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Here are your speakers for TechCrunch Disrupt Europe: Berlin
CEO and Chairman, AOL
Tim Armstrong was appointed CEO and Chairman of AOL in March 2009.
Before becoming the CEO of AOL, Armstrong presided over Google’s North American and Latin American advertising sales and operations teams. His team provided customers with local partnerships as well as centralized sales and services. They worked with some of the world’s most widely recognized brands and advertising agencies in addition to some of the fastest growing medium-sized companies.
Armstrong joined Google from Snowball.com, where he was vice president of sales and strategic partnerships. Prior to his role at Snowball.com, he served as director of integrated sales & marketing at Starwave’s and Disney’s ABC/ESPN Internet Ventures, working across the companies’ Internet, TV, radio, and print properties. He started his career by co-founding and running a newspaper based in Boston, MA, before joining IDG to launch their first consumer Internet magazine, I-Way.
General Partner, Crunchfund
J. Michael Arrington (born March 13, 1970 in Huntington Beach, California) is a serial entrepreneur and the founder of TechCrunch, a blog covering startups and technology news.
Arrington attended Claremont McKenna College (BA Economics, 1992) and Stanford Law School (JD, 1995) and practiced as a corporate and securities lawyer at two law firms: O’Melveny & Myers and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. His clients included idealab, Netscape, Pixar, Apple and a number of startups, venture funds and investment banks. He also co-authored a book on initial public offerings.
In 1999, he left WSGR to join RealNames as VP of Business Development and General Counsel. In 2000, he cofounded Achex, an online payments company, that was later acquired by First Data Corp for $32 million. Achex is now the back end infrastructure to Western Union online.
Arrington worked in an operational role at a Carlyle backed startup in London, founded and ran two companies in Canada (Zip.ca and Pool.com), was COO to a Kleiner-backed company called Razorgator, and consulted to other companies, including Verisign.
In May 2008, Time Magazine named Michael Arrington as one of the world’s 100 most influential people.
Zoe Adamovicz is an entrepreneur and occasional angel investor.
She is currently founder at Xyologic, a company that re-imagines how people discover apps, and ConciseSoftware, which provides development and engineering services to companies and entrepreneurs active in the dynamic consumer internet, mobile, social and gaming markets.
Zoe is an expert in everything mobile, especially the app economy. According to some, she is a pro in founder anxiety management.
CEO and co-founder, Udemy
Eren Bali is the CEO & Co-founder of Udemy, a startup that aims to democratize educations by allowing anybody to teach and learn online. He founded Udemy with Gagan Biyani and Oktay Caglar. Prior to Udemy, Eren worked at SpeedDate as a founding engineer and Director of Engineering while the company grew form 0 to 10 million users in 2 years. He also worked as a developer at BitGravity in very early stages.
Eren graduated from METU (Turkey) with a degree in Computer Science and a double major degree in Mathematics. He won several awards in Mathematics, Physics and CS including a 2nd position in International Mathematical Olympiad.
He started his first company during the last year of college, where they created interactive 3D simulations of real estates while they are still being constructed. Later on with Oktay Caglar, they started working on a government supported project where Turkish entrepreneurs were educated by European mentors in a live classroom setting. That project seeded the ideas and products behind Udemy.
Founder and CEO, wooga
Jens Begemann is Founder & CEO of wooga (world of gaming) – Europe’s largest social game developer. Jens founded wooga in January 2009 and received VC funding of $7.5m in summer/autumn 2009 from Balderton Capital and Holtzbrinck Ventures. wooga has released four games so far on Facebook (Brain Buddies, Bubble Island, Monster World, Happy Hospital) and is among the Top 10 social game developers on Facebook (by number of active users). The focus of the company is to produce very high quality games and fully localizes all games. Therefore its presence in western European markets is particularly strong.
From 2001 – 2008 Jens was at Jamba (aka Jamster) and helped growing the company to the world’s leading provider of mobile entertainment. From 2005 he was Chief Product Officer & member of the management board. He managed a team of of 130, being responsible for content acquisition and creation and user experience. News Corp. acquired the company in 2007. It is now called Fox Mobile Entertainment.
Nathan Blecharczyk, Airbnb
Co-Founder & CTO
Nathan is the co-founder and CTO at Airbnb. He oversees the technical strategy of the company, and is dedicated to building a team of world-class engineers to keep Airbnb at the forefront of the industry. Nathan became an entrepreneur early on running an almost $1 million business while he was in high school, selling to clients in more than 20 countries. He received a degree in Computer Science from Harvard University and held several engineering positions with Microsoft, OPNET Technologies and Batiq before becoming a co-founder at Airbnb.
A German entrepreneur with a passion for making ideas work, Boerries founded his first company Star Division, as a 16-year-old in 1985. The company created the popular office suite StarOffice and later OpenOffice.org. Marco sold Star Division to Sun Microsystems in 1999 and stayed on as Vice President of Desktop & Webtop Software until 2001. In parallel to Star Division he started his second company Star Finanz as a joint-venture with the Deutsche Sparkassen Organisation in 1996, to re-invent online banking with StarMoney – that became the leading product in Germany.
