Judges


2017 Judges: To be announced

2016 Collegiate Competition Judges

Lynda Weinman

Lynda Weinman is a teacher, writer, learning activist, and entrepreneur. As co-founder of lynda.com, one of the most successful online learning companies today, she was responsible for the student-centered teaching philosophy, and personally authored numerous books and tutorials. Lynda served as the executive chair of the company until the purchase in 2015 by LinkedIn Corporation. She is the proud product of an unorthodox, progressive education that stressed self-motivation, pursuit of life-long learning, and social conscience. Her passions include film, design, women’s issues, philanthropy for the arts, and inventing the future of learning.

Kathy Odell

Kathy Odell is a serial entrepreneur with over 25 years of leadership experience in high growth enterprises. She is currently CEO of NutraHealth Partners, a developer of functional foods and beverages and nutritional supplements. Prior to NutraHealth Partners, Kathy served as Managing Director of Annovium Products LLC, a fitness equipment company from 2011 to 2013; founding CEO of Inogen, Inc., a manufacturer of advanced oxygen therapy devices for treatment of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) from 2002-2008. Kathy began her entrepreneurial career in 1985 as co-founder Medical Concepts, Inc., which over a five-year period became the world's leading designer and manufacturer of video systems for minimally invasive surgery, resulting in its acquisition by Karl Storz Endoscopy GmbH in 1990. Kathy is actively involved in entrepreneurial activities in the Santa Barbara area as a mentor and advisor to young entrepreneurs and plays an active role in University of California Santa Barbara programs promoting technology and entrepreneurial education. In addition to her work with private enterprises, from 1998 to 2012 Kathy was a director of Pacific Capital Bancorp, N.A. (NASDAQ:PCBC), a regional community bank with $6.5B in assets. Kathy's awards and recognition include the 2013 Rock Star Lifetime Achievement Award from the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Foundation, the 2005 Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for the Greater Los Angeles area; the 2005 Venky Award for entrepreneurial leadership presented by UCSB; the Women's Economic Ventures 2001 Entrepreneur of the Year and the 1998 South Coast Business and Technology Award as Executive of the Year. Kathy is a graduate of Stanford University.


Jason Spievak

Jason Spievak is the founder of Invoca, the leading provider of mobile analytics software, named the fastest-growing company on the Central Coast by the Pacific Coast Business Times. Prior to Invoca, Jason was Chief Financial Officer at CallWave, Inc., where he led the company’s successful IPO in 2004. Prior to CallWave, Jason was a Vice President in the technology mergers and acquisitions group in Broadview International's Silicon Valley office, where he led the execution on more than $1.25 billion of successful M&A transactions and private placements. Before joining Broadview, Jason held product management roles with Nextel Communications and Netopia, where he helped the company complete its successful IPO in 1996. Jason is a member of the boards of directors of Invoca, Apeel Sciences, iFluidics, and LeadiD. He is an active angel investor and a cofounding venture partner of Persistence Partners, an early stage technology venture investment fund. Jason is also a named inventor on patents in the internet advertising field, telecommunications, and nanoscale fluidics for diagnostic applications. Jason is a member of the teaching team in UCSB's Technology Management Program. Jason earned his MBA from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University and his BA from UCSB.

2016 High School Competition Judges

Michael Holliday

Michael Holliday FAIA is an architect, entrepreneur and business leader that has been involved in designing some of the Santa Barbara's premier community and commercial office venues for over 2 decades. Michael is a Principal Architect with DMHA Architecture + Interior Design, a full service architecture, interior design and planning firm founded in 1997 and he is also CEO and Director of SYNERGY Business & Technology Center located in downtown Santa Barbara. Michael is a past Chairman of the SB Region Chamber of Commerce, and is currently the Chairman of the South Coast Business Forum. He is also currently on the Board of Directors with the MIT Enterprise Forum, the UCSB Economic Forecast Project, the Santa Barbara Chamber of Commerce, and Kids Helping Kids. Michael was recognized in 2012 as a Fellow in the American Institute of Architects (FAIA) an honor which only 3% of architects in the United States have been designated to receive. He is a LEED Accredited Design Professional (LEED AP) and he has maintained a unique focus on GREEN and environmentally responsible design throughout his professional career. He and his wife Beverly have 3 sons currently all enrolled at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, pursuing professional degrees in Architecture, Industrial Technology and Business / Marketing. 

