LBCC•   March 26, 2015 - Pacific Ballroom at the Long Beach Arena   •LBCC


Conference Speakers

Eloy Ortiz Oakley

Eloy Ortiz Oakley is best known throughout California and the nation for implementing innovative programs and policies that help students succeed in college.

Oakley strongly believes that California’s emerging economies demand a workforce with certificates and degrees and that the state’s 112 community colleges play a pivotal role in moving California forward. Under Oakley’s leadership, the Long Beach Community College District has received numerous awards for its efforts to improve student completion rates and for teaching small business owners throughout the greater Los Angeles area how to succeed and grow their businesses.

In 2014, Governor Brown appointed him to the University of California Board of Regents. He is a member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the Association of California Community Colleges Administrators (ACCCA), the Presidents for Entrepreneurship Forum and a and a founding member of the President’s Alliance for Student Learning and Accountability.

Dr. Robert Garcia

Dr. Robert Garcia is an accomplished educator and the 28th Mayor of Long Beach, the youngest person ever to hold that office. Mayor Garcia has taken a leadership role in balancing the city budget, reforming pensions, expanding park space, and investing in technology, and is committed to moving Long Beach forward by attracting tech and green jobs, creating new educational partnerships, and rebuilding our aging streets, sidewalks and alleys.

Garcia has been a member of the public policy and communications faculty at the University of Southern California, and taught Communication Studies at both California State University, Long Beach and Long Beach City College.

In 2007, Garcia co-founded and launched the Long Beach Post, a Long Beach based media website and newspaper. By the time he left the company in 2013, the small business had grown into an important source for community information and has more than 45,000 online subscribers. As First District Councilmember, a position he held from 2009-2014, and as Vice Mayor from 2012-2014, Garcia served as the Chair of the Long Beach Public Safety Committee and the Long Beach Housing Authority, and on both the Federal Legislative and State Legislative Council Committees. He also served on the California Coastal Commission from January, 2013 until taking office as Mayor of Long Beach.

Born in Lima, Peru, he immigrated to the United States at age 5. The first person in his family to attend and graduate college, Garcia was elected student body president at CSULB. He was the recipient of the 2014 Vanguard Leadership award from Equality California. Mayor Garcia lives in downtown Long Beach.

Stephanie Ardrey

Stephanie Ardrey is a serial entrepreneur, having conceptualized and launched multiple business ventures over the last three decades. Currently the President and CEO of iVentLABS, she participated in the Youth Entrepreneurial Services (YES) incubator for youth in her early 20s and began what would become an outstanding entrepreneurial journey. Her entrepreneurial and corporate experience has covered multiple industries including: real estate finance, construction and development, consumer goods, entertainment – music, film, and television, high-tech, financial services, insurance, municipalities and more. iVentLABS is an international entrepreneurial hub designed to attract high-growth firms in the start-up phase seeking to transition into growth firms.

David J. Delgado

David J. Delgado is an artist, designer and educator at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory with a passion to develop experiences that celebrate the wonders of science, technology and the human condition. His goal is to create work that speaks to the heart and triggers a chain reaction that rises upward to empower one's mind with self-motivated curiosity and passion.

David studied anthropology at UCLA and advertising at the Arts Center College of Design. His education taught him that ideas have the power to shape the way we perceive and react to the world around us. For the past six years David followed his dream job of leading NASA’s Imagine Mars Project where he challenged students to work with scientists and engineers to imagine and design a community on the planet Mars, then express their ideas through the arts. This challenge offered an almost endless series of open-ended problems that called forth skills of creativity, ingenuity and leadership (among many others).

David is a longtime advocate of education in the arts and through the arts and is currently a part of the Arts & STEM Collaborative for 21st Century Learning, working to promote the inclusion of the arts into science, technology, engineering, and math education.

Eva Ho

Eva is a partner at Susa Ventures, a technology seed fund that invests in datacentric enterprises. Eva is a serial entrepreneur and founder, most recently a founding executive at Factual, a leading location data provider in Los Angeles. Prior, she was a Senior Product Marketing Manager at Google and Youtube. Prior to Google, she was the head of marketing for Applied Semantics, a company sold to Google in 2003. She also co-founded a Seattle-based health startup called Navigating Cancer. She is deeply involved in supporting entrepreneurs in her role as advisor/mentor at MuckerLab, Common Crawl, WebFWD and newMe accelerator. She is also active in the non-profit sector, serving on the boards of First Descents, Iridescent and Whole Child LA. Eva holds an MBA from Cornell and a BA from Harvard.

