Meet the Finals Judges

Across two flights of afternoon presentations, our transportation, mobility and finance expert judges will question and evaluate the contestants and their business propositions. The teams will compete in four categories of technology innovation and market need:

Competition Categories
1. Vehicle Electrification; Connectivity; Cyber-Security; and Advanced Mobility
2. Advanced Materials; Sensors; and Manufacturing Processes
3. Infotainment; Auto Consumer / Value-Add; and Value Chain / Business Models
4. New High-Value, Disruptive Innovations

The Judges

  • Tony Cannestra – Director of Corporate Ventures, Denso International America
  • Komal Doshi – Director of Mobility Programs, Ann Arbor SPARK
  • Samit Ghosh – President & CEO, P3 North America
  • Doug Neal – Managing Director, eLab Ventures
  • Dan Radomski – Chief Strategy Officer, Optimal Inc.
  • Jim Rau – Executive Advisor, ZF-TRW
  • Kristin Schondorf – Executive Director, Automotive & Transportation Mobility, EY

Tony Cannestra
Director of Corporate Ventures, DENSO International America

Tony Cannestra is the Director of Corporate Ventures for DENSO America, where he leads the development and emergence of DENSO’s corporate venture efforts.   Prior to that Tony served as Managing Partner for Strategic Venture Partners, a venture capital firm which focused on corporate investors.


Prior positions include Principal and Executive Vice President for the Ignite Group; and positions with Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, and Ernest & Young Consulting.

Tony holds a BA in International Economics and an MBA in International Finance from UC Berkeley.

Komal Doshi
Director of Mobility Programs, Ann Arbor SPARK

Komal Doshi is a mobility expert, urban designer and design thinker. As the Director of Mobility Programs at Ann Arbor SPARK she works with existing and new startups to identify and solve challenges, engage stakeholders, and build new relationships to advance the growth of the mobility industry in the region.

In her previous role at SMART (Sustainable Mobility & Accessibility Research & Transformation) at the University of Michigan she co-developed the Mobi Platform, a global platform for mobility entrepreneurs and industry players. In addition she focused on the trends and opportunities that accelerate New Mobility and M-a-a-S (Mobility as a Service) implementation and related industry and economic development around the globe.

She has provided research and strategic consulting for organizations which include Ford Motor Company, Alcoa foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Mobile Lives Forum, Barr Foundation and Michigan Environmental Council. She has also been a jury member at prestigious international mobility innovation awards and mentored several startups at local and international mobility accelerators.

She has a Masters in Urban Design from the University of Michigan and Bachelors in Architecture from Sushant School of Art and Architecture in India.

Dr. Samit Ghosh
President & CEO, P3 North America

Dr. Samit Ghosh is President and CEO of P3 North America, Inc., the US arm of P3, an international management consulting and innovative engineering solutions company.  Since 2005, he has been responsible for leading the company’s growth in the US automotive industry, especially in the fields of vehicle electronics, connectivity, mobility and autonomous vehicles.

In his prior roles as a Principal and Executive at P3 offices in Germany, Canada and the US, Dr. Ghosh has worked with leading automotive companies in the fields of advanced propulsion systems (hybrid, fuel cell and electric), conventional powertrain and connected vehicle technology (infotainment, telematics, and autonomous).  He has been closely involved with the early mobility programs of top European and US OEMs and continues to be active in this field.

He is experienced in automotive product development, management processes, program management, technology and innovation management as well as international development cooperation, global expansions and transatlantic market entries.

Dr. Ghosh holds a Dr.-Ing. and a Dipl.-Ing. Maschinenbau degree (the German equivalent to a PhD and a Master in Mechanical Engineering) from RWTH University in Aachen, Germany.

He is a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers, German American Chamber of Commerce and the Alumni Association North America for RWTH University. He was awarded the Crain’s Detroit Business 40 under 40 award in 2010.

Doug Neal
Managing Director, eLab Ventures

Doug Neal has over 20 years of technology industry experience including founding, operating, board, investing, venture accelerator management and entrepreneurial education. After 15 years in California in a variety of leadership positions at Hewlett Packard and Symantec, he co-founded Mobile Automation, a mobile software security company which was venture-backed by Greylock and acquired by iPass Inc. in 2005.

