Bio: Entreprenuer and business owner who has started, ran and sold multiple companies over a 10+ year career.
Co-founder & President, Lumnus Consulting
Bio: Adriana Guetter is an international student at UC San Diego pursuing a B.S. in Bioengineering with a minor in Business. She is an entrepreneur at heart and has co-founded and worked for multiple startups. Adriana is currently leading a national movement to establish student-run companies across the US, called Junior Enterprise USA. She co-founded and was elected president of Lumnus Consulting, the first junior enterprise established at UC San Diego. In addition to her passion for entrepreneurship, Adriana works as a research assistant at a neuroscience lab and will be doing research at Harvard next summer.
Dean, UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering
Bio: Albert (“Al”) P. Pisano was appointed as the Dean of Engineering at UC San Diego 1 September 2013. He held appointments at the University of California at Berkeley for 30 years, serving in a number of leadership positions. He was elected to the US National Academy of Engineering in 2001 and to Fellow status in the ASME in 2004. As the Dean of Engineering, he holds the Walter J. Zable Chair of Engineering, and is appointed as Distinguished Professor both in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering as well as in Electrical and Computer Engineering. From 1997-1999, he served as Program Manager for MEMS at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) where he expanded the research portfolio to 83 contracts awarded nationwide with a total MEMS research expenditure in excess of $168 million over 3 fiscal years. Having graduated nearly 70 Ph.D. students and 75 MS students, he is an author of over 400 journal papers and 36 patents. He is a 10-time entrepreneur and his research interests include MEMS for a wide variety of applications, including harsh environment sensors systems and wearable sensors.
CEO, Entrepreneur Challenge
Bio: Alex Boone is the 2016-17 CEO for the Entrepreneur Challenge. He is currently at the Rady School of Management in the Flex Evening 2018 MBA program. He received his degree from the Jacobs Engineering School in Bioengineering. Additionally, he is the CEO for his startup company BREWnGO.
Allison Long Pettine
Founder and Partner, Seed San Diego
Bio: Allison Long Pettine is the Founding Partner of Seed San Diego, the premier investor group in San Diego that provides both capital and strategic value to early stage startups. Allison is also President and Founder of Crescent Ridge Partners, a local seed stage venture fund. Prior to founding Crescent Ridge Partners, Allison was Vice President at Viscogliosi Brothers, a New-York based venture capital firm focused on orthopedic medical device technologies. She was previously an early employee and Director of Strategic Planning at Paradigm Spine, a startup that developed non-fusion spinal implants. Allison is a mentor at Tech Stars, sits on the advisory board of The Basement at UC San Diego, is on the board of the San Diego Venture Group and is a committee member at Evo Nexus.
Of Counsel, Fish & Richardson
Bio: Andrea Dorigo is Of Counsel in the Southern California office of Fish & Richardson. Dr. Dorigo has a background in chemical/pharmaceutical arts, as well as experience in both patent-related aspects (patent preparation, prosecution, FTO, and client counseling) and transactional aspects (contract drafting including MSA, MTAs, and IP provisions in licensing agreements) of intellectual property. He also has extensive experience in various aspects of licensing agreements, including due diligence analysis of licensor patents and negotiations of key IP provisions.
Founder | CEO, Additive Rocket Corporation
Bio: Andy Kieatiwong has rich experience in rocket propulsion and metal additive manufacturing (3D printing). During his career at UC San Diego, Andy has served as an officer in Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS) and cofounded Triton 3D Printing (T3D). He has held various manufacturing jobs from the Campus Research Machine Shop under Urey Hall to the Dragon Fluids Systems Group in the manufacturing engineering department at SpaceX. Together with his team, Andy aims to democratize space by offering reliable and affordable propulsion solutions.
Startup Advocate, Downtown San Diego Partnership
Bio: I've invested in over 100 companies and continues to advise and mentor several. It's very interesting to finding better ways for entrepreneurs, investors, and advisors to engage with each other.
