Speaker & Investor Bios

(Listed in alphabetical order by last name)
A -E   F - K   L - P   Q -T    U -Z

Jim Aralis



Jim Aralis has served as chief technology officer and vice president of R&D for Microsemi since January 2007. He has more than 30 years experience in developing custom analog device and process technologies, analog and mixed-signal ICs and systems, and CAD systems.

Jim played a key role in transitioning Microsemi to a virtually fabless model, supporting multiple process technologies including, high voltage and high power BCD/CMOS, high power high integration CMOS, GaAs, SiGe, IPD, RF CMOS SoI, GaN, SiC, and several high-density packaging technologies.

From 2000 to 2007, Jim established and served as senior design director of Maxim Integrated Product’s engineering center in Irvine, Calif. Before that, he spent 7 years with Texas Instruments/ Silicon Systems as mixed-signal design head and senior principal engineer. Additional experience includes 11 years with Hughes Aircraft Company in positions of increasing responsibility including senior scientist.

Jim earned a bachelor of science degree in Math Applied Science and Physics and a master of science in electrical engineering from UCLA. He holds 9 patents for circuit and system design.

Simon Arkell

Co-Founder & CEO



Simon is an experienced technology entrepreneur and executive with extensive global experience. Before co-founding Predixion, Simon was an operating partner with Triton Pacific Capital Partners, a Los Angeles-based private equity firm working with Triton’s software portfolio companies. Prior to Triton Pacific he served as President of a 600-employee, 10-country software consulting firm based in the UK which developed Oracle solutions. Earlier Simon was a Principal with Gramercy Venture Advisors, an international boutique investment banking firm where he assisted technology companies with fundraising, M&A, and US market-entry strategies.

In 1998 Simon co-founded Versifi Technologies, Inc. in Newport Beach, California, a venture backed enterprise content management software company which sold to Reef SA (Belgium) in 2000. While at Versifi, Simon led the acquisition of AdaptiveInfo, a predictive analytics software vendor in Southern California which developed predictive mobile content delivery solutions for publishers.

Simon holds an MBA from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of New Mexico, and he was a two-time Olympian for Australia in the pole vault. Simon is also program chairman for Megan’s Wings – a charity that provides assistance to families with children fighting cancer.

David Asarnow
Senior Advisor / Partner
TCW & Craton Equity Partners

David Asarnow is a senior advisor at TCW/Craton and a partner at Craton Equity Partners.  Craton is a private equity firm that specializes in socially responsible investing. Prior to Craton, David co­-founded and served as Executive Vice President of Corporate Development for the fast ­growing media companies Control Room and Live Earth. David helped Control Room grow into a leading digital media company with customers such as Microsoft, AOL, Qualcomm and Nokia. David has worked closely with organizations such as Al Gore's Alliance For Climate Protection and Global Water Challenge to help shape Live Earth's overall business, messaging and policy strategies. David is an active angel investor in the cleantech, media and high tech sectors. David is a graduate of the UCLA Anderson School of Management.    

Marc Averitt

Co-Founder & Managing Director

Okapi Venture Capital

Marc is a Co-Founder and Managing Director of Okapi Venture Capital and is responsible for Okapi Ventures’ technology investments.


He has held leadership positions of increasing responsibility in business development, legal, operations, corporate development, and strategy in the technology industry since the mid-90s. Prior to founding Okapi, Marc was with Intel Corporation first as an attorney for the Microprocessor Products Group and then as the Managing Director, Strategic Business Development for the Software & Solutions Group worldwide. Prior to Intel, Marc worked for Sun Microsystems in business development and legal roles. Marc received his bachelors from the University of Southern California, where he studied philosophy and business, and went on to earn his Juris Doctor from Pepperdine University School of Law. He also attended Stanford University Graduate School of Business executive education program. Marc’s past and present board affiliations include DATAllegro (acquired by Microsoft), TrueEcho, Jabez, SecondVoice, Emulex [NYSE: ELX], WellTok, SignNow, (acquired by Barracuda Networks), RF Nano Corporation, Second Voice, My Damn Channel, Transaction Wireless, TempoAl, Qualaroo and Pegasus Solar.


He is also on the Advisory Board of The Don Beall Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship at U.C. Irvine. Marc maintains a personal blog at OC VC   and can be found on Twitter as "@ocvc."  Marc lives with his wife and two kids in Orange County, CA and is active with his kids’ school and in the local community.  When not busy with board work, he can often be found on boards of other varieties (snow, SUP, and surf).

Mark Bachman

Chief IoT Evangelist, Calit2-Irvine

UC Irvine

Professor Bachman is Director of the eHealth Collaboratory at Calit2-Irvine, a multidisciplinary center devoted to exploring the use of technology for empowering human health and well-being. In addition, Professor Bachman is Founding Director of UCI’s Bio-Organic Nanofabrication Facility, Founding Associate Director of UCI’s Integrated Nanosystems Research Facility, Program Director of UCI’s NSF IGERT LifeChips program. Professor Bachman teaches courses in MEMS, BioMEMS, optoelectronics, and engineering design. He is the author of over 10 patents and more than 60 peer reviewed journal and conference publications. Professor Bachman received his Ph.D. in experimental particle physics from the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to joining the engineering faculty, he spent ten years as a research physicist developing particle detectors and large scale analysis and simulation software systems for international physics collaborations.

Professor Bachman is the Principal Investigator of the MIDAS laboratory (Microelectronic Integrated Devices And Systems) at UC Irvine. His team focuses on the development of miniaturized integrated sensor systems for use in human systems, industrial systems, and consumer electronics. His team has pioneered technologies for at-home health care, miniaturized bionic and assistive devices, and products for telecommunications. Professor Bachman’s team works on research projects for government, foundations, and industry.

