Mentor Roster

Contents

Bruce BallengeeBruce Ballengee, CEO, Pariveda Solutions

Parivida SolutionsBruce Ballengee is Chief Executive Officer of Pariveda Solutions, Inc., an information technology design consultancy with 300 employees in nine markets across the United States.  Headquartered in Dallas, Pariveda has consistently been recognized as one of the fastest growing firms and one of the best places to work in the United States.  Bruce also serves as Chairman of sp3 nanotech, a nanomaterials additive manufacturer for high-performance lubricants and resins. Bruce is involved in several local non-profit organizations and is a current member of the Baylor Angel Network.  He is a Texas Master Naturalist, a member of the Texas Native Prairies Association and the Native Plant Society of Texas.  Bruce graduated in 1979 with a BBA in Finance and Economics from Baylor University.  In 1981, he received an MBA specializing in Finance from the University of Chicago.  Follow him on Twitter @BruceVBallengee.

George BarberGeorge Barber, Partner, Traiblazer Capital

Trailblazer_Logo-smallA global business and technology executive, George is currently a Partner at Trailblazer Capital.  Mr. Barber has an impressive track record of leading and growing entrepreneurial companies and Fortune 500 business units.  Mr. Barber was most recently Chairman, CEO and President of Vapro, Inc an innovator of patented two-phase cooling solutions for the electronics industry.  The company has since received strategic funding and, as a result, was relocated to Korea. Prior to Vapro, Mr. Barber was President and CEO of SyChip-Murata, a wholly owned subsidiary of Murat Manufacturing Corporation of Japan.  Murata acquired SyChip, Inc in April 2006.  Prior to the Company’s acquisition, George was recruited to the venture capital-backed start-up (a Bell Labs spinout) in 2001 as President and CEO.  The wireless Plug-N-Play company designed, developed and marketed Radio Frequency Chip Scale modules, Systems In Package solutions, software and integrated circuits for the portable device market.  SyChip was an innovator in the smartphone revolution.  SyChip was recognized for numerous awards including “Start-up to Watch” and Investor’s Choice by VentureWire.  In addition, the company received “Rising Star” and “Fast 50″ net revenue growth awards from Deloitte LLP.  In 2004 Mr. Barber was recognized as an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year nominee and 2003 was a Metroplex Technology Business Council Tech Titan Emerging Company CEO finalist.  George led the company in raising nearly $50 million of venture funding.

BaschabJohn Baschab, Founder & Partner, Scout Energy Partners

Scout Energy PartnersJohn Baschab is a founder and Partner at Scout Energy Partners, a private oil and gas investment firm. Scout acquires and directly manages mid‐sized upstream conventional oil and gas properties for institutional investors and is focused on mid‐continent assets with mature, predictable production characteristics and strong operational and production improvement potential. John has authored three books published by John Wiley & Sons, including Outperform: Inside the Investment Strategies of Billion Dollar Endowments (2010). His latest book, Outperform, highlights the investment practices of billion‐dollar academic endowments and relates them to concepts for individual investors. John also serves as adjunct professor at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Prior to founding Scout Energy, John was the President of Impact Innovations Group, a senior associate at Booz Allen Hamilton and a senior software analyst at Integraph Corporation. John is a graduate of the University of Alabama and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Bjorn Billhardt - cropped

Bjorn Billhardt, Founder & CEO, Enspire Learning

Enspire Learning logo

Bjorn Billhardt is the CEO of Enspire Learning. Bjorn founded Enspire Learning in 2001 with the vision to change the way people learn. He has worked with Fortune 500 clients and delivered hundreds of successful leadership development programs in more than twenty countries. Bjorn is a recognized thought leader in simulation-based learning and has presented at numerous conferences, including CLO Symposium, Training, ASTD, and ISPI. Bjorn is a Board Member of Phoenix Arising, a non-profit dedicated to inspiring STEM education and an Advisory Board Member for the School for Undergraduate Studies at the University of Texas as Austin. Prior to Enspire, Bjorn worked for BAAN, a Dutch software company, and McKinsey & Company. A native of Hamburg, Germany, Bjorn holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a B.A. in Plan II / B.B.A. in Business Honors from the University of Texas at Austin.

JonBolenJon Bolen, CTO, Interface Security Systems

InterfaceJon is the Chief Technology Officer of Interface Security Systems ,a Managed Service company that connects and protects some of America’s best known commercial, retail and multi-site organizations. While receiving his MBA with High Honors from Emory University he worked for AT&T GIS (NCR) in product marketing. After graduation, he spent several years leading technology initiatives for a petroleum retailer before joining Radiant Systems. In his eight years with Radiant, he led the Petroleum Industry Group, the Petroleum and Grocery Product Development Group and, finally, was their first General Manager of European Operations. In 2004, Jon joined Trax Retail Solutions as Chief Information Officer. He and his team re-architected a retail-focused business intelligence product in just 18 months resulting in the successful sale of the company to March Networks.  In 2006, Jon joined Westec Intelligent Surveillance as their Chief Technology Officer. In addition to leading the redesign of the entire suite of products, Jon played a key role in the acquisition and integration of both Digital Witness and Vyne Industries (two privately held competitors). As EVP, Business Development and Chief Product Officer, Jon introduced programs that increased gross margins two-fold, increased new product sell-through, velocity to market and established strategic relationships for both hardware and managed service solutions. Most recently, Jon played a critical role in the successful sale of Westec to Interface Security Systems and was subsequently named CTO of the combined company.

