TechCrunch Disrupt is the world’s leading authority in debuting revolutionary startups, introducing game-changing technologies, and discussing what’s top of mind for the tech industry’s key innovators. Disrupt gathers the best and brightest entrepreneurs, investors, hackers, and tech fans for on-stage interviews, the Startup Battlefield competition, a 24-hour Hackathon, Startup Alley, Hardware Alley, and After Parties.
Monday, May 9
Battlefield Judges: Hayley Barna (First Round Capital), Anu Duggal (Female Founders Fund), Wen Hsieh (KPCB), Jeremy Levine (Bessemer Venture Partners) and David Tisch (BoxGroup)
Battlefield Judges: Ajay Agarwal (Bain Capital Ventures), Charlie O'Donnell (Brooklyn Bridge Ventures), David Pakman (Venrock), Ellie Wheeler (Greycroft Partners) and Joanne Wilson (Gotham Gal Ventures)
The Bell House - 149 7th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11215
Tuesday, May 10
Battlefield Judges: Dayna Grayson (NEA), Karen Kerr (GE Ventures), Gil Penchina (AngelList), Minerva Tantoco (NYC) and Jonathon Triest (Ludlow Ventures)
Rachel Haot (1776 Ventures), Spencer Lazar (General Catalyst), Kanyi Maqubela (Collaborative Ventures) and Megan Quinn (Spark Capital)
Good Room - 98 Meserole Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11222
Wednesday, May 11
For the past three decades, Eric L. Adams has served the residents of the city of his birth as a police officer, state senator and coalition builder. In November of 2013, he was elected to represent all of Brooklyn as borough president. Born in Brownsville and educated in the City’s public school system, Eric is committed to ensuring Brooklyn’s bright future by helping each and every Brooklynite reach his or her full potential.
Throughout his career, Eric has been an effective advocate for Brooklyn, bringing people and communities together to create progressive change, and working with both the private and public sectors to invigorate the borough’s economy by encouraging job growth and investment in every neighborhood. Whether his beat was on the street or in the halls of government, Eric has always looked out for Brooklyn’s working families and sought to protect our most vulnerable residents. He believes that government works best when everyone has a chance to be heard, and he has resolved to use his office to provide an opportunity for diverse groups to work together for the common good.
Since the beginning of his first term as the highest-ranking elected official in America’s fourth-largest city, Eric has worked to make the popularity of Brooklyn’s brand translate into prosperity for the over 2.6 million Brooklynites that call the borough home. He is a big believer in the power of connections, of bringing together people in need of services with resources that have long existed but have been underutilized. Eric has opened Brooklyn Borough Hall in ways that it never has been prior, allowing thousands of people to connect for the first time with government and civic life. His agenda cannot be defined by a short list of issues: he is committed to addressing the wide range of concerns facing Brooklynites.
In his career as a police officer with NYC Transit and the NYPD, Eric made the kind of life-and-death decisions that reflect his insight, expertise, and poise under fire, resulting not just in his promotion to captain, but earning him the reputation for going above and beyond the call of duty. In 1995, he co-founded 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care, an initiative that not only improved NYPD/community relations, but raised funds for worthy causes throughout the city.
From 2006 until his election to borough president in 2013, Eric represented the 20th Senate District – which includes Borough Park, Flatbush, Crown Heights, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Sunset Park, and Windsor Terrace, working tirelessly to address a broad range of issues affecting constituents, from civil rights and public safety to transparency in government and quality of life. He organized support against the NYPD’s controversial “stop and frisk” policy, and led efforts on behalf of gun control. As a legislator, Eric’s record in the New York State Senate was one that underscores his strong commitment to the rights of those from every walk of life, including protecting the right to privacy, supporting marriage equality, defending a woman’s right to choose, as well as fighting for students’ rights, workers’ rights, and animal rights. His work involved efforts to prevent racial profiling, gender discrimination, domestic violence, and elder abuse. He also proposed legislation to reform campaign financing, address inequities in sentencing depending on the crime, restrict outsourcing, and improve the availability of quality health care and affordable housing. Throughout his legislative career, Eric championed community and economic development in his district and borough-wide.
Eric has also served on the board of the Eastern District Counseling Service, an organization assisting former substance abusers to live productive lives without dependency on drugs or alcohol.
Eric maintains residences in Bedford-Stuyvesant and Prospect Heights, where he has resided for over twenty years. He enjoys riding the streets of Brooklyn on his bicycle, meditation, and exploring new cultures and places.
Ajay Aqarwal leads the Bay Area offices for Bain Capital Ventures, where he focuses on early-stage application software and SaaS investing. Prior to joining Bain Capital Ventures in 2003, Ajay was head of sales and marketing at Trilogy, where he grew annual revenues to $300 million. Previously, Ajay was a consultant with the Los Angeles office of McKinsey & Company. At Bain Capital Ventures, Ajay’s passion is working with early-stage founders on team-building, culture, iteration of product market fit, and scaling the early go-to-market operations. His primary investment themes include commerce enablement, the revolution of the sales and marketing functions, and the use of big data, and machine learning to transform business applications. In 2012 and 2013, Ajay was named to the Forbes Midas List of Top 100 Venture Capital Investors.
Ajay has a BS in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. In addition to his firm and portfolio company responsibilities, Ajay is on the board of BUILD, a not-for-profit dedicated to helping underprivileged high school students attend college. Ajay grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and is a die-hard Steelers fan.
Jessica Alba is Founder and Chief Creative Officer of The Honest Company (Honest.com) and
Honest Beauty (HonestBeauty.com). She is also an actress, advocate, and New York Times bestselling author.
Founded in 2012, The Honest Company was launched with a mission to inspire and empower people to live a happy and healthy life. Honest provides 100+ safe, effective and delightful products across a wide range of consumer categories, including baby, personal care, home care and vitamins & supplements, to a passionate community of consumers united by values and style. Honest Beauty is a comprehensive skincare and makeup collection created with the same Honest standards of safety, performance and spirit that are the hallmark of The Honest Company. Honest products are available across the U.S. via Honest.com and HonestBeauty.com and at more than 6,000 retail locations in North America including the Honest Beauty retail experience at The Grove in Los Angeles.
Since its inception, the mission-driven Company has donated over 1 million products and over 9,000 employee volunteer hours to help more than 150,000 children and over 95,000 families. Honest has been honored with a wide range of recognitions and awards, including the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year – Los Angeles Region, ACG Award for Social Responsibility, PC Magazine’s Seal of Consumer Approval in Tech, an Allure Best of Beauty Award, as well as the Pioneer in Sustainability Award by the Sustainable Business Council of Los Angeles.
In 2013 Jessica authored the New York Times bestselling book, The Honest Life, a practical guide for parents to create a safe and healthy life for their families.
Jessica appeared on the cover of Forbes’ “Self-Made Women” issue and was among the top twenty of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business, one of CNBC’s Next List of Rebels, Leaders and Innovators, and one of Fortune’s 10 Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs.
She has been named to Vanity Fair’s Next Establishment and Entrepreneur of the Year at the UK
Glamour Women of the Year Awards. Jessica has received the March of Dimes Grace Kelly Award, the Entertainment Media Association’s Green Parent Award and the Mount Sinai Children’s Environmental Health Center Champion for Children Award.
Carmelo Kiyam Anthony, of the New York Knicks, is a nine time NBA All-Star and has been an All NBA team member six times. He has been a member of the United States Olympic men's national team three times, winning a bronze medal in 2004 and gold medals in 2008 and 2012. In 2012, Carmelo set the USA men's Olympic team record for most points in a single game when he scored 37 points against Nigeria.
Carmelo was born in the Red Hook projects in Brooklyn, New York. He was born to a Puerto Rican father and an African American mother. His father, after whom he is named, died of cancer when Carmelo was two years old. When he turned eight, his family moved to Baltimore, where he honed not only his athletic skills, but also his survival skills. Sports would serve as an important diversion from the violence and drug dealing that were pervasive in the housing projects a few blocks from the homes of Carmelo and his friends.
Carmelo attended Syracuse University. In his freshman year, he led the Orangemen to their first ever National Championship and was named the NCAA Tournament's Most Outstanding Player.
Carmelo also has a broad array of business interests. With Stuart Goldfarb, he is co-founder and partner of Melo7 Tech Partners, LLC, which invests in and develops opportunities primarily in early stage digital media, consumer internet and technology ventures. Stuart and Carmelo have also partnered in other ventures, including the award winning Vice Sports Clubhouse. Carmelo is the owner of Puerto Rico’s only professional sports team, the Puerto Rico Football Club (PRFC), which plays in the North American Soccer League (NASL). Carmelo is one of only three current NBA players who have a Jordan Brand signature shoe line.
Tim Armstrong is CEO of AOL Inc., a leading global media technology company headquartered in New York City and operating in over 20 countries worldwide. Today, AOL serves nearly 400 million consumers every month across the globe, and maintains partnerships with thousands of the world's leading companies. AOL owns, builds and operates global media brands and provides technology and services to over 10,000 other brands and media companies. Under Tim’s leadership, AOL was acquired by Verizon for 4.4 billion dollars on May 12, 2015.
