InCrowd Capital's Executive Team

Phil Shmerling

Phil Shmerling


After graduating from Indiana University’s Kelley School of business with degrees in accounting and finance, Phil began his career working as an investment banking analyst with Morgan Keegan in the merger and acquisition advisory division.   At Morgan Keegan, Phil advised companies in sell-side and buy-side transactions in a broad range of industries including real estate, hospitality, restaurants, media, logistics, aerospace & defense and consumer products.  

After three years with Morgan Keegan, Phil moved to Nashville to serve as the Director of Retail at Choice Food Group, where he was responsible for all aspects of the retail division, including accounting, financial analysis, marketing, management, operations and purchasing, as well as vendor and customer relations.  In addition, he was responsible for identifying and executing projects for the retail division, as well as for Choice Food Group’s distribution and manufacturing divisions.  

In 2012, after close to five years with Choice Food Group, Phil started InCrowd Capital, an online fundraising platform that combines his previous experiences in finance with his passion for business and entrepreneurship.

Eric Grigorian

Eric Grigorian 

Founder, Alabama InCrowd, LLC

Eric has been living in Huntsville, Alabama since 1979 and calls Huntsville home.  He is 1983 and 1987 graduate of the University of Alabama in Huntsville with Bachelor and Masters of Science degrees in Electrical Engineering, respectively.  He has over 30 years of experience in design, development, integration, technical management, and operations in aerospace, defense and commercial industries.

Eric started his professional career at Intergraph Corporation. During his fourteen-year service, he gained valuable experience in several engineering disciplines, which included commercial and defense programs.  As an Executive Technical Manager at Intergraph, he was responsible for the initiation, product development, and integration of rugged COTS-based workstations for naval applications that even to-date, are still being maintained and supported.  

Eric has been engaged in several startups in Alabama, which include Applied Data Trends, Mole Town, Q-PC, and Arkitrol, and has served as Chief Engineer, Vice President of Product Development and Chief Operating Officer.  At Applied Data Trends, he was awarded for assisting with growth of the company, which was recognized by Inc. Magazine as one of the top 500 fastest growing companies.  At Q-PC, a company that was a pioneer in producing computing and telematics components for after-market and recreational vehicles and was recognized at Consumer Electronics Show in the new product category, Eric served as the COO and Vice President of Product Development.  Additionally, he has been active member of numerous professional organizations and has served as advisor and board member for several non-profit organizations.

Eric has received numerous awards and recognitions including 2006 IEEE Region 3 (Southeast US) Outstanding Engineer, 2004 IEEE-Huntsville Section Professional of the Year, and 2002 UAH Distinguished Young Engineering Alumni.


InCrowd Capital's Advisory Team

Dr. Jeff Cornwall

Dr. Jeff Cornwall

Inaugural Jack C. Massey Chair in Entrepreneurship and Professor of Entrepreneurship - Belmont University

Dr. Jeff Cornwall is the inaugural recipient of the Jack C. Massey Chair in Entrepreneurship and Professor of Entrepreneurship at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee.  He has a Doctorate in Business Administration and an MBA from the University of Kentucky.   

In the late 1980’s, Dr. Cornwall left academics for a nine year “sabbatical” to become the co-founder and President/CEO of Atlantic Behavioral Health Systems, headquartered in Raleigh, NC.  

Dr. Cornwall has received national awards for his work in curriculum development and teaching, and in 2013 he was named the National Entrepreneurship Educator of the Year by the United States Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship.  

He has published nine books and numerous articles on entrepreneurship.  His blog, The Entrepreneurial Mind, is among the most popular with a focus on small business and entrepreneurship.  The Entrepreneurial Mind is part of the Forbes blog network and was named by that magazine as a “Best of the Web.” It is also syndicated by The Christian Science Monitor and many other outlets.  

Antonio Montoya

Antonio Montoya

Founder, Rocket Hatch

Antonio is a serial immigrant and entrepreneur. He has lived in Europe, South America and the Caribbean but has called Huntsville home since 2003. He started his first business in college with his computer science professor developing software.  His second venture, a GIS consulting practice took him to the Caribbean and Central and South America. 

In 2000 he moved to Miami where he joined the dot com boom and sold high tech solutions to Latin America.  Antonio relocated to Huntsville to join the global product management team at Intergraph (now part of Hexagon) and later established and grew the local office for one of the leading geospatial services firms in North America where he was also head of marketing and demand generation programs.

Antonio is committed to grow the startup community in North Alabama. In 2014, Antonio founded Rocket Hatch ( to promote and support local entrepreneurs, and he serves on Huntsville's Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship reporting to Mayor Tommy Battle. Antonio has been co-founder, board member and advisor to several early-stage companies and consults with tech startups at

MIchael D. Shmerling

Michael D. Shmerling

Chairman, Choice Food Group, Inc. and XMi Holdings, Inc.

Mr. Shmerling is a native Nashvillian and a 1977 graduate of The University of Oklahoma, where he earned a Bachelor of Accountancy degree.  He began his career as a Certified Public Accountant (now “Inactive”) with the Nashville office of Ernst & Young, formerly Ernst & Ernst CPAs.  Mr. Shmerling currently serves as the Chairman of Choice Food Group, Inc. and XMi Holdings, Inc.

Mr. Shmerling has founded or co-founded five businesses since leaving the practice of public accounting, four of which were ultimately sold to publicly traded (NYSE or NASD) companies.  He has received numerous Nashville Business Journal Future 50 – as well as Inc. 500 Awards for companies in which he was involved.  In addition to this recognition, he received the Tennessee Society of CPAs – Outstanding CPA in Business and Industry Award in 1999.   In 2007, he was awarded United Way’s Alexis de Tocqueville Society Public Service Award.

Mr. Shmerling currently serves on the boards of non-profits, Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, Abe’s Garden, Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and chairs the TPAC Foundation.  He is currently a member of two public company boards – Renasant Bank (RNST) and Healthstream Inc. (HSTM) – and serves on the Audit Committee of each.