Final Round Judges


Mike Buckley

Vice President, Nike+ Partnerships

As Vice President of Nike+ Partnerships, Mike leads Nike’s growing effort to collaborate with innovative, digital companies that compliment and accelerate its goal to connect, inspire and motivate consumers.  Prior to his current role, Mike headed strategy across Nike’s integrated “digital” efforts and finance for several of Nike’s key digital functions.

Mike joined Nike from Intel Capital, Intel Corporation’s strategic investment division.  Mike worked at Intel Capital for 14 years most recently as Managing Director of Consumer Internet Investments and also served as a member of Intel Capital’s Investment Committee.  Mike has also served on the Board of Directors of many of the companies in which Intel had invested.  Prior to Intel Capital, Mike was Vice President and Partner of Orca Capital, a boutique investment banking firm providing corporate financial solutions to Pacific Northwest-based, emerging growth companies.

Mike has a BA in Quantitative Economics from Stanford University, where he was also a running back for the Cardinal football team. He later graduated from Harvard Business School.  Mike lives in Portland with his wife (Moira) and three kids (Piper, Lily and Jack).



Michael Crooke

Avamere Professor of Practice, University of Oregon Lundquist College of Business

Dr. Michael Crooke is CEO and professor of business strategy, teaching capstone courses to graduate students at the Lundquist College of Business at University of Oregon and the Graziadio School of Business and Management at Pepperdine University. He is the founding and lead faculty of the Socially, Environmentally and Ethically Responsible (SEER) business certificate program which has been selected as a winner of the 2013 Dr. Alfred N. and Lynn Manos Page Prize for Sustainability Issues in Business Curricula, granted by the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina. He is also Oregon’s first Avemere Professor of Practice at the University of Oregon’s Lundquist College of Business where he is the founding faculty of the capstone Advanced Strategy course and soon to be Oregon Advanced Strategy (OAS) certificate. Dr. Crooke concurrently is an independent consultant counseling high-growth businesses on strategic issues, in particular, developing direct to customer strategies that create an emotional connection to the brand. Dr. Crooke has been recognized by Trust Across America as one of Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business Behavior (2012-13). In April of 2012 the Ford Foundation named Dr. Crooke one of the “10 Innovators Changing Our World,” and profiled him as one of ten cutting-edge innovators who are shaping new sustainable businesses and influencing positive change around the world.



Diane Fraiman

Partner, Voyager Capital

Diane serves as a Partner with Voyager and focuses on software and digital media investments in the Pacific Northwest, particularly Oregon. With over 30 years of technology company experience in leading marketing, strategy and business development, Diane works with startups in the enterprise software, Internet/mobile/social, and security software industries throughout the West Coast. Diane was previously Senior Vice President of Marketing and Business Development for Sanctum, a VC-backed startup providing Web application security software (acquired by Watchfire) and Vice President of Worldwide Marketing for the database company Informix Software (acquired by IBM), both based in Silicon Valley. Prior to her move to Silicon Valley, Diane was Vice President of Marketing for Tektronix (acquired by Danaher) in their Video and Networking Division and a marketing executive with Sequent Computer (acquired by IBM), both based in Oregon. She previously spent 16 years in sales and marketing roles at Digital Equipment Corporation in the US, Europe and Asia Pacific. Diane is a Board observer of Act-On Software, Attensa, Chirpify, Elemental Technologies, Lytics, Skyward, and Ubix, and on the boards of TiE Oregon, Oregon Entrepreneurs Network (OEN), OSU Advantage Accelerator and Oregon Israeli Business Alliance (OIBA). She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University in Biomedical Engineering, and received an Executive MBA from Insead in Fountainebleau, France. Diane lives in Portland, Oregon



Sabrina Parsons

CEO, Palo Alto Software

Sabrina Parsons is CEO of Palo Alto Software. Sabrina began her professional career with the marketing team at EnCommerce. . In 1997, she became Director of Online Marketing at CommTouch Ltd. an email services company, and left in 1999 to help start Epinions.com. In 2001, she moved to London, and founded a software distribution company.  She eventually sold the company to Palo Alto Software and joined headquarters in Eugene, OR. Sabrina is the author of a blog about the challenges and rewards of being a “Mommy CEO”. She writes for Inc magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine, Business Insider, Huffington Post, and Bplans.com. She is a graduate of Princeton University.