Diana Kander

A refugee of the Soviet Union, Diana Kander entered America as an eight-year old resident of subsidized housing in Brooklyn, New York. By the time she was an American citizen, she had perfected her skills as a capitalist – selling flea market goods to grade school classmates at a markup.

Today, Diana is a successful entrepreneur, having founded and sold a number of ventures, and a Senior Fellow at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the largest non-profit in the world dedicated to entrepreneurship and education.

A Georgetown-educated attorney who left a successful practice to launch her first company, Diana draws on her experience as a founder, investor, and academic to design and implement curriculum in educational institutions and the private sector. A sought-out public speaker, consultant and writer, Diana has advised startup founders and Fortune 500 executives on her methodology for launching customer-focused products and services.

First 100 Registrants Receive The New York Times best seller All In Startup: Launching A New Idea When Everything Is On The Line by Diana Kander FREE!

Howard Leonhardt

Howard Leonhardt is an inventor and serial entrepreneur. He has 21 U.S. patents for products for treating cardiovascular disease (many stemcell therapy related) and more pending. His inventions have treated over 250,000 patients in 60 countries. He founded Bioheart, Inc. in 1999, a leader in applying adult muscle stem cells to treat heart failure. He is co-leader of Startup California and Founder and Chairman of The California Stock Xchange (Cal-X) preparing to be the first social good impact stock exchange and DPO listing service in the USA. Howard serves on over a dozen boards including The Cell Therapy Foundation, UCLA Extension Bioengineering, Profit+ Impact Partners of Los Angeles and USC Center for Technology and Innovation in Pediatrics.

Thom Ruhe

Thom Ruhe is Chief Executive Officer of the Entrepreneurial Learning Initiative, Publisher of ID8 Nation and Founder of EcDev Partners. He has over a decade of experience in entrepreneurial education, economic development, and community building. Combining that with nearly two decades experience in a variety of entrepreneurial endeavors, Thom is now working with governments, universities, and NGOs around the world to expand humanity through entrepreneurship curriculum, training, reporting, and speeches.

Prior to his current endeavors, Thom spent seven years at the Kauffman Foundation where he directed the Foundation's programs addressing entrepreneurial education, mentoring, access to capital and fostering entrepreneurial ecosystems. Thom also led Kauffman Labs for Enterprise Creation, a novel community resource dedicated to advancing experiential-­‐based entrepreneurial education in combination with practical technology curricula.

Thom was recruited to Kauffman based upon his work as founding chief marketing officer (CMO) for JumpStart Inc., an economic development organization and seed stage investment fund created to invest in and accelerate the growth of high-potential, early stage companies in northeast Ohio. Before JumpStart, Ruhe served as president of Optiem LLC, where he led the growth of a nascent marketing practice to a nationally recognized interactive marketing, communications and public relations agency.

Ruhe has/is serving in a variety of board and advisory capacities including: the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council for fostering Entrepreneurship, Board of Advisers for The Kenan Institute of Free Enterprise at UNC and founding trustee for Innovation Fund America.

Thom has been quoted and/or published in: NYTimes, WSJ, Forbes, Inc., and more. Thom has spoken and participated in a variety of functions all over the world including the United Nations, the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace of the Vatican, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, National Association of Community College Entrepreneurship, Workforce Development Institute, U.S. Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Global Entrepreneurship Congress and Global Entrepreneurship Week.

Jeff Zias

Jeff Zias is an Innovation Leader specializing in Grassroots Innovation and the building of strong innovation cultures of all sizes. After leading technology groups at Apple, Taligent IBM, and select Silicon Valley startups, Jeff has led Grassroots innovation across Intuit Inc. He has been instrumental in evolving Intuit into a grassroots-innovation-based growth machine (Intuit recently added over $150M in revenue derived from grassroots initiatives).

A graduate of U.C. Berkeley and Santa Clara University, Jeff took his Mathematics, Computer Science, and Business School background, combined it with deep experience at Silicon Valley companies, and has created a unique viewpoint on how to generate amazing innovation results.

Intuit Labs – Intuit Innovates

Intuit Labs- Intuit Innovates HD from Intuit Labs on Vimeo.

Steve Isakowitz

Steve has broad leadership responsibilities across a range of areas including the company’s suborbital spaceflight program as well as development of its satellite launch offering, LauncherOne. Steve joined the company in September 2011 as the Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer where he led technical oversight of key programs, development and management of new programs, government and industry business development, government affairs, advanced technologies, and strategic analysis.

