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Imagine having 100 top startup speakers at your fingertips;
Startup leaders from 30+ countries to exchange the experience with;
And a startup competition that involves Silicon Valley investors and a shot of a $1,000,000 global prize!
As you all know, Startup Grind is all about giving startups universally the education, opportunities, and access they need to build, grow, and scale their companies.
For this purpose, we are partnering with Startup Grind Tbilisi, Georgia chapter to organize an international conference that, due to safety concerns, is held 100% online! Europe-Asia Connect is a unique opportunity for startups to:
100+ speakers, dozens of them direct from Silicon Valley, will partner for an unforgettable event. It’s been already announced that one of the speakers at the event will be the marketing guru, entrepreneur, technical evangelist, and author of numerous books - Guy Kawasaki.
Don’t forget to take advantage of the early bird tickets and follow the event Facebook page for more updates.
Google for Startups Accelerator
Head of Commerce Innovations & General Manager
HP Tech Ventures
Director, New Generation Technologie
Founder & CEO
U First Capital, ex-Intel Capital
Co-founder and Chairman
IBM Venture Capital Group
Director of Investments
500 Startups Fintech Fund
Game Groove Capital
Fooksman Family Foundation (ex-WhatsApp)
BOOM & Partners
Founder & CEO
VP of Content and Marketing Data Science & Engineering
Founder & CEO
Co-Founder & Managing Partner
CEO and Founder
Venture Capitalist, Co-founder and Chairman
Pegasus Tech Ventures
Gideon mentors globally for Google Launchpad and is himself a serial entrepreneurs with 3 successful exits via public listings on NASDAQ and 4 others via successful M&A transactions. He has been involved in building numerous companies, growth initiatives, funding from Venture funds and the public.
Gideon Marks brings a unique perspective from his long and successful track record leading technology companies in financial, business and corporate development roles.
Gideon brings more than 30 years of experience. During his career he took three companies public on NASDAQ and led four other companies to successful acquisition. He has also been involved in building numerous companies from scratch to various stages of maturity.
Gideon has also worked with growth initiatives, achieved funding from venture capital funds and the public.
Currently a mentor at Google Launchpad, Plug and Play, US MAC, 10X Innovation Lab, Mind the Bridge and other organizations.
His topics on startups cover:
1. Leadership and team building
2. Pitching your story
3. Funding options
4. Traction and competition
5. Business models
7. Ethics and values
8. Silicon Valley and Israel ecosystem
In his spare time Gideon helps his children run an app for dog owners called DogLog.
FinTech, Innovation Leader. Senator at the World Business Angels Investment Forum (Global Startup & Woman Leaders Committee). Expert for the EU European Innovation Council. Recognized as one of the TOP10 Women in FinTech 2020; Top 25 Women Leaders in Financial Technology 2019 and the Top 100 Women in FinTech globally. I am building cooperation models between Corporates and FinTech | Tech partners, particularly with regard to the Open Banking, Payments, Conversational AI and digital transformation projects as well as driving innovation in the European banking ecosystem. Translating future-oriented ideas into a viable digital value proposition. Facilitating access to private (VCs, BAs) & public (EU) funding for innovative European SMEs. Having worked for both banks and fintech startups she connects the two worlds now.
Seasoned FinTech executive (C-level and NED roles). 20 years of experience in the European banking and payments industries, with a focus on CEE (PwC, Citigroup, T-Mobile, PayTel, mBank). Particular expertise in the field of innovative payment solutions, digitally enabled financial products (open banking, conversational AI), acquired in the strategy, innovation, product management, and sales-related roles. Introduced one of the first online payment gateways in the CEMEA region as well as the first digital wallet and the mobile payment platform. Managed the implementation of the first mobile banking apps and the first local mobile payments initiative.
