Announcing The Judges For The TC Atlanta And Boston Pitch-Offs

One of the best parts of the TechCrunch Meetup Pitch-Offs, beyond the beer and the fun conversation and the new tech, is our amazing judges. The whole point of these events is to bring these regional communities together in the name of tech, and what better way to do that then to pull together entrepreneurs and investors and get them in the same room.

Plenty of VCs will be in attendance at the TC Meetups in Atlanta (February 24) and Boston (February 26), but there are three in particular that will join us on stage as judges during the rapid-fire 60-second pitch-off event. And today, we’re announcing who those special judges are.

But before that, quick reminders.

If you want to participate in the Pitch-Off in either city, you need to fill out an application.

And friendly reminder, you must purchase a ticket to be admitted to the event, so hurry up and do that before they sell out. (21+, please.)

Click here to buy tickets to the Atlanta Pitch-Off.
Click here to buy tickets to the Boston Pitch-Off.

So without any further ado, let me proudly introduce the judges of our upcoming TC Meetup Pitch-Offs:


David Hall


David Hall is a Director at Revolution Ventures and is responsible for investment sourcing, execution, and oversight for Revolution Ventures portfolio companies. David began his career with Revolution in 2006, serving as an investment professional for Revolution LLC and has been working with the portfolio companies ever since. David has worked closely with and served as a Board Observer for Revolution Money (American Express), Booker (formerly GramercyOne), Vinfolio, Koofers, SnagFilms, BenchPrep and Homesnap.

Prior to Revolution, David was with The Washington Post Company as Director of Planning and Development. In this capacity, he managed corporate M&A and investments and launched new print and digital publications. Earlier in his career, David held positions as manager of Business Development for Akamai Technologies, Inc. and senior financial analyst for Morgan Stanley & Co. Inc.

Palaniswamy “Raj” Rajan

rajPalaniswamy “Raj” Rajan co-founded Virima Technologies and serves as the company’s Chairman & CEO. With more than 15 years experience in the technology industry, Rajan has a deep understanding of current technologies and has the ability to articulate the application of these technologies in various business contexts and models.

A highly versatile and proven entrepreneur, Rajan also founded Vigilar, Inc, a leading network security technology firm; eLaunchpad, LLC, an early stage venture capital firm/incubator focusing on Internet infrastructure and network security technologies; and Emerald Systems, a boutique technology consulting firm. During his tenure at Vigilar, he grew annual revenues to $32M from 2000 to 2005, during the most difficult technology industry climate. Another previous success, financial aggregator VerticalOne was sold to S1 in 1999 in a deal valued at $166 million.

Glenn McGonnigle

glennmconnigleGlenn McGonnigle is a General Partner at the Atlanta-based early stage venture capital firm TechOperators. Prior to launching TechOperators in 2008, Glenn was most recently CEO of VistaScape Security Systems, a venture-backed provider of enterprise intelligent video surveillance software. He lead the company through its successful sale to Siemens Building Technologies. Previously, Glenn was a co-founder and top executive of Atlanta-based Internet Security Systems (ISS) where he helped raise initial venture capital and launch the business. For 7 years, he led the business development team in developing sales channels and entering the managed security services market. During his tenure, the company grew from startup to revenues of over $225 million and was later acquired by IBM for $1.3 billion.


Nitesh Banta

Screenshot 2015-02-11 14.58.57Nitesh is a Principal at General Catalyst Partners, where he focuses on investments in early-stage technology businesses. His areas of special interest include online marketplaces, SMB SaaS software, mobile applications and consumer services. Nitesh is a strong supporter of first-time entrepreneurs. Nitesh co-founded Rough Draft Ventures, a student run venture initiative in which student entrepreneurs can receive up to $25k to fund their new start-up. Rough Draft Ventures has backed over 30 companies including Beepi, Mark43 and He is based out of our Cambridge office.

Prior to General Catalyst, Nitesh was on the founding team of Getaround, a peer-to-peer car sharing company, and was the founder and CEO of Summer Workation, a social enterprise matching teachers with enriching summer opportunities. Nitesh previously worked on a number of education and business strategy consulting cases as an associate at The Parthenon Group. Prior to that, he worked with the Customer Insights and Business Analytics team at Google.

Katja Gagen

Screenshot 2015-02-11 14.57.59Katja is the Vice President of Marketing at General Catalyst and oversees marketing and branding for the firm and provides marketing support to our portfolio companies. Katja is based in the firm’s Palo Alto office.

Before joining General Catalyst, Katja worked at Cisco where she ran strategic communications and positioning for the company’s President, Engineering and Sales. Her career spans both early and late stage investing with VP of Marketing roles at DCM, an early stage venture capital firm and Warburg Pincus, a global private equity firm. Katja also led the U.S. marketing efforts at 3i, a public international private equity and venture capital firm.

Jeff Fagnan

Screenshot 2015-02-11 14.57.35

Jeff Fagnan is a partner at Atlas Venture in the technology group and focuses on emerging companies in enterprise and internet infrastructure. Prior to Atlas, Jeff was a partner with Seed Capital. Stylistically, Jeff is well known as a founding investor and has worked with many companies since inception. He’s a prominent speaker on innovation and founded TUGG, a crowdsourced philanthropy network dedicated to catalyzing social entrepreneurship.