Nathalie Gensac

Nathalie Gensac is a social entrepreneur and founder of Media4Good (M4G), which launched in 2005 as a new model of charity and led to her nomination by Ernst & Young as social entrepreneur of the year in 2008. The production-based organization uses the power of media to reach out to a new generation of intelligent givers—people who need to know their contributions will truly make a sustainable difference in the global struggle against poverty and illiteracy. To that end she founded the Youth Interactive program in 2008, initially working with communities oversees until 2012, when she decided to concentrate on creating an impact at home and launched Youth Interactive Santa Barbara in the fall of that year. Her core focus is to support the two groups essential to social and economic advancement in our world today: women and children.


Paul Daniel

Paul Daniel, B.A., is the principal of Gibraltar CFO Services, LLC, which provides chief financial officer services to companies ranging in size from startups to $20 million. He has over 20 years of experience as a CFO, working in a wide range of industries. Paul also co-founded a high technology startup that was sold to an industry leader, and helped build an Internet communications company that was sold to a multi-national telecommunications firm.


2015 Collegiate Competition Judges


Lynda Weinman

Cofounder and Executive Chair Lynda Weinman is cofounder and executive chair of lynda.com, one of the most successful companies in online education today. Through a comprehensive library of instructional videos taught by industry experts, lynda.com teaches technology, design and business skills to millions of individual, corporate, academic, and government subscribers. Lynda is a self-taught computer expert, author, educator, and entrepreneur. A web graphics and design veteran and author of dozens of best-selling books, Lynda wrote the very first industry book on web design, , in 1995. Before launching lynda.com, she was a faculty member at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA, and worked as an animator and motion graphics director in the special effects film industry. She also taught at UCLA Extension, American Film Institute, and San Francisco State University Multimedia Studies. Lynda, along with her husband and cofounder, Bruce Heavin, evolved lynda.com from its original concept as a free web resource for her students, to the site for her books on web design, to a registration hub for physical classrooms and conferences, to an award-winning online learning company.

Kathy Odell

Kathy Odell is a serial entrepreneur with over 25 years of leadership experience in high growth enterprises. She is currently CEO of NutraHealth Partners, a developer of functional foods and beverages and nutritional supplements. Prior to NutraHealth Partners, Kathy served as Managing Director of Annovium Products LLC, a fitness equipment company from 2011 to 2013; founding CEO of Inogen, Inc., a manufacturer of advanced oxygen therapy devices for treatment of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) from 2002-2008. Kathy began her entrepreneurial career in 1985 as co-founder Medical Concepts, Inc., which over a five-year period became the world's leading designer and manufacturer of video systems for minimally invasive surgery, resulting in its acquisition by Karl Storz Endoscopy GmbH in 1990. Kathy is actively involved in entrepreneurial activities in the Santa Barbara area as a mentor and advisor to young entrepreneurs and plays an active role in University of California Santa Barbara programs promoting technology and entrepreneurial education. In addition to her work with private enterprises, from 1998 to 2012 Kathy was a director of Pacific Capital Bancorp, N.A. (NASDAQ:PCBC), a regional community bank with $6.5B in assets. Kathy's awards and recognition include the 2013 Rock Star Lifetime Achievement Award from the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Foundation, the 2005 Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for the Greater Los Angeles area; the 2005 Venky Award for entrepreneurial leadership presented by UCSB; the Women's Economic Ventures 2001 Entrepreneur of the Year and the 1998 South Coast Business and Technology Award as Executive of the Year. Kathy is a graduate of Stanford University.

Susan Block
Susan has over 20 years' experience as an investment baker, entrepreneur and strategic consultant in the Mergers & Acquisitions Group at Montgomery Securities, as a principal at Mercantile Capital Financial Corporation, and as founder and principal at Block, Bowman & Associates, LLC. Ms. Block has worked on merger assignments across all industries was responsible for the sale of Safeway's Liquor Barn operations by Kohberg, Kravis and Roberts, and worked in corporate planning for Safeway Foods. On the entrepreneurial side, Susan was CEO and President of a startup that went public and was later sold to Kraft for over $250 million.