Prior to joining Virgin Galactic, Steve held a wide variety of senior engineering, business, and management roles across the private and government sectors including NASA, where he served as Deputy Associate Administrator for the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate. At NASA, he helped set overall priorities, guide development of innovative technologies and systems, and architected new programs in robotic and human spaceflight. For his work at NASA, Steve received the agency’s Outstanding Leadership Medal.

He also served as Chief Financial Officer of the U.S. Department of Energy through two presidential administrations. Other experience includes serving as Branch Chief of Science and Space Programs at the White House Office of Management and Budget, an aerospace engineer and project manager for space launch vehicles at Lockheed Martin, and as a senior consultant in the commercial space division of Booz Allen Hamilton.

Steve holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in aerospace engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is the author of the well-known International Reference Guide to Space Launch Systems.

Pitch Selection Committee

Amir Banifatemi - K5 Ventures and Tech Coast Angels Orange County Network

Amir is a successful entrepreneur whose work experience includes more than 14 years of advising startups. His focus has always been identifying and developing future and emerging technologies that can impact society with special emphasis on predictive business intelligence, knowledge sharing & education, and real-time technologies.

Amir likes to work with startups on their product strategy, pricing, business model, go-to-market, and fund raising. Amir is currently a member and President of the Tech Coast Angels Orange County and actively involved with venture funds and angel investors to help continuous and sustained funding of startups.

Brian Benson - Business Development Specialist at the Center for Innovation

Brian Benson is the business development specialist at the Center for Innovation developing essential strategies for expanding industry-sponsored partnerships, research and licensing for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles inventors. He is the business development officer of the Southern California Center for Technology and Innovation in Pediatrics (SC-CTIP), an FDA-funded pediatric medical device consortium. Prior to joining the Center for Innovation at CHLA, Brian was the business outreach officer at the California NanoSystems Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles. He also held positions as crew chief, product development specialist, and marketing strategist with several automotive racing teams. He received his bachelor of science degree in entrepreneurship from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. Brian is a member of the Los Angeles Venture Association (LAVA), the Southern California Biomedical Council (SoCalBio), and Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM).

Richard Koffler - Greenwings Biomedical

Richard Koffler is CEO of Greenwings Biomedical, an incubator of biomedical ventures, which is the the latest chapter in his 30-year career of successfully launching and nurturing technology ventures. He is a member of the Tech Coast Angels, co-founded the TechCEO Network, was president of the Los Angeles Venture Association and the Technology Council of Southern California, and is an advisor to the California Emerging Technology Fund and the Wells Fargo Center for Small Business and Entrepreneurship at California State University, Northridge. Richard holds computer science degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of California, Berkeley.

Jerry Knotts

Jerry Knotts is President, California Coast Venture Forum, Inc., Santa Barbara and is a business plan reviewer and mentor with Maverick Angels, LARTA (serving NIH, NSF, DARPA and the US Dept of Agriculture) and the Southern California BioMed Council (SoCALBIO).

Jerry serves as Chairman, BioQuip Products, Inc. Executive Committee. He is a member of the Board of Counselors for the California Lutheran University School of Management, President, the South Coast Youth Leadership Conference, Inc.; and Treasurer, Youth Enrichment Foundation, Inc.(Alexandria, Virginia).

He retired from the USAF in 1984 with the rank of Colonel after 24 years of service. His military experience included over 14 years with a unique USAF program where he acted as Project Engineer and Program Manager for many special purpose aircraft projects with General Dynamics, E-Systems, Lockheed Corporation and numerous other aerospace companies.

He completed 112 combat missions as an F-105F WILD WEASEL and RYAN RAIDER over North Vietnam. His awards include the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Defense Commendation Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (with three Oak Leaf Clusters), Air Medal (with 13 Oak Leaf Clusters), and numerous other service awards.

After retirement from the Air Force, he served as Vice-President/General Manager, Defense Electronics Division, California Microwave and later as Vice-President for Programs Development at American Nucleonics Corporation. As a business consultant, he provides strategic and financial planning services to small and medium sized companies through his Strategery Management Consulting firm.

