Neal was one of the founding Investor in Starbucks - just one of many great decisions he has made based upon an intuitive sense of which entrepreneurs have the right DNA for success. Recently joining the Forbes Midas List, with 3 IPOs in 2012 alone (Eloqua - acquired in 2012 by Oracle for $871 million; Enphase Energy for $242 million; and Guidewire Software at market cap: $2.09 billion) along with a slew of other coups over his career, Neal's adventurous spirit has also taken him atop six of the seven tallest summits in the world.
"My philosophy is to always do something that scares you, which includes investing sometimes. But that's when I feel most alive."
With 17 IPOs in 20 years and 10 M&A deals, Neal and his team have generated significant results by working with companies that altered the way the technology industry works, such as Red Brick Software, a first in data warehousing, Exodus, which delivered the first web hosting services, Brocade, which defined the storage market, and Informatica on of the first data mart technologies.
Neal created the Dempsey Foundation to focus on his three areas of interest: higher education, children and the environment.
Dr Jude Currivan is a cosmologist, planetary healer, futurist, author and previously one of the most senior business women in the UK. Having grown up as the daughter of a coal miner in the north of England, she has since journeyed to nearly seventy countries around the world and for the last nearly twenty years has lived in the sacred landscape of Avebury. She has experienced multidimensional realities since early childhood and worked with the wisdom keepers both incarnate and discarnate of many traditions.
Jude integrates leading edge science, research into consciousness and universal wisdom teachings into a wholistic wholeworld-view. This underpins her work aimed at enabling transformational and emergent resolutions to our collective planetary issues, raising awareness and empowering fundamental change and sustainable solutions to global problems.
She holds a PhD in Archaeology from the University of Reading in the UK researching ancient cosmologies and a Masters Degree in Physics from Oxford University specialising in cosmology and quantum physics. She is the author of five non-fiction books currently available in 15 languages and 25 countries including CosMos – a co-creator’s guide to the whole-world co-authored with Dr Ervin Laszlo. Her first fictionalised e-book Legacy is recently available at amazon.
Her international corporate career culminated in her being the Group Finance Director of two major international businesses. She has extensive experience and knowledge of world events, international politics and global economic and financial systems and has spoken on transformational reforms in the UK, US, Europe, Japan and South Korea.
is founder and CEO of ASTUTIA. He is an expert for the development of start up companies. In his professional carreer, he worked as a consultant for corporations and assisted the development of new businesses on company side and on investor’s side. Amongst others he worked for Hubert Burda Media, WEB.DE and Roland Berger Strategy Consultants. Benedict Rodenstock got his MBA at the University St. Gallen; he studied internet technologies at New York University, and at the University Bologna he aquired a degree in history.
Karen is an international investment specialist, experienced speaker and one of only six per cent of female VC partners globally. Her impressive career started in 1998 when she spent time consulting companies on the East and West coast of America during the height of the dotboom / dotbust. But it was her work with three startups while studying for her MBA - one which failed, one which prospered and one which resulted in an asset sale- that lead her to a career in investment.
After spending some time with Boston Consulting Group, Karen joined Beringea as an Investment Director in 2007, where her outstanding performance led to a her promotion to Partner and CIO last year. Beringea's portfolio covers a huge variety of investments, with over £200million under management from the UK. Karen brings her expertise in technology, digital media and consumer to grow the portfolio in these areas. Her particular specialisms include retail technology, ecommerce and adtech and she bring her varied experience to several thriving businesses as Non-Executive Director. These include Blis, Thread and Whistle Sports.
Greg Mortenson is the co-founder of nonprofit Central Asia Institute www.ikat.org , founder of Pennies For Peace www.penniesforpeace.org , and co-author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Three Cups of Tea www.threecupsoftea.com , and author of the bestsellerStones into Schools www.stonesintoschools.com .
In 2009, Mortenson received Pakistan’s highest civil award, Sitara-e-Pakistan (“Star of Pakistan”) for his dedicated and humanitarian effort to promote education and literacy in rural areas for fifteen years.
Several bi-partisan U.S. Congressional representatives have nominated Mortenson twice for the Nobel Peace Prize in both 2009 and 2010.
Mortenson was born in Minnesota in 1957. He grew up on the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania (1958 to 1973). His father Dempsey, co-founded Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center (KCMC) www.kcmc.ac.tz a teaching hospital, and his mother, Jerene, founded the International School Moshi www.ismoshi.org .
He served in the U.S. Army in Germany (1977-1979), where he received the Army Commendation Medal, and graduated from the University of South Dakota in 1983.
