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Ryan Spiers works as outside general counsel with founders on company formation and ongoing corporate governance throughout the client’s lifecycle. Ryan also advises on transactions, including venture financings, mergers and acquisitions, strategic corporate relationships and equity offerings for both companies and investors. Ryan is an attorney with the Palo Alto, California office of Cooley LLP, but is based in Reno, Nevada.
Shaunt Sarkissian is a highly accomplished payments executive, entrepreneur, and Founder and CEO of ID-TX, Inc. Prior to founding ID-TX, Shaunt was Chief Innovation Officer, Global Head of Payments, IP, and Corporate Development at the Bank of London; and previously was EVP – Head of Payments division at Uphold, Inc. (following the acquisition of Cortex MCP by Uphold, Inc.). Shaunt was the founder & CEO of Cortex MCP – provider of a next-generation mobile wallet payment platform that unlocks the potential of the rapidly evolving mobile commerce market. Cortex MCP was acquired by Uphold, Inc. in February of 2018. Prior to founding Cortex MCP in 2012, Shaunt was the VP of strategic business development at ROAM Data, Inc., an early mover in the mobile POS solutions market. At ROAM Data, Shaunt led the company’s client acquisition strategy and spearheaded relationships with key ROAM clients, including PayPal, Groupon, Google and others. Previously, Shaunt founded Sarkcom Corporation where he spearheaded the drafting of four innovative US patents which form the basis of the Cortex platform. In addition, Shaunt served in a range of sales, business development and corporate strategy roles with CyberSource and FEI Company.
Richard Groberg is a senior and accomplished operating and financial executive with a long and successful track record of working with startups, company turn-arounds, stable operations, and high-growth management – all while directing/completing complex financial transactions. Richard’s cumulative track record of public and private capital raises (both equity and debt) plus M&A transactions exceeds $2.6 billion. He also brings extensive operating expertise at the C level for companies in different stages of growth. Richard is an active advisor to the Reno Seed Fund.
Applications for the Spring 2020 Cohort are now closed.
Bob is the leader of Holland & Hart’s Nevada patent and intellectual property law practice. He serves clients in all phases of domestic and international intellectual property procurement, transactional and enforcement matters. Bob has been recognized as a Nevada Legal Elite and one of the Best Lawyers in America in intellectual property litigation.
Working closely with entrepreneurs, Fritz helps emerging businesses and their owners bring the idea of a company into reality. He provides sophisticated guidance at every stage of development from choosing the right corporate entity, to ensuring compliance with standards and regulations, and strategic counsel to evaluate the risks and challenges of capital financing.
Jason is a serial entrepreneur having founded multiple startups with successful exits. He co-founded GoChain to bring blockchain solutions to governments and enterprises around the world. GoChain is a scalable, high performance, low cost, and decentralized cryptocurrency and blockchain that supports smart contracts and distributed applications. Jason has extensive C-level experience in the food & beverage, finance, technology, and biotech industries.
Katie leads marketing and PR campaigns to attract startups and investors into the Reno-Tahoe region, and organizes and facilitates events that bring the ecosystem together. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and worked as a news anchor for KAME-TV and a Key Account Executive for the USA Today Network. She is also currently President-Elect for the American Marketing Association.
Bryan helps entrepreneurs launch startups and grow their businesses throughout the Reno area. He is the lead organizer for Startup Weekend Reno and facilitated what is now Startup Row on First Street in Reno. Last year, Bryan was one of the lead organizers for the inaugural Reno Venture Conference. Bryan is formerly the Operations Manager for the Summit Venture Mentoring (VMS) Service that supports the growth of high potential startups. An entrepreneur himself, Bryan opened Reno’s first hookah lounge, Hookava, and later a popular Irish bar. Bryan earned a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science and Natural Resource and an MBA from University of Nevada, Reno.
Kevin Lyons is a serial entrepreneur and governance expert helping to mentor tech startups from zero to one. Kevin’s first startup experience was with a company that became a unicorn. Since then, Kevin has founded three technology startups and one hedge fund. He is currently the co-founder & CEO FlashVote which is developing a technology platform to gather rapid input from citizens to empower better government decisions.
Scott is a serial entrepreneur with a broad operational experience across a wide spectrum of industries. Scott moved to Silicon Valley in 2010 where he joined Polycom to help build their global system integrator practice. Since moving to Nevada in 2014, Scott started Watershed Growth Ventures to focus on his passion for investing and mentoring early-stage companies launching in Reno. Scott is the co-founder of the InNEVAtor accelerator. More recently, Scott joined an exciting new digital healthcare startup, 3TandAi, as the co-founder and CBO.
