This is a partial list of mentors who work with the teams at Flashpoint.
Flashpoint @ Georgia Tech
Merrick is the founder of Georgia Tech’s Flashpoint, a first-of-its-kind startup engineering studio that develops and produces exceptional technology startup companies. He is Georgia Institute of Technology’s first “distinguished professor of computing”.
The GT “Threads” program in the College of Computing was his creation, and he is one of the three producers of The InVenture Prize, a live-broadcast tv show that NPR describes as American Idol for Nerds. Merrick is a co-founder of the internet security firm Damballa and is an early-stage fund investor.
Prior to joining Georgia Tech, Merrick was the founder and CEO of Essential Surfing Gear, an internet software company, which was acquired in 2000. At the University of California at Berkeley he served as president and director of the International Computer Science Institute, and he established its Center for Internet Research. Prior to Berkeley, Merrick was a professor and associate dean in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University.
Merrick is an inventor, recipient of the first Presidential Young Investigator Award in computer science, and early creator electronic post-it notes, which were best-sellers on PCs.
Matt Chanoff is co-manager of Profounder LLC, an early stage investment firm specializing in Internet security and game technology. He is also a consultant, researcher, and project manager for the electronics manufacturing industry.
Matt has led global electronics market consulting and forecasting projects since 1997. He has designed and implemented broad-scale market evaluations and market-entry strategies in the United States, China, and Southeast Asia for Fortune 500 companies in electronics manufacturing, components, high-tech materials, software, automotive market and aftermarket, chemicals, investment, and professional services.
He has taught business planning and trade economics in Vietnam and China, and is a co-author of the China Trade Manual. He is co-director of Profounder LLC, a seed stage investment fund specializing in internet security and game technologies. He serves on several corporate and non-profit boards for companies in the internet security area and non-profits in the areas of education and poverty alleviation.
Matt holds an MA in international economics and U.S. foreign policy from Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins.
Dr. Eric Gold is a behavioral economist for a large financial services company.
In 1995, Dr. Gold founded a software and consulting company, Gold Objects, Inc. He has worked as a consultant to companies such as SEI Investments, Banker’s Trust, and Salomon Smith Barney offering his expertise in behavioral finance, software design and development, human-computer interaction, statistical programming, Bayesian analysis, and decision information systems. From 1992 until 1994, Dr. Gold worked on technological innovation at Morgan Stanley & Co. in New York. Before that, he spent three years at the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center, leaving the firm as a research scientist. Dr. Gold began his career as a software engineer in the Artificial Intelligence Group at Tektronix, Inc. in Oregon in 1984.
Dr. Gold received a BA in psychology from Cornell University, a MS in experimental psychology from the University of Oregon, a MS in computer science from Yale University, a MA degree in decision making from Carnegie Mellon University, and a MS in statistics also from Carnegie Mellon. Additionally, he received a PhD in behavioral decision theory from Carnegie Mellon University.
Meade has spent the past 18 years as an angel investor in Atlanta. He formed a holding company for telecommunication interests and currently serves as President and CEO.
Meade co-founded and was President of PowerFone, Inc. from 1992 through 1994, when it was merged into Nextel. Prior to PowerFone he purchased and was President of Johnson Communications Corporation from 1986 through 1992, when it was acquired by Nextel. From 1980 to 1984 Meade was with Kimberly-Clark Corporation, where he rose to Vice President and General Manager of the Service and Industrial Division. Prior to that experience, he spent six years at Scientific-Atlanta in a number of sales, marketing and operations management positions. He received his BEE from the Georgia Institute of Technology and an MBA from the Harvard University.
For eighteen years, Jim was the CEO of Techsonic Industries (Humminbird), leading the company through dramatic growth.
Today, he is the chairman and advisor to several firms, and serves as Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army. Jim is a graduate of Harvard Business School and the United States Military Academy at West Point.
Paul is a start-up adviser, writer, and stand-up comedian whose material addresses the excitement, stress, and contradictions of the modern business world.
Paul launched his career in the the digital media industry in 1997 with LAUNCH.com, and went on to work at Yahoo! and Facebook, where he was among the first 250 employees and served as Western Region VP of Sales. After Facebook, Paul was President of social ad tech company SHIFT, which was bought by Brand Networks in 2015. He has served as an advisor to 8Tracks.com, Atomized and LeanKit.
In addition to his 15 years in digital media leadership positions, Paul has been heavily involved in the stand-up comedy world, performing over 500 shows, and opening for such comics as Norm MacDonald, Bob Saget, Roseanne Barr, and many more.
Paul’s writing has appeared in Huffington Post, Digiday, Poets & Quants, and on his satirical business blog, Banner Ad Confidential. He is the author of You Should Totally Get an MBA: A Comedian's Guide to Top U.S. Business Schools.