Marco sold his share in StarFinanz to his joint venture partners in 2001. After leaving Sun Microsystems and selling Star Finanz, Marco started his third company Verdisoft in the summer of 2001 based in Palo Alto, California and Hamburg, Germany. At Verdisoft Marco and his team developed the Connected Life platform for connected devices like computers, smart phones and connected TV’s. Marco sold Verdisoft to Yahoo in early 2005 and stayed on to lead the ConnectedLife division until early 2009 – driving Yahoo’s Broadband, Mobile and TV efforts, globally. Returning back to Germany in 2009 Marco started his fourth company NumberFour in Berlin to re-imagine the way small businesses are run, and later established offices in Hamburg, Germany and Palo Alto, California. Together with his team he is working hard to develop and design a business platform to fulfill NumberFour’s Mission “Helping 200 Million+ Run Their Business”.
Partner, Balderton Capital
Roberto Bonanzinga is Partner at Balderton Capital (formerly Benchmark Europe).
Prior to joining Balderton, Roberto spent 15 years working with entrepreneurs in the US and in Europe. His past operational experience included helping to pioneer VoIP in Europe while serving as SVP of Marketing and Business Development at Viatel. He was also VP of Services and Marketing at Netscalibur, where he built the pan-European organization.
Additionally, he has held senior management positions in Silicon Valley with Topica, Fabrik Communications (acquired by Critical Path) and Information Access Company (acquired by Thomson Corporation NYSE:TOC).
Managing Director, Techstars
Jon Bradford is the Managing Director of Techstars.
Previously, Jon Bradford was the Managing Director of Springboard, a 13 week acceleration programme based in Cambridge.
He previously founded the Difference Engine, Europe’s first acceleration bootcamp programme.
Over the last ten years, Jon has worked in and around technology startups – working for start-ups, in corporate finance and also as a Venture Capitalist.
Founder, White Bear Yard
Early-stage tech angel/investor and advisor.
Currently establishing White Bear Yard @whitebearyard (on Clerkenwell Road in London) as a hub for technology innovation and startups.
Previous names are Eileen Broch (Yahoo! Europe, Skype, Palmsource) and Eileen Tso (EIS, 12 Entrepreneuring, Openwave [Phone.com], Sun Microsystems [JavaSoft], Apple Computer [Newton Systems Group], GTE).
Matt Cohler is a General Partner at Benchmark. He’s responsible for identifying investment opportunities in Internet-related companies, in addition to working closely with companies across the firm’s portfolio.
At Benchmark, Matt has partnered with entrepreneurs from across the social, mobile and cloud industries from around the globe such as Instagram, Dropbox, Quora, Asana, Domo, Edmodo, Baixing, CouchSurfing, Peixe Urbano, ResearchGate, 1stdibs, and Zendesk.
Prior to joining Benchmark he served as the VP of Product Management at Facebook, where he led the development of new strategic initiatives for the company. As the seventh employee at Facebook, Matt played a crucial role within the team during many critical growth phases. Previously Matt was Vice President and General Manager at LinkedIn, where he was a member of the founding team. Matt also has been a consultant in McKinsey & Company’s Silicon Valley office and worked in Beijing for AsiaInfo, the Chinese startup that built the infrastructure for the Internet in mainland China. Matt’s writings on the startup economy have been published in Harvard Business Review. He holds a bachelor’s degree with honors and distinction from Yale University.
Co-founder and CEO, Stripe
Patrick Collison is the co-founder of Auctomatic, an auction and marketplace management system, which was acquired by Live Current Media in 2008 and Stripe.
Stripe is a simple, developer-friendly way to accept payments online.
They believe that enabling transactions on the web is a problem rooted in code, not finance, and they want to help put more websites in business.
Founder & CEO, Wonga
Errol is a global entrepreneur and seasoned executive who loves building innovative businesses with inspirational people. He is the founder and chief executive officer of digital finance company, Wonga.com, a London based company which is backed by some of the world’s leading VCs including Accel, Balderton, Greylock, Oak and the Wellcome Trust. In the past couple of years Errol has been named Entrepreneur of the Year at the UK’s Growing Business Awards, The Guardian’s Entrepreneur of the Year, Founder of the Year at the The Europas European Startup Awards, Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year for London and Digital Entrepreneur of the Year.
Prior to founding Wonga, he successfully co-founded two other substantial businesses, on different continents and in completely different markets. Most recently he was founder and chief executive of Supply Chain Connect Ltd, which he developed to become a leading provider of hosted supply chain collaboration solutions. With offices in the UK and US, the company serviced over 250 blue chip customers – including General Cable, Pirelli, Dow Chemical and DuPont – and was acquired by ChemConnect in 2005. Wonga is undoubtedly Errol’s most ambitious project yet. It is the first company in the world to fully automate the lending process and approved loans are usually paid into bank accounts within minutes. Not only does Wonga provide our small loans in a clear and flexible manner, but it is highly selective about the people and businesses it helps.
To date the company has provided over five million loans and helped over one million customers. Errol grew up in South Africa and following graduation from business school, he became an investment banker and, while helping entrepreneurs turn their dreams into reality, was inspired to switch roles and become the innovator.
Peter Fenton is a General Partner at Benchmark. He joined the firm in 2006 after spending seven years as a partner with Accel Partners, where his investment interests included software, digital media, and technology enabled services.
Prior to joining the venture capital community, he spent several years working with Silicon Valley software and high-technology companies as an entrepreneur and strategy consultant. He was an early employee at Virage, a multimedia information retrieval company that went public on the NASDAQ in 2000. Peter also worked as a management consultant at Bain & Company in San Francisco, where he advised high-technology businesses in Silicon Valley on their product and business strategies.
Peter currently serves on the board of DotCloud, Elasticsearch, EngineYard, HortonWorks, Lithium, New Relic, Polyvore, Twitter, Yelp (IPO: YELP), Zendesk and Zuora.