camilloChris Camillo, Chief Operating Officer, DealerTrack eCarList

DealerTrack eCarListChris Camillo is the current Chief Operating Officer at DealerTrack eCarList, one of the fastest-growing solution sets in the automotive retail industry.  Chris manages for himself one of the world’s top performing personal stock portfolios, as verified by Covestor.com, the largest portfolio tracking service in the world. His portfolio, ranked Number One in 2010 by Covestor.com among all portfolios valued at over $250k, has averaged triple digit annual returns for two of the past three years. In just over three years, Camillo grew an $85k stock portfolio to over $2 million. Camillo authored a book about his experience entitled Laughing  at Wall Street: How I Beat the Pros at Investing (by Reading Tabloids, Shopping at the Mall, and Connecting on Facebook) and How You Can Too! Prior to taking early retirement at the age of 35 (as a result of his investing profits), Camillo worked as a market research executive at Research Now (formerly e-Rewards Market Research) where he was responsible for building and managing the largest youth research panel in North America. Chris spent 9 years in business leadership positions with e-Rewards, helping to grow the company from a 10-employee start-up to an 800 employee global leader in market research panels.  Follow him on Twitter @ChrisCamillo.

carter-smallCalvin Carter, President & Founder, Bottle Rocket Apps

Calvin Carter is the Founder and President of Bottle Rocket, a Dallas-based full-service mobile agency focused on creating custom apps that deliver unparalleled brand experiences and games to the world’s most discriminating brands.  Recently named Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young, Calvin has grown Bottle Rocket to over 180 Rocketeers and completed more than 150 iOS and Android apps since the company’s founding in 2008. The company’s apps have won numerous awards including an unprecedented number of Apple Hall of Fame awards, and frequently appear at the top of their categories on the App Store. In addition, Bottle Rocket has been named Entertainment App Developer of the Year by Variety, listed twice on the Inc. 500, named one of the “Top 100 Places to Work” by The Dallas Morning News and positioned at #61 on the Forbes list of “Most Promising Companies”.

Sean CharnockSean Charnock, Co-Founder, SoftLayer

SoftlayerSean Charnock is the Managing Director for DH Capital.  Sean has over 15 years of experience in various high tech fields including Telecom, Complex Hosting and Internet Infrastructure as a Service. Prior to DH Capital, Sean was Co-Founder and Senior Vice President of Business Development and Alliances at SoftLayer Technologies, Inc. At SoftLayer, Sean spent much of his time building and managing executive relationships with technology partners, technology vendors and many of the financial partners of SoftLayer. Previous to SoftLayer, Sean was part of the executive management team at The Planet Internet Services and spent time in multiple business development roles at Efficient Networks. Sean Holds a BS in Finance and Banking from the University of North Florida and an MBA in Finance from Regis University.

drew clancyDrew Clancy, President & CEO, Publishing Concepts

PCIDrew Clancy is President and CEO of Publishing Concepts, the nation’s leading publisher of printed alumni directories and online alumni communities. PCI is passionate about the power of education to transform lives and the power of business to be a force for good in the world. PCI’s history dates back to 1921 and today works with many of  the nation’s top universities, including Harvard, Georgetown, and Texas A&M. The company also works with a number of large military associations, including the Air Force Association and The Association of the Purple Heart. PCI recently launched a new venture called SuccessFunding, a crowdfunding platform for college tuition. Drew graduated magna cum laude from Amherst College and earned his MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management.

Rusty Cone_Rusty Cone, GM & VP of Business Development, UNICOM Engineering

UNICOMCharles N. (Rusty) Cone III is the General Manager and Vice President of Business Development for UNICOM Engineering (formerly NEI).  Prior at NEI, SVP Sales & Marketing from Aug 2008-Dec 2012.  Previously SVP Engineering & Operations for NEI subsequent to the acquisition of Alliance Systems in October 2007. Rusty was President/COO of Alliance Systems beginning in January 1999 until their acquisition by NEI. With over 30 years of experience in high-tech manufacturing and quality process management, he is responsible for all aspects of UNICOM Engineering including; finance, sales, sales operations, engineering, operations, marketing and customer service. Previously, he served as Vice President of M&S Systems, a nationally recognized consumer electronics manufacturer. In addition, he held management positions at Texas Instruments and Marlow Industries, a winner of the 1991 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. He holds a BS degree in Naval Science from the U.S. Naval Academy.

michael cope

Michael Cope, Founder, Interphase Corporation

Michael Cope is the founder and retired CEO and Chairman of Interphase Corporation, a Dallas computer hardware manufacturer of high speed networking and data movement related products, sold via OEM relationships with major computer systems, telecommunication and networking companies.  After founding Interphase in 1974, Michael established it as the preeminent player in its market niche, lead it through a successful IPO in 1984 and a secondary public offering in 1991, as well as a strategic investment by Motorola in 1988.  During his 20 year tenure,  Interphase grew from a self-funded Dallas startup to a public technology company with over 300 employees and an international presence, and  was named to the INC 500, the INC 200, and the FORBES 200 Best Run Small Companies in America.  Mike was twice honored as an Entrepreneur-of-the-Year finalist.  Today Interphase is still an independent public company.  Since retiring in 1994, Michael has pursued a wide range of business interests and has helped multiple new start-up companies get off the ground, multiple times as a founder and in the role of temporary CEO. Some of these companies were later sold to major corporations, such as Intel and others, as well as Private Equity groups. Combining his technical background with market positioning, corporate infrastructure and financing experience, he often serves as a coach/advisor to CEOs, or a technical advisor to investors.  He has served on Corporate and Advisory Boards for numerous companies, for which in some cases he acts also as an angel investor and advisor.  He is associated with a variety of Angel investment groups based in Texas and elsewhere, as well as Tech Wildcatters, a Dallas based start-up tech accelerator.  As an Angel investor he has enjoyed multiple successful exits.

