Judges

  • James Wei Visiting Professor Paul Chamberlain

    Paul Chamberlain '85

    Paul Chamberlain is an early-stage investor and advisor to senior executives in emerging technology companies. 

    For over 25 years, Paul worked at Morgan Stanley, most recently as Managing Director and Co-Head of its Global Technology Banking Group and as a member of the Investment Banking Division's Operating Committee. He worked the majority of his Morgan Stanley career in the firm's Menlo Park, California office, and he regularly appeared on Forbes magazine's Midas List of top technology VCs and bankers. 

    Paul started PEC Ventures in 2015 to invest and advise early-stage technology companies in product, market, and financing strategies. He also serves on the board of three publicly-traded companies -- ServiceNow, Veeva, and TriNet -- where he works on each of their audit committees and select nominating and governance and M&A committees. 

    He also serves as the Chair of the Strategic Advisory Committee of JobTrain, a Menlo Park, CA-based vocational and life skills training non-profit which helps the neediest in the Silicon Valley area. He was previously a JobTrain board member for 10 years. 

    Paul launched and now co-leads StAMP, a student-athlete mentoring program for the men's golf team at Stanford University. 

    Paul earned a BA in History magna cum laude from Princeton University in 1985, and he received a MBA from Harvard Business School in 1989. He regularly lectures at Princeton and Stanford as well as The Wharton School of Business. 

    He lives in Palo Alto, California with his wife Martha. They have four children. 

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    Deborah Hoover

    Since 2007, Deborah Hoover has served as President and CEO of Burton D. Morgan Foundation, Northeast Ohio's philanthropic champion of the entrepreneurial spirit.  Morgan Foundation seeks to build the entrepreneurial mindset in students through educational and experiential opportunities that target problem solving and innovation skills.  For adult entrepreneurs, the Foundation works with its ecosystem partners to provide new ventures and their founders with access to knowledge, mentors, and financing.  Ms. Hoover received the Northeast Ohio EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2014 in the Educational Services & Nonprofit category.  She serves on the Team NEO Board and as Board Chair of the Bounce Innovation Hub in Akron.  Ms. Hoover serves on the national Board of Candid., a global organization dedicated to sharing information and insights that fuel deeper impact in the social sector.   

    Ms. Hoover earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Williams College and a Master of Arts in Art History from the University of Chicago.  She continued graduate studies at George Washington University National Law Center where she earned a Juris Doctor degree.  She is a member of the bar in the District of Columbia, New Hampshire, and Ohio.  She also holds an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Baldwin Wallace University.  Ms. Hoover received a second Master’s Degree in Cultural History from Kent State University in December 2018.

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    Jake Leschly '88

    Jake served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Ingenuity Systems, Inc. from 1999 to 2013 when Ingenuity was acquired by Qiagen  Prior to Ingenuity, he served as Vice President of Worldwide Sales and Business Development for Affymetrix Inc. He joined Affymetrix from the Scandinavian offices of McKinsey & Company and has direct sales and marketing experience in the life science market from Pharmacia Biotech.  He holds a BA from Princeton University (’88) in Molecular Biology and an MBA from Harvard Business School.  Jake is a member of the Harvard Business School West Coast Advisory board and served on the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council for Biotechnology.  He currently advising and consulting with early stage companies in a variety of sectors and serves as a Board Member at East Palo Alto Tennis and Tutoring.

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    Darrell Penn *99

    Darrell Penn is a Director of Corporate Development with pharmaceutical and vaccine manufacturer Merck and Co.  His work there largely centers around exploring disruptive approaches to healthcare that will improve the discovery, development, approval and commercialization of its products.  Prior roles at Merck include commercial assessment where he was responsible for helping to inform company investment decisions for business development and M&A opportunities.  Darrell also served as a senior global analyst where his work focused on the company’s flagship vaccines for shingles and human papillomavirus (HPV).  He has also worked with the diabetes marketing team where he managed the consumer facing education program.

    Darrell's healthcare related experience prior to Merck includes serving as a Director for a Foundation focused on glaucoma prevention, supporting the health policy needs for a Member of Congress and working as a consultant with clients that included large healthcare delivery systems such as Kaiser Permanente and manufacturers such as Johnson & Johnson.

    Darrell currently sits on the Boards for the NJ Economic Development Authority Incubator (CCIT) as well as the Princeton Health Department.

    Darrell received his Master's in Public Affairs from Princeton University and his Bachelor's in Economics and Sociology from the University at Albany.

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    Isa D. Watson

    Isa Watson is the Founder and CEO of Squad by Envested, a data-driven software company revolutionizing how people create meaningful connections. This social community platform was named to the Inc Magazine 30 under 30 list in 2017 and has achieved high double-digit month-over-month growth with a lean team. Squad by Envested has also been featured in Forbes, Bloomberg, Fast Company, Inc and Entrepreneur.com. The company is backed by notable Silicon Valley VC firms like Harrison Metal and Precursor VC. Their enterprise customers include companies like Walmart.com, Jet and WeWork.

    Prior to founding Squad, Isa was a Vice President of Digital Strategy at JPMorgan Chase in New York and Hong Kong. She worked closely with senior management to build and execute various strategic initiatives across product development, analytics, marketing and client service across various JPMC businesses. Before joining JPMorgan Chase, Isa worked at Pfizer both as a research chemist and as a clinical trial strategy analyst.

    Isa earned an MBA from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a MS in Pharmacology from Cornell University and a BS in Chemistry from Hampton University where she was an American Chemical Society and National Science Foundation Scholar. Isa is also a classical pianist of 25 years and the youngest-serving member of the MIT Sloan Executive Alumni Board, where she helps advise MIT administration on key strategic priorities for the school.