Previously, Peter served on the boards of Coremetrics (acquired by IBM), FriendFeed (acquired by Facebook), JBoss (acquired by RedHat), Reactivity (acquired by Cisco), SpringSource (acquired by VMWare), Terracotta (acquired by Software AG), Wily Technology (acquired by CA), Xensource (acquired by Citrix), and Zimbra (acquired by Yahoo!).
Venture Partner, Hummingbird Ventures
Pamir is a Venture Partner at Hummingbird Ventures and focuses on digital media and e-commerce in emerging economies. Pamir serves on the board of Peak Games, MarkaVIP and On Device Research.
Pamir previously co-founded Flytxt, a pioneer in mobile marketing technology and also worked at Morgan Stanley Capital Partners, D.E.Shaw and Juno Online Services.
Pamir received his BS in Electrical Engineering Summa Cum Laude from Duke University and a Master of Science in Operations Research from Columbia University.
Bill Gurley has spent over 10 years as a General Partner at Benchmark. He joined in 1999 after spending two years as a partner with Hummer Winblad Venture Partners.
His current investments and board seats include, Brighter, DogVacay, GrubHub, Linden Lab / secondlife, Nextdoor, OpenTable, Sailthru, Scale Computing, Uber, and Zillow.
Before entering the venture capital business, Bill spent four years on Wall Street as a top-ranked research analyst, including three years at CS First Boston focusing on personal computer hardware and software. His research coverage included such companies as Dell, Compaq, and Microsoft.
In both 1995 and 1996, Bill was a member of the Institutional Investor All-American Research Team.
Prior to his investment career, Bill was a design engineer at Compaq Computer, where he worked on products such as the 486/50 and Compaq’s first multi-processor server. Before Compaq, he served in the technical marketing group of Advanced Micro Devices’ embedded processor division.
Bill also maintains a blog on the evolution and economics of high technology businesses called Above the Crowd.
Brent co-founded PROfounders Capital, an early stage fund backed by entrepreneurs for digital entrepreneurs.
He is also chairman and founded VC-backed internet based startup, mydeco, the online interiors site that aims to revolutionise the way we shop and design for our homes. mydeco.com is the UK’s leading interior design website and has just launched in the US. mydeco, Jaina Capital and PROfounders teamed up to launch made.com, of which Brent is chairman. made.com is a direct from factory consumer homewares retailer in the UK.
Prior to mydeco, Brent co-founded lastminute.com in April 1998. He was CEO from its inception and the team took the company to profit and gross bookings of over $2bn. lastminute.com acquired 14 businesses after the IPO to supplement the annual growth of the core brand which was over 100% from 1998 to 2004. In 2005 lastminute.com was sold to Sabre for $1.1bn.
Brent’s leading industry role has been recognised by several organisations -these include: Time Magazine’s “Top 25 European digital leaders,” Revolution’s “Internet Person of the Year” and the Institute of Travel Tourism (ITT) “Travel Business Person of the Year.”
Brent is a Governor of University of the Arts College, London and a nonexecutive board director of Guardian Media Group, TalkTalk plc and Time Out Group. He is also a YGL.
Klaus is one of the leading European business angels and founder of Lakestar. He is or has been involved in numerous successful internet investments including QXL/Tradus, Skype, Facebook, King.com, Xing, Klarna, SumUp and Spotify.
He invests in promising start-ups that have the potential to become major players in the internet space.Klaus started his career at Bertelsmann. He joined AOL Germany in 1995 as board member, responsible for business development, content and advertising sales. Klaus was also involved in the establishment of Freenet and was a Venture Partner of Benchmark Capital.
Klaus graduated with a Master’s degree in Business Administration from University of Fribourg in Switzerland and holds a PhD degree in Finance from the same university. He was named “most successful European entrepreneurial private investor of the year” in 2006 by a group comprised of IESE, INSEAD and the University of St Gallen.
In 2011 Klaus was named the NOAH Internet Investor of the year. In 2013, Forbes ranked him first among European investors on the 2013 MIDAS list.
Formerly COO of Skype, Michael Jackson is a General Partner at Mangrove Capital Partners. Active across all of Europe, Russia and Israel, Michael spends his time looking for investable projects and advising portfolio companies as they grow into significant operations.
His professional life always involved scaling and operating large consumer focussed communications businesses. From development of mobile telephone operations, through the roll out of Tele2 in Europe to 26 million customers, to creation and establishment of 9 MVNO operations in Europe, Michael hopped over to Chief Operations Officer role at Skype. Here, with special responsibility for all aspects of Skype’s paid services, he led the organization into 150 M euro plus within three years.
Michael keeps in touch with the grass roots of new technology by spending weekends at various European Bootcamp type events. Having led the Regulatory aspects of Skype concerning the transition of telecommunications to Peer to Peer models on the net, the natural next step is virtual money. Here both legislation and product need to adopt to fit the new world. Michael participates in various Bitcoin regulatory forum.
Silicon Valley Bank
Bindi Karia currently leads Silicon Valley Bank’s early stage efforts in Europe as “Vice President – Accelerator”. 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. She focused on how Microsoft could drive success for early-stage technology companies as well as being responsible for working alongside the UK Investor Community, including Venture Capitalists and Angels on behalf of Microsoft. She also sits on many Industry Advisory Boards, and has recently been appointed a trustee for Startup Weekend Europe.
