HONEST LIKE NOWHERE ELSE.
We gauge whom to bring on stage by one predominant metric: what concrete advice can they bring to the table. The result? A dissection of how to grow a business, delivered by people who have built some of the most successful companies on the planet.
Here’s who took the stage in 2021.
PS. We are on the lookout for brilliant minds to take the stage at Slush 2022. If you know someone, submit them here.
Tony is Co-founder and CEO of DoorDash, the market-leading food delivery company in the United States. DoorDash is passionate about transforming local businesses and dedicated to enabling new ways of working, earning, and living. The goal of DoorDash is to build the largest local commerce marketplace and platform globally.
When Tony grew up he was inspired by local business owners like his mom: people who hustle daily to create as much a livelihood for their families as they do meaning in their community and life. By building the last-mile delivery infrastructure for local cities, DoorDash is bringing communities closer, one doorstep at a time.
DoorDash announced on November 10th that they will acquire the Finnish food delivery company Wolt and continue their mission to become the largest local commerce and marketplace platform globally.
Founded: 2013 | HQ: United States | Funding: Post IPO | Industry: Delivery
Renate Nyborg is CEO at Tinder. With over 15 years experience building mobile and subscription businesses, Renate joined Tinder in 2020 to lead its European operations. Now Renate is the first female CEO at Tinder.
Renate joined Tinder from Headspace, where she built and led its first international product and marketing team. She previously spent four years at Apple, where she led the App Store subscription business in Europe. Renate is also the founder of Pleo, a human-centric app design studio, and was the first-ever Global Director of Mobile at Edelman.
Renate is of Norwegian and Dutch origin and has worked in London, Silicon Valley, Stockholm, Paris, and Switzerland. She is a Philosophy graduate from the University of Cambridge. Renate currently lives in Europe with her husband, whom she met on Tinder and her three stepkids. She loves food, her piano, and music, and can often be found hiking or Nordic skiing around the Alps.
Founded: 2012 | HQ: United States | Funding: €682M | Industry: Social Media
Tony is Principal at Future Shape, an investment and advisory firm coaching deep tech startups. Currently, Future Shape is coaching over 200+ startups innovating game-changing technologies.
Tony is an active investor and entrepreneur with a 30+ year history of founding companies and designing products that profoundly improve people’s lives.
He is the founder and former CEO of Nest, the company that pioneered the “Internet of Things.” Tony was the SVP of Apple’s iPod Division and led the team that created the first 18 generations of the iPod and the first three generations of the iPhone. Throughout his career Tony has authored more than 300 patents. In May 2016, TIME named the Nest Learning Thermostat, the iPod and the iPhone as three of the “50 Most Influential Gadgets of All Time.”
About Future Shape
Founded: 2014 | HQ: France | Stage: Series A–Series B
April Koh is Co-founder and CEO of Spring Health, a comprehensive mental health benefits platform for employers.
April has received honors from the American Psychiatric Association and has been featured in numerous news outlets such as Forbes 30 under 30. She is also a Yale Entrepreneurial Institute Fellow.
About Spring Health
Founded: 2016 | HQ: United States | Funding: €269M | Industry: Health
Luciana Lixandru is Partner at Sequoia, where she focuses on enterprise and consumer technology companies across Europe. Luciana works closely with companies like Xentral and Getir, and is passionate about helping founders at all stages to unlock their potential and think on a global scale.
Prior to becoming Sequoia’s first partner in Europe, Luciana worked at Accel for eight years, where she led investments in UiPath, Deliveroo, Miro and Hopin. She has also held positions at Summit Partners and Morgan Stanley.
Luciana holds a B.S. in Economics and Mathematics from Georgetown, and currently resides in London.
About Sequoia Capital
Founded: 1972 | HQ: United States | Stage: Seed–Growth
Peter Carlsson is Founder and CEO of Northvolt, a company on a mission to build Europe’s largest lithium-ion battery factory. Having raised €5.55 billion of funding to date, Northvolt works with the biggest automotive manufacturers in the world such as BMW and Volkswagen.
Before founding Northvolt, Peter worked as CPO and Head of Supply Chain at Tesla Motors. He left these positions at the end of 2015 to become an entrepreneur, advisor, and angel investor. Prior to Tesla, Peter worked as Chief Product Officer in several notable companies such as NXP (former Philips Semiconductors) and Sony Ericsson.
Peter holds an M.SC. in Economics, Production, and Quality Control from Luleå Technical University.
Founded: 2016 | HQ: Sweden | Funding: €5,55B | Industry: Energy
Sonali De Rycker
Sonali De Rycker is Partner at Accel. She joined the VC firm in 2008 and focuses on consumer (especially marketplaces), next-generation financial services and software companies.
