THE WORLD'S LEADING
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ON OUR STAGES.
Slush stage program is all about providing concrete advice for entrepreneurs.
John Collison is the President and Co-founder of Stripe, the software company that is expanding internet commerce by making it easy to process transactions from anywhere. John and his brother Patrick Collison started Stripe in 2010 while John was studying physics at Harvard. Their goal was to make accepting payments online simpler and more inclusive, after learning firsthand how difficult it was. Today, the 1500-person (and growing) Stripe team powers online businesses around the world.
Michele Romanow is Co-founder and President of Clearbanc: the fastest, most affordable way for founders to fund their business. Recently named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, Michele is a prolific investor who plans to invest $1 billion into 2,000 businesses this year and will continue to fund 8X more female-founded companies than traditional VC firms. As a “Dragon” on CBC’s hit show Dragons’ Den (Canada’s Shark Tank), Michele started five companies before her 33rd birthday and exited two before her 30th. She previously co-founded SnapSaves (acquired by Groupon) and was also Co-founder of Buytopia.ca, which acquired ten competitors including Shop.ca and WagJag.
Michael Moritz is a partner at Sequoia Capital, which he joined in 1986. He has helped Sequoia adjust to the profound changes in global technology and was one of the co-founders of its business in China and India as well as Sequoia Global Growth, a global technology fund; Sequoia Heritage, the firm’s single pool of globally diversified, long-term assets; and Sequoia Capital Global Equities, a public market fund. Michael has represented Sequoia on the boards of a number of companies including Yahoo!, PayPal, Google, LinkedIn, and Kayak; and younger businesses such as Instacart, Klarna and Stripe. Prior to joining Sequoia, Michael co-founded Technologic Partners and was a correspondent for Time, where he was the San Francisco bureau chief. Michael graduated from Christ Church, Oxford in 1976 with a MA in History and is an Honorary Student of the College. Together with his wife, Harriet Heyman, he has made a series of major donations to educational causes. He received a knighthood from the Queen of England in 2013.
April Underwood is a founding partner of the angel investing collective #Angels and a member of the board of directors for Zillow Group. Until 2019, April was the Chief Product Officer at Slack Technologies, Inc., a cloud-based software company that builds professional collaboration tools. Prior to joining Slack, April was Director of Product at Twitter from 2010 to 2015. Previously, April has held product, partnerships, and engineering roles at Google, Travelocity, and Intel.
April holds a B.B.A. in Management Information Systems and Business Honors from The University of Texas at Austin (2001), and an M.B.A. from The University of California at Berkeley (2007). April has received numerous honors, including Fast Company’s “Most Creative People” (2015), Fortune’s “40 Under 40″ (2016), and the highest alumni honor for professional achievement from The University of Texas at Austin, the “Outstanding Young Texas Ex Award” (2019).
Kevin Lin is a 2004 Yale graduate and Co-Founder of Twitch, a global community that comes together each day to create multiplayer entertainment: unique, live, unpredictable experiences created by the shared interactions of millions. Kevin was instrumental in the 2011 launch of the service when he joined Justin.tv in 2008. Kevin now leads Culture, Strategy, and Innovation, where he is responsible for new Twitch programs including original content and corporate strategy.
Lydia serves as a Partner at SoftBank Vision Fund L.P. and SoftBank Group Corp. since March 2019, where she oversees some of the world’s largest technology investments. Lydia joined SoftBank four years ago, leading and managing global investments in consumer internet and e-commerce companies. Lydia serves on the boards of Tokopedia and Coupang, the largest online marketplaces in Indonesia and South Korea, as well as, Fanatics, Fair, and Klook. Before joining SoftBank, Lydia was a Vice President and Senior Associate at M/C Partners. She joined M/C Partners on October 26, 2009 and was previously a Senior Associate at the firm. She focused on investments in a variety of media, communications and technology industry segments.