Brian Bedrosian
Sr. Director of Embedded Wireless, Broadband & Connectivity Group

Brian Bedrosian is Sr. Director of Embedded Wireless in the Broadband & Connectivity Group at Broadcom, where he is responsible for the company's emerging Internet of Things business for embedded Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Smart in audio, health care, wearables, smart-home, consumer appliances and industrial systems. He has 20 years of experience in digital communications and wireless technologies including mobile satellite, microwave radio, DSL, and 802.11x. He has held positions at LevelOne Communications, Applied Signal Technology and Globespan-Virata and holds an Electrical Engineering degree from UC Davis.

Michael Brough

Michael Brough is the CEO and Co-Founder of M2AppInsightt, LLC which develops carrier grade mobile apps and global channels of distribution for mobile software. Michael is a mobile industry veteran with extensive business planning experience. As Sr. Director of Carrier and OEM sales at SMSI (NASDAQ) from 2006-2011 he achieved over $100M in personal software license sales and the best company sales performance for 2011. Michael was also Founder and CEO of NetGUI from 2000-2006.

M2AppInsightt is a mobile software development and distribution firm based in California. We produce compelling and differentiating Android, iOS, Big Data, Cloud, and Analytics software products for consumers, wireless carriers, device OEMs, app developers, market research, and more.  M2AppInsight is the developer behind M2AppInsight – a crowdsourced mobile analytics platform that delivers all new performance monitoring and usage insights to help developers build better experiences for their users. M2AppInsight has collected over 2.5 trillion data points on over 3.5 million Android app versions, 20,000 unique device types, 800 carrier networks, and 1.2 million cell towers to help the entire Android community.

Bill Carpou
President and CEO

Bill has held many key positions at technology companies such as Xerox and IKON, and created distribution channels and customer solutions for products manufactured by Canon, Ricoh, and H-P. Both companies also provided an opportunity for Bill to lead distressed operations back to profitability and interact with investors, including several Wall Street investment banks. Additionally, he led several acquisitions and the creation of strategic partnerships. Bill was with Merrill Lynch earlier in his career, and more recently, held an executive position within The Blackstone Group, one of the leading global private equity firms. In that role Bill led the successful growth and transformation of a key portfolio company. He has broad sales and marketing experience and during 2014, worked with several startups to provide advisory services focused to revenue growth, and increasing both profitability and overall enterprise value.

Jeff Chemeres


Pulse Infoframe

Jeff Chemeres’ passion and experience revolves around entrepreneurial ventures from both the management and investment perspective.  He has been fortunate enough to work with and for people who share this passion and have the capability to take ideas from concept to action to results.  After selling a Customer Experience Measurement Company he founded, Jeff recently completed his MBA from Cornell University.  His latest venture includes joining the team of PULSE Infoframe, Inc.. Founded by a dynamic group of individuals, PULSE is on its way to becoming one of the leading suppliers of specialty clinic management and research tools Pharmaceutical companies and Clinicians.

Colton Dillion

Chief Innovation Officer



Chief Innovation Officer, Acorns. One of the first employees at Acorns, Colton has been instrumental in the design and development of the Acorns platform. Prior to building Acorns, Colton was a Chicago-based derivatives trader and an innovation consultant designing products, systems, and services for a diverse selection of clients including Intel, Procter & Gamble, General Motors, Wrigley, Nike, and more. After moving back to California, he worked extensively in crowdfunding, tech incubation, and digital advertising with the purpose of increasing entrepreneurial success rates.  Colton holds an MS degree in Engineering Design and Innovation in addition to a BS degree in Theatre from Northwestern University.

Hayes Drumwright

Founder & Executive Chairman, Trace3

Co-Founder & CEO, POP, Inc.

Hayes Drumwright is Co-Founder and CEO of POPin, a SaaS mobile and web solution that​ empowers organizations to make your team’s best ideas actionable by flattening and engaging the team for CrowdSourcing opportunities and CrowdSolving specific initiatives within the enterprise. Hayes  has been a serially successful entrepreneur for over 20 years.  His innate ability to grow companies organically was proven at Trace3 where he took the company from idea to revenues in excess of $400M. In 2010, Hayes was named the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in Orange County and the Desert Regions, California.

Feyzi Fatehi
Corent Technology, Inc.

Feyzi is a Silicon Valley veteran with over 25 years of leadership experience building high performance teams at HP and multiple software companies. He is the CEO of Corent Technologies as well as a board member at Software & Information Industry Association, and the chairman of the Technology Council of Southern California.

Reetika Grewal

Head of Payments Strategy and Solutions

Silicon Valley Bank


Reetika Grewal is the Head of Payments Strategy and Solutions at Silicon Valley Bank, the premier financial partner to technology, life science, cleantech, venture capital, private equity and premium wine businesses. Reetika joined the company in 2012 to lead the Payments Strategy team. This team focuses on internal payments strategy and development as well as working collaboratively with SVB clients and partners to help deliver their solutions to market. She leads SVB’s partnership with MasterCard to run Commerce.Innovated., a start up accelerator. The program is focused on helping early-stage companies innovating across the commerce space.

Prior to SVB, Reetika was at JPMorgan Chase where she worked in the Payments Strategy Group and led strategy and partnerships at Clairmail (later acquired by Monitise). She has also held similar positions at Wells Fargo and Sapient.

Reetika earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and her MBA from Washington University.

Kolhane Grooters

Co-Founder & CEO

Smudge Laboratories

Kolhane’s passion is to change the way companies develop and use applications, as well as, understand the power of interactive communication. Smudge Laboratories has developed technology that facilitates a modular approach that is cost-effective, scalable and will integrate with other business systems. This approach is critical in the fast-paced, ever-changing business environment companies struggle with today. Smudge Laboratories has created innovative interactive marketing solutions for clients ranging from start-ups like Tenex and Pharmacylics to Fortune 500 companies like CareFusion, Carl Zeiss and HondaJet.

