Mentors

Chicostart Mentors

Andrew Burke

Andrew Burke works as a video strategist. He helps companies understand how to better leverage video content to meet their business goals.

Andrew Burke

Video Strategist
Christopher Morton

Chris Morton studied electrical engineering at UC Davis, graduated at the peak of the internet boom and headed to Silicon Valley.

Christopher Morton

President and COO at Cognito
Jeffery Sierra

I work with the most talented group of individuals to empower artists through-out the world to create wearable art.

Jeffery Sierra

Co-Owner Design By Humans
Eva Shepherd-Nicoll

About Eva Shepherd-Nicoll is a strategic consultant focused on business development, marketing and sales with deep experience across several industries. - Broad experience in Bus Dev, Sales/Marketing, Contracts, Outreach, Training and Start ups - Strong leadership, org & ops, contractual negotiation and relationship management skills - Background in MFG, IT, SW, HW, SaaS, VC and Food/Agriculture/AGTech

Eva Shepherd-Nicoll

Business Development Consultant
Andrew March

About Andrew March is an experienced operating executive and technology entrepreneur who has run, sold, and started numerous companies. He joined Friedland Enterprises in 2019 to help companies solve complex problems through the understanding, adoption, and implementation of digital strategies to drive top-line and bottom-line growth. Friedland Enterprises was founded by successful eCommerce entrepreneur, Chris Friedland, who founded, bootstrapped, grew, and sold Build.com. Build.com is the largest pure-play internet retailer for home improvement products in the USA and under Chris' leadership sales grew from <$1M in annual sales to $1B+ in annual sales. Mr. March was most recently the head of business development at Work Truck Solutions, the market leader of online inventory management software for the commercial work truck industry. He was responsible for identifying new revenue opportunities and partnering with key industry players to bring new products to market. He created the industry’s first-ever market intelligence reporting that was used by the largest manufacturer of commercial truck bodies in the US. He has years of experience working with innovative and industry-leading technology companies that have raised millions of dollars of capital, secured millions of users, and have changed the way industries conduct business. Mr. March brings with him a diverse skill set, unique perspectives and insights, experiences, and network that are invaluable to any company looking to increase their performance potential. His broad experience includes tech investment banking M&A, corporate software sales, business development, C-level leadership, and strategic advisory to technology companies.

Andrew March

Mentor
Mark Sorenson

About Entrepreneur - found early-stage start-ups on lean start-up principals, from idea inception to creating minimum viable product, business model validation, product to market fit and fund raising. Leader - organize and coordinate synergistic teams by identifying individual strengths to match people to the right roles; lead by example. Connector - maximize network potential by connecting people to create partnerships, close deals, introduce friends, and forge working relationships. Negotiated and raised investment capital from U.S. and international angel investors for KarmaKey and Social High Rise; both early-stage internet start-ups. Facilitated the development of point of sale (POS) mobile integration by communicating customer feedback and identifying solutions to true market needs. Practice customer development processes to expedite product development, and quickly set the stage for scalability. Built regional direct sales teams for Orkin Pest Control that increased revenues by 150%; direct sales teams for Eco First Pest Control added over $1MM in recurring revenue in a four month period. Specialties: B2B and B2C sales, sales management/training/psychology, consumer loyalty, point of sale systems, business plan writing, market research, project management, competitive analysis, Multi-color silk-screen automatic/manual print process, urban planning best practices, environmental conflict resolution, dry humor.

Mark Sorenson

Mentor
Elliott Dutro

© 2019 Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC (‘MSSB’), member SIPC (www.sipc.org), reserves the right, to the extent permitted under applicable law, to retain and monitor all electronic communications. MSSB will not accept purchase or sale orders via LinkedIn or its messaging systems. MSSB is not responsible for content posted by third-parties. MSSB does not provide tax or legal service – please consult a tax advisor. Statements and messages are for US residents only and subject to the following terms: http://www.morganstanley.com/disclaimers/mswm-email.html

Elliott Dutro

Mentor
Kevin Kinell

About I help Development teams be more productive, come up with innovative solutions, grow and everything else you'd want your dev team to do! I'm a past programmer myself and combine that with a background covering everything from startup growth to executive management to acquisition. I'm locally involved in: ChicoStart http://www.chicostart.com A coworking space focused on tech startups in the Chico area. I started as the Executive-In-Residence to try and build out an initial program, recruit startups and help connect them to the resources we have available in Chico. I've since shifted into an advisory board member role, helping the long term vision of ChicoStart as well as offering individual startup mentoring. Chico State Computer Science Department Industry Advisory Board I sit on this board to help guide Chico State's Computer Science program in a direction that best prepares students for the jobs that are out there. I represent both the startup community perspective and the challenges of growing local talent for all tech companies.

