Ed Barrientos, CEO & Chairman of the Board, Brazen
Ed Barrientos is CEO and Chairman of the Board of Brazen, a career focused social networking site targeting Gen Y. He is also Managing Partner of Zeitgeist Holdings, L.L.C., an angel investment firm focused on investing in early stage technology companies. From 1996 to 2005, he was President and CEO of Arc Second Inc., a high growth market leader in the field of laser based, high-precision GPS. Barrientos led Arc Second to a successful exit (acquired by Metris NV of Belgium) at the end of 2005. He sat on the Board of Directors of Metris NV, and worked as an active Board member through the Company’s IPO (2006) and its acquisition by Nikon (Japan) in 2009.
From 1993 to 1996, Barrientos served as Managing Director of Max Schlatterer GmbH & Co KG, a leading German manufacturer of products for the food, drug and machine tool industry with headquarters outside of Munich, Germany. From 1991 to 1993, he was an international marketing consultant for Management Partner GmbH, a boutique management consulting firm based in Stuttgart, Germany. He started his professional career with IBM in 1986, serving in a number of technical and marketing related positions. Barrientos holds a B.S. in Management from Virginia Commonwealth University and an MBA from the George Washington University.
Paul Capriolo, Founder & CEO, Social Growth Technologies
Paul Capriolo is the founder and CEO of Social Growth Technologies, the single channel that delivers high performance online advertising and virtual currency monetization in the social gaming and eCommerce environments. As a University of Maryland undergraduate student, Paul pitched Social Growth Technologies at the Dingman Center's business competition, Cupid's Cup, and took home the grand prize. More recently, the business was named Howard County Economic Development Authority business of the year. Major clients include Coca-Cola, eBay and DELL. The company’s headquarters are in Columbia, MD. Paul received a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from the University of Maryland then went on to complete a Master’s degree in Entertainment Technology at Carnegie Mellon. In 2013, Paul was awarded the EY Entrepreneur of the Year in Maryland and named a national finalist. Throughout the years, Paul remained engaged with the Dingman Center and advised students when he could and in 2014 he was named a Dingman Center Entrepreneur in Residence.
Harry Geller, Serial Entrepreneur
Harry Geller is an entrepreneur whose career has spanned a broad range of successful startup companies. Geller has started, owned and managed fourteen multi-million dollar businesses, primarily focused in the logistics, food services and real estate fields. Four of his companies have been named to the INC. 500 list of fastest growing companies, the most recent one in 2009. He was named the EY Entrepreneur of the Year in 1992.
Mr. Geller’s earliest venture, Global Mail, LTD, founded in 1987, was twice named to INC. 500 list of fastest growing companies. Global Mail was acquired in 1999 by the Deutsche Post and Geller was appointed CEO of the America’s from 1999 - 2004. The company continues to thrive operating under the DHL/Global Mail brand. Mr. Geller was also the founder and owner of SoDel Concepts, a successful restaurant development company focusing on upscale, relaxed resort dining. SoDel Concepts has opened and operates five fine and casual dining seafood restaurants, all located at the Delaware Seashore. They were named to INC. 500 list as the nations fastest growing restaurant company in 2009.
For the past few years Mr. Geller has focused his love of entrepreneurship towards mentoring and educating others and serves as an Entrepreneur in Residence and member of the Board of Advisors at the University of Maryland’s Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship.
Geller grew up in Montgomery County and graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park in 1981 with BS in Business. He serves on advisory boards of various businesses in the Washington, DC area. He has held various volunteer positions including Chairman of his Logistics Trade Association and Treasurer of Young Presidents Organization (YPO). Geller is married to a successful entrepreneur Nicole, and they have two children, residing in McLean, Virginia.
Doug Humphrey, Serial Entrepreneur
Doug Humphrey is a serial entrepreneur who has started many internet, communications and other technology-based companies. His background includes internet, satellite, cryptographic, data security and physics, but he also stresses the "human" factors in starting, funding and surviving the startup stage of a company. Currently he is advising companies of all sizes, from one person with an idea, to multi-nationals.
Doug started his first company in the 9th grade, building model rocket tracking transmitters, and it can be said that it was a profitable operation. Since then he has started nearly ten companies, resulting in spectacular success like Digex (IPO in 1997 (nasdaq: DIGX)) and Core Location in 1999 (the largest data center in the world—350 East Cermak Chicago).