2015 High School Competition Judges

Michael Holliday

Michael Holliday FAIA is an architect, entrepreneur and business leader that has been involved in designing some of the Santa Barbara's premier community and commercial office venues for over 2 decades. Michael is a Principal Architect with DMHA Architecture + Interior Design, a full service architecture, interior design and planning firm founded in 1997 and he is also CEO and Director of SYNERGY Business & Technology Center located in downtown Santa Barbara. Michael is a past Chairman of the SB Region Chamber of Commerce, and is currently the Chairman of the South Coast Business Forum. He is also currntly on the Board of Directors with the MIT Enterprise Forum, the UCSB Economic Forecast Project, the Santa Barbara Chamber of Commerce, and Kids Helping Kids. Michael was recognized in 2012 as a Fellow in the American Institute of Architects (FAIA) an honor which only 3% of architects in the United States have been designated to receive. He is a LEED Accredited Design Professional (LEED AP) and he has maintained a unique focus on GREEN and environmentally responsible design throughout his professional career. He and his wife Beverly have 3 sons currently all enrolled at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, pursuing professional degrees in Architecture, Industrial Technology and Business / Marketing.


David Goldmuntz

David Goldmuntz moved to Santa Barbara after working for The Union Bank of Switzerland in London as Managing Director responsible for institutional customer equity trading for Europe, specializing in cash, equity markets, listed derivative markets and large block trades. His previous experience includes fourteen years at Salomon Brothers in New York and London where he rose to Managing Director in the Equities Department and three years at Continental Grain Company. He holds an MBA from New York University Graduate School of Business Administration and a BAfrom Hamilton College.


Daniel Colbert

Dr. Colbert has more than 20 years of venture capital and entrepreneurial experience in cleantech and materials. Prior to joining North Energy Ventures as Managing Partner, he was with NGEN Partners, and later organized and led the first cleantech venture fund in Russia. He established and led the Institute for Energy Efficiency at UC Santa Barbara, and also co-founded with Nobel laureate Richard Smalley one of the first nano-materials companies, Carbon Nanotechnologies, Inc.



2014 Collegiate Competition Judges



Lynda Weinman

Cofounder and Executive Chair Lynda Weinman is cofounder and executive chair of lynda.com, one of the most successful companies in online education today. Through a comprehensive library of instructional videos taught by industry experts, lynda.com teaches technology, design and business skills to millions of individual, corporate, academic, and government subscribers. Lynda is a self-taught computer expert, author, educator, and entrepreneur. A web graphics and design veteran and author of dozens of best-selling books, Lynda wrote the very first industry book on web design, , in 1995. Before launching lynda.com, she was a faculty member at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA, and worked as an animator and motion graphics director in the special effects film industry. She also taught at UCLA Extension, American Film Institute, and San Francisco State University Multimedia Studies. Lynda, along with her husband and cofounder, Bruce Heavin, evolved lynda.com from its original concept as a free web resource for her students, to the site for her books on web design, to a registration hub for physical classrooms and conferences, to an award-winning online learning company.


Kathy Odell

Kathy Odell is a serial entrepreneur with over 25 years of leadership experience in high growth enterprises. She is currently CEO of NutraHealth Partners, a developer of functional foods and beverages and nutritional supplements. Prior to NutraHealth Partners, Kathy served as Managing Director of Annovium Products LLC, a fitness equipment company from 2011 to 2013; founding CEO of Inogen, Inc., a manufacturer of advanced oxygen therapy devices for treatment of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) from 2002-2008. Kathy began her entrepreneurial career in 1985 as co-founder Medical Concepts, Inc., which over a five-year period became the world's leading designer and manufacturer of video systems for minimally invasive surgery, resulting in its acquisition by Karl Storz Endoscopy GmbH in 1990. Kathy is actively involved in entrepreneurial activities in the Santa Barbara area as a mentor and advisor to young entrepreneurs and plays an active role in University of California Santa Barbara programs promoting technology and entrepreneurial education. In addition to her work with private enterprises, from 1998 to 2012 Kathy was a director of Pacific Capital Bancorp, N.A. (NASDAQ:PCBC), a regional community bank with $6.5B in assets. Kathy's awards and recognition include the 2013 Rock Star Lifetime Achievement Award from the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Foundation, the 2005 Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for the Greater Los Angeles area; the 2005 Venky Award for entrepreneurial leadership presented by UCSB; the Women's Economic Ventures 2001 Entrepreneur of the Year and the 1998 South Coast Business and Technology Award as Executive of the Year. Kathy is a graduate of Stanford University.