John Curreri, CFO & COO, Trailblazer CapitalJohn Curreri

Trailblazer_Logo-smallPrior to joining Trailblazer Capital, Mr. Curreri was the CFO for Westec Intelligent Surveillance.  Westec provides real-time interactive video surveillance solutions to over 6,000 businesses across the United States.  Mr. Curreri’s disciplined and metric driven approach to the financial and operational aspects of the organization resulted in the company reporting dramatic improvements in cash flow and becoming EBITDA positive.  Under his leadership the company also successfully consolidated two separate financial systems, implemented a new cost-saving HR/Payroll platform, and integrated an acquired competitor into one seamless organization. For his efforts and results at Westec, Mr. Curreri was nominated for The Dallas Business Journal’s 2010 CFO of the Year competition for small private companies.  He was voted one of the four finalists for 2010. Prior to Westec, Mr. Curreri was a consultant at Virtual CFO, a provider of financial, human resources and systems implementation services.  While consulting for several early-stage to mid-market technology companies, his responsibilities included establishing accounting and operational policies and procedures, creating financial models, managing accounting departments and presenting findings and recommendations to the client CEO and Board of Directors. Prior to VCFO, Mr. Curreri worked with Trailblazer Capital’s Managing Partner, Joel Fontenot, as the CFO for Metreos Corporation (acquired by Cisco Systems, Inc.), and as the VP of Finance of Netrake Corporation (acquired by AudioCodes, Inc.). Additionally, Mr. Curreri served as a Senior Manager in KPMG’s Audit practice and a Manager in Ernst & Young’s mergers and acquisition’s practice.

Randy Eisenman, Managing Partner, Satori Capital

Randy Eisenman is a founding partner of Satori Capital, a private equity firm that invests in profitable, growing, sustainable businesses. Prior to co-founding Satori Capital, Mr. Eisenman spent ten years at Q Investments, a multi-billion dollar private investment firm founded by two former investment advisors to the Bass Family. Mr. Eisenman launched the firm’s private equity business and served as a Partner for seven years. He was the youngest ever to be named Partner at age 25.  While at Q Investments, Mr. Eisenman founded Handango to capitalize on the emerging mobile content market. Stepping into an operating role as President and Chief Executive Officer, he drove the company’s strategy and built a world-class team, positioning Handango as the global leader in the smartphone content market.  Before joining Q Investments, Mr. Eisenman worked as a financial analyst for Goldman Sachs and Bear Sterns.  Currently, Randy is a member of several non-profits and serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Stagen and Investors’ Circle, a community of for-profit social entrepreneurs and investors.  Mr. Eisenman holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Texas.

Ray EstepRay Estep, CEO, Executive Leadership

Ray is a leader for navigating development of disruptive solutions and creation of new markets that leverage emerging mobile technologies.  Currently holding board advisory roles and consulting to high growth companies, he brings several years of extensive competencies in business development, strategy and finance from the mobile ecosystem.  With valuable experiences in both early stage companies and global industry leaders, he focuses on assisting companies and teams bring relevant and compelling mobile initiatives to market and expand existing positions across a variety of verticals such as healthcare (mHealth), telematics, industrial, entertainment and consumer. During his career, Ray has been successful with CEOs, Boards and management teams to grow and position three companies for sale.  He has also assisted companies obtain significant funding for growth initiatives around the world through traditional fundraising activities and M&A.  Ray has held positions of broad and critical responsibility including C level, Board seats and VP positions with leading global brands, Fortune 50 and emerging growth organizations.  His efforts have resulted in increased market share capture, leadership within their respective industry sector and strong returns for investors. As a previous co-founder of a successful startup and leader for new business inside major global brands, Ray has a deep passion for building businesses and achieving success.  With a distinctive industry track record encompassing wireless and mobile solutions (Nokia), enterprise technology solutions (Fortune 500 company), digital media and content (Sony / BMG), supply chain and value added logistics services (ATC Logistics & Electronics), and international M&A (PwC Consulting), he has demonstrated a clear understanding of how to lead and grow businesses in these sectors. 

Fagan_ChrisChris Fagan, Founder & CEO, KeyRing

KeyRingChris Fagan is the founder and CEO of KeyRing, a mobile wallet for loyalty card and coupons.  The company was acquired in Sept  2012 by Gannett (GCI), a major media company that owns and operates 80 newspapers and television stations across the US including the USA today.  Chris and his team continue to operate the Key Ring business in Dallas TX under the Gannett Digital Marketing Services umbrella.  Chris raised a series A investment from Austin Ventures and is a 2010 graduate from the Tech Wildcatters accelerator program.  Chris is on the board of NITICA, a nonprofit truck insurance company and helps advise various startups in Dallas area. Prior to starting Key Ring, Chris was a technology consultant for Accenture, a global management consulting firm.  Prior to Accenture, Chris was enlisted in Army as an artillery sergeant.  Chris has a bachelors in Finance from Oklahoma State University.

Greg FasulloGreg Fasullo, CEO, EnTouch Controls

En Touch ControlsGreg is the CEO of EnTouch Controls, an energy management company.  Greg is an experienced executive and entrepreneur with a history of building and leading high performance teams, his passion is aligning emerging technologies with underserved market needs. Greg was a co-founder, officer, and director at Valere Power (now Eltek-Valere), General Manager of the Energy Systems business unit at Lineage Power (now GE Energy), and began his career with AT&T’s Bell Laboratories.  Greg has 12 US patents and degrees from Lehigh (BSEE), UC Berkeley (MSEE), and SMU (EMBA).

