid (Acquired by VMware), Allot Communications, Ortiva Wireless (Acquired by Allot) and Wichorus (Acquired by Tellabs). Faisal began his career at Cisco Systems where he designed and developed several routing/switching product families.

Faisal is also the Founder and President of TechCon SoCal, the catalyst for technology innovation and entrepreneurship in Southern California. He is also a member of Tech Coast Angels, one of the largest and most active angel investment networks in the country. He is an advisor and investor in several startups and is a mentor/charter member at several organizations including CONNECT, OPEN and TIE. He received an MSEE from Purdue University and an MBA from Santa Clara University. He holds 8 patents in the areas of networking, including control plane, data plane, load balancing and video delivery.

Amit Rathore (2,6,9,10)
Amit Rathore

Amit Rathore

Amit Rathore is a technical founder, a serial entrepreneur, and an investor. He started AwakeVC as a tech-enabled private-equity platform that is seeding 10M tech startups, creating 100M jobs, and deploying $10B over 10 years. Awake represents the future of AI/fintech-powered global media and commerce.
David Mandel (1,5,6,7,8,9,10)
David Mandel

David Mandel

Early-stage emerging technology venture capital. Built, operated and exited 4 successful different businesses in the Insurance and Finance industries over a 28-year period. Now focusing on managing our portfolio of investments, including actively engaging in angel and start-up investing, and Real-Estate investments and development projects. Happy to use my accumulated experience, connections, and financial resources to help the next generation of bright, energetic founders build their businesses.
John Bradley Jackson (5,6)
John Bradley Jackson

John Bradley Jackson

John Bradley Jackson is Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at California State University, Fullerton. At CSUF Jackson is a Professor of Entrepreneurship and he teaches New Venture Creation and New Venture Launch. Known affectionately as “Professor JJ”, Jackson brings startup experience along with practical marketing and sales knowledge to the classroom from both Silicon Valley and Wall Street. He is founder of the CSUF Startup Incubator which is located in downtown Placentia and on the CSUF Irvine Campus. Jackson also founded Titan Angels, LLC which invests in early stage startups.
Marylou Garcia (5,7,8)
Marylou Garcia

Marylou Garcia

Marylou Garcia is an angel investor and a member of Keiretsu Forum Southern California. She heads the Women’s Initiative of Keiretsu SoCal. She participates in screening, due diligence and also serves as mentor to many early stage entrepreneurs.

Marylou Garcia is the Area Director for Expense Reduction Analysts, a worldwide network of more than 600 consultants in 30 countries specializing in delivering extra cash flow for mid-sized companies through cost reduction. ERA’s 18,000 successful client projects show that many supplier costs can be lowered by another 10%-30% without jeopardizing existing supplier relationships or forcing them to use specific suppliers.

Marylou has an MBA in Finance from the Wharton Business School. She has held senior positions in Finance, including CFO and Corporate Finance Director for various multinational hotel chains such as, Hyatt Hotels, Pan Pacific Hotels, The St. Regis and others. She has worked in 18 countries in Asia, Caribbean, North/Latin/South Americas. She has helped many companies in the US and internationally increase their operating margins and cash flow.

Maciej Witkos (3)
Maciej Witkos

Maciej Witkos

Emergency Medicine Physician, with 5 years as a SBIR panel reviewer, and 2 years as an active Tech Coast Angels member.
Anshuman Sinha (1,2,9)
Anshuman Sinha

Anshuman Sinha

I am an Entrepreneur, Angel Investor, Thought Leader & CEO @ Optizm Global, the Right Fit Recruitment & Placement Agency.

I am also the President of TiE SoCal (www.socal.tie.org), a non-profit, global community of entrepreneurs from all over the world. We believe in the power of ideas to change the face of entrepreneurship and growing business through our five pillars: Mentoring, Networking, Education, Incubating, and Funding.

