Date & Time 
Thursday, March 5, 2015 - 5:30pm to 9:00pm
Event Location 
Claeys Lounge, Soda Center - Saint Mary's College of California Moraga Campus, 1928 St. Mary’s Road, Moraga. Soda Center.
Event Description 

Join us for the Fourth Annual Saint Mary's College Business Idea Competition on Tuesday March 5, 2015 from 5:30 - 9 p.m. at the Soda Center. Selected presenters will have an opportunity to work with industry expert coaches and further develop their idea and pitch before the competition. The objective of this Business Idea Competition is to help School of Economics and Business Administration students and alumni refine their ideas to get to the stage where they can actually present to investors. 

This event will focus on showcasing business ideas/pitches from Saint Mary's College School of Economics and Business Administration (undergraduate and graduate) students and alumni.

  1. Interested applicants were required to submit an application and to Professor Berna Aksu by Friday, February 20th. Only interested in watching? Just RSVP here!
  2. Nine presenters were selected 
  3. Selected presenters were required to attend at least one of coaching workshop on the Rheem Campus on Friday, February 21 from 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m or Sunday, February 23 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  If you have questions regarding this requirement please contact Professor Berna Aksu.
  4. Presenters will pitch their ideas at the competition and may use three PowerPoint slides as visual aides.
    (Format: 2 minute pitch - 4 minute Q&A - 4 minute feedback) 
  5. Presenters will receive feedback from a panel of Keiretsu Forum investors and partners. (Note: you don't have to be funded, in revenue, or even be incorporated - this is a great opportunity for even early stage business ideas. The application form will guide you through the relevant aspects of your idea.)

Northwestern Mutual AWARDS
Northwestern Mutual Graduate 1st Place- $3,000, 3 hours of “partner time” with Hanson Bridgett valued at $1,575 and the coveted opportunity to present at an upcoming Angel Capital Expo - a Keiretsu Forum premier gathering of the angel capital community.
Northwestern Mutual Undergraduate 1st Place- $2,000, 3 hours of legal counsel at Fitzgerald, Abbott, and Beardsley valued at $1,100, and the coveted opportunity to present at an upcoming Angel Capital Expo - a Keiretsu Forum premier gathering of the angel capital community. 
Audience Prize - $1000, voted on via text by the audience. 

5:30pm  Registration and Networking
6:00pm  Welcome and Panel Introduction
6:15pm  Undergraduate Pitches 
7:00pm  Break
7:15pm  Graduate Pitches 
8:30pm  Award Announcement and Networking

Appetizers and drinks will be served.
This is a business casual event. Please come in appropriate attire. 

Free for Saint Mary's College current students, presenters and Keiretsu Forum members
$15 for Saint Mary's College alumni 
$25 for Saint Mary's College friends/community members


Don't wait, register now:

Eric Clarke: Clarke specializes in corporate, finance and general business law. He counsels public and private companies in all aspects of corporate law including formations, intellectual property, corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance and shareholder disputes. 

Mergers and Acquisitions: Counsels buyers and sellers in acquisitions and divestitures through mergers, reorganizations and sales of stock and assets, and renders advice on the related tax treatment of acquisitions and divestitures pursuant to the Internal Revenue Code.
Intellectual Property: Counsels companies with respect to the development, commercialization and licensing of intellectual property for a wide range of software, electronics, telecommunications, cloud computing, digital media, Internet, and clean technology companies. Clarke counsels clients on strategies to optimize their technology and other assets, advising them on a variety of legal and business issues, such as collaboration, development, manufacture, supply and distribution agreements, technology acquisitions, licensing and development agreements, and the formation of joint ventures and other types of strategic alliances.
Corporate Finance: Counsels lenders and borrowers in creating, documenting and closing asset-backed securitizations and other structured finance transactions, and clients with regard to private equity transactions, including venture capital, leveraged buy-out and mezzanine debt transactions.
Corporate Governance: Counsels companies and boards of directors on fiduciary duties, board and committee governance and structure, board leadership, officer and director transactions, shareholder disputes, risk oversight, conflicts of interest, relationships with stockholders and compliance with legislative and regulatory requirements.

Shirley Gee: Gee has extensive executive-level experience driving increased efficiency and performance across organizational tiers. As a retiree of the Executive University Officer and Department Head at Stanford University’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, a multi-purpose laboratory for astrophysics, photon science, accelerator and particle physics research (recent retiree). She is currently the Managing Partner at Angel Plus, LCC, a trusted validation firm of latter stage, start-up corporations in anticipation of capitalization. The firm performs deep dive due diligence reviews on emerging corporations including assessments in the following areas: management teams, product, addressable market, financials, capitalization history, manufacturing end, pricing, regulatory needs and timetable, patents, competitors, quality assurance program, risk and mitigations, and exit strategy. 

Gee is an active Accredited investor; Chair, Life Science Committee; Member of Technology Transfer Committee; and Team Lead for Due Diligence at Keiretsu Forum, an international angel investment organization with 24 chapters throughout the world. She enjoys participating as a panelist and guest lecturer on due diligence process, capitalizing start-ups, exit strategies and technology transfer, board service and strategic planning.