In July 1992, Mortenson’s sister, Christa, died from a massive seizure after a lifelong struggle with epilepsy on the eve of a trip to visit Dysersville, Iowa, where the baseball movie, ‘Field of Dreams’, was filmed in a cornfield.
To honor his sister’s memory, in 1993, Mortenson climbed Pakistan’s K2, the world’s second highest mountain in the Karakoram range.
While recovering from the climb in a village called Korphe, Mortenson met a group of children sitting in the dirt writing with sticks in the sand, and made a promise to help them build a school.
From that rash promise, grew a remarkable humanitarian campaign, in which Mortenson has dedicated his life to promote education, especially for girls, in remote regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan.
His work has not been without difficulty. In 1996, he survived an eight day armed kidnapping by the Taliban in Pakistan’ Northwest Frontier Province tribal areas, escaped a 2003 firefight with feuding Afghan warlords by hiding for eight hours under putrid animal hides in a truck going to a leather-tanning factory. He has overcome fatwehs from enraged Islamic mullahs, endured CIA investigations, and also received threats from fellow Americans after 9/11, for helping Muslim children with education.
Mortenson is a living hero to rural communities of Afghanistan and Pakistan, where he has gained the trust of Islamic leaders, military commanders, government officials and tribal chiefs from his tireless effort to champion education, especially for girls.
He is one of few foreigners who has worked for over a decade in rural villages where few foreigners go, and considered the ‘front lines’ of the ‘war on terror’
Ken has been a high performance leader in global high tech sales and sales management for 35 + years.
Ken Morse was a co-founder of six high-tech companies, together with MIT friends and classmates. Five of these ventures had successful IPOs or mergers; one was a disaster. They included 3Com Corporation, Aspen Technology, Inc., a China Trade Company, a biotech venture, and an expert systems company. Ken was either the CEO or responsible for part or all of the Sales organization in each of these new enterprises.
During his 4+ years as Managing Director of AspenTech (AZPN) Europe SA/NV, Ken’s team achieved 18 consecutive quarters of on-target sales performance by building close strategic relationships with the leading chemical and pharmaceutical companies throughout Europe and the Middle East. He grew the Aspen Tech EMEA organization from 22 to 200+ employees with basically zero staff turnover, and expanded sales revenue 600% - 900% with key client relationships.
In the 13 years that Ken served as Founding Managing Director of the MIT Entrepreneurship Center (1996 – 2009), the number of students taking Entrepreneurship Courses increased from 220 to 1,600 per year while the number of professors grew from 3 to over 36. He conceived and led the weeklong MIT Entrepreneurship Development Program, which over the past 12 years trained more than 1,500 global entrepreneurs in an intensive on campus executive education program. Ken was named “Education All Star” by “Mass High Tech” magazine.
Since 2009 Ken is Visiting Professor at the ESADE Business School. Ken served on the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (NACIE) of President Obama (Washington) for five years which launched “Startup America”, the “JOBS Act”, and other initiatives. He is a member of the Telefónica Disruptive Council (Madrid)and of the Council on Foreign Relations (NYC).
Ken’s interest in innovation and launching global sales for high tech ventures began at MIT, where he graduated with a BS in Political Science in 1968, followed in 1972 with an MBA from Harvard Business School. Upon graduation, he joined Schroders, the UK-based merchant bank, where he worked directly for Jim Wolfensohn, former President of the World Bank.
In 1975 Ken formed a trading advisory company under the aegis of Chase Manhattan Bank to assist European and U.S. technology-based companies such as IBM, General Motors, Gillette, Hughes Aircraft, Mine Safety Appliances, Waters Associates, and others to enter the China market. Ken was based in Beijing for five years during the latter half of the Cultural Revolution. Since 1980 when he co-founded 3Com Corporation, he has focused on building global technology-based businesses.
A dozen years ago he formed Entrepreneurship Ventures Inc. [EV], convening an experienced team of practitioners and serial entrepreneurs to deliver Entrepreneurial Skills Development workshops and programs in Colombia, Canada, Europe (Norway, Romania, Scotland, Spain, The Netherlands), in Turkey, the Middle East (Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, UAE), in Pakistan and New Zealand.
In the U.S., Ken serves on the Board of Advisors of several MIT spin-offs including Cambrian Innovation Inc., Concentric Power Inc,, FloDesignSonics Inc.,HubSpotInternet Marketing, and Terrafugia.
Elsewhere, Ken serves on the Board of Advisors of several ambitious global startups, including DenkwerkGmbH in Germany; ZylincLtd in Denmark; IzonScienceLtd in New Zealand; NaseebNetworks Inc.and SofizarLtd in Pakistan, Absolute NDE Inc, FlyScanSystems Inc., NewTraxTechnologies Inc., PixMob, and MicroSigns in Québec, as well as Increnta, inveniolearn.by.doing, and Forest Chemical Group SA in Spain.
