CEA LineShow Guide 2012 : Page-32c

MEET THE EUREKA PARK CHALLENGE JUDGES JOHN BACKUS U Grok It Product Name: U Grok It Company Contact: Carrie Requist, Co-Founder, CEO Phone: 970-846-8659 Email: carrie@ugrokit.com Description: U Grok It is Smartphone RFID to manage your stuff. Bring the power of UHF RFID to your business using the iOS and An-droid devices you already have. Attach light-weight, cheap, battery-less tags (the same tags used in the supply chain) to your stuff. With the inexpensive and attractive U Grok It system, you can scan that stuff from 6 to 10 feet away. Reduce loss in the store and in the field. Quickly locate specific items. Pick pack and ship efficiently and accurately, Track and update history for individual objects. And de-velopers can use the open U Grok It platform to add RFID to their mobile apps or to expand their existing RFID solutions to smartphones. Founder and Managing Partner New Atlantic Ventures John Backus is a seasoned technology investor and entrepreneur with 25+ years of experience investing in and managing rapidly growing, high-technology companies. Prior to founding New Atlantic Ventures in 1998, he was a founding investor and the presi-dent and CEO of InteliData Technologies, a Fast 50 growth company in both 1997 and 1998. Backus led InteliData’s predecessor, US Order, through a successful $65 million IPO in 1995. He currently manages a $225 million venture portfolio at New Atlantic Ventures. In addition, he serves on the board of directors of AppTap, Invincea, Koofers, Healthwearhouse.com, My Wines Direct, and Qliance. He is the past chairman of the Wolf Trap Foundation Board of Directors, the past chairman of the Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC) Board of Directors, the founding chairman and current board member of the NVTC TechPAC, and was appointed by former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner to co-chair the Virginia Research and Technology Advisory Com-mission, which he served on for four years. Backus began his career at Bain & Co. and Bain Capital, where he was the first Bain & Co. management consultant to take a full time operating role (as CFO) in a portfolio company. He has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Stanford Univer-sity and an MBA from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. RICK ROMMEL Senior Vice President, General Manager Exclusive Brands, Global Sourcing Best Buy Co. Inc. Vook Inc. Product Name: Vook eBook Publishing Platform Company Contact: Matthew Cavnar, VP Business Development Phone: 347-696-0039 Email: matthew@vook.com Description: Vook is an intuitive and easy-to-use cloud-based eBook publishing plat-form. Vook sells your titles through the major eTailers and directly to consumers via its own HTML reader. Rick Rommel is senior vice president and general manager of the Exclusive Brands Business for Best Buy Co. Inc., a multinational retailer of technology and entertainment products and services. Rommel serves a key role in driving this growth business, which serves Best Buy and external customers in 14 countries. Rommel is known for his ability to incubate and grow business initiatives. Most recently, he led the New Business Customer Solutions Group, leveraging his internal and external partnerships to challenge current business model conven-tions and develop new long term growth opportunities. Before that he was vice president/general manager for Best Buy’s digital imaging business. In this position, he was responsible for the rapid growth of Best Buy’s digital camera business and introduced advanced photo services to the consumer. Prior to Best Buy, Rommel was director of retail digital systems for Eastman Kodak. In this position, he oversaw Kodak’s global strategy for the company’s retail kiosk and photofinishing solution businesses. Previous to Kodak, he worked for North Communications as vice president of operations and senior vice president of sales and marketing, where he managed the design, development and opera-tion of kiosk and internet solutions. No stranger to innovation and problem-solving, Rommel also worked as a rocket scientist for the Hughes Space and Communica-tion Co. for 10 years, where he developed ground segment software in addition to developing satellite controls and satellite modeling. A native of southern California, Rommel holds a bachelor’s degree in physics and a master’s degree in computer science from Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles. He lives in the Twin Cities with his wife and their two children. continued on next page

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