Judges

Joshua Aviv

Joshua Aviv
SparkCharge
Bio

Santokh Badesha

Santokh Badesha
Xerox Corporation
Bio

Emily Ekland

Emily Ekland
NYSTAR
Bio

Ryoko Kazawa

Ryoko Nazawa
Cayuga Venture Fund
Bio

Arber Ruci

Arber Ruci
NYC Regional Innovation Node
Bio

Judge Bios

Joshua Aviv

Joshua is a certified Data Scientist and the Founder & CEO of SparkCharge, a company specializing in the portable charging of electric cars. His experience in entrepreneurship and startups spans over 6 years and he is a dynamic figure in the cleantech community. Joshua is also the most recent winner of the worlds largest pitch competition, 43North. Joshua holds a B.A. in Economics and a Masters Degree in Information Management and Data Science from Syracuse University.

Santokh Badesha

Dr. Santokh S. Badesha is a Xerox Fellow and manager of open innovation for the Xerox Corporation. Badesha is responsible for leading inter-organizational efforts with both internal and external value chain partners, building academic and industrial partnerships, and providing critical technical support for product programs. These strategic partnerships design and execute front end research to design, develop and deliver functional materials, components, and marking subsystems. In addition, Badesha is a technical liaison for talent development and acquisition and collaborative research to a number of academic intuitions including Clarkson University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Rochester Institute of Technology, PENN State, University Of Rochester, North Carolina State University, Purdue U, and North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.

Badesha is also responsible for exploring external funding opportunities from the State and Federal sources with and without external collaborations that include academia and private businesses. In addition, he serves on a number of internal committees which are responsible for Intellectual Property generation (IPC), Intellectual Property evaluation (TAP), and Intellectual Property management (MIP- COMIP).

Badesha joined Xerox in 1980 as a senior research scientist in the Xerox Research Center Webster. He conducted independent research programs to design novel materials for image generation devises. He was appointed principal scientist in 1990, and principal scientist and technical manager in 1994. As manager, he was responsible for providing direction and strategies for materials research and led cross-functional development efforts in high performance materials for component design for marking subsystems. Prior to joining Xerox Badesha was a Teaching Fellow at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy NY.

Badesha holds Bachelor and Master of Science degrees with honors in chemistry from Punjab University, India. He received his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the Punjab Agricultural University and then received a second Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of East Anglia, Norwich, U.K. He received an Honorary Doctor of Science from Clarkson University in 2007 for his contributions to science, technology, and intellectual property, building academic and industrial partnerships, and his help in shaping research programs.

Badesha holds 254 U.S. Patents which have also been filed in multiple foreign countries. This makes him one of the most prolific inventors ever in the history of Xerox Corporation. He has an additional 55 U.S. patent application on file with the U.S. Patent Office. In addition, he has over 55 peer reviewed key scientific publications and presentations in international scientific journals and professional society’s conferences.

He was named Fellow by the Royal Society of Chemistry and Society of Imaging Science & Technology, Chartered Scientist by the Science Council of U.K., and received a proclamation from the Mayor of Rochester, N.Y. He received the Distinguished Inventor of the Year Award from the Rochester Intellectual Property Law Association, was named Chairman to the Board of the Center for Advanced Materials Processing, Clarkson University, serves on the E. Phillips Saunders College of Business Dean’s Advisory Board at RIT and is a member of the Industry Advisory Board of NSF Center for Metamaterials at the City University of New York and Center for Urban Science & Progress at NYU.

Badesha is also a recipient of 2009 Chester F. Carlson Lifetime Achievement Award of the Society for Imaging Science and Technology for his technical contributions in novel materials as integrated functional surfaces in electrophotographic surfaces. He was inducted into the Xerox Innovation Group Hall of Fame; received the Chester Carlson Eagle Award, a Xerox Excellence in Management Award, the Xerox President’s Award, and numerous other Xerox Excellence in Science & Technology Awards. Dr. Badesha represented Xerox Corporation at the White House to receive the National Medal of Honor in Science and Technology from the President of United States. Recently, Clarkson University named a “Santokh Badesha leadership scholarship” in his honor to recognize his contributions for connecting industry / academic research for economic development. He also serves as one of the three Trustees on the FuzeHub Board of Trustees. In 2013, Dr. Badesha was recognized by Punjab Academy of Sciences as an Honorary Fellow for his contributions to the chemical sciences.

Badesha resides in Pittsford, N.Y. with his wife Amarjit and two sons, Jason and Shaan, and daughter Ishmeen.

Emily Ekland

Emily Ekland is the commercialization director at NYSTAR, Empire State Division of Science, Technology and Innovation. At NYSTAR, she runs a program called the Innovation Resource Center. The IRC helps entrepreneurs strategically leverage different NYSTAR-funded programs, investigates bottlenecks in the commercialization lifecycle and coordinates programs that alleviate bottlenecks to accelerate innovation and commercialization across New York. Emily’s background includes working in a biotech incubator, investigating economic development policy at a government think tank and helping startups navigate early-stage legal issues. When she’s not working Emily enjoys cooking, reading and anything outdoors, especially camping in the Adirondacks.

Ryoko Nazawa

Ryoko is principal at Cayuga Venture Fund. She explores & evaluates investment opportunities, supports portfolio companies, and assists fund management. She is typically the first person to conduct due diligence on the investment opportunities. Ryoko is a board member of itellio, an adtech startup. 

Ryoko joined Cayuga Venture Fund in 2016. She is a graduate of Cornell MBA & Keio University in Japan. She has been a judge for 76West (clean energy), GENIUS NY (unmanned aerial systems), Grow-NY (food & agriculture), and various startup competitions at Cornell and other programs in Upstate NY.

 

Arber Ruci

Entrepreneur-In-Residence – NYC Regional Innovation Node • Director, New York City Innovation Hot Spot

Arber Ruci is the Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the NSF I-Corps NYC Regional Innovation Node, and the Director of the New York City Innovation Hot Spot. Arber was CEO of an Internet-of-Things startup for 8 years. He also spent five years as a student, staff member, and vendor at Stanford University, where he was immersed in the lean startup methodology, the entrepreneurship training program run by NYCRIN and NYC Innovation Hot Spot. He has been an Industry Mentor for two National I-Corps teams and is the co-Principal Investigator of an NSF PFI.

 

 

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