Cortex Banner

Cortex MCP™ was founded with the mission to be the backbone of all face-to-face mobile digital transactions. Our IP-protected platform is compliant with the new leading industry security models, while providing strong additional value and differentiation to our clients and partners.

Our solution conforms to the highest payment industry privacy and security standard, while reducing the institutional implementation barriers that have plagued all efforts to date. Cortex was founded in 2012 by highly seasoned payment and mobile commerce industry veterans, and is privately held.

Management Team

  • Shaunt M. Sarkissian
    Founder, President and CEO

    Shaunt is a seasoned payment industry veteran, and founder and visionary of Cortex MCP. Prior to Cortex, Shaunt was the VP, Strategic Business Development for ROAM Data, Inc. – the industry leader in Mobile Commerce and Mobile POS. At ROAM, Shaunt drove all key client acquisition and strategy opportunities for ROAM with key clients including PayPal, Groupon, Google and others. Shaunt was also the Founder and CEO of Sarkcom Corporation, where he drove the drafting of four innovative US patents which form the basis for the Cortex platform. He has also served in various Sales, Business Development, and Strategy roles with CyberSource, and FEI Company. Shaunt is also a member of the Cortex board.

    + expand
  • Rob Stringer
    EVP, Marketing & Product Development

    Rob thrives on bringing new business models into existing infrastructures. With over 11 years of experience identifying, developing, and executing innovative corporate growth strategies, Rob has a proven track record of bringing disruptive products to market successfully. Prior to Cortex, Rob headed up Marketing, Product, and Client Services for ROAM Data. He was responsible for all product roadmaps, marketing initiatives and client engagements for ROAM, helping them secure their series A and B rounds of funding. After graduating from Babson’s MBA program in 2002, Rob built a national direct sales channel for an existing catalog wine company growing it from $0 to over $10 million in 3 years. Rob is a Red Sox fan, and still cannot believe that Dave Roberts stole the bag.

    + expand
  • Michael Valasanyan
    VP, Engineering

    Michael is highly experienced in software engineering and project management, focused on product development and team management for Cortex MCP. Michael participated in building several startups and was fully engaged in all development processes including working with international teams. Prior to Cortex, Michael was software development team lead at IconApps and Ponte Solutions (Acquired by Mentor Graphics). Michael has a Master's Degree in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics from Yerevan State University.

    + expand
  • Armen Grigoryan, PHD
    Director, Engineering Development

    Armen is a highly experienced engineering and project executive, focused on the core development of the Cortex MCP platform and management of the product delivery/development teams. Armen is a veteran of several software and Mobile Application startups, and has built new teams both domestically and internationally. Prior to Cortex, Armen was Director of SW Development at Icon Apps, Celltroy Technologies, and Ponte Solutions (Acquired by Mentor Graphics). Armen has PhD in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics from Yerevan State University.

    + expand
  • Tom Koss
    Chief Financial Officer

    Tom is the Chief Financial Offer at Cortex MCP. A seasoned finance executive with both start-up and large scale operate experience, Tom joined Cortex with the enthusiasm and regard for the entrepreneurial spirit, and proven track record of enhancing enterprise value. Historical professional engagements included responsibilities as President of a quasi-holding and CFO of the closely held, vertically integrated, durable medical device company, Director of a start-up, automobile service company in the United Kingdom and twenty years as CFO and Director of Tax with a prominent, closely held residential real estate developer, real estate asset and property acquisition and management company. Tom has substantial references in the commercial and private debt and equities markets with numerous exposures involving the development of Private Placement Memorandums compliant with SEC regulations. Tom is a graduate of Arizona State University with a degree in Business and major in Accounting. His accounting career included service with Peat Marwick Mitchell & Co. as well as Ernst & Young where he was a manager specializing in real estate taxation. His is a licensed CPA.

    + expand
  • Gregory Rose
    VP, Business Development

    Gregory has an extensive background in enterprise software, including commerce, analytics, and mobile solutions. Most recently he was Sr. Dir. Product Strategy and Marketing at Opera Solutions where he managed productization initiatives for their big data analytics solutions. Prior he held executive positions at IconApps where he launched several successful iPhone apps and Integrien where he managed partnerships for their IT analytics solution (acquired by VMware). Greg holds a MBA from UCLA and a BS Industrial Engineering from Northwestern.

