Founder, Chairman and CEO of Rakuten
Hiroshi “Mickey” Mikitani is the founder, chairman and CEO of Rakuten, one of the world’s largest Internet companies. In 1997 with just a handful of employees, he launched the Rakuten marketplace. Rakuten has expanded beyond e-commerce to encompass a dynamic global ecosystem of 55 different Internet services companies as diverse as travel, banking, credit card, eReading, and professional sports. The firm has operations in 28 countries and customers all over the world with a market cap of over $17 billion.
Co-founder and board member of Trulia
Sami Inkinen, born and raised in Finland, is a serial technology entrepreneur, investor, data geek and recreational athlete during his limited spare time. Recently Sami was the President and Co-Founder of the online real estate marketplace Trulia that went public in 2012 and is currently pending a $3.5Billion acquisition. Sami serves on the board of three tech companies, mentors and advises other technology entrepreneurs – especially those focused on improving human health and performance. Sami is also a 6-time Hawaii Ironman triathlon finisher and triathlon world champion in his age group. His most recent summer vacation included an unsupported 4400km record breaking row across the Pacific Ocean from California to Hawaii with his wife.
CEO at Movida Japan, Founder and Chairman at GungHo
Taizo Son has worked fervently for the past 15 years to start new IT-related venture companies. In 2002 he founded GungHo, one of Japan’s most successful online gaming companies. Their flagship game Puzzle & Dragons is the world’s top grossing app for iOS and Android, making more than $100M in monthly revenues. With Movida Japan, a seed accelerator he founded in 2009, the aim is to significantly boost the venture ecosystem in East Asia by 2030. He also serves as an Advisor at SoftBank, a Japanese Telecom and IT conglomerate with more than 1300 subsidiaries and affiliates worldwide, founded and led by his brother Masayoshi Son.
Co-founder and CEO of Supercell
Ilkka Paananen is the CEO and co-founder of Supercell, the Helsinki-based mobile games developer behind Clash of Clans and Hay Day. In October 2013 Japanese companies Softbank and GungHo acquired 51 % of the company for a reported $1.5 billion. IIkka has been an entrepreneur in the games industry since 2000. Prior to Supercell, he was the CEO & co-founder of Sumea, which was later acquired by Digital Chocolate, where he worked as a President until 2010. In addition to his role at Supercell, Ilkka helps other entrepreneurs as a partner in Lifeline Ventures, an early stage investor. Ilkka is also an active member of the Helsinki-based startup community where he mentors and coaches other founders. In addition to games and entrepreneurship, Ilkka is passionate about ice hockey. Ilkka’s favorite games include old classics like Civilization and Command & Conquer.
Founder of Watsi
Before the age of 21, Chase traveled, worked, and studied in more than 20 countries around the world. He spent time in private sector intelligence in Washington, launched a national health program in Haiti, served in the Peace Corps in Costa Rica, and rode a motorcycle across Indonesia. In 2012 he founded Watsi, a nonprofit healthcare crowdsourcing platform, which enables individual donors to directly fund medical care for individuals in developing countries without access to affordable medical care. Today over 2000 treatments have been funded on their platform.
Co-founder and CEO of Truecaller
Alan Mamedi is the Co-Founder of the award-winning app Truecaller, the world’s largest verified mobile phone community. Truecaller has an extensive crowdsourced database of public, mobile, and even prepaid phone numbers.The app empowers users to block spam callers, identify incoming calls from businesses and individuals, and search for contact info and names of callers. Alan has overseen Truecaller’s incredible growth in the past year. In April 2014 Truecaller raised $18.8 million in funding led by Sequoia Capital.
Founder of RailsGirls and Hello Ruby
Linda is a programmer, storyteller and illustrator from Helsinki, Finland. Her proposed children’s book, Hello Ruby, is the most funded book on Kickstarter’s children’s book category with 380 000$ funding in total.
Linda is a central figure in the world of programming and has worked on edutech already before it was called that. Linda is the founder of Rails Girls, a global phenomenon teaching the basics of programming for young women all over the world. She has previously worked at Codecademy, a programming education company in New York with over 5 million users all over the world.
Further, she believes that code is the 21st century literacy and the need for people to speak the ABC of Programming is imminent. She believes our world is increasingly run by software and we need more diversity in the people who are building it.
Co-founder and CEO of Wooga
Jens founded Wooga in 2009. With around 50M active players per month, Wooga is one of the most popular mobile game developers in the world. Jens is enthusiastic about people, play and technology. Guiding a team of talented people to develop quality games fulfills one of his lifelong ambitions. Before creating Wooga, Jens was the Chief Product Officer & Member of the Management Board at Jamba (Jamster), where he aided the company in becoming a world leader in mobile entertainment products.
Astronaut, Head of Education at NASA
Leland is an American NASA astronaut and engineer. He flew two missions on the Space Shuttle Atlantis. After hanging up his space boots as the head of NASA Education he has served the White House. Leland was the United States representative and chair of the International Space Education Board (ISEB). After 24 years with NASA as a researcher, astronaut and Senior Executive Service leader he looks to share his stories of perseverance, and excellence to inspire communities for lasting positive change.
Principal Conductor of London Philharmonia Orchestra
A lauded composer and world-renowned conductor, Esa-Pekka Salonen has a restless innovation that marks him as one of the most important artists in classical music. Salonen is currently the Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Philharmonia Orchestra and Conductor Laureate for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where he was Music Director from 1992 until 2009. The 2014-2015 season will find him as the first-ever Creative Chair at the Tonhalle Zurich Orchestra, which has commissioned a new piece for orchestra and chorus from him and will perform nine other Salonen pieces throughout the season.