Currently Doug is focused on advising and mentoring in the startup world, and is active in a number of education initiatives looking to bring change to the way that entrepreneurship is taught.
Doug grew up in the Laurel, Maryland area where he lives today with his two kids, and his wife Lisa Losito, with whom he jointly operated the "Phase One" technology incubator, one of the first to be opened in Maryland.
Ken Jones, Founder & Managing Partner, Fusion Ventures
Ken is the Founder and Managing Partner of Fusion Ventures. He serves as an interim C-level manager to client and portfolio firms and specializes in leveraging disruptive innovation strategy to develop a competitive advantage. Ken’s leadership capabilities and his knowledge of commercializing innovative business models make him a force multiplier for high growth clients. He is a strong proponent of innovation and the acceleration of small businesses with a specific focus in the healthcare, education and information technology spaces.
In 2008, Ken co-founded the Kellogg Venture Community, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization focused on educating community members in advanced business and entrepreneurial practices. To date, the organization has provided mentors and resources to over 60 start-up businesses in the Kellogg community. Ken received an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Additionally, he is a sponsor and strategic partner for Excelerate Labs, a venture accelerator in Chicago, IL. Ken also serves as a mentor for many of the accelerator’s start-ups. In 2009, he was appointed as a delegate to the Kellogg Innovation Network (KIN) in Chicago, IL and currently serves on the Board of Advisors. Ken holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the James A. Clark School on Engineering, University of Maryland at College Park.
Andrea Keating, CEO & Founder, Crews Control Corporation
Andrea Keating is the CEO and Founder of Crews Control Corporation, the world leader in providing corporate and broadcast video crews and location production services, worldwide. Andrea was called "the grandmother of the industry" as the founder of the first international talent outsource company at the age of 28. A marketing master, Keating targeted the recession in the late 1980’s as an opportunity and more than doubled her business from 1991 to 1992. With over 2000 video and film cameramen, Crews Control client list includes over 260 of the Fortune 500 companies and provided location production services in every major city in the world from New York to Los Angeles to Paris and Hong Kong.
As a serial entrepreneur Keating founded supporting production companies including Remote Control, which represented remote production and satellite trucks and Reelcities, a stock footage company featuring major cities worldwide. In 2004 Keating expanded her reach in serving corporate America media departments and co-founded TeamPeople, a full service recruitment, staffing and on-site management company. TeamPeople is now one of the fastest growing women-owned media staffing companies specializing in on-site management and payroll engagements in F500 companies.
Keating served for four years on the executive board of the International Television Association/D.C. Chapter as Vice-President, President and Board Member at Large. She is a member of Women in Film and Video, Young Presidents Organization, World Presidents Organization, Women Presidents Organization, Women in Cable Television and The Committee of 200 (C200). She serves on the boards of Crews Control, TeamPeople, ECRC, The Committee of 200 and The Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship.
John LaPides, CEO & Founder, Shadow Point Advisors
John LaPides is the CEO and founder of Shadow Point Advisors, a Maryland-based consulting and investment firm specializing in early stage to mid-size companies. The firm provides advice to both privately held and publicly traded companies in the areas of venture and public finance, logistics, manufacturing and strategic planning. LaPides is currently the senior entrepreneur-in-residence at the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business. He also serves on the center’s Board of Advisors and is an adjunct faculty member in the Smith School's Department of Management and Organization.
Prior to founding Shadow Point, LaPides spent nearly 30 years as CEO of Snow Valley, a leading regional bottled water company. He served for more than 20 years in the leadership of the International Bottled Water association and was the founder and president of QBC, Inc., the largest bottled water purchasing cooperative in the United States. He started, ran and sold several other businesses during this time before helping to found InPhonic, Inc., which soared to $450 million in sales and $1 billion in market value in less than five years. He sits on several boards, both public and private.
He lives in his home town of Annapolis, Md., and is an avid boater, musician and golfer and holds his private airplane pilots license.