Bindi was the VC/Emerging Business lead for Microsoft UK and is the UK member of the Silicon Valley Emerging Business Team. She leads BizSpark and BizSpark One in the UK, where she focuses on how Microsoft can drive success for leading edge and early-stage technology companies. She is also responsible for managing the relationships with the UK Investor Community, including Venture Capitalist, Angels and other Investor Organisations. In addition, Bindi sits on many Advisory Boards, including Seedcamp, Astia UK, The Cambridge Phenomenon and TechMediaInvest.
Her previous role at Microsoft was as a Business Productivity Advisor, where she was responsible for managing relationships with the most influential business decision-makers in the UK Financial Services Sector. She worked closely with them to deliver on the benefits and business value of investing in the latest Information Worker technologies by highlighting the importance of “worker productivity”, from the CEO to the call centre, as critical to ongoing business success. Prior to Microsoft, Bindi worked as an Associate Director in Interregnum, a UK-based Technology Merchant Bank; as Business Development Manager at Trayport Ltd, a successful commodities trading technology start-up; as a Strategy Management Consultant at PwC Consulting; and as a Senior Business Analyst at Datamonitor.
Bindi was named to the Wired UK 2010 Top 100 Digital Power Broker list (Position #42), and was recently shortlisted as a finalist for Asian Business Woman of the Year in the 2010 Asian Women of Achievement Awards.
Having grown up in Western Canada , Bindi now lives in London, and her hobbies include competing in Adventure Races such as the Microsoft UK Challenge, running marathons/duathlons, and skiing. She also enjoys the vibrant life of a Londoner, and can be seen checking out the latest restaurants or live gigs which make this city a great place to live.
Head of Special Projects, Spotify
Shak is Head of Special Projects at Spotify, where he is personal advisor to founder and CEO Daniel Ek. He has had a number of online businesses in the UK since 2000 and was part of the founding team at buy.at which was acquired by AOL and recently founded CoinDesk, a Bitcoin news site. Shak has done extensive volunteer work as an ambassador for charity: water, having helped raise millions of dollars for clean and safe drinking water. He is also a keen supporter and friend of Pencils of Promise, who build schools for those most in need. Having lived in China, Shak speaks Chinese (as well as English, Urdu, Punjabi, and Danish) and currently divides his time between London, San Francisco, New York and airport lounges. Shak is an investor in SecondMarket, Top10, BlackJet, Spotify, DueDil and Bitpay. Shak was also an investor and mentor to Nick D’Aloisio who built and sold Summly, a news curation app that was sold to Yahoo in March this year.
Partner, Index Ventures
Saul Klein is the co-founder of Kano Computing.
Saul joined the London office Index as a Partner in February 2007. He currently serves on the boards of,
Alertme, Chartbeat, Erply, GlassesDirect, MyHeritage, Seedcamp, Songkick, Soluto.
Saul brings over 15 years of experience successfully building and exiting companies in both the US and Europe as an Etrepreneur, Operator and Seed Investor. Most recently he was the Co – Founder and original CEO at what is now Lovefilm International (Amazon) and part of the original executive team at Skype (eBay).
Saul loves working with seed and early stage companies and is a passionate believer that Europe is only scratching the surface in terms of its potential for entrepreneurs to create great startups. To support this vision, since 1999 he has been a Founding Partner of The Accelerator Group (TAG) and in 2007 he also started Seedcamp and OpenCoffee Club, which is now active in over 90 cities around the world.
Co-founder and CEO, Bitstamp
Nejc Kodrič is an entrepreneur and Bitcoin enthusiast based in Slovenia.
He is co-founder and CEO of Bitstamp, one of the largest bitcoin exchanges that has been serving Europe and the world since August 2011.
Previously, Nejc was Marketing Director & Co-Founder at GSračunalniki and studied at the Faculty Of Organization And Informatics.
Thomas Korte is the founder of AngelPad, a startup incubator based in San Francisco and New York. AngelPad was ranked by Forbes Magazine as a “TOP 5 Global Accelerator” in 2012.
Prior, Thomas worked at Google for 7 years. His roles there included International Product Marketing Manager, European Search Agency Business Lead and most recently Google Evangelist.
He is the co-author of several patents related to improving efficiencies in search advertising and local search results.
Mitch Lasky is a general partner at Benchmark and has spent more than two decades in the mobile gaming, new media and interactive entertainment businesses. Prior to joining Benchmark, Mitch served as executive vice president of Mobile and Online at Electronic Arts. Previously, he was chairman and chief executive officer of JAMDAT Mobile, Inc (NASDAQ: JMDT), the leading global publisher of wireless entertainment applications, which he joined as a startup in 2000, took public in 2004, and sold to EA in 2006.
Prior to JAMDAT, Mitch served as general manager of eCompanies Wireless LLC, a startup incubator. He also spent five years at Activision, the world’s largest game publisher, most recently as executive vice president of Worldwide Studios. Earlier in his career, Mitch practiced intellectual property law, worked at the Walt Disney Company and started a massively multiplayer online game company.
Mitch is currently a board member of Cyanogen, EngineYard, NaturalMotion Games, thatgamecompany, Snapchat, Meteor Entertainment, Red Robot Labs, Grockit, and Vivox. Previously, he has served on the boards of JAMDAT, Hiplogic, Gaikai, Gaia Online and Riot Games.