Bio: Anthony Zolezzi is a serial entrepreneur who plays a leading role in advising corporations on ways to innovate with their existing strengths given the expectations of today’s socially conscious culture, while increasing profitability and uncovering new innovations. His work has resulted in numerous entrepreneurial companies and product developments focused on sustainability and health.
Some of Zolezzi’s most recent business ventures include creating the partnership between Wild Oats and Walmart to make organic products both affordable and accessible, which has become one of the most successful product launches in Walmart’s history with sales of $2 million per week during the first nine months. He also co-founded Code Blue Recycling, which filed 19 patents on unique recycling technologies. When he sold Code Blue Recycling to Waste Management it become Greenopolis (short for “Greening the Metropolis”), a community-based recycling rewards program that resulted in products such as the Pepsi Dream Machine. Zolezzi also co-founded and launched Pet Promise natural pet food that quickly became the leader in the natural pet food industry resulting in a multi-million dollar sale to Nestlé Purina and paved the way for the current multi-billion dollar natural pet-food industry. He also wrote a book based on the Pet Promise project called, “How Dog Food Saved the Earth” (2005) that sold 80,000 copies with all proceeds donated to the Organic Farming Research Foundation. Zolezzi’s other major projects include The Prince of Wales’ documentary and book, “Harmony” that highlighted the Prince’s personal sustainability initiatives; Bumble Bee Seafood, moving tuna fish out of the can and into airtight packaging; Horizon Organic Dairy children’s milk products introduced into Starbucks; Fresh Connection’s disintermediation of imported seafood; Eco Terra branding with families of transitional growers on the package; Jack In The Box color coordinated tomatoes to the proper market for slicing; Nestlé Waters new methods of PET recycling; New Chapter’s launch of children’s supplements; and The Human Society of The United States repositioning campaign to “Celebrate Animals Confronting Cruelty” and re-branding with new logo.
Zolezzi is also noted for taking social trends and turning them into food trends such as his creation of Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. packaged retail shrimp and restaurants based on the award-winning film “Forrest Gump” starring Tom Hanks. He licensed the name from Paramount Pictures/Viacom first to Meridian Products for frozen shrimp and then to Paragon Restaurants (Rusty Pelican) for the restaurant chain itself, which today produces upward of $400 million in revenue. Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. was later sold to ConAgra Foods as part of his turn around for Meridian. He also developed Café Nervosa Coffee based off NBC’s hit sitcom, “Frasier.” Zolezzi also served as CEO of The New Organics Co., which was one of the first to market organic pre-packaged foods to mainstream consumers, and the first to ship organic products to Walmart. The product line included 180 SKUs, 16 of which were products marketed for children under the popular American author and illustrator Richard Scarry’s name and his Busytown characters.
Currently Zolezzi is in the process of re-launching S&H Green Stamps around a sustainability and health rewards platform, while re-examining the waste industry as an overall concept from water waste, food waste to municipal waste. Presently he is looking into multiple new biotech solutions for personal health and the environment. He is an operating partner at Pegasus Capital Advisors with a focus on launching sustainability and health products and companies. The firm is a private equity fund manager that currently manages $2.7 billion in assets. He is also an adviser and judge for the Katerva Global Sustainability Awards, and member of the board of directors for Recommunity Recycling and Wild Oats Organic Marketplace. Zolezzi is a co-founder and former board chairman of The Organic Center for Education and Promotion and former board member of Vitamin Angels, helping both nonprofit organizations raise record amounts of millions of dollars during his board terms. He has written six books including, “Uncharted Waters,” (2010), “Do Something: Leave Your Mark on the World” (2008), “The Detachment Paradox” (2004) and “Chemical-Free Kids: How to Safeguard Your Child’s Diet and Environment” (2003).
