Scott is the CEO & Co-Founder of GroupCare Technologies & EagleEye Intelligence. Scott also serves as the Chairman of MobileHelp, which is a pioneer in the personal emergency systems (PERS) industry. Under Scott’s guidance, MobileHelp developed the first ever Mobile Personal Emergency Response System mPERS) and is America’s leading provider of mPERS systems for seniors.
A successful, serial entrepreneur, Scott was Co-Founder and President of Hiway Technologies, which grew to be the world’s largest web hosting company in just 3 short years by 1998. Hiway was acquired by Verio in 1999 and subsequently acquired by NTT Communications in 2000. A firm believer that success starts with education, Scott launched the Adams Center for Entrepreneurship and also helped create Tech Runway, both at Florida Atlantic University. Scott is a graduate of Florida Atlantic University and holds a BBA.
Marci Alt is one of the Partners and Chief Executive Officer of Carma Productions, Inc. The proud producers of The Gay Community Yellow Pages and Gayborhood. In 1989, Marci relocated to Atlanta, shortly after her move, she realized the need for a resource directory to ensure members of the LGBT community are treated with the same respect as everyone else and The Gay Community Yellow Pages was born. In 2008, Marci and her business partner founded Carma Productions.
Over the years, Marci has participated in several local non-profit organizations, having been involved with Mega Family Project, Out on Film, North Georgia Rainbow Coalition, GLAAD. She is currently sitting on the Board of Directors for AGLCC. Marci has been named AGLCC’s Business Woman of the Year, has received a nomination for NGLCC’s Business Person of the Year, and was invited to spend Easter Sunday with the President and his family at the White House.
When she is not at work or volunteering, Marci enjoys being “Mapa” to her two beautiful children Alexandria and Nicholas.
I'm a Miami based UI/UX designer and front-end developer, originally from Caracas - Venezuela.
I've always being passionate about communication and different forms of expression. I have explored different mediums such as photography, film, illustration, design and web development.
In December 2014 I graduated with a BFA on Web Design & Interactive Media in Miami. Since then I've worked as a web developer and UI/UX designer. I design interfaces and experiences based on user's data and feedback.
In my free time I like to find creative ways to contribute to protecting our planet and raising awareness about our environment.
Jim Barnish has 10+ years of global, strategic and integrated operations, sales, finance and marketing experience guiding organizations in the effort to reinvent themselves. His experience spans high growth environments and turnaround situations ranging from early stage through Fortune 100 companies.
Over the course of Jim’s career, he has successfully worked with organizations undergoing accelerated business development, agile change, change management, organizational re-design, digital marketing implementation, as well as strategic brand and operational transformation initiatives.
Jay Berkowitz is an author, an educator, an International keynote speaker and an award-winning thought leader. A senior online marketing professional with over twenty five years of business experience, Mr. Berkowitz has managed marketing departments for Fortune 500 brands: Coca-Cola, Sprint and McDonald's Restaurants, and he has developed online and offline strategies for AT&T and leading health and fitness website eDiets.com.
Mr. Berkowitz is the author of The Ten Golden Rules of Online Marketing and 10 Free Internet Marketing Strategies that went to #1 on Amazon for Small Business and Entrepreneurship. He is the Founder and CEO of www.TenGoldenRules.com, a digital marketing and consulting business based in Boca Raton, Florida. He was the lead Subject Matter Expert and program faculty member for the University of San Francisco Internet Marketing Course and he is the host of the Ten Golden Rules of Internet Marketing Podcast. He has been profiled in the Wall Street Journal, The Business Journals and he was interviewed on FOX Business TV.
Mr. Berkowitz is a popular keynote presenter at conferences and events such as Inc 500, eBay Live, Affili@ Australia, Ad-Tech, Affiliate Summit, Webmaster World, The Direct Marketing Association, The American Marketing Association and The CEO Executive Forum. He is a Board Member for The Strategic Forum, a Founding Board Member of The South Florida Interactive Marketing Association, a Past President of the South Florida Chapter of The American Marketing Association, the Gold Medal winner at the Association of Women in Communications PR Olympics, the recipient of a SOFIE Award for Most Effective use of Emerging Media and a BERNAY’s Award.
Marc Blumenthal is a serial entrepreneur and visionary leader in the technology industry, as well as an active investor in early-stage companies, providing advice and counsel to their founders. With his three decades of experience in the world of startups, Blumenthal was a natural choice to serve as CEO for Florida Funders where he is also an investor-member and serves on the company’s Board of Managers. The company’s mission to make it easier for investors to identify and invest in an asset class of early stage companies while keeping talented entrepreneurs in the sunshine state aligns with Blumenthal’s dedication to Florida’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Blumenthal is best known for acquiring in 2000 a small company called Intelladon, building it into a leading provider of online learning and talent management services throughout North America and Europe, and selling the company in 2013 to Tribridge, a large Microsoft systems integrator and consulting firm. In addition to his investment in Florida Funders, Marc has invested in That’s Us Technologies, SiteWit and over a dozen other private companies. Born and raised in Toms River, N.J., Blumenthal is a 1985 graduate of University of South Florida with a bachelor’s degree in management information systems. For the past 33 years he has lived in Tampa, FL, with his wife, Karen, and three children, Alyssa, Adam, and Claire. He serves on a number of local company boards and enjoys supporting local charities and the University of South Florida, where he serves on the USF Muma College of Business Executive Advisory Council.
Greg Borchardt is Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Caerus Ventures, with over 15 years of experience running early stage technology companies. He is a member of the Caerus deal team where he is responsible for new investments and operational due diligence, with a special focus on new investments in Consumer Tech, Enterprise Tech, Hardware, and Internet of Things.
Prior to Caerus Ventures, Greg was the Founder and Managing Partner of Oxygen Audio North America, a consumer electronics manufacturing company of high-end audio products including the “O Car”, the first car stereo that fully integrated the iPhone into a car’s entertainment system.
Thomas is a former DOD intelligence analyst, angel investor, conservationist, and serial entrepreneur who has founded, funded, and exited several successful global ventures which include: media properties (CGI, Inc.’s global broadcast syndication network encompassing over 60 countries acquired by Polygram), financial services (Geneva Risk Services, LLC acquired by McAuley Woods & Associates 2008), as well as professional services. Upon the 2001 acquisition of TechExec Resources, Inc., (a ‘high growth’ technology focused executive search firm and Dell Computer Corporation’s largest Executive Search partner for 3 consecutive years) which he founded, Thomas began angel investing, advising clients on M & A and strategic initiatives.
Most recently, Mr. Buchar is the Co-Founder of The South Florida Accelerator, LLC and a Co-Founder of Innovation Florida. Thomas also served as CEO of Kultur International Films (“Riverdance” “The Three Tenors”), with Twittad.com he created in partnership with the Wunderman Agency and Land Rover, the first national advertising campaign to be syndicated on the Twitter open API platform. Additionally, Mr. Buchar and was founder and Chairman of POM Solutions, and Chairman of Yezzi! a global disruptive money transfer gateway. In 2014 Yezzi! was acquired by Cuallix Consumer Services of Monterrey Mexico where he advised as their VP of Global Strategy. In addition Mr. Buchar is Founder and Chairman of Nembeza Wildlife Foundation, a USA registered 501(c) 3 whose primary mission is to Preserve, Protect, and Proliferate endangered species globally. On his “bizcations” you can find Thomas in the bushveld of South Africa or Botswana tracking poachers, rescuing orphaned rhino, and supporting breeding projects.
Raised in access of $100mm for startups and growth equity clients Venture Committee Member of the Greater Ft Lauderdale Alliance Mentor and Member of Singapore’s JFDI Accelerator Former Board Member of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs 5 exits by participating as investor in 26 Startups Fervent World Traveler - 85 Countries and Counting Adventure Travel Adrenalin Junkie - Private Pilot
Gail Bulfin is Vice President, Membership Development for the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance. Her primary focus is to grow membership, develop new opportunities for networking, manage the highest membership level Councils, Port Everglades Advocacy Team, Alliance Leadership trips, events and oversee the member development department. Under her guidance, membership has grown over 48%, and member engagement is at an all-time high. Bulfin is responsible for writing, editing and producing an award-winning, annual membership directory, event programs and special publications. She sits on leadership committees for the Metropolitan Planning Committee (MPO) and is often asked to be involved in strategic planning sessions for both public and private institutions.
