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  • Here are the Investor speakers from our Sold-Out Orange County VC and Angel Investor PitchFest, sponsored by McCarter & English, Contap, MOW Media, InList, WeWork, TCVN, OC Startup Council, Nolcha. This event was in WeWork Boardwalk Irvine on Thursday June 13th, 2019.

    Photo of Moderator: Joe Daniels, McCarter & English Joseph Daniels
    Partner
    McCarter English
    Read the full profile for Joseph here!
    McCarter English
    Mr. Daniels represents startup to publicly-held technology, life science and consumer companies, venture capital and private equity funds and investment banks in a wide range of seed and venture financings, mergers and acquisitions, IPOs and other public offerings. He regularly advises a broad range of startups, venture-backed companies and VC funds, and has led hundreds of venture and strategic financing transactions. Mr. Daniels has helped companies and private equity firms handle over $5 billion of merger, acquisition and disposition transactions. Additionally, he has represented issuers and underwriters in more than 25 IPOs and follow-on public offerings involving companies in the technology, life sciences and consumer sectors, including leading investment banks such as Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley and Oppenheimer.

    Mr. Daniels also serves as outside general counsel for numerous companies, assisting them with everything from day-to-day business transactions to multinational strategic alliance transactions ranging from technology and distribution partnerships to joint ventures. He focuses on representing clients involved in high-growth sectors, and has experience with a broad range of industries, including adtech, biotech, cleantech, consumer, digital media, ecommerce, energy, Internet of Things, Fintech/financial services, life sciences, mobile, semiconductor, software, UAVs and telecommunications.

    Photo of Hicham Semaan, President, OC Tech Coast Angels Hicham Semaan
    President of OC TCA
    Tech Coast Angels
    Read the full profile for Hicham here!
    Tech Coast Angels
    As a CEO, Hicham led companies through rapid growth, repositioned companies for high value exits to strategic acquirers, led M&A and roll-up strategies, as well as successfully executed corporate turn-arounds and MBOs (management buy-outs).
    Hicham is the current President of OC Tech Coast Angels and former member of Agile Business Leaders (ABL).
    Hicham's operational experience includes strategic planning and budgeting, general management, sales and marketing leadership, and profit and revenue growth execution.
    Hicham is an MBA graduate of UCI - Paul Merage School of Business and has a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics.

    Photo of Nataliya Preiss, Angel Investor Nataliya Preiss
    Angel Investor
    Angel Investor
    Read the full profile for Nataliya here!
    Angel Investor
    Nataliya Preiss is passionate about leveling the playing field for women, funding and raising the profiles of female entrepreneurs. She is an active angel investor, speaker, and regularly advises startups. Nataliya held positions as a global business development consultant for multinational companies before moving into angel investment and startup worlds.

    Photo of Silvia Mah, Co-Founder, Ad Astra Ventures Silvia Mah
    Founding Partner
    Ad Astra Ventures
    Read the full profile for Silvia here!
    Ad Astra Ventures
    Dr. Silvia Mah, PhD, MBA, is the new President of CONNECT San Diego and founding partner of Ad Astra Ventures, that aims to “get to even” for high achieving women. Dr. Mah also serves as Executive Director of Hera Labs, an accelerator for women-owned businesses; founding member of Hera Angels, a female angel investment group; Investment Committee member of Next Wave Impact, a social impact venture fund; and an angel investor to over 30 startups who have diverse founders on the leadership team. Dr. Mah’s own success includes producing a globally-recognized podcast, She Invests!, highlighting the investment journeys of female angel investors and venture capitalists; serving for 2 years as the Student Programs Diversity Director at the Office of Innovation and Commercialization’s The Basement, a technology accelerator for undergraduate startups at UCSD; & Fund Manager for the San Diego Angel Conference, a new angel fund to activate regional capital from aspiring and existing angel investors. Originally from Caracas, Venezuela, Dr. Mah believes in integrating family and work to create a lifestyle that serves both with a strong cup of integrity.

    Photo of Scott Fox, CEO, OC Startup Council Scott Fox
    CEO
    OC Startup Council
    Read the full profile for Scott here!
    OC Startup Council
    Scott Fox is a serial Internet entrepreneur, angel investor, and CEO of the Orange County Startup Council, a community service organization dedicated to accelerating Orange County’s startup ecosystem. He has founded, worked for, invested in, or advised hundreds of startups since raising his first VC round during the first dot-com boom. An advocate for early stage entrepreneurs, Scott has also written 3 best-selling books to help first-time entrepreneurs get started. In Orange County he’s pleased to host the OC Startup Council’s #MasterMindsOC, a monthly free startup coaching workshop series for founders. Learn more about the workshops at https://MasterMindsOC.organd join the OC Startup Council at https://OCStartupCouncil.org.

    Photo of Doug Pennington, Founder, ArchAngels Investors Doug Pennington
    Founder
    Archangels Investors
    Read the full profile for Doug here!
    Archangels Investors
    For over 20 years, Doug has been a leader and innovator in growing, financing and grooming young companies. He specializes in helping early stage companies develop a sound strategy, choose the right building blocks for business formation, and executing on a focused plan.