Kevin Kinell

Mentor
Ed Rose

I am a Software Development professional with over 20 years industry experience managing both SoDev and QA teams.

Ed Rose

Mentor
Wendy Porter

About Wendy is the CA Community Colleges Information Communications Technology and Digital Media Regional Director for Employer Engagement for the Far North CA region hosted by Butte College. She is also a Board Director of Chicostart and facilitator of growTECH our Northern CA tech industry partnership. Wendy works hard to align the tech industry employer workforce needs with all 7 Far North CA Community Colleges. Chicostart is a startup incubator located in Chico, CA. Chicostart has launched 14 startups in the past 4 years and created over 105 quality jobs while nurturing a cohesive platform of connectivity for tech businesses, Chico State, Butte College, investors, mentors, workforce, and economic development groups to interact and uplift the problem solvers and difference makers of tomorrow. Fostering the tech startup entrepreneurial ecosystem in Chico and Northern CA is a passion for Wendy and seeing the positive results is invigorating. After graduating from CSUC she launched her career in Silicon Valley at Hewlett-Packard. Her successes at HP centered around managing releases and putting together programs and processes for the Software Development Life-cycle. Building a web development business, and Implementing Change Management / Release to Production programs for HP IT departments were highlights in her career. Wendy moved back to Chico to raise a family and become an executive contributor at Shasta QA where she successfully brought many Silicon Valley companies on as clients for the rural-based tech company. With two young girls at home Wendy then pivoted into the entrepreneurial space and found a home at Chicostart. Her efforts in building the tech industry partnership growTECH lead her into her current work with the CA Community Colleges to help align tech education with industry needs. Her region covers all 7 community colleges in the Far North.

Wendy Porter

Mentor
Prem Chand

About Growth Factors was founded by Silicon Valley entrepreneur, Prem Chand. From humble beginnings on a family farm in the small agricultural town of Biggs, California, Prem built Milestone Technologies, a large IT services firm. Under Prem’s, leadership, Milestone grew to employ approximately 2,000 people in 18 countries serving more than 200 clients. Prem stepped down as CEO in 2017 and started Growth Factors in February 2018. Now, Prem and his team are dedicated to helping other entrepreneurs break through barriers and scale. Growth Factors applies market-proven methodologies aligning culture, marketing/brand, sales, data driven operations, IT infrastructure and financial resources with hands-on expertise to lead good companies to their highest potential.

Prem Chand

Mentor
David Rahn

David Rahn, an entrepreneurship lecturer,recently joined Chicostart as a mentor! David is the director of the e-Incubator, a program within the Center for Entrepreneurship on campus at Chico State.

David Rahn

Mentor
Robert Boston

About I have more than 15 years experience developing web applications using HTML, CSS, Javascript, .Net, PHP and SQL. My primary focus is on developing responsive websites using modern standards and development practices. I have extensive experience marketing websites, search engine optimization, social media marketing, and managing pay per click campaigns. I use the synergy between technological experience and marketing experience to create systems that are designed from the ground up to be effective streamlined user experiences and rank well in search engines. I have been working with startups in Northern California for over 10 years. During that time I have assisted with every aspect of taking a business from an idea to a fully functioning company. My focus is on strategy, technology and data driven decision making.

Robert Boston

Mentor
Joyce Mikkelson

About International Trade Executive with over 20 years of diverse experience in global commerce, high technology and services. Blending strong management skills with marketing acumen, I initiated successful business ventures in Europe, Asia, Africa, South America and domestically. I have developed extensive curriculum and instructed graduate level classes in international business. Most recently, I have been an export consultant nationally and in California, with clients ranging from start-ups to major corporations and not-for-profit organizations. In 1998 I launched my own product into the retail and wholesale markets through trade shows, reps and advertisements. Negotiating all contracts with Chinese manufactures and sold company in 2000. I have consulted for private and corporate clients on International Business Development and had contracts with the Center for International Trade Development. Specialties: Strong managing and administrative leadership Highly experienced in assisting companies new to export Demonstrated expertise in all aspects of import/export transactions and market plans Effective communicator, negotiator and grant writer Dynamic interpersonal skills Self-directed problem solver who works well under pressure

