Investor Panel Announced for StartUp Showcase, April 18

Investor Panel Announced for the StartUp Showcase, April 18

Image of investor panel

2022 StartUp Showcase Investor Panel

Teams Copula, Pantry +, and three other 2023 Showcase teams are finalizing their pitches to present to the investor panel in front of a live Quick Center audience in less than two weeks.

Once again the Fairfield StartUp program has recruited five top-notch investors for the annual Fairfield StartUp Showcase on Tuesday, April 18, 2023. The Showcase teams have been developing their pitch presentations since January, working with mentors, fine-tuning their business models, and preparing to take the stage in front of a live audience at the Quick Center. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the Showcase starts at 7 p.m. Register today.

Team Copula, a community-building social media platform that enables users to find places, activities, and people who share similar interests; and team Pantry +, a service designed to simplify a customer’s grocery, kitchen, and diet experience using AI, barcode scanning, and other technologies, are two of the five Showcase teams that will pitch to the investor panel for seed funding to start their businesses.

Meet the 2023 StartUp Showcase Investor Panel

1091251169_startup_investor-image_joseph-bronson_330x400.jpgJoseph Bronson ’70
Joseph (Joe) Bronson is currently principal and CEO of The Bronson Group, LLC, a business advisory group focused on operational and financial consulting. In addition, he is a strategic advisor and managing director of Cowen Group, Inc., a New York City-based investment banking firm, and a member of the Board of Trustees of Fairfield University. Bronson is a CPA and holds a BS in accounting from Fairfield University and an MBA from the University of Connecticut. He was inducted into the UConn Business School Hall of Fame in 2006 and the Fairfield University Entrepreneur Hall of Fame in 2017.

1091251169_startup_investor-image_chris-hillock_330x400.jpgChris Hillock ’00
Chris Hillock is the vice president and head of portfolio development at Dell Technologies Capital, the venture capital arm of Dell Technologies. He is chartered with creating go-to market partnerships and scaling strategies for portfolio companies within Dell Technologies' business units and partner ecosystem. Hillock has 23 years of sales leadership and general management experience, leading cross-functional global sales teams and scaling emerging HW and SW solutions within enterprise accounts. Prior to joining DT Capital, he was a GM within the DT Select division of the Dell Technologies Global Accounts practice, chartered with growing revenue, operating income, and building an integrated GTM model across the Dell Tech family of businesses. Hillock holds a BS in marketing and information systems from Fairfield University, an MBA in finance from the University of Connecticut, and is a graduate of the General Management Program from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.

1091251169_startup_investor-image_padraic-kelley_330x400.jpgPadraic “Packy” Kelly ’90
Packy Kelly is an audit partner with KPMG, based in San Francisco and serving tech companies in San Francisco, Silicon Valley, New York, and Tampa Bay. He recently completed a term as the overall leader of the firm's Bay Area audit practice, which included the Silicon Valley, San Francisco, Sacramento, and Honolulu markets. Prior to leading the Bay Area, Kelly was a leader of the U.S. Enterprise ventures practice that delivers the firm's services to high-growth, venture-backed start-up companies. He has been the lead partner for several IPOs. He has served as an advisor to the MIT/Stanford Venture Lab and a board member of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce. Kelly received a BS in accounting from Fairfield, MBAs from both UC-Berkeley and Columbia University, and is a CPA. He has delivered guest lectures on the economics of raising venture capital to entrepreneur classes at Berkeley and Santa Clara, and during the 2023 Fairfield University Silicon Valley Immersion Trip. Kelly credits his intermediate accounting professor at Fairfield as being instrumental to his successful career in public accounting.

1091251169_startup_investor-image_mary-rooke_330x400.jpgMary Anne Rooke P’20
Mary Anne Rooke is the founder of Rooke & Associates, a boutique management consulting firm that specializes in helping early-stage tech companies “navigate the waters of raising capital.” Founded on the West Coast in 1993, the firm is currently based in Connecticut and serves the East Coast between N.Y. and Boston. Rooke is former president & managing director of the Angel Investor Forum (AIF) Board of Directors, a Connecticut-based angel group. She is a partner in Mystic River Ventures and serves as fund manager for the UConn Innovation Fund (UIF). She also served as the vice chair & treasurer of the Board of Directors and was on the founding team for the Thames River Innovation Place (TRIP) in Southeastern CT. Prior to founding Rooke & Associates, she held leadership positions in multiple industries ranging from start-up ventures to Fortune 500 companies. Rooke advises and mentors startups in many regional accelerators including Techstars, Yale Entrepreneurial Institute (YEI), Fairfield University's Startup Showcase, and tech startups at UConn, Quinnipiac University, and CTNext ecosystem. She graduated from Annhurst College with a BS in accounting and earned her MBA from Golden Gate University’s Executive MBA Program.

1091251169_startup_investor-image_ted-yang_330x400.jpgTed Yang
Ted Yang is currently the founding CEO/trustee of 4-CT, the founder and president of Cantata Media, and the co-founder/partner of Social Venture Partners CT. He began his career working in the banking industry with positions in Lehman Brothers and JPMorgan, as an analyst and consultant respectively. Shortly after Yang founded his first company eTECHTRANSFER, went on to win the 2000 Wharton Business Plan Competition, and served as co-head of FX e-commerce Technology at Citigroup Global Markets and CTO for Bridgewater Associates. As his career progressed, he evolved into a serial entrepreneur, founding or serving in executive positions at more than 14 startups and nonprofits. In 2009, he formed TMYC Inc. as a holding company for his investments and advisory work. He has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, NPR, and Fox Business News, and has spoken at MIT, Wharton, Babson, NYU, and Columbia business schools. Yang is a graduate of MIT where he simultaneously pursued his BS in electrical engineering/computer sciences and MS in engineering.

To learn more about the Fairfield StartUp Showcase and to register, visit

Fairfield StartUp Showcase

Date: Tuesday, April 18, 2023
Time: Doors open at 6:30 p.m. | Showcase begins at 7 p.m.
Location: Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts

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