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Speakers At The Europas Conference And Awards Reflect Europe’s Diversity, June 16, London

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The Europas Conference & Awards for European Tech Startups, on June 16 in London, is an annual celebration of Europe’s brightest tech companies. From a small bar in central London in 2009, it’s become a fixture of the European scene, with its highly curated daytime speakers and audience, which combines the key startup players in Europe, as well as the hottest newcomers, together with a fantastic awards bash. Think ‘The Crunchies’ plus a small, cool conference with a lot more Europeans.

TechCrunch is the exclusive media sponsor for The Europas, and attendees will automatically receive deep discounts on Disrupt Europe tickets among other perks. Tickets to the daytime conference are limited, but you can grab the last ones here, or here for the evening awards only.

The Europas celebrate some of the most forward-thinking and innovative European tech companies across some 20-plus categories. Over the last few weeks startups have been able to either apply for an award or be nominated by a third party. A judging panel then selected a shortlist of nominees, which was submitted to public voting. Finally those results were combined. Previous Europas winners have included Supercell, Layar, Podio, BlaBlaCar, SoundCloud, Seedcamp, Socialbakers, Mind Candy and King.com. The voting has now taken place, the feedback collated, the shortlist is out, and the winners will be announced at the end of the conference in a fun awards ceremony. Prior to the finale, The Europas “unconference” of invited guests, features relaxed networking and small group discussion sessions.

This year, The Europas is adding a parallel event, PathFounders (June 15th-17th), designed to bring early-stage founders together with investors. PathFounders will bring a select group of 100 of Europe’s early-stage founders, VCs and angel investors. Eligible daytime conference ticket holders will receive an invite to upgrade their ticket to include this. Email TheEuropas@gmail.com for details.

The draft agenda will be released tomorrow on May 28, but for now here are the speakers appearing:

SPEAKERS & GUESTS (In no particular order)


Saul Klein, Index Ventures
Saul joined Index in 2007 and was a Partner until May 2015. A serial entrepreneur with two decades of experience building and exiting companies in both the US, Israel and Europe, Saul has a passion for working with seed and early stage businesses. Most recently he co-founded Kano and Seedcamp, as well as co-founder and original CEO of Lovefilm International (acquired by Amazon). He was also part of the original executive team at Skype (acquired by eBay). Saul believes tech is still only just starting to make a dent on the economy and society and that it has the potential to create hundreds of thousands of jobs.

Anna Rose, VideoPath
Combining a business and video production background, Anna loves to develop new business models around online video. She is passionate about digital media and the formats that shape our online experiences.


Yossi Vardi, Angel Investor
Joseph “Yossi” Vardi is an angel investor and hi-tech entrepreneur and Chairman of International Technologies. He has some 40 years of experience of co-founding, leading and helping build over 70 high-tech companies and was the founding investor and the former chairman of Mirabilis Ltd, the creator of the highly popular instant messaging program ICQ, which was acquired by AOL, to which he still serves as an advisor. He is a former Director-General of the Ministries of Development and Energy, a former Chairman of Israel Chemicals, and the Israel National Oil Company as well as Chairman Emeritus of the Jerusalem Foundation. He is a member of the World Economic Forum and has served on the Advisory Board of the Bank of Israel, on the board of directors of State of Israel Bonds, on the Board of Governors of the Hebrew University and the Open University. He is the recipient of the Prime Minister’s Life Achievement Award for the development of the high tech industry in Israel (twice), Entrepreneur of the Year, and the Rominisiaru prize for Economics from Tel Aviv University.