Joyce Mikkelson

Mentor
Nadir Nimrod

Nadir is the Director of Engineering and Customer Support for Nanomotion Inc. He joined the company in 1999, when it was still a very young start up. Nadir has played a leading role in introducing, promoting and supporting the company’s Piezo-Ceramic Motor technology, helping to grow its business in North America twenty-fold. Nadir holds a Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering and Applied Physics for Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. During his 40-year career Nadir has gained experience in embedded systems hardware and software design, power electronics, precision motion control systems and mentoring of young engineers. Nadir has been learning, practicing and teaching mindful communication skills. By using deep and empathic listening to customers and colleagues, being patient and steadfast while avoiding judgement, Nadir succeeded in building long-lasting relationships, managed challenging technical situations, and transformed them into success and repeat business. Through steadfastness, technical savvy, deep commitment to customers’ needs and honed communication skills, Nadir has moved numerous prospects into becoming loyal customers, among which are Intel, Lockheed Martin, IBM, Hitachi, Agilent, KLA and Zeiss. Nadir is looking forward to mentor Chico Start entrepreneurs in the art of attracting and retaining customers through a winning combination of technical excellence (“hard skills”) and relationship-building and maintenance (“soft skills”).

Nadir Nimrod

Mentor
Jason Ugie

About Results-Driven. User-Focused. People-Motivator. Team-Builder. As a strategical leader with over 15 years of experience, I continually test hypotheses to improve products. It's immensely satisfying to understand user motivations and deliver products that benefit both users and the business. As a result, I've increased conversion and revenue of several features as well as released successful new products through research and iteration. Creativity, collaboration, problem-solving with cross-functional leadership helps me accomplish objectives. Further, I take pride in encouraging and coaching colleagues. Specialties: User Research, User Experience, Agile, Product Strategy Research Methods: Cognitive task analysis, Contextual inquiries, Card sorting, Diary studies, Interviews, Surveys, Usability studies

Jason Ugie

Mentor
More… Maarten Sundman

About I have built the future of collaboration and productivity tools at ACinch. Bringing all of the applications used across your company, or by your partners, in to a single place. This allows everyone to easily stay on the same page, find information regardless of where it's stored and just make work, less work. At Slalom Consulting my time is divided supporting development of next-generation best in class solutions across a variety of technology stacks. Guiding organizations on adopting serverless application development. Ensuring security is maintained in a bottom-up fashion. Building proof-of-concepts to enable the business to fail fast and succeed even faster. I am always the trusted advisor to any organization that needs our help. My past covers infrastructure, administration, architecture and development giving me a holistic view of how and why to build solutions. This has enabled me to jump from one role to the next with ease while always providing a consistent level of delivery.

More… Maarten Sundman

Mentor
Angela Casler, SMCP

Angela Casler is the principal partner of Sustainability Management Consulting, a strategic planning consulting company located in Paradise, CA. In addition, she is a full-time lecturer at California State University, Chico’s Department of Management. She also serves as the founder and executive director of the Sustainability Management Association, a nonprofit that educates professionals on how to achieve success through environmental conservation, social responsibility, and economic performance. Angela possesses more than 25-years management experience in the financial and banking industry, transportation, and logoconsulting industries. Angela has been a business owner since 2005 with SB Bear Trucking and founded Sustainability Management Consulting in 2010. She has conducted training for private and public sector management teams and the general public for more than 20-years on a wide variety of topics, including but not limited to management skills, project and program management, sustainability management, financial management, managerial accounting, emergency contingency planning, transportation, and business development. Her background in management and business ownership within large to small organizations enables her to be an effective consultant and trainer.

Angela Casler, SMCP

Warren Whitmore

About Software, marketing, and change management professional with more than fifteen years of successful customer and product management experience in the U.S. and internationally. Demonstrated success in: engaging senior level management; client relationship management and communication efforts; leading complex, multi-departmental projects and implementations; planning large scale marketing and software sales and demonstration. I am passionate about utilizing technology to improve business processes, solve and streamline complex challenges and maximize cost savings.

Warren Whitmore

Mentor
Stephen Phillips

I lead Theia’s team of developers to create world class 3D graphics for enterprise VR experiences. This includes managing 3D artists and programmers, researching the latest industry tech, creating powerful and reusable UE4 shaders, testing and deploying iOS and Android apps, collaborating on new ways to shape VR narratives, training fresh interns, networking at industry events, pitching to VC’s, and staying up really really late. Theia provides the next generation of visualization for commercial construction using real time rendering, virtual reality, and multi-user remote collaboration.

