Kevin D. DeBré helps entrepreneurs build successful businesses. He leads the intellectual property and technology transactions practice at Stubbs Alderton and 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.
Paul Fischer leads Corporate Development at W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc. In this role he focuses on external growth opportunities through acquisitions and collaborative partnership. Prior to this commitment he led Gore’s Core Technology division responsible for research and development in polymerization and processing of fluoroploymers as well as manufacturing of fluoropolymer intermediates within the company. In addition to his corporate development role, he serves on the Board of Directors of Shanghai Gore 3f, a fluoropolymer research and polymer manufacturing joint venture facility in China. Paul is also member of Gore’s intellectual property committee, innovation center of excellence, and a fiduciary on Gore’s associate stock ownership plan. He has worked for Gore for 31 years in two separate stints and has worked at ICI, 3M, and led a venture backed startup in the display industry. He has a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Rochester.
Stephen F. (Steve) Hahn is a Research Fellow with The Dow Chemical Company. Steve joined Dow in 1982 and worked in R&D and new business development functions prior to assuming his current Technology Scouting role in 2007. He leads Dow’s effort to identify emerging, strategically aligned collaboration opportunities, focusing on the North America’s West Coast. Steve has a B.S. in Chemistry from Michigan Tech and an M.S. in Chemistry from Central Michigan University. He holds 43 issued U.S. Patents, and 46 publications. He was a Visiting Professor of Chemistry and IPrime Scholar at the University of Minnesota in 2002 and served on the Advisory Board to the Global Social Venturing Competition at UC-Berkeley.
Ken Hayes helps start-ups grow, get financed, increase revenue and build value. He is Venture Partner and Co-founder of Canyon Creek Capital’s Fund II, a VC fund focused on SoCal tech companies from Seed to Series A, with 30+ investments since late 2014. He is also a Director Emeritus of the Pasadena Angels, where he continues to focus on deal sourcing, mentoring entrepreneurs, and performing due diligence. Finally, Ken is a “recovering entrepreneur” who has built and sold several companies in Europe and the USA, in the ed-tech and ad-tech sectors. He earned an MBA at INSEAD, France, and a BA Economics at Pomona College.
Dr. Steven Konsek joined the National Science Foundation in September 2012 as a Program Director in the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. Prior to joining the NSF he was the Chief Technology Officer at Illumitex, a venture-backed company developing light emitting diode chips, packages and fixtures for general illumination. He previously served as Chief of Technical Staff at Glo, recognized as one of Europe’s top LED startups. Prior to Glo Steven was the Director of Device R&D at Nantero, a memory startup. Throughout his career Steven has developed innovative, game-changing technologies across a range of semiconductor applications. He has a PhD in Physics from the University of Washington and a BS in Mathematics from Purdue University. He holds numerous patents and publications in LEDs, memory, process integration and nanoscale devices. At the National Science Foundation he leads the I-Corps Teams portfolio.
Richard Kuntz, is a Managing Director of Shepherd Ventures, and has 30+ years of investment, transaction, operational, and board level experience with early-stage and high-growth technology companies. He possesses deep domain expertise in healthcare, medical technology, and life sciences. Rich’s investment experience includes funding start-up, early-stage, growth, mezzanine, and buyout opportunities. Transaction experience includes licensing, corporate partnering, and IPO and M&A liquidity events. He has also had executive, financial, and strategic planning responsibilities for multiple life science companies. As a founding board member, Rich has helped create several companies formed to commercialize technologies licensed from major research institutions. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) with an academic background that includes BS and MS degrees in engineering from MIT as well as an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
Peter Lee is a Managing Partner at Baroda Ventures overseeing all new investments and current portfolio. Previously, he was an investor at Clearstone Ventures and Prism Ventures. Prior to entering venture capital, he was the Vice President of Operations and Product Management at Goldpocket (acquired by Ericsson), a startup developing a platform for creating, distributing and managing interactive TV digital media systems. Earlier, Peter was a manager with McKinsey, where he focused on the digital media, consumer electronics, and internet industries. He also worked as a product manager at Microsoft in their wireless device group as well as at Virtual Ink (acquired by Dymo Corp), a venture-backed startup in the consumer electronics and collaborative online meeting space. Peter earned his B.S. and M.S. in engineering product development from MIT where he was elected into the Tau Beta Pi Honor Society and was awarded a full-tuition graduate fellowship. He also holds an M.B.A. with honors from Harvard Business School.