Alex Chung is currently the Founder and CEO of GIPHY, the people who bring you all the GIFs. Before founding GIPHY he was a Hacker in Residence at Betaworks and directed media technology for companies such as MTV, Viacom, Comcast, managed research for Paul Allen’s R&D lab, and started his career as a hardware engineer at Intel. He’s a serial entrepreneur whose past projects include The Fridge (a private social network acquired by Google) and several others backed by investors such as YCombinator, Mitch Kapor, Google, Intel, Yahoo, and others. He was named on Business Insider’s Top 25 most influential technologists in New York, Fast Company’s most creative people in business, Ad Age’s 50 most creative people of 2016, and has degrees in philosophy, computer engineering, and graphic design.
Tina Sharkey is Co-Founder of Brandless, a direct-to-consumer brand that makes hundreds of fairly-priced, high-quality items, consciously curated for every member of your family and room of your home. Tina was previously a Venture Partner at Sherpa Capital. She was Chairman and Global President of BabyCenter (part of Johnson & Johnson) and was a senior leader at AOL where she led Programming, Networks, Messaging and Community. Before AOL, Tina co-founded iVillage, built Sesame Street Online, and helped create a new home shopping channel for QVC. She is the Co-chairperson of the Brandless Board and additionally sits on the Boards of ipsy and Brit + Co, and is a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute.
In 2005, Sebastian Siemiatkowski co-founded Klarna in order to provide safe and smooth online payments. He currently serves as its Chief Executive Officer. Over the past decade, he has overseen the company’s rapid growth across Europe and North America. Klarna is a now fully licensed bank with over 60mn consumers, 130,000 retail partners and 2500 employees. Sebastian has received multiple awards for his leadership and holds a master’s degree from the Stockholm School of Economics.
In 2012, together with CEO Toni Petersson, John began to turn a 30-year-old maker of oat drinks, Oatly, into a global movement focused on the development of a more sustainable, plant-based lifestyle. By eliminating the marketing department and replacing it with the Oatly Department of Mind Control, his team of creatives has created a voice that often questions the role of companies and brands and has become instantly recognisable for its consistently inconsistent approach to encouraging people to take small steps in order to upgrade their lives and the sustainability of the planet.
Whitney Bouck joined HelloSign as COO in 2016, where she is responsible for growing and scaling the company in partnership with the CEO, CTO and the executive team. Before joining HelloSign, she ran the global marketing organization at Box and built Box’s Enterprise business from the ground up, helping pivot the company from being an SMB-oriented product. Whitney also spent 15 years with Documentum and then EMC (via acquisition) and held a variety of leadership positions, including CMO of the Information Intelligence division at EMC. Previously, Whitney held a variety of technology and leadership roles at both Sybase and Oracle. She was recognized in 2017 as one of the top 40 Women in Revenue, in 2015 as one of the World’s 100 Most Innovative CMOs, previously recognized with the Silicon Valley Women of Influence award in 2009 and received the Top 40 Under 40 award in 2003.
David Rogier is the founder and CEO of MasterClass, the streaming platform where anyone can learn from the best. Growing up, Rogier loved learning but struggled in school. Determined to reinvent the traditional learning model, he created MasterClass in 2015. MasterClass has since transformed the life-long learning category providing intimate access to the world’s best practitioners.
Rahul is Founder and CEO of Superhuman, the fastest email experience in the world. Superhuman users get through their inbox twice as fast as before — and many see Inbox Zero for the first time in years! Previously, he founded Rapportive, the first Gmail plugin to scale to millions of users. Rapportive was acquired by LinkedIn, where Rahul led email integrations. GQ once described him as “50% hair, 50% brain”.
Mada leads marketing as a co-founder of Branch, the mobile growth platform for today’s top companies, powering mobile linking and growth for over 40,000 apps and 2 billion monthly users around the world. Born and raised in Romania, Mada came to the US to study Electrical and Computer Engineering at Cornell University and then earned her Masters of Engineering and MBA from Stanford. Mada enjoys playing the latest viral mobile game, binge-watching the hottest sci-fi show, and photographing Branch events. Mada regularly speaks about mobile growth at top tech events like Websummit and Saastr, and she was included in Linkedin’s Next Wave, 150 top professionals in 15 industries all under 35.
Cameron Adams is Chief Product Officer and Co-founder of Canva, an online design and publishing tool which makes graphic design simple for everyone.
