Meet the five entrepreneurs evaluating the 2016 companies competing for funding and their future
With TechOut applications in and under review, now is a perfect time to take a closer look at the people lending their experience to the next generation of Granite State entrepreneurs. This year’s TechOut judges come from the state’s investment community, representing public and private companies, venture capital firms, development and nonprofit worlds, with one unifying quality – they’re passionate about New Hampshire’s innovation economy and the entrepreneurs driving it.
- Graham (Gray) Chynoweth is currently the COO at SilverTech, a Manchester-based marketing and web company, and serves on several boards for nonprofit and community organizations. He served in a similar role at Dyn, the internet performance company that during his tenure scaled from a handful of employees to more than 400, raised more than $38,000,000 in venture capital funding, grew revenue 30x and established global operations, with offices in the U.S., the U.K. and Australia.
Chynoweth has a JD from Duke University School of Law, an MA in public policy from Duke University and a BA in political science from the University of California, Berkeley, where he graduated magna cum laude.
- Jason Syversen is an inventor, advisor and the CEO and founder of cybersecurity company Siege Technologies, where he’s overseen the development of numerous disruptive cybersecurity technologies, many of which have been sold to or licensed by government agencies or corporations. Before founding Siege, Syversen was a program manager at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). During his time at DARPA’s Strategic Technology Office, he managed a portfolio of five programs totaling over $92M. He is also the sole inventor of a malware detection patent and a co-inventor for several pending patents.
Syversen attended University of Maine Orono, where he earned a BS in computer engineering, and Worchester Polytechnic Institute, where he earned a Master’s in electrical engineering.
- Hollis McGuire is the Nashua area regional director for the Small Business Development Center, where her work as an entrepreneur advocate, adviser, and mentor helps more than 100 Granite State companies grow their businesses each year. Since 2004, she’s helped companies of all levels obtain more than $100 million in capital, with those companies responsible for creating more than 800 jobs. She also co-founded, grew and sold a private CPA practice, which specialized in high tech clients including start up and early stage companies. She is a trustee for the Council and serves on numerous economic and entrepreneurial boards and committees including Live Free and Start, and has been awarded numerous accolades for business and professional achievements.
McGuire attended the University of Connecticut, where she earned a BA in art history and an MBA in finance. She is also a Certified Business Adviser and CPA.
- Jac Cuddy is the executive director at the growing Washington Valley Economic Council, where for the last 15 years has helped provide important resources for local businesses. His extensive background in banking – he was the AVP at North Conway Bank for 17 years – and business development enables him to foster new businesses and long-term growth strategies for new companies. He is involved in the Mount Washington Valley’s School to Career Partnership, Rapid Insight Inc. and the MWV Housing Coalition, where he serves on their boards. He began his career as a teacher for the Manchester School District. In addition, he has served as Chairman of the Conway Selectmen and on the Conway Budget Committee, providing a unique perspective on Granite State economic growth.
Cuddy earned a BA in political science from St. Anselm College and also attended the University of Wisconsin’s School of Banking.
- David “Chip” Linton is a senior at the University of New Hampshire and director of development at the Rines Student Angel Investment Fund, which is run by students in UNH’s Peter T. Paul College of Business & Economics. An inaugural member of the first undergraduate student-run angel investment fund in the United States, Linton offers insight to TechOut competitors around cultivating deal flow, performing pre-screening duties, completing due diligence reports, structuring investment contracts, and monitoring future portfolio holdings. His participation marks the second year the Council has partnered with UNH’s Entrepreneurial Studies program for TechOut. Linton and his Rines Angel Fund colleagues helped research and perform due diligence reports for the competition’s finalists.
Clearly, the fate of five Granite State-based startups is in good hands–including yours.
TechOut is a business competition that rewards three startups with $50K; $30K and $20K for first, second and third place showings. And those winnings are just part of the prize: finalists also receive mentorship, business plan reviews and connections to the distinguished professionals driving New Hampshire’s startup and tech ecosystem. The judges will narrow the field to three finalist companies and select the first and second place winners. A live audience at the October 5 final event chooses the third-place winner via live poll.
Jointly organized by the Council and Alpha Loft, TechOut is in its fifth year of recognizing talented entrepreneurs by awarding cash prizes to tech start-up companies. At the close of the 2016 event, the competition will have provided a half a million dollars in financing to winners.
Join us for the big event on October 5 at Dyn, 150 Dow Street, in Manchester. It’s a fast-paced pitch-focused event, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm, and tickets are $10 for Council members, $15 for non-members and $5 for students. Entrepreneurs and professionals from throughout the state, as well as students and student groups, are invited to attend.
To register click here or contact the Council at 603-935-8951.
TechOut is generously sponsored by Borealis Ventures, Berry Dunn, Cook Little Rosenblatt & Manson, Dunn Rush & Co., Dyn, Entrepreneurs Foundation of New Hampshire, FairPoint Communications, Meltwater, TD Bank and UBS, and media sponsor NH Business Review.