Aaron Levie, Box
Aaron Levie co-founded Box with friend and Box CFO Dylan Smith in 2005. The Box mission is to provide businesses and individuals with the simplest solution to share, access and manage their information. Aaron is the visionary behind Box’s product and platform strategy, which is focused on incorporating the best of traditional content management with an easy to use user experience suited to the way people collaborate and work today. Box is one of the fastest growing companies in enterprise software, used by more than 15 million individuals and 150,000 businesses worldwide.Aaron studied business at the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California before leaving to found Box.
Alexander is co-founder and CEO of Soundcloud, the audio platform that enables anybody to upload, record, promote and share their sounds on the web. Since its launch in 2008, Alexander has been responsible for all aspects of the site’s strategic vision and business development.
Under his leadership, Soundcloud has quickly gained a reputation for being the number one platform available for audio creators to share, broadcast, track and promote their sounds. Ljung has also become a sometime investor, backing Loopcam and Tripbirds most recently as an Angel.
He also picked up the award for Best International Startup this year at The Crunchies. You can check out his personal Soundcloud channel here.
Chairman and CEO, Zeptolab
Misha is Chairman and CEO at Zeptolab, the developer of mobile game phenomenon Cut The Rope. He is an experienced executive, serial entrepreneur and investor who has successfully founded, led and exited several start ups, including his first game development company, Reaxion (launched in 2001).
After Reaxion Misha joined Svyaznoy Group – the leading mobile retail group, where he first built a top content provider, then largest royalty program in Russia and later worked on starting Svyaznoy Bank, where he now serves on the board of directors.
Misha is also a partner at Kite Ventures – where he invests in internet start ups and is on a board of several of gaming and e-commerce portfolio companies.
Ijad Madisch is the co-founder and CEO of ResearchGate, the social networking site for scientists and researchers to share papers, ask and answer questions and find collaborators.
Ijad holds a M.D. and Ph.D., and studied medicine and computer science in Hannover at Harvard University. In 2005 he received the RSNA Young Investigator Prize for his work on ultra high-resolution CT Imaging of tissue-engineered bone growth.
After several years in Boston, where he worked as a radiology researcher at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Ijad moved to Berlin and founded ResearchGate in 2008. The company is now based in Berlin and has offices in Cambridge, Mass. Ijad has stated that he wishes to win a Nobel Prize through the site by disrupting the way in which science is conducted.
Dave McClure is a venture capitalist & the founding general partner at 500 Startups, an internet seed fund and startup accelerator program in Mountain View, CA. Dave has been geeking out in Silicon Valley for over twenty years, and has worked with companies such as PayPal, Mint.com, Founders Fund, Facebook, LinkedIn, SlideShare, Twilio, Simply Hired, O’Reilly, Intel, & Microsoft. He also likes to play ultimate frisbee when his knees don’t hurt.
Dave has been an investor in over 500 companies in the past decade, including: Mint.com (acqd INTU), SlideShare (acqd LNKD), Twilio, Makerbot (acqd SSYS), SendGrid, Credit Karma, Wildfire Interactive (acqd GOOG), Mashery (acqd INTU), among many others.
Before founding 500 Startups, Dave managed FF Angel LLC, a seed-stage investments program at Founders Fund from 2008-2010, and in 2009 he also managed fbFund, the Facebook seed fund and incubator program. From 2007-2008, Dave was a consultant and advisor to several startups including Mint.com and oDesk. From 2005-2006, Dave launched and ran marketing for job search engine Simply Hired. From 2001-2004, Dave was Director of Marketing at PayPal (acquired by eBay in 2002), where he started & ran the PayPal Developer Network program. Prior to PayPal, Dave was a database consultant & programmer for several companies, including Microsoft and Intel. In 1994 he founded Aslan Computing, an internet and e-commerce firm later acquired by Servinet/Panurgy in 1998.
Dave is a founder of Startup2Startup, a monthly dinner series for Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and investors, and founder of GeeksOnaPlane, an international travel and cultural exchange program for technology entrepreneurs and investors. He has been a visiting lecturer on social networking platforms and applications at Stanford University. Dave has been an advisor to microfinance organizations Unitus & Kiva, and he graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 1988 with a BS in Applied Mathematics & Engineering.
Andy McLoughlin is co-founder of Huddle, the enterprise cloud collaboration company. Under the leadership of Andy and co-founder Alastair Mitchell, Huddle is used by more than 100,000 businesses worldwide and has raised more than $40M in venture funding from leading investors including Matrix Partners, Jafco Ventures, DAG Capital, In-Q-Tel (colloquially known as ‘the venture arm of the CIA’), Eden Ventures, and WebEx founder Subrah Iyar. A firm favourite with government organisations, Huddle works with 80% of central UK government departments, including the Cabinet Office and Crown Prosecution Service. Globally recognized brands such as SEGA, P&G, Kia Motors and Unilever also use Huddle to share and work on content with teams inside and outside of their organisations.
Based in San Francisco, Andy manages Huddle’s growing U.S. presence and is responsible for corporate development and product strategy. Andy is also an active early-stage angel investor, working with amazing companies like Pipedrive, Postmates, Buffer, Tray.io, Hullabalu, Intercom and Apiary. Andy holds a BA in Economics but has since forgotten all but the most basic of theories.
CEO and co-founder, Lyst
Chris is the CEO and co-founder of Lyst (www.lyst.com), a social curation platform for online fashion.
Prior to founding Lyst, Chris was an investor at Balderton Capital and Benchmark Capital, focussing on consumer internet; specifically ecommerce, music and games.
Chris was also Business Development Manager of the Energy and Materials division at QinetiQ, one of Europe’s leading technology R&D organisations.