FinTech Mentor & Advisor (PwC Collider). Featured in the TOP10 Women in FinTech 2020 (FinTech Magazine, Aug 2020); TOP 25 Women Leaders in Financial Technology of 2019 (The Financial Technology Report); Women in Fintech Powerlist 2019 (Innovate Finance March 2020); TOP 100 Women in FinTech 2019 List (Lattice80, March 2019); „Most Influential Women in Payments (Cashless.pl, 2020, 2019). Keynote speaker at FinTech | Digital | Payments conferences and events. Co-Author of The PAYTECH Book and The AI Book published in 2020 by FINTECH Circle & Wiley. FinTech Lecturer (University of Warsaw, Warsaw University of Technology). Senior Lecturer at the CFTE (Conversational AI in Banking; Open Banking and Platforms in Finance).
Advocate for diversity and fairness in business. Goodwill Ambassador for the European Women Payments Network. Supporting financial inclusion as well as social entrepreneurship | startups. Passionate about Art & Design.
Justin heads up eBay Commerce Innovations is an innovation studio focused on building new platforms, products, and businesses that augment and enhance the shopping experience on- and off-eBay.One such project is catch.app which carried the mission of finding a way to help eBay address the millennial customer group
Some of my most important responsibilities leading Commerce Innovations have been to set the vision and to establish this new function and team. Now, we are an end-to-end, agile team encompassing product development, design, retail & merchandising, marketing, and analytics & business insights. My team is fully responsible to conduct user research, identify customer needs, ideate solutions, validate product-market-fit, and build, launch, and iterate on the minimally viable products (MVPs). Furthermore, we also own, operate, and scale the new innovations, or at times, spin them out as new ventures.
Of our numerous projects, we have launched a few notable ones to date:
eBay BlitzDeals: https://blitzdeals.ebay.de/
- A gamified, short-form auction shopping format where everything starts at 1 euro; the platform goes live as scheduled events
NHS PPE Portal: https://nhs-ppe.co.uk/
- An invitation-only portal for personal protective equipment, created pro bono for the UK National Health Service to distribute PPE to their network of smaller healthcare providers
Angelo is a founding partner at HP Tech Ventures, where he leads investments and partnerships in AR/VR, Gaming/eSports, and AI. He is on a number of boards, including at AdHawk Microsystems, Mobalytics, Mojo Vision, and Parsec Gaming. He also advises numerous startups and is a frequent speaker and judge at industry conferences, including Augmented World Expo, NASA, StartX, StartupGrind, SXSW, Web Summit, etc.
Previously Angelo was with HP’s corporate strategy group where he focused on M&A and growth strategies. Before joining HP, Angelo was VP Business Development and Strategy at Couchsurfing, where he helped raise $23M. Angelo previously ran a tech sector focused management consulting company for 8 years and consulted to numerous startups, including Groupon and YouSendIt, as well as Fortune 500 companies, including Adobe, Apple, Cisco, Intel, Microsoft, and Oracle. He has conducted over 4,000 interviews and managed 100+ strategy and market research projects.
He has lived in the Bay Area for 20 years and helped companies in boom and bust times. He has taught graduate business classes around the world, including at Wharton and Haas, and earned degrees from Northwestern and Wharton.
Carolina helps scale adoption of new technologies across this 300,000 person organization. The challenge is to accelerate going from concepts to end-to-end digital products supporting Nestlé use cases. Strategy + Delivery + Customer focus + Team work. Among other things she heads acceleration of use cases for Artificial Intelligence within the company.
Can you imagine your life without the Internet? Hell, no! That's why I help businesses build awesome digital products that improve the way we live. And these days, it’s more and more about AI.
Back in Barcelona after multi-year stints in Madrid, London and New York, I joined Nestlé in June 2017 to scale up emerging technologies. The challenge is to accelerate going from concepts to end-to-end digital products supporting Nestlé use cases. Strategy + Delivery + Customer focus + Team work.
Mix of analytical thinker, creative soul, techie and communicator, my background is strategy, development and delivery of technology products and services, both B2B and B2C. I've worked for telco & networks, healthcare, automotive, mobility, and consumer packaged goods industries.
I've also worked in large and small companies, including startups, and have built and led high-performing teams.
In a past life I did a lot of applied research in tech, publishing 70+ papers and 1 patent and pitching in many international conferences and events. I love the thrill of pitching and how on-the-fly questions make you think on your feet, and fast.