As an Angel Investor I look for Business Plan, Cashflow, Core Team, Board of Advisors, Secure IP, Quality Investors, Monetization Models, USP, Scalability, Strong Returns, Growth Market, Board Role

My company Optizm Global Helps Growing Businesses Find The Best Talent! in the Executive Search Space

Mike Connolly (1,5,6,7,9,10)
Mike Connolly

Mike Connolly

Executive, entrepreneur, and business leader with a career history of providing strategic vision and direction in the development and commercialization of software solutions at startup and scale-up levels. Leverages a valuable blend of engineering experience, deep technical expertise, and business acumen to lead development and delivery of software products that positively impact the way companies do business. Sets goals, plans strategies, explores new markets, and fuels growth by being personally involved in business development opportunities. Founded, grew and exited a software company in the municipal water industry. Since then, I’ve been mentoring startups and doing some angel investing as well as leading deals within Rockies Venture Club in Denver. Love learning from startups and scaleups, looking for my next gig.
Nitin Bajaj (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10)
Nitin Bajaj

Nitin Bajaj

Nitin Bajaj is the Director of Strategy at Pratham, the education-focused non-profit that has positively impacted 75+mn lives. Nitin is also the founder-host of The INDUStry Show, a widely broadcast talk show sharing global entrepreneurial journeys. The show has more than 2 million views and has a global engagement of several hundred thousand. Nitin previously led strategic, multi-million dollar initiatives for enterprise organizations such as Esri, IBM, and Thomson Reuters; and launched industry-first products that now have millions of global users. Nitin has a Doctorate in Strategy & Innovation, and an MBA in Organizational Change Management from Pepperdine University. As a proud Wave, he loves standup paddle-boarding and is an upcoming sailor. An avid cyclist, he has a few century rides under his saddle.
Sanjay Dalal (1,4,9)
Sanjay Dalal

Sanjay Dalal

Sanjay B Dalal is founder & CEO of oGoing – the leading business community’s. A community volunteer, digital marketing consultant, novice author, aspiring speaker and entrepreneur.
Mark Alexander (1,2,3,5,6,7,8,9,10)
Mark Alexander

Mark Alexander

I partner with visionary leaders and their elite teams to transform successful businesses into top performing brand assets of maximum commercial value in their respective marketplaces.

This is achieved by skillfully re-positioning and retooling companies into customer-facing, data-driven, strategically-centered innovation hubs, best equipped to anticipate and fulfill on the core demands of the most lucrative segments of the value chain.

Success is measured in terms of achieving industry-defining and sustainable levels of maximum growth, return-on-growth and wealth creation.

Diana Murakhovskaya (2,4,6)
Diana Murakhovskaya

Diana Murakhovskaya

Diana Murakhovskaya is the co-founder and General Partner of The Artemis Fund. The Artemis Fund is an early stage venture capital fund that backs women-led companies nationally. She spent a decade in tech investment banking M&A and commodities sales and trading on Wall Street. After building and launching the first women-only iPhone app for new friends and networking she became compelled to solve the difficulties women founders faced in fundraising. She went on to co-found the Monarq Incubator, the first national, funding focused incubator curated for gender diverse founding teams. She and her partner sold the Monarq Incubator to the Female Founder Alliance. She is an active angel investor and member of the Houston entrepreneurial community with deep roots in her home town of NYC.
Ken Borkan (2,4,9,10)
Ken Borkan

Ken Borkan

Ken Borkan is an investor in the Tech Coast Angels network focusing on sports/entertainment technology, cannabis, and social impact. He is the former Director of Strategy, Operations & Research for the Phoenix Suns’ Partnership group and served on the NBA’s Analytics Advisory Board. Ken oversaw their Strategy & Operations team focusing on strategic projects, research, and streamlined best-in-class operations. Before integrating fully into Partnerships, Ken spent the previous four in the Suns Analytics group leading the team’s non-ticket sales business analytics, heading up WNBA basketball analytics and supporting Suns basketball analytics. Prior to joining the Suns, Ken was a senior analyst for Capital One developing credit policy and optimizing line strategy. Originally from Miami, Ken graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with focuses in Marketing, Business Strategy, International Business, and Psychology. Post-undergrad, he has also attended Harvard Business School Executive Education, completing the High Potentials Leadership Program as well as the Business of Entertainment, Media & Sports. Most recently, he received his MBA as a Venture Fellow at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management focusing on Venture Capital, Entertainment Management, and Social Impact.
Donald Kasle (1,6)
Donald Kasle

Donald Kasle

Don Kasle, is an active investor in and a coach for start-up companies through his membership in the Tech Coast Angels. He is Chairman Emeritus of TCA having been a Past Chairman of the Board of Governors. In 2016, Don was elected into the Tech Coast Angels Orange County – Hall of Fame.

Previously, he also concurrently spent eleven years as a Senior Consultant for the SBDC (Small Business Development Center at the University of California Irvine Applied Innovation. The SBDC is funded in part by the SBA (Small Business Administration), UCI and other public and private entities. Their mission is to provide FREE consulting to high growth – highly scalable, entrepreneurial companies. He was the recipient of the SBDC’s State Star Award for his Outstanding Performance.

