THE BRIGHTEST STARTUP MINDS
ON THE PLANET.
Our stage program is all about concrete advice for the growth-minded and entrepreneurially wired. Some of the most accomplished founders, experienced operators and successful investors that have shared their best-kept secrets with the Slush audience.
SOME OF OUR PAST SPEAKERS.
Take a look at some of our previous guest.
As Co-Founder and CEO of Eventbrite, Julia Hartz has helped drive the company from an innovative ticketing solution to a comprehensive event technology platform that today powers millions of events around the world. Since the company launched operations in 2006, Eventbrite has generated more than $10 billion in gross ticket sales.
Under Julia’s leadership, company culture and workplace performance has remained an integral part of Eventbrite, which now boasts over 1,000 employees in 11 countries across the globe. Eventbrite has been recognized multiple times on Fortune’s Best Workplaces lists, including the Bay Area (2017 and 2018), Women, and Millennials and was also named a best company to work for in San Francisco by the San Francisco Business Times the past nine years running. In the years since founding Eventbrite, Julia has been honored as one of Fortune’s 40 Under 40 business leaders (2015 & 2017), Inc.’s 35 under 35 (2014), Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs (2013), and has been profiled for her leadership and impact in top publications around the world.
Julia landed in Silicon Valley via Hollywood where she began her career as a development executive at MTV and FX Networks. In today’s digital age, Julia believes that real-life, human experiences lead to individual happiness and strong global communities. This belief continues to fuel her passion while running Eventbrite today.
Daniel Ek is the Chairman and CEO of Spotify, where he sets the company’s overall vision. Daniel oversees Spotify’s business and product strategies and is responsible for building a progressive, forward looking global organization. Daniel was born and raised in Stockholm, Sweden where he founded Spotify in 2006.
Martin Lau is the President of Tencent. Martin joined Tencent in 2005 as the Chief Strategy and Investment Officer and was responsible for corporate strategies, investment, M&A and investor relations. In 2006, Martin was promoted to President and managed the day-to-day operation of Tencent. In 2007, he was appointed an Executive Director of the board.
Prior to joining Tencent, Martin was an Executive Director at Goldman Sachs (Asia) L.L.C’s investment banking division and the Chief Operating Officer of its Telecom, Media and Technology Group. Prior to that, Martin worked at McKinsey & Company, Inc. as a management consultant.
Martin received his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan, a Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University and an MBA degree from Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University.
Dr. Werner Vogels
Dr. Werner Vogels is Chief Technology Officer at Amazon.com where he is responsible for driving the company’s customer-centric technology vision.
As one of the forces behind Amazon’s approach to cloud computing, he is passionate about helping young businesses reach global scale, and transforming enterprises into fast-moving digital organizations.
Vogels joined Amazon in 2004 from Cornell University where he was a distributed systems researcher. He has held technology leadership positions in companies that handle the transition of academic technology into industry. Vogels holds a PhD from the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam and has authored many articles on distributed systems technologies for enterprise computing.
Ilkka Paananen is the CEO and co-founder of Supercell, the Helsinki-based mobile games developer behind Clash of Clans, Hay Day, Boom Beach and Clash Royale. Since its founding in 2010, Supercell’s games have remained in the global top 10 years after launch. In June 2016, Supercell became the first European technology start-up to reach a valuation of $10 billion.
In addition to his role at Supercell, Ilkka helps other entrepreneurs as both an investor and as an active member of the Helsinki-based startup community where he mentors and coaches other founders. Alongside his co-founder Mikko Kodisoja, he has established the We Foundation to fight social inequality and help disadvantaged children in Finland.
As PayPal’s Chief Operating Officer, Bill Ready is responsible for product, technology and engineering at PayPal, as well as the end-to-end customer experiences for PayPal’s portfolio of brands. Bill came to PayPal with the acquisition of Braintree in 2013, where, as CEO, he and his team fueled the mobile commerce revolution by building one of the most innovative and influential startups in the payments industry. With its emphasis on mobile-first experiences, elegant tools for developers, and incredible customer support, Braintree developed industry-leading payment solutions that power many of the world’s most disruptive businesses, including Uber, Airbnb, Houzz and HotelTonight.
Prior to Braintree, Bill was executive in residence at Accel Partners, a leading Silicon Valley venture capital and growth equity firm. A veteran of the payments industry, Bill served as president of iPay Technologies beginning in 2008, guiding the company through a period of rapid revenue and earnings growth, and its sale to Jack Henry & Associates for $300 million in 2010. He also worked as a strategy consultant for McKinsey & Company, where he advised leading financial technology companies, and was an early engineer at two other successful start-ups: emphesys (merged with Humana in 2001) and Netzee (IPO November 1999). Bill holds an MBA from Harvard Business School where he was an honors recipient and a bachelor’s degree in information systems and finance from the University of Louisville.
Partner & Co-founder of Yes VC. Board member, Public Goods, Sundance. Formerly Co-founder of Flickr, Chairman of Etsy. Advocate for online community, social software, art, literature, myth and poetry.
Jacob de Geer
Jacob de Geer is a serial entrepreneur. Recognized as one of the most influential leaders in fintech, Jacob de Geer is co-founder and CEO of iZettle, a business headquartered in Sweden and named by The Financial Times as one of Europe’s most innovative and fastest growing companies. Under Jacob’s leadership, iZettle’s commerce platform has expanded into 12 markets in Europe and Latin America with more than 1000 new small businesses signing up to access iZettle’s financial and commercial tools each day. In May 2018, iZettle was acquired by PayPal for $2,2 billion, giving it access to millions of merchant relationships all around the world.
Jacob cut his teeth at performance marketing firm TradeDoubler. He was the first employee and helped to grow the advertising network to become one of the largest in Europe before its listing on the Swedish stock exchange in 2005. Jacob holds a Master of Science in Business Administration from the Stockholm School of Economics.
Alan Mamedi is the CEO and co-founder of Truecaller. Truecaller is one of the leading mobile communication applications in the world with services in caller ID, spam detection, dialer functionalities and payment, and has more than 250 million users globally. In this position, Alan focuses on product development and innovation, and charting the strategic roadmap for the company’s success.
To date, Truecaller has raised 80 million USD from Sequoia Capital, Atomico, and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
Corinne Vigreux is a Co-Founder of TomTom, the navigation technologies company that continues to create cutting edge technologies that solve mobility problems and address the challenges of autonomous driving and smart cities.
As one of the top fifty most inspirational women in European tech, Corinne champions women in the workforce and passionately advocates for improved social mobility through education.
She is a member of the supervisory board of takeaway.com NV and Groupe ILIAD, member of the supervisory board of the Dutch National Opera & Ballet and advisor to the Amsterdam Economic Board.
Corinne was made Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur in 2012 and knighted in the Royal Order of Orange-Nassau in 2016.
Niklas Zennström is CEO and Founding Partner at Atomico. He is an experienced technology investor and entrepreneur, having previously co-founded and managed globally successful technology companies including Skype, Kazaa and Joltid.
In 2006, Niklas founded the venture capital firm, Atomico, to help entrepreneurs, primarily from Europe, to scale their businesses globally. Atomico has partnered with and supported a growing number of highly successful technology companies, including Supercell, Klarna, Rovio, ofo and many more. It raised its fourth fund in 2016, which was the largest independent venture capital fund ever raised in Europe. In addition to overseeing Atomico’s strategy, he works closely with a number of founders of portfolio companies and sits on the boards of Rovio, Mapillary, Pipedrive, Lilium and Farmdrop. Niklas is most excited about founders that are solving major world problems using digital technology.
Prior to Atomico, Niklas co-founded Skype, which became the first truly global category winning online company to be founded outside the US. He has also co-founded and managed other globally successful technology businesses, including Kazaa and Joltid. Niklas helps support the European tech ecosystem as President of the European Tech Alliance (EUTA), a group of fast-growing tech companies that have all been built in Europe.
In 2007, he co-founded Zennström Philanthropies with his wife, Catherine. They invest strategically in two areas: human rights and the environment. Niklas focuses primarily on sustainability projects, supporting organisations that are tackling issues such as climate change and the state of the oceans. The foundation is also funding a professorship at Uppsala University to establish an academic environment focused on climate change leadership.
Niklas also founded the Race for the Baltic, a foundation for a well-managed and sustainable Baltic Sea, one of the most threatened major bodies of water in the world.
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.
Cal Henderson is the co-founder and CTO of Slack. He led the technical development of Flickr from its founding, pioneered the use of APIs, and created the basis for oAuth and oEmbed, now used by YouTube, Twitter, and may others. Cal has a Computer Science degree from the University of Central England.
Sonali De Rycker
Sonali De Rycker joined Accel in 2008 and invests in consumer internet, software and fintech businesses.
Sonali led Accel’s investments in Avito (acquired by Naspers), Lyst, Spotify (NYSE: SPOT), Wallapop, Calastone, Monzo, Shift Technology, Letgo (acquired by Naspers), Kry/Livi, Soldo, Hopin, and Sennder. Prior to Accel, Sonali was with Atlas Venture (now Accomplice). She also previously served on the board of Match.com (NASDAQ:MTCH).
Sonali is from Mumbai and graduated from Bryn Mawr College and Harvard Business School.
Holly Liu founded and exited the billion-dollar mobile gaming company Kabam. Her work has contributed to record revenue growth for Kabam from $0 to $400MM annually. She led the design for Kabam’s award-winning “Kingdoms of Camelot” franchise, grossing over $250 million in less than 4 years. Prior to that she was Kabam’s Chief of Staff and oversaw HR, culture and the talent experience for Kabam employees globally. During that time, she grew the employee base 500% in 3 years.
Mark Pincus is a serial entrepreneur, best known for founding Zynga in 2007 and taking the company public in 2011. Zynga is one of the most successful mobile social gaming companies in the world. To-date, more than one billion people around the world have played Zynga’s games, including the world’s largest social poker game, Zynga Poker; the world’s most popular mobile word game, Words With Friends; and the #1 Top Grossing Mobile Racing Game, CSR Racing 2. Zynga is also at the forefront of emerging chat-based platforms such as Facebook Messenger Instant Games and Apple iMessage Games, exploring new ways to engage audiences on these highly social platforms. Pincus currently serves as Zynga’s executive chairman.
In 2014, Pincus founded superlabs, a San Francisco-based product lab focused on developing products that connect and empower people, which was acquired by Zynga in 2015. Pincus also founded Zynga.org in 2009, a non-profit organization dedicated to using social games for social good.
Pincus also founded Tribe.net, a company he launched in 2003 and one of the first social networks in the industry, Support.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPRT), a help desk automation software, in 1997, and FreeLoader, Inc., a web-based news company, in 1996.
In addition to founding his own companies, Pincus is an active early stage investor in startups. He was an early investor in some of the Internet’s largest and most successful companies, such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, JD.com, Xiaomi, and Napster.
Pincus’ latest project is called Win the Future, a virtual political party that empowers people to choose their leaders and set the agenda, which he set up with Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn.
Brian Halligan is co-founder and CEO of HubSpot. Prior to HubSpot, Brian was a Venture Partner at Longworth Ventures and VP of Sales at Groove Networks, which was acquired by Microsoft. Previously, Brian was a Senior VP of Sales at PTC.
He has co-authored two books, “Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media, and Blogs” with Dharmesh Shah, and “Marketing Lessons From The Grateful Dead” with David Meerman Scott and Bill Walton. Recently, he’s been writing about how to turn your startup into a scale-up.
He was named a Top-Rated CEO by Glassdoor in 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2018. Brian was also listed by Comparably as one of the Top 5 Best CEOs for Women and for Diversity in 2018. He was named an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of the Year in 2011 and an Inc. Founders 40 in 2016.
Brian is a senior lecturer at MIT’s Sloan School Of Management where he teaches Course 15.392called “Scaling Entrepreneurial Ventures.”
In 2017, Brian donated $1.6 million to the Southern Poverty Law Center for Jerry Garcia’s guitar to support two things he cares deeply about: social justice and music. Around his hometown of Boston, his favorite charity is Camp Harbor View, serving over 1,000 youths from Boston’s at-risk neighborhoods through summer camp on Boston Harbor.
He has a BSEE from the University Of Vermont and an MBA from MIT’s Sloan School Of Management.
Elizabeth Stark is cofounder and CEO of Lightning Labs, where she is building a programmable financial layer for the internet with fast, scalable bitcoin transactions. She is a fellow at Coin Center, the leading digital currency policy organization, and an advisor at Chia, a company building a new cryptocurrency protocol based on proof of space and time. Stark previously taught at Stanford and Yale University about the future of the internet, and was a visiting fellow at Yale’s Information Society Project. She has advised startups ranging from decentralized technology to AI and was an entrepreneur-in-residence at Stanford StartX. Stark holds a J.D. from Harvard Law.
Carl Pei is Co-founder and Head of Global at OnePlus. Raised in Sweden, Carl built and currently oversees the global business of OnePlus. Founded in 2013, their debut smartphone, the OnePlus One, was hailed by TIME as the ‘phone of dreams’. In 2017, OnePlus has 5 flagship smartphones under its belt and has been the number one best selling device at Elisa, Finland’s leading network operator, for 7 months in a row.
Before co-founding OnePlus, Carl has been running different online content, community, and e-commerce ventures since the age of 12. Carl enjoys chocolate and ice cream, as well as chocolate ice cream.
