Gwynne ShotwellPresident & COO, Space X
As President and COO of SpaceX, Gwynne Shotwell is responsible for day‐to‐day operations and for managing all customer and strategic relations to support company growth. She joined SpaceX in 2002 as Vice President of Business Development and built the Falcon vehicle family manifest to more than 50 launches, representing over $5 billion in revenue. Shotwell is a member of the SpaceX Board of Directors. Prior to joining SpaceX, Shotwell spent more than 10 years at the Aerospace Corporation. She was promoted to the role of Chief Engineer of an MLV‐class satellite program, managed a landmark study for the Federal Aviation Administration on commercial space transportation,and completed an extensive analysis of space policy for NASA’s future investment in space transportation.
Sarah FriarCFO & Operations Lead, Square
Sarah Friar is CFO and Operations Lead at Square. Friar joined Square in July 2012 from salesforce.com, where she served as SVP of Finance & Strategy. Prior to salesforce.com, Friar worked at Goldman Sachs for over 10 years, with experience in corporate finance, M&A, and equity research, and ultimately as lead software analyst and Business Unit Leader for Goldman Sachs’ Technology Research Group. She previously worked for McKinsey in both London and South Africa. She holds a Masters of Engineering from Oxford University and an MBA from Stanford University. She sits on the Boards of ModelN, a SaaS-based revenue management software company, and Spark, a nonprofit focused on changing the lives of at-risk middle schoolers through mentorship.
Daphne KollerCo-Founder, Coursera
Daphne Koller is the Rajeev Motwani Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University and the co-founder and co-CEO of Coursera, a social entrepreneurship company that works with the best universities to connect anyone around the world with the best education, for free. Coursera is the leading MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) platform, and has partnered with dozens of the world’s top universities to offer hundreds of courses in a broad range of disciplines to over 3.5 million students. She is the recipient of many awards, which include the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, the ACM/Infosys award, and membership in the US National Academy of Engineering. She is also an award winning teacher, who pioneered in her Stanford class many of the ideas that underlie the Coursera user experience.
Julia HartzCo-Founder & President, Eventbrite
With a focus on strategy and growth for the company that has processed $2 billion in gross ticket sales for organizers in 179 countries, Julia is responsible for building, evolving and sustaining Eventbrite’s growing team of 300 “Britelings” and award-winning company culture (voted Best Places to Work in the San Francisco Bay Area four years running). In addition to consistently being nominated for “40 under 40” tech leader lists and TechCrunch’s annual “Founder of the Year” Crunchie award, Julia broke into Fortune’s prestigious Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs list in 2013. Prior to co-founding Eventbrite, Julia worked at MTV and was lucky enough to be on the team that discovered Jackass (you’re welcome). After MTV, Julia enjoyed a career at FX Networks on the series development team which put Nip/Tuck, The Shield, and Rescue Me on the air.
Jessica LivingstonFounding Partner, Y Combinator
Jessica Livingston is a founding partner at Y Combinator. She is also the organizer of Startup School, the big annual startup conference, and the author of Founders at Work, a collection of interviews with successful startup founders. Y Combinator was the first of the new startup “incubators” that fund a bunch of startups at once. Since 2005 YC has funded over 560 companies, including Dropbox, Airbnb, Stripe, and Reddit.
Julie HannaEntrepreneur. Investor. Chair of the Board, Kiva
Harnessing the democratizing impact of technology to solve humanity’s biggest challenges and create a more just world is Julie’s life work. She is an entrepreneur, technologist & CEO turned board director, advisor and investor to a number of technology companies, including Kiva, Lending Club, Bonobos, SYPartners and tech incubator, Idealab. As chair of the board at Kiva, the world’s largest crowdfunding marketplace for entrepreneurs, Julie is helping lead the growing movement of tech-enabled, purpose-driven companies that are changing the world at scale. During her tenure, Kiva has democratized access to half a billion dollars in capital for over 1 million entrepreneurs across 73 countries. Julie has been founder and founding executive of several silicon valley startups that have gone on to become public companies. Among them, the world’s largest healthcare portal, Healtheon (now WebMD), the company that became Netscape Mail and the fastest growing dot com era internet communications company, onebox.com (now OpenWave).