The Alliance is the County’s economic development partner and as such, markets and promotes Broward as a business relocation destination.
Prior to joining the Alliance, Bulfin was an editor at the Sun Sentinel where she
managed the news research department, oversaw training for 350 newsroom staff and was the reader editor in the newsroom. She was director of the National Writers’ Workshop for eight consecutive years, an annual weekend conference for writers held in Fort Lauderdale drawing over 500 attendees from around the United States. She was a frequent guest lecturer at the Poynter Institute of Media Studies, the Maynard Institute, Freedom Forum and various other media-related organizations within the United States and abroad.
Currently she is the chair of the board of Business for the Arts Broward and is a member of the Friends of the Museum of Discovery & Science.
Adam leads Investor Relations at AngelList, the world's premier platform for online startup investing. AngelList enables sophisticated investors to access highly competitive rounds led by the top US venture funds. Adam connects these investors with opportunities to invest. He is based in New York City.
Carmen Castillo is the President and CEO of SDI International Corp. (SDI), which she founded in Florida in 1992. The company provides its clients with fully scalable global indirect procurement solutions for the tail-end, centered on Procure-to-Pay and Source-to-Pay. These programs are designed to manage large numbers of small suppliers handling noncritical/ non-catalogue transactions that are often untracked, resulting in inefficiencies in process times, compliance and costs. SDI’s managed spend has increased by 130% over the past five years, now managing in excess of $2.5 billion annually.
“We make ourselves indispensable to our clients by building globally and acting locally,” Carmen states emphatically. Her mantra is evident in SDI’s global footprint, which includes Centers of Excellence in the U.S., Argentina, Belgium, Canada, China, India, Bratislava, the United Kingdom, Poland, South Africa, and soon in Mexico.
SDI has distinguished itself as a provider of robust process efficiencies, driving repeatable hard cost savings through cutting-edge technology, risk assessment, quality policies and a dedicated team, fostering long-standing business relationships with its Fortune 500 customers.
As part of her responsibilities as President/CEO of the firm, Carmen is hands-on with the overall coordination of company operations, global advertising, business development and marketing programs, along with proposal strategies and preparation.
From the advocacy perspective, Carmen acts as a Board Member of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) and leads their Audit and International Committees. She is also Vice Chair of the International Women’s Entrepreneurial Challenge (IWEC), and collaborates with the boards of many other Minority- and Woman-owned business organizations.
Kenny Chen is the program director for the early-stage startup incubator and coworking space Ascender. He is also co-founder of involveMINT, a social currency startup based in Pittsburgh, PA. Raised in Las Vegas, Kenny landed in Pittsburgh for a Coro Fellowship after working in San Francisco, DC and Hong Kong.
Mike Clum is a media entrepreneur and video producer who founded Clum Creative after graduating high school in 2011. In 5 years he's grown his video production company to 6 full time team members who serve corporations and entrepreneurs around the world producing powerful video assets that drive revenue and solve business problems. As a video producer he creates original web videos & documentaries, and speaks on a variety of media and entrepreneurship topics.
Don Cook joins the Broward College team as the Executive Director of Marketing & Strategic Communications. In this role he will be responsible for linking the innovation, passion and thought leadership of the Broward College team with our community and student-focused business units by building the brand, creating awareness and advocacy, and enhancing the student experience.
Don previously served as Chief Marketing Officer at Learn.com, a successful Learning Management Systems company serving academic institutions, government agencies and Fortune 500 organizations. At Learn.com, he helped market and launch over 300 online universities. The company was acquired in 2010 by Taleo Corporation for $125 million. Most recently, Don served as co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer at iCare.com, the healthcare industry’s first cloud-based electronic health record for hospitals.
He has also served the community as a board member of the Broward County Humane Society, and has mentored youths as a member Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward County.
Don has a BS in Business Management from West Chester University of Pennsylvania.
Mario Cruz is an accomplished technologist, entrepreneur, investor and musician. Currently serving as a Director at Watsco Ventures, he has worked in a variety of executive capacities including serving as Head of Product Development at Viggle, CTO of Choose Digital, CTO of Grass Roots America, and CIO of Rewards Network.
Mario also excelled as an entrepreneur in 2011, when he Co-Founded Choose Digital which was later acquired by Viggle in 2014. His success is a product of over 19 years of experience and growing expertise in Cloud, DevOps technology, and operations solutions for various industries including digital media, loyalty, SaaS, financial services, airlines, and Fortune 100 corporations.
Marcia Dawood is a Managing Director in two angel investment groups, BlueTree Allied Angels in Pittsburgh and Golden Seeds in New York City. For BlueTree, she is also the Chairman of the Due Diligence and Education Committees and serves on the deal flow and screening committees as well. Marcia has experience evaluating and mentoring startup companies and investment opportunities. She supports women led, impact, tech/life sciences and overall fun companies and is passionate about education as well as investment. Marcia has taken an active role in serving as the syndication lead between BlueTree and Golden Seeds bringing the two groups together to collaborate and optimize deal flow and due diligence information.
Marcia also serves on the Board of the Angel Capital Association (ACA), an organization that represents over 12,000 accredited investor members, 220 angel groups and accredited platforms that have invested in well over 10,000 entrepreneurial companies. She graduated from the Global Executive MBA program at UNC’s Kenan Flagler’s School of Business. In addition to the US, the program studies included business learning in the Netherlands, Turkey, Brazil, Mexico, Hong Kong and India.
During her graduate studies, Marcia was part of the 5 person management committee leading OneHEEL Partners, a compounding equity management firm that focuses on helping businesses grow, either by direct investment or through expert consulting services. In 2014, the group acquired the franchise rights to a new sports team, the DC Brawlers, in a new, co-ed sport, GRID. Marcia served on the Board of Directors and managed financial and legal matters for the organization during the inaugural season. This gave her experience as an entrepreneur from the start through the exit of a business. In her 16+ year career prior to becoming an active investor she gained experience and success in operations, sales and marketing with Kaplan Higher Education Campuses (KHEC).
On a personal note, Marcia is trained as a yoga instructor, is the step-mom to 3 boys and enjoys a glass of good wine with her husband on any day ending in Y.
Lorenzo de Leo
Lorenzo de Leo (Ph.D) is Partner at Rokk3r Labs, and Managing Director of Rokk3r Cobuild. As MD, he manages the strategic direction and operational oversight of Rokk3r Cobuild, and its senior team of Entrepreneurs-in-Residence. Lorenzo provides leadership across cobuild engagements with entrepreneurs and organizations of all sizes, focusing on the deconstruction, evaluation and rethinking process of ideas that could turn into Rokk3r Labs portfolio companies or help enterprises innovate on the edge. He works with Rokk3r Labs leadership to create and drive inventive ideas to advance and scale cobuild.
Previously, Lorenzo was Senior Program Manager and Business Developer at ARQUIMEA, where he led capital raising, aerospace technology innovation, and partner relationships. He conducted research into technology transfer in the fields of aerospace, security and robotics in his role as Senior Researcher at Unviersidad Carlos III de Madrid.
Lorenzo holds a Ph.D in Mathematics, and Masters degree in Mathematics from Universidad Complutense de Madrid.
Mr. Scott D. Decker serves as the CEO of MDLIVE, where he leads MDLIVE’s mission to develop the solutions to help consumers, employers, health plans and health systems to improve health and wellness outcomes performance while reducing costs. Prior to MDLIVE, Mr. Decker’s successful roles include President of HealthSparq, President of NextGen Healthcare Information Systems Inc, founder and CEO & President of Healthvision. VP of Development at VHA Inc.’s Health Information Technologies business unit, and CEO of U.S. Carelink.
He is honored twice as a finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Mr. Decker summa cum laude from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science.
