The Carlsen Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship and Hacker Lab are excited to partner together to answer your call and bring to life a virtual discussion on “Finding a Co-Founder: Perspectives from the Technical Side.” This panel discussion is in response to the community's endless feedback on the challenge of finding and attracting technical talent into an early-stage startup.
Join us and hear from an amazing panel and expect to learn about how and why they, as technical co-founders, advisors, and early team members, joined a startup at an early stage. Topics that will be covered are:
  • Idea vs. Person
  • Division of labour & logistics of bringing a team member on
  • What does failure look like?
  • Research and the idea
  • Welcome
  • Networking in Breakouts
  • Panel Discussion
  • Q&A
  • Nile Mittow - CTO at Hacker Lab (Moderator)
  • Dan Koellen - Veteran in Semiconductor Industry and Angel Investor in Sacramento Area
  • Matt Pristone - Co-Founder of Riskalyze
  • John Nogrady - Entrepreneur and Technologist
  • Peichen Chang - Co-Founder of tCheck

About The Carlsen Center @SacState

We serve as a regional hub and platform for providing approachable and accessible entrepreneurial education, community, and support to enable startup founders of all backgrounds to explore and launch their businesses.
Mission: To make innovation and entrepreneurship pervasive throughout the Greater Sacramento Region
Vision: To be the premier hub for regional innovation and entrepreneurship in the country
Purpose: To educate, support, and build the next generation of impact driven entrepreneurs

About Panelists:

Dan Koellen:

Dan Koellen is a veteran of the semiconductor industry and a leading mentor and investor in the Sacramento area. Dan was part of the leadership team that took Level One Communications, one of Sacramento’s most successful startups, from pre-revenue, through IPO and eventual acquisition by Intel. Since then he has been an active mentor for entrepreneurs through the Sacramento Angels, UC Davis GSM, Hacker Lab, Startup Weekends and individual one on one interactions. As an angel investor Dan has been an early investor in local successes such as Marrone Bio Innovations (MBII), Digital Music Group (DMGI) and Visicon. Dan is also an active maker and hacker, specializing in present day and vintage electronic and radio projects.

Matt Pristone:

Matt is a UC Berkeley physics graduate. Before co-founding Riskalyze in 2011, he worked on nuclear detection research for the federal government at Lawrence Berkeley Labs. He now oversees Riskalyze’s engineering, core technology, and data center operations. When not empowering the world to invest fearlessly, you can usually find Matt biking, running, hiking, or brushing up on his double precision floating-point arithmetic.

John Nogrady:

Entrepreneur, technologist, business development and operations executive with exceptional drive and leadership in the formation and execution of new businesses, products, and strategic relationships.
Specialties: Defining and building new products and companies from the ground up. Forging strategic alliances and creating partner ecosystems, go-to-market planning, market opportunity identification and positioning, strategy and corporate development.
Experience in building and leading remote and offshore teams.

Peichen Chang:

One of Peichen’s favorite quotes is, “If you can just avoid dying, you get rich”. Born in Taiwan, raised on a US Air Force Base on Okinawa, Japan, Peichen channeled his propensity for endurance sports to help create tCheck – the world’s leading home tester for cannabis plant and infusions. After undergrad studies at Rensselear Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in upstate New York, he earned his MBA from Oregon State University. His first job out of college was at HP where he discovered that he was a below average engineer but above average product manager. It was also at HP where he met friends who would eventually become co-founders and co-workers at tCheck. Building a technology startup is difficult in the best of times, building and growing a technology startup in the cannabis space through a global pandemic is especially exciting.  tCheck now employs 16 people in the Roseville office.