Our Esteemed Judges
Ellen Weber, Executive Director, Robinhood Ventures
Ellen is passionate about innovation and about helping build great companies in Philadelphia. She is the Executive Director of Robin Hood Ventures (www.robinhoodventures.com), a leading angel group helping to fuel startup growth in the Philadelphia region. She also serves as the Executive Director of Mid-Atlantic Diamond Ventures, a venture forum for early stage companies, and serves as adjunct faculty for Temple University’s Fox School of Business. Previously, Ellen was the COO and co-founder of VisionMine (www.visionmine.com), which provides a specialized Open Innovation portal to large corporations.
Ellen graduated from The Wharton School with a B.S. in economics.
Blessy Thomas, Partner, Innovate Capital Growth Fund
Blessy Thomas is a Partner at Innovate Capital Growth Fund, a growth equity fund focused on investing in minority & women-owned businesses in the Mid-Atlantic region. Blessy is a finance management professional with 15+ years of experience driving growth strategies and profitability initiatives. Prior to Innovate Capital, she was instrumental in investing and managing a portfolio of debt and equity investments and advising minority-owned enterprises on their strategic and financial options at The Enterprise Center.
Blessy received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a focus in Finance and Marketing from Drexel University in Philadelphia.
David Katzman, Director, Penn Office of Investments
David joined Penn’s Office of Investments in 2016 and currently focuses on the private equity investment program for the University’s endowment and pension plans. Prior to joining Penn, David worked at the Yale Investments Office for six years, working on Yale’s venture capital and leveraged buyout portfolios as well as on asset allocation.
David holds a BA from Yale University. David is a CFA® charterholder.
Rob Morgan, CEO, USDF Consortium
Rob Morgan is the chief executive officer of the USDF Consortium, anetwork of banks built to further the adoption and interoperability of a bank-minted tokenized deposit. Morgan joined USDF in June 2022 at a time when lawmakers and regulators have been focused on building new regulatory frameworks for digital assets.
Overseeing the Consortium, Morgan’s focus includes delivering responsible innovations and providing customers access to digital assets from a well-regulated partner they trust. Working with the Board made up of member banks, Morgan works with customers, banks and regulators to meet their needs. Having joined USDF while still in its first phase, where it operates as a payment rail or interbank messaging mechanism, Morgan will guide it as it eventually moves to operate more like a traditional stablecoin.
Rob studied economics at Connecticut College and received his MBA from The Wharton
School. He lives in Washington DC with his wife Allie.