This week’s PitchForce Panelists

Thursday, June 21st, 2018


Monali Jain

Monali Jain is an angel investor focused on software, mobile and cloud technologies. She is currently active member of Kiretsu Forum and Tie Angel groups. She has 16 years of experience in developing and launching highly scalable, highly profitable internet software products and services. She held leadership positions at Paypal, eBay, Interwoven, Good Technology and GE with global responsibilities.

Monali also loves to travel and have visited 17 countries. Her hobbies include hang gliding and Indian classical dance. She successfully climbed to top of Kilimanjaro, highest mountain in Africa. (The hike was huge success as 11 out of 11 which is 100% of her tem members reached top while success rate is usually 75% or less for most groups.)

She has completed Bachelor in Engineering from University of Mumbai, India and MBA from Santa Clara University, USA. She has also completed executive education program from Harvard Business School, USA.


Russel 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 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. 


David Paul

David is a veteran of Silicon Valley high technology manufacturing companies in senior operations finance roles.  He has helped guide companies including Fusion-io, Omnicell, and Intuitive Surgical where he participated in the initial public offerings for both Intuitive Surgical and Fusion-io and was recruited for the turnaround activities at Omnicell after a public restatement.  He has led company critical Enterprise Resource Planning system implementations and likes to create efficient, scalable infrastructure for growing organizations.

Since 2014 has been an active angel investor and led a variety of due diligence teams.  He is now a consultant and advisor to start-up companies in the San Francisco Bay Area.  David has joined a senior team to found 9th Gear Technologies, a Fintech blockchain start-up as their CFO.  David received a BA from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin and an MBA from Santa Clara University.


Steve Lamont

Steve’s background is mostly in marketing and strategy for high tech companies. Part of his career was in strategy consulting (McKinsey and Accenture) for global high tech and communications clients. The other portion was as lead marketer for companies such as McCaw Cellular Communications and NextWave Broadband.

He has worked in a range of industries including cellular telephones, broadband data, satellite data, cloud telephony, software as a service, and cloud services. For the past 12 years he has worked in startups in a range of roles – including entrepreneur, CEO, board member, advisor, and angel investor. Steve holds a B.Sc. degree in Computer Science from the University of Toronto, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.