Joel FontenotJoel Fontenot, Managing Partner, Trailblazer Capital

Trailblazer_Logo-smallJoel is a Managing Partner of Trailblazer Capital in Dallas, Texas. Prior to joining Trailblazer Capital, Mr. Fontenot worked for Cisco Systems.  Joel was a Director of Business Development in the Voice Technology Group and managed the partnerships and strategic alliances involving the Cisco Unified Application Environment and related application offerings from Cisco’s Voice Technology Group.  In  2002, Joel assisted Metreos Corporation as a founder in establishing itself as the first enterprise voice-over-IP applications platform for the development and deployment of innovative, media-rich IP communications applications. Previously, Joel co-founded Netrake Corporation in 2000 and served as the Company’s President from founding through 2002. He was responsible for all areas of the Company which created a unique, patented IP network processing system capable of recognizing, remembering and responding in real-time to network traffic on a session basis.  Prior to founding Netrake, Joel incubated the company through his activities as a Founding Partner and Managing Director of Arkoma Venture Partners. Beginning in 1997, Joel made and managed seed stage and early round investments in technology companies focused upon telecommunications, Internet infrastructure, and enterprise software.  Joel holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from The University of Texas at Austin and a Masters of Business Administration from Southern Methodist University.

Todd FosterTodd Foster, Founder & Managing Partner, Sabine Capital Partners

Todd is Founder and Managing Partner of Sabine Capital Partners, a Dallas-based private investment firm that provides growth capital to successful entrepreneurs and direct PE and VC opportunities to high-net-worth investors and family offices. He is also a Special General Partner with Santa Fe-based Cottonwood Capital Partners, sponsors of the Cottonwood Technology Fund II, a seed and early-stage technology commercialization fund. As an investor, Todd has a particular interest in disruptive technologies impacting P16 education, financial services, social networking and healthcare.  Prior to founding Sabine Capital Partners, Mr. Foster was the founding CFO of Educate Texas (formerly the Texas High School Project), a $375 million public-private partnership sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Communities Foundation of Texas and the Texas Education Agency, working to prepare students for college and career success in the global workplace.  In that role, he managed investments in the areas of campus learning systems, teacher effectiveness, education leadership, performance management and online learning. Mr. Foster co-founded  and currently serves on the board Industry + Education Texas, a nonprofit organization dedicated to connecting students’ classroom learning with real-world careers in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines.

Blair GarrouBlair Garrou, Co-Founder & Managing Director, Mercury Fund

Mercury FundSince the late 1990’s, Blair Garrou has focused on funding, operating and incubating startup software companies.  He is a co-founder of  MercuryFund, a seed and startup venture capital firm based in Houston, Texas. Prior to co-founding Mercury Fund, Blair was the CEO of Intermat (acquired by IHS), a leader in product information management software; a Principal with Genesis Park, a Houston-based private equity firm where he led investments in FuelQuest (acq. by Saracen Energy), Intermat and SAT Corporation (acq. by Invensys); helped launch and was the Director of Operations for the Houston Technology Center, the largest tech incubator in the Southwest, where he led the formation of the Houston Angel Network, one of the largest angel investment organizations in the U.S. Blair is also a co-founder and Board Member of SURGE Accelerator, a mentor-driven seed accelerator focused on entrepreneurs seeking to solve the world’s energy problems using software. Mercury Fund’s sole focus is seed and start-up investing. Mercury Fund initially invests between $100,000 and $1.5 million into an opportunity and will build syndicates for investments needing larger amounts of capital.  They typically lead the first round of investment, and expect to invest between $2 million and $5 million over the life of an investment.  Follow him on Twitter @BGarrou.

Gabriel P GoncalvesGabriel Goncalves, Founder & CEO, PeopleAnswers

PeopleAnswersGabriel is the founder, and President & CEO of PeopleAnswers, a “Software as a Service” company with solutions in the talent sciences space.  PeopleAnswers helps enterprise and mid-market companies decrease employee turnover and increase employee performance. Its patented software solution combines behavioral and performance data to create highly predictive job-specific hiring benchmarks.  Ten million people last year were evaluated across the globe by its software. Prior to PeopleAnswers, Gabriel co-founded HomeTracker, a successful asset management software company administering tens of thousands of properties in real estate portfolios. Goncalves also founded, built, and sold Erapmus, Inc., a professional services firm that provided outsourced network services to telecommunication companies across the United States. Born in São Paulo, Brazil in 1967, Gabriel immigrated to the United States in 1985 to study computer science at The University of Texas at Austin. Gabriel joined YEO in 1996 and was actively involved in its local leadership roles until 2008 when he switched to YPO. He is currently Membership Chair for the Dallas YPO chapter.

Kelby HagarKelby Hagar, President & CEO, Westec Intelligent Surveillance

WestecKelby Hagar is a Harvard-educated attorney and certified public accountant with extensive experience in running technology and software development companies.  In 2001, Hagar formed Digital Witness, LLC, a company dedicated to the development of software applications that enable businesses to utilize video surveillance technology to improve their management efficiencies. When Westec InterActive, Inc acquired Digital Witness in November 2007, Hagar was made President of the combined companies. In 1998, Hagar founded GroceryWorks.com, Inc and served as the company’s President. During his tenure, GroceryWorks developed its initial e-commerce website, initiated operations in Dallas, Fort Worth and Houston, and generated annualized revenues of $25M. After leading GroceryWorks through a merger with Safeway, Inc in 2001, Hagar founded Digital Witness. Additionally, Hagar has held positions with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, LLP, a national law firm, and with Hunt Investment Group, a Dallas-based private equity firm.

