What is HitCheck?

HitCheck is the mobile app that helps you screen for signs of a concussion in minutes — anytime, anywhere — right from your smartphone. Designed for everyday use by parents, coaches, athletic trainers and active people of all ages, the app’s game-like tests measure brain functions affected by concussion and deliver real-time results so you can:

  • Make smarter return-to-play decisions
  • Share timely, personalized assessments with medical practitioners
  • Monitor recovery and track concussion history
  • Manage team or league records from your smartphone

Meet our Passionate Team of Doers, Builders and Thinkers

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Mike Piha

Co-founder/Chief Executive Officer

Mike Piha is our CEO and resident coach. Drawing on more than 20 years’ experience as a successful entrepreneur and multi-million dollar business owner in Silicon Valley, Mike is an idea shaper, play caller and team motivator.

One of Mike’s true life passions is coaching youth football. For more than 30 years, he’s volunteered his time to coaching and inspiring young athletes, many of which have gone on to play college and professional football. As co-founder of the NorCal Youth Football league, he has brought the game to more than 7,000 youth and in 2010, Mike was inducted into the American Youth Football Hall of Fame.

When Mike’s not building companies or volunteering on the field, you can find him racking up miles on his road bike, golfing with his two sons, enjoying the San Francisco city life or taking in a Giants game with his wife, Cheryl.

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Rod Beckstrom

Executive Chairman

Rod is an Okie who fell in love with technology and moved out to Stanford University, where he founded his first company.  He’s a serial entrepreneur and co-founder of numerous technology companies including CATS Software that he took public on NASDAQ as Chairman and CEO. He has also run non-profits (like ICANN) and worked for the U.S. Government running the National Cybersecurity Center.  He has worked and travelled in 77 countries.

He lives on the beach in Santa Cruz and tries to keep up with his wife on century bike rides like the Gran Fondo.  He also enjoys yoga and boating.

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Jake Benford

Co-founder/Medical Advisor

Jake is an ER and sports medicine physician who specializes in the diagnosis and management of concussions and serves as HitCheck’s medical advisor. Throughout his career he’s worked with multiple professional, college and high school athletic programs including the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers, the NBA’s Development-League Santa Cruz Warriors, University of California, Santa Cruz and Cabrillo College. After years of frustration with the lack of tools available to help evaluate and manage his patients’ concussions, Jake came up with the idea of gamifying concussion screening through a mobile app. He brought the idea to Mike and Rod and the HitCheck team brought his idea to life.

When he’s not wearing his stethoscope, you can find Jake shooting hoops with friends, chasing waves in Santa Cruz, snow boarding in Lake Tahoe or cooking with his family.

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Robert Lerner

Chief Financial Officer

Robert is a self-employed Consulting CFO to various companies in the software and related technology industries. He previously served in executive financial roles at public companies including Siebel Systems, Fortinet, Excite@Home (previously @Home Network), Sybase and Cypress Semiconductor, as well as with private technology companies including AlienVault and Aerohive.

He currently serves on the board of KeyPoint Credit Union, a $1 billion credit union serving Bay Area technology employees, as well as with the Peninsula Chapter of Amigos de las Americas.  He is also active in Financial Executives International (FEI). Robert earned his Bachelors Degree in Accounting from Marshall University and his MBA from Georgia State University.

Robert lives with his wife in Los Altos and enjoys cycling and travel.

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Jamie Norton

Chief Design Officer

Jamie brings 20+ years of branding and graphic design experience to the HitCheck team.  In recent years Jamie has provided branding and design services to companies such as Whole Foods Market, Whole Foods 365 Stores, Liberty Mutual, Global Animal Partnership, Panorama Meats, Nanosys and Modern Market.

A proud Boston native, (with an arguably unhealthy passion for the Patriots) Jamie has happily traded in his winter boots for flip-flops and warmer winters in Corralitos, CA.