Stout-TimTim Stout

Director, Cullen Eye Institute

Dr. Tim Stout has been Chair of the Ophthalmology Department and Director of the Cullen Eye Institute at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston TX since 2013. Prior to this position, he served as Vice President for Commercialization Strategies at Oregon Health & Science University since 2007. As a practicing vitreoretinal surgeon and director of the Cullen Eye Institute at BCM, Dr. Stout brings experience from both the research and clinical sides of medicine.

Dr. Stout received his undergraduate degree from Rice University in Houston, and his medical degree and a doctorate in molecular genetics from the Baylor College of Medicine. He has been board certified in Oph­thalmology since 1999. Dr. Stout earned his MBA at the University of Oregon in 2006.


Wood-John John Wood

Vice Chairman, Heidrick & Struggles

John Wood is Vice Chairman and a member of Heidrick & Struggles’ Chief Executive Officer and Board prac­tice. Based in New York, John brings 20 years of executive search consulting experience and an extensive track record of recruiting chief executive officers and board directors for a broad range of clients.

BusinessWeek recently named John one of “The 50 Most Influential Headhunters In the World.” He is also a regular commentator in the media on issues including succession planning, executive compensation and board assessment.

John began his career in advertising and has held senior management positions at Grey Advertising (now the Grey Group) and Foote, Cone & Belding. He earned a Bachelor of Science in journalism and an M.B.A. from the University of Oregon.


Semifinal Round Judges

Berry_tim Tim Berry

Founder/Chairman, Palo Alto Software

Mr. Berry is founder and chairman of Palo Alto Software, which started in Palo Alto and is now based in Eugene. He is also founder of bplans.com, and a co-founder of Borland International. He has been active in the Willamette Angels since it started in 2009, and was managing member in 2013.

He is conceptual author of business planning software including Business Plan Pro and LivePlan, and author of books including ‘Lean Business Planning,’ The Plan-As-You-Go Business Plan, and 3 Weeks to Startup. Lately he focuses on blogging, teaching, speaking, and writing.




Jim Coonan

Executive Director, rain

Now the leader of the RAIN program, Coonan previously served as Venture Catalyst Manager at Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO). He has been deeply involved with Oregon’s angel and venture community, having previously served as chair of the Oregon Entrepreneur’s Network (OEN) and PAN (Portland Angel Network).

As a small business leader, Coonan is currently Chair of Peak Audio Group. Previously, Coonan served in executive marketing positions for Van de Kamp’s Frozen Foods, The Pillsbury Company and General Mills Inc.



Mike Coughlin

Board Member, Oregon Community Foundation

Mike is a private equity investor with interests in companies in the outdoor industry, real estate, industrial food production and wine production. He purchased Percon Incorporated with a group of investors in 1990 and led the team that took the company public in 1995. Mike also started Summit Bank in Eugene, Oregon and has had other investments in clothing manufacturing and Internet retailing. He began his career as a CPA in the tax department of Coopers & Lybrand and also worked as a manager in Arthur Young’s merger & acquisition consulting practice in Seattle. He currently serves on the board of the Oregon Commu­nity Foundation.


Cummings_Caroline Caroline Cummings

VP Business Development, Palo Alto Software

Caroline is currently the VP of Business Development for Palo Alto Software. As the former co-founder and CEO of two technol­ogy companies, she’s experienced both start-up failures and successes. She has co-founded several successful entrepreneurial programs for the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce, including Smart-ups Pub Talks and the Southern Willamette Angel Net­work. She is a graduate of Drexel University’s LeBow School of Business. Caroline is passionate about mentoring. She mentors several young women and is also the immediate past president of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lane County’s board of direc­tors. She strongly believes in the power of mentoring.


flucht-Brian Brian Flucht

Director, Nike Global Corporate Business Dev.

