Meet the Judges

Howard Brown

Howard Brown is the Executive Director of the Temple University Small Business Development Center. In this role, he leads the organization’s strategy and administration of multiple programs and awards, compliance, financial management, human resources management, and stakeholder relations.

He is a former Wall Street executive who began his career in sales and trading at Goldman Sachs where he developed and executed highly successful trading strategies for the firm’s Global Macro Proprietary trading business. Over the last 15 years he has been responsible for bringing capital to emerging, diverse and alternative markets while working in corporate and specialty banking.

Prior to the Temple University Small Business Development Center, Howard founded Brown Holdings International, a privately held company that is focused on social infrastructure and economic development. He and has been widely recognized as an expert on economic development and entrepreneurship; and founded an ed-tech startup to improve teaching, learning and engagement in classrooms.

In addition, he also serves as an adjunct faculty member at Temple University in the Fox School of Business and Management, teaching courses in strategic management, innovation, entrepreneurship, and the management of small and early-stage companies.

Howard holds a master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania and earned his bachelor’s degree in finance from Temple University.

Michael Carroll

is Deputy Managing Director for Philadelphia’s Office of Transportation and Infrastructure Systems (oTIS), P.E. is a creative and nationally respected leader with more than 25 years of experience in transportation. In this role, Carroll leads oTIS staff in developing strategies and implementing policies to build a safe and equitable multi-modal systems across Philadelphia’s diverse and vibrant neighborhoods.

Deputy Carroll coordinates and sets the policy direction for critical functions, including the Streets Department (both Transportation and Sanitation), the Philadelphia Water Department, as well as the newly created Office of Complete Streets.  His oversight includes infrastructure systems that are made up of more than 9,500 transit stops, 2,575 miles of street, 320 bridge structures, 450 lanes miles of bike facilities, 1,000 Indego bikes and 100 Indego stations, and 6,500 miles of sewers and water mains.  Deputy Carroll also coordinates with internal city departments, external agencies such as SEPTA, PennDOT, Amtrak, and the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, as well as with policy makers on the local, state, and national levels.

Deputy Carroll graduated with a Bachelor degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Cornell University and proceeded to earn Master’s degrees in Transportation Engineering and Transportation Planning from the University of Berkeley.

Anthony George

Anthony George is a Venture Capital Analyst for the Tech Group at Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania where he assists with sourcing, due diligence, and portfolio management. Anthony enjoys evaluating companies from multiple perspectives to reflect his diverse background in financial analysis, entrepreneurship, and consulting. Over nearly a 10-year period, Anthony was involved with the launch, management, and growth of five small businesses in several different industries, including information technology and logistics. These businesses achieved nearly $12 million in annual sales. Prior to joining Ben Franklin, he held a position at the University of Delaware’s Office of Economic Innovation and Partnerships. In 2006, he started his career as a Financial Analyst for Murray, Devine & Company where he served the valuation needs of leading private equity funds. Anthony earned a BS in Finance, Summa Cum Laude, a MS in Finance, and a Graduate Certificate in Statistics all from the University of Delaware.

Lon R. Greenberg

is Chairman Emeritus of UGI Corporation, a Fortune 500 distributor and marketer of energy products and related services. He stepped down as Non-Executive Chairman on January 28, 2016. He retired as UGI’s Chief Executive Officer on April 1, 2013, after serving in that role for nearly 18 years.

Greenberg serves on the Board of Directors of Ameriprise Financial Inc. and Amerisource Bergen Corporation. In addition, Greenberg is a member of the Board of Managers of The Philadelphia Foundation, and a member of the Board of Trustees of Temple University.

Greenberg received his B.S. in Economics in 1972 from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He continued his education at Villanova Law School where he received his J.D. with honors in 1975. He also attended the Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program in 1993.

Karl Kraus

Karl Kraus is the Interim Director of the Small Business Development Center at Temple University’s Fox School of Business. The Temple SBDC serves entrepreneurs and businesses throughout every stage in the lifecycle of a business, with a mission to help businesses to start, grow, and prosper.

Karl has been working with the Temple University SBDC since 2005, and his consulting is focused on companies in the manufacturing sector as well as those entrepreneurs involved in commercializing new technologies.

In addition, he also serves as an Adjunct Faculty member in the Fox School’s Management Department, teaching courses related to innovation and entrepreneurship, business strategy, and the management of small and early-stage companies.

Karl also is a member of the External Review Committee for investments in the Technology Sector at Ben Franklin Technology Partners Southeastern PA.

He has started and operated 2 independent firms, 4 new business units within industrial corporations, and has advised over 700 client companies in all phases of operations, from pre-venture through launch and growth to successful exits, all in a wide variety of business sectors.

He holds a MBA in International Business from the Haub School of Business at Saint Joseph’s University and a BS in Chemistry from Ursinus College.

Jenna Kurath

serves as Vice President of Startup Partner Development and Head of Comcast NBCU SportsTech – an innovation program focused on investing in and developing the next great sports technologies. The program provides startup founders an unrivaled combination of sports industry advisors, a custom-tailored sports tech curriculum, and investment capital to scale and grow their business.