Mr. Kasle is a retired bank CEO, having served three different banks in that capacity during his career. He has over 40 years experience in executive management and service on boards of directors, as well as commercial banking and capital formation. During his career, Mr. Kasle has served on over 30 Boards of Directors in the public, private and not-for profit sectors, including 7 bank boards. He is a past member of the Board of Trustees at Miami University (Oxford, Ohio) and also the Miami University Foundation.

Long active in the field of Education, Mr. Kasle was the founding Chairman of the Institute of Certified Bankers of the American Bankers Association and past Chairman of the Board of the ABA’s Stonier Graduate School of Banking. He was also a former board member of America’s Community Bankers and previously taught Banking/Commercial Lending at 10 national banking schools including Rutgers University, Southern Methodist University, University of Wisconsin, University of Oklahoma, and Louisiana State University. He has lectured at a number of business schools including Miami University (Ohio), Chapman University (Orange, CA), University of California at Irvine, the University of Southern California and Cal State University, Fullerton.

Mr. Kasle is a graduate of Miami University (Ohio) and the Stonier Graduate School of Banking at Rutgers University. Stonier previously honored him with its Distinguished Alumni Award. He is a past President of the National Alumni Association of Miami University. Don is also a past recipient of the Dolibois Alumni Award given by Miami for Meritorious and Sustained Service over many years.

Connie Harrell (1,2,3)
Connie Harrell

Connie Harrell

Connie’s unique business sense and creative vision is the blueprint for her proven successes in various industries as both a serial entrepreneur with retail, telecommunications, printing, graphics and forms design, technology, Internet community development and CEO/COO over companies in publications, telecommunications, technology with enterprise management systems, public relations, and fundraising. With a belief that people and relationships are the most vital part of life, along with her pioneering attitude and insatiable desire for new experiences, Connie is growing the chapters of Keiretsu Forum in Southern California.
Manmohan Chopra (1,2,3,4,5,10)
Manmohan Chopra

Manmohan Chopra

Entrepreneur.

Author (Parenting where are we going wrong).

Community Leader (Past President, and currently Director, India Association of Los Angeles)
Director, Festival of India Association.

Former Federal Agent (India).

Inventor – The invention relates to how to capture Rain / Stream water Runoff, pre-clean it, and recharge the aquifers (Patent Pending).

Ravi Sawhney (1,2,3)
Ravi Sawhney

Ravi Sawhney

Ravi has lead RKS Design to the forefront of product and technical innovation globally. He is a highly respected designer, author, entrepreneur and speaker. He has written a powerful and compelling book called Predictable Magic. His proprietary research methodology called Psycho-Aesthetics which is highly regarded and is the foundation of thinking that his team uses with their clients. He has created many successful startups along the way. He is also the Founder and CEO of LoanGifting which addresses how to relieve student debt for Americans.
Kevin King (1)
Kevin King

Kevin King

Kevin King is a seasoned, successful corporate and community leader, investor and attorney with over 30 years experience recognizing opportunity in multiple business segments, designing growth strategies, implementing process improvements and positioning companies for sale or liquidity events. His background includes leadership positions with ten privately-held companies and encompasses startups, acquisitions, turnarounds and high growth environments resulting in successful dispositions to publicly traded companies, private equity firms and strategic acquirers. Mr. King began his career at Fulbright and Jaworski (now Norton Rose Fulbright). He has an undergraduate degree from SMU in Finance and JD from the University of Houston. He is a Managing Director of Texas HALO Funds II, III and IV.
Ray Weston (2,8)
Ray Weston

Ray Weston

Mr. Ray Weston serves as a Board Member, consultant, investor, mentor, and professor. He focuses principally upon scaling brands and businesses, particularly abroad, by leveraging IP, structuring franchise & license systems, and creatively crafting M&A, JV’s and strategic relationships. A dedicated generalist, he has served as an international business executive, in-house and outside counsel, and law professor, and likes to blend attributes of all four. An ardent internationalist, he has lived, studied, and worked abroad for 6+ years and traveled through some 60 countries 6 continents.

Mr. Weston is a member of Tech Coast Angels and teaches as an Adjunct Law Professor at the University of California, Irvine School of Law. He also is an engineer, patent lawyer, photographer, artist, and former Army officer.

