Meet the Judges:
Jeff Harbach, Central Texas Angel Network - Jeff currently serves as Executive Director for CTAN. Additionally, Jeff owns several small businesses including two 7-Elevens. Jeff received his MBA from McCombs where he served as President of Venture Fellows and co-founded Texas Venture Labs. Jeff was also named a Kauffman Fellow by the prestigious Society of Kauffman Fellows.
Hassan Johnson, ThaTrunk - Hassan created ThaTrunk while at McCombs as a platform for underground hip hop artists. It has since evolved into a mobile proximity sharing app for creative content and has been featured in mashable. ThaTrunk was one of TVL's first portfolio companies. This past summer Hassan participated in DreamIt Ventures and has raised six figures in angel investments.
Sangram Kadam, Orodoro - Sangram and his co-founders created Ordoro while receiving their MBA from McCombs. They competed in the Texas and Global Venture Labs Investment Competitions and have been growing by double digits each quarter since inception. Ordoro just took a $600k angel investment.
Aaron Lyons, Urban Dish - Aaron received his MBA from McCombs where he was a member of TVL and founded Urban Dish. Aaron took Urban Dish to the finals of the TVL Investment Competition and has since raised $600k to launch the concept this summer. He also serves as a Accenture Venture Partner at TVL.
Jay Manickam, uShip - Jay currently serves as VP of Strategy & Operations at uShip. While attending McCombs, he met uShip co-founders Mickey Millsap and Matt Chasen and competed in the TVL Investment Competition. They have since raised $7.5M in venture funding from Benchmark Capital and DAG Ventures, and currently serve over 1.5M customers.
Brett Newswanger, Xeris Pharmaceuticals - Brett has worked with over a half-dozen start-up companies in Austin, many with a pharma or med device focus. Brett first met his current company, Xeris Pharmaceuticals, as an intern at Austin Technology Incubator. He then continued to work with Xeris as a Stage 3 deal in Texas Venture Labs. Both ATI and TVL helped Xeris close a $1.5M Series A round of financing which was led by CTAN. This funding, along with a $1M Phase II SBIR from the NIH, gave Xeris the capital needed to move the company forward and bring Brett on board as Director of Product Development, upon his graduation from McCombs in May 2011.
Robert Reeves, Austin Technology Incubator - Robert currently serves as the Director of the IT and Wireless Portfolio for ATI. Robert joined ATI after successfully exiting Phurnace Software - a company he created with co-founder Daniel Nelson. Phurnace competed in the Texas and Global Venture Labs Investment Competition and went on to raise $5M in series A from S3 Ventures.