Jack M. Gill, PhD is the Founder of Palo Alto-based Vanguard Ventures. He teaches at Harvard Medical School, MIT and is Professor of the Practice of Entrepreneurship at Rice University. He serves on the boards of M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, The Horatio Alger Association, Project Hope and the Presidents’ Circle of the National Academies. He is a trustee of IU and is on the Executive Council of The Texas Emerging Technology Fund. Linda and Jack Gill established the Gill Foundation of Texas, focused on educational philanthropy.
Rod Canion has been a leading figure in the technology industry since co-founding Compaq Computer Corporation in 1982 and serving as its CEO through a decade of unprecedented growth. In September 1999, Rod led the initial investment round for Questia Media, Inc., became Chairman of the Board and later helped the company raise $150 million. Questia provides the world’s largest online library of liberal arts books and journal articles for high school and college students doing research. In 1992, Rod founded Insource Technology Group and served as its Chairman until September 2006. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Physician Capital Group, Auditude and ChaCha Search, Inc., and is a Director of the Houston Technology Center.
Dan Steppe is a successful investor and serial entrepreneur with more than 30 years’ experience. He started and managed five successful private corporations. He founded one of the first trading companies that integrated the West Coast markets with the East and Gulf Coast Markets. He has two U. S. patents for technology related to environmental aspects of the marine business. He designed and built the only marine vessel in the world using this process, which allowed the loading of petroleum products into marine vessels while meeting strict environmental regulations in Santa Barbara, California. He also started a successful equipment leasing company, a real estate development company, and was one of the founders of Southwest Bank of Texas. Mr. Steppe is very comfortable in the areas of management, marketing, legal, finance/accounting, and engineering. Since selling his last company in 2000, Mr. Steppe has been a lecturer at the University of Houston, and served as Executive Director of the school’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Mr. Steppe received his Bachelor of Chemical Engineering Degree from Pratt Institute in New York and his MBA Degree in Finance and Economics from the Columbia Graduate School of Business. After eight years with Exxon, he moved from New York City to Houston, Texas and started his entrepreneurial career.