- About Us
Startup Grind's Europe Conference will bring together founders and thought leaders from all around the world for conversations around trends in tech, software, education, building and scaling a company, venture capital, and more. Innovators, educators, and investors will share lessons learned on the road to building great companies.
Peter Smith is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Blockchain, a financial technology and data company that has empowered millions of users across the globe to store and transact digital value quickly and without costly intermediaries. Under his leadership, Blockchain has become the market leader in digital currency and distributed ledger technology. By 2016, Blockchain’s software has powered over 100M transactions around the world. Peter is a 2016 World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer and noted thought leader in the FinTech space, having been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, CNBC, Bloomberg, Fox Business, TechCrunch, and spoken at conferences around the world including Techcrunch Disrupt, Money 20/20, Web Summit, Collision, Wired Money, among many others. Prior to co-founding Blockchain, Peter lived, studied, and worked in the US, Europe, MENA, East Africa, and Asia. When he isn’t basking in the glow of a laptop, you can find him either reading or out running, trekking, surfing, and climbing up or skiing down a mountain.
As Chief Robotics Officer, Boris is responsible for the UiPath product vision and management. He has over 27 years of IT experience in Software Engineering, Application Management, SAP Basis Operation, Data Centre Operations, System and Storage operations. With equally extensive experience in Service Desk Operations and Field Service, Agile Software development, Banking Software, Offshore delivery service transition and delivery implementation, his career record includes Infosys, Accenture and Atos Service Delivery.
Margit Wennmachers is a partner at Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), a preeminent Silicon Valley venture capital firm. Best known for her ability to create market-leading brands, Margit is a16z's chief marketer advising the firm and entrepreneurs on their communications and marketing strategies. An entrepreneur herself, in 1997, Margit cofounded the leading marketing and communications firm, The OutCast Agency, who today partners with leaders and disruptors like American Express, Box, Instagram, Jawbone, Sephora, Starwood, Facebook, and more. She has been in technology marketing for 20+ years, is a mentor to countless individuals in the technology and marketing industries and serves on the board of the World Affairs Council.
Nikolay is the founder and CEO of Revolut, one of the fastest growing fintech startups in the world. It is a platform to use and manage money around the world. Prior to founding Revolut alongside with Vlad Yatsenko, Nikolay worked for Lehman Brothers’ emerging markets trading desk, and another five years as an equity derivatives trader at Credit Suisse.
Luciana Lixandru focuses on consumer internet, software and marketplace businesses. She helped lead Accel’s investments and ongoing work in Avito, Catawiki, Wallapop, Deliveroo, Algolia, Doctolib and Vinted, and was previously an investor at Summit Partners. Luciana is from Romania and graduated from Georgetown University.
Tony and Maureen Wheeler’s six-month trip along the ‘Hippie Trail’ in 1972 led to Across Asia on the Cheap, the very first Lonely Planet guidebook. The company grew to become the world’s largest independent guidebook publisher and today has close to 150 million books in print in English as well as digital versions and a busy website. Despite the completion of the sale of the company in 2011 Tony still contributes to their publications, most recently Epic Drives and the new edition of The Cities Book. The Planet Wheeler Foundation, with more than 50 health and education projects in the developing world, the Wheeler Centre for Books, Writing & Ideas in Melbourne, Australia, the recent launch of the Wheeler Institute of Business & Development at the London Business School and his position on the board of the California-based archaeological organization Global Heritage Fund also keep him busy. Recent travels have included visits to the rising-sea-level-threatened Pacific nation of Kiribati, Reactor 4 at Chernobyl 30 years after its meltdown and a reprise of his Hippie Trail adventures along the Silk Road, now part of China’s major One Belt One Road development.
Robin is a founding Partner of LocalGlobe, a seed-focused venture capital fund based in London. Previously, Robin was a Venture Partner at Index Ventures from 2010 until 2015. He has made over 100 early stage technology investments in the UK, US, Europe and Israel. His investments include Adzuna, Citymapper, Graze, MOO, Secret Escapes, Transferwise, Zoopla. He has also sat on on public company boards including MoneySupermarket and Zoopla. Robin is on the Tech City Advisory board and an advisor to Silicon Valley Bank. Prior to becoming an active and full time investor he built and sold 3 businesses, the last of which was the Innovations Group in 1995. Innovations conducted the first eCommerce transaction in the UK in May 1995.
Entrepreneur, Mentor, NED and Angel. Co-Founder of Blippar, one of Britain’s best-funded technology scale-ups and one of the world’s leading computer vision and augmented reality technology platforms. Blippar is funded to the tune of over $100M and in May’17 ranked within CNBC’s global ‘Disruptor 50’ list alongside the likes of Uber, Airbnb, Snapchat and Spotify. Jess is the recipient of numerous female entrepreneur and tech awards including BBC’s Top 100 Women and Fortune’s Most Powerful female entrepreneurs and is a passionate start-up mentor, public speaker and writer on subjects as diverse as women in technology, female entrepreneurialism, digital innovation, digital detox and work-life balance.
