Sean Ellis is the founder and CEO of CatchFree, an online service that makes it easy to find and compare the best free online solutions for your specific need. Based in Newport Beach, CatchFree has raised $5.5m in venture capital and publicly launched in May 2011.
Before founding CatchFree, Sean ran marketing at LogMeIn and Uproar from launch to NASDAQ IPO filings & helped bring Dropbox, Lookout, and Xobni to market in interim marketing leadership roles. He also helped accelerate growth at Eventbrite, Socialcast, Webs, World Golf Tour, WordPress.com and Songkick in hands-on marketing advisory roles.
He blogs at startup-marketing.com.
Amir Banifatemi’s career spans more than 28 years in Europe and the US in the development and growth of high technology ventures. He has held senior executive positions with numerous large companies including Matra Space, AP-HP, and the European Commission Information Society. Amir is founder of Bayspring Group, an innovation think tank that specializes in defining market opportunities and the launch of new products and services to meet market needs.
Jeff Erle is a Director at MFLEX, the world’s second largest flexible PCB manufacturer.
Jeff has held numerous senior-level leadership positions, including President and/or CEO of five companies. His experience spans small privately-held and large public enterprises including ADP, Western Digital, and Litton Industries. He has served on a number of Boards, and has advised numerous early stage companies through his affiliations with OCTANe LaunchPad, TCA and ABL (a CEO roundtable).
Jeff has experience in consumer electronics, automotive, real estate, healthcare, and retail. His product and service experiences include manufacturing/distribution, software development and IT services.
Jeff earned a BA in Economics from Johns Hopkins University.
David’s passion is working with other business leaders to re-design the world economy on a sustainable and rational basis. David believes that the sustainable, smart human behavior on a mass scale is more possible than in earlier history because social communications technology is activating and coordinating the collective intelligence of our species. His tribe designs and builds Collective Intelligence Hubs for organizations and enterprises to consciously and strategically participate in this emerging world conversation in ways that influence knowledge, beliefs, behaviors and results.
David is an entrepreneur with a focus on global change and the blue ocean strategies that follow from that. He is an accomplished early stage investor in, and coach of, start up companies including Klout and Docstoc, and an entrepreneur for over 25 years. He founded both Oxstein Labs and M1 Software, which he grew into one of Los Angeles’
leading application development firms with strong ties to Microsoft.
As a personable communicator and team player, David is devoted to helping others define and reach their goals. He is a vibrant organizer of people, teams, and projects, with an inventive flair for mobilizing and implementing business strategies as well as monetizing opportunities in a diverse range of fields including technology, restaurants and entertainment.
David has flown and sailed on adventures around the globe…motorcycles, airplanes, sailboats, film, photography, architecture, design and urban planning all spark his interest and expand the horizons of his thinking.
An active investor with 27 years of successful track record, working in full partnership with founders to create the appropriate structures, systems and teams required.
Ray is a member and board member of Tech Coast Angels, an active investor and COO of TCA portfolio companies MasherMedia and Vokle.
A co-founder and investor of Everyone.net, he helped to secure over 12 million in funding and led the company through the internet bubble, orchestrated and steered the company from an advertising supported startup to a profitable subscription business. Prior to Everyone.net, he was Vice President of International at NetManage, a provider of ebusiness and application integration solutions. He also co-founded NetSoft, a leader in communications solutions between PCs, mainframes, and AS/400 system
In 2001 Jason Kensey founded Vroom Foods, Inc., where he is credited for inventing the highly caffeinated, bite size energy confection category. He performed a wide range of entrepreneurial, strategic and managerial responsibilities for this “energy food” company. Using minimal resources and limited budget grew company from zero to $1.5M in sales in 4 years while creating a “cult brand” written about in Time and Wall Street Journal.
Prior to founding Vroom Foods, Inc. Jason was an associate brand manager at Kellogg Company where he worked in marketing new cereals and convenience foods. Jason has a Bachelor of Science degree from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and a Master of Business Administration degree from F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College.
