With 5,000 founders and investors, more than 40 keynote and fireside sessions, and over 50 exhibiting startups, this is Startup Grind's largest event ever. Bringing together great content and great people in an incredible setting, injecting some custom-built networking technology, and topping it all off with an unrivalled feeling of intimacy is how we guarantee amazing business and an awesome time.Watch 2017 highlights
An accomplished entrepreneur and executive, Reid has played an integral role in building many of today’s leading consumer technology businesses, including LinkedIn and PayPal. He possesses a unique understanding of consumer behavior and the dynamics of viral businesses, as well as deep experience in driving companies from the earliest stages through periods of explosive, “blitzscale” growth. Ranging from Linkedin to PayPal, from Airbnb to Convoy to Facebook, Reid invests in businesses with network effects and collaborates on building their product ecosystems.
Reid co-founded LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional networking service, in 2003. LinkedIn is thriving with more than 500 million members around the world and a diversified revenue model that includes subscriptions, advertising, and software licensing. He led LinkedIn through its first four years and to profitability as Chief Executive Officer. Prior to LinkedIn, Reid served as executive vice president at PayPal, where he was also a founding board member.
Reid is an accomplished investor. He currently serves on the boards of Airbnb, Coda, Convoy, Edmodo, Entrepreneur First, Gixo, Microsoft, Nauto, Xapo and a few early stage companies still in stealth. In addition, he serves on a number of not-for-profit boards, including Kiva, Endeavor, CZI Biohub and Do Something. Prior to joining Greylock, he angel invested in many influential Internet companies, including Facebook, Flickr, Last.fm, and Zynga.
Reid is the co-author of two New York Times best-selling books: The Start-up of You and The Alliance. His next book is focused on “blitzscaling”, based on his Stanford course of the same name. Reid is the host of the podcast, Masters of Scale.
Reid earned a master’s degree in philosophy from Oxford University, where he was a Marshall Scholar, and a bachelor’s degree with distinction in symbolic systems from Stanford University. In 2010 he was the recipient of an SD Forum Visionary Award and named a Henry Crown Fellow by The Aspen Institute. In 2012, he was honored by the Martin Luther King center’s Salute to Greatness Award. Also in 2012, he received the David Packard Medal of Achievement from TechAmerica and an honorary doctor of law from Babson University. In 2017, Reid was appointed as a CBE by her majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Walt Mossberg is a veteran technologist columnist, commentator, reviewer, and conference producer. He is widely credited with pioneering the modern, consumer-focused, technology review and commentary at The Wall Street Journal. He also co-founded AllThingsD, Recode and the D and Code Conferences. He co-created and co-hosted a popular podcast, Ctrl-Walt- Delete.
He was, from 1991 through 2013, the principal technology columnist for The Wall Street Journal. Mossberg left the Journal at the end of 2013 to form the independent Recode technology web site and conference business with his longtime business partner, Kara Swisher. Recode is a direct descendant of AllThingsD, a technology conference and web site owned by Journal publisher Dow Jones, but created and operated for 12 years by Mossberg and Swisher. Along with other reporters from AllThingsD, Mossberg and Swisher started Recode in 2014, and it was acquired by Vox Media in 2015.
From 2015 to 2017, Mossberg was Executive Editor of The Verge and Editor-at- Large of Recode, web sites owned by Vox Media. Mossberg wrote a weekly column for both and also had a weekly podcast, Ctrl-Walt- Delete. Mossberg was also co-executive producer of the annual Code Conference.
Mossberg retired from weekly column writing, podcasting, conference producing and TV appearances in July of 2017. He is now working on new projects, including a book and his service as a board member of the non-profit, nonpartisan News Literacy Project.
Mossberg was a reporter and editor at The Wall Street Journal from 1970 until the end of 2013. He was based in the Journal's Washington, D.C., office, where he spent 18 years covering national and international affairs before turning his attention to technology. His Personal Technology column appeared every Thursday for 22 years. He also edited the Digital Solution column each Wednesday (authored by his colleague, Katherine Boehret), and wrote the Mossberg's Mailbox column on Thursdays. He appeared weekly on CNBC, and has been interviewed repeatedly on programs like Charlie Rose and The PBS News Hour, as well as on National Public Radio.
In 1999, Mossberg became the first technology writer to receive the Loeb award for Commentary. In 2001, he won the World Technology Award for Media and Journalism and received an honorary Doctorate from the University of Rhode Island. In 2017, he was awarded the Loeb Lifetime Achievement Award.
Mossberg is widely regarded as one of the most influential writers on information technology. In 2004, in a lengthy profile, Wired called him "The Kingmaker", saying "few reviewers have held so much power to shape an industry's successes and failures.”
The Washington Post declared Mr. Mossberg “one of the most powerful men in the high-tech world” and “a one-man media empire whose prose can launch a new product.” And the New York Times calls him a “protean critic of the new economy’s tools and toys.”
In 2007, The New Yorker magazine profiled him in an article entitled: “Everyone listens to Walter Mossberg.” In 2008, and 2010-2013, Vanity Fair magazine listed him as a member of its “New Establishment” list of the top leaders of the Information Age.
He is a former trustee of Brandeis University. A native of Warwick, Rhode Island, he holds degrees from Brandeis and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He lives in Maryland with his wife, Edith Mossberg, an early childhood educator, and has two sons and a granddaughter.
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.
Steve Huffman is the co-founder and CEO of Reddit, the "front page of the internet" and fourth most visited site in the U.S. He is also the co-founder and former CEO of Hipmunk, the popular online travel company. Raised in northern Virginia, Huffman pursued his passion for programming from an early age and followed it through a computer science degree at the University of Virginia. In 2005, he and his college roommate Alexis Ohanian pitched their first start-up to then-new incubator Y Combinator. While the pair's initial idea for a food-ordering mobile app called My Mobile Menu was rejected, Y Combinator founder Paul Graham invited them to build a new startup, which soon led to their creation of Reddit. After selling the company in 2006, Huffman launched Hipmunk and was named to Inc. Magazine's “30 Under 30” list in 2011 and the Forbes “30 Under 30” list in 2012. A few years later, Huffman returned as CEO of Reddit, where he has led the company's development of native image and video hosting, a new mobile app, and a full site redesign while growing the Reddit community to over 330 million monthly users. In addition to his work at Reddit, Huffman is a mentor at Hackbright Academy, a San Francisco-based coding school for women. In his free time, he enjoys skiing, dancing, and browsing r/WholesomeMemes.
As Booking.com’s Chief Executive Officer, Gillian Tans is responsible for the global strategy and operations of Booking.com, including the management of all business units within the organisation. Previously, Gillian served as Booking.com’s President and Chief Operating Officer, a role she was appointed to in 2011, as well as other positions at the helm of Booking.com’s Global Sales, Operations, IT, Content and Customer Care departments. Under her leadership, Booking.com has advanced its operations and sales across more than 225 countries and territories around the world.
When Gillian joined Booking.com in 2002, the company only had a small footprint in Amsterdam. During her tenure over the past 15 years, the company has expanded to more than 15,000 employees in 204 offices all over the world who serve Booking.com’s global customers and accommodation partners. Gillian is a passionate advocate for maintaining Booking.com’s entrepreneurial culture and values, as well as for promoting opportunities for women leaders to grow and excel throughout the organisation.
Before joining Booking.com, Gillian spent four years with the international Golden Tulip Worldwide hotel group, where she served as Product Manager, Marketing Manager and Director of Sales. She also worked for the Intercontinental Hotel Group and with a number of independent hotels.
Gillian began her career at Hershey Entertainment and Resorts in Pennsylvania, and is a graduate of the Hotel Management School in Middelburg, in the Netherlands. She speaks English, Dutch, German and French.
Jeff Jordan is a general partner at the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz where he serves on the board of 500px, Accolade, Airbnb, Belly, Instacart, Limebike, Lookout, OfferUp, Pinterest, and Walker & Company.
He was previously CEO and then executive chairman of OpenTable, where he led the company during a period of accelerated domestic and international growth and oversaw its initial public offering. Prior to OpenTable, Jeff was president of PayPal and responsible for establishing the company as the global standard for online payments. Earlier, he was senior vice president and general manager of eBay North America, overseeing eBay's growth into one of the Internet’s leading commerce brands and driving the successful acquisitions of PayPal and Half.com.
Before joining eBay, Jeff was chief financial officer of Hollywood Entertainment and president of Reel.com. He also worked as senior vice president of finance for The Disney Stores at The Walt Disney Company.
Jeff holds an MBA from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, where he also serves on the Advisory Counsel. He received a BA in Political Science and Psychology from Amherst College.
Kyle Vogt is an engineer, entrepreneur, and robotics pioneer who is redefining the future of human mobility. In 2013, Kyle founded Cruise Automation, which under his leadership as CEO developed the first driverless fleet of Chevy Bolt EVs that are currently on the road in cities across the U.S. In 2016, Kyle and Cruise partnered with General Motors to help scale his vision for a driverless future. His interest in self-driving technology stemmed from competing in Battlebots at an early age and by 14 years old, Kyle had built a self-driving power wheels car that used a webcam, computer vision, and power window motor to steer to follow yellow lines in a parking lot. As an undergrad at MIT, he worked on the DARPA Grand Challenge where he co-led a team to retrofit a Ford F-150 with drive by wire capability and sensors. Prior to Cruise, Kyle co-founded Twitch (acquired by Amazon), Socialcam (acquired by Autodesk), and Justin.tv, where he gained a following through an MIT email listserv ‘call to action’ and hero coded the project. A native of Kansas City, Kyle studied computer science and electrical engineering at MIT.
James is our Co-Founder and has served as our Chairman since May 2015, as a member of our board of directors since March 2007, and as our President and CEO since September 2007. Previously, James served as a Director of Product Development at CNET Networks, as the President and a Co-Founder of Wind-Up Labs, Inc. (an online photo-sharing company acquired by CNET Networks in April 2005). He was also CTO and Co-Founder of Epesi Technologies, Inc., a software company. James attended Harvard College where he studied Computer Science. He was selected to serve as a member of our board of directors due to the perspective and experience he brings as our Co-Founder, President, and CEO.
Entrepreneur, investor, and two-time NBA All-Star and record-holder, over a thirteen-year career, Baron Davis played for the Charlotte Hornets, the Golden State Warriors, the Los Angeles Clippers, the Cleveland Cavaliers, and the New York Knicks. Known for his electrifying style on the court, Davis was a powerful point guard, who won national acclaim for executing in crucial, high-pressure moments, when his team needed him the most. As a businessman, Baron was one of the original investors for Vitaminwater and helped launch Thrive Market.
Baron is also the founder of several companies, including Sports and Lifestyle in Culture (SLIC), The Black Santa Company, Business Inside the Game (BIG) and No Label—each with the objective of combining creative talent with original publication and production to develop and provide educational and empowering stories that appeal to global audiences of all ages.
Baron also served as producer of several acclaimed documentaries including Crips and Bloods: Made In America, 30 for 30: Sole Man, and The Drew: No Excuse, Just Produce.
Ann Miura-Ko has been called “the most powerful woman in startups” by Forbes and is a lecturer in entrepreneurship at Stanford. The child of a rocket scientist at NASA, Ann is a Palo Alto native and has been steeped in technology startups from when she was a teenager. Prior to co-founding FLOODGATE, she worked at Charles River Ventures and McKinsey and Company. Some of Ann’s investments include Lyft, Ayasdi, Xamarin, Refinery29, JoyRun, TaskRabbit, and Modcloth. Given the success of her investments she was on the 2017 Midas List of top 100 venture capitalists. Ann is known for her debate skills (she placed first in the National Tournament of Champions and second in the State of California in high school) and was part of a five-person team at Yale that competed in the Robocup Competition in Paris, France. She has a BSEE from Yale and a PhD from Stanford in math modeling of computer security. She lives with her husband, 3 kids ages 10, 8 and 6 and one spoiled dog.
Jess Lee is a partner at Sequoia Capital. Previously, she held leadership positions at Google and Polyvore. While at Google, Jess was a product manager for Google Maps. Jess joined Polyvore as a product manager in 2008 after providing their co-founder with feedback on issues with the website. She was later named VP of Product, an honorary co-founder, and ultimately CEO. Polyvore was acquired by Yahoo in 2015. Jess holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Stanford University. She has been featured in Fortune Magazine’s 40 Under 40 list and Glamour Magazine’s Top 35 Under 35 Women in Tech.
