Tim Draper DFJ
Tim Draper is founding partner of leading venture capital firms Draper Associates and DFJ. Tim's original suggestion to use viral marketing in web-based email to geometrically spread an Internet product to its market was instrumental to the successes of Hotmail, YahooMail, and Gmail and has been adopted as a standard marketing technique by thousands of businesses. Venture successes include Skype, Overture, Baidu, Tesla, Theranos, Parametric Technology, Hotmail, Digidesign, Twitch.tv, and hundreds of others. As an advocate for entrepreneurs and free markets, Tim is regularly featured as a keynote speaker in entrepreneurial conferences throughout the world, has been recognized as a leader in his field through numerous awards and honors, and has frequent TV, radio, and headline appearances. He was ranked 52 on the list of the 100 most influential Harvard Alumni, and seven on the Forbes Midas List. He was named Always-On #1 top venture capital deal maker. He was awarded the Commonwealth Club's Distinguished Citizen Award for achievements in green and sustainable energy. To further encourage entrepreneurship, Tim started BizWorld.org, a non-profit for children to learn entrepreneurship, Draper University of Heroes, a school for entrepreneurs 18-28, and he leads SixCalifornias, an initiative to improve the governance of California.
Neal Dempsey Serial Investor / Bay Partners
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.
Dale Butland has 35 years of professional experience in politics, government and communications. After graduate work in international relations at George Washington University and the University of Chicago, Dale worked briefly at the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations before accepting a position in the U.S. Commerce Department under President Carter.
Beginning in 1980 and continuing for nearly two decades, Dale worked for the late former U.S. Senator John Glenn (D-OH) in a variety of capacities, including Press Secretary, Ohio chief of staff, and Director of the Senator’s final re-election campaign in 1992. He was also frequently “on loan” to the election campaigns of other Ohio office-holders, including the late Democratic Ohio Senator Howard M. Metzenbaum.
From 1999 to the present, Dale has operated his own consulting firm ---Butland & Associates –-which specializes in media relations, as well as strategic and public policy communications. His clients have included organized labor, several corporations, non-profit organizations and foundations, an Ohio think tank, talk show host and former Cincinnati Mayor Jerry Springer, and numerous candidates for federal and state-wide office.
In Ohio, Dale is a regular weekly guest and panelist on three network-affiliated public affairs TV shows , and is a frequent newspaper op-ed contributor to the Columbus Dispatch, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Toledo Blade, Cincinnati Enquirer and Akron Beacon-Journal. He has also authored columns appearing in the New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal.
Dale is an avid sports fan and a one-time semi-professional baseball player. He is also a trivia buff who, in 1986, appeared on the Jeopardy! television game show where he says he “won a couple of thousand dollars, a trip to New Orleans and some lovely parting gifts, including ---and I’m not making this up --- fake fingernails and a year’s supply of pancake syrup.”
He and his wife Vicki live in Columbus. They have five grown children.
Marcel E. Smit AppMobi
Marcel has one of the industry's most impressive track records for taking companies over the threshold of success, with two Exits (and three companies) since 2010. He is now Chief Executive Officer of Service2Media - Multi-platform App Development Platform, Aligning Business & IT.
Marcel was previously CEO of Mirror42, the cloud and mobile business visualization software company that enables businesses to implement performance management.
Prior to joining Mirror42, Smit was CEO at Q-go, a next generation online customer service software company that he reorganized and expanded internationally in both the US and Europe. Q-go was acquired by RightNow Technologies in January 2011 for $34M USD, and Smit led the global integration of Q-go within the RightNow organization. RightNow Technologies was subsequently acquired by Oracle in October 2011 for $1.5 billion.
Prior to Q-go, Smit was Vice President, Northern Europe at MicroStrategy, a leading global supplier of business intelligence, and he held a variety of marketing and sales leadership positions at Oracle and USoft over the course of 15 years prior to that time.
Marcel graduated from Nyenrode Business University in The Netherlands with a Bachelors degree in Business Administration.
Benedict Rodenstock ASTUTIA
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.
Greg Mortenson CAI / Three Cups of Tea
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 Morse Entrepreneurship Ventures
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.
Deborah Magid IBM
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.
Roxanne Varza Microsoft
Roxanne Varza currently runs some of the startup-related initiatives at Microsoft in Europe.
Prior to Microsoft she worked for several European startups and was the former Editor of TechCrunch France (2010-2011). She has also contributed to other publications, including The Telegraph, The Kernel, Betakit and Business Insider.
She also co-founded the French and British chapters of Girls in Tech and is the co-organizer of the Failcon Paris conference.
Prior to TechCrunch, Roxanne worked for the French government’s foreign direct investment agency helping fast-growing startups develop their activities in France.
She has spoken, moderated, mentored and judged numerous startup events and programs throughout Europe and also helps European startups with content and communications.
In April 2013, Business Insider listed her as one of the top 30 women under 30 in tech.
Andrew Romans Rubicon Venture Capital
Andrew Romans is the co-founder and general partner of Rubicon Venture Capital (formerly Georgetown Angels), a VC fund and angel group. Romans also founded The Founders Club, a venture capital equity exchange fund that also provides liquidity solutions for founders, investors & employees with over 40 VCs on the advisory board in the US, Europe and Israel. Romans was previously a managing partner at Georgetown Venture Partners (GVP), managing director of Sentito Networks (acquired by Verso) and founder & president of The Global TeleExchange (The GTX), where he personally raised $47m in VC funding. Fluent in English, French and German, conversant in Czech and Slovak, Romans completed a BA at the University of Vermont and an MBA in finance at Georgetown University, which he completed on scholarship. Romans is also the author of THE ENTREPRENEURIAL BIBLE TO VENTURE CAPITAL, Inside Secrets from the Leaders in the Startup Game (published by McGraw Hill available in hardcover & all e-book formats in book stores and on Amazon.com, iTunes & Barnes & Nobel. Translated and published in Chinese, Japanese and Russian languages. Follow Romans on Twitter: @romansventures www.linkedin.com/in/romans
Jason Ball Qualcomm Ventures
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.
Joel Dreyfuss CNBC / FORTUNE
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.