Successfully operating and investing across the IT and Life Science domains for over 17 years, Brian’s experience as Venture Capitalist & Business Development professional spans seed stage to large multinational enterprises. Currently a Director with Nike’s Global Corporate Business Development team, Brian focuses on strategic investments and partnerships within the Retail, Digital Commerce & Brand, and Consumer Digital Technology spaces. Prior to joining Nike Brian worked with Southern Califor­nia based Blade & Shepherd Ventures. Prior to that, he held management and engineering positions within Science Application International Corporation [NYSE: SAI] and the National Security Agency.


fox-bernie-2015 Bernard Fox

President/CEO, UbiVac

Dr. Fox is an internationally recognized expert on cancer immunotherapy. He is the Harder Family Chair for Cancer Research, Member and Chief, Laboratory of Molecular and Tumor Immunology, at the Robert W. Franz Cancer Research Center, Earle A. Chiles Research Institute, Providence Cancer Center. He is also co-founder, president and CEO of UbiVac, a clinical stage biotech and UbiVac-CMV, an R&D stage biotech. Dr. Fox is also a member and co-leader of the Tumor Immunology Focus Panel for the NCI-designated Knight Cancer Institute and adjunct faculty member, Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Oregon Health and Science University.


hawes_josephJoseph Hawes

President/CEO, Hawes Financial Group

Joseph Hawes is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Hawes Financial Group (HFG). Joe is responsible for strategic and operational management of all HFG companies. In addition to more than twenty years of experience in the credit and receivables management industry, Joe is an active member in a number of credit and finance organizations. He is a Fellow of the Healthcare Financial Managers Association and has served in leadership positions with the American Collections Association International and International Credit Association of North America. Hawes earned his MBA from the University of Oregon, Charles Lindquist College of Business Administration.


Jackson-AngelaAngela Jackson

President, Keiretsu Forum Portland Chapter

Angela brings a decade’s experience placing 30+ angel investments (multiple sectors) and a serial entrepreneur family history to Portland Seed Fund. She has advised hundreds of entrepreneurs and seed‐stage companies across a broad spectrum of in­dustries at AB Jackson Group, and also oversees the Portland State University Business Accelerator, with 25+ resident bio-tech, technology and clean-tech companies. She is current President of the Portland chapter of Keiretsu Forum, the largest angel network in the world, and was Chair of the state’s premier angel investment event, Angel Oregon, in 2010.



President/CEO, Cervel Neurotech

Eric Meier joined Cervel Neurotech in 2010 and brings over 20 years of medical device industry experience to the company’s leadership. The breadth of his experience includes executive management, market development, product development, commercialization, reimbursement strategy, clinical and regulatory strategy, team building and fundraising. Eric holds a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering from Duke University and a Master in Business Administration from Stanford University.


Sandra MorrisSandra Morris

CEO, Cafegive

Sandra Morris is currently the CEO of CafeGive, which builds applications and a platform to support an online social giving experience. She has a proven track record of spearheading large strategic ecommerce marketing programs from marketing to engineering, to operations, and product areas. She has been involved in developing and managing new products and present­ing strategies and results. Sandra has held key executive positions with well-known companies like Kodak, Intel and RCA.


nelson-andrew-2015jpgAndrew Nelson

ASST. Professor of Management, University of Oregon Lundquist College of Business

Andrew Nelson is assistant professor of Management at the University of Oregon’s Lundquist College of Business. Professor Nelson is a co-author of Technology Ventures (McGraw-Hill, 2010). He has been named one of five inaugural Kauffman Foundation junior faculty fellows for promising research in the field of entrepreneurship. Nelson holds a Ph.D. in management science and engineering from Stanford University, an M.S. from Oxford University, and a dual B.A. from Stanford.




Ron Neumann

CFO, Oregon Community Credit Union

Ron Neumann, Chief Financial Officer at Oregon Community Credit Union, is an accomplished corporate executive with over 20 years of business management experience. Prior to joining Oregon Community Credit Union in 2010, Ron held executive positions at Hawes Financial Group, Neumann Management Group, Western Electronics, and Graco Incorporated.

