Here’s the latest batch of judges who will be at the DEMO conference next month in San Diego. They’ll help award the $1 million media prize (see details) to the best of the 60 companies launching technology products at the event.
We’ve already announced that a list of all-star alumni will also be on hand for the Sept. 21-23 conference as well as the first bunch of judges here, and the second set here. We’ll be making more announcements about DEMO shortly.
Shervin Pishevar is the founder and CEO of SGN, one of the leading social and mobile gaming companies, with more than 11 million installs on the iPhone and tens of millions of users on Facebook with title such as iBowl, iBasketball and (fluff)friends. Along with Zynga, it is the poster-child of success for iPhone and Facebook application developers. Pishevar has raised nearly $40m in venture funding for his start ups, including $15m for SGN from Greylock Capital, Founders Fund, Bezos Expeditions, Columbia Capital and Novak Biddle Venture Partners. Shervin was founding President and COO of Webs (formerly Freewebs), a large blog publishing service with more than 30 million members. Previously, he co-founded Hotprints, a personal printing and direct marketing company, and Hyperoffice, an SAAS provider for small businesses. His first company was WebOS (myWebOS), an online operating system, in 1997 when he was 23.
Johnny Gilmore runs Sling Media, maker of the Slingbox device that lets consumers record and play television shows on computers. Sling was acquired by satellite TV provider Echostar two years ago for $380 million, providing a ten-fold return on investment for Sling’s early investors. He now leads Sling’s operations as senior vice president and general manager. He was chief operating officer of Sling for four years before the acquisition. Earlier, he worked at Handspring, Palm, Iomega (where he launched the Zip drive) and Arthur Andersen.
Phil Sanderson is managing director at IDG Ventures SF. He helped form the firm three years ago, after leaving WaldenVC, where he was a partner for nine years. He focuses on early stage deals in new media and IT. He’s on the board of VitalStream (VSTH). Prior to WaldenVC, he worked as an investment banker in Robertson Stephens’ New Media and Information Technology Groups, where he managed IPO and M&A assignments for CBT Systems, Computer Learning Centers, Electronic Arts, Fritz Integrated Logistics, Spectrum HoloByte, Sierra On-line, and Vantive. Earlier, he worked in Goldman Sachs’ corporate finance group, and founded three companies in the retail, non-profit and manufacturing areas.
Nirav Tolia is co-founder and chief executive of Fanbase, an online directory of information for sports fans, and which has $5 million in backing from Benchmark. Tolia was earlier co-founder of Epinions, the early product review site, which merged with DealTime in 2003 to become Shopping.com. At that time, Tolia became chief operating officer and a Shopping.com board member. Shopping.com then went public in 2004, and was bought by eBay in 2005 for $620 million. While Epinions went through some tough times after the Internet bubble burst, Benchmark eventually made a five-fold return on its original investment in the company.
As mentioned before, the presence of such accomplished judges are just one reason to show up for DEMO. The world’s leading press shows up (everyone from the The Wall Street Journal, to USA Today, CNN, CNET, Forbes, Infoweek, ComputerWorld, PC World and the top blogs), the production values are second to none, and well, check out the list of alumni companies, which speaks for itself — including Netflix, TiVo, Adobe Acrobat, Palm Pilot, Sun’s Java, Salesforce, WebEx, the list goes on and on.