Porter GaleAuthor of Your Network is Your Net Worth
Porter Gale is a marketing expert, start-up advisor and public speaker with over twenty years of experience. She is the author of Your Network Is Your Net Worth and the former Vice President of Marketing for Virgin America. At present, she is an advisor for Rocket Fuel, AirPR, Sumazi, Here On Biz, Routehappy.com, N3TWORK, Hint Water, Mileage.org, WePay, ZOZI and Zuberance.
Priya HajiCEO & Co-Founder, Save Up
Priya is the CEO and co-founder of SaveUp, a free online rewards program that uses behavioral economics and game mechanics to help Americans build better financial habits. She has been a serial social entrepreneur since age 16 and is committed to building innovative companies that use technology to benefit people. Before SaveUp, she co-founded and led World of Good, an online retail marketplace of sustainable goods created by women artisans in 55 countries around the globe. World of Good was acquired by eBay in 2010. Prior to that she co-founded and led Free at Last, which became a national model for substance abuse treatment and HIV/AIDS intervention for African Americans and Latinos, serving 3,000 people per year in East Palo Alto. Her first start-up was a free clinic in Texas with her Dad. Priya graduated undergrad from Stanford University and has an MBA from Berkeley.
Danae RingelmannCo-founder, IndiegogoDanae Ringelmann co-founded Indiegogo in 2007 with a mission to democratize fundraising and has since helped to propel the company into the world’s largest crowdfunding platform. Danae was listed on Fast Company ‘s Top 50 Women Innovators in Technology in 2011, and AWNY awarded Danae the “No Apologies” Changemaker award in April 2013. Danae frequently speaks at conferences around the world, including TEDx, SXSW and CeBIT. Prior to Indiegogo, Danae was a Securities Analyst at Cowen & Co. where she covered entertainment companies including Pixar, Lions Gate, Disney, and Electronic Arts. Danae also focused on cable network, NFL, newspaper and hedge fund clientele while at JPMorgan’s Investment Bank and Private Bank. Danae is a CFA charterholder and holds an MBA from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley.
Christina FarrHealth and Enterprise Reporter, Venture Beat (Moderator)
Christina is a San Francisco-based writer covering cloud computing, health IT, women in business, education technology, and venture capital. She regularly covers breaking tech news, but also writes long-form human interest features. Prior to VentureBeat, she worked as a freelance writer for the San Francisco Chronicle, TheNextWeb and Digital Trends, among others. Her byline has also appeared in Washington Post, Reuters, and the Telegraph, where she contributes to the Wonder Women section. In 2011, she received a Masters from the Stanford Graduate School of Journalism. Christina has appeared as a featured expert on Fox Business, CNBC, ABC News, and others. She also regularly moderates panels, and speaks at tech conferences.
Aileen LeeFounder of Cowboy Ventures (Moderator)
Cowboy Ventures was founded by Aileen Lee in 2012. Prior to Cowboy, Aileen had been a partner with the venture firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) since 1999. She has been lead or supporting partner in backing a broad variety of companies including Bloom Energy, Blue Nile, Callaway Digital Arts, Good Technology, One Kings Lane, Plum District, Rent the Runway, Shopkick, Tellme, and Trendyol. She was also founding CEO of RMG Networks, the leading digital out-of-home media company, backed by KPCB. Prior to joining KPCB, Aileen held roles at Gap Inc., The North Face, Odwalla, and Morgan Stanley. She has degrees from MIT, Harvard Business School, and Millburn High School.
Danielle MorrillFounder & CEO, Mattermark
Danielle Morrill is CEO & Cofounder of Mattermark, where big data meets venture capital. Mattermark quantifies data on private companies to help investors track, evaluate and discover the most promising startups in the world. She is a graduate of Y Combinator, formerly served as Director of Marketing and first employee of Twilio, and spent her earlier career as a financial and business analyst in her family wealth consulting business and later at Expeditors International, a Fortune 500 global logistics provider. Connect with her at http://www.daniellemorrill.
com or on Twitter @DanielleMorrill.
Charles HudsonPartner at SoftTech VC (Moderator)
Charles Hudson is a Partner with SoftTech VC. He is focusing on mobile and gaming investments, and supporting SoftTech portfolio companies on business/corporate development matters. He was also the Co-Founder and CEO of Bionic Panda Games, a mobile games startup based in San Francisco, CA. Until February 2010, he was the VP of Business Development for Serious Business, a leading producer of social games for the social web (acquired by Zynga). He produced technology conferences focused on the intersection of gaming and social media (Virtual Goods Summit and the Social Gaming Summit).
