Investor Panelists For May 25th Phoenix Investor Roundtable

May 23, 2017

We have by far the best list of investor panelists for our May 25th Phoenix FundingPost Investor Roundtable at the University of Advancing Technology. Our entrepreneur pitch opportunities are closed but you can still register and network with the investors. Register at

Our Panelists and Presenters

Scott Kelly, Black Dog Venture Partners Founder and CEO

Scott Kelly Founder and CEO of Black Dog Venture Partners, is a 25 year fundraising, marketing, sales, training and publicity veteran. Scott has raised millions of dollars in capital for disruptive companies, garnered national media coverage for hundreds of regional and national brands and generated millions of dollars in revenues for the companies he has represented. He has also trained over 1,000 sales people and has taught marketing at the university level in the United States and Europe.

When not making his clients famous, Scott spends his time in countless sporting events with his wife and two boys. He loves a good craft beer and playing with his “Black Dog” Shamus.

Michael Hool, Managing Partner Hool Coury Law

Michael Hool is our founding Partner and is a pioneer in the field of venture formation and financing in the Southwest and California. Michael works with select companies as an advisor, legal counsel and periodically serves in executive and board capacities. Michael practice is focused primarily on corporate and commercial representation, securities, finance and venture capital, mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance matters, and all aspects of counseling emerging companies. He represents both issuing companies and investors in a large variety of financing transactions. In the past fiscal reporting year, the firm has assisted entrepreneurs in over $187 million in funding transactions and has assisted funds raise over $100 million for investment in emerging companies.

Michael represents or advises accelerators, incubators, and has formed three active angel investment groups, including ATIF (predecessor to AzTech Investors) and Canyon Angels. Michael has chaired or served on the board of Arizona Venture Capital Conference, BioAccel, AzTech Investors, Canyon Angels, and the Indus Entrepreneurs. Mr. Hool is currently active in formation of three separate seed stage investment funds. Mr. Hool is highly sought after as a speaker and author of papers on a broad variety of topics. Michael is also active as an investor in a growing portfolio of emerging companies.

John Livesay

INC calls John Livesay “The Pitch Whisperer.” John helps people craft a compelling pitch that tugs at the heartstrings so people open their purse strings.. He hosts “The Successful Pitch” podcast and is the author of “The Successful Pitch : Conversations on Going From Invisible To Investable”

John had an award winning twenty year career in media sales with Conde Nast and is the mentor at

John has appeared in Forbes, INC. as well on CBS FOX and ABC as an expert on “How To Ask For What You Want And Get A Yes.”

Vadim Tarasov Venture Partner Target Ventures

Prior to joining Altpoint Ventures, Vadim was a Partner at Bright Capital, a VC firm with investments in the ICT sector. From 2009 to 2011 Vadim was the International Business Development Director at IQ One, an investment company focusing on IT, Internet & New Media projects in Russia. He was also a Board Member at the leading Spanish Seed Investment Company, DAD from 2010 to 2011. Before IQ One, Vadim worked as a Managing Partner at CB Invest, an Investment Brokerage company focusing on cross-border transactions in the VC sector.

Vadim is currently employed as a Venture Partner at Target Ventures, and as a Digital Strategy Advisor at Media3, an investment firm owned by PromSvyazCapital that focuses on digital media and e-commerce. He currently serves as a Board Member at CIAN Group, the leading vertical classified in real estate in Russia.

Vadim received a M.Sc. in Applied Mathematics from Moscow State University and a Masters degree in E-Business from Universitat Ramon Llull.

Iana Dimkova, GE Ventures

Prior to joining the GE Ventures healthcare investing team, Iana spent most of her career in the healthcare sector. She was one of the first employees of ProCure Treatment Centers, a start-up that raised $700mm to develop and operate a nationwide network of radiation (proton) therapy centers. After leaving ProCure, she joined Alvarez & Marsal’s Healthcare Group where she helped Private Equity firms evaluate potential investments and improve portfolio company operations. Iana holds a BA and an MBA from Columbia University.

Sanjit Singh Dang, Investment Director at Intel Capital

Sanjit is an Investment Director at Intel Capital. He drives investments in several areas like Machine Learning/Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, IoT, eCommerce, Virtual/Augmented Reality, Robotics, etc. He is on the Board of several companies.

