Final Three Judges Named for ‘Get in the Ring: The North American Startup Clash,’ Hosted by the Kauffman Foundation

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Two judges from Mexico, one from the U.S. round out judging panels for startup pitch competition

Three esteemed entrepreneurial leaders have been named to complete the judging panels for the “Get in the Ring: The North American Startup Clash” pitch competition, hosted by the Kauffman Foundation on Nov. 6-7. The panels feature high-profile representatives from Canada, Mexico and the United States who will select the continent’s most-promising startup to then compete for the Get in the Ring world title during Global Entrepreneurship Week in the Netherlands.

The following business executives will complete the final and semifinal judging panels:

  •     Miguel Angel Dávila (Mexico), judging the North American finals on Nov. 7

Dávila is managing partner of Latin Idea Ventures, a venture capital firm dedicated to Mexican companies in the technology, media and telecommunications sectors that has raised more than $200 million. As a graduate student at Harvard, Dávila developed an idea that has transformed the movie theater industry in Mexico. He grew Cinemex to more than 360 screens, more than 2,000 employees and 30 million annual attendees to become the second-largest chain of movie theaters in the country.

  •     Donna Harris (United States), judging the North American semifinals on Nov. 6

Harris is cofounder of 1776, an incubator that convenes and accelerates startups from around the world by connecting them to the political, intellectual, social and financial capital that make Washington, D.C., unique. Previously, she was managing director of the Startup America Partnership, where she organized and led the Startup Regions Initiative, which focused on accelerating the formation of vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystems across the United States and connecting the communities into a national startup ecosystem. Harris is a member of the Global Entrepreneurship Week global board, a board member of the National Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and entrepreneur-in-residence at Georgetown University.

  •     César Pérez Barnés (Mexico), judging the North American semifinals on Nov. 6

Pérez Barnés is managing director of the Southern Cross Group, a Latin American private equity fund with more than $1.1 billion in assets under management. Formerly, he was a principal with Advent International in Mexico City and a principal in the energy practice at Booz & Co. In addition, Pérez Barnés spent five years between the Mexico City, Sao Paulo and Madrid offices of McKinsey, concentrating on projects in the energy, financial services, telecommunications, media and technology sectors; and was the director of investments for Netjuice Capital, where he led the investment in Kelkoo, which was later acquired by Yahoo for more than $500 million. In 2002, he was the founding managing director of Endeavor Mexico.

The previously announced judges for the North American finals on Nov. 7, to be held in Kansas City, Mo., are:

  •     Devon Brooks (Canada), cofounder of Blo, North America’s original blow dry bar
  •     Mark Hasebroock (United States), serial entrepreneur and founder of Dundee Venture Capital
  •     Leslie Jump (United States), founder and CEO of Startup Angels and a board member of UP Global
  •     Brad Keywell (United States), cofounder of Groupon and managing director of Lightbank

The day before the finals event, 15 North American semifinalists — comprised of the five national winners from Canada, Mexico and the United States — will compete before a different panel of judges, who will pare the competitors down to eight finalists. The previously announced judges for the North American semifinals on Nov. 6 are:

  •     Chris Carder (Canada), cofounder of North American Design and Technology Lab and the entrepreneur in residence at Schulich School of Business at York University
  •     Nathan Gold (United States), a presentation coach, trainer and speaker known as The Demo Coach
  •     Toby Rush (United States), founder and CEO of EyeVerify and the 2013 Get in the Ring global champion

The North American champion will travel expense-paid to Rotterdam, the Netherlands, for the global finals. Winners from seven global regions (North America, South America, Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Northern Europe and Southern Europe) will compete for a chance at prizes, exposure and the opportunity for angel funding.

While the application process for competitions in Mexico and the United States has recently ended, Canadian entrepreneurs have until Sept. 17 to enter at

Sponsors for Get in the Ring: The North American Startup Clash are Sprint and Combat Brands;
media partners are Inc., Marketplace from American Public Media and Kansas City PBS station KCPT.

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a private, nonpartisan foundation that aims to foster economic independence by advancing educational achievement and entrepreneurial success. Founded by late entrepreneur and philanthropist Ewing Marion Kauffman, the Foundation is based in Kansas City, Mo., and has approximately $2 billion in assets. For more information, visit, and follow the Foundation on and

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Neil Neumeyer
Kauffman Foundation
+1 (816) 932-1103
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John Eddy
Goldin Solutions
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