Author of upcoming "Blockchain is the New Black" Amy is a visionary who speaks to the future of AR/VR and other technologies while working with corporations to adopt today's cutting edge technologies. She lives and breathes Virtual & Augmented Reality, particularly for enterprise, education & entertainment. From healthcare, education, retail, hospitality and entertainment to government and industrial use cases, her goal is to bridge the gap between the leading edge tech and clients ready to adopt solutions in the AR/VR stratosphere.
Amy Peck is the founder & CEO of EndeavorVR, a leading global VR/AR (XR) strategy & consulting firm. Amy is a recognized thought-leader in the space and speaks globally on the future of XR. She has deep connections within the industry and works with Fortune 500 companies, digital media/production companies and tech startups on XR strategy, content, development, product and GTM.
Amy holds several Advisory Board roles:
* Geo.Network, a volumetric geospatial control platform
* VantagePoint, VR Sexual Harassment Training
* XR Marin Leadership Council
* Virtual World Society Ambassador
* AREA (Augmented Reality
Amy is a venture partner at the Capital Region AR/VR Accelerator, a member of the VR/AR Association’s (VRARA) Digital Healthcare Committee and Co-chairs the VRARA Enterprise Committee. She is an active mentor to XR entrepreneurs and member of several Women in Tech & STEM Education organizations.
Amy's true passion for this technology emerged at Leap Motion where she launched the Enterprise division working with clients across every major vertical including healthcare, entertainment, retail, hospitality, education and government.
It became clear that there was a need to help foster XR development in the commercial arena and more importantly, shepherd these critical early wins. EndeavorVR was conceived for this very purpose.
Amy continues her work with Fortune 500 clients, helping them adopt XR for both internal process and consumer-facing initiatives, including marketing, customer experience, productivity and training. She engages the top content creators, designers, developers and platform partners to bring these solutions to fruition.
Amy’s forte is distilling complex technologies into meaningful solutions across many verticals and business lines, delivering strategy and resources at scale.
Her own personal mission is to see XR accessible to all - fundamentally improving every aspect of our lives and changing the way we work, learn, communicate and play.
Zaza Pachulia is 2- time NBA champion, Angel Investor and now serves on the business team for the Golden State Warriors. He has made extensive contributions to Georgia in developing the country's basketball coaching and camps, such as: Zaza Pachulia Basketball Academy and Basketball Club Dinamo Tbilisi; investing in business projects such as Archi, Snap Fitness, and partnering with Crosty shoes, a Georgian-founded company.
As one of the first 30 employees of Airbnb he led international expansion, opening 12 offices globally in 6 months. He similarly was VP for international expansion with Fiverr. He has taken leadership in other roles in the sharing economy, and is now collaborator, Consultant, Speaker, Investor, Actor, Advisor to Heart-First Leaders, Ceremony Creator, Comedian and Perfumemaker!
Sanjit has been a successful Venture Capitalist, Corporate Executive, Board Member, Speaker and Writer in Silicon Valley for almost two decades. He is currently the Co-Founder and Chairman of U First Capital which provides Venture Capital as a Service to Corporations. Prior to that, he was at Intel Capital where he had an excellent track record of driving 1 Exit every year: DocuSign (IPO 2018), Body Labs (Acquired by Amazon in 2017), VokeVR (Acquired by Intel in 2016), Maginatics (Acquired by EMC in 2015) and Basis Science (Acquired by Intel in 2014). He has been an Investor and Board Member of several companies, including True Fit (AI for eCommerce, raised $100M), Reflektion (AI recommendation for eCommerce, raised $42M), Helpshift (AI-driven Customer Service, raised $39M) and Enlighted (IoT, Acquired by Siemens in 2018). He is also an investor in Mirantis (Cloud Computing), GoodData (SaaS BI) and Arcadia Data (Big Data 2.0).
Sanjit has experience investing in Consumer and Enterprise sectors across several areas: Transportation, Artificial Intelligence, Security, Big Data, IoT, Virtual Reality, eCommerce, etc.