Bob HeardBob Heard, CEO & Founder, CREDANT Technologies, Inc.

Credant technologies logoBob founded CREDANT in September 2001 (6 days after 9/11) and continues to lead the company post merger with Dell, Inc in December 2012.  He is a proven leader in building high growth organizations in technology and software.  He has over 35 years of experience from starting his career at IBM to leadership positions at various mid-sized and start-up companies. Bob was recognized as an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2005 and has received multiple awards during his career.  CREDANT was recognized as an INC 500 Fastest Growing company in 2006, 2007 and 2008, and the company was also recognized as a Deloitte “Fast 50” winner. He successfully secured equity and debt funding for CREDANT with leading VC firms including Austin Ventures, Crescendo Ventures, Menlo Ventures and Silicon Valley Bank. Bob is a graduate of Texas Tech University with a degree in Business Administration.   He resides in Las Colinas (suburb of Dallas), TX.

albert hooverAlbert Hoover, Managing Director, Leadout Advisors LLC

Albert (Al) Hoover is Managing Director of Leadout Advisors, which provides executive leadership and hands-on execution to companies seeking strategic planning and corporate development expertise, including companies contemplating mergers and acquisitions, strategic partnerships, financings or other significant transactions and strategic initiatives. Previously, he was Managing Director—Corporate Development at AT&T where he oversaw mergers and acquisitions and strategic alliances and investments primarily related to value added services and technology. Prior to AT&T, Al was Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of Sterling Commerce, a NYSE listed software and services company, where he oversaw all corporate development (M&A and strategic alliances and investments), corporate governance and legal matters and was a key participant in corporate strategy, acquisition integration planning, investor relations and significant business decisions and activities. Al also previously served as Vice President and Assistant General Counsel at Sterling Software and as a corporate law associate at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and Hughes & Luce.  Al holds a J.D. (Cum Laude) from Harvard Law School and a B.A. in Economics (Highest Distinction) from Northwestern University.  He is a member of the Texas Bar.

TRICIATricia Hosek, Chief Operating Officer, Netsocket

Netsocket_Logo_smallTricia Hosek is the Chief Operating Officer at Netsocket, a technology company delivering software-defined networking solutions.  Tricia is responsible for managing the company’s overall operations as well as leading its product and marketing strategy.  Throughout her career, she has produced high growth and increased profit margins  for companies ranging from early stage start-ups to multi-billion-dollar operations. Concurrent to her work at NetSocket, Tricia serves as president to VectorPoint, a company she founded in 2006. VectorPoint is a growth consulting company specializing in transitional/turnaround management, new initiative development, and operations.  Previously, as President/GM of Switching Solutions at Tekelec, Tricia drove the integration of three start-up companies to form a single market-leading business unit.   Earlier at Siemens, Tricia held P&L responsibility for the North American wireline access market, with revenue in excess of $450M/year, and served on the global strategy board for softswitching.  Prior to Siemens, Tricia led product strategy and operations from early stage through successful initial public offering at Efficient Networks. The company achieved #1 market share in DSL modems, and its dramatic growth drove the acquisition by Siemens for $1.5 Billion.

Brad Hunstable1Brad Hunstable, Founder & CEO, Ustream

USTREAMBrad Hunstable founded Ustream more than six years ago with a vision to bring live broadcasting technology to the entire world; Ustream was originally created to connect military service members to family and friends across the world. Since then, the company has established itself as a socially-fueled communications platform for businesses, non-profit organizations, and individuals of any size to easily reach an infinite audience and share experiences in real-time. Brad serves as Ustream’s CEO and has grown the company to more than 250 employees and 80 million users globally. He has been ranked among 50 “Digital Power Players” by the Hollywood Reporter and on Variety’s Producers Guild of America’s Digital 25: Visionaries, Innovators and Producers for his work at Ustream. Brad is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point and holds an MBA from The Ohio State University.

rexRex Kurzius, Founder & President, Timberhorn

TimberhornRex Kurzius is a serial entrepreneur. Since the age of 23 he has started and sold numerous companies. Rex’s expertise is in staffing services and software. His vision has resulted in tremendous growth and recognition for his companies, including: Deloitte Technology Fast 500, Texas Crescent Technology Fast 50, Dallas 100 Fastest-Growing Private Companies, MTBC Tech Titans, Inc. 500/500, and Hire Power Inc Magazine  Rex is also the former President of the Dallas Chapter of Entrepreneurs Organization and former Chairman of the North Texas Young Presidents Organization.  Today, Rex focuses his time working as an investor in LRK Partners, a holding company that makes investments and operates several businesses. Rex currently serves as Founder and President of Timberhorn staffing companies as well as a SAAS software company called Asset Panda.

David Matthews, Managing Partner, Trailblazer Capital

Trailblazer_Logo-smallDavid Matthews is a Managing Partner with Trailblazer Capital.  David brings a wealth of relevant experience through his background as an entrepreneur, lead investor in emerging funds, venture capitalist, and venture philanthropist. As an entrepreneur, David launched several successful start-ups including Intelecon, Green Mountain Dallas, and Toyscapes. Intelecon was a audio-visual services company that he and two co-founders grew from $0 to $22 million of annual revenue between 1991 and 1998. He  cultivated customer relationships with companies including Sterling Software, Dell, AMD, First USA, and Nortel. David also developed a marketing strategy for Green Mountain Dallas that targeted high-credit, high-usage, low-churn home owners in North Texas. After reducing the customer acquisition cost from $1,000 to under $300 and growing the acquisition rate from 10 to over 600 homes monthly between 2004 and 2005, he successfully integrated the business into the parent company. David also serves as a lead investor in alternative investment funds, including Red River Ventures, INCAP Financial Grup, Green Bull Fund, Elm Creek Partners and Trailblazer Capital. David has invested in a number of early-stage ventures including PeopleAnswers, Urban Labs, Coquest Structured Products, Avvantica, Zaadz, SensorLogic, Jumpstart Innovations, Variview Technology, SE2 Labs, and Noofangle Media.

