Marc Andreessen is an innovator and creator who pioneered a software category used by more than a billion people and established multiple billion-dollar companies. Marc co-created the highly influential Mosaic Internet browser and co-founded both Netscape and Loudcloud (Opsware). Most recently, Marc co-founded the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz which invests in technology companies including Airbnb, Actifio, BuzzFeed, Coinbase, Facebook, Github, Pinterest, Honor, and Twitter, among others.
Anne co-founded 23andMe in 2006 after a decade spent in healthcare investing. Under her leadership, 23andMe has built one of the world's largest databases of individual genetic information and made significant advances in bringing personalized medicine directly to the public. Anne graduated from Yale University with a BS in Biology.
Ron Conway is the Founder and Co-Managing Partner of SV Angel. Ron has been an active angel investor since the mid 90’s. He was the Founder and Managing Partner of the Angel Investors LP funds (1998-2005). He was included in 2010’s Vanity Fair 100 most influential people in the Information Age. He was awarded Best Angel at The 2009 TechCrunch Crunchies Awards. He was named #13 in Forbes Magazine Midas list of top “deal-makers” in 2011. Ron was with National Semiconductor Corporation in marketing positions (1973-1979), Altos Computer Systems as a co-founder, President and CEO (1979-1990) and took Altos public on Nasdaq in 1982 and served as CEO of Personal Training Systems (PTS) (1991-1995). PTS was acquired by SmartForce/SkillSoft (Nasdaq SKIL). Philanthropically, Ron is a Board Member of the Salesforce.com Foundation, and member of the UCSF Medical Center Chancellor’s Advisory Board in SF, and is active in fundraising for the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, College Track, Sandy Hook Promise-Newtown CT, Americans for Responsible Solutions-Gabby Giffords, and the THORN Foundation. Ron is an advocate for technology companies and civic engagement in San Francisco and founder of sf.citi (San Francisco’s tech-backed civic organization). Ron is also an advocate for immigration reform and a co-founder of FWD.US.
Stewart Butterfield is the co-founder and CEO of Slack. Stewart has built a distinguished career as a designer, entrepreneur, and technologist. A co-founder of Flickr, he has been named to Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World, BusinessWeek's Top 50 Leaders and Vanity Fair’s New Establishment List.
There are few people whose impact on entrepreneurs and business in general you hear about as frequently as Clayton Christensen. Clay’s body of work includes co-founding a publicly traded company, being a Rhodes Scholar, writing one of the most influential business books of our generation, fighting cancer and a stroke that forced him to relearn to speak, teaching thousands at the Harvard Business School, and raising five children.
Dustin Moskovitz is co-founder of Asana, the fast-growing work tracking app for teams. Asana's mission is to help humanity thrive by enabling all teams to work together effortlessly. Prior to Asana, he cofounded Facebook and was a key leader within the technical staff, first in the position of CTO and then later as VP of Engineering. Dustin attended Harvard University as an Economics major for two years before moving to Palo Alto, California to work full-time at Facebook.
Brit Morin is the founder & CEO of Brit + Co, a new media and commerce company that enables creativity among women and girls through inspirational content, online classes and do-it-yourself kits. From traditional crafts to high-tech manufacturing, Brit + Co connects millions of users with makers, designers, chefs, and inventors, together in one place at www.brit.co. When she's not coming up with creative ideas to share with her fellow makers, Brit can be seen on the TODAY Show, Rachael Ray, Steve Harvey and Meredith Vieira as a regular DIY and lifestyle contributor. She has also been a contributor for Katie Couric, CNN, Yahoo and the Huffington Post. Her best-selling book, Homemakers, was published in March of this year, and is available for purchase now.
Aaron Levie is Chief Executive Officer, Cofounder and Chairman at Box, which he launched in 2005 with CFO and cofounder, Dylan Smith. He is the visionary behind Box’s product and platform strategy, which focuses on incorporating the best of secure content collaboration with an intuitive user experience suited to the way people work today. Aaron leads the company in its mission to transform the way people and businesses work so they can achieve their greatest ambitions. He has served as a member of Box’s board of directors since April 2005. Aaron attended the University of Southern California from 2003 to 2005 before leaving to found Box.
Payal Kadakia is the CEO and Co-Founder of ClassPass, a monthly membership program that provides people of all fitness levels unlimited access to the best boutique fitness classes and gyms across the US and internationally. Since its launch in 2013, ClassPass has facilitated more than 11 million reservations across 7,000 studios in 36 markets. Payal is also the Founder and Artistic Director of The Sa Dance Company, founded in 2009 with the mission to increase awareness of Indian Dance in the mainstream and serve as a platform for expressing the Indian-American identity through movement. Payal previously worked as a consultant at Bain & Company and holds a degree in Operations Research from MIT.
A serial entrepreneur, Ryan Smith co-founded Qualtrics in 2000 as a junior in college at a time when online surveys were a thing of the future. As CEO, he has led the company from a basement startup to the industry leader in online data collection and survey analytics. Qualtrics is one of the fastest-growing technology companies, experiencing triple-digit growth in the past four years. The company has more than 5,000 customers including 500 universities, BusinessWeek’s top 30 business schools and almost all of the Fortune 500. Smith is a frequent lecturer at the nation’s leading business schools and is a member of the advisory board for the Masters in Market Research (MSMR) Program at the University of Texas at Arlington. He also serves on the executive advisory board of the Huntsman Cancer Institute. Before Qualtrics, he worked at HP and Ford Motor Company and studied at the Marriott School of Management.
Steve Chen was the co-founder and chief technology officer of YouTube. Steve arrived in Silicon Valley in 1999 to join PayPal. On his first day at PayPal, Steve met Chad Hurley, who would become his YouTube co-founder, together with Jawed Karim. Steve was instrumental in building YouTube into a viral video phenomenon. He helped lead YouTube through the Google acquisition for $1.65 billion, less than a year after launching the site. As the key technologist, Steve developed the company’s massive data centers and helped build YouTube into a premier entertainment destination, and one of the most popular websites on the Internet today. Steve has received several prestigious honors and acknowledgments from the business and entertainment communities including: Business 2.0’s “50 Most Influential People,” GQ’s “Men of the Year,” Time magazine’s “Best Invention of the Year”, and Fortune’s “Most Powerful People in Business.” Steve is now a partner at Google Ventures. Prior to GV he was running AVOS, the incubator he founded with Chad Hurley in 2011.
Designer and entrepreneur who believes that integrated product, digital, and brand design are the cornerstones of any business. Béhar is founder and chief designer of the award-winning integrated design studio fuseproject, and co-founded August with Jason to reinvent the way we enter our homes.
Tim Draper founded Draper Associates in July, 1985, which later became the world famous venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson (now DFJ). Investments include Skype, Hotmail, Tesla, & Baidu among many others. Draper Associates, investments include Twitch.TV, YeePay, Indiegogo, Docusign, Parametric Technology and AngelList. He is the creator of viral marketing, a marketing method for spreading a software application from customer to customer, instrumental to the successes of Hotmail and Skype among hundreds of others including Gmail and Yahoo!mail.
Aileen is the founder of Cowboy Ventures, a seed-stage focused fund. Cowboy Ventures seeks to back exceptional founders who are building technology products that “re-imagine” work and personal life in large and growing markets - what we call “Life 2.0”. Cowboy-backed companies include August, Area 1 Security, DocSend, Dollar Shave Club, Lending Home, Product Hunt, Rise, Styleseat and True & Co. Prior to Cowboy, Aileen joined Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers in 1999 where she was a Senior Partner and is now a Strategic Advisor. She previously worked in various operating roles at Gap Inc. and as an analyst at Morgan Stanley. Aileen enjoys thinking about and writing about tech insights, including “Welcome to the Unicorn Club”, “Why Women Rule the Internet” and “Social Proof is the New Marketing”. She has degrees from MIT and Harvard, and is mom to 3 kids and a startup wife.