Kolhane has over 16 years of experience leading the development of experiential and interactive programs, specifically for sales, marketing and training.  His expertise includes strategy, user experience, and business development.

Kolhane holds a BA in International Relations from the University of Minnesota.  In his free time, he enjoys surfing, mountain biking and living in Huntington Beach, California with his wife and two children.

John Harbison


Tech Coast Angels

John Harbison is President of Tech Coast Angels (Orange County) - the largest Angel group in the US, where he has led 9 deals and invested in over 30 startups.  Previously he co-founded of Next Autoworks - a disruptive new American car company back by investors such as Kleiner Perkins and Google Ventures.  Before that he served as CEO of network security software SilentRunner Inc., and as President of Raytheon Commercial Ventures Inc. where he launched four businesses in two years leading to two exits and a third company which achieved $700 million in annual revenue within eight years. At the beginning of his career, he was a partner at Booz•Allen Hamilton where he led the firm’s Aerospace/Defense Practice, its Strategic Alliances functional practice, and its Los Angeles office. He has an AB cum laude from Harvard College, an MS in accounting from NYU Stern and a MBA from Harvard Business School with first year honors.

George Holmes
Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing

Mr. Holmes joined the Company as an executive sales and marketing consultant in October 2013 and was appointed Vice President of Sales and Marketing in December of 2013. Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Holmes served as Vice President of Sales at SolarBridge Technologies from February 2011 until June 2013 where he was responsible for all sales, business development, applications and sales operations activities for the company. Mr. Holmes served as Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing from January 2008 until December 2010 for PureEnergy Solutions, a developer and manufacturer of wireless power products. Since 2007, Mr. Holmes has been a partner at aAgave Solutions, LLC, a provider of sales and marketing consulting services. He has served in strategic executive management and sales roles for companies including PowerCast, X1 Technologies, Agere Systems (formerly Lucent MicroElectronics), Ortel Corp. (acquired by Lucent), Level One Communications and Symmetricom. Mr. Holmes holds a B.A. in business from the University of Puget Sound, a diploma in international business from Nyenrode University and has completed the AEA Executive Institute, Management of Technology Companies program at Stanford University.

Scott Jarus


EV Connect

Scott Jarus is a serial entrepreneur, transformational leader and the former chief executive of several successful private and public companies.  Over the past fourteen years, he has overseen the rapid growth and financial success of three companies, two public and one private, resulting in very significant increases in shareholder value.


In early-2014, Mr. Jarus became an investor in and joined the Board of EV Connect, a provider of electric vehicle charging station solutions, including the industry’s most innovative and robust management platform for these stations and the drivers that use them.  In June 2014, Scott assumed the position as CEO for EV Connect to oversee and accelerate its growth and operational success.

Mr. Jarus serves on the Boards of Directors of Oversee.net, EV Connect, and Food Forward (a non-profit organization).  He previously served on the Boards of Ironclad Performance Wear, Cognition Technologies, Global Conference Partners (FreeConference.com), NetworkOSS and Forval International (Japan).  Mr. Jarus is a member of the Tech Coast Angels (TCA), the largest angel investor organization in the country; and the LA Chapter of Social Venture Partners (SVP).  He has been a coach, mentor and judge for the TCA Fast Pitch and the SVP Innovation Fast Pitch competitions for more than five years.  He is also a frequent guest lecturer at several university business schools. In 2012, Mr. Jarus was named a Senior Fellow with the Graziadio School of Business & Management at Pepperdine University.


In 2005, Mr. Jarus was named National Entrepreneur of the Year for Media/Entertainment/Communications by Ernst & Young (and Los Angeles Entrepreneur of the Year for Technology in 2004). 


Mr. Jarus holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Kansas.  He is married with two children and lives in Manhattan Beach, CA.  In his “free time”, he is an AYSO National (Soccer) Referee, Level 7 USSF Referee and a National Referee Assessor.

Vikram Kanoida

EVP of Strategy & Business Development


Vikram is EVP of Strategy & Business Development at Wipit, Inc. Prior to Wipit, Vikram was a member of the corporate strategy team at EMC where he worked with senior executives to help drive key strategic initiatives. Vikram was also the Director of Strategy & Consulting at Roll Global, where he led a team to drive operational and strategic improvements at portfolio companies and potential acquisition and business development opportunities. Earlier in his career, Vikram was a member of McKinsey & Company's Technology, Media & Telecom practice where he advised Fortune 500 clients on a broad range of strategic and operational issues. Vikram has a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Rice University and a bachelor's in Electrical Engineering from IIT Kharagpur, India.

Milan Kapadia
Patent Portfolio Manager

Milan Kapadia has over 10 years of experience in intellectual property law including being a former Patent Examiner at the United States Patent & Trademark Office. Mr. Kapadia worked for major intellectual property law firms in Washington, D.C. and Orange County, prosecuting and managing patent portfolios of Fortune 300 companies to small startup companies. Furthermore, Mr. Kapadia spent one year living in India on a Fulbright fellowship researching changes to India’s software patent law. Currently, Mr. Kapadia is Patent Portfolio Manager for The Boeing Company, where he is head of the global patent prosecution program for Being’s software-related patents.

Andrew Kimmel
Knobbe Martens

Andrew I. Kimmel is a partner in our Orange County office. Andrew's practice focuses on developing IP strategies, obtaining patent rights, analyzing risk, negotiating licenses and conducting due diligence investigations. Andrew works with a wide variety of clients, both large and small, in the electrical engineering, software, and medical device fields.

