2023 Judges

Natalie Aggarwal

Natalie Aggarwal is a notable leader with a remarkable track record of making a positive impact in her community. As a co-founder and managing director of TEKids, she played a crucial role in providing innovative and engaging educational opportunities for children. Natalie’s passion for philanthropy and investments has since led her to pursue new opportunities to help others achieve their goals. Natalie’s academic background is diverse with a Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Chaminade University. She also holds a Master of Public Administration and Policy from American University, providing her with a strong foundation in leadership and management.

With her extensive knowledge and experience, Natalie has become an advisor for businesses and startups. As an investor and advisor, she has helped numerous companies navigate challenges and achieve success. Her strategic guidance and expertise have been instrumental in helping businesses thrive in today’s competitive marketplace.

Lloyd G. Jackson II

Hamlin, WV

Lloyd Jackson, a native and resident of Hamlin, West Virginia, is an attorney and businessman. He operated his family’s natural gas production business, an industry in which his family made their livings for over 100 years, until it was sold in 2019. Lloyd was educated in the public schools of West Virginia and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from West Virginia University. He attended the West Virginia University College of Law where he served as Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review, and from where he graduated Order of the Coif. Jackson served as Prosecuting Attorney of Lincoln County, West Virginia, for six years and as a State Senator for twelve years. During his legislative service, Lloyd authored both the PROMISE Scholarship legislation and the Comprehensive Early Childhood Legislation, which created West Virginia’s universal 4-year-old pre-kindergarten program. He also served 5 years on the West Virginia Board of Education.

Lloyd currently serves as Chair of the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation and on the Advisory Committee of the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences. He is the past Chair of the Board of Trustees of West Virginia Wesleyan College and a board member of the Discover the Real West Virginia Foundation.

Rouzbeh Yassini, Ph.D.

Boston, MA 

Dr. Yassini is widely known as the “father of the cable modem,” reflecting his pioneering work in cable broadband technology as the founder and CEO of LANcity and as prominent contributor to the CableLabs Data over Cable Services Interface Specification (DOCSIS), a pillar of today’s worldwide, Trillion-dollar broadband industry. (1987-1996)

As Founder and CEO of YAS Corporation, Dr. Yassini has been instrumental in the creation of multiple (10+) start-up companies that have either been acquired or have successfully staged initial public stock offerings. He has served as a senior executive consultant with Comcast for creating first IP-STB; as an executive advisor to CableLabs in charge of the research organization’s DOCSIS and CableHome projects. Rouzbeh is also Executive Director of the University of New Hampshire Broadband Center of Excellence, an interdisciplinary initiative devoted to the advancement of broadband Internet technology and services. He has served as a member of the board of directors for LANcity (acquired by Bay Networks in 1996), Broadband Access Systems (acquired by ADC in 2000), TrueChat (acquired by Terayon in 2001), Entropic Communications (IPO), IRYStec (acquired by Faurecia in Q12, 2020), and Visteon Corporation (2015-2020) and been involved 11+ start-up companies. (1997-2022.) Presently, Dr. Yassini is CEO & Investor of Home and Thriving Research firm.

Dr. Yassini holds an Honorary Ph.D. in Science and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from West Virginia University; an Honorary Ph.D. from Merrimack College; and an equivalent MBA from General Electric’s Financial Management Program. Dr. Yassini is a member of the Lane Department Academy and the West Virginia University Academy of Distinguished Alumni. Dr. Yassini is the author of Planet Broadband (Cisco Press, 2004), a humanized look at broadband technology and its contributions to society.

Tim Danser: Creating The Modern Luxury Lifestyle

Inspired by the Iconic American Lifestyle, a fashion industry executive, Tim Danser, founded Prince of Scots in 2011. The brand received instant recognition and quickly became an inspirational lifestyle collection, which led to the creation of three other brands, Southampton Home, The Patio Daddy-O, and Wanderlust.

Prince of Scots is rediscovering the world of fashion with a collection of bespoke gifts, apparel, home goods, and luxury textiles. The lifestyle brand’s philosophy is to use provenance in the design of products, source the best quality, and look for special items that fit its clients’ lifestyle experience. Its team searches the global market, works directly with artisans, designers, and mills to craft exclusive products. Recently, it has also become a leader in barware with several award-winning designs and best-in-class quality recognition.