Hemant Taneja is a managing director at General Catalyst and is the author of UNSCALED, a 2018 book that explores topics of technology and society. Hemant joined General Catalyst in 2001 and launched its Silicon Valley office in 2011. His investment portfolio spans industries and includes companies such as ClassDojo, Color Genomics, Grammarly, Gusto, Fundbox, Livongo Health, Samsara, Snap, Stripe, and TuneIn. In addition to his investments, Hemant serves on the Stanford School of Medicine Board of Fellows, is the co-founder of Advanced Energy Economy, an organization focused on transforming energy policy in America and is a board member of Khan Lab Schools, a non-profit educational organization. Hemant holds five degrees from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT class of 1997). He has lectured at MIT and currently teaches a course on A.I., Entrepreneurship and Society at Stanford University.
Steve O’Hear is best known as a technology journalist, currently at TechCrunch where he focuses on European startups, companies and products. In June 2011, Steve took a break from journalism to co-found the London and Prague-based startup Beepl. In his role as CEO, he helped the company raise its first VC round, along with seeing the Question & Answer site through development, and a high profile public launch. In November 2012, Beepl was acquired by Brand Embassy. Along with TechCrunch, Steve has written for numerous publications, including ZDNet (where he wrote the well-respected blog ‘The Social Web’), The Guardian, Macworld, TES, Last100 and ReadWriteWeb. He also wrote and directed the critically acclaimed Silicon Valley documentary ‘In Search of the Valley’, which was released in September 2006. In recognition of his contribution to e-learning, Steve was made a fellow of the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts in 2002. From 2004 to 2005 he served on the Board of Governors for the University of East London.
Avid has been involved in the tech ecosystem as a developer, product manager, founder, investor, and adviser since 1998. Prior to Kobalt, Avid was a General Partner at GV. She started investing at Accel Partners in 2006. She co-founded Boticca, a global marketplace for independent brands acquired by Wolf & Badger in 2015. She also held product management roles at Tellme Networks, eBay, and Skype. Avid is a non executive director on the board of Barclays Bank UK PLC and a member of the Harvard Business School European Advisory Board. She has been recognized as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. She holds a B.S. and M.S. in engineering from Stanford University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Tom founded Monzo in 2015 along with four co-founders. After graduating from Oxford with a Masters degree in Law, Tom joined the consulting world at OC&C before opting for startup life in Silicon Valley. At San Francisco’s Y Combinator Tom dipped his toe in the world of fintech and founded GoCardless – a direct debit processing company. A further stint Stateside at New York based dating app, Grouper saw Tom complete his time in the US and return to the UK where he has been CEO of Monzo since February 2015.
In 2013 Tom was named as one of the Top 5 Entrepreneurs Under 30 by the European Commission.
I’m the guy our founders call when they need advice. I work closely with our companies on everything from settling founder disputes to setting fundraising milestones - I wrote a book called The Fundraising Fieldguide to help answer many of a startups' questions around the fundraising process.
Having worked as an Associate at Doughty Hanson Technology Ventures, as an Engineer for the Advanced Communications Technologies group of The New York Stock Exchange (SIAC), and as a consultant, at PKI Developer, Cybertrust/Baltimore Technologies before joining Seedcamp back in 2010, I love tech and jumping into the deep end with new ideas and products.
I’m originally from Honduras but went to college in the US before moving to London. I travel frequently both in a work and a personal capacity and am fascinated by the evolution of the tech ecosystem across the globe and spreading the Seedcamp message so we can support and unite our founders.
Much like our founders, I’m on a constant quest for knowledge and democratising information. I spearheaded SeedSummit with partners across the world to make key information accessible to anyone looking to startup a business. You’ll also find me podcasting for Seedcamp at ‘This Much I Know’ where I speak to innovators, leading tech voices, investors and operators who share their journey with our listeners.
My analytical and scientific approach to a lot of what I do it countered with my love of creative outlets. I’m an avid blogger, photographer, coffee lover, and a bouldering aficionado.
Three decades ago, Anne Boden pioneered the UK’s first same-day payment service – and in the process transformed the future of electronic money. in 2014 she set out to build own mobile bank from scratch. It's a banking app loaded with smart money management tools. Starling Bank was voted Best British Bank in 2018 and 2019. Anne was awarded MBE for services to financial technology in 2018.
Anne was recognised as one of the Global Power Women in FinTech, she worked at a senior leadership level across some of the world’s best-known financial heavyweights, among them Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland. It was during her tenure as CEO of Allied Irish Banks, however, that she begun to explore the exciting potential of financial technology for transforming customer’s everyday lives. At heart a tech start up with a banking licence, Starling is a challenger bank built on a foundation of disruptive emerging technology, working to take on traditional legacy banks and help people to develop a healthier relationship with their money.
Megumi Ikeda is a Managing Director of Hearst Ventures and the General Manager of Hearst Ventures Europe, where she oversees investments and non-organic acquisitions across Europe. Hearst Ventures’ investments include Broadcast.com (Yahoo), Buzzfeed, HootSuite, Netscape, otonomo, Pandora (NASDAQ: P), and Roku (NASDAQ: ROKU). Based in London, Ikeda previously ran the European arm of the Peacock Equity Fund, GE Capital and NBCUniversal’s $250m venture fund.
Kamran Elahian is the Founder and Chairman of Global Innovation Catalyst, LLC. Kamran also serves as Global Innovation Advisor, 500 Startups; Founding Mentor, Unreasonable Group and Unchartered; Advisory Member, UNICEF Innovation Fund; Advisory Member, Seedstars World; Founding Board Advisor, Harbour.Space University; Chairman, Advisory Board, Global Venture Alliance.