Rob was previously Vice President, NY for Astia, a not-for-profit organization with a mission to propel women’s full participation as entrepreneurs in high growth businesses. He currently serves on Astia’s NYC Advisory Board. Rob has also been a mentor for The Founder Institute, the world’s premier startup launch program for talented entrepreneurs, Springboard Enterprises, a leading platform where entrepreneurs, investors, and industry experts meet to build great women-led businesses and The Daily News Innovation Lab.
Rob has made over 125 direct and indirect (via funds) investments in startup companies. His current portfolio of direct investments includes:
From 1985-2000 Rob was a principal and President of Delco International Ltd., a successful manufacturing and distribution company of tableware products for the food service and transportation industries. During Rob’s tenure, sales increased from $34m to $76m and revenue per employee increased from $618k to $982k. Delco was often a recipient of both the Long Island Top 50 Private Companies and 25 Fastest Growing Private Companies award sponsored by KPMG Peat Marwick and Hofstra University School of Business. In 2000, Rob orchestrated the successful sale of the company to Oneida Ltd, the world’s largest tableware manufacturer and stayed on as President of the Delco foodservice division through 2003.
Kristin Delwo is the Founder of Hybrid Ventures, a start-up incubator pairing technology with industry expertise for global impact; President & CEO of Stacks Inc., a SaaS startup in the information management space with global distribution in several markets including academic institutions, corporations and libraries; and Principal & Partner at Hybrid Global, a custom software consultancy boasting enterprise clients in commercial, private and non-profit sectors. She is a proud Canadian and mother of three with a keen interest in the arts.
John served with US Army in the 2/325th Scout Platoon HHC in the 82nd Airborne Division. He served as a Light Infantry Scout Radio Operator for a Sniper Team serving in the Initial invasion of Iraq. After this deployment, John was honorably discharged having received commendations for his service including the Combat Infantry Badge, 2 Army Commendation Medals, a National Service Medal, and other awards of distinction.
John founded his own construction startup doing J&J Drywall Sanding after his military service and was taking an increasing number of contracts, but liquidated his assets prior to the mortgage crisis in 2007 concerned about the possibility of the severe decline that seemed inevitable.
Following John’s liquidation of his business assets he pursued his bachelor degree in Political Science with a minor in Philosophy from the University of North Florida to find ways to assist veterans using organizational structures. While there he was a Founder and Secretary of the UNF Student Veterans Association, the Army Military Ambassador for the Military and Veteran Resource Center, the Vice President of the Omega chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha (the political science honor society), and the Vice President of the UNF Model United Nations team.
After completing his degree program, John became an Americorps member by joining Teach For America. After completing his Americorps Service obligation John returned to UNF to pursue his Graduate Degree in Public Administration with a concentration on Nonprofit Management. John then decided to continue his service to the community by becoming a Military Engagement Manager for HandsOn Jacksonville and Points of Light.
During his time at HandsOn Jacksonville while building a sustainable network of military contacts for the organization he discovered Bunker Labs, and as a former entrepreneur was quickly able to recognize the value it added to the community for veterans. After meeting with Derek Destenfield he was offered a position and immediately took the opportunity to serve veteran entrepreneurs in Jacksonville by helping them realize their innovative potential. He currently is the Executive Director of Bunker Labs Jacksonville.
Chris Fleck is Vice President and Technical Fellow at Citrix Systems. In this role he is responsible for IoT, Emerging Technology, and driving innovation. Previously, Mr. Fleck was CEO and a founder of 14 South Networks, a pioneer in the application of Blade Technology for the IT industry. In addition Mr. Fleck served 20 years at IBM in a variety of sales, business development and engineering roles including Business Unit Executive for the IBM Industrial Computer Group. He was a NYS Licensed Professional Engineer and has six patents issued, he graduated from NYU Poly and has an MBA from Union College
Chip Gesner is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Gesner Capital Partners, a privately held investment group with significant holdings in private equity, venture capital, technology growth companies and aviation.
Mr. Gesner has had a successful career in finance becoming a leader at one of the largest Private Equity firms. Mr. Gesner created the leading Sports Finance firm working on transactions in the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, NASCAR, Premier League Soccer, Olympic Committees and the leading television networks. Mr. Gesner as used his extensive relationships to become a leading venture capitalist and investor in growth companies thru Gesner Capital Partners.
Mr. Gesner attended the University of Miami before entering the finance industry in New York.
Shelby Gogulski is the 17-year-old CEO of Yourself Expression an interchangeable accessory company she started in August 2014.
Shelby started YSE after her mom denied her request for a pricey pair of bow bedazzled boots. Her mom suggested that she utilize the surplus of bows she already had to decorate boots. Shelby started by making boot bling from office clips and that crafty project led her to create more interchangeable fashion concepts. The popular hobby was also a way to help her parents pay for her rising high school tuition Snap Jewelry is the largest of her three collections and the line featured on Shark Tank as well as The View. Although she did not invent the concept she designs most of the collection and strives to keep it affordable. As the company grew she created two other collections that can be found in more than 500 stores.
Shelby is often asked why she started a company at just 14 years old and her answer is pretty simple. When Shelby was nine, her mom was diagnosed with breast cancer and had to undergo 3 years of treatment. As a way to process and cope, Shelby's family decided to create a bucket list for both the near and long term. Shelby was told that she can achieve it all if she dreamed big and worked hard. Shelby believes that failure comes only from not trying and that all things in life should be done with a sense of urgency not knowing what the next day will bring. When she saw how much people loved to create, wear and change what they wore she decided Yourself Expression would be the next item on her bucket list.
Yourself Expression offers products for women, men, kids and even the family pet and lets you be the designer of what you want to wear. Shelby took her parents $500 and created a million dollar company that is debt-free and expected to launch in Sea World this Spring and is currently working with Carnival Cruise Lines.
Jacob is the Co-President of Fresh Prints, a custom apparel company with a mission of making entrepreneurship more accessible to college students. He's founded and led 3 companies and had his first 7 figure exit at 22. Besides leading Fresh Prints he actively invests in early stage ventures.
Jacob was born and raised in New York and loves connecting with as many entrepreneurs as possible. Shoot him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to meet up!
Felix Hartmann is the 22 year old CEO of FundThis.com, a rewards-based crowdfunding platform that empowers innovative creators to successfully raise more capital through end-to-end support at no upfront cost. Next to FundThis, Felix is a bestselling dystopian fiction author and has served on the boards of major conferences like Next Gen Summit and SUP-X. He was named one of Everipedia's 30 under 30 in 2017.
A “recovered” attorney with a business background, Lauren Harper left the practice of law 5 years ago to focus on cultivating the ecosystem for Miami's social innovators and the funders that support them. She is passionate about transforming the way Miami gives and invests, the way it does business and nonprofit work, and bringing globally recognized models to the local market to drive social impact in new and effective ways.
Lauren is part of the founding team of the Center for Social Change (C4SC), a hub for changemakers in South Florida, offering co-working space, events and programs for nonprofits and social entrepreneurs. Currently, Lauren is the Founding Director of Social Venture Partners Miami (SVP Miami), part of a global network of 3,500+ venture philanthropists in 40+ cities, who have collectively contributed more than $56 million to 770+ social ventures. SVP Partners leverage their funds, expertise and connections to strengthen social ventures, both nonprofits and for-profit, and solve the biggest challenges facing their local communities.
She has also curated various events and has given lectures at universities and colleges on social innovation/entrepreneurship, venture philanthropy and impact investment, including Florida International University, Miami Dade College and Florida Atlantic University, and has spoken at conferences nationally.
Lauren’s other community involvement includes the Steering Committee for Philanthropy Miami, where she helps to plan the largest locally-driven conference for the philanthropic and social sector in Miami. She also sits on the Education Impact Council and the Public Policy Committee at the United Way of Miami-Dade, and is a social enterprise specialty mentor at Florida Atlantic University’s Tech Runway, an accelerator program for early stage ventures.
Earlier in her career, Lauren practiced law in both large and boutique firms where she focused on land use, zoning and other real estate and business matters. She also held clerkship positions at the Securities Exchange Commission and the Federal Public Defender's Office and was a Senior Fellow in a Community Economic Development legal clinic at University of Miami School of Law.
