Judges

Tim Draper

Timothy C. Draper is the Founder and a Managing Director of Draper Fisher Jurvetson. His original suggestion to use "viral marketing" in web-based e-mail to geometrically spread an Internet product to its market was instrumental to the successes of Hotmail and YahooMail, and has been adopted as a standard marketing technique by hundreds of businesses. On behalf of Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Tim serves on the boards of DoAt, Glam, Meebo, Prosper, SocialText, and DFJ Plug 'N Play companies. DFJ's previous successes include: Skype (EBAY), Overture.com (YHOO), Baidu (BIDU), Parametric Technology (PMTC), Hotmail (MSFT), PLX Technologies (PLXT), Preview Travel (TVLY), Digidesign (AVID), and others.
Tim launched the DFJ Global Network, an international network of early-stage venture capital funds with offices in over 30 cities around the globe. He founded or co-founded DFJ ePlanet (global), Draper Fisher Jurvetson Gotham (NYC), Zone Ventures (LA), Epic Ventures (Salt Lake City), Draper Atlantic (Reston), Draper Triangle (Pittsburg), Timberline Ventures (Portland), Polaris Fund (Anchorage), DFJ Frontier (Sacramento and Santa Barbara), DFJ Vina Capital (Vietnam), and DFJ DragonFund (Shanghai).
 

Mark Iwanowski,Partner, Trident Capital

 Mark Iwanowski joined Trident Capital in 2005 focusing primarily on CleanTech and IT infrastructure investments. Mark has twenty-seven years of experience successfully leading multiple global businesses in the high tech industry for both commercial and government customers. Mark was most recently Senior Vice President Global IT for Oracle Corporation. Prior to Oracle, Mark managed a Systems Integration, ASP and Outsourcing business for SAIC and was a principle in two successful start ups.
 

Saeed Amidi, CEO and Founder – Plug and Play Tech Center

Saeed Amidi is the Founder and CEO of Plug and Play Tech Center. Plug and Play is the premier technology startup accelerator with over 300 companies which collectively have raised an excess of $750 million.
Additionally, Saeed is a General Partner in Amidzad. The fund has been investing in technology companies for over 15 years and holds successful investments in over 70 technology companies, some of which are: PayPal, Powerset, Danger, Bix, Powerset, DropBox, Lending Club, Zoosk, etc.
Saeed is a serial entrepreneur and a seasoned executive with over 28 years of experience in founding, operating, and growing successful companies. He has successfully started and grown businesses both nationally, as well as internationally, in countries like: Spain, Italy, France, Austria, etc.
Saeed’s current passion is inspiring and helping entrepreneurs and startups out of universities. Some of the universities he is working with include MIT, Cornell, Carnegie Mellon, Harvard, Stanford, Berkeley, Santa Clara, Wharton, Dartmouth, and more. His objective is to identify great entrepreneurs with a passion to execute on their ideas. 
 

Eric Buatois, General Partner

Eric joined Sofinnova Ventures as a General Partner in 2001 with more than 20 years of experience in the wireless industry. Prior to becoming a venture capitalist, he held several senior management and operational roles at Texas Instruments, Hewlett-Packard and Ericsson, also having negotiated, created and managed a joint venture in Sweden between H-P and Ericsson. In his corporate roles, Eric pioneered and developed several very successful products such as Texas Instruments’ digital signal processors for the cellular market, Hewlett-Packard’s telecommunications products Opencall and Openview, and Ericsson’s operational support systems for telecom networks. Eric has also driven several acquisitions and major partnering activities.
At Sofinnova Ventures, Eric specializes in investment in the wireless ecosystem. He is a lead investor who truly enjoys building global companies and has demonstrated experience in executing spin-outs from large companies. He actively serves on the boards of companies in the US and in Europe, including Cortina Systems, Crestatech, Crocus Technology, Hellosoft (acquired by Imagination Technologies, LSE: IMG), Laszlo Systems, Upek (Acquired by AuthenTec, Nasdaq: AUTH) and Volubill. Eric served as Chairman of the Board of Upek from inception until 2009, Chairman of Crocus Technology from inception until Janaury 2010, and is currently Chairman of Laszlo systems.
Eric received his MS In computer Science and Communications Engineering From Ecole Nationale Superieure des Telecommunications in France. He is a board member of the International School of the Peninsula. Eric is also a charter member of TIE and is involved in various European activities to grow and stimulate innovation.
 