Sanjit is on Hillary Clinton’s Tech/Innovation Policy Advisory team. He is on University of California President’s UC Innovation Council. Sanjit has the fastest Eng PhD from University of Illinois (2yrs 9mo after undergrad), which he received in 2000 with top research awards. He also attended the Venture Capital Executive program at Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley. He’s an invited Speaker at several top events, eg SURGE/WebSummit, TiECon, ShopTalk, McKinsey leadership event, Silicon Valley Open Doors, Global Big Data and IoT conferences. He’s a mentor at Stanford and Berkeley’s Entrepreneurship programs.

He has had several Exits within 1 year of investment with excellent financial returns – eg VokeVR (acq within 7 months of investment), Basis Science (Wearables, acq Intel) and Maginatics (Cloud Storage, acq EMC). He is currently a Board Member in several startups, including True Fit (eCommerce), Body Labs (Body Models using Instagram photos), Reflektion (eCommerce) and Enlighted (IoT).

He is currently an investor in DocuSign (eSignature), True Fit, Reflektion, Body Labs, MongoDB (NoSQL Database), Enlighted (IoT), Mirantis (Cloud Computing), GoodData (SaaS BI) and Arcadia Data (Data Analytics 2.0), to name a few.

Sanjit has over a decade of Exec leadership experience in Product Design, Business Development and Strategy across several domains: Big Data, Natural Language Processing, 3D Camera/Apps, Supply-Chain Analytics and Flash Memory. He has managed $2Bill/year accounts and executed >30 partnership deals in $100M-$2Bill range. Always ahead of the curve, Sanjit worked on Big Data Analytics before industry created the term ‘Big Data’. Similarly, he launched 2 online courses during grad school in 1999 and published iconic papers on learnings, way before the MOOC revolution started.

Personally, Sanjit has an interest in film-making. He has made a few short movies and taken courses in script-writing, lighting, editing and production at DeAnza College, Cupertino.

Anoop Kumar, Angel Investor

Seasoned technology executive with a background in semiconductors, medical and Information Technology fields. A board member at Thunderbird Angel Network (TAN). Invested in technology startups. Interested in promising startups in the technology/bio-medical space.

James Sowers – Angel Investor

James Sowers is a Korean-American businessman and active angel investor.He is a former singer/songwriter who has overcome being abandoned at birth to become a successful investor in real estate and public and private companies. He has recently actively invested in over 20 companies. He is currently seeking companies to syndicate via his PopUp VC

David Blackledge, Angel Investor

Dave Blackledge is an Attorney of Counsel with Davis Miles McGuire Gardner, PLLC. He is an experienced businessman and later in life attorney focusing his practice on corporate/business transactions. He is an active angel investor and frequent volunteer at various business incubators and accelerators in the valley. Dave is also an Adjunct Professor at GCU.

Todd Belfer Managing Partner Canal Partners

Todd Belfer is Managing Partner of Canal Partners. In this role Mr. Belfer is responsible for all aspects of the company including identification of potential acquisition targets, due diligence, financial analysis and final investment decision making.

Mr. Belfer has a long history of entrepreneurship and has been involved with a wide range of businesses throughout his career. In 1990 he co-founded Employee Solutions, Inc., a professional employer organization which he helped take public in 1993 and which was the highest performing stock on the NASDAQ in 1996. He also co-founded a leading sports nutrition company M.D. Labs in 1993 and after realizing triple-digit growth sold his interest to a private equity firm in 2002. He was a founder of the successful Japanese restaurant chain RA, which has grown to more than 30 locations throughout the United States and which was sold to Benihana in 2002. In 2002 Mr. Belfer founded NETtime Solutions, a Software as a Service (SaaS) organization dedicated to delivering on-demand time and attendance service, where he remains as chairman.

Mr. Belfer has been a dedicated volunteer with Big Brothers and Big Sisters for over 10 years. Nationally, he is recognized for his work with The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and received the prestigious Regional Wings of Memory Society “Excellence in Leadership Award” presented by the United States Holocaust Museum in April 2006 for his ongoing support and dedication to the Holocaust Museum and its efforts. He is also a board member of the Make-a-Wish Foundation.

Mr. Belfer has a bachelor’s degree in finance and a real estate degree from the University of Arizona.

Dr. David Shaw, Director at Montclair Holdings, Inc.

