Registration for Breakfast Will Open April 26th!

As an attendee at Tech Innovation Forum, you're able to participate in two small-group sessions.

Goran Matijasevic, Executive Director, Chief Executive Roundtable at UC Irvine

When | Friday, May 14 at 8 AM 

Topic | Start Up Resources at a University – Where to go and where to find them?

Goran Matijasevic, Ph.D., MBA, is the executive director of the UCI Chief Executive Roundtable. He is one of UC Irvine's ambassadors to the local and national business community, establishing partnerships and opportunities that serve to enhance leader-to-leader connections across the campus. Prior to his position at the Roundtable, he was director of research development at The Henry Samueli School of Engineering. Prior to UCI, he worked in research development manager positions at two electronic start-ups.  He has four patents, and has co-authored three book chapters and over forty conference and journal publications. He is past Chair of the University Industry Demonstration Partnership (UIDP). Goran currently serves on the boards of Octane and SoCalBio, as well as the advisory board of 2-1-1 Orange County.  Goran received his MBA from Pepperdine University and his Ph.D. degree from UC Irvine in Electrical and Computer Engineering.


Charles Plant, Founder, The Narwhal Project

When | Tuesday, May 18 at 8AM

Topic | Unicorn Math: Five Secrets to Creating Your Own Unicorn

Charles Plant is a serial entrepreneur, innovation economist, and scaleup advisor. As founder of The Narwhal Project, he has written more than 35 research papers and a book entitled Triggers and Barriers: A Customer Perspective on Innovation. He is currently working on his second book: Unicorn Math: Developing an Algorithm for Rapid Growth. Plant was co-founder and CEO for 15 years of Synamics, a telecommunications software firm. He has been founder or co-founder of three, Board Chair at six and CFO of eight emerging technology companies. He has worked on numerous financing and M&A transactions in investment banking, on the management committee and CFO of three venture capital firms, and as an advisor at a number of incubators.  He spoken extensively in North America, South America and Europe, advised national, provincial and city governments on innovation policy, taught in the MBA program  at York University’s Schulich School of Business and has taught innovation and entrepreneurship at the University of Toronto. A CPA, Plant has an MBA  in marketing and is currently pursuing a PhD in Innovation Economics.


Delilah Panio, Vice President of Capital Formation, Toronto Stock Exchange

When | Thursday, May 20th at 8 AM 

Topic | Public Venture Capital: An Alternative to VC Funding

As the Vice President of Capital Formation for Toronto Stock Exchange and TSX Venture Exchange, I advise U.S. companies on the opportunity to list and raise capital on the Canadian capital markets. I was recently named in the 2019 Top 100 People in Finance

As the founder of Stiletto Dash (a consulting firm), I work with early-stage companies on their business and funding strategy and on getting investor-ready. Passionate about helping women entrepreneurs access capital, I created the proprietaty Fortuna Funding Framework for female founders to develop their ideal funding strategy.

I am also the Executive Director and Co-Founder of We Are Enough, a non-profit that educates women on why and how to invest in women-owned businesses and/or with a gender lens. I recently authored the feasibility study "Creating LAIA: The Feasibility of a Women-Focused Incubator and Accelerator in Los Angeles" funded by JPMorgan Chase.

I am very active in the Los Angeles entrepreneur community, including as a frequent speaker, mentor for Founder Institute and the Stubbs Alderton Markiles LLP Preccelerator Program, pitch coach for organizations such as the Women Founders Network, and am the former Co-Chair of Women in LAVA (Los Angeles Venture Association). I am a Super Activator and the 2016 L.A. Lead for SheEO, an innovative new model funding model that calls upon women to commit $1,000 each into a perpetual fund to invest in women-led ventures. 

My background is as a capital markets expert with 10 years previously in business development at Toronto Stock Exchange, including as the Director, Business Development & Strategy. I have advised many companies on the going public process and can provide an understanding of private and public financing options in Canada and the United States. 

I hold an MBA in Enterprise Development and a BA in English, and have completed a certification as a Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) Master Practitioner. 


Amber Schiada, Senior Vice President and Senior Director of Research, Co-Lead of all Research Initiatives, JLL’s US High Tech Practice Group

When | Thursday, May 20th at 8AM

Topic | Tech Industry Trends: Office Use, Return to Work, Talent and Funding

Amber Schiada is a Senior Director of Research and Strategy, leading the Southwest Research platform and contributing to the development of thought leadership for the firm. She specializes in economic and demographic analysis, industry trends, and real estate forecasting. Amber frequently advises occupier clients on site selection with an eye toward macro-economic trends and workforce feasibility. She also has extensive experience working with investors of all commercial property types, advising on market and investment strategies. Amber regularly presents her insights at industry events for organizations including ULI, NAIOP, BOMA, and CoreNet Global. She’s been cited in national and local media, including the Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, CNBC, GlobeSt., and KTVU.


Mark Czepiel, CFO, Menlo Micro

When | Friday, May 21st at 8AM

Topic | To SPAC or not to SPAC: Perspectives on Getting Educated on the Process

Jeff focuses on growing revenue for B2B SaaS companies.  He is a serial entrepreneur and revenue maximization expert in the SaaS space.  He has built and operated several SaaS and software businesses as the CEO and other executive roles that grew from paper napkin ideas, through funding, to grow to several hundred employees and acquisitions.  He is a frequent public speaker on SaaS and scaling technology companies, has several patents, and a great network of resources focused on helping SaaS companies grow revenue.