Founder of Flashpoint — Merrick is the founder of Georgia Tech’s Flashpoint, a first-of-its-kind startup engineering(tm) studio that develops and produces exceptional technology startup companies. He is Georgia Institute of Technology’s first “distinguished professor of computing”. The GT “Threads” program in the College of Computing was his creation, and he is one of the three producers of The InVenture Prize, a live-broadcast tv show that NPR describes as American Idol for Nerds. Merrick is a co-founder of the internet security firm Damballa and is an early-stage fund investor. Prior to joining Georgia Tech, Merrick was the founder and CEO of Essential Surfing Gear, an internet software company, which was acquired in 2000. At the University of California at Berkeley he served as president and director of the International Computer Science Institute, and he established its Center for Internet Research. Prior to Berkeley, Merrick was a professor and associate dean in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. Merrick is an inventor, recipient of the first Presidential Young Investigator Award in computer science, and early creator electronic post-it notes, which were best-sellers on PCs. In Flashpoint’s first year, it worked with 68 founders, 31 teams, two cohorts, 45 mentors, $800k from the Flashpoint Investment Fund, organized 90 startup engineering sessions and six demos days in Atlanta, NYC and the Bay Area, and saw the new companies receive over $10 million in investments from Andreesen Horowitz, Bessemer Ventures, 500 Startups, Sigma Partners, FFv, ATA and many angels.