IdeaFest Judges 2022

Iulian Bobe

Dr. Iulian Bobe, Chief Technology Officer of CIRC

As co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of CIRC, Iulian is the architect of and strategist behind CIRC’s multi-disciplinary technology platform. By integrating the expertise of CIRC’s employees and senior consultants, Iulian is pioneering advancements in technology that combine chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, chemistry, and other disciplines.

Prior to CIRC, Iulian was employee number 5 at a Japanese biotech company called NanoCarrier, which was valued at some point more than $1 billion. At NanoCarrier, he held numerous positions, went on to lead licensing and clinical/business development, and helped the company raise more than $180 million through several financing events including an IPO on Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Iulian earned his PhD in Chemical Engineering from Osaka Prefecture University (Japan) and his MBA from Duke University.


Corey Davis

Corey Davis, Woods Rogers, Business and Corporate and Emerging Growth

Corey Davis is a member of the Business and Corporate and Emerging Growth practice teams at Woods Rogers. With over fifteen years of experience, Corey advises public and private companies, as well as private investment fund sponsors and investors, throughout Virginia and the Mid-Atlantic Region on a variety of complex transactional, securities and business matters. He concentrates on business structuring and formation, securities offerings, compliance and reporting under securities laws, corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions, and joint ventures and strategic alliances. Corey also handles general business issues, regulatory compliance matters, commercial contracts, intellectual property licensing, and loan and financing transactions.

Corey joined the Woods Rogers’ team of attorneys in 2016. He began his legal career in 2005 with a top AM LAW 100 global law firm, practicing as a member of the firm’s private equity and global capital markets group. Prior to joining Woods Rogers, he also founded and managed a holding company invested in online commerce assets, gaining him the unique perspective of what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur and the challenges faced by emerging growth companies.

A native of Lynchburg, Corey completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Virginia and earned his law and MBA degrees simultaneously at the University of Richmond, where he also was editor-in-chief of the Richmond Journal of Global Law & Business.

Corey has been named to Virginia Business magazine’s Legal Elite and also recognized as one of the Top Lawyers by Lynchburg Business magazine. Corey currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Lynchburg Business Development Centre. He also regularly volunteers as an instructor, advisor or mentor in connection with programs supporting the growth of entrepreneurship within Central and Southside Virginia.


Jan Davis

Jan Davis, Retired CEO, ShopperTrak RCT Corporation; Investor and Vice Chair, Triangle Angel Partners

Jan Davis is a private company board member, currently on the boards of directors of Couplet Care and Sellry. She serves on the board of The Launch Place and as vice chair of Triangle Angel Partners. She is an investor in the xElle Ventures Fund and invests with the Carolina Angel Network. Formerly, she was an EIR for the Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network and the Shuford Program in Entrepreneurship at UNC. She was previously CEO of ShopperTrak and business unit president at TransUnion. She holds a BA and MBA from UNC Chapel Hill and lived and worked in Boston, Warsaw Poland and Chicago before moving to the Triangle in 2010.


Shawna Lemon

Shawna C. Lemon, J.D., Ph.D., Angel Investor, Co-Founder xElle Ventures, Co-Founder, Stanek Lemon Crouse + Meeks, PA

Shawna C. Lemon, J.D., Ph.D. is an active angel investor. She is a co-founder of xElle Ventures, an early-stage angel fund for women founders by women founders, executives and investors. Shawna is also co-founder of Stanek Lemon Crouse + Meeks, PA, a majority woman-owned intellectual property law firm. Shawna is admitted to practice law in North Carolina and New York.

As an experienced patent attorney and board director, she brings more than 20 years of legal and business experience to various organizations. She serves as an advisor to several start-up companies. Her board service has included: RTP Capital Associates; Dress For Success Triangle; North Carolina Arts in Action; R.O. Harrell Trucking, Inc., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Board of Visitors; and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Health Foundation.

Shawna is a recipient of the 2020 Triangle Business Journal Women in Business Award and has been listed in Best Lawyers of America (2015-2022), North Carolina Legal Elite (2014, 2021 and 2022) and Super Lawyers (2021 and 2022).

Shawna has a B.S. from Wofford College, a Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina and a J.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


Marco Rubin

Marco Rubin, Senior Investment Director, Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation; Board Vice-Chair, The Launch Place Seed Fund

Marco is responsible for sourcing, diligence, and closing seed and early-stage investments on behalf of the Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation. He serves as a board representative to numerous portfolio companies. Marco divides his responsibilities between managing the GAP Tech Fund and the Commonwealth Energy Fund. He also founded and currently serves as Advisory Board Chairman for Exoventure Associates, LLC, which is primarily engaged in emerging market activity.

Marco mentors entrepreneurs and serves as an expert judge in global business plan competitions sponsored in part by the World Bank and/or State Department. He has invested in over 150 early-stage technology companies throughout his career and has held leadership roles with funds recognized by Entrepreneur Magazine's Annual VC100 list since 2002.

Before forming Exoventure, Marco was a founder of Monumental Venture Partners, LLC (MVP), making investments in security, information technology, telecommunications, software, and medical devices sectors. Substantial exits were made to Dolby Labs and Level 3 Communications.

Prior to Monumental, he ran New Ventures, MCI's venture capital unit, until the company's acquisition in 1998, where investment exits were made in both Cisco and Alcatel. Marco also worked for Booz Allen & Hamilton, where he served as a project leader for clients in the energy, telecommunications, and information technology industries. Clients included names such as Mobil Oil and NASA. He began his career as an engineer at NASA Johnson Space Center, where he trained and certified astronauts and flight controllers to operate spacecraft. He holds an MBA from George Washington University and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of New Mexico.