Sanjit has been an Advisor to Richard Branson’s Extreme Tech Challenge and Google Launchpad. Sanjit has been on US Govt Innovation Policy Advisory team. He is on Advisory Council of UN’s World Artificial Intelligence Organization. He has also been on University of California President's Innovation Council. Sanjit has the fastest Eng PhD from University of Illinois (2yrs 9mo after undergrad), which he received in 2000 with top research awards. He also attended the VC Executive program at Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley. He’s an invited Speaker at several top conferences, eg SURGE/WebSummit, TiECon, ShopTalk, McKinsey Leadership Summit, Silicon Valley Open Doors, Global AI conference, etc. He’s a mentor at Stanford and Berkeley’s Entrepreneurship programs.
Deborah Magid represents IBM’s $25B software business in the company’s Venture Capital Group. Deborah is responsible for sharing insights about emerging markets, technologies, and business models with venture firms and entrepreneurs around the world. She scouts for emerging business opportunities, and shares views on innovation and growth areas of the market. As a director of strategy in IBM Software Group, she also brings insight from the venture community to the development of IBM’s growth strategies. Deborah is responsible for fueling the ecosystem pipeline in strategic areas related to building a “smarter planet” and contributes to filling out the IBM product portfolio through M&A. Deborah’s relationships are global and extend into emerging geographies.
Deborah is a frequent spokes-person on topics of relevance to entrepreneurs and investors. She is Chairman of the Board of SVForum, the Silicon Valley emerging technology network; on the advisory board of White Bull, serving the European entrepreneurial and venture communities; and on the Steering Committee of the California Sustainability Alliance. Previously, Deborah held positions in product management, marketing, and user-centered design at Taligent, GE Information Services and AT&T. Deborah holds degrees in Cognitive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Connecticut.
Derek Andersen is the founder and CEO of Startup Grind, a global community that is powered by Google for Entrepreneurs designed to educate, mentor, and connect entrepreneurs. Founded in 2010 from humble beginnings with only 9 people attending his first event, 4 years later Start up Grind has grown to more than 200 cities, in 85 countries around the world.
After founding Vaporware Labs in 2009, he incubated many products (most of which failed spectacularly) including Startup Grind and professional social network Commonred. In 2012 Commonred was sold to Income.com.
He is also Ex-Electronic Arts where he worked on games like Burnout, Mirror's Edge, The Sims, and Need For Speed. Having spent 8-years living outside the United States, he currently lives in Palo Alto California with his wife and three children.
Derek has been featured on Forbes, Tech Crunch, and The Wall St Journal.
Fang Yuan is the Director of investments at Baidu Ventures (based in SF), focusing on AI & Robotics at the seed and Series A stages. We are the non-strategic investment arm of Baidu, launched in early 2017 with a $200MM first fund. Our particular focus is on AI and robotics applied to specific industry verticals such as healthcare, transportation, agriculture, retail, etc. We've made ~50 investments in North America.
Sheel is the founding partner of the 500 startups FinTech Fund. His own startup experience includes 2 successful FinTech exits – a payments company (FeeFighters) and a high-stakes auction company (Innovative Auctions). He's invested into over 80 companies in the past 6 years, mostly in the fintech space. He formerly worked as a financial services consultant at BCG and started his FinTech career at the non-profit p2p lender Kiva.
Helping to design, build, and improve human ecosystems through technology, as a creator or an investor/partner. Particularly interested in technology businesses that disrupt financial institutions or enable them to act more efficiently. He has a soft spot for companies that help those who feel abandoned by the current financial system, but invests across the fintech/insuretech/Real estate tech spectrum. Has been quoted in a number of publications. Additionally, his works have been featured in The Atlantic, Mashable, The New York Times, GigaOm, Techcrunch and others. Has been a regular public speaker on topics of Financial Innovation, entrepreneurship, social innovation, and the revolution taking place in payments/point of sale.
Aside from fintech, Sheel has co-founded the podcast "The Pitch" which was acquired by Gimlet Media (reaches ~100k weekly listeners), and a food company called Thistle that serves 10's of thousands of customers every week. He lives in San Francisco and enjoys travel.
