THE BRIGHTEST STARTUP MINDS
ON THE PLANET.
Our stage program is all about concrete advice for the growth-minded and entrepreneurially wired. The past speaker lineup has featured some of the most accomplished founders, experienced operators and successful investors out there sharing their best-kept secrets with the Slush audience.Suggest a speaker!
WHO’S JOINING THIS YEAR?
Stay tuned for more – we will be announcing more speakers on a weekly basis.
John Collison is 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.
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.
In 2015 Dasilva also founded Never Apart, a cultural non-profit determined to bring about positive social change and unity through original programming with global reach and impact. Housed in Lightspeed’s former offices, Never Apart cultivates a diverse following and has welcomed thousands into its 12,000-square-foot space.
Helping entrepreneurs become leaders in their communities through Lightspeed’s technology and elevating artists through his work at Never Apart are fundamental to Dasilva’s philosophy. He fosters cultures of innovation, promotes diverse leadership, and values different viewpoints.
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.
Ranked #31 out of 100 top tech investors on Forbes’s 2018 Midas List, Rebecca Lynn is a General Partner at Canvas. She focuses on early-stage venture investments in AI, FinTech, digital health, SaaS, and mobile. Rebecca led Canvas’s investments in Casetext, Figure Eight, Gabi, HealthLoop, Roofstock, and Vida Health, and currently sits on the boards of each. She also led Canvas’s investment in Luminar, 11 Honore, as well as, FutureAdvisor which was acquired by BlackRock.
In 2007, Rebecca joined Morgenthaler Ventures and continues to serve on the boards of that firm’s portfolio companies. She led an early-stage investment in Lending Club (NYSE: LC), which was the largest US technology IPO of 2014 and the fourth largest US Internet IPO since 2001 behind Facebook, Twitter, and Google. She also led investments in Check (acquired by Intuit), RelateIQ (acquired by Salesforce), Doximity, Practice Fusion, and Convo. Rebecca is a board member of Lending Club, Doximity, Convo, and a board observer of Adara Media and Socrata.
Rebecca is a native of the Midwest, born and raised in Missouri and worked in Ohio for her first job out of college. She began her career at Procter and Gamble’s corporate headquarters in Cincinnati where she launched new products internationally. She is active on the boards of the Economic Innovation Group (EIG), UC Berkeley’s SkyDeck, and Signature Innovation Fellows.
Peter Reinhardt is CEO and co-founder 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.
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. Before becoming Group President, Bryant was Intel’s Corporate Vice President and Chief Information Officer, responsible for the corporate-wide information technology solutions and services that enable Intel’s business.
Bryant was named among Fortune’s 50 Most Powerful Women in Business in 2015 and 2016 and is a tireless advocate for women and underrepresented minorities in the fields of engineering and technology. Business Insider ranked Ms. Bryant #6 among the Most Powerful Female Engineers in 2018. In 2016, World Affairs and its Global Philanthropy Forum honored Ms. Bryant with its Global Citizen Award.
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 of 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.
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.
Scott is Fair’s Founder and CEO, and a serial entrepreneur in the automotive and technology industries who has founded dozens of disruptive companies over the past 25 years. Prior to Fair, Scott founded TrueCar with the aim of eliminating negotiation from the car-buying process by providing data-driven pricing research to both dealers and consumers. Painter also founded Cars Direct, which took the pioneering step of introducing upfront pricing to auto retail. Painter regularly attends TED, All Things D, and is a member of the World Economic Forum, regularly attending and speaking at its annual meeting in Davos since 2011.
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.
John Lindfors is the 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.
Ophelia is the 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 behaviour and design, Ophelia loves worked with founders with strong product DNA and design-oriented teams.
Ophelia is also the founder of ALT “Ambitious Ladies in Tech” – a mentor programme 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.
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!
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.
Sofia is the 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.
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.
Andrea Barrica is the 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.
Ethan Smith is an advisor in growth and search engine optimization (SEO). He has helped build SEO and growth engines at leading marketplaces such as Thumbtack, Ticketmaster, Honey, and Masterclass.
SOME OF OUR PAST GUESTS.
Take a look at some of our previous speakers.
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.
Slush HelsinkiNov 5, 2019 20:00 – 22:30
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.
