Demo Day Judges Spring 2014


Our Judges:

Studio J Photo - Jay Kelly Photo - Jay Kelly SF CA 94107

R.B. Brenner
Deputy director of Stanford University’s Journalism Program

R.B. Brenner is deputy director of Stanford University’s Journalism Program and a former Washington Post editor. In August, he will start work as director of the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin. His jobs at The Post included Metro Editor and Sunday Editor, and he helped lead the merger of the digital and print newsrooms. At Stanford, his professional home since September 2010,  he teaches public issues reporting, digital journalism, and narrative writing.




Brantley Essary

Brantley Essary
Front-end engineer with the Advisory Board Company

Brantley Essary: My passion is creating delightful user experiences, especially with mobile devices. In my time with start-ups I built interactive apps for the web, iPhone, Android, and huge displays for Adidas, Do Something, CBS, SXSW and others including our local East (and West) Austin Studio Tour. Now with The Advisory Board as a Front-End Engineer I build patient care and business analytics web apps for hospitals nationwide, and I’m currently managing the development of the company’s first mobile product.




Debbie Hiott
Executive editor of the Austin American-Statesman

Debbie Hiott is executive editor of the Austin American-Statesman, and oversees content for the daily newspaper, seven weeklies, and their affiliated websites and other digital products. She started at the Statesman as a reporting intern in 1990 and later covered city hall and transportation as a reporter before becoming an editor in 1999.  She became executive editor in November 2011.  Debbie has served as a Pulitzer Prize jury member and is on the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors board.  She is a 1992 graduate of Southwest Texas State University and lives in Northwest Austin with her husband, a software engineer, and their two children.



Will Hurley

Will Hurley
Co-founder of Austin’s Chaotic Moon Studios

Will Hurley, commonly known as whurley, is the co-founder of Austin’s Chaotic Moon Studios, an open source advocate and systems theorist. He is the recipient of several honors and awards. He is regularly interviewed by the press on technology and related topics, and is signed with William Morris Endeavor as a speaker.

Whurley moved to Austin in 1994 to work at Apple, eventually working in research and development. He left Apple in 1997 for IBM, where he was appointed Master Inventor. After leaving IBM in 2000, he worked for a series of start-ups. He co-founded Chaotic Moon, a mobile software design and development company, in 2010. He serves as general manager of Chaotic Moon Labs, which focuses on developing new products.


Joshua McClure

Joshua McClure
Real Massive

Joshua McClure, an Austin entrepreneur who has overseen the development of many IOS apps, including enterprise and consumer apps, has been helping the teams on the tech side of things. His latest project, RealMassive, is described as “Google meets Amazon” for commercial real estate.





Lynette Perkins
UT grad who took this class last semester

Lynette Perkins is a software engineer specializing in mobile and interactive development.  She engages with early stage startups and established companies, providing mobile and interactive product development.  Recent clients include:  Newad, developed an interactive vending machine installation for an ad campaign and Charity Miles, a mobile platform to engage users to workout on behalf of a charity. Lynette holds a Bachelor’s in Computer Science and Economics from the University of Texas at Austin.



Russell Wilson

Russell Wilson
Director of IBM’s Mobile Innovation Lab

Russell Wilson is the Director of IBM’s new Mobile Innovation Lab. The mission of the lab is to identify revolutionary mobile technologies and trends and transform them into new products and solutions that deliver significant value to individuals and companies.

Russell is also one of IBM’s new Design Executives, helping to teach and evangelize design thinking throughout IBM, and influence a new era in software product development.

Prior to IBM, Russell was the worldwide Senior Vice President of User Experience at CA Technologies where he led the development of an enterprise-wide design language and a common application platform. Russell joined CA as part of the acquisition of NetQoS, where Russell was on the executive leadership team.

Russell is a serial entrepreneur, an experienced executive, and has proven success in both startups and large companies. His interests include application design, rapid prototyping, and team building.


Fred Zipp

Fred Zipp
Former editor of the Statesman

Fred Zipp worked in daily newspaper journalism for 32 years before his retirement in 2011 as editor of the Austin American-Statesman.

During stints at the Beaumont Enterprise (1979-1984), Austin American-Statesman (1984-87, 1998-2011) and Palm Beach Post (1987-98), Zipp worked as a reporter and editor in a variety of assignments.

He is a past officer of the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas and has worked on FOI issues for the American Society of News Editors.

Zipp, 58, remains in Austin and is an editor in residence at the University of Texas. He and his wife, Jodi, have three children.