Dr. Ron Logan has been a founder and leader in multiple technology startup organizations, including JDS Uniphase, Phasebridge, Emcore and Glenair, developing and successfully commercializing a wide range of photonic devices, modules and systems for commercial, industrial, aerospace and defense applications. He is an author of more than 60 publications and conference presentations, and has 26 issued US patents and more patents-pending. His technical experience covers the areas of radio-frequency (RF) photonic technology, terahertz photomixing systems, high-speed digital fiber-optic transmission components, optical amplifiers and fiber-optic gyroscopes. He is a 2015 recipient of an IET Engineering Achievement Medal from the Institute of Engineering and Technology for his seminal contributions to development and commercialization of RF photonics technology in communications, space and defense applications.
Kevin K. Parsons is Director of Innovation and Transformation at Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. He leads efforts focused on creating value through innovation and creative thinking. This includes both strategic and grass-roots innovation efforts aimed at: 1) maintaining and growing core business through hard problem solving, technical discrimination, and disruptive innovation; 2) driving affordability, efficiency, and competitiveness; and 3) opening new business opportunities through innovative business models. Prior to his current assignment, Mr. Parsons was the business development manager for the geospatial intelligence business area of NGAS. Previously, he served in multiple positions within Nothrop Grumman and TRW, including civil systems business development, capture management, satellite project management, system-of-systems architecture analysis, and spacecraft systems engineering. He is a recipient of the Northrop Grumman Project Technologist of the Year award and the TRW Chairman’s Award for Innovation.
Julie-ann Pina guides startups in Finance, overlapping with HR, Operations, Marketing, and IT Strategy. She focuses on ‘real-tech’ commercializing science and engineering in health, robotics, and the Internet of Things. 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. Julie-ann serves as board member and Treasurer of the Pasadena Angels. She judges and coaches at many local events. She speaks at ArtCenter Industrial Design, Pasadena City College, Cal Poly Pomona, Pasadena Angels and others. She also has a long history with FIRST-FTC. Recently, Julie-ann teamed up with 3 technology startups through NSF’s I-Corps program. 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.
Keith Rosema is the Executive Director of the Innovation Lab at Vulcan Inc. The mission of the Innovation Lab and Proving Ground is to find technologies and ideas inspired by the Vulcan ecosystem and turn them into commercial products and businesses. Before coming to Vulcan in November 2014, Keith was the Director of Research at Intellectual Ventures Laboratory where he managed technology startup projects and intellectual property discovery. His projects included innovation in energy production, communications, photonics and disease diagnostic and intervention technologies. Prior to joining Intellectual Ventures, Keith helped lead Blue Origin, a private space launch company. Keith was the co-founder and CTO of the encryption company Disappearing Inc, winning the 2001 SIAA Codie award for software innovation. Before Disappearing Inc, Keith led engineering for a special Stephen Spielberg project, “Starbright World”. Keith started his career as a Caltech applied physicist and planetary radar astronomer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Deep Space Network and Arecibo Observatory. His work on near-Earth asteroid radar properties supported spacecraft missions, dynamics modeling and early warning for potential Earth impacts. He continues to maintain a foothold in the astronomical field and is a consultant on several Hubble Space Telescope projects.
Dr. Johanna Schmidtke is an Investment Director with Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures, the corporate venturing arm of Saudi Aramco. She is responsible for identifying technology investments of strategic importance in the areas of: upstream oil & gas; downstream oil & gas and value-added products; renewable energy; energy efficiency and water. Prior to her current position, Johanna worked with the Advisory practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Corporate Development & Strategy at First Solar Inc., and the consulting practice at Lux Research. She serves as a board director at ConXtech and as a board observer at Novomer. She holds a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Cambridge and a B.S. from the University of Arizona.
Michael Silton is the Managing Director of Act One Ventures, a venture capital fund focused on investments on early stage technology, life sciences, and media/tech companies where a founder, executive, or investor is a member of the UCLA community, including alumni, faculty, students, and parents. Michael is also Chair Emeritus of the UCLA Venture Capital Fund. He has been an entrepreneur himself, having founded and co-founded both private and public companies. Most recently, Michael was CEO/Founder of Rainmaker Systems, which he took public on NASDAQ. Michael previously co-founded UniDirect Systems, a pioneer in electronic software licensing and distribution, which was sold to Avent (Savoir).
Doug White is a senior director of new business development in Corporate Venturing for The Dow Chemical Company. Doug is responsible for directing the portfolio of early stage ventures derived from both internal and external opportunity sources with a focus on technology scouting and collaborative models for efficient early opportunity screening and engagement. Dow Corporate Venturing practices a variety of open innovation models within its portfolio including joint development agreements, licenses, strategic alliances/joint ventures, and equity investments. Doug’s 29-year Dow career spans several areas including product R&D, marketing and business development leadership roles covering the early stage of product inception through commercialization. He has managed and directed new business ventures for Dow in many industries including Automotive/Transportation, Textiles, Polyurethane Products, Advanced Ceramics/Materials, Medical Devices, Defence, Energy, and Water Treatment. Doug earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Michigan Technological University and an MBA from Rice University.