Trae Stephens is a Partner at Founders Fund, where he invests across sectors with a particular interest in startups operating in the government space. He is also Co-founder and Executive Chairman of Anduril Industries, a defense technology company focused on autonomy and artificial intelligence.
Previously, Trae was an early employee at Palantir Technologies, where he led teams focused on growth in the intelligence/defense space as well as international expansion, helping large organizations solve their hardest data analysis problems. He was also an integral part of the product team, leading the design and strategy for new product offerings. While at Palantir, Trae also served as an adjunct faculty member at Georgetown University.
Prior to Palantir, Trae worked as a computational linguist building enterprise solutions to Arabic/Persian name matching and data enrichment within the United States Intelligence community. He began his career working in the office of then Congressman Rob Portman and in the Political Affairs Office at the Embassy of Afghanistan in Washington, D.C. immediately following the installation of Hamid Karzai’s transitional government. Trae graduated from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.
Zach is an in-demand speaker internationally, sharing deep insights on what makes startups succeed. He is an early stage technology investor and advisor. His notable investments include Cruise Automation (led the first billion dollar exit for Angel List, bought by GM for $1B+), Branch Metrics, SkySafe and a dozen other startups. He is an advisor to twenty companies including Hellosign, Swarm (bought by Integral Ad Sciences), Balanced Payments (Stripe) and many others. Mr. Coelius is also four-time entrepreneur
In his last company he was the co-founder and CEO of Triggit, an advertising technology company that was one of the first Demand Side Platforms, where he raised over $25m in venture capital and exited in 2015 to Linkedin and another financial buyer. He ran Triggit from 2005 to 2015, growing it from 4 to 60 employees and over $30m in revenue. Zachery attended the University of Minnesota as an undergraduate where he was named by the USA Today as one of the top 20 college students in the nation in 2004. He was also the recipient of the George Mitchell scholarship where he received a master’s degree in International studies at the University of Limerick.
Peter Komornik is the co-founder and CEO of Slido, an audience interaction platform that is transforming the world of meetings and conferences. Since its foundation in 2012, Slido has been used at over 1.2 million events including customers such as Asana, BBC, Oracle, and renowned conferences such as SXSW and Web Summit. Before starting Slido, Peter worked for Google Slovakia and Samsung. He also holds an MBA degree from a joint program of SKK GSB and Kellogg School of Management.
Ted was the Futurist at 20th Century Fox, where he worked on the evolving art, science and technology of advanced interactive visual storytelling. He was part of the creation team for the Martian VR and Wild VR experiences, Ted is one of the founders and creators of the G-Tech product line of advanced hard drive storage products.
Ted spends his time in a unique role in the motion picture entertainment industry. As the Futurist at Paramount pictures, Ted works with studio leadership and the technology teams at Paramount / Viacom, exploring forms of new and emerging technologies, with an emphasis on Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. He was part of the creation team for the Martian VR and Wild VR experiences, which premiered at CES and Sundance as groundbreaking projects that pushed the envelope of Virtual Reality storytelling. Ted was an integral part of the product development team at RED Digital Cinema as a founding member and the company’s first employee. The Red One and Epic cameras have made a significant impact on the Motion Picture Industry, with many of the world’s biggest movies now being shot with these ultra-high-resolution digital movie cameras. Ted is one of the founders and creators of the G-Tech product line of advanced hard drive storage products.
Stewart Rogers is a journalist, analyst, public speaker, author, startup founder, musician, and "digital nomad."
Rogers is best known for his speeches and work on mental health in the tech industry. He helps to shine a light on a serious issue and provides those that need it with the help and support required to stay alive and at their best. Other than his mental health keynote - which he delivers to audiences across the globe - every speech he gives is new and unique. A former analyst for VentureBeat, Rogers uses the latest research and data to explain what is happening both now and next.
As the Editor-in-Chief at Badass Times, he writes authentically on digital nomad life, and helps to manage the team behind the world's first combined nomad publication and social network. As the Managing Editor at Grit Daily, he checks the pulse of marketing technology, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, augmented reality, and blockchain technologies, as well as the video game industry and the future of daily life. And his work with Dataconomy informs the data science community and AI community, in addition to helping create and host Europes biggest data expert conference, Data Natives. And as co-founder of Badass Empire, he helps digital professionals become badass at business, marketing, and in life.