Paul Darbee has been a serial entrepreneur all his life. Paul’s current venture, DarbeeVision, adds depth and realism to digital images in real time for consumer electronics. Previously Paul was a cofounder of Universal Electronics, the leading manufacturer of universal remote controls and a successful public company (NASDAQ- UEIC). Paul invented the preprogrammed universal remote control and holds dozens of patents on remote control and other technologies. He became interested in how the brain processes images over forty years ago, when he founded his first company, Optonics. Paul umpires youth baseball and is a big fan of physics and math.
Stewart Roberts—partner, CEO, board member, performance consultant and coach all characterize his leadership. His work within Morgan Stanley’s international equity group in New York City in the 1990s led him to Asia and in 2003 he co-founded TIX China, a Shanghai based trading company overseeing a client portfolio spanning four continents.
In 2007, Mr. Roberts was invited to join the Tech Coast Angels, the largest angel investment group in the country, responsible for investing over 140 million in member’s funds across 150 ventures, coupled with over 1 billion from co-investors. In 2009, Stewart was elected president and is the youngest in the organization’s history to serve. In addition to his role as president, he is involved in diverse projects from lending and advising, to consulting with and funding companies. Stewart studied Economics and History as an undergraduate at Miami University, at Oxford and business at Harvard University and Harvard Business School.
Jonathon Schuster has been an angel investor for nearly 15 years, investing in companies primarily in the technology hardware and software spaces. Currently he works on all major innovation projects at Logicube, the world’s leading manufacturer of digital forensic technology hardware.
Jonathon also serves as the Vice President of Marketing for the Product Development Management Association where he regularly works with companies of all sizes on managing innovation.
Jonathon has worked in, on, and around over 25 startups of all sizes, driving many to their early rounds of fundraising and product building. He loves all things startup and innovation focused.
Dave builds revolutionary, large scale software products for new worldwide markets, and evolves and enhances them to increase revenue and profits. At Cloud Strategies, Dave assists eBusinesses and ISVs with their business and technology strategy and tactical execution to thrive in a world with services moving to the cloud and mobile platforms.
Dave was on the founding team of FileNet (acquired by IBM for $1.6B), FieldCentrix, and YouMail. As the founding head of software at FileNet, Dave’s team created the world’s first production Enterprise Content Management System, and the world’s first Business Process Management (BPM) software. As the founding CEO at FieldCentrix, Dave raised $37 million in venture capital and led the architecture of an advanced mobile system for the field service industry. Dave was the founding CEO of YouMail, the second largest independent voicemail and smart phone personal digital assistant app.
Dave’s enthusiasm for innovative and marketable technology solutions coupled with his business acumen, make him a sought-after resource for the business, academic and technology communities. He was recognized as a “top 20 Orange County CEO” by Bridgegate. He has spearheaded strategic alliances of leading technology companies including Oracle, Hewlett Packard, IBM, Research in Motion, and Microsoft. Dave has been involved in technical and business assessments for hundreds of companies for Tech Coast Angels and venture capital firms. He has also had advisory roles at multiple venture capital firms.
Dave has an undergraduate degree in computer science from UC Riverside, has completed all classwork for a MSCS at UC Irvine, and has an MBA from the UC Irvine, Merage School of Business. He is on the advisory board of the UC Riverside School of Engineering and was an advisory board member for over ten years of the UC Irvine Bren School of Information and Computer Science.
Patrick Koppula is an inventor, founder, and educator. He conceived foundational technology for GarageBand, iLike and ffwd. He was a co-founder of those three companies as well as a founder or advisor to dozens more.
Patrick is a Distinguished Visiting Lecturer on Digital Culture at Arizona State University and speaker on how to apply the entrepreneurial model to discover and pursue opportunity. His newest project is an effort to restore social mobility and the middle class by leveraging recent research into entrepreneurial behavior. He graduated from Harvard with a degree in Environmental Science and Public Policy and recently moved to Los Angeles.
Gina Wu is currently focused on the start-up space as the Program Director at K5, a technology accelerator based in Orange County. Previously, she consulted for the University of California, Irvine’s Environment Institute on their Clean Tech Academy.