MillsBrendon Mills, Managing Director, Vspeed Capital

VspeedFor over 23 years, Mr. Mills has served as a serial entrepreneur, investor and CEO in the communications and web-based technology market.   Mr. Mills has been involved in multiple venture-backed technology start-ups, Fortune 500 companies, and private equity investment and portfolio companies during his career. Mr. Mills founded venture-backed GENBAND (General Bandwidth) in 1999 and led the company as CEO, President until 2005. During his tenure at GENBAND, Mr. Mills secured financing venture capital funding from Sevin Rosen, Sequoia Capital, Venrock, and Thomas Weisel Capital Partners and, through a successful partnership with Alcatel, won a significant part of the SBC Communications APON, VOIP (Project Lightspeed) contract in 2004.  In 2006, Mr. Mills founded RipCode, Inc., a video technology company based in Dallas and Austin, Texas that focused on the deployment of mobile, three-screen video transcoding and delivery. In 2010, RipCode merged with RGB Networks, a Kleiner Perkins and Accel backed video technology company based in Sunnyvale, California. Mr. Mills has held previous positions with ATEME, S.A., RGB Networks, Cisco Systems through its acquisition of NetSpeed in 1998, Dell Computers and NetWorth, Inc. Mr. Mills currently serves as Managing Partner of Vspeed Capital and as CEO, President of Fortress Solutions. Mr. Mills has earned four US technology patents with five patents pending and holds a B.A. degree from Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri.

KatNelson-7_smallerKat Nelson, Founder & President, RedKatalyst

RedKatalyst

Katherine “Kat” Nelson is RedKatalyst’s President and Founder. She is truly the Kat-of-all-trades who drives the strategy and growth of many of her clients. Kat has consulted with hundreds of organization over the course of her career and has specialized expertise in marketing, finance, customer and product development, and process management.  Previously, she was part of the senior leadership team at Obtiva, one of the hottest independent software development shops in the country when it was acquired by Groupon in 2011. She’s a frequent speaker at industry events like the Web 2.0 conference in New York and TechWeek in Chicago, and is called upon to speak on topics like finding your inner passion, how to develop your sales strategy, to getting your business unstuck. She loves to meet new people, mentor, speak, support start-up initiatives, and stay nimble.

Wade NicolasWade Nicolas, Co-Founder & President, Enkitec

EnkitecWade is the Co-Founder & President of Enkitec.  Enkitec is an IT services firm specializing in the Oracle platform. As a leading Oracle Platinum Partner, Enkitec employs experts in database technologies such as Oracle Exadata and Big Data. Enkitec was established in 2004 and is headquartered in Dallas, Texas, including established locations throughout North America and Europe.  Enkitec has been recognized as one of Dallas’ 100 Fastest Growing Companies, Enkitec was also ranked #1,127 on Inc Magazine’s list of Fastest Growing Companies and recognized as one of the  “Best Places to Work” by Dallas Business Journal.  Previously, Wade was Vice President of Sales for Oracle.  Wade spent over 11 years with Oracle before Co-Founding Enkitec.  Mr. Nicolas was also an early employee at the beginning of Netscape.

Ken OvertonKenneth Overton, Founder & President, Vistas Unlimited

Vistas Unlimited Inc.Kenneth Overton began his career in industry with over 10 years in the corporate research labs at DEC and GE.  This work was followed by more than 20 years of senior executive experience leading and managing large technology development and commercialization efforts at companies such as E-Systems (now part of Raytheon) and General Electric. In 1999, Dr. Overton formed a team to develop his concept for real-time virtual insertion. The company, Mirage Systems, had substantial expertise not only in the core technologies employed in the MVP but also in television sports production, distribution, and advertising. Mirage Systems was superseded in 2002 by Vistas Unlimited. Vistas Unlimited was successfully aquired by ESPN in early 2012.  Following the aquisition of Vistas Unlimited, Overton held a VP-level position with ESPN as Chief Technologist responsible for strategic planning and execution relating to the development and application of new and emerging technologies to enhance ESPN content.  Dr. Overton holds 12 U.S. and international patents, has authored 20 papers, and was co-winner of the 2007 George Wensel Technical Achievement Emmy.  Dr. Overton holds a Bachelor’s degree in Physics and Computer Science from Indiana University, and MS and Ph.D. degrees in Computer and Information Science from the University of Massachusetts with postgraduate work focused on robotic sensing systems.