Prior to joining AOL, Tim spent almost a decade at Google, where he served as President of Google's Americas Operations and Senior Vice President of Google Inc. as well as serving on the company's global operating committee. Tim started in his career by co-founding a newspaper in Boston, MA before moving into the Internet industry, where he has worked as a team member, investor or co-founder at numerous companies, including Starwave (sold to Disney / ESPN / ABC Internet Ventures), Snowball (IPO), Associated Content (sold to Yahoo), and Patch (sold to AOL). Tim has also been an active investor in the start-up community, both on and offline.
Tim serves on the board of The Priceline Group, Inc., The Paley Center for Media, the New York regional board of Teach for America, the Waterside Charter School in Stamford, CT, as Chairman Emeritus for the Ad Council, and as a trustee for the United States Olympic & Paralympic Foundation. He also acts as an advisor to the McChrystal Group, a leadership consulting firm driven by former Commander of the Joint Special Operations Command, General Stan McChrystal. Additionally, Tim is the chairman of the IAB Education Foundation, a new non-profit working to improve diversity and close the skills gap across the digital media and advertising landscape. An ardent champion of community service, Tim was honored by the Ad Council with their 60th Annual Public Service Award in 2013.
Tim is a graduate of Connecticut College and Lawrence Academy. He has served as a trustee for both.
Erica Baker is a Senior Engineer at Slack Technologies and advocate for diversity and inclusion in tech, and expanding access to tech education. Erica's career in tech began fourteen years ago doing domain administration for the University of Alaska Statewide System, before becoming a Googler in 2006. Erica's role grew and shifted within Google, growing from Support Technician to Site Reliability Engineer. She joined Slack in 2015, where she focuses on Build and Release Engineering. Erica is on the Advisory Boards for Atipica and Hack the Hood, and is a Tech Mentor for Black Girls Code. Erica is currently based in Oakland, California.
Baiju Bhatt is the cofounder of Robinhood. A first-generation immigrant from India, Bhatt earned his B.S. in Physics and M.S. in Mathematics at Stanford University before starting two finance companies in New York City, selling trading software to hedge funds. In 2013, Bhatt created Robinhood, the world's fastest-growing brokerage, offering free trading for everyone. The company has raised $66 million from NEA, Index Ventures, and others.
John Borthwick is CEO and co-founder of betaworks. Betaworks is an internet studio that builds and invests in companies across the social, data-driven media internet.
Companies that betaworks has built include Giphy, Dots, bitly and Chartbeat, betaworks acquired and re-launched Digg and Instapaper. Betaworks investments include: kickstarter, tumblr (acquired by Yahoo), Summize (acquired by Twitter as their search engine), IFTTT, OMG Pop (acquired by Zynga), Tweetdeck (acquired by Twitter), along with 100+ others.
Prior to betaworks John was Senior Vice President of Alliances and Technology Strategy for Time Warner Inc. John's company, WP-Studio, founded in 1994, was one of the first content studios in New York's Silicon Alley, it was acquired by AOLTW. John holds an MBA from Wharton (1994) and an undergraduate degree BA in Economics from Wesleyan University (1987). He sits on the board of WNYC, Data and Society, and Rhizome at the New Museum.
Danielle Brown serves as the Chief of Staff and Technical Assistant for Brian Krzanich, CEO, Intel Corporation. In this role, Danielle is responsible for providing strategic and operational support to Brian and Intel’s Management Committee members.
In addition, Danielle is Intel’s Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, leading the Global Diversity & Inclusion team. In this role, Danielle is responsible for leading Intel’s Diversity & Inclusion strategy and progress toward our 2020 goal of reaching full representation in our workforce. Danielle and her team also manage Intel’s Diversity in Technology $300M Fund and Diversity reporting.
Previously, Danielle has held various leadership roles in the Human Resources organization, having most recently served as Chief of Staff, Human Resources, where she led key strategic HR initiatives and programs, provided HR Support for Intel executives, and managed the global operations of HR staff.
Danielle led Intel’s Network of Executive Women (iNEW) initiative for several years, and was actively involved in developing Intel’s female leadership pipeline.
Danielle joined Intel in 2009 as part of the Accelerated Leadership Program. She worked as a Channel Marketing Manager in Intel’s PC Client Group, as a Business Development Manager in the Internet of Things Group, and then joined HR as the Director of the Accelerated Leadership Program and Intel’s Leadership Communities.
Prior to Intel, Danielle worked as a strategy consultant with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and then spent nearly a decade in the biotech industry in sales and marketing, holding a variety of leadership roles in field sales, with Abbott Laboratories, TAP Pharmaceuticals, and Gilead Sciences.
Danielle received her MBA from the University of Michigan and her BA in Accounting & Economics from Michigan State University.
Danielle splits her time between Santa Clara, CA and Phoenix, AZ. When she’s not busy at work, she loves to spend time with her husband, Justin and their two dogs, hike and run, enjoy great food and wine, and travel the world.
Nate Cardozo is a Senior Staff Attorney on the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s digital civil liberties team. In addition to his focus on free speech and privacy litigation, Nate works on EFF's cryptography policy and the Coders' Rights Project. Nate has projects involving export controls on software, state-sponsored malware, automotive privacy, government transparency, hardware hacking rights, anonymous speech, electronic privacy law reform, Freedom of Information Act litigation, and resisting the expansion of the surveillance state. A 2009-2010 EFF Open Government Legal Fellow, Nate has a B.A. in Anthropology and Politics from U.C. Santa Cruz and a J.D. from U.C. Hastings.
Stan Chudnovsky is Head of Product for Messaging at Facebook. Prior to Facebook, Stan was VP of Growth and Global Strategy at PayPal after a company he co-founded, IronPearl, was acquired in 2013. Stan also co-founded several other successful companies including Jiff, NFX, Ooga Labs, and Wonderhill. Before that, Stan was building Tickle Inc., one of the first social media companies, and grew it to become one of the largest websites in the world by 2003. Originally from Moscow, Stan got his engineering degrees back in Russia and has been living in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1994.
Alex Chung is currently the founder and CEO of GIPHY. His latest startups include Artspace, a leading ecommerce destination for contemporary art, The Fridge, a private social network acquired by Google, and General Displays a GE venture developing GE's next generation of HDTVs.
He has also directed media technology for MTV, NBC, Comcast, Charter, and managed future technologies for Paul Allen's R&D lab. He was one of the early architects of interactive television and started his career as a hardware engineer at Intel.
He was named on Business Insider's Top 25 most influential technologists in New York and has degrees in philosophy, electrical/computer engineering, and graphic design.
David Cole co-founded NextVR in 2009 and currently leads intellectual property development and advancement of NextVR’s immersive virtual reality platform.
With nearly three decades at the forefront digital imaging, electronic educational technology and stereoscopic research and development, Cole has co-authored 26 patents related to virtual reality and stereoscopic technology and three patents in adaptive computer learning technology.
Before NextVR, Cole was CEO at LearningSoft, an educational technology company. Early in his career he founded Studiotronics, a digital imaging company that produced Colorset scanning software. Studiotronics was acquired by Chinon America, a subsidiary of Kodak, where Cole served as board member and EVP of research and development. He has served on the board of Marineland Florida, the world’s first oceanarium.
Dennis is co-founder and executive chairman of Foursquare, overseeing strategic vision for product and innovation. Before stepping into his current role, Dennis was the company’s CEO for nearly seven years. He previously founded Dodgeball, one of the first mobile social services, which was acquired by Google in 2005.
He holds degrees from New York University's Interactive Telecommunications Program and the Newhouse School at Syracuse University.
Chris is a Managing Director and member of the General Partner, having joined VIA in 2011. He is a member of the Firm’s Investment Committee and has responsibility for the management of relationships with the funds’ managers and its limited partners, as well as the identification and development of new relationships for the Firm. He represents VIA on eight advisory boards. He is head of the Firm’s Palo Alto office. Prior to joining VIA, he spent seven years co-heading the private equity program at The Investment Fund For Foundations (TIFF). In this role, he was responsible for over $1 billion in new capital commitments. Chris represented TIFF on over a dozen VC and LBO partnership advisory boards. Prior to joining TIFF, Chris worked on Princeton University's endowment team, where his duties included selection and evaluation of external managers, risk analysis, and asset allocation modeling. Previously, he was a strategy consultant at Monitor Company working with clients in the financial services, healthcare, and telecom sectors and as an analyst for Monitor’s principal investing activities. Chris authors a blog, www.SuperLP.com, which explores various investment topics, with a focus on private equity. He has been profiled in Venture Capital Journal and Private Equity Analyst and regularly speaks at industry conferences and business schools. Chris earned his B.A. with Distinction in history from Yale College in 1994 and an M.B.A. from Yale School of Management in 2001. He was awarded the CFA Charter in 2004. He currently sits on the investment committees of the Castilleja School and Avenidas, a Bay Area nonprofit dedicated to enriching the lives of older adults and their families.
