Judges Panel

  • Chris Schaber Chris Schaber

    Bio: Chris Schaber, co-founded FSCreations in 1991 to provide technology work-for-hire services to the educational publishing industry. His firm developed over 100 software applications (e.g., assessment, educational games, accounting, keyboarding, finance, payroll, etc.) before transitioning the company to a product-based venture in 1998. He served in several roles including product management, accounting/finance, human resources, and sales/marketing. In 2006, the company merged with eInstruction--a leading provider of student response devices, mobile interactive whiteboards, and assessment products. Currently, Chris is a member of the Queen City Angels (one of the oldest and most prolific angel investment firms in the US). He serves on several boards including eInstruction. He also founded FTX Solutions in 2010 to provide consulting services to technology startups with a focus on the education market.

  • Casey Barach Casey Barach

    Bio: Casey Barach is the Vice President of Entrepreneurship for Northern Kentucky Tri-ED. He is also the Director of the Northern Kentucky ezone and the Northern Kentucky Innovation and Commercialization Center. Casey opened the ezone in 2001. Since that time, he has counseled and advised over 200 companies, His commercialization efforts have brought in over $115 million in investments and grants into the Northern Kentucky region.

    In addition, these companies have created more than 1,200 jobs. Annually, the Northern Kentucky ezone has consistently been one of the topped ranked ICC region in the state. Prior to the ezone, Casey’s experience in the corporate world ranged from Fortune 100 executive to starting equity backed technology ventures. Casey has a law degree from the University of Cincinnati, an MBA from the University of Dayton and a BS from The Ohio State University. Casey serves on numerous Boards in the region and is currently the President of the Greater Cincinnati Venture Association. In addition, he is the founder of the Northern Kentucky Angel Investment Network and the Northern Kentucky Growth Fund I.

  • Parag Rathi Parag Rathi

    Bio: Parag joined River Cities in June 2007 as an intern while completing his masters degree in business administration from University of Cincinnati, where he graduated with distinction in December 2007 and was awarded Beta Gamma Sigma. At River Cities, he is responsible for sourcing and analyzing new growth equity investments in the Information Technology and Health care arena.

    He is also responsible for participating and assisting in diligence efforts for new investment opportunities, conducting industry research, building financial models and reporting performance of a portfolio company as an observer. He serves on the board of the Louisville Venture Club and is also involved with Greater Cincinnati Venture Association as a screening committee member.

Prior to pursuing his masters at the University of Cincinnati, he was a manager at ICICI Bank (India), responsible for providing working capital and senior debt facilities to small- and medium-size enterprises. He received his undergraduate in accounting from Mumbai University, India and also holds a Chartered Accountant degree (India's equivalent to the CPA). He received a full scholarship from University of Cincinnati to obtain his MBA and was awarded the Best Business Plan in a year-long competition while there. He also passed the level III CFA exam in June 2010.

  • Rahul Bawa Rahul Bawa

    Bio: Rahul Bawa is Director of Digital and Software at CincyTech. He evaluates investment opportunities, advises startup companies and helps them with their business and technology growth strategies. Bawa joined CincyTech in June 2011 with more than 24 years of information technology experience in a variety of leadership positions.

    Most recently he was Chief Information Officer for Axcess Financial Services from 2004-2011. He led a team there that developed innovative technology solutions including a new point-of-sale system to support the aggressive growth of various business units in the U.S. and UK, providing short-term lending and check-cashing solutions. Prior to joining Axcess Financial, he was vice president of eBusiness for Fifth Third Bank, where he transformed Fifth Third’s eBusiness solutions, including the implementation of a new consumer Internet Banking solution, a new B2B eBusiness portal, new retail branch and call center transaction systems and a new Intranet. Bawa also spent seven years at IBM working on the U.S. air traffic control system, four years at United Airlines, where he launched the original version of www.ual.com, and three years at Xpedior Inc (a Chicago-based eBusiness consulting organization) where he grew annual revenue from $4M to $70M. A native of India, Bawa holds a bachelor’s of Business Administration degree in Information Systems from the University of Cincinnati.

  • Sean OLeary Sean OLeary

    Bio: Sean joined KSTC in February 2008. Previously, Sean was an Associate with MASA Life Science Ventures Fund (MLSV). Sean currently serves as an Advisor the MLSV. He holds an M.A. in International Relations and Economics from the Patterson School of Diplomacy at the University of Kentucky and he received a B.A. in History from Centre College.