Max Levchin is the CEO and cofounder of Affirm, a financial services technology company, cofounder and Chairman of Glow, a women’s reproductive and sexual health company, and cofounder and general partner at SciFi VC, a private venture capital firm. All three companies were created and launched from his San Francisco based innovation lab, HVF (Hard, Valuable, Fun). Max was one of the original cofounders of PayPal where he served as the CTO until its acquisition by Ebay in 2002. He is primarily known for his contributions to PayPal's anti-fraud efforts as the co-creator of the Gausebeck-Levchin test, one of the first commercial implementations of a CAPTCHA. In 2002, Max was named to the Technology Review TR100 as one of the top 100 innovators in the world as well as Innovator of the Year. In 2004, he founded Slide, a personal media-sharing service for social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook which he sold to Google in August 2010. 2004 was also the year he helped start Yelp, where he was the first investor and Chairman of the Board from 2004 until 2015. He has served on several boards such as Yahoo!, Yelp, Evernote and currently serves on the Consumer Advisory Board of the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Max is a serial entrepreneur, computer scientist, philanthropist and active investor in more than 100 startups.
Anna is the Founder and Managing Partner at Gradient Ventures, overseeing the fund’s global activities. Anna is an accomplished leader in the field of artificial intelligence, is a serial entrepreneur, and has a long history at Google. Prior to starting Gradient Ventures, Anna was Google’s Vice President of Engineering in AI - integrating AI into products across Google. She also serves on the Board of Directors at Square Inc. Early in her career at Google, she helped launch and scale Android to over a billion phones, launched Google Play, and led the search, infrastructure, recommendations horizontals. Anna was the principal architect and inventor of TeraGoogle, Google’s search serving system, which increased the index size over 10X at the time of launch. She also helped lead search ranking efforts through Google’s IPO to determine the top ten search results. Anna co-founded Cuil, a clustering-based search engine, and wrote Recall.archive.org, the first keyword-based search engine and the largest index of the Internet Archive. She wrote “Why writing your own search engine is hard” in the ACM Queue detailing this experience. Prior to that, Anna co-founded and co-authored a search engine at Xift. Anna received her PhD in Computer Science from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana then became a Research Scientist at Stanford University in Artificial Intelligence, where she worked with one of the founders of AI, John McCarthy, and his wife Carolyn Talcott. Anna resides in the Bay Area, where she wrangles her 4 kids, 2 horses and her Irish husband.
Dr. Andrew Ng is a globally recognized leader in AI (Artificial Intelligence). He was until recently Chief Scientist at Baidu, where he led the company’s ~1300 person AI Group and was responsible for driving the company's global AI strategy and infrastructure. He was also the founding lead of the Google Brain team. Dr. Ng is also Co-Chairman and Co-founder of Coursera, the world’s leading MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) platform, and an Adjunct Professor at Stanford University's Computer Science Department. Dr. Ng has authored or co-authored over 100 research papers in machine learning, robotics and related fields. He holds degrees from Carnegie Mellon University, MIT and the University of California, Berkeley.
Katherine Power is a Fortune 40 Under 40 honoree and the co-founder & CEO of CMG, the parent company of leading content sites Who What Wear (fashion), MyDomaine (lifestyle), Byrdie (beauty), and Obsessee (a social-only network for Gen Z girls). Among the company's key offerings are CMG Studios (a next-gen marketing agency specializing in content, social distribution, and experiences), the INF Network (representing 55+ top social influencers and bloggers), and CMG Brands (a consumer products division), including the successful Who What Wear apparel collection, sold exclusively at Target stores nationwide.
Vinny is a serial entrepreneur who previously founded the digital gift card platform, Gyft, which was acquired by First Data Corporation in 2014. After over a decade of experience in e-commerce, he realized that no-one had a universal solution to tackle identity fraud for consumers.
Bradley Horowitz is an experienced product executive who has led many of Google’s largest consumer applications including Gmail, Google Drive and Docs, Google News, Calendar, Google Voice, Blogger, Reader, Orkut, Google+ and Google Photos. He’s also led Google for Entrepreneurs and Area 120. Area 120 is a recently formed startup incubator within Google that builds off of the company’s long-standing tradition of employee-sourced innovation. Before joining Google in February 2008, Horowitz was Yahoo's vice president of Advanced Development where he drove the acquisitions of Flickr and MyBlogLog, launched the Brickhouse incubator and developed new products like Yahoo! Pipes. Previously, he was co-founder and CTO of Virage, where he oversaw the technical direction of the company from its founding through its NASDAQ IPO and eventual acquisition by Autonomy. Bradley has a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of Michigan, and a master’s degree in media science from the MIT Media Lab.
Rich Pierson is a co-founder and CEO of Headspace. As the former head of business development for the creative agency BBH, Rich worked on many of the world’s leading brands and has been instrumental in bringing countless new and exciting concepts to market. In 2010, with a strong personal interest in mindfulness, Rich got together with meditation expert, Andy Puddicombe, to launch Headspace. The mission was simple: to demystify meditation and to make it accessible, relevant and creatively engaging. Based in Santa Monica, California, Rich is the driving force behind many of Headspace’s most exciting innovations: from partnerships with brands like Virgin Atlantic and Spotify, to the recent launch of Headspace for Sports. Rich continues to work tirelessly in the pursuit of Headspace’s vision: to improve the health and happiness of the world.
Marc Tarpenning started building and programming computers as a teenager and earned an A.B. degree in Computer Science from University of California, Berkeley.
In 1997, he and Martin Eberhard founded NuvoMedia, an electronic book company that pioneered the legal and technological framework for the digital distribution of eBooks. NuvoMedia, and their Rocket eBook reader, was sold to Gemstar/TV Guide in 2000.
In 2003, Marc and Martin co-founded Tesla Motors. At Tesla, Mr. Tarpenning ran the electrical engineering group in addition to being the acting CFO for the first three years. Tesla Motors became a public company in 2010 and dominates the electric car market with its Model S, Model X and now the new Model 3. Tesla customers have driven over 4 billion electric miles and the company employs over 30,000 people.
Since leaving Tesla Motors, Mr. Tarpenning has been Entrepreneur in Residence at Mayfield Fund, sits on several company Advisory Boards, speaks frequently on entrepreneurship, is a publicly elected School Board Trustee for the Woodside Elementary School District, a Trustee for the private Nueva School, a member of the Advisory Board of the Science Learning Institute at Foothill College, and an elected Member representing Area Three of the San Mateo County Committee on School District Organization.
Jyoti is Founder and Chairman of the Board of AppDynamics. Jyoti is a Silicon Valley leader, product visionary and entrepreneur, he founded AppDynamics in 2008 with the vision of "Application Intelligence" to help modern enterprises embark on their journey of digital transformation with a disruptive approach to managing their software applications. From its founding in 2008 to 2015, Jyoti ran the company as Founder & CEO, during which time AppDynamics rapidly became one of the fastest growing enterprise software companies with nearly 850 employees, and 1,600 enterprise customers. In September 2015, Jyoti handed day-to- day operations to new CEO David Wadhwani and now leads the company’s vision, strategy and innovation. Jyoti has been a recipient of many leadership awards. In 2013, he was selected by Forbes as a "Best Cloud Computing CEO to Work For". In 2014, he was named "Best CEO" by San Francisco Business Times at the Annual Tech & Innovation Awards, and was an EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 2014 & 2015 Award Finalist in Northern California. Jyoti was consistently ranked as one of highest rated CEOs on Glassdoor with an employee approval of 97% in 2015. Before founding AppDynamics in 2008, Jyoti held engineering roles at various Silicon Valley startups, including Wily Technology (acquired by CA Technologies), Datasweep (acquired by Rockwell Automation), and netLens (acquired by Microsoft through FAST/NextPage). Jyoti received his BS in Computer Science from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi and is the lead inventor on 20+ US patents.
Prior to GV, Joe was a two-time entrepreneur. In 1993, he co-founded Excite.com, an early Internet search engine, holding multiple positions in the company, including leadership roles in product, business development, and marketing. More recently, he co-founded JotSpot in 2004, a wiki company that was acquired by Google in 2006. While at Google, Joe had multiple product management roles including Blogger, Picasa, Sites, Friend Connect, and OpenSocial.
In addition, Joe has been an active angel investor in multiple companies, including LinkedIn, Aardvark (sold to Google in 2010), Kongregate, and OpenCandy. Joe is also on the board of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF.org).
Joe received a B.A. from Stanford University.
Leah is General Partner at FUEL Capital, where she invests in early-stage companies across consumer technology, hardware, education, marketplaces, and retail. She’s passionate about supporting teams who are taking on world-changing ideas. Leah relates so well to founders because she is one herself. She created one of the most widely recognized consumer brands of the past decade with TaskRabbit. As TaskRabbit’s CEO for eight years, Leah scaled the company to 44 cities and raised more than $50 million. In 2016, Leah transitioned into the role of executive chairwoman and in 2017, TaskRabbit was acquired by IKEA. Leah has spoken at the World Economic Forum and Tina Brown’s Women in the World Summit and has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Wired, and Time. She has also been named one of the “100 Most Creative People in Business” by Fast Company.
Balaji S. Srinivasan is the CEO of Earn.com and a Board Partner at Andreessen Horowitz. Prior to taking the CEO role at Earn.com, Dr. Srinivasan was a General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz. Before joining a16z, he was the cofounder and CTO of Founders Fund-backed Counsyl, where he won the Wall Street Journal Innovation Award for Medicine and was named to the MIT TR35. Dr. Srinivasan holds a BS, MS, and PhD in Electrical Engineering and an MS in Chemical Engineering from Stanford University. He also teaches the occasional class at Stanford, including an online MOOC in 2013 which reached 250,000+ students worldwide.
Daniel H. Pink is the author of four books, including the long-running New York Times bestsellers Drive and A Whole New Mind. His books have been translated into 33 languages and have sold more than a million copies in the United States alone. He lives with his family in Washington, DC.
After being given a second chance of her own, Catherine founded Defy Ventures, a national nonprofit organization that “transforms the hustle” of currently and formerly incarcerated people. Catherine was named a #MakeTechHuman Agent of Change by WIRED and Nokia for being one of “17 Global Influencers Expanding Human Possibility Through Technology.” Catherine also received the MDC Partners Humanitarian Award on behalf of Defy Ventures (2015). She was named by Fast Company as one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business (2014) and is an Ashoka Fellow (2013).
Jean-Francois “Jeff” Clavier is the Founder and Managing Partner of SoftTech VC, one of the original seed VC firms in Silicon Valley, having closed 190+ investments since 2004. An early angel investor in Web 2.0, Jeff and his team have backed successful startups like Mint (Intuit), Kongregate (GameStop), Brightroll (Yahoo), LiveRamp (Acxiom), Milo (eBay), Wildfire (Google), Bleacher Report (Turner), Gnip (Twitter), Fitbit (NYSE:FIT), Eventbrite, Sendgrid, Poshmark, Hired, Postmates, Vungle, Shippo, Front and Molekule. The portfolio has also seen acquisitions by Groupon, Twitter, Facebook, Yahoo and AOL. The firm is currently investing out of its $100M Fund V, making on average 15 seed commitments of $1M per year in mobile/cloud saas, consumer services, connected devices, marketplaces and “frontier tech” (AI, AR/VR, autonomous vehicles, digital manufacturing and material science, space tech).
Born, raised and educated in France, Jeff graduated with a MS in Computer Science and a degree in Distributed Computing. He joined Effix, a financial services startup, as one of the initial developers while still at school and eventually led it as CTO. After 5 years, Reuters acquired the company and Jeff expanded his remit to several product and development organizations in Europe and the USA. In 2000, he moved to Silicon Valley as General Partner for RVC, the $450M venture fund affiliated with Reuters.