Paul PeckPaul Peck, Senior Advisor, C-Level Advisors

C-Level AdvisorsPaul is a Senior Advisor at C-Level Advisors LLC., a boutique strategy consulting and investment advisory firm providing strategic planning, growth strategy, competitive positioning, go-to-market strategy, channel strategy, strategic alliance development, M&A services and exit strategy to emerging, mid-market and large technology companies.  In 2007, Mr. Peck founded End of Restrictions, a consulting firm specializing in the areas of manufacturing, outsourcing/insourcing and the related supply chain management strategies with a special focus on PLM, CRM, and ERP systens, as well as multi-entity and international transactions models. In previous years, Paul has served as Vice President of Operations at Monterey Networks and Vice President of Operations at Navini Networks, both of which were acquired by Cisco.  In 2003, Paul was Vice President of Operations at Covaro Networks, a telecommunications firm  later acquired by ADVA Optical in 2006.  Among his many accomplishments, Mr. Peck specializes in multi-national manufacturing and materials management with both in-house and out-sourced scenarios, especially with regard to entity and transaction structuring.  Paul has a wealth of experience with modern information technology (ERP, CRM, PDM) solutions including Oracle, SAP, Net Suite, Salesforce, Agile and Arena. Mr. Peck continues to serve as a consultant for several Dallas-based start-ups and is a board member with the Metroplex Technology Business Council.

TJ PersonTJ Person, CEO & Founder, Koupon Media

Koupon MediaTJ Person is the CEO and founder of Koupon Media, the industries first one-time-use mobile coupon platform built for brands and agencies.  Koupon Media provides a digital campaign management platform for progressive retailers and brands to unify the creation, distribution, redemption, and analysis of digital coupons and loyalty programs.  The company works with global brands including 7 Eleven, Pepsi, Michaels, just to name a few. Having started Koupon Media in 2011, Person is notably one of two entrepreneur advisors for Startup America in Texas and was awarded Dallas 40 under 40 in 2012. Person is a seasoned entrepreneur with 15+ years of mobile experience, notably as co-founder and president of Mango Mobile. In 2005, Mango Mobile raised $1.5 million and after 2 years as the fastest growing mobile marketing company, Omnicom Group acquired it in February, 2007. TJ spent several years with Omnicon where Mango continues as a leader in the mobile space.

Michael_SegrestMichael Segrest, General Partner, Silver Creek Ventures

SCVlogoMichael Segrest joined Silver Creek Ventures in 1991 and has helped the firm manage five venture funds, with over seventy-five portfolio company investments spread over those 20+ years.  Michael has actively worked with over twenty-five of those portfolio companies, helping them realize their goals of becoming successful startup companies. As a general partner for the Firm, Mr. Segrest has focused his investment activities on information technologies, particularly in the areas of security, networking, and services.  Prior to Silver Creek, Mr. Segrest served as a principal for a merchant banking firm specializing in the communications industries. Mr. Segrest received his undergraduate degree from The University of Texas at Austin in the ERB program (Electrical Engineering option) and his MBA in Finance from The University of Texas at Austin.

John_Sims

John Sims, Executive Vice President, Foundations in Learning

Foundations in LearningJohn is Executive Vice President of Foundations in Learning, a cloud-based literacy solution for the K-12 marketplace.  With over 17 million children who struggle to read in the US, Foundations in Learning has developed a new approach to reading and literacy.  The unique software solution combines 30 years of literacy research with a cognitive science-based approach to learning.  John started his career with Breakthrough to Literacy bringing one of the early software-based reading products to the K-12 classroom.  Prior to Foundations in Learning, John joined Navigator Systems, a management and technology professional services firm that provided Business Intelligence to Fortune 1000 customers.  Navigator Systems sold to Hitachi Consulting where John developed the Business Intelligence group into a $50 million business. John received an MBA from the University of Iowa in 1992.

Michael SitarzewskiMichael Sitarzewski, Co-Founder & CEO, Epic Playground, Inc.

EpicPlaygroundMichael Sitarzewski is co-founder, and CEO of Epic Playground, Inc., makers of MediaGauge, a real-time video Call-to-Action network. He is a veteran entrepreneur (and a TechStars Cloud alum) with a specific focus on Web-based software and services. Sitarzewski has been a part of the internet startup culture since 1994 and has had two exits along the way. For the last several years, Michael has been a leader in the Boulder, Colorado startup community – hosting the Boulder and Denver Open Coffee Clubs. Sitarzewski considers helping people understand and leverage technology his life’s work.

 

Jeff SmithJeffrey O. Smith, Ph.D, CTO, Numerex

NumerexDr. Smith is currently Chief Technical Officer of Numerex (NASDAQ: NMRX).  Numerex offers the broadest choice of secure machine- to-machine (M2M) network services and solutions. Previously a scientist for Motorola, The Robotics Institute, and the 
Super conducting Super Collider (SSC), Dr. Smith has worked on wireless
 sensor and control systems developed for the FBI, CIA, DOD, DOE,
 NASA, and USPS – from autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles to 
particle accelerators. In 1993, he co-founded and served as President 
and CEO of OnRamp Technologies, a pioneer internet service provider,
 subsequently acquired by Verio, which is now a wholly-owned subsidiary
 of NTT communications. During Jeff’s tenure at Verio as Regional President and Board member, the company grew to one of the largest web-hosting companies in the world and a principal international ISP. In 2000, Verio was sold to NTT for $5.5B. In 2002, Dr. Smith founded SensorLogic, now one of the industry’s leading telemetry service providers. Recently he founded Ublip, a provider of Web 2.0 applications for remote asset management. Jeff currently serves on Numerex’s board of directors. He has also served on the boards of technology companies including Winning Habits, CreditAnswers, Vericenter, and Verio.

Kevin Trottier

Kevin Trottier, Founder & CEO, Twist Solutions

TwistKevin Trottier is the founder and CEO of Twist Solutions, an IT services provider for small to mid-sized businesses.  Twist uses a proprietary IT management “Software as a Service” platform combined with their professional services staff to augment or create a complete IT department for it’s customer.  Twist was recognized twice in the Dallas 100 Fastest-Growing Private Companies.  Kevin was previously a board member of the Dallas chapter of  the Entrepreneurs Organization.  Prior to founding Twist, Kevin was the Director of product development in the e-Business group at Verizon (NYSE:VZ) focusing on telecom enabled software products and enterprise software development. He started his career in software engineering at Nortel Networks (NYSE:NT).  Kevin has authored 2 US patents and has a BSEE from the University of Alberta.  Follow him on Twitter @kevintrottier.