Andrew's electrical engineering and software practice focuses on video coding, automatic speech recognition, data aggregation and mining, and network-based transactions. Andrew’s medical device practice focuses on medical electronics, and technologies involving signal processing, RF therapeutics, cardiac rhythm management, wireless data transfer, optical and laser systems, processor control, physiological sensing, medical software, and product design. Prior to joining Knobbe Martens, Andrew was the Vice President of Engineering and Regulatory Affairs with a medical device manufacturer that developed solid state laser systems for dentistry and medicine. Andrew was responsible for product design, development and engineering, as well as FDA clearances and CE marking. Andrew is an inventor on more than 50 U.S. and foreign patents and applications in the medical and dental laser field. Andrew received a B.S. in electrical engineering from Cornell University in 1991 and graduated with honors from the University of San Diego School of Law in 2002. He joined Knobbe Martens in 2002 and became a partner in 2008.

Kim Kovacs
Managing Director
Arroyo Ventures

Kimberly Kovacs was the founder and CEO of OptionEase, a leading network connector for complex equity compliance applications delivered on-demand via software-as-a-service (SaaS) which was purchased by Solium Capital (SUM.TXU) in November 2012. Prior to the acquisition in 2012, and for the second year in a row, OptionEase was honored by INC Magazine as one of the fastest growing companies in the United States. Orange County Business Journal also honored OptionEase as one of its Fastest Growing Companies in Orange County and B2B CFO named OptionEase a winner in its Smart 25 Awards, because of its strong and sustainable growth and commitment to innovation.

Ms. Kovacs has had a distinguished career in executive leadership and finance spanning over 20 years with dozens of successful startup ventures.  In addition to raising over $100M in equity capital for these entities, she secured over $50M in funding from HUD to preserve low income housing as Chairman of Alpha Project in San Diego. Another noted accomplishment was as co-founder and CFO of ORXYE Energy she, along with leaders of the EPA and major oil testified in Congress that ultimately resulted in Ms. Hillary Clinton’s involvement and final adoption of revised Clean Energy laws in the U.S that brought in new conservation and renewable fuel standards.

Ms. Kovacs is currently on the board of the All American Boys Choir and an advisor, mentor and adjunct professor for the Ralph W. Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Ethics at Chapman University. In addition, she is active in many industry organizations such as the Los Angeles Venture Association, OCTANe, FEI and FENG as well as the Women Presidents Organization (WPO) and the Association of Women in Technology (AWT) to promote female executive leadership and capital raising. Other past board seats include the National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO) and the American Coalition of Stock Plan Professionals. She received her B.S. in Finance from the California State University in San Diego with honors.

Peter Lee
Baroda Ventures

Peter Lee manages all of Baroda Ventures 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. Erik Linstead
Chapman University

Dr. Erik Linstead is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Software Engineering and the Director of Undergraduate Computing Programs in the Schmid College of Science and Technology at Chapman University. He is the founder and principal investigator of the Machine Learning and Assistive Technology (MLAT) Lab (mlat.chapman.edu), where he explores applications of data mining and ubiquitous computing to the domain of developmental disorders, with an emphasis on Autism Spectrum Disorder. Current projects in MLAT include the Autism Management Platform (AMP), SmartDresser, and virtual reality for therapy delivery and efficacy analysis. Erik holds a B.S. from Chapman University, a M.S. from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. from UCI, all in computer science.

Steven Litchfield
Executive Vice President & Chief Strategy Officer

Steven Litchfield was appointed executive vice president and chief strategy officer of Microsemi Corporation in 2009. Prior to this position, he was responsible for its high performance analog mixed signal business, as well as the product lines added with Microsemi's acquisition of PowerDsine Ltd. Litchfield joined Microsemi in 2001 and has served as vice president of corporate marketing and business development, as well as executive vice president of analog mixed signal group. Litchfield came to Microsemi from Bank of America Securities, where he was a semiconductor research analyst. He also worked as an engineering manager at Toyota Motor Corporation.

Martin Manniche

Founder, Chairman and CEO

Greenwave Systems

Martin Manniche is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Greenwave Systems.  He is responsible for leading all aspects of the company, including setting the company’s vision and strategic roadmap, leading the hardware team and managing strategic partnerships.  Prior to founding Greenwave Systems, he served as Chief Technology Officer at Cisco Systems’ Consumer Business Group, where he headed the Cisco Connected Home architecture team and drove Z-Wave and ZigBee technology over TCP/IP, HomePlug, MoCA and Wi-Fi standards. Mr. Manniche was Co-Founder and COO of Denmark’s KiSS Technology, where he helped bring the world’s first DivX player to market. Other technology firsts he helped enable include the HDD recorder and the world’s first connected DVD player. Mr. Manniche’s talent, commitment and passion for technological innovation have earned him more than 100 industry accolades, including an IT-Prisen, Denmark’s most prestigious award.

Brian Mesic
Anthem Venture Partners

Brian Mesic is a Partner at Anthem Venture Partners. Since joining Anthem from McKinsey in 2000, Brian has led successful investments in pioneering companies such as Android (acquired by Google), RF Magic (acquired by Entropic), Planet A.T.E. (acquired by Intersil), Viewdle (acquired by Motorola) and Entropic Communications (NASDAQ: ENTR). He currently serves on the board of directors of Blurb, Card and StackIQ. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Biology and Economics and an MBA from Dartmouth’s Amos Tuck School of Business.