In 2004, Jeff left RVC to start SoftTech VC and invest in the early pioneers of Consumer Internet. Within a couple of years, he was being recognized in the media as one of the “super angels”, and in 2007, he subsequently raised one of the first micro-VC funds, $15M Fund II. After three years, and 60+ investments closed on his own, Jeff built a team and raised a larger, $55M Fund III that invested in 55 companies. In June 2014, the firm celebrated its 10-year anniversary, its move to San Francisco and the close of Fund IV. Two years later, the firm announced the closing of $150M across two funds, a $100M seed-focused Fund V and a $50M Plus fund that is making $3M to $5M investments in mature, existing portfolio companies.
Jeff was appointed on the board of the National Venture Capital Association in 2015, a 4-year mandate. In the SoftTech portfolio, he sits on the boards of Handshake, DocSend, Molekule and a number of stealth investments. He is listed on the Forbes Midas List of top venture capitalists in the world.
One of the early VC bloggers in 2004, Jeff is now a popular conference speaker and social media/TV commentator. When he is not spending time with SoftTech’s portfolio companies, Jeff enjoys traveling, skiing, hiking, scuba diving, collecting wine and hanging out with friends and family.
Reggie Bradford brings more than 20 years of experience to his role as Senior Vice President, Startup Ecosystem & Accelerator at Oracle. In his current role, he is focused on driving Oracle’s global startup initiatives and leading the expansion of its Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator program, as well as championing Oracle’s vision to become the global leader in Cloud Computing. He also serves as a thought leader speaking and writing about Entrepreneurism, Cloud, Internet of Things, Globalization, Data Visualization, Artificial Intelligence and other emerging technologies. Prior to joining Oracle, Bradford was the founder and CEO of Vitrue, the global leader in cloud-based social marketing and management. Vitrue was acquired by Oracle in May 2012 and is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Oracle. Prior to Vitrue, Bradford held executive management positions at TANDBERG Television, N2 Broadband, and WebMD. Over the course of his career, Bradford has received a number of industry accolades recognizing his success as an entrepreneur and Internet visionary, including Business Insider’s 2014 Most Influential People in Cloud Computing; Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Distinguished Entrepreneur Award in 2013; Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2012. Bradford currently serves on the board of directors of Integrate, a cloud-based marketing and media services provider; Mana Health, a healthcare technology startup which helps physicians glean trends from patient medical record data; and Persado, a marketing technology startup which provides marketers with an automated copywriting software that generates persuasive language to their target audience. Bradford received a BBA in Finance from the University of Georgia and an MBA from Emory University. He serves on numerous advisory boards including Felix Capital of London. Bradford resides in London with his wife Holly and their children.
Wade Foster is the CEO and co-founder of Zapier, a workflow automation tool used by over a million people to connect the work apps they use every day. Prior to Zapier, Wade worked as a customer development lead for The Idea Works, Inc. in Missouri. He is an alumni of Y Combinator and has degrees in industrial engineering and business administration from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Dan Price is the founder and CEO of Gravity Payments, a credit card processing and payment technology company leveling the playing field for independent businesses by saving them millions in fees and hours of frustration. He's widely known for setting a $70k minimum wage at Gravity, a small step in his goal to be a speck in a revolution where business is about purpose, not profit.
Connie is a Partner at Andreessen Horowitz where she focuses on finding great entrepreneurs with big ideas in consumer tech.
Previously, Connie led business development and marketing efforts for HP Palm in China. At Palm, she also launched the App Catalog, developer portal and the Facebook application for webOS. Prior to HP Palm, she worked as a founding Senior Associate at Elevation Partners, a $1.8 billion media and entertainment private equity firm, where she fell in love with the consumer Internet and mobile space.
Connie graduated from Stanford University with a MS in Management Science & Engineering, and a BA in Economics.
Mr. Svane is the CEO, chairman and founder of Zendesk, a global company that builds software for better customer relationships. He has driven the vision, culture, and growth of the company for the last 10 years. Under his leadership, the company went public on the New York Stock Exchange in 2014 and currently helps more than 100,000 organizations around the world better help, engage with and understand their customers. Originally from Copenhagen, Denmark, he is a published author of the book Startupland, a father of three, and a lover of handcrafted cocktails.
Tara Reed is the CEO of Apps Without Code, a groundbreaking startup school for non-technical entrepreneurs. In 2015, Reed launched her first company, Kollecto which she built without a single line of code. The app became one of the top art collecting apps in the US. Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, Reed ran marketing initiatives at Google, Foursquare, & Microsoft.
Jeremy joined Lightspeed in 2006 as the firm’s first consumer specialist, focusing on massive-scale social media, commerce, new media, and financial services. Like many in the industry, he was drawn to venture capital for its forward-looking approach to business
Kamran Elahian is the Founder and Chairman of Global Innovation Catalyst, LLC. Kamran also serves as Global Innovation Advisor, 500 Startups; Founding Mentor, Unreasonable Group and Unchartered; Advisory Member, UNICEF Innovation Fund; Advisory Member, Seedstars World; Founding Board Advisor, Harbour.Space University; Chairman, Advisory Board, Global Venture Alliance.
Julia Grace is the Head of Infrastructure Engineering at Slack. Previously, she was cofounder and CTO of Tindie, a marketplace for electronics funded by Andreessen Horowitz, where she built out and led the engineering team from founding through acquisition. Prior joining the startup world, she spent several years building systems at IBM Research. Julia holds a BS and MS in computer science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a focus on distributed systems. She is an avid runner and once starred in a TV commercial.
Justin is a co-founder and SVP of Business Development and Partnerships at Helix, a personal genomics company dedicated to empowering every person to improve their life through DNA. To accomplish this, the Helix team works with a diverse set of high-quality partners to create a vibrant ecosystem of DNA-powered products. Justin has responsibility for the ecosystem of partners that are core to the Helix platform model. Prior to Helix, Justin was a Vice President in the healthcare group at Warburg Pincus, a global private equity firm focused on growth investing. Justin holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and an M.S. in Bioengineering from Stanford University. He also received a J.D. from Stanford Law School and an M.B.A. from Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he was an Arjay Miller Scholar.
Eurie joined Forerunner Ventures in May 2012. Over the past 15 years, Eurie has evaluated and aided a wide variety of companies in their quest to define business models, identify target markets, understand consumer behavior, and overcome operational and competitive challenges to drive growth. As a management consultant at Bain and Company, Eurie advised large retail and e-commerce clients on strategy, identifying acquisition opportunities, and harnessing consumer insights to drive growth. Prior to Bain, Eurie was an investor at Castanea Partners where she evaluated growth investments in consumer and retail businesses. At Forerunner, Eurie has supported investments in 40+ early stage companies and currently serves on the Board of Directors of several Forerunner portfolio companies including: Away, Alchemy 43, Curology, MoveWith, The Farmer's Dog, and ShopShops. Eurie earned an MBA with honors at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and holds a B.S. with honors in Business Administration from the University of California, Berkeley.
Mike Jones is an internet executive, investor and strategic advisor and CEO of Science, Inc. He is Los Angeles’s most active angel investor with more than $2.5B in exits. His exits in 2016 alone included Science portfolio companies HelloSociety (acquired by New York Times), FameBit (acquired by Google) and Dollar Shave Club (acquired by Unilever). He is also a long-time entrepreneur. He started his first company in college, and he was previously the CEO of Userplane (acquired by AOL), Tsavo (acquired by Cybermedia), PBJ (acquired by JB), MySpace (acquired by Specific Media), Myspace Japan (acquired by Softbank), and FIM (acquired by Rubicon Project).
Jeff is the Founder and CEO of BCG Digital Ventures, the corporate venture investment and incubation firm that builds and scales category-changing businesses for the world’s most important companies. He co-founded BCGDV in 2014 and is currently based out of their global headquarters in Manhattan Beach, CA.
Alex Chriss is Senior Vice President & Chief Product Officer of Small Business at Intuit. He focuses on serving the global population of small businesses and self-employed businesses of one. Alex has a proven track record of innovating inside Intuit - launching and leading Intuit’s self-employed business unit, as well as Intuit’s platform-as- a-service strategy and the QuickBooks App Store, all of which are thriving today. QuickBooks Self-Employed helps hundreds of thousands of self-employed individuals manage their expenses and tax obligations, the partner platform allows independent developers to create and deploy products that work in conjunction with QuickBooks, while the app store enables small businesses to discover and consume hundreds of apps that integrate with QuickBooks. He’s also led Intuit’s QuickBooks Financing business, providing lower rates, an easier application and faster delivery of capital to millions of small businesses. Prior to Intuit, he was a successful entrepreneur, founding two companies, including CollegeWeb, an online community for college students that was sold in 1999.
Mihir A. Desai is the Mizuho Financial Group Professor of Finance at Harvard Business School and Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. He received his Ph.D. in political economy from Harvard University; his MBA as a Baker Scholar from Harvard Business School; and a bachelor's degree in history and economics from Brown University. In 1994, he was a Fulbright Scholar to India. Professor Desai's areas of expertise include tax policy, international finance, and corporate finance. He has testified several times to Congressional bodies on various tax policy questions. Professor Desai has taught extensively as an award-winning teacher at HBS and at Harvard University. Recently, Professor Desai created an online finance course through the HBX platform titled Leading with Finance. His most recent book is The Wisdom of Finance: Discovering Humanity in the World of Risk and Return, published in May 2017.
Valery Komissarova is a Principal at Grishin Robotics, first hardware-only VC firm, now investing $100M fund. She sourced multiple investments in firm's portfolio, including Spire, littleBits, Zipline, Sphero and others. Prior to Grishin Robotics, Valery worked in engineering, marketing & business development roles at multiple startups, most recently - Mail.Ru Group, now the largest internet-company in Eastern Europe that went public on LSE in 2010.
Alex Barnett is Director of Developer and Partner Platform at Intuit, leading developer relations, product management and partner integration solutions, focused on driving developer success and growing Intuit's 3rd-party apps ecosystem. Barnett brings more than 17 years of developer platform leadership, previously holding leadership positions at Risk Management Solutions (RMS), Bungee Labs, Microsoft, and Bluewave. Before entering the technology space, Barnett played professional Cricket for eight years (Middlesex and Lancashire).
Nabeel is a General Partner at Spark Capital, focusing on early-stage investments.
He has led Spark’s investments in Capella Space, Discord, Fig, Harmonix, Postmates and Thalmic Labs. He also led Spark’s previous investment in Cruise (acquired by General Motors).
Nabeel received a B.A. in Design from Maryland Institute, College of Art, and studied Computer Science at Purdue University.
Inspired by the deep bonds she saw developing online between creators and fans, CEO Stephanie Horbaczewski co-founded StyleHaul in 2011 with the aim of building similar bonds between brands and potential consumers; consumers who follow inspiring, popular creators. Under Stephanie’s leadership, StyleHaul has partnered with marquee global brands on multi-platform marketing programs that have sparked an industry shake-up, redefining the way agencies and brands value, purchase, and measure content. Stephanie’s commitment to excellence and innovation, along with her dedication to fostering meaningful conversation between creators, brands, and their loyal communities, resulted in the successful acquisition of StyleHaul in 2014 by RTL Group, Europe's leading entertainment network. In 2017, Stephanie was named one of Adweek’s "Young Influentials", following the 2013 honor of being included in Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People in Business” list. She has been featured in leading publications such as The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal, and The Los Angeles Times. Stephanie holds a BA in Classics from Trinity College, and a JD/MBA from Suffolk University.
Ashley Tisdale is an actress, philanthropist, performer, and producer, with an extensive body of work in television, film, musicals, recording and production. Having been discovered in her hometown of Monmouth County, New Jersey at the age of three, Ashley quickly garnered attention and became one of the breakout stars of the Emmy Award- winning Disney Channel worldwide phenomenon “High School Musical,” as well as a number of other successful television shows and feature films including the TBS comedy series “Clipped” and the 2016 independent comedy “Amateur Night” opposite Jason Biggs. Ashley can next be seen on the CBS Drama series MACGYVER in early 2018. Having founded Blondie Girl Productions, the production company behind ABC Freeform’s “Young & Hungry,” Ashley plays a pivotal role both in front of and behind the camera guest-starring and executive producing the successful series. Blondie Girl recently wrapped production for their upcoming 2018 feature film DAPHNE & VELMA, a live action spin off focusing on the teen-girl sleuths. Ashley continues to expand her success on social media, with over 14 million Twitter followers and 9.6 million Instagram followers. Her YouTube channel has over 1.5 million subscribers, with her weekly videos instantly going viral garnering millions of views. In addition, Ashley continues to follow her love of all things fashion and beauty and her makeup line Illuminate by Ashley Tisdale launched in May 2016. Ashley just launched her own ASHLEY TISDALE App where fans from across the globe can stay connected to all things Ashley.