Sonali led Accel’s investments in Avito (acquired by Naspers), Spotify (NYSE: SPOT), Primer, MerxU, 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.
Founded: 1983 | HQ: United States | Stage: Seed–Growth
Miki Kuusi is Co-founder and CEO of the Helsinki-based company Wolt. Founded in 2014, Wolt is Europe’s second fastest growing technology company focused on making it easy to discover and get the best restaurants and shops delivered home & to the office. Wolt operates in 23 countries and 200+ cities.
Previously, Miki ran Slush as co-founder & CEO, where he oversaw the event’s growth from a local, 300-person gathering in Helsinki to one of the leading tech and investor events in the world attended by more than 25,000 people annually, expanding across Europe and Asia.
Wired listed Miki as #32 on their top technology influencers in Europe for 2015, while Forbes featured Miki on their 30 under 30 list for 2016.
Founded: 2014 | HQ: Finland | Funding: €705M | Industry: Food Delivery
Lila Ibrahim is COO at DeepMind, a London-based research community building safe AI systems. At DeepMind, Lila oversees both technology and organizational infrastructure including Engineering, Operations, and People.
Originally a microprocessor engineer, Lila has helped grow some of the world’s leading technology companies including Intel, venture firm Kleiner Perkins, and Coursera, where she was the first executive hire.
Lila is Co-founder and Chair of education technology non-profit Team4Tech. She has previously served on the Board of Gannett, helping it become the largest US print media company. Her exceptional impact has been recognized by a Henry Crown Fellowship from the Aspen Institute and the Anita Borg Institute Award for Social Impact.
Founded: 2010 | HQ: United Kingdom | Funding: Acquired by Google | Industry: Enterprise Software
Co-founder and Chairman of Wise. Prior to starting Wise, Taavet was director of strategy at Skype, where he’d started as its first employee. One of the World Economic Forum’s Tech Pioneers, Taavet has acted as adviser to the Prime Minister of Estonia on the digital agenda, one of the European Commission’s High Level Group of Innovators and a member of the WEF’s Europe Policy Group. He’s also a mentor and angel investor; his investments include Tweetdeck, Mendeley, OMGPOP, Property Partner, Sunrise, Improbable and Cleo.
Founded: 2010 | HQ: United Kingdom | Revenue: 421M GBP | Industry: Fintech
Victoria van Lennep
Victoria van Lennep is Co-Founder of Lendable, an AI-powered consumer finance platform focused on the UK and US.
Lendable has originated nearly $3 billion of personal loans and is fast scaling in auto finance, credit cards and buy-now-pay-later. At the heart of Lendable is a proprietary and globally scalable AI platform which more accurately prices risk and instantly approves and disburses loans to applicants, driving superior outcomes for both borrowers and investors on the platform.
Prior to Lendable, Victoria worked for the Economist Intelligence Unit. She holds a bachelor’s and master’s in Economics from the ULB and an MSc in Environmental Policy from the University of Oxford, where she was a Wiener Anspach scholar.
Founded: 2014 | HQ: United Kingdom | Industry: Fintech
Sujata Bhatia is COO at Monzo, the UK neobank on a mission to make money work for everyone.
Before joining Monzo, Sujata was a Senior Vice President & GM for Global Merchant Services Europe at American Express. In her early career, she was a strategy consultant at Bain & Company in London and worked at Goldman Sachs and Ernst & Young.
Sujata holds her MBA in Finance from the Wharton School of Business. Originally from Boston, Sujata resides in London. Even so, she remains an avid Boston sports fan.
Founded: 2015 | HQ: UK | Funding: €622M | Industry: Fintech
Guillaume Pousaz, is Founder and CEO of Checkout.com, the leading payments technology firm he launched in 2012. Driven by the belief that financial complexity is a barrier to innovation—and, therefore, economic prosperity—he founded Checkout.com to cut through the complexity and empower businesses to change the world.
Checkout has since become one of the most valuable private fintech companies in the world. Its customers include Shein, Patreon, Moonpay, and Grab, as well as many of the largest fintech companies such as Wise, Tansfergo, and Curve.
Founded: 2012 | HQ: United Kingdom | Funding: €755M | Industry: Fintech
Michael Acton Smith
Michael Acton Smith is Co-founder and Co-CEO of Calm, the leading digital health brand for mental fitness, meditation, and sleep. Calm has grown to over 100 million downloads, was the Apple 2017 app of the year, and is the world’s first mental health unicorn.
Long fascinated by neuroscience, flow states, and mental fitness, Michael is passionate about spreading meditation as a simple yet valuable skill around the world.
Prior to Calm, Michael was Founder of Ping Pong Fight Club, and Berwickstock music festival. In 2014, he was awarded an OBE for services to the Creative Industries.