Education: MA in Natural Sciences (Physics and Philosophy) from Cambridge University, 2003, and a DERA Scholar.
CEO and co-founder, Skimlinks
Alicia Navarro is CEO and Co-founder of Skimlinks, having evolved the business out of a previous social shopping startup. Skimlinks is a leading content monetization technology, helping thousands of publishers all over the world to earn money from their content in seamless simple way.
Alicia’s vision for Skimlinks is to see online publishers be rewarded for the role they play in creating purchase intent. She achieved this by removing the technical and administrative complexities that hamper would-be affiliates, and helping turn affiliate marketing into a mainstream ubiquitous revenue model for blogs, editorial sites, forums, and other content platforms.
Alicia worked for over 10 years in internet applications, designing and launching mobile and internet-based applications in Australia and the UK. She has a Bachelor of Information Technology and the University Medal for Computing Sciences from the University of Technology, Sydney.
Partner, Earlybird Ventures
Ciarán O’Leary joined Earlybird in 2009 as a Senior Associate and was promoted to Partner in January 2012. Ciarán has eight years of investment experience. Investments include Peak Games (emerging markets social gaming), 6Wunderkinder (productivity apps), Moped (private messaging), B2X Care Solutions (outsourcing platform), madvertise (mobile targeting network) and simfy (digital music distribution company). Prior to joining Earlybird Ciarán co-founded a start-up and gathered operational experience at others. Before that he was a member of The Carlyle Group’s Buyout team.
He began his career at Lazard’s mergers & acquisitions franchise. Ciarán received his Masters degree in business (focus on entrepreneurship and finance) from HHL-Leipzig Graduate School of Management. He also studied abroad at NTU Singapore and wrote his master thesis at WHU-Otto Beisheim School of Management.
EyeEm, Executive Chairman
Entrepreneur and Business Angel focusing on consumer product innovation in digital media and mobile internet. Christophe founded and is currently Chairman of txtr.com, the largest eBooks distribution network in Europe with shops launching in over 20 countries. Christophe was the founder of gate5, a global leader in mobile navigation software, which he sold to Nokia in 2006. Today the unit which emerged fromgate5, Nokia Maps, employs more than 1000 Employees in Berlin. Christophe was also cofounder of Plazes.com, a company which pioneered “checking-in” (and was bought by Nokia in 2008).
Christophe is co-founder of PhoneDeck.com (mobile to browser service) andEye’Em.com (photo-sharing service). Christophe attended school in St.Gallen, ESADE and Stanford and worked in Asia for a few years. Christophe with swiss citizen is active in the Berlin tech scene and was involved in the creation of Brands4Friends, StudyVZ, Plista, Barcoo, AppAware, Amen, Readmill and SoundCloud.com (board of directors). Christophe was named best “Seed investor of 2011 and 2012” by TechCrunch Europe.
Founder and Managing Partner, DN Capital
Nenad Marovac has more than 20 years of venture capital and private equity investment experience in the media, telecom and technology sectors.
Mr. Marovac is the Founder and Managing Partner of DN Capital which is a pan-European venture capital firm focusing on investments in software and digital media in Europe and the US. His investments include Shazam Entertainment, Datanomic (acquired by Oracle),OLX (acquired by Naspers), Mister Spex, Eyeka, Tbricks, Apsmart, Windeln and Jacobs Rimell (acquired by Amdocs). He is Chairman and CEO of DN Capital.
Mr. Marovac founded DN Capital in June 2000 after leaving Advent International, one of the world’s leading global private equity houses, where he was a Partner in the London office. At Advent International, he spent five years investing in European media, IT services, Internet and telecom companies. His investments include Synergon (IPO: LSE/BSE), Hogart, Internet Securities (now Euromoney) and @Entertainment (IPO Nasdaq: acquired by UPC). Prior to Advent, Mr. Marovac was a Financial Analyst in the leveraged buyout group of Bankers Trust in New York focusing on media and communications.
Mr. Marovac received an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a B.S. in Business Administration cum laude from San Diego State University with Distinction in Finance.
Founder and CEO, Farfetch
José Neves was born in Porto (Portugal) in 1974. José started coding when he was 8, as so often happens this was because the ZX Spectrum his parents gave him for Christmas didn’t come with any games. Over the years, programming became a passion, and José became proficient in C, C++ and launched his first technology company in 1994, while still studying Economics at FEP (Porto).
José decided to also try his luck in shoe design, having launched Swear in London in 1996. In 2001, José launched the B Store brand and in 2006 this project received a British Fashion Award. In addition to Swear and B Store, this shoe business has a number of footwear licenses. This portfolio forms the collective behind SIX London (www.sixlondon.com).
All these years, technology and fashion continued to be José’s two passions. In 2007, José Neves came up with a new idea which merged fashion with technology. Struck by how many amazing independent retailers have a global appeal and how, at the same time, it is so difficult for them to tap the online channel, José thought that if he could unite under one roof the most inspirational boutiques of the world, this would immediately make available an unrivaled range to global consumers, whilst giving these boutiques a win-win business opportunity.
Enter farfetch, a project which hopes to give back to independent fashion boutiques the center stage in fashion they traditionally enjoyed. Farfetch.com is a third model in e-tail. It is not a pure e-tailer (like net-a-porter), or a marketplace (like eBay), but rather a multi-channel enabler for a network of the best high-end independent retailers, worldwide.