Andre loves cars, the consumer web, and the environment - Turo brings all three of his passions into perfect harmony. Before joining Turo as CEO in September 2011, Andre was CEO of Shopping.com, the comparison-shopping network eBay acquired in 2005. Prior to Shopping.com, he was SVP, Product at eBay.
Nate Weiner is the CEO and founder of Pocket, a content platform that connects over 100M people a month with stories worthy of their time and attention. Nate built and bootstrapped Pocket as an indie developer for 3 years prior to raising money and growing the company. In 2017 Pocket became a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Mozilla Corporation. As both an engineer and prototyper, at his core Nate thrives best in building user-first product experiences. A native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Nate calls San Francisco home with his wife Nikki and dog Stella. For his early work on Pocket, TIME listed him as one of the 30 Under 30 World Changers. Nate is also a photographer, traveler and glider pilot.
Ashley Carroll is a Partner at Social Capital where she is focuses on early stage venture investments. She currently serves on the boards of mParticle, a multi-channel customer data platform for marketers, mPharma, a pharmacy benefits manager for sub-Saharan Africa, and Sempre Health, a US-based individualized healthcare pricing platform that improves medical adherence and affordability. She also leads the Capital-as-a-Service initiative. Prior to joining Social Capital, Ashley held product management leadership roles at DocuSign, Optimizely, and SurveyMonkey, joining each as an early employee and playing an integral role in their respective hyper-growth phases. She had also been an active advisor within the startup community, helping entrepreneurs wrap business models around core technology and navigate seed and series A financing rounds.
Niko Bonatsos, managing director at General Catalyst, focuses on finding first-time technology founders with strong product instincts, robust appetites for learning, and a desire to create innovations with potential to benefit millions. He has been instrumental in GC’s investments in Snap (NYSE: SNAP), RealtyShares, ClassDojo and Paribus (acquired by CapitalOne).
Ryan Popple is the president and CEO of Proterra, the leading innovator of zero-emission, battery-electric buses. Prior to Proterra, Ryan was a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and an early senior finance employee of Tesla Motors. Ryan serves as a board member of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group.
Samir is a founding general partner at Khosla Ventures, where he focuses on health, sustainability, food and advanced technology investing.
Samir grew up in a family of engineers and doctors. Both his father and uncle were early engineers in a pioneering satellite communications company where Samir worked during summer breaks from high school and college. However, it became clear during high school that it was biology, rather than engineering, that was his true passion. This led him to attend the University of Michigan, where he majored in biology and taught undergraduate biochemistry. He then continued on to graduate school to study biochemistry at the University of Maryland.
While at Maryland, Samir heard Craig Venter speak about the genomics revolution. Venter’s Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) had recently sequenced the first complete genome (a bacterium frequently associated with influenza infections) in record time using automated, state-of-the-art technology. What would have taken weeks in graduate school now took minutes at TIGR. Venter also signed a historic deal with SmithKline Beecham to identify the important genes responsible for human disease. Sensing a paradigm shift in the making, Samir joined TIGR to work on the genome of Arabidopsis thaliana, a member of the mustard family, which was a model organism for understanding agricultural staples such as rice, corn and wheat. Thereafter, Samir was promoted to run the project both within TIGR and internationally as the chairperson of the Arabidopsis Genome Initiative (AGI). Under his direction, the project was completed years before schedule and well under budget, culminating in a historic publication in the scientific journal Nature in December 2000.
Once again, it was time for a change as sequencing a genome was no longer a rare event, so Samir went to Harvard Business School to pursue an MBA. With a strong scientific background and experience running large project teams, this provided the business training he needed to enter industry. Upon graduating, he joined Flagship Ventures to start and invest in early-stage biotechnology companies. During his five years there, Samir was involved in starting and investing in a number of companies including Helicos BioSciences [IPO], Epitome [Millipore], Codon Devices, LS9 [REG] and Morphotek [Eisai]. Helicos, which was co-founded with Stan Lapidus and Steve Quake from Stanford, is developing single-molecule sequencing instruments to revolutionize personalized medicine. As CEO at Codon Devices, Samir raised the series A financing, built the technical and advisory teams and booked significant revenues in the company’s first year of operations.
Vinod Khosla was a seed investor in Codon, and it was there that their relationship began. Vinod had been researching ethanol and bio refineries since 2004 and was convinced that they would be the next revolution in technology. Samir was soon persuaded to leave Flagship Ventures, and in 2006, he became a founding general partner at Khosla Ventures focusing primarily on renewable energy, sustainability and life science investing.
Samir holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Michigan. He also studied biochemistry, specifically gene regulation and expression, at the University of Maryland. He also holds a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard University.
Samir is active in philanthropy and been a longstanding member of the leadership committee of the Tipping Point Community.
Life Sciences: Current: OSCAR, Guardant, Neurotrack, Carrot Sense, Vicarious Surgical, Whole Biome, Siolta, Iora, and several others in stealth mode. Exited: Morphotek [Eisai], Helicos [IPO], Editas [IPO], Epitome [Millipore]
Sustainability: Current: Impossible Foods, Ripple, Hampton Creek, Quantumscape, View, Soraa, SLD, Bidgely, EtaGen Exited: Ausra [AREVA], Climate Corp [Monsanto], Cogenra [SPWR], NanoH2O [LG], Sakti3 [Dyson], Seeo [Bosch], Virdia [SENSO], LS9 [REG], Amyris [IPO], Gevo [IPO], EchoFirst [SUNE],Granular [DUPONT]
Technology: Current: Cadre, Velo3d, Pymetrics, Bridge Schools, Tectus, PullString, Big Switch, b8ta, and others. Exited: Hunch [eBay], Nutanix [IPO]
A Managing Partner at GGV Capital, Jeff joined the firm in 2008 after spending 13 years as an entrepreneur and operating executive in the US and Asia. Jeff focuses on the Internet, Software and Mobile sectors, and currently sits on the boards of Appirio, BIG COMMERCE, Boxed, Percolate, Reebonz and Tile. Jeff led GGV’s investments in BlueKai (acquired in 2014 by Oracle), Buddy Media (acquired in 2012 by Salesforce.com), Citrus Lane (acquired in 2014 by Care.com), Evolv (acquired in 2014 by Cornerstone OnDemand), Flipboard, HOTELTONIGHT, Quixey, SHIFTGIG and Spreecast, and is actively involved in GGV’s investments in DOMO, GRAB, OPENDOOR, Qunar (NASDAQ: QUNR), SLACK, Square and Wish. Prior to joining GGV, Jeff founded two software companies (R4, acquired by VeriSign, and QuantumShift) and spent three years as an executive at VeriSign.
Mariam Naficy, Founder and CEO of Minted, is an early pioneer in e-commerce and crowdsourcing. Mariam founded Minted, a crowdsourced and crowd-curated design marketplace, with the mission of building an online retailer that remains continually fresh and ahead of design trends in limitless consumer categories. Minted now operates its direct-to-consumer brand, as well as a platform for licensing and wholesale to other retailers. Mariam co-founded Eve.com, the first online cosmetics retailer, in 1998 and sold it successfully in 2000. She sits on the Boards of Yelp and Every Mother Counts. Mariam was named one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company in 2014, and one of Fortune magazine’s Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs in 2009. Mariam is a graduate of Williams College and the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
A much-respected investor and advisor, Brook Porter brings decades of high-tech energy and transportation experience to G2VP. He has led investments in Turo, Uber and DJI, sits on Proterra's board, and co-founded alternative fuel companies Intelligent Energy and Primafuel. He holds a B.S. degree in chemical engineering from UC Berkeley.
Dr. Rao Mulpuri, CEO of View Dynamic Glass, is responsible for the strategic direction and financial and operational performance of View. Before View, Dr. Mulpuri held several executive positions at Novellus Systems. He holds a Ph.D. in Materials Science and serves on the Advisory Board of Engineering at Boston University.
Nicole focuses on investments in consumer technology with particular interest in brands, commerce, social media, video, fintech and marketplaces. Nicole started working with brands over 10 years ago and has specialized in consumer behavior, the retail landscape both in the U.S. and Europe and taking brands to the public market.
Prior to Lightspeed, she worked on branding and marketing at Nutmeg, a London based Fintech startup focused on online wealth management for millennials. Earlier, Nicole spent eight years covering consumer, eCommerce and brands at Morgan Stanley on the equity sales and research side. She worked on the IPOs for Facebook, Groupon and Pandora. Nicole has an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business and a BSc in Math and Economics from York University, England.
A little known fact about me is: I used to run 100m sprint for England but now take more passion in sailing and skiing. Read Nicole’s thoughts on consumer technology on her blog (www.medium.com/@Nicquinn) and follow her on Snapchat (@niksquinn).
Jeremy Gardner is a founder and general partner of Ausum Ventures, a blockchain-focused venture fund. He is the founder and chairman of the Blockchain Education Network (BEN) and a founder of Augur, the decentralized prediction market platform. He has worked as an entrepreneur-in-residence at Blockchain Capital, where he started a legacy database security company, SAAVHA. He also serves as editor-in-chief of Distributed Magazine. Outside of the blockchain space, he is a board member at Unsung, the food waste and hunger-fighting nonprofit startup.
Omar Tawakol is the Chief Executive Officer of Voicera. Prior to Voicera, Omar was the founder and CEO of BlueKai, which built the world's largest consumer data marketplace and DMP. After Oracle acquired BlueKai in 2014, Omar served as the SVP & GM of the Oracle Data Cloud (ODC), which powered 97 of the top 100 marketers as well as an ecosystem of AI applications. Based on this experience, Omar decided to launch his next venture focused on AI that leverages data to help people become more productive. Omar earned an MS in CS from Stanford (BS, MIT) where he researched and published work on AI agents.
Stacey has been investing with Scale Venture Partners for over 15 years with a primary focus on Software as a Service, Digital Marketing and HR Tech. She led the firm’s investment in Namely and currently serves on the Board of Directors of Aviso, Bizible, Demandbase, Extole, Lever, Sailthru and Textio. Prior board positions include HubSpot (NYSE: HUBS) and Vitrue (Acq: Oracle). Stacey also originated investments in ExactTarget and Omniture.
Paul is a Partner at Canvas, where he focuses on investing and partnering with entrepreneurs to build marketplace and vertical network companies that are improving the way we live, work, learn, and play. He is also passionate about discovering those who build new products and businesses enabled by machine learning, the genome, and microbiome. He believes that progress happens when we can bring together entrepreneurs, industry leaders, academic researchers, and investors who have the creativity to dream, drive to build, courage to try, and the influence to make positive change. His active investments include Everwise, Fluxx, Transfix and Zola for Canvas Ventures (and Houzz while he served as a partner at NEA). In Paul’s more than 10 years of investing career at NEA, he had the privilege to work with 8 start-ups that became publicly-listed companies on NYSE/NASDAQ and 17 investments that had a successful M&A exit. Paul was an entrepreneur before he became a venture capitalist. He started Mazu Networks as its co-founder and President with a software-defined routing technology developed at MIT. At Mazu, he worked with great co-founders, teams, advisors, and mentors from Benchmark, Greylock and Matrix. He is a graduate of MIT and Harvard Business School. He also did years of medical research at Harvard Medical School and was a Kauffman Fellow. On weekends, when time permits, Paul enjoys learning how to fly a helicopter.