I'm Julia Qiu, and I am an Associate Partner at Series A focused venture capital fund Mosaic Ventures.
I spent my childhood growing up in Saint Louis, Missouri, but was fortunate to always have an international identity as my parents raised me to be bilingual (Mandarin & English) and immersed in multiple cultures. In high school, I extended this global worldview further by studying and living in France for a period, as well as interning in China for the New York Times & Shanghai Daily. My love for people, ideas, and companies that transcend borders probably are a result of all these experiences, and has been something that has continued unto today.
I graduated from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, with majors in finance and comparative literature. My first role out of university was with Morgan Stanley’s investment banking division, where I was an analyst with the global technology group in New York, working on wide array of IPOs, M&A, and debt transactions. My two years there helped me hone my analytical capabilities, but I had an itch to get closer to the tech, product, and the founders that were responsible for making them. So, in 2014, I moved out to Silicon Valley to join NEA’s west coast venture team. There, I was fortunate enough to meet and work with incredible entrepreneurs and companies of all shapes and sizes—in verticals ranging from retail to social to logistics to HR, just to name a few. This is perhaps what I love the most about technology—that it truly is now transforming every sector and dimension of our daily lives. So, in 2017, I decided to join Mosaic to help see and bring this globally, and specifically to Europe. I’m excited and inspired by the opportunity, talent, and drive I see across the European countries and ecosystems, and I cannot wait to work with early stage founders in realizing their visions.
A digital-style influencer herself, Amber Venz Box conceptualized and launched rewardStyle at the age of 23 as a solution to monetize her fashion blog, venzedits.com. Amber has worked on all sides of the fashion industry — as a shop girl, an editorial stylist, a fit model, a retail buyer, and a jewelry designer. Her intimate understanding of the fashion industry, along with first-hand experience as an influencer, has helped to fuel rewardStyle’s global success. Amber has been named Forbe’s 30 Under 30, Fast Co.’s Most Innovative, Glamour’s Woman of the Year for Technology, Fashion Group International's Innovator of the Year, a Business of Fashion 500, Entrepreneur magazine's 15 Female Entrepreneurs to Watch and she spoke at SXSW in 2017 as a featured session speaker for the second time.
Keith Teare is a Founder and Executive Chairman at Accelerated Digital Ventures Ltd - A UK based global investment company focused on startups at all stages.
Derek Andersen is the founder and CEO of Startup Grind, a community of over 300 Chapters in 120 countries designed to educate, inspire, and connect entrepreneurs. Startup Grind's values of giving, helping others, and making friends have spread across the world. Since 2012 Startup Grind has hosted 5,000 events for more than 200,000 entrepreneurs.
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. Before that, he worked at Electronic Arts in product marketing helping launch games like The Godfather, Burnout, Mirror's Edge, and The Sims 3.
In 2017 he co-founded Bevy, a community management software platform used by Atlassian, Docker, Duolingo and others to grow their communities. He lives in Palo Alto with his wife and children.
Lillian is a investor at Eight Roads Ventures where she focuses on enterprise SaaS across Europe and Israel. Prior to this she helped launch Salesforce Ventures in Europe. Lillian is also a co-Founder of non-profit partnership Diversity VC. Earlier in her career Lillian worked at Beringea and L.E.K. Consulting. She has a BA in Economics from the University of Cambridge and an MA in International Development from LSE.
Erik is a partner and engineer at GV. He is part of the enterprise investing team and manages GV’s operations in New York City. Erik has over a decade of technical experience with expertise in building top-notch engineering teams and scaling massive systems. He has interests in developer tools, cloud infrastructure, and machine learning.
Prior to joining GV in 2010, Erik led the development of Google’s next generation display ad serving system. He helped with the acquisition and technical integration of DoubleClick (DCLK) and led a team that built statistical and machine learning models for Google’s ad businesses. Erik was also a developer on Google’s core infrastructure, creating a distributed file system that Google.com and Gmail rely on today.
Erik studied computer science and engineering at MIT. He completed his graduate research at the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory where he focused on unique data extraction and disk forensics.
Erik is an avid runner and an expert in television game show theory.
Frank is the Co-Founder & Partner at SparkLabs Global Ventures and a Partner at SparkLabs, Asia’s premier accelerator based in Seoul.
Frank is also the Co-Founder and CEO at SmartUp.io, a fast-growing Micro-Learning platform used by startups, business schools and corporates. SmartUp has been featured in “Best New Apps” by Apple UK and US in July and October 2015. Frank was selected as part of the 2012 Wired UK Top 100 in tech, and Vanity Fair’s The Next Establishment list 2010.
Previously Frank was with Horizons Ventures (HK), representing them on the boards of Spotify, Siri, Summly, Affectiva, Bitcasa, Fixmo, DoubleTwist, Ginger, Desti and Magisto.
Frank started with Ericsson in 1994 as a coder and troubleshooter, lived in Singapore and HK, and then joined Hutchison Whampoa in 2001 and was responsible for the technical integration of the first 3G(WCDMA) networks around the world, launched under the Three(3) brand in multiple countries in 2003. He then ran the Three Groups’ global handset business, and developed and launched a range of products (Skypephone and INQ1), which pioneered mobile and internet communications.
Daniel is Managing Director, Strategic Growth at Ripple. He drives the company's partnerships with payments companies, digital financial services providers and beyond. As one of Ripple's earliest employees, Daniel has helped shape the company's vision, strategy and growth. Prior to Ripple, Daniel worked in investment banking focusing on the technology industry and studied at the University of Pennsylvania.
