Educate & Leadership

Investor Sharks Northwest

Investor Sharks Northwest is a program jointly produced by the Kirkland Chamber of Commerce and the Kirkland Performance Center.

2021 Student Edition

2021 Student Edition




This year the Kirkland Chamber of Commerce and the Kirkland Performance Center provided local students with an opportunity to pitch to a panel of judges from the business and investment community, either their idea for a company, or a company currently in operation

The event features four student teams from the Lake Washington School District.

The winner received a grand prize of $1,500. Each of the runner up teams received $500. The final four teams were:



Ankhita Sathanur, Meha Shah and Ikshita Sathanur

Eastlake High School


Nishita Bhakar

Rosehill High School


Anuj Krovvidi

Eastlake High School


Anisha Vaish

Tesla STEM High School


David DeBois Image
David DeBois | Vice President, Manager, Kirkland Banner Bank

Dave has worked in the banking industry ever since he moved to Washington State from Vancouver, Canada.  Initially Dave had thought he would get a job in product development, but the economic conditions at the time were bleak due to the oil embargo.  As a banker, he has successfully assisted 100’s of business start, grow, merge and close.

During his time as a banker, Dave still sought opportunities to explore humanitarian entrepreneurial opportunities.  An example of this was his drive to assist in solving the economic downturn in 2008 caused by the loose mortgage lending practices. The program caught traction nationally and was in consideration as a possible solution to restore the economy by congress in Washington, DC.

Dave has started two nonprofits; one that saved the Wayne Golf Course from development and the other was a  thoughtful work-around rebuilding the mutual trust and respect between the police and the community they serve.

He supports his community through volunteering and board commitments, and has advised the Kirkland Chamber and City of Kirkland with regard to the Covid-19 fundraising and distribution of funds to needy businesses in Kirkland.

He graduated from Kwantlen Polytech University, Vancouver B.C.  He currently lives in West Seattle with his wife, son and their Bernadoodle Poly.

image of manish gaudi and his black lab puppy, investor sharks nw judge
Manish Gaudi | Early-Stage Founder/Angel Investor

Manish is passionate about building the first versions of new game-changing tech products and helping others who are trying to do the same.

Manish has been a part of the local startup scene since moving to the area in late 2008 to join a fintech startup in Bellevue called G2 Web Services. After spending 4.5 years at G2 building the product management and strategy teams, he ran his own fintech startup, AME Commerce, from 2013-2015. Since then, Manish has spent several years at both Google and Facebook working in their internal startup incubators, building early-stage tech products with the same techniques and approaches that startups use, but with the resources that these large companies offer. Manish recently left Facebook to join a consulting firm in Toronto, ON called Connected as a product leader-in-residence, working with large tech companies to improve their innovation practices in-house.

Manish also owns Midnight Cookie Company, a local business that has a location in Kirkland and actively invests in local technology startups and brick-and-mortar businesses.

Outside of these interests, Manish is an avid Seattle sports fan, and you can catch him at Mariners, Seahawks, KRAKEN, and hopefully soon, some NBA games. He also enjoys playing golf, traveling, and learning new things (specifically through podcasts, so please send him your recommendations)!

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Claudia Smith | Murphy Business & Financial Corporation

Claudia Smith was recruited by Murphy Business & Financial Corporation in 2015 as a Business Broker. Since then she has become the owner of the Kirkland Redmond office and has been named Multi-Million Dollar Producer by the company – helping Buyers and Sellers in the small business space with Exit Planning, Business Valuations and Business Transitions.

She has a varied and diverse background which gives her exceptional bandwidth to draw from, in management consulting with small to mid-size businesses and NFP organizations, government contracting, management of a coaching company, healthcare practice management, as well  as commercial real estate brokerage, commercial and home interior sales, international student advising, high school teaching and serving her country in the United States Army Reserve.

She is adept at practical business solutions and negotiations, as well as an intuitive problem solver who gets the extra mile for her clients and customers who want to Sell or Buy a business.

Her sweet spot is learning about the dreams and goals of small business owners in the region and around the country, using humor and empathy to reach and develop relationships with the principals she serves.

Lorena Lievanos, judge at Investor Sharks NW
Lorena Lievanos | Senior Commercial Credit Analyst, Gesa C.U.

Lorena Lievanos is a Senior Commercial Loan Credit Analyst at Gesa Credit Union, a military veteran, and a certified Spanish Interpreter.

Lorena studied at Bakersfield College in California where she earned her Associate of Arts degree in Business Administration and at California State University where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance.

At Gesa Credit Union, Lorena is responsible for creating and tracking commercial loan workflows, underwriting complex commercial, and agriculture loans while providing risk assessment, financial analysis, and loan recommendations.

Prior to Gesa, Lorena has worked for Banner Bank, Farm Credit West, and spent eight years as an Automated Logistics Specialist and Combat Helicopter Operations Sergeant for the military.

In her free time, Lorena enjoys volunteering in her local community and advocating the Latinx community through civic engagement and financial literacy.

What Is Investor Sharks Northwest

Investor Sharks Northwest was originally a program produced by the Kirkland Chamber of Commerce and the Kirkland Performance Center, and provided local startup businesses with an opportunity to pitch to a panel of some of the most renowned Venture Capitalists and Angel Investors in the Pacific Northwest Region.

The format of this event has now changed and will present four student teams from  the Lake Washington School District who will compete for a grand prize of $1,500. Each of the runner-up teams will receive $500.

The video of the event will be launched on Thursday, November 18, 2021. Don’t miss it!


This is a Virtual Event. Links to the channel will be made available soon. Check back here for the latest information.

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Lake Washington School District (High Schools)


Get In Touch


    440 Central Way
    Kirkland, WA 98033
    +1 425 822 7066

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