Co-Founder & CSO of Peak Games
Rina Onur is the Co-Founder & CSO of Peak Games, the leading social gaming company of emerging markets. Onur co-founded Peak in October 2011 and raised $19m in VC funding from Earlybird and Hummingbird Ventures in a matter of eight months. Peak Games is among the top 10 social game developers on Facebook globally in terms of daily active users. Peak’s target is creating and publishing social games that fit the unique interests and cultures of emerging markets.
Chamath Palihapitiya is the Founder and Managing Partner of The Social+Capital Partnership (Social Capital) – a venture capital fund based in Palo Alto, CA that incubates and invests in breakthrough companies in healthcare, education, financial services, mobile and enterprise software.
Preceding his focus as an investor, Chamath was the longest tenured member of Facebook’s senior executive team and helped drive its ascension to one of the most important companies in the world. Prior to Facebook, Chamath had leading roles at The Mayfield Fund, AIM and ICQ, and Winamp. In addition to his focus at the fund, Chamath is Owner and Director of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors.
Chamath was born in Sri Lanka, grew up in Canada, and graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Waterloo.
CEO and co-founder, Amen
Felix Petersen is CEO and Co-Founder of Amen, a Service for voicing strong opinions and ranking the world around you. Before he was co-founder of Plazes, one of the pioneering start-ups in the context and location based services area. Founded in 2005 it has been sold to Nokia in 2008.
He´s also an active investor and advisor to companies like Soundcloud, Unlike.net, Dataminr, and Gidsy. Petersen has had numerous appearances in publications like Wired, the New York Times and many others as well as being a frequent speaker at conferences.
Born and raised in Berlin, Petersen has been busy with remote data transmissions since the late eighties and has been building things on the Internet since 1996.
Robert Pollak is a Partner at SV Angel, a San Francisco-based angel firm focused on helping startups with business development, financing, M&A and strategic advice.
Prior to SV Angel, Robert worked for a multi-family office within Morgan Stanley, that focused on VCs, late stage technology companies and entrepreneurs.
He also worked at Arnold & Porter LLP on large-scale M&A transactions in their anti-trust group. Robert graduated from the University of Virginia.
Founder and Partner, Index Ventures
Neil Rimer is a Partner of Index Ventures which he founded in Geneva with Giuseppe Zocco and David Rimer. Neil started the venture capital activity of Index’s predecessor firm, later co-founding Index Ventures and raising the firm’s first fund in 1996. Prior to this, Neil spent four years with Montgomery Securities in San Francisco.
Neil’s current investment interests include Internet media, e-commerce, entertainment and education businesses as well as capital-efficient, information-oriented cleantech companies. He currently serves on a number of boards including FundingCircle, doubleTwist, HouseTrip, Lehigh Technologies, MOO Print, Netvibes, Photobox, Redwood Systems, Stack Exchange and Weatherbill. Previously; Neil sponsored and served on the boards of Betfair (LSE:BET.L), Last.fm (CBS), Ofoto (Kodak), Trolltech (Nokia) Listen (Real Networks), Numerical Technologies (Synopsis) and Genmab (SDE: GNA) and Stepstone. Neil also sits on the board of Human Rights Watch and has also served on the board of U.C. Sampdoria, a football club competing in the Italian Serie A.
Slava Rubin is the CEO and co-founder of Indiegogo, a company dedicated to revolutionizing the way that people fund what matters to them, and has led the organization to becoming the largest crowdfunding platform in the world. Slava is responsible for executing the company’s strategic growth initiatives, while overseeing all daily operations of the business.
Prior to Indiegogo, Slava was a strategy consultant working on behalf clients such as MasterCard and FedEx for over a decade. He is also the founder of “Music Against Myeloma,” an annual charity event that raises funds and awareness for cancer research.
Slava represented the crowdfunding industry at the White House during the signing of the JOBS Act and has played a crucial role in working with the White House and the SEC to finalize the rules and regulations for equity crowdfunding. He was named one of Fortune’s “40 under 40″ in September 2013 and frequently speaks at events across the globe including SXSW, Google I/O, Thomas Friedman’s Global Forum and the Bloomberg Next Big Thing Summit.
Slava graduated with a B.S.E. from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. He currently travels back and forth between Indiegogo’s San Francisco and New York offices.
Sonali has been active in the European venture business for 14 years focusing on investments in the consumer internet and digital media sectors. Sonali is responsible for investments in KupiVIP, Wonga, Seatwave, Spotify, and Top10. Sonali is also an independent director on the board of IAC. Prior to Accel, Sonali was a Partner at Atlas Venture in London where she invested primarily in internet and software as a service businesses. While at Atlas Venture she led investments in Moo, Globoforce, Skinstore (acquired by Drugstore.com) and Seatwave.
She was also a board member at Magicalia (acquired by Exponent Private Equity) and Moreover (acquired by Verisign). Sonali started her career as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs in New York City where she was actively involved in M&A and financings for a number of clients including many high-growth technology businesses. While at Goldman Sachs, Sonali co-founded the Business Development Group, a new business unit within the investment banking division successfully set up to exclusively source and execute on acquisitions of smaller, fast-growing businesses for the Fortune 50.
Investor, Global Founders Group & Global Founders Capital
Marc Samwer holds a Master’s Degree in Law from the University of Cologne where he graduated among the top of his class. After his studies, Marc worked in marketing for Visto Corporation in Mountain View, U.S.A., a Silicon-Valley start-up for communication services.
In January 1999, he and his two brothers founded Alando.de which became the market leader of internet auctions in Germany. After the successful sale of Alando.de to eBay Inc., Marc was Managing Director of eBay, responsible for Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Together with his brothers, he turned eBay Germany into the most profitable international site of eBay worldwide.