Damian Bradfield is President, CMO and Founding Shareholder of WeTransfer, the largest file sharing service in the world. Bradfield first joined WeTransfer as Chief Strategic Officer in 2010 and with over 40 million active users transferring more than a billion files every month, he played a pivotal part in making it the leading, much-loved creative brand it is today. Currently, Bradfield spearheads the company’s US operations from the newly formed US headquarters in Los Angeles, California.
Jane is on the founding team of ZenCash, a privacy coin that powers an encrypted platform for messaging and transactions, and is now Head of Academic Partnerships. She is also co-founder of Eden, a blockchain consulting and advisory firm that focuses on tokeneconomics, human systems design, and governance. Jane is advisor to Blockhous, Ezra Fund, Moveco, Cord, Ejad Labs, and TOSCoin, and is Co-Director of MADE Innovation Blockchain Incubator in Bangkok. She supports projects that leverage blockchain technology to provide the network infrastructure necessary for people to securely express themselves and collaboratively build value. She believes that all people have a right to personal privacy, and that decentralized (peer to peer) networks and governance models (done right) will lead to global reallocation of wealth and power. Her experience ranges from financial analysis in asset and wealth management at Bank of America Merrill Lynch and China Silver Asset Management to programmes, strategy, innovation, and partnerships in the venture capital, startup accelerators, and FinTech space at Nest VC, SOSV, Monexo, and Next Money.
Gerard Grech (@gerardgrech) is chief executive of Tech Nation, a privately and publicly funded organisation focused on accelerating the growth of digital businesses in London and across cities in the UK. He is also a governing board member of Europe’s largest arts centre, the Barbican, and Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency. A veteran of digital media, web and mobile, Gerard’s international experience in London, Paris and New York, building digital products and rolling them out across 5 continents, has given him global vision and local expertise, spanning product development, business strategy and venture capital. He will discuss the entrepreneurial risk culture and the importance of talent, patient capital and the ‘beehive effect’ in light of Brexit, as well as how the UK is faring in the big emerging areas including AI, machine learning and digital social innovation.
Entrepreneur, financial crime and compliance advisor and leader in the area of regulatory risk. Pawel is an expert in compliance and anti-money-laundering with extensive experience conducting global projects for international financial institutions and cooperating with supervisory authorities. He is also the chairman of the Compliance Association of Poland and a member of the advisory board of the International Compliance Association.
Judy leads Fuel by McKinsey, the practice within McKinsey that helps startups, venture capital firms, and growth private equity firms accelerate. Earlier in her career, she was a partner at McKinsey, working across McKinsey’s New York, Johannesburg (which she helped start and grow from 7 to 70 consultants), and San Francisco offices, and was known for her work transforming companies through unique strategies and creative approaches to implementation. She was an active member in the TMT and education practices. Prior to re-joining McKinsey & Company she worked with leading venture capital firms (e.g., Kapor Capital, Bessemer, Venrock, DFJ) to start, grow, or turn around companies in their portfolios. She was the SVP of Corporate Development for RSi, a retail data platform, where she has helped build an analytics business measuring the impact of digital advertising on in-store sales. She has also been the President & CEO of AliveCor, the creator of the smartphone ECG; the President & CEO of Hands- On Entertainment, as well as an Entrepreneur-in- Residence at Kapor Enterprises Inc., Mitch Kapor’s investment company. Judy Wade is an active member in her community with a passion for education. She has a B.A. in Economics from University of California, Berkeley and a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School. She helped start Leadership Public Schools, a network of charter high schools. She has been a Foundation Trustee at University Of California, Berkeley, where she was on the steering committee for Operational Excellence, an initiative resulting in almost $75 million in annual cost savings for the University, and led an effort with the College of L&S to reimagine undergraduate education for the 21st Century. She won a Trustee award for outstanding service to the University. In her spare time she usually can be found chasing after her 14 year old daughter and/or three (!) beagles, obsessively watching college football (or any sport for that matter), drinking wine, cooking, or trying to work off the effects of the previous two.
Jonathan Hammond joined Unilever in 2008 and he was appointed Global Marketing Director and Head of Unilever Foundry in 2016. Hammond leads the Unilever Foundry team and his role involves managing current pilots and partnerships, liaising with startups and identifying new opportunities for brands and startups to partner. As these partnerships are spread across Unilever’s global portfolio, Jonathan works across all of Unilever’s brands and markets – overseeing various emerging and scaling technologies. As of 2017, Jonathan is also a member of the World Economic Forum council on Global Future of Consumption alongside other corporate global directors and executives. This council addresses topics including the changing face of the consumer, new patterns of consumption and advancement of technology.