Jason Fried is the founder + CEO of Basecamp, everyone’s favorite project management tool. Previously called 37signals, Basecamp was born in February of 2004. Today, over 10-years later, 15,000,000 people have worked on a project with Basecamp and every week, thousands of companies sign up to use Basecamp. Fried is also co-author of the book Rework, about new ways to conceptualize working and creating -- learning to do less and create more. He also writes Inc.'s Get Real column.
Guy Kawasaki is the chief evangelist of Canva, trustee of theWikimedia Foundation, and executive fellow at the Haas School of Business at U.C. Berkeley. Formerly, he was an advisor to the Motorola business unit of Google and chief evangelist of Apple. He is the author of The Art of the Start 2.0, The Art of Social Media,Enchantment, and ten other books. Guy has a BA from Stanford University and an MBA from UCLA as well as an honorary doctorate from Babson College.
Selina joined SurveyMonkey in October 2009. Previously Selina was Senior Vice President of Product and Technology at Ticketmaster’s Europe division, where she managed the 200-person Product, Technology and Operations team. Prior to that, Selina was Vice President of Online Product and Technology at Entertainment Publications, where she led the company’s online sales and technology initiatives. In 1997 Selina founded Evite.com, an online invitation service that lets users organize an offline event online, and which currently sends over three million invitations per month. As VP of Engineering for Evite.com, she led the company’s development and operations and played a key role in setting the strategic direction with the board of directors. In 2001, Evite.com was sold to Ticketmaster. Tobaccowala holds a BS degree in Computer Science from Stanford University.
Chamath Palihapitiya is the founder and Managing Partner of The Social+Capital Partnership (Social Capital) – a venture capital fund based in Palo Alto, CA that incubates and invests in breakthrough companies in healthcare, education, financial services, mobile and enterprise software. Preceding his focus as an investor, Chamath was the longest tenured member of Facebook's senior executive team and helped drive its ascension to one of the most important companies in the world. Prior to Facebook, Chamath had leading roles at The Mayfield Fund, AIM+ICQ and Winamp. In addition to his focus at the fund, Chamath is Owner and Director of the NBA's Golden State Warriors. Chamath was born in Sri Lanka, grew up in Canada, and graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Waterloo.
After earning a degree in Construction Engineering Management, Tracy helped build several hospitals before founding PlanGrid. She likes to joke that, with PlanGrid, she went from working for one superintendent to hundreds of thousands of them.
Vinod Khosla is an entrepreneur, investor, and technology fan. He is the founder of Khosla Ventures, focused on impactful clean technology and information technology investments. Mr. Khosla was founding CEO of Sun Microsystems. One of Mr. Khosla’s greatest passions is being a mentor to entrepreneurs, helping them build technology based businesses. Vinod holds a Bachelor of Technology in Electrical Engineering from IIT, New Delhi, a Master's in Biomedical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Ryan Sweeney joined Accel in 2008 and manages its growth fund. He is the first outside investor and board member in a number of leading enterprise software companies like Atlassian, Hootsuite, Qualtrics, Squarespace and Xero. Ryan is also active with innovative mobile and payments startups like Invoice2go, Lightspeed and VSCO. He was also responsible for numerous investments with notable exits, including AirWatch (acquired by VMware), Braintree/Venmo (acquired by PayPal), Groupon (public), Lynda.com (acquired by Linkedin) and OzForex (public). Ryan grew up in South Jersey and graduated from Notre Dame and Harvard Business School.
Bastian Lehmann is co-founder + CEO of Postmates, the on-demand logistics company he co-founded in 2011. With partnerships with Chipotle, Starbucks and 7-Eleven, Postmates now operates the largest on-demand delivery fleet. With a fleet of nearly 13,000 in 28 major metropolitan markets, Postmates has made more than 2.5M deliveries.
Focused on in-house strategy and growth, Julia is responsible for building, evolving, and sustaining Eventbrite's growing team of 500 "Britelings" and award-winning company culture. Before co-founding Eventbrite, Julia worked as a television development executive at MTV and FX Networks.
Michael is currently a full-time partner at Y Combinator. Previously, he was a co-founder and CEO of Justin.tv from 2007 - 2011 and the co-founder and CEO ofSocialcam in 2012. During 2012, Socialcam participated in Y Combinator, raised angel financing from a group of amazing investors, and sold to Autodesk Inc. for $60m (link). Needless to say - it was a busy year. In 2014 Justin.tv became Twitch Interactive and under the leadership of Emmett Shear and Kevin Lin sold to Amazon for $970m. Before getting into tech, Michael spent a year as the finance director for a US Senate campaign and before that he graduated from Yale University with a bachelors degree in political science. Today he spends a large majority of his free time cooking, reading, traveling and going for long drives.
Sebastian has set his sights on democratizing higher education. Co-founder and CEO of Udacity, Sebastian is also a Research Professor at Stanford University, a former Google Fellow, as well as the inventor of the autonomous car and project lead on Google Glass. Sebastian has been named the 5th Most Creative Person in Business (Fast Company), among the 50 Smartest People in Tech (Fortune), and highlighted in 50 Best Inventions of 2010 (Time).
Sukhinder Singh Cassidy is founder & CEO of JOYUS, the web’s premium online video shopping network. Prior to founding JOYUS in January 2011, she has been a leading consumer internet and media executive with over 18 years of leadership experience at global and early stage companies including Google, Amazon, Yodlee, and News Corp.
Steve Blank has had a 33-year career as a successful businessman, conservationist and teacher. As a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, Steve was part of/or founded eight venture-backed companies. Four of his eight startup companies went public. After he retired, he started new careers in conservation, public service, and teaching. After retiring, Steve moved from being an entrepreneur to teaching entrepreneurship to both undergraduate and graduate students at U.C. Berkeley, Stanford University and the Columbia University/Berkeley Joint Executive MBA program. Steve wrote a book (actually his class text) about building early stage companies: Four Steps to the Epiphany. He followed it in 2012 with his next book; The Startup Owner’s Manual.
Bryan is the founder of Braintree (Sold for $800M to PayPal) and OS Fund, which he started in 2014 with $100 million of his personal capital to support inventors and scientists who aim to benefit humanity by rewriting the operating systems of life. He supports endeavors to cure age-related diseases and radically extend healthy human life to 100+ (Human Longevity), make biology a predictable programming language (Ginkgo Bioworks & Synthetic Genomics), replicate the human visual cortex using artificial intelligence (Vicarious), mine asteroids (Planetary Resources), reinvent transportation using autonomous vehicles (Matternet) and reimagine food using biology (Hampton Creek), among others. He's an outdoor enthusiast, a pilot, and author of a children's book.
Marco Zappacosta is a co-founder and CEO of Thumbtack. Marco started Thumbtack after graduating from Columbia University where he majored in Political Science and fell one class shy of another degree in Neuroscience. During college, Marco was the Director of Saving Social Security in Washington, DC. The group represented the student voice in the Social Security debate with over 10,000 student members in over 300 campus chapters nationwide.