Igor Shoifot, TMT Ventures

Igor Shoifot is the Dude at TMTinvestments.com, a seed-stage Internet investment company listed on London Stock Exchange and an investor in several startups. He is a serial entrepreneur who started and ran 12 companies, including two (Fotki.com, one of the largest indi photo sites, and Microsoft WebTV Epsylon Games, the largest games portal on MSN TV in late 90s/early 2000s) that reached millions of users and generated tens of millions of dollars in revenues, and one (vInternship) that he sold to Manhattan Institute. Igor has advised and consulted numerous startups, banks, venture capital firms and Fortune 100 companies. He founded start-ups in VOD, VoIP, document management, software development, social networking and media sharing, and published articles and interviews at The Wall Street Journal, Venture Beat and many other publications. Igor occasionally writes for San Francisco Examiner. He has lectured to graduates and undergraduates on entrepreneurship, advertising, digital media and business at New York University, UC Berkeley, Stanford, UC San Francisco and other schools. Passionate about entrepreneurship and viral growth, Igor is currently writing a book “101 Viral Growth Tools” and teaches as an adjunct at UC Berkeley. He holds PhD, MBA, MA and BA degrees from Universities in Boston, Budapest and Moscow.
 

Salil Deshpande, General Partner, Bay Partners

Salil is General Partner at Bay, and focuses on areas in which he has operating experience and thus some intuition. Since 2006, he has invested approximately US$60M into 20 companies across two themes: (1) open source and enterprise software infrastructure, and (2) infrastructure and platforms around social graph APIs.
Salil has led Bay's investments in DynaTrace (application performance management; acquired by Compuware), Buddy Media (platform for brands to engage with customers on social media), SpringSource (open source; acquired by VMware), Engine Yard (open source, cloud, Ruby on Rails), Sonatype (open source, software artifact management), Mulesoft (open source, ESBs), G2One (open source; acquired by SpringSource), Lending Club (peer to peer lending), Jambool (virtual currencies for social graphs; acquired by Google), Finestrella (MVNO in Mexico), Cake Financial (social network and analytics for stock market investors; acquired by E*Trade), Marketocracy (wisdom of crowds applied to money management), Financial Content (syndicated financial content to thousands of local newspapers), Triggit (real-time bidding across ad exchanges), FantasyBook (completely on-Facebook fantasy sports apps; acquired by Citizen Sports, now part of Yahoo), and Vaxart (flu vaccines).
 

Paul Bragiel, Partner, I/O Ventures

Paul Bragiel is a co-founder and managing partner at i/o ventures, an early stage startup accelerator which operates out of a funky workspace+cafe in San Francisco.
Previous he has founded and served as the CEO of 3 companies including:
Lefora, a product bringing forums into the 21st century, proudly hosting over 100,000+ unique communities. Meetro, the first location based social network. Paragon Five, a game development studio specializing in console and mobile content with offices in Chicago and Krakow, Poland.
He often advises governments on entrepreneurship and policy that encourages startup ecosystems including Tanzania, Brazil & Malaysia.
Outside of work, he has toured Russia by train (starting in Siberia), bicycled across the United States (riding over 5,000 km), canoed the entire Mississippi River (paddling over 2,300 miles) and visited 75+ countries including the birth of a nation.
 