Prior to joining Serious Business, he was the Sr. Director for Business Development at Gaia Online and prior to Gaia, he worked in New Business Development at Google. He spent several years working at In-Q-Tel and is on the Advisory Board for BizWorld and the MIT/Stanford Venture Lab.
Josh ConstineWriter, TechCrunch (Moderator)
Josh writes tech news and analysis for TechCrunch. He is an experienced public speaker, having moderated fireside chats and panels at over a dozen conferences including SXSW and TechCrunch Disrupt. He specializes in critical analysis of social and communications technologies. His goal is to bring readers deep insight into the ramifications of breaking news from startups and tech giants alike. His beats include Facebook, Google, advertising, music, dating, ecommerce, and social good. He loves writing in-depth launch profiles of new startups. His on-stage interviews have included Dropbox CEO Drew Houston, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, and a hilarious panel with founders of Rap Genius.
Prior to TechCrunch, he designed a Stanford University Master’s program in Cybersociology to study how humans interact through technology. He researched privacy, anonymity, meme popularity cycles, and how tech is changing interpersonal relationships.
Jacob MullinsCEO & Founder, Exitround
Jacob is CEO and founder of Exitround, the acquisition marketplace for buyers and sellers of companies. Prior, he was a venture capital investor at Shasta Ventures, where he spent time looking at consumer and mobile businesses. Prior to that, he built a dietary supplement company out of South Africa, was the first business guy at VentureBeat.com, and launched the Microsoft BizSpark program. He holds a B.A. in Political Science from Yale University. In his spare time he listens to country music and shoots skeet.
Mike RothenbergFounder at Rothenberg Ventures - PITCH Judge
As the manager of Rothenberg Ventures, Mike is focused on investing in talented and passionate world-class founders. Additionally, Mike is a recent Harvard Business School alum, class of 2013, and Director at Rothenberg Investments, where he manages private equity capital to invest in condos and land development in vibrant central Texas.
Nicole GlarosManaging Director, Techstars - PITCH Judge
Nicole got her entrepreneurial start in the 4th grade, orchestrating cousins into theatrical plays and charging neighbors admission. From there, she founded three startups, the first of which had a healthy exit and the last two which failed miserably. Since then, she’s spent over a decade working with and funding early-stage web software companies. Most recently, she’s been with Techstars since it’s early days as a humble program in Boulder, Colorado, and has helped expand the brand and operations. In addition to running the Colorado office, she’s also been part of the launch in Texas, and headed operations in NYC. She was named one of the “Coolest People in New York Tech” by Business Insider in 2013 and Marie Claire named her one of the “NewGuard”.
Millie TadewaldtVenture Hacker, Angellist - PITCH JudgeMillie Tadewaldt is an executive, entrepreneur and engineer based in San Francisco. Millie is currently a Venture Hacker at AngelList, where she works on online syndicates, fund products and the company’s talent platform.Previously, Millie was a founder of CakeStyle, doggyloot, Lost Crates, DashMob and New Media Methods. She was a Managing Director at venture capital firm Sandbox Industries and a Consultant at the Boston Consulting Group. She holds degrees from UC Davis and Harvard Law School.
Jill FishbeinPartner and Co-Chair of the Corporate Practice Group, Carr & Ferrell LLP
Jill Fishbein is partner and co-chair of the Corporate Practice Group of Carr & Ferrell. Ms. Fishbein’s practice focuses on corporate and securities work for both public and private companies, as well as venture capital firms and other financial institutions, with particular emphasis on the representation of growth technology and life science companies. Ms. Fishbein is one of the firm’s foremost attorneys focused on the developing areas of clean technologies. Ms. Fishbein has represented numerous companies in the fields of Internet, e-commerce, software, multimedia and data communications. Prior to attending law school, Ms. Fishbein worked in New York as a commercial banker in the areas of leveraged buyouts and project financing.
Betsy AokiSenior Program Manager, Bing
Betsy Aoki is a 16‐year veteran of Web technology and online community applications. Mary Jo Foley of CNET called her a “Microsoft Woman to Watch” for her work in lauching Microsoft’s corporate blogging platforms, the Live Q&A consumer question‐and‐answer site, and the Xbox Live Indie Games platform. Lured to the marketing side for Bing, she devised its social media strategies and launched REDU, a Webby winning campaign site for education reform. Her current Bing projects include community outreach to startups.