Marvin is a free agent roaming the world, doing good, looking for great potential companies. He was a Partner at Micro Venture Capital Fund 500 Startups, running the SF-based accelerator program as well as investing in Seed stage startups. He Invests in Digital Media, Enterprise SaaS, Marketplace, Mobile, AdTech/MarketingTech, Digital Health, Internet of Things, and Fintech startups.
Formerly an experienced client-facing senior executive in the media and technology space in both large and startup growth companies, having managed large multifunctional teams across multiple countries.
He has P&L management experience and was most recently responsible for 100% YoY revenue growth while running a business unit and building new sales channels in EMEA and the Emerging Markets regions for the last ~4 years at Yahoo!.
A 10.5 year veteran of Yahoo! Inc., Marvin has held roles in the various departments of sales, business development, ad operations, and marketing. Most of his roles were regional or global management roles giving him extensive experience across Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the United States in his career at the company.
Marvin presently serves on the boards/advisory boards of several internet advertising and ad technology companies across the globe. He is a frequent speaker at many digital marketing and startup conferences.
A longtime fan, participant, and observer of the digital revolution occurring for the last 15+ years across the world, he is interested in opportunities with top growth companies large and small with a focus on driving monetization and expanding into new international markets.
Eugene Fooksman is the founder of the Fooksman Family Foundation and a software pioneer. His philanthropic work follows decades of leadership in Silicon Valley, where as a key developer of messaging service WhatsApp he helped to transform the high-tech landscape.
Born in St Petersburg, Russia to a civil engineer and molecular scientist, Eugene immigrated to the US with his family in 1999. The Fooksmans settled in the Bay Area, where Eugene’s career in startup life began. His professional success was soon complemented by philanthropic activity.
Eugene's commitment to philanthropy has grown throughout his journey: the life-changing connections he has forged, have informed and inspired his philanthropic interests, which span community building, arts and culture initiatives, and the next wave of young philanthropists.
Eugene established the Fooksman Family Foundation in 2018 as a way to participate more fully in his philanthropy. With an eye for innovation that fuels social change, his driving force is positive impact.
Alongside his investments, consultancy and philanthropic work, Eugene enjoys spending time with his two children and experiencing the world through travel.
Nicknamed “The Sheriff” by AOL and "The Harry Potter of Global Entrepreneurship" by Globo, Gary is the only person in history to travel from continent-to-continent studying comparative entrepreneurship and innovation. Having spent time in more than 40 countries, Gary believes both are the answer to the great debate toward the way forward for all of humanity, not just the motivated entrepreneur. As a global social reformer, serial entrepreneur, educator, and mentor, Gary advises Presidents and Prime Ministers, Fortune 100 CEO’s, economic development offices, incubators, accelerators, think tanks and entrepreneurs on both the art and science of entrepreneurship, innovation and economic development.
Gary W. Whitehill is the founder of Entrepreneur Week and The Relentless Foundation. He is a relentless entrepreneur and driven philanthropist with a footprint on four continents; broad experience spanning entrepreneurship, M&A, business turnarounds, and Fortune 100 board directorships.
Since its inception, Entrepreneur Week has convened more than 5,000 entrepreneurs, representing more than $8 billion in revenue and continues its expansion into 25 cities and 14 countries. Furthermore, the platform made history in both 2011 and 2012 as the first institution, aside from the President of the United States, to usher delegations of entrepreneurs, thought leaders, and investors to other continents to advise Heads of State, Prime Ministers, and Presidents, which included Chile and Greece.
A visionary in structuring the macro-level dynamics of entrepreneurial ecosystems, Gary has published more than 10 articles for industry-leading publications such as the Harvard Business Review, Inc. and Time Magazine, and delivered over 50 presentations to audiences around the World on many topical facets of entrepreneurship. Gary is also an investor in 8 companies spanning multiple verticals, including consumer products, outdoor-advertising, print, and technology.