Jill Eisenhard is the Founder and Executive Director of Red Hook Initiative (RHI) in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Under her leadership RHI has developed a model for social change and youth development that empowers community members to become agents of change in their own lives and neighborhood. Prior to starting RHI, Ms. Eisenhard worked for five years with Long Island College Hospital and three years with the Children’s Aid Society.
Ms. Eisenhard and RHI received a Union Square Award (2007), Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce “Building Brooklyn Award” (2012), and the NPCC Gold Medal for Excellence in Nonprofit Management (2012). In 2012 she received the Coro Alumni Leadership Award for Civic Engagement. She was featured in the July 2012 issue of More Magazine under their “Job Genius” series. In 2014 Ms. Eisenhard was named to Crain’s 40 under 40 and was a City & State Above and Beyond honoree. Ms. Eisenhard holds a BS from Cornell University.
Robyn Exton is the founder of Her, the largest app for lesbian, bisexual and queer women. Her mirrors the way women meet and talk in real life, with a social space for group conversations, shared content and an easy way to connect with others about the things you care about most.
Till Faida founded Eyeo GmbH 2011 in Cologne with Wladimir Palant to help run Adblock Plus, the world’s most popular browser extension, and to develop additional software that provides users more control over their surfing experience. As CEO he manages the business side of the company and is currently working on the Acceptable Ads initiative which seeks to establish user friendly ad formats in the online advertising industry and broker a compromise between users who block ads and advertisers who make them. His background in international online marketing as well as his interest in technical issues assist Faida in pursuing Eyeo’s idea of making the Internet a better place.
Dev Flaherty is the CEO and Co-Founder of The List App. Originally from Brooklyn, Dev earned his B.S. in Civil Engineering from Stanford University before diving into the world of technology startups. Before founding The List App with B.J. Novak last year, Dev was SVP of User Experience at Fab.com, and prior to that part of the Boston-based co. WHERE, which was acquired by eBay/Paypal for $135M in 2011.
Outside of his endeavors in tech, Dev is an avid cyclist, hiker and wood & metal crafter.
Andras Forgacs is the CEO and co-founder of Modern Meadow, the Brooklyn-based startup that is harnessing design, biology and engineering to produce the world’s first sustainable biofabricated leather. Andras previously co-founded Organovo (NYSE: ONVO), which commercialized 3D bioprinting to create human tissues for pharmaceutical research and medical applications. Organovo was recognized as a Technology Pioneer at the 2015 World Economic Forum and as one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies (TR50) by MIT’s Technology Review. In prior roles, Andras was Managing Director at Richmond Global, an international technology-focused venture fund, and was a consultant at McKinsey focused on biopharma and private equity. Earlier, he helped found Citigroup’s investment banking e-commerce group, developing award-winning client products. He is also co-founder and Chairman Emeritus of the global non-profit Resolution Project.
Andras was named to Crain’s New York’s “40 Under 40” list, is a Kauffman Fellow at the Center for Venture Education and is a Term Member at the Council on Foreign Relations. He has an MBA from Wharton and a Bachelor of Arts with honors from Harvard.
Mike George runs the Echo, Alexa, and Appstore teams at Amazon, overseeing product strategy technology development, business development, and business operations.
George joined Amazon in 1997 as VP of Business Development at Junglee, an Amazon subsidiary. Since that time, he held multiple roles including VP of Appstore, Games, Cloud Drive and Mechanical Turk, VP of Global Payment Services, VP of Digital, VP of AmazonLocal, and VP of HR. Before joining Amazo, George served as VP, Technology at The Washington Post.
George earned his bachelor’s degree in Information Systems Management from University of Maryland Baltimore County.
Jeff became CEO of Foursquare in January 2016, after 18 months as COO of the company. Prior, Jeff was CEO of Skyfire Labs, a Silicon Valley-based mobile technology company acquired by Opera Software. He co-founded site59.com, an online travel company that grew to over $100 million in sales in two years, and was acquired by Travelocity. In the following seven years he served as chief marketing officer at Travelocity, where sales expanded from $3 billion to $11 billion globally, he introduced the “roaming gnome” and launched a fast-growing contextual advertising business. Previously, Jeff was a strategy consultant at Monitor Company and served as a White House Fellow in the Clinton Administration.
He holds a master’s degree from Oxford as a Marshall Scholar and a bachelor’s degree from Harvard College.
Stuart U. Goldfarb is co-founder and partner of Melo7 Tech Partners, LLC, which was founded by Carmelo Anthony and Stuart Goldfarb to invest in and develop opportunities primarily in early stage digital media, consumer internet and technology ventures. Stuart and Carmelo have also partnered in other ventures, including the award winning Vice Sports Clubhouse. Prior to this, Stuart had a long career in the media world. For a decade, he was President and CEO of many subscription direct-to-customer businesses owned by Bertelsmann, including Columbia House, BMG Music, Book-of-the-Month-Club and cdnow.com. Prior to that, Stuart was President and Chief Executive Officer of bol.com, Bertelsmann’s premier online retailer of books and music, doing business in 18 European and Asian countries. Before joining Bertelsmann, he was Vice Chairman of Value Vision International, a cable TV home shopping and e-commerce company and Executive Vice President, Worldwide Business Development at NBC. Stuart is on the Board of Directors of WWE, Inc. (NYSE:WWE).
Dayna Grayson joined NEA in 2012 and focuses on early stage consumer internet and enterprise companies.
Prior to joining NEA, Dayna was an investor at North Bridge Venture Partners in Boston where she focused on seed and early stage consumer internet and SaaS investments. She is an active member of the startup communities along the east coast including Boston and New York.
Her investment career follows operational success in product design and management. Before joining North Bridge in 2006, Dayna led product design efforts at Blackbaud [BLKB], the leading global provider of software to nonprofit organizations. She managed products throughout their life cycle as the company grew to over $130 million in revenue and completed a successful public offering. Previously, Dayna was a consultant at Cap Gemini Ernst and Young.
Dayna has a BS from the University of Virginia in Systems Engineering and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Rachel Haot is a Managing Director at 1776, a global incubator and seed fund focused on industries impacting essential human needs. Prior to 1776, she served as Chief Digital Officer and Deputy Secretary for Technology for New York State under Governor Andrew M. Cuomo from 2014-2015 and as ChiefDigital Officer for the City of New York under Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg from 2011-2013. Earlier in her career Rachel was Founder and CEO of GroundReport, a global news startup, from 2006 to 2010. She is a World Economic ForumYoung Global Leader, a former Adjunct Professor at Columbia Business School and was named Chief Digital Officer of the Year by the CDO Summit in 2014.
Heather Hartnett is the CEO and co-founder of Human Ventures — a start-up studio in NYC that co-founds innovative technology companies that make life easier and more fulfilling. Heather leads the core team at Human that supports each portfolio founder with the early stages of building. She was recently featured in Business Insider as "the first female-led startup studio in New York City" bringing a fresh new perspective to the tech scene. Heather was also named one of the 50 Most Influential Women in America and highlighted as the New Guard by Hearst Publications. Prior to Human Ventures, Heather co-founded a FinTech company incubated within City Light Capital — a venture capital fund that invests in companies seeking to generate measurable social and environmental impact in addition to financial returns.
Michael Hayden is a retired United States Air Force four-star general and former Director of National Security Agency, Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence, and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. He is currently a principal at the Chertoff Group, a security consultancy founded by former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. Hayden also serves as a Distinguished Visiting Professor at George Mason University School of Public Policy.
Wen Hsieh joined Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers in 2006. He focuses on hardware-related investments – “HardTech” – such as enterprise IT infrastructure (data storage, networking, compute), disruptive digital devices (wearables, mobile, consumer electronics), IoT solutions, drones, 3D printing, semiconductors and sustainable technology investments – in both North America and Greater China. Wen also leads KPCB’s Low Power Everywhere initiative.
Wen has worked as board director/observer – and sometimes as a co-founder – with the entrepreneurs at Ambiq Micro, Amprius, Amyris (AMRS), Bloom Energy, Crossbar, Desktop Metal, DJI, HiWiFi, LuxVue Technology (acquired by Apple), mCube, motiv, Pavilion Data Systems, Qumulo, relayr, Spatial Photonics (acquired by Himax Display), Tidal Systems (acquired by Micron Technology) and Voltafield.
Before joining KPCB, Wen was an Associate Principal at McKinsey & Company San Francisco and a leader of McKinsey’s Asia semiconductor practice. During his five years at McKinsey, Wen focused primarily on serving leading companies across the global semiconductor value chain. His secondary focus at McKinsey was on the North America biopharma sector. Earlier in his career, Wen founded OnChip Technologies, a startup developing MEMS microfluidic biochips. OnChip’s target market was high-sensitivity and high-throughput peptide separation and identification applications.
Wen earned a B.S. with honors, an M.S., and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering, plus a Ph.D. minor in biology, all from the California Institute of Technology.