Serdar Topak (8,10)
Serdar Topak

Serdar Topak

Serdar Topak graduated from Duke University in 2003. His majors were Electrical Engineering and Economics.
After his graduation from Duke, he worked at Corporate Executive Board in Washington, D.C. between 2003 and 2004. The company provided services in best business practices research area. Between 2004 and 2006, he worked at Analysis Group that was in economic consulting sector. The final deliverables were expert reports in intellectual property infringement and anti-trust cases. The reports dived into monetary damages resulting from such cases. After that, he worked at Stemcor U.S.A. that operated in physical commodities trading sector, focusing on steel and raw materials. Post leaving Stemcor in 2009, he joined Yapi ve Kredi Bankasi A.S. in Istanbul, Turkey as a Project Manager in the Project Finance Team. This team was mainly responsible for closing the financings of power plants and toll-roads (it provided term sheets to the clients, presented the projects to the bank’s board, and post-board approval, they negotiated the loan agreements with the clients). The total loan amount related to his projects extended by the bank was in the vicinity of USD 1 billion. After having worked for 4 years in this department, he worked for 1.5 years in the bank’s business development department. During his tenor in this department, his team and he established a subsidiary in Malta, and submitted a non-binding offer to acquire HSBC Turkey.

After that, he worked in the Strategy department of Turkiye Sise ve Cam Fabrikalari (“Sisecam”), A.S. for 5 months. After leaving Sisecam, he worked in Pir-Inci Bujiteri A.S. between 2016 and 2019 in the Business Development and Export Departments. He was mainly responsible for making the newly-established company in Germany profitable, and managed exports activities to Germany, the United Kingdom, and Mexico. Between January 2020 and July 2020 he worked in shopi, a startup providing solutions in Omnichannel sector. Since July 2020, he is acting as the Chief Strategy Officer of Ephesus Healing, a healthtech company that provides software solutions to primary care physicians.

Minda Brusse (1,2,9)
Minda Brusse

Minda Brusse

Minda Brusse is a co-founder and Managing Director at First Row Partners. Prior to First Row Partners, Minda spent time building investor skills and making select angel investments. In 2019, she assumed the fund manager role within Seattle Angel Conference and led record setting investments in two companies. Minda’s depth of experience comes from founding team and leadership roles at StormX, Via Airlift, Copper Six, and Epylon (acq by Accenture) over the course of 25+ years. She actively advises startups as a WeWork Labs Investor in Residence and through various startup accelerators. As leader in the Seattle startup ecosystem, she speaks to audiences about blockchain, art and entrepreneurship, startup fundraising, and early stage investing.
Dan Rosen (2)
Dan Rosen

Dan Rosen

Dan Rosen is Chair of the Alliance of Angels (AoA), a position he has held for 23 years. Under his leadership, the AoA has invested over $125M in more than 220 companies with an IRR in excess of 20%; it is recognized as one of the premier angel groups in the country. He is also on the investment committee for the AoA Seed Fund II.
Dan is also CEO and President of Dan Rosen & Associates, an early-stage technology investment and advisory firm. He is an internationally known angel investor, deal negotiator, and strategist. He has an active portfolio of over 60 companies. He is also Chair of Transformative Med, and has served on the boards of many public and private companies and non-profits, including UUNET, Modumetal, SnapIn, AutoGraph, Individual Inc, Seattle Humane and the Angel Capital Association.
Dan is also a professional photographer (www.rosen-photo.com). He travels the world capturing stunning images of nature, wildlife, landscapes, and people, and has been published in National Geographic. In 2000, Dan was founding Managing Partner of Frazier Technology Ventures, an early-stage venture capital fund in Seattle, where he stayed until 2006. From 1994 through 2000, he was General Manager of New Technology in Microsoft, where he was one of Microsoft’s leading “deal guys.” In this role, Dan was also responsible for technology transfer into Microsoft’s product groups. Prior to that, Dan was General Manager for MSN. Prior to joining Microsoft, Dan was at AT&T for 15 years, where he served as Vice President and General Manager of AT&T Consumer Interactive Services, leading AT&T’s first consumer-oriented Internet service offering and was Managing Director for Northern & Eastern Europe.
Amy Duncan (2)
Amy Duncan

