Great Green Business Search Judges

With a mission to discover, promote, and champion Arizona innovation in the green and clean tech sectors, the Great Green Business Search is May 10th at ASU SkySong.

Great Green Business SearchThe Great Green Business Search competition accelerates the launch of your green startup with valuable pitch training, financing mentorship and local green economy networking opportunities.

The Green Chamber is pleased to announce an esteemed panel of judges including:

Todd Belfer

Todd Belfer

Managing Partner, Canal Partners

Mr. Belfer is a managing partner at Canal Partners, LLC, a private equity firm that provides professional investor capital to software and internet technology companies. Canal Partners generally looks to invest $1 to $5 million in companies that are highly scalable, revenue generating, and growth oriented.

While at Canal Partners, Todd Belfer has helped identify and add profitable and growing companies to the Canal Partners portfolio. He is a board member of,, and NETtime Solutions and is the Chairman of the Board for recently added ClickDimensions.

Prior to joining Canal Partners he founded many successful ventures of his own. He was the founder of RA Sushi Bar & Restaurant which sold to Benihana in 2002. Also sold in 2002 was his interest in a sports nutrition company, M.D. Labs, which he co-founded in 1993. Lastly, he co-founded Employee Solutions, Inc., a professional employer organization which he helped take public in 1993.


Brian Burns

Managing Member, Grayhawk Capital

Mr. Burns co-founded Grayhawk Capital in 1999. Grayhawk Capital recently had a $30 million first close on its third venture capital fund, Grayhawk Venture Fund II, LP. Mr. Burns has more than 20 years of private equity and venture capital experience.

Prior to co-founding Grayhawk Capital, Mr. Burns served as Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer of the investment subsidiary of Pinnacle West Capital Corp., a $3 billion NYSE company, from 1998 to 2000.  He has also served as Vice President of two other venture capital firms, SunVen Capital and Anderson & Wells, from 1989 to 1998. He has spent a total of 16 years managing SBIC’s.

Mr. Burns began his career at Arthur Andersen & Co., working there from 1981 to 1989, becoming a Senior Manager in the Audit Division. Mr. Burns has served on the board of 14 privately held companies. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Arizona State University and has been a Certified Public Accountant since 1984.

Rick Gibson

Rick Gibson

Managing Director, HOTventures

Mr. Gibson has had a 35-year career building businesses. He founded and co-founded several successful technology companies and has advised over 75 others.  Since 2000, Rick has served as Managing Director of HOTventures, a “mentor capital fund” for the Southwest U.S., which invests in and advises fast-growth companies, specializing in Information Technology, BioSciences, Material Science and Media. As an investor and entrepreneurial activist, he’s totally immersed in early-stage growth companies…finding them and making them great.

In Phoenix, Rick has been on the board of Arizona State University’s Technopolis and was an Entrepreneur-in-Residence, an instructor for both the LaunchPad and LaunchPrep entrepreneurship programs, and a mentor for ASU TechBA, coaching companies from Mexico. He is on the Executive Committee and Selection Panel for the Invest Southwest Capital Conference. He was creator of “Entrepreneur’s Resource Guide” for bizAZ magazine and a member of the Philanthropic Development Council of the Banner Alzheimer’s Foundation.

Jamie Glass

Jamie Glass

Chief Marketing Office & Executive Vice President of Sales, EmpowerHER Media

Ms. Glass is responsible for building sales and client services organization to exceed revenue and growth objectives through new business, client relationships, strategic partnerships and executive insight at EmpowerHER. Responsible for helping marketers, agencies and advertisers reach a hyper-qualified female health consumer. Solutions include digital media, content integration, brand awareness, advertising, lead generation, media and publishing solutions. Day-to-day oversight of B2B and B2C marketing functions, including creative, social, communications, PR, events, media, traffic and audience.

As Founder and President of Artful Thinkers,  a consultative sales and marketing company, combining creativity and strategic business solutions that generate results. Outsourced CMO. Clients range from media to technology to retail to professional services.

Two decades senior executive leadership experience, including positions with EmpowHER, Hot Stix Golf, Thomson-Reuters (NETg), KnowledgeNet, SkillSoft (SmartForce, CBT Systems), Mastering Computers, Desert Document Services, Fidelity Investments, and First Continental Life & Accident Insurance Co.

James Goulka

Jim Goulka

Managing Director, Arizona Technology Investor Forum

In addition to his role at ATIF, Mr. Goulka serves as CEO of JumpStart Solutions LLC, an early stage business intelligence software company, and as President of Lone Mountain Associates, LLC, a boutique consulting firm. He previously served as CEO of software companies NetSelector Inc (sold to Apple, Inc) and; the National Technology Transfer Center; the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation; and Taliesin Preservation, Inc. He was also COO and CFO of Encyclopaedia Britannica Inc and its worldwide subsidiaries. He began his career in corporate finance focused on financing private equity transactions and global finance at units of JPMorgan Chase and Citibank.

We’re helping uncover the most promising innovations in advancing a sustainable economy in Arizona. The Great Green Business Search is a one-day, fast pitch business competition earning you up to $8,500 in prize money.

Learn more about competing in the Great Green Business Search and download an application today.