During 2013, two young companies in Spain advised by Ken achieved important milestones: one was sold to Intel and the other received two major infusions of foreign capital, creating more high value jobs in Andalusia and Valencia.
Ken speaks almost fluent French and some Chinese. When he is not helping young companies to succeed, Ken enjoys sailing his 55-year old wooden boat with his family around Cape Cod.
Peter Finnie is a highly experienced patent attorney with technical expertise across all fields of engineering, most particularly in information technology, telecommunications and medical devices. He joined the profession in 1991 after graduating from Durham University with a degree in engineering.
In addition to Peter’s extensive experience, he has also been involved in mentoring Entrepreneurs as a Pitch@Palace Elevator and is a member of the Tech London Advocates.
Peter’s focus is to help businesses maximise the commercial return they realise from their innovation and intellectual property. Peter works with a long and growing list of European start-up companies, advising them on how to develop their IP strategies in a way that will build their corporate value. He also makes sure their IP plays the part that, as a primary business asset, it should within both business planning and fund raising.
Deborah Magid represents IBM’s $22B software business in the company’s 10-year old Venture Capital Group. Her expertise spans several industries.
Deborah is responsible for sharing insights about emerging markets, technologies, and business models with venture firms and entrepreneurs around the world. She scouts for emerging business opportunities, and shares views on innovation and growth areas of the market. As a director of strategy in IBM Software Group, she also brings insight from the venture community to the development of IBM’s growth strategies. Deborah is responsible for fueling the ecosystem pipeline in strategic areas related to building a “smarter planet;” and contributes to filling out the IBM product portfolio through M&A.
Deborah’s relationships are global, and extend into emerging geographies. Deborah is a frequent spokesperson on topics of relevance to entrepreneurs and investors. She is on the board of SDForum, the Silicon Valley emerging technology network, and on the Steering Committee of the California Sustainability Alliance.
Previously, Deborah held positions in product management, marketing, and user-centered design at Taligent, GE Information Services and AT&T.
Deborah holds degrees in Cognitive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Connecticut.
Speaker / Sponsor
Mindy M. Hull is the Founder and Managing Director of Mercury Global Partners, a multi-discipline, boutique marketing and PR firm with virtual offices in San Francisco, Amsterdam and London. Mercury Global Partners works with US and European businesses of all sizes - from startups to publicly traded companies - and is uniquely geared to provide an unmatched range of 360-degree marketing and PR services in both the online and offline world. MGP specializes in working with B2B and B2C companies within the TMT (tech, media and telecom) sectors with a strong focus on mobile, enterprise, cloud, media and Web 2.0 companies.
Mindy brings significant executive-level experience to her role at Mercury Global Partners with over 15 years of B2B and B2C expertise in marketing, PR/corporate communications, business development, product development and operations within the tech, mobile, internet, publishing and digital media sectors. Throughout her career, she has refined an expertise in developing and executing innovative strategies that repeatedly generate revenue while promoting goodwill and understanding between companies, their partners, their investors and their publics. She consistently wins media coverage for clients in some of the most respected media outlets in the world including the Financial Times, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, PC World, Wired, Fast Company, TechCrunch, Mashable, GigaOm, and The Guardian amongst others.
Jason Ball is a Senior Investment Manager at Qualcomm Ventures Europe and is based in London. Jason has 8 years experience working with internet and mobile software start-ups. Prior to joining Qualcomm, he was the Investment Director at London Seed Capital, a seed and early stage venture capital fund, where he focused on material science and internet technology investments.
Jason holds an MBA from ESADE in Barcelona, where he was given the “Innovation and Strategy Award” from the Boston Consulting Group, and a BS in Chemistry from Mississippi College.
A veteran journalist and editor, Joel Dreyfuss is a founding member of the National Association of Black Journalists. Dreyfuss was previously the USA Today New York Bureau Chief and has worked for the Washington Post, AP, Red Herring, Fortune Magazine, Black Enterprise Magazine, The New York Post, CNBC, and Bloomberg News. Dreyfuss has been the editor of PC Magazine and the editor-in-chief of Information Week. Dreyfuss has also worked for KPIX and KQED. He has also published articles in The New York Times Magazine, the Book Review, and the Los Angeles Times. He co-authored "The Bakke Case: The Politics of Inequality"(1980) with law professor Charles Lawrence III. Dreyfuss also blogs about Haiti for the Huffington Post. He has been a juror for the Pulitzer Prizes and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.