Skip Glass, Partner, Foundation Capital

Skip joined Foundation Capital in 2007, and works to assist the firm's portfolio companies and help in the assessment of potential new investments. He has more than 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur, investor, and advisor to dozens of successful software, networking, and security companies, including as CEO and President of URoam (acquired by F5), COO of Kiva (acquired by Netscape), VP of Field Operations at Illustra (acquired by Informix), VP of Marketing at Sybase, and trading area manager at IBM. He currently represents Foundation Capital on the board of SpringCM.
Prior to Foundation Capital, Skip worked with Canaan Partners, representing that firm on the boards of Voyence (acquired by EMC), Groundwork Open Solutions, and VUE Technology (acquired by Tyco). As an early stage investor, Skip has invested in several technology startups including Sygate (acquired by Symantec), SleepyCat Software (Acquired by Oracle), eHealth Insurance (IPO), and Retention Education (privately held).
 

Serge Plotkin, Venture Partner, Opus Capital

Serge Plotkin is a venture partner for Opus Capital, where he sources and evaluates investment opportunities and contributes technical assistance to portfolio companies.
Serge is also an associate professor of Computer Science at Stanford University, where he has served since 1989.
Together with Opus Capital General Partner Dan Avida, Serge co-founded Decru in 2001 where he served as chief technology officer and vice president of engineering. Serge has published more than a hundred technical papers and has been issued fourteen patents. He served as the vice chair of the Security in Storage Workgroup P1619/P1619.1, IEEE standardization committee, which is tasked with creating a standard for storage encryption, and is the editor of the IEEE1619 standard.
Serge obtained a Ph.D. in Computer Science from MIT and BSc and MSc degrees in Electrical Engineering from Ben Gurion University, Israel. Before his studies at MIT, Serge served for five years as an officer in the Israel Defense Forces.
 

Alex Scherbakovsky, New Enterprise Associates (NEA)

Alex Scherbakovsky has been investing in technology companies since 2002, and is currently with New Enterprise Associates, a $11B global venture capital firm. He holds an MBA from Harvard and MS in Engineering and AB in Economics from Stanford.
 
 

Patrick Suel, Venture Partner, Panasonic Ventures

Patrick Suel joined the venture group in 2006. He brings 18 years of experience in software technologies, venture investment, international marketing and business development. He previously worked as a venture partner for SKG Ventures and was a software executive with various venture-backed Silicon Valley startups in artificial intelligence, financial services, enterprise software and software tools where his contributions resulted in two IPOs and two M&A exits. As an entrepreneur, he founded three startup companies in software and life sciences. Patrick holds a Masters of Science in Artificial Intelligence from the University of Marseilles III and a Masters of Science in Advanced Physics from the University of Marseilles II.
 

Tim Wilson, Partner, Artiman Ventures

Tim recently joined Artiman Ventures, an early stage technology fund as Managing Partner.
From 2001-2011 Tim was a partner at Partech International where he focused on early stage technology investing across semiconductors, cleantech, software and solutions.
Between 1998 -2001, Tim was the Chief Marketing Officer for Digital Island (ISLD) a Partech portfolio company. The company was acquired in 2001 for $350M. Prior to Digital Island, Tim was a General Manager at Lucent Technology where he led the international voice communications product management team (now Avaya) with P&L for product lines generating over $2B in annual sales. Before Lucent, Tim held a variety of senior management positions within AT&T (North America and Australia) and AT&T Bell Labs from 1983-1995.
His current boards include: Invensense (NYSE: INVN), Prysm, Five9s, LedEngin, Array Converter , and Acco Semiconductor. Previous investments include Teknovus (Broadcom) and Ario Data (Xyratek).
He graduated summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa from Bowdoin College receiving his undergraduate degree in Physics. He received his MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business where he was named a Fuqua Scholar.
 

