Categorized | Breaking News, JAX Briefs

iStart Jax gears up for next big leap: Adds Trey Bowles and Linda Olson to board of advisors

iStart Jax has expanded its board of advisors and executive leadership team to help the growing business accelerator launch programs and initiatives. After working with more than 100 nominees from across the U.S, the Jacksonville, Fla.-based nonprofit has added experienced entrepreneurs, investors and consultants to facilitate the organization’s development while supporting new efforts like entrepreneurship education for youth.

Leaders joining iStart Jax include Startup America Chair and Dallas Entrepreneur Center CEO and Co-founder Trey Bowles, and TampaBayWaVE CEO and Founder Linda K. Olson, who have joined iStart Jax’s board of advisors. Northeast Florida entrepreneurs Dan Fulmer, CEO of FulTech Solutions Inc., and Jonathan Raiti, president of RZI Trade and Consulting also have extended their participation and support by joining the board.

“We are excited to receive the support of such well known leaders. This is a significant milestone for positioning iStart Jax for the next level of growth” said Kevin Riley, current advisor to the board of iStart Jax, whose contributions to the local entrepreneurial ecosystem include hosting programs such as “Startup Weekend NEXT”.

iStart Jax is also adding 10 leaders to its Executive Leadership team to help the organization accomplish its strategic objectives. The team will roll out several initiatives to support Northeast Florida’s growing entrepreneurial ecosystem, whose coalescence began with the region’s first Startup Weekend in 2011. That event brought innovators, entrepreneurs and mentors under one roof and has since become an annual gathering.

The new officers joining the Executive Leadership team include:

* Bryan J. Stewart, director of new market and business development at Healogics, Inc. is Chief Marketing Officer. Stewart will help iStart Jax effectively reach out to aspiring entrepreneurs and ensuring its services are yielding success.
* Visionary leader Subba Ayyagari, vice president of business strategy at Black Knight Financial Services is the Chief Strategy Officer. He will oversee the rolling out of the organization’s strategic objectives.
* Raj Gupta, chief financial officer at Autoscribe Corporation., has held leadership positions in startups and grown companies, with annual revenues ranging from $1 million to $140 million. As Chief Financial Officer of iStart Jax, he will help drive the organization’s efforts to develop sustainable revenue streams.
* Pavan Varshney, a manager at CSX, is the Director of Finance for Grants and Treasury for iStart Jax, helping fulfill the organization’s objectives for timely submission of grants and overseeing the day to day finance operations.
* Jim Molis, president of Brand Journalists Group, is the organization’s Director of Public Relations.
* Kevin Kennedy, who works in Acosta’s Corporate Strategy Division, will serve as Director for Capital Investments, helping startups to effectively reach out to angel investors and venture capitalists and to manage deal flow.
* Joan Carter and Mayukh Das will serve as the Director of Membership Growth and Programs, in order to effectively manage the current programs and help membership growth.

iStart Jax is also focusing on youth entrepreneurship development programs such as the recently introduced E-Mindset program. In order to reach out to this demographics effectively, top performing students of Northwestern University have been chosen.

* Mohan Ravi, founder and president of iHeart Florida and National Startup Network, a student run accelerator will be serving as the Director of Youth and Outreach.
* Ryan Schusler, Co-founder and Marketing Director of Northwestern Startup Network is the focusing on the youth entrepreneurship development programs such as the recently introduced E-Mindset program.

“We are excited to begin a new chapter with a new team in place. It’s a privilege to help guide such a talented team of individuals inducted into our Executive Leadership program. Our cumulative effort will be now be bigger and relentless” said Yash Nath, CEO and President of iStart Jax.

MJ Charmani, Chairman and the Founder of iStart Jax, said, “This is the biggest change we have made in the organization’s structure since founding this organization. I am simply amazed at how fast we have been able to grow, attracting the talent from across the nation. We are well positioned to take the next big leap.”

Questions and further information, please contact Jim Molis, Director – Public Relations, iStart Jax at

Click here to access the details of new leaders on our website.

About iStart Jax:
iStart Jax is a non-profit, 501 (C)-(3), business accelerator for technology startups in Northeast Florida. Its goal is to provide world-class resources for aspiring entrepreneurs to turn their creative ideas into growing technology companies. iStart Jax helps redefine the startup ecosystem with the support of local and global resources by providing Northeast Florida with a viable pool of startups and entrepreneurs.

Leave a Reply