HATCH pitch is so excited to welcome such a dynamic panel of judges to the 2015 competition!  We know they’re eager to hear from all of our finalists at SXSW Interactive on March 16th, and we’d like to take a moment and let you get to know them before the big day!  To start, we’d like to welcome and thank Jon Karlen of Atlas Venture, Aya Zook of Microsoft Ventures and Jared Stasik of Detroit Venture Partners for joining the HATCH pitch judge’s panel.

Jon Karlen, FKA

Jon Karlen is currently a partner at FKA (Formerly Known as Atlas Venture), a venture capital firm that recently developed out of Atlas Venture in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Atlas was founded in 1980 and is now the 8th most active seed venture capital company in the US.  Upon joining the team at AV in 2014, Karlen was determined to find software-driven innovation, and now sits on at least five boards at AV. He also has a long list of success stories that preceded his time there, including Digital Lumens and Zing Systems (acquired by Dell in 2007) during his eight years with Flybridge Capital Partners, as well as the RFID software company OATSystems (acquired by Checkpoint in 2008), which he worked with at the start of his venture capital career at Greylock Partners.  Karlen carries a wealth of experience in software and tech driven startups and we look forward to seeing him in March!

Aya Zook, Microsoft Ventures

Aya Zook began his time at Microsoft in 2006 where he worked in a number of roles that led to his becoming a Principal investor.  His work within Bing Fund led to Microsoft’s strategic investments in the social discovery app Sonar as well as Buzztable, a wait list management app for restaurants in 2013.  Zook also sits on the executive council of the Internet Marketing Association. Zook’s interest and involvement in social and tech industries is an invaluable asset and we’re happy to have him on our judge’s panel.

Jared Stasik, Detroit Venture Partners

Jared Stasik is the Vice President at Detroit Venture Partners, a seed venture capital firm founded in 2010 that seeks out passionate entrepreneurs in the software, tech, and digital industries.  Stasik oversees DVP’s fund management, operations, marketing and finances. Before his time at DVP, Stasik developed sales and marketing strategies as a consultant for Fortune 500 companies for five years.  We’re happy to welcome Stasik to HATCH pitch!

That’s our first look at 2015’s judge panel - please stay tuned to meet the rest of the experienced venture capital professionals that will be joining us at SXSW in just a few short weeks!  Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter for all the important HATCH pitch announcements or if you want to be sure to attend HATCH pitch SXSW to see Jon, Aya, and Jared live in person, click below.

GREAT THINGS HAPPEN HERE!