Andy Mills



Andy is CEO/co-founder of Enmotus, a startup revolutionizing cloud and enterprise storage.  Enmotus has developed and patented a unique, mass deployable software technology for accelerating digital data retrieval and storage in cloud servers, enterprise and high performance computing devices. Released in September of 2014, FuzeDrive™ for Servers is the company’s first product targeted at rich media servers, content delivery and big data storage servers. Offered as perpetual or subscription licenses, adopters utilizing the software in mixed-storage media systems have demonstrated 10-20x performance improvements at 1/10th the cost of competitive alternatives.  The company is developing follow on products in partnership with several tier 1 OEMs targeting volume compute and storage markets.

Prior to Enmotus, he was VP Marketing for DotHill Systems, VP Marketing and Development for Ciprico later acquired by DotHill, and  CEO of NetCell, a VC backed company in Silicon Valley. He graduated from Bangor University UK with a Masters and Bachelors with Honors in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, has been awarded several US patents in the field of computing and storage, and can be found blogging occasionally at www.tekinerd.com.

Walter O'Brien


Scorpion Computer Services

Walter O’Brien (aka "Scorpion") is the founder of ScorpionComputerServices.com and ConciergeUp.com, a global think tank for hire that provides intelligence on demand as a concierge service. Walter was determined to be a child prodigy with an IQ of 197 and spent seven years mitigating risk for $1.9 trillion of investments.  He invented and applied Artificial Intelligence engines to protect United States war fighters in Afghanistan. Walter is an Irish national coding champion and has competed in the Olympics in informatics. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security certified Walter as being of National Interest to the United States and granted him an EB1-1 Visa for Extraordinary Abilities.


Walter is the Executive Producer of the CBS-TV series "Scorpion" which is inspired by his life. The show airs every Monday night at 9 pm on CBS. Produced by Kurtzman & Orci (Transformers, Spiderman, Star Trek) and Directed by Justin Lin (Fast & Furious) the Scorpion TV drama begins with showing Walter hacking into NASA at 13 years old. Walter’s company, Scorpion Computer Services, has created over 150 unique technology inventions and has worked with the world's largest mutual fund company and with Fujitsu, Microsoft-Trados, Oracle Corporation, Baltimore Technologies, and Critical Path. Walter currently serves as chairman or board member for Indi.com, Strike Force Solutions, Talentorum Alliance, Lawloop, Pantheon Energy and previously has served on the boards of several companies including American Environmental Energy, Starglobe and Toin Corp.

David Perry

Administrative Partner, K&L Gates

Chairman, OCTANe

Mr. Perry is a partner in K&L Gates’ Orange County office, where he represents individuals and companies involved in a wide array of business and corporate securities transactions, with a focus on complex financial and technology commercialization arrangements. His representation includes the initial financing transactions, mergers and acquisitions, as well as ongoing business operational issues and financial transactions.  

Mr. Perry represents “emerging” or startup ventures in various areas including financing matters, technology licensing arrangements, as well as agreements providing for the protection of intellectual property. These companies are involved in diverse areas such as advanced coating technology, data protection and management, and biotechnology related activities.

In addition to his current professional activities, Mr. Perry is involved with organizations supporting the University of California, Irvine, where he is a member of its Chief Executive Roundtable as well as its School of Biological Sciences Dean's Leadership Council and its Office of Research External Advisory Board. Mr. Perry is a member of the executive committee and board of directors of OCTANe. He is a board member of the Kidney Cancer Association, the world’s first international survivor and patient led charity (with members in more than 100 countries) dedicated specifically to the eradication of death and suffering from renal cancers. He has served as a member of the National Cancer Institute’s Consumer Advocates in Research and Related Activities. Mr. Perry serves on the board of the Festival of Arts of Laguna Beach which each summer presents one of the nation’s oldest and most highly acclaimed juried fine art shows as well as the Pageant of the Masters. In 2013, Mr. Perry joined the board of directors of the Pacific Art Foundation.

Paul Pickle

President and COO


Paul Pickle was appointed president and chief operating officer (COO) of Microsemi Corporation in November 2013 and is responsible for overseeing all company operations, marketing and sales, as well as its research and development efforts. He also plays a key leadership role in defining the strategic direction for the company. Prior to this position, he served as executive vice president, leading business operations of the company’s Integrated Circuits group, where he played an integral role in the planning and execution of Microsemi’s transformation to a high value-add integrated circuit supplier.


Since joining Microsemi in 1998, Pickle has held positions of increasing responsibility including corporate vice president of Field Applications Engineering, and senior positions in both sales and marketing/product development. Prior to Microsemi, Pickle’s positions included director of marketing for GMT Microelectronics Corporation, and engineering positions with All American Semiconductor. 

Owen Prell
Founder and CEO

Owen Prell began his business law practice at Morrison & Foerster LLP in San Francisco before starting his own boutique law firm, The Art Law Group, focusing on technology and arts clients. He has over twenty years experience advising publishers, filmmakers, writers and technology companies on all aspects of media law, with an emphasis on copyright-based content and complex license transactions. As a produced playwright and filmmaker, his particular specialty is the intersection of the creative arts, law and commerce.  In 2014 his work as strategic outside counsel to the pioneering online publisher Byliner led him to found a software startup in the copyright license rights administration and royalty fulfillment space.  Owen got his undergraduate degree in Philosophy from UCLA and his law degree from Cornell. When he isn’t helping making the world more arts-friendly, he can often be found honing his groundstrokes on a tennis court.

Erik Rannala

Co-Founder & Managing Partner

Mucker Capital


Prior to forming Mucker Capital, Erik was most recently at Harrison Metal Capital where he helped lead one of the most successful seed-stage venture capital firms in Silicon Valley. Since 2008, Harrison Metal has invested in over 50 companies, including Aardvark (GOOG), DocVerse (GOOG), Heroku (CRM), Manymoon (CRM), MixerLab (Twitter) and ZipZapPlay (ERTS).


