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  • Angela M. Alban

    President & CEO, SIMETRI, Inc

    Angela M. Alban is president and chief executive officer of SIMETRI, Inc., an Orlando-based firm that provides innovative solutions for training through art and science. SIMETRI designs, develops, and fields creative technologies and capabilities for training military personnel, physicians, nurses and first responders. Angela founded her company in 2009, putting into action years of industry experience, technical expertise, and a firm sense of personal responsibility to her customers and employees. Its multifaceted team of field experts are deeply committed to adapting to challenges and breaking new ground from the design phase, through the manufacturing process, all the way to a reliable finished product. Just as her company nurtures innovative ideas from concept to implementation, it also nurtures careers — Alban actively hires interns and integrates them directly with the SIMETRI team to provide opportunities for personal and professional growth.

  • Phil Dumas

    Builder, Creator, & Founder, UniKey Technologies

    An Engineer by degree, and entrepreneur by practice, Phil Dumas has played key roles in several startup and large companies. Most recently, Phil founded UniKey Technologies, a phone-as-a-key company focused on enabling people to move freely and securely through the world’s doors, with ultimate control, convenience, and peace-of-mind. Phil has a passion for, and has been working on, alternative access control solutions for over a decade. With extensive product development, large customer management, turn-around, and M&A experience, Phil has been able to wear the multiple hats required to disrupt the access control space. Phil is also known for his successful appearance on ABC’s Shark Tank, becoming the first company to get an offer from all five sharks.

  • Cameron Ford

    William and Susan Crouse Endowed Professor of Entrepreneurship, Founding Director of UCF’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership (CEL), and Director of the Blackstone LaunchPad and Techstars Entrepreneurship Network, UCF

    Cameron Ford is the William and Susan Crouse Endowed Professor of Entrepreneurship, Founding Director of UCF’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership (CEL), and Director of the Blackstone LaunchPad and Techstars Entrepreneurship Network at UCF. The CEL is a campus-wide center that empowers students from all academic disciplines with entrepreneurial thinking skills and startup resources. The LaunchPad is a startup advising service that supports hundreds of students and recent alumni annually with free one-on-one startup advising, workshops, mentoring opportunities, and exclusive resources. Cameron’s research and teaching interests lie at the intersection of creativity and entrepreneurship. His prior research describes how novel ideas evolve, gain legitimacy, and attract resources during the new venture emergence process. His research has appeared in over 60 academic papers and has earned over 5000 citations.

  • Michael Georgiopoulos

    Dean of College of Engineering and Computer Science, UCF

    Michael Georgiopoulos received his Diploma in EE (National Technical University of Athens; 1981), and MS, Ph.D. in EE (University of Connecticut; 1983, 1986). He has been at the University of Central Florida (UCF) since 1986 and is currently a Professor in ECE. He serves as the dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science (2013-present). His research expertise lies in machine learning with special emphasis on neural network algorithms and related applications. He has been involved in more than 50 grants and contracts a good number of them multi-million dollar contracts involving multiple stakeholders. He has published and presented more than 270 papers in journals and conferences. He has served as Associate Editor of the Neural Networks journal and the IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks. In 2010, he was named a UCF Pegasus Professor, the most prestigious award bestowed to senior UCF faculty members for extraordinary contributions in teaching, research, and service. He was inducted at the UConn Academy of Engineering in 2014.

  • Kathryn Kinsley

    Co-founder, Datawise, Inc

    Kathryn Kinsley became the first woman and “home grown” recipient of a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Central Florida in 1983. In 1981, Dr. Kinsley co-founded Datawise, Inc„ a computer consulting company. She and her business partners built their company to specialize in a new platform – microcomputers. Through her company, she has been the principal investigator in two SBIR grants from NASA and NSF on database topics. Dr. Kinsley retired from Datawise at the end of 2017 after 36 successful years. Dr. Kinsley has authored several technical publications in conference proceedings and journals. She has been named Engineer of the Year by the IEEE Computer Society, Outstanding Computer Scientist by the Association of Women In Computing, Outstanding Business Woman of the Year by the Women’s Executive Council of Central Florida and has received the UCF CS Alumni Professional Achievement Award. She has served as past president of the Central Florida Women’s Resource Center, the Adult Literacy League. Florida Executive Women, Association for Women in Computing and the Central Florida High Technology Council. Kinsley is an active alumnus, who currently serves on the UCF College of Arts and Humanities Advisory Committee and the College of Engineering and Computer Science Advisory Committee. Throughout their long-standing history of support for UCF, Kinsley and her husband, Joe, have awarded over 30 scholarships to deserving students.

  • Thomas P. O’Neal

    Professor of Industrial Engineering and Management Systems, Founder of the UCF Business Incubation Program, UCF

    Tom O’Neal is a Professor of Industrial Engineering and Management Systems and has served as the Associate Vice President for Research and Commercialization at UCF. He is the founder of the UCF Business Incubation Program (UCFBIP), Executive Director of the Florida Economic Gardening Institute (GrowFL), and the Executive Director of I-Corps at UCF, Florida’s first I-Corps site. He is also the Past President of the UCF Chapter of the National Academy of Inventors. His pioneering work in business incubation and entrepreneurial ecosystems has helped build Central Florida’s innovation-based economy, which in turn has become an internationally-recognized model for economic development being used across the globe today. He has been engaged by 23 international organizations and 15 national organizations, and helped them create entrepreneurial ecosystems to advance their community’s economic prosperity. He has presented his work in more than 250 conferences within the State of Florida and across the nation. He has raised over $80M in local, state and federal funding to support entrepreneurship and innovation initiatives. Tom currently serves on multiple international and local boards that advocate for research, commercialization, and entrepreneurism. These include the International Business Innovation Association (InBIA), the National Entrepreneur Center (NEC), Florida Business Incubation Association (FBIA), The Corridor (formerly the Florida High Tech Corridor Council), and the Florida Research Consortium, among many others.

  • Benjamin Patz

    Founding Partner and Managing Director, DeepWork Capital

    Mr. Patz is a Founding Partner and Managing Director at DeepWork Capital, an early stage investment firm focused on finding and supporting technology and life science startups. The firm has been in operation since October 2015. Prior to starting DeepWork Capital, Mr. Patz was Chief Operating Officer for Presidio Networked Solutions, a multi-billion-dollar Information Technology solutions provider. He joined Presidio through the acquisition of Coleman Technologies, Inc. in 2009, the firm he co-founded and ran as CEO. At CTI, he grew sales to $250M while staying active in technical pursuits such as leading the UCF/CTI team to the finals of the DARPA Urban Challenge, an autonomous vehicle competition. Mr. Patz has also been principal investigator on several SBIR grants relating to the application of Fuzzy Logic and Neural Networks to control systems. He has a BSEE from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and MSEE degree from the University of Central Florida. He was Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year award for Florida in 2002 and received UCF’s Professional Achievement Award in 2016.

  • Oscar Rodriguez

    Chairman/CEO, NovaCharge

    Oscar is a seasoned business executive and technologist, having held various CEO positions in both public and private U.S. firms. With over 35 years of hi-technology industry leadership experience both in and out of Silicon Valley, he has deep experience in product development, global technology marketing, executive sales, and business operations. Oscar has served as the CEO of four large-scale technology growth ventures, including two NASDAQ listed companies and is currently the Chairman/CEO of NovaCharge, a leading provider of electric vehicle charging solutions in the US. He also currently holds a Professor of Practice position in the College of Engineering & Computer Science, at the University of Central Florida, where he has created new curriculum designed to educate the next generation of technology entrepreneurs in innovation and new venture creation.