Deal Team 6

A community of entrepreneurs, investors, bankers, and designers.

William E. Dyess

Braun Jones

Thomas Willie

Locastro Brothers

Jackie Mostny

Nicole Zapalla

David Gross

William E. Dyess

About:William is a founder, product designer, and financial consultant with 10+ years of experience identifying market needs and addressing them to build successful ventures. As managing partner of the Dyess Group William has overseen $50M+ in financial transactions as the principal financial consultant and advised executives across a wide set of industry verticals to craft their narratives into a successful capital raise or acquisition. William works as the principal consultant for middle-market investment banks, venture funds, and private equity institutions to implement best-practices in design and storytelling.

Braun Jones

About:Braun Jones is the Managing Member of Stonehaven Capital, a private company and real estate investment holding company. In addition, Mr. Jones is CEO of AsiAmerica, LLC, an international market development and software distribution company. Mr. Jones is a veteran entrepreneur who has founded companies and exited successfully through M&A and IPO transactions. He began his career in 1988 as a financial analyst and project director for a subsidiary of Arnold & Porter. In 1992, he founded Integrated Management Strategies (IMS), a corporate finance advisory firm. During this time, Mr. Jones advised on various M&A and corporate finance transactions and gained executive management and operating experience by serving as Chief Financial Officer and Executive Director for two of his client companies. In 1994, Mr. Jones co-founded University Online, Inc., (later renamed VCampus), an “online learning” technology company he helped take public in 1996. In 1998, Mr. Jones successfully exited VCampus and co-founded and served as President of The McLean Group, a middle-market investment banking and business valuation firm. He sold this firm in 2005 and joined Outcome Capital, a middle-market investment bank, as a co-owner and Managing Director, and sold his partnership there in 2014 to start Ashton Stewart International Holdings, LLC and AsiAmerica, LLC. Mr. Jones served as Chairman and CEO of Ashton Stewart International Holdings, Inc., a financial services holding company including an independent, private investment bank focused on middle-market mergers and acquisitions, private equity and debt placements, and hedge fund compliance management. He sold his majority position in Ashton Stewart in 2019. Braun is a long-time private company investor with successful exits in ClearOne Advantage (debt recapitalization), HireStrategy, (acquired by Addison group), KEYW Corporation (IPO NASDAQ: KEYW), ERA (acquired by SRA International NASDAQ: SRX which was later taken private by Providence Equity Partners), Plateau Systems (acquired by Success Factors NASDAQ: SFSF which was later bought by SAP NYSE: SAP), Potomac Mortgage Group (acquired by MVB Bank), and John Marshall Bank (OTCQB: JMSB). His current private investments include Zenetex, Performline, Denuo, App47, Xator, ClearOne Advantage, Threat Quotient, BryTrex, and ProjectTeam. Braun has served on multiple boards of technology companies and nonprofits including the Virginia Tech Pamplin College of Business, School of Finance and the Virginia Tech President’s Leadership Council. Mr. Jones earned his BS in Finance from Virginia Tech in 1987 and an MBA from James Madison University in 1988. He is a FINRA registered representative (Series 7, 24, 63, 79). Braun resides in Virginia with his wife and four children.

Thomas Willie

About:Tom has proven track record over 20 years of demonstrated CEO- level and board leadership, entrepreneurial success, business transformation, fundraising and M&A, and product innovation within industries undergoing dramatic growth or disruption. He has been at the forefront of the broadband, smart grid, smart building, and IoT industries and has extensive experience in growing companies across hardware, services, and SAAS business models. Over his career, Tom has been instrumental in the successful completion of venture capital funding rounds in excess of $100M, acquired and integrated companies both domestically and abroad, attracted and consummated deals resulting in the acquisition of companies he has led and been part of a management team that has taken to the market and managed a public company. Tom was recognized as an EY Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist in 2016 and Top 50 Smart Grid Pioneer in 2013 by Smart Grid Today.

Locastro Brothers

About:Locastro Design is an award-winning media company founded in 2012. While raising capital for 8-figure feature film budgets, Locastro Design leveraged its strategic media insight and relationships with family offices and high net-worth individuals to expand its core mission to include business transactions. Locastro Design co-founded a transaction group called Global Vantage Capital Next Gen and built a global team that took the company from inception to 7-figures in revenue in under six months. Locastro Design’s unscripted media content has won film festivals, a Murrow and four National Capital Emmys. Following the theatrical release of Locastro Design's documentary SABER ROCK, producers Matthew and Thomas were interviewed on CNN for seven minutes to discuss narcoterrorism. This film was one of 77 considered by the Academy Awards for a 2018 Oscar in its category. Locastro Design is currently producing two feature film projects with estimated budget of $20 and $30 million. As a partner in TXN Advisors, Locastro Design engages on transactions and advises clients on effective business storytelling.

Jackie Mostny

Nicole Zapalla

About:I help early to mid-stage companies build strong foundations upon which they can grow. I write the stories, market the things, operate, organize, strategize, and execute. I want to work with passionate minds driven to change things for the better. Focused on transforming maternal health - mentally, physically, emotionally, and communally pre and post birth - because we can and must do better.

David Gross

Advisory Board

Emmanuel Kaska

Ben Zises

PAUL VILLELLA

Netsanet Gizaw

Jean Michel Arnoult

Emmanuel Kaska

Ben Zises

About:Angel investor, advisor, syndicate lead & fund manager. Most notably, I was the first investor & founding advisor to quip, Caraway & Arber (before each had its name). As a former founder, I’ve also experienced the complete life cycle of building a company which gives me major advantages: (i) founder empathy, resulting in higher quality deal flow (“access”) (ii) a unique understanding of the startup journey, leading to my ability to identify what it takes to achieve outsized results.

PAUL VILLELLA

About:Paul Villella is an entrepreneur, investor and recognized leader in the human capital industry. He founded and served as president and CEO of HireStrategy, an award-winning, mid-Atlantic staffing firm listed in Washingtonian magazine’s Great Places to Work three years in a row and ranked number one in Washington Business Journal’s Best Places to Work nine years in a row. The Inc. 500 company reached $325 million in sales prior to its acquisition by Addison Group. While at HireStrategy, Paul was an EY Entrepreneur of the Year® semifinalist. Paul is passionate about helping portfolio companies exceed their goals. At HireCapital, he and his partners – all experienced entrepreneurs and former C-suite executives – add value through a combination of growth capital, directional strategy, operational expertise, board-level advising and access to influential industry relationships. He is regularly quoted in The Washington Post, Washington Business Journal and The Wall Street Journal and has been featured on NBC, CNBC, Fox News and CNN. Paul serves on the executive board of the Leukemia & Lymphoma society and is an executive mentor for The Global Good Fund’s fellowship program, in which promising young leaders tackling the world’s greatest socials issues are paired with seasoned executives.

Netsanet Gizaw

Jean Michel Arnoult

:JM Arnoult is an angel investor, startup advisor and VC scout. He was the founder of Crowdfunder, a leading equity crowdfunding platform. In 2019, Jean Michel was invited to join the Iovine and Young Academy at USC as its first Entrepreneur-In-Residence. There, he supports students' ventures on fundraising, operations and strategy.