Since launching in 2013, Canva has grown to over 15 million users across 190 countries, with more than 1 billion designs created – that’s over 33 designs per second! Today Canva is growing from strength to strength, with over 600 team members working together on a mission to empower everyone to create beautiful designs.
Cameron is responsible for heading up the design and product teams, as well as playing a key role on future product directions and innovations.
Prior to joining Canva, Cameron ran his own successful design consultancy, before joining Google, where he found himself working closely with Lars and Jens Rasmussen (co-founders of Google Maps) to realise the design vision for Google Wave.
He then moved on to build email startup Fluent, before meeting Melanie Perkins and Cliff Obrecht and deciding to bring Canva to the world.
With a strong design background, Cameron has also authored five books on web design and regularly speaks at conferences around the globe.
In his spare time, Cameron enjoys spending time with his two kids, playing music or DJing. And you’re also likely to find him relaxing with a nice cup of hot chocolate!
David Simas is the Chief Executive Officer of the Obama Foundation. A native of Taunton, Massachusetts, he was appointed Deputy Chief of Staff to Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick in 2007. Simas then joined President Obama’s administration in 2009 as a Deputy Assistant to the President, working with senior advisors David Axelrod and David Plouffe. In 2012, he served as Director of Opinion Research for President Obama’s reelection campaign. Following the reelection, Simas returned to the White House as Assistant to the President and Director of the Office of Political Strategy and Outreach. Simas holds a B.A. in political science from Stonehill College and a J.D. from Boston College Law School. He serves on the national board of directors of OneGoal and lives in Chicago with his wife, Shauna, and their two daughters.
Claire is Co-founder and Chief Medical Officer of Ada Health, an AI-powered health guide that helps people understand their health and navigate to appropriate care. Ada also partners with healthcare payers and providers, supporting them in the delivery of quality, cost-effective care. Ranked as the number one medical app in over 130 countries, Ada has completed over 6 million health assessments worldwide and raised $67m of investment. Before founding Ada, Claire worked as a Paediatrician in London before specialising in Clinical Genetics. She has degrees in Pathology and Medicine as well as a PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Cambridge. Claire is also the founder of Doctorpreneurs, a global community for doctors interested in healthcare innovation and entrepreneurship.
Eric Liaw is General Partner at IVP. He is focused on later-stage investments in high growth companies across the enterprise software, Internet, and mobile sectors. Eric serves as a Board Director or Observer for IVP portfolio companies App Annie, Deputy, Glossier, The Honest Company, IEX, Lulus, MasterClass, NextRoll, The Players’ Tribune, and ZipRecruiter and led IVP’s investments in Datadog (DDOG), GitHub (MSFT), Klarna, and UiPath.
He previously served as a Board Director or Observer for Dropcam (GOOG), MINDBODY (MB), OnDeck (ONDK), RetailMeNot (SALE), Supercell (SFTBF), and Wikia (TPG). Eric holds a B.A. in Economics and an M.S. in Management Science and Engineering, both from Stanford University.
Eric was recognized by GrowthCap as one of the Top 40 Under 40 Growth Investors in 2018, which highlights exceptional private capital investors in the growth segment.
Chris DeWolfe is a serial entrepreneur with a track record for building global brands at the nexus of pop culture: social networking, mobile gaming, media, and technology. Having co-founded, helmed and sold MySpace for $580M when it was the highest-trafficked site in the US, Chris DeWolfe went on to create Jam City, a worldwide leader in mobile entertainment.
Founded in 2010, Jam City is one of the earliest entrants and leading players in mobile gaming, a $75B a year industry, with nearly two-and-half billion players globally. Over the past five years, Jam City has grown over 500% to more than $400M in annual revenue and has been increasingly profitable year over year. Jam City currently owns and operates nine game studios in five countries, with over 700 employees. The company has raised over $300M in funding from some of the industry’s biggest investors and banks.
The company is the creative power-house behind several of the biggest game titles including Cookie Jam, achieving over $650M in revenue to date; Panda Pop, which has over 125 million downloads; and Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, the #1 game in over 40 countries at launch in 2018. At any moment around the world, millions of players are enjoying Jam City games.
Jam City is also the go-to partner for Hollywood, having developed immersive, narrative-rich mobile games around iconic entertainment brands such as Harry Potter, Family Guy, and Frozen (launching in November 2019).