    Calling upon his experience as a serial entrepreneur and working with family offices, Doug founded Private Capital Network in 2006, an angel investment network that is focused on funding and mentoring early stage companies in key growth industries; technology & consumer products. Through PCN's resources and knowledge base, the Network has helped emerging businesses cross the important bridge from good idea to disciplined execution to reduce the standard the unacceptably high failure rate of small businesses.

    Doug later went on to form Archangels in order to work with the interests of some of Orange County's most prominent Family Offices and ultra worth investors. He envisioned Archangels as a disruptor from the ordinary investor network model. Doug realized that in order for an investor network to truly become excellent, membership had to mean more than just deal flow. With that in mind, Doug fostered an environment where members help one another solve problems, open doors, assist with active ventures, and advise one other on pending investments. This has resulted in a high caliber of active investments and participation.

    Currently, Doug is a frequent lecturer at the University of California at Irvine, California State University at Fullerton, Butler University, Chapman University, and Purdue University. Doug sits on the advisory board for the Don Beall Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at UCI, is an active mentor participating in the UCI Business Plan Competition. Doug also sits on the advisory boards of several companies, internationally.

    Photo of JJ Richa, Tech Coast Angels, Angel Investor JJ Richa
    Angel Investor
    Tech Coast Angels
    Read the full profile for JJ here!
    Tech Coast Angels
    JJ Richa is an accomplished serial entrepreneur, executive and investor. Richa has successfully founded several companies, where he served as President and CEO, including a software company for the hospitality industry, an online ecommerce portal for high-end made-to-order gifts, and a custom software development company concentrating on the financial sector. Richa is a private equity investor, a longtime member of Tech Coast Angels where he served as its vice president and a member of its executive committee. Richa has served on numerous board of directors, started a private equity firm and served in senior executive restructuring and turnaround roles. Richa is a Founder and Managing Director at BusinessVision Advisory, a firm that provides interim CEO, fractional COO and business advisory services to businesses at various stages. Richa has BS and MS degrees from Cal State Long Beach.

    Photo of Chad Anderson, MT Digital Assets Chad Anderson

    MT Digital Assets
    Read the full profile for Chad here!
    MT Digital Assets
    Chad “Aroo” Anderson is a blockchain + cryptocurrency expert and ICO advisor who serves as President and Co-Founder of www.MTDigitalAssets.com a leading fund in the hyper growth blockchain industry. Chad started his career working in the finance department at Hewitt Associates a fortune 500 company now called Aon. He worked directly with the CFO, Director of Budgeting and Forecasting, and the Controller. Chad then moved on to myspace.com from 2004-2008 as a strategic marketing consultant. During that time the site grew to over 500 Million active users, and was acquired for 580 Million Dollars. His team worked on events including Lollapalooza, Sundance Film Fest, Ultra Music Fest, SxSw, and more. Upon leaving Myspace he joined the team at Engage BDR an LA based Ad-Tech firm in Strategic Marketing and Biz Dev Role. He helped grow the company to reaching over 500 Million monthly uniques. Chad left there in 2014 to found Aroo Industries a talent management and marketing company. His clients have worked with some of the biggest brands in the world including Calvin Klein, Victoria Secret, Coca Cola, Virgin, Vogue, Patron, Grey Goose, Google, Paramount, Sony, Warner Bros and more.

    Photo of Tom Markel, Angel Investor Tom Markel
    Angel Investor
    Angel Investor
    Read the full profile for Tom here!
    Angel Investor
    Tom views his life in two dimensions: his vocation; married for 34 years to a wonderful, bright, adventurous, loving wife, business partner and mother of 4 dynamic grown children and his avocation; serial entrepreneur, business advisor and philanthropist.
    Toms DNA is big families and small business ownership where his father, grandfathers and great grandfathers were serial entrepreneurs striking it rich or going broke. Toms father compared the family ups and downs, “to being in Serino’s drinking the wine in the good times and in Fresno smash-ing the grapes in the bad times”.
    Tom has started 15 companies and refers to his business experience in baseball terms: “I’ve had 3 strike outs, 9 base hits, 2 triple plays and an out the park home run. Toms major success came with his partnership with Im-perial Credit Industries founding the largest mortgage REIT on the AMEX which grew to over $2 billion in assets.
    Tom and his wife Helene both enjoy skiing, golf, fly fishing, hunting, hiking and camping. Recently they both hiked 500 miles through France and Spain on the Camino De Compostela. In his spare time he enjoys sharing his new found passion for the healing properties of hemp based CBD, his friends call him the El Chapo Newport Beach.

    Brandan Carl, Angel Investor, TCA Brandan Carl, Angel Investor, TCA



    Photo of Zalmi Duchman, Angel Investor Zalmi Duchman
    Chairman of the Board
    The Fresh Diet
    Read the full profile for Zalmi here!
    The Fresh Diet
    Zalmi Duchman is an angel investor, entrepreneur and food-tech pioneer. In 2005, Duchman, at the age of 25, launched The Fresh Diet, a meal subscription business. He began operations on January 1, 2006 with three clients. While Duchman "shopped and dropped," his wife "cooked and packed." By 2013, Duchman grew his business to become the largest U.S. food producer in the freshly-prepared, daily delivery category - delivering meal plans to thousands of clients nationwide. Duchman sold the fresh diet to a publicly traded company in 2014.

