AND THE WINNER IS….
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:
Laney Brackett | North Shore School District
Shivali Panda & Weilson Geng | Lake Washington Highschool
Nishita Bhakar | Redmond High
Anika Joshi | Tesla STEM
David DeBois | Vice President, Manager, Kirkland Banner Bank
I have a passion for life in and out of the business world.
After getting my business degree from Kwantlen University, I started my career in finance. Here I honed my skills around the nuances in a variety of industries. I have helped several dozen start-up businesses with their finance and management structures. I truly love being an active partner in the early stages of small businesses.
My real passion in the business world is in the nonprofit realm. I have been an intracule part of the creation of two impactful companies that have had local and national effect.
I have also been on several boards of local organizations, including the Kirkland Chamber of Commerce.
Outside the office, I enjoy traveling with the goal of having obscure adventures. At times this has had me clipping onto a rope and climbing a 500 ft rock wall or cycling down paths that were built back during the Roman Empire.
Indresen Pillay | President at Morgan Mechanical & Executive Coach at Eastside Coaching
Indresen and his family have made Kirkland their home after living in South Africa. Indresen is passionate about business and mentorship. Indresen has held several executive and leadership roles in public and privately owned organizations, including AECOM and Anglo American Platinum. Indresen is currently an investor and President at Morgan Mechanical Inc., an HVAC company www.hvacmorgan.com and Executive Coach at Eastside Coaching www.eastsidecoaching.com.
Steve "Coach Steve" Rodriguez | Business Consultant & Coach
Steve Rodriguez, or “Coach Steve” as he is known to his clients, is a veteran Consultant of over 30 years. He has worked primarily with private practice health care practitioners, having serviced over 100 such practices during this time.
He brings a high level of expertise with a unique flair and style. Coach Steve cares deeply about his clients and their success.
His Mission Statement is “To educate entrepreneurs, and business owners on the natural laws of management, thus enabling them to succeed at “The playing of a better game”. To assist them in achieving financial freedom as well as owner independence”.
Coach Steve is a certified graduate of a proprietary school of business administrative and management technology through HCA International.
Will Arora is a local tech entrepreneur who has a passion for using software to transform business. He was most recently the CTO of Assurance IQ, where he built technology for selling insurance online. He has also held technology leadership roles at Amazon, where he optimized global logistics, and G2 Web Services, where he prevented online sales of counterfeit goods. Will lives in Clyde Hill with his wife and two young kids and enjoys hiking and skiing in his free time.
Melissa Acton-Buzard | Founder & CEO Chameleon Technologies, Inc & Chameleon BI, LLC
As the Founder and CEO of Chameleon Technologies, Inc. and Chameleon BI, LLC, Melissa is focused on the growth and strategic vision for her companies.
Chameleon Technologies, Inc. was established in 2000 and is known as a premier staffing and professional services firm. As a 100% women-owned small business and certified WBE, the company takes pride in building strong relationships with their clients and employees, as those relationships drive everything they do as a company!
Chameleon has two distinct divisions of the company. Chameleon Staffing focuses on IT and core engineering staffing services while Chameleon Consulting is focused on delivering solutions in the data services space. Their core areas of expertise are data analytics, business intelligence, cloud services and IT infrastructure.
More recently, Melissa founded Chameleon BI, LLC, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) company that provides an analytics reporting platform. The tool helps staffing firms achieve growth by making complex data and reporting easy through their robust analytics solution.
Melissa has her BA in Political Science from the University of Washington as well as her MBA in Organizational Leadership. Melissa considers herself a serial entrepreneur, lifelong learner, passionate philanthropist, a very proud Husky Alumni, as well as an advocate for women and girls in STEM.
Melissa currently resides in Kirkland, WA with her husband, daughter and their three beloved pets.
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!
Get In Touch
440 Central Way
Kirkland, WA 98033
+1 425 822 7066