Felecia Hatcher is a White House Award winning entrepreneur, badass business rainmaker, bestselling author, globally sought-after speaker, media darling, mother, and Founder of Code Fever and BlackTechWeek. Breathe. She is also the rather awesome former Chief Popsicle at Feverish Pops, a gourmet ice pop boutique and manufacturing brand with a Fortune 500 client roster that would make your head spin.
For the past decade, Felecia has dedicated her life to inspiring a new generation of leaders to do epic sh!t, through her conversational talks on Entrepreneurship, Tech Innovation, Funding and Personal Branding. As the founder of Code Fever and Black Tech Week, Felecia Hatcher is on a mission to rid our communities of innovation deserts by working with community leaders and government to create inclusive and diverse startup ecosystems. Felecia has spearheaded the inclusive innovaton and startup movement within the Miami Startup ecosystem focused on getting marginalized groups to become major players in the innovation economy.
Hatcher has been featured on MSNBC, The NBC Today Show, The Cooking Channel, Essence Magazine, Entrepreneur, Inc, BET, Black Enterprise, and the Miami Herald.
Dean is a Founding Partner of Las Olas Venture Capital in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Las Olas VC makes early-stage investments in great teams with transformational technologies principally emanating from non-obvious and nascent markets like Florida.
Dean has over 35 years of executive and C-level experience in a range of industries and business stages from start-up through Fortune 50 businesses. Prior to co-founding Las Olas VC, Dean was CEO and Board Director at Higher One [NYSE: ONE] where he led the business from start-up through IPO and a $1B+ valuation. Prior to Higher One, Dean was CEO at YClip, a marketing services start-up, and had held senior executive positions at Travelers Insurance, Citigroup, Carlson Wagonlit Travel and Great Western Bank.
An active angel investor for the last ten years, Dean has made over 40 investments and has advised many start-up businesses. Dean is currently a mentor at the Founder’s Institute and has served on multiple for-profit and non-profit boards.
Sir Charles Hill
Sir Charles Hill is the managing director of Ecotech Visions, a business incubator focused on deepening the innovative ecosystem in South Florida by providing business resources to manufacturing and production companies. EcoTech Visions brings innovation down to the middle core of the community, while addressing environmental challenges, systemic poverty, and small business growth by capitalizing on the green collar economy.
Prior to joining Ecotech, Charles spent fifteen years providing financial and investment expertise to top banking institutions such as Mellon Capital Management, Bank of New York Mellon, and Bank of Tokyo. He is also the founder of Pivotal Lit, a financial literacy company focused on teaching, assessing, and certifying student and adult learners in critical financial skills.
In addition to his professional work, Charles serves on the board of Youth Achievers USA Institute, volunteers for Big Brother Big Sister, and holds seats on multiple committees and working groups in Miami’s tech and economic development ecosystem. He holds an Economic degree from Haverford College and Investment Certification from CFA institute.
Afshan Khan serves as the Innovation Adoption Program Manager at Innovation Works, one of the nation’s most active seed-stage investors. In this role, she helps regional manufacturing companies in the development of new technologies and processes to gain a competitive advantage in their market and improve efficiencies by linking these manufacturers to technology experts at the various universities and other organizations throughout the region. In addition, Afshan provides eligible small businesses with technology support, including training on agile development methodologies, business plan development, financial analysis and resource identification, and marketing strategy and plan development.
Working primarily with large nonprofits and foundations through her company, Two Parrot Productions, Jessica Kizorek has created hundreds of short films and video-centric fundraising campaigns for the biggest names in philanthropy like United Nations Women and AARP Foundation. Her latest program, Eyes On Your Mission, teaches young people how to utilize Two Parrot methodology to create changemaking video campaigns that alter the future of communities in need. Having traveled to over 60 countries, she has covered many humanitarian causes as a journalist and documentarian. Jessica has lectured at prestigious universities such as Princeton, authored 8 books, and has been a featured small business expert on media outlets including CNN and Fox News. As both a high-tech artist and entrepreneur who employs other artists, Jessica straddles the line of both business owner, funder, and professional fundraiser. In 2017 alone she’s raised $152,500 to fund Eyes On Your Mission programs in Miami and Chicago, with a national expansion plan already in development.
Melissa Krinzman is the Managing Partner of Krillion Ventures, a $50 million early stage venture capital firm that actively invests in financial services, transportation, logistics, real estate, and digital health start-ups. Melissa is also the Founder of Venture Architects LLC, a business planning firm that positions early and growth stage companies for success in the capital-raising process.
With a 20-year history of launching, growing and advising private companies and non-profit organizations, Melissa is considered an expert in the field of entrepreneurship. She has worked with over 1,200 companies that have raised more than $1 billion in investment capital using business plans developed by Venture Architects. Additionally, Melissa is a sought after speaker and advisor on the subjects of business planning and capital raising, and has judged business plan competitions across the country. Melissa began her career as a member of the start-up teams for three prominent, national nonprofit organizations and a European fashion company.
Melissa holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tufts University and serves as a board advisor for many of Krillion Ventures' investments. Melissa is Vice Chair of The Miami Foundation as well as a board member of Beacon College Prep (a non-profit charter school a non-profit charter school for underprivileged children), and Ransom-Everglades School Alumni Board.
Mitchel Laskey is a serial entrepreneur developing technology companies in healthcare, electronic manufacturing, physical security, social media, commercial banking, and transportation industries. He is co-founder and managing general partner of FAN Fund, a Florida based angel capital fund focusing on growth-oriented companies in the technology and life science sectors in Florida. He also is the managing director of MJL Advisors, Inc. an advisory services firm working with entrepreneurs, executive management, board of directors, institutional private equity and venture capital investors to develop and implement strategic objectives and alternatives that drive business growth, increase revenues, and enhance enterprise valuations.
He was the Co-founder and a member of the board of directors of CNL Bank ($1.8 Billion Assets) recently merged with Valley National Bank (NYSE: VLY); past chairman of the board of IZEA (OTC: IZEA); Founder, CEO Dynamic Healthcare Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: DHTI) a leading health care information systems company - exited to Cerner (NSADAQ: CERN); Co-founder Dynamic Control Corp. a healthcare market leader who partnered with IBM in developing and implementing turn-key based enterprise hospital information systems – exited to by Baxter (NYSE: BAX).Testified before Congress regarding Homeland Securities issues and holds an active Secret Clearance with the U.S. Government; University of South Florida College of Business Administration’s “Entrepreneur of the Year”, BA degrees in both accounting and marketing from the University of South Florida. Licensed CPA in Florida.
Rebecca Fishman Lipsey
Rebecca is the youngest person in history to be appointed to the Florida Board of Education, serving a 4-year term alongside six other statewide leaders overseeing educational policy from kindergarten through college. She is Founder and CEO of Radical Partners, a social-impact accelerator that incubates and accelerates a portfolio of for-profit and nonprofit ventures that address community issues. Radical Partners runs the Social Entrepreneurship Bootcamp, an intensive professional development experience for founders and executive directors of social-impact organizations.
Rebecca was named "Best Non-Profit Executive" by The International Stevie Award for Women in Business, "Best Role Model" by Miami Today, and "20 Under 40" by The Miami Herald". Before launching Radical Partners, Rebecca served as Executive Director of Teach For America in Miami, during which time she raised over 22 million dollars in community support, tripling the size of the local operation. Rebecca sits on a variety of non-profit boards and committees, and is absolutely in love with South Florida.
In her free time, Rebecca bangs on the piano, blogs for HuffPost, and serves as a personal assistant to two young boys.
Suneera Madhani graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in Finance and a minor in Leadership. After almost three years of corporate culture she knew it was time she took her learning’s and applied them to her real passion of entrepreneurship. With a background in business, advertising, and sales, Suneera gained a well-rounded approach to the merchant services industry. After establishing herself in a merchant services career, Suneera realized that business owners are frustrated with their provider’s due to a lack of transparency and never-ending gimmicks. She decided to found her company, Fattmerchant, with the promise to establish a transparent subscription-based merchant services model that offers financial and strategic value to the everyday business owner.
