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

University teams from around the world will be competing in the 2012 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, August 19-25, 2012.  Each of the top two runner-up teams will receive $5,000 cash awards.

The Global Student Business Concept Challenge is Thursday, August 23, 2012, 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM, at The Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center in Roanoke, Virginia.  The reception and awards banquet will be held afterwards at The Inn at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia.  Those who would like to attend can register here.

See photos of the Panel of Judges for the 2012 VT KnowledgeWorks Global Student Business Concept Challlenge on Facebook.

Panel of judges for the Global Student Challenge

VT KnowledgeWorks Global Challenge TrophyChris 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 5,800+ 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.

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 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 is CEO of The Branch Group, Inc., an employee-owned construction company based in Roanoke, VA, 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 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.  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 an M.A. in English from Virginia Tech.

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 and MBA from Virginia Tech.

Dr. Steve Roberts is with the University Partnerships Office at Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU), a university consortium leveraging the scientific strength of 105 major research institutions.  ORAU also manages the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education for the U. S. Department of Energy.  Roberts holds a doctorate in political science, a master’s in public administration, and a bachelor’s degree in English literature. He was asked by the U. S. State Department to lead discussions on state and local government with the first democratically elected officials from various municipalities in former Soviet block countries.  He has served two governors, a mayor, and a United States Ambassador.  Recognized as an excellent teacher, in 2000 he received the Chancellor’s Outstanding Instructor Award at the University of Tennessee. 

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.

The third annual VT KnowledgeWorks Global Partnership Week will bring university students, faculty, and staff from all over the world together to congregate, collaborate, form partnerships, and build their global networks. The Global Partnership is a multi-layered, ongoing cooperative association of regions building permanent social, academic, and business relationships.

These generous sponsors make this very special week of education, competition, relaxation, and relationship building possible: The Allegheny Logistics Group, CCS-Inc., Montgomery County, Virginia Economic Development Department, G.J. Hopkins Inc., Interactive Achievement, Inc., NetVentures, Novozymes, Oak Ridge Associated Universities, Rackspace, SAIC, Shentel, StellarOne Bank, SunTrust Bank, TechLab, Third Security, The Branch Group Inc., Virginia Tech, Virginia Corporate Research Center, and VPT, Inc.

VT KnowledgeWorks encourages and enables creative entrepreneurship world-wide, through innovative curriculum, local business resource centers, and a global network of cooperating regions, all focused on three essential contributors to success: clear understanding of fundamental business principles; access to timely, relevant information; and meaningful personal and corporate relationships. It is a subsidiary of the Virginia Tech Foundation, funded through the continuing confidence and enthusiasm of its clients, sponsors and friends, both corporate and individual. Its world headquarters is in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center in Blacksburg, Virginia, USA.

VT KnowledgeWorks sponsors include Attaain, Inc., BB&T, The Branch Group, Handshake 2.0, Harris Office Furniture, Hodges, Jones & Mabry, P.C., Hutchison Law Group, LeClairRyan, New River Valley Intellectual Property Law, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) and The Becher Agency (TBA).

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