The Steadfast Leader

 Tim started his professional career at JCPenney as a Senior Merchandise Manager in 1989, where he invented the world’s first machine wash/tumble dry suit and the why rent when you can own wool tuxedo. After serving JCPenney for over 23 years, he joined Sears, Roebuck, and Co, where he invented the world’s first Eco suit. Later in 2008, he joined Bagir International as the Interim President and Vice president of Marketing and helped to turn the company around by introducing new process management, improved formal reporting structure, updated support systems, and management training and support to modernize corporations in the challenging market and economy. At Bagir, he successfully built customer-focused business models to drive top-line sales and profit. This eventually increased sales numbers to 24.4% in 2009 and 39.5% in 2010. Tim added several brands like Nicole Miller, Dockers, Jones New York, Kasper, and Cintas, which soon became core replenishment businesses. He also launched Simon Carter in North America during the worst recession since the great depression and helped it become a global brand.

Rediscovering the World of Fashion and Design

 Prince of Scots lifestyle is entirely inspired by the sophistication and coastal life of a community that dates back to 1640. Since its inception in 2011, the luxury lifestyle brand has won several recognitions worldwide. The company offers iconic British and American fashions to the global market while keeping an eye on the present trends. Prince of Scots specializes in Eco-friendly and Sustainable luxury textiles manufactured in the British Isles, including traditional herringbones, Scottish tartans, premium window treatments, and table linens.

As a brand with an opinion, Prince of Scots always looks for new talents, designs, trends, and the next big idea for a point of difference to reinvent the fashion and design world. It is a modern supply source that delivers design and product development expertise while keeping up with the ever-evolving world economy.

Currently, Prince of Scots products are available in over 700 retail stores, including boutiques, wineries, restaurants, distilleries, and better department stores spread across the US, Canada, Europe, and selected online markets. Prince of Scots was the Official Retail Partner of the 2022 Breeders’ Cup.

Ashok Aggarwal

M&S Consulting Co-Founder & Managing Partner

Intermed Labs Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer

Ashok Aggarwal is an experienced tech entrepreneur and investor building teams with a positive culture and high expectations. As a co-founder and Managing Partner at M&S Consulting, Ashok has helped build a world-class technology and strategy services organization dedicated to client satisfaction. As a co-founder and CSO at Intermed Labs, Ashok has helped build an award-winning MedTech Startup Studio that evaluates and brings ideas to market that can have the highest impacts on quality of life. Ashok has a solid background with traditional enterprise challenges and also market acumen with the latest trends in business, process, and technology, allowing him to effectively advise businesses on the best ways to bring all together.

Sarah Biller

Vantage Ventures Executive Director

Sarah Biller is the Executive Director of Vantage Ventures. She is the co-Founder of the FinTech Sandbox, a Boston-based not for profit working providing entrepreneurs access to high quality data sets, and Capital Market Exchange, a predictive analytics platform for institutional bond investors. Sarah was most recently the Chief Operating Officer for Innovation Head at State Street Bank’s Global Exchange division and Head of Innovation Ventures. She was named by Innovate Finance in 2018 as one of the Top 150 global women leaders in FinTech and Lattice80’s list of Top 100 Women in FinTech in the UK and Hong Kong. She sits on the board of multiple start-ups and has also held roles at Fidelity Investments; worked on MCI’s corporate venture team; and launched and led research divisions for Fortune 500 CFO’s and treasurers at the Corporate Executive Board. Sarah has an undergraduate degree in Finance from West Virginia University. She is now focused on applying the lessons of entrepreneurship and reach of emerging technologies to build vibrant economies.

Kevin Combs

Managing Partner of Keswick Pharmaceuticals

Kevin is a founder and entrepreneur with a successful track record of building operating companies that produce outsized value, while maintaining core values of integrity, passionate pursuit of purpose and consistent sustainability. He has created over 2 billion dollars in returns to investors as a founder, with the fourth largest being in pharma/biotech sector (commercial lead for Lanoxin Canada post 2001 from GlaxoWelcome/acquisition of world-wide commercial rights to Cyclist in 2005/6. While at Vatring-Vicro, sell of PBM Pharma in 2014, sourcing and closing of substantial equity position in Alexis 2014 leading to their ability to perform ph I trials with gene therapy for SMA and leading to their Nasdaq listing in 2016 and sell to Novartis for $8.7bn in April 2018, build out of Flourish Health Solutions to initially serve as commercial outsourcing partner to PaxVax in 2016). In addition to these events, Kevin had the privilege to build out several successful commercial teams at GSK, AZ/MedImmune and Novartis Vaccines, leading to both value creation for the company/investors and career growth for the employees associated. More recently Kevin has helped co-found an affordable housing startup in North Carolina, a very exciting game tech company in Charlottesville, a digital/social media company in Charlottesville and joined boards of ArcheMedx, Ubicabus, Pavella, HIVE and the UVA Seed fund.