Nik is currently the Senior Director for Global Open Innovation at Oracle. He is responsible for the expansion and growth of the Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator in UK, US Brazil, Israel and and was responsible for the set up of 6 markets in 2017. Prior, to this Nik was Vice President for Global Open Innovation at Barclays responsible for the expansion of the Barclays Accelerator and open innovation programmes in co-creating with startups and entrepreneurs across the global ecosystem. Nik co-founded Tryum in 2014 - a leading enterprise loyalty and mobile payments start-up showcased by the Mayor of London on his UKTI trade mission to Singapore and Malaysia in November 2014. Tryum was selected out of 350 teams across 50 countries for the inaugural Barclays Techstars Accelerator. Nik brings a wealth of experience of both sales and operations from his role as Sales Director at Shoutlet Inc where he was responsible for building the initial team in Europe and became the region's top Sales Director, winning the largest brand deal (34 brands) in the company's history. This was built upon his experience at Brightcove Inc, where he was the regional top seller across consecutive quarters, responsible for 150+ notable wins with clients like Tesco, Roche, Unicredit Bank, Mobil1 etc... and for the company's largest value global deal for Zencoder. Outside of his professional life, Nik regularly mentors budding student entrepreneurs and volunteers at a local food bank. He is a clean tech enthusiast, specifically with clean water desalination technology with his personal mission to create a solution to solve the world’s water crisis.
Charmaine Eggberry is an experienced leader with more than 20 years of global digital, hardware and software expertise. In addition to her to her roles as an innovator, angel investor and advisor for early stage digital/technology companies, she has successfully navigated large, global teams through expansion into new markets, established new channels to market and strategic partnerships/propositions with mobile operators across the region. Charmaine has had an illustrious career across many innovative digital and technology enterprises. Some key roles have included work as Director/Non-Exec at Wayra & Wayra UnLtd, one of the world’s largest digital startup accelerators; Global Senior Vice President of Marketing at Nokia; and as the first ever Managing Director & VP EMEA at Research in Motion for BlackBerry.
Jason Williamson is the VP of the Startup Ecosystem at Oracle. He leads Oracle’s collaboration with the VC and PE comminuties and their portfolio companies around the globe. Prior to Oracle, jason was atAmazon Web Services (AWS), where he created and led several key initiatives within the investment community including Amazon’s Private Equity Program and Management Consulting efforts. He has a background in both Fortune 500 firms (Amazon, Capital One, GE) and the startup world. Among his startup efforts, he co-founded the construction industry’s first CRM SaaS offering, a faith-based NGO for entrepreneurial development based in Latin America, and is currently launching a company in the pediatric healthcare space. In addition to his work in the commercial sector, Jason served as an Assistant Professor at the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce and now works part time in academia in home state of North Carolina. He has authored three books on Data Integration and Migration and Big Data. Jason also served his country as a United States Marine and lives in North Carolina with his wife and four children where he coaches High School Girls Basketball, drinks sweat tea and eats bbq as much as possible.
Peter Mühlmann founded Trustpilot in 2007 and has been the main driver behind the company’s continued global expansion, building the biggest online review company for e-commerce. Over the last ten years, 35-year-old Mühlmann has led Trustpilot from a small Danish startup to an international, multi million-dollar company with more than 600 employees spanning seven offices and six different countries. Mühlmann heads the company focusing on business strategy and product development. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Aarhus University School of Business, and after founding Trustpilot, he decided to focus on the company. In 2013, Peter Mühlmann was named Danish Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young. He lives in Copenhagen but spends a large portion of the year at Trustpilot’s offices outside of Denmark.
Shawn Bose, GM of Indeed Prime, is responsible for leading the platform’s product team in developing solutions that match qualified, change-ready candidates with employers looking to fill in-demand tech roles. He works closely with the Senior Leadership Team to ensure his team is creating products that meet the ever changing needs of job seekers and employers and align with Indeed’s global product strategy and vision. Before joining Indeed, Shawn has been a serial entrepreneur and investor in early stage ventures. He most recently founded OnFaith, an online community for faith and spirituality. Prior to that, he was on the founding team of uShip, whereas the Head of Product, he oversaw the strategy and development of the company’s marketplace platform and lead its global expansion into 19 countries and regions across six continents. Shawn received an MBA from the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin, and has an A.B. in Religion & Archaeology from Bowdoin College.
Phil Cox has spent most of his career in UK Commercial Banking before joining Silicon Valley Bank in London in August 2009 to lead its UK and Israeli business units. Since joining, Phil has led the establishment of SVB's UK Branch banking business and its expansion into UK Technology lending. He is responsible for developing the Bank's business across the EMEA region. Phil brings a wealth of experience and leadership to SVB Financial Group. Prior to joining SVB, he was the Head of Commercial Banking at Bank of Scotland in London, a division of Lloyds Banking Group. In this role, Phil was responsible for the Relationship Management, Origination and Operational aspects of the business. Prior to that, Phil was with the NatWest/RBS Group for 23 years and held a variety of positions, including Managing Director of Transport and Infrastructure Finance, Regional Managing Director of the North of England Region and the same position for the South West and Wales business. Phil is both ACIB (Chartered Institute of Bankers) and AMCT (Corporate Treasurers) qualified. He enjoys travel, photography, fishing and ski-ing and is a qualified coach in both Rugby and Cricket.
Phin Mpofu is a globally connected entrepreneurship evangelist, inspired by how it can be used as a force for good. He is Startup Grind's Community Evangelist for EMEA helping the local Chapter Directors build incredibly helpful, dynamic and well-connected communities for their ecosystems. He is himself a Chapter Director for Startup Grind Thames Valley and spearheads the hyper-local #RDGUK Office Hours initiative.
His commitment to helping entrepreneurs was recognised in 2016 by the Centre for Entrepreneurs. He was listed on The Maserati 100, the annual list which recognises entrepreneurs who are generously giving their time and resources to support the next generation of young entrepreneurs. Phin is a Fellow of the Centre for Entrepreneurs.