Stephen Phillips

Mentor
Michael A. Burson

I went to work for W.M. Lyles Co., a pipeline and underground utility contractor in 1973 as a civil engineer in training in their Visalia office. Over the years, the organization has grown to include 5 companies and is called the Lyles Construction Group. I progressed through the ranks and served as Division Manager, District Manager, Vice President, and President of W.M Lyles Co., the largest of the 5 companies. Our group does all kinds of infrastructure construction, specializing in sewage and water treatment plants, paving and grading, mechanical, and underground utilities. We have offices in Temecula, Bakersfield, Visalia, Fresno, and Sacramento. We are one of the largest contractors in California and have been in business since 1945. I retired in 2013 after 40 years with the organization, and in retirement still consult with them and hold the title of Chairman of the Board. AREAS OF EXPERTISE Business Finance & Accounting Business Strategy & Planning Non-Profit Business Operations Human Resources & Internal Communications INDUSTRY EXPERIENCE Waste Management Construction, Industrials and Utilities Transportation and Warehousing Nonprofit, Public and Professional Organizations EDUCATION Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois. I was a James Scholar and in Chi Epsilon, the national Civil Engineering Scholastic Honorary Fraternity.

Michael A. Burson

Mentor
Tim Allen

Tim Allen is the founder and managing partner of Ozbun Allen, LLC- a strategic management consulting organization. Ozbun Allen provides organizations with strategic advisement on Corporate Strategy, Market Expansion, Mergers & Acquisitions, Raising Capital, Business Development, Succession Planning, and Leadership Development. Tim also serves as a strategic advisor to MC2 Design group, Inc. a full service design firm specializing in Marketing Strategy, Internet Development, Media Development, and Social/Interactive Media. Tim has a track record of helping companies develop and execute profitable strategies that focus on building trusting relationships with customers, growing brand equity, and driving operational excellence. He has had the unique experience of building successes in start-up, mid-market organizations, and Fortune 50 global companies. As it relates to Chico Start, Tim has deep experience in both investing in, and raising capital for, startups and early stage companies. His passion is helping leaders and organizations achieve their fullest potential. He is also committed to helping companies positively impact their local communities by developing a positive focus on social impact and the double bottom line. Tim has served as a board member for several regional and national non-profit organizations. Tim is a graduate of the University of Nevada-Reno with a B.S. degree in Business Administration (emphasis in Technology & Supply Chain Management) and earned his MBA in Marketing and Strategy from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. He is currently an active participant at the Internet of Things- Supply Chain Edge Lab at the Arizona State University in Tempe, Az.

Tim Allen

Mentor
Rand Hutchison

Owner RAH & Associates January 1995 – Present (21 years 7 months)Chico, California Area President Emeritus Wanderful Media/Shopco/Travidia May 2012 – February 2013 (10 months) Founder, CEO & Chairman of the Board Travidia Inc. 2006 – May 2012 (6 years)Chico, California Area (Open)1 organization Founder, President & Chief Operating Officer Travidia Inc. 2000 – May 2006 (6 years)Chico, California Area Director, Management Advisory Services Matson & Isom Accountancy Corporation 1980 – 1990 (10 years)

Rand Hutchison

Mentor
Roy Cook

Roy Cook is a very active and passionate mentor. He especially enjoys helping startups with strategic planning, people skills, pricing, personnel management, marketing, and sales. ●Attended Oregon State University (Engineering Physics and Mathematics) ●Marketing career, beginning at Procter & Gamble (Cincinnati) ●Became an entrepreneur, running a national marketing company dealing with top 50 Blue Chip Companies before retiring ●Member SF CEO Club Managing Director & Owner Impact Media 1993 – 2004 (11 years)San Francisco, California Built national company dollar sales to 8 figures in first 5 years Vice President & Partner Synergistic Marketing LLC February 1976 – 1993 (17 years)San Francisco, California Vice President Metromedia September 1970 – January 1976 (5 years 5 months)San Francisco, California Marketing Manager Procter & Gamble July 1963 – December 1969 (6 years 6 months)Cincinnati

Roy Cook

Mentor
Brian Curtis

About 29+ years working with corporate, education and economic development clients. Experience: My main focus is creating clarity for our clients. I build teams that create strong brands and help connect customers with great products and services. Specialties: Strategy, team building, using all media to promote and build awareness for our clients. Economic Development - YSLA - Solano County - State of Washington - State of Oregon - Greater Pheonix - City of Victorville - VVeda - Shenandoah Valley Corporate - Apple Computer - Peets Coffee - Hewlett Packard - Northwest Lineman College - Osram Sylvania - Work Truck Solutions Education - California Community Colleges - Health Workforce Initiative - Stanford University - Butte Community College - Woodland Community College Certifications Storybrand Certified Agency Google Partner Private pilot

