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  • Here are the Investor speakers from our Sold-Out Las Vegas Investor Roundtable, sponsored by UNLV's Center for Entrepreneurship at the Lee Business School, Half Price Lawyers, Effortless Office, AA Printing, SocialRadius. This event was in UNLV on Wednesday, May 28, 2014.

    Mike Ballard, Angel Investor Mike Ballard, Angel Investor

    Mike Ballard is an entrepreneur, management consultant and angel investor. Mike was the founder and twice chairman of the Vegas Valley Angels and is a past president of the Technology Business Alliance of Nevada.

    Mike has helped secure more than $50 million in financing for more than 30 companies in the last decade and has personally invested in more than 15 early stage companies around the west, primarily in Nevada.

    Mike has served as CEO, COO and CFO of angel- and venture-funded companies. He has also served on the boards of many start-up companies, a private equity firm, a bank and a venture capital firm.

    In 2010, Mike was named one of the "Top 20 Visionaries" in Nevada by Nevada Business magazine and in 2001, Mike was recognized by Investors Business Daily as one of the most ethical people in the communications business.

    Mike is a native Las Vegan, is married and is the father of four children.

    Ravindra Kondagunta, Investor, Pasadena Angels Ravindra Kondagunta, Investor, Pasadena Angels

    Ravindra Kondagunta (Ravi) is an accredited investor that is a part of the Pasadena Angels and Maverick Angels. He is the founder of Traction Labs – a startup innovation consulting company based in Southern California that serves as an accelerator/incubator for automotive entrepreneurs.

    Ravindra Kondagunta (Ravi)’s passion is in Product Development. He has worked as an Intra-preneur in the corporate world – identifying and guiding investments in new growth opportunities and helping get them off the ground, ready for scale-up.

    His career includes over 22 years of experience in Automotive and Retail industry – domestically and internationally. He has extensive work experience in Planning, Strategy, Product Design, Engineering, Launch Management, International Strategy & Operations, Cross-carline Planning, Telematics and Business Development while working for Fortune 500 companies Ford (15 years), Hyundai (7 years) and Avery Dennison (2 years). Most recently, Ravi worked at Avery Dennison where as Director of Concept Development he helped transform the office product portfolio by introducing digital and organizational tools. He has successfully managed several Vehicle Programs, Cross-functional Vehicle Teams through multiple product life-cycles specifically from Strategy through Launch milestones.

    At Traction Labs, Ravi manages a portfolio of 10 companies of at various stages of development. Traction Labs offers Innovation Consulting, Accelerator & mentoring, and small business investment services to entrepreneurs.

    Ravindra has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Drexel University, a MS in Engineering from Purdue University and an MBA from the University of Southern California.

    Damon D'Amore, Founder, WayFounder Damon D'Amore, Founder, WayFounder

    WayFounder is a new business generator focused on product and startup ideas that would likely never be considered in the current incubator and accelerator ecosystem. The company was founded on two core beliefs: First, great ideas come from everywhere. People from all walks of life have ideas for solutions to problems that aren’t currently offered by existing products in the market. They work full-time jobs, are students or simply lack the time, resources, experience or capital to realize their vision. Consequently, many of these “Idea Generators” are left with just that, an idea. WayFounder provides a platform and the resources for these ideas to get to market and succeed. Second, all startups have multiple founding moments, and the key team members vary as a company grows through different lifecycles.

    Through online competitions, WayFounder sources ideas from all across America. WayFounder provides competition winners with a cash prize, a commitment to spend up to $50,000 bringing the first iteration of their idea to market and a royalty on those sales. If a product shows the promise of scaling it is spun out into a new company and WayFounder commits up to $250,000, bringing aboard an “Executive Entrepreneur” – a Founder/CEO with experience in that specific category to take the business to the next level and the Idea Generator receives founder equity in the new company.

    Entrepreneurship, competition, idea generation, product development, startup financing and distribution are constantly evolving. The founding process also needs to evolve, and WayFounder is meeting this challenge by creating a community around a new breed of founders.

    Damon D’Amore has spent the last three years in two startup ventures he co-founded in the consumer product and web/mobile spaces. Both experiences were inspirations for the business model of WayFounder.

    With more than two decades experience in taking products from concept, through development, marketing and distribution, Damon has 15 years of experience producing high-profile, multi-million dollar marketing integrations in both television and online, Damon has worked closely with more than 250 of the most successful CEOs in the nation. In traditional media, Damon produced a number of creative brand integrations for Fortune 500 companies on multiple seasons of the reality television shows Undercover Boss and The Apprentice with Donald Trump. In the online space he produced the gaming promotions for Shrek the Third. Damon held the position of Vice President of Production and Development for the independent film and television studio The Shooting Gallery where he worked on films such as You Can Count On Me and commercial campaigns for major brands such as Sony.

    Prior to his work in the entertainment and new media sectors, Damon spent five years on Wall Street where he brokered and traded a range of institutional products. Damon lives in Los Angeles with his wife and their chocolate lab.

    George Moncrief, EIR, Vegas Tech Fund George Moncrief, EIR, Vegas Tech Fund

    George Moncrief is the Entrepreneur in Residence at VegasTechFund, a seed stage investment fund committed to expanding the burgeoning tech ecosystem in downtown Las Vegas. George is actively working to build out the Super-Creative Core of Vegas by investing in post-accelerator stage startups bringing upwardly mobile jobs to the city. With 20 years of operating experience, he also helps VTF portfolio companies power through the tough problems founders encounter in startup life.

    George has led web, mobile and big data application development projects of all sizes in verticals ranging from consumer internet, e-commerce, logistics, B2B, banking, education, government, military, telecommunications to gaming. George co-founded Raster Media in 2003, a Vegas-based software development firm where he served as CTO overseeing the technology architecture & development on 100’s of client projects. Before Raster Media, he led mission critical web application projects for 3 years in telecom at Mpower Communications and in banking for 6 years in the Citibank Cards North & Latin America divisions.

    Active in the VegasTech community since the beginning, George's passion for web & mobile startups bleeds through in all he does. He's spent his entire adult life in Vegas and enjoys snowboarding, hiking & camping and traveling with family and friends in his free time.

    Alvin Ko, Managing Director, Rebel Venture Fund Alvin Ko, Managing Director, Rebel Venture Fund

    Utilizing a founding gift from Jeff Moskow of $500,000, the Rebel Venture Fund provides experiential learning opportunities for UNLV students through participation in real world venture capital funding. As Managing Director, Alvin leads due diligence teams consisting of undergraduate and MBA students to review possible investment opportunities.

    Welcome Address: Aaron Sahagun, Southwest Regional Director, FundingPost Welcome Address: Aaron Sahagun, Southwest Regional Director, FundingPost

    Prior to FundingPost, Aaron founded Alumwire, Inc. where he managed corporate networking events during the early days of the Company in Berkeley, CA. He drove the Company's strategic direction, business development, technical activity, and marketing activities as its CEO. Aaron has been named by BusinessWeek as one of "The Top 25 Young Entrepreneurs." Aaron has been also featured on NBC, CBS and CNET. The initial sales of $100K+ from Alumwire's Fortune 500 beta clients led to a $1.4 million dollar financing round. Aaron successfully exited Alumwire in 2011.

    Aaron earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from The Walter A. Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to attending the University of California, Berkeley, Aaron attended a private, technical high school in Los Angeles where he majored in computer science and developed games in Visual C++, C++, Visual Basic and Javascript. He programmed e-commerce web sites for several companies and organizations in the southern California area during his teenage years.

    Angel Investors