Judges

Ken Jacob

President/CEO, Cajun Industries

Ken Jacob is the president/CEO of Cajun Industries, the parent company of 5 construction related firms. He has been with Cajun for 35 years. The company’s annual revenues are $500 million dollars. Cajun is an execution based company that performs work throughout the US and primarily along the Gulf Coast region. In 2012 the company received several national awards: Associated Builders and Contractors contractor of the year award, Engineering News Record magazine’s contractor of the year for the Louisiana/Texas region and the Associated General Contractor’s Alliant Build America Award (the Oscar of the construction industry). Ken attended LSU as an undergraduate and then attended Tulane as a graduate student where he earned his MBA. He has been an investor in several construction and non-construction related startups, including a Historic Restoration firm, a civil engineering and property development firm, two companies with patented technologies, a video game development company and a woman’s boutique.


Kendall Almerico

Attorney, Sports Agent, Serial Entrepreneur, Humor Book Author and World-Renowned Expert on Crowdfunding

Kendall Almerico was named the top practicing crowdfunding attorney in the country and one of the nation’s foremost authorities on crowdfunding (#17 in VentureBeat’s Top 30 “Most Influential Leaders in Crowdfunding”). Kendall is a subject matter expert who has been interviewed and had his crowdfunding businesses featured in USA Today, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Washington Post, The New York Daily News, Huffington Post, Business Insider and on CNN, Fox News, CBS, ABC and NBC. Mr. Almerico is a regular crowdfunding columnist for Entrepreneur.com and a highly sought after keynote speaker. Mr. Almerico practices law with the prestigious law firm of DiMuro Ginsberg in the Washington DC area.


David Hall

Director, Revolution Ventures

David Hall is a Director at Revolution Ventures and is responsible for investment sourcing, execution, and oversight for Revolution Ventures portfolio companies. David began his career with Revolution in 2006, serving as an investment professional for Revolution LLC and has been working with the portfolio companies ever since. David has worked closely with and served as a Board Observer for Revolution Money (American Express), Booker (formerly GramercyOne), Vinfolio, Koofers, SnagFilms, BenchPrep and Homesnap. Prior to Revolution, David was with The Washington Post Company as Director of Planning and Development. In this capacity, he managed corporate M&A and investments and launched new print and digital publications.  Earlier in his career, David held positions as manager of Business Development for Akamai Technologies, Inc. and senior financial analyst for Morgan Stanley & Co. Inc. David received a B.A. in Economics from Morehouse College and a Masters in Business Administration from Harvard Business School.


Michael Trafton

Blue Fish Development Group

A serial entrepreneur, Michael is an expert in building high performance teams with amazing cultures. His software development firm, Blue Fish Development Group, was voted as the best place to work in Central Texas and among the fastest growing companies in Austin. 

Michael has a passion for helping first time entrepreneurs reach their goals through mentoring, coaching, and investing. He helps run Capital Factory, a top-ranked startup accelerator for technology companies in Austin, and he serves on the advisory board of several Austin startups. He is a regular speaker on the topics of Technology, Entrepreneurship, and Company Culture.

 


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J. Brian Oliver

CEO, United Networks of America

United Networks of America is one of the largest providers of value added managed care products and services in the United States. UNA has more than 240,000 participating Providers serving more than 120 million members.