Brandon Farwell, Draper Fisher Jurvetson

Brandon Farwell is an Investment Professional at Draper Fisher Jurvetson. Prior to joining DFJ, Brandon worked in Credit Suisse’s San Francisco office within the Alternative Asset Management Division. He focused on secondary investments mostly in leveraged buyout and venture capital funds across a variety of industries and geographies. Prior to working in San Francisco, Brandon completed an internship in investment banking in New York within Credit Suisse’s Financial Institutions Group.
Brandon graduated from Stanford University with a BA in Economics and a Minor in International Relations. While at Stanford, he was Vice-President of the student-run entrepreneurial club entitled the Business Association of Stanford Entrepreneurial Students (BASES). He organized workshops and conferences on entrepreneurship, raised the capital to fund the club, and helped organize campus-wide business plan competitions. He remains active in the club as a mentor to student members and adviser to some start-ups.
 

Elton Sherwin,Sr. Managing Director, Ridgewood Capital

Elton Sherwin is the Senior Managing Director at Ridgewood Capital where he invests in energy technology, software and wireless companies. He is the author of Addicted to Energy – A Venture Capitalist’s Perspective on How to Save our Economy and Our Climate.
Addicted to Energy is written as a letter to a fictional governor describing how to protect the environment and simultaneously grow employment and the economy.
Elton’s first book, The Silicon Valley Way—translated into Chinese, Japanese, Spanish and Korean—is used by entrepreneurs and university programs around the world. He is an occasional guest speaker at Stanford University on energy policy and entrepreneurship. Many of his presentations for entrepreneurs are posted at slideshare.net/EltonSherwin
A UC Berkeley graduate, he holds eight patents and currently serves on the boards of five companies including NRG Dynamix, which designs hybrid drive trains and energy storage systems for cars and trucks.
 

Anis Uzzaman, Partner, Fenox Venture Capital

Dr. Anis Uzzaman is the Co-founder and General Partner of Fenox Venture Capital. Anis focuses on early stage investments (Seed and Series A) in the areas of Internet, Software Development and Retail (eCommerce).
Anis served in key engineering and management positions at IBM and at Cadence Design Systems. Anis also experienced firsthand retail and consumer businesses many of which went through successful acquisitions. Anis has been serving on various company boards over the last decade and has initiated multiple start-ups, building many through success.
Anis earned a B.Eng. degree in Engineering from Tokyo Institute of Technology in Japan, an M.S. degree in Engineering from Oklahoma State University in USA, and a Ph.D degree in the same discipline from Tokyo Metropolitan University in Tokyo, Japan. Anis has published more than 30 technical papers and participated in more than 100 international conferences, workshop and seminars.
Anis’s most recent investments include Pay Stack, Rap Genius and Adpop Media from Y-Combinator.
 

Marcin Hejka, Intel Capital, Managing Director - Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa

Marcin Hejka – Managing Director, Intel Capital, Central Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa. Prior joining Intel Capital in 1999 he was Vice President at the Poland Growth Fund (1995-1999), Resident Polish Specialist at Banexi (1993), an investment arm of BNP, and Financial Analyst at Paribas Capital Markets Group (1990). Since 2009 Marcin served in Supervisory Board of Agora S.A., leading Polish media company listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange. He has also served in boards of several Intel Capital portfolio companies including Nokta, AVG, iMall, Siveco and others. Previously he served as Supervisory Board Member in Kredyt Bank (1997-1999) and Bank Komunalny (1995-1999), two Polish banks listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange and Deputy Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Dromex (1998-1999), the largest Polish road construction firm. Between 2006 and 2011 Marcin was Vice President of the Polish Venture Capital and Private Equity Association.
 