Amy Duncan

Amy Duncan is a business owner, consultant, and investor with over 20 years’ experience working in the high growth biotech industry. Through her company, Goldfish Consulting, she’s been advising life science companies on marketing and business strategies for over 10 years, having previously worked 10 years in sales and marketing roles at Thermo Fisher Scientific. She is a member of Tech Coast Angels San Diego, serves on the executive committee of the San Diego Entrepreneurs Exchange (SDEE), and is the Fund Manager for the 2021 competition of the San Diego Angel Conference (SDAC). Amy has an BS in biochemistry from UC Davis and an MBA from San Diego State University.
Catherine Chiu (1,6,7)
Catherine Chiu

Catherine Chiu

Cathy is Co-President of Berkeley Angel Network. With BAN, she is responsible for the managing deal flow, including sourcing, vetting, selection, diligence, terms negotiation, & syndication. Cathy has served as mentor with accelerators, judge on pitch panels, & led angel investment workshops. She advises CEOs in scaling challenges, team alignment, business model & strategy, and leads groups of CEOs and CxOs in peer advising.
Shahin Enayati (1,2,4,5,8,9)
Shahin Enayati

Shahin Enayati

I am passionate about building sustainable solutions and empowering excellence in work and life through business. Our work with the Made Noble start-up studio and the investment vehicle, Sustain Equity LLC, advances values for impact-oriented and purpose-driven solutions for our planet and its people by supporting company building to better our future.

My experience ranges from biotech to food/ag-tech and from sales/negotiations to logistics. While working in these industries, I acquired a wide range of experiences in project management, business development, marketing, and business analysis.

My deep involvement in these fields has afforded a sound understanding of running a business and how to effectively utilize marketing and innovation in various business models. My focus on sustainability with its 3 pillars being economics, environment, and social impact, allows me to envision as well as contribute meaningfully to a better future.

Max Shapiro (1,2,6,7,9,10)
Max Shapiro

Max Shapiro

Max Shapiro is a serial entrepreneur. He is the founder and CEO of PeopleConnect a 19 year old executive search firm which helps early-stage high-tech companies find the talent they need to succeed. The company’s clients are in technology, cannabis, cbd, hemp, biotech, clean tech, apps, services, medical devices, and consumer products.

He has been an Angel investor for 15 years. His investment portfolio includes 9thGear, Boston Heart Labs, Appvance and Trident Labs and others.

Alysha Malik (2)
Alysha Malik

Alysha Malik

Alysha is the Co-founder and Editor of RADICHE, a digital publication, and startup community featuring consumer-facing companies such as Care/of, Brooklinen, Burrow, The Farmer’s Dog, Thinx, Bulletin, Hilma, Felix Gray and more. RADICHE was created to inspire the next generation that anything is possible. We connect brands for partnerships and make angel investments.
Alysha also consults with consumer-facing startups and previously launched a startup studio, backed by a family office, Rhizome Ventures with a focus on health, wellness and beauty companies.
William Paiva (3)
William Paiva

William Paiva

William D. Paiva, PhD, is General Partner of the Oklahoma Life Science Fund. The fund has invested in 15 Oklahoma health care companies. Those companies have collectively raised over $375 million in venture capital investment to Oklahoma and have realized over $1.5 billion in exits. In addition to the Oklahoma Life Science Fund, Dr. Paiva was a partner with Sevin Rosen Funds, a venture fund based in Dallas, TX and Palo Alto, CA with over $2 billion under management and Chisholm Private Capital, based in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, OK and Dallas, TX. Before that, Dr. Paiva served as a management consultant at Pittiglio Rabin Todd & McGrath, which was acquired by PriceWaterhouseCoopers, and he was investment banking associate at JP Morgan in New York. Dr. Paiva holds a Ph.D. in molecular biology from the University of Oklahoma and an MBA from Dartmouth College’s Amos Tuck School of Business.
Acacia Lawrie (1,2)
Acacia Lawrie

Acacia Lawrie

Acacia has been an active angel investor with 37 Angels since 2017. She invests in early-stage startups and has built her portfolio across a range of sectors including B2B SaaS, Biotech, FinTech, Mobility and Consumer Goods. She has mentored startup teams at Digital Undivided, Almaworks and the Zahn Innovation Center. Her previous experiences include investment banking in the infrastructure space with Macquarie Group, accounting and taxation services for private enterprises at KPMG and managing a non-for-profit business council. Acacia brings a unique global perspective having lived in Mexico, Brazil and Australia.
Blair Simpson (1,3,5,6,9)
Blair Simpson