Brice Leconte, Founder, iUnit
Brice is a lifelong entrepreneur with a passion for disrupting industries and building socially active companies. His current startup iUnit, is building the world’s first wireless power smart apartment unit, and will eventually aggregate enough smart technologies to create energy producing buildings. He has also started and invested in a wide range of businesses, from real estate development, to bricks and mortar, to ecommerce and tech startups.
Brice is an Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of Maryland as well as an advisor and mentor at Georgetown University. He received his Masters in real estate development from Johns Hopkins University and his undergraduate degree from the Smith Business School at the University of Maryland. He is a frequent speaker and panelist and enjoys investing and mentoring early stage startups.
Bob London, President, London, Ink LLC
Bob London, President of London, Ink LLC, serves as an Outsourced Chief Marketing Officer for B2B technology and professional services firms. His clients typically have a significant market opportunity or challenge and need an injection of senior marketing expertise and leadership--but aren't ready for the cost and commitment of a full-time marketing executive. Clients work with London, Ink to assess their market opportunity, better understand their customers' needs, determine strategic options and develop a practical go-to-market plan to improve revenue, market awareness, customer acquisition and retention. London, Ink also prioritizes and executes key B2B marketing initiatives--from online marketing to web design/development to social media to public relations--that generate the highest return on investment.
Bob is a 20+ year marketing veteran who has achieved rapid results with marketing budgets ranging from the $200 million network television launch of MCI Friends & Family to London, Ink's frugal $1,000 annual budget (really!). He also served as VP of Marketing for Digex, Incorporated, a national Web hosting and management firm that grew 100% annually during his tenure and went through not one but two IPOs, as well as director of product marketing for Verisign, the leading web identity and security firm.
Bob serves on the board of The Marketing Alliance, the leading education and networking group for B2B technology marketing executives in the DC area. Bob is a marketing advisor for Bisnow's Gen Z program for budding high school entrepreneurs and also serves on the board of advisors of National Capital Companies, a mid-market investment bank headquartered in Bethesda, MD. Bob graduated from the University of Maryland College Park with a BS in Marketing. He resides in Potomac, MD with his wife and two teenage sons.
Liz Sara, Founder, Best Marketing, LLC
Liz Sara has 20 years of experience in the local high tech community as an entrepreneur, business leader, angel investor and philanthropist. In 2001, she founded Best Marketing, LLC to provide early stage software companies with strategic marketing, PR and business development services. Her company offers clients all the benefits of a full-scale, seasoned marketing department on a ‘virtual’ basis -- eliminating overhead and headcount associated with full-time staff.
Previously, she played a principal role as co-founder of SpaceWorks, an eCommerce software company, where she facilitated its startup and growth to nearly $25 million in revenue; at America Online, where she designed the PR program and investor road show for the IPO; at United Press International, where she facilitated a turn-around strategy; and for LEXIS/NEXIS, where she was instrumental in the creation and successful launch of a new division. Ms. Sara holds an M.A. in Journalism from the University of Maryland. She is a member of the Business & Professional Women’s Committee of the Corcoran; the Women’s Committee of National Museum of Women In the Arts; and the Board of the Capital City Ball. In addition, Liz Sara is a Entrepreneur-in-Residence and member of the Board of Advisors at the University of Maryland's Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship.
Polly Vail, Independent Consultant
In her current role as an Independent Consultant, Polly develops assessments, strategies and implementation plans for clients who need advice on branding, communications and business development. She sources and manages professional teams with technical skills in web site design and development. Polly advises clients on strategies for generating revenue including identifying sales channels, partnerships and web based promotions.
Polly’s current and past clients include: the International Lyme Disease Society; GeniusRocket where she served as business development director and president; The Water Alliance where she served as web site development, creative services and communications consultant; and the Women's Business Center and Washington Area Women's Foundation. Polly is a Board member and Board Chair for Women's Business Center. Before her consultant work began, Polly was the advertising sales manager and managing director for the Washington D.C. office of The New York Times.
Polly has several “projects for passion": including: Brown University Men's Varsity Lacrosse team parent events and communications coordinator (2005 – 2009); Maret School, Washington DC Trustee and Major Gifts fundraiser (2002-2008); and Gibson Island Board of Directors (2011 – 2013). She received a BA degree in American Studies from Skidmore College. Poly holds professional development certificates from Georgetown University and the National Capital Watershed Stewardship Academy.