2013 Startup Showcase Judges
Thank you to our 2013 Startup Showcase Presented by Dell Emcee and Judges. These renowned investment professionals, all experts in their respective fields, evaluated the Startup Showcase Finalists in front of a live audience, ultimately choosing the winners.
Meet the Emcee: Rachel Barge
Director of Marketing
Rachel is a nationally recognized energy expert and entrepreneur, being named a Forbes “30 Under 30 in Energy” this year. She founded her first social enterprise at 22, then directed the Business Council on Climate Change, serve as Executive Director of CleantechU and most recently served as partner and head of communications at Greenstart.
Liz is a GameChanger in Shell’s open innovation group, seeking and sponsoring early concept energy projects with high potential. Recent positions include CO2 Manager leading early efforts to mitigate CO2 emissions; Program Manager revitalizing New Orleans post-Katrina; and Global IT Manager initiating standards globally.
Dawn founded the Energy Excelerator, a startup program dedicated to solving the world's energy problems — starting in Hawaii. She has raised over $35M for the non-profit Energy Excelerator in order to help innovative energy companies succeed in Hawaii and the Asia Pacific region with non-dilutive funding, strategic relationships, and a vibrant ecosystem.
Professor of Innovation
Bob Metcalfe is UT Austin Professor of Innovation. He was an Internet pioneer at MIT and Harvard starting in 1970, inventing Ethernet at Xerox in 1973. In 1979, he founded 3Com, the billion-dollar networking company merged with HP in 2010. In the 2000s, Bob invested in enertech at Polaris Venture Partners.
Ryan is driven by technology that enables people to do things better and faster. At Khosla Ventures he has worked on projects including enabling vehicle electrification and renewable energy on the grid. Previously, he was one of the first team members at Amprius, he was a research engineer at BMW Group and he conducted research at NREL. Ryan holds an MBA from Stanford, a BS in mechanical engineering from Santa Clara University and several patents related to thermal management and smart materials.
Chief Hacktivist and Cofounder
The Cleanweb Initiative
Blake is Chief Hacktivist for the global Cleanweb movement and hackathon series, which he and Sunil Paul launched in 2011 and has since mushroomed into communities and events in a dozen cities throughout North America and Europe. Since 2005, Blake has organized grassroots technology events like Barcamp, he was a founding organizer of iPhoneDevCamp, has produced several Facebook Developer Garages and is the first recipient of Facebook’s fbFund in 2008.
Nicholas Moore Eisenberger
Pure Energy Partners
Nicholas is a pioneer of the clean economy. As a successful entrepreneur, investor and strategist, he has worked for two decades to advance the clean technology industry. He is the managing partner of Pure Energy Partners, a venture catalyst firm that invests in high-impact cleantech companies and actively works to accelerate their commercial success. Nicholas is also a co-founder of GO Ventures and director of the American Council on Renewable Energy and a co-founder of The Cleanweb Initiative.
Co-founder & Managing Director
Kirk is an entrepreneur and start-up advocate who has founded three successful companies. Before relocating back to Houston to lead SURGE, he created and was CEO of Chief Outsiders (acq. 2010), and he launched The PGA TOUR Network on SiriusXM (acq. by SIRI) and founded Pure Golf, a leading new media provider of sports and outdoor programming. Kirk received his MBA and BBA in finance and accounting from the University of Texas at Austin.
Vice President, Distributed Energy Services
Debbie joined Austin Energy in January 2013 as Vice President of Distributed Energy Services. DES is responsible for the utility’s energy efficiency and demand response programs, green building and advanced transportation, market analytics and key accounts management. She has over 30 years experience in the utility industry.
Daniel Katz is the Board Chair and former executive director (1986-2000) of the Rainforest Alliance. He is the Environment Program Director at The Overbrook Foundation, where he directs the Foundation’s environmental giving in the areas of international biodiversity conversation and sustainable consumption and production. Within the Foundation, he is working on the development a new initiative — the Council for 16000 — designed to increase communication and sense of community within the environmental movement.
Sarah (Wood) Kearney
Sarah serves as Executive Director of PRIME, a coalition of philanthropists joining forces to support energy innovation. Previously, Sarah served as Executive Director and Trustee of the Chesonis Family Foundation. She currently sits on the boards of Refuel, a network of women in cleantech, and Community Water Solutions, which brings civil services to Africa. She holds a B.S. in Commerce from the University of Virginia and an M.S. from MIT’s Engineering Systems Division.
Global Program Director
Whole Planet Foundation
As the Global Program Director for Whole Foods Market's foundation, Whole Planet Foundation, Steve is responsible for overseeing a portfolio of microfinance projects spanning 55 countries. Before joining the Foundation, he served in the Peace Corps working alongside rural Guatemalan farmers in an effort to improve their livelihoods.
Director, Strategic Giving and Community Engagement,
Deb is responsible for Dell's global charitable initiatives. This includes corporate giving programs in the areas of learning, social entrepreneurship, support for pediatric cancer treatment and disaster relief. In addition, Deb oversees Dell’s employee volunteering and giving efforts. During the five years Deb has led Dell Giving, the company’s charitable contributions have nearly doubled, and funding now has a strong global reach.
Thank you to Dell, the presenting sponsor of the 2013 Startup Showcase.
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