Diishan Imira is the co-founder + CEO of Mayvenn, the startup that reinvented the distribution channel for hair extensions by allowing hair stylists to sell directly to their clients. Mayvenn announced an Andreessen Horowitz led $10mm round of funding (which also included 500 Startups, Serena Williams, and Apple’s Jimmy Lovine) mid-2015. To date, they're experiencing revenue figures in the tens of millions and have grown to a community of over 30,000 hair stylists.
efore joining Wealthfront as the VP of Design, Kate held leadership positions at three multi-billion dollar software companies. She joined Facebook as its Director of Design in 2008 and contributed to building a world-class assembly of designers, researchers, engineers and content strategists. Prior to Facebook, she joined LinkedIn as its first Director of Design in 2007. Her focus on interactive design and UX began when she joined eBay in 2000. Kate first started her design career at Amerifit Brands, designing retail corporate identity and packaging. She holds a BA in Graphic Design from the Savannah College of Art and Design.
Nirav Tolia is the Co-Founder and CEO of Nextdoor, the free and private social network for neighborhoods. Prior to Nextdoor, he was an early employee at Yahoo!, co-founder/CEO of Epinions (acquired by eBay), and EIR at Benchmark Capital. Nirav graduated from Stanford University.
Don Harrison is Vice President of Corporate Development at Google. He was formerly Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, and worked on a variety of projects, from large international acquisitions to investments and innovative compensation programs. He joined in 2005, and has since closed more than 100 transactions for Google, including Urchin Software, Keyhole, DoubleClick, Motorola, AdMob and ITA. Prior to that, Don was an associate at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, where, in 2003, he was first introduced to Google and helped them acquire a small, Santa Monicabased startup (Applied Semantics). He started his career at the Toronto law firm of Davies, Ward, Phillips & Vineberg, after earning a degree in political science and philosophy at Dalhousie University and a law degree from the University of Toronto.
George led CRV’s early stage investments in Twitter, Yammer (enterprise social networking; acquired by MSFT 6/2012 for $1.2B), Millennial Media (mobile advertising; IPO March 2012; NYSE MM), Geni (social networking based on genealogy; acquired by MyHeritage Ltd.), Pebble, Scribd, Udacity, Wonder Workshop, Cotap, and Crushpath. In addition, he led CRV’s investment in Metaplace (acquired by Disney/ Playdom) and in Jambool (acquired by Google) and has sponsored many seed investments through the CRV’s industry leading seed program. George joined CRV in 2004, bringing more than 20 years of operating and investing experience in computing and consumer technology. George’s focus is on building consumer internet and infrastructure companies. Previously, he was a general partner at Mohr Davidow Ventures (MDV), and was on the boards of directors of the following companies: Accrue Software (IPO in 1999), Andale (acquired by Vendio), Critical Path (IPO in 1999), Ovation Entertainment, Sandcastle (acquired by Adobe), Securify (acquired by Kroll-O’Gara), Shutterfly (IPO in 2006), Supertracks (acquired by Centerspan) and Telebot (acquired by Z-Tel).
Andrew Braccia joined Accel in 2007 and focuses on consumer-oriented mobile and web services companies. He was the first investor and board member in Slack, lynda.com (acquired by LinkedIn), Squarespace, Vox Media, MyFitnessPal (acquired by Under Armour), 99designs and Cloudera. He also works closely with the teams at Braintree (acquired by PayPal), Etsy (public), Xero (public) and UserTesting. For more than a decade, Andrew ran Yahoo’s search and marketplace businesses. During his time he oversaw the acquisitions and integrations of Flickr, Del.icio.us, Inktomi and Overture. Andrew is from Santa Rosa, California and graduated from the University of Arizona, where he sits on the business school board.
Founder and CEO of Startup Grind, a community of over 150 cities designed to educate, inspire, and connect entrepreneurs. In 2015, Startup Grind will host 100,000 entrepreneurs at 1,200 events in 70 countries. In 2009 Derek founded Vaporware Labs, incubating many products including Startup Grind and professional social network Commonred, which was acquired by Income.com in 2012. His entrepreneurial career consists of mostly spectacular failures with occasional successes. Previously, he worked at Electronic Arts on games like Burnout Paradise, Mirror's Edge, Sims 3, Need For Speed, Battlefield, and others. He lives in Palo Alto with his wife and three children.
Max is the co-founder of Instacart - where they’re making groceries magically appear. He started the company with his two co-founders in 2012. Previously, he's worked for several startups including Schematic, an award-winning interactive agency which was acquired by WPP. Max is originally from Los Angeles where he graduated from the University of Southern California, studying entrepreneurship and cinematic arts. He also owns @Max on twitter!
Inspired by the opportunity to create a truly personalized shopping experience by blending the best of the brick and mortar retail experience with an innovative approach to data and technology, Katrina founded Stitch Fix while she was a student at Harvard Business School. Since 2011, Katrina hired a world-class executive team with experience from major companies including Netflix, Walmart.com, Nike and lululemon, and has grown the company to over 1,500 employees across the country. Prior to founding Stitch Fix, Katrina honed her skill set at the intersection of fashion, retail, and technology at social commerce company Polyvore and consulted with a variety of e-commerce and traditional retailers during her time at The Parthenon Group. She also invested in and worked with dozens of entrepreneurs and start-ups at Leader Ventures. Katrina holds a B.S. in Economics from Stanford University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
Mary Grove is director of Global Entrepreneurship Outreach where she leads Google for Entrepreneurs, the company's programs and partnerships to support startups and entrepreneurs in over 100 countries around the world. Mary joined Google in 2004 as part of the legal team working on the company's IPO then moved to New Business Development where she spent 6 years focused on a range of early stage product incubation and partnerships. Mary has led dozens of strategic technology partnerships across products including Gmail, Google Docs, Search, Chrome, and Social. She is an active leader in entrepreneur and developer outreach efforts both in the US and internationally, spanning initiatives in Europe, the Middle East, Latin America, Asia, and Africa. She has led exploratory trips and efforts for Google in Pakistan, Afganistan, Iraq, Gaza, and the West Bank. Mary earned her B.A. and M.A. from Stanford University and sits on the Alumni Association Board of Directors.
David is Vice President, Innovation and Entrepreneurship for the Coca- Cola Company. David leads a platform called Coca-Cola Founders, designed to co-create seed-stage startups by partnering Coca-Cola with a global network of experienced founders. In 2004 David was named Coca-Cola's first Vice President of Global Design where he led the Company’s vision and strategy for design. In 2009, Fast Company recognized David as a “Master of Design” and in 2013, he was included in Fortune Magazine’s “Executive Dream Team.” Prior to joining Coca-Cola, David held a succession of roles in design, brand strategy and management consulting. In 1997, David co- founded a digital agency called Process1234. David’s side project has been co-authoring, "Design to Grow: How Coca-Cola Learned to Combine Scale and Agility (and How You Can, Too)" with Linda Tischler (Fast Company Senior Editor) which was released in February 2015.
Michelle Zatlyn is the co-founder & head of user experience of CloudFlare, the web performance and security company. Today CloudFlare accelerates and protects more than 2 million web properties. Previously, she worked at Google and Toshiba, and launched two successful startups. CloudFlare was selected by the Wall Street Journal as the Most Innovative Internet Technology company two years running, and named a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum. Michelle holds a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry and a minor in management, with distinction, from McGill University. She also holds her MBA from Harvard Business School and was awarded the Dubliner Prize for Entrepreneurship.
Marlon Nichols is a co-founder and general partner at Cross Culture Ventures (CCV), an early stage venture capital firm with a focus on cultural investing (global trends and shifts in consumer behavior). Before founding CCV, Marlon was an investment director at Intel Capital where he completed his Kauffman Fellowship. Prior to his time in venture capital, Marlon led successful careers in software and strategy consulting in the technology, private equity, media and entertainment sectors. Some of Marlon’s investments include Afrostream, Gimlet Media, Hingeto, LendStreet, LISNR, Mark One (Vessyl), Mayvenn, Mirantis, MongoDB, mSurvey, Sidestep, Skurt, and Thrive Market. Marlon earned a Bachelor of Science in MIS from Northeastern University and a MBA from the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University. Marlon was named to Silicon Republic's list of 26 venture capital professionals spearheading change in technology investing and as a member of theRegistry's 40 under 40 Top Diverse Talent, and was recently featured in Black Enterprise magazine.