Dr. David Shaw is a Director and member of the High-Technology Investments Board at Montclair. During his tenure at Montclair he has been directly involved in the startup, funding and exit of six new ventures, and is currently responsible for three. He has over 30 years of experience in engineering design, research and consultancy. The main areas of specialization of Montclair are Clean / Intelligent Energy, Machine Learning and Analytics, and Industrial IoT. Dr. Shaw has authored over sixty industry publications. He holds a PhD in Applied Mathematics from the Imperial College of London University.

Will Bunker, Founder Partner Growth X Capital

Will Bunker and Dave Kennedy founded the dating site that became in 1995 in Dallas, TX. He has invested in over 160 companies all around the country. Currently a founder of GrowthX VC fund, his focus is helping companies accelerate their growth after the seed round to get their series A or break even.

Scott Kurland, Borland Capital Group

Scott Kurland – Senior Managing Director, Obsidian Securities Scott is a seasoned Wall Street Veteran with over 25 years of experience in portfolio management, investment banking and capital raising. Scott is currently an advisor to Borland Capital Group (‘BCG’), a private family office based out of NYC and Palm Beach, FL. BCG is a multi-strategy investment holding company. The firm is active in merchant banking and alternative investments such as energy development, real estate, technology and health and wellness. Furthermore, Scott is a Senior Managing Director at Obsidian Securities. Based in Manhattan, NYC, Obsidian provides a full suite of investment services to high net worth investors and family offices, with a focus on alternative investments. Formerly, Scott was head of sales and recruiting for a leading advertising technology firm where sales grew from $7MM to $31MM in his 2 years there. From 1990-2013, Scott held senior roles at Oppenheimer & Co, Wachovia Securities, Merrill Lynch, Raymond James and Sands Brothers. Scott is a graduate of the University of Maryland, where he received his Bachelor of Arts in Economics. He is actively involved in his community of Irvington, NY where he resides with his wife of 23 years and their 3 children. Scott is an avid skier, mountain biker and competitive adult ice-hockey player. He shares these passions, through volunteering his time coaching youth hockey and soccer, as well as contributing to the growth of a local religious institution.

Thomas Malengo Co-Founder, Partner & Chief Business Officer at The Litchfield Fund.

Thomas is responsible for investment analysis & day to day operations. The Litchfield Fund makes equity and venture capital investments in the Natural and Organic Food/Beverage and Health Industry. The Litchfield Fund seeks out companies with unique products & potential financial growth offering products in the healthy & sustainable food, beverage, vitamin & supplement categories. The Litchfield Fund is based in Scottsdale, AZ & Lyndhurst, OH. Tom has more than 30 years experience in leadership & consulting roles in Operations, Technology, & Retail Delivery. His broad experience includes Production Management, Client Experience, Risk Management, Continuous Process Improvement, Business Process Re-engineering, & 3rd Party Production/Vendor Management. With an extensive strategic planning and program/project implementation background, Tom’s M&A, change management, & technology innovation experience has given him the insight and capability to help teams realize value by successfully creating, implementing and embracing change & growth. Tom holds a BS in Mathematics from John Carroll University and an MBA from Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School.

Tom Lathrop, Director, Intel Capital

Tom is an experienced venture capital investor and board member in privately held companies. Operational experience includes company building, executive management, strategic planning, business models and go to market plans, corporate governance, business development, financial management, liquidation strategies.

Tom is currently an investment director sourcing, structuring and closing venture, private and public equity investments for Intel Corporation. Active as a board of director observer at multiple companies ranging from stealth start-ups to a company with $200M revenue. Examples of private and publicly traded investments closed include: Anobit (Israel): acquired by Apple, DSSD (USA): acquired by EMC, SandForce (USA): acquired by LSI, Nanosys (USA), Neosem (Korea), Persimmon Technologies (USA) acquired by Sumitomo Heavy Industries, Ovonyx (USA) acquired by undisclosed, Pioneer Materials (USA) and Micronics Laser Systems (Sweden).

Tom was a board member of the Sacramento Area Regional Technology Alliance and co-chair of its start-up mentoring program. Tom joined Intel in 1988 and has held multiple positions in finance, marketing and business development before joining Intel Capital in 2007. Tom was the controller for a $2B P&L during which time he founded an internal start up providing end user leasing products for Intel’s channel partners. Prior to Intel, Tom worked for McDonnell Douglas supporting shuttle operations for NASA.

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