Justin Rosenstein is the co-founder of Asana, the fast-growing work tracking app for teams. Asana’s mission is to help humanity thrive by enabling all teams to work together effortlessly. He’s also a featured author in Wavelength, an online publication for teams who aspire to do great things together—through a mindful, purposeful approach.
Justin has driven the development of products that billions of people use daily.
At Facebook, he co-invented features such as the Like Button and Facebook Pages. At Google, he managed several products in the communication/collaboration division including Google Drive, and helped create GChat. At Asana, he’s helped build one of the fastest-growing SaaS companies, most recently valued at $900M in Series D funding led by Al Gore’s Generation Investment Management.
Justin majored in Math and got part way through a Master’s in Computer Science at Stanford. He is a devoted student of yoga, meditation, and cats.
Flora Coleman has been at TransferWise as their global Head of Government Relations since early 2016. This follows a decade of senior political advisory work, including nearly three years as a Special Adviser in the UK. Flora has worked most policy areas but has a particular specialism in European politics and retail financial services.
Flora advises startups on political relations and is on the Steering Board of Coadec – the policy voice of startups. She is an Ambassador to the global campaign Transparency Taskforce. She believes we can only improve if we make our workforce more diverse. She’s working to deliver greater inclusion in politics, business, and technology through her involvement with Coadec, the TRG, Women2Win, TechHub, Women in Public Affairs and DevelopHer.
In 2019 she was nominated as the fourth most inspirational woman in UK public affairs, and one of the top five standout female policymakers and regulatory experts in fintech.
Casey Winters is a full time advisor and consultant to top tech companies like Eventbrite, Thumbtack, and Reddit. Casey recently was the growth advisor in residence at Greylock Partners, where he helped startups on their growth strategies and scaling challenges. Prior to Greylock, Casey led growth at Pinterest, helping kickstart international growth. Pinterest recently crossed over 200 million monthly active users. Yes, those annoying signup prompts are his fault.
Prior to Pinterest, Casey was the first marketer at Grubhub, helping the company grow from 30,000 users to over 3 million by leading acquisition and retention marketing. Casey is responsible for some of Grubhub’s worst performing ads, but definitely not its best. Grubhub went public in April 2014 and is now valued at $10 billion. Prior to Grubhub, Casey worked in online marketing at Homefinder and Apartments.com. Casey has a BBA in Marketing from Loyola University Chicago and an MBA from Chicago Booth, but he isn’t like those other MBA types. He blogs, not as well as most, at caseyaccidental.com.
Together with Hans Rosling and Ola Rosling, Anna Rosling Rönnlund founded Gapminder in 2005. Gapminder’s mission statement is to fight devastating ignorance with a fact-based world view everyone can understand.
She designed the user-interface of the famous animating bubble-chart tool called Trendalyzer, used by millions of students across the world, to understand global development trends. The tool was acquired by Google, and Anna worked at Google in Mountain View, CA as a Senior Usability Designer 2007 to 2010. At Google Anna improved search results for public data, developed data exploration tools for Public Data and made a bubble tool gadget (Motion chart) in Google Spreadsheets. In 2010 Anna came back to Gapminder to develop new free teaching material. Anna is now Vice President and Head of Design & User Experience at Gapminder. She also sits in the Gapminder Board. Anna holds a Master’s Degree in Sociology and a Bachelor’s Degree in Photography.
Anna founded Dollar Street, the biggest systematic image bank with representative home documentations based on data. At the moment we have almost 30 000 photos and 10 000 video clips, which are free to use under Creative Common license.
Mr. William Li is the founder, chairman and CEO of NIO. In November 2014, Mr. Li founded NIO with the goal of building the first User Enterprise in the world and to redefine the whole car ownership experience.
Mr. William Li is a serial entrepreneur. He established Bitauto Holdings Ltd. (NYSE: BITA) in 2000, where he serves as the Chairman of the board of directors. Bitauto is one of the biggest providers of online content and marketing services for China’s automotive industry. While he was still studying at Peking University, he founded Beijing Antarctic Technology Development Co., Ltd, one of the earliest internet companies in China. Mr. William Li has co-founded and invested in over 40 companies in the internet and automotive industries.
Mr. Li was recognized by Sina Finance, People’s Daily and Wu Xiaobo’s Channel in January 2018 as one of the “2017 Top 10 Economic Personages of China.” Mr. Li was named GQ Magazine’s “Entrepreneur of the Year” in 2017. Mr. William Li was recognized by the China Automobile Dealers Association in 2008 as one of the top 10 most influential people and distinguished people in China’s automobile deal industry in the past thirty years.
Mr. William Li was born in Anhui, China. He received his bachelor’s degree in sociology from Peking University where he minored in law.
As Vice President of People & Culture at Reddit, Katelin is passionate about building scalable, inclusive institutional cultures. First introduced to the notion of intentional cultural development at Pixar Animation Studios, she studied alongside the storytellers that would ultimately change the course of her career. From film to tech (and a few interesting layovers in between) the one common denominator behind Katelin’s career has been to enable people to create beautiful, innovative products by building a culture of belonging.
Damien Hooper-Campbell is eBay’s first Chief Diversity Officer and has deep expertise as an agent of change within the technology and finance industries, non-profit sector and academia. He is responsible for leading the design and implementation of eBay’s strategy for embedding diversity and inclusion across its global workforce, workplace and marketplace. He also leads eBay’s University Recruiting & Programs team.
Prior to eBay, Damien served as Uber’s first Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion where he helped to set the company’s foundational Diversity and Inclusion strategy and led its community engagement efforts with the City of Oakland, CA. Before Uber, he advised Google’s senior leaders and built partnerships within the Black community as a Diversity Strategist within the company’s Diversity team. Prior to Google, Damien coached Goldman Sachs’s senior-most leaders as a Vice President in its Pine Street Leadership Development Group. Prior to Goldman Sachs, he led underrepresented minority outreach for Harvard Business School’s Admissions Board and empowered Harlem’s non-profit community as an Associate Program Manager at the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone Development Corporation (UMEZ). He also completed the Investment Banking Analyst Program at Morgan Stanley.
Damien has served on the Board of New Jersey Needs You and as a mentor in Morehouse College’s Executive Mentorship Program. Recently, Damien was selected for Ebony Magazine’s Power 100 List. He graduated with a B.A in economics from Morehouse College and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, where he was both a Bert King and Morgan Stanley Fellow.
Katarina Berg joined Spotify as Chief HR Officer in 2013. She heads up the company’s global HR, Strategy Operations, and Workplace Solutions departments, leading the people strategy development and execution in the transition from startup to a mature international company.
Before Spotify, Katarina held high-profile HR roles in various multinational companies, such as Preem, Swedbank, Kanal 5 (SBS Broadcasting) and 3 (Hi3G Access)
As well as catering to the people needs of a diverse, nimble and ever-changing organization, Katarina is also focused on building teams and reinventing processes to establish an environment where creative and passionate people can be their very best, have fun and develop great careers.
Katarina also serves on the board of directors of recruitment tech startup Sqore, and the advisory board of directors for Swedish fitness magazine Topp Hälsa.
Outside work Katarina loves to spend time in the archipelago. When she is not eating her way into new cultures or cooking for friends and family, she dreams of the days back when she traveled the world whitewater rafting.
Pärson has been a general partner at Northzone since 2004. At Northzone, his primary areas of focus are disruptive businesses in consumer internet, health and fintech. His portfolio includes multi-billion dollar exits in market-defining companies such as Spotify, iZettle and Avito, as well as Pricerunner, Jasper, Videoplaza, and current companies like fuboTV, Spring Health, Play Dots and others. He appeared several times in Forbes’ Midas List.
Before joining Northzone, Pärson ran his own investment firm and was a consultant at McKinsey. He holds an MBA from the Stockholm School of Economics.
Julia is a
People Operations professional with experience in attracting and engaging global talent in fast-paced organizations. Currently, she is leading Global HR Operations & working as HR Business Partner at Smartly.io. Smartly.io automates every step of social advertising to unlock greater performance and creativity and they are serving more than 650 brands worldwide, including eBay, Uber and TechStyle. They are growing fast and have a global team of 350 + people across 13 different cities.
As the co-founder and CEO of VSCO, Joel leads the company on its mission to equip, educate, and inspire anyone on the journey toward realizing their creative potential. Joel and his co-founder Greg Lutze combined their passions for photography and technology to build VSCO in 2011.
Prior to founding VSCO, Joel was a successful commercial and wedding photographer. A Bay Area native, Joel is deeply involved in the local Oakland community.
Llewellyn is the Co-founder and President of African FinTech company, OVAMBA. Ovambo connects African SMEs to sources of short‐term capital to fund their growth. She has a talent of overseeing strategy, business development & investor relations globally. She and her team created a proprietary, culturally sensitive algorithm to measure SME risk within the African context. Ms. Llewellyn is on the Board of Directors of ActivSpaces, AH Partners, European Women in Payment Network and the International Women’s Think Tank. Ms. Llewellyn has spent over 15 years in management, consulting, technology and the alternative finance sector.
Arlan Hamilton is a remarkable entrepreneur who built a venture capital fund from the ground up, while homeless. She is the Founder and Managing Partner of Backstage Capital, a venture capital firm dedicated to minimizing funding disparities in tech by investing in high-potential founders who are people of color, women, and/or LGBT. Started in 2015, Backstage has now invested nearly $5M into 100 startups led by underestimated founders and has been featured in Forbes, Fast Company, Fortune, Wall Street Journal, CNN Money, Inc., Entrepreneur, and Quartz.
Arlan entered the venture investing world from an unconventional path. Before launching Backstage Capital, she authored the groundbreaking blog “Your Daily Lesbian Moment”, which she grew to a monthly readership of 50,000 fans worldwide. She has written for AOL, SuicideGirls, and Curve Magazine, and founded and published the internationally distributed indie magazine Interlude. Arlan was also a live music production professional, having served as a tour coordinator to numerous international artists including Toni Braxton, and Jason Derulo.
In 2018, Arlan co-founded, along with Investment Partner Christie Pitts, Backstage Studio, a new venture studio designed to build products, services, and initiatives that serve the mission of eliminating underrepresentation in tech by empowering founders and their teams to succeed. Backstage is a fully-remote team that has quickly scaled to 17 employees working together with an ever-expanding roster of world-class mentors and partners. Arlan and Backstage Studio were the subjects of Season 7 of the popular Gimlet Media podcast, StartUp.
Joel Spolsky is the CEO and co-founder of Stack Overflow, the place where millions of developers go to learn, share their knowledge and advance their careers. Stack Overflow has become the most trusted developer resource on the Internet and currently serves more than 40 million programmers every month. Joel is also the founder of Fog Creek Software, Trello and previously worked at Microsoft – where he designed VBA as a member of the Excel team.
Joel is also a world-renowned speaker and has written four books, including User Interface Design for Programmers and Smart and Gets Things Done: Joel Spolsky’s Concise Guide to Finding the Best Technical Talent. His personal website, Joel on Software, has been popular with developers around the world since its inception in 2000 and has been translated into over 30 languages. Joel graduated from Yale University with a Computer Science degree.
THEY JOINED IN 2019.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Martin Varsavsky is a serial entrepreneur, a professor and an investor who has founded 10 companies in the United States and Europe in the last 25 years. In 2015, Martin founded Prelude (now Inception), a $ 200-million fertility treatment company. Prelude promotes fertility preservation and genetic testing to dramatically improve people’s chances of having healthy babies when they are ready. In 2017, Martin founded Overture Life, a global startup backed by Khosla Ventures, Marc Benioff and Allen & Company. Overture aims to revolutionize embryology focusing on the automation of in vitro fertilization. In 2018 Martin founded Goggo Network, a startup that is developing the legal and engineering framework of the European autonomous mobility networks of the next decades. Martin is currently Chairman of Prelude and CEO of Overture Life and Goggo Network.
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!
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).
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.
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”.
Peter Reinhardt is Co-founder and CEO of Segment, the Customer Data Infrastructure company. Founded in 2011 in the dorm rooms of MIT, Segment has raised over $284 million from top investors including Google Ventures, Accel and Meritech Capital, and is now used by thousands of companies around the world. Segment has also been named one of Forbes’ next billion-dollar startups, and Peter was named in Forbes’ “30 Under 30” list in 2015.
Dax Dasilva is the creative mind behind Lightspeed, Never Apart, and Age of Union. Founded in 2005, Lightspeed develops a cloud commerce platform used by retail and restaurant customers in over a hundred countries. The company’s mission is to bring cities and communities to life by powering independent business. Lightspeed employs over 800 staff located in eight cities and has raised $292M USD from Accel Partners, iNovia Capital, Investissement Québec and the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec. The company went public in March 2019 on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol LSPD, becoming one of Canada’s top 10 technology IPOs. Dasilva’s debut book released in May 2019, Age of Union: Igniting the Changemaker, brings leadership, spirituality and environmental guardianship together with themes of identity, diversity, cultural expression, and individual empowerment to ignite the impactful changemakers that the world needs now.
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.
Sophia Bendz is a Partner at Atomico focusing on Nordic sourcing activities. Based in Stockholm, she is passionate about helping founders with communications and marketing strategy and scaling their brand. She also leads the Atomico Angel Programme. Sophia was the Global Marketing Director at Spotify from 2007-2014, where she built out a strong consumer brand from scratch, while launching and marketing the service globally. Today she is an active angel investor, especially in femtech startups including Daye and Clue. She serves as a Board Director at Avanza, Kindred Group and non-profit organization Race For The Baltic.