Blair Simpson

With a background as a professional recording artist, Blair began his career in Venture Capital while pursuing an MBA at the University of Colorado Boulder. After joining Frontier Venture Capital as an Associate, Blair has led diligence for investments in FinTech, Enterprise SaaS, and HealthTech. As a guiding principle, Blair views a VC’s role as one who empowers founders and accelerates innovation. Embracing this mindset has led to notable Frontier portfolio investments including DailyPay, Syndio, and Noteworth, all firms who have utilized software to create new avenues for delivering value to customers, investors, and society. When not on the clock as a VC, Blair enjoys playing music with friends or going for a hike near his residence in Boulder, Colorado.
Charles Curtis (5)
Charles Curtis

Charles Curtis

My angel investing focuses on cleantech/climatetech startups. I have an MBA with and environmental specialty that built off my early work on environment and haz-mat remediation. Through my work with E8 I have made @ 20 startup investments and am an LP in a number of funds specializing in investing in this field. Over my 6 years of engaging in this sector I learned that a having a nimble core leadership team is as important as a killer product or app. The path to success may well require pivots/reboots and it is the people not the tech that will be able to seize the opportunities and guide the evolution of the company.
Maximilian von Poelnitz (1,2,10)
Maximilian von Poelnitz

Maximilian von Poelnitz

Maximilian is an entrepreneur, investor, and start up advisor. He has spent 10 years in Asia and following a business school degree at INSEAD launched his first start up in 2011. By 2015, Max’s 3rd venture, NOSH, was funded by Alibaba Entrepreneur Fund and ultimately Delivery Hero, a German publicly traded institutional investor. Maximilian now spends his time as the Managing Partner of New Territory Ventures, a firm he founded focused on early stage food tech investments in the B2B and supply chain space.

Max is passionate about food tech and B2B innovation. He has been featured on CNN, CNBC and Forbes and was named to Tatler’s Generation T in 2019.

Carolena Enayati (1,2,10)
Carolena Enayati

Carolena Enayati

Carolena is an angel investor and entrepreneur. She served as director of operations for claims processing company, and various management roles, supervisory roles in customer service, client management, and operations. Her professional skills are in customer service, strategic implementation methods & operations strategies, as well as client relations. Her Passions are in advancing education and empowering innovative new technologies. The essential element in everything she is involved in is that each project or cause must be sustainable for the earth, community, employees, and economics.
Hilton Augustine (1,2,3,5,6,7,8,9)
Hilton Augustine

Hilton Augustine

Angel Investor and Serial Entrepreneur with over 30 years creating value in Science & Technology companies. Entrepreneurial activities include startups, mergers, acquisitions, investments and management buyouts.
Benton Moore (1,5,6,9,10)
Benton Moore

Benton Moore

Benton Moore is a cleantech entrepreneur turned angel investor, climate ambassador, and startup raconteur. He currently serves as Fund Manager of the San Diego Angel Conference, Strategy Consultant and Startup Instructor to the 800+ entrepreneurs at the Brink Innovation Center at University of San Diego, and CEO of Sea Dragon Capital, a fund for early-stage, scalable technologies. Benton embraces the chaos of startups and the rebels and renegades who innovate to forge positive change. Benton’s most recent cleantech startup was acquired by private equity firm Oaktree Capital.

Benton earned his JD and MBA (New Venture Management) from University of San Diego as well as specialties in International Law from Trinity College, Dublin and Strategic Management from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Benton is active in the startup ecosystem via Tech Coast Angels, San Diego Venture Group (Connect), United Nations Global Compact, San Diego Entrepreneurs Exchange, Angel Capital Association, TiE Global, Association of Corporate Counsel, MIT Sustainability Initiative, and Southern California Energy Innovation Network.

In an adventurous change-making career approaching $1B in deals, Benton’s proudest accomplishment is coaching his daughter’s undefeated soccer team. Outside the office, Benton is usually hiking, mountain biking, or downhill skiing.

Jay Kunin (1,3,6,7,8)
Jay Kunin

Jay Kunin

Jay Kunin is a long-term member of Tech Coast Angels San Diego, where he has served on the Board of Directors and as head of Life Sciences. He is currently an active Director and consultant for companies in pharmaceutical anti-counterfeiting systems, remote care management and edtech, as well as an advisor for several accelerators/incubators including EvoNexus, Launch Factory and Nex Cubed Digital Health. He is also Adjunct Professor at the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering at University of San Diego, where he teaches entrepreneurship and computer science.
He has co-founded and served on the executive team of multiple startup companies, three of which were acquired by public companies, and one IPO. He was CIO of a public biotech company, a venture-funded biotech and two CROs. He has also served on the Boards of multiple early-stage companies in life sciences and software industries. Jay holds a PhD (computer science) from MIT.