Ted DriscollPartner, Digital Healthcare Lead
Ted Driscoll is a Partner leading the Digital Healthcare team at Claremont Creek Ventures. Prior to his venture capital experience, Ted helped found five successful companies in imaging-related markets. He was founder and CEO of Be Here Technologies, a pioneer in Internet, Broadcast and Videoconferencing technologies. He had earlier directed the Diasonics technology team that developed the first commercial MRI scanners and numerous advances in MR imaging. Previously, Ted was also Vice President of Engineering and R&D of Identix, then a world leader in fingerprint recognition; and Director of R&D at International Imaging Systems, an early pioneer in remote sensing. Ted holds a PhD from Stanford University in Digital Imaging, Masters degrees from Harvard University in Computer Graphics and Remote Sensing and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania.
Surbhi SarnaCEO & Founder, nVision Medical
Surbhi Sarna is a patient turned impatient entrepreneur and is the founder and CEO of nVision. nVision is an early-stage, venture backed medical device company that is dedicated to filling the void in female health-related innovation. Surbhi complemented her understanding of theoretical science with extensive hands on research as an engineer, becoming a UC Berkeley Guidant Bioengineering Fellow. After graduating from Cal and before starting nVision, she worked as a medical device engineer. She has authored numerous patents, been an invited speaker at universities including UCSF and Harvard, and has been featured in publications such as Businessweek, Bloomberg and GigaOm. Most recently, she was named on the Forbes 30 under 30 list for 2014.
Halle TeccoFounder & CEO, Rock Health
Halle Tecco is the Founder & CEO of Rock Health, the first seed fund devoted exclusively to digital health companies. Tecco recognized the need and potential for startups in the space while working at Apple’s App Store covering the health and medical vertical. Tecco was named as one of Forbes 30 under 30, “12 Entrepreneurs Reinventing Healthcare” by CNN, one of “15 Women to Watch in Tech” by Inc. Magazine, and was a L’Oreal “Woman of Worth” Honoree. Tecco has written for Harvard Business School Publishing, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Glamour.com and ForbesWoman. She has a Bachelor of Science degree from Case Western Reserve University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Hunter WalkPartner, Homebrew VC
Before Homebrew, I led consumer product management at YouTube, starting when it was acquired by Google. I originally joined Google in 2003, managing product and sales efforts for AdSense, Google’s contextual advertising business. My first job in Silicon Valley was as the founding product and marketing guy at Linden Lab. Before graduate school, I was a management consultant and also spent a year at Late Night with Conan O’ Brien. My parents are proud of my BA in History from Vassar and MBA from Stanford University.
Rob HayesPartner, First Round Capital
Before joining First Round Capital, Rob was at Omidyar Network as their first venture investor. He led most of their initial venture capital deals and later built and ran the technology investing group. While at Palm, he started their corporate venture fund and managed the strategy effort that led to the spinout of PalmSource. He began his career with the Japan External Trade Organization, building relationships between US and Japanese businesses during a time when trade friction between the two was at its peak. Rob has his MBA from Columbia University and his B.A. from UC Berkley.
Ana Diaz-HernandezInvestment Analyst, Kapor Capital
Ana Díaz-Hernández is a Venture Capital Analyst at Kapor Capital in Oakland, CA. Kapor Capital invests at the seed stage in social impact tech startups that are for-profit and gap-closing. Ana also manages the Kapor Center Impact Fellowship, which aims to place more students from underrepresented backgrounds in summer internships at tech companies.
She holds a BA in Anthropology from Stanford University and participated in several research projects relating to urban planning, public health, civic engagement with the Smithsonian Institute, The World Bank, and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
She entered the world of technology through user experience research. She helped organizations better tailor their experience to the needs of the Latino community. She worked at Spool, a video content delivery startup, where she led Product Marketing initiatives. She then later joined Dropbox in Sales and Internationalization work for the Latin American market.
Eurie KimPrincipal, Forerunner Ventures
Eurie joined Forerunner Ventures as a Principal in May 2012. Over the past 10+ years, Eurie has evaluated and aided a wide variety of companies in their quest to define business models, identify target markets, and overcome operational and competitive challenges to drive growth. As a management consultant at Bain and Company, Eurie advised large retail and e-commerce clients on strategy, identifying acquisition opportunities, and harnessing consumer insights to drive growth. Prior to Bain, Eurie was an investor at Castanea Partners where she evaluated growth investments in consumer and retail businesses. Eurie also has a personal passion for entrepreneurship, which inspired her to launch an artisanal leather goods brand as well as serve on the founding team of a European luxury brand incubator.
