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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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • Dean Thomas
    SVP, Business Development

    Dean is the SVP of Business Development, responsible for strategy, sales, and revenue for the both the corporate and government business line. Dean brings over 15 years of experience in both the public and private sector working in the payments sector, Federal, State governments as well as nearly a decade on Wall St. Mr. Thomas brings trusted expertise in the corporate world at all levels of government with an unparalleled track record of delivering results.

    Prior to his work with Cortex, Mr. Thomas served as Managing Director at JNK Securities, a leading Instructional Securities firm. Prior to JNK, Dean served as the Director of Congressional Affairs for the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) in Alexandria, Virginia. While there, he developed and maintained many important relationships with key Members of Congress. Prior to his career at NBWA, Mr. Thomas worked in a variety of capacities for Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan. Mr. Thomas served as Political Director for Rep. Ryan’s initial Congressional election campaign in 2002 and quickly rose to legislative assistant once Rep. Ryan was elected. In 2007, Mr. Thomas became the office’s Senior Appropriations Assistant, primarily responsible for defense and energy issues associated with Rep. Ryan’s position on the House Appropriations Committee.

    Mr. Thomas earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Mount Union in 2002 and a Master of Public Policy Degree from George Mason University in 2010. Also, Mr. Thomas currently holds Series 7 and Series 63 licenses and previously held Top Secret security clearance.

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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.

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  • 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.

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Board of Directors

  • Vahe Sarkissian

    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.

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  • Shaunt Sarkissian

    See management team

  • Michael Walsh

    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 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.

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