Brian Wilcove, Partner, Sofinnova Ventures

Brian Wilcove joined Sofinnova Ventures in 2006 as a Partner on the Technology investment team. Brian focuses on communications & networking, business intelligence and energy technologies. His current investments include ConteXtream, KXEN, Guavus and Enovix.
Prior to joining Sofinnova, he spent five years with TeleSoft Partners, where he was responsible for a number of investments, including BayPackets (GENBAND), Calix (NYSE: CALX), Internet Photonics (Ciena), LogLogic, OnFiber (Qwest), Tele Atlas (TomTom). Earlier in his career, Brian co-founded Virtela Communications, a managed services company, where he served as VP of Marketing and Business Development. Previously, Brian created, launched and managed Qwest's IP product portfolio, and he began his career at America Online. He graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.
 

Jacques Benkoski, Venture Partner, USVP

Jacques joined USVP in 2005 and focuses on fostering USVP position as an active investor in the Israeli market. He is working with several USVP companies such as BPT, Factery, HelloFax, Kilopass, Mobbles, Qnovo, Trusteer, and Zerto. Previously, he has advised several portfolio companies including ClearShape (Cadence), Dune Networks (Broadcom), LightSpeed, and Yoomba, and served as executive chairman of Certess (Springsoft) and Synfora (Synopsys).
Before joining USVP, Jacques was President and CEO of Monterey Design Systems from 1999 until its acquisition by Synopsys (SNPS) in 2004. Prior to that, he founded and served as General Manager of the European subsidiary of Epic Design Technology (EPIC) and became Vice President of European Sales following its acquisition by Synopsys. Earlier in his career, Jacques held a number of research and management positions at IMEC in Leuven, Belgium, at IBM's Scientific Center in Haifa, Israel and STMicroelectronics in Grenoble, France.
 

Nicolas El Baze, Partner, Partech International

Nicolas joined Partech International in 2000.
Prior to joining Partech Nicolas was a founder of several venture-funded companies: Softway International (acq. by ITway), Softway Systems (acq. by Microsoft), and ISDnet (acq. by Cable & Wireless). Nicolas also led the Softway Venture Development activity which incubated several successful start-ups in the U.S. and Europe including: RightPoint (acq. by E.piphany), MultiMania (IPO – acq. by Lycos Europe), and LibertySurf (IPO – acq. by Tiscali). His past investments and boards at Partech include: Akimbi (VMware), ClearApp (Oracle), Meiosys (IBM), Pantero (Progress Software), and Q-Layer (Sun Microsystems).
His current boards include Atlantis Computing, Getinsured.com, Racktivity, Replay Solutions, and Rockyou.
Nicolas holds an MBA from HEC Paris, France, and received a graduate degree in International Management from UC Berkeley Haas School of Business and Universität zu Köln, Germany.
 

Kirill Sheynkman,Managing Director, RTP Ventures

Kirill Sheynkman is the Managing Director of RTP Ventures -- U.S. representative of the $700M+ ru-Net Holdings. Focused on developing all aspects of the firms investment strategy in the United States, building an investment portfolio of Software, Cloud, SaaS, and Enterprise Infrastructure companies. Investing in companies that bring innovative technologies to big markets and are led by exceptionally smart founding teams.
Kirill, born and raised in Leningrad, is a 20-year software industry veteran, who has spent 10 of those years as a CEO of software companies. He is a three-time founder of venture-backed enterprise software companies, including an early relational OLAP vendor acquired by IBM in 1995 and Plumtree Software (NASDAQ: PLUM), the creator of the corporate portal market, acquired by BEA/Oracle in 2005. Kirill's companies were twice backed by Sequoia Capital where he was also an Entrepreneur in Residence. Kirill also held sales, product management, and business development positions at Oracle and Microsoft.
Kirill holds a degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Stanford University and an MBA from the Haas School of Business at U.C. Berkeley.
Kirill lives in Manhattan, but invests actively in companies throughout the United States.
 

