Welcome to our third installment of our judges series!  Competition day is quickly approaching and we wish luck to all of our talented finalists.  Until then though, sit back and get a little more familiar with our incredibly accomplished judges!


In 2013 Lynne Chou became a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers (KPCB), the California based venture capital firm with over 40 years of success in the life sciences, sustainability, and both consumer & enterprise digital industries. Chou has a strong background investing in the software and healthcare industries, specifically in cardiovascular technologies.  Most notably would be her work with Absorb, the first company to create a vascular scaffolding device that can be resorbed naturally and fully metabolized into the body.  While at KPCB, Chou has invested in life science startups like Mango Health, a mobile app designed to remind users to take medication with a rewards system; PulmonX, dedicated to improving the lives of patients living with lung disease; and Apnicure, a medical device alternative to sleep apnea masks.  We’re looking forward to seeing Lynne Chou on Monday!



Formerly a Project Manager for IBM, and a CIO for both Siemens Energy and BG Group, Ben Wilson is currently a Chief Technology Officer for the industry giant General Electric.  Wilson caries experience in IT operations & management, business consulting & transformation, and holds several software & project management certification titles.  He is currently working toward cloud enablement at GE, in addition to managing infrastructure operations in over 600 locations.  Wilson is an incredible source of knowledge for the business and technology industries and we’re so excited to see what he thinks of our finalists next week.


Balaji Gopinath was the former Vice President of Emerging Technology at Turner Broadcasting, the broadcasting entity that owns several major brands including CNN, TNT, and TBS.  During his time at Turner, Gopinath has co-invented 23 patents like Smart TV Space, and Interactive Advertising, five of which have been granted.  He is also the Founder of venture capital firms Media Camp and Evolution Labs.  Media Camp is a media focused firm that has produced several successful acquisitions, while Evolution Labs is focused in the tech industry.  Gopinath’s professional experience spans startup investment, business development and management, marketing & advertising, and technological sciences.  We’re thrilled to have him among our 2015 judges panel.  


Steve Forte is the Managing Director at Fresco Capital, a seed stage venture capital firm based in Hong Kong and California that invests in a wide range of startup industries, from enterprise to healthcare to entertainment.  Forte’s experience in venture capitalism is not from the side of the investor alone; he has been the founder and co-founder for several successful startups, including Telerik, a productivity development company; Chassis Finder, an online solution for invoicing and inventory needs in the transportation industry; and Triton Works, an ocean commerce tool, all of which were acquired between 2010 and 2014.  We know he has invaluable experience and advice for all of our HATCH finalists.


Dr. Werner Vogels is the technological force behind Amazon.com, where he became the Vice President and Chief Technology Officer in 2005.  Dr. Vogel has an incredibly robust professional history including being a research scientist for Cornell University and INESC, a private non-profit organization based out of Lisbon, Portugal aimed at education and technology consulting.  Dr. Vogels also operates a tech blog “All things Distributed” where you can find his latest industry based writings.  We’re honored to welcome Dr. Werner Vogels to our HATCH pitch team.

We are so excited to see our judges and finalists at SXSW this Monday the 16th, and we hope to see you there too!  Click below for more information on getting up to speed with the latest HATCHenings (HATCH happenigs) so you don’t miss out on Lynne Chou, Ben Wilson, Balaji Gopinath, Steve Forte, or Dr. Werner Vogels.  Follow us on Twitter for all our important announcements!