Analysts & Staff

Management Team:

Ronald Schmelzer
Managing Partner, Principal Analyst

Kathleen Walch
Managing Partner, Principal Analyst


Ronald Schmelzer

Managing Partner, Principal Analyst, Cognilytica

 

Ron is principal analyst, managing partner, and founder of the Artificial Intelligence-focused analyst and advisory firm Cognilytica, and is also the host of the AI Today podcast, SXSW Innovation Awards Judge, founder and operator of TechBreakfast demo format events, and an expert in AI, Machine Learning, Enterprise Architecture, venture capital, startup and entrepreneurial ecosystems, and more.  Prior to founding Cognilytica, Ron founded and ran ZapThink, an industry analyst firm focused on Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA), Cloud Computing, Web Services, XML, & Enterprise Architecture, which was acquired by Dovel Technologies in August 2011.

Ron is a Parallel Entrepreneur, having started and sold a number of successful companies. The companies Ron has started and run have collectively employed hundreds of people, raised over $60M in Venture funding and exits in the millions. Ron was founder and chief organizer of TechBreakfast – the largest monthly morning tech meetup in the nation with over 50,000 members and 3000+ attendees at the monthly events across the US including Baltimore, DC, NY, Boston, Austin, Silicon Valley, Philadelphia, Raleigh and more.

He was also founder and CEO at Bizelo, a SaaS company focused on small business apps, and was Founder and CTO of ChannelWave, an enterprise software company which raised $60M+ in VC funding and subsequently acquired by Click Commerce, a publicly traded company. Ron founded and was CEO of VirtuMall and VirtuFlex from 1994-1998, and hired the CEO before it merged with ChannelWave.

Ron is a well-known expert in IT, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), XML, Web Services, and Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA). He is well regarded as a startup marketing & sales adviser, and is currently mentor & investor in the TechStars seed stage investment program, where he has been involved since 2009. In addition, he is a judge of SXSW Interactive Awards and served on standards bodies such as RosettaNet, UDDI, and ebXML.

Ron is the lead author of XML And Web Services Unleashed (SAMS 2002) and co-author of Service-Orient or Be Doomed (Wiley 2006) with Jason Bloomberg. Ron received a B.S. degree in Computer Science and Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and MBA from Johns Hopkins University.


Kathleen Walch

Managing Partner, Principal Analyst, Cognilytica

  

Kathleen is a serial entrepreneur, savvy marketer, AI and Machine Learning expert, and tech industry connector. She is a principal analyst, managing partner, and founder of Cognilytica, an AI research and advisory firm, and co-host of the popular AI Today podcast.

Prior to her work at Cognilytica, Kathleen founded tech startup-up HourlyBee, an online scheduling system for home services where she quickly became an expert in grassroots marketing, networking, and employee management.  Before that, Kathleen was a key part of the direct marketing operation for Harte Hanks managing large scale direct mail campaigns for clients including Bed Bath and Beyond and BuyBuyBaby.  Managing mailings with millions of records each month, she created efficiencies in the process saving thousands of dollars and days of processing time from each campaign. Kathleen then spent many years as the Content and Innovation Director for TechBreakfast, the largest monthly morning tech meetup in the nation with over 50,000 members and 3000+ attendees at the monthly events across the US including Baltimore, DC, NY, Boston, Austin, Silicon Valley, Philadelphia, Raleigh and more.  In addition she is a SXSW Innovation Awards Judge and AI / Hardware Meetup organizer.

As a master facilitator and connector, who is well connected in the technology industry, Kathleen
regularly meets with innovators in key markets and gets the opportunity to see the latest and newest technologies from game changing companies.

Kathleen graduated from Loyola University with a degree in Marketing.  In her spare time she enjoys hanging out with her husband and two young girls and working out – you can frequently find her on jogging paths and workout studios.