9:00 am- Startup Insights from Past Governor's Conference Pitch Competition Participants
What’s involved in taking an innovative idea here in Nevada, launching
it as a business, and making it a sustainable success? How do you do that? How do you prepare to do that?
Join us in this open forum as we meet to hear and discuss startup
insights from three past participants in the Governor's Conference on Business Pitch Competition. No company presentations…just plain talk and direct
reflections from those who have taken the entrepreneurial leap – and made it.
Dr. Denis Phares
CEO, Dragonfly Energy
Dr. Denis Phares is the CEO of Dragonfly Energy, a
Reno-based Lithium ion battery company. Dragonfly Energy began as technology
company focused on developing processes for the manufacture of Lithium-ion
cells with the goal of lowering the cost of energy storage. Now, in addition to
establishing a strong intellectual property portfolio, the company has expanded
into battery pack production and retail sales. The consumer brand, Battle Born
Batteries, is now a highly recognized name for energy storage in RVs, boats,
and off-grid systems. Dr. Phares has a background in academia, having been a
professor of engineering for over a decade. He left a tenured position to earn
an MBA and become an entrepreneur.
Saling is a startup founder and technology company executive with more than 30
years’ experience. He is co-founder and currently serves as President of StartUpNV, a
501(c)3 non-profit startup incubator, dedicated to the economic diversification
of Nevada by growing and funding scalable startups. Jeff is also co-founder and
serves as CEO of Buzz.Tools,
a SaaS based B2B social media marketing startup. In 2014-15 Jeff served as founding team
member and interim CEO of SmartPicture Technologies, a
rapidly growing SaaS based disrupter in the DIY space with technology that makes
highly accurate measurements from standard mobile phone pictures. Prior to his recent startups, Jeff was
founding executive member of at 3 SaaS and Software startups that went public, serving in worldwide
leadership roles in sales, professional services, operations, and development.
Jeff has been a speaker and guest lecturer at SaaS University, Stanford – and
at events such as Dreamforce, Oracleworld.
Jeff is a mentor to 2 companies in the VMS program at EDAWN, and has
served as a judge at Sontag, Governor’s Cup, and StartUpWeekend in Reno, Tahoe
and Las Vegas.
Colin Seale, Esq.
Colin Seale, Esq. is an education advocate and critical thinking
expert who has merged his passion and experience for education, law, and social
justice into thinkLaw, an
award-winning program that helps educators teach critical thinking to all
students using real-life legal cases and powerful professional development.
thinkLaw has impacted thousands of educators in 14 states by making 21st
century education accessible to students in all grades. As a result of the
game-changing work thinkLaw is doing to create world where critical thinking is
no longer a luxury good, Colin won the Shark Tank: One Day competition at TFA’s
25th Anniversary Summit in Washington, DC, has been recognized as the 2016
Nevada Governor’s Conference Pitch Competition First Place & People’s
Choice Winner, the 2016 Las Vegas National Bar Association Community Service
Award Winner, a recipient of the ACLU of Nevada’s Community Juvenile Justice
Award and City of Las Vegas’ African American Trailblazer, Peacekeepers