Before Harrison Metal, Erik was most recently vice president of product management and strategy at TripAdvisor, the largest travel community site on the Web. In that role, he led product strategy and development globally for TripAdvisor sites in the US, UK, France, Italy, Germany and Spain, as well distributed applications and syndicated content on partner sites like Facebook.


Prior to TripAdvisor, Erik spent over four years at eBay, where he held a variety of positions, including leadership of eBay’s premium features business, which grew during his tenure from $124 million in revenue in 2002 to $410 million in 2005, significantly outpacing overall eBay revenue and listings growth.


Previously, Erik held leadership roles at MVP.com, where he was the online sporting goods retailer’s first marketing employee, and at Accenture, where he advised Fortune 500 retail, communications, and consumer products clients on strategy, operations and technology engagements. He was also an early member of Accenture’s first practice group dedicated to Internet strategy and development.


Erik earlier served at the Domestic Policy Council in the White House, where he worked on issues such as equal employment opportunity and Native American affairs. Erik holds a BS from the University of Delaware and an MBA from Duke University.

Carey Ransom

Chief eXploration Officer


Carey is an experienced Internet and software entrepreneur and executive, having started, grown and led many technology companies during their startup and growth phases. Currently, he is CXO of Payoff, a consumer-focused digital financial services company. Previously, he was a VP at ReachLocal, following the firm’s acquisition of RealPractice, a marketing software and services company for legal and professional services firms, where Carey served as CEO.

Carey's career spans executive roles in business development, strategy, marketing, sales, and corporate development. Prior to RealPractice, he was VP of Business Development at Brand Affinity Technologies (BAT), a startup in the Internet advertising and celebrity endorsement business. Carey was VP, Marketing and Corporate Development at WebVisible, forging new partnerships with companies such as AT&T and Microsoft, creating new lines of business, and helping WebVisible triple its revenue during his tenure. While at MessageRite (acquired by Frontbridge Technologies), Carey was VP of Sales & Marketing, leading the online communication storage and security start-up’s business, which was eventually acquired by Microsoft in 2005.

Carey is an industry innovator and has spoken at software, search, and online media conferences such as INBOX, The BIA/Kelsey Group, OMMA, and the Search Insider Summit. Carey’s expertise is identifying new partnership and revenue opportunities, product and technology initiatives, and creating and leveraging market trends.

Carey is an MBA graduate of the UCLA Anderson School of Management. In addition, he holds a certificate of e-commerce from Loyola University Chicago and a B.A. in economics from Indiana University, where he was Phi Beta Kappa.

Akhil Saklecha


Artiman Ventures

Focuses on early-stage investments with an interest towards medical technology. As a Partner at Artiman, he has led investments in CellMax Life, DMS Networks and HomeUnion. Akhil has over 15 years of experience in medicine and healthcare management. Prior to joining Artiman in 2010, Akhil was Medical Director of a 750 bed hospital's regional transfer program. Prior to that position, he was President and CEO of Canton Aultman Emergency Physicians, a professional services firm that provides physicians, mid-level providers, and coding expertise to multiple hospitals and urgent care centers. He was also Chairman of Emergency Medicine at Aultman Hospital, a large trauma, cardiac, and stroke center seeing nearly 90,000 patients annually. In this same time period, Akhil has served at the local, state, and national levels within emergency medicine, healthcare quality, information technology, managed care, and emergency medical services.


He is an Assistant Professor in Emergency Medicine at Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine and continues to practice on a part time basis at Good Samaritan Hospital in San Jose where he remains connected to clinical medicine, patients, and physicians.


Akhil graduated from the combined B.S./M.D. program at Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine. He completed his residency in Emergency Medicine at Summa Health System. He is Board Certified in Emergency Medicine and is a Fellow of the American College of Emergency Medicine. He holds an M.B.A. from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa.

Ron Schoenbaum
Knobbe Martens

Ron Schoenbaum is a partner in our Orange County and Silicon Valley offices. He specializes in patent protection for companies in the information technology and medical device areas. Mr. Schoenbaum’s practice includes strategic patent procurement, general counseling on infringement and licensing issues, and intellectual property due diligence studies and related negotiations for mergers and acquisitions. He also frequently conducts in-house seminars to assist clients in identifying and prioritizing patentable inventions. Mr. Schoenbaum represents a variety of information technology companies in such areas as data mining algorithms, search engines, web analytics, recommendation and personalization algorithms, application performance testing and monitoring, social networks, electronic business methods, and healthcare IT. Mr. Schoenbaum also has extensive experience in the areas of cardiac pacing and defibrillation, and medical devices and procedures. A significant portion of Mr. Schoenbaum’s practice involves appeals, reissues, and other special proceedings before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Schoenbaum worked as an engineer for IBM’s Computer Products and Entry Systems divisions, where he was responsible for designing and developing processor cards and ASICs for workstations and mainframe computers. During his employment at IBM, he was selected to participate in IBM’s Executive Resource (management fast track) program. Mr. Schoenbaum joined the firm in 1993 and became a partner in 1998.

Grant Simic
Co-founder & CEO
Astute Doctor Education, Inc.

Grant Simic is co-founder and chief executive officer of Astute Doctor Education. In this role, his primary focus is on rapid company expansion, building a strong team, and communicating the company’s value proposition to clients and investors.


Simic’s 20 years in healthcare began in the medical research arena, which led to influential roles at a number of global medical education companies. It was there that he discovered his interest in leading a team to develop and deliver high quality education to physicians and other healthcare professionals. Simic has since worked on the development of hundreds of physician education programs in Europe, Australasia and North America.