Charles Hudson is the Managing Partner with Precursor Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm focused on investments on investing in strong teams in the business to business and business to consumer software markets. Prior to founding Precursor, Charles was a Partner with SoftTech VC, one of the most active seed stage investors in Internet and mobile startups. Hudson holds a BA in Economics and Spanish from Stanford University and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Nicolas Jammet is Co-Founder & Co-CEO of sweetgreen, a destination for simple, seasonal, healthy food. Nicolas and his co-founders Nathaniel Ru and Jonathan Neman launched sweetgreen in 2007, opening their first location in Georgetown, DC, just three months out of college. The brand’s strong food ethos, embrace of passion and purpose, and investment in local communities has enabled sweetgreen to grow into a national brand with more than 39 locations across the East Coast and California.
Sweetgreen also produces the annual Sweetlife Festival, a two-day music-and-food festival featuring local restaurants and big-name chefs and artists like Kendrick Lamar, The Weeknd, Lana del Rey, Foster the People, and Phantogram.
In 2015, First Lady Michelle Obama selected Nicolas for the Presidential Delegation to EXPO 2015, an international summit to discuss global nutrition and health as well as sustainable food solutions. He has been recognized as a key innovator in food and business, named to Fast Company's "50 Most Innovative Companies", Inc’s “30 Under 30”, Forbes’ “30 Under 30” and Food & Wine’s “40 Big Food Thinkers 40 and Under,” among other accolades.
Born and raised in New York City, Nicolas grew up in a family of restaurateurs - the son of André and Rita Jammet, owners of NYC’s beloved La Caravelle. He graduated from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, where he met fellow sweetgreen Co-Founders and Co-CEOs, Nathaniel Ru and Jonathan Neman.
Dawoon Kang’s work spans from strategy & business development to marketing, research and investing/finance. She started her career at Avon Products as Analyst for U.S. Strategy & Business Development in New York. In this role, she worked closely with the U.S. senior leadership team to lead & execute strategic initiatives designed to support company’s short- and long-term growth targets.
After receiving her MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business in 2009, she went on to J. P. Morgan’s Global Special Opportunities Group in Hong Kong. She worked as Vice President of North Asia Investment team, which covered all investments in Korea, Taiwan, and Japan, from distressed debt to growth equity opportunities.
In 2012, Dawoon co-founded Coffee Meets Bagel along with her sisters Arum and Soo. As COO & Head of Marketing, Dawoon oversees the company’s overall vision, strategy, branding, and marketing. She has given numerous talks about dating, tech, and entrepreneurship to groups such as Women 2.0, The Commonwealth Club, including a recent TEDx talk with Arum in San Francisco on the theme The Beautiful Truth About Online Dating.
Karen Kerr leads a team focused on making investments and developing partnerships in the advanced manufacturing ecosystem. Karen comes to GE with two decades of experience in developing technology based businesses and venture investing. Previously she served as Senior Director of New Ventures and Alliances at the University of Southern California (USC) Stevens Center for Innovation. Before joining USC, Karen led business development at Intellectual Ventures and was a Managing Director at ARCH Venture Partners. Karen serves on the board of the Center for Venture Education, the National Science Foundation SBIR/STTR Advisory Committee, and National Institute of Standards and Technology Visiting Committee on Advance Technology. Karen earned a PhD in Physical Chemistry from the University of Chicago and an AB in Chemistry from Bryn Mawr College. She was a member of the Charter Class of Kauffman Fellows.
Dag Kittlaus is the CEO and co-founder of Viv. Previously, he was the Co-founder and CEO of Siri after spinning the technology out of Stanford Research Institute in 2007.
After Apple acquired Siri in 2010 Dag was the Director of iPhone Apps at Apple running the Siri and speech recognition teams. In the fall of 2012 Dag co-founded his next AI company, Viv, which aims to open artificial intelligence to the world and enable everyone to talk to everything.
Dag Kittlaus is the co-founder and CEO of Viv, the global brain. Prior, he founded Siri (acquired by Apple in 2010), the world's first virtual personal assistant, as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at SRI.
A serial innovator and consumer wireless internet veteran of 10 years in Scandinavia and the US, Dag is working on creating his fourth consecutive mobile internet product. Dag has held leadership roles as VP of Consumer Internet Services at Scandinavian telecom giant Telenor Mobile, and several consumer product groups at Motorola including GM of xProducts and founder and GM of Motorola's Interactive Media Group. He conceived and launched Screen3, a breakthrough consumer mobile application currently used by millions of users and adopted by Cingular, China Mobile, and Telefonica.
Josh Kopelman has been an active entrepreneur and investor in the Internet industry since its commercialization. In 1992, while he was a student at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Josh co-founded Infonautics Corporation – and took it public on the NASDAQ stock exchange in 1996. Josh founded Half.com in July of 1999, and led it to become one of the largest sellers of used books, movies and music in the world. Half.com was acquired by eBay in July 2000 – and Josh remained with eBay for three years, running the Half.com business unit and growing eBay’s Media marketplace to almost half a billion dollars in annual gross merchandise sales. In late 2003 Josh helped to found TurnTide, an anti-spam company that created the world's first anti-spam router. TurnTide was acquired by Symantec just six months later.
Josh co-founded First Round Capital in 2004 to reinvent seed-stage investing. Since that time, the firm has invested in over 300 emerging technology startups – becoming one of the most active venture capital firms in the country. For the last five years, Josh has consistently ranked in the top 20 on the Forbes “Midas List” which ranks the top 100 tech investors, earning the number four spot in 2014. Josh has been named one of the top ten ‘angel investors’ in the United States by Newsweek magazine, one of "Tech's New Kingmakers" by Business 2.0 magazine and a "Rising VC Star" by Fortune magazine. Josh is also the proud winner of a second place ribbon in the 2011 Nantucket Watermelon Eating competition.
Josh is an inventor on 13 U.S. Patents for his work in Internet technology. In June 2000, he was awarded Ernst and Young’s prestigious “Entrepreneur of the Year” award for the Greater Philadelphia region.
Josh earned a Bachelor of Science degree cum laude in Entrepreneurial Management and Marketing from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Sallie Krawcheck’s professional mission is to help women reach their financial and professional goals. She is the CEO and Co-Founder of Ellevest, a soon-to-be-launched digital investment platform for women. She is the Chair of Ellevate Network, a many-thousand-strong global professional women's network. And she is the Chair of the Pax Ellevate Global Women’s Index Fund, which invests in the top-rated companies for advancing women. Krawcheck has been named among the top ten of Fast Company's "100 Most Creative People" list. Before becoming an entrepreneur, she was CEO of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management and of Smith Barney.
Spencer Lazar is a Partner at General Catalyst. He joined the firm in 2013 to help launch its office in New York City. He focuses on marketplace and network-based approaches to transforming new industries from finance to fitness. He helped lead GC’s investments in [ClassPass](http://generalcatalyst.com/companies/classpass/), [FundBox](http://generalcatalyst.com/companies/fundbox/), [WayUp](http://generalcatalyst.com/companies/wayup/), [Giphy](http://generalcatalyst.com/companies/giphy/), and [L2](http://generalcatalyst.com/companies/l2/). He also spearheads the firm’s involvement with [Major League Hacking](https://medium.com/@slazar/backing-major-league-hacking-9183bd5268f3#.1wdgsl5qt), the largest organizing body of student hackathons in the world. Prior to GC, Spencer spent time as a venture-backed entrepreneur and investor between NYC & London.
By leading early stage investments in Yelp, Pinterest and LinkedIn, Jeremy Levine has earned a reputation for spotting fledgling stars while others miss them. His success has made him a staple of Forbes’ “Midas List” of technology investors.
Based in New York (but traveling to wherever exceptional founders are based), Jeremy was among the earliest VCs to identify the importance of user-generated content by investing in Yelp, LinkedIn, OLX, and Wikia in 2005/06 and Pinterest in 2011. Now that Yelp and LinkedIn are public and OLX is a multi-billion dollar division of Naspers, the value in user-generated content seems obvious.
More recently, he focused on the potential of vertical cloud software for small businesses with investments in MindBody, Shopify and Xtime while many dismissed the category as “too nichey.” Within the last year even Salesforce, the goliath of horizontal software, announced the importance of “vertical specialization,” and Jeremy has two IPOs and an M&A exit to support the trend. Currently, Jeremy is focused on new investments in Internet marketplaces (e.g., Raise) and the explosion of consumer video (e.g., KnowMe).
Jeremy graduated from Duke University with a B.S. in computer science and economics. Earlier in his career, he led operations for an Internet-software publisher, and worked at AEA Investors, a management buyout firm. He started his career as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company.