David Erickson is the Founder and CEO of FreeConferenceCall.com. His simple ideas and deft execution have transformed the telecommunications industry to better suit the needs of consumers and businesses worldwide. Dave founded FreeConferenceCall.com on the simple principle that collaborative communication should be available to everyone, both affordably and efficiently. He purchased a $10 URL, which sparked the first viral movement in the telecommunications industry to support free conferencing around the globe. Today, FreeConferenceCall.com offers HD audio conferencing, screen sharing and video conferencing with up to 1,000 participants for free. The company has become the largest and most recognized conferencing and collaboration brand on the planet - boasting roughly 40 million users across 60+ countries each month. Since launching the company in 2001, Dave has stayed focused on technological development and change. He was named “Innovator of the Year” by VON for pioneering high definition conference bridges at FreeConferenceCall.com. Under his leadership, the global company has won numerous awards, including the national “Best & Brightest Best Companies to Work For” and a Gold Stevie Award® for Customer Service Department of the Year in Telecommunications category. Dave is a frequent speaker at leadership conferences around the U.S. and has appeared on national radio, television and such business news publications, including Entrepreneur, Inc., Forbes, Fox News and USA Today.
Pete Flint is a Managing Partner of NFX (www.nfx.com), an early stage Venture Capital fund with offices in Silicon Valley and Israel focused on network effect businesses. The Partners at NFX are a team of entrepreneurs and investors that have collectively founded 10 companies that have had exits of $10 billion and have made more than 300 investments. Prior to NFX, in 2005 Pete founded the online real estate company Trulia (www.trulia.com), now one of the most popular real estate websites and mobile apps in the U.S. He was its CEO and Chairman from inception to acquisition. In July 2014, rival property service Zillow purchased Trulia for $3.5 billion, with both brands continuing to operate side-by- side. Before founding Trulia, Pete was part of the founding team at lastminute.com, a leading European online travel company that was acquired by Sabre/Travelocity in 2005 for over $1 billion. Pete is a founding Board member of New Story Charity (www.newstorycharity.org), a technology enabled platform focused on eliminating homelessness by building sustainable communities around the world. He is also a founder and co-chair of GBx (www.gbxglobal.org), the leading British technology community based in Silicon Valley helping to connect and scale technology ecosystems in the UK and Silicon Valley. He is a frequent speaker at Internet, entrepreneurship and technology conferences, and additionally is a guest lecturer at Stanford's Graduate School of Business and at Oxford's Said Business School. He has been named E&Y Northern Californian Entrepreneur of the Year, “Most Admired CEO” by the San Francisco Business Times, and one of the “Most Powerful CEOs Under 40” by Forbes.
Jonathan Hammond joined Unilever in 2008 and he was appointed Global Marketing Director and Head of Unilever Foundry in 2016. Hammond leads the Unilever Foundry team and his role involves managing current pilots and partnerships, liaising with startups and identifying new opportunities for brands and startups to partner. As these partnerships are spread across Unilever’s global portfolio, Jonathan works across all of Unilever’s brands and markets – overseeing various emerging and scaling technologies. As of 2017, Jonathan is also a member of the World Economic Forum council on Global Future of Consumption alongside other corporate global directors and executives. This council addresses topics including the changing face of the consumer, new patterns of consumption and advancement of technology.
As Founder and CEO of the Starburst Accelerator, François Chopard is pioneering today’s aerospace renaissance, uniting early-stage technology innovators with private investment to build the next wave of transportation, communication and intelligence. Since founding Starburst in 2012, Chopard has created innovation hubs around the world, where his global team works alongside 300+ technology startups that are developing new aircrafts, spacecrafts, satellites, drones, sensors, AI, and software.
Aniyia Williams founded Tinsel with the inspiration to create an audio accessory that doubles as a beautiful piece of jewelry. Aniyia has a unique background in music and tech, with experience as a singer and marketer. Alongside building Tinsel, she serves as Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) with CODE2040 and Google for Entrepreneurs.Aniyia Williams founded Tinsel with the inspiration to create an audio accessory that doubles as a beautiful piece of jewelry. Aniyia has a unique background in music and tech, with experience as a singer and marketer. Alongside building Tinsel, she serves as Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) with CODE2040 and Google for Entrepreneurs.
Josh invests in entrepreneurs building consumer products and services. He joined the team in 2011 and invests in entrepreneurs building new consumer products and services. He is most excited about products where people spend time or money on a frequent basis including social media, communications, video, games, marketplaces, and more. He believes there are a lot more new experiences to be invented for mobile (including AR) than have been so far, and that the blockchain will enable a number of new consumer businesses that work differently than what we have today.
Linda Xie is co-founder and Managing Director of Scalar Capital. Previously she was a product manager at Coinbase which she joined in June 2014. At Coinbase, Linda has worked with regulators and law enforcement on compliance for digital assets. Prior to Coinbase, she was a portfolio risk analyst at AIG. Linda holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, San Diego.
Jerry invests in enterprise SaaS applications and in all aspects of AI and cloud infrastructure. He joined Greylock in 2013 as an investor and currently sits on the Board of Docker, Cato Networks, Gladly, Rhumbix, Spoke, and Blend. Prior to joining Greylock, Jerry was Vice President of Cloud and Application Services at VMware where he was part of the executive team that scaled the company from 250 to over 15,000 employees and $5B in revenue. During his ten years at VMware, Jerry launched dozens of products including several “1.0” releases and started two new business units for VMware including the Cloud Application Platform and the Enterprise Desktop business units. In particular, Jerry enjoys the challenge of creating and defining new product categories and thinking through the challenges of Go-To-Market (www.UnitOfValue.com) and building lasting business models (www.TheNewMoats.com).
David Brown is a founder and co-CEO of Techstars. David is a serial entrepreneur who has founded three startups and been involved with two others. He was an original founder and president of Pinpoint Technologies, now part of ZOLL Medical Corporation. David co-founded Techstars with David Cohen, Brad Feld, and Jared Polis. He has been an investor and advisor to Techstars since inception. David has a B.Sc. degree in Mathematics and Computer Science from McGill University in Montreal, Canada.
Jennifer Fitzgerald is the CEO and Co-Founder of PolicyGenius<https://www.policygenius.com/>, an independent digital insurance company for consumers. Previously, she was a junior partner at McKinsey & Company, where she advised Fortune 100 financial services companies on marketing and strategy. Jennifer regularly shares her insights on personal finance and insurance tech and serves as an expert on the insurance industry and entrepreneurial path. Her articles have appeared in TheNextWeb<http://thenextweb.com/insider/2016/02/10/3-leadership-strategies-i-learned-by-being-the-only-woman-in-the-room/>, Entrepreneur Magazine<https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/250095>, TechCrunch <https://techcrunch.com/2016/01/16/tech-and-the-changing-face-of-insurance/> and The Huffington Post<http://www.huffingtonpost.com/policygenius/2-steps-to-hack-your-heal_b_4869524.html> and she has been quoted as a source in The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, The New York Times and Forbes Magazine. She is a graduate of Columbia Law School and Florida State University.
Mark comes from a background that combines technical training with real-world business experience. Having earned a BSE in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, he began his career in the Linux HPC industry, later transitioning into online marketing and then into technical sales. As VP of Sales at Toptal, he strives to maintain quality relationships with every client as the company grows.
Co-founder and CEO of Cadre, Ryan Williams is a serial entrepreneur who is passionate about building technology businesses that transform previously offline, opaque industries. Cadre is the preeminent digital marketplace for alternative investments and currently focused on reshaping the commercial real estate asset class. Prior to founding Cadre, Ryan worked at The Blackstone Group in its real estate private equity division. There, he was involved in over $3 billion in transactions across multiple asset types. Prior to Blackstone, Ryan worked at Goldman Sachs in its technology, media, and telecom group, where he worked on transactions totaling more than $5 billion. Ryan holds a BA from Harvard College.
Shan-Lyn Ma is CEO and Co-Founder of Zola, the wedding company reinventing the wedding planning and registry experience by combining compassionate customer service with modern tools and technology. Zola launched in 2013 and quickly became the fastest growing wedding company in the country. Today, Zola carries over 500 brands—from registry staples to up-and-coming designers—and over 300,000 couples have used the platform to register for gifts, experiences and funds. In April 2017, Shan-Lyn and her team released Zola Weddings, a free suite of wedding planning tools including wedding websites, a customizable checklist, guest-list manager, and, of course, registry. Before starting her company, Shan-Lyn was Chief Product Officer of Chloe + Isabel. Prior to that, Shan-Lyn was Gilt Groupe’s first Product Lead tasked with defining and evolving the core site experience. She led key new business launches, including their successful foray into mobile, launching and managing their mobile web experience and apps for iPhone, iPad, and Android. Additionally, she was Creator and General Manager of Gilt Taste, the brand’s food and wine division. Before her time at Gilt, Shan-Lyn held product and marketing roles at Yahoo!. She holds a degree in BCommerce with First Class Honours from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, and an MBA from Stanford University.
Neil is a co-founder and managing director of Defy. He was previously a managing director at General Catalyst Partners for 11 years. Over his investing career at GC, he was the lead investor and board member for a number of companies including Vitrue (acquired by Oracle), Highwinds (StackPath), Boxee (Samsung), Elemental Technologies (Amazon/AWS), HotPotato (Facebook), ThisTech (Comcast), The Honest Company, Bustle, Cozy, DECA/KinCommunity, NatureBox, RealtyShares, Singular and many others. Before joining General Catalyst, Neil was a managing director at TimeWarner Investments and a founding member of AOLTW Ventures where he led investments and was a board member of companies including Arroyo Video Solutions (CSCO), Entropic Communications (ENTR, then MXL), EverydayHealth (EVDY, then JCOM) and a number of others. Neil’s career began at Goldenvoice Presents in the early 1990’s, followed by Accenture, Goldman Sachs & Co and CMGI. He earned a B.A. in Business Economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara and an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School.
Anu Hariharan is a Partner with the YC Continuity Fund. Previously, Anu was an investment partner at Andreessen Horowitz, where she worked actively with the management teams of portfolio companies including Airbnb, Instacart, Medium, OfferUp and Udacity. Prior to this, Anu was a Principal at BCG’s Private Equity Practice and was a senior software engineer at Qualcomm. Anu holds an MS in Electrical Engineering from Virginia Tech and an MBA from The Wharton School.
Parker Barrile is a Partner at Norwest Venture Partners. Prior to Norwest, he was CPO at Prosper, a marketplace lending company, and VP Product at LinkedIn, where he led a product org responsible for 80% of LinkedIn’s revenue. Earlier in his career, Parker founded a venture-backed startup and held strategy roles at Google and Bain & Company. Parker has served as an advisor to startups such as Medallia, Thumbtack, NerdWallet, Doximity, and Procore. He holds a BS in Math and an MBA, both from Stanford.
Laura Wright Teclemariam brings over a decade of high-tech experience working in product development, marketing and software engineering to Electronic Arts, one of the world’s largest Game Publishers. As a Senior Product Manager, Laura leads EA’s Engagement, Targeting and Advertising suite of enterprise products, which is the core technology for all of EA’s games. Managing a portfolio of over $200 million across EA’s mobile platform, she works crossfuntionally to scope, define, and deliver EA’s customer experience. She’s currently leading product development for the Star Wars Galaxy of Heroes franchise and Popcap studio, and managing VR research & development.
Prior to EA, Laura led the developer tools efforts for a $100 million mobile advertising company, Tapjoy. She also founded and ran her own marketing and advertising startup for seven years, which focused on the Sports and Entertainment industries. She has also worked for a number of Forbes Top 100 Companies, including Deloitte Consulting as an Oracle Consultant and Microsoft Corporation as a Partner Account Manager. At Microsoft, she led the technical and marketing analysis for Microsoft Business partners in the Southern California region. Early in her career at Microsoft, she worked in the MS Office Excel group as a Software Engineer.
In 2004, Laura received her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of California, Irvine and is currently getting her Executive MBA at the Haas School of Business from the University of California, Berkeley. She is a regular speaker in gaming, diversity in tech and mobile advertising.
Alexander (Alex) Rosen is a Managing Director at Ridge Ventures, with over 20 years experience working with early stage technology companies as an active investor and advisor. Today, he focuses on investments in cloud infrastructure, SaaS applications, ad tech, and consumer marketplaces. He currently serves as board director or investor at Appboy, Chubbies, Datanyze, Fastly, Krux, MindMeld, Minted, Smartling, Tempered Networks, The League, Trifacta, Uplift, and Vouch. Previously, he was a General Partner at Sprout Group, where he was head of the Internet and Software group. Alex holds BS degrees in electrical engineering and economics from MIT and an MBA from Stanford University.