Gee has extensive experience and background in strategic business planning, operational assessment, intellectual capital alignment, conflict resolution and mediation, human resource management, financial management, sustainability, governmental and regulatory compliance, and pre-litigation investigations (Chief Executive and Operating Officer equivalent). Shirley is a serial entrepreneur (real estate and multi-residential development, retail and service businesses)and expert in public policy development and regulatory compliance at the local, state, and federal level with considerable experience as a principle in social, economic, judicial, and political initiatives. Shirley earned her BA in Business Management and MBA from Saint Mary’s College, Moraga, California.

Dan S. Miller, MBA, PMP, Series 7&63: Miller is currently the CIO with Cloud Mobile Social Ventures, a strategic investment group that focuses on earning stage companies. As a board member of several firms, he takes an active interest in company building, ROI, execution, and governance of both portfolio and prospective companies. Prior to joining CMSV, Miller was co-founder of three ventures all of which had successful exits. He was an institutional investor and consultant for several major Wall Street firms leading initiatives that moved the industry to online, real-time and global trading. He is a longtime volunteer with East Bay Score, where he collaborates with 30 other professionals providing counseling and workshops for entrepreneurs and business owners. Miller is a graduate of Saint Mary's MBA program and has his PMP, Series 7 and Series 63 certifications.

Brad Winegar: Winegar is currently a Managing Director with Salt Creek Capital, a San Francisco Bay Area private equity firm  that partners with talented executives to acquire companies in the lower middle market. Prior to Salt Creek, he was with Pacific Private Capital, a private equity firm that specializes in equity and mezzanine financing for growth, acquisition and recapitalization investments in small and lower middle market companies. Prior to joining PPC, Winegar served as Senior Vice President of Prudential Capital Group (PCG) where he managed a portfolio of assets in various stages in the alternative energy, discount retail, cable, transportation, technology and printing industries. Prior to PCG Brad was stationed in Hong Kong with Prudential Asia, a private equity and venture capital unit of The Prudential, where he was responsible for investments by the Asian Infrastructure Mezzanine Fund, which focused on investments in the power, telecom, transportation and water sectors of the emerging markets of Asia.   

Randy Williams: Williams is founder & CEO of Keiretsu Forum. Keiretsu Forum was founded in September 2000 in the San Francisco Bay Area with the vision to create a disciplined and structured approach to angel investing. With over 850 members in 23 chapters on three continents, Keiretsu Forum has become the largest angel investment community in the world.

William's passion for investing and bringing together like-minded community leaders has created a powerful and giving environment for entrepreneurs.  Since its inception, Keiretsu Forum members have invested over $300m in 350 companies in technology, consumer, real estate, life sciences and other sectors of the economy with high growth opportunity. 

William’s personal belief in giving back to the community is infused in the Keiretsu Forum operating philosophy. The Keiretsu Forum Charitable Foundation, established in 2001, has donated sizable donations to 111 deserving charities and community organizations. Another focus of Keiretsu Forum is providing mentoring and resources to the entrepreneurial community. Randy is a also co-founder of the "Ahead of the Fashion", an accelerator program for technology start-ups in the consumer, fashion, and retail industries.

This is a Center for Regional Economy event hosted in partnership with Northwestern Mutual and the Keiretsu Forum. 

About Saint Mary's College Center for Regional Economy

The Center for the Regional Economy (CRE) brings together faculty, students and alumni at Saint Mary’s College with business, governmental  and non-profit groups in the San  Francisco East Bay, the Greater San Francisco Bay Area in support of an economy that is economically, socially and environmentally sustainable.

  • It carries out research, both academic and applied, on the issues and problems related to its mission, and provides access to research results as broadly as possible.
  • It provides consultancy and advisory services to its constituents leveraging the expertise of Saint Mary’s faculty and students.
  • It organizes events that bring together internal and external constituencies for shared discussion of topics of joint interest

About Northwestern Mutual 

Northwestern MutualFor more than 156 years, Northwestern Mutual has helped clients achieve financial security.  Northwestern Mutual financial advisors build lifelong relationships with clients and help them create and carry out their financial security plans.

Through a holistic planning approach, Northwestern Mutual advisors help clients identify and address financial security needs using a wide range of insurance and investment solutions, including life, disability and long-term care insurance; annuities; advisory investment portfolios and services; mutual funds; and trust services.

About Keiretsu Forum

Keiretsu Forum LogoKeiretsu Forum is the world’s largest angel investor network with 850 accredited investor members throughout twenty one chapters on three continents. Since Keiretsu Forum’s founding in 2000, its members have invested over $260m in companies in technology, consumer products, healthcare/life sciences, real estate and other segments with high growth potential. Forum members collaborate in the due diligence, but make individual investment decisions, with rounds in the range of $250k-$2m. Keiretsu Forum's community is strengthened through education on angel investing, as well as charitable giving. Forum members have donated over $1m to over 100 non-profit organizations.

Event Contact 

Questions about the event? Interested in sponsorship opportunities?  Contact Dr. Berna Aksu

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Saint Mary's College of California
1928 Saint Mary's Road
Moraga, CA 94575
(925) 631-4000
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