    Consequently, Duchman and The Fresh Diet have earned numerous prestigious accolades over the years, including making the Inc. 500 list consecutively in 2010, 2011 and 2012, the Forbes Top 20 Most Promising U.S. Companies List in 2011 and 2012, as well as being an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year nominee in both 2009 and 2011. The Miami Herald named Duchman as one of Miami’s leading 20 under 40.

    Duchman is currently the operating partner of a few food-tech companies including Mellow, Inc a smart sous-vide machine and Home Bistro a meal delivery company.

    Photo of David Friedman, Vice President, Tech Coast Angels OC David Friedman
    Angel Investor
    Tech Coast Angels
    Read the full profile for David here!
    Tech Coast Angels
    David Friedman is currently an independent entrepreneur, investor, and business advisor for tech and service companies. He is a member of the TechCoastAngels of Orange County and serves on the software/hardware evaluation committee. He has worked on assignments ranging from cyber security and wireless health to online commerce portals, to healthy food and snacks. He plays at the intersection of technology and the customer; his real love is commercializing technology to meet the needs of customers.

    Photo of Dean Kline, Managing Director,Penn Venture Partners Dean Kline
    Managing Director
    Penn Venture Partners
    Read the full profile for Dean here!
    Penn Venture Partners
    Dean is Co-Founder and Managing Director for Penn Venture Partners, a vc fund for primarily for early-stage tech companies. He is also currently the Co-Founder and Managing Director of USC Rossier EdVentures, an education ecosystem at USC. Previously he was VP of another vc fund and part of the founding management team and EVP of an organization which establishes and operates children’s hospitals in developing countries. Dean was Assistant to the Executive Director at the World Bank focusing on project quality, education and health sector policy, Africa, and Asia. He began his professional career as an International Economist at the U.S. Treasury Department, working on Asia and the Middle East. Dean received his M.Phil. and Graduate Diploma from Cambridge University and his B.A. from Wheaton College.

    Photo of Carey Ransom, Angel Investor Carey Ransom
    Angel Investor
    Angel Investor
    Read the full profile for Carey here!
    Angel Investor
    Carey is technology entrepreneur, executive, investor and advisor, and has started, grown and/or led 8 B2B and consumer technology companies during startup and growth phases. He was most recently COO at Aspiration, the leading “consumer financial firm with a conscience,” where he led the firm’s growth from 40 to 150 people and the build out of infrastructure and approval as a FINRA-regulated broker-dealer.
    Since 2003 Carey has also invested in 10 of his own or angel-funded others’ ventures, with a current IRR of 20% (unrealized), and with no capital loss. Many of these ventures are in reg-tech, fintech or data/analytics. Carey is active in the Southern California startup and investment community and is a long-time board member of OCTANe. He has recruited and hired nearly 500 people in the last 15 years, and passionately believes in talent and innovation opportunities that are locally launched and grown. He has frequently spoken at financial technology, software and online media conferences such as AltFI, Innovation Project, BIA/Kelsey Group.
    Carey is an MBA graduate of the UCLA Anderson School of Management. In addition, he holds a B.A. in Economics from Indiana University, where he was Phi Beta Kappa.

    Photo of Brandon Maier, Founding Partner, WestWave Ventures Brandon Maier
    Founding Partner
    LvlUp Ventures
    Read the full profile for Brandon here!
    LvlUp Ventures
    Brandon Maier is the founder of LvlUp Ventures and has extensive experience building financial and marketing strategies for startup companies. Prior to launching LvlUp, Brandon was a Founder and Managing Partner of Quake Capital, an industry-leading accelerator and investment firm with offices in New York, Los Angeles, and Austin. Under Brandon’s tenure and leadership at Quake, their portfolio companies raised over $100 million, including $25 million raised directly from Quake’s fund. Quake was named one of Forbes’ Top-Ten VCs and highlighted by CrunchBase for making the second-most investments in female-led startups (2018).

    Brandon is also passionate about giving back to both the local and University entrepreneurship community, from University lectures on entrepreneurship and capital raising-related topics as well as providing office hours to student start-ups from his alma mater NYU, to Penn State, USC, Brown and Veteran Entrepreneurs through Bunker Labs & Veterati. He has also served as a judge for several pitch competitions including Princeton’s Tiger Launch, Global Entrepreneurship Week, and Next Gen, has mentored at Columbia’s AlmaWorks Accelerator, and is part of Invent Penn State’s Selection Committee. Brandon also serves as an advisor for several early stage startups in both NYC & LA.

    In addition to his experience as an investor and mentor, Brandon has also been a part of two capital-backed startup teams, including the Winklevoss-backed pioneer in cryptocurrency, BitInstant - at its peak, it was the leader in all Bitcoin exchanges.

    Angel Investors