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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Jeetu Patel is Chief Product Officer at Box. He leads the company's overall product and platform strategy, driving Box’s long-term roadmap and vision for cloud content management in the enterprise. Previously, as Chief Strategy Officer and SVP of Platform, Jeetu led the creation of the Box Platform business unit, overseeing product strategy, marketing and developer relations.
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.
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.
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.
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).
“ 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.
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