One down, one to go.
We’re headed from a successful pitch-off in Austin to a surely successful pitch-off in Seattle. Ten startups will have exactly 60 seconds to pitch their wares to a panel of expert judges.
You already know which startups to expect on stage, but we’re now proud to announce our esteemed judges:
Sonal Mane, Microsoft Startups
Sonal runs National Programs for the US DX Startups team. In this role, she has responsibilities for startup initiatives to create a portfolio of high potential startups. Sonal focuses on extending the assets and resources from Microsoft among entrepreneurial hubs and early-stage businesses.
Sonal is a senior business leader with over ten years of experience in business and product development. Prior to joining this role, Sonal was based in Chicago managing strategic initiatives and partnerships across the startup ecosystem. Sonal also served as a Senior Investment Associate at MATH Venture Partners. Sonal has launched flagship products such as Windows 8, Bing and Office 2007.
As a national advisor to Pipeline Entrepreneurs, Sonal is passionate about connecting with fellow entrepreneurs to build and grow businesses. She also sits on the Board of Directors of the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center as an advocate for Women in Technology and was nominated as the ‘Prominent Woman in Technology’ by the Illinois Technology Association.
Daniel Li, Madrona Venture Group
Daniel Li is an investor with Madrona Venture Group, an early stage venture capital firm based in Seattle, where he works on identifying new investments and supporting the growth of Madrona’s portfolio companies. Several trends he is currently following are the intersection of broadcast and social media, machine learning and artificial intelligence, and VR/AR.
Daniel is also actively engaged in the firm’s activities in the local startup and business community through organizations such as Startup Weekend and Challenge Seattle. Prior to joining Madrona, Daniel was a consultant with Boston Consulting Group, where he worked on operations and strategy projects for clients in the technology and healthcare industries. Daniel graduated from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania with degrees in Finance and Psychology.
Toni Reid, Amazon
Toni Reid is the current Director of Product for Amazon Echo Devices & Alexa. Reid also served as Director of AmazonFresh Consumables Technology and Amazon.com´s online advertising program which she launched in late 2006. In this role, she is responsible for shaping and driving the business globally, including product development, engineering, yield management, sales, account management and operations. Amazon.com serves over 70 million customers and has one of the largest, most active and most passionate web communities in the world. Given its web scale, as a top 10 publisher destination in the US, UK, Germany, France and Japan, Amazon can provide advertisers very high volumes of impressions. And with its pioneering personalization technology, Amazon is able to provide advertisers with an unparalleled ability to target specific customer segments on each of its worldwide sites.
Toni has been at Amazon.com for 10 years, most of that time in some type of Business Development or Product Management capacity – leading a variety of businesses including Online Advertising, Corporate Gift Certificates, Package Insert Advertising, Partner Promotions and Content Licensing. She started out in the Recruiting group helping to staff Amazon in its early years. Previous to Amazon, Toni worked at Microsoft in the recruiting department.
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