Stephanie Hospital, One Ragtime VC
Stephanie Hospital is the Founder of One Ragtime, a global Ventur Capital Fund focused on scaling early stage European & Israeli startups in both Europe and the United States. Prior to this, Stephanie was the Executive Vice President of Orange Digital, Audience and Advertising. She has an extensive international management background in the digital, telecommunication an advertising sectors with a proven track record in setting up a growing new ventures, building best-in-class teams and forming international partnerships. During her 10 years at Orange, she led the Digital Business Unit, which included its global advertising network that spans over 795 million unique visitors across 5 continents and 60 countries. Most notably, Stephanie spearheaded Orange’s digital acquisition of Dailymotion in addition to major partnerships with Google, Facebook, Twitter and Microsoft. She was responsible for a number of international subsidiaries in the digital field, leading product lines such as cloud services, data and analytics digital marketing, and overall online distribution. Stephanie is also an Executive Director at Dailymotion, a board advisor for customise programmatic ad solutions company myThings, and former Vice Chairman for IAB Europe. She enjoys being a mentor at Level 39, the leading tech accelerator in London and Axel Springer Plug&Play in Berlin. Stephanie graduated from Grenoble Ecole de Management, one of Europe’s top management schools.


Ciaran O’Leary, Early Bird Capital
Ciarán is a partner at Earlybird Venture Capital, based in Berlin. He is focused mainly on early stage consumer and enterprise Internet companies building platforms, networks and market places.
Ciarán blogs at berlinvc.com / tweets @ciaranoleary.


Zoe Adamovicz
Zoe is a Berlin-based entrepreneur and a business angel, with a strong footprint in Tel Aviv and in Poland. Through the acquisition of her recent startup Xyo by Digital Turbine (NASDAQ:APPS), Zoe became the Head of EMEA and Technology, which she held until April 2015. Her other ventures include Luxury Eight which biohacks sleep, TwinTechTowns which streamlines tech investments between Berlin and Tel Aviv, and ConciseSoftware which provides engineering services to startups.


Limor Schweitzer, Robosavvy
Limor Schweitzer heads RoboSavvy, a company that develops and distributes robots, parts and tools for makers. He has started companies in diverse areas such as Telecom Billing and Internet Security. Originally from the UK, he has lived in Italy, USA, Israel and currently resides in Portugal.


Rory Sterling, MMC Ventures
Rory joined MMC in 2009. He is responsible for leading new investments and representing MMC on portfolio company boards. Rory is passionate about technology, particularly within the consumer internet, mobile and software sectors. In 2014 Rory was nominated for ‘Investor of the Year’ at the Investor Allstar Awards. Before joining MMC, Rory was in the UK mergers and acquisitions team at Greenhill & Co, before going on to found a start-up business in the social media space. He has an MA in economics from the University of Edinburgh. Rory loves to spend time with his wife, family and close friends. He is passionate about technology, the way we interact with it and its impact on our society. He believes in balance and continuous personal development. Rory is increasingly interested in the practice of mindfulness and enjoy regular exercise, reading, skiing, water sports and travel. He is nuts about cars (or anything with an engine) and occasionally rides a motorbike.


Filipa Neto, Chic-by-choice.com
Filipa Neto is co-founder of Chic by Choice, an online platform that allows European women to hire designer dresses at a fraction of retail price, so that they feel confident in the most important events in their lives. While studying Economics at Católica Lisbon School of Business and Economics she realized her passion for E-commerce and Brand Strategy. Also, an avid online shopper she has always been passionate about studying and analyzing the most successful online fashion businesses. After participating and winning 2nd place in the biggest entrepreneurship competition in Portugal, within more than 3000 participants, and while finishing her degree, she was able to raise a 520K investment for the seed round under the age of 23. She couldn’t be at a better place. Currently her job at Chic by Choice as Managing Director allows her to explore her passion for E-commerce and fashion. She is truly committed to develop this startup to the next level and make it a top destination for all women who know and love high-fashion.


Chris Blackford, Sky Futures
Chris is driving the strategic development of Sky-Futures operational and technology frameworks and the development of new partnerships with leading industry companies. Chris has been involved in the delivery of commercial UAV operations for over 30 Oil and Gas clients globally. Chris combines extensive UAV experience with a strong understanding of the technical and operational complexities presented with commercial UAV operations.