Alfred Lin is a partner at Sequoia Capital and works with inspiring founders focused on disrupting the mobile, marketplace, commerce, consumer services, and online-to-offline sectors. He currently represents Sequoia on the boards of Airbnb, DoorDash, Houzz, Humble Bundle, Kiwi, Stella & Dot and Zipline, and was previously on the Board of Achievers (HAWK). Prior to joining Sequoia in 2010, Alfred was fortunate enough to be associated with a variety of successful upstarts and served as COO/CFO of Zappos.com(AMZN), VP of Finance and Business Development of Tellme Networks (MSFT), and VP of Finance of LinkExchange (MSFT). Alfred also co-founded Venture Frogs, LLC and invested in companies such as Ask Jeeves (IACI), MongoMusic (MSFT), MyAble (OPWV), OpenTable (OPEN), Tellme (MSFT) and Zappos.com (AMZN). Alfred has a B.A. in Applied Mathematics from Harvard and an M.S. in Statistics from Stanford.
Ted Livingston is the founder and CEO of Kik, a chat network with more than 240 million registered users and 40 percent of U.S. teens. Founded in 2009, Kik is headquartered in Waterloo, Ontario, and has raised $120.5 million from investors including Tencent and Union Square Ventures. Ted also maintains an active interest in the University of Waterloo’s Velocity Fund, a startup accelerator he conceived of and first funded.
Susan Lyne is the founder and President of BBG Ventures, an early-stage investment fund for women-led tech start-ups.
The AOL-seeded fund is focused on next-gen consumer internet products, backing smart entrepreneurs who reflect and understand the consumers driving the fastest-growing areas of the internet.
Before launching BBG Ventures, Susan was CEO of AOL’s Brand Group, where she oversaw AOL’s unique content brands including AOL.com, TechCrunch, Engadget, Makers, StyleList, Moviefone and MapQuest.
From 2008 to 2012, Susan was CEO and then Chairman of Gilt Groupe, the innovative ecommerce company that pioneered flash sales in the United States. Prior to that she spent three decades in the media industry.
From 2004 to 2008 she served as President and CEO of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSO). From 1996 to 2004, she held various positions at the Walt Disney Company and ABC, including EVP of Movies and Miniseries and later President of ABC Entertainment.
Before joining Disney she was Managing Editor of New Times and The Village Voice and created and launched Premiere Magazine, serving as Editor-in-Chief and Publication Director for eight years.
Susan previously served on the AOL Board of Directors from 2009 until March 1, 2013 and on the board of directors of CIT Group Inc. from 2006 until 2009. She currently serves on the board of directors of Gilt Groupe, Inc. and Starz, LLC.
Kanyi Maqubela is a Partner at Collaborative Fund, an early-stage venture firm headquartered in New York. The firm invests in consumer brands pushing the world forward. Collaborative Fund has backed such companies as Lyft, Hopscotch, AltSchool, Blue Bottle, Earnest, Sweetgreen, and Skillshare. Kanyi is a Lecturer in Entrepreneurship at New York University's Tisch School of The Arts, and lives uptown with his wife.
Caleb Merkl is Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Maple. He has extensive experience leading teams in operationally demanding environments and has also spent time in consumer growth equity investing. Most recently, Caleb was an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Primary Venture Partners where he met Co-Founder and Maple COO Akshay Navle.
Marten Mickos is the CEO of HackerOne, Inc. the leading vulnerability coordination and bug bounty platform. Previously Marten was the CEO of Eucalyptus Systems, acquired by Hewlett-Packard where he served as head of the cloud business. As the CEO of MySQL AB from 2001 to 2008, Marten grew that company from a garage start-up to the second largest open source company in the world. Marten holds a M.Sc. in technical physics from Helsinki University of Technology in his native Finland.
Chris Milk is the founder and CEO of the virtual reality technology company Vrse, and founder and Creative Director of virtual reality production company Vrse.works. An accomplished visual artist, Milk began his career creating music videos for Kanye West, Arcade Fire, Beck, Jack White, U2, Johnny Cash, Gnarls Barkley, and many more. Known for weaving artistic and technological innovations in pursuit of the new aesthetic, Milk’s acclaimed interactive projects include Wilderness Downtown (with Arcade Fire), The Johnny Cash Project, and The Treachery of Sanctuary. His interactive installation artworks have been showcased at the MoMA, the Tate Modern, and museums the world over. Milk presented at TED 2015 on the power of virtual reality to advance humanity, and at TED 2016 on virtual reality as the last medium of storytelling. Milk has released projects on the Vrse platform that have been created in partnership with The New York Times, The United Nations, Apple, Vice, and NBC, among others.
An industry leader in accessible luxury handbags, accessories, footwear and apparel, Rebecca Minkoff’s playful and subtly edgy designs can be spotted around the world on young women and celebrities alike.
After developing an affinity for design while in the costume department in high school, Rebecca Minkoff moved to New York City at only 18 years old to pursue her dream of becoming a fashion designer.
In 2001, Rebecca designed a version of the “I Love New York” t-shirt as part of a five-piece capsule collection, which appeared on The Tonight Show and became an overnight sensation.
In 2005, Rebecca designed her first handbag, which she soon dubbed the “Morning After Bag,” a.k.a. the “M.A.B.” This iconic bag ignited Rebecca’s career as a handbag designer and inspired her “downtown romantic”-themed designs in the years to come. Rebecca’s success was further enhanced by the support of her brother and the company’s CEO and co-founder, Uri Minkoff, who helped usher in and pioneer the company’s industry-leading social media efforts.
After four years of designing statement-making handbags and accessories with her trademark leathers, studs and edgy hardware, Rebecca returned to her roots of apparel design and introduced her first ready-to-wear collection in 2009.
Today, Rebecca Minkoff has developed into a global lifestyle brand with a wide range of accessories, footwear, apparel, handbags and jewelry as well as men’s leather goods under the label Ben Minkoff. The brand is distributed in over 900 stores worldwide, and on March 1, 2012, Rebecca opened her first free-standing boutique in Tokyo. In 2011, she won industry recognition when she was awarded the Breakthrough Designer Award from the Accessories Council. Rebecca is an active member of the CFDA and supports multiple philanthropies including Jessica Seinfeld’s non-profit, Baby Buggy.
Rebecca is married to actor and director Gavin Bellour and they reside in New York City with their son, Luca, and daughter, Bowie.
Casey Neistat is a Youtube sensation with 2.5 million subscribers and over 400 million views. Neistat is also the co-founder of Beme, a video-editing social app.
B.J. Novak is perhaps best known for his work on NBC’s Emmy Award-winning comedy series The Office as an actor, and executive producer. He is also known for his work as a standup comedian and his performances in films such as Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds and Disney’s Saving Mr. Banks. He will next appear in The Founder alongside Michael Keaton. Novak’s debut collection of short stories, One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories, was an immediate New York Times Best Seller and received rave reviews. His children’s book, The Book With No Pictures, is a #1 New York Times Best Seller with over a million copies in print and is currently sold on international bookshelves in 24 additional languages. Novak's stories have been published in The New Yorker and featured on This American Life. He is also the co-founder and chairman of The List App, which launched in October 2015 and can be found at http://li.st.
Soledad O’Brien is an award-winning journalist, speaker, author and philanthropist, and CEO of the Starfish Media Group, a multi-platform media production company dedicated to telling empowering and authentic stories on range of social issues.
O’Brien’s work appears regularly on HBO “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” and the PBS NewsHour. Through SMG, she has produced documentaries for CNN and Al Jazeera America. She has appeared as a contributor to all three networks, is Philanthropy Editor of Worth Magazine and is a frequent contributor of op-ed pieces to publications like the New York Daily News and the Huffington Post.
O’Brien, who was anchor of two CNN morning news programs and their documentary unit, created the “In America” documentary series. “Black in America” and “Latino in America” which continue to be produced under SMG and are subjects of an annual speaking tour. She also speaks on a variety of social issues at college campuses and corporate events.
Earlier in her career, O’Brien co-anchored on “Weekend Today”, and contributed to segments on the “Today” show and “NBC Nightly News.” In 2003, O’Brien transitioned to CNN, where she was the face of CNN’s morning news shows for many years. O’Brien’s coverage of race issues has won her two Emmy awards and she has a third Emmy for her reporting on the 2012 presidential election. Her coverage of Hurricane Katrina earned her and CNN a George Foster Peabody Award. She also received another Peabody Award for her coverage of the BP Gulf Coast Oil Spill. Her reporting on the Southeast Asia tsunami garnered CNN an Alfred I. DuPont Award.
She is also the author of two books, her critically acclaimed memoir “The Next Big Story” and “Latino in America.”
O’Brien was named journalist of the year by the National Association of Black Journalists and one of Newsweek magazine’s “10 People who Make America Great.” In 2013, O’Brien joined Harvard University as a Distinguished Fellow and was appointed to the board of directors of the Foundation for the National Archives. In 2015, O’Brien joined the RAND Corporation’s Board of Trustees.
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, O’Brien and her husband, Brad, created the Soledad O’Brien & Brad Raymond Starfish Foundation to help young women get to and through college. This year, they will provide funding to 25 deserving young women.
O’Brien lives in New York City with her husband and four children.