In this role, Jenna is responsible for leading the overall strategy and managing key industry partnerships to build and curate a team of advisors and mentors, along with custom-designed curriculum and capital investment, to attract the best startups from around the world to innovate alongside Comcast NBCUniversal and Sky. SportsTech is part of an extensive portfolio of innovation programs, including LIFT Labs in Philadelphia, focused on helping the next generation of technology leaders understand our business, test and pilot technologies with us, and become better storytellers.

Previously Jenna was Executive Director of Business Development & Partnerships, having joined Comcast in 2013, working within the corporate Strategic Development team and Comcast Business. Before joining the company, Jenna held various business development, sales strategy, and strategic communication roles at companies ranging from the startup, pre-IPO stage to Fortune 500 companies, including Symantec and Concentric Networks.

Stephen Nappi

has been in the business of commercializing university discoveries for the past 20 years. Mr. Nappi joined Temple University in 2008 as its Director of Technology Transfer and he currently serves as Associate Vice President of Technology Commercialization and Business Development within the Office of the Vice President for Research. In that role, Mr. Nappi heads the university’s efforts to identify, protect and commercialize research-based discoveries while growing an ecosystem to support technology acceleration and startup creation.

At Temple, Mr. Nappi benefits from a growing research environment that has led to the creation of over 35 startup companies in the past 10 years. These companies have successfully launched 5 products and collectively raised more than $160M in funding in the past 2 years. To support the university’s startup portfolio, Mr. Nappi contributed to the formation of seed and venture-stage investment programs. Prior to joining Temple, Mr. Nappi spent 7 years at Florida Atlantic University in its Office of Technology Transfer.

Mr. Nappi holds a BBA in business management and marketing from Florida Atlantic University. He is a member of AUTM and the Licensing Executive Society. Mr. Nappi is President Emeritus of BioStrategy Partners and continues to serve on its Board of Directors.

Victor Pascucci III

Victor Pascucci III is the Cofounder and Managing General Partner of Energy Capital Ventures. The only early-stage venture capital fund dedicated the ESG imperatives and digital transformation of the natural gas industry. He is accountable for the day-to-day operations and strategic direction of the firm. Vic has led and managed venture investments in numerous multi-billion-dollar companies and category defining leaders including Coinbase (NASDAQ:COIN),, MX, Extend, Personal Capital (acquired by Empower Retirement), TRUECar (NASDAQ: TRUE), Next Insurance, (NYSE: CRCM) and Clearcover. He has achieved a top-decile investment track record. Vic has over 20 years of experience in venture capital and financial services encompassing over $750 million in VC and M&A transactions. He is on the board of Cemvita Factory, Actual and Vic also serves as a Strategic Advisor to IA Capital.

Prior to Energy Capital Ventures, Vic was the Managing Partner of Lightbank where he responsible for leading investments in Clearcover, Extend, Paladin Cyber and BillTrim. At Lightbank, Vic served on the boards of Sprout Social (NASDAQ: SPT), Snapsheet,, Hatch Loyalty (acquired by Mobivity), Udemy, Ionic, Blueprint, Hireology, NuBundle, Fooda and BenchPrep. Prior to Lightbank, Vic built and led USAA’s $330 million corporate venture capital program. At USAA, Vic directed investments and served on the boards of Narrative Science, TRUECar (NASDAQ: TRUE), (NYSE: CRCM),, Automatic Labs (acquired by Sirius XM), Prosper Marketplace, Personal Capital (acquired by Empower Retirement), Coinbase (NASDAQ:COIN), MX, Roost, Cartera Commerce (acquired by Ebates/ Rakuten), Roostify, RepairPal, Saffron Technologies (acquired by Intel Corp.), CafeX, MindMeld (acquired by Cisco) and VAST (acquired by Vroom). He also held responsibility for USAA’s M&A, joint ventures and intellectual property transactions. While at USAA, Vic served as a Strategy & Transformation Executive where he architected a multi-year, cross-functional, multi-billion-dollar digital enterprise-wide transformation plan. Originally, Vic was counsel to USAA’s CIO, CTO, CISO, Chief Fraud Officer and Head of Business Operations. After USAA, he was an Investment Director/Partner with Munich Re Ventures in San Francisco where he was responsible for their investment activities in insurtech including Trov, Super, Slice Labs and Next Insurance.

Vic’s early career includes leadership positions in Chicago start-ups and law. Within the Chicago tech community, he is a board member of ChicagoNext and P33. Vic served as chairman of the National Venture Capital Association’s (NVCA) Education Committee for the Corporate Venture Group and served on the Board of Advisors for the NVCA. Vic has been featured in Andrew Roman’s best-selling book “The Masters of Corporate Venture Capital.” He has consulted and advised multiple corporations on innovation, venture capital and corporate venture capital.

Pedro A. Ramos

CEO of the Philadelphia Foundation, is leading the region’s community foundations into a second century of engagement, philanthropic growth, and impact.