Co-founder and COO of BlaBlaCar
Nicolas is the co-founder & COO of BlaBlaCar. He leads the company’s international growth and operations. Naturally pragmatic, he uses fast iteration to uncover high-growth opportunities. Nicolas is a strong advocate of local teams and acqui-hire, a strategy he implemented to expand BlaBlaCar’s footprint to a global scale. He also led BlaBlaCar’s $100m financing. Nicolas started his career working for start-ups in Silicon Valley during the 2000 boom, moved on to executive and investor roles, and finally worked as a Venture Capitalist in London, before leading BlaBlaCar’s global expansion.
CEO of Saltside Technologies
Nils Hammar has 10 years of experience from fast growing international online businesses. He started his career in 2004 as one of the first employees at Skype, managing marketing and product management teams in Europe and the US. In 2007 he co-founded Kindo.com, a social network for the family, which was later acquired by top genealogy site Myheritage.com. In the summer of 2011 Nils became the founding CEO of Saltside. Nils holds a MsC from Stockholm School of Economics, the #1 ranked business school in Scandinavia.
Founder and CEO of Plain Vanilla Games
Thor Fridriksson founded Plain Vanilla Games in 2010. Plain Vanilla Games is a mobile game development studio that created the first multi-platform and real-time social trivia engine. They have released high-profile titles that include Twilight QuizUp and Nat Geo QuizUp before launching their hit social trivia game, QuizUp, the biggest trivia game in the world. Born in Reykjavik, Iceland, Thor holds a BS degree from the Reykjavik University and an MBA from the University of Oxford.
Founder of One Nordic Furniture Company
Joel founded One Nordic Furniture Company in 2012, steering the company from launch to exit in two and a half years. One Nordic was sold to Fab Inc. in 2014 in one of the largest deals ever made in the Finnish design sector. Joel currently works as the Executive Vice President of Products for Hem, a global design company with 200+ employees focusing on E-commerce sales of design furniture and accessories, and is an angel investor funding Nordic start-ups. On his free time Joel is an avid CrossFitter and runner, currently clocking 38 minutes for 10K.
CEO and Co-founder of Tictail
Carl Waldekranz, 28 years old, is the CEO and co-founder of Tictail. With the vision to build the worlds most used and loved e-commerce platform, Tictail has become the home to more than 50,000 online stores since its launch 2 years ago. The first store on the platform was Carl’s own mother, By Mutti, who is now accompanied by global brands like Cheap Monday and Lufthansa, and independent brands such as Transparent Speaker and Deadwood. Before Tictail, Carl cofounded and sold a digital agency called Super Strikers, as well as founded Keyflow, a mobile guest list app company. Carl’s previous work includes development of the Spotify, Wrapp and Bambuser brand identity.
CEO of CCP Games
Hilmar has been leading CCP Games’ ongoing success and growth since his appointment as Chief Executive Officer in 2004. Before his appointment to the CEO position, Hilmar held the title of Chief Technical Officer of CCP, heading the engineering effort required to create CCP’s persistent world technology and 3D engine. Prior to joining CCP in 2000, he served as the CTO of SmartVR, an OZ.com spin-off based on that company’s multi-user virtual reality technology following his tenure as the VP of software development for the OZ Studios division of OZ.com.
Partner at Digital Sky Technologies
After graduating from the Swedish School of Economics in Helsinki in 1993, John joined Goldman Sachs in London as a Financial Analyst. After 17 years at the company in different positions, he ended up leading the European Technology and Media investment banking department from 2005 onwards as a Partner of Goldman Sachs.
In 2010, John left Goldman Sachs to join DST Global, which is a growth-focused investment fund targeting founder-led category leaders in the internet and tech space. In the last five years, DST Global has invested more than $4 billion in companies such as Facebook, Alibaba Group, JD.com, Xiaomi, Flipkart, Spotify, AirBnB, Lending Club and many others.
Partner at Upfront Ventures
Steven has been a Partner at Upfront since its founding in 1996. Prior to Upfront, Steven was a Senior Vice President of Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette in the Investment Banking Division. He was also a member of DLJ’s Retailing Group for 14 years, where he provided advisory and capital raising services to more than 30 different retailers and numerous information technology companies. Steven focuses on investments in early-stage companies in Financial Services and Technology, Consumer, SaaS, and Big Data.
Partner at Sunstone Capital
Nikolaj is a serial technology entrepreneur and investor. He has founded four pioneering technology startups and is now a partner at the early-stage venture capital investor, Sunstone Capital.
Co-founder and managing partner at Almaz Capital
Alexander Galitsky is a Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Almaz Capital Partners. Alexander is a well-known entrepreneur and investor in Russia/CIS, Europe and USA. Prior to Almaz, Alexander formed the ICT investment practice at Russian Technologies, one of the first venture capital funds in Russia and founded five successful high-tech companies. Before becoming an entrepreneur, Alexander served as one of the top technical executives for the Soviet space industry, where he worked on the MIR space station and the Soviet “Star Wars” response. Alexander has been honored numerous times as the most influential person in the Russian IT and Internet industry by Forbes. Alexander serves on the Skolkovo Foundation Board and as Chairman of the advisor committee for Russian Venture Company.
Announcing more soon...
Founding Partner and CEO at Atomico, Co-Founder and Former CEO of Skype
Chairman of the Board of Royal Dutch Shell
Co-Founder & COO of Rovio
CTO of Alibaba Group
Co-Founder of Jolla
VP Growth at Spotify
Co-Founder of Soundcloud
Partner at Digital Sky Technologies
General Partner at Accel Partners
Partner at Index Ventures
Founder and Managing Director at Felicis Ventures
Prime Minister of Finland
President of the Republic of Estonia
Deputy PM of the Russian Federation
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