Since the launch of the company in mid 2014, Suneera has been recognized for her vast achievements and strength in business plan through various medians including Forbes, Fast Company, Yahoo, Tech Crunch, Huffington Post, Merchant Maverick, and the Orlando Business Journal. In addition, Fattmerchant has won the 2016 “Startup of the Year” Award at the Bright House Regional Business Awards, Grow FL’s Florida Companies to Watch award, the Emerging Business Plan category for NAWBO (National Association of Women Business Owners) Orlando, Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award from the IACC (Indian American Chamber of Commerce) Orlando, the Rollins Venture Plan Competition, and has been recognized by Merchant Maverick as a 5 star merchant services provider. Suneera was recently recognized as one of the Orlando Business Journal’s 40 under 40 and was recognized by the Girl Scouts of Citrus council as a 2015 Woman of Distinction and the winner of the Rising Star category for her outstanding leadership and commitment to the community.
Blaire Martin is mobilizing the movement of accredited investors engaging Florida’s high growth ventures with capital, expertise, and resources while streamlining the funding process for our state’s entrepreneurs.
As the Director of the Florida Angel Nexus (NEXUS), she and her team are growing Florida’s statewide community of accredited investors, funds, trusts, and family offices. NEXUS currently supports chapters in Orlando, Tallahassee, Jacksonville, Palm Beach and Ocala along with a virtual chapter for dispersed investors. In partnership with local active investors and community leaders, new chapters are forming statewide. Since January 2013, NEXUS members have invested in 42 companies a total of $10,900,000; over $18,000,000 with coinvestment partners.
Blaire is also a cofounder of the FAN Fund. FAN has made ten investments since commencing operations in November 2015. In its first year, the FAN Fund and its LPs have deployed over $3,000,000 in financing rounds that totaled approximately $10,000,000.
Previously as a Business Development Consultant in the UCF Venture Accelerator, Ms. Martin assisted early stage technology companies with the many aspects required to launch and grow a successful company, including: market research, competitive analysis, lead generation, investor pitch preparation, and strategies for commercialization, revenue models, and sales. She graduated with honors from the University of Central Florida with a Masters of Business Administration and a Bachelor’s degree focusing on finance, entrepreneurship, and leadership.
Laura McDaniel is Vice President of Marketing Strategy and Analysis at SapientNitro. In this role, she identifies and solves clients’ business challenges using SapientNitro’s unparalleled suite of digital and traditional tools. Having begun her career as a cultural anthropologist, Laura is passionate about understanding the human needs, motivations, rituals and unspoken cultural codes that inform consumer behavior. She then uses these insights – paired with a deep understanding of data and technology – to identify paths of exploration that go beyond mere marketing opportunities to transform businesses and consumer experiences.
Laura has extensive expertise in cross-channel dynamics, marketing mix optimization and integrated digital ecosystems. Past clients include Walmart, Universal Studios, Bethesda Gaming, Disney, Coca-Cola, Carnival Cruise Lines, Delta Airlines, Verizon Wireless, Starwood Hotels, Hyatt Hotels, the World Wildlife Fund, Home Depot and Office Depot.
Laura is a frequent speaker and panelist at events ranging from SXSW and SheSays to 4A’s and the Digital Signage Expo, and she is the winner of two Gold Effies. Laura holds a B.A. from Wellesley College and Master’s and Ph.D. degrees from Yale University.
Josh McElhattan founded Startbot in 2012 to invest in and serve robotics startups. He directed technology investment for Industrial Scientific starting in 2006, where he led research and acquisition efforts in areas such as predictive analytics, advanced sensors, imaging systems, and robotics.
Previously, Josh was user experience lead at JPMorganChase’s active trading platform, BrownCo (presently Power E*TRADE). He also led a consulting team for America Online’s AIM product management group and served on business development consulting teams for Arnold Worldwide and Allied Domecq (presently Dunkin’ Brands).
Juha Mikkola is the co-founder of the husband-wife team of Wyncode Academy. Wyncode Academy is developing successful coders with business acumen through an immersive, demanding and inspiring learning environment. Faced with the high opportunity cost of attending a traditional institution to enter the profession, many interested prospects remain on the sidelines. Miami-based Wyncode Academy offers students a full stack curriculum designed to meet the needs of local hiring partners.
Juha was born and raised in Finland, arriving in Miami by way of Toronto. He studied at the University of Toronto with a degree in business. He later started his entrepreneurial career with his venture FloorballPro, an e-commerce distributor of Floorball equipment.
In 2013, Juha attended Bitmaker Labs, Canada’s most established coding school. He loved the school’s model, and wanted to transition the idea to a market that needed it. Juha and his wife, Johanna, moved to South Florida where they found a burgeoning tech hub with fast-growing businesses that needed developers. In 2014 they launched the Wyncode Academy’s website.
Wyncode Academy offers students a ten-week, full-stack web development boot camp, which is an inexpensive targeted alternative to full-time degree programs. It is the only Florida coding boot camp accredited by the Florida Department of Education.
Juha and Johanna built Wyncode Academy to embolden individuals with technical skills and help them stand out as leaders and revolutionaries in the tech world.
Kristina Montague is managing partner of the JumpFund, an angel investment fund comprised of women investors focused on providing start-up and growth capital to women entrepreneurs. With $2.5million under management and currently raising a second fund, the JumpFund is building a portfolio of scalable, high growth women-led companies from across the Southeast. Kristina also currently serves as a General Partner for Rising Tide US Impact Fund II, a national group of women investing in female-led ventures with a focus on social good. Previously, Kristina served as Assistant Dean of External Affairs at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga’s College of Business, where she developed her passion for supporting and encouraging women as business leaders. A native of Seattle, WA, Kristina received her B.A. from Vassar College and served as a Teach for America corps member in rural Louisiana before pursuing her Masters in Public Administration (MPA) at the University of Washington. Her passion for education reform led her to serve as program associate at the Public Education Foundation and later in several leadership roles at Normal Park Museum Magnet School in Chattanooga, TN. As a volunteer, Kristina focuses her philanthropic and non-profit work in the arenas of education, entrepreneurship, and social equity. Kristina serves on the boards of Launch Chattanooga, the Enterprise Center, the Company Lab, and is a trustee of the Footprint Foundation. She is also a member of Golden Seeds, a national angel investor network investing in women, the Angel Capital Association, and the Chattanooga Women’s Leadership Institute and was recognized as a 2013 Woman of Distinction by the American Lung Association. Kristina lives in downtown Chattanooga with her two children and husband, Tom.
Raul Moas is the Managing Director of AGP Miami, an angel investor network that brings together active, like-minded angel and early stage investors who are interested in sharing their deal flow and collective expertise in evaluating high-quality investments.
Prior to joining AGP, Raul served as the Executive Director of Roots of Hope, an international non-governmental organization focused on youth empowerment in Cuba, and the "Best Grassroots Organization" per the Miami New Times. At Roots of Hope Raul led the creation of programs like StartUp Cuba, which supports emerging entrepreneurs from the island in gaining valuable and practical skills, and social ventures like Discover Cuba, a B-Corp subsidiary which has facilitated hundreds of socially conscious trips and family reunifications.
Raul is passionate about Greater Miami and deeply involved in making his community a better place. As a member of the Global Shapers Miami Hub, the young professional arm of the World Economic Forum, Raul focuses on promoting equitable development in Miami. Raul is also a member of Class VIII of the Miami Foundation's Miami Fellows program where he fostered a deeper understanding of effective leadership while learning about important issues facing Greater Miami.
Raul served as a Tax Associate at Ernst & Young's Miami office where he focused on domestic compliance, international tax planning and transfer pricing. Raul earned a M.S. in Taxation and a Bachelor of Business Administration at the University of Miami, and is a licensed CPA in the State of Florida.
Geeta Nayyar, M.D., M.B.A.
Geeta Nayyar, M.D., M.B.A., is a nationally recognized leader in healthcare information technology as well as a board-certified practicing physician. She has been named one of the "Top 26 smartest people in Health IT" by Becker's Report and ranked one of the "Top 25 Minority Healthcare Executives" by Modern Healthcare. She is the author of the mobile health chapter in the HIMSS Medical Informatics textbook and is a noted social media expert and blogger for the Huffington Post. Med City News recognized her as one of the "Top 12 Powerful Women Voices in Healthcare Innovation and on Twitter."