Steve is President of SRI International, one of the world’s leading independent & organizations. SRI’s innovations - from Siri, to the computer mouse, natural language recognition, HDTV, ultrasound, and cures for infectious diseases- have led to many new ventures and industries. At SRI, Steve leads teams involved with breakthrough technologies and product development, new business/venture formation, and design of entrepreneurial ecosystems. Previously, Steve held executive management positions with Applied Materials, Octel Communications, esumix and Laszlo Systems, and was a VC with Earlybird Ventures. Steve teaches courses in entrepreneurship in developing economies as a lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Two decades+ experience working with Europe's leading technology entrepreneurs and their investors. Involved in 120+ tech company exits, fund raisings and investments as an adviser, seed investor and VC. Currently Partner at Draper Esprit, one of the largest and most active VC firms in Europe, helping entrepreneurs build ground-breaking technology companies with portfolio companies such as TrustPilot, Transferwise, Verve, Premfina, Graze and Lyst.
Previously an entrepreneur himself, Scott Simpkin joined Europe’s leading equity crowdfunding platform Seedrs as a Campaigns Associate in 2017. Scott’s role at Seedrs is to work with businesses from the very beginning of the fundraising journey, helping these businesses undergo a successful campaign. In the last year Scott has helped over 20 businesses such as Mercato Metropolitano and Crowdproperty successfully complete their equity crowdfunding campaign on Seedrs. Holding a 95% success rate, Scott’s campaigns on Seedrs over the last year have raised over £10 million on the platform. Outside of Seedrs, Scott is a keen runner and can occasionally be found tweeting about Aldershot Town Football Club or attending rock concerts.
George discovered Bitcoin in early 2011 and immediately quit his 8 year career in advertising to follow the technology wherever it lead. Consumed by the potential of Bitcoin, he became active in the emerging decentralised economy and started investing in the space. He co-founded one of London’s largest Blockchain meetups and joined KR1 as CEO in 2016. KR1 was the first token investment company in the world and supports innovative token based projects within the blockchain space. Kr1 is also a publicly listed company quoted on London’s NEX exchange.
Hazem Danny Al Nakib is the Chief Innovation Officer and Executive Advisor of Humaniq and the founder of multiple accelerators and incubators. Hazem also sits on the board of multiple public and private entities where he focuses on the changing financial and regulatory systems and the global distribution of and access to finance, alternative finance and advanced technologies. Hazem has worked with the Royal Bank of Canada and the Boston Consulting Group in various roles related to FinTech and frequently speaks on the future of blockchain and artificial intelligence and their changing legal and economic implications.
Nick Cowan has over 30 years investment industry experience in Developed and Emerging Markets including five years as the Global Head of Equities for ING Barings serving as a Member of Executive Committee. The Gibraltar Stock Exchange (GSX) was one of the youngest exchanges in the world becoming one of the quickest to market options for issuers in Europe. In 2015, they were involved in structuring an Asset Backed Security, backed by Bitcoin, which introduced us to the workings of DLT. Around the same time the Government of Gibraltar had commenced a consultation process to introduce regulations around DLT (now in law), leading us to make the decision to fully adopt DLT in our business model whilst embracing best practices around governance and disclosure. Now the group has a token sale platform and a cryptocurrency exchange, owned by a stock exchange. He is the CEO of the GSX Group that includes the Gibraltar Stock Exchange, the Gibraltar Blockchain Exchange, Juno Services and the Blockchain Innovation Centre.
Director at Startup Grind London. Founding Partner at IPM Growth, a VC company investing in extremely ambitious technology companies from the Central & Eastern Europe. Advisory board member at T-Mobile Czech Republic & Telekom Slovakia. Founder of BrainTrust, a think-tank helping top tech CEOs scale globally. Ex-Orange, ex-Reebok. Marian was 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.
Ross is the Principal Research Consultant at 11:FS and a host of Fintech Insider – the number one business podcast for fintech innovators and influencers. With specialised experience and a disruptive approach to challenging conventional practices, Ross has partnered with some of the best-known global banking brands to confront and overcome some of their toughest challenges.
Thorold Barker is Editor, Europe, Middle East and Africa, for The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones Newswires overseeing the combined editorial resources of the newspaper and newswire. Mr. Barker joined the Journal in 2008 when he relaunched Heard on the Street as a global commentary and analysis product, covering business, finance and macro-economics. Before joining the Journal he worked at the Financial Times in London and New York, having begun his career at Bain & Company, a global business and strategy consulting firm.