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.
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.
Sid Kouider is Founder and CEO of NextMind, a neurotech startup created in 2017, developing the next generation of brain-computer interfaces. Sid will be unveiling the world’s first brain-sensing wearable that gives users the ability to control devices with their mind in real-time. This new groundbreaking technology uses noninvasive brain sensors together with machine learning to translate brain signals into digital commands, making it easier for end-users to interact with computers and AR/VR headsets. As a recognized global authority on cognitive neuroscience, Pr. Sid Kouider has spent more than two decades pursuing his passion of exploring and gaining a deeper understanding of the human brain. His work has been published in TIME, The Washington Post and Le Monde as well as in a variety of peer-reviewed journals such as Science and Nature communications. NextMind raised $4.6 million in seed funding from BPIFrance, Nordic Makers and technology entrepreneurs such as David Helgason, Founder and former CEO of Unity Technologies, and Sune Alstrup Johansen, Founder and former CEO of The Eye Tribe (acquired by Oculus/ Facebook).
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.
Markus Villig is Founder and CEO of Bolt (formerly Taxify), the leading European on-demand transportation platform that’s focused on making urban travel easier, quicker and more reliable. Bolt’s services range from ride-hailing to micromobility and food delivery. It serves 25 million customers across 30 countries around the world. Markus teamed up with his brother Martin, ex-Skype, to build the first version of Bolt in 2013 when he was 19 years old. Markus has been featured as the youngest tech CEO in Forbes Europe 30 under 30 list and is the youngest founder of a billion-dollar company in Europe.
Diane M. Bryant is a global technology leader with more than three decades of executive leadership in the global semiconductor industry, enterprise IT solution development and deployment, and cloud computing services. Bryant served as the Chief Operating Officer of Google Cloud from 2017 to 2018, where she focused on accelerating the scale and reach of Google Cloud’s business, including optimization of the global supply chain, acceleration of customer adoption, and development of next-generation information technology solutions. Prior to Google, Bryant spent 32 years at Intel, the last five years as Group President of Intel’s Data Center Group, the worldwide organization that develops server, storage and network platforms for the digital services economy, growing it to $19 billion in revenue in 2017.
CEO of Eligo Bioscience – MIT TR35, Tech Pioneer and Young Global Leader by World Economic Forum, Forbes 30U30, PhD in Synthetic Biology in co-supervision between MIT and INRIA.
President of Hello Tomorrow and Deeptech Founders. Angel Investor. Ants and whisky lover.
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.
Patrick Pichette has 25+ years of financial and operating expertise. He has led world-class companies like Google, McKinsey, and Sprint Canada to break through the complexities of ‘hyper growth’. As CFO at Google from 2008 to 2015, he took an active part in the creation of the Alphabet structure. Patrick was actively involved in Google’s extensive corporate M&A agenda, engaging in close to 200 acquisitions, including Nest ($3B) and Motorola ($13B).
After departing Google, Patrick served as a board member of Bombardier and Twitter. In addition, he has been an independent investor, advisor and board member to a number of startups around the world, including Zoona (Sub Saharan Africa), OkHi (Kenya), Boosted Boards (Mountain View), and Arctoris (UK), among others. Patrick graduated with a Master of Arts in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford in 1989 and with a BBA from UQAM in 1987.
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.
Joe came to Boom with significant experience in the aerospace industry. He played engineering and leadership roles on aircraft and certification programs at Hawker Beechcraft, Adam Aircraft Industries, Eclipse Aviation, and ICON Aircraft, and he has been an early employee at three aerospace startups. At Adam, he was Chief Engineer of the Adam A700 light jet. In addition to his work on several experimental and military projects, Joe has led development of several passenger aircraft from clean sheet through FAA certification.
Alex Gladstein is the Chief Strategy Officer at the Human Rights Foundation and a guest lecturer at Singularity University. He has also served as Vice President of Strategy for the Oslo Freedom Forum since its inception in 2009. In his work Alex has connected hundreds of dissidents and civil society groups with business leaders, technologists, journalists, philanthropists, policymakers, and artists to promote free and open societies.
Alex’s writing and views on human rights and technology have appeared in media outlets across the world including The Atlantic, BBC, CNN, Fast Company, The Guardian, Monocle, NowThis, NPR, Quartz, TIME, WIRED, The New Republic, and The Wall Street Journal. He has spoken at universities ranging from MIT to Stanford, presented at the European Parliament and U.S. Department of State, and participated in Singularity University events from Berlin to Johannesburg, where he lectures about the future of money, democracy, and the surveillance state.
Edith is CEO & Co-founder of LaunchDarkly, the leading feature management platform. Edith has more than 20 years of experience in product, engineering and marketing with both consumer and enterprise startups. Most recently she was Product Director at TripIt and Concur. She holds two patents in deployment from her time in engineering at Vignette. She is a contributing writer to DZone, DevOps.com, and ReadWriteWeb; and cohosts the “To Be Continuous” Podcast with Paul Biggar, CircleCI founder. Edith earned a BS in Engineering from Harvey Mudd College.
Bernard joined Balderton as a Partner in 2008. He was named Managing Partner in 2016. Bernard Liautaud founded Business Objects in 1990 and was CEO for 15 years then Chairman until January 2008. With 6,700 employees, 45,000 customers and $1.5 billion of revenue in 2007, Business Objects was the world leader in Business Intelligence and one of the 15 largest software companies in the world. Business Objects was the first European software IPO on Nasdaq in 1994. In January 2008, Business Objects was acquired by SAP for $6.8 billion, making it the third-largest software acquisition at the time. Bernard is now a member of the Supervisory Board of SAP. He also served as a member of the Board of Trustees of Stanford University from 2013 to 2018. He is now a member of the Stanford Global Advisory Council to the President.
Sujay is CEO and Co-Founder of Frontier Car Group (FCG), a Berlin-based, emerging markets-focused automotive marketplace. FCG has raised $175M+ from Naspers, Balderton, and TPG Growth. Prior, Sujay was a partner at Kingsway Capital, a London-based emerging-markets focused fund. Sujay was on the founding team of Hired.com (a talent marketplace) as its COO, which now operates in Australia, Europe, and the US. Before Hired, Sujay entered Harvard at age 15, before leaving with a Thiel Fellowship. Sujay was named one of Forbes’ 30 under 30 and one of Goldman Sachs’ top 100 intriguing entrepreneurs in 2016 and 2018.
John Lindfors is Managing Partner at DST Investment Management, the investment adviser of DST Global funds. Over the last several years, DST Global has invested in companies such as Facebook, Alibaba, JD.com, Didi, AirBnB, Spotify, Xiaomi, WhatsApp, etc. and manages more than $12 billion. John joined DST in 2010 and has been based in Hong Kong since 2011. Prior to joining DST, John was the Partner in charge of the European Technology and Media Investment Banking department for Goldman Sachs. He joined Goldman Sachs in 1993 and worked in London and New York during his 17 years at the firm.
Sarah is Partner at Index Ventures’ San Francisco office, working with companies that are defining the future of work, including Slack and Pitch. She is most interested in productivity, analytics and automation.
Prior to Index, Sarah was at Alphabet’s CapitalG, and before that she was a Policy Advisor on the National Economic Council at the White House during the Obama Administration. She also worked as a consultant at McKinsey & Company and spent a year in Ghana as a Fulbright Scholar. Sarah received a B.A. in Ethics, Politics and Economics from Yale College, an M.P.A/I.D. from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. Sarah is a Term Member at the Council on Foreign Relations.
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.
Derek Haoyang Li
Derek Haoyang Li, the Founder of Squirrel AI Learning, is a serial entrepreneur who has 20+ years of experience in the Chinese K 12 education industry and also co-founded Only International Education, which was the first educational organization in the A-share stock market in China. Squirrel AI Learning is the leading AI+ education innovator at the forefront of K12 AI revolution. Within 4 years, Squirrel AI Learning has established more than 1,800 learning centers in China and hosted the first series of human-vs AI competitions in the Asia-Pacific region and proved the AI’s success. Squirrel AI Learning is included in the TOP 20 Chinese artificial intelligence Unicorn companies and the Deloitte technology fast 50 China in 2018. Squirrel AI Learning is included in the MIT Review TR50.
Dr. Andreas Weigend is the author of “Data for the People”. He was the chief scientist at Amazon. He coached Jack Ma on Alibaba’s data strategy. In 2018, Angela Merkel appointed him to Germany’s Digital Council.
As advisor and consultant, he helps organizations ask the right questions, leveraging data and analytics. His clients include airlines, banks, telcos, fashion retailers, and healthcare companies.
Andreas studied physics and philosophy in Karlsruhe, Cambridge and Bonn, before moving to Stanford for his Ph.D. in neural networks. He teaches courses on AI and Data Science at Stanford, Berkeley, and in Asia.
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.
Ophelia is Founder of Blossom Capital, an early-stage venture fund that brings a wholly differentiated approach to investing. Blossom makes a small number of high conviction investments each year, which allows the team to work closely with their companies, helping them achieve their ambitious goals. Fascinated by user behavior and design, Ophelia loves worked with founders with strong product DNA and design-oriented teams.
Ophelia is also Founder of ALT “Ambitious Ladies in Tech” – a mentor program that matches junior women in technology start-ups with senior functional leaders to provide them with valuable coaching, skills development, and networking. The network includes executives from some of the world’s leading tech companies like Amazon, Airbnb, Facebook, Google, Uber and many more
Previously Ophelia was a GP at LocalGlobe and a principal at Index Ventures where she led investments into a number of outstanding companies like Typeform and Robinhood. Blossom Capital’s portfolio includes travel startup Duffel, payments company Checkout, rental marketplace Fat Llama, brand management platform Frontify, deep learning and AI development platform Spell, and monitoring and security protection platform Sqreen.
With 20 years of experience in music, entertainment, and gaming, Eros has honed his expertise to build businesses at all stages of growth. Most recently Eros was a founding executive at San Francisco based start-up Discord, the largest communication platform for gaming communities and beyond. Previously, he was a Partner at YouWeb, a Silicon Valley -based accelerator where he invested in and advised start-ups.
Prior to YouWeb, Eros was SVP of Marketing and Developer Relations teams at GREE, a role he held through the acquisition of OpenFeint where he was a founding executive. He’s held similar roles at a number of companies including Hewlett Packard and Real Arcade. In addition to his expertise with startups, Eros is a performing musician and founding partner of San Francisco’s independent label Los Kamikaze Records. Eros is currently managing his own angel fund and advising a number of early-stage companies throughout the world.
Aerospace engineer and entrepreneur, Oscar Pierre, 26, is CEO and Co-founder of Glovo. He began his studies at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. After two years, he moved to Georgia Tech, in United States, to explore better opportunities. After graduating, he began his professional career as aerodynamics engineer at Airbus, at his base in Toulouse. After 6 months he decided to look for new challenges and dedicate to creating a new business. Glovo began in early 2015. Previously, while studying, Pierre had already founded Zikkomo.com, a solidarity platform with 30 children sponsored in Malawi, and LoveItLocal.es in 2014, a market destined to boost local craft businesses. In January 2017, he was on Forbes magazine’s 30under30 annual list of most influential young people.
Mika Salmi is a serial entrepreneur whose work life has been primarily around discovering and nurturing talent. Mika has searched for talent in numerous industries and has discovered Grammy and Oscar winning artists (Nine Inch Nails), created the first online short video company (AtomFilms), ran the largest casual games web sites (Shockwave/AddictingGames), built one of the first sports tracking apps (MadRaces) and pioneered new business models in education (CreativeLive). Entrepreneurs are Mika’s favorite kind of talent and he enjoys helping them realize their ideas and dreams for their startups. He has done this working with Accel, Raine, and Sequoia. Mika is currently a Partner with Lakestar a top global VC based in Europe.
Sofia is Founder of Future Positive Capital, a new venture firm seeking Europe’s boldest entrepreneurs who use advances in artificial intelligence, robotics, synthetic biology, genetics, and other deep technologies to solve problems such as feeding the world’s growing population sustainably, tackling climate change and coping with an ageing population. Her investments includes Ynsect – the global leader in alternative protein supply, Meatable, who are pioneering the next generation of lab-grown meat, BioBeats, the world’s first unified computational platform for preventative mental health and What3Words – the global multi-award winning location technology company, providing unique 3-word identifiers for any location.
At the intersection of entrepreneurship and investment, her career has encompassed tech innovation throughout with stints at Index Ventures, Europe’s top venture capital firm, and Deezer, the worldwide digital music service, where she was in charge of international expansion.
Sofia has been recognised by Forbes as “30 Under 30”, by the World Economic Forum as a “Global Shaper and is part of Founders Forum.
Cara Brennan Allamano
Cara has deep experience scaling HR operations, recruiting, and learning & development at fast-moving, global companies. Prior to joining Udemy, she was SVP of People at Planet (formerly Planet Labs) and previously served in HR leadership roles at Pinterest, Efficient Frontier, Young and Rubicam, and Knight Ridder, among others. Cara is also co-founder of PeopleTech Partners, a group of HR leaders working to bring new HR/recruiting technologies to market. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Kentucky, holds a master’s degree from the University of San Francisco, and completed graduate studies at Stanford University.
