This week’s PitchForce Panelists

February 22, 2018


Assim Gupta 

Assim has a background in eCommerce, SaaS, mobile and ERP/CRM space. In last 20 years, Assim has played several roles ranging from a software engineer to a product manager to the CEO of start-ups. He specializes in taking an idea from “a gleam in the eye” to the “hands of the consumer”. He has worked on product strategy, architecture, development, deployment and global operations.

Assim not only brings a strategic vision along with deep technical expertise, he also adds managerial depth to the team. He has created wide spectrum technical teams from scratch and has led/ directed several complex projects as a people manager and a program manager for companies like Oracle and VMware. He has worked extensively in distributed software development scenarios and has been recognized for his expertise in lean software development. Some other companies Assim has worked with are Apple, Google, and SGI.


Fred Drinkwater

Fred Drinkwater is an angel investor and technical program manager. He was a Principal at Drinkwater Consulting, with experience in consulting and project management for developing products in the mobile communication fields. He has worked with major OEMs such as Nokia, HTC, Samsung, and Motorola, and most recently managed production of generic and custom products for fortune 100 OEM companies. Fred graduated from the University of California at Berkeley.



Tony Lazar

Tony is Co-President of the HBS Alumni Angels and has been an active member of the HBSAA Selection Committee since 2009. He focuses on healthcare and technology commercialization, and has started three Silicon Valley healthcare-related companies: Allocade, to commercialize a NASA real-time scheduling algorithm for optimizing patient flow through hospitals; TeraForm (now DocuStream), to automate the extraction of electronic data from complex healthcare documents, and SageScan, to develop a new diagnostic imaging modality for internal head injuries. Tony started out as a Database Administrator at NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope Science Institute. He holds an MBA from Stanford and an A.B. from Harvard.


Maryanne Morrow

Maryanne is a FinTech and MarketingTech Expert. She is connecting Startup innovation with the Fortune 1000. Maryanne has over 20 years of consistently successful business development and relationship management in highly competitive markets. She has a broad disciplinary expertise across the financial services industry with experience in: mutual funds, separately managed accounts, unified managed accounts and structured products.

Maryanne is a member of the Keiretsu Forum angel investor group as well as the CEO and founder of SurgeXLR, a new kind of accelerator that is breaking the Silicon Valley model to help our founders fast-track growth and success by building business from the ground up.

Maryanne’s specialties include: Advertising, Multi-Media, Marketing and Communication Strategies, Fee-Based Asset Management, Mutual Fund Industry, Advisor Practice Management, Relationship Management.

Richard Pivnicka

Richard Pivnicka is a member of the Band of Angels  angel group.  Richard is currently the Founder and Chairman of HearUnow, Inc., a company that is is developing its patented audio device “Table Talk” which enhances the intelligibility of the spoken word at a table of 6, 8 or 10 people wishing to speak to each other in a noisy environment, such as a restaurant or conference table. Richard also is an active member of Gerson Bakar & Associates where he is on the board directors and is their Legal Advisor. Richard is also the founder of CzechTech, a 16 year old non-profit, non-political organization that serves as a juncture for Czechs, Czech-Americans and Americans in related high-tech industries. Richard has earned his Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Notre Dame, his MBA from New York University, and his JD from the University of San Francisco School of Law.