Brian Curtis

Mentor
Michael Coogan

About I am a growth-minded entrepreneur, business leader and coach. I have spent the last 30+ years of my life in leadership roles with both for-profit and nonprofit organizations. I love the process; growing personally, helping others grow and growing the businesses and organizations I’m involved with. I have successfully started and ran over a dozen businesses as well as invested and provided leadership and guidance for startups. As Managing Partner for MC2, my primary role is to provide strategic direction and guidance for our team. We are changing the way that marketing agencies do business; we work as integrated partners with our clients to become their marketing departments or extension of their teams. Through these partnerships we have seen client sales grow significantly. It is my passion to partner with forward thinking companies that are committed to growing their business through a relationship with MC2. StoryBrand Certified Guide Google Partner John Maxwell Certified Speaker Trainer and Coach Specialties / Areas of Focus - Leadership - Entrepreneurship - Business Development - Strategic Thinking - Leadership Development - Demand Generation - Public Speaking On a personal level, I’m a husband, father, grandfather, learner, songwriter, worship leader, golfer, fly-fisherman, movie producer and sometimes comedian. I enjoy exploring new experiences, getting to be creative and being better tomorrow than I am today.

Michael Coogan

Mentor
Douglas Bosley

Douglas is a business attorney that is passionate about his clients, solving problems and obtaining results that are focused on his clients’ business goals. BTNT represents entrepreneurs and business owners from inception through exit. His practice focuses primarily on M&A, financing transactions including venture capital, angel financing and private equity, as well as general corporate matters including startups, high-growth and technology businesses.

Douglas Bosley

Mentor
Kevin Kelso

About I am a shareholder in Weintraub Tobin's Corporate and Intellectual Property groups with a focus primarily in the areas of business, securities, corporate, contracts, intellectual property and licensing. With over 30 years of experience working with both private and public companies in a wide variety of industries such as biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, consumer and business software, telecommunications, internet software and services, and information technology, I have worked with companies of all sizes, ranging from start-up companies to industry-leading publicly traded companies.

Kevin Kelso

Mentor
Mark Roberts

About Having recently returned to the financial services industry as a Managing Director at Blueshirt Capital advisors, I am excited about the prospect of blending my operating experience (Springboard) and my financial background to help superlative companies successfully navigate all aspects of the capital markets. While at Springboard Biodiesel, I worked with a motivated and visionary team to try and grow a distributed, low-carbon fuel production network. Over the past 8 years, Springboard has built and sold over 1,000 small scale biodiesel processors, which in aggregate represent over 8MM gallons of installed annual biodiesel production capacity, which in turn reduces CO2 emissions by over 150MM lbs annually and saves our customers over $12MM in fuel prices! Prior to Springboard Biodiesel, I worked as a technology investment banker at Lehman Brothers, Robertson Stephens, Bear Stearns and Thomas Weisel Partners (TWPG). During that time, I worked with a great number of US and international high growth technology companies, helping them to raise private and public capital and evaluate and execute strategic mergers and acquisitions.

Mark Roberts

Mentor
Darrell Waters

SUMMARY Executive experience in product management, marketing, sales, sales support, operations, channels, strategic alliances, software development and services delivery in technology markets. LEADERSHIP HIGHLIGHTS Led repositioning of company, including messaging and branding, to support shift in strategic plan Built product development team, defined product offerings for full suite of datacenter products and took to operational readiness in 10 months, under budget and ahead of schedule for 11 datacenters across US Oversaw submission of 450 systems integration proposals valued over $5 Billion over 3 years Built and led unit of 52 sales support professionals, integrating disparate groups into unified team Coordinated international consortium developing proposal for $225M government emergency communications system. Included developing 20 year operating and financial model, and securing external financing Redesigned offer development process, simultaneously increasing deal flow, cutting RFP turn-around from 31 to 14 days, and lowering deal risk Led design and implementation of product development and product management process. Led design of service life-cycle process encompassing lead-to-order, scope definition and control, staffing, delivery, expense management and change management. Expanded network design consulting business from 3 to 135 billing FTE’s in less than 2 years while exceeding margin targets Orchestrated sales, finance, operations and executive leadership to create company’s first public-private partnership in US for a metro rail communication system As member of executive staff, helped secure $300M in funding and grow datacenter start-up to 500 employees in two years Managed annual business run-rates over $100M and global organizations