DeWolfe is a globally recognized entrepreneur. He was named one of TIME Magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world, Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year in 2015, and also received the Producers Guild of America’s Vanguard award. DeWolfe studied finance at the University of Washington, recently delivering the University’s School of Business commencement address. DeWolfe attended the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California, which honored him in 2006 with its Alumni Entrepreneur of the Year award. He also serves as an advisor at USC’s Center for Entrepreneurial Studies. DeWolfe resides in Los Angeles with his family.
Jessica is a Partner at Northzone, the leading European VC fund behind game-changing companies like Spotify, iZettle, Avito, Klarna, Trustpilot, Personio and Red Points. Since 1996, Northzone has backed over 140 companies and raised 8 funds, with over €1 billion under management. The fund has offices in Stockholm, London, New York and Oslo. Jessica‘s main focus is on e-commerce and consumer internet. Her portfolio includes Red Points, NA-KD, Matsmart, Klarna, Outfittery, Lemoncat and Fyndiq. Prior to joining Northzone, Jessica co-founded and was CMO of market-leading recipe-kit delivery service HelloFresh, spearheading the global marketing operations.
Jean-Eric Paquet has been appointed Director-General of DG Research and Innovation of the European Commission since 1 April 2018.
Mr. Paquet began his career in the European Commission in 1993 in the Directorate-General for Transport, in the International Relations area, and later as assistant to the Transport Director-General, Robert Coleman. In 1999 he joined the office of Mr. Verheugen (Member of the European Commission in charge of enlargement).
In 2002 he became the deputy head of the office of P. Busquin, a member of the European Commission in charge of Research policy. Mr. Paquet was EU Ambassador in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania between 2004 and 2007. He returned to transport in 2007 where he led the development of the Trans-European Transport Network policy. As Director for the European Mobility Network; he was responsible for Europe transport infrastructure policy and investment strategies, the single European rail area, inland waterways and port policy.
He joined DG Enlargement in November 2013 where he took over the Directorate in charge of relations with Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo. In January 2015 he became Director for Western Balkans, adding Montenegro and the FYROM to his portfolio.
In November 2015 he was appointed Deputy Secretary-General of the European Commission responsible for Better Regulation and Policy Coordination (economic governance, internal market and competitiveness, resource efficiency and employment, education and social policies).
Since she first joined the cryptocurrency industry in 2015, Meltem Demirors has been actively managing and leading investment firms, supporting and advising founders building early-stage companies, and leveraging her experience and network to accelerate the growth of the crypto asset class and the firms developing it. In her role at CoinShares, Meltem oversees strategy and focuses on developing private funds and investment vehicles. In addition, she serves as the managing director of the firm’s US operations.
From 2015 until 2018, Meltem led the Development team at Digital Currency Group. She advocates for a number of industry initiatives via her participation in the World Economic Forum Blockchain Council. She hosts a weekly podcast that explores the intersection of finance, history, and technology, called “What Grinds my Gears,” and the annual “Crypto Springs” conference in Palm Springs. Meltem holds a BA in Mathematical Economics from Rice University and an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management. She also actively lectures at the MIT Media Lab and the Oxford Saïd Business School.
The epitome of the serial entrepreneur, Hjalmar is a seven-time founder, having previously built and managed global technology companies such as Wrapp, Rebtel and Sendit. The world’s first mobile Internet company, Sendit, was later acquired by Microsoft in 1999. An early pioneer of the European tech ecosystem, Hjalmar has been at the forefront of technological innovation and disruption since the advent of the internet. Now a seasoned industry veteran, Hjalmar has a number of successful exits under his belt, including an IPO and two M&A deals with publicly listed companies, and Angel investments in the likes of iZettle and Epidemic Sound.
As a founding partner at EQT Ventures, Hjalmar launched the fund with the mission of creating global winners out of Europe and being the kind of VC that he would have wanted on his entrepreneurial journey. In pursuit of this goal, Hjalmar works closely with the most ambitious European founders, helping them to execute their visions. Providing portfolio companies with his sage advice, Hjalmar hopes to empower the next generation of entrepreneurs to come out of Europe.