David TuckerDavid Tucker, Vice President & General Manager, Cisco SBBU

CiscoDavid Tucker is the Vice President & General Manager of Cisco’s Small Businesses Business Unit.  Prior to Cisco, Tucker was a co-founder, President & CEO of Selsius Systems, a telecommunications company in Dallas, Texas that developed and marketed some of the first IP telephony gear. David helped pioneer voice and data network convergence before it’s aquisition by Cisco Systems in 1998 for $145 million.  Currently, Tucker is responsible for Cisco Connect division, which links together business switching, routing, and cloud storage. The connect division, which is targeted at small business owners, delivers a diverse product portfolio of voice systems, phones, video, and UCC. Cisco Connect is also designed to work with other Cisco products ensuring smooth scalability and continued brand loyalty. Prior to his current role, Mr. Tucker was the Vice President of the Connected Office Business Organization (COBO) for Cisco’s Linksys division. David was recently a keynote speaker at ITEXPO West, the world’s largest communications conference in 2012.

DirkDirk Wakeham, Managing Director, Westlake Ventures

Dirk is Managing Director of Westlake Ventures in Dallas TX.  Prior to forming Westlake Ventures, Dirk was President of RealPage, Inc., a leading provider of enterprise SaaS solutions for the real estate industry. RealPage completed an IPO in 2010 and was later named as the #2 best 2010 IPO performer for a US-based company according to The Wall Street Journal’s Global Initial Public Offerings of Stock.  Dirk also founded and was CEO of LeasingDesk a company focused on delivering web-based risk mitigation solutions for the landlords and property managers which sold to RealPage in 2007.   He also is an active investor and advisor in several early stage companies and the current Membership Chair for the North Texas Chapter of YPO.

Sunny Vanderbeck, Managing Partner, Satori Capital, Data Return

Sunny Vanderbeck has a track record of high achievement in all of his endeavors, including as an entrepreneur, CEO, investor, board member, and military leader. Prior to co-founding Satori Capital, Mr. Vanderbeck co-founded and served as Chief Executive Officer of Data Return, a leading provider of managed services and utility computing. As CEO for eleven years, Mr. Vanderbeck led the company through all phases of growth and transformation. After a successful IPO, the company achieved a market capitalization in excess of $3 billion, and Mr. Vanderbeck was one of the youngest CEOs ever to lead a NASDAQ company. In recognition of Data Return’s industry leadership, Microsoft named Data Return Global Hosting Partner of the Year, while Mr. Vanderbeck received numerous individual honors including being named “Top 25 Technology Executives” and Entrepreneur of the Year finalist by Ernst and Young.  Mr. Vanderbeck is actively engaged with several private businesses as an investor, advisor, and board member. Additionally, Mr. Vanderbeck is a member of Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) where he serves as the North American Co-Chair of the organization’s Corporate Social Responsibility Network.  Follow him on Twitter @SunnyVanderbeck.

Kevin VelaKevin Vela, Founding Partner, Vela | Keller P.C.

logo[1]Kevin Vela is a founding partner at Vela | Keller P.C., and focuses his practice in the areas of startups, corporate law, capital raises, and commercial real estate. Kevin represents a number of small and mid-sized businesses as their general counsel, and provides day-to-day guidance on legal and operational issues. Before attending law school, Kevin spent seven years in Dallas working in finance and marketing. Starting his career with Fortune 500 companies, an entrepreneurial spirit led Kevin to roles in several start-up companies and later to developing his own test preparation company. Kevin scored in the top 5% on the GMAT, LSAT, and GRE, and has used his expertise to help hundreds of students increase their test scores to gain admission to graduate school. Kevin is an entrepreneur himself with a few “learning experiences” under his belt and is currently working on fanbaby.com as a way to make sure that college fanaticism starts from day one. Kevin is a graduate of the University of Texas where he earned his Bachelor degree in Business Administration and Juris Doctorate degree with honors.

Mike YonkerMike Yonker, President, SVI

SVIMike Yonker is President of the Learner Mobile division at SVI, a learning development company.  Mike has more than 21 years experience in mobile technology strategy and marketing, leadership, systems architecture, software management and development.  He has successfully founded and built profitable businesses at both startups and Fortune 500 companies alike.  In early 2012, Mike Co-Founded TangoTab, an online social enterprise business that offers diners discounts at participating restaurants, and donates 20% of its gross revenues to the fight against hunger.  Previously with Rockfish, Michael led the Mobile practice, building the mobile strategy, creative and solutions for clients, building business and managing the P&L to triple revenue in less than 1 year, with projections to grow revenues over 9x by the end of 2012. Prior to Rockfish, Mike led an engineering group at The Nielsen Company to build the system to measure what people do on their mobile phones, to feed data for audience measurement and for product planning purposes. Mike co-founded TI’s successful OMAP™ applications processor business, which grew greater than $500M in revenues per year, and led team of 70 people worldwide through formation before becoming CTO of OMAP. Mike is a proven technical and strategic leader with excellent communication, innovation, leadership, analysis and team skills, experienced in interfacing with executive staffs internally and externally.  He has extensive knowledge of worldwide mobile phone market, manufacturers, operators, investors, trade associations, and third parties.  Follow him on Twitter @TheYonks.