Jim Scheinman, Founder, Maven Ventures

 Jim is the Founder and CEO of Maven Ventures (www.mavenventures.com), an angel investment and mentor capital company that helps entrepreneurs achieve success with their consumer internet and mobile start-ups including Tango, Pageonce, Social Gold and Katango.  Maven investments have already returned massive returns with M&A activity with companies like Google.  Prior to Maven Ventures, Jim served as an entrepreneur in residence (“EIR”) at Charles River Ventures, a leading venture firm where he helped source, vet and advise their web 2.0 portfolio companies.
Prior to his Venture career, Jim spent over 15 years experience as an executive with consumer internet and mobile start-ups and was most recently one of the early pioneers of the social networking industry as the first person to join Michael and Xochi Birch to launch Bebo in 2005 as a board member and head of business development, marketing and sales.  At Bebo, Scheinman was integral in launching the site, leading the business, marketing and sales strategy and its eventual sale to AOL for $850M in 2008.  Immediately prior to Bebo, Scheinman was one of the early employees and head of business and corporate development and sales at the first social network, Friendster, where he created the concept of ‘engagement marketing’ within social networks. 
 

Gary Little, Partner, Morgenthaler Ventures

Gary was named to the 2008 and 2009 Forbes Midas 100 lists honoring the most successful and influential people in venture capital. He focuses on Internet services and software investments. His investments include NexTag (2/3 acq. by Providence Equity), Netli (acq. by Akamai), TimesTen (acq. by Oracle) and KnowledgeNet (acq. by Thompson). Gary currently serves on the boards of Evernote, Rhythm NewMedia, Voltage Security, Jaspersoft, MuleSoft and Adara Media. He is a board observer and assists with Morgenthaler’s investments in Practice Fusion and Lending Club.
Gary joined Morgenthaler Ventures in 1997. Previously, he served in several roles at Apple Computer, including SVP of Apple’s Power Macintosh Division, VP Sales Americas, and Sr. Dir of Marketing for Apple’s Pacific division (China, Japan, Asia, Latin America, Canada).
Previously, Gary spent seven years at Sun Microsystems as Director of Product Marketing, Director of Asia Pacific Marketing (including a posting in Hong Kong), and as Group Manager of Industry Marketing. Before Sun, he held sales and marketing positions at IBM. Gary began his career as an IC design engineer for TRW’s microelectronics research labs. Gary earned an MBA from Harvard University and a BSEE from the University of California, Los Angeles.
 

Denis Kourakin

Denis is an entrepreneur and investor with over 15 years of professional experience in investment management, strategy and operational management in several geographic markets.
During his career Denis managed multi-billion dollar asset portfolios, advised on strategy to the management of Fortune 500 companies, managed teams of over 500 people.
Currently Denis is involved with several technology startup companies in the US and in Russia as an angel investor and an advisor. Serves as a Board member for several private companies.
Denis received his MBA from Stanford Business School and his BA from Cornell University.
 

Alexandra Johnson, Managing Director, DFJ Aurora 

Alexandra Johnson is a Managing director of DFJ VTB Aurora, a venture group specializing in investments in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States. It represents a strategic partnership between two of the world’s most respected financial institutions: Silicon Valley’s Draper Fisher Jurvetson (www.dfj.com) and Russia’s VTB Bank (www.vtb.com).
Previously Alexandra was a founder and managing director of Landbridge Capital LLC, an investment firm targeting U.S.-based companies commercializing Russian technology. Prior to forming Landbridge Capital, Ms. Johnson was CEO of Libritas, Inc., a venture backed provider of Information Technology (IT) products and managed telecom services for small, medium and Fortune 500 Corporations.  Next Web, a leading California-based wireless ISP, now a part of Covad, acquired Libritas in 2001 Alexandra runs the Global Technology Symposium, held annually in Silicon Valley. The Symposium is the West Coast’s premier investor conference on global emerging technologies
Alexandra received an M.A. with honors from the Far Eastern State University, Vladivostok and a Ph.D. from University of St. Petersburg. She also has an M.B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley.
 