Debu Purkayastha is the Managing Partner at 3rd Eye, a Venture Capital and Private Equity firm investing globally in the technology, media and telecoms (TMT) sectors. Debu is also a Senior Advisor to EQT (global PE Fund - $30B+) advising on late stage, big-ticket TMT private equity investments globally. Till early 2017, Debu was Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EiR) at Octopus Investments, a premier global investment firm with $8B+ under management, doing early stage technology venture capital investments. Debu has significant operating & Investment/M&A experience - in US, Europe, Asia & Africa. Till 2014, Debu spent 6+ years at Google. Debu spearheaded Google’s global M&A and Investment efforts including several landmark acquisitions & investments in the US & Europe that are now some of Google’s biggest businesses. Debu also headed Google’s New Business Development team & was instrumental in launching several of Google’s iconic products globally spanning multiple key strategic focus areas. Debu is a founding member of Google “Campus”, a seven-storey co-working space for startups in London’s Tech City (which has been widely covered by the global media) – this initiative led to the formation of the “Google for Entrepreneurs” program. Prior to Google, Debu headed Sabre's Corporate Development/M&A team (where he did the acquisition of lastminute.com for $1B & the sale of Sabre to private equity for $5B – both significant global e-commerce transactions) & in a past life was a Technology/Media/Telecoms M&A Banker with Salomon Smith Barney/Citigroup in Wall Street, Silicon Valley & London. Debu sits on the Boards of Cambridge University/Cambridge Enterprise, MercyCorps (global NGO) & Tadaweb (Cyber) - in addition to the Advisory Boards of London Business School, Sadara Ventures (VC Fund – LPs Google, Cisco, Soros etc.) & Tech London Advocates. Till recently, Debu used to be Chairman of the Advisory Board of Veon (formerly VimpelCom), a global mobile telco with $10B~ of revenues and 235 million+ subscribers & previously used to sit on the Boards of DataFlow (data verification), Fon (wireless), Mobile Planet (mobile apps), Reevoo (reviews) & HTL/Scandic (biggest hotel chain in Scandinavia) amongst others. Debu has a MBA from London Business School & is a qualified Chartered Accountant. Debu spends a fair bit of his personal time working with leading NGOs & governmental institutions in several politically sensitive and conflict zones including Palestine, Iraq, Syria, Kashmir etc. focusing on economic development initiatives (primarily helping fund & build small businesses). A certified cricket nut & film fanatic, Debu is also passionate about white-water rafting & hiking.
Paul joined Gibraltar Finance in February 2013 tasked with growing the private client proposition, which includes tax residence schemes, trust and company management and banking areas. Additionally he leads on new technology initiatives and is the Co-Chair of the DLT Working Group responsible for bringing into effect the DLT Regulatory Framework in January 2018. He has over 30 years’ commercial and banking experience, gained primarily with Barclays in Gibraltar, London and Spain and more recently with NatWest Offshore in Gibraltar. His career has seen him undertake a variety of leadership roles in both the domestic and international markets. He has gained extensive experience in managing client relationships, in particular in the executive, entrepreneurial and high net worth markets. A Gibraltarian by birth, he returned to Gibraltar in 2000 after 20 years overseas to create and grow a relationship service for Barclays Wealth.
Brian Gorbett is currently Intuit's Global Head of Developer Evangelism. As a former founder, he mentors entrepreneurs building on the latest technologies and advises tech startups on the latest software architecture and business development opportunities. An active developer and hacker, he has contributed to national publications on software technologies and still tries to find time to get his own ideas into code. Prior to Intuit, Gorbett was with Microsoft for over 10 years leading the US startup initiative. Before Microsoft, Gorbett built out Google’s startup program and developer advocacy team. Prior to that he led a team of developers and designers responsible for delivering next generation apps as an acquisition of his last company. Gorbett resides in San Mateo, CA and offices out of San Francisco and Mountain View.
Jo White is the Comms lead at Cookpad, the cooking platform on a mission to make everyday cooking fun for the sake of our health, our communities and our environment. Cookpad is used by 100 million people around the world in almost 70 countries and is available in 23 languages. Prior to joining Cookpad, Jo was at TransferWise, one of Europe's leading tech companies, where she led global PR during the company's most prolific growth phase, building the company's profile across Europe, APAC and the Americas. With 15 years experience in PR, Jo started out working at the UN and since then has worked with start-ups, charities, Governments and corporates to help shape their reputations.
Tim Ingham is the founder and publisher of Music Business Worldwide (MBW), which has serviced the global industry with news, analysis and jobs since 2015. In 2017, MBW launched its first subscription print product – the premium quarterly magazine Music Business UK. Tim is a well-known music industry commentator and was previously editor of British trade paper Music Week for four years. He has written about the music industry for the likes of The Guardian, The Independent, The Observer, The Daily Mail and NME. In 2014, Tim was named one of the world’s 500 Most Influential Britons – and one of the 20 most influential British music execs – by The Sunday Times & Debrett’s.
Reece is the founder of RLC Ventures which invests in seed-stage businesses within technology, proptech, fintech and technology for social advancement. Reece has invested in 14 start-ups, become a board member of five companies such as Landlordinvest. Reece became the youngest ever investor to be profiled in The Sunday Times and is a mentor to the Mayor of London’s Business Start-up Entrepreneur’s Programme London and Partners.
An award-winning serial tech entrepreneur and angel investor, Ash Ali sold his first internet business at the age of just 19 from his parent’s loft in Birmingham.
As the first marketing director of Just Eat UK, the online takeaway-ordering giant, he used his commercial acumen and creative growth hacking skills to grow it at breakneck speed - including launching its first TV campaign. Just Eat went public in 2014 at £1.5 Billion - making it one of the UK’s largest tech IPOs in the last decade.
Next, Ash co-founded Fare Exchange - a bootstrapped lead-generation company in the private transportation space that generated more than £25 million in revenue.
He currently mentors and advises several tech startup investments globally, and has spoken at TEDx, top business schools and technology expos globally, where he shares his unique and unconventional lean startup and growth marketing insights.
His new book “The Unfair Advantage: Boost your Chances of Startup Success” is out soon.