Antoine Hubert is Ÿnsect’s Chairman, CEO and Co-founder. He also chair the cooperative insect industry association, the International Platform of Insects for Food and Feed (IPIFF) and is Board Member of Agrocampus Ouest, Agriloops and LFD. Prior to co-founding Ÿnsect, Antoine worked on scientific projects in environmental risk assessment, biomass and plastics recycling. He is an agronomy engineer graduate from AgroCampus-Ouest and AgroParisTech. Together with Alexis, he co-founded Worgamic non-profit association and the companies OrgaNeo and Agriloops. He is also member of Choiseul 200 and Galion association.
Avi Meir is CEO and Co-founder of Barcelona-based TravelPerk, the next-generation platform for booking, managing and optimising all stages of business travel: flights, hotels, trains, expenses – everything.
Interested in tech from a young age, Avi started coding when he was 12, and continued to develop his engineering credentials throughout his early career. It was in and early role as operational manager at Charles de Gaulle Airport, however, that he first discovered an interest in the travel industry; and quickly spotted the opportunity to draw on his life-long love of technology to modernise much of the out-dated practice in travel.
Avi sold his first company, Hotel Ninjas, to Booking.com, after just two years – and by that stage he knew his next challenge was to tackle the huge disparity in user-experience between the leisure and business travel sectors. He and his co-founders set out to transform the whole end-to-end business travel experience for both travellers and administrators through state-of-the-art technology, consumer-level design and a revolutionary business model that is 100% free. Four years into business, TravelPerk is on track to complete bookings for 1 million business travellers by the end of 2019, experienced 700% YOY growth in 2018, has expanded to a team of 260, and has raised almost $75 million from some leading global investors.
Linda is currently General Partner at growth VC firm Luminar ventures. Previously Linda was CFO at Klarna in Europe and Grab in South East Asia. Before this she was CFO at Electronic Arts Games Europe 2006-2010 and game developer Dice in Sweden 2002-2006. She has also been an entrepreneur in the mobile space and started her career in Goldman Sachs London.
Linda has a strong passion for supporting growth and driving company development, both through the finance function and working close to the business and operations overall. She has been part of several growth journeys building unicorns and knows what it takes to scale. Linda is born and raised in Stockholm Sweden.
Elsa is Co-Founder and COO of Karma. Elsa is passionate about creating a motivated high-growth organization to galvanize the first zero food waste generation. Karma now has 55 employees globally, who have the collective goal to lead the way to a truly circular economy and ultimately solve global food waste.
Since launching, Karma’s 700,000+ users have diverted an average of 450 tonnes of edible food from landfill and reduced CO2 levels caused by food waste by 680 tonnes. In it’s Series A funding, Karma raised $12 million to expand its mission to counteract food waste across the globe.
Andrea Barrica is CEO and Founder of O.school, a judgment-free media platform to learn about sexuality and pleasure. As a queer woman of color, she’s been fighting to bring more humanity to the tech industry, and her mission is to create the world’s most trusted sexual wellness brand to help people increase their sexual health, power, and confidence. Previously, Andrea co-founded the leading financial solution for growing startups, inDinero.com, which now employs 150+ employees globally. She also served as a venture partner at 500 Startups, a global venture capital fund, where she worked with hundreds of startup companies.
Andrea was raised in a religious, conservative Filipino family that only taught abstinence and she only had fear-based sex education in public schools. Seeking support and information, Barrica could not find reliable resources and experienced harassment online. Determined that no one else should have to struggle like she did, Barrica launched O.school in 2017 to change the way people learn about sexuality.
Jan received his PhD on superconducting quantum circuits in 2017 from TU Munich and continued as a Postdoc in Helsinki at Aalto University. Helsinki is a great hub for quantum technology, which allowed him to receive a Marie-Curie Fellowship from the EU H2020 program. In addition, he has been working for the local Quantum Computer Project, where 8 research groups and the State Research Center VTT are co-developing a quantum processor. Based on these efforts and together with three co-founders, Jan has been spinning off a company, IQM Finland Oy. Since February 2019 he is the CEO of IQM and the company is now expanding their operations on the research campus in Espoo (Helsinki area). IQM’s is to developing a fast lane for quantum computer using innovative technology for 2nd generation quantum processors.
Robert Falck is the CEO and Founder of Einride, a tech start-up bent on the sustainable transformation of the transportation industry, developing an intelligent road freight system based on all-electric, autonomous trucks, or “Einride Pods”. Before founding Einride in 2016, Mr. Falck was a director of manufacturing engineering assembly at Volvo GTO Powertrain. He has helped founded several start-ups.
Mr. Falck holds a M.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering, a B.Sc. in Economics and finance, and a B.Sc. in Business.
Ethan Smith is Founder and CEO of Graphite, a premier SEO and growth marketing agency based out of San Francisco. Ethan has served as a strategic advisor to Ticketmaster, MasterClass, Thumbtack, and Honey. Prior to founding Graphite, Ethan held executive roles in product management and marketing. He is recognized as a leading expert in SEO and growth marketing, and regularly speaks and publishes in Venturebeat, Market Watch, and INC. Ethan graduated from University College London with an MSc in Human-Computer Interaction where he performed academic research featured in ACM and the Behavioral Economics Guide.
Dr Remo Gerber, Chief Commercial Officer at Lilium, has extensive leadership experience in hyper-growth startups from Gett, the ride hailing company where he was MD for Western Europe, to Groupon where he was COO for Northern Europe. Before this he spent four years at McKinsey & Co., having completed a PhD at the University of Oxford.
Sophie Adelman is Co-founder and President of WhiteHat, a tech scaleup on a mission to create a diverse group of future leaders. They are doing this by building an outstanding alternative to university through apprenticeships. WhiteHat focuses on three core area; giving employers a framework for measuring potential outside of academics and work experience through their platform; bringing incredible content from around the world into applied learning programmes; growing an apprentice community to enable young people to build social capital and strong professional networks. In the UK, WhiteHat is at the forefront of enabling companies to hire and train a diverse group of future leaders in the technical skills they need.
Prior to joining WhiteHat, Sophie was Head of EMEA Sales at Hired (www.hired.com), a US tech startup that has a marketplace approach to recruiting focusing on technical talent. Sophie joined Hired as General Manager UK, with responsibility for all sales, candidate management and operations, and then managed the integration of a French startup acquisition before taking on the Head of Sales position. Previously Sophie worked for Lord Jacob Rothschild at RIT Capital focusing on Strategic Investments, including the venture portfolio, and as an Associate Consultant at Egon Zehnder International. She started her career at Goldman Sachs in Debt Capital Markets.
Paul is a Partner at Northzone, the leading European VC fund behind game-changing companies like Spotify, iZettle, Avito, Klarna, Trustpilot, Personio and RedPoints. Since 1996, Northzone has backed over 140 companies and raised 8 funds, with over €1 billion under management. Paul is focused on consumer and entertainment, as well as enterprise applications. His portfolio includes TIER, Thirty Madison, Klang, and Bunch. Prior to Northzone, Paul founded and was CEO of mobile games company Dots in NYC, and built and invested in companies at betaworks, the startup studio behind companies such as Poncho and Giphy.
Jean-Luc di Paola-Galloni
Jean-Luc di Paola-Galloni joined Valeo in 2007 as CEO’s delegate and member of the Executive Committee, before becoming Group Corporate VP in charge of Sustainable Development and External Affairs in 2010. Serving as Vice-Chairman since 2009 for the European Road Transport Research Advisory Council (ERTRAC), the main automotive technology platform on collaborative research of the EU Commission, Jean-Luc is also a member of the Board of its cPPP European Green Vehicle Initiative (EGVI).
In 2018 he was elected President of Artemis-IA, the European association representing the embedded systems industry and research actors in the ECSEL Joint Undertaking (the Joint Technology Initiative on Electronic Components and Systems of the EU) for which he is the Chairman of the Private Members Board. Additionally, he is representing the Valeo group in the Board of CLEPA (the European Association of Automotive Suppliers) since July 2018.
Jean Luc’s commitment to establish fair relationships between the automotive industry and international bodies, with a multi-stakeholder approach, is also reflected by his engagement as a member of the Corporate Partnership Board (CPB) of the International Transport Forum (ITF), the formal mechanism of the OECD and associated countries’ transport ministers to engage with the private sector.
Finally, he is also representing Valeo in the selection and investment committee of the Fonds Avenir Automobile (FAA) within the French state-owned Banque Publique d’Investissement (BPI). Jean-Luc was previously advisor to the CEO of Gaz de France (2002 – 2004) and has research experience in the field of defense, international relations and strategic affairs since he has been a scholar of Harvard University, Ecole Normale Supérieure and Institut des Hautes Etudes de Défense Nationale.
Phil is co-founder and chief executive at Peakon. Prior to Peakon, Phil was head of technology at some of Europe’s most successful startup businesses, including Gumtree, Qype, and Podio. After joining Citrix through the acquisition of Podio in 2012, he went on to lead the company’s GoToMeeting product line. He now enjoys daily interactions with Peakon’s customers – incorporating this knowledge into a long-term vision that has so far created one of the most unique and impactful analytics products in the HR market.
Lawrence Leuschner is the CEO & Co-Founder of TIER Mobility, the leading European shared micro-mobility service.
Previously Lawrence was the CEO and Co-Founder of reBuy, Europe’s leading online electronics and media retailer.
Guillaume Pousaz is Founder and CEO of Checkout.com a leading global payments solution provider. Its mission is to change the way businesses interact with financial services and build the future of banking. Guillaume founded Checkout.com in 2012 and bootstrapped the business until its record-breaking Series A fundraiser earlier this year. Checkout.com currently has over 400+ employees, spread across nine offices globally.
Ingvar is the founder and Chief Executive of VitroLabs, a start-up leading the way in the biomanufacturing movement, creating lab-grown leather from cow, ostrich and crocodile cells that’s indistinguishable from traditional leather, ethically made, environmentally friendly and cruelty-free.
His interest in design led to his first venture, Ostwald Helgason, a fashion brand that he co-founded in 2006. He went on to co-found Woah, a cloud platform for apparel companies, helping brands and manufacturers speed up processes, reduce waste and improve profitability. In 2016, he co-founded VitroLabs to focus on the intersection of biotechnology, engineering, and sustainability.
Luciana Lixandru joined Accel in 2011, where she focuses on enterprise software and consumer internet companies.
Luciana led Accel’s investments in Deliveroo, UiPath, Framer, Tessian, Miro and is on the board of Vinted. Luciana also helped lead Accel’s investments and ongoing work in Avito, Wallapop, Algolia, and Doctolib.
Prior to Accel, Luciana worked at Morgan Stanley and was also an investor with Summit Partners.
Luciana is from Romania and graduated in Mathematics and Economics from Georgetown University.
Vinted’s CEO Thomas Plantenga was born and raised in the Netherlands. In 2016, Thomas flew from New York to Vilnius to share his knowledge with the Vinted team. He planned to stay for 5 weeks but never flew back to New York and instead helped Vinted through a successful transformation. Over the past 7 years, Thomas has lived in: Amsterdam, São Paulo, Buenos Aires, Nairobi, Cabarete, Barcelona and New York. Now, as CEO at Vinted, he splits his time between the headquarters in Vilnius and the office in Berlin, helping to make Vinted a global success and second-hand fashion the first choice worldwide.
Inés is Deliveroo’s Chief Marketing Officer, focused on driving Deliveroo’s global growth and building customer loyalty across our 13 markets. Inés joined Deliveroo in January 2019 from Treatwell, Europe’s number one marketplace for hair and beauty bookings where she held the role of Country Manager for Spain and CMO before being appointed as Chief Customer Officer. During this time Inés led the creation of a strong data and technology led marketing team focused on driving faster growth through brand creation, customer experience and creative excellence. Prior to Treatwell, Inés worked as CMO for Groupalia, the leading daily deals company in Spain, operating across Spain, Italy and South America.
Matus is both an experienced entrepreneur and venture capital investor. Co-founder and Executive Chairman of Pirate Studios – the world’s largest chain of music rehearsal studios, fully autonomous and live streaming equipped. Involved since inception with Threads – the pioneering chat-based ecommerce platform.
As an investor he has led or closed over 50 private equity and venture capital deals. Matus enjoys early stage investing, working closely with the entrepreneurs. Matus represents (or did in past) Talis on various boards for companies such as Onfido, iwoca, Pirate Studios, Threads, Import.io, eporta, Narrativ, Price f(x), Plum Guide, and others.
Matus is passionate about world changing technology companies and spending time with entrepreneurs who are building them. Matus loves travelling and experiencing different cultures, he has lived in six countries and speaks five languages.
Husayn Kassai is Onfido CEO and Co-founder. Onfido helps businesses digitally onboard users by verifying any government ID and comparing it with the person’s facial biometrics using machine learning. Founded in 2012, Onfido has grown to a team of 240 across SF, NYC and London; received over $100m in funding; and works with over 1,500 fintech, banking and marketplace clients globally – helping them onboard more users while reducing risk.
Husayn is a WEF Tech Pioneer and Forbes’ “30 Under 30”. He has a BA in Economics and Management from Keble College, Oxford.