Darrell Waters

Mentor
Virginia Walker

About SUMMARY I’m the founder and managing partner of the Jamison Group, a network of seasoned professionals that help businesses create increased value in today’s highly disruptive business environment. Thanks to my 34+ years of executive leadership experience (CFO, Senior VP of Corporate Strategy, GM) for companies ranging from Silicon Valley start-ups to Fortune 500 firms, I’m frequently asked to serve in interim executive roles. My expertise is in implementing key initiatives relating to strategic planning, KPI analyses, business process improvements, product marketing, communications & PR, investor relations, equity and debt financings, mergers and acquisitions, complex contract negotiations, domestic and international operations, treasury, IT and human resources. Over the course of my career, I have raised more than $500M from the successful execution of IPOs and follow-on equity financing; over $200M from private placements; $65M from a reverse acquisition; and over $400M from debt, lease financing, accounts receivable, and equipment credit lines. I particularly excel when it comes to mergers, acquisitions, and divestures. To date, my leadership in solid target identification and negotiation has led to the completion of four acquisitions valued at over $250M, each of which achieved their desired business objectives. I’m also an independent director on the Board of Directors for Tri Counties Bank, a $6.5 billion California community bank that is publicly traded on NASDAQ. I chair the ALCO and CRM committee and serve on the Audit, Nom/Gov, and Risk committees. I’m a past board member of the Financial Executives Institute and the Community Foundation, Silicon Valley, and a Senior Fellow in the Silicon Valley American Leadership Forum, Class 5. Want to discuss your business? Reach out to me here on LinkedIn.

Virginia Walker

Mentor
Brad Ledford

About Experienced Director Of Engineering with a demonstrated history of working in the education, e-commerce and healthcare industries. Focused on building great software products and teams, ensuring customers are happy, and working with sales to build the tools they need to perform. Always looking to improve and learning more every day.

Brad Ledford

Mentor
Richard Butterfield

Richard is a retired technology and business guru who is passionate about seeing our north state startups succeed. He especially enjoys assisting entrepreneurs with: Business planning as it relates to products and services for the enterprise software space. Coaching and preparation for seeking external funding. IT planning for your startup, especially around scalability and disaster recovery. Agricultural and bio-tech startups: I have a lot of interest and some expertise in this area. Here is a snapshot of some of his recent accomplishments: TierData Inc. CEO – 2009 to 2012 Member of founding team. TierData was sold to Informatica in 2012 HP Software, Director of Product Architecture 2006 to 2008 Transitioned OuterBay software products to HP, and lead architecture team. OuterBay Technologies Inc., Founding CEO and VP of Corporate Strategy 1998 to 2006 Morphed a consulting company into the premier Information Life-cycle Management software vendor for databases and business applications. OuterBay was sold to HP in 2006.

Richard Butterfield

Mentor
Jay Dunlap

Jay spent the last 19 years working for the Chico healthcare software firm Landacorp, 12 as the P&L owner and Sr. executive (GM/CEO) where he oversaw consistent year over year, high-profit growth and two successful ownership changes and multiple successful product launches. In that role, Jay was the executive relationship owner for many of the US’s largest healthcare insurance organizations who used Landacorp software to improve the health of 55 million Americans. From 2008-2012, Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe, a $20B private equity firm owned Landacorp and Jay participated in WCAS healthcare acquisition target analysis as part of a subsidiary’s healthcare strategy team. In 2012, Jay was lead for WCAS sale of Landacorp where he partnered with investment bankers to maximize WCAS return and finding the best owner and deal terms. This included pitch prep and presentations to 15 high-profile venture capital, private equity and publicly traded companies. As part of this acquisition he was made a SVP of the acquiring 25,000 person, publicly traded organization and led healthcare growth strategy until his exit in 2014. In 1994, Jay launched and ran an early internet B2B Chico startup that created the first online presence for several well known national brands. Jay oversaw the sale of this company in 1996. Jay has benefitted from thousands of hours of peer support and mentor relationships during his 25 years in the IT, software industry and is eager to reinvest his experience into the local business community. Jay is most interested in helping with revenue growth strategy, market penetration, product ideation and launch plans, and clarifying unique value propositions to engage buyers, investors and strategic partners. Professionally Jay owns a consulting firm and is an independent consultant and strategic advisor to large US healthcare insurance companies, and hospitals as well as the software and service vendors who enable those organizations to positively affect patients’ well being and address the complex challenges in our healthcare systems.