Oren is the founder of Zeev Ventures, a non institutional VC, and in this capacity backs passionate founders building great companies. Oren is typically the main early backer and plays an active role on the boards of the companies he invests in. Oren has been fortunate to have backed companies such as Houzz, Audible, Chegg and others who are re-defining their respective categories.
Oren holds a BSc Cum Laude from the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, and an MBA with distinction from INSEAD in France.
Connie Loizos is a journalist and the founder of StrictlyVC, a news organization centered around a daily e-mail newsletter that provides readers in the startup industry the news they need to start their day. Connie got her start in Silicon Valley at the original Red Herring magazine in the late '90s. In addition to running StrictlyVC, she is Silicon Valley Editor at TechCrunch.
David started programming at age of 6 and today is a pioneer in the fintech space as Founder and CEO of Expensify, where he’s relieving the world’s frustrations, one expense report at a time. Expensify processes billions of dollars in reimbursements every day across 35,000 companies and more than 5 million users around the world. David attended the University of Michigan where he worked in the Virtual Reality Lab, before moving to Texas to write 3D graphics engines for the video game industry. Next he moved to California to join Travis Kalanick in building a peer-to-peer file transfer technology called Red Swoosh, which was acquired by Akamai in 2007.
Steve is a general partner at Foundation Capital, where he lives at the intersection of business, technology and design. He serves on the boards of Sunrun [RUN], Beepi, Pocket, Bolt Threads, ForUsAll, Cerebras Systems, Sentient Energy, AutoGrid and Aquion Energy. Before joining Foundation in 2007, he ran product and engineering at Ning and prior to this, Immersion [IMMR]. Steve began his career as a project leader and design engineer at IDEO, where he developed multiple successful products for BMW, Nike, Cisco, and Caterpillar, among many others. Steve holds 77 patents and multiple design awards.
Selected by Inc's Magazine as one of the Silicon Valley investors you must know, Edith Yeung is the head of 500 Startups Greater China and partner of 500 Mobile Collective Fund. She has invested in over 40 mobile, VR, AR, AI and ML startups including Hooked, DayDayCook, Fleksy (acquired by Pinterest), Human (acquired by Mapbox), among others.
Dr. Jukka-Pekka Heikkilä is academic from Aalto University School of Business, Finland, who focuses on entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship education in extreme settings. Since 2012, he has taught entrepreneurship courses and organized startup events in Pyongyang, North Korea. His work in extreme settings around the planet has been supported by the Royal Society (UK), British Academy and Academy of Finland. In Finland, Dr. Heikkilä works with The Shortcut initiative, an organization that promotes immigrant and refugee integration to the Finnish society via startup education.
George Babu is a co-founder and Kindred’s Chief Product Officer. George oversees the development of Kindred’s first commercial offering, Sort, robots that work alongside human workers to increase productivity and accuracy in retail distribution and e-commerce fulfillment centers. Before Kindred, George was a venture investor at OMERS Ventures team in Toronto, working on early-stage investments in Canada. He is also the co-founder and former VP of Finance and Operations of Rypple, an enterprise software company acquired by Salesforce.
Mandela began her career in Silicon Valley in 2011 as a startup founder backed by Kapor Capital, 500 Startups, and Imagine K12 (acquired by Y Combinator). Thereafter, she led a global entrepreneurial program called Startup Weekend Education (acquired by Techstars) that spanned six continents and empowered thousands of entrepreneurs to launch edtech startups. Most recently, Mandela worked at venture capital firm Kapor Capital, where she supported the success of over 120 tech startups and launched the Founders' Commitment, a first-of-its kind initiative teaching founders how to bake diversity and inclusion into the DNA of their early stage startups. To-date, Mandela has shared her frameworks for success on over 65 stages, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Google, and Facebook. She has also received several recognitions, including being named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 List, LinkedIn's Top 10 Voices in Venture Capital and Startups, and Medium's Top 10% of Writers. Most recently, Mandela co-founded Founder Gym, an online training center that teaches underrepresented founders how to build successful tech startups.
Matin Movassate is CEO and co-founder of Heap, and has led its growth from a simple idea around codeless data collection to an insight automation platform serving over 6,000 customers. Before founding Heap, Matin received his bachelor’s degree in computer science from Stanford. After graduating, Matin was frustrated by the time spent waiting for engineering teams to collect and organize data as a product manager for Facebook, and in 2013, teamed up with fellow Stanford student Ravi Parikh to automate the annoying parts of data analytics. Heap has raised more than $40M in venture capital with NEA and Menlo Ventures, and has grown in e-commerce, SaaS, fintech, retail, and media verticals. Customers include market leaders such as Twilio, LendingClub, App Annie, Optimizely, Morningstar, Monotype and Casper.
Dr. Stefan Heck is CEO and co-Founder of Nauto, the Palo Alto-based artificial intelligence-powered auto technology company whose connected camera network is making drivers safer and smarter today and informing autonomous vehicle development in the future. Prior to Nauto, Dr. Heck was Consulting Professor at the Precourt Institute for Energy at Stanford University, directed the Energy Transformation Collaborative and was a research fellow at the Steyer Taylor Center at the Stanford business and law school. Previously he was a Director (senior partner) at McKinsey and co-founded and led the Cleantech and Sustainability practice there, working extensively with Global 100 technology, industrial, infrastructure, building systems, retail, utility and energy companies across the US, China, Korea, Japan, India, and Europe.
Shankar Chandran is Managing Director and Head of Samsung Catalyst, Samsung Electronics’ early-stage venture capital investment fund focused on core technology areas including smart machines, Internet of Things, smart health, deep learning/AI, cloud infrastructure and device level technologies. Shankar been an active venture investor for 15 years, previously at Panorama Capital and JP Morgan Partners
Jason Williamson is the VP of the Startup Ecosystem at Oracle. He leads Oracle’s collaboration with the VC and PE comminuties and their portfolio companies around the globe. Prior to Oracle, jason was atAmazon Web Services (AWS), where he created and led several key initiatives within the investment community including Amazon’s Private Equity Program and Management Consulting efforts. He has a background in both Fortune 500 firms (Amazon, Capital One, GE) and the startup world. Among his startup efforts, he co-founded the construction industry’s first CRM SaaS offering, a faith-based NGO for entrepreneurial development based in Latin America, and is currently launching a company in the pediatric healthcare space. In addition to his work in the commercial sector, Jason served as an Assistant Professor at the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce and now works part time in academia in home state of North Carolina. He has authored three books on Data Integration and Migration and Big Data. Jason also served his country as a United States Marine and lives in North Carolina with his wife and four children where he coaches High School Girls Basketball, drinks sweat tea and eats bbq as much as possible.
Marty is a seasoned HR executive passionate about building high-performance teams, fostering an exceptional employee experience and committed to supporting both global and local STEAM initiatives. Marty is dedicated to cultivating strong leaders and a defining culture. Most recently, Marty was the Chief People Officer of fitbit Inc (NYSE: FIT), building a People function and championing cultural initiatives. Prior to fitbit, Marty was the CPO of NetSuite Inc. (NYSE: N) for over nine years. Marty holds an HBA in Labour Management from the University of Toronto, a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Windsor, and a Masters of Organizational Psychology from Arizona.
Ryan is a Grammy nominated recording artist, multi-platinum music producer, and avid technologist. In addition to logging studio time with Madonna, Jay-Z, Kanye West and Beyoncé, he is the architect and ultimate case study for his company Disruptive Multimedia’s simple CRM for creators, a Twilio-enabled product called SuperPhone. Bravely opting to remove his latest album from iTunes, he used an inbound SMS campaign to drive over $2MM in gross revenue by selling an album D2C to just 15K fans. He holds a BA in Government from Harvard and splits his time between New York, LA, Paris and Miami.
Isaac Saldana is the co-founder of SendGrid where he has held multiple roles since its inception such as CEO, President, board member, and engineer. Isaac also co-founded thembid.com, a bidding site for services, where he took the role of CTO. He also co-founded notpaul.com, a site where events were generated by fans. Isaac received a double major in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from the University of California Riverside.
Patrick Mullane is the Executive Director of HBX. He brings over 20 years of management experience across several industries to the position. As Executive Director, he is responsible for managing HBX’s growth, expansion in global markets, and long-term success. HBX leverages Harvard Business School’s reputation for excellence and impact in business education and the broader business community, as well as the vast intellectual property, academic pedagogy and faculty talent of the School to be the premier provider of high quality digital business education.
Faizan Buzdar is the Sr. Director of Platform Product Management at Box where he leads the charge of custom Machine Learning for Enterprises. He also oversees Partner Integrations with companies such as Google and Microsoft, and has a relentless drive to transform and simplify the modern workplace. Prior to joining Box, Faizan was the founder and CEO of Convo - a technology startup and a SaaS platform for enterprise collaboration for mission-critical enterprise use cases like product design, healthcare/emergency care and editorial content creation. Fazian is passionate executive, entrepreneur, product guy, and photography enthusiast. He holds several patents and has designed and taught workshops and classes on human interaction and object-oriented programming at top engineering universities. Faizan was also highlighted as a case study for immigration reforms and startup visa by President Obama. He is currently a co-chair of FWD.us.
Jay is the CEO and co-founder of Spoke, a simpler and smarter way to manage internal requests. A repeat entrepreneur, Jay previously CEO and co-founder of Appurify, a mobile testing platform for app developers that was acquired by Google in 2014. At Google, he was in product management for the developers products group. Following the completion of a PhD in computer science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Jay began his career at McKinsey and was a revenue product manager on the Farmville franchise at Zynga.
Deirdre Moran is VP of Emerging Technologies, IDA Ireland. She works with high growth companies and start-ups advising them on European expansion, using Ireland as a base. Companies she assisted setting up European operations include Slack, Twilio, New Relic, Looker, NGINX, Malwarebytes, Qualtrics, Wrike, Asana and many more. Deirdre has a degree in Industrial Engineering & German and is originally from the West of Ireland.
Frederik Groce is an Associate at Storm Ventures and invests in early stage Enterprise SaaS business that leverage machine learning, companies that leverage voice technologies for enterprise applications, and companies building businesses that sell to governments. Prior to joining Storm Ventures, Frederik was the CEO at Stanford Student Enterprise and the Financial Manager at the Associated Students of Stanford University. In that role he managed over a hundred student employees and six full-time employees across over seven different enterprises—including Stanford’s accelerator program. In this capacity he also oversaw the asset allocation for over 16 million dollars in funds along with a banking infrastructure that saw over 2 million get transacted annually by student groups at Stanford University. He's actively involved in Code2040, The Ron Browns Scholars Program, and a mentor at East Bay College Fund. Frederik also sits on the Stanford Black alumni board of directors of Northern California.
Josh is the CEO & founder of BAMF Media, one of the fastest growing agencies. He's the former growth evangelist for Autopilot (top 10 fastest growing SaaS company) and head of growth for GrowthX, a 50-mil VC firm. He has close to 150 million views on his writing in the last six months. Most notably, he originated the short-form storytelling on LinkedIn as recognized by BuzzFeed and Forbes. He also runs one of the largest founder communities online with over 17,000 members.
