Judges for the program have the opportunity to review business plans for up to 15 patented discoveries and inventions and evaluate the investor presentations that are based on these plans in a fun, competitive and exciting Pitch Contest. These are often cutting edge technologies in a variety of industry areas. As such, serving as a judge provides a “first peek” at these opportunities that are available for licensing from Florida’s universities and NASA Centers.

Judges will receive the business plans from and will have approximately 1 week to review and score them using the scoring guides and worksheets provided with the plans. After the business plans have been scored, judges will attend the Pitch Contest and rate the investor presentations using the scoring guides provided.  Additionally, judges are a critically important and positive part of a life changing experience for many, if not most, of the participants in the Startup Quest® program.

Startup Quest® judges, together with the experienced entrepreneurs and CEOs who serve as mentors form an elite core of talented individuals who are willing to donate time and experience to this unique training program. An opportunity for networking will be provided during the cocktail reception following the Pitch Contest.

Program 1 Judges


 steve tingirisSTEVE TINGIRIS

Steve Tingiris is a local serial entrepreneur who sold his most recent company, Prospect Smarter, in January 2014. Tingiris describes himself as “a dabbler and a tinkerer with a variety of interests,” whose professional passion is creating software and marketing systems that help companies sell more. Over the past 15 years, he has started four companies, three of which he sold (and one he says he tries to forget).
Steve is currently focused on what he enjoys most – dabbling, tinkering and seeking his next business adventure. He is a founding board member and volunteer business mentor at Tampa Bay WaVE and is the current co-chairman of TechNova, the non-profit organization behind Tampa Bay BarCamp and Ignite Tampa Bay.



As the prior Managing Director of Buckelous Ventures and current partner with TechCXO, Mr. Buckel has recently helped a number of pre-revenue start-ups and turnaround and growing companies with various Interim President, CFO, COO , Controller and Board advisory services. For more than fifteen years, Mr. Buckel has served as Chief Financial Officer for a number of public and private companies in the IT, software, service, health care, internet based and technology industries. He currently serves on the board of directors of SMTP (public company). Mr. Buckel earned his MBA from Syracuse University.


mattMularky-thumbnailMATT MULLARKEY

 Matt Mullarkey currently serves as Managing Partner for Patina Solutions. He has more than 20 years of experience in senior leadership roles in the automotive, applied materials and medical device industries with P&L responsibilities in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Europe, Brazil, India, Singapore, China, Japan, Australia and Korea. Prior to joining Patina Solutions, Matt was President of Stochastic Wave Services and Chief Operating Officer at West Pharmaceutical Services. Prior to that, he was Chief Executive Officer of a $60 million applied materials group of companies that supplied the impact absorbing systems in U.S. military helmets.  Matt earned a B.S. in Engineering from the U.S. Military Academy (West Point) and served as an Airborne, Ranger-qualified Infantry Officer in the 25th Infantry Division. He has a M.S. in Systems Management from the University of Southern California and a M.B.A. from the Moore Business School at the University of South Carolina. He has also completed all work to achieve Doctoral Candidacy in Business Administration at the University of South Florida. Matt is an inventor holding two U.S. patents and a researcher focusing on the impact of technology on organizational innovation, social networking, change management and monetizing data streams.



 Susan Kelly is currently the EVP/Chief Marketing Officer for Apollidon Learning. Before joining Apollidon, she led Xerox Corporation’s global outsourcing practice of Communications & Marketing Services providing clients the ability to dramatically improve one-to-one marketing and communication effectiveness.  During her career, Susan was the CEO & President of K/P Corporation; a marketing services provider for F1000 companies. Susan is also the founder of Raine Media, Inc.; a services firm that develops the strategies and technology infrastructure to help clients engineer how to better reach their target customers and lower their total cost of acquisition. Ms. Kelly has held senior executive and M&A positions at R.R. Donnelley, Pitney Bowes and Gannett. In 2005, Susan was awarded the PIA/GATF’s Naomi Berber Award – which honors women who have made major contributions to the graphic communications industry. Susan holds a Bachelor of Technology degree from Ryerson University, a MBA from York University and Level III CMA from University of Toronto.


kirk burtonKIRK BURTON

Kirk Burton is a former Special Operations officer with experience in entrepreneurship, business incubation, open innovation, program management, and technology scouting and research.  He is the founder and Chief Innovation Officer for Innovation & Technology Solutions LLC, serves on the board of the Small Business Technology Council, and is active in the Tampa Bay startup and entrepreneur communities.  Kirk has experience in numerous technology development efforts supporting the military and first responder communities.   He was the first PM for the USSOCOM Technology Infusion Cell, an effort to improve the speed of technology development using simplified contracting and rapid prototyping, and served as the Director of Research and Engineering for StarTec (now Tampa Bay Innovation Center), a Pinellas County small business accelerator. As Vice President of CTC Tampa Bay Inc., Kirk led a comprehensive review of technology transition efforts within DoD, and developed a tailored due diligence process for DoD’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. Kirk continued to focus on improving the effectiveness of DoD acquisition through an experimental program supporting rapid technology fielding to the warfighter. Most recently he has been involved in advising government on open innovation models and processes.



Nancy Bostock served our local community in elected office for 14 years as a School Board Member and then a County Commissioner.  Rejoining the private sector in 2013, Nancy currently serves as President/CEO of Chemical Standards Laboratory, Inc., a small chemical manufacturing firm in Clearwater, Florida.  Nancy is a former teacher and has volunteered as a Guardian ad Litem and on the boards of directors for the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority, Pinellas Education Foundation, Early Learning Coalition of Pinellas County, Pinellas County Child Care Licensing Board, Attachment & Trauma Network and she founded the MOMs Club of St. Petersburg.  Nancy earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida, a master’s degree from the University of South Florida and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa.


Alfred-Goldberg-244x300ALFRED GOLDBERG

Mr. Goldberg is the founder and President of the Americas Absolute Mobile Design. Absolute Mobile Solutions is an international mobile strategy company with offices in Europe and South America. Mr. Goldberg is on the Board of Governors for the Tampa Bay WaVe and has previously served as the Chair of the CEO Advisory for the Tampa Bay Technology Forum.  He is recognized as an expert and is a sought-after public speaker on mobile strategy and digital marketing.