Christopher Morales

Chris Morales grew up in Santa Barbara and attended local schools, including SBCC and UCSB. A member of the Wealth Management division of Montecito Bank & Trust since 2008, he has over two decades of experience in the fields of banking, personal finance and trust. He serves in various capacities with the Scheinfeld Center for Entrepreneurship, Pacific Youth Ventures, the Santa Barbara High School Dons Net Café, Partners in Education, the UCSB Alumni Association, the Key Class and C.A.R.E 4 Paws.




2014 High School Competition Judges



John Richarson

John is a Senior Level Technologist with over 20 years of in-depth experience delivering technology solutions (as Product Manager, COO, Manager of e-Business, Applications Development Manager, Chief Technology Officer and Senior Consultant. Experience across wide variety of business sectors including Software, Web Development and Hosting, Financial, Healthcare, Energy, Telecom Services and Distribution. Driven to deliver value-added benefits in challenging technology/ business environments impacting bottom-line results.



Michael Holliday

Michael Holliday FAIA is an architect, entrepreneur and business leader that has been involved in designing some of the Santa Barbara's premier community and commercial office venues for over 2 decades. Michael is a Principal Architect with DMHA Architecture + Interior Design, a full service architecture, interior design and planning firm founded in 1997 and he is also CEO and Director of SYNERGY Business & Technology Center located in downtown Santa Barbara. Michael is a past Chairman of the SB Region Chamber of Commerce, and is currently the Chairman of the South Coast Business Forum. He is also currently on the Board of Directors with the MIT Enterprise Forum, the UCSB Economic Forecast Project, the Santa Barbara Chamber of Commerce, and Kids Helping Kids. Michael was recognized in 2012 as a Fellow in the American Institute of Architects (FAIA) an honor which only 3% of architects in the United States have been designated to receive. He is a LEED Accredited Design Professional (LEED AP) and he has maintained a unique focus on GREEN and environmentally responsible design throughout his professional career. He and his wife Beverly have 3 sons currently all enrolled at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, pursuing professional degrees in Architecture, Industrial Technology and Business / Marketing.


Gary Kravets

Gary Kravetz is the former CEO of NCC Executive search and Santa Barbara Staffing; a recruiting company with offices in Santa Barbara, Ventura and Westlake. In 1993 Gary moved to Santa Barbara and purchased Santa Barbara Staffing. He then added NCC Technical and Executive recruiting as the management, professional and executive recruiting division of the company. Prior to 1993 Gary was executive VP of an engineering development company. Prior employment was as a manager at Hughes Aircraft. Gary is a founder of Santa Barbara Executive Roundtable and board member of Science and Engineering Council. He has also served on the board of the Santa Barbara Chamber of Commerce, SB City College Business Industry group, SB County - Work Investment board and the SB County Economic Development committee. He also is currently a business consultant and Chairman of Santa Barbara SCORE. He is a board member of the Preferred Professionals of Santa Barbara (a professional consultant's network), and a member of Tech Coast Angels. He has a BS and MS in Engineering from UCLA. He also has extensive additional education in small business management. He has helped advise and mentor over 500 hundred small businesses in the last few years.


2013 Collegiate Competition Judges



Christopher Morales

Chris Morales grew up in Santa Barbara and attended local schools, including SBCC and UCSB. He works in the Wealth Management division of Montecito Bank & Trust and has been in the field of finance and banking for 17 years. He serves in various capacities with the Scheinfeld Center for Entrepreneurship, Pacific Youth Ventures, the Santa Barbara High School Dons Net Café, Partners in Education, the UCSB Alumni Association, and C.A.R.E. 4 P.A.W.S.