Josh is a partner at Greylock. He joined the team in 2011 and invests in entrepreneurs building new consumer products and services. His areas of focus include social networks and platforms, mobile apps, new media, and connected devices. Josh specializes in designing, building, and scaling consumer products, having been part of multiple companies that have grown to over 100 million users. Before joining Greylock, Josh spent 15 years in product and engineering roles at leading companies in social, commerce, and media. Josh was the product lead for growth and relevance at Twitter, growing Twitter's active user base by nearly 10x. Prior to Twitter, Josh worked on the platform at Facebook and led the launch of Facebook Connect. Josh currently serves on the boards of Medium, Jelly, and SmartThings. Josh also works closely with Greylock’s investments in Nextdoor, Whosay, and Path. Josh holds a BS in Symbolic Systems with a focus on Human Computer Interaction from Stanford University.
Des Traynor is the Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer at Intercom, and was previously a Co-Founder of Exceptional (now a part of Rackspace). Des's role covers many areas including product strategy, content marketing, customer support, and customer education. In addition he frequently represents Intercom when speaking at international conferences on topics such as product management, marketing, customer support, and the challenges of growing a product company.
Christine Tsai is a Founding Partner at 500 Startups, a global venture capital fund and startup accelerator. She has invested in over 150 companies including ipsy, Sprig, Bombfell, and Storefront, and also oversees the Accelerator and Distribution Teams. Prior to 500, Christine was in product marketing at Google and YouTube for many years. She worked on Developer Platforms and Google I/O, Google’s annual developer conference. She also worked on Google AdSense, Analytics and YouTube syndication. Before that, Christine held roles in international sales at OSIsoft and ChevronTexaco. Christine has a BA in Cognitive Science from the University of California at Berkeley. She is also a ballet dancer of 25 years.
With more than 20 years of experience helping to build some of the biggest names in tech, Rob wants to make GoFundMe the online destination for personal causes. Previously he was a venture partner at Accel Partners, where he advised their portfolio companies on a wide range of strategic and operational issues. Rob's most recent operating role was as President and COO of Groupon during the company's hyper-growth stage. He helped scale the company from 100 to more than 5,000 employees with a focus on Groupon's sales, marketing, business development, operations and international functions. Rob also served as CEO of Sidestep, where he led the company's turnaround and merger with Kayak. At Yahoo, he ran the commerce business unit. He has also served in various product, marketing and investment roles at Electronic Arts, Technology Crossover Ventures, Cendant, GolfWeb, Zaplet, and Hapag-Lloyd. Rob has a Bachelor’s degree in History from the University of California, Berkeley. He is an active investor in technology startups, and he serves on the board of directors of the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA.
Amy Banse, Managing Director and Head of Funds, Comcast Ventures Amy Banse serves as Managing Director and Head of Funds of Comcast Ventures and Senior Vice President at Comcast Corporation. Prior, she was President of Comcast Interactive Media. She serves on the board of Adobe and Quantifind. She graduated from Harvard and has a juris doctor from Temple University.
Debo Olaosebikan is an entrepreneur & engineer based in San Francisco. Debo has founded multiple marketplace, energy, and AI startups and is on leave from a Physics PhD at Cornell where he worked with MIT, Caltech and Stanford on a $6M project to build an electric silicon laser. He was once a radio featured musician and was the young Nigerian scientist of 2011. Upon taking a leave from his PhD., Debo moved out to Silicon Valley and along with Roger Dickey founded Gigster, an on-demand service for software development & design with a network of 350 top freelancers. Gigster is backed by Andreessen Horowitz, Greylock, and Y Combinator. Debo advises startups and helps young founders at the Thiel Fellowship.
Debby founded and built Citi Ventures recognizing the critical role innovation must play in driving growth at Citi amid accelerating disruptive forces and heightened customer expectations. A lifelong change agent, Debby partners with Citi’s businesses to shepherd creativity and implement breakthrough solutions. Based in Palo Alto, her team works to connect Citi to the Silicon Valley entrepreneurial ecosystem through their work in venture investing, identification of transformative trends, sponsorship of a network of labs, accelerators across the company and bringing the adoption of Lean Start Up to the enterprise. Since joining Citi in 2003, Debby has served in a number of executive roles including Head of Corporate Strategy and Mergers & Acquisitions, and Chief Operations & Technology Officer. She continues to act as a senior advisor to Citi’s Global Investment Bank. Her experience prior to Citi spans multiple industries; automotive, aerospace, telecommunications and information technology. Previous roles include Chief Financial Officer at both Boeing and Lucent Technologies, VP of Finance at General Motors Europe and General Auditor at General Motors. At Unisys she was General Manager of Information Services and Corporate Controller. Debby serves on the board of Qlik Technologies as well as the Advisory Boards of Riverwood Capital and Stanford’s Technology Venture program. Recently she was named an Executive Fellow at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. Fortune has twice placed Debby among the top 10 most powerful women in business and she has been on the Institutional Investor’s Top 50 list every year since 2011. Debby holds honorary doctorate degrees from Westminster College and Walsh College.
Micha Kaufman is the co-founder and CEO of Fiverr® -- the world’s largest marketplace for digital, creative and professional services. Micha’s true passion lies in building high-value, high network-effect businesses that solve complex challenges in profoundly simple ways. A serial entrepreneur, Micha founded and ran three technology start-ups before Fiverr. Launched in 2010, Fiverr became a platform that provides almost any digital service imaginable, in just one click. And under Micha’s leadership, Fiverr has blossomed into a Gig economy behemoth. Micha is a founding member of Accelerate, a think-tank for technology professionals. A frequent contributor to Forbes, Wired, and other media outlets, Micha is a recognized voice in the areas of the Gig Economy, Entrepreneurship and the Future of Work.
Tony Xu is the CEO and Co-founder of DoorDash. Prior to co-founding DoorDash, Tony worked in product at Square, led special projects for the CEO and CFO at eBay, and began his career at McKinsey and Company. He holds a B.S. with High Honors in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from UC Berkeley and a MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he was an Arjay Miller Scholar.
Katie writes about Apple, venture capital and startups for the New York Times. Previously she wrote about technology at Bloomberg and the Information, and she covered Wall Street at Fortune magazine. She has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, Marketplace Radio and WNYC. Her work includes features on Dell's doomed turnaround plan, General Electric's financial crisis woes, the rise and fall of Buddy Fletcher and Ellen Pao, trouble at Jawbone and the disasters that befell employees when Good Technology was sold to BlackBerry.
Yuval is the Founder & President of Payoneer. Previously he was Co-Founder of Borderfree (NASDAQ: BRDR) & VP of RADWARE (NASDAQ: RDWR). Current YPO member & angel investor to startups in the payment space, such as Zooz. Current Co-founder at TravelersBox. Tal holds a B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering & an M.Sc. in Biomedical Engineering. Over the years, Yuval has raised money from over 70 individual investors and led over 25 investment rounds from 30 VCs.
Eurie joined Forerunner Ventures as a Principal in May 2012. Over the past 10+ years, Eurie has evaluated and aided a wide variety of companies in their quest to define business models, identify target markets, 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. Eurie also has a personal passion for entrepreneurship, which inspired her to launch an artisanal leather goods brand as well as serve on the founding team of a European luxury brand incubator.