Chief Medical Information Officer
Dr. Nayyar currently serves as the Chief Healthcare & Innovation Officer for Femwell Group Health, Inc., one of the largest management services organizations in the state of Florida. She is also the host of "Topline MD TV," Florida's newest medical digital news channel.
Previously, Dr. Nayyar was the Chief Medical Information Officer of AT&T where she provided subject matter expertise, thought leadership and strategic direction for the company. She recently was a member of the HIMSS Board of Directors and as a specialist in rheumatology, Dr. Nayyar maintains an active practice while serving on the medical school faculty at Florida International University and George Washington University.
Following a business career which included CEO roles in public and private companies, Steve became an active angel investor and author in 2011. After joining New World Angels (NWA) in 2012, Steve became President of this premier Florida angel investor which is comprised of 65 accredited investors who had prior successful careers in business, medicine, law, finance and technology. Since 2014, NWA has invested over $9MM into Florida start-ups and now has an active portfolio of 14 companies. NWA members range from Naples to Tampa and from Miami to Jupiter.
Prior to 2011 Steve was CEO of Angelica Corporation (NYSE:AGL) from 2003 to 2011. Angelica is America’s leading provider of healthcare linen services. At Angelica, Steve refocused Angelica's efforts from retail and multi-industry laundry to healthcare linen services, leading to the successful take private transaction for Angelica in August, 2008.
Prior to Angelica, Steve was CEO of Rawlings Sporting Goods (NASDAQ:RAWL) from 1998 to 2003. Steve joined then publicly traded Rawlings at a time of great crisis with debt 30X EBITDA, hostile activists seeking control of the company, and operating while in the bank work out group. Steve and his team created a new vision for Rawlings, refinanced the business, sold off a non-performing unit and exited unprofitable sponsorships, and refocused growth on the core baseball business, allowing Rawlings to pay down 35% of its debt, quadrupling EBITDA and leading to a successful merger with K-2.
Prior to Rawlings Steve enjoyed a career which started at Procter & Gamble and included VP and President roles with CML Group’s Boston Whaler boats and Carroll Reed retail divisions, Kraft and Specialty Catalog (SC) Corp. As President of SC, he successfully led the group out of bankruptcy in 1994 and to a public offering in 1996.
His two books - Managing by Slogan and There Are Always Alternatives - share Steve's insights on some of the challenges Steve encountered in his turnaround assignments and how he kept the team's eye on the prize.
Steve has an A.B. from Harvard College and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He has been married 29 years to Susan and has a son Tim, who is a consultant with Oliver Wyman in Chicago, and daughter Christie, who is a program manager for the Philips Foundation in Amsterdam. Steve and Susan live in Fort Myers, Florida.
Marcelo Paiva has more than 15 years building productive design teams, solving complex systems challenges and developing thoughtful expertise to foster modern design practices in Agile development environments for mobile and web applications.
He has extensive leadership with designers and front-end developers, while enabling a creative environment of success for colleagues and team members.
Jacqueline Stetson Pastore
Jacqueline is a user experience coach and founder of UX Gofer. UX Gofer is a tool that helps companies talk to their customers during the discovery, design, and testing phases of building a product. The first rule of good design is to Know Your Customer. UX Gofer makes that easier, faster, and cheaper. Better UX equals higher customer satisfaction, increased loyalty, fewer mistakes, and a more profitable business.
Jacqueline has been doing UX since 1999. She specializes in user research, product design, and experience strategy and helps companies create powerful applications by focusing on a user-centered product development process.
Jacqueline has worked across industry verticals and technology platforms. Her broad client base includes Microsoft, Staples, Fidelity Investments, Federal Reserve Bank, JP Morgan Chase, Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Watsco, Reebok, Zumba Fitness, Adidas, MINDBODY, and many small startups you might not have heard of.
Jacqueline received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Miami in Motion Picture Production and Creative Writing. She later earned her Master of Science in Human Factors in Information Design from Bentley University, which is a complicated way of saying we do complex things to make stuff easier to use. Jacqueline loves to share her knowledge about user experience and creates UX curriculums and workshops for universities, bootcamps, accelerators, and conferences. Jacqueline is also an avid photographer, went to Boston University for digital photography, and ran a photo studio for 7 years, photographing weddings, kids, and fashion.
Richard Pollack is a visionary with a 20 year track record of successfully building, leading, and advising a diverse array of companies. Richard is the co-founder and CEO of Vetify.co, a SaaS startup in the animal healthcare space that provides real-time appointment booking for veterinarians, and Paw.com, a platform that enables pet parents to discover curated pet products and services. Recognizing an opportunity to advance the industry as a whole, the company is seeking strategic partnerships and acquisition opportunities.
Prior to his leap into animal healthcare, Richard was founder and CEO at BeyondROI, a digital marketing agency that has helped over 500 businesses acquire and retain customers. Richard also served as Vice President at Monster.com (acquired by TMP), where his team consulted Global 2000 companies on internet recruitment and advertising. Prior to Monster, Richard was an Ad Network Rep at DoubleClick (acquired by Google), where he helped publishers and clients build their brand. Preceding his move to the digital world, Richard spent nearly a decade on Wall Street. Serving as President of First Providence Financial, he led the firm to a successful acquisition.
As engaged in the community as he is in business, Richard serves on Lynn University’s College of Business Advisory Board and the Pine Crest School Advisory Council. In addition to advising other non-profit organizations, he is also an active member of Entrepreneur’s Organization (EO).
Richard earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology at the University of Arizona. Hailing from NYC, he now resides in South Florida where he enjoys spending time with his wife, two kids, and their favorite Labradoodle Buzzy.
Brendan Quay is a co-founder of HiberSense, featured on both KDKA news and WESA, Pittsburgh’s NPR news station. He is a current participant in the AlphaLab Gear accelerator. He is a wear-er of many hats and a graduate from the University of Pittsburgh in Computer Engineering. He was previously a software engineer at the Department of Defense.
Joy launched the first of 15 ventures at age 18, nine successful acquisitions and 2 IPO’s later she exercises her passion for building high-value, scalable businesses as the founder and CEO of New Market Partners. Since founding New Market Partners in 2004 Joy has worked with over 800 startups helping them build scalable businesses. She is an active early stage investor, enthusiastic startup advisor, and leads efforts to create opportunities for talented tech entrepreneurs worldwide.
Joy has led public and private companies from bootstrap through venture and IPO; raising over $360M in capital, and generating over $15B in revenue. Her experience extends to top companies in the industry including Apple, Akamai and CA where she was responsible for the over $1B in revenue and 17 acquisitions.
Joy is also the co-founder of Applied G2 a cybersecurity company. She serves as a Board Director and Advisor of several public and private technology companies. The founding Director of Startup Grind Florida, and Technova Florida, Inc., a 501c3 non profit dedicated to the success of Florida’s technology sector, she also and heads Startup Weekend and Girls in Tech chapters.
Joy is an alumnus of the University of Georgia, Emory University Goizueta School of Business, and MIT and holds multiple security, forensics and technical industry certifications. Her most recent honors from the business community include: Technology Leader of the Year, Business Woman of the Year, Power 100 Business Leaders, Top 10 Influencer of Innovation. A published author, frequent speaker and contributor to Fortune, Bloomberg, Wired, CISO and other media outlets, she is a recognized voice in the areas of Entrepreneurship, Mobile and Cybersecurity.
Esteban Reyes is a serial technology entrepreneur with three successful exits as co-founder. He is a former Managing Director at Fidelity [NYSE: FNF], as part of the company’s $600 million technology data & analytics division leadership team. Currently he is a board member and early investor at Endeavor Schools and multiple tech startups. Esteban serves as a mentor and advisor at Endeavor.org and is a member of the Group of Fifty.
Eric Riz is the Founder & CEO of Empty Cubicle, an HR platform connecting employers to candidates through verified data. A true visionary with an extraordinary ability to find needles in the data haystack, Eric guides leading organizations on sorting through and staying atop the complexities not only of today’s market but of the meteoric changes coming in tomorrow’s. As a thought leader, Eric is a sought after keynote speaker and author, delivering speeches on business and technology topics around the world. Eric sits on the Microsoft Cloud Advisory Board and is a 4-time recipient of the SharePoint MVP award.
