PitchForce Panelists

Monday, December 17th, 2018

Max Shapiro

I founded PeopleConnect in 2000 to help early-stage high-tech companies find the talent they need to succeed. Our clients are in technology, biotech, cleantech, apps, services, medical devices, and consumer products. Our team of outstanding recruiters finds C-level executives, talented managers and experienced leaders who will bring our client companies to the next level. We provide traditional contingency searches as well as our one-of-a-kind Employees Without Paychecks program, which I created after the dotcom bust to help promising companies find top-level talent willing to work for equity only until the company gets their funding.






Ravi Kondagunta

Ravindra Kondagunta is founder of Traction Labs, an Innovation Consulting Services Company providing end-to-end Innovation, Research, Development and Management Services. He is also lead investor and CEO of Deezmaker, an innovative 3D Printing Workshop and Makerspace based in Pasadena.Ravindra is an expert in transforming early-stage technologies into production-ready products that meet consumer needs in the Automotive industry.
A career spanning over 25 years across multiple divisions in the automotive industry, Ravindra has had progressive roles in Innovation, Portfolio Strategy, Long-term Cross-Carline Roadmap Planning, Connected Car Telematics Management, Predictive Analytics, Vehicle Line Management, Systems Integration, Manufacturing, System Design & Release Engineering for domestic and export programs. He is focused on helping Fortune 500 companies find and absorb Start-ups with new technologies into their portfolios.

Scott Griffiths

Mr. Griffiths has managed and directed marketing and branding assignments for many Fortune 500 companies, as well as entrepreneurial and investment-backed companies. Examples include: House of Blues, Nokia, Vertu, Paul Mitchell, Church & Dwight, The Anderson School at UCLA, Avery Dennison, Bausch and Lomb, and Crystal Cruises. In 2001, Mr. Griffiths, created a new concept, 18/8 Fine Men’s Salons, a chain of upscale men’s hair and grooming centres positioned as “The Re-invention of the Barbershop.” Scott serves as the President & CEO and is currently expanding 18/8 Fine Men’s Salons nationally through the combination of Company owned stores and franchised stores. As of March 2015, 18/8 Fine Men’s Salons has close to 350 stores operating and in development and was in the top five fastest growing franchise concepts/models in the world (recently selected as top five fastest growing companies in Orange County, CA).

Michael Krebs

A unique perspective that combines Vice President level OEM experience with over 20 years experience moderating and reporting on focus groups as well as various other forms of qualitative research to include ethnographic studies. Extensive experience working with designers and engineers developing actionable consumer research to support the complex issues and tradeoffs faced in product development.



Asher Leids

When I worked, I specialized in practicing venture capital, securities, mergers & acquisitions and general corporate law. My clients ranged from start-ups, such as (a company that was founded by, among others, Travis Kalanick-who went on to be the founder and CEO of Uber) and Ceiva, to Fortune 100 companies, such as IBM. I also worked on the initial public offering for (one of the first internet IPO’s) that was subsequently acquired by Compaq Computer Corp. within one year of it’s IPO for approximately $1 Billion.