PitchForce Panelists

Thursday, November 15th, 2018

David  Emerson

David Emerson is a member of the Harvard Business School Angels Selection
Committee.  He has a 20+ year career working with emerging high-growth
companies in various capacities – including as senior management (general
counsel, chief financial officer), board member, advisor and investor.   He is an
active investor through Harvard and Berkeley Angels and is a principal in
Greendale Ventures.  David Emerson also practices law as a business attorney as a member of the California Bar and as a patent attorney registered with the USPTO, with an
emphasis on social media and gaming, telecommunications, mergers and
acquisitions and venture financing.  He is a respected panelist and speaker at
early-stage investing pitch events and serves as an industry expert and provides
business counseling to start-ups in the San Francisco area. David Emerson holds degrees from Berkeley, Harvard and WPI and is a trustee of the Computer History Museum in Mountain View.

Bob Novelli

Experienced operations executive: strategic planning, mergers and acquisitions, marketing, P&L, customer service, IT, product development. Industries : Healthcare, Financial Services Specialties: operations management, systems development, financial analysis, marketing, product development, contract negotiations, securities clearing operations, cash management systems, mergers and acquisitions. Board Of Directors Positions : Vice Chairman and Secretary of Care At Home, Licensed Home Health Agency. Advisory Board member of Health E Way. Former Treasurer and Board member of the American Heart Association, Western States Affiliate.

Garrett  Gilbertson

Garrett is an entrepreneur, investor, Afghan War veteran, and former USAF Captain. He has cross-functional leadership experience running business development, finance, and product teams in aerospace and defense, consumer products, cybersecurity, and fin-tech. During his Air Force career, Garrett served as a procurement contracting officer and was responsible for negotiating, awarding, or administering $2.4 billion in government contracts (primarily space systems). While serving in Afghanistan he was responsible for 439 construction contracts totaling $224M. He was recognized by Brigadier General Blake as the Outstanding Contracting Flight Chief and was awarded the Joint Service Commendation Medal.

Vince  Kohli

Industries Focus (B2C/B2B): Enterprise (SaaS/Cloud) eCommerce, Consumers – OnDemand – Marketplace, AR/VR, Mobile, IoT. FinTech, EdTech, HealthTech, BioTech, Medical Devices, ArtTech, AgroTech, Robotics. Artificial Intelligence – Big Data/Analytics – Connected Cars, Media. Blockchain, Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency.Vince has obsession with ICEX = Innovation, Creativity, Entrepreneurship, Problem Thinking and UI/UX research with 16+ years of experience in top-tier tech consulting and client focused functions @ Accenture. A strong breadth of business experience and deep understanding about the symbiosis between Corporate and Start Up environments operating models. He is passionate about design thinking, value creation innovation, startups, and future of machines.


Gunther Wobser

Gunther Wobser has been based in Palo Alto (Silicon Valley/USA) and Wuerzburg (Germany). He has been running LAUDA for more than 20 years and is the CEO and main shareholder of the group. He is also an active angel investor and recently joined the Band of Angels, Silicon Valley’s oldest seed funding organization. LAUDA employees 430 people and generates approximately USD 90 million in annual sales. LAUDA has twelve foreign subsidiaries, two of which are located in the US. Founded over 60 years ago by his grandfather, LAUDA is the global leader in innovative constant temperature equipment and systems for science, application technology, and production. Before joining his family business, he worked at Kraft Foods (today Mondelēz).

Tuesday, November 20th, 2018

Dmitry  Grishin

Co-founder and Chairman of Board at the Mail.Ru Group* company, which Dmitry took public on the London Stock Exchange in 2010Born in 1978, Dmitry Grishin is considered as one of the most successful young entrepreneurs in Russia. Graduated with distinction from the Faculty of Robotics and Complex Automation at Moscow State Technical University. Co-founder and Chairman of Board at the Mail.Ru Group* company, which Dmitry took public on the London Stock Exchange in 2010.  Head of the department of Information Technologies and Programming at St. Petersburg State University of Information Technologies, Mechanics, and Optics. Founder of the Russian Code Cup – the largest competition for programmers in Eastern Europe.

Russell  Brand

Russell Brand is active angel investor with Keiretsu Forum and MIT Angels; he has made 40 direct investments in the past 3 years and is an LP in five early stage funds. Previously, Russell had started two profitable computer security companies one of which worked with asymmetric cryptography and public key infrastructures in their earliest days long before it began being called blockchain and also assisted the federal government in adopting open source software before it had a name resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars of savings to the American taxpayer. He is currently doing research in machine learning, working to create an applied research lab for commercialization of overlooked and  forgotten engineering advances from years gone by, and advising a number of early stage companies.

Richard  Pivnicka

Richard Pivnicka is Honorary Consul General of the Czech Republic. He is an accountant and lawyer, and holds an MBA in finance. He has been active as a real estate lawyer, real estate developer and investor. A patented inventor, he serves as mentor, advisor and angel for international startups and VC funds. He is a judge for his alma mater Notre Dame’s Business Plan Competitions. He is active on many community boards including The Commonwealth Club and is Founder and Chairman of Czech-Tech, the people network.

Catherine Glassey

Highly accomplished CEO, marketer, entrepreneur, and general manager with a strong track record of success in growing revenue and creating liquidity events on behalf of innovative technology companies serving both consumer and business markets. Product innovator with success in business management, business development, finance, operations, capital sourcing, negotiations, acquisitions, mergers & liquidations. Now serving as advisor and director for technology startups.