Sandra Uddbäck is VP of Data Acquisition at Mapillary, the street-level imagery platform that scales and automates mapping using collaboration, cameras, and computer vision. Sandra joined Mapillary as the company’s first non-technical hire in 2015. Since then, she has led the growth of the street-level imagery database from 20 million to over half a billion images, and spearheaded partnerships with players like the World Bank and the mapping giant HERE in the quest to improve maps everywhere.
Fredrik Hjelm co-founded Voi Technology in 2018 with a vision of improving the way people move around congested urban centers by offering fleets of electric scooters as a cleaner, affordable and exhilarating alternative to cars. Prior to Voi, Fredrik founded Guestit, the Nordics’ most successful Airbnb management company, and worked in business development for Avito.ru, Russia’s leading – and the world’s third-largest – classified advertising site.
Fredrik’s entrepreneurial career began at 12 years of age when he ran a number of commercial projects including forestry work (he grew up in rural Sweden), events and website sales.
After graduating from high school, he attended the Armed Forces Interpreter Academy, within the intelligence branch of Sweden’s special forces, where he studied Russian and linguistics. He served a total of four years in Moscow in the Defence Attache Office, where he worked as an interpreter and analyst, covering Russia as well as Kazakhstan and Belarus. He went on to study business and economics at the Stockholm School of Economics.
Nic is the Managing Partner of Forward Partners, an “Applied VC” that backs early-stage companies from day one and provides them with a support team to supercharge their business.
Previously a partner at Draper Esprit, he has worked and invested in London and Silicon Valley, leading over 25 investments and enjoying a number of successful exits including buy.at (acquired by AOL for $125m) and Zeus Technology (acquired by Riverbed for $140m).
Brittan Heller works at the intersection of technology, human rights, and the law, and is an expert on content moderation and the movement from online conduct to offline violence. She advises tech companies, investors, governments, and international organizations on integrating public safety and freedom of expression.
Heller is one of the inaugural AI and Technology Fellows at the Carr Center for Human Rights at Harvard University, studying content moderation in non-speech based environments like VR and gaming. She is a senior associate at CSIS’s Human Rights Initiative and an affiliate at Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center on Internet and Society.
Heller previously founded the Anti-Defamation League’s Center for Technology and Society. Her key projects included AI partnerships with academia to study hate speech and studying disinformation impacting minority communities. Additionally, Heller prosecuted grave human rights violations at the U.S. Department of Justice and the International Criminal Court and initiated landmark anti-cyber harassment litigation.
She is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a Truman National Security Fellow, and a Jeopardy! champion. Heller is a graduate of Yale Law School and Stanford University.
Zem Joaquin is an entrepreneur and Founder of the Near Future Summit, a visionary event that seeks to scale solutions to the world’s most pressing problems, driven by leading founders, investors, inventors, and influencers. She also co-hosts a circular systems conference in Iceland with William McDonough.
Prior to Near Future, she founded ecofabulous.com – the authority on stylish sustainability – acquired by Huffington Post in 2015. During her 11 years running ecofabulous, she also held editorial roles at House and Garden, Domino, Architectural Digest and 7×7 magazine. Zem helped create, and is still an active board member of the Cradle to Cradle Product Innovation Institute. She executed the Dwell on Design show-houses for six years in a row, and is also an advisor. Additionally, she founded and chaired the Gorgeous and Green Gala for Global Green for 10 years.
Zem is or has been an active advisor to Obvious Ventures, Station A for NRG, eBay, Whole Foods, numerous start-ups, and other forward-thinking organizations. She is part of many networks such as Women in Tech, Female Founders, NorCal Investors, XPrize, Build-it-Green, Summit, TED, Slush in Finland, and more. Zem lives in the Bay Area with her husband and two children and is an avid equestrian and lifelong learner.
Andrew Reed is Partner at Sequoia. He focuses on software, consumer, and fintech investments in product- and design-driven companies around the world. He is involved with Figma, Robinhood, Tourlane, and Front, among others. Andrew was also involved with Sequoia’s 2015 investment in GitHub (acquired in 2018). Prior to Sequoia, Andrew worked at Goldman Sachs in the technology, media, and telecom group in San Francisco. Andrew has a B.A. with distinction in economics and classics from Amherst College
Dr. Tim Sievers
Dr. Tim Sievers is Founder and CEO of Deposit Solutions. He is member of well-recognized committees such as the FinTech Committee of the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Digital Banking Project Committee of the Association of German Banks. Prior to founding Deposit Solutions in 2011, Tim Sievers successfully built up technology companies and worked in private equity. He holds a doctorate in Economics from the University of Hamburg, a M.Sc. in Economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a M.A. in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from the University of Oxford.
Selcuk Atli is Founder and CEO of Bunch; a group video chat app designed for live mobile games. Selcuk is a graduate of YCombinator (W14), an Endeavor entrepreneur, a Fulbright Scholar. Before Bunch, he was a Venture Partner at 500 Startups. Prior to that that he co-founded Boostable (acquired by Metric Collective) and before that he founded Manifest Commerce (acquired by Rakuten). Mr. Atli is also Co-founder of Nomadic Minds, a non-profit that connects top mentors in silicon valley with founders in emerging tech hubs around the world (acquired by TheFamily).
Selcuk was recognized by Endeavor as a global high-impact entrepreneur and was the recipient of an innovation award from the World Bank. He advises several startups including StackShare, Fetcher.ai and Mobile Action. He’s also the lead singer and songwriter for The HMMS, a recording indie rock band based in New York City.
Stijn (Stan) Christiaens, Cofounder, CTO: Stan leads the company’s global product organization with a focus on driving data governance technology innovation. Prior to co-founding Collibra, Stan was a senior researcher at the Vrije Universiteit of Brussels, a leading semantic research center in Europe, where he focused on application-oriented research in semantics.
Stan is a sought-after expert resource, industry speaker, and author on the topic of data governance and semantics. He has participated actively in several international research projects (such as ITEA, FP6 and FP7) and conferences (including OTM, FIS and ESTC). He has also published various articles and patents in the field of ontology engineering. Stan holds a Master of Science degree in Information Technology and a Master’s degree in Artificial Intelligence from Katholieke Universiteit Leuven and a Postgraduate in Industrial Corporate Governance from Europese Hogeschool Brussel.
Andrew Shaw is Founder and CEO of Coya. The native South African manages Coya’s investor relations, product strategy and growth. Before Coya, Andrew was the CIO of Kreditech, where he helped build one of Germany’s most successful FinTech companies from 2012.
Teemu Suna is one of the founders, CEO and chairman of Nightingale Health, a biotech company that is reinventing preventive health with blood-based health data. As the leader of this disruptive health revolution, Suna has steered Nightingale into an established growth company with over 80 team members and customers in over 20 countries. Since late 2015, Suna has raised over €40 million to bring Nightingale’s technology to global healthcare.
Suna signed up to be an entrepreneur when he was just 21. Since then he has been at the forefront of health tech ventures. He was leading healthcare IT solutions at Fujitsu Finland as the Chief Technology Officer when he decided to expand his horizon with computational medicine research, leading him to start Nightingale. Suna believes innovation is found between disciplines. His credence is reflected in both the product and the people at Nightingale who come from diverse backgrounds to further push the boundaries of the health industry. The goal, however, is the same — to make preventive health a reality for all the 8 billion people on this planet.
Chad Fowler is General Manager for Startups at Microsoft. He joined the company in 2015 via the acquisition of Wunderlist, for which he served as CTO. Previously he led development and technology for a number of startups and held leadership positions at some of the world’s largest companies. He has been a long-time Open Source contributor and was an early pioneer in the Ruby and Rails communities, authoring multiple popular books, co-founding and running the official Ruby and Rails conferences, and co-creating RubyGems, the official package manager for the Ruby programming language. Chad is also a frequent conference keynote speaker around the world and a jazz performer and recording artist.
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.
Rolf Schrömgens was appointed as Managing Director of Trivago in 2016, and has served as a managing director of Trivago GmbH since 2005. Prior to joining Trivago GmbH, Mr. Schrömgens was Founder and VP at ciao.com, a consumer review website, from 1999 to 2001. Mr. Schrömgens holds a diploma in management from the Leipzig Graduate School of Management (HHL).
Fredrik Hedberg is the CTO and co-founder of Tink – Europe’s leading open banking platform. Tink provides banks, fintechs and start-ups with the infrastructure and value-adding data products that are enabling the future of financial services.
Founded in 2012 together with CEO Daniel Kjellén, and headquartered in Stockholm, Tink gives access to financial data from over 2,500 banks in Europe – and its platform enables the data-driven financial services that’s giving end users the best possible customer experiences.Tink’s technology already powers some of the world’s biggest banks and fintechs – including PayPal, Klarna and NatWest.
Isabelle Kristine Ringnes
Isabelle Ringnes is the co-founder and product lead of Equalitycheck.it, a platform for crowdsourced anonymous reviews about equality and diversity in the workplace. She is the co-founder and product lead of business.equalitycheck.it helping companies improve gender diversity through a data-driven and evidence-based approach by mapping their gender balance and providing solutions to improve based on the best available research.
In 2015 she founded TENK: a Technology Network for Women aiming to inspire women and girls to lean in and contribute to shaping our world’s future with technology. She has established two-yearly tech-camps for young girls and spoken to thousands of girls around Norway to inspire them to choose technology. Isabelle has been named one of six Norwegians in “100 most influential people in Nordic Tech” and an “Inspiring 50”. In 2019 she published a best-selling book called Hvem Spanderer about unconscious bias.
Maryanna Saenko is an early-stage venture capitalist with an interest in robotics, quantum computing, blockchain, aerospace, and the future of food. Previously she was at Khosla Ventures, and prior to that at DFJ, where she worked with Steve to focus on frontier technology investments. She was also an investment partner at Airbus Ventures where she led a series of venture investments strategically aligned with Airbus’ future-of-aerospace initiatives. Before Airbus, Maryanna was a consultant at Lux Research and a research engineer at Cabot Corporation. Maryanna graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a BS in BioMedical Engineering and a BS and MS in Materials Science and Engineering.
Pieter van der Does
A leading expert with over 15 years experience in the payments industry, Pieter van der Does, was CCO at Bibit before co-founding Adyen in 2006. Since then, Adyen has grown from a startup into a global operation, averaging double-digit annual growth since 2007.
Valentina Milanova is Founder and CEO of Daye. They have developed a pain-relieving tampon, infused with cannabidiol (CBD) extracted from hemp. Going beyond industry standards, the tampons are medically approved and sustainable, and are sold with a subscription model in sync with the customer’s cycle. Daye is transforming a market that is saturated by established players and little innovation, and is still, in some sense, taboo.
When people lead the way, companies, policies and systemic change will follow! Taking responsibility and action for our individual impact on climate should be both the new normal and easy in everyday life. Compensate’s goal is to facilitate a worldwide paradigm shift in consumer behavior, playing an essential role in slowing climate change and averting planetary catastrophe.
Finnish entrepreneur and former parliamentarian Antero launched Compensate in 2018. Compensate is currently piloting operations in Finland in partnership with major brands, and building a global team and a network of influential global partners. The Compensate team and its advisers include climate-change experts, business leaders, tech entrepreneurs, communications professionals, and an independent panel of world-renowned scientists working at the cutting edge of tree-based climate-change mitigation
Antonio Separovic is a financial inclusion and financial technology expert with over 20 years of experience, including ten years in the microfinance sector. Antonio has implemented cloud banking systems across 15 countries in Asia, Latin America and Africa as the Global Marketing and Sales Director for Mambu and Fern Software. He has also served as a consultant and adviser for multiple organisations, banks and corporations.
In 2012, Antonio co-founded Oradian, providing cloud-based banking system which enables financial institutions to know and control their portfolios. As the CEO, he takes accountability for leading a community of over 80 visionary financial institutions that collectively serve over 4 million people at the bottom of the socioeconomic pyramid.
Ari is a former entrepreneur with both an operating and investing background. He’s excited about the way software fundamentally reshapes industries and his investment focus is on enterprise software / SaaS and fintech across all stages. He especially enjoys working with founders as they navigate the early stages of scaling a business.
Before joining Index, Ari was at Dawn Capital in London where he invested in and worked with SaaS and open source companies in Europe and the US. Prior to that, Ari co-founded both the SaaS workflow management company WOAH Sales and ecommerce startup Fabricly—the former right out of university.
Ari holds a B.Sc. in International Relations (first class) from the London School of Economics and Political Science. He is an alumnus of Y Combinator and regularly spends time in San Francisco and New York.
Ginny Fahs is a software engineer and social entrepreneur committed to making technology’s next chapter more human and inclusive. She is the Co-founder and Executive Director of #MovingForward: a global social movement working with VC firms in 22 countries to address harassment and discrimination in venture capital. Over 140 firms have joined #MovingForward, including Atomico, Balderton, Octopus, Entrepreneur First, a16z, Sequoia, Greylock, Softbank, Y Combinator, GV and others. Ginny serves as Tech Policy Fellow at the Aspen Institute and is a graduate of Harvard University.
Harry is Founder of The Twenty Minute VC, the world’s largest media asset in venture with over 5 million downloads per month featuring General Partners from leading VC funds including Sequoia Capital, Founders Fund, Y Combinator, Benchmark, Accel and Index. Harry also works with Jason Lemkin on the official SaaStr podcast which is the world’s largest in the world of SaaS with a subscriber base in excess of 100,000. Prior to Stride.VC, Harry was EIR and a member of the investment team at Atomico.