Kara Goldin is CEO + Founder of San Francisco-based Hint Inc, which produces all-natural fruit essence waters. Kara launched Hint to make it easier for consumers to drink more water and lead a healthier lifestyle. With an extraordinary track record of business success, Kara was formerly the Vice President of Shopping and E-commerce Partnerships at AOL. Kara is one of Fortune’s “Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs," one of EY’s “Entrepreneurial Winning Women,” and the Gold Stevie Award Winner for “Female Entrepreneur of the Year”.
Gurjeet Singh is the CEO and co-founder of Ayasdi. In this position, he leads a technology movement that emphasizes the importance of extracting insight from data, not just storing and organizing it. Prior to starting Ayasdi, Gurjeet worked at Google and Texas Instruments and was named by Silicon Valley Business Journal as one of their 40 Under 40 in 2015. He is the author of numerous patents and has published in a variety of top mathematics and computer science journals. Gurjeet is a graduate of Delhi University and Stanford University.
Nicole Shariat Farb is co-founder and CEO of Darby Smart – the platform to share, find and shop creativity. In 2013, Nicole left Goldman Sachs to start Darby Smart with the mission to unlock the world's creativity by making creativity easy and accessible for everyone at every level. Darby Smart’s platform has become an invaluable incubator for creative thinkers as it gives them a place to share their ideas, sell creations and find new inspiration. The company has quickly become recognized as revolutionary in the Maker Movement as it has grown to become an active community representing millions of creative voices and ideas.
Charles Hudson is the Managing Partner with Precursor Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm focused on investments on investing in strong teams in the business to business and business to consumer software markets. Prior to founding Precursor, Charles was a Partner with SoftTech VC, one of the most active seed stage investors in Internet and mobile startups. Hudson holds a BA in Economics and Spanish from Stanford University and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
As a the head of global programs for Google for Entrepreneurs, Bridgette Beam works to bring the best of Google’s resourced to support the growth of startups and entrepreneurs across 125 countries. In addition, Bridgette is part of the core team behind Campuses: physical hubs where entrepreneurs can learn, connect, and build companies that will change the world. Along with her team, she develops the programs that provide entrepreneurs unparalleled access to mentorship, connections and trainings to support the growth of their startup. Today, there are 5 Campuses in London, Seoul, Tel Aviv, Madrid and Warsaw serving over 65,000 member entrepreneurs.
Arvind co-heads the Global Venture Investing group at Citi Ventures. In addition to managing the group, he invests in companies in Financial Services, Security, and Enterprise Infrastructure. His portfolio includes Betterment, Chef, Click Security, Persado, Pindrop, Silver Tail Systems (acq by EMC), Tanium and vArmour. In addition, Arvind helps lead partnerships between portfolio companies and Citi’s business units. Prior to Citi, Arvind spent nearly a decade as a Managing Director at Menlo Ventures, a top-tier VC firm on Sand Hill Road. There, he was an investor and Board member in companies such as Kazeon Systems, Cavium Networks, Solidcore, nCircle Network Security, Intelligent Results and Vhayu Technologies. Previously, Arvind was a design engineer, and a Program Manager, in the Mobile Pentium group at Intel Corporation. Arvind obtained his BSEE from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, an MSEE from Case Western Reserve University, and an MBA with Distinction from Harvard Business School.
Christopher Johnson is the Founder and CEO of The Johnson Group, Inc. a corporate recruiting company. Chris is also the Inventor of the Rapid Ramen Bowl where he successfully pitched his invention to ABC's Shark Tank, where he landed a deal with Mark Cuban. He was recognized as one of Sacramento Business Journal’s “40 under 40” and was also recognized as one of the “40 Next” by Black Enterprise Magazine.
Washington Editor-At-Large, The Atlantic Steve Clemons is Washington Editor-At-Large for The Atlantic and National Journal; and Editor-in-Chief of AtlanticLIVE, National Journal LIVE, and QuartzLIVE. He is also Editor-at-Large for Quartz and an MSNBC contributor. At AtlanticLIVE, The Atlantic’s premium events division, Clemons develops concepts and editorial content and leads programs as an interviewer, moderator, and host.
Iliana Montauk is the director of Gaza Sky Geeks, the first startup accelerator in Gaza, launched in 2011 by the global humanitarian organization Mercy Corps with seed funding from Google.org. In 2015, under Iliana's direction, Gaza Sky Geeks ran the largest crowdfunding campaign to date in the Arab world. Gaza Sky Geeks (GSG) fills a critical need in Gaza, where young tech talent is abundant but opportunities are in short supply. Initially, the Mercy Corps program ran inspirational and training events to grow awareness of tech entrepreneurship in Gaza. In 2014, GSG's strategy expanded to include a startup accelerator, bringing in the first private international investment to Gazan startups. In the same year, GSG succeeded in creating one of the most inclusive startup communities in the world: nearly 50% of its entrepreneurs are women. Iliana graduated summa cum laude from Harvard in 2006 and completed a Fulbright in Jordan in 2012.
Utilizing his investment background at Goldman Sachs and TA Associates, Pramod channeled his entrepreneurial spirit to develop Boutine an online fashion ecommerce site. During this time, Pramod identified a key challenge for startups - the need for a high quality, affordable solution for their product development and founded West Agile Labs. As the CEO Pramod oversees business development and growing relationships at West Agile.
Nabeel is an early-stage investor and supporter of entrepreneurs building hardware, software and services startups that offer creative solutions to practical, everyday problems. He has led Spark’s investments in Coin, Hey, Picturelife (acq. by StreamNation), Postmates, and Thalmic Labs. He looks for products in which the underlying technology or systems can be extremely complex, but are presented as a simple, magical experience to the people who use them. Coin, for example, does something seemingly small—it holds your credit cards—but at scale it reinvents how people interact with money. Postmates has a seemingly humble offering—it brings you dinner—but by doing so seamlessly, it upends urban logistics. Nabeel was previously General Manager at Zynga (NASDAQ: ZNGA), which he joined before the IPO in 2010 after Zynga acquired Conduit, a hyper-growth social gaming startup where he was cofounder and CEO. Previously he helped start and then lead product development at Ambient Devices, an MIT Media Lab spin-out that worked with designers like Yves Behar and Frank Gehry to bring a blend of IT and modern design to consumers, helping pioneer what would later become known as “The Internet of Things.” Nabeel received a B.A. in Design from Maryland Institute, College of Art, studied Computer Science at Purdue University and now lives in Berkeley, California.
Sandras is co-founder and CEO of Africa Trust Academy (ATA), an education company dedicated to inspiring and educating people for economic transformation. ATA owns Pranary, a learning platform that provides personalised learning with emphasis on financial literacy, entrepreneurship and personal development. Sandras has spoken and consulted in several countries including Zambia, Malawi and Bali, Indonesia and has worked with renowned organisations such as General Electric, the African Union and several companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. He has lectured at 8 major universities in South Africa and is a mentor on South African Broadcasting Corporation TV programme that focuses on enabling entrepreneurs to build successful businesses. Sandras holds a Computer Science degree and an MBA from University of Cape Town. He lives in Cape Town South Africa with his wife and two kids.
Anjula Acharia-Bath is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, pop culture enthusiast & Angel Investor (ClassPass, The Hunt (acquired by Pinterest), Mayvenn, Gobble, The Muse, Cue, Hooked - Telepathic). As a partner at Trinity Ventures, Anjula works to transform portfolio companies into truly global brands as well as work to further Trinity’s campaign for greater diversity in tech. Prior to joining Trinity, Anjula co-founded Desi Hits!, which introduced mega-stars Lady Gaga, 50 cent and Britney Spears to India and launched Bollywood star, Priyanka Chopra with partner/investor jimmy Iovine in the U.S. She has deep connections in the entertainment/music/tech world and was recently named as one of Billboard’s 2014 ‘International Power Players’ and ‘Top 40 Women in Music.” She is passionate about mentoring entrepreneurs and bridging the gap between technology and entertainment and to this end was named on Vanity Fair’s ‘Next Establishment’ List as a “Titan disrupting media, technology and culture.