Jay Dunlap

Mentor
Todd Amdor

About I advise clients on cross-border mergers and acquisitions in the energy and technology sectors, working from King & Spalding’s Houston and Palo Alto offices. My recent deals include: - represented Marubeni-Itochu Tubulars America in the $600 million acquisition of Sooner Pipe; - represented GE Oil & Gas Inc. in its $550 million acquisition of Cameron International’s reciprocating compressor division; and - represented Huntington Ingalls Industries, Inc. in its acquisition of engineering firm UniversalPegasus International Holdings, Inc. I also advise on corporate governance issues and complex commercial transactions under the Texan, Californian and English legal systems, as well as international private equity fund formations. My clients include public and privately held corporate entities, including both startups and Fortune 500 companies. I have counseled my clients on transactions in more than 30 countries, act as U.S. general counsel to a variety of startups and European companies conducting business in the United States, and have advised dozens of European companies in connection with the expansion of their businesses into the United States. A growing part of my practice that I particularly love is advising tech startups on corporate governance issues and early stage financing rounds.

Todd Amdor

Mentor
Fred Hayden

Fred Hayden has thirty-nine years of experience spanning P&L management, strategic planning, new product development/introductions, marketing, industry analysis/customer research and, extensive consulting to start-up and early-stage companies. Fairly new to the Chico area, Fred spent the previous 25 years working in Silicon Valley where he also founded and successfully raised private equity for two companies. With excellent writing skills, he is particularly adept in the development of business plans and presentations for the purpose of fund raising and the targeting, engagement and establishment of strategic partnering opportunities. Fred’s experience covers personal computers, software, hi-tech, telecom, consumer electronics, ad agencies and market leading consumer brands. Mr. Hayden has held executive positions at Apple Computer, various early-stage Silicon Valley companies and was in Product Management at Johnson & Johnson where he developed their new product evaluation model. Additionally, he has broad advertising experience through executive positions at prominent agencies where he developed highly successful campaigns for the likes of Levi Strauss, Clorox and Blue Diamond Almonds. Fred was introduced to Chico Start via strategy sessions conducted with resident company Student Stock. Mr. Hayden’s objective is to assist in the success of early-stage companies by leveraging his breadth and depth of experience.

Fred Hayden

Mentor
Dr. Rick Hubbard

About Transferring four decades of Critical-Thinking grounded Applied Business Analytics (Data Science) to Graduate and Undergraduate students to enable them to successfully compete in the new, quantified world. Author, Speaker, and Consulting regarding “Traversing the Performance Gap: A Systematic & Data-Analytic Approach to Diagnosing and Improving Business Performance..” Traversing the Performance Gap (TPG) is an iterative System Dynamics, evidence- and analysis-based (Q-DARC*) approach to understanding, explaining, predicting—and traversing—the complex, interdependent relationships spanning strategy, adaptation, implementation and execution—with emphasis on understanding structure & feedback and avoiding “Fixes that Fail.” *Q-DARC: Question-Data-Analysis-Reasoning-Conclusion; grounded in evidence, objective analysis and Scientific Methods. Apply R/RStudio, Python, Tableau and AWS (Amazon Web Services) to analyze and solve complex business problems using Data Science methods for innovative, forward-looking medium-size business and organizations. Author of POP—Plan On a Page. "If a plan doesn't work on one page...it won't improve with length nor age." HIGHLIGHTS Facilitated more than 500 Planning Sessions (strategy, projects, products, IT efforts, events, and more) over nearly three decades with ~94% success rate. Systems Dynamist. Strategist. Applied Business Analysis using Data Science (R/RStudio, Python, Tableau). Technologist & Solutions Architect. Project Expert. Author. Speaker. Planning Advisor to Business & Technology Executives.

Dr. Rick Hubbard

Mentor
Dennis Leis

About Executive/leader experienced in identifying, building, and turning-around opportunities with a focus on technology and healthcare; strategy; operations; financing and partnering. Specializes in start-ups; developing/supporting early-stage and growing ventures. Leadership: Strategic planning/implementation, financial management, organizational/team development, mentoring, creating/aligning incentives.

Dennis Leis

Mentor
Dave Piper

Dave Piper has been in the revenue and capital generating business of launching new products, starting new companies, and raising private capital for 19 years. Originally leaving a lucrative position as Director of Research and Development of a leading edge respiratory technology company, Dave Piper started a product development company that manufactured and licensed innovative technologies. He eventually found EVIT Labs, Inc on an innovative Shock Wave Aerosol Technology that he invented. Dave Piper then successfully closed three separate rounds of funding with north valley private equity sources. Dave Piper has since presided over the growth and development of Piper Medical Products, a specialty testing and engineering lab. Many of Piper Medical Products’s customers have had relationships with Dave Piper going back more than twenty years. Dave Piper has extensive and wide varying expertise in the areas of private equity money raising, intellectual property development, business strategy, research & development, project management, and business development.

