IdeaFest Judges 2018

Eva Doss

Eva Doss

Eva Doss, President and CEO of The Launch Place, has twenty years of experience in business consulting, strategic planning, business development and equity fund establishment and management in the United States and Europe. During her career Eva established new business ventures and seed investment opportunities, and developed strategic business partnerships for companies internationally.

Eva has also worked with Booz Allen, RTI International, and the U.S. Agency for International Development in Washington, D.C. As the first Executive Director, Eva helped in the establishment of the Southside Business Technology Center, a business consulting entity in 2005, which in 2012 grew into The Launch Place, the lead entrepreneurial development organization offering business consulting, training, office space and subsidies, and seed investments through its two equity funds to entrepreneurs in Danville, Virginia and in the Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.

Eva holds a post-graduate Executive Certificate in Management and Leadership from Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management, has a MBA and BS in business administration and speaks several languages.


Robin Jones

Robin Jones

Robin, a native to the Danville region, is the owner and operator of Vintages by the Dan, a wine and craft beer store, which opened in 2012. After receiving a BA in Economics from The College of William and Mary, she worked in community banking at several local banks and also worked in healthcare finance at Danville Regional Medical Center. She enjoyed being a stay at home soccer mom and volunteers at many community organizations. Vintages by the Dan has enjoyed tremendous support from the community resulting in increased sales and inventory as well as currently employing six part-time knowledgeable customer service representatives. Robin currently serves on the Board of Directors for the River District Association, as President, and also serves on the Board of Directors of the Danville-Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce.


Ed Pettiss

Ed Pettiss

Ed Pettiss is a former senior executive, general manager, and board director with extensive global experience with both large multi-national organizations and high-growth, technology-driven start-ups. He is currently Vice-President, Treasurer, and Board Director for RTP Capital Associates, Executive-in-Residence with the NC State Technology and Entrepreneurship Collaborative program, and active with the Council for Entrepreneurial Development and NC IDEA grant programs. He was previously Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications for a large environmental services company. With a major chemical & machinery company, he served as President of a start-up technology-based joint venture and General Manager for a high-growth worldwide biotech chemical business. Ed earned an MBA from the University of Virginia Darden School and an AB in Economics from Duke University.


Jim Roberts

Jim Roberts

Jim Roberts is the Director of Community Development at Bunker Labs in North Carolina, founder of the Network for Entrepreneurs in Wilmington (NEW) and the manager of the Wilmington (NC) Angels for Local Entrepreneurs (WALE). Jim has been a connector and a resource for startups in North Carolina for the last 17 years. Jim has started or worked for entrepreneur support organizations in Charlotte, Asheville, Durham and Wilmington. Jim has also worked for the North Carolina Department of Commerce in the International Trade Division.

Jim is a proud University of Florida graduate and a RABID Chicago Cubs fan.


Tom Snyder

Tom Snyder

Tom is Executive Director of RIoT, supporting Internet of Things and disruptive technology industry growth. By day he runs RIoT Labs at HQ Raleigh. In his spare time, Tom co-instructs Product Innovation Lab, a Forbes award winning multi-disciplinary course in Innovation and Entrepreneurship at NC State.

Prior to joining RIoT, Tom held an executive leadership role at the ASSIST Center, a National Science Foundation sponsored effort to create wearable electronics for healthcare monitoring. Previously, he spent two decades in product development and technology incubation in NC.

He’s passionate about creating and fostering collaborations across disciplines, markets and cultures. He enjoys the outdoors, woodworking, boardgames, big crowds, craft beer and ideas that are just crazy enough to work.