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Liz Burkhart

VP Marketing/Communications

Liz brings more than a decade of strategic branding, marketing and PR experience to HitCheck, having most recently led global communications efforts for Whole Foods Market (FORTUNE 200 company and recent Amazon acquisition). Throughout her career, Liz has worked hand-in-hand with executive and VP-level leadership to drive business results through strategic, multichannel communications campaigns and has garnered more than 300 national news stories in top-tier outlets, including Wall Street Journal, Inc.com, Fast Company, Bloomberg News, The New York Times, ABC’s Nightline and The Motley Fool.

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Jordyn Rortvedt

Customer Service Specialist

Jordyn offered her services to help HitCheck baseline over 200 Colorado hockey players in the winter of 2016 and the rest is history!  With over 5 years of experience in the customer service industry and a passion for sports and fitness, Jordyn is the perfect ally for coaches and leagues working to baseline their athletes.  Jordyn is currently working towards her personal training certification –  and as a mom of 2, spends much of her time chasing down energetic little ones in Broomfield, Colorado.

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Jose Giemmattei

Operations Director - Applaudo Studios

Applaudo Studios is HitCheck’s nearshore software development provider with a focus in Native Mobile technologies. With 15+ years experience in IT services, Jose was a founding partner of Applaudo Studios in 2013.  His Customer Experience and Operations Management roles include management positions at Dell, Stream Global Services and TECNASA.   Jose is a member of the Forbes Technology Council.

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Carlos Pena

Project Manager - Applaudo Studios

Applaudo Studios is HitCheck’s nearshore software development provider with a focus in Native Mobile technologies. Serving Fortune 500 clients in the United States, Applaudo specializes in bilingual Android and iOS applications as well web and server development.

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Roberto Meardi

Development Manager - Applaudo Studios

Applaudo Studios is HitCheck’s nearshore software development provider with a focus in Native Mobile technologies. Serving Fortune 500 clients in the United States, Applaudo specializes in bilingual Android and iOS applications as well web and server development.

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Jaime Franco

Full Stack Developer - Applaudo Studios

Jaime is HitCheck’s lead software developer.  Prior to his role as Programming Analyst at Applaudo Studio, Jaime served as a Game Developer at inEarth Central, as well as a Unity 3D Developer and Project Manager at Kadevjo.

Advisors

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Craig Fiebig

Business Advisor

Craig is a VP/CMO with 20+ years of award-winning expertise in the software & technology industries. He delivered the design and execution for two of the fastest-growing products in Microsoft’s history, and lead Product Management for one of the company’s biggest business units, Microsoft Office. During his tenure at IBM, Craig drove one of the company’s largest Federal procurement wins at the time — and also held significant marketing leadership and advisory roles with tech start-ups, including Mozy, as they integrated with EMC post-acquisition.

Craig currently serves as a consultant to innovative start-ups, with experience that spans just about every technology niche and sales channel ranging from the mainframe to the PC; the LAN to the Internet; packaged consumer and enterprise software to e-commerce, cloud, and SaaS offerings. The scope of his responsibilities has encompassed everything from individual sales to global pricing/licensing strategy to innovative solutions for rural villages in India.

An avid skier, look for Craig slopeside if not at his home in Seattle, Washington.

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Geoff Wilson

Business Advisor

Former Chief Operating Officer, KPMG Asia Pacific; Member of KPMG’s Asia Pacific Executive Group; Board Member of the Australian Business Community Network; Board Member of Jawun Indigenous Corporate Partnerships; Board Member of the Sydney Festival; Member of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation Chairman’s Panel; Council Member of the Australian School of Business; Council Member of Knox Grammar School; Member Male Champions of Change; Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants; Fellow of Certified Practicing Accountants; and Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Former CEO of KPMG Australia.

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Jason Beatty

Technical Advisor

Jason advises HitCheck’s technical vision, influencing the company’s strategic direction, development of future growth and works in a consultative fashion with the founders. Jason has been a long-time entrepreneur who has successfully co-founded and sold several technology startups, he continues to build great companies as well as develop and manage the design and construction of useful, easy-to-use web-based products and technologies.

