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Merrick Furst

Merrick is the founder of Georgia Institute of Technology’s Flashpoint, a first-of-its-kind university-based startup engineering(tm) program.  He is Georgia Institute of Technology’s first “distinguished professor of computing”.  As associate dean he invented and developed the highly-regarded Threads curriculum, and ran new venture creation in the College of Computing.  Merrick is a co-founder of the internet security firm Damballa and is an early-stage fund investor.  Prior to joining Georgia Tech, Merrick was the founder and CEO of Essential Surfing Gear, an Internet software company that provided technology to bring information to people as they browsed the World Wide Web. Merrick grew the company to 53 employees with customers including Barnes and Noble, CNET and MySimon until the company was acquired. Merrick was also at the University of California at Berkeley where he served as president and director of the International Computer Science Institute, helping to establish its Center for Internet Research.  Prior to Berkeley, Merrick was a professor and associate dean in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. Merrick is an inventor, recipient of the first Presidential Young Investigator Award in computer science, and creator of multiple commercially-successful software artifacts including electronic post-it notes, which were best-sellers on PCs.

Matt Chanoff

Matt Chanoff is co-manager of Profounder LLC, an early stage investment firm specializing in Internet security and game technology. He is also a consultant, researcher, and project manager for the electronics manufacturing industry..

Matt has led global electronics market consulting and forecasting projects since 1997. He has designed and implemented broad-scale market evaluations and market-entry strategies in the United States, China, and Southeast Asia for Fortune 500 companies in electronics
manufacturing, components, high-tech materials, software, automotive market and aftermarket, chemicals, investment, and professional services.

He has taught business planning and trade economics in Vietnam and China, and is a co-author of the China Trade Manual. He is co-director of Profounder LLC, a seed stage investment fund specializing in internet security and game technologies. He serves on several corporate and non-profit boards for companies in the internet security area and non-profits in the areas of education and poverty alleviation.

Matt holds an MA in international economics and U.S. foreign policy from Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins.

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