Dave Piper

Mentor
Jason Donnell

Jason Donnell is a technical project leader with over 15 years of industry experience. He has worked for several technology companies in Chico, most recently Auctiva/11 Main, and is the founder of JDCS Consulting. In addition to technology consulting, Jason is an ultramarathon runner and small business owner. He works as a race director and trail running coach, leveraging his experience to enhance the local running community. As part of his mentoring at Chico Start, it’s Jason’s goal to help small businesses build on the experiences of others, work out their answers to the hard questions, and evolve more rapidly to the next level of success. His expertise in strategy and technology, as well as his history helping Auctiva succeed, makes him one of our valuable mentors.

Jason Donnell

Mentor
Declan Dunn

Declan Dunn is a pioneering insider in the fields of digital marketing, corporate performance enhancement and online education since 1995. This unusual skill set allows him to bring people together in business settings large and small, enhance their relationships, and then empower them to monetize those relationships. Today he helps companies by growing their audience, identifying key revenue models, and executing the plan while building data assets that add value. The key is integrating digital – social and mobile connections – into the traditional Internet business model. He is called in to conduct business development and recommend key paths for growth, helping 8 companies go IPO or get acquired His passionate presentations based on results have been shared from San Francisco to Shenzhen, Australia, London, and at major industry conferences. He is also the founder of one of the first social networks dedicated to education in 1995, recognized by Adobe for its Social Impact in Media, which has taught over 50 million 6-12th grade students worldwide.

Declan Dunn

Mentor
Kevin Kinell

About I help Development teams be more productive, come up with innovative solutions, grow and everything else you'd want your dev team to do! I'm a past programmer myself and combine that with a background covering everything from startup growth to executive management to acquisition. I'm locally involved in: ChicoStart http://www.chicostart.com A coworking space focused on tech startups in the Chico area. I started as the Executive-In-Residence to try and build out an initial program, recruit startups and help connect them to the resources we have available in Chico. I've since shifted into an advisory board member role, helping the long term vision of ChicoStart as well as offering individual startup mentoring. Chico State Computer Science Department Industry Advisory Board I sit on this board to help guide Chico State's Computer Science program in a direction that best prepares students for the jobs that are out there. I represent both the startup community perspective and the challenges of growing local talent for all tech companies.

Kevin Kinell

Mentor
Peter Straus

Mr. Straus has taught a variety of classes in the area of entrepreneurship. He draws on his personal experience as an entrepreneur to provide students with a balanced curriculum that includes exposure to entrepreneurial practitioners. Mr. Straus is currently the executive vice president of AVL Looms Inc., a global manufacturer and marketer of looms, software, and weaving accessories, located in Chico, California. Mr. Straus joined AVL in 1982 and oversaw a sales effort that resulted in placing product in all 50 states as well as over 83 countries. As president and CEO of the company from 1990 to 2005, he was responsible for the establishment of AVL outlets in the UK, Japan, and Taiwan and traveled extensively on behalf of the company. Mr. Straus has delivered lectures on the use of technology in the textile industry at a variety of venues, including Fashion Institute of Design in New York City, North Carolina State University, Philadelphia University (formerly Philadelphia College of Textiles), the Royal College of Art in London, England, and the Taiwan Textile Federation in Taipei.

Peter Straus

Mentor
Brad Webster

About Brad Webster is a branding consultant, strategist, creative director and designer. He exudes a natural inquisitiveness, warm enthusiasm and an entrepreneurial spirit for developing your brand with purpose and authenticity. He also effortlessly blends a natural coaching style with clients seeking to learn more. This combination makes Brad an unassuming force to be reckoned with. Many say that he carries a unique ability to pull a compelling idea from an empty vessel. And it’s fair to say one of Brad's greatest strengths is untangling all the stuff that exists in people’s heads, and shaping it into ideas that have the power to ignite and influence. Brad shows up to do work that matters, not for accolades.

Brad Webster

Mentor
Steve Gonsalves

Architect Nichols, Melburg & Rossetto August 1988 – Present (27 years 9 months) Managing Parter Structural Engineer Culp & Tanner, Inc. May 1981 – July 1988 (7 years 3 months) While at Culp & Tanner I became licenses as a Civil Engineer and a Structural Engineer in California. I was responsible for the structural design and preparation of construction documents for large commercial projects including office buildings, parking structures, hotels and casinos.

Steve Gonsalves

Board Of Directors