Errol Arkilic is a Founder of M34 Capital, Inc. M34 is an investment company that focuses on seed and early-stage projects being spun out of academic and corporate research labs. Typical investments range from $250,000 to $500,000 and usually represent the first outside capital deployed. M34 focuses on turning science projects into companies and does so across a broad spectrum of technologies and geographies. Errol is also a founder of RealIndustry.org, a non-profit with a focus on entrepreneur education for science and engineering graduates. Previously, Errol was the founding and lead program director for the National Science Foundation Innovation Corps program. He led the I-Corps effort from its inception until July 2013. Prior to this, he was the lead software and services Program Director for the NSF SBIR program. Before his government service, Errol was founder and CEO at StrataGent Lifesciences (Acquired by Corium International: CORI) and Manager of Product Engineering at Redwood Microsystems. He received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from The George Washington University and his Masters and Ph.D. degrees in Aero/Astro Engineering from MIT.
Andrea Belz is the inaugural Vice Dean for Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. She serves as the Director of the NSF Innovation Corps (“I-Corps”) funded Innovation Node – Los Angeles and has served as Entrepreneur-in-Residence, with faculty appointments in the USC Viterbi School of Engineering; the Iovine and Young Academy for Arts, Technology, and the Business of Innovation; and the USC Marshall School of Business. Her research focuses on modeling technology-based entrepreneurial ecosystems and she has published research in optical systems, nuclear physics, geomicrobiology, and systems engineering with an emphasis on NASA SBIR program. She is the founder and chair of the Technology Transfer and Infusion session at the IEEE Aerospace Conference. Dr. Belz is Managing Director of Kinetic Intelligence, an intellectual property strategy consultancy, and has previously guided strategic planning for world-class innovators including Avery Dennison, BP, California Institute of Technology, CVI Melles Griot, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Occidental Petroleum, Raytheon, SPIE, and UCLA, as well as venture capital firms, university technology startups, and international public-private partnerships supporting technology transfer ecosystems. An active angel investor, she serves on the Board of Directors of Caltech spinoff laser manufacturer Ondax. She holds a B.S. in physics from the University of Maryland at College Park, with High Honors in physics and University Honors in political economics; a Ph.D. in physics from the California Institute of Technology; and an M.B.A. in finance from the Pepperdine University Graziadio School of Business.
Calum Chisholm founded SAFCell, Inc. in November, 2009 to develop and commercialize solid acid electrolytes for fuel cell and hydrogen generation applications. SAFCell develops scalable solid acid stacks for applications requiring tens of watts to tens of kilowatts and up to 100kg of compressed hydrogen per day. Based on technology developed at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), and operating at mid-range temperatures around 250°C, SAFCell stacks tolerate impurities that pose obstacles for other fuel cell/hydrogen generation technologies, while still using durable and inexpensive metal and polymer components. This combination results in rugged stacks that operate easily on commercially available fuels, greatly reducing overall system complexity and cost. SAFCell is partnering with targeted system integrators to enter first portable, and then stationary power and hydrogen markets. SAFCell has earned, raised, and been awarded a total of $16 million dollars since 2010.
Kevin D. DeBré helps entrepreneurs build successful businesses. He leads the intellectual property and technology transactions practice at Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP, a full-service, Los Angeles-based business law firm representing many of Southern California’s most promising emerging growth technology companies. Kevin structures and negotiates technology development deals and commercialization agreements and ventures for monetizing intellectual property assets. He also develops business-oriented intellectual property protection strategies for extracting maximum value from patent portfolios. Kevin is a registered patent attorney and worked as a mechanical engineer before law school. He served as a judicial law clerk for Hon. John G. Davies, United States District Court for the Central District of California and received his J.D. degree from Hastings College of the Law and his B.S. degree from the University of California, Davis.
Dr. Avinash Kant has been a Venture Partner at Phoenix Venture Partners (PVP) since 2015. He has had more than 20 years of experience in Wall Street equity research, semiconductor process development and materials R&D. With his strong belief that advanced materials will be the key enablers of leading-edge technology in diverse end markets, Dr. Kant pioneered the Advanced Materials universe of equity research on Wall Street in 2006. Dr. Kant also worked at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. His research in advanced thin films, ceramics and composite materials has been presented extensively in leading international conferences and journals. Dr. Kant holds a Ph.D. in Materials Science from the School of Engineering and a Management of Technology Certificate from Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley.