Alex Klein, Kano
What do exploding MacBooks, rap music, and ancient cave paintings have in common? It all began with a challenge from Alex’s 7 year old cousin: build me a computer anyone can make, as simple and fun as Lego. A year later, thousands worldwide raised $1.5 million to make it real. Kano cofounder Alex Klein tells the story, with codes and the computer arts. The Kano kit has since been built and reimagined by young people around the world, from Seattle to Sierra Leone. It’s the most crowd funded learning invention ever, and gives you the power to build a computer, a speaker, games, music, and more. Alex is Kano’s Chief Product Officer and storyteller. His writing on society, technology, cults and communists has appeared in Newsweek, New York Magazine, The Nation, The New Republic, The Times of London, BuzzFeed, and inside the backpacks of girls he liked back in middle school. He loves words that play and images that stay, in the mind and over time. He also did graphic design for the Lincoln Center, and has been kicked off several improv stages in and around it. Take the red pill. Wu Tang is forever.


Meryl Job Founder, Videdressing
An American whose love of fashion and luxury brought her to Paris where she worked as a product manager at Chanel and L ́Occitane en Provence. It was while trying to sell some of her own clothing and fashion accessories in her overflowing closet and finding no suitable sites on which to do so that she realized that there was a clear need for a specialized site that could appeal to fashion lovers and where they would feel comfortable buying and selling pre-loved treasures. The idea to launch Videdressing was born. Meryl holds a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and a Master’s from ESCP Europe.


Peter Smith, Blockchain.com
Peter is focused on making Bitcoin easy, safe and available to everyone on the planet. He is excited about leading Blockchain’s as it grows from 2 million users to 200 million users. He has a relentless drive and passion for cutting complexity and managing rapid expansion. Before joining Blockchain, he was an active investor in the space. Peter has 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 out running, trekking, surfing, and climbing up or skiing down a mountain.


Thomas Davies, Seedrs
Thomas is a qualified lawyer who began his career with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP in London, Hong Kong and New York. As CIO, Thomas leads our investment team – working with entrepreneurs throughout the campaigning and post-investment journeys. He’s also the resident photographer.

Patrick Drake, Hello Fresh
Patrick started off his career as a lawyer at Clifford Chance before moving to Goldman Sachs. Realising that law was actually the last thing on earth he wanted to do, he started leading a double life. Secretly cooking in the fine dining kitchen of his law firm by day and cooking in restaurants around London by night. He quit law to go into cooking full time and has since worked at the Fat Duck in Bray, created the world’s fastest online cooking course (The 60 Second Chef), is the host of his own travel and cooking show which airs in 67 countries and is the co-founder and head chef of HelloFresh, the world’s largest recipe box delivery service.


Chrysanthos Chrysanthou, Notion Capital
Chrys joined Notion as Exec-in-Residence in 2015 from Accel Partners where he was a VP on the investment team focusing primarily on B2B opportunities, within infrastructure software, cloud computing, IoT/M2M and Big Data technologies. Prior to Accel Chrys was at Amazon Web Services where he led Business Development efforts of the startup ecosystem, across Europe, Middle East and Africa. Before AWS he was COO of Living PlanIT, a B2B startup technology company in the IoT/M2M space, enabling the development of intelligent and sustainable urban-scale environments. Previously, Chrys worked at Cisco for approximately 10 years where he led Services-related investments and acquisitions worldwide. At Cisco he also worked in the IT and Operations departments leading teams across large scale business process re-engineering and enterprise software migration projects. He has lived and worked in Silicon Valley, the UK, Portugal and India and led projects in the Middle East, South Africa, China and Singapore. Chrys holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of California, San Diego and an MBA from the Judge Business School at Cambridge University.


Nina Curley, Flat6 Labs Abu Dhabi
Nina Curley is the Managing Director of Flat6Labs Abu Dhabi, a startup accelerator designed to support early stage companies with a focus on media and content. Prior to that, she served as the former Editor-in-Chief of Wamda, the largest entrepreneurship news site in the Middle East, covering business and technology trends in 14 markets. She also launched Wamda for Women, an initiative to support female founders, and is a founding member of WAIN, the first women’s angel investment network in Dubai. She has written for Al Jazeera, The Washington Post, and The Economist’s A Look Ahead portal, and spoken at the World Policy Institute as well as several events in the MENA region about entrepreneurship, technology trends and the role of women in the Middle East. She holds a BA with honors from Stanford University and an MA in Cognitive Neuroscience from NYU.