Eurie earned an MBA with honors at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and holds a B.S. with honors in Business Administration from the University of California, Berkeley.
Sarah TavelBusiness and corporate development, Pinterest
I joined Pinterest in April 2012. At Pinterest, I’ve worn a few hats from product manager to business and corporate development. Before Pinterest, I spent six years at Bessemer Venture Partners where I co-led or sourced Bessemer’s investments in Convertro, CPower (acq), Cornerstone OnDemand (IPO), KupiVIP, Metalogix, MindBody, Onestop Internet, Pinterest, Quidsi, and Yodle. I blog (occasionally!) at http://www.adventurista.com and tweet as @sarahtavel. Most importantly, you can see what I’ve been pinning at http://www.pinterest.com/sarahtavel.
Kim JabalCFO, Path
Kim Jabal is an Internet and social media executive with over 20 years of finance, operations, and IT experience at high growth companies in various stages of development including Google, Path, Lytro, Goldman Sachs, and Accenture. Kim is currently CFO and head of legal and HR at Path. Prior to joining Path she spent a year as VP Finance at Lytro, a start-up focused on building the world’s first consumer light field camera.
Prior to her recent focus on earlier stage companies, Kim spent two years at Goldman Sachs in technology investment banking and then eight years at Google. She also led investor relations for two years, during which time the company ranked on Institutional Investor’s “Most Shareholder Friendly Companies” list for the first time.
Camille SamuelsAffiliated Director, Versant Ventures
Camille Samuels is an Affiliated Director at Versant Ventures. Previously a Managing Director at Versant, Cami represents the firm on the board of Achaogen and Kythera (KYTH). She is also on the board of Carmenta Laboratories and Cenexys, Inc. Cami joined Versant shortly after its formation in early 2000. Prior to Versant, she was responsible for business development at Tularik, Inc. (acquired by Amgen) where she in-licensed two of the company’s clinical-stage products and led Tularik’s Technology Acquisition Group. Before Tularik, Cami worked in corporate development at Genzyme and Millennium Predictive Medicine, and was a management consultant to healthcare and biotech companies at LEK Consulting.
Cami earned her Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Duke University and an MBA from Harvard Business School, where she graduated as a Baker Scholar. She is on the Board of Directors of ConsumerMed.org and is on the steering committee of the Harvard Business School California Research Center. She is also part of the Aspen Institute’s 6th class of Henry Crown Fellows.
Bill BeerPartner, Daversa Partners
Bill is the lead Partner in Daversa’s San Francisco based practice. He specializes in recruiting executives across all corporate functions. Bill has a particular focus and demonstrated success in building teams for venture-backed businesses focused on the consumer (b2c and b2b2c) as well as cloud-based services.
In his 10 years at Daversa, Bill has led more than 150 VP and C-level searches with a client list that includes Leap Motion, Zynga, Shazam, AirBnB, Square, Pinterest, Tumblr, DocuSign, Trulia, OneKingsLane, Chegg, LegalZoom, HotelTonight, Lyft, SoundCloud, Twilio, Chernin Entertainment Group, Dreamworks, Federated Media, GaiKai, Hipmunk, Shopkick, Slacker and BrightRoll.
Prior to joining Daversa Partners, Bill was a consultant with Christian & Timbers. Prior to C&T, Bill spent 9 years with technology search firm OTEC. Bill founded, spun out of OTEC and led a Human Capital consultancy called ForwardHire. He also founded OTEC’s San Francisco search practice. OTEC, founder of Hotjobs.com, was a national search firm with offices in New York, San Francisco and Boston.
Allison JohnsonFounder, West
Allison is the founder of West, a new kind of strategy and creative accelerator based in San Francisco focused on introducing new companies, products and ideas to the world. Prior to West, she ran marketing at Apple for six+ years reporting to Steve where she was responsible for launching some of the most iconic products and campaigns of our time. A self-professed revolutionary, she’s found herself at the center of some of the industry’s most historic turns including IBM’s embrace of the internet era with e-business, Netscape’s pivot from browser to enterprise software purveyor, HP’s reinvention under Carly Fiorina, and the launch of the iPhone and iPad.
Lindsay BlakelySenior Editor, Inc. Magazine
Lindsay Blakely is a senior editor at Inc. magazine, where she covers technology and innovation. Previously she was a senior editor at CBS Interactive and before that, she was a reporter for Business 2.0 magazine. Lindsay is based in Los Angeles.