In New York City, Gina focused on CSR and social impact marketing, strategy and product development. At the Aspen Institute, she was the product manager for Partner Pages, a new web product, as well as The Sustainable MBA: The 2010-2011 Guidebook to Business Schools that are Making a Difference. She was also the co-manager of the 2010 Aspen Institute Business and Society International Case competition bringing together 50 of the world’s most respected MBA programs. Prior to joining the Aspen Institute, Gina served as the Deputy Executive Director for Streetwise Partners, a workforce development non-profit. Her other non-profit work experience includes serving as a Corporate Relations Manager for New York Cares and as a Microfinance Program Officer for Mercy Corps Beijing. In the corporate sector, Gina was an analyst with Cambridge Pharma Consultants and a project manager for Medsite.
Gina has a BA in international relations from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Columbia Business School. She has contributed to the development of the HIP Investor methodology, is a judge for the Echoing Green Fellowship Program and is a past Board Fellow for CARE’s New York Advisory Board. She is strongly committed to providing the business community with the tools and rationale to be a force for positive social and environmental change.
Patrick Vlaskovits is an entrepreneur, mentor and author. He has founded two startups, serves as CMO at Drumbi and co-wrote The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Customer Development: A Cheat Sheet to The Four Steps to the Epiphany.
His writing on debunking the origin of Henry Ford’s “faster horses” has been featured on Harvard Business Review, The Wall Street Journal blog and The Browser.
Patrick has spoken at tech conferences nationally, including SXSW Interactive (Austin, Texas), Michigan Lean Startup Conference, Lean Startup Machine San Francisco/Chicago/New York as well as internationally, The Turing Festival (Edinburgh, Scotland), Leancamp (multiple), SVC2LX (Lisbon, Portugal). He tweets at @pv and blogs vlaskovits.com. Patrick enjoys advising (Drumbi, Chromatik) and mentoring and serves as a mentor for the 500 Startups and for The Lean Startup Machine.
He organizes the Los Angeles Lean Startup Meetup which boasts almost 2,000 members and holds a Master’s in Economics (emphases in finance and econometrics) from University of California, Santa Barbara.
Shervin Talieh is the CEO and Co-Founder of Drumbi, a technology startup focused on transforming communication. He also considers himself a frustrated cook and closet DJ, and likes surrounding himself with passionate people.
Shervin started his career by successfully building, growing and selling his consulting startup, Index Data. Prior to Drumbi, he served at Vice President, Business Development for Goldeneye Solutions; a SaaS technology company. This was preceded by his tenure at Accenture, where he was a Partner in the Los Angeles Office, and a member of the executive team responsible for over 700 professionals in the region.
A wine connoisseur at heart with extensive experience in sales and marketing, Doug Allan aims to make wine accessible, understandable and easier to consume. He brings his business savvy and wine expertise to STACKED Wines, the wine packaging innovation and marketing company that he help co-found in 2011. Stacked Wines has developed a single-serve, ready to drink glass of wine that boasts top-quality taste and ultra-convenience.
Doug manages the sales strategy, wine sourcing and regulatory compliance for STACKED Wines. With a Diploma of Wine & Spirits from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust under his belt, Doug serves as the in-house sommelier for the company in addition to leading the sales team. He boasts experience in teaching wine classes, leading seminars, and hosting wine tastings, and carefully selecting the vibrant, fresh and fruity flavors of STACKED Wines to reflect the casual, social circumstances where they will be consumed.
Before co-founding STACKED Wines, Doug earned a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Administration from Cornell University in 2003. He then moved on to earn his Master of Business Administration from Merage School of Business at University of California, Irvine, in 2011. Prior to earning his Master’s degree, Doug worked at Chateau Montelena Winery in the Napa Valley where he managed the retail sales & hospitality department. He managed one of the leading direct to consumer sales teams in Napa Valley.
Doug, along with the STACKED Wines team, is working to revolutionize drinking quality wine by turning it into a fun, hassle-free social experience. Stacked Wines is currently available in Southern California including retailers such as Bristol Farms, Albertsons and Total Wine.