Meet the judges: FIU Track


Lourdes “Luly” Balepogi is a serial entrepreneur, consultant, speaker and author. After working for more than a decade in corporate America, Balepogi founded Chispa Marketing in 2006 and later also founded Luly B Inc. to help women grow successful businesses while raising successful families. She wrote “Balance is Bull$h!t”, which hit Amazon best-seller status within 48 hours of its release.

John C. Fleming, a serial entrepreneur, is the technology practice lead at Biztegra Partners, a social web agency based in West Palm Beach. He started his career as a software developer in 1979 and has worked nationally and internationally in engineering, sales, marketing, services and general management in industries ranging from high tech to real estate. Fleming has started companies, raised money and has been part of teams that built products that became market leaders.

Robert H. Hacker is the managing partner of GH Capital, a Miami-based financial consulting boutique. He is a professor in the FIU Engineering School and the MIT Sloan School of Management. He is author of “Billion Dollar Company” and is finishing his next book on social entrepreneurship. He was also a CFO at the One Laptop Per Child Association and is a board member of the Pino Global Entrepreneurship Center at FIU and the South Kent School.

Heather Schwarz-Lopes is chief strategy officer and co-founder of, which is dedicated to bridging the funding gap for small business entrepreneurs through the application of crowdfunding. She is also a financial banking veteran, including holding the previous position of senior vice president, private banker at Wells Fargo. She also founded Beyond Leading Corp., a financial services company.

Ricardo Weisz is an international marketing expert in startups, brand development and licensing. During his tenure with The Walt Disney Co., he launched operations in multiple countries, was a Zone VP and GM, and headed a Latin American SBU. The angel investor has held board positions including Orangi Corp., Consult A Doctor, Miami Innovation Fund, The Winner’s Circle and New World Angels.

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