Elevator Pitch Judges
Daryl H. Bryant, Founder and CEO of StartupValley, has spent the past fifteen years working in the internet and technology sectors. Bryant sits on the board of the Crowdfunding Intermediary Regulatory Advocates (CFIRA) and co-chairs the Portal Committee. He is also a co-founding board member of the Crowdfunding Professional Association (CfPA). As well as an Advisory Board member for the Feliciano Center for Entrepreneurship at Montclair State University. Well versed in crowdfunding, social, search, mobile and web technologies, Bryant consistently maintains his position on the forefront of the cutting-edge technological innovations. Daryl is also managing partner of Hudson Horizons, i3 Labs, and YourCompanyTV. With over ten years experience running Hudson Horizons, a multi-million dollar web and marketing agency, Daryl has taken his knowledge of the Web world and his passion in helping startups become successful over to StartupValley, an equity crowdfunding portal for the technology and life science sectors. A leader, innovator, and businessman in all professional endeavors, Bryant is also known for his charitable and philanthropic disposition. Bryant was recently honored and named Entrepreneur of the Year in Best in Biz Awards 2013 International, named a 2013 NJBiz Forty Under 40, and his company selected as a finalist in the 2013 NJ Business of the Year awards.
Carlos Cesta is Director of Corporate Development, responsible for the execution of strategic initiatives. In this role, he oversees M&A and strategic investments for all lines of business at Verizon (wireless, telecom, enterprise).
Since joining Verizon in 2004, Mr. Cesta has played a key role in starting and developing Verizon’s venture capital investment initiative. He was also involved in Verizon’s acquisition of MCI, Alltel and Terremark.
Prior to that, Mr. Cesta served as an investment banker at Salomon Smith Barney. He also gained extensive direct investment experience in his tenure as a financial analyst at CIBC/Patrimonio Private Equity, based in Brazil.
Mr. Cesta is currently a PhD candidate at the Stevens Institute of Technology. He earned an MBA in Finance, Accounting and Entrepreneurship from the William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Rochester where he graduated from the Kauffman Entrepreneur program. In addition, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Engineering and Naval Architecture from the University of São Paulo.
Ethan is the Founder and President of The Chazin Group LLC which delivers training and professional development, motivational talks, one-on-one and group-based executive coaching, and business consulting services.
Jaclyn J. Flor, PE, PP, CME
Jaclyn J. Flor is a Licensed Professional Engineer and a Licensed Professional Planner with 15 years of experience in municipal engineering, coastal engineering, planning and zoning, and urban redevelopment. At T&M Associates, she provides consulting engineering and planning services to a variety of clients which include local governments, county governments and redevelopment agencies. Ms. Flor is an Engineering Consultant to the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency, and to the Hudson County Planning Board. Ms. Flor is also the Borough Engineer of Sea Bright, NJ, which recently sustained the impacts of Hurricane Sandy. As both an engineer and planner, Ms. Flor has worked for a variety of clients that have benefited from her multidisciplinary skill set. She has been a Planning and/or Engineering Consultant for various municipalities and Counties within the state, including the City of Jersey City, Bergen County, Somerset County, City of Long Branch, the Townships of Woodbridge, Neptune, Hazlet and Marlboro, and the Boroughs of Red Bank, South Plainfield and Highlands. Ms. Flor holds Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Florida Tech, Melbourne, Florida.
Ms. Flor specializes in sustainable urban design. She is the Project Manager for the engineering and survey of Canal Crossing in Jersey City, a 111 acre redevelopment area that just completed the design phase. The design of this new urban development includes a new light rail station, separation of the combined sanitary sewer into separate stormwater and sanitary infrastructure, new water mains, streetscapes, multiple parks, road design, and a new street grid that subdivides 17 existing city blocks into 40 new city blocks.
Ms. Flor previously managed the Circulation Element of the Jersey City Master Plan, which won the 2009 Outstanding Plan Award in New Jersey as presented by the American Planning Association.
Ms. Flor was on a four member panel at the 2013 APA New Jersey Planning Conference where she spoke on Stormwater Harvesting and Sustainable Infrastructure. Ms. Flor spoke in April 2013 at the ASCE Infrastructure Seminar on the Impacts of Super Storm Sandy to NJ Infrastructure. She has also spoken at Rutgers University, NJ, on the infrastructure damage from Super Storm Sandy; has lectured several times at Columbia University, NYC, on Building Sustainable Cities; and spoke at the 2009 APA New Jersey Planning Conference, where she provided guidance on the integration of transportation planning and land use planning.
Prior to joining T&M, Ms. Flor designed coastal structures and beach replenishment projects for Fire Island, Estero Island, Key West, and Panama City Beach. She was previously an onsite engineer in Key West for the construction of the Smathers Beach Terminal Groin and Beach Replenishment project.
Esther Fraser is passionate about telling the stories of Rising Tide Capital’s community—its staff, funders, volunteers and its fabulous entrepreneurs. As Director of Communications, she supports Rising Tide Capital's programs, services and activities with a mixture of public relations and content marketing strategies. Prior to joining Rising Tide Capital as Communications Associate in 2009, she worked at the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University, and at the Guardian ad Litem Program in Miami-Dade, Florida. She holds a master's degree in Media Management from the S I Newhouse School of Public Communication at Syracuse University, as well as a Bachelor in Communications from Florida Memorial University.
Jeanne Gray is the founder and publisher of American Entrepreneurship Today (R), a family of web sites covering entrepreneurship at both the national and state levels. Jeanne has been involved in entrepreneurship and small business through most of her career. Following her graduation from Cornell University and New York University where she received her MBA, Jeanne’s first venture (pre-internet) was the co-founding of a successful family business serving the cosmetics industry with customers such as Chanel and Elizabeth Arden. She then served as COO in a local computer services company that she grew with the emergence of the internet into a nationwide technical service company with clients such as Barnes & Noble, American Express and Coinstar. Soon after the sale of that company, she launched the first state centric web site for entrepreneurship in 2005, NJEntrepreneurship.com, which was honored by the US Small Business Administration. That site is now part of AmericanEntrepreneurship.com which provides news and information to assist entrepreneurs that also includes a detailed map of state entrepreneurial ecosystems.
Prior, Paul was vice president of business development and strategic alliances at Openet Telecom, a global telecommunications software and consulting firm addressing mobility, cloud, big data and social media solutions. He has also been CTO/COO and co-founder of a cloud platform addressing unique analytics overlooked in roto sports.
Paul began his career at IBM where he spent 21 years driving growth initiatives including equity-for-value deals, acquisition integration and the launch of several new global consulting businesses in emerging technologies. He holds two patents and has extensive experience building strategic alliances spanning Fortune 100 organizations and with U.S., European and Israeli venture capital firms.
Paul received both his BS-Electrical Engineering and Masters-Technology Management from Stevens. He is co-author of "Drinking From The Fire Hose", has a contributing blog on Forbes.com, and has authored and delivered numerous publications, conference presentations and client workshops addressing information overload.
John B. Petersen, III
John is the Head of Product and cofounder of Firehawk Creative -- a web development partner in NYC that works with early stage startups and entrepreneurs having built over 25 startups for his clients. He previously founded the NYC Dev Shop and NY Tech Day -- the largest single day startup event in the world. He also led business development as the first employee of DigitalOcean (who went on to raise $37MM) during their time in the TechStars Boulder program in the summer of 2012.