Meet The Team

Micah Widen

Micah previously served as the CEO of Domi Station, a successful incubator in Tallahassee, Florida. Micah returns to Florida from the San Francisco area where he has been living and developing relationships that will help propel Groundswell forward. He has a wealth of business and operating experience, including deep involvement working with startups.

Fumiko Shinkawa

A recent graduate of Florida Institute of Technology, Fumiko serves Groundswell as the community manager. In this role, she handles the website, much of the print and web materials and is responsible for the branding of many of the series and events Groundswell hosts.

Mark Mohler

Mark has been a lawyer for over twenty years and is a founder of Corridor Legal Partners, a full service business and transactional law firm. He was formerly a partner in the Tax and Business Groups of BakerHostetler, one of the largest law firms in the US. Mark previously served as general counsel to a public company venture/incubator and during his tenure was the chief legal officer for companies from idea through IPO. Having been on “all sides of the table,” he was a co-founding entrepreneur of a venture and private equity-backed multi-national company, has served on staff to one of Florida’s largest venture funds, is a founder of LaunchPad40 Capital Partners, a spacecoast-focused venture capital firm, and has been a member of the board of directors of many venture-backed companies. He has a BS, Juris Doctorate and Master of Laws in Taxation degrees from the University of Florida.

John Vecchio

John has been in the software industry for 30 years and co-founded three software companies. The companies raised over $75M from prominent venture firms across the US. His first, N2 Broadband, was acquired for $120M in 5 years. His latest, Clearleap, is the underlying multiscreen video streaming technology to customers including HBO, NFL, Verizon and Time Warner. He has worked on product strategy, software development & investor pitches with numerous start up companies in the Atlanta area. His is a patent holder and his team at N2 Broadband was awarded a Technical and Engineering Emmy for his Video on Demand system. Currently John is a partner at Mosley Ventures working with Sig Mosley, one of the most prolific early stage investors in Atlanta. He resides on several Boards and has led several investments into early stage technology companies in the Southeast.

Bud Deffebach

Bud was a Patent Attorney for the Atlanta, GA based intellectual property law firm Jones & Askew, and with Harris Corporation, specializing in patent licensing. In 1997, Bud joined ATLC, Ltd., a patent licensing firm, as a Partner. ATLC has generated over $2 billion in royalties for its clients, including entities such as AT&T, Stanford University, Harris Corporation, Kodak and Cypress Semiconductor.

Bud is an active board member, investor and advisor to companies including Sarda, NexStreem, ZippSlip, 3D WiFi and others. Bud also co-owns Matt’s Casbah, develops commercial real estate and is a very strong believer in, and supporter of, Club Esteem and the University of Florida College of Engineering.

Bud is married to Dr. Kim Deffebach and they have two children, Lee and Kate. Hobbies include surfing, diving, golf, mountain biking and snowboarding.

Our Ambassadors

Abeer Janakat
Content Volunteer

A graduate student in Global Strategic Communication, with a bachelors in communication from Florida Institute of Technology.

Abeer works with Groundswell in creating content, running and planning events and is hoping to continue working to pass expert knowledge to the startup community.

Nicole Kern

Nicole is currently studying communications at Florida Institute of Technology. She has extensive experience in print layout and design. In her role at Groundswell, she helps manage and plan events; create podcasts and other content to educate and inform the startup ecosystem; and participates in the daily management of the Groundswell community. As a content volunteer, Nicole helps to better understand the workings of the startup ecosystem and gain experiences to better help her become a better digital marketer as she begins her career.

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