Susan Block

Susan has over 20 years experience as an investment banker, entrepreneur and strategic consultant - in the Mergers & Acquisitions Group at Montgomery Securities, as a principal at Mercantile Capital Corporation, and as founder and principal at Block, Bowman & Associates, LLC. Ms. Block has worked on merger assignments across all industries and was responsible for the sale of Safeway's Liquor Barn operations by Kohlberg, Kravis and Roberts.
Ms. Block also works with firms in turnaround situations or in the start-up or early growth phases of their lifecycle. Ms. Block has founded or co-founded three firms, held positions as CEO of a startup that went public and subsequently sold for $250 million, and held management positions and/or served as a Board of Director or Advisory Board member for numerous startup and emerging growth firms. Ms. Block chaired the Business Plan and Mentoring Committee for the LARTA Venture Forums and judges nationwide university business plan competitions. Ms. Block received an MBA and BS from the University of Wisconsin and taught at University of Wisconsin - School of Business Administration, the Department of Economics and Technology Management Program at UCSB and Santa Barbara City College.



Justin Connell

Justin Connell was a student athlete last fall at SBCC. A fractured vertebrae in his back ended his basketball season, forced him to leave school, and move home in order to rehab and recover from his injury. While at home he began innovating the Garden on Wheelz™, a product that he entered in the Enterprise Launch Competition earlier that year at SBCC and won first place. He entered his concept into the New Venture Challenge in May of 2012 and also took first place. With the $4000 prize money from NVC he began making moves to take his innovative product design into a finished product and bring it to market. He was able to find strategic investors whom he convinced to invest $250,000 for 25% equity, valuing his company at $1M. After securing the investment, he decided to forgo school, for a while, in order to manage the company. He is currently the CEO & Founder of LifeCycle Gardens LLC; his company has recently begun production and is currently developing sales plans and building relationships as he prepares to take the product to market this Spring.



2013 High School Competition Judges



John Richardson

John has for over 30 years of experience providing Information Technology/e-Business managment expertise to Fortune 250 and start up firms. For the past 10 years he has focused on delivering e-commerce solutions as a Chief Technology Officer, Product Manager, Manager of e-Business and Appications Development Manager. He has been reconigized for his visionary problem solving/ decision-making and customer focused leadership. He is driven by his desire to deliver value-added benefits in challenging technology/ business environments impacting bottom-line results. John is currently the Chief Operations Officer for Ameravant, a Santa Barbara website product company. He is a counselor for SCORE and specializes in working with start-ups whose business has an e-commerce component.



Gary Kravets

Gary Kravetz is the former CEO of NCC Executive search and Santa Barbara Staffing; a recruiting company with offices in Santa Barbara, Ventura and Westlake. In 1993 Gary moved to Santa Barbara and purchased Santa Barbara Staffing. He then added NCC Technical and Executive recruiting as the management, professional and executive recruiting division of the company. Prior to 1993 Gary was executive VP of an engineering development company. Prior employment was as a manager at Hughes Aircraft. Gary is a founder of Santa Barbara Executive Roundtable and board member of Science and Engineering Council. He has also served on the board of the Santa Barbara Chamber of Commerce, SB City College Business Industry group, SB County - Work Investment board and the SB County Economic Development committee. He also is currently a business consultant and Chairman of Santa Barbara SCORE. He is a board member of the Preferred Professionals of Santa Barbara (a professional consultant's network), and a member of Tech Coast Angels. He has a BS and MS in Engineering from UCLA. He also has extensive additional education in small business management. He has helped advise and mentor over 500 hundred small businesses in the last few years.



Michael Holliday

Michael Holliday FAIA is an architect, entrepreneur and business leader that has been involved in designing some of the Santa Barbara's premier community and commercial office venues for over 2 decades. Michael is the CEO and President of JM Holliday Associates, a full service architecture, interior design and planning firm founded in 1997 and he is also CEO and Director of SYNERGY Business & Technology Center in downtown Santa Barbara. Michael is a past Chairman of the SB Region Chamber of Commerce, and is currently the Chairman of the South Coast Business Forum. He is also currently on the Board of Directors with the MIT Enterprise Forum, the UCSB Economic Forecast Project, the Santa Barbara Chamber of Commerce, and La Montana Christian Camps in Costa Rica. Michael was recognized in 2012 as a Fellow in the American Institute of Architects (FAIA) an honor which only 3% of architects in the US have been designated to receive. He is a LEED Accredited Design Professional (LEED AP) and he has maintained a unique focus on GREEN and environmentally responsible design throughout his professional career. He and his wife Beverly have 3 sons currently enrolled at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, pursuing professional degrees in Architecture, Industrial Technology and Business.