Jason will tell you that his extreme sport is taking great ideas and turning them into successful products, but he has well over 100 skydives, regularly takes his Ducati to the race track, mountain bikes the Santa Cruz redwoods and has been seen skateboarding the occasional pool (wearing a helmet).

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Werner Disse

Legal Advsior

Graduated from Stanford University (B.A., 1981; M.B.A., 1987) Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, England, B.A., Law, 1984; New York University, LL.M., 1985, formerly of Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones LLP in San Francisco, CA.

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Kal Patel, MD

Medical Advisor

Kal Patel is a seasoned healthcare executive with deep expertise and passion for digital health.  Kal was most recently Chief Commercial Officer for Doctor on Demand, now the nations largest video-medicine provider backed by Andreessen Horowitz, Venrock, Google, Qualcomm and other leading investors.  He built the companies go-to-market and commercial infrastructure and grew daily visit volume by over 3X over the past year.  Previously Kal founded and built Amgen’s Digital Health business unit where he had end-to-end responsibility for developing and commercializing a portfolio of digital products in connected devices, advanced algorithms/decision making and next-generation marketing where he launched multiple regulated devices.  Kal also serves as an advisor and/or consultant to various digital health start ups and established companies.

Prior to his focus on digital health at Amgen, Kal was the Global Marketing Lead for Enbrel, the companies leading drug with over $5B in sales where he created and launched major investments in novel clinical trials, innovative drug delivery devices, improved formulations and differentiated patient support programs.  Kal started his Amgen career as Head of Corporate Strategy where he built that capability from a nascent group into a robust organization with deep skills and expertise to support all major functional areas of the business.

Kal also spent several years at Novartis Pharmaceuticals in various sales, marketing and account management leadership roles.  He began his professional career at the Boston Consulting Group where he worked for a broad portfolio of Healthcare companies across the U.S. and Europe.  He was part of BCG’s prestigious Ambassador program which allowed him to transfer to the companies Budapest office and was also promoted early to Principal.

Kal received his MD, MBA and BA in Economics from the University of Chicago where he earned multiple scholarships and honors.  He enjoys traveling and great food & wine and (finally!) the joy of being a lifelong Cubs fan!

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Brian Jian, MD PHD

Medical Advisor

Dr. Brian Jian is a neurosurgeon who received his medical degree from University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and completed his residency at University of California San Francisco in 2012.  Dr. Jian is affiliated with the Kaiser Permanente Sacramento Medical Center.

 

 

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Davante Adams

Athletics Advisor

Davante Adams is a wide receiver for the NFL’s Green Bay Packers. He was 53rd overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft out of Fresno State.  Davante placed 2nd among all NFL receivers in 2016 with 12 TD’s and 997 yards receiving.

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Mike Mauti

Athletics Advisor

Mike Mauti is an NFL linebacker, most recently playing for the New Orleans Saints. He was the 213th overall pick by the Minnesota Vikings in the 2013 NFL draft out of Penn State.  The Louisiana native was named the Butkus-Fitzgerald Linebacker of the year in 2012.

Our Story

As a dad and youth football coach for more than 30 years, HitCheck CEO Mike Piha knew all too well that concussions can be serious business – especially if left untreated. What he couldn’t grasp is, why – despite the growing awareness and concern around concussions – he couldn’t find a practical, affordable screening tool to help parents and coaches like him detect them. He set out to find a solution.

As fate would have it, in the summer of 2016, Mike discovered a mobile app concept that he knew — with the right group of developers and tech experts — could change the concussion screening game.

Within months, Mike was sitting down with our executive chairman Rod Beckstrom, founder and CEO of several Silicon Valley tech companies, to get his advice on how to perfect the idea and bring it to the masses.

The duo quickly assembled a team of tech and medical experts to develop a fun, easy and scientific game-like assessment that anyone could use right from their smartphone. HitCheck was born and the rest is history.