Ron also is a co-founder of the IT Process Institute, has engaged in a number of business start-ups, serves on several boards, and volunteers for a variety of local nonprofit organizations.



Gregory Roderick

CEO, Frontier Management, LLC

Gregory Roderick is a third-generation senior housing industry member in an owner/operator position. Greg has worked in the senior housing industry at senior or executive level capacity since 1989. He has held management, marketing and finance po­sitions with industry leaders including Holiday Retirement Corp., Regent Assisted Living, Inc. and Health Resources, Inc. He has held numerous positions including Regional Manager; Regional Marketing Director; Corporate Marketing Director; Vice Presi­dent of Operations; and, Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Roderick attended the University of Oregon and a member of the Oregon Health Care Association.


Rygh-Jon Jon Rygh

Chief Creative Officer, Velocidi

Jon Rygh is Chief Creative Officer at Velocidi, a New York-based digital content marketing agency focused on demand genera­tion. Prior to co-founding Velocidi, Jon worked in leadership capacities in advertising, branding, and design agencies, with the last several years focused primarily on digital communications. Jon’s record of success spans rebranding Edelman Digital and the US Open Championship, to serving as COO of the French publishing house Assouline, to co-founding the design studio Group W Art Works.



Sandler-Scott-2014Scott Sandler

Fund Manager, Oregon Angel Fund

Scott manages the day-to-day activities of the Oregon Angel Fund. Starting as an engineer at Intel in the 80’s, he found out early that he liked talking about technology and products more than designing and testing them. Scott’s career in the Electron­ic Design Automation industry was capped by his role as CEO of startup Novas Software.

He left that role in 2010, invested in the Oregon Angel Fund, and quickly became one of its most active members. He joined the fund’s management team in 2012. Scott received a BS in Computer Systems engineering from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.


JeffTunnell2015Jeff Tunnell

Co-founder, Spotkin LLC

Jeff is currently launching Spotkin, which is creating a technology platform for producing “Smart Games” aimed at the consumer but supported by schools. The first title on the platform is Contraption Maker, the spiritual successor to The Incredible Machine (a game Jeff co-designed at Dynamix). Prior to Spotkin, Jeff was the co-founder of Dynamix, GarageGames, and PushButton Labs, all game-related companies with exits to Sierra/Universal, IAC, and Disney respectively. Jeff has been a RAIN mentor since 2014, and is also on the Oregon Seed Fund Advisory Board.


Turoczy-RickRick Turoczy

Co-Founder, Portland Incubator Experiment

Rick Turoczy has been working with startups in the Portland area for 20 years. As founder of Silicon Florist, he has blogged about the Portland startup scene for more nearly a decade. That side project led Rick to cofound PIE (the Portland Incubator Experiment), a startup accelerator formed in partnership with global advertising firm Wieden+Kennedy. Those efforts led him to co-found TechFestNW, Oregon Story Board, and Built Oregon. Rick currently serves on the board of the Technology Association of Oregon and the board of the Oregon Video Game Association.




Dino Vendetti

General Partner, Seven Peaks Ventures

Dino Vendetti is the General Partner at Seven Peaks Ventures. He has spent his career as an entrepreneur, investor, and executive in leading technology companies. Now he is putting his passion and focus on building and growing the tech eco-system in Bend, OR.

He is co-founder of FoundersPad Accelerator in Bend, Managing Director of Formative Ventures, and previously General Partner at Bay Partners and Vulcan Ventures. Dino earned his MSEE and MBA degrees from the University of Washington and a BSEE degree from San Diego State University.


 Elevator Pitch Judges

JIM HUSTON – Managing Director, Portland Seed Fund

LINDA WESTON – President & Executive Director, Oregon Entrepreneurs Network

EMMA McILROY – CEO, Wildfang





















New Venture Championship’s judges are chosen from a diverse population of entrepreneurs, service providers, angel and VC investors and seasoned business executives. Each panel is a well-balanced team of individuals with a deep understanding of the process of evaluating new venture opportunities.
Get to know some of NVC’s previous judges by watching their fireside chats below.