Joe Rubin is the Managing Director and Co-Founder of FundingPost.com. FundingPost has been introducing entrepreneurs to investors nationwide for 15 years through its Online Venture Exchange, Dealflow Magazine and organizes Venture Capital and Angel Investor Conferences in 23 cities nationwide. Joe has also invested in dozens of seed deals over the past 12 years as an Angel and Fund manager, including Sticky, Inc. (acquired by Splashtop, Inc.), Senscient (acquired by MSA Safety Inc.), appMobi (acquired by Intel), and Giftworks (acquired by Frontstream Payments). Joe was an investor and on the advisory board of Offermobi (acquired by Moko.mobi), Human Demand (acquired by Ignition One) and Gozaik (acquired by Monster) and a current advisor and investor in Augmate. Joe spends most of his time working with investors and helping early-stage entrepreneurs, and speaks at events on topics such as early-stage investing, crowdfunding, and pitching to investors; and has spoken at events such as the NYC Economic Development Corporation's Jumpstart and Fasttrac Programs, Early-Stage-East, FashInvest, The Open Source Fashion Conference and Connecticut's CTech. He is a speaker at and sponsor of the UCLA Private Equity Club and Disruptive Technologists in NYC, and a Mentor to Angel Groups such as 37 Angels, TopStone Angels and Accel Foods.
Joe is also a Co-Founder and General Partner of ARC Angel Fund I & II, a seed tech fund based in NYC, which has invested in over 30 companies, including: Upnext (Acquired by Amazon), Medivo, Sidecar, Careerminds, Kanvas (Acquired by AOL), Moviepass, Benestream, Cirrus Data and Statsocial. He is a prior board member of the Crowdfund Intermediary Regulatory Advocates (CFIRA).
Prior to FundingPost, Joe was instrumental in helping to raise $2.5 Million in angel and venture capital for his dot.com start-up producing a family-friendly network and over 100 flash-based video games which were playable online and sold as a compilation in stores like Comp USA. Joe was also the Webmaster at Knight Securities (NASD: NITE), where he helped to design its online trading platform and website. Prior to working Online, Joe spent 8 years working in television and graphic design for companies such as NBC and MTV, in addition to doing freelance commercial production. Joe began working in television production, graphic design and 3D animation professionally when he was 15, and graduated from Hofstra University with a Bachelor's in Communications. He now lives in Connecticut with his wife and 2 children.
Rodolfo is Co-Founder and CEO of MATRIX Labs & AdMobilize; a “machine intelligence” technology company reimagining humanity’s relationship with the physical world. Joined by a brilliantly diverse team of 35, MATRIX Labs is recognized as one of the most promising companies revolutionizing the convergence of artificial intelligence, hardware, and software. Rodolfo was born in Brazil and at age 17 immigrated to the USA to attend Cornell University. He is a serial entrepreneur productizing complex technologies. Rodolfo and his brother won on “Shark Tank’s” first season with MyTherapyJournal. Prior to “breaking loose” from the corporate world, he led disruptive innovations at The Breakers, obtained his MBA and was a stock broker for Morgan Stanley. Rodolfo is fluent in four languages, has visited 27% of the countries in the world, is an avid athlete, and loves the potential of human beings to achieve the (im) possible. Headquartered in Miami, Florida, venture-backed MATRIX Labs operates two business units: MATRIX for the creation of a brand new app economy anchored on IoT and AdMobilize, which connects the physical world to the online grid by utilizing proprietary instant-detection computer vision and artificial intelligence technology that advances the DOOH, OOH, and Retail industries with the most complete platform that includes audience measurement, facial detection and recognition, vehicle detection and recognition, gesture recognition, people counting, demographic analysis including age, gender, emotion, and dwell time. The company has assembled a high-caliber board of advisors including: Mok Oh (serial entrepreneur and former Chief Data Scientist at PayPal), Kurt Holstein (founded and sold Rosetta Digital for $575M), Noel Elman (serial entrepreneur and former MIT research scientist) and Beto Dantas (former head of innovation at Flextronics), among others. The company operates sister offices in Portland, Washington D.C., London (UK), Bogota (Colombia), and Sao Paulo (Brazil). For more information, visit www.matrixlabs.ai/
For the last 15 years, Kavita has been on a mission to help entrepreneurs build and grow profitable companies. Kavita is a leader in the field of strategy and culture and is a pioneer in developing models for business innovation and sustainability. She is also a big advocate for women entrepreneurs and has launched the Palm Beach chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners to help propel women into economic and social spheres of influence.
Her consulting firm, BIGplans, specializes in growth and turnaround strategy through resource optimization. Prior to BIGplans, Kavita worked as a professional investor with large investment firms like Sun Capital Partners and TA Associates and as an operator at SOC and BackOps, both companies that she helped grow to over several million in sales. During her career, she has worked on over $800 million successful investment plans.
She graduated Summa Cum Laude with a finance major from the University of Florida and received her MBA as a Haas Merit Scholar from UC Berkeley.
Albert Santalo is a computer scientist and Internet entrepreneur with experience in high growth, venture-backed technology companies. He has raised in excess of $100 million of equity capital from venture and angel investors for companies he has founded. Most recently, he co-founded Thrillient, a technology and services company thats assists traditional and e-commerce businesses with utilizing state-of-the-art payment and front-office technologies. He is currently advising various technology ventures including rampEX, a virtual-reality company focused on soft-skills training. Previously, he was Chairman and CEO of CareCloud, a company he founded in 2009 that is working to disrupt the status quo of healthcare IT with a modern, cloud-based platform. CareCloud is backed by Norwest Venture Partners, Intel Capital, Tenaya Capital, First Data Corporation, PNC Bank and Adams Street Partners. Previously, Santalo was Chairman and CEO of Avisena, a venture-backed revenue cycle management company he founded for physicians that was acquired in 2015. Prior to Avisena, he worked at the Hackett Group / Answerthink (NASDAQ: HCKT), a management and technology consulting firm, where he served as a director in the IT Transformation and Strategy Practice. During his tenure at Answerthink, he worked with Global 2000 companies, assisting them with technology strategy and transformation initiatives. He is the lead inventor and has a U.S. patent for Avisena’s Accounts Receivable Management Methodology.
Amanda is the CEO of Techweek
Throughout her time at Techweek she has taken roles in several functions beginning as a Director of Business Development then moving to operations designing the Techweek Launch startup pitch competition. Today, she leverages the latest trends in tech and venture capital investment to create the content vision for the Techweek festival in each of their 10 markets in North America. Prior to Techweek, Amanda was a Management Consultant at Mckinsey & Company where she worked across numerous industries in both strategy and operations.
Leah manages the operations and logistics for the AlphaLab Gear National Hardware Cup. She also assists in the PR and operations of the UpPrize Social Innovation Challenge through the Forbes Funds. Prior to joining the Hardware Cup, Leah was the Marketing Coordinator for COINED Spanish School in Santiago, Chile, and a Marketing and Management Associate at Georgetown Events in Washington, DC.
Nathan is the marketing and design director for Sup-X: The Startup Expo and is responsible for overall management of marketing operations.
He is the owner of Silverstream Consulting, a high-end marketing and PR agency which counsels professional services firms, non-profits, and startups - with offices in South Florida and Texas. He is also the Director of Legal Marketing at Palmer Kent Associates, a lawyer placement and marketing agency in Boca Raton, NYC, DC and Houston, TX.
Nathan owned and published a music magazine in 2001 and is the former marketing director of Gunster, one of the largest corporate law firms in Florida.
He is a nationally published author and Addy award winner
Steve Tokarz is an experienced C-level entrepreneur, fundraiser and business developer. Steve is currently Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Western Michigan University and Michigan Technological University and assists several University of Michigan spin outs. In 2015, he exited from a startup that raised $14 million and was acquired by an industry leading partner. Previously, Steve spent over 20 years managing product and business development activities, most recently as Sr. Director, Product Development/Engineering for Masco, a Fortune 200 company. With Masco, Steve served as an intrapreneur launching several internal businesses within Masco. He holds a BSE in Engineering Physics/Mechanical Engineering from University of Michigan as well as an MBA from Indiana University.