    + expand

Advisory Board

  • Dickson Chu
    Principal, DC Advisors

    Dickson is a 25-year technology and financial services veteran, and current Principal at DCAdvisors. Most recently Dickson was SVP Merchant Solutions at LivingSocial where he was charged with creating a new business unit to go beyond the ‘daily deal’. Prior to LivingSocial, he was Managing Director, Digital Payment Networks in the newly created Citi business unit. In this role, he had global responsibility for leading the development of new digital payments capabilities for mobile network operators and Internet companies delivering e-Commerce, m-Commerce and P2P payment services; he led Citi’s efforts to create and launch Google Wallet. Prior to joining Citi, Dickson held several positions at PayPal including VP of Global Product and Experience as well as General Manager of Global Merchant Services. In these roles, he led product strategy, development and user experience. Prior to PayPal, he was General Manager for Yahoo! PayDirect. Additionally, Dickson has held various senior management roles at companies such as I-Impact, Wells Fargo, and CSC Index.

    + expand
  • Paul Schaut
    Professional Board Director

    Paul is a serial CEO turned professional board director focused on bringing his experience to the board room and beyond in an ‘engaged’ board Director capacity.

    Paul’s background includes 30 years of sales, marketing, CEO and Board experience in technology, data (pre and post the Big Data era), and digital marketing companies. As an early Digital marketing executive and active thought leader in the convergence of technology / data and marketing, Paul brings a strong digital perspective to the board room of early, mid and later stage companies. All companies must embrace the digital world in many ways - Paul’s experience in leading and assisting forward thinking companies in the digital world has been very helpful to the boards he has served to date ... more than 16.

    The investors that have recruited and served on boards with Paul include Goldman Sachs, Oak Ventures, Benchmark, IDG Ventures, Canaan, Draper Fisher Jurveston, Grandbanks, and more.

    Prior to focusing exclusively on the Board role, Paul held several CEO roles and was actively engaged in more than a dozen M&A transactions, numerous fund raising events including an IPO and several strategic investment transactions. Paul has also been an active participant in providing an experienced sounding board for strategic review, corporate and business development outreach as well as executive recruiting.

    Paul’s portfolio approach to Board work – early, mid and later stage companies - allows him to maintain a keen awareness of technological innovation, market adoption and corporate evolution in the global adoption of data and technology driven marketing. This perspective compliments Paul’s 17 years of foundational board governance experience.

    + expand

Board of Directors

  • Vahe Sarkissian
    Chairman

    Vahe is a highly experienced technology executive, and provides valuable insight, guidance, and Board Leadership to Cortex MCP. Most recently he was the President, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer of FEI Company (NASDAQ: FEIC), a leading Nano—Technology Equipment Supplier to the Semiconductor and Lifesciences markets. Previously, he was President and CEO of Metrologix Inc., an electron beam metrology company that was acquired by KLA. Priorto Metrologix, Mr. Sarkissian was President and COO of SiliconValley Group, and was President and CEO of SVG Lithography Systems, a subsidiary of SVG. Prior to SVG, he was a Vice President of Data General Corp., where he managed the incubation of Actel and Power Integration. He has also held several technical and management positions with semiconductor companies, including AMD, and has served as a Board Director for several high tech companies. Mr. Sarkissian holds a BSEE from Northrup University and an MSEE from the University of Santa Clara.

    + expand
  • Shaunt Sarkissian
    Director

    See management team

  • Tom Koss
    CFO

    See management team

  • Michael Walsh
    Director

    With over 20 years of experience in the technology and financial services industries, Michael Walsh is the former President and Chief Executive Officer of Visa’s CyberSource Corporation. Michael joined CyberSource in 1998, prior to Visa’s acquisition of the company. He took over North American sales in 2000, and in 2004 was named senior Vice President of Global Sales & Services. After five years in this position, Michael was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer in January 2010.

    Michael played a key role in doubling the size of the CyberSource footprint in the payment space through the $660 million acquisition of Authorize.net in 2007. In 2010, he led negotiations that resulted in Visa’s $2 billion acquisition of CyberSource.

    Prior to working for CyberSource, Michael held sales and business development positions at Oracle Corporation and Merrill Lynch. He is a graduate of the University of California at Irvine, with a bachelor’s degree in political science.

    + expand