Vish Mishra, Venture Director, Clearstone Venture Partners

Vish Mishra is a venture capitalist with Clearstone Venture Partners since 2002. Clearstone is an early-stage technology fund with over $650M in committed capital with offices in Santa Monica, Palo Alto, California and Mumbai India. Notable Clearstone investments are PayPal (eBay), Overture (Yahoo), Kazeon (EMC), Integrien (VMware), Bill Desk (India), Rubicon Project, United Online and Vast. A Silicon Valley veteran, Vish has over 30 years of leadership and management experience in the technology industry covering computers, internet, communications and software. He has served as a founder of Telera (sold to Alcatel) and co-founder of Excelan (sold to Novell), generating over $1B in revenues. Vish has also served as a CEO and director of several startup companies.
Vish is very involved with Clearstone's India strategy and investments. He has spoken at numerous industry and academic gatherings on topics of entrepreneurship, investing and business-building. Through Clearstone's two dozen investments with global operations, Vish brings direct knowledge about global investing and business trends.
Vish’s personal philosophy is investing in good people is the best way to assure success. So, look for people who bring smarts, passion, commitment and integrity to their new venture, along with market knowledge and technology expertise.
 

Ankur Jain, Vice President, Bloomberg Capital

Ankur has over 12 years of experience as an investor, strategy consultant and operational executive. Prior to joining Blumberg Capital, Ankur did strategy consulting for Accenture specializing in IT strategy. Ankur has also worked at many small and large technology companies. Ankur worked at Softaware Networks when it was acquired by Digital Island in 2000 and at Andiamo Systems when it was acquired by Cisco in 2004.
Ankur earned a B.S. in Computer Science and Engineering from IIT Delhi, an M.S. in Computer Science from UCLA, and an MBA in Management from the Wharton School, where he graduated as a Palmer Scholar. Ankur is also a co-inventor for five technology patents.
 

Sergei Burkov

Sergei Burkov had co-founded and led three Silicon Valley startups: Bilbo Innovations, Invincible (acquired by VASCO Data Security) and Dulance, a product search engine. The latter was acquired by Google, where he became the first head of its Moscow, Russia R&D Center. Sergei worked at leading American Universities, including Cornell and Univ. of Wisconsin and holds PhD in Physics from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology.
 

Fadi Bishara, Founder, BlackBox

Fadi is the founder of blackbox.vc, a global seed accelerator based in Silicon Valley focusing on supporting the growth of world class change makers and technology innovators. blackbox has taken the lead to “crack the innovation code” of Silicon Valley with the Startup Genome Project, a research project in collaboration with faculty from Stanford University and UC Berkeley to accelerate the pace of innovation around the world by exploring entrepreneurship as a management science. Prior to blackbox Fadi launched the Cofounder Network to help match hand-selected founders referred by 30+ seed accelerators and venture partners locally and across the globe. As the founder & CEO of techVenture, he’s had 15+ years experience advising, mentoring and building teams for small venture backed technology startups, in the past 5 years alone, he’s worked with 41 startups of which 14 have been acquired (bebo, Lala, Tapulous, CubeTree, MerchantCircle etc. …) and 12 others such as Zynga, Blurb, SAY Media, Causes, Splunk etc. … that are already profitable and growing.
 

Bill Reichert, Managing Director, Garage Technology Ventures

Bill Reichert has over 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur and an operating executive. Since joining Garage in 1998, Bill has focused on early-stage information technology and materials science companies. He sits on the Boards of CaseStack, WhiteHat, ClearFuels, cFares, and ThermoCeramix. Prior to Garage, Bill was a co-founder or senior executive in several venture-backed technology startups, including Trademark Software, The Learning Company, and Academic Systems. Earlier in his career, he worked at McKinsey & Company, Brown Brothers Harriman & Co., and the World Bank. Bill earned a B.A. at Harvard College and an M.B.A. from Stanford University. He was a founding board member and a Chairman of the Churchill Club, and a Charter Member of the Silicon Valley Association of Startup Entrepreneurs. Currently he is the Chairman of the Small Fund Roundtable of the VC Taskforce and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.
 