Mat Morrisson, Magicbeanlab.com
Mat offers advisory services and senior counsel to digital marketing agencies and marketing tech businesses. He brings the experience of almost two decades working in digital marketing; during which time he’s held senior roles and sat on the board in Digital agencies, PR agencies and Media agencies, and set up two consultancy businesses. He’s a data nerd: particularly interested in ways brands can extract meaningful information from social media channels, and how they can put this to use. He’s been both Head of Social Media at Starcom MediaVest Group, and Global Head of Digital Planning for the Omnicom Group communications agency, Porter Novelli. Having previously worked at AKQA and Tribal DDB, he was also one of the founders of the social media strategy consultancy RMM. You can also find him on Twitter as @mediaczar, on LinkedIn and SlideShare. If you really must collect them all, there’s also his Google+ profile.


Nick Halstead, Datasift
Nick Halstead is founder and CEO of DataSift Inc., the real-time social media data-filtering platform. During the past five years, Nick has been a foremost technical visionary on the power of social data to revolutionise information delivery. Nick founded TweetMeme, the leading platform delivering social news, which quickly built an audience of millions in 30 countries. TweetMeme also invented the highly successful Retweet button, which serves more than 30 billion clicks per month and drives high volumes of traffic for Twitter. Nick is a regular speaker at events such as TechCrunch Disrupt, Le Web, Future of Web Apps, The Next Web and Strata and has spoken at SXSW and FOWA.


Samer Karam, Startup Megaphone
Samer is a serial entrepreneur and international angel investor based out of Beirut, Lebanon. He has invested in USA, UK, Finland, Thailand, and Lebanon. In 2010, Samer founded Lebanon’s first startup accelerator ‘Seeqnce’, which went on to create 4 (out of 9) successful startups, valued at between 2 and 10 million USD. He recently successfully exited his first angel investment. In 2014, Samer organized Lebanon’s 1st international startup conference ‘Banque du Liban Accelerate 2014′, which attracted over 1,600 professionals from 20 countries with a lineup of 53 international speakers from 25 countries across the globe. In 2015, Samer was tasked by the Central Bank of Lebanon to form an independent, neutral organisation Startup Megaphone to manage the international image of Lebanon’s startup ecosystem. In his free time, Samer is a street photographer.


Jason Bates, Mondo
It’s time for a bank that makes life easier, not harder.
A bank that belongs on our smartphone, not on the high street.
A bank that truly keeps us informed and in control,
rather than trying to catch us out with fees and charges.
It’s time for a new kind of bank.


Guy Levin, Coadec
Guy Levin is the Executive Director of Coadec, a non-profit that campaigns for policies to support startups. He previously worked as a Special Adviser at DFID and DCMS, and as an adviser to George Osborne. He tweets at @guy_levin.


Edward Saperia, NWSPK
Saperia is a media theorist, community specialist and social entrepreneur, with particular interest in the boundary between technology and culture. He conceived of Wikimania London after discovering a myriad of world-changing Wikimedia projects that were completely unknown, even in the tech community. Despite being a central part of the internet’s infrastructure as well as one of its most popular destinations, he found Wikimedia was widely ignored by technologists for being too content focused, and by the media industry for being too platform focused. He has worked since 2011 as an unpaid volunteer to create Wikimania London, to bring Wikimedia the recognition it deserves. He spends most of his waking life on facebook/edsaperia, frequents twitter/edsaperia, and fights an endless deluge of email: ed@wikimanialondon.org. Say hello!


James Mayes, Mind The Product
James spent a decade in technology recruitment on the agency side and a couple of years in the outsourcing world. He’s been a Founder of one tech firm and an early stage employee at two others (one operations role, one customer facing).
James consults on staffing issues with startup firms, on product issues with staffing firms and on social media with events firms. He’s Co-Founder of the Mind The Product and ProductTank events, in addition to sitting on the Advisory Board of Reconverse. Tweets as @james_mayes.