Christine TsaiPartner, 500 Startups
Christine Tsai is a partner at 500 Startups. Previously she spent many years at Google and YouTube on products including AdSense, Google Analytics, YouTube APIs/syndication, and Developer products. Before life in consumer internet, Christine worked in international sales at OSIsoft and refining central technologies at ChevronTexaco. Christine holds a BA in cognitive science from the University of California at Berkeley. She is also a ballet dancer of more than 20 years.
Rachel PikePrincipal, DFJ
Rachel Pike joined Draper Fisher Jurvetson in 2010 and invests in enterprise, biology, and consumer internet companies. Prior to joining DFJ, Rachel completed her Ph.D. in atmospheric chemistry and computer modeling at the University of Cambridge. During her time there, Rachel served as President of the Gates Scholars, worked on a field campaign in Malaysia, and delivered TED and TEDx talks on climate, technology, and innovation.
Previously, Rachel earned a B.A. in chemistry and a minor in African studies at Northwestern University. As an undergraduate, Rachel was a co-founder of Fusion Dance Company. She spent a year in Tanzania, where she studied at the University of Dar es Salaam and gained experience working on a Bus Rapid Transit planning project as an assistant consultant.
Josh ElmanPartner, Greylock
Josh is a partner at Greylock. He joined the team in 2011 and invests in entrepreneurs building new consumer products and services. His areas of focus include social networks and platforms, mobile apps, new media, and marketplaces. Josh specializes in designing, building, and scaling consumer products, having been part of multiple companies that have grown to over 100 million users.
Before joining Greylock, Josh spent 15 years in product and engineering roles at leading companies in social, commerce, and media. Most recently, Josh was the product lead for growth and relevance at Twitter, growing Twitter’s active user base by nearly 10x. Prior to Twitter, Josh worked on the platform at Facebook and led the launch of Facebook Connect. Earlier in his career, Josh was an early employee at LinkedIn and helped establish early models for user growth and launched the first version of LinkedIn Jobs. Josh also held roles leading product management for Zazzle, and leading product and engineering for RealJukebox and RealPlayer at RealNetworks. He holds a BS in Symbolic Systems with a focus on Human Computer Interaction from Stanford University.
April UnderwoodDirector of Product, TwitterApril Underwood (@aunder) leads Product and Product Marketing teams at Twitter which are responsible for the Twitter advertising experience. Previously at Twitter, April was Director of Business Development focused on partnering with the world’s top web properties. Prior to Twitter, April worked at Google, where she was responsible for content acquisition and monetization of Google Maps, Gmail, Google News, and other Google consumer products. April holds an MBA from University of California at Berkeley (Haas) and a BBA in Management Information Systems from University of Texas at Austin.
Obi FeltenHead of Getting Moonshots Ready for Contact With the Real World, Google[x]
Obi helps the scientists and engineers at Google[x] get projects like self-driving cars, Project Loon and smart contact lenses from the lab into the real world. Previously she was Director of Consumer Marketing for Google in Europe, Middle East and Africa, which sounds like the easiest job in the world until you consider that Google launches hundreds of things a quarter in a region of 120+ countries as diverse as Germany, Russia, Egypt and Kenya. In her spare time Obi is a startup mentor and angel investor, focusing on women tech entrepreneurs. She set up Campus London, a Google-funded working/networking/training space for tech entrepreneurs. Before Google, Obi launched the ecommerce business of a UK retailer, worked as a strategy consultant and led eToys.com’s (unsuccessful) expansion to Germany during the first dotcom era.
Jessica WanClassical Singer
Soprano Jessica Wan performs regularly throughout the Bay Area, singing opera, lieder, musical theatre, and more. Jessica has performed with LIEDER ALIVE!, Opera on Tap, Pocket Opera, San Francisco Renaissance Voices, and SF Early Music Society’s Fringe Festival. For the last decade, Jessica has also built a career as a marketing professional and in the tech world, helping to shape companies like Apple, the San Francisco Opera, and Smule, a social network that connects over 100 million people worldwide through music. Jessica has a BA in Music and a BS in Product Design from Stanford University, and an MBA from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley. Currently studying voice with Susan Gundunas, her musical journey began at an early age on the piano, adding violin, oboe, and voice along the way. Jessica sits on the Board of Directors for Community Music Center, where she consults in the areas of marketing and development.
