OCTANe Management Team

The OCTANe executive management team brings a wide range of technology industry experience to the day-to-day role of connecting people and ideas with capital and resources in Orange County’s dynamic technology ecosystem.

Photo of Bill CarpouBill Carpou, President & CEO

Bill has held many key positions at technology companies such as Xerox and IKON, and created distribution channels and customer solutions for products manufactured by Canon, Ricoh, and H-P. Both companies also provided an opportunity for Bill to lead distressed operations back to profitability and interact with investors, including several Wall Street investment banks. Additionally, he led several acquisitions and the creation of strategic partnerships. Bill was with Merrill Lynch earlier in his career, and more recently, held an executive position within The Blackstone Group, one of the leading global private equity firms. In that role Bill led the successful growth and transformation of a key portfolio company. He has broad sales and marketing experience and during 2014, worked with several startups to provide advisory services focused to revenue growth, and increasing both profitability and overall enterprise value.

Paul Symczak photoPaul Symczak, VP Entrepreneurship

Paul joined the OCTANe team in July 2013.  He is a seasoned senior management executive with diverse experience in the telecom, wireless, online, high tech and broadcast media industries. He is most recently the co-founder and operator of Prism Strategic Consulting LLC and has been actively involved with the CONNECT Springboard mentoring program – a sister organization to the LaunchPadTM SBDC.  Previously, Paul held senior business development, strategic alliances and operational positions with Verizon, GTE and Qualcomm, working in subsidiaries focused on leading edge and innovative products and services, and non-profit organizations, including serving as Senior Vice-President, General Counsel and Board Secretary for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in Washington DC authorized by Congress to promote and support the growth of public broadcasting in the US.  Paul’s education includes a J.D. from the George Washington University Law School and a BA in Economics from the University of Pittsburgh.

photo of Janelle BrunetteJanelle Brunette, Vice President, Operations

Janelle joined the OCTANe team in September of 2008 and focuses on signature event management for OCTANe’s Technology & Investor Forum (TIF) and Medical Device & Investor Forum (MDIF), annual membership, organizational finances, and other operational activities for the team. She also runs the OCTANe TalentEngine and assists in writing grants for OCTANe Foundation for Innovation, the company’s charitable arm. Janelle received her Bachelor of Business Administration from Loyola Marymount University (LMU), Los Angeles with a double emphasis in Business Law and Marketing.

photo of Christina AlexopoulosChristina Alexopoulos, Director of New Business Development

Christina joined the OCTANe team in March 2013 as the Director of Business Development and is responsible for OCTANe’s outreach efforts and recruitment of sponsors and new members. Prior to joining OCTANe, Christina worked in development for three and a half years at the Schmid College of Science & Technology at Chapman University where she focused on fundraising, outreach, and program marketing. She is currently Adjunct faculty in the Voice Department in the Hall-Musco Conservatory of Music in the College of Performing Arts at Chapman University. Christina received both her Bachelor of Science and Master of Music degrees in Vocal Performance from Mannes College The New School for Music in New York, NY. Christina taught voice in New York City public high schools through the Metropolitan Opera Guild’s Outreach Program and has performed in many concerts and opera’s in New York, NY, Florence, Italy, Helsinki, Finland, St. Petersburg, Russia, Los Angeles, California, the Baltic States and many more.

photo of Jennifer SyfersJennifer Syfers, Events Manager

Jennifer joined the OCTANe team in early 2012 and is responsible for producing OCTANe’s weekly program series. OCTANe’s weekly programs include Capital Connections, Innovation Series, Strategic Growth Series, Firstys, and select other private events. Prior to OCTANe, Jennifer was the Special Events Coordinator for Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce where she managed large events including the Taste of Newport and the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade. Jennifer received her Bachelor of Arts from Cal State Long Beach with an emphasis in Marketing.

photo of Jennifer SyfersJC Ruffalo, Manager of LaunchPad Services

JC Ruffalo joined the OCTANe team in June 2014 and is the Manager of LaunchPad Services. JC graduated from Chapman University Argyros School of Business in 2011 with a business administration degree with an emphasis in Entrepreneurship and Economics. Since his graduation he co-founded a small startup (Double Splash Media), which was involved with email marketing. After Double Splash Media, JC worked for LKQ, a large corporation that is the world’s largest supplier of automotive replacement parts, as a buyer and general manager.


  • Abbot Medical Optics
  • AcuFocus, Inc.
  • ADVI
  • Allergan
  • Alphaeon
  • Bioquest
  • Canada International
  • Chapman University
  • CORT
  • Covidien
  • Cresa
  • Deloitte
  • DevicePharm
  • Dorsey
  • Edwards
  • EY
  • Fleishman Hillard
  • ICON plc
  • Irvine Chamber
  • JLL
  • K&L Gates
  • Knobbe Martens
  • London Economic Development Corporation
  • Merage Institute
  • Micro Vention
  • Microsemi
  • Moss Adams
  • PWC
  • SC Edison
  • Stradling
  • SVB – Sillicon Valley Bank
  • TechSpace
  • Teijin
  • UC Irvine