Steve recently started another company, Cantilever Business Partners, which invests in and helps start-ups commercialize. In less than 15 months, Cantilever has launched three start –ups and is now raising its own fund.
Douglas Tutt has close to 20 years of experience in international private equity and venture investing as well as leadership and global operational expertise in building a leveraged buyout backed company. He is currently a consultant with his own advisory company, CommuniT Partners, where he assists companies with growth strategies, organizational design, fund raising and execution of business plans. In addition, he is a board member and investor of Acceleration Systems, an early stage data acceleration company with a unique and disruptive business model to the sector.
Chike Ukaegbu is an Educator, Entrepreneur, Investor, Humanitarian and Biomedical Engineer who is passionate about curbing disconnection, poverty, educational disadvantage and opportunity divide in underrepresented communities.
Chike is an ardent believer in diversity/inclusion and its benefits and continues to advocate for its support and adoption. He is currently raising a diversity focused Venture Capital fund and was recently invited to The White House to do a briefing on initiatives that support diversity, STEM education and entrepreneurship for youths and underserved communities.
Chike co-founded Re:LIFE Inc, a 501c3 nonprofit with the mission to empower youth through entrepreneurship, tech and education and have served over 400 youths since its inception. He is also the founder of Startup52, NYC's first diversity focused accelerator with a mission to increase the representation of founders from untapped communities in tech and startup entrepreneurship.
He is an ex-fellow of the prestigious Colin Powell Leadership Fellowship on leadership and public policy, was named a 2014 NYC Rising Starby Pave for his contributions to youth development and recently, a 2015 Ashoka Emerging Innovator Finalist. He gave a 2014 TEDx talk on entrepreneurship in Hawaii and continues to advocate for economic empowerment of disenfranchised communities through various outlets, among other achievements.
Chike and his endeavors have been featured in Fast Company, Forbes, Ebony, BizJournal, Opportunity Lives, UrbanGeekz, etc and was recently interviewed by Randi Zuckerberg (sister to Mark Zuckerberg, foundr of facebook) on her SiriusXM show, Dot Complicated!
Chike studied Venture Capital & Investments at Stanford, MBA courses at UPenn, Executive Leadership and Management at Cornell, and Biomedical Engineering at The City College of New York, where he taught Math for seven years and served as Entrepreneur-in-Residence for two.
Sebastian Vidal is the executive director of Parallel18, the new startup program of Puerto Rico hosted by the Puerto Rico Science, Technology & Research Trust. He's a former executive director of Start-Up Chile, a government funded program aiming to attract global minded entrepreneurs to Chile, in order to transform the country into the world leading innovation capital. Through Start-Up Chile, he was able to work side by side with more than 1,000 startups from different stages and industries and witness a country’s cultural transformation towards entrepreneurship. He has also worked developing tech hub strategies with countries like Peru, Brazil, Lebanon, Malaysia and South Korea. He has invested in a couple of startups and also has been a mentor in different accelerators and entrepreneurship programs like Stanford Ignite and Founder Institute, among others.
Mark Volckek is an active angel investor and advisor to a number of companies at various stages of development and a co-founder of Higher One, a financial services firm that Mark founded along with two other students in 2000 to create an electronic process that would allow students to get their financial aid refunds faster and save colleges time and money. In his roles as CFO, CEO and Chairman, Mark had a major hand in steering the company from its first round of seed funding and multiple round of venture funding all the way to its successful IPO in 2010. Mark helped grow Higher One from to over 1,000 employees and guide the company through multiple acquisitions exceeding $150MM in aggregate value. Today Higher One’s products and services support more than 1,900 schools and approximately 13 million enrolled students.
Mark holds a BA and MA in Economics from Yale University, where he was also a founding officer of the Yale Entrepreneurial Society and on its Board from 2000 to 2010. Mark’s other civic roles include serving on the Fort Lauderdale Aviation Advisory Board and the statewide board of Take Stock in Children. His past civic activities include Chairman of the Tweed New Haven Airport Authority and positions on the New Haven Economic Development Commission and the Regional Growth Partnership Strategic Planning Committee.
Richard C. Wilson helps $100M+ net worth families create and manage their single family offices and currently manages 14 clients including mandates with three billionaire families and as the CEO of a $500M+ single family office and Head of Direct Investments for another with $200M+ in assets. Richard is also the founder of the Family Office Club, the largest membership-based family office association (FamilyOffices.com), along with equity holdings with over $10M a year in combined revenue. The Wilson Holding Company is also the exclusive wine importer and a wine brand representative for Hofkellerei des Fursten Von Liechtenstein, the 600 year old vineyard owned by the princely family of Liechtenstein. Richard is author of the #1 bestselling book in the family office industry, The Single Family Office: Creating, Operating, and Managing the Investments of a Single Family Office and a recently released book called How to Start a Family Office: Blueprints for Setting Up Your Single Family Office. Richard has his undergraduate degree from Oregon State University, his M.B.A. from University of Portland, and has studied master’s level psychology through Harvard’s ALM program while previously residing in Boston. Richard currently resides 10 minutes from downtown Miami on the island of Key Biscayne, Florida with his wife and two daughters.
Praveen is a serial innovator having founded several high profile startups--accolades include SharkTank San Francisco (Bay Angels sponsored), the Plug and Play expo in Silicon Valley being voted most innovative startup in Silicon Valley by 140+ VCs, the $10K Emerge Americas (Miami) best demo booth award for early stage startups. He is the current longest tenured tenant at Silicon Valley’s largest tech accelerator which was the original home to Google, Dropbox, Paypal. On the STEM and philanthropy side he ran the demo room at the 2017 Miami Tech Weekend giving 500 VR , AR and mixed reality demos, hosted the largest STEM conference in Broward county in 2015 and has built several homes for Habitat for Humanity.
He pioneered several notable transmedia advancements for YouTube interactive & chatbots, shot the world's first VR zombie film and later demoed the first mixed-reality zombie game at the 2017 Miami Tech Weekend. He is the winner of several high profile hackathon/startup weekend awards including the 2015 AT&T mobile hackathon for adding phone call functionality to YouTube videos and is designing augmented reality stock trading tools for several hedge funds.
For the 2015 Emerge Americas Facebook hackathon he made the world's first augmented reality social network/messaging app along with real time green screen augmented reality transparent video production techniques.
For the 2015 Los Angeles Microsoft IOT hackathon, he designed Star Trek Adventures, bringing Star Trek into your living room, winning two Hololenses. https://youtu.be/K3tAMZ3V4NY For the 2015 Los Angeles Cedars-Sinai Techstars healthcare startup weekend he won an award for PT/VR a virtual physical therapy/telemedicine app.
Previously, Praveen was a Founding Partner of Good Fortune Ventures investment team, Managing Director, India for Penfold Capital, VP of Technology and Clean Technology at Dawson James Securities.
In 2005, Mr. Yalamanchi was able to turn a $20k personal trading account into a $2M portfolio by inventing wisdom-of-crowds trading techniques.
Praveen holds two honors degrees in Finance and Computer Engineering.
Rachel Zietz was already the CEO of a successful sports training line by the time she entered her freshman year of high school in 2014. Rachel is the founded of Gladiator Lacrosse, a high-quality sports training equipment line with an affordable price point. At 15 years old, as a straight-A high school student, athlete, CEO, and dedicated family member, Rachel has maintained a profitable company without ever compromising the brand’s fundamental intent or consumer promise. Rachel was recently featured this year in Florida Governor Scott’s State of the State address, presented with the Boca Chamber’s Diamond Award which is awarded annually to the top woman business leader and also became a recipient of the Florida’s Young Entrepreneurs Award. Not only has she been recognized for her business in the lacrosse industry but her skills as an athlete as well. As a sophomore she has recently been named as an alternate member to Florida’s National Lacrosse team. Rachel has also branched out to become a speaker for organization such as US Chamber of commerce, Round Square and Cisco. She continues to receive recognition for her impressive accomplishments, her inspiring determination and her boundless entrepreneurial spirit and tenacity.