Through his experiences Simic observed that most physician education does not adequately equip physicians for the patient communication aspects of disease management. This fuelled Simic’s passion for providing in–depth training on interpersonal skills as a means of improving patient relationships and delivering better quality care. Bringing together Simic’s expertise in physician education and interest in the dynamic between physicians and patients, he and his colleague Sue Larsen, founded Astute Doctor Education. Today, Astute Doctor is a rapidly growing international education provider servicing a number of top U.S. healthcare organizations.  


Astute Doctor offers a comprehensive range of integrated online and live courses, resources, webinars and live workshops on physician-patient interpersonal skills specifically designed to help healthcare systems, hospitals, group practices and medical malpractice insurers achieve their patient experience, accreditation, risk prevention and financial goals.


Simic currently resides in Orange County, California, with his wife and two children.

Mark Skaist
Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth

Mark L. Skaist is a shareholder in the Newport Beach office of Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth. He also serves as Co-Chairman of the firm’s Corporate and Securities Department and is a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. Mr. Skaist specializes in corporate and securities law. His practice focuses on public and private securities offerings, venture capital transactions, mergers and acquisitions and intellectual property (including technology licensing, development and distribution transactions), primarily in the high technology/information technology industries. He also advises clients on matters involving corporate governance and employee compensation. His clients, who range from early stage start-ups to large publicly traded companies, include those involved in network infrastructure technology, enterprise software, telecommunications, new media, clean technology/renewable energy and apparel/action sports, as well as a number of venture capital and private equity firms.

Mr. Skaist was featured in the “Ask the Attorney” column of Red Herring, Upside and American Venture magazines. He is an active member of OCTANe where he serves on the Technology Industry Leadership Council and is a member of the Association for Corporate Growth. Mr. Skaist was an associate at Irell & Manella, Los Angeles, from 1991 to 1993. He received a BA in Economics from UCLA and his JD from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, where he was awarded a Fritz Burns Scholarship for Academic Achievement, and was inducted into the Order of the Coif and the St. Thomas More Honor Society. Mr. Skaist is an AV Rated Attorney (highest peer rating). Mr. Skaist currently serves on the Board of Directors of, and as outside general counsel to, the Discovery Science Center in Santa Ana, California, as well as on the Board of Directors of Project Access.

Eric Solis

Eric has over 15-years of senior level management experience in digital finance including; payments, micro-investing, securities, money transfer systems, transfer agents and record keeping. Eric is an effective financial engineer and manager of business resources with proven ability to monitor and forecast economic conditions and enhance organizational performance and productivity. He has extensive experience in all phases of executive management including business and corporate development, financial management, strategic planning, M&A, capital structure, treasury management, agile project management, operations, executive coaching and mentoring as well as expert public speaking skills with local and national media experience. Eric also has a long track record of success as an entrepreneur and innovator. He has been selected by The Center for Financial Service Innovation and Fortune Magazine as being one of the top innovators in the country and he has been featured in the New York Times, BusinessWeek and many other national publications for his contribution in the advancement of digital finance.

Richard Sudek

Executive Director
UC Irvine Institute for Innovation

An entrepreneur at a young age, Richard Sudek’s childhood business efforts were non-stop. After receiving his B.S. in Computer Science from University of California at Irvine, Sudek founded his first company with $250 dollars. Nadek, a data networking design, implementation and support firm, grew from a small startup to a successful organization, serving clients like Microsoft, Boeing, ARCO, Universal Studios and SCE. After considering offers from a dozen corporations, in 1999 Sudek sold the business to SAIC, a $10 billion dollar international firm. He served on advisory committees for such companies as Microsoft, IBM, Novell, Cisco, and TechData.


Dr. Sudek currently is an active angel investor, and Chairman Emeritus of Tech Coast Angels (TCA). Through TCA, Dr. Sudek has screened in excess of 1,000 startup companies.  TCA, the largest angel organization in the U.S., has invested over $150+ million in more than 200+ startup companies. In addition, these companies have received over $1.4 billion in additional financing. Dr. Sudek serves as Research Committee Chair for Angel Capital Association (ACA), a national organization of angel groups throughout the U.S. representing over 8,000 angels. He currently sits on and has participated on boards of engineering and high technology companies and non-profits. His consulting activity focuses on CEO coaching, executive management development, and strategic planning for startup


Dr. Sudek completed a Ph.D. in Management at Claremont Graduate University.  He is The Executive Director of the Institute of Innovation at U.C. Irvine. His research focuses on the angel investment decision process, examining how and why angel investors choose their investments and whether these decision processes are optimal.  His academic research has been highlighted in the popular press such as the NY Times business section. He has served as an advisor to many MBA programs, served as  reviewer for the National Science Foundation, and has judged business plan competitions in the US and Europe.  Additionally, he has taught entrepreneurship at Chapman University, The Drucker School of Management in California, INSEAD in France, and Rotterdam School of Management in Holland.

Paul Symczak

VP Entrepreneurship

Paul joined the OCTANe team in July 2013.  He is a seasoned senior management executive with diverse experience in the telecom, wireless, online, high tech and broadcast media industries. He is most recently the co-founder and operator of Prism Strategic Consulting LLC and has been actively involved with the CONNECT Springboard mentoring program – a sister organization to the LaunchPadTM SBDC.

Previously, Paul held senior business development, strategic alliances and operational positions with Verizon, GTE and Qualcomm, working in subsidiaries focused on leading edge and innovative products and services, and non-profit organizations, including serving as Senior Vice-President, General Counsel and Board Secretary for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in Washington DC authorized by Congress to promote and support the growth of public broadcasting in the US.  Paul’s education includes a J.D. from the George Washington University Law School and a BA in Economics from the University of Pittsburgh.

