Jim Hale, Managing Partner

Jim Hale is the founder of Brown Dog Partners. Jim has over ten years of senior marketing, strategic planning and management experience. He has a proven track record of building and leading technology development teams into wonderfully disruptive business successes. He has served as a small business/start-up team member as well as a senior executive in a Fortune 500 company. He is a proven performer who moves easily from business strategy to implementation to project completion. He has strong business acumen and has created strategies designed to establish market presence, product launch, operations and technology development teams. Prior to this, he founded Tramway Venture Partners and was on staff of Technology Ventures Corporation.


Jo Anne Miller, Managing Partner

Jo Anne Miller is a partner with Milk Street Ventures, a Managing Director at Golden Seeds Angel Network and a Co-Founder of SLO Seed Ventures. She has over 29 years of telecommunications and computer industry experience in general management, software and hardware systems development, as well as software engineering and product management for wireless, wireline and data communications products . After ten years of entrepreneurial venture-backed start-ups in cellular and wire line infrastructure equipment manufacturing, she moved into early stage investing in 2003.

Jo Anne has an MBA from the University of Chicago, MSCS from the University of Colorado and BS Mathematics from the University of Michigan.



Russ Bik

Mr. Bik was a founding stockholder of Sun Microsystems in 1982 where he served as Sun's original Vice President of Operations building the organization from three people to one shipping over a billion dollars a year in revenue. He served concurrently as a member of the Executive Committee and later became President of Sun Federal, a wholly-owned subsidiary he founded focusing on sales to the CIA and NSA. Since leaving Sun, Mr. Bik has continued to work closely with the venture capital firm of Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers serving as a corporate officer, CEO and Board Member at numerous portfolio companies. Prior to Sun, Mr. Bik was employed by Intel for 7 years where he was one of the first 100 employees of the company's Systems Division. He is a graduate of the California State Polytechnic University at San Luis Obispo, where as a student, he founded several startup businesses. After graduation he enlisted in the Navy and later served in the U.S. Naval Air Reserve. Mr. Bik continues to pursue entrepreneurship working with both UCSB and Cal Poly where he is an adjunct professor. He has been a member of the Cal Poly "President's Cabinet" advisory council for over a decade and is a licensed instrument pilot.


Susan Preston

Susan has spent most of her career in senior management positions in public and private companies, from general counsel to CEO. She has also been a partner in two national law-firms and is a patent attorney. Susan is a world-recognized expert in angel financing, and is the author of numerous articles, white papers and books on angel financing. Her most recent book, Angel Financing for Entrepreneurs, was released by Wiley Publishing. She has been and continues to be a national and international speaker on economic development, angel and venture financing. She was an Entrepreneur-in-Residence with the Kauffman Foundation for six years focusing on initiatives related to angel investing, angel organizations and women entrepreneurs. She is the architect of the Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs Act, a bi-partisan federal income tax credit bill for private equity investing, which will be re-introduced in Congress this session. Ms. Preston received her JD, cum laude, from Seattle University and her BS, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, in Microbiology and Public Health from WSU.


Dr. Louis Tornatzky

Lou is Professor of Industrial Technology at California Polytechnic State University. He has 40 years of research, management and consulting experience in the area of innovation and technological change. He has led regional and national benchmarking studies supported by the National Science Foundation on university-industry technology transfer and commercialization. Working with the National Business Incubation Association (NBIA) he led several comparable best practice studies on technology business incubation. Before coming to Cal Poly he was a Principal with Select University Technologies, a technology business accelerator in Orange County, and previously worked as Director of the Southern Technology Council, fostering policy and program innovations alongside governors and corporate leaders in the 15 southern states. Lou was a Center Director and Scientific Fellow at the Industrial Technology Institute of Michigan, working with durable goods manufactures throughout the Midwest and leading the Innovation Processes Research Group at the National Science Foundation. His previous academic appointments included VP for Research at the Tomas Rivera Policy Institute at Claremont, and as a Professor of Psychology and Urban Development at Michigan State University. He has over 100 publications dealing with issues of innovation and technology. Lou is from Cleveland, Ohio. He holds a B.A. in Psychology, Cum Laude, from Ohio State University, and a Ph.D. from Stanford University.