Past Judges and Mentors


john choryJohn H. Chory, Corporate Partner in the Boston Office, Latham & Watkins

John Chory is a corporate partner in the Boston office of Latham & Watkins. His practice focuses on the representation of technology and life sciences companies from startup through IPO. Mr. Chory advises both private and public companies in the areas of initial through late-stage venture capital financings, mergers and acquisitions, technology licensing and securities law. His clients have included Akamai, Care. com, Zipcar and many more.

paul solmon

Paul Solman, Business and Economics Correspondent, PBS NEWSHOUR

Paul Solman has been a business, economics and art correspondent for the PBS NewsHour since 1985. Paul became the founding editor of The Real Paper in 1972. He embarked on a career as a business reporter at WGBH Boston in the late ’70s. After a few years of local PBS reporting, he inaugurated the PBS business documentary series, ENTERPRISE with fellow Nieman Fellow Zvi Dor-Ner. In the 1980s, paul produced documentaries, returned to local reporting, and joined the Harvard Business School faculty. At Harvard, he taught media, finance and business history in the school’s Advanced Management Program.

John Harthorne

John Harthorne, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Mass Challenge

John Harthorne is the Founder and CEO of MassChallenge, a startup accelerator and competition designed to catalyze a startup renaissance by connecting high-impact startups from around the world with the resources they need to launch and succeed. The first class of startups to participate in MassChallenge raised $100M+ in outside funding and created 500+ new jobs in less than 12 months. In January of 2011, President Barack Obama identified MassChallenge as one of America’s most effective startup accelerators. Prior to launching MassChallenge, Harthorne was a senior strategy consultant with Bain & Co.

joanna meiselesJoanna Meiseles, Founder and Creative Director, the Snip-its Corporation. Senior Director of Operations, Mass Challenge Inc.

Joanna Meiseles is the creative mind and the founder of Snip-its, the fastest-growing franchise of children’s hair salons in North America. Under Joanna’s vision and direction, Snip-its has revolutionized the children’s hair salon industry by creating a branded entertainment concept designed to ease the fears and challenges experienced by parents, children, and hair stylists.After 16 years running Snip-its, Joanna decided to pursue her MBA at Babson in the Fast Track program. She graduated Summa cum laude in 2012. Placing the education on top of her experience opened her eyes to a universe beyond Snip-its and propelled her to her current career as Senior Director of Operations at MassChallenge.

michael mckay

Michael McKay, Adjunct Professor at Brandeis University, Advisor at Bain & Co.

Michael’s specialization includes Private Equity and Public Markets Investing. Previously he was Chief Investment Officer at Portfolio Logic LLC. a publicly help private investment fund. He is the Founding-partner of Bain an Company Private Equity Group and Results Capital Partners LLC (long-short hedge fund).


jordan-fliegelJordan Fliegel, Founder & CEO, CoachUp

Jordan is an experienced start-up business developer now focused on consolidating the fragmented universe of sports private coaching, at CoachUp Inc. His specialities include team building, product vision, customer acquisition, business strategy, marketing, business development, sales and strategic partnerships.


barbara-clarkeBarbara Clarke, Social Entrepreneur, Pipeline Fellowship

Barbara Clark is an entrepreneur with over ten years of management consulting in profit and nonprofit organizations. She is closely involved in fundraising, program evaluations and has crafted strategic plans as well as practical plans for implementation for various nonprofits. She is considered as an expert in creating networks, collaborations and strategic alliances, particularly with diverse and dispersed constituencies. In the past, Barbara has implemented social media tools and strategies and has conducted webinars, collaborative workgroup software, and other technologies at organizations, where she has worked.

puneesh chaudhryPuneesh Chaudhry, Co-Founder and CEO of Copiun

Puneesh brings over 10 years of experience in data protection in various technology and business roles. Prior to Copiun, Puneesh was at EMC where he was responsible for strategy, M&A and business operations for EMC’s Storage Software Group.




ben gomes casseres

Ben Gomes-Casseres, Professor at Brandeis International Business School

Professor Ben Gomes-Casseres is an expert on strategy, with a special focus on business combinations. He writes and consults on the management of alliances, joint ventures, and acquisitions. He has worked with a number of high-tech companies, such as General Electric, Yahoo, Motorola, Syngenta, Battelle, and NASA.



charles reed

Charles Reed, Senior Lecturer at Brandeis International Business School

Professor Charles Reed’s early career was with Corning Inc., Johnson and Johnson, and Dennison Manufacturing, with which he held senior positions in sales management, manufacturing management, strategic planning, business development, research management and general management. Reed later bought KYBE Corporation from Dennison Manufacturing in a leveraged buyout. KYBE subsequently became the market leader in its industry. He then merged KYBE with Computer Link Corporation and, after consolidating these companies and paying down the debt, sold his business to Anacomp Corporation. A serial entrepreneurial, Chuck also teaches courses on entrepreneurship in Brandeis International Business School.

pito-salasPito Salas, Adjunct Professor at Brandeis University

Co-Founder and former CTO of eRoom Technology, Professor Pito Salas also teaches at Brandeis University. In the past, he has worked on the Open Source Digital Voting foundation. He also provides consultation to technology companies that aim at developing new products. With B.A, in Computer Science from Brandeis University, Pito is an expert in software product strategy and execution, product management and design, RSS related technologies, Java product design and development.

grace zimmerman

Grace E. Zimmerman, Senior Lecturer at Brandeis International Business School

Grace Zimmerman is an experienced entrepreneur in both the high tech and health care industries, with a long, successful track record of launching new companies and products in nascent, undeveloped markets requiring innovative marketing and sales approaches. The innovative approach to marketing long-term care insurance that Zimmerman pioneered in 1995 at CalPERS is still in use there and has been implemented in a national program for federal employees.