Miguel McKelvey is the Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of WeWork, where he directs all architecture, design, and construction activities. Miguel is a multi-disciplinary designer and entrepreneur with diverse experience in architectural design, construction management, and web development. Prior to WeWork, Miguel created the design framework and led the national retail roll-out for American Apparel (170 stores), and was involved in the early-stage development of several companies, including Green Desk, Barre3, Versation, and English, Baby! Miguel earned his BA (Architecture) from the University of Oregon.
Scott spent almost 10 years as a nightclub promoter in New York City before leaving to volunteer on a hospital ship off the coast of Liberia, West Africa as a volunteer photojournalist. Returning home to New York City two years later, he founded the non-profit organisation charity: water in 2006.
Turning his full attention to the global water crisis and the world’s 663 million people without clean water to drink, he created public installations and innovative online fundraising platforms to spread international awareness of the issue.
In ten years, with the help of more than one million donors worldwide, charity: water has raised over $225 million and funded over 21,000 water projects in 24 countries. When completed, those projects will provide over 6.4 million people with clean, safe drinking water.
Scott was recently recognized in Fortune Magazine’s 40 under 40 list, the Forbes Magazine Impact 30 list and was recently #10 in Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business issue. He is currently a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader.
John Collison is president and co-founder of Stripe, the global technology company building the economic infrastructure for the internet. John and his brother Patrick Collison started Stripe in 2010 while John was studying physics at Harvard. Their goal was to make accepting payments online simpler and more inclusive, after learning firsthand how difficult it was. Today, the 1200-person (and growing) Stripe team powers online businesses around the world. Prior to Stripe, John co-founded Auctomatic, which was acquired by Live Current Media in March 2008. Originally from Limerick, Ireland, John lives in San Francisco, California, where Stripe is based.
Taavet Hinrikus is co-founder and CEO of TransferWise. Prior to starting TransferWise, Taavet was Skype’s director of strategy until 2008, starting as its first-ever employee. One of the World Economic Forum's Tech Pioneers, Taavet is an adviser to the Prime Minister of Estonia on the digital agenda. He’s also a mentor and angel investor; his investments include Tweetdeck, Mendeley, OMGPOP, Property Partner, Sunrise, Improbable and Mapillary.
Martha is founder and executive chair of Doteveryone.org.uk, a charity fighting for a fairer internet. In April 2016 she was appointed as a non executive director of Twitter. Martha became a crossbench peer in the UK House of Lords in March 2013. In March 2014 she was appointed Chancellor of the Open University. Martha co- founded and chairs LuckyVoice, revolutionising the karaoke industry. She is a non executive director of the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction, the Creative industries federation, the Scale Up Institute and the Open Data Institute. Martha is a Patron of AbilityNet, Reprieve, Camfed and Just for Kids Law. In 2013 Martha was awarded a CBE. In 1998 Martha co-founded Europe’s largest travel and leisure website, lastminute.com with Brent Hoberman. They took it public in 2000 and sold it in 2005.
Bibop Gabriele Gresta, global expert in finance, transportation and media, specializes in mass market community building and project design. He is a world-renowned speaker, featured at the World Economic Forum, United Nations, Ted Talks, among others, focused on transportation and human mobility. He is also a respected activist in Transhumanism and Ethical Entrepreneurship.
In 2014 Gresta partnered with Dirk Ahlborn, CEO and co-founder of Jump Starter, Inc. as COO and Chairman for Hyperloop Transportation Technologies. Now, as Chairman, he coordinates a team of 800+ professionals in 40+ countries- the first on the globe to begin development of the Hyperloop.
Tom is a General Partner of GV (Google Ventures), based in London. GV has $2.4bn under asset management; Tom's investments include Lemonade.com, Cambridge Epigenetix, Oxford Sciences Innovation, Weaveworks and Currency Cloud. Previously, while leading IDEO's startup efforts globally, he founded OpenIDEO, IDEO’s open innovation platform that has over 150,000 users from more than 170 countries. The platform allows a global community of users to tackle challenges for social good. Tom has also been an Angel Investor in 21 startups; his seed investments include MileIQ (exited to Microsoft), Divimove (exited to Freemantle), GoCardless, Cliqz (exited to Burda), Smarkets, Llustre (exited to Fab), Massive Health (exited to Jawbone), LostMyName, Nested, Tray.io and MoveGuides. Tom's TED talk on design has been viewed over 1 million times, he has been recognized as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and is featured in WIRED UK’s Top 100 Digital Power Brokers and the Evening Standard list of London’s 1000 Most Influential People. Tom earned a first class bachelor’s degree in physics from the University of Bristol, an MBA from Harvard Business School, where he received the Baker Scholar Award of high distinction and an Honorary Doctorate in design from University of the Arts London.
Lars is the creator of LEGO’s global success on Social Media and Video platforms. Based in London with teams in the US, Denmark, Shanghai and Singapore. Lars is driving the well known and innovative toy company's social media & video strategy and execution. He has been developing the company's social media engagement from scratch and created a global organization. When he began in the company there wasn’t even an official LEGO page. In 2015 Adweek scored LEGO as the number one brand on Social Media and YouTube in the toy industry. Lars has been named as one of the 25 most Innovative and influential marketers in Europe by the Holmes Report. He holds and BA and MA in Digital Media Science and a HD in Innovation and Organizational Strategy.