Pedro has a strong record of leadership in business, law, government, and the social sector. In addition to working at a national law practice for almost 20 years, he served Philadelphia as Managing Director (COO), City Solicitor, Board of Education President, and School Reform Commission Chairperson. He also served the University of Pennsylvania as vice president and chief of staff to the (former) president.

Pedro has a long history of service on boards of public and private companies, government agencies, and nonprofits, including current board service for the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, the Philadelphia Award, Independence Health Group, FS Energy and Power Fund, and CFLeads.

Todor Raykov

is the Director of Accelerator Programs at NextFab, an entrepreneurship support center in Philadelphia, PA and Wilmington, DE. In this role, he has invested in over 40 high-tech startups and helped them secure millions of dollars in funding from angel investors and venture capitalists. Todor specializes in assisting entrepreneurs to establish and refine scalable business models and focus on the things that matter to build viable companies. He is currently involved as a mentor, advisor, and investor to start-up and early stage companies, and contributes his time to several organizations and programs including Temple University's Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute, Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania, and the Emerging Enterprise Center in Wilmington, DE.

Michael Roberts

is currently serving as the Director of Gas Processing at Philadelphia Gas Works. He graduated from North Carolina A&T State University as an Electrical Engineer. He is a Licensed Professional Engineer and Certified Energy Manager.

Seth A. Shapiro

is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW). On December 1, 2021 he will become the President and Chief Executive Officer of the company. Seth served on the Board of Directors of PGW for roughly 15 years, under Philadelphia mayors John Street, Michael Nutter, and James Kenney. He served for five years as Chair of the Finance and Audit Committee, five years as Vice Chairman, and as Chairman from 2016 to 2020.

Prior to joining PGW in a management capacity, Seth spent over 23 years in the real estate industry, managing all phases of development and construction. During his career, he managed projects with a combined value of over $1 billion, including more than 10,000 residential units and over 6 million square feet of retail and commercial space. He has worked on projects in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Florida.

He has also served in leadership positions on a variety of community-based non-profits, including The Chestnut Hill Business Improvement District, Mt. Airy USA, and Operation Understanding. Seth has guest lectured at the University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, and Drexel University and he presents at a variety of industry conferences. Seth graduated from Cornell University with a B.A. in Government.

Maura Shenker

is a small business and economic development expert focused on entrepreneurship as a wealth-building tool for traditionally marginalized urban communities. Currently, she is the Director of Temple University’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC). The SBDC, housed in the Fox School of Business, serves entrepreneurs at all stages of business development, with a mission to help businesses start, grow, and prosper. In 2020, the SBDC was awarded the Fox Community Impact Award for its outreach programs in the Philadelphia region.

Before joining Temple University, Maura served as Director of Saint Joseph’s University’s Centers for Professional Development and Food Marketing, where she oversaw all custom and open-enrollment programs in executive education at the university’s Haub School of Business. In that role, she was awarded Best New Program 2017 at the ProEd Conference for Management and Executive Development and recognized for developing the symposium “What Women Want,” which was awarded the 2016 Best Special Event/Initiative by SJU.

Frank Weigert 

is the Chief Information Officer at Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW). Frank has been working in the IT field since the late 1980s. He joined PGW in 1998, shortly after moving to the US. He has served in several technical and managerial roles within the PGW IT department over the years and assumed the role of CIO in 2016. During his 23 years at PGW he has participated in or lead countless technology initiatives of all sizes.

Tiffany Wilson

is the President and CEO of the University City Science Center, brings more than 18 years of leadership transitioning innovative medical technologies from benchtop to bedside, building partnerships across academia, industry, and economic development organizations.

She most recently served as CEO of the Global Center for Medical Innovation (GCMI), an Atlanta-based non-profit dedicated to supporting the development and commercialization of innovative medical products. She joined GCMI in 2011 to lead its startup phase, establishing an overall vision, building strategic relationships, and bringing together key stakeholders of the medical device ecosystem.

Wilson earned a BBA in International Business from Loyola University and an MBA from Georgetown University McDonough School of Business.

Wilson serves as Past President of the Board of the Southeast Medical Device Association (SEMDA), Founding Member of Medtech Women @ SEMDA, Chair of the Advisory Board for GCMI’s preclinical testing facility, and as a member of the Georgia Bio Board of Directors. She led the Sponsorship Committee of the 2013 SEMDA Conference and has served as the Co-Chair of the Medical Device Subcommittee of the Metro Atlanta Chamber Bioscience Leadership Council. In 2015 Wilson received the prestigious Georgia Bio Community Award and in 2017 she was presented with the Industry Growth Award; the highest honor bestowed each year by Georgia Bio.

Eloise Young

is a retired senior executive with over a decade of hands-on experience leading Philadelphia Gas Works’ technology and strategic planning functions. Eloise currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging, the largest area agency on aging in Pennsylvania; the Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission, which provides food, shelter, and clinical services to men and women experiencing homelessness in Philadelphia; and the Mill Creek Urban Farm, an educational farm in the heart of West Philadelphia dedicated to improving local access to fresh, chemical-free produce.