Advisory Board

Amir Banifatemi
My constant focus has always been on identifying and developing future and emerging technologies that can impact society with special emphasis on predictive business intelligence, knowledge sharing and education, and real-time technologies. I work with startups and growth oriented companies on initiatives that could trigger significant technological breakthrough with strong economic and societal impact. Specialties: Product strategy, Market opportunity evaluation, Go-to-Market management, Funding and mentorship. Amir is the Founder of K5 Ventures, which hosts, invests, and accelerates early-stage, game-changing, technology-driven businesses led by visionary founders. He is also the President and Board Member of Tech Coast Angels, one of the largest angel investor networks, with more than 300 members from virtually every background and industry. Total investments to date exceed $1 Billion.
David Drake
David Drake is the founder and Chairman of LDJ Capital in NYC and has been involved in technology media and telecom (TMT), realty, mineral and energy, clean tech and impact investments for over 20 years. Mr. Drake is also the founder of The Soho Loft Capital Creation Series covering the Private Company Marketplace (PCM) and Financial Innovation leadership. He is a founding board member of CrowdFund Intermediary Regulatory Advocates (CFIRA) and the Association (CFPA). Mr. Drake’s proclivity toward energy, efficiency and impact investments interrelates directly with the TMT investment strategies, fund LPs, family office clients of LDJ Capital, and the PCM. His network extends across all continents and allows access to finance in the Private Company Marketplace from hedge funds, high net-worth investors, Sovereign Wealth Funds, pe firms, family offices to institutional pension funds to fund of funds. LDJ Capital HQ is in New York, with partner offices in Zurich, Stockholm, London, Abu Dhabi and Singapore. Mr. Drake works to bring part of the JOBS Act to the EU Commission. He was a U.S. Commerce delegate to Brussels and Rome in its meetings with Ministers and legislators at the Transatlantic Economic Council forum addressing 28 million European SMEs July 2012. David Drake presents regularly as an expert on the JOBS & Dodd-Frank Act and recently presented at the Harvard Alumni LA panel and the Nov. 2012 Thomson Reuters' Dallas event with KKR and Carlyle. He often attends the SEC hearings in Washington, DC.
Rick Gibson
Rick has had a 38-year career building businesses, founded and co-founded several successful technology companies and consulted to (75) others. Since 2000, Rick has served as Managing Director of HOTventures, a "mentor capital fund" which invests in and advises early-stage companies, specializing in a very wide range of technology companies. Rick has been key in several company exits. Rick is totally immersed in early-stage, fast-growth companies. He’s been: A limited partner in Solstice Capital II; On Screening Committee of Desert Angels (Tucson); Adjunct Instructor for UA’s Entrepreneurship Program and on MBA Advisory Council; On Boards of ASU’s Technopolis (Phoenix), Arizona Center of Innovation (AZCI), Northern Arizona Center For Emerging Technology (Flagstaff), Selection Committee and Management Committee for Invest Southwest Capital Conference; ASU entrepreneur-in-residence; Mentor for the TechBA program; Judge for Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur-of-the-Year Awards. Mentor Emeritus for UA’s AZCI and Judge for AZ Innovation Challenge. Rick was an early shareholder in Bill Gross' Idealab and participated in strategic planning with its ten original CEOs. 1998-2000, Rick was advisor to the board of Petersen Publishing, producers of 100+ magazines. Rick co-founded GNP Development Corp. and helped sell it to Lotus Development Corp. In 1991 he co-founded Knowledge Adventure which sold in 1996 to Cendant for $100 million. It was one of the world's largest CD-ROM edutainment software companies, owned by Vivendi-Universal, known for 'JumpStart' (15 million sold) and ‘Blaster’ series.
Vamsi Sistla
Vamsi is an innovative technologist with over 15 years of experience in the Television, Media & Entertainment industry, and has built various enterprise quality software and technology platforms. Currently he is involved in a stealth startup building Digital Venue for Live Concerts. In the past he was technology co-founder for three start-ups in interactive TV, mobile events and Social TV industries. He worked for media and entertainment giants such as Gemstar TV Guide & Rovi Corp. He has many years of experience in building Mobile Platforms, Social TV tools, Video Streaming, Enterprise Applications & E-commerce. He is an active Angel investor in ARC Angels, Eniac Ventures and an active TIE Angel. Vamsi Sistla is also active in social & impact enterprises as a mentor (The Unreasonable Institute, SpringBoard IoT & 37Angels), advisor to various early stage startups and a blogger.
Jeanne M. Sullivan
Jeanne M. Sullivan has been investing in and growing tech companies since 1990! She has 17 years of private equity experience and has spent 27 years in the technology sector encompassing both extensive operating and investing experience with technology companies. Jeanne is a co-founder and General Partner of StarVest Partners, L.P., a New York City-based venture capital firm with over $300 million under management. The firm invests in technology-enabled business services companies. As a General Partner of StarVest Partners and previously with Olivetti Ventures, Ms. Sullivan has served on many technology company boards. Ms. Sullivan has extensive experience creating 'go-to-market' plans for expansion-stage companies. Her expertise also includes strategy, a keen understanding of the technology landscape and industry trends. Ms. Sullivan is a sought-after industry speaker on the subject of investing in and building technology companies and serves as an adjunct professor of marketing at the graduate level. Her credentials also include: lousy golfer, Yankee baseball and sports addict, and being the oldest of eight kids where she learned the most about managing people and getting results.




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