Kevin R Smith is an international business and finance consultant. He has worked in over 40 countries for banks, governments, and a wide variety of corporates, including working with many startups and early stage businesses. He is a mentor for Cass Business School which is one of the leading business schools in the world. In more recent years he has become increasingly involved in the Fintech sector. He is both a general Mentor and a Fintech Mentor at the NatWest Entrepreneur Accelerator.
He has had the privilege of working in over 45 countries and speaking at seminars worldwide. He is also a prolific author and a BBC Radio contributor, writing and talking about all aspects of running an early stage business.
With a long and varied career in business and finance, he has become increasingly aware of the great number of early stage businesses that have a great story but are missing some vital parts of the jigsaw to make them achieve their true potential.
Those missing pieces are inevitably gaps in knowledge or experience in certain areas, or access to the right people. These gaps can often be filled by appointing a good Advisory Board. In his normal business life and in his role as a mentor he is very well placed to help such businesses achieve their goals and ensure that their businesses grow and prosper.
Patrick is a co-founder and former CEO of Rotten Tomatoes (rottentomatoes.com), a leading entertainment website focused on movie reviews and news and one of the top 500 most trafficked sites in the world. Sold to IGN Entertainment in June 2004.
Advisor to Casetify, ChargeSPOT, Credder, DNArt Inc., Instaread, Kiwi Campus, Leo AR, Magnesium Film, Oishii, WePloy, and Zeuss Technologies.
Current or former mentor at SOSV, Berkeley SkyDeck, Blue Startups, Founder Institute, Mentorbox, Berkeley LAUNCH Startup Accelerator, and more.
Core Team at Gold House Collective. Advisory Council at Asian Pacific Fund. Investor in Modernist.
Executive Producer of “The Heavenly Kings”, directed by Daniel Wu (Best New Director, 2007 Hong Kong Film Awards). Holds a BA in Cognitive Science with an emphasis on Computer Science from the University of California at Berkeley.
Co-founder of Hobo Labs, making guild-based casual mobile games. Co-founder and former CEO of alivenotdead.com, an online community for artists and their fans. Sold to mig33 February 2014. Co-founder and former CEO of Design Reactor (designreactor.com), an internet marketing firm focused on the entertainment industry. Clients included Disney, ABC, Warner Bros., and Artisan Entertainment, among others.
Kelly is the Director of Content and Marketing Data Science (aka “Hollywood Data Science”) at Netflix, focused on using causal inference and machine learning to grow the Netflix member base and audiences for its titles worldwide. Kelly started at Netflix almost 7 years ago as a statistician working on the initial research around to best promote Netflix Originals within the Netflix service.
Prior to her time at Netflix, built predictive models to understand customer retention at GEICO. She also served in the Peace Corps in the Republic of Georgia, where she helped women entrepreneurs start and manage small businesses.
George Arison co-founded Shift in 2013, when he saw an opportunity to use technology, machine learning, and operational excellence to create a transformative way for how cars are sold built around an exceptional customer experience.
George is passionate about building companies and technology products because they allow him to prove out his strongly held view that impossible things are actually possible. In addition to Shift, George co-founded Taxi Magic (now known as Curb), which invented the use of mobile devices for on-demand services. He is an investor and mentor to numerous startups and founders, including Zero, Shipper, Carrot, TravelBank, Eden, Fathom, and Pulsar AI. He has twice been named to Goldman Sachs’ 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs, and has worked at Google and the Boston Consulting Group (BCG).
Born in Georgia, a republic in the Soviet Union, at the height of Communism, George came to the United States on his own in 1992, fortunate to receive a scholarship to attend a prep school in Maine. Afterwards, he studied political philosophy at Middlebury College. In addition to entrepreneurship, George has a deep interest in politics and policy-making. He has started a think tank and ran a political campaign in his native Georgia, and authored a book about Georgia’s democratic transition.