Nir Eyal writes, consults, and teaches about the intersection of psychology, technology, and business. The M.I.T. Technology Review dubbed Nir, “The Prophet of Habit-Forming Technology.” Nir founded two tech companies since 2003 and has taught at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford. He is the author of the bestselling book, Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products. In addition to blogging at NirAndFar.com, Nir is a contributing writer for TechCrunch, Inc. and Psychology Today. Nir is also an active investor in habit-forming technologies. Some of his past investments include: Eventbrite, Product Hunt, Pantry, Refresh.io (acquired by LinkedIn), Happy Bits, Presence Learning, 7 Cups of Tea, Pana, and Symphony Commerce. Nir attended The Stanford Graduate School of Business and Emory University.
Julia Barrett is the Global Program Director of Salesforce for Startups. Julia initially joined Salesforce through Heroku where she assisted in corporate alignment, strategic partnerships and go-to-market strategy through the Salesforce channel. Prior to Salesforce, Julia drove early-stage marketing for Wealthfront, the largest and fastest growing fintech startup which she joined at launch after many years managing global e-commerce partnership programs, including the eBay Partner Network.
Michal Lev-Ram, Senior writer, Fortune Michal has been on staff at Fortune since 2010. Previously, she worked at Business 2.0 and had been a frequent contributor to CNNMoney, Popular Science and Fast Company. Michal is based in Silicon Valley, where she covers the technology and entertainment industries for the magazine and website. She is also co-chair of Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech conference and Most Powerful Women Next Gen Summit.
Steven van Wel is the Co-Founder/CEO of Karma. Born in The Netherlands, he started his first company when he was 19 years old. He is the co-author of the book Elastic Beanstalk, published by O'Reilly in 2011, and previously founded Marvia (acquired by PostNL). He is currently based in New York, where Karma was launched while in the TechStars NYC 2012 program. Karma is the easiest way to get online. By unlocking Wi-Fi we will make it possible for everyone to bring their own bandwidth, anywhere in the world. Today, Karma Go's Social Bandwidth brings frictionless Wi-Fi sharing to the masses. It's Wi-Fi for everyone to use.
Terry Chen is an Associate Director of Pivotal Labs San Francisco, who has over ten years experience as a software development leader. Terry is passionate about solving business problems with innovation and has devoted his career to building software and managing large teams across different scales of organization from boot-strapped startup to Fortune 500. Terry currently overseas all aspects of business development, allocations and utilization for client engagements in our San Francisco office. Prior to joining Pivotal Labs, Terry was an Engineering Manager at mobile gaming startup Ngmoco:), which he saw through an acquisition. He was also part of early-stage software teams at Amazon and Avid. Terry continues to advise startups on development best practices, organizational management, and hiring through the Pivotal Labs Product Office Hours program and beyond.
Write about digital health, biotechnology, tech culture, gender and diversity, privacy and security news for TechCrunch.
Aaron Skonnard is the CEO of Pluralsight, a SaaS learning platform that delivers on-demand courses on leading technologies to businesses around the world. Aaron cofounded Pluralsight in 2004 and has since grown the company to nearly 500 employees and 800 expert authors. As CEO, Aaron focuses on business strategy, future direction, product development and strategic partnerships. On a day-to-day basis, he works closely with the entire executive team in different capacities, including recruiting, brand management, marketing, sales, feature planning and content acquisition. Through his leadership, the company has flourished. Pluralsight acquired seven companies in the three years to widen the scope of its library and add key technologies to its product line. Aaron also led Pluralsight through two rounds of funding, including a $135 million Series B round in August 2014. Aaron is a thought-leader in the industry, speaking at events around the world. He’s the chairman of the board of Start Foundation, a nonprofit that supports Utah’s booming tech community. As a result of his efforts in the business world and community, Aaron was named 2015 Utah CEO of the Year from StartSLC and MountainWest Capital’s 2016 Entrepreneur of the Year.
Entrepreneur and Community Builder focused on building companies that improve the way companies are built. Currently Founder at 8spaces (marketplace for sharing productive spaces) and Confluence.city, an initiative to build better cities through community building. Previously, she was Startup Grind East Community Director and facilitator of the socio-cultural aspects of MAP (MaGIC Accelerator Program, which gathered 50 startups from Malaysia and ASEAN in a 4 months program).
Chris Joannou is the Co-Founder of the Private Label Lab an innovation house focused on the design, development, and delivery of private label food and beverage projects and programmes for major brands, retailers, and foodservice suppliers across the Asia-Pacific. He is the also Founding Director and General Manager of Startup Grind Australia / NZ connecting, inspiring, and educating the Australasian Startup Scene serving 8,000+ Entrepreneurs a month across the Pacific. Ranked as one the top 50 Australian startup influencers by StartupDaily.
Pablo is an entrepreneur that has participated professionally in different areas. Lawyer by education, he has been involved in international franchising, real estate consulting, business logistics, and technology development in government. He is founder of Grupo CREA, a company dedicated to business development and Startups via alternative investment mechanisms. Currently he is operatng CREA Muebles, Mexico’s bigest RTA furniture online store and developing INTRINNO the first OI platform in Latin America. He founded Startup Grind Mexico; now he is Director of Startup Grind Latam and he participates actively in the organization and development of the Startups and Investors community in Mexico with emphasis on creating an entrepreneurial ecosystem in Monterrey that provides opportunities on a regional level to latinamerican entrepreneurs. He is also a contributing writer for Forbes Magazine.
Betty is Startup Grind's Regional Director for Africa and runs the Nairobi chapter. She works at Fezah as Business Operations Lead in Nairobi. Fezah provides you the simplest way to book a musician, band or DJ for your events. She is also the Band Manager for the Kenyan rock group ParkingLotGrass. Previously, she co-founded Valuraha, a technology startup aimed at spreading financial literacy. Betty is an aspiring novelist currently working on her first book.
Paul Ahlstrom is Managing Director and co-founder of Alta Ventures and Alta Growth Capital. Through his current Alta Ventures fund and prior seven funds, Paul has invested in Jott, VidAngel, Converus, Ancestry.com, Altiris, LanDesk, Rhomobile, SpaceMonkey and more than 125 startups throughout the US and Latin America. Paul is the author of the book Nail It, Then Scale It, and of the Big Idea Canvas. Through his investment platform of Alta Ventures and the Alta Innovation Institute, Paul is focused on accelerating positive venture outcomes for entrepreneurs and creating knowledge economy jobs in Latin America.
Perri Blake Gorman is the Founder / CEO of Archively and the Co-founder of UnrollMe recently acquired by Slice/Rakuten. She is passionate about all things people, product, process and productivity. Before getting into the startup world, Perri spent over thirteen years doing retained executive search on Wall Street. Perri was recently appointed to the Board of Protohack, the codeless hackathon and she is a Mentor at Traction School, Tradecraft. She is an advocate for people who don't code, like herself, having the education and resources to get their ideas into the world.