Michele Bang (2,3,4,5,6,9)
Michele Bang

Michele Bang

Michele Bang has been investing in diverse early stage startups directly and through Hub Angels, one of the oldest angel funds in Boston and Learn Launch, an edtech accelerator. She currently advises and mentors enterprise software, edtech and health tech start-ups.
Most recently, Michele was an executive member at Prudential Plc‘s digital team which designed and brought to market Prudential’s first ever digital health and wellness app available across Asia and Africa. Key partnerships include telehealth, fintechs, e-commerce and ride hailing companies in Asia.
Michele held C-Suite roles in global insurance and asset management firms throughout her 30 year career. She was named as Top 25 Influential Women in Asset Management in Asia. Michele is passionate about innovations that deliver efficiency, sustainability and quality of life for citizens. Ideas that bring about smart and clean environment excite her.
Michele studied at Cornell University and London School of Economics.

Christopher Yang (7,8,9)
Christopher Yang

Christopher Yang

Leadership is about impact, influence, and inspiration. Christopher Yang is no stranger to these concepts, and with a proven track record of innovation in the technology and project management sphere, he knows firsthand the vital role that strategic leadership plays in the success of any organization. As the vice president of engineering at Corporate Travel Management (ASX: CTD), he is at the helm of a large group of highly skilled technical team members and is deeply involved in developing, maintaining, and enhancing CTM’s travel products. In addition to his career, Chris is a member of the Tech Coast Angels (TCA), a leading and extremely active angel investing network in the United States. As a member of TCA’s outreach and events committee, Chris consistently manages the organization’s relationships with universities, accelerators, and VCs and is responsible for planning and organizing events in Los Angeles to increase TCA’s exposure to potential members and startups.
Julie Lerner (2)
Julie Lerner

Julie Lerner

Julie Lerner is an Angel Investor with 37 Angels and is the Founder of The Failure Report, a blog dedicated to discovering what not to do through interviews with successful entrepreneurs and investors. She is a Board Member at The Lower Eastside Girls Club and is committed to helping girls achieve their dreams. Julie is a graduate of the Kedge Business School in France with an MBA in the wine industry and Northwestern University with a BS in Radio, Television, Film. She also has certificates from the International Culinary Center in culinary arts and wine. She resides in NYC but always has her passport in hand in her quest to travel to every country in the world. Investments include Ovenly, Growsquares, So Ripe, Kango, Wheeli, Ash & Erie, and Mogul.
Jack Greenfield (1,6,8,9)
Jack	Greenfield

Jack Greenfield

Angel. Advisor. GOOG, EBAY, PYPL, MSFT, IBM, AAPL. 4 Startups. Founder/CTO, VP Eng, Sr Dir, Dist Eng, Chief Arch. 2 books. UCLA MBA. GMU BS Physics.
Andrew Jorgensen (1,6)
Andrew Jorgensen

Andrew Jorgensen

Andy Jorgensen has deep roots in the software space and regularly speaks at Startup, Investor, and Technology events across North America. He manages the Lighthouse Investments portfolio with positions in over 80 companies. He has founded or co-founded several INC 500 technology businesses himself. Currently on the executive committee of the Salt Lake City Angels, Andy is also Limited Partner in BoomStartup and mentor in Venture Capital.org’s accelerator programs. Andy sits on the Board(s) of fast growing technology companies in Utah, New York, Boston, and the Bay area.

Sponsors Judges

Kari Barnes (7)
Kari Barnes

Kari Barnes

Kari Barnes has over 15 years of experience in intellectual property matters. She advises clients on a broad range of Intellectual Property prosecution and associated transactional endeavors. She also assists in the defense and enforcement of Intellectual Property assets to protect market share and monetize IP portfolios. She counsels large companies on a cost effective strategy to maintain protection on a large market share, while balancing the cost of a large portfolio. She counsels small businesses and start-ups on intellectual property strategy and portfolio planning to protect an emerging market share or to retain and maximize intellectual property rights in view of joint venture research and development, and government grants. Ms. Barnes is proficient in a wide variety of technologies, including electronic devices, computer hardware and software, aerospace, and medical devices.
Kenneth August (5)
Kenneth August