Ilkka Kivimäki is a Co-founder and Partner at Maki.vc, an €80 million fund investing in early-stage deep techs and distinctive brands. He’s a serial entrepreneur-turned-investor with over 20 years of experience from both sides of the table.
Prior to Maki.vc, Ilkka has worked as CEO and Co-Founder of Wicom Communications, which was sold to SAP where he later served as Senior VP. He’s experienced firsthand what it means to sell your company to an industry giant, lead a team of 100 people through a deep recession, and face growing pains as CEO – thus, he can relate to the psyche of any entrepreneur. Ilkka never tires of discussing commercialization, scaling and deep-tech investing.
Ilkka is a seasoned investor: he was the first investor and former chairman of Wolt, sat on the board of Beddit before it was acquired by Apple, and was the first investor and chairman of AImotive. He’s passionate about developing the Nordic startup ecosystem – he’s chaired Slush and Startup Sauna, served on the boards of student-led VC Wave Ventures and Europe’s biggest hackathon Junction, and acted as the Head Coach for Startup Sauna, mentoring a new generation of entrepreneurs. He sits on the Aalto University Board, and his contributions to the startup ecosystem have also earned him an honorary doctorate from the university.
When he feels he can make an impact, Ilkka rarely keeps his opinions to himself. He’s a strong advocate for deep tech and technological development, and actively debates how these can be advanced in Finnish society – so when he was asked to join the Finnish Research and Innovation Council and National AI Steering Group, it was clear that he couldn’t say no.
James brings over 25 years of experience building businesses as a leader and an investor. His consumer marketing and trend-spotting expertise have helped create new categories such as online photography, web-based calendaring and the Personal Digital Assistant. While studying computer science at Brown University in the 80’s, James co-founded Clearview Software (acquired by Apple). After six years at Apple in engineering and marketing roles, James co-founded When.com, an Internet calendar and events service (acquired by AOL). After that successful acquisition, James became President and CEO of Ofoto. From its early beginnings through acquisition by Kodak in 2001, James led the growth of Ofoto into the world’s largest online photo service. He later served as President and CEO of Xoom.com (IPO March 2013).
James has been working in venture capital since 2007 and has invested in a wide range of mission-driven startups including Plum Organics (acquired by Campbell’s Soup), TenMarks Education (acquired by Amazon), and Opower (IPO April 2014).
James grew up in a Portuguese fishing community in southeastern Massachusetts.
Jessica Collier is the CEO of Spot, the Silicon Valley startup whose mission is to help companies build more inclusive workplace cultures. Jessica is also the co-founder and former VP of Product at All Turtles, a company that builds AI products in San Francisco, Tokyo, and Paris.
Before venturing into entrepreneurship, Jessica led UX content and design at Stellar – an open network for money, a digital financial network fighting poverty by connecting people to low-cost financial services. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of California at Irvine and a master’s degree from Columbia University.
Mikko Hypponen is a global security expert. He has worked at F-Secure since 1991.
Mr. Hypponen has written on his research for the New York Times, Wired and Scientific American and he appears frequently on international TV. He has lectured at the universities of Stanford, Oxford and Cambridge.
He was selected among the 50 most important people on the web by the PC World magazine and was included in the FP Global 100 Thinkers list.
Mr. Hypponen sits in the advisory boards of t2 and Social Safeguard and in the advisory panel for the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
Dylan Field is CEO and Co-founder of Figma, a collaborative design tool for teams who build products together. With the support of the Thiel Fellowship, Dylan dropped out of Brown University to start Figma with his TA Evan Wallace (who became Figma’s CTO). They built Figma on the web in the hopes of tearing down the walls around the siloed design process. Dylan champions open, accessible design and believes such tooling must evolve for a cloud-based, collaborative world. He tweets @zoink.
Katherine Boyle is Principal at General Catalyst, a venture capital firm with $5 billion raised to date, where she co-leads General Catalyst’s seed platform. She focuses on early-stage investments in highly-regulated industries, including aerospace, defense, financial technology and computational biology. She sits on the board of Airmap and works closely with Anduril, Nova Credit, Spring Discovery and a number of unannounced companies. Before becoming an investor, Katherine was a staff reporter at The Washington Post.
Katherine received an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business, where she was teaching assistant to Dr. Condoleezza Rice for her course “Political Risk: How Businesses and Organizations Can Anticipate Global Insecurity.” She’s a graduate of Georgetown University and holds a master’s degree from the National University of Ireland, Galway.
Tammy H. Nam is the COO at PicsArt, the #1 creative platform and social editing app with more than 600 million downloads and 150 million monthly active creators. She oversees business and operations for the 450-person global startup headquartered in San Francisco.
Prior to joining PicsArt, Tammy was CEO of global streaming service Viki (acquired by Rakuten in 2014). She was also a marketing executive at innovative consumer tech companies such as Scribd and Slide. Tammy has 25 years of experience advising dozens of brands such as Akamai, Visa and Starbucks to grow leadership positions and identify new opportunities. A graduate of Northwestern University, she studied journalism and economics and was named one of “25 Women to Watch in Tech.”
John was appointed innovation editor in February 2016 with a brief to deepen the FT’s coverage of technology and write a regular column on its impact on our economies, societies, and lives. He has taken that mission to heart as the founder of Sifted, the new FT backed platform focused on Europe’s startup world.
For the previous seven years he was deputy editor and news editor helping to steer the FT’s global news agenda. Since joining the FT in 1988 as a graduate trainee, John has also worked as the Europe edition editor, Paris bureau chief, world news editor, Asia editor, Moscow bureau chief, Lex columnist and companies reporter.
John also founded and runs the FT’s 125 executive forum, which holds monthly meetings for senior executives from a range of industries. Previous speakers have included Bill Gates, Jack Dorsey, Ana Botin, and Mark Carney. He also hosts FT Tech Tonic, a weekly podcast on the impact of technology.
Seth Pierrepont joined Accel in 2013 and focuses on enterprise software, cybersecurity, and fintech.
Seth helped lead Accel’s investments and ongoing work in Kry, PillPack (acquired by Amazon), WorldRemit, Soldo, Anyfin, Privitar, Snyk, Shift Technology, CallSign, Chainalysis, Carwow, and FRVR.
Prior to Accel, he invested in European companies with Vision Capital. He previously advised technology and media companies on strategy with Oliver Wyman in San Francisco.
Seth is from Chicago, IL and attended Dartmouth.
Kaapo Annala is the CEO and Co-founder of Neuro Event Labs, a medical technology company from Tampere, Finland. Company has developed a product utilising Artificial Intelligence and computer vision in diagnostics of Neurology. As a leader, Annala has steered Neuro Event Labs into an established growth company with over 30 team members and customers in over 10 countries.
Sofie Allert is Co-founder and CEO of Swedish Algae Factory. She has a Bachelor degree in Biotechnology and a Master’s degree in Entrepreneurship and Business Design from Chalmers University of Technology. Swedish Algae Factory was founded because of her passion for making use of a natural resource that can create a lot of sustainable value for society, algae. Swedish Algae Factory has developed a circular economic business model around a group of algae called diatoms.
Haraldur Hugosson is one of the Co-founders of Genki Instruments, a startup striving to make technology feel natural. Their first product, Wave, is a ring that allows musicians to easily control sound, shape effects and send commands with intuitive gestures. Before Genki Instruments, Haraldur worked at Icelandic Startups where he ran the business accelerator Startup Reykjavik. Through Icelandic Startups, he was a part of various grassroots initiatives in Iceland and the Nordics focused on accelerating entrepreneurs’ journeys to success.
Danny joined Index in 2002 and established the firm's London office. He later opened the San Francisco office with Mike Volpi. His current investments include 1stdibs, Discord, Farfetch, Figma, Glossier, GOAT, Good Eggs, Grailed, Humu, Patreon and Scoop.
Prior to Index, Danny was a General Partner at The Barksdale Group, where he invested in over a dozen companies. Earlier in his career, he was at Hambrecht & Quist (now owned by JP Morgan), where he began the Internet sector equity research group. He was managing director and underwriting analyst and took Amazon, Netscape and Verisign public among others.
Previously, Danny was a director of Betfair, Dropbox, Etsy, Sky, Last.fm, Lovefilm, MySQL, and Skype; and formerly on the Board of Trustees at SFMOMA and MAGGIE’S Centres. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2017 New Year Honours for services to business and charity.
Gené Teare runs research at Crunchbase. Gené covers venture markets, female founders, women in venture, and is a writer of The Seed Series. She is an experienced public speaker and moderator connecting with startup communities around the globe. She joined Crunchbase over 11 years ago and has spearheaded data management, and partnering with the venture community. Gené is a TechCrunch alumn, involved with the setup of TechCrunch50 and TechCrunch Disrupt events.
David Helgason a technologist, Founder of a wonderful technology company, non-exec director to others, and a restless entrepreneur with a passion for creating feedback loops between innovation and teams and products, applying new and old business models to changing industries, and pushing people to do the very best they can do.David’s the background is in programming, an assortment of university dabbling, creating companies, and helping entrepreneurs. He served as CEO of Unity Technologies since co-founding it in 2003 and until October 2014, with an unflinching vision to democratize game development, and to develop technology and business models for the next phase of the games industry.
Eric Peckham is TechCrunch’s Media Columnist. He tracks startup and investment activity across the media, communications, and learning sectors and publishes analysis of the most interesting trends and business opportunities. Separate from TechCrunch, he also writes the popular Monetizing Media newsletter. He previously worked at corporate advisory firm Traction Technology Partners, VC firm Arena Ventures, private equity firm adventur.es, and edtech company 2U. Eric lives in Los Angeles.
Maija is a senior reporter at Sifted, the new FT-backed news site and community focused on Europe’s innovation economy. Before joining Sifted Maija spent 19 years as a technology journalist at the Financial Times for 19 years, from starting as one of the early members of the online news team during the dotcom boom to developing the FT’s social media presence to most recently working as Deputy Editor for Special Reports, where she led projects such as Europe’s Road to Growth and 50 Ideas to Change the World as well as creating the World Tech Founders podcast.
At Sifted Maija has a passion for deep tech and corporate innovation and has launched Future Proof, the Sifted corporate innovation newsletter.
Larry Madowo is a Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Economics and Business Journalism at Columbia University in New York and the BBC Africa Business Editor (currently on a sabbatical). He was named among the 100 Most Influential Africans in 2018 by New African magazine.
He has reported from more than 40 countries and interviewed some of the world’s most prominent business, political and cultural leaders. He is an international journalist, speaker and moderator who has been on such diverse stages as the World Economic Forum, Mobile World Congress, Slush, Global Digital Content Market and numerous others.
His work has been featured on various global outlets including CNN International, the Washington Post, BBC World News, Al Jazeera English, France 24, Channel 4 News, Forbes, The Guardian, the Financial Times, Public Radio International, ABC News Australia and RTÉ Ireland. He has previously worked in Nairobi, London and Johannesburg, gaining nearly 4 million followers on social media along the way.
Amy Lewin is senior reporter at Sifted, the new media publication backed by the Financial Times, covering startups and tech in Europe. She’s a jack-of-all-trades, covering everything from food delivery and diversity initiatives through to digital banks and doctor apps, but she’s especially interested in the “people” challenges of startups. Before joining Sifted as employee number one, Amy was features editor at Courier magazine, where she also wrote about startups.
Frost Li advises and consults on growth strategy at companies like Lyft, Pinterest, and Rappi. Prior to that, Frost built and managed the growth team at Wish across acquisition, activation, retention and resurrections that acquired and retained hundreds of millions of users. During this time, Wish grew to be #1 shopping app in 40+ countries and 500M+ users powered by ML and data-driven models.
Prior to Wish, Frost worked in the Pinterest growth engineering team, with a focus on retention and life-cycle marketing, turning manual marketing cycles into ML-driven automation. Frost also founded HackerMeter, which analyzed programmers’ code to match them with their best-fitting jobs. The company was later acquired by Pinterest. Before that, Frost was a search engineer at Twitter who built the real-time autocomplete system.
Dean Takahashi is the lead writer for GamesBeat at VentureBeat. He has been a tech journalist for more than 28 years, and he has covered games for 21 years. He has been at VentureBeat since 2008. Prior to that, he wrote for the San Jose Mercury News, the Red Herring, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, and the Dallas Times-Herald. He is the author of two books, “Opening the Xbox” and “The Xbox 360 Uncloaked.” He organizes the annual GamesBeat and GamesBeat Summit conferences. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Sarah is an investor at Dawn Capital, Europe’s largest B2B focused fund. She is excited about workplace technology and software to create new ways for everyday people to make money. Also, Sarah is the founder of Femstreet, the leading global community for female entrepreneurs and women in venture.
Dr. Vivian Chan is founder & CEO of Sparrho, the only platform in the world that democratizes science by aggregating, curating, and summarising cutting-edge research using augmented intelligence – the convergence of AI and human expertise. Dr. Chan founded Sparrho as a tool to help rectify the inherent barriers that exist within the scientific ecosystem. She also currently sits on the UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s Digital Economy Advisory Group.
In the Autumn of 2018, Dr. Chan was named one of the UK’s Top 100 BAME leaders in Technology by the FT and Inclusive Boards. She has also had the honor of being named in the MIT Tech Review’s 35 Under 35 Innovators in 2017, and the Top 5 Asian Stars in UK Tech in 2018.