Johan is one of Europe’s most experienced venture capital investors. He has worked across a broad set of industries globally and built a number of successful businesses as an entrepreneur, and as Partner in leading venture capital firms. He has worked in large corporations and small start ups, seen failures and successes, has a vast global network in the VC ecosystem and has a true passion to build companies. Before becoming an entrepreneur Johan spend close to 10 years with ABB and Kinnevik. At ABB, Johan assisted the build up of ABB Financial Services globally and ran ABB’s Power Generation business expansion in Eastern Europe in the early 90s. At Kinnevik, Johan first oversaw the IPO of MTG as their COO, followed by being President of Kinnevik’s investments. At Kinnevik, Johan co-founded Net Entertainment, the leading supplier of online casino games. As an entrepreneur and angel investor, Johan first co-founded E*Trade in the Nordics in 1997 before selling it to E*Trade and then running E*Trade’s European business. He was a co-founder and chairman of Jobline, which became Europe’s largest Online Recruiter, went public and sold to Monster Inc. He co-founded Tradera which was bought by eBay. He was an angel investor and chairman of DIBS until it went public and co-founded Payson which was sold to Svea Ekonomi. He also co-founded Livebookings/Bookatable, Europe’s largest restaurant reservation management system. He has been early angel investor in several companies like the online insurance broker Insplanet, and the dental chain Smile Group, the largest Nordic private dental chain. Before Creandum, Johan spent almost 5 years as a General Partner at Balderton Capital (previously Benchmark Capital Europe) with investments in companies like MySQL, Rebtel and Zopa. Johan joined Creandum in 2010. He invests in entrepreneurs with big disruptive ideas particularly in financial services, marketplaces and Saas.
Digital Entrepreneur. Founder of BrainTrust, think-tank helping top tech CEOs scale globally. Mentor at Virgin Startup. Lecturer at General Assembly. Startup judge (Startup Weekend, Mass Challenge). MBA from ESCP (oldest business school in the world), contributor to Virgin.com. Marian was recently featured in New Europe 100 (organised by Financial Times, Google, Respublica and Visegrad Fund), the list of outstanding challengers who are leading world class innovation from Central and Eastern Europe.
Stephanie Palmeri invests with SoftTech VC in marketplaces, consumer services, EdTech and SaaS – including Poshmark, Grovo, Class Dojo, Fatherly, Lantern, and Niche (aqc. Twitter). Previously, Stephanie worked at intersection of marketing and technology for startups and seed funds (Lot18 & NYC Seed) and large corporations (Accenture, Estee Lauder, SAP).
Simon invests in entrepreneurs building consumer networks and platforms, and he leads Greylock’s $100 million commitment to marketplace investments. Simon joined Greylock in 2011 as an Executive-in-Residence and was promoted to Partner in 2013. His area of focus includes network effects businesses and transaction-based startups with a specialty around marketplaces. He has served as an advisor to many marketplaces and networks including Lyft, Tango, Taskrabbit, Poshmark, and others. Simon also leads Greylock’s $100 million commitment to marketplace investments. Simon is an early pioneer of online marketplaces and network effect businesses. He joined eBay when it was a small, US collectibles auction business and helped scale the company to nearly 200 million users generating over $40 billion in merchandise sales. While at eBay, Simon was Founder and Global Vice President of eBay Motors, a division of eBay that nationalized the used car market. Within 6 1/2 years Simon built eBay Motors into a $14 billion a year global business becoming the number one automotive marketplace in the world and a top 10 eCommerce property. In addition to founding and running eBay Motors, Simon was responsible for eBay’s US Operations. The $10 billion business unit covered the P&L’s for all US categories except media. Before founding eBay Motors, Simon worked for several years as a strategy consultant at McKinsey & Company. He has also founded a marketplace, been issued 4 United States patents, and served as an early Tesla Motors board member.
Leena Rao is currently a Senior Writer at Fortune Magazine. Leena had a brief stint at Google Ventures as an Operating Partner. Leena’s first role out of journalism school was at TechCrunch which she joined in 2008. She rose through the ranks becoming the Managing Editor for TechCrunch and a voice at TechCrunch Disrupt. She graduated from Columbia University in 2003, where she was the captain of the women’s varsity tennis team. She has also contributed technology content for Oprah.com.
Rich Maloy is the Global Entrepreneur Program at IBM. IBM's mission is to transform the world through innovation and entrepreneurship. He believes that startups give all people the opportunity to grow, learn, and earn. He lived and worked in NYC for 14 years where his first career was in finance; his second career was in sales where he was a multiple-time President’s Club performer. And now startups are his third career, based out of Boulder, CO. He loves his wife, tech, video games, sci-fi, and skiing.
Rachel Chalmers joined Ignition as a principal in 2013. She sources deals in enterprise and cloud infrastructure, “big data” and the “Internet of Things;” advises portfolio companies and provides counsel on industry trends. Prior to Ignition, Rachel worked for 13 years at the 451 Group, an independent technology industry analyst firm focused on the business of enterprise IT innovation. She was most recently the company’s vice-president of research, overseeing all work on enterprise infrastructure software. Coverage areas included hypervisors, operating systems, provisioning and automation, application development, performance monitoring and lifecycle management. While at 451, Rachel was among the first analysts to cover Opsware, BladeLogic, VMware, Splunk and Cloudera. Before becoming a technology analyst, Rachel was a journalist in the U.S. and Australia. She helped launch Computer Week, later PC Week Australia, and was the Internet editor for Computerwire, where she wrote about software and open-source technologies. Rachel received a BA degree in English from the University of Sydney and a master’s in philosophy, with a focus on Anglo-Irish literature, from Trinity College, Dublin. She was an advisor to the Ada Initiative, a non-profit that supports women in open technology and culture.
Leela Srinivasan is CMO of Lever, the collaborative recruiting platform that powers a fundamentally more human approach to hiring. Prior to joining Lever, Leela ran B2B Marketing and Product Marketing for OpenTable. She developed an obsession with all things talent during her four and a half years at LinkedIn, where she was Director of Marketing for the company's Talent Solutions business. In her prior life she was a management consultant at Bain and Company in San Francisco and London. Leela holds an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth and an MA from Edinburgh University in her native Scotland.
Colleen Taylor is based in San Francisco. Prior to her position at Y Combinator, she was a reporter for TechCrunch and the editorial director for TechCrunch TV. Previously she worked as a reporter for GigaOM, the Financial Times' Mergermarket newswire, and the semiconductor industry newsletter Electronic News.
Best known as an Entrepreneur and Connector. John was recently named #3 on Top 50 Online Influencers in the World by Entrepreneur Magazine as well as a blogging expert by Forbes. Awarded Top 10 Most Influential PPC Experts in the World for the past 3 years. He currently advises several companies in the bay area. Read More
Aarthi Ramamurthy is the founder of Lumoid, a YCombinator backed service for test driving consumer electronics, such as drones, wearables and photography gear. She worked on the XBox LIVE team at Microsoft for 6 years, and then joined Netflix to build the video streaming SDK for various CE platforms such as Sony, Panasonic, Apple etc. She has a Masters in software engineering.
Before Homebrew, I led consumer product management at YouTube, starting when it was acquired by Google. I originally joined Google in 2003, managing product and sales efforts for AdSense, Google‘s contextual advertising business. My first job in Silicon Valley was as the founding product and marketing guy at Linden Lab. Before graduate school, I was a management consultant and also spent a year at Late Night with Conan O‘ Brien. My parents are proud of my BA in History from Vassar and MBA from Stanford University.
Joy launched the first of 15 ventures at age 18, nine successful acquisitions and 2 IPO’s later she exercises her passion for building high-value, scalable businesses as the founder and CEO of New Market Partners. Since it’s inception in 2004 she has worked with over 800 startups helping them build scalable businesses. Joy has led public and private companies from bootstrap through venture; raising over $360M in capital, leading 17 acquisitions and generating in excess of $15B in revenue. She is the founding Director of Startup Grind Florida, Technova Florida and an active angel investor. Her most recent honors from the business community include: Technology Leader of the Year, Business Woman of the Year, Power 100 Business Leaders, Top 10 Influencer of Innovation. A frequent speaker and contributor to Fortune, Bloomberg, Wired, CISO and other media outlets, she is a recognized voice in the areas of Entrepreneurship, Mobile and Cybersecurity.