Margrethe Vestager is EU Commissioner for Competition. She previously served as Minister for Economic Affairs and the Interior (2011-14) and Minister for Education (1998-2001) of Denmark, and as President of the ECOFIN Council during the Danish EU Presidency (2012). She was Political leader of the Danish Social Liberal Party (2007-14), and has worked for the Danish Ministry of Finance (1993-95). Ms. Vestager holds an MSc in Economics (University of Copenhagen).
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 Yes VC. Board member, Public Goods, Sundance. Formerly cofounder Flickr, Chairman of Etsy. Advocate for online community, social software, art, literature, myth and poetry.
Former Vice President Al Gore is a co-founder and chairman of Generation Investment Management. He is a senior partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and a member of Apple Inc.’s board of directors. Gore is also chairman of The Climate Reality Project, a non-profit organization devoted to solving the climate crisis.
Gore was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1976, 1978, 1980, and 1982 and to the U.S. Senate in 1984 and 1990. He was inaugurated as the 45th vice president of the United States on January 20, 1993, and served eight years.
He is the author of the best-sellers Earth in the Balance, An Inconvenient Truth, The Assault on Reason, Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis, and, most recently, The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change.
He is the subject of an Oscar-winning documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, and a new film premiering in July 2017, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power. Gore is the co-recipient, with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, for “informing the world of the dangers posed by climate change”.
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.
Markus Villig is the founder and CEO of Taxify, the leading European transportation platform.
He teamed up with his brother Martin, ex-Skype, to build the first version of Taxify 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.
Taxify is one of the fastest-growing transportation platforms in Europe and Africa with investors including Daimler, Didi Chuxing, Korelya Capital and TransferWise co-founder Taavet Hinrikus. The company has more than 15 million users in over 25 countries globally.
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.
Sophia Bendz is an Executive in Residence at Atomico. Based in Stockholm, she advises founders on communications and marketing strategy and scaling their brand. As an active player in Stockholm’s startup scene, Sophia also helps with sourcing and the evaluation of new investment opportunities.
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 and advisor to startups, and serves as a Board Director at Avanza, Kindred Group and non-profit organization Race For The Baltic. She is also a co-founder of non-profit foundation AllBright.se and has invested in start up’s such as Tictail, Clue, DogBuddy, Shim, Joints Academy, Search Inc, Bokio, DigiExam, Greta.io, Scout, Brighten, Prion, Simple Feast, and Sana Labs.
With hands on experience from building a brand, launching a product in 56+ markets and growing a team across different continents Sophia can relate to the joy and stress of life as an entrepreneur. The insights and experiences from her years at Spotify is something she’s happy to share as well as insights from the VC world on how to go about raising funds.
Sophia believes in working with people who share the same set of values and want to improve the world through innovation.
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 focuses on consumer, software and financial services businesses.
She led Accel’s investments in Avito (acquired by Naspers), Lyst, Spotify, Wallapop, KupiVIP, Calastone, Catawiki, JobToday, Shift Technology, SilverRail (acquired by Expedia) , Kry and Soldo. Prior to Accel, Sonali was with Atlas Ventures.
Sonali grew up in Mumbai and graduated from Bryn Mawr College and Harvard Business School.
Computer Software. Current: Unity Technologies, Nordic Makers – Backing Ambitious Entrepreneurs, Realm.io. Previous: Unity Technologies, World on a Hanger, Unity Studios. Education: Københavns Universitet.
David is 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 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. They’ve done well thus far.
PS. David always enjoy the challenge of connecting the dots in front of a tough audience as a keynote speaker or at TV and radio and podcast appearances.
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.
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.
Pär-Jörgen (PJ) Pärson is a General Partner at Venture Capital fund Northzone. PJ heads up Northzone’s New York office, and he has a particular interest in new business models in media and consumer applications, as well as financial technologies. Having led the fund’s Spotify investment since the initial investment in 2008, PJ has since invested in other disruptive properties in the media and content space, including Fubo TV and Sourcepoint. His other portfolio companies include Qapital, Bloglovin PlayDots, and Soundtrack Your Brand. PJ was behind one of the largest VC backed tech M&A in Europe with the sale of Avito at €2.7bn valuation in 2015, and has some 23 years’ venture capital experience. He started his career at McKinsey, before managing the turn-around of a fish distribution business, and building Europe’s first internet incubator, Cell Ventures. He holds an MBA from Stockholm School of Economics and Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi in Milan.
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.