Victoria Turk is Features Editor at WIRED UK, where she oversees long-form coverage for the print magazine and website. She also writes features, makes and hosts videos, and appears regularly on the WIRED podcast. Before joining WIRED, Victoria was Technology Editor at New Scientist and UK Editor at Motherboard, Vice’s tech, and science channel. She tweets at @VickiTurk.
Bryce Keane is Partner and Head of Communications at Atomico, where he has worked with the leadership of companies such as Klarna, Lilium, Truecaller, MessageBird, Peakon, Varjo, Bossa Studios and Memphis Meats to help them tell their stories to a global audience.
Prior to joining Atomico, Bryce founded his own communications agency, Albion Drive, where he worked with entrepreneurs and fast growth companies to build their brands and reputations. The company was acquired by New York ad agency KBS just two years after it was founded, and Bryce remained Managing Partner until October 2016.
An active, long-term supporter of technology start-ups, Bryce has also been embedded in the international startup community for many years as Co-founder of 3Beards – which he helped scale into 51 cities and counting via their popular Friday night tech community meet-up event Silicon Drinkabout – and as a mentor at 500 Startups and Seedcamp.
Bryce also once played a US Marine as an extra on the Stephen Spielberg and Tom Hanks produced WWII mini-series The Pacific. His performance convinced him that a career in Communications was probably a better idea.
D-J is the co-founder of Milltown Partners, a global advisory firm working with influential organizations and individuals on the communications and public policy challenges that define their reputations. With offices in London and San Francisco, Milltown Partners works closely with a number of technology category leaders and investors in Europe and the US. Before co-founding the company, D-J worked at Google, as VP for Communications and Public Policy across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific. D-J is also on the board of several organizations including the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change.
Jason du Preez
Jason du Preez is CEO and Co-founder of Privitar, an enterprise software company enabling organizations to use data for insight, with an uncompromising approach to data privacy.
Privitar’s mission is to drive the safe and ethical use of data, with a strong belief in the power of machine intelligence to benefit society. The company has grown rapidly over the past four years with leading customers from several industry verticals (including HSBC, Citibank, British Telecom and the UK’s NHS) and has over 100 staff across the US, Europe, and Singapore.
Prior to founding Privitar, Jason sold his first business, a software company called m35, to Thomson Reuters, taking a global leadership role in the enterprise business. Jason is originally from Cape Town, South Africa and attended UCT.
Joe Schorge is the Founder and Managing Partner of Isomer Capital, based in London and focused on European early-stage venture capital. Isomer accesses high-potential opportunities in European technology through limited partner investments in funds, company co-investments, and providing liquidity to firms and founders via secondary purchases. Joe has spent 25 years’ working as an LP, GP and technology operations executive, previously at Pomona Capital, a leading global secondaries firm, and at Cambridge Associates responsible for advising institutional investors on private equity investments. Joe began his career in information technology operating roles at Invensys plc (now Schneider Electric) in the US and Europe. He received a BS Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth and an MBA from London Business School.
General Partner and Co-founder of BRIGHTLY Ventures, an early-stage Nordic venture firm based in Stockholm. Our passion lies in finding and supporting those exceptional technology teams who push the world forward. Our team is a group of founders, company builders, and operators with extensive experience. We aim to work actively and relentlessly to help ambitious founders to achieve their full potential.
Co-founded the venture capital firm MOOR in 20012, in order to help early stage entrepreneurs get venture funding in the seed stages and help build, grow and scale Nordic technology companies globally. First VC investor in several fast-growing Nordic successes such as Acast, Mitigram, Volumental, Buildsafe, Kiosked and FirstVet.
Previously co-founded and built successful technology companies such as Pipebeach, the creator of SpeechWeb for the spoken web and the markup language VoiceXML.
Pipebeach became a category leading software vendor globally for interactive voice services and voice mail systems. Pipebeach was acquired by Hewlett-Packard.
Building technology based businesses and selling technology for more than two decades, started with selling and negotiating the first mobile telecom networks at Nokia, and later at Ericsson Networks and business development at Ericsson Group.
Katja sits on the boards of small technology startups, and works actively in organizations that support female leadership.
Katja is passionate about technology and ways to change the world for the better.
Nikola Pavesic was born and raised in Croatia, studied in Italy, Switzerland and the UK, matured in Tanzania and Japan. Nikola has worked as a lawyer and in the public sector for the UN which is how he originally arrived to Japan in 2011. Counterintuitively, he started working in tech at the UN and subsequently switched to the private sector launching and running startups, and now for Nikkei, the world’s largest business media publisher and owner of the Financial Times. Graduate of University of Bologna and Newcastle University has a special focus on public-private partnerships in tech, regulatory solutions and policy implementation. Nikola has worked in tech for a number of years and is leading the partnership efforts for Nikkei in terms of startups, VCs and corporates. He also dabbles in journalism.
Rytis Vitkauskas is Partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners in Europe. He’s been part of the European tech scene as either entrepreneur, venture or angel investor for over a dozen years. Rytis learned his entrepreneurial lessons early in life; at age 14, he started his first company, a white box PC assembly business. Later on, after his studies as a proud first ever Lithuanian at Harvard Business School, he joined Summit Partners to invest in the leading tech companies in Europe, backing the likes of Avast (LST:AVST) and Acturis. After a while, he left VC to start another business, a mobile ticketing software company called YPlan, which raised capital from some of the top VCs globally and ultimately was acquired by the leading lifestyle media group, Time Out Group (AIM:TMO). After a short sabbatical, he found himself back as a VC at a European fund Target Global, and now, at Lightspeed.
Sigrún Davídsdóttir is an Icelandic journalist, living in London. She covers politics, economics and finance for Rúv, the Icelandic state broadcaster and her blog, Icelog. Sigrún has also published books of fiction and non-fiction.
Celia Hodent is an expert in the application of cognitive science and psychology to product development. Celia holds a Ph.D. in psychology and has over ten years of experience in the development of user experience (UX) strategy in the entertainment industry, and more specifically with videogame studios through her work at Ubisoft, LucasArts, and as Director of UX at Epic Games (Fortnite). Celia is the author of The Gamer’s Brain: How Neuroscience and UX can Impact Video Game Design. Currently, she leads an independent UX consultancy, working with a wide range of international media and enterprise companies, helping studios increase the likelihood of their games to be engaging and successful.
Susan McPherson is a serial connector, angel investor, and corporate responsibility expert. She is the founder and CEO of McPherson Strategies, a communications consultancy focusing on the intersection between brands and social impact, providing storytelling, partnership creation and visibility to corporations, NGOs and social enterprises. She’s a regular contributor to the Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, and Forbes and has 25+ years of experience in marketing, public relations, and sustainability communications.
She is a featured speaker at industry events including Net Impact, Inspirefest/Dublin, Center for Corporate Citizenship’s Annual Summit, DLD, TOA Berlin, and Techonomy. Susan is a regular guest on a variety of business and leadership podcasts and has appeared on NPR, CNN and CBC (Canada) as well as been quoted in major media outlets including USA Today, The New Yorker, New York Magazine and the Los Angeles Times.
Currently, Susan invests in and advises women-led technology start-ups, including iFundWomen, Inc., Messy.fm, The Riveter, News Deeply, Hint Water, Apolitical, Arlo Skye, GoldBean and The Muse. She serves on the boards of USA for UNHCR, Girl Rising, The PVBLIC Foundation, and the Lower Eastside Girls Club, and previously served on the board of Bpeace. Additionally, she is a member of the MIT Solve Women and Technology Leadership Group and serves as an advisor to several nonprofits, including Girls Who Code, Ocean Collective, She’s The First, The Adventure Project, and The OpEd Project. Susan is a Vital Voices global corporate ambassador and has received numerous accolades for her voice on social media platforms from Fortune Magazine, Fast Company and Elle Magazine. She resides in Brooklyn with her rescue pup and is currently writing a book.
30+ years in game sector. Former CEO & board director, Atari Previously EVP & COO, Worldwide Studios, Electronic Arts (“EA”). 25 years at EA incl. building EA Europe from 0 to $1bn in annual revenue. Successful exit as an Angel Investor in Playfish ($400m sale to EA). Experience working in Silicon Valley and Europe. Awarded OBE in 2007.
Crystal is an NYC-based Principal at New Enterprise Associates (NEA), a global venture capital firm with over $20B raised since inception. At NEA, she focuses on enterprise software, infrastructure, fintech, and marketplaces, and sits on the board of Attest. Prior to joining NEA, Crystal started her venture capital career at GGV Capital, where she focused on US and China-based investments in enterprise software and consumer internet. She was closely involved with the firm’s investments in Aptible, BigCommerce, Bitsight, BrightWheel, HashiCorp, Headspin, NS1, OpenDoor, Slack, Tile, Unravel Data, and Wish among others. Previously, Crystal was a member of the technology M&A team at Blackstone in Silicon Valley. She was one of the Forbes 30 under 30 in Venture Capital in 2016.
Crystal earned an A.B. in Government from Harvard University and grew up in Vancouver, Canada.
Gemma Milne is a Science & Technology Journalist covering all things deep tech, including biotech, advanced computing, space, energy and innovation in academia, for titles such as Forbes, The Times, BBC, and Quartz. Her first book, on hype and idealism in science and tech, comes out in April 2020, published by Little, Brown. She is also Co-Host of Science: Disrupt – a podcast interviewing the innovators, iconoclasts & entrepreneurs creating change in science. She is an Expert Advisor for the European Commission and Innovate UK, a Scout for Backed VC. an Innovation Jury Member for SXSW and a World Economic Forum Global Shaper.
Ms. Grete Faremo joined the United Nations and UNOPS as Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director in August 2014. Before this appointment, Ms. Faremo held various senior-level positions for the Government of Norway. She brings a wealth of experience from the private sector, working as the Executive Vice President for the Norwegian insurance group, Storebrand, from 1997 to 2003, and as Director of Law and Corporate Affairs at Microsoft Corporation’s Western European Office, from 2003 to 2008.
Dr. Christopher Ahlberg is CEO of Recorded Future, Inc. and Chairman of Hult International Business School. He advises a series of startups. In 2019 Recorded Future was sold to Insight Partners in an all cash transaction for $780M. Earlier Ahlberg was the president of the Spotfire Division of TIBCO, which he founded in 1996 and in 2007 sold to TIBCO for $195M. Spotfire was founded based on his ground-breaking research on information visualization. He has five granted software patents, and multiple pending. Dr. Ahlberg was named among the World’s Top 100 Young Innovators by Technology Review, MIT’s Magazine of Innovation in 2002. He is a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences.
Debora Revoltella is Director of the Economics Department of the European Investment Bank and has held this position since April 2011. The department provides impact-driven economic analysis to support operations, the global positioning as well as the policy and strategy definition of the bank. Debora holds a degree in economics and a Master’s in economics from Bocconi University as well as a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Ancona in Italy.
After the experience as an adjunct professor in macroeconomics at Bocconi University, Debora joined the research department of Banca Commerciale Italiana, a leading Italian Bank. In 2001, she joined UniCredit as the chief economist for Central and Eastern Europe. During these years, the department developed into a leading research center for the region. Debora is a member of the Steering Committees of the Vienna Initiative and the CompNet, an alternate member of the Board of the Joint Vienna Institute and a member of the Boards of the SUERF and the Euro 50 Group.
Troels initiated his career as a particle physicist at CERN (CH), the Niels Bohr Institute (DK), European Spallation Source (SE) and DTU (DK). He is a radical-pragmatist, who unintentionally became an impact entrepreneur and CEO when he co-founded Seaborg in 2014.
The Danish start-up Seaborg Technologies develops a fundamentally new type of nuclear reactor – a Molten Salt Reactor – a reactor type not plagued by the issues typically associated with existing nuclear power. These reactors cannot be weaponized; they can convert long-lived nuclear waste into energy, and they cannot result in nuclear disasters. Seaborg’s mission is to deliver a scalable, cheaper-than-coal, dispatchable power source by 2025 and replace the currently projected new-build coal plans in Southeast Asia with 7500 emission-free nuclear reactors.
Mackenzie runs the Global Startup Advocate team where he mentors hundreds of startups every year. His time is spent meeting teams of all sizes who are leveraging the cloud to revolutionize every imaginable industry. Mackenzie provides feedback and technical guidance by tapping into his 10+ years helping to grow a number of unicorn startups. Prior to joining AWS, Mackenzie was the Head of Technical Operations at Betterment, a robo-advisor FinTech startup in NYC which manages over $15B in assets. He was a founding engineer and Head of Technical Operations at Oscar, a health insurance startup, helping to grow the company from 10 to over 1,000 employees. His first jump into the startup world was when Mackenzie left MTV / Viacom to join Tumblr, helping to growing the site to over 20B page views a month and becoming the 9th most trafficked website in the USA. Mackenzie is a frequent keynote speaker at tech and startup conferences worldwide. He sits on a number of startup advisory boards and has a handful of angel investments across the US.
Katja Toropainen is Founder of Inklusiiv, a nonprofit organization that advances diversity and inclusion in working life. Previously, Katja was part of the leadership team at Slush as the Chief Curator. During her Slush years, she followed the global technology industry closely and split her time between Helsinki and the San Francisco bay area. She was recognized as one of the 100 most impactful and influential figures in the Nordic startup and technology scene in 2018. In 2019, Yle Kioski nominated her for their Future Influencers -list.