Sandeep Bhadra joined Menlo in 2015 and focuses on enterprise investments. Companies in the Menlo portfolio he is involved with include Platform9 and Scality. Sandeep was most recently with Cisco’s Corporate Business Development team working on acquisitions and investments in cloud, enterprise infrastructure software and big data/analytics. Sandeep was actively involved with Cisco’s acquisitions of tail-f (SDN orchestration), Metacloud (Openstack private cloud) and Memoir Systems (next-gen network memory), and investments in Map-R, Platfora and Moogsoft (big data / analytics). Earlier, Sandeep was an engineer at Texas Instruments’ R&D unit – where he led projects to build an Openflow switch chip, an ultra low-power IoT wireless mote and 4G/LTE small-cell networks. Sandeep received a PhD from the University of Texas at Austin and a Bachelors degree from IIT Madras, both in Electrical Engineering, and an MBA from INSEAD. In his spare time, Sandeep likes to travel up and down the pacific coast with his dog, read fiction, and drink burgundies.
Nick Sturiale joined Ignition in 2013, as a managing partner and oversees the Palo Alto office. Early on, Nick spent 12 years as an entrepreneur in three startups where he held most all functional roles from QA, to product management to channel sales to marketing and BD. He was also founding CEO and Director of Timbre Technologies, a manufacturing-analytics software company, which won the 1999 UC Berkeley Business Plan Competition and was acquired by Tokyo Electron for $138 million in 2001. As a VC in the last 15 years, Nick’s has been directly involved in over 100 startups, held more than 25 board seats and invested across multiple platform generations from applications to web/cloud infrastructure to mobile enterprise to Big Data. To date, Nick’s companies have generated nearly $700M in realized value from approximately $100M in investment cost. Prior to Ignition, Nick spent three years at Icon Ventures (formerly JAFCO Ventures) as a general partner, where he invested in companies such as VuClip (PCCW), Reputation.com, Bill.com and Delphix. Nick spent eight years at Sevin Rosen Funds, where he incubated and led first investments in companies such as Actional (PRGS), XenSource (CTXS), Solidcore (INTC) and Splunk (SPLK). Nick also worked at The Carlyle Group as a managing director and co-head of its Silicon Valley office. Nick holds a BS degree (and completed BA requirements) from California State University, Chico, and an MBA with academic distinction from the University of California, Berkeley, where he is a frequent guest lecturer and a member of the Haas School Dean’s Advisory Group.
With 3,000 founders and investors, more than 40 keynote and fireside sessions, and over 50 exhibiting startups, this is Startup Grind's largest event ever.
Don't miss a thing with the latest event agenda.
We are a global startup community designed to educate, inspire, and connect entrepreneurs.
Founded in Silicon Valley, Startup Grind now spans over 200 cities across the world.
Meet Silicon Valley’s top investors, developers, journalists, and entrepreneurs for over two days of workshops, talks, intimate meetings, and parties.
Apply to be one of only 40-startups selected to exhibit in our Startup Program
“Startup Grind is some of the best community stuff out there.”
“The payoff for me and my partner has been the discussions we’ve had as a result of what we’ve learned and experienced here. In a few short days we have made strategic decisions about what our company will and will not do going forward, and it’s because of information we’ve gathered here.”
“One of my favorite events.”
All companies are invited to participate as sponsors by reaching firstname.lastname@example.org. We work with Fortune 50 as well as newly launched companies to reach entrepreneurs around the world. You’ll reach thousands during our event, and tens of thousands online with a mix of digital & on-site reach.
If your business has raised less than $3MM and has fewer than 20 employees, we’d love to invite you to apply to the 2016 Startup Program for a chance to display your company during the conference, be exposed to our network of 200 investors, and enjoy perks like media opportunities and startup service discounts.
The Startup Program is simple and transparent: if chosen, your startup receives 3 VIP 2-day tickets, including access to a display booth for one of these two days. The price of the package is $1,495 — or the same price as 3 regular attendee tickets.
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 ride the BART to Milbrae, then transfer onto the Clatrain 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.
All the following hotel suggestions are less than a 10 minute drive from the Fox Theater, the Startup Grind Global Conference Venue.
Many guests also choose to stay with local hosts through AirBnB.
223 Twin Dolphin Dr, Redwood City, CA 94065
Expect: luxury, concierge service, modern decor.
Atherton Park Inn & Suites Redwood City
2834 El Camino Real, Redwood City, CA 94061
Expect: Central location, business-tier accommodations, free
breakfast & gym.
America's Best Inn & Suites
Marriott TownePlace Suites Redwood City
1000 Twin Dolphin Dr, Redwood City, CA 94065
Expect: Affordable accommodations, natural scenery.
Best Western Plus Executive Suites Redwood City
25 Fifth Ave, Redwood City, CA 94063
Expect: Quiet location, near-luxury accommodations, proximity to Silicon Valley companies.
Red Cottage Inn & Suites
704 El Camino Real, Menlo Park, CA 94025
Expect: Near-luxury accommodations, fitness center.
Holiday Inn Express Redwood City-Central
1836 El Camino Real, Redwood City, CA 94063
Expect: Business-tier accommodations, concierge service.
425 High St, Palo Alto, CA 94301
Expect: Luxury accommodations, central location, free breakfast, wine tastings.
Fairfield Inn & Suites - San Carlos
555 Skyway Rd, San Carlos, CA 94070
Expect: Business-tier accommodations, free breakfast.
Americas Best Value Inn
1562 El Camino Real, San Carlos, CA 94070
Expect: Business-tier accommodations, free breakfast, hot tub & sauna.
Sure is, though street side parking is limited near the venue. Luckily, local garages offer more space by the hour. Most garages offer parking for $1.00 to $0.25 per hour, with the first 1.5 hours free, with free parking after 6 PM.
Jefferson Garage: The underground garage on Middlefield between Jefferson and Winslow provides 1.5 hours of free parking. It's your best bet, with 585 spaces.
The Marshall Street Garage: With entrances off of Marshall and off of Broadway offers 1.5 hours of free parking, and $1.00 per hour after.
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 $1.00 per hour, and free after 6 PM.
Absolutely. The Fox Theater is about 5 minutes walking 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.
You may also hire a car using Uber or Lyft. Use code “uberSGConf” for your first ride free.
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 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 armband, 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 armband 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.
Want to get even more involved? We’re hiring for a Part Time Events Coordinator.
The entrepreneur’s journey can be a winding one, so we’re collaborating with partners like Pivotal and Fiverr to offer scholarships to a limited number of applicants. Apply for your subsidized ticket here.
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. Please email email@example.com with your name, the name of the outlet for which you’ll report, a link to the site where the article would be published, and the monthly recurring visitors to the media property (if known).
Please note that speaker access is reserved to select media personnel and is not open to most press pass holders.
Ah, bosses — we know the drill. We have an expert team at the ready for these kind of situation: they’ve spent their lifetimes training in the fine art of tasteful wit, persuasive copywriting, and even the dark arts of corporate speak. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org 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 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 of it. 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 million offered to founders by investors they met during the two days of the event, some who randomly bumped into one another.
Our secret to spotting & 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 like these? Apply to our Startup Program.
Aww, we were really looking forward to meeting you. We’re sorry to say we do not issue refunds, but you can definitely exchange your ticket with a friend or business colleague up to a month before the event. Email us at email@example.com 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!
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 are paid sponsors, who also receive a booth and other perks at the event. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to reach the Startup Grind audience. We’d love to work together.
Trust us, we’re big proponents for 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.