Hilton Augustine, Serial Entrepreneur
Angel Investor and Serial Entrepreneur with over 30 years creating value in Science & Technology companies. Entrepreneurial activities include startups, mergers, acquisitions, investments and management buyouts. With capital from the sale of CAM Communications, a regional telecom services company, Mr. Augustine founded Englare, Inc to provide Seed/Angel funding to startup companies with disruptive technologies. A few of his notable seed/early stage investments include Hinge, Dryft, Terbium, Zoobean, OmniSpeech, MyQVO, Ossia and SnobSwap.
He founded Global Management Systems, Inc (GMSI) to provide IT, Network and Security services. GMSI was a perennial on the list of Black Enterprise’s top 100 industrial service providers, two years listed in Inc Magazine's INC 500, Washington Fast Fifty, a Computer Week Top-10 Minority Owned Firms, and earned Government Computer News Leadership and Performance Award.
A University of Wisconsin Electrical and Computer Engineering graduate, Hilton's career started with IBM, automating manufacturing processes. He quickly moved through the management ranks, then sold IBM equipment and services to the Federal Government as a Marketing Executive.
Augustine shares his success and experience by mentoring other entrepreneurs, encouraging students early in their academic careers, and presenting success tips at metro Washington DC school career fairs.
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.
Drew Bewick, Managing Director, Tree House Ventures, LLC
Drew Bewick brings over two decades of hands-on experience investing in and nurturing entrepreneurs and startups to launch and grow disruptive capabilities. He’s worked in Government, industry and non-profit sectors and participated in the technical and business activities in developing from invention to new use a portfolio of 30 emerging technology equity investments in future market leaders such as Palantir Technologies, Endeca, I-Move, and Infinite Power Systems. In 2008, he launched global operations of Oxantium Ventures, a venture capital firm which raised a $300M fund and helped management teams improve cash flow, refine revenue models, and articulate core values to attract capital and adapt to rapid market change. As Managing Director of Tree House Ventures, Drew has assisted visionary innovators launch and grow over 150 successful ventures by discovering opportunities and using entrepreneurial principles to make an impact in the Greater Washington DC metro area.
Drew has been a mentor for Do Good Challenge teams since its inception and since 2012 has been named a Social Entrepreneur-In-Residence at the Center for Social Value Creation and the Dingman Center. Social innovators Drew has mentored at UMD have gone on to launch and grow ventures and projects as wide ranging as: The Love Blanket Project, Annie’s Children, Hungry Harvest, Start-Up Shell, Puzzable, 301 Ventures, and Food Recovery Network.
Drew is a graduate of the American University and the University of Maryland, where he co-founded the Association of Collegiate Entrepreneurs.
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.
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.
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.