Kenneth August

Ken August is the Founder and President of August Law Group, P.C., which advises on domestic and international corporate and financial transactions, investments, mergers and acquisitions, technology transfer, licensing, corporate governance and strategic alliances. He worked as part of the legal team representing William Simon’s investment banking firm, Wesray Corporation, in its leveraged buy-out practice. Prior to establishing his own Firm, Mr. August worked at Graham & James, in Los Angeles, CA, specializing in mergers & acquisitions, corporate finance and securities for the firm’s international clientele.
ALG was a recipient of the 2016 Professional Services (B-to-B) Deal of the Year Award from M&A Advisor Magazine.
Mr. August served at Whittier Law School and the UCI Graduate School of Management, teaching business law. He has lectured on issues of international transactional law for the US Department of Commerce, Riverside County College of Foreign Trade, The Harvard Business School Association of Orange County, and a variety of other organizations. He was the contributing author on International Mergers and Acquisitions in The Art of M&A, published by Dow Jones-Irwin (1986).
Bruce Itchkawitz (5)
Bruce Itchkawitz

Bruce Itchkawitz

Bruce Itchkawitz, Ph.D. is a partner at Knobbe Martens with a client counseling practice focusing on strategic patent protection, general counseling on infringement and licensing issues, and IP due diligence. Bruce works with clients in a wide range of complex technologies, including optical systems, medical devices, software, and x-ray analytical systems. Prior to joining Knobbe Martens, Bruce was a research physicist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he utilized scanning-tunneling microscopy in the study of semiconductor surfaces, and at the National Synchrotron Light Source of Brookhaven National Laboratory for the Fritz-Haber Institute of Berlin, Germany, conducting research using synchrotron radiation. Bruce received his B.S. in Engineering Physics from Lehigh University in 1983, his Ph.D. in Physics from University of Pennsylvania in 1991, and his J.D. from University of Virginia in 1999.
Phil Schroeder (6)
Phil Schroeder

Phil Schroeder

Phil Schroeder is a Shareholder in Buchalter’s Corporate and Intellectual Property Practice Groups. Phil focuses his practice on fulfilling the general corporate needs of early stage to middle market companies with an emphasis on financing transactions and technology transfer agreements. He provides advice with respect to transactions geared toward growth, including preferred stock financings, bridge loan financings, and mergers and acquisitions. Phil represents clients with respect to a wide range of other contractual arrangements including stockholders agreements, employment and consulting agreements, and employee compensation plans (including stock options and other forms of equity incentive plans). He advises founders on choice of entity and setting up new companies including limited liability companies, S-corporations, and C-corporations.
Damien Howard (7)
Damien Howard

Damien Howard

Damien Howard is a partner at Knobbe Martens and has over a decade of experience assisting both domestic and international clients of all sizes in developing their patent portfolios. Damien is well-versed in a wide variety of technological disciplines. He has written and successfully prosecuted patents relating to medical devices, machine learning systems, video games, telecommunications equipment and components, computer processors, augmented reality, network and Internet technologies, augmented reality, and computer security, among a number of other software and computer hardware related technologies. Prior to his legal career, Damien worked as an engineer at a defense contractor, where he developed software, and designed antenna systems and power dividers. He also worked as a software developer at a large telecommunications company. Damien received his BS in Electrical Engineering from Columbia University, his MS from UC Davis, and his JD from Northwestern University.
Mark Skaist (2,9)
Mark Skaist

Mark Skaist

Mark L. Skaist is a shareholder in the Newport Beach office of Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth. Until recently, Mark served as Co-Chairman of the firm’s Corporate and Securities Department. Mr. Skaist specializes in corporate and securities law. His practice focuses on public and private securities offerings, venture capital transactions and mergers and acquisitions. His clients, who range from early stage start-ups to large publicly traded companies, include those involved in consumer products, software, e-commerce, and digital media, as well as a number of venture capital and private equity firms.
Ryan Youhan (1)
Ryan Youhan

Ryan Youhan

A business development professional focused on client service and value-add for emerging growth clients within KPMG’s Venture Capital Practice. Ryan supports companies across their lifecycle as their needs evolve from early stage bookkeeping to late stage audit, tax, and advisory services. Prior to joining KPMG, Ryan held various roles in contract negotiations, proposal development, and supply chain management.
Jon Walker (6)
Jon Walker

Jon Walker

A Venture Capital professional with background in marketing and sales. I have a deep network in the VC/PE and startup ecosystem. Expertise in deal sourcing, due diligence, syndication, fundraising, monitoring etc.