Panel of Judges for VT KnowledgeWorks Global Student Business Concept Challenge Announced

University teams from around the world will be competing in the 2011 VT KnowledgeWorks Global Student Business Concept Challenge for the VT KnowledgeWorks Global Challenge Trophy and the $25,000 Grand Prize during the VT KnowledgeWorks Global Partnership Week in Blacksburg and Roanoke, Virginia, USA.

The Global Student Challenge is August 25, 2011, 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM, at The Dumas Center in Roanoke, Virginia. Those who want to attend can register here.

Panel of judges for the Global Student Challenge:

Chris Day Chris Day is currently the global marketing manager at Novozymes Biologicals, an industrial biotechnology company in Salem, Virginia.  He has spent a considerable part of his career in the specialty chemical industry in various marketing and strategic planning roles. With over 4,500+ employees and selling in 130 countries, Novozymes is the world leader in bioinnovation. Together with customers across a broad array of industries we create tomorrow’s industrial biosolutions, improving our customers' business and the use of our planet's resources. Read more at


Doug Juanarena Doug Juanarena is a serial entrepreneur with more than 25 years of experience as a founder and CEO of successful technology businesses.  He currently is VP and site leader for Rackspace Hosting's Blacksburg, Virginia development center.  He is past head of GenTek Ventures, a firm that assists technology companies with start-up and business development activities.  In the past he has served as a research engineer for NASA at the Langley Research Center and was founder and CEO of Pressure Systems, Inc., KPSI and Luna Technologies.


Will Karbach Will Karbach is CEO of The Branch Group, Inc., an employee-owned construction company based in Roanoke, Virginia, with local operating companies including G.J. Hopkins, Inc., Branch and Associates, Inc., Branch Highways, Inc., and with over 600 employees region wide.  Long ago the company recognized clients’ demands for construction services were frequently no longer “just-shut-up-and-build-it,” but rather “we-need-you-to-walk-beside-us-through-this-process.”  Their high focus on developing exemplary business relationships and driving performance to exceptional, break-through levels, has enabled the operating companies to differentiate themselves by providing distinctly superior services and innovative solutions to selective clients with challenging needs:  a breath of fresh air in an industry abounding with “the same old thing.”


Robert Patzig Robert Patzig is the Senior Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer of Third Security.  Mr. Patzig joined Third Security upon its inception in 1999.  Mr. Patzig’s responsibilities include identifying and diligencing investment opportunities for Third Security and its funds, securities valuation and portfolio management.  Mr. Patzig has served as a member of the Board of Directors of Cyntellect, Inc., since February 2011, previously as its Chairman of the Board from July 2007 to September 2008, and as a member of the Board of Directors of Transgenomic, Inc. (OTC BB:  TBIO.OB) since December 2010.  Mr. Patzig has been a Director of the Virginia Biotechnology Association, a non-profit industry advocacy group since 2006 and is a member of the Virginia Tech English Department Distinguished Alumni.  Prior to the formation of Third Security, Mr. Patzig served as Director of Market Research and Analysis at GIV Holdings, Inc. and Director of Research Services at General Injectables & Vaccines, Inc.  Mr. Patzig received a B.A. in Philosophy and English and an M.A. in English from Virginia Tech.


Charles Pennington Charles Pennington is the President of TechLab, Inc., a manufacturer of medical diagnostics products targeted at intestinal diseases.  He has over 17 years experience in the design, development and commercialization of medical diagnostic products.  Prior to joining TechLab, Charles was the Director of Life Sciences at Luna Innovations and Project Manager at Abbott Diagnostics.  Charles has a B.S. Degree in Biology from the University of Akron and a M.S. Degree in Biochemistry from Virginia Tech.


Dr. Dan Sable

Dr. Dan Sable is the founder and President/CEO of VPT, Inc.  Dr. Sable earned a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from MIT and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Virginia Tech.  For nine years he worked with RCA Astro-Electronics in Hightstown, NJ on the design of various satellite electrical systems.  He was also an Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering at Trenton College of New Jersey.  In 1988 he came to Virginia Tech to pursue a PhD in Electrical Engineering focusing on Spacecraft Power Electronic Systems.  In 1993 he co-founded VPT (formally Virginia Power Technologies), which has grown into one of the world’s leading suppliers of advanced DC-DC power converters for military, commercial aerospace, and space applications.   He has served as the chairman of the Virginia Tech Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Industrial Advisory Board and is a registered professional engineer. 


Registration is open for participants, advertisers, and attendees of the VT KnowledgeWorks Global Partnership Week. Tastes and Sounds of the Valleys, the kick-off reception for the VT KnowledgeWorks Global Partnership Week, will be held on Wednesday, August 24, 2011, 5:30 PM – 7:30 – PM, at the Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center in Roanoke, Virginia.

Sponsors of the VT KnowledgeWorks Global Partnership Week include: Allegheny Brokerage Company, Inc., CCS-Inc., Economic Development Authority of Montgomery County, VA, G.J. Hopkins Inc., Interactive Achievement, Inc., LeClairRyan, LewisGale Hospital – Montgomery, Newport News Shipbuilding, a Division of Huntington Ingalls Industries, Novozymes, Rackspace, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), StellarOne, TechLab, Third Security, The Branch Group Inc., VPT, Inc.

Speak Your Mind