Daniel Murray, Grabble
Co-Founder @grabble, Daniel, 28, has previously run a youth marketing agency, an innovative playing card advertising platform, and set up a daily deal site attracting over 30,000 members. He also runs a network of startup Founders, whose mission it is to help one another navigate the tough business landscape.


Nic Brisbourne, Forward Partners
Nic has 15 years experience in the venture capital industry and prior to founding Forward Partners in June 2013, was a Partner at leading venture capital firm DFJ Esprit. He has worked and invested in London and Silicon Valley, leading over 25 investments and enjoying a number of successful exits including buy.at (acquired by AOL for $125m) and Zeus Technology (acquired by Riverbed for $140m). Nic also authors Europe’s most popular VC blog: The Equity Kicker. @brisbourne


Oli Barrett
Oli Barrett MBE is a co-founder of Cospa (like prosper), helping companies and causes to create and grow ventures which make money and make a difference. A good example of this is by helping young people to fix their own youth clubs, with Wickes, the DIY chain. He started Tenner (now run by Young Enterprise), the scheme which has challenged over 100,000 school pupils to see what they can achieve in one month, starting with £10. He brought speed-networking to the UK and has hosted and spoken at events around the world. He has led trade missions to the US, India and Brazil helping British companies (in health, clean-tech and web) to explore business opportunities. Oli’s entrepreneurial career started as a student and has included an events business in nine cities, an international language practice website (sold in 2008) and a sock subscription website which continues to ship internationally. He is an advisor to the Centre for Entrepreneurs and co-founded the national, business-funded campaign StartUp Britain.


Rodolfo Rosini
Founder of three VC backed tech companies, lifelong passion for games. Despite what his mother says dropping out of university was the best choice of his life.


Azeem Azhar, Brandwatch
Azeem Azhar is the former founder of PeerIndex, acquired by Brandwatch. Azeem has been building internet applications since he was a student in 1992. He started his career as a journalist, and launched web products for The Guardian, The Economist and BBC. He ran an incubator during the dotcom boom, and worked for several angel- and venture-backed European technology firms in the search and blogging spaces. He ran the innovation programme and Thomson Reuters before moving over to management a private investment portfolio, and launching PeerIndex in 2010. He has made more than 20 investments in tech companies with exits that include NASDAQ, Bloomberg, Microsoft and Amazon. Azeem has been a frequent contributor to business and technology publications around the world. He has also been interviewed as an expert on Internet issues in Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Economist, BBC, CNN, Bloomberg, Reuters, Daily Telegraph, Le Monde, and others. He studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University, where he specialised in international politics. He lives in London, with his wife (who is an academic) and three children.


Riva Melissa Tez, Permutation Ventures
Riva-Melissa Tez lives in San Francisco and works with venture capitalists and institutional investors in funding transformative technologies. Self-proclaimed fan of ‘children’ and ‘tech’, her first company was a children’s store and club in London, before moving to Germany to co-found a digital creative platform for kids. Whilst there, her academic background in Philosophy got her interested in the deeper implications of science and technology. She is the founder of Berlin Singularity, a group focusing on bringing emerging technology discussions to mainland Europe. Through her efforts with Berlin Singularity, she spun out a consultancy group working with early-stage biotech technology companies to help connect them to funding. She has held teaching positions at the DAB and HTW business schools in Germany. She is a regular columnist on Artificial Intelligence and Epistemology for The European Magazine, a contributor to i-D Magazine and is penning a children’s novel to be published in 2016. She has guest-presented at Stanford, Oxford and Birkbeck Universities. A 2014 Apple Spokesperson, she was recently appointed an Affiliate Scholar at the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technology.


David Hanson, Hanson Robotics
David Hanson is an American robotics designer and researcher, who builds robots with character. They are humanlike robots with realistic facial expressions and conversational abilities, granting them “sparks of true consciousness and creativity”. Hanson robots include the world’s first expressive biped robot, Albert-Hubo, heralded by WIRED as “genius”, and the small Zeno robot, a low-cost child robot who is evolving into a family member. Hanson’s robots serve a wide range of science and engineering research, including autism therapy, artificial intelligence and machine perception, neuroscience and cognitive science, mechanical engineering, and artificial muscle actuator research.