Executive Director, Tech Coast Angels
Bio: Ashok Kamal is the current Executive Director of Tech Coast Angels – San Diego. As an angel, Ashok has invested in 3 companies, including Outsite, which is a network of co-living & co-working properties in beautiful places. Ashok’s latest venture, the School of Rap, is a platform to empower youth through creative freestyle. Ashok is a board member of the Entertainers 4 Education Alliance, Green Seal’s Advisory Council and volunteers with the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) and Rancho Coastal Humane Society. In his spare time he loves learning to surf, discovering weird vegetarian food and playing fantasy baseball.
Executive Director, Conveners.org
Bio: Bringing new companies from idea to reality is Avary Kent's passion. Avary blends scientific analysis with business acumen and operational expertise to help bring new companies and products to market. Avary excels in early stage companies that are focused on creating new holistic systems to manage growth and scale to create high impact products and services. She is the Executive Director of Conveners.org and applies her expertise in facilitation, experience design, capacity building trainings, neuroscience, behavioral psychology, and human centered design to support organizations to increase the effectiveness of convening as a tool for change.
City Council Member, San Diego City Council District 1
Bio: Councilmember Barbara Bry represents San Diego City Council District 1. She serves as chair of the Committee on Budget and Government Efficiency and vice chair of Public Safety and Livable Neighborhoods. Councilmember Bry is a high-tech entrepreneur who taught entrepreneurship at UC San Diego and was on the founding team of several local high-tech companies, including ProFlowers.com. Councilmember Bry is co-founder of Atcom/Info, which was one of the first to develop the technology that pioneered internet kiosks and high speed internet access in hotel rooms. Barbara holds an MBA from Harvard University.
Founder, BAM Communications
Bio: Beck is a proud Bruin of UCLA, where she nabbed her B.A. in economics in an unprecedented two years. Immediately following her undergraduate degree, Beck obtained her MBA and a marketing specialization at the University of Pittsburgh Katz Business School, a US Today top 50 ranked business school, as the youngest graduate to date. Beck founded BAM Communications, her first company, in 2008 and has since founded two other businesses, Bite San Diego and Pangea Pal. In 2011, she won an Emmy for on-camera hosting in a talk show format for her show, Next 500, and has also been a nominee for San Diego Magazine’s Women Who Move the City, the Metropolitan’s “40 under 40,” and the San Diego Business Journal’s Women Who Mean Business. She is currently a board member of Gen-Next and the San Diego Venture Group.
Strategy Development Manager, San Diego Gas & Electric
Bio: Chris develops new business models for SDG&E. He has a diverse background in leadership development, finance, IT, and intellectual property. He has published four books, holds two patents and was a professor at CSULB. His BA (economics) and MBA are from UCI.
General Partner, Entry Ventures Group
Bio: Clifford Boro is a General Partner of Entry Ventures Group. Cliff was Managing Partner and Co-Founder of the Team Group, Co-Founder/CEO of Zui.com, Co-Founder of CVTVentures and Chairman/CEO of Infogate. Cliff currently serves as Chairman of 1AppWorks. Cliff is a very-experienced venture-backed CEO, Founder, investor and entrepreneurial catalyst. He has helped over a dozen companies from founding to exit. For his work at Zui.com, Cliff was named a Champion of Change by the White House. Cliff serves as a Board member of the San Diego Performing Arts League and as a Board Member of Temple Beth El in La Jolla.
Assitant Director, UC San Diego
Bio: David recently completed 15 years with UC San Diego, leading the engineering and physical sciences patent licensing team. During David's tenure, he has completed over 150 license agreements, including 40 start-ups, in the areas of software, hardware, medical devices, photonics, advanced materials, oceanographic and meteorological instrumentation and retail products. David is a professional electrical engineer in CA and holds a MBA.