Rouz Tabaddor
VP and Chief Intellectual Property Counsel

Mr. Tabaddor has over 15 years experience in intellectual property law. Including being a former Patent Examiner at the United States Patent & Trademark Office. Rouz worked for major intellectual property law firms in Washington D.C. prosecuting and managing patent portfolios of Fortune 300 companies to small start up companies. He also actively participated in patent and trademark litigation in various federal courts throughout the U.S. Furthermore, Rouz spent 1 year living in Taiwan assisting taiwanese electronic companies with protection of their intellectual property rights. He spent time conducting lectures throughout Taiwan and other southeastern asian countries. Currently, Mr. Tabaddor is the Intellectual Property Counsel for a spin-off of a Fortune 300 company, where is head of the Intellectual Property Program and is responsible for monitoring all patent, trademark, copyright and other intellectual property rights in the U.S and throughout the world.

Paul Taylor

Paul Taylor is the CEO and Co-Founder of SocialQpon Inc, a patented marketing solution for Businesses that helps them create a large and effective Virtual Sales Force.  The technology leverages social media to target, recruit, and grow a Businesses’s natural Brand Ambassadors/Champions.


Paul is a serial entrepreneur with 15 years of Start-up and Business experience in Technology and IP Development.  Paul was one of the original hires for YottaYotta Inc., a $100M technology Start-up that developed parallel supercomputing applied storage over SAN. Paul has a BS in mathematics from the University of Alberta and is listed as Inventor in several Patents.

Costin Tuculescu



Costin is the Founder and CEO of AnyMeeting, a leading provider of online meeting, web conferencing and webinar software for small business.  Backed by Southern and Northern California’s leading angel investor groups, AnyMeeting launched in early 2011 and has experienced phenomenal growth.  By offering small businesses everything they need to successfully run online meetings and webinars, through a freemium business model and low-cost premium services, AnyMeeting is poised to disrupt this $5B market.  A software engineer at heart and by training, Costin contributes heavily to the technical architecture and implementation of AnyMeeting’s systems.  Prior to AnyMeeting, Costin developed online meeting software that enabled early adoption of webcasting, webinars and online meetings, pioneering and contributing to the growth of this technology on the Internet.

AnyMeeting is designed and priced for small business. We pioneered the small business web conferencing and webinar market in 2011 with a free, full-featured web conferencing service tailored for small business. Since then, AnyMeeting has grown to more than 750,000 small business users worldwide, including users of both our free service and low-cost premium service.  With a focus on simplicity, ease-of-use and affordability, AnyMeeting is well positioned to take a significant share of the $5B conferencing market.

Grant Van Cleve

Managing Director & Partner, VC Invest; Investor
Tech Coast Angels

Grant is a global entrepreneur, angel investor, and business accelerator.  He is involved in 23 start-ups, about half of which he is also active as a director or officer.  Though primarily focused on Southern California, Grant also does real estate development in Eastern Europe and clean-tech projects in Africa and the Pacific Islands.  About a third of his time is dedicated to non-profits, staying active in his church and HOA, as well as catalyzing the entrepreneurial ecosystem locally and in the developing world.  Grant was raised locally, but left to study at Penn/Wharton and then to live 19 years in Europe.  He returned with his wife and 3 kids to Southern California in 2010.  Grant is the incoming President of Tech Coast Angels, Orange County.

Nalini Venkatasubramanian

Professor of Computer Science

UC Irvine

Nalini Venkatasubramanian is a Professor of Computer science at the University of California, Irvine.  She is known for her work in effective management and utilization of resources in the evolving global information infrastructure. Her research interests are Networked and Distributed Systems, Internet technologies and Applications, Ubiquitous Computing and Urban Crisis Responses. Born and raised in Bangalore, she received her Ph.D in Computer science from University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 1998. From 1991 to 1998, she was a member of technical staff and software designer engineer for Hewlett-Packard.  In 1998, she joined the University of California, Irvine as an Assistant Professor of Computer science.

Hal Wells
Senior Sales Representative, West Sales Territory
Consumer Technology Division

Hal has over 20 years of experience within the Compliance & Testing Industry working with manufacturers in the Electronic and Medical Device Industries.  Providing testing service offerings for Wireless/Bluetooth, Product Safety, EMC, Performance and other Third Party Services including; International Market Approvals and Environmental Requirements covering Restrictive Substances and Sustainability.

Erick Wolf
Founder & Chairman
Airwolf 3D

Mr. Wolf is Founder and Chairman of Airwolf3D, a designer, manufacturer, and distributor of desktop 3D printers, supplies and software to the 3D printing and additive manufacturing markets. Known for innovation, quality, and durability, Airwolf3D provides their products and services to corporations, educational systems and professionals. Airwolf3D's proprietary technology has resulted in the ability to print in a wide range of plastics, at high printing rates, and in large print volumes. Airwolf3D's products are made in the US using their own printers in an additive manufacturing process.

Southern California-based Airwolf 3D is premised on the philosophy of providing the public with something it has never seen before-an a​​ffordable, durable, easy to use 3D printer whereby users can create objects thought impossible until now.  We have designed 3D printers that are not only accurate, but also capable of incredibly fast print speeds.  Airwolf 3D printers are ideally suited for professionals and students alike, allowing one to explore their inner creativity to an extent not previously thought possible.  ​This technology will enable you to realize your dreams in the form of three-dimensional, tangible models for all the world to see.

Airwolf3D is a designer, manufacturer, and distributor of desktop 3D printers, supplies and software to the 3D printing and additive manufacturing markets. Known for innovation, quality, and durability, Airwolf3D provides their products and services to corporations, educational systems and professionals. Airwolf3D's proprietary technology has resulted in the ability to print in a wide range of plastics, at high printing rates, and in large print volumes. Airwolf3D's products are made in the US using their own printers in an additive manufacturing process.