Haakon Overli, Dawn Capital
Haakon co-founded Dawn Capital in 2007. He has extensive investing, operational and venture capital experience. He co-founded Self Trade S.A (France), an online broker, and acted as the CEO for the highly successful British part of the business and was a member of their European Executive Board. Self Trade S.A was floated in April 2000 and then sold in October 2000 to DAB (a subsidiary of HVB of Germany) for €911M. Haakon has served on the boards of Self Trade and Wonga.com amongst others, and currently represents Dawn at Bathrooms.com, Cognitive Match and First Care. Prior to founding Dawn, Haakon has been helping early stage companies with their first commercial efforts through to managing accelerated growth, often by serving as an interim manager or board member. As an investor prior to Dawn, Haakon was a founder investor of Self Trade S.A and in G-Cluster OY at an early stage (sold to Softbank Broadmedia (Japan) in July 2003 for an undisclosed amount) and in Lateral Logic Ltd (sold to Mathengine Ltd in 1998 for an undisclosed amount). Haakon is an advisor to the Saïd Oxford Business School on the topic of management of high growth technology companies. Mr. Overli studied Mathematics at the University of Oslo and holds a B.A. (Hons) in Economics from University of Durham. In his investment banking career, Haakon was a Director of the investment banking start-up MC Securities Ltd, part of which was sold to the ING Group, where he subsequently became a Director and Co-Head of Technology Investment Banking at ING Barings. Prior to that, Haakon worked for JP Morgan Investment Banking in the M&A departments of New York and London.


Nelli Lähteenmäki, You-app.com
In 2012 Nelli, some talented developers, and a pair of geneticists combined forces to create Health Puzzle – an interactive health application platform for the iPad that offers personalised, mobile healthcare services based on the user’s own genome, as well as environmental factors and medical history. Now, YOU-app with Jamie Oliver, is a new app designed to help people take control of their health by doing bite-sized tasks.


Alexandre Barbosa
Alexandre is a Faber Co-Founder and its Managing Director, having over 15 years of experience in business innovation and growth. His previous experiences as entrepreneur of technology related businesses, executive manager and strategy consultant include serving as Co-Founder and CEO of Innovagency, as CEO of Atlântico and Blueticket and as Associate at Oliver Wyman.
Alexandre is also:
– Startup Mentor at Seedcamp Lisbon, Founder Institute Lisbon, Startup Lisboa, Beta-Start, Startup Live Lisbon;
– Vice President at ACEPI, the Portuguese eCommerce and Interactive Advertising Association;
– Invited Lecturer of Innovation and New Product Development at ISLA’s Master in Marketing Management.


Audrey Soussan
Audrey Soussan joined Ventech in 2011. As Principal, she identifies and analyzes the opportunities IT, makes investments and follows these projects. It also manages investments in seed Ventech. Audrey graduated from Dauphine and ESSEC and began his career in London at DN Capital, a venture capital fund specializing in the areas of internet and software. She is co-director of GirlsInTech Paris, an association to promote women in new technologies. She is also a mentor to the Founder Institute, an international training and mentoring program for startups.


Alex Wood
Editor in Chief of The Memo. Alex is also a regular contributor to The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, CNN, CNBC and is a visiting lecturer at City University London. Follow Alex on Twitter @alexwoodcreates.


Bindi Karia
Bindi currently focusses on SVB’s early stage banking and lending efforts in Europe. She is incredibly passionate about all things startup in Europe, and has recently started to focus on Corporate VC and Emerging VCs. Having devoted much of her career in and around the startup ecosystem, most recently as the Venture Capital/Emerging Business lead at Microsoft UK where for five years, she lead BizSpark in the UK. (now, Microsoft Ventures) She focused on how Microsoft could drive success for early-stage technology companies as well as partnering with the UK Investor Community. She sits on many Industry Advisory Boards, and has recently been appointed a trustee for Up Global (www.up.co). She’s an active mentor and supporter at some top London Incubators including Seedcamp, TechStars, Startupbootcamp, WAYRA, JLab, Microsoft Ventures & Level39.