Charlie O'Donnell is the sole Partner and Founder at Brooklyn Bridge Ventures. The fund makes seed and pre-seed investments and was the first venture firm located in Brooklyn--where he was born and raised. Brooklyn Bridge invested in the first rounds of Canary, Orchard Platform, Tinybop, Hungryroot, Clubhouse, Ringly, and goTenna among others. He previously had investment roles at Union Square Ventures and First Round Capital.
Charlie has a reputation for being early to identifying important companies. Nick Bilton identifies him as an influence on early Twitter investors in his book, Hatching Twitter. Dennis Crowley credits him as having helped kick off the first funding of Foursquare before other VCs had said yes. At First Round Capital, he sourced the firm's investments in Singleplatform (sold to Constant Contact) and GroupMe (sold to Skype). Charlie discovered GroupMe at the hackathon where the service had been built. He also sourced investments in Backupify (which was an idea he had tweeted to the founder, a friend of his), chloe + isabel, and Refinery29.
Charlie bikes to work, has done four triathlons, the NYC marathon, and runs the kayaking program in Brooklyn Bridge Park. The longest he has consecutively been outside of the five boroughs of New York City is three weeks.
As a Partner at Venrock in New York, David focuses on early stage venture investing in internet and digital media companies. His active investments include Dstillery (formerly Media6Degrees), Smartling, Dollar Shave Club, YouNow, Amino and Burner. He served on the Board of Crunchyroll (acquired by The Chernin Group) and led Venrock’s investment in Klout, which was acquired by Lithium Technologies.
Previously, David was the CEO of eMusic, the world’s leading digital retailer of independent music, second only to iTunes in number of downloads sold. Prior to joining eMusic, David co-founded Myplay in 1999 in Redwood City, CA, which introduced the “digital music locker” and pioneered the locker category. In 2001, Myplay was sold to Bertelsmann’s ecommerce Group. Before Myplay, he was Vice President at N2K Entertainment, which created the first digital music download service. He also was the co-creator of Apple Computer’s Music Group.
David is a graduate of and a member of the Board of Overseers at University of Pennsylvania’s School of Engineering and Applied Science and is an avid musician and songwriter. He is an active mentor in New York’s TechStars startup accelerator program.
David blogs at http://www.pakman.com and tweets at @pakman.
Alan Patricof is the Founder and Managing Director of Greycroft Partners. A longtime innovator and advocate for venture capital, Alan entered the industry in its formative days with the creation of Patricof & Co. Ventures Inc., a predecessor to Apax Partners – today, one of the world’s leading private equity firms with $41 billion under management. He stepped back from the daily administration and operational aspects of Apax Partners, LP in 2004 to concentrate on a group of small venture deals on its behalf. In 2006, he founded Greycroft Partners, a venture capital firm, which funds leading early and expansion-stage Internet and mobile companies. With offices in New York and Los Angeles, Greycroft is currently investing from its fourth core Fund and its first Growth Fund. Greycroft, LLC has a total of $800MM under management.
With a 40-plus year career in venture capital, Alan has been instrumental in growing the venture capital field from a base of high net-worth individuals to its position today with broad institutional backing, as well as playing a key role in the essential legislative initiatives that have guided its evolution. He has helped build and foster the growth of numerous major global companies, including, among others, America Online, Office Depot, Cadence Systems, Cellular Communications, Inc., Apple Computer, FORE Systems, NTL, IntraLinks, and Audible. He was also a founder and chairman of the board of New York magazine, which later acquired the Village Voice and New West magazine.
Alan is active in the New York and Washington communities. He is a board member of the Finance Committee of Northside Children for Child Development in Harlem and the Board of Overseers of Columbia School of Business. In addition, he is an advisor to Disney’s Startup Accelerator Program as well as the Entrepreneurship Advisory Board at Columbia University. He is also a member of the Tribeca Film Festival Disruptor Foundation and the Council on Foreign Relations. In October 2013, he was appointed to the board of the President’s Global Development Council by President Barack Obama. From 2007 to 2012, he served two terms on the board of Millennium Challenge Corporation, having been appointed by Presidents Bush and Obama respectively. And in 1992, he was appointed by President Clinton as Chairman of the White House Commission on Small Business. In addition, Alan is a former board member of TechnoServe, Trickle Up Program, Global Advisory Board of Endeavor, Applied Sciences NYC Advisory Board, and the Initiative for Global Development (IGD) Leadership Council.
Alan holds a BS in Finance from Ohio State University and an MBA from Columbia University Graduate School of Business. He is happily married to his wife Susan for forty-five years, and he has three children and seven grandchildren.
Gil Penchina is a serial entrepreneur and prolific angel investor.
He currently runs a $4mm per deal seed fund via AngelList that is crowd-sourced from 500+ influential Silicon Valley angels and is recruiting partners to join him.
He is a co-founder of Fastly, Board member at Vouch Financial. Previously he was CEO of Wikia, now a top 50 website and a member of the pre-IPO team at eBay. Before eBay, Gil worked at General Electric, Bain & Co. and started two small technology companies.
He has a Bachelors in Engineering from the University of Massachusetts and an MBA from Kellogg.
In addition, Gil has been an active angel investor in 70 companies over the last 12 years including firms such as Linkedin, Paypal, Datanyze, Contactually, Indiegogo, Evite, ZipRealty, Plusmo, Couchsurfing, Songpop, Wealthfront and many others. His portfolio is available at: https://angel.co/penchina
David Plouffe is widely referred to as the “architect” of President Obama’s two presidential campaign victories. After serving as the campaign manager in the 2008 presidential election, he served inside the White House as Senior Advisor to the President. Plouffe currently serves on the Board of the Barack Obama Foundation and is a member of the Uber Board of Directors.
Plouffe has managed campaigns at all levels of politics, served as an award-winning producer of television advertisements, served as a consultant to leading Fortune 500 companies and has been a ubiquitous presence on national news shows.
In September 2014, Plouffe joined Uber and in addition to his board duties serves as the Chief Advisor for Uber and CEO, Travis Kalanick.
Plouffe has won plaudits for the use of technology and pioneering new applications, his message development and discipline, his management skills and his focus and competitiveness.
The Obama-Biden presidential campaign and Plouffe were awarded the Titanium and Integrated Grand Prix Awards from the Cannes International Advertising Festival (2009). The campaign won for the effort’s digital savvy, its success in community building and its willingness to allow the Obama brand to be created by consumers rather than top-down communications mandates.
In 2010, Plouffe was number 4 on Newsweek’s list of “New Thought Leaders,” and The Daily Beast named him as one of the “25 Smartest People of the Decade.” GQ named Plouffe in 2012 the third most powerful person in Washington.
Plouffe is the author of The New York Times best seller, The Audacity to Win: The Inside Story and Lessons of Barack Obama’s Historic Victory and has been a Contributor for ABC News and Bloomberg Television. In 2013 he was inducted into The American Association of Political Consultants’ Hall of Fame.
Megan Quinn is a General Partner in the Spark Capital Growth Fund. She specializes in working with world-changing entrepreneurs to design, build and scale transformative consumer products and companies.
Previously, Megan was a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers where she led a number of the firm’s early stage and growth consumer investments. 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 marketing, business development and product management. She oversaw the development and launch 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.
Sridhar Ramaswamy oversees all of Google’s Ads and Commerce products, which include search, display and video advertising, analytics, shopping, payments, and travel. Joining Google as an engineer since 2003, he’s been an integral part of the growth of AdWords and Google’s advertising business.
Prior to joining Google, Sridhar was a Director of Engineering for the analytics platform at E.piphany. He also held research positions at Bell Labs, Lucent Technologies, and Bell Communications Research (Bellcore).
Sridhar earned a bachelor's degree in computer science from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras, and his master’s of science and PhD in computer science from Brown University. He has published numerous papers on database systems and database theory, and holds several patents in that area.
Dr. Carissa Romero is a Partner at Paradigm, a strategy firm taking a data-driven approach to helping companies build stronger, more diverse and inclusive organizations. Carissa has a Ph.D. in Psychology from Stanford University and is an expert in “learning mindsets” - the beliefs that lead people to engage with their work and persist through challenges.
Carissa is passionate about applying research to solve real-world problems. While earning her Ph.D., she co-founded PERTS, Stanford’s applied research center on learning mindsets, where she translated research into actionable advice and tools to improve student academic achievement across the country. At Paradigm, Carissa uses her expertise in translating research to inform companies’ diversity and inclusion initiatives.
Carissa is a member of Stanford University’s Mindset Scholars Network, a frequent speaker, and a member of Forbes 30 under 30 Class of 2016. Her work has been published in top academic journals and featured in the popular press, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and KQED.
Randall Rothenberg is the president and CEO of the Interactive Advertising Bureau, the trade association for interactive marketing in the United States. The IAB represents over 600 leading media, marketing and technology companies. Its members include Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, AOL, The New York Times, Walt Disney Co., NBC Universal, CBS, Cars.com, and scores of other ad-supported digital companies, which are responsible for selling more than 86% of online advertising in the U.S. To support the growth of the interactive advertising and marketing industries, the IAB serves as the industry’s public policy and lobbying organization, market and consumer research center, training and development base, and hub for the development of technical standards and operating best practices. The IAB has 45 affiliate associations around the world.