Jerry holds an MBA from Auburn University and a BSEE (Electronics Engineering) from the Pennsylvania State University. In addition, he is a graduate of the Defense Acquisition University, Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Air Command and Staff College , and Air War College. He is a Senior Life Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), Chairman of the IEEE Life Member Group (Buenaventura Section), a Registered Professional Engineer, and life member of the Texas, California, and National Society of Professional Engineers.

Jerry has served as Chairman, Ventura County Airport Commission; and now serves as a Lay Arbitor for the Ventura County Bar.

Tim Mittan - Long Beach City College

Tim is the Lead Center Associate Director for the Los Angeles Regional Small Business Development Center Network and published author. He oversees operations for the Lead Center hosted by Long Beach City College and the non service centers in the LA regional SBDC network. Tim’s fun-filled days include fiscal and operational compliance of SBA funds, Professional Development for the SBDC Network, and data capture for local, state and federal economic development records. Over the past 10 years, Tim has had extensive participation in entrepreneurship education and economic development. He successfully created and ran an entrepreneurship center and business incubator and helped launch several businesses throughout the State of Nebraska. This experience allowed him the opportunity to write his book The Pocket Business Coach: Creating and Enjoying an Entrepreneurial Life. Entrepreneurship is more than just business plans and financial statements. When jumping into the fast-paced world of entrepreneurship, people must remember they have families, friends and personal lives to take into consideration when risky decisions are made and money is spent.

Jesse Torres - Los Angeles Regional Small Business Development Center Network

Jesse Torres is Regional Director for the Los Angeles Regional Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network. Funded primarily by the U.S. Small Business Administration and administered by Long Beach City College, the LA SBDC Network provides no-cost consulting and low-cost training to small business owners and entrepreneurs in Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. The Network is comprised of a system of service centers and satellite offices hosted by higher education and economic development organizations in the tri-county area. In 2012, the Network helped to launch 318 new businesses, create more than 2,700 jobs and secure more than $83M in capital infusion for its clients.

Jesse assumed his current role in August 2011 and is responsible for strategic and operational oversight for the Network – the 7th largest SBDC network in the United States. Among his previous roles, Jesse served as Regional Director for the Orange County and Inland Empire SBDC Network and as Alumni Director for the Graziadio School of Business and Management at Pepperdine University. Jesse is an active supporter of causes related to entrepreneurship and Latino student success. He is the Founder and Chair of the Pepperdine Hispanic Alumni Council, which seeks to increase the enrollment of Latino students in bachelors and masters programs. Jesse holds a Masters degree in Business Administration from Pepperdine University and BA in Psychology from the University of California Los Angeles. He is a Southern California native and lives with his family in San Gabriel, CA.

Sheneui Weber - Long Beach City College

Sheneui Weber is the Executive Director for College Advancement and Economic Development at the Long Beach Community College District. She is responsible for the overall administration of economic development programs for the division, and integration with college initiatives. Ms. Weber has over 18 years of experience in project and grant management, client account implementation, information technology, business process-technology integration in both the education and private industry, and public-private partnership development. Ms. Weber most recently served as the Executive Director for the District’s 10,000 Small Businesses program, funded by the Goldman Sachs Foundation. Launched in June 2010 in Long Beach, she led and oversaw the development in the first two years of the new program.

Ms. Weber was formerly the Regional State Director for the Los Angeles Region Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network, hosted by Long Beach Community College District. In 2005, Ms. Weber successfully authored the SBDC Proposal that resulted in the District receiving the multi-million dollar grant award through a competitive bid process from the U.S. Small Business Administration. She launched the new network in 2006, and led it until February 2011. The Los Angeles Regional Network has seven service centers to serve Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties. Over 36,000 businesses and individuals received services from the SBDC since the network inception in 2006. Ms. Weber received a Masters in Telecommunications and Film from San Diego State University, and a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Business Administration from Pacific Union College.

George Winston - Long Beach City College

George Winston has 33 years experience in healthcare commerce, including sales, sales management, marketing, marketing management, with Sorenson Research, Abbott Laboratories, Hospira Worldwide and 5i Sciences. This experience spans across several medical device and pharmaceutical product lines for the hospital critical care, CV surgery, special procedures and CV anesthesia markets. The product lines include physiological pressure measurement, continuous mixed venous oxygen saturation monitoring, electronic infusion devices, anesthetic agents, sedative agents, imaging agents, airway management, sleep apnea and CV Surgery devices.

The net result of this background is a thorough understanding of the acute care hospital market, with special knowledge of physician and nursing technology needs in the specialty areas of Anesthesia, Critical Care and CV Surgery.

Program Committee