Paul is a 3 time entrepreneur turned global VC. Through the multiple funds he has helped create, he has participated as an investor or advisor in the seed/series A rounds of 200+ companies. This includes holdings in billion dollar companies like Uber, Unity & Zappos. He travels around the world to give lectures on startups and is an advisor to governments on their technology and entrepreneurship policy
"Luke Kowalski is recognized for his loyalty and pragmatism, but he also excels in his ability to work across disciplines. He has executed projects involving legal issues (antitrust, IP, audits, litigation), acquisitions (due diligence, integration, or divestitures), technical standards (document formats), government affairs (EU/USA trade, IP reform, repatriation), and even managed functions like physical security, user interface design and accessibility.
He currently serves as a vp in the corporate architecture group at Oracle reporting to one of Larry Ellison’s EVPs. Before coming to Oracle, he worked for various startups in technical, design, and business roles, as well as for Netscape's Server and E commerce divisions. He holds several patents and professional certifications, serves as an ISO representative for US through ANSI and lectures frequently at conferences and universities. His educational background includes advanced degrees from UTA, Pratt Institute, and Columbia University. He is currently teaching a blockchain challenge lab at UC Berkeley's Engineering School on Mondays and pursuing a distance learning PhD at University of Leicester in his free time. "
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Mintos is a global marketplace for investing in loans. They work to make investing in loans as common as investing in stocks, ETFs, real estate, or any other major asset class. They are revolutionizing financial services and contributing to financial inclusion on a global scale.The company has raised a total of € 7 million to date from founding four angel investors
As CEO he leads Raisin and takes in particular care of partner bank acquisition, business development, legal and regional expansion efforts. Prior to building and scaling Raisin, Tamaz has spent 10 years with McKinsey & Company, the last 3 years as Principal leading also McKinsey Savings and Investment products Service Line for EMEA countries. He served some of the very largest retail, universal and wholesale banks throughout Europe and in Asia. Tamaz holds a PhD in agricultural economics, graduated with honors in law (both from University of Giessen) and international economics (from Tbilisi State University).
Bill Tai has been funding companies as a Venture Capitalist since 1991 and has had 22 companies he backed at the early stage grow to become listed companies. He has served on 8 public company boards from his portfolio.
He is Founding Chairman of Treasure Data (acq by ARM / Softbank), Founding Chairman of IPInfusion (Tokyo:48130) and is a lead seed investor in Canva, Wish and Zoom Video where he was 1st to commit as a backer. He was founding CEO of Internet Data Center company iAsiaWorks (IPO via Goldman Sachs & Morgan Stanley) and Founder of Tradebeam a leader in SaaS based Global Trade Management.
After earning a BSEE with Honors from University of Illinois, he joined LSI Logic, a startup formed by the CEO of Fairchild Semiconductor. He then earned an MBA at Harvard Business School, He established the semiconductor practice for Alex.Brown & Sons, driving IPOs of Atmel, Adaptec, Cirrus Logic, Dallas Semi, Exar, and Zilog before becoming a venture capitalist. He was granted a PhD from Curtin University where he is an Adjunct Professor focused on "Innovation and Economic Development" and Chairman of ACTAI Global - a 501(c)3 uniting Athletes, Conservationists, Technologists, Artists & Innovators supporting 'active conservation' of our environment as partners to 2030Vision, Ocean Elders and Mission Blue, and economic empowerment via entrepreneurship through projects such as the Extreme Tech Challenge.
Tbilisi Chapter Director
Startup Grind Tbilisi
Startup Grind Tbilisi
Startup Grind Tbilisi
Startup Grind Beijing
Startup Grind Tbilisi
Marketing and Communication
I was born in Georgia and then left to China in 2014. Then in 2020 because of corona virus I had to leave China and return to Georgia again, where I still remain, yay.
Now what happened in between 2014-2020. Started to:
2. Work for Chinese exhibition company and organized cool international trade fairs
3. Volunteer for Startup Grind Beijing and elevated to as one of the co-directors.
4. Work for luxury hotel as event planner
and then 2020 happened... if you know what I mean. But I don't complain, I love being back in Georgia.
Now I work with Startup Grind Tbilisi (check us out on Facebook) and Ilia State University (coolest place to apply, believe me) and I'm happy to map Georgian ecosystem for FLair (I always had this strange thing for maps :p and if you recognize this emoji, you are old too))))
Got any questions, let's connect