Mr. Rothenberg led the IAB from 2007 through 2010, and rejoined the association in March 2011, after a stint as Executive Vice President and Chief Digital Officer of Time Inc. Prior to his IAB role, Mr. Rothenberg was the Senior Director of Intellectual Capital of Booz Allen Hamilton, the international strategy and technology consulting firm, where he oversaw business development, knowledge management, and thought leadership activities, and directed the award-winning business journal strategy+business, Strategy+Business Books, www.strategy-business.com, and other electronic and print publications published by Booz Allen for senior business executives. Previously, he served as the firm’s Chief Marketing Officer.
Prior to Booz Allen, Mr. Rothenberg spent six years at The New York Times, where he was the technology editor and politics editor of the Sunday magazine, the daily advertising columnist, and a media and marketing reporter. For 10 years, he was a marketing and media columnist for Advertising Age. Mr. Rothenberg is the author of Where the Suckers Moon: An Advertising Story (Alfred A. Knopf, 1994), a critically-acclaimed chronicle of the birth, evolution, and death of a single advertising campaign.
Mr. Rothenberg received an undergraduate degree in Classics from Princeton University and currently lives in New York City.
Shanna is the founder and CEO of Modsy, a home design app that allows you to visualize design ideas in the context of your own home. Previously, Shanna was a partner on the investing team at Google Ventures. Her career has focused on the intersection between design and technology, especially in the realm of 3D technology platforms. Prior to Google, Shanna was the founder and CEO of of Sim Ops Studios (Wild Pockets), a spin-off from Carnegie Mellon University that focused on democratizing 3D game development. Sim Ops was acquired by Autodesk in 2010, and Shanna worked there as a product line manager responsible for launching the cloud platform and Autodesk 360 applications. In 2009 she was named one of BusinessWeek's best young entrepreneurs, in 2012 she was featured in the book “Creating Innovators” by Harvard education expert Tony Wagner and in 2014 she was named one of Silicon Valley Business Journal's Women of Influence. She received both her Masters degree in Entertainment Technology and a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University.
Chris Thorne is the Chief Marketing Officer of The Honest Company, which was launched
in 2012 with a mission to inspire and empower people to live a happy and healthy life.
The Honest Company provides 100+ safe, effective, and delightful products across a wide
range of consumer categories, including baby, personal care, home care, and vitamins &
supplements, to a passionate community of consumers united by values and style. Honest
Beauty is a comprehensive skincare and makeup collection created with the same Honest
standards of safety, performance, and spirit that are the hallmark of The Honest Company.
Honest products are available across the U.S. via honest.com and honestbeauty.com and at
more than 6,000 retail locations in North America including the Honest Beauty retail
experience at The Grove in Los Angeles.
Since its inception, the mission-driven Company has donated over 1 million products and
over 9,000 employee volunteer hours to help more than 150,000 children and over 95,000
families. Honest has been honored with a wide range of recognitions and awards, including
the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year – Los Angeles Region, ACG Award for Social
Responsibility, PC Magazine’s Seal of Consumer Approval in Tech, an Allure Best of Beauty Award, as well as the Pioneer in Sustainability Award by the Sustainable Business Council of Los Angeles.
Chris is responsible for the Company's marketing activities including brand, creative, media,
ecommerce, analytics, PR and social marketing. Prior to joining The Honest Company in
2015, Chris was the Global Vice President of Marketing, Media & Mobile at Electronic Arts (EA), a leading global video game company. During his five-year tenure, Chris oversaw marketing and media for EA products in console and mobile gaming, including EA SPORTS Madden, The Sims, Battlefield & Plants vs. Zombies. Chris started his career in management consulting at PricewaterhouseCoopers and also served as the President of CSMG Media, a sports athlete management company, and the General Manager of social gaming at FanIQ, the largest independent online sports and gaming site.
Chris holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from University of Rochester, a JD from Northwestern Law School and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management.
David Tisch is the Managing Partner of BoxGroup, a New York City-based early stage investment fund. BoxGroup is an investor in over 200 seed-stage companies, including Vine, Blue Apron, Sunrise, Warby Parker, Harry’s, Oscar, Behance, Handy and more. David is also the co-founder and Chairman of Spring, a mobile marketplace where customers shop directly within the app from a curated community of brands. Spring was named by Apple as one of the Best Apps of 2014.
In 2014, David was named Head of Startup Studio at Cornell Tech, the University’s New York City-based graduate campus focused on digital technologies and the information economy. He is also Entrepreneur in Residence for Wharton’s Entrepreneurship Program.
David is the co-founder of TechStars NYC and has served on numerous boards, including Mayor Bloomberg’s Advisory Council on Technology, the Investor Board of Venture for America, and the Entrepreneurship board at NYU. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and New York University School of Law, and currently lives in New York City
Before founding Petridish.org, Matt was a venture capital investor at Bessemer, where he focused on the mobile, digital-media and software sectors and was involved with investments in Intucell, Millennial Media, and several others. Matt started his career as an analyst in the Blackstone Group’s private equity division, where he stayed until shortly after its IPO. There, he was involved in several transactions including the take-private of Nielsen and the dividend recapitalization of Centennial. Matt also worked in Blackstone’s Hong Kong office where he evaluated investments in the Thai, Indonesian and Australian markets.
Matt holds a B.A. in economics, summa cum laude , and an MBA, both from Harvard University. While pursuing his undergraduate degree, Matt served on the Board of Directors of Harvard Student Agencies and ran its laundry, dry-cleaning and linen-rental business, winning Manager of the Year for turning around its performance. He also currently serves on the Board of Directors of SelectMinds, a social job recruiting company.
His favorite research projects on Petridsh include Astronomy, Archaeology, Marine Biology and Economics.
Naveen is a Partner at Expa, a startup studio where he is building new projects, including Kit (kit.com) and Current (current.com). Previously, he was a co-founder of foursquare.
Henri Seydoux founded the Parrot in 1994 and has served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer since its creation. Self-educated, he began his career in 1978 as a trainee with “Journal Actuel”, where he was later employed as a journalist from 1979 to 1980. In 1981, he joined the sales team at the “Matin de Paris” newspaper. Then, in 1982, he joined SSCI as an operating system software developer, before working for Microarchi from 1983 to 1984 in the same role. In 1985, he set up BBS, a company intended to market the micro archi operating system. In 1986, he created BSCA, a synthetic 3D imaging company, and became its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer from 1986 to 1990. In 1991, with three other partners, he founded and became a director in the luxury goods company Christian Louboutin.
YouNow founder and CEO Adi Sideman is a pioneer in participatory media, with more than 20 years of experience creating apps and companies in the user-generated content space.
Sideman founded YouNow in 2011 to provide a live social platform for people to connect, interact, and express themselves. YouNow grew to be a global social network with more than 100 million user sessions a month, and creators and audiences now produce more than 50,000 hours of original live content each day. YouNow has been named one of the most innovative companies of 2016 by Fast Company and was a finalist for Fastest Rising Startup of 2016 at the Crunchies Awards.
As a developer, Sideman produced the first animated ads on AOL and founded Squeeze, a web development venture that provided services to Fortune 500 companies like Starbucks and Con Edison. He also produced more than 30 online games for major-studio film and TV franchises. In 1999, he founded the interactive marketing firm Oddcast, which continues to develop such groundbreaking apps as “Elf Yourself.” In 2005 he co-founded KSolo, the first online karaoke service (acquired by Fox Interactive/MySpace) and, in 2006, co-founded audio ad network TargetSpot, a joint venture with CBS (acquired by Radionomy).
Sideman is a member of the Real-Time Academy of Short Form Arts & Sciences and was named one of 2015’s top 100 most influential and inspiring people in NYC tech by Business Insider. He holds an MPS degree from the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and an undergraduate degree from NYU Film School.
Fidji is a Director of Product at Facebook who leads the product teams in charge of Media (Video, News, Influencers) and Advertising in News Feed. Most recently, she launched Live videos, videos and video ads that autoplay in News Feed, and Instant Articles. She was also in charge of simplifying Facebook’s ad product suite from 27 ad formats to only 7. Fidji joined Facebook from eBay. There, she was part of the Strategy group and rotated through eBay’s main offices of France, Spain and the US, then joined eBay’s incubation team to develop new growth businesses. She holds a Master of Management from HEC Paris and spent the last year of her Master program at UCLA Anderson School of Business.
Jon Stein is the CEO and founder of Betterment. Passionate about making life better, and with his experience from his career of advising banks and brokers on risk and products, he founded Betterment in 2008. Jon is a graduate of Harvard University and Columbia Business School, and he holds Series 7, 24, 63, and is a CFA, Chartered Financial Analyst. His interests lie at the intersection of behavior, psychology, and economics. What excites him most about his work is making everyday activities and products more efficient, accessible, and easy to use.
Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin, Co-founders and Co-CEOs, theSkimm. theSkimm is a company that makes it easier to be smarter. theSkimm was started by two friends in their 20s, who hail from New York and Chicago. Carly and Danielle originally met on a study abroad program in college, and reconnected years later while working for NBC News. They clicked as colleagues, as friends, and as roommates, and it didn't take long for theSkimm to take off from their living room couch. Today, theSkimm reaches millions of subscribers and boasts an industry crushing open rate and a growing team. Honored in Forbes 30 under 30 in Media 2015, Adweek's Young Influentials 2015 and by Goldman Sachs Builders and Innovator Summit as one of the most 100 Intriguing Entrepreneurs in 2014.
Andy Weissman is a partner at Union Square Ventures. Andy began his career in the Internet in the mid-90s. Prior to joining USV, in 2007 he co-founded betaworks, which both created and invested in social, real-time applications and services. Andy was born in New York City and has a BA from Wesleyan University and a JD from Georgetown.
Ellie Wheeler is a Partner at Greycroft Partners and is based in the firm’s New York office.
Prior to joining Greycroft, Ellie worked in a similar role evaluating investment opportunities at Lowercase Capital.Ellie also worked at Cisco in Corporate Development doing acquisitions, investments, and strategy within the unified communications, enterprise software, mobile, and video sectors. While at Cisco, she was involved in multiple acquisitions and investments, including PostPath, Jabber, Xobni, and Tandberg. She began her career in growth capital private equity at Summit Partners in Boston.
Ellie graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown University with a BA in Psychology and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Dan Widmaier is the CEO and founder of Bolt Threads where he has led the company through four years of technology development, growth and financing. Under his leadership, Bolt Threads is working to transform the way we make and wear our favorite apparel with bioengineering and advanced science and technology, while bringing more sustainable practices to the fashion industry.Dan earned his Ph.D. in Chemistry and Chemical Biology from UC San Francisco, where his graduate research involved designing genetic circuits to control microbial organelles.While he’s not tending to the growth of Bolt Threads, Dan is fascinated by finding the right conditions to grow other things like the broccoli in his vegetable garden and yeast in his microbrews. He’s an avid Seattle Seahawks fan living in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife and young son.
Fred Wilson has been a venture capitalist since 1987. He currently is a managing partner at Union Square Ventures and also founded Flatiron Partners.
Fred has a Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering from MIT and an MBA from The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. Fred is married with three children and lives in New York City.
Joanne Wilson has had many careers. She started out in retail, eventually moving to the wholesale arena. She then transitioned to the media side of the technology world, before once again reinventing herself as an investor. She is currently an active angel investor with a portfolio of over 90 companies such as Food52, Catchafire, Vengo, Nestio, Captureproof, Makers Row, Le Tote, and Union Station. She has been involved in numerous real estate transactions from beginning to end and continues to make investments in that world. She is also an investor in a few restaurants in the New York area. In addition to these endeavors, Joanne has been involved in various education projects and served as chairperson at Hot Bread Kitchen, a non-profit committed to increasing access to the culinary industry for woman and minority entrepreneurs. She also sits on the board of The Highline.
Joanne has maintained her very popular blog, www.gothamgal.com for over 11 years. She loves to bake, cook, throw a good party, travel, read, collect art, do the crossword and stay on top of what's happening around the globe and in NYC.
Her most successful venture is being married to her best friend, Fred and raising their three kids- Jessica, Emily and Josh.
Whitney Wolfe was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah, until she and her family moved to Paris at the age of 11. She returned to Utah to complete the American High School Experience and to prepare for college. She went to SMU in Dallas Texas and majored in International Relations after being rejected by the advertising/marketing school. She has since been called a "marketing genius" by outlets such as Medium.com and Bloomberg. She spent a year at La Sorbonne during university and is fluent in French. She had a passion to help people but was also business-minded.
She started two companies while in college, the first being the "Help Us Project" with partner Patrick Aufdenkam, a non-profit organization inspired by the BP oil spill crisis in the Gulf of Mexico. "Help Us" bags became a popular a line of organic bamboo totes supported by numerous celebrities, with proceeds benefitting the Ocean Futures Society. Also with Aufdenkam, Whitney formed clothing line Tender Heart, produced in Nepal with an intent to raise awareness of human trafficking and fair trade clothing.
After graduating, Whitney spent 6 months in Asia working in orphanages in Northern Thailand and Cambodia. Upon her return, she joined the Cardify team for marketing and sales, which was part of the IAC incubator Hatch Labs. After Cardify failed to pick up, Whitney lobbied the team to run with another side project they had created, which was called Matchbox. That app is now a household name, Tinder. She Co-Founded Tinder and was the VP of marketing for two years. After her departure, she saw a missing link in online responsibility. She had hopes to create a platform for kindness. Whitney reunited with a business acquaintance, Andrey Andreev. Andreev is a world-renowned businessman most famous for his platform, Badoo, which has over 230 million users and generates hundreds of millions of dollars a year. Together they formed Bumble.
Tony Xu is the CEO and Co-founder of DoorDash, an on demand-delivery company that enables delivery in areas where it was not previously possible. Starting with restaurants, DoorDash is building the infrastructure and logistics platform to allow any local merchant to deliver.
Prior to co-founding DoorDash, Tony worked in product at Square, led business development at RedLaser (eBay), and began his career at McKinsey and Company. He holds a B.S. with High Honors in Industrial Engineering from UC Berkeley and a MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin, Co-founders and Co-CEOs, theSkimm. theSkimm is a company that makes it easier to be smarter. theSkimm was started by two friends in their 20s, who hail from New York and Chicago. Carly and Danielle originally met on a study abroad program in college, and reconnected years later while working for NBC News. They clicked as colleagues, as friends, and as roommates, and it didn't take long for theSkimm to take off from their living room couch. Today, theSkimm reaches millions of subscribers and boasts an industry crushing open rate and a growing team. Honored in Forbes 30 under 30 in Media 2015, Adweek's Young Influentials 2015 and by Goldman Sachs Builders and Innovator Summit as one of the most 100 Intriguing Entrepreneurs in 2014.
Jonathan Zdziarski is a former Research Scientist for [McAfee](http://www.crunchbase.com/organization/mcafee), an American computer security software company that delivers complete virus protection and internet security services. He is well known outside of work in the iPhone community as “NerveGas”, who has contributed significantly to research into the iPhone and iPod touch.
He has authored many utilities and devised many of the methods used to open the iPhone’s platform to the open source community. Zdziarski has written three books pertaining to the iPhone platform: iPhone Open Application Development, iPhone SDK Applications, and iPhone Forensics.
His work in cracking the iPhone helped lead the effort to port the first open source applications. His book, iPhone Open Application Development, taught developers how to write applications for the popular device long before Apple introduced its own SDK. Prior to the release of iPhone Forensics, Jonathan wrote and supported an iPhone forensics manual distributed exclusively to law enforcement. Jonathan frequently consults law enforcement agencies and assists forensic examiners in their investigations. He teaches an iPhone forensics workshop in his spare time to train forensic examiners and corporate security personnel.
Startup Battlefield brings the world's top early stage startups together on one stage to compete for the coveted Disrupt Cup, a $50,000 prize, and the attention of media and investors. The judges include TechCrunch editors as well as top VCs and entrepreneurs, and past winners include names like Dropbox, Mint, Yammer, Zenefits, and many more. Participation is free and open.
Liquidity Nanotech Corporation
CrunchMatch is a program designed to introduce investors to entrepreneurs, based on curated analysis of which startups fit with a given investor’s profile. The goal is to improve the odds that investors and entrepreneurs make a super promising contact. The program is free for Disrupt attendees.
How it works: When an investor registers for Disrupt, they receive an invitation to complete a questionnaire about their investment interests. Startups participating in Disrupt’s Startup Alley and Battlefield fill out a similar form. When the TechCrunch team finds strong matches, they will propose that the parties connect at Disrupt at a time and in a private space arranged by the events team.
Our Hackathons are crazy, exciting, exhausting events where hundreds of coders and developers come together to form teams which have just shy of 24 hours to build something amazing from the ground up.
2 tickets for $1995
2 tickets for $1995
Students currently enrolled in a college or university program are eligible for reduced admission ($300) to Disrupt NY. To apply for this rate, send a copy of your current transcripts showing your current enrollment status and a copy of your university identification card to firstname.lastname@example.org. Upon approval, you will be provided instructions on how to complete your registration.
Current full-time employees of U.S. federal, state or local government agencies, current full-time employees of international government agencies and active military employees only can receive an attendee ticket to Disrupt NY for $995. To qualify for the discount, you must email email@example.com from a valid .gov email address with a copy of your current, valid government ID. Additionally you must present your current, valid government identification card during registration check-in at Disrupt NY. If you are unable to provide valid government identification at the event, you will be charged the general admission rate of $2,995.
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