Ian Brock is a 13 year old Chicago native, Co-Founder of a purpose driven startup cookie company, Beyond The Cookie ® , rookie coder (currently teaching himself how to code), “soon to be” author, and co-founder of non- profit Dream Hustle Code. Ian’s current mission is to inspire kids to change their existing mindset through strategies that will help them develop a strong belief in themselves and their ability to learn Computer Science and Coding. Most recently his work caught the eye of Forbes and was featured in an article entitled, The 12- Year-Old Entrepreneur That Will Take Global Tech & The World By Storm Ian works closely with Dream Hustle Code, to help level the playing field for kids from communities that have traditionally been left out of the tech industry. His initial test market research (in the volatile, high volume world of lunchroom trading) led to the formation and launch of their purpose driven cookie company, Beyond The Cookie ® , which is the vehicle that funds their CS focused projects and initiatives. Ian’s most current and exciting campaign is to use Beyond The Cookie’s platform to raise money to take 100 students from Chicago’s under-represented and under-resourced communities on a historic trip to Silicon Valley in June 2018. He believes that, “If you can see it, you can be it!” Rooted in a personal development regiment since 4 years old and based on Napoleon Hill and Dr. Dennis Kimbro’s Think and Grow Rich book models, Ian is currently conducting interviews with highly successful people from various industries to be included in his upcoming book on success for kids (written by a kid) entitled, Dream Hustle Code. To date Ian has interviewed thirty-four amazing individuals across industries: Dr. Dennis Kimbro, Les Brown, Phyllis Newhouse, Will Packer, Dallas Austin, Greg Calhoun, Linda Johnson Rice, Lisa Nichols, James Bronner, Victor “Divine” Lombard, Shaka Senghor, Neil Brown, Jr., Ben Horowitz, Jeff Hoffman, Derek Andersen, Jesse Itzler, Christine Souffrant Ntim, Nina Vaca, Evan Carmichael, Everette Taylor, Shirin Laor-Raz Salemnia, Brian Gerrard, Bobby Dixon, Wendy Berger, Ghian Foreman, Dwayne Jackson, Rita Fry, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Jemal Gibson, Dante Brown, Maya Penn, Chris COSeezy Strachan, Joshua Mhoon, and Te’Lario Watkins. Ian hopes to create his own thriving global tech company, attend Harvard University, buy an NBA team and then play for the team he owns (a kid’s gotta have a dream ). In his spare time, he loves to play basketball, video games, watch YouTube, hang out with friends, and most importantly enjoys giving back to his community.
Kathleen Chaykowski is a San Francisco-based reporter for Forbes Magazine and Forbes.com, where she covers technology with an emphasis on the people and innovations powering social media and startups. Before joining Forbes, she worked as a news writer and producer at The Wall Street Journal in New York. Kathleen has also had stints reporting in Johannesburg, South Africa for The Wall Street Journal and The Mail & Guardian.
Tracy is CEO and Managing Director of ZZ Ventures focusing on global technology investments. Fomerly, she was managing partner of TKW Group, independent international investment advisory firm based in Shanghai, China and San Francisco, and Fosun Group where she was responsible for investor relations and fundraising for China Momentum Fund, a $1 billion private equity investment vehicle. Tracy started her career at Cisco Systems.
Balaji Gopinath has spent over 20+ years managing, building and scaling companies. Most recently, Balaji joined SAP.iO Fund & Foundry, an early stage investment arm of SAP (Seed and Series A) focused on investing in companies in the areas of Machine Learning/AI, Blockchain, Analytics/Big Data, Commercial/Industrial AR/VR and other frontier technology that could benefit from the advantages of SAP's data and APIs. Prior to SAP.iO Fund & Foundry, Balaji was active as an angel investor and advisor to both B2B and B2C companies and worked with and alongside several Corporate VCs in sourcing, analyzing, interim executive roles and co-investing into startups. Balaji has also launched and managed several accelerator models at UpRamp/Cable Labs, R/GA Venture Studio, Nike, and Turner MediaCamp. He has also held executive positions at Time Warner/Turner, Nike, and several startups ending in two IPOs, acquisitions, and some miserable failures. Balaji helped launch Hotwire.com, Sephora.com, MLB.com, and Realtor.com among others during the dotcom era and holds 2 patents in the interactive advertising and automated content recognition space.Balaji graduated from MIT with a Bachelor's degree.
Tomas Gorny is a Polish-born American Entrepreneur. He is the co-founder, chairman, and CEO of UnitedWeb, a holdings company; Nextiva, a cloud communications provider; and SiteLock, an internet security company.Tomas has founded several successful technology companies including IPOWER in 2001, Nextiva in 2006, and SiteLock in 2008. IPOWER sold to Warburg and Goldman Sachs for nearly $1B in 2011 and later went public; Tomas remains on the board of directors. In 2014, Nextiva was named the fastest growing telecommunications company in North America and the fastest growing tech company in Arizona by Deloitte. In 2015, SiteLock took Nextiva’s place as the fastest growing tech company in Arizona, with Nextiva coming in second. Tomas has received numerous awards for his leadership in the technology industry nationwide. He was named Arizona’s Top Tech CEO in 2017 by the Phoenix Business Journal.
Serial entrepreneur by trade, Jon Lee knows a thing or two about running a business. Jon started in investment banking at Merrill Lynch, moved to run a large operations team at Yahoo, and later founded Bazaar Advertising Solutions and DNA Games, acquired by Epic Media Group and Zynga, respectively. He then started ProsperWorks to give every company tools they will actually use to help them grow. Jon holds a BS in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from UC Berkeley and currently resides in Hillsborough, CA with his wife and two daughters. He's a big fan of aquariums and is known for his epic all hands speeches.
As MailChimp’s VP of Product Management, John Foreman watches over MailChimp’s roadmap. He works with research, design, and development to explore ideas, prioritize them, and bring them into the world. Before coming to MailChimp, Foreman completed his graduate studies at MIT and worked on enterprise data modeling projects for the NSA, IRS, DoD, Coca-Cola, Intercontinental Hotels Group, and Royal Caribbean International. He’s the author of the book Data Smart. He lives in Avondale Estates, Georgia, with his wife and sons.
Author of Inc. Magazine Top 10 Marketing Book, Hello, My Name is Awesome... How to Create Brand Names That Stick, Alexandra Watkins is an outspoken authority on brand names. Her clients include countless startups as well as established brands such as Amazon, Google, Disney, Frito-Lay and MIT. She is an entertaining and engaging media guest and presenter who is not afraid to name names. She was most recently the Author in Residence at the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center.
Tadhg sits on Netflix’s Global HR Leadership team where he has oversight for Employee Services, a broad group responsible for strategy, design and operations for Benefits, Mobility,, Contingent, People Analytics, Compliance and Scaled support team for its global workforce. Netflix is enjoying tremendous international growth as it continues to deepen its service offering across 190 markets so scaling quickly while maintaining its unique culture is a fine balance. Before joining Netflix in November 2016, Tadhg spent almost a decade at Google as Head of HR Operations (Americas region) based out of its HQ in Mountain View, California after originally building out its the function for EMEA. His time with Google was punctuated by massive scale where he oversaw the EMEA regional expansion from 4 to 37 counties and from a relative start-up presence to 9000 employees. Prior to Google, Tadhg worked for IBM in Budapest Hungary where he held a variety of roles from leading its EMEA Compensation and Benefits team to leading its HR Operations team which supported >100k IBM employees across 40 European countries to developing its HR outsourcing business, eventually leading the service delivery for several of its outsourced clients., Tadhg attained his Bachelors in Economics from the University of Limerick and later graduated from Business School at the University College Dublin.
Phin is a globally connected entrepreneurship evangelist, driven by how entrepreneurship can be used as a force for good and an economic growth engine. He is founder & Chairman of GSP (Global Symbiotic Partnerships) a venture firm that creates strategic partnerships with various stakeholders across all sectors. His commitment to helping entrepreneurs was recognised by the Centre for Entrepreneurs by being listed on The Maserati 100, the annual list which recognises entrepreneurs who are generously giving their time and resources to support the next general of young entrepreneurs. Phin is a Centre for Entrepreneurs Fellow.
Sheila Warren began her career as a Wall Street attorney before turning to philanthropy and nonprofit tech over a decade ago. She has represented banks, philanthropists, and progressive nonprofits, and she most recently served as the VP of Strategic Alliances and General Counsel of TechSoup, the global social enterprise that has connected civil society organizations around the world with over $9B in donated tech-based resources. Sheila previously designed and launched NGOsource, a groundbreaking service focused on international grantmaking, and created a blockchain-backed registry for non-profit organizations around the world. She now heads the Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology team at the World Economic Forum. Sheila is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School.
Gené Teare is Head of Content at Crunchbase. She is responsible for data on the Crunchbase platform, and the venture partners who contribute to the accuracy of the dataset. She has been reporting and presenting on female founders, women in venture, and venture funding trends. Ms. Teare joined TechCrunch in 2008 to run Crunchbase. Working from the Atherton ranch, Ms. Teare was also involved with the setup of TechCrunch50 and TechCrunch Disrupt events from 2008 to 2012. Ms. Teare began her early Internet career in the '90s by co-founding Cyberia, the original CyberCafe in London, with Eva Pascoe.
Jordan Van Horn is the acting Head of Europe at Segment. Before joining Segment he led several sales teams at Dropbox and the San Francisco office at Korn Ferry.
Shawn Bose, GM of Indeed Prime, is responsible for leading the platform’s product team in developing solutions that match qualified, change-ready candidates with employers looking to fill in-demand tech roles. He works closely with the Senior Leadership Team to ensure his team is creating products that meet the ever changing needs of job seekers and employers and align with Indeed’s global product strategy and vision. Before joining Indeed, Shawn has been a serial entrepreneur and investor in early stage ventures. He most recently founded OnFaith, an online community for faith and spirituality. Prior to that, he was on the founding team of uShip, whereas the Head of Product, he oversaw the strategy and development of the company’s marketplace platform and lead its global expansion into 19 countries and regions across six continents. Shawn received an MBA from the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin, and has an A.B. in Religion & Archaeology from Bowdoin College.
Rahul Sood is the CEO of Unikrn, a Seattle-based esports startup. Previous to Unikrn, Sood created the first incubation fund for startups at Microsoft, and eventually Microsoft consolidated their global startup activities under Sood’s leadership. In June 2013, he launched Microsoft Ventures. A serial entrepreneur, Sood spent 18 years in multiple startups prior to joining Microsoft. He founded luxury and gaming computer manufacturer VoodooPC, which was acquired by Hewlett- Packard. Voodoo brought the ENVY and OMEN product lines to HP, contributing advanced technologies such as commercial liquid cooling and an increased focus on design. Sood is a co-founder of BrightSquid Medical and BullsOnWallStreet, and he is an active angel investor in a number of Startups. Sood is an early shareholder and advisor to Maingear, Razer, and Vrvana. Unikrn’s mission is to heighten the experience of watching and participating in esports. Unikrn is venture backed and raised a total of 10 million dollars with investors such as Ashton Kutcher, Mark Cuban, Liz Murdoch, Shari Redstone, Binary and many others. Unikrn signed an exclusive global partnership with one of the largest wagering companies in the world, and has opened their doors to multiple international markets. Unikrn has been featured on Forbes, Fortune, ESPN, CNBC and countless publications around the world. In 2015 Unikrn created the Unikoin, a token that has gained significant traction with Unikrn users. In October of 2017 it was announced that Unikrn sold over 127 million UnikoinGold in the biggest token sale in esports and video games. He is active in the entrepreneurial community, helping and mentoring a variety of startups. In his spare time, Sood enjoys wake surfing & wake boarding, standup paddle boarding, cycling, racing cars and spending time with his family. He is a native of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. You can find him on Twitter @rahulsood. You can find Unikrn on Twitter @unikrnco
Sylvana Rochet is a holistic intelligence advisor who guides founders and executives on how to manage their internal psychology, so that they can lead from a place of clarity, confidence and grounded-ness. Prior to coaching leaders, she spent the better part of a decade working in international development, learning first-hand about leadership, human nature and what makes organizations thrive.
Jonan is a developer at Heroku and an aspiring astronaut. He believes in you and your potential and wants to help you build beautiful things.
Heidi Yu is the founder and CEO of Boostinsider, one of the Silicon Valley’s hottest startups that focuses on using advanced technology to help brands to boost on social media through influencer marketing including SocialBook.io, SocialSaaS.io, SocialAdwords.io, and SocialSDK.io. She is a fashionable nerd, a passionate business woman, and a serial entrepreneur. Miss Yu holds an MBA from Seattle University, and is a well-connected real-life influencer.