Jai Kumar is the Global Head of Co-innovation Network (CoIN) Emerging Technologies at Tata Consulting Services (TCS). Mr. Kumar has a proven track record of creating new ecosystems with revenue generating products, defining novel go-to-market product strategies and developing significant industry partnerships. He has over 25 years of hands on experience in mobile, embedded and enterprise systems with a deep understanding of hardware and software technologies and businesses. Jai has founded and built two pioneering mobile startups and raised over $25M from Tier-1 venture capital. Jai also held senior technology and management positions in Intel and Motorola. As Program Chair of Silicon Valley Forum’s VC Breakfast Series, Jai has brought in over 3500 startups to present to over 300 VCs and angel investors. Jai is also an advisor to several Silicon Valley accelerators assisting with due diligence, startup pipeline deal-flow and introducing startups to Venture Capital for funding and large corporations for strategic partnerships. Jai is a co-inventor of 10 issued patents with 11 pending patents. Jai holds a MS in Computer Science from SUNY, New York and a MS in Computer Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.
Dr. Jennifer Lee is a Commercialization Manager at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). She is currently responsible for the identification, protection, and management for a broad range of the Laboratory’s technologies, including five of PNNL’s cross-cutting Laboratory Directed R&D initiatives. Dr. Lee received her B.S. from Yale University, a Ph.D. in Biochemistry & Molecular Biophysics from Caltech in 2009, and is a registered U.S. Patent Agent. She is currently serving on the Executive Committee of the Department of Energy’s Technology Transfer Working Group, a co-chair for the Western Region Committee for AUTM, and is a Board Member of the Caltech Alumni Association.
Dr. Jill McNitt-Gray’s research converges at the intersection of neuromuscular control and human musculoskeletal dynamics. Dr. McNitt-Gray is actively involved in translation of science into the practice and has been recognized by USC as a Mellon Mentor. She is a Past-President of the American Society of Biomechanics and received the 2016 Jim Hay Memorial Award for the originality, quality, and depth of her research. She actively collaborates with Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center and the Veterans Administration and serves as a biomechanist for the International and US Olympic Committees. McNitt-Gray completed her doctoral degree in biomechanics at the Pennsylvania State University. Most recently she was the Principal Investigator of a National Science Foundation National I-Corps Team.
Ross Mead is the Founder and CEO of Semio, a startup developing a standardized operating system and app ecosystem for personal and commercial robots. Ross received his PhD and MS in Computer Science from the University of Southern California in 2015, and his BS in Computer Science from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 2007. He is a past recipient of two fellowships: an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, and an NSF GK-12 Fellowship. His overarching research focuses on natural face-to-face human-robot interaction, in which he builds principled computational models of nonverbal social behaviors—such as eye gaze, hand/arm gestures, conversational turn-taking, and spacing—to improve robot autonomy and human efficiency. In March 2016, Ross founded Semio to build high-performance software for the global robotics industry; in April 2016, Semio participated in the NSF I-Corps customer discovery program to support the transition from lab to market.
John Christopher “Chris” Moran is the Executive Director and General Manager of Lockheed Martin Ventures; the venture capital investment arm of Lockheed Martin Corporation. In this
capacity, he is responsible for leading the Corporation’s investments in small technology companies which support Lockheed Martin’s strategic business objectives. Prior to joining Lockheed Martin, Mr. Moran served in a variety of increasingly responsible positions at Applied Materials, Inc., Santa Clara, CA. He served most recently as the head of the Business Systems and Analytics group in the Applied Global Services Organization. Mr. Moran was with Applied for over 32 years. Prior to his most recent role, Mr. Moran was head of Corporate Strategy and General Manager of Applied Ventures LLC; the strategic investing arm of Applied Materials. Mr. Moran is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he obtained both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Mechanical Engineering.