Blake ByersGeneral Partner, Google Ventures
Blake is a general partner at Google Ventures and continues to direct research at Stanford University in optogenetics and stem cell biology.
Blake has a background in engineering and investing and helped start two companies out of his house: Womply and Transcriptic. He began doing biomedical research at Stanford as a high school student and has continued to conduct research since then — with topics spanning antibiotic mechanisms of action, Parkinson’s disease modeling, and fMRI imaging of xenogeneic brain grafts. Outside of the lab, he has worked at Electronic Arts, Morgan Stanley, and as an angel investor.
Blake received a Ph.D. and master’s in bioengineering from Stanford University and holds a Bachelor of Science in biomedical engineering and Bachelor of Science in economics from Duke University.
Xochi BirchCo-founder, Monkey Inferno and The Battery
Xochi Birch started developing consumer facing internet sites with her husband Michael Birch since 1999 while living in London. She moved back to California with her husband and two children in 2002. She continued to build a number of community sites with Michael, which included BirthdayAlarm.com, Ringo.com and most notably Bebo which was sold to AOL in 2008.
After selling her company in 2008 she started two new projects, Monkey Inferno and The Battery. Monkey Inferno (www.monkeyinferno.com) is a personal incubator in San Francisco. The incubator is launching multiple new innovative consumer internet and mobile ideas.
The Battery is a social club located in the historic Jackson Square neighborhood in San Francisco. The vision for the club is to create a culture where inspiration is embraced, diverse communities come together and egos are checked at the door.
Ellen LeanseAngel Investor
Innovator and online pioneer Ellen Leanse has worked in Silicon Valley for more than 30 years, with experience spanning early Apple, Google, Facebook application development, the Maker movement, and startup culture. Her collaboration with entrepreneurs in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Europe, along with North America, informs her views on tech’s impact on society, opportunity, and individuals. She is currently authoring and publishing work focused on ethics, gender, culture, and innovation. Ellen serves on the board of D-Rev, a social enterprise focused on improving health and quality of life through world class, globally affordable medical innovations.
Holly LiuCo-founder and Chief of Staff, Kabam
Holly Liu is co-founder and Chief of Staff of Kabam, the leader in the western world for free-to-play core games. Holly also oversees Kabam’s corporate culture and talent, which is responsible for driving Kabam’s vision, mission, and values for its more than 775 employees in offices around the world. Holly has helped build a world-class human resources team that is responsible for recruiting and retaining top talent and has grown Kabam’s personnel base by 500% in three years.
Prior to her role as Chief of Staff, Holly was VP of People Ops and Director of User Experience. She led the product design for Kabam’s award-winning Kingdom’s of Camelot, which has grown into a $250 million franchise in less than four years. Holly was also an initial designer for the mobile extension Kingdoms of Camelot: Battle for the North, which was the top grossing app on iOS in 2012.
Before co-founding Kabam, Holly was Senior User Interface Designer for AOL, where she led design of community web products. She has also worked as a consultant for Arthur Andersen and Accenture.
Holly received her Master’s in Information Management & Systems from UC Berkeley and her B.A. in Mass Communications from UCLA. She was named to Forbes’ “Top 10 Women Entrepreneurs to Watch”, “Top 12 Women in Gaming” in 2013 and one of Fortune’s “10 Most Powerful Women in Gaming.”
Kimberly PointerPerformance Marketing Manager, KabamKimberly is a data-driven and optimization focused performance marketer who manages user acquisition for the publishing team at Kabam. Prior to Kabam, Kimberly built scalable digital marketing programs for several startups in the travel, wine and eco spaces.
Michael MaranoDevelopment Director, Kabam
Michael is an engineering leader who delivers high performance web sites and mobile applications with a focus on building great teams and processes.
Jenny FieldingHead of BBC Labs, BBC Worldwide
Jenny Fielding heads up New Digital Ventures for BBC Worldwide as well as BBCW Labs. Previously, she was CEO of fourforty Inc, the company that developed Wenzani for Lonely Planet. Jenny has a long history in the tech industry, co-founding start-ups such as Switch-Mobile, a disruptive VoIP mobile software company, that was acquired in 2008. She has also been the COO of Wodan Capital, a VP at JP Morgan, and a lawyer at Wieden & Kennedy, where she started her career. She sits on the Board and advises several companies and organizations including Founder Labs, Texting.ly, and Astia. Jenny is based in Silicon Valley.