Guillaume de Smedt is the Global Community Director for Silicon Valley based Startup Grind. He manages the community team and overseas 300 international chapters. He has also been on the Silicon Cape board for over 2 years, where he is now the chairman of the Community Council. Although this doesn't really make use of his electronic engineering background, he loves what he does ;)
Henry Kaestner is a Co-Founder and previous CEO, and then Chairman of Bandwidth.com, a company that together with his business partner, David Morken, he has grown from $0 to $250 million in revenue. The values of Bandwidth.com have always been: Faith, Family, Work and Fitness (in that order). Bandwidth.com was the 4th fastest growing privately held company in the country from 2003 through 2007, a position it achieved without acquisition or institutional funding. Prior to co-founding Bandwidth.com Mr. Kaestner founded Chapel Hill Brokers (a predecessor to ICAP Energy), an institutional energy derivatives broker that became the top ranked electricity broker in the country. Mr. Kaestner has also been involved in a number of ministry and philanthropic activities. He co-founded DurhamCares, sits on the Board of Visitors at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the Board of Directors of Praxis, an accelerator committed to helping Faith driven entrepreneurs. He also serves on the Board of Directors of Bandwidth, Republic Wireless, CloudFactory, ThriveFarmers, First, and RevBoss. Additionally, Henry serves as an elder in the Presbyterian Church of America and lives in Los Gatos, CA with his wife Kimberley and their three sons.
Amanda Gutterman is Chief Marketing Officer at ConsenSys, a global formation of technologists and entrepreneurs building the Ethereum ecosystem. Amanda is also a creator of event series Ethereal and a contributor to The Information where she writes a column on blockchain technology. She was featured on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in 2016. Before ConsenSys, Amanda cofounded Slant, a digital media platform, and served as Special Projects Editor at The Huffington Post. Amanda graduated from Columbia University, Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa. Her work has been covered in The New York Times, TechCrunch, Business Insider, and more.
Renee Wang is the CEO and Founder of CastBox, an award-winning global podcast platform that enables anyone to easily find, access, create and enjoy spoken audio content. Prior to CastBox, Renee was a global app monetization expert at Google. Renee holds a BS degree from Peking University.
Karl spent several years as an executive at Google before co-founding Lucid Software in 2010. During his time at Google, he started the company’s patent department and led investments in advanced wind and battery technologies. He also led Google’s business development efforts in China, including helping to open the Beijing office. He holds a B.S. and M.S. in EECS from MIT, an M.S. from MIT in Technology and Policy, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review.
Inna is a marketing strategist at InnavationLabs and a Founder of SnapchatDaily.com who helps brands tell their story on Snapchat. She worked with Facebook, eBay, Skype, Starbucks, NBC Universal, Calm, Netlify & other brands. She has an MBA from Imperial College London, and is an alumna of Singularity University.
Zachery Coelius is currently an early stage technology investor and advisor. His notable investments include Cruise Automation (bought by GM for $1B+), Branch Metrics, SkySafe and a dozen other startups. He is an advisor to twenty companies including Hellosign, Swarm (bought by Integral Ad Sciences), Balanced Payments (Stripe) and many others. Mr. Coelius is also four-time entrepreneur. In his last company he was the co-founder and CEO of Triggit, an advertising technology company that was one of the first Demand Side Platforms, where he raised over $25m in venture capital and exited in 2015 to Linkedin and another financial buyer. He ran Triggit from 2005 to 2015, growing it from 4 to 60 employees and over $30m in revenue. Zachery attended the University of Minnesota as an undergraduate where he was named by the USA Today as one of the top 20 college students in the nation in 2004. He was also the recipient of the George Mitchell scholarship where he received a master’s degree in International studies at the University of Limerick.
“ these are our people ”
Megan is an entrepreneur, tech evangelist, engineer, catalyst and connector. As VP at Google[x], Megan works on a range of projects including co-creating/hosting SolveForX to encourage and amplify technology-based moonshot thinking and collaboration. For nine years prior she led Google’s New Business Development team managing early-stage partnerships, pilot explorations, and technology licensing for Google’s global engineering and product teams. She led the acquisitions of Keyhole (Google Earth), Where2Tech (Google Maps) and Picasa, and also led the Google.org team transition to add more engineering with Google Crisis Response, GoogleforNonprofits, and Earth Outreach. Prior to joining Google, Megan was CEO and earlier, COO of PlanetOut, the leading LGBT online community. Over the years, Megan has contributed to a wide range of engineering projects, including an award-winning bicycle lock, space station construction program, and solar cookstoves. She holds a bachelor's and master's degrees in mechanical engineering from MIT, where she now serves on the board. She completed her master's thesis work at the MIT Media Lab.
Get a taste of the Startup Grind Global Conference experience with a few selected talks.
We’re not another “tech conference.” We are a community -- we’re entrepreneurs -- we’re here to help -- YOU!
Around the world, hundreds of thousands of founders come together each month to attend local Startup Grind events. Every February, our Global Conference brings compelling updates from the changing panorama of the tech world -- and we put it all together for 2.5 days of dynamic content and education. You will find invaluable new friendships, and hundreds of resources to help you continue to build yourself, your life and you’ll find information to grow your startup.
7,000 entrepreneurs, 250 speakers, hundred of investors, and our team of Global Chapter Directors will join us from around the world this February. It will be our biggest and best year ever.
If you are building a company anywhere in the world, you need to be at Startup Grind Global Conference. Feel free to send us an email at email@example.com if you need further convincing.
The 2018 Startup Grind Global Conference will be held at the Fox Theater (2215 Broadway) in downtown Redwood City, California.
Monday February 12
Tuesday February 13 - Wednesday 14
Full immersion of the Global Conference experience with access to all stages, exhibiting startups and sponsors, networking sessions and evening events with thousands of global founders, entrepreneurs and engineers.
Discover the newest startup trends among exhibiting startups and connect with popular sponsors/partners.
Exclusive VIP access to all Global Conference stages and networking sessions.
We have a dedicated student program with special discount rate. Currently enrolled students in a high school, college or university program can apply for our Student Pass via the application below. More information and eligibility can be found within the application.
Please complete this APPLICATION if you are interested in receiving a Student Pass.
Questions or interested in group tickets? Additional discount available - please email firstname.lastname@example.org
The entrepreneur’s journey can be a winding one, so we often collaborate with partner companies to sponsor the tickets of a handful of applicants. To find out if you’re eligible, tell us about what you’re working on and why you should receive a sponsorship at email@example.com.
If you’re a journalist reporting for a major media outlet or a private blogger with a considerable audience, we’d be happy to have you join as our guest.
Apply for a Press Pass by filling out this application.
Please note that speaker access is reserved to select media personnel on advance request and is not open to most press pass holders.
Ah, bosses — we know the drill. We have an expert team at the ready for this kind of situations: they’ve spent their lifetimes training in the fine art of tasteful wit, persuasive copywriting, and even the dark arts of corporate speak. Send us an email to and we’ll make the case on your behalf. But beware! With such great power comes great responsibility — contact wisely.
Though speakers like Vinod Khosla of Khosla Ventures spent over an hour with the audience, most speakers are busy founders who do us the great favor of sharing their time pro-bono exactly because they know we won’t demand much extra from them. All speakers are encouraged to meet attendees, walk the floor, and enjoy the conference — but we make no guarantees.
There will, however, be hundreds of investors among the audience — many who’d love to meet you. There was over $1.5 million offered to founders by investors they’ve met during the two days of the event, some who randomly bumped into one another.
Our secret to spotting and connecting with VIPs: say hello to those people who seem relaxed and sit back during networking breaks, as many of them will be those whose networks are already incredible. If they don’t invest, it’s likely they know those who do — so make friends instead of pitching hard.
Want to be matched with investors? Apply to our Startup Exhibition.
Aww, we were really looking forward to meeting you. We’re sorry to say we do not issue refunds, but you can definitely transfer your ticket with a friend or business colleague up to a month before the event. Email us here with your name and the name to which you’d like to transfer your ticket, and we’ll get you sorted.
Hope to see you next year!
We work with Fortune 500 as well as newly launched companies to reach entrepreneurs around the world, and we’d love to work with you. You’ll reach thousands of entrepreneurs, business owners, as well as developers, investors, and the like during our event. As a sponsor, we’ll also include you in messaging to our network -- spanning across over 140,000 online followers and subscribers. Here is our 2018 sponsor deck. Please review and email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
If your business has raised less than $3M and has fewer than 20 employees, you’re eligible to apply for our Startup Exhibition. If selected, you’ll have the chance to exhibit your company during the conference, connect to our network of 200 plus investors, and enjoy perks like media opportunities and startup service discounts. This year we’ll have 300 startups exhibit on-site.
The Startup Program is simple and transparent: if chosen, your startup receives 4-full day tickets, including a display booth for one of the two conference days (so, you can attend the other).
San Francisco (SFO) is the most trafficked airport in the Bay Area, complete with its own airport BART station. It is the closest (15mi/24km) to the Fox Theater. Travelers will get to ride the BART to Millbrae, then transfer onto the Caltrain to Redwood City.
Oakland (OAK) is located across the peninsula in the East Bay, offering slightly cheaper airfare and accommodations. It’s furthest (29mi/47km) from the Fox Theater, but offers nearby BART public transit to get into Silicon Valley.
San Jose (SJC) is located at the very bottom of Silicon Valley and is closest to Palo Alto. While not far from the Fox Theater (20mi/32km), SJC doesn’t offer many public transit options. Rental cars or car sharing are highly encouraged.
Here are our partner hotels that offer special room rates between February 12 to February 15, 2018 for all Startup Grind Global Conference attendees:
Just mention “Startup Grind” when you call to book. Must complete booking before January 15, 2018 to receive these special room rates.
Sure, though streetside parking is limited near the venue. Luckily, local garages offer more spaces by the hour. Both of the following garages offer paid parking 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM on Monday through Friday, with free parking after 6:00 PM.
Winslow Parking Garage: Located on Middlefield close to the Fox Theater, Winslow offers parking for 50 cents per hour.
The Main Street Parking Lot: Located on Main Street by City Hall, this garage offers parking for 25 cents per hour.
Jefferson Garage: The underground garage on Middlefield between Jefferson and Winslow provides 1.5 hours of free parking.
Marshall Street Garage: With entrances off of Marshall and off of Broadway offers 1.5 hours of free parking.
The Jefferson and Marshall garages offer limited parking that may be limited by duration.
Absolutely. The Fox Theater is a few blocks from the Redwood City Caltrain station. If you’re visiting us from San Francisco, you can easily take the BART to the Millbrae BART station and connect onto Caltrain.
The Caltrain runs between San Francisco and San Jose, with stops covering the entire Bay Area. See the Caltrain schedule here.
BART is San Francisco’s city rail service and the best way to commute to and from OAK and SFO airports. See Bart locations and schedule here. It may be wise to purchase a Clipper Card, used for all public transit in the Bay Area.
For bikers and rail commuters, thanks for doing your part to save the rainforests!
Yes. Over 100 Startup Grind Directors and thousands of startup founders are flying in from places like Iran, Mongolia, Australia, and China. They’re definitely not stepping away from their businesses, families, and teams without good reason: this is going to be good.
Absolutely! You can enter and exit the event at your leisure so long as you are wearing your Startup Grind wristband, which acts as your ticket.
But do us a favor: do not remove, tamper, or attempt to transfer your ticket to another visitor, or we may have to refuse your entry.
You can shower and sleep with your wristband on, and if you wear it for the whole year, we guarantee you a free ticket to our next conference. Yes, really!
Thanks for offering your time! We usually receive many applications for just a limited number of volunteer spots, but if you have the right skill set to be an awesome volunteer please fill out this form.
Yes: comfortable. Expect some people to feel most comfortable dressed in formal business attire – it can be a nice confidence booster. Also expect to mingle with a Silicon Valley crowd that’s most comfortable in casual streetwear, maybe accented with a company hoodie.
Keep in mind the amazing people you’ll be meeting at this conference, and dress to impress and connect with them. However you style yourself, make sure it’s respectful of the beautiful venue and other guests attending the event.
We appreciate your enthusiasm, but we ask our guests to stick to business cards at most. Flyers tend to take time and focus away from the conference experience, so nail your pitch instead.
The only exception is paid sponsors, who also receive a booth and other perks at the event. Learn more about sponsorships here if you’d like to reach the Startup Grind audience. We’d love to work together.
Trust us, we’re big proponents of a simple and inviting US immigration policy for ambitious entrepreneurs and skilled technologists. Unfortunately, we will not be sponsoring visas for attendees to the Startup Grind Global Conference.
We are a global startup community designed to educate, inspire, and connect entrepreneurs.