Rick is an exited entrepreneur, angel investor, and Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship and Marketing at Sierra Nevada College. Rick started his career during the early days of the dot com bubble and spent the early 2000s as a pioneer in the internet lead generation space. Rick has a degree in Linguistics and Cognitive Science from the University of Pennsylvania, an MBA from Columbia Business School. Rick’s areas of expertise include internet marketing, online marketplaces, eCommerce, go-to-market strategy, data-based decision making, and early-stage investing.
Jeff is a start-up founder and early stage public company executive with more than 25 years’ experience. Since 1998, Jeff has been part of successful startup exits with 3 IPO’s and 1 private sale. As an executive, Jeff’s experience includes running worldwide sales, professional services, SaaS operations, and product development. As a founder, Jeff’s experience includes three B2B SaaS cloud companies and 1 business / tech incubator.
Aaron Klein brings a deep knowledge of cloud architecture, enterprise software, and over 20 years of managerial experience and vision to his role as CEO of BlocWatch. Prior to founding BlocWatch, Aaron founded and served as the COO of CloudCheckr Inc, where he helped it grow to nearly 200 people.
Prior to founding CloudCheckr, Aaron spent over 15 years in the financial industry. Aaron earned a J.D. from State University of New York at Buffalo and a B.A. from Brandeis University. Aaron currently serves on the Board at the Flaum Eye Institute at the University of Rochester Medical Center.
Allison’s vision for bringing economic capability to connected physical machines used in business and industrial environments is the cornerstone of Filament’s technology solutions. Allison’s technical leadership and entrepreneurial mindset supported the creation of Filament’s Blocklet Chip™, the first secure hardware solution for the Internet of Things (IoT) blockchain technology space. Prior to Filament, Allison’s expertise in hardware and software engineering led her to launch and manage technology startups in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York City. Allison serves on the Computer Science and Engineering advisory board at the University of Nevada, Reno and she is a Techstars mentor.
Jackie is a Silicon Valley native and has been at the cutting edge of technology for more than a decade. She has over six years of experience in machine learning and blockchain. She is the President of the Nevada Technology Association (NVTA), founder of a B2B technology company, and a former EIR at Originate, a pioneer in AI-driven technologies. Passionate about growth-stage organizations, Jackie has focused her energy on bringing innovation to legacy-based industries. She is currently an analyst at ShadowFund Ventures, which invests in technology for the built environment, and has served as an Executive in Residence at The Combine, whose mission is to help companies successfully scale. Jackie has spoken at conferences and startup events across the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Australia. She was a judge for CryptoChicks’ Hackathon and the NYU’s Shark Tank and served on a Women4Blockchain “Blockchain and Business” panel.
Meg cultivates and oversees key business relationships as Partner Engagement
Lead at Blockchains; she manages strategic growth initiatives involving social
impact, sustainability, identity, compliance, supply chain, IoT and technology
product integration. A longtime member of the blockchain community, Meg
has played an integral role in development at several startups, including
Cambridge Blockchain and Quantstamp. As a returned Peace Corps volunteer
with a background in finance and business development, Meg’s focus on
crypto-ventures began in 2014 while pursuing her MBA at Duke University, The
Fuqua School of Business.
Matt is the Vice President of Government Affairs and Strategic Initiatives at
Blockchains, where he leads blockchain regulatory strategy at the state and
federal level along with leading strategic initiatives. Matt was the co-creator of
Senate Bill 398, the foundational Nevada blockchain legislation that put Nevada
on the map as a leader in the emerging technology. Prior to joining Blockchains,
Digesti was the Chief Legal Officer for a nation-wide fintech company; he also
spent nine years in private practice as a business litigator. In his free time,
Matthew guest lectures at the University of Nevada, Reno teaching tomorrow’s
entrepreneurs about protecting intellectual property in startup environments.
Crystal Harvey is the program manager for the Reno InNEVator. Crystal earned
her B.S. in mechanical engineering and an MBA from the University of Nevada
Reno. Prior to joining the Innevation Center, she worked in R&D at a
technology start-up in the aerospace industry and as a project manager at a
Jim is a serial entrepreneur and spent much of his career in Silicon Valley.
After working as an industrial engineer in consultancies that eventually
became part of IDEO, Jim founded Palo Alto Products International with an
innovative business model: providing design services in exchange for equity
or royalties. Palo Alto Products created the first Palm Pilot handheld
computer and grew to more than $1 million in revenue and was sold to
Flextronics, Inc., where Jim remained as a member of the executive team
until 2004. Since moving to Nevada, Jim founded a number of business
ventures with successful exits. Jim has a master’s in product design from
Stanford and a bachelor’s from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He
holds more than a dozen patents and has received national and international