Veronica Osinski is managing partner of Trifecta Capital a Silicon Valley-based, seed stage investment fund. Veronica previously apprenticed in venture at S-Cubed Capital under Mark Steven’s, former Managing Partner at Sequoia Capital. While at S-Cubed, Veronica sourced deals in Secret, Second Spectrum and Embark (acq. by APPL). She served as a board observer for Elemental Technologies (acq. AMZN), Zapproved, Deal Decor and Second Spectrum. Previous to venture, she launched a dairy farm while living in rural South Africa. She graduated Summa Cum Laude with a degree in finance from the University of Southern California at the age of 20. While in college she conducted research on the financial crash, executive compensation and published her honors thesis on the impact of microfinance on inequality. During college she started a couple of businesses including a second hand marketplace for women’s clothing and a photo editing/ filtering business.
Julie-ann Pina guides startups in Finance. This role sometimes includes oversight of HR, Operations, and Strategy. She focuses on ‘real-tech’ commercializing science and engineering in health, robotics, and will be assisting the LA Cleantech Incubator with a financial project. Past projects include startups, new enterprises within existing companies, and product development and launch. Her clients range from a Caltech spinout to Edwards Lifesciences. Previously, Julie-ann worked in VC at Chase Capital, and was a VP at BankAmerica including 7 years in investment banking. Currently, Julie-ann is involved with the development of a new type of incubator, which is planned to pilot in Los Angeles this year. Julie-ann serves as board member and Treasurer of the Pasadena Angels. Julie-ann earned her MBA with a certificate in Technology Commercialization at USC, was a Beta Gamma Sigma honoree and CGSM fellow, and invested a portion of the University endowment. Her bachelor’s degree was Quantitative Economics at UC Berkeley.
Ida Shum joined the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology’s Open Innovation Group as a Senior Manager of Business Development in 2013. She now leads the efforts to acquire intellectual property assets, scout technologies for future products, and develop partnerships with startups, universities and federal labs. She previously worked at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory commercializing technologies. Ida earned her B.S. in Biochemistry from UCLA and her J.D. from the University of Notre Dame. She is a licensed patent attorney. When free, Ida serves as the Senior Vice President for Membership, Communications and Technology for the Licensing Executives Society.
Anuraag Singh received his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from North Carolina State University in 1997. Soon after graduation, he joined W.L. Gore & Associates as an R&D Engineer. Over the last twenty years, Anuraag has been actively involved in early stage product development for diverse industries including Consumer Apparel, Aerospace, Semiconductor, Oil & Gas, Industrial Sealants and Medical Devices. He has had extensive experience with addressing customer needs through innovative product concepts. Most recently, he is a co-founder of start-up that is part of a Corporate Innovation Incubator.
Marc van den Berg is a Partner at DBL Partners. Marc is a member of the firm’s investment committee and an active investor and director. Prior to DBL Partners, Marc was a General Partner at Technology Partners, since joining the firm in 2012. Marc’s venture investing career began early last decade where he spent 6 years as a Managing Director at VantagePoint Capital also focused in energy and advanced technology investments. DBL Partners was formed in 2015 from the combination of DBL Investors and the Cleantech practice of Technology Partners. Prior to his venture capital career Marc spent 25 years in both venture backed startups and multi-national public companies here in Silicon Valley. Marc has held numerous director positions at semiconductor and clean energy and clean water companies and enjoys assisting entrepreneurs in their quests to grow exciting new ventures. Marc is a graduate of Santa Clara University with a degree in Electrical Engineering with an emphasis on high energy physics. Marc is active at Santa Clara; serving on the board of the Business Schools accredited Center of innovation and Entrepreneurship. Marc was also recently selected to be the Chairman of the Executive Director Board of Santa Clara’s Engineering school and serves as an advisor to University of California at Davis’ center for innovation.
John Waller is a partner at Okapi Venture Capital. Prior to joining Okapi, he co-founded such companies as Resume.com (acquired by Adecco S.A.) and 24/7 Real Media (NASDAQ: TFSM), and was CEO for X1 Technologies, Managing Director of New Ventures Group for Idealab, and Strategic Development and M&A for Mattel. He is also the founder and Managing Director of Green Thumb Ventures. John received his undergraduate degree from the University of Southern California and his MBA from the Anderson School at UCLA. He lives with his wife and 2 children in Pasadena, CA.