As CEO of Mobile Automation, Doug was responsible for both operational leadership and the strategic direction of the company including key technology decisions, sales and fundraising. Under Doug’s leadership Mobile Automation grew at 75% CAGR for five consecutive years before being acquired.

In 2013 Doug co-founded eLab Ventures, an early stage venture fund focused on disruptive technology startups in the Silicon Valley and Michigan.  Doug serves on the board of Blue Medora, Akadeum and New Vital Signs as well as the Michigan Venture Capital Association board.

Doug is a regular lecturer at the University of Michigan in entrepreneurial studies, as well as a frequent guest speaker and panelist in the Michigan entrepreneurial ecosystem. He has a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Central Michigan University.

Dan Radomski
Chief Strategy / Operating Officer, Optimal Group

Dan Radomski is the Chief Strategy / Operating Officer for the Optimal Group, a consortium of small businesses and start-ups focused on product development, competitive business strategy, product benchmarking, and engineering.  Dan also serves as an advisor to the Lawrence Technological University Collaboratory, a program that helps accelerate and scale small manufacturers and innovators of new “hardware” products.

In his prior role as Vice President of Industry and Venture Development at NextEnergy, Dan led all market and technology analytic efforts to support the growth of early-stage and mature energy technology firms in areas such as wind, solar, advanced batteries, power electronics, vehicle electrification, smart grid, micro-grid, natural gas, and energy efficiency.  This included NextEnergy’s venture and incubator services, supporting the commercialization efforts of approximately 1,000 new developers of advanced energy technologies; and helping over 120 manufacturers successfully diversify into the clean energy supply chain.

Radomski frequently serves as an advisor, judge, mentor and committee member for regional and national accelerators and cleantech competitions including TechStars Mobility, CleanTech Open, Clean Energy Trust Challenge, Accelerate Michigan, DTE E-Challenge, Great Lakes Entrepreneur’s Quest, and the Michigan Clean Energy Venture Challenge.

Jim Rau
Principal, JL Rau & Associates

Jim Rau is CEO and Principal of JL Rau & Associates, a technology & quality advisory firm.  With over 50 years in the automotive business with TRW Inc., various TRW Business Units, and now in an Executive Consultation Advisory role with ZF-TRW, Jim brings a balanced contemporary view of the past, current and exploding market opportunities for new innovative products.

Jim has participated in many TRW new business development plans, start-ups, and joint ventures around the world.

Retired from TRW as Senior VP of Technology, Quality and Electric Powered Steering Systems, Jim is still involved in the growth of the automotive industry as a consultant with ZF-TRW.  He has served on the SAE International Board of Directors; has on-going business development projects; and supports the Mechanical Engineering Cooperative Engineering and Student Athletics Programs at Purdue University.

Kristin Schondorf
Executive Director, Automotive & Transportation Mobility, EY

Kristin Schondorf is an Executive Director at EY’s Advisory services practice, leading EY’s US Automotive and Transportation Mobility practice.  Kristin advises clients on the future of mobility and on smart city topics, bringing together innovation ecosystems and strategic frameworks to lead teams in defining and implementing new mobility business models as well as how to scale those businesses.

Kristin spent over 20 years at Ford Motor Company, where she served as the Global Lead in defining the company’s overall vision on the future of mobility.   Prior to that she worked in Ford’s Powertrain Division on product development processes, and in the Research & Advanced Engineering Group on near/mid- and long-term strategic technology plans.

Prior to joining EY, Kristin was Director of FCA’s Powertrain and Electrification Strategy, and of the company’s Fuel Economy and Greenhouse Gas Plan, providing direction for a fleet-compliant robust plan to meet future regulations in the most cost-effective manner.

Kristin is a member of the Smart City Council – Urban Mobility Task Force and a Board member of Michigan’s Planet M, a partnership to develop and deploy the mobility technologies driving the future. Recent media events include the 2016 and 2017 Automotive News Europe Congress and the 2016 Stora Bildagen in Stockholm.   She holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.