Steve Schlenker, Managing Partner, DN Capital

Steve Schlenker has 20 years of venture capital and private equity investment experience.
Mr. Schlenker is a Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer of DN Capital. He is particularly involved in investments in enterprise application software and consumer facing Internet applications. His companies at DN Capital include Endeca (acquired by Oracle), Lagan (acquired by Kana), Datanomic (acquired by Oracle), Apsalar, Digital Chocolate, Sonico, Greenleads, IGA and FamilyBuilder (acquired by Intelius).
Prior to co-founding DN Capital, Mr. Schlenker was a senior member of the investment team in his capacity as chief investment officer for SUN Technology Investors. At SUN he was also involved in the investment and successful sale of PlanetAll to Amazon, and also invested in Cyberview Technologies (AIM: CYBV), eMode (later Tickle.com, acquired by Monster Worldwide), PlasmaNet and others. Prior to joining SUN, he spent four years with Interlaken Capital, a buyout fund in Greenwich, Connecticut, where he worked on private equity investments in companies in the consumer goods, industrial distribution and service industries.
Mr. Schlenker received a BSc in Economics, summa cum laude, from the Wharton School of Finance with dual concentrations in Finance and Entrepreneurial Management, and an MBA, with high distinction, from Harvard Business School, where he was a Baker Scholar.
 

Phil Solk

Phil has over 30 years of experience in selling and delivering technology solutions to Fortune 100 companies. He has held executive and founder roles at a four successful start-ups: Seer Technology (IPO), Netigy($95m funding from Cisco), MidEdge(successful sale) and Vitria (IPO). He founded the consulting services group for Symantec, created services groups for several software companies, and co-managed a billion dollar IT outsourcing engagement. Phil has had sales quota responsibility over his entire career, and is currently a Managing Partner at Opero Partners where he helps companies drive significant revenue growth through increased sales effectiveness.
Additionally, Phil works with start-ups on strategy, business plans, and fund raising. As co-chair of Keiretsu Forum’s Software Group, he participates in the evaluation of over a hundred companies each year, with dozens of start-ups receiving Series “A” funding. He serves on the boards of Compli, a SaaS software company, and Blue Buzz, a cutting edge internet start-up focused on Search Engine Optimization with automated news aggregation.
Phil holds a Bachelors degree in Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley
 

Tim Danford

Tim joined Storm Ventures from Cisco Systems, where he was a technology leader in the Business Development organization. Tim worked with senior executives to develop strategies for entering new markets and was responsible for developing technology strategy, identifying opportunities and working with business development managers to execute investment, partnering and acquisition transactions.
During Tim’s 6-year tenure at Cisco, he played a key role in developing Cisco’s wireless strategy. The implementation of this wireless strategy resulted in the acquisition of JetCell, where Tim was the primary technology interface, as well as the acquisition of Exio, where Tim worked closely with the founders as they were exiting Hyundai and developing their product.
Tim also worked closely with senior executives to develop and build Cisco’s Enterprise VoIP (Voice-over-IP) Business Unit, which resulted in the acquisition of Selsius and the implementation of the Cisco AVVID product lines. Tim was awarded the first prestigious Technology Pioneer award by Cisco’s CTO for his contributions to the founding VoIP team.
 

Charles Chi

Charles is an angel investors and currently the Executive Chairman of Lytro Inc., a start-up developing the revolutionary light field camera. Charles is actively involved at Lytro and helped the company raise over $50M since mid 2010. Previously, Charles held a number of operating roles, including the co-founder of Lightera a start-up whose products continue to ship over 12 years later and was most recently a partner at Greylock Partners from 2000 to 2009.
 

Dror Berman

As the founding Managing Partner of Innovation Endeavors, Dror invests in the