In 2000, Marc and his brothers founded Jamba! AG which became the market leader for wireless content such as music, pictures, games and videos for mobile phones in Europe and the US. In 2004 Verisign Inc. acquired Jamba! AG. In 2006 News Corp. acquired 51% of Jamba.
In 2003, Marc received the distinguished Eisenhower Fellowship Award.
Founding Partner, Kite Ventures
Edward Shenderovich is a founding partner of Kite Ventures, a venture investment company based in Moscow, and is an investor in Darberry.ru (acquired by Groupon), Tradeshift, Sponsorpay, and Ostrovok.ru among others.
Prior to Kite, Shenderovich was a founding executive at SUP, a Moscow-based online media company, which operates Livejournal.com, Gazeta.ru, and Championat.ru.
Shenderovich is also a co-founder and board member of Merchantry, a NYC-based multichannel commerce enabler, backed by BV Capital and Greycroft Partners.
Niklas Adalberth is co-founder, Deputy CEO and board member of Klarna. Niklas has a master’s degree in international business from the Stockholm School of Economics. After only three months of studies, Niklas and the other two co-founders began working with the concept of making payments online more simple and safe. The idea that grew into Klarna.
Klarna offers safe and easy-to-use payment solutions and was founded in 2005. At the core of Klarna’s services is the concept of after delivery payment, which lets buyers receive ordered goods before any payment is due. Klarna’s vision is to enable trust and to offer a frictionless buying experience to buyers and sellers across the world.
Today, Klarna has 800 employees, over 12 million customers and its payment solutions are integrated by more than 15,000 online shops. Klarna has 9 offices including development in Israel. Klarna’s has raised capital from investors such as Sequoia Capital, DST, General Atlantic and Atomico.
Reshma is a Partner of SeedCamp, a new kind of incubator which aims to provide a catalyst for Europe’s next generation of entrepreneurs through the provision of seed capital and a world class network of mentors.
Before joining SeedCamp’s executive team, Reshma was part of the Venture team at 3i. Prior to 3i, Reshma spent over 3 years at Vodafone in their Commercial Strategy team, working across the Europe and Japan footprints in marketing strategy and pricing functions. Reshma started her career in the US in investment banking (Broadview) and venture capital (Softbank).”
CEO and founder, Zendesk
Mikkel Svane is the CEO and founder of Zendesk. He started the company with Morten Primdahl and Alexander Aghassipour to make great customer service available to everyone and create software that people love to use. Today, he leads Zendesk’s global operations and business strategy with those same goals in mind.
A Dane-turned-San Franciscan, Mikkel in 2009 moved the company from Copenhagen to San Francisco. He keeps Zendesk’s Danish design roots at the center of the product while growing the number of people using it to hundreds of millions worldwide.
During his earlier time in Denmark, Mikkel led a service-management consulting group, founded a software company for online community and launched Denmark’s first community portal.
Sitar Teli is partner with Connect Ventures, an early-stage fund focusing on European internet and mobile companies.
Connect Ventures’ investments include: Space Ape Games, Citymapper, Pact Coffee and ReadWave.
Prior to Connect Ventures, Sitar was with Doughty Hanson Technology Ventures for seven years and was a board member of SoundCloud, MegaZebra and Handmade Mobile.
Her investment expertise is with consumer and prosumer product-led companies. She prefers companies that have global ambition and are product and design oriented.
Prior to becoming a venture capitalist, she spent three years with technology M&A bank Broadview (now part of Jefferies), where she realized she enjoyed working closely with technology companies far more than she enjoyed being a banker.
Co-founder and Board Observer, WeFi
Advisor, World Bank
Yossi Vardi is an Israeli investor most famous for being the original investor in ICQ—the first Internet-wide instant messaging system.
Vardi has invested in over 50 tech companies in diverse areas of software, energy, Internet, mobile, cleantech, and others. Vardi has been an active civil servant in Israel through projects involving energy and infrastructure. He also co-founded Alon, an Israeli oil company. Vardi acted as an advisor to the World Bank and the United Nations Development Program on issues of energy in the developing world.
Vardi has received many awards including The Prime Minister Award, The Industry Award, Entrepreneur of the Year (Tel Aviv University), and the CEO’s Entrepreneurs Hall of Fame from the Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization.
Christian Thaler-Wolski joined Wellington Partners in 2009. He is a Principal with the Digital Media and Software team and his primary role is identifying investment opportunities, building relationships with the great entrepreneurs behind these companies and leading the due diligence process. He has a geographic focus on Germany, the Nordics, and Central/Eastern Europe. Christian has identified or supported investments in Hailo, YPLan, EyeEm, Readmill, paywithmybank.com, Bonusbox (board observer) and import.io.
Christian possesses a deep knowledge of sales that he brings to work with entrepreneurs, including how to structure pricing models, build sales teams, integrate sales channels as well as develop sales strategies, methodologies, and metrics. Christian spent 5 years in product sales and key account management at ORACLE, the global leader in enterprise software. In 2007 he joined the management team of startup CareerConcept AG as the director of business development.
He is also an angel investor in Eduvee (online education), Semasio (ad tech, exited), and Happy Kidz (children’s furniture), as well as serving as an advisor to Seedmatch.de, Germany’s leading crowd investing platform.
Christian has an MBA from INSEAD and an undergraduate degree in international economics & business from Corvinus University, Budapest, and York University, Toronto.