Ron Gabriel

Shelfmark Corp – Partner

Ron was a partner and later Chief Merchandising Officer (CMO) at Rugged Wearhouse and Gabriel Brothers Inc., two off-price retail chains. Ron has consulted in the apparel and convenience store channels with a focus on customer/product fit. Ron holds an undergraduate degree in Industrial Management and an MBA degree with a focus on Entrepreneurship, Strategy and Marketing from Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business. Ron is currently an active investor in start-up and early-stage companies. Ron is a partner in Shelfmark Corp, an integrated solution to Direct to Store Delivery in the grocery and convenience store market.

Mike Green

Managing Director of Mountain State Capital

Mike Green of Morgantown, a retired businessman with a background in business and technology, currently serves as the Chairman of the West Virginia Growth Investment Fund and Managing Director of Mountain State Capital, both providing mentorship and funding to entrepreneurs and early-stage companies. Mr. Green is also a board member of the West Virginia High Technology Consortium Foundation. Mr. Green serves as an advisor, investor and board member for several privately held technology companies.

Marc A Halbritter

Hydrocarbon Consulting

Marc Halbritter retired from Caiman Energy/Blue Racer Midstream in March 2019 after serving for 6 years in a variety of roles including Senior Vice President of Business Development, Chief Marketing Officer and General Counsel. Prior to joining Blue Racer, he worked for several Dominion Energy subsidiaries in a number of different capacities. Upon his retirement, he formed Hydrocarbon Consulting and now provides consulting services to a variety of energy and start-up businesses and serves as part of the RBN Energy Network. Marc holds Bachelor of Science and Juris Doctor degrees from West Virginia University and has been conferred with a Doctorate of Humane Letters by West Virginia Wesleyan College. Mr. Halbritter is also a certified public accountant. He has served as a director and often as chair on several boards including those of the Mason Dixon Football Official’s Association, Medbrook Children’s Charity, St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, Christ Church Episcopal, Energize WV, the West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association, West Virginia Wesleyan College, the Gas and Oil Association West Virginia and Country Roads Angel Network. 

Jeff James

Vice President of Business Development at Harvest Midstream Company

Jeffrey James is Vice President, Business Development at Harvest Midstream Company. Prior to joining Harvest in March 2014, Mr. James worked for CONSOL Energy, a Pittsburgh based natural gas and coal producer, and Atmos Energy Marketing, the deregulated arm of the Dallas based natural gas utility. Mr. James has over 20 years of industry experience in business development, commercial midstream, gas marketing and corporate strategy roles. He is also a member-investor of the Country Roads Angel Network.

Mr. James holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from West Virginia Wesleyan College and a Master of Business Administration from the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas.

Joe Zuccari

CEO & Co-Founder of Servarus Systems

Joe is President, CEO and co-founder of Servarus Systems, a Software as a Service (SaaS) and Managed Services benefits administration and software technology company. Joe leads the company in creating the strategic direction and vision and is involved in all aspects of the business. Through his fortune 50 company leadership experience with MCI (now Verizon) as their Chief Information Office, and as the CTO for a startup Telecommunications company, Servarus Systems is becoming one of the most innovative companies in the benefits administrative industry with a focus on supporting ACA initiatives. His combined technology, business background and experience from enterprise companies to startup ventures have provided a foundation for significant company growth. Joe has over 35 years of business operations, benefits administration, information technology and management experience from leading industries, such as telecommunications, insurance, software, health care and hospitality.

Joe was born in Morgantown, West Virginia where he attended West Virginia University and received his Bachelor of Science Business Administration Accounting degree. He also holds a Master of Business Administration with a focus in Finance from George Washington University. He also has his Life and Health industry license. He now is a resident of Northern Virginia where he is involved in numerous volunteer activities that include coaching and administrative support for the varsity football program at Gonzaga College High School located in Washington DC.