2019 Competition Group Photo

Judges

Mario Casabona

Mario M. Casabona is an entrepreneur and active angel investor. In 2012, he founded TechLaunch, committed to identifying and nurturing early stage tech ventures by mentoring, coaching, and providing access to resources and capital. To date, TechLaunch has supported over 100 tech companies and mentored over 200 aspiring entrepreneurs. In 2006, he founded Casabona Ventures, investing in over 30 seed and early stage companies. In 1982, he founded Electro-Radiation Inc., which was acquired by Honeywell International in 2004. He received the Small Business Administration National Tibbett’s Award for his contributions in technology, and was listed as one of the top five most influential persons in New Jersey technology by The Star-Ledger. He was twice recognized by the New Jersey Technology Council, (now TechUnited:NJ) first as the recipient of their Financier of the Year Award and subsequently their Legend of Technology Award. Mario serves on the College of Science and Math (CSAM) Advisory Board at Montclair State University. He is Chairman Emeritus of Jumpstart NJ Angel Network and Chairman Emeritus of the R&D Council of New Jersey. He also enjoys serving on the Boards of various for-profit and non-for-profit organizations. Mr. Casabona is an electrical engineer and holds twelve national and international patents in the field of satellite-based navigation and communications.


Harvey H. Homan

Harvey D. Homan, PHD, MBA – K4-MA North Jersey Chapter President. Dr. Homan currently is a member of Keiretsu Forum (K4-Mid Atlantic) and Jumpstart NJ Angel Network. He has served as a Corporate Executive, Founder, Director, CEO, Investor and Advisor to pharmaceutical, biotech, medical device, and digital health companies, with a passion for innovation and entrepreneurship. Harvey held Senior Leadership roles at Sterling Health and Boots Company with US, European, and Global responsibilities in new product development, clinical, regulatory, sales, and strategic marketing. His groups were directly responsible for commercialization of dozens of products for leading consumer brands including Bayer, Neurofen, Strepsils, Midol, Phillips, Diaparene, and E45. Harvey serves as an Advisory Board Member for the Therapeutics (TRx) and Biomedical Device (BioMedx) Accelerators at Columbia University Medical Center and is also a participant in NYU Endless Frontier Labs for life sciences. He has served as NSF I-Corps mentor and faculty member; and as a mentor/advisor for the UGA College of Pharmacy and Graduate School, TechUnited NJ, and TechLaunch. Previously he served with NYU Berkley Center; Blackstone Launchpad@NYU, EDC@NJIT, and has supported numerous early-stage companies from formation through early commercialization. He holds a PhD in Neuropharmacology from UGA, and MBA, from NYU Stern.


Paul Lewis

Paul Lewis is the Founder and CEO of Calamu, a data protection company that eliminates the risk of a data breach or ransomware attack. He was also the Founder and CEO of PG Lewis LLC, a cyber-security and data forensics company that was strategically acquired by Robert Half International (NYSE:RHI). Lewis was also the Founder and CEO of MC2, a data security company that was strategically acquired by Volt Information Sciences (NYSE:VOL). Lewis, a serial entrepreneur, is the past president of The Entrepreneurs Organization and enjoys mentoring future leaders. He and his wife have four children and reside in Hunterdon County, NJ.


Kris Ohleth

Kris Ohleth has worked in the offshore wind industry for over 15 years, since the days of the industry’s inception in the U.S. Holding senior positions with offshore wind developers, NGOs, and state agencies, she has gained critical insights into the policy and regulations that shape offshore wind activities at the state, regional, and federal levels. Kris has extensive experience working with offshore wind stakeholders and has expert knowledge of such engagements, having worked on offshore wind and ocean policy issues at all levels. In her current role as the Director of the Special Initiative on Offshore Wind, she leads the organization on to develop strategies to support the responsible and sustainable development of the offshore wind industry. Originally from New Jersey, she is a Rutgers graduate, has a Master’s degree from the University of Rhode Island, and currently lives in Morris County, New Jersey with her husband and retired-racing greyhounds.


Judith Sheft

Judith Sheft is the Executive Director of the New Jersey Commission of Science, Innovation and Technology. The Commission’s mission is to accelerate economic development in New Jersey through science, innovation and technology including stimulating academic-industrial collaboration and encouraging and supporting entrepreneurs and inventors. Previously she was involved with regional economic and cluster development having responsibilities at the New Jersey Innovation Institute @ NJIT for the HealthIT Connections entrepreneurial cluster development program, the NJIT I-Corps Site and the Procurement Technical Assistance Center. She has been engaged with technology /IP innovation and commercialization efforts working with faculty and students to create startup companies and establishing licensing relationships with corporate partners. She advised external startups at NJIT’s high technology / life sciences business accelerator/ incubator. She is on the Board of Advisors to the NJIT Murray Women’s Center and serves as a mentor and coach to students and faculty. She is a member of the NJ – Israel Commission and serves on the Board of Greater Newark Enterprise Corporation, StartUp Newark, Women’s Center for Entrepreneurship Corporation, Einstein’s Alley, SheTek and NJEDA Technology Advisory Board, working to assist early stage tech and life sciences entrepreneurs foster regional economic growth. She was a co-chair of Governor Murphy’s transition advisory committee for Technology Government and Innovation (2017).