Langer Lee is the Corporate Planning & Strategy Director for the Business Development Division in XFLAG, the entertainment arm of mixi inc. and publisher of Monster Strike. Langer is currently spearheading the new product and partnership strategy in expanding XFLAG’s digital entertainment presence and looks forward to bringing thrilling battle entertainment that can unite friends and family around the world.
Kaarel is Co-founder and CEO of MeetFrank, one of the fastest-growing HR start-up in Europe. MeetFrank’s mission is to build a talent-driven marketplace, that empowers users to reach their full career potential and genuinely love their job.
Techstars Berlin 2019 Alumni Silja Litvin, CEO and Founder of PsycApps, Ph.D. candidate at Ludwig Maximilian University and honorary Research Associate at UCL in London, is a clinical psychologist with 2 years of experience providing counseling and therapy, including in the NHS NELFT mood and eating disorder division. Her specialty is in clinical psychology (depression and anxiety) as well as systemic psychology, the science of relationships.
Silja has multiple articles published in peer-reviewed journals and two evidence-based mobile mental health applications making her one of the UK’s leaders in mobile mental health. Due to her rather unusual career of modeling for 17 years, Silja has a unique approach to both the commercial and academic aspect of her products as well as years of self-dependent working experience
Now she is venturing into the world of AI, gamification, and mobile mental health to find a way to be able to help people help themselves, launching her emotional fitness game eQuoo worldwide. The game has been featured in major news outlets such as Forbes and TechCrunch and she won multiple prizes with PsycApps such as THE EUROPAS Pitch Awards and [email protected] on Tour.
Carl is Co-founder and CTO of Spacemaker. He holds M.Sc. degrees in both Computer Science and Business, and has 15 years of experience in digital innovation and product development.
He served as a member of the board and of the leadership team at Bekk Consulting AS, where he worked for more than 10 years and where he was in charge of 300+ consultants delivering software products to a multitude of large corporations in the Nordics.
About 3 years ago, he left consulting to pursue a crazy idea with the potential to deeply disrupt the way we build cities all over the world. As the CTO of Spacemaker, Carl has built an agile and cross-functional product organization of currently 75 people to deliver a game-changing AI technology that helps users discover smarter ways to maximize the potential of a building site. Given that Spacemaker operates in a greenfield, this includes a research squad of eight people based in Boston, close to MIT.
A mediocre but enthusiastic golfer, Carl lives in Oslo with his wife and two small children. True to his Nordic roots, he used to compete in alpine skiing, and still holds a lot of love for the sport. And when he is not busy (which is admittedly rare these days), Carl can be seen following his passion for food and food culture.
Linda established and heads public policy at King, one of the world’s leading mobile game developers. She is Co-founder of the European Tech Alliance (EUTA) and served as Chair from 2016-18. The EUTA is the first group to mobilize Europe’s digital scale-ups to work with policymakers to create a political and legislative landscape that supports the European tech ecosystem. Additionally, she sits on the board and is vice-president of the European Digital Media Association (EDiMA) in Brussels.
Previous to King, Linda led Facebook’s policy communications in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, with a focus on government transparency reporting, safety, security and privacy. She joined Facebook from political consultancy, having advised clients ranging from the Kofi Annan led Africa Progress Panel to governments such as Dubai and Singapore on public outreach.
Ran Roth is Co-founder and COO of Sensibo, the company that is changing the way we use our indoor climate, by embedding intelligence and sensing technologies to existing air conditioners.
Ran and his Co-founder Omer Enbar started Sensibo in 2014 when they realized that smart thermostats like Nest only address 13% of the global air conditioning market. During their research they discovered that air conditioning is arguably the most environmentally damaging device ever invented. Through the use of sensors and algorithms the company’s goal is to make air conditioners both smarter and energy efficient, providing a much needed environmental solution NOW.
Charlotte is a reporter at MIT Technology Review and the writer of The Download newsletter. Before joining MIT Technology Review she was the editor of Techworld, and a reporter covering the intersection of politics, the public sector, and technology. In her spare time, she runs a venture called Jeneo aimed at making tech events more inclusive. Charlotte also regularly does public speaking and crops up on the BBC from time to time.
Henrietta Kekäläinen is Co-founder and CEO of Carbo Culture. Originally from Finland, Henrietta speaks five languages and has lived in four countries. Henrietta is recognised as a World Economic Forum ‘Global Shaper’ and from 2016-2018 she was a board member of a publicly traded electronics company (Nasdaq omx Hel: YEINT). She was the youngest person in the country to have a non-family tied seat in a company on the stock exchange.
Her prior experience includes growing two organisations in edtech: helping to katapult Rails Girls to global scale with over 300+ events on all continents, and founding Mehackit.org, a creative technology company. She studied economics and international relations at the Vienna University of Business and Economics and at Aalto University in Espoo, Finland, where she brought Prof. Steve Blank to visit with STVP in 2011. She’s an alumna of Aalto Entrepreneurship Society, Singularity University and StartX.
She has advised the Finnish government on their entrepreneurship strategy and spoken alongside Nobel laureates on several occasions. She has been involved in the scouts for most of her life and is a certified Sea Captain.
Kelly Mayes has been building products at the intersection of Social, Gaming, and Media for over 10 years. She is currently Head of Social at Roblox, a user-generated gaming platform with over 100M monthly players, and one of the top entertainment destinations for US audiences under 18. Her mission at Roblox is to build a safe, civil, and diverse community—one that inspires and fosters creativity and positive relationships between people around the world.
Prior to joining Roblox, Kelly led product teams at Facebook, Zynga, and Gaia Online, an early virtual world. She also advises startups, including AxiomZen, the company that launched CryptoKitties. Kelly holds degrees in Computer Science and Physics from the University of Washington, and an MBA from Stanford.
Hampus Jakobsson is an investor focused on climate. He spent the last two years at Blueyard, and before that he co-founded Brisk (folded) and TAT (acquired by Blackberry). He has angel invested in 100+ companies and blogs at www.hajak.se.
Born in 1972, Poranen is CEO and Co-founder of Spinnova. Poranen looks at the bigger picture for the company. Before spinning the business off from VTT with Salmela, he headed VTT’s Fibers and Bio-based materials research area.
He also held other managerial positions in his ten years with the VTT and was a visiting scientist at the University of Maine.
Poranen holds a PhD in physics, completed by business and innovation leadership training in IMD Business School. He is a hybrid of scientist, industrial expert and entrepreneur.
He relaxes by playing ice hockey, hunting or escaping the everyday to his cottage. Poranen also has three children.
Tom Wehmeier is a Partner and Head of Insights at Atomico. Tom’s mission at Atomico is to share data and insights with the team to help us to make better, data-driven decisions and to have more insightful conversations with our key stakeholders. Tom is also the author of Atomico’s annual State of European Tech report.
Prior to joining Atomico, Tom was a telecoms analyst for eight years during a period of huge change in the industry. Tom assures us that telecoms is fascinating, despite the reputation, and often reminds our team that without connectivity and smartphones so much of what is happening in today’s tech industry simply wouldn’t be possible.
One summer, Tom decided to try his hand at teaching English and, after qualifying with distinction, went on to teach English in Oxford to students from all around the world. Fortunately, his English is much better than his French, German and Spanish, although he claims to get by in all of them.
Articles:The State of European Tech report 2019 is live, and here are the most important findings
Laurel Touby is a former business journalist, exited tech CEO and the founding partner at Supernode Ventures (formerly Flatiron Investors). Supernode Ventures is a micro VC, focusing on pre-seed and early-stage tech startups. Prior to Supernode Ventures, Laurel founded mediabistro.com, a website that revolutionized the way people in the media industry do business, connect and communicate. Following the sale of mediabistro.com, Laurel created an angel portfolio of 22 companies including Braze (formerly Appboy), LaunchMetrics, PeerIQ, Credijusto, Click Therapeutics, AlphaHQ and others. She also remains actively engaged with the media via her popular Tech Media Dinner & Discussion events. She is a sought-after public speaker and hosted her own tech show, “Secrets of Successful Startups“ on CBS Interactive.
Benjamin Joffe is a partner at SOSV, a global early-stage Deep Tech fund with $650M AUM. SOSV invests in 150 new startups per year via its accelerator programs specialized in hardware, life sciences and food. Prior to joining SOSV, Benjamin worked in telecom, gaming and ran his own consultancy covering tech innovation from Asia where he lived from 2000 to 2017. Benjamin has spoken about Deep Tech, ecosystems, investment at over 300 events across 34 countries including TechCrunch Disrupt, Hello Tomorrow, Noah, Stanford and Berkeley, and has been quoted in numerous media including WSJ, Nature and Wired.
Ton van’t Noordende
Ton is Founder of PHX (thephx.co), a yearly unconference taking place on an island near Amsterdam, bringing together the world’s most original thinkers, scientists, creatives and artists, top-tier investors, founders and ultra-high net worths from Europe and the US. (Check out his essay on Medium for a complete backdrop or check out our short film and visual manifesto).
Next to that, he’s the Investor In Residence at Techleap (formerly StartupDelta) working closely together with HRH Prince Constantijn of Oranje.
Founder and former Parnter at Deeptech venture firm 01Ventures.
Barbara is an entrepreneur and investor, passionate about science, space and AI. She is currently founder and CEO of Interstellar Lab whose mission is to design and build bioregenerative villages on Earth and beyond.
She started her career at 23 as an investor, raised over $80M and participated in 40 deals. At 28, she helped launching The Family, a Paris-based incubator and Hello Tomorrow, an event fostering scientific innovation. The same year, she founded her own asset management firm which gave birth in 2015 to Hardware Club. A $50M hybrid fund dedicated robotics and hardware startups with over 400 startups worldwide. Youngest women founder of a venture capital fund in Europe, she is in the top 10 Women in Tech in France in 2018 and in the world top 100 of Forbes 2018.
Timothy founded and led the climate change and health program at the World Bank, mobilizing more than $1bn in investment toward climate-sensitive health systems. He was also an originating member of the Global Partnership for Oceans and World Bank team addressing One Health, Planetary Health, and shared threats to humans, animals, and the environment. Trained as a medical doctor and environmental scientist, he has previously held positions with the US National Academy of Sciences, the World Health Organization, and the University of California, San Francisco. He holds degrees in biology, bioethics, geography, and medicine from Tufts, Harvard, Oxford, and Duke. Currently, he is based in Paris where he is working to develop ocean-based biotechnologies to improve human health and the environment.
Bruce Pittman is Chief System Engineer in the Space Portal Office at the NASA Ames Research Center and the Director of Commercial Space Development at OffWorld Inc. Bruce is a co-founder and Chief Space Officer for the not for profit Future Frontiers Institute. He is also the Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice President of the National Space Society. Bruce has a BS in Mechanical/Aerospace Engineering from U. C. Davis and a MS in Engineering Management from Santa Clara University. He is president of the Silicon Valley Space Club and has authored or co-authored over 4 dozen papers on a technical, management and business topics in aerospace and high technology. He has co-authored two book chapters in Beyond The Earth: The Future of Humans in Space and Space Commerce: The Inside Story. In addition to his technical work Bruce has also been a member of the adjunct faculty in the Graduate Engineering School at Santa Clara University for over 30 years. In 2011 NASA award him the Exceptional Public Service Medal for “exceptional leadership in pioneering the development of commercial space for public benefit”.
Jyri Engeström is Co-Founder and General Partner at Yes VC, an early-stage venture capital firm based in San Francisco. Yes VC invests in the pre-seed and seed stages of companies set in motion by social movements. Jyri has invested in e.g. Superhuman, CryptoKitties, Lovevery, Public Goods, Iceye, Moves (acquired by Facebook), Applifier (acquired by Unity), Betabrand and others. As an entrepreneur Jyri has co-founded, grown, and negotiated the acquisition of two mobile consumer companies: Jaiku, a mobile social network acquired by Google; and Ditto, a mobile local recommendations service acquired by Groupon. As an executive Jyri has run product teams. At Google he was the product manager responsible the Gmail mobile app, Mobile Calendar, and Google’s social networking efforts. At Groupon he was Director of Product Management on the executive team that started and grew Groupon’s point-of-sale and payments businesses. He was the Head of Product at Boosted, an electric vehicle company that created the Boosted Board electric skateboard, selected by Time Magazine as one of the best inventions of 2018. At Nokia, he was Sr. Product Manager of Internet Handhelds. He is co-founder of Sesat School, a micro-school in San Francisco; and serves on the board of the Rare Cancer Research Foundation. He also co-owns a café in Helsinki together with his partner Caterina Fake.
Chris Grew, a partner in the London office, is a member of the Technology Companies Group, which advises high growth technology companies and venture capital firms. Chris joined Orrick in 2008.
Before joining Orrick, he was a co-founder of the London office of Heller Ehrman and a member of the Venture Law Group at that firm. Prior to that, he was a partner at WilmerHale in London and a partner at Brobeck Hale and Dorr, the joint venture between Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison and Hale and Dorr. Chris originally qualified in England as a barrister.
Chris advises technology companies in venture capital transactions, public offerings and cross-border mergers and acquisitions. He regularly advises high technology (particularly Internet and computer software and hardware) companies with respect to their international business operations and transactions, as well as investment banks, venture capital firms and other financial intermediaries that serve technology companies.