Dmitri Sarle
Dmitri, CEO of Arctic Startups, is an unstoppable entrepreneur, startUp and marketing enthusiast.


Eileen Burbidge
Eileen Burbidge (@eileentso) is a Partner at Passion Capital, the London-based venture capital firm she established with Stefan Glaenzer and Robert Dighero. She brings extensive operational experience to her investment activities gleaned from business and product development roles at Yahoo!, Skype, PalmSource, Openwave, Sun and Apple. Eileen was ranked #18 in the WIRED100 list (2012) and serves on the advisory board for Tech City (chaired by the Prime Minister’s Office at No 10 Downing Street). She is also a frequent guest commentator on Bloomberg TV, CNBC and BBC News. Eileen holds a Computer Science degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Jaime Novoa
Jaime Novoa is a tech writer based in Madrid. He currently works forStartupxplore, the startup funding community connecting startups, investors and accelerators from all over Europe. He also covers the Spanish startup ecosystem at Novobrief.


Jennifer L. Schenker
Jennifer L. Schenker has been a journalist for 30 years, working for daily newspapers in the U.S. owned by the Gannett, Knight-Ridder and Tribune newspaper chains, including the Miami Herald. She has been covering the technology sector from Europe since 1985. At The Wall Street Journal Europe, she covered breaking technology news and worked as the assistant managing editor of Convergence, the Journal’s quarterly technology magazine. In 1999, she took on the job of senior writer/technology for Time magazine in Europe and was editor of Time Digital Europe, a quarterly technology report. She is also a former technology writer for the International Herald Tribune, and from October, 2004, to April, 2007, she was the international editor of Red Herring magazine, managing a team of journalists in Europe, Israel, China and India. She left her most recent job as European technology correspondent for BusinessWeek in Jan. 2009 to create Informilo, a web site and print magazine about the global tech industry.


Liam Boogar
Cofounder of the Rude Baguette, Liam Boogar is originally from the Silicon Valley. Since his move to Paris in 2010, Liam has become a thought leader on the European Startup Ecosystem, being interviewed in online, TV, and radio all over the world. He has spoken at Europe’s top technology events, and animates the Paris startup scene through the Rude Baguette blog and events.


Marie Ekeland
Marie Ekeland is a venture capitalist, co-Founder and co-President of France Digitale, the joint startups & VCs association for French digital entrepreneurship. She is currently a member of the board of directors for Criteo and Parrot. She began her career in 1997 at the New York investment bank JP Morgan, where she participated in the development of a front-office worldwide application. She then moved to Paris, and managed a team to support that global application. In 2000, Marie joined CPR Private Equity and has been acting as a Venture Capitalist in digital economy since, first within the Credit Agricole Group, and from 2005 to 2014 at Elaia Partners, leading investments in Criteo, mobirider, Pandacraft,Scoop.it, Seven Academy, Teads, Wyplay or Ykone.
She is also Member of the Conseil National du Numérique. Marie has an engineer degree in mathematics and computer science from the University of Dauphine, Paris, and holds a master degree in economics at the Paris School of Economics.


Martin Bryant
Martin Bryant is Editor in Chief at The Next Web, a leading online publication covering Internet technology, business and culture, where he manages the site’s editorial direction. Martin has a particular interest in European startups and the evolution of media. He spends much time travelling the continent to meet the people behind the technologies that will shape the future.


Linsey Fryatt, (Startup Wellness)
Linsey is the Germany MD of Clarity PR, and former Editor-in-Chief of European startup website VentureVillage. She’s had 15 years’ of journalism experience, including running the UK’s biggest technology site, launching high-profile consumer websites for corporate clients and advising startups on PR strategy. She is now also founder of Pop-Up Pilates, aimed at helping the startup world sit straighter and feel stronger. She is Scottish, lives in Berlin and has two cats.


