December 10, 2020

An in-depth conversation from our all-star panel of startup, equity and industry experts discussing how to best position your high growth business to successfully bridge the startup chasm.

Jennifer O'Daniel Investment Director @CIT GAP Funds
Jennifer O'Daniel joined CIT GAP Funds in 2003, where she leads seed and early stage investments in tech companies with a concentration on cybersecurity and enterprise software. O’Daniel co-hosts the CyberScoop podcast, Securiosity, where she recaps cybersecurity news and interviews industry luminaries. O’Daniel is also Venture Partner at NextGen Venture Partners, and was the Co-Founder and Managing Director of VT Investor Network (VTIN), a 75+ member angel group that invests in Hokie-led startups.
Alex Castelli
Alex Castelli, CPA Managing Partner - Emerging Markets @CohnReznick
With more than 25 years of experience, Alex Castelli serves as CohnReznick's Managing Partner of Emerging Markets which encompasses the Healthcare, Life Sciences, Renewable Energy, and Technology and Media Industry practices. Alex primarily manages commercial enterprise engagements and services privately held companies, investor-backed companies, early and later stage companies, and SEC reporting companies.
Phil Bronner
Phil Bronner General Partner and Co-Founder @Ardent Venture Partners
Prior to co-founding Ardent Venture Partners, Phil was Founder/Managing Member of Summer League Ventures, a seed fund focused on the Transformation of Work. Active SLV deals include: Morning Consult, ExecOnline, Ordway Labs,, Reserve Trust,, Hyke, Datatron, and Phil currently serves on the board of ExecOnline. Prior to SLV, Phil was a General Partner with Novak Biddle Venture Partners. Over the course of his 15-year career, he led 16 investments (was actively involved in 20) with investments totaling over $100 million. Phil earned a Bachelor of Science in computer science from Carnegie Mellon University; a JD from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Law; and an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Gene Schleppenbach
Gene Schleppenbach Principal @Miles Stockbridge Corporate and Securities Practice and Co-Chair of the Government Contracts Practice

Gene Schleppenbach represents clients ranging from early-stage to Fortune 500 companies in diverse industries concerning a variety of corporate, high-tech and intellectual property matters. His corporate experience includes representing clients on formation and structure issues, corporate governance, shareholder agreements, mergers and acquisitions (domestic and international), restructurings, securities regulation issues, partnership and LLC matters, joint ventures, commercial contracts, debt and equity financings, including private equity, venture capital and angel financings, employee stock option plans and executive compensation agreements.

Joe Carlin
Joe Carlin Principal @JonXeone Capital

Joe Carlin retired from Boeing as a Vice President after leadership roles taking Argon ST from a start-up to a public company to being acquired by Boeing. After a career as an engineer, entrepreneur and corporate executive, he retired to apply his gifts and energy with early stage companies and nonprofit organizations. He lives in Virginia with his wife and their daughter.

Joe is the founder and principal of several holding and investment companies which focus on early stage investing and mentoring. In this role, he serves formally on multiple Board of Directors and Advisors, and informally mentoring organizational leaders. He is a member of New Dominion Angels. Joe is a member of board of directors or advisors in diverse industries including: Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning, international coffee/cacao, cyber currency, logistics, restaurants and brewery, and assured cash transfer.


Christina Winn
Christina Winn Executive Director @Prince William County Economic Development

Christina Winn joined the Prince William County Department of Economic Development as Executive Director in July 2019. In her new role, Christina will be focusing on building upon the robust life sciences ecosystem to attract additional investment and create new higher paying jobs, catalyzing economic development by creating redevelopment opportunities in Eastern Prince William County, and building capacity for small businesses and entrepreneurial support.

With more than 20 years of experience in economic development in Northern Virginia and Arizona; including working in real estate development in the private sector, Christina is well versed in various economic development programs that include development, finance, incentives and marketing.