Meet The Startupalooza NJ Judges

Thursday Feb. 9th 3-6 pm at New Jersey Institute of Technology

Hosted by The Enterprise Development Center at NJIT

$20 to exhibit!   Free to attend!

Featuring 2 Tracks

(1) Digital Healthcare           (2) Digital Startups

Register here


Heather Gilchrist

RAK Tech Fund VP, Investments 

Heather was a founding member of educational technology startup Grockit (, the world’s first massively multiplayer online learning game. Grockit made an early pivot that was essential to its success. The experience inspired her to become more deeply involved in the entrepreneurial community. She currently advises several student and other young entrepreneurs in New York and Washington, D.C., and is developing two related projects, one with D.C. Tech activist and entrepreneurship attorney Adam Zuckerman and another in-house at RAK.

RAK is an angel fund based in SoHo with a preference for seed/early stage investments in entrepreneurs and technologies that more fully integrate web-based, mobile, and “IRL” relationships among individuals, businesses, and industries. Are you developing a disruptive technology that will bridge our virtual and physical worlds? Does your team inspire and impress you with their ideas and abilities? Are you really listening to your customers (or would-be customers)? If so, Heather wants to hear about the problem as you—and your customers—see it, how your solution is better than anyone else’s approach, and how your team is uniquely qualified to solve the problem.

New to New York City, Heather brings a West Coast sensibility and an entrepreneur-oriented approach to investments. From September to May, she splits her time between New York and Washington, D.C., where she is also an upper division JD/MBA candidate at Georgetown University. During that time, she doesn’t get much sleep.

Kamran Hashmi

Innovation Zone Officer, New Jersey Economic Development Authority

Kamran Hashmi is a Venture Officer in the EDA’s Technology & Life Sciences division, where he is responsible for marketing the Edison Innovation Fund and technology-led state incentives to potential applicants, consultants, technology transfer offices and partnering organizations. Kamran Hashmi graduated from Rutgers University with an MBA in Business Strategy. Before joining the EDA, Hashmi worked in Biotech, RFID, and Logistics firms in a marketing capacity. Kamran also manages individual accounts in EDA’s technology portfolio and has been the department lead in internal CRM and Knowledge Management initiatives.  He previously served as Innovation Zone Officer for the Greater New Brunswick Innovation Zone (IZ) and managed a board of key IZ stakeholders.

Tom Olenzak

President  Robin Hood Ventures

Health Care Services, Medical Devices, Financial Services, Information Technology, Energy/Environmental

Mr. Olenzak has twenty years of investment banking, venture capital, financial, and senior management experience in the information technology, health care, life sciences, and environmental industries. He is currently a venture partner focusing on health care information technology investments with Safeguard Scientifics, a Philadelphia-based venture capital firm. He works with high growth companies as a financial advisor, and is currently acting CFO with LifeCare Gateway, a firm providing a healthcare financial planning platform to financial advisors. He was a managing director with a technology-focused investment banking firm, formed and managed a corporate health care venture capital fund for First Consulting Group, and was a Vice President for Corporate Development and Strategic Planning for FCG and for Integrated Systems Consulting Group, a public predecessor to FCG that focused on technology for the pharmaceutical industry. Mr. Olenzak began his entrepreneurial career as President, Chairman, and a founder of Cutting Edge Computer Solutions, Inc., a client/server consulting firm. Mr. Olenzak has a BA in economics from Princeton University

Zev Scherl

General Partner, NewSpring Capital

Mr. Scherl is a General Partner of NewSpring Capital, with significant experience in principal investing, corporate management and finance, focused exclusively in the health care and life sciences industries. Prior to joining NewSpring in 2003, Mr. Scherl worked with Pequot Ventures, which managed venture funds in excess of $1 billion within Pequot Capital. Previously, he was a member of the health care investment team of Behrman Capital, a private equity investment firm which managed over $700 million. Before entering private equity in 1997, he served as Senior Director, Strategic Planning, for Value Health, the largest independent pharmacy and mental health benefit management company, where he structured multi-year contracts with leading pharmaceutical companies and executed key growth initiatives, prior to its successful sale to Columbia HCA. He also served as U.S. Manager, Pricing Policy at Merck & Co., and prior to that was in the investment banking group at Lehman Brothers. Mr. Scherl is currently a board member of Core Essence Orthopaedics, EKR Therapeutics, Immune Control, and Nitric BioTherapeutics. He was a board member of AppTec Laboratory Services prior to its sale to Wuxi Pharma and Scandius BioMedical prior to its sale to Covidien. He received a BA with honors in economics from Duke University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Donna Usiskin

Principal & VP, Edison Ventures

Donna is member of the NJ team; she originates, evaluates and leads investments in the HCIT sector. Donna has been covering the Pharma and Healthcare IT sector since joining Edison in 2002 as an Associate.  In 2006 as VP of Business Development, she recruited, trained and managed the conversion of a region based approach to an industry directed strategy.  Donna led the business development group to become industry experts, setting an aggressive pace of generating new investment opportunities. Donna recognized new information technology trends for the firm and directed the sector-focused research executed by her team.   Donna has over 15 years’ experience in sales, marketing and business development in the software industry. She was Vice President of Sales, North America, for Connextive—an integration software company providing Business Process Management solutions and an exited Edison investment. Donna was also Regional Sales Manager for Princeton Softech, providing enterprise database management solutions to hospital and payers as well as other industries.

An attendant of Rutgers College of Pharmacy, she received a B.A. Psychology and a minor in Chemistry from Rutgers University.

Allan Grafman, President All Media Ventures   Allan Grafman monetizes content and investor capital for owners of intellectual property. As President of All Media Ventures he advises investors, content owners and media companies.

Glenn Fratangelo Chief Operating Officer, Innovation Garden

(IGAP) is a highly structured advisory program which provides strategic business development, operations management, brand marketing, and digital marketing services to accelerate product awareness, sales, and operational efficiency



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