Michiel Kotting
Michiel started working in technology as an entrepreneur in Silicon Valley in 1999, when he founded Digital Jones, an online shopping assistant. He successfully sold the company to Shopping.com, a company he then helped manage from New York and Israel. He is responsible for Accel’s investment in Vinted, the mobile second hand clothing marketplace; and Fiverr, the global services marketplace; and he was instrumental in Accel London’s investments in Spotify, Avito, Funding Circle and Calastone. Before joining Accel Partners, Michiel was based in Amsterdam helping start-up companies with strategy and funding. Previously, he managed the local operations of a global healthcare company in Latin America after spending time at their US headquarters as assistant to the CEO. He started his career as a consultant at The Boston Consulting Group. Michiel has an MSc in Applied Physics from Delft University of Technology and an MBA with high distinction from Harvard Business School.


Simon Levene
Simon is a London-based venture capitalist with 18 years experience in Internet-related operations and investing. As a co-founder and partner at Mosaic Ventures (www.mosaicventures.com), he is active across Europe, and also in the US and Israel. Previously, Simon was a venture partner at Index Ventures and a partner at Accel Partners in London, after serving in executive management roles at Yahoo, Excite@Home and its predecessor, @Home. Simon graduated from Cambridge University, was elected to a Choate Fellowship at Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and earned an MBA from Harvard Business School.


Stephane Gantchev
Venture Partner with LAUNCHub in Sofia, Bulgaria, Stephane has 15 years experience in the IT and digital space, big part of it in the mobile/telecom area. He started his career in France, initially as Adviser to the CTO of Sema – large IT integrator (acquired by Atos Origin), and later in Orange / France Telecom where he was Head of Innovations for the Orange France mobile entity. In 2009 Stephane became Sales Director for the CEE region at Velti – a leading mobile marketing and advertising company. Stephane joined LAUNCHub in June 2013. He is passionate about innovation, new technologies as well as meeting new people and building new connections.


Megan Quinn
Megan Quinn joined Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers in 2012 and focuses on consumer Internet investments. Megan specializes in designing, building and scaling transformative consumer products and companies. Megan joined KPCB from Square, the company revolutionizing payments for buyers and sellers. As Square’s director of products she led strategy and development of the company’s products across merchant and consumer audiences. Prior to that, Megan spent seven years at Google where she held various leadership positions in communications, business development and product management. She oversaw the development and marketing of some of the company’s most successful products, including Google Maps. Her team’s work continues to serve as the foundation for Google’s location-based consumer and advertising products. Megan also previously worked at Genentech. She received her degree in political science and history from Stanford University.


Robin Wauters
Robin is a seasoned European technology journalist and founding editor of Tech.eu, a new digital publication dedicated to covering the EU tech industry in depth. He was formerly the European Editor of The Next Web, and before that a senior editor at TechCrunch (acquired by AOL in 2010) and managing editor of Virtualization.com. Robin started his career working as Internet marketing manager for IT company Hostbasket (acquired by Telenet) and later as online media manager for Belgian ICT publisher Datanews / VNUnet (acquired by Roularta). He went on to co-found social media agency Talking Heads in 2009 (the company became part of Web development agency Netlash in 2010). Robin occasionally serve as a startup advisory board member – more specifically, he is currently a minor shareholder in / advisor to Belgian startups such as Checkthis (Frontback), Maily, Showpad, Argus Labs and ARTPLUS.


Mike Butcher, Chair of The Europas Awards
Mike Butcher is Chair and Founder of The Europas Awards. His day-job is as ‘Editor At Large’ of TechCrunch, the biggest breaking news site about the world’s hottest tech companies. Mike has been named one of the most influential people in technology in surveys by The Daily Telegraph, GfK NOP, The Independent, Wired and The London Evening Standard. He is a regular commentator on the tech business, appearing on the BBC, Sky News, CNBC, Bloomberg and Channel 4, among others. Mike is also co-founder of TechHub, the co-working network for startups, founder of the Coalition for a Digital Economy and a London Technology Ambassador for The Mayor of London. He Twitters at: @mikebutcher