Executive Director, The Institute for the Global Entrepreneur, UC San Diego
Bio: Dennis Abremski is the Executive Director of The Institute for the Global Entrepreneur, at UC San Diego, a collaboration between the Jacobs School of Engineering and Rady School of Management, dedicated to training global technology leaders and translating university discoveries to market. A founder and startup veteran, he has built a career by balancing his business and technical expertise, having held executive positions in technology, international sales, business development, and operations. Dennis is driving efforts on campus to introduce new business and technology accelerator initiatives to significantly increase the commercialization rate of engineering and technology innovations.
Assistant Director, Office of Innovation and Commercialization, UC San Diego
Bio: Dr. Shaw has had substantial experience in the pharmaceutical industry and has held positions in large pharma, mid-sized and start-up companies. Prior to joining the UC San Diego Office of Innovation and Commercialization, Dr. Shaw held the position of Director of Business Development for Attenuon, LLC, a pharmaceutical start-up located in Sorrento Valley focusing on discovery and development of new antiangiogenic agents for oncology. Prior to that, she was the Director of Business Development at IDEC Pharmaceuticals, where she was responsible for the creation and implementation of a new, in-house contract manufacturing business, a promotional marketing campaign, and developing potential out-sourcing clients. In large pharma, Dr. Shaw spent 15 years at Abbott Laboratories, a $3 billion global diversified health care company. At Abbott, she held the position of Director, Technology Assessment, Corporate Licensing and Strategic Planning, and was primarily responsible for the assessment, acquisition, and licensing of pharmaceutical and health care technology opportunities. She was an active participant in Technology Transfer Conferences and also was on the board of TTC. Dr. Shaw also held positions in the Pharmaceutical Products Division including Research Information Scientist, Operations Manager for the Thrombolytic Venture, and Senior Project Manager, Research Management and Development where she was responsible for the planning, prioritizing and managing the development of new pharmaceutical products for world wide marketing. Some of the ethical pharmaceutical products that Dr. Shaw had responsibility for include Hytrin®, Cefmenoxime, Abbokinase®, Depakote®, Calcijex®, Zemplar®, and Lupron®.
Dr. Shaw holds a MS and PhD in Microbiology/Immunology from the University of Illinois College of Medicine; did postdoctoral research in the Division of Biological and Medical Research, Argonne National Laboratory; holds a degree from Blackstone School of Law; and has earned a Certified Licensing Professional (CLP) designation which recognizes intellectual property professionals who have demonstrated dedication to higher standards of practice within the licensing industry.
CEO & Partner, Lymber and Seed San Diego
Bio: Doug is the CEO of Lymber, a wellness start-up connecting consumers with wellness and fitness businesses via technology and marketing.
Doug is also a partner at Seed San Diego, investors pledging time and money towards building the San Diego start-up community. He is a direct investor in numerous early-stage companies.
Until a sale in 2015, Doug served as President and COO of Digitaria, a digital marketing and technology agency he co-founded in 1997.
In addition, he serves as Chairman for SDX (formerly the San Diego Ad Club) and mentor for organizations including TechStars, UC San Diego, and SDSU.
Entrepreneur, Program Director, Blue LINC
Bio: Dr. Garrett Cale Smith is an innovator, educator, and entrepreneur who has co-founded five medical companies that have treated hundreds of patients and generated over $100 Million. Currently he is the Co-Founder and CEO of Nasseo, Inc. an orthopedics venture he spun out of his PhD, and is the Program Director for Blue LINC, UCSD’s first biomedical incubator. Dr. Smith is an expert in early-stage fundraising and innovation. He has co-authored over a dozen patents in nanotechnology, dentistry, and ophthalmology. In, 2011 he earned a PhD in Bioengineering from UC San Diego, and completed a BioDesign Fellowship at Stanford University.
Chief Executive Officer, CONNECT - San Diego
Bio: With 25+ years of leadership experience in life sciences and financial services industries, McKee brings an entrepreneurial, financial and global perspective to CONNECT. Prior to CONNECT, McKee was Chairman, President & CEO of Nventa Biopharmaceuticals, a biopharmaceutical company which merged with Akela pharma. Previously, he held senior management roles at Genzyme Corporation and UBS. McKee lived in Tokyo for seven years including a two-year appointment with the Former Minister of Foreign Affairs. He speaks fluent Japanese.
McKee earned a B.A. from University of Washington, an M.A. from The Lauder Institute and an MBA from Wharton School, at University of Pennsylvania.
NSF I-Corps Lead Instructor and Program Coordinator, University of California, San Diego
Bio: Jay Gilberg, Ph.D. is the Lead NSF I-Corps Instructor at the von Liebig Center within the Institute for the Global Entrepreneur at UC San Diego. As an entrepreneur, Jay founded and built an INC 500 Company, recognized as one of the 500 fastest growing, privately held companies in the US over a 5-year period. Jay teaches NSF I-Corps students to commercialize their research and technologies using Steve Blank's Lean Launchpad and Business Model Canvas, as well as influences from CONNECT, MIT and HBR cases to teach engineers how to think business. Jay earned his Ph.D. in Public Administration from the University of Texas.
Interim Manager, Research Translation Group, Applied Innovation, University of California, Irvine Applied Innovation
Bio: Jay Kunin is a long-term member of Tech Coast Angels, where he has served on the Board of Directors and head of Life Sciences. He’s Managing Director of Professional Health Technologies (USA) LLC, Interim Manager of the Research Translation Group at UC Irvine Applied Innovation, and Lecturer in the Jacobs School of Engineering.
Jay has served on boards of numerous startup companies, in software, genomics, medical devices, digital health, regenerative medicine. He has co-founded several companies, including RxSys International (IPO); Bensoft (acquired by Metavante); Securities Industry Software Corp. (acquired by Citicorp); and Golfweb (acquired by CBS). He was CIO of public biotech company Scios, later acquired by J&J, and of a venture-funded biotech and two CROs.
Jay holds a BS (physical sciences) and PhD (computer science) from MIT.
Director of the Silicon Valley United States Patent and Trademark Office, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
Bio: As the Regional Director of the West Coast United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), John Cabeca carries out the strategic direction of the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO, and is responsible for establishing and leading the USPTO's west coast regional office located in Silicon Valley. Focusing on the region and actively engaging with the community, Mr. Cabeca ensures the USPTO’s initiatives and programs are tailored to the region's unique ecosystem of industries and stakeholders. A veteran of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for over 26 years, Mr. Cabeca previously served as the Senior Advisor to the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO. In this role, he worked closely across the Agency's leadership to implement the policies and priorities for the USPTO. He began his career at the USPTO as a patent examiner after graduating from Widener University with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering. Mr. Cabeca became a Supervisory Patent Examiner in 1997 and joined the Senior Executive Service in 2008 serving as a Patent Technology Center Director over the semiconductor and electrical systems technologies. Mr. Cabeca has dedicated much of his career to the USPTO's outreach and education programs focusing on small businesses, startups and entrepreneurs. Over the years, he served in the Office of Petitions, the Office of Patent Legal Administration, the Office of Governmental Affairs and the Office of the Under Secretary. In 2006, Mr. Cabeca was appointed a Department of Commerce Science and Technology Fellow and served on special assignment to the Executive Office of the President in the United States Trade Representative's Office. At USTR, he worked with multiple agencies on a variety of international intellectual property rights issues and played an integral role in the Free Trade Agreement negotiations with the Republic of Korea.
CEO & Co-Founder, Spoutable
Bio: Jon is CEO of Spoutable, a machine learning company delivering superior website monetization through highly engaging digital advertising experiences. Spoutable is industry expert in blending various forms of paid and organic media (video, content, display, email, quick links) into a single, high impact unit to maximize digital publisher revenue, advertiser ROI and consumer experience.
Prior to cofounding Spoutable, Jon was CEO of Active Network (ACTV) where he led the company’s highly competitive take-private process culminating in a $1B sale to Vista Equity Partners. Prior to that, he was the founder & principal of Cedar Ridge Ventures, COO at Active Network for 12 years, co-founder of LeagueLink and a consultant at the Boston Consulting Group. Jon earned his MBA from Kellogg (Northwestern University) and his BSE from Wharton (University of Pennsylvania).
Kimberly Davis King
Co-Director, UC San Diego
Bio: Kimberly Davis King has over 17 years in the venture capital industry. Kim has been focused on investing and mentoring startups and high growth companies. Kim is also currently the co-Director of StartR and mystartupxx at the UC San Diego Rady School of Management, a lecturer at the UC San Diego Rady School of Management, an Adjunct professor at San Diego State University and on the oversight committee for Evonexus a San Diego incubator. Kim is an advisor to several startup companies. She led multiple investments in software and technology infrastructure. Successful IPO investments included F5 Networks (FFIV) and VA Linux (LINUX). Kim holds a B.S in Industrial Engineering from Stanford University and a M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School.
Founder and Consultant, Kristen Knepper Consulting
Bio: Kristen is an attorney, consultant, and executive coach with over 15 years experience in creating diverse, high-performing teams. Her mission is to help organizations retain and advance women, and to help women recognize and articulate their own value. She facilitates seminars and workshops on leadership, millennial development, diversity & inclusion, implicit bias, sexual harassment, and women's leadership for men. She also coaches individuals on negotiating, interviewing, public speaking, and career transitions.
Founder & CEO, STERLINGS Mobile
Bio: Kush Kapila is founder and CEO of STERLINGS Mobile, the premier mobile salon and barbershop for busy professionals.
Prior to STERLINGS, Kapila had increasing positions of responsibility working in software and hardware for private and public companies both in the high-tech and life science industries.
Born and raised in Montreal, Kapila holds an undergraduate degree in Computer Science from McGill University, a Master's in Bioinformatics from Concordia University and an MBA from the Rady School of Management - UCSD.
In his spare time, Kapila likes to play hockey and guitar and spend time with his wife and two sons.
Executive Director, California Institute for Innovation and Development, UC San Diego Rady School of Management
Bio: Dr. Lada Rasochova is the executive director of the California Institute for Innovation and Development (CIID), managing director of the Rady Venture Fund and director of StartR and mystartupXX accelerators at the Rady School of Management at UC San Diego. Prior to joining Rady in 2008, she spent 20 years in biotech industry, most recently as the leader of vaccine technologies and director of new business development in Dowpharma division of the Dow Chemical Company. Prior to Dow, she was with Mycogen, a San Diego biotechnology startup. Dr. Rasochova serves on advisory boards of several companies and organization and is the president and CEO of Dermala Inc., a UC San Diego startup. She received her Ph.D. in MCDB from ISU and MBA from UC San Diego.
Head of JLABS CA, Johnson & Johnson Innovation- JLABS
Bio: Lesley Stolz, PhD, fosters Johnson & Johnson’s external R&D engine and supports the innovation community by leading the Johnson & Johnson Innovation, JLABS business on the West Coast. She has 20 years of business and corporate development experience working for companies that have been both technology platform and therapeutics focused. Previously, she was Senior Director of Transactions negotiating partnering deals for Johnson & Johnson Innovation at the California Innovation Center. Prior to joining Johnson & Johnson Innovation, she held executive positions with BioTime, Inc., Sutro Biopharma, Inc., and Sunesis Pharmaceuticals where she was responsible for corporate strategy, fundraising and all aspects of partnering. Earlier in her career, she served as Senior Director, Business Development for Aerovance, Inc. and for GPC Biotech AG in Munich, Germany from 2002 to 2006. She also served in senior management positions at Cell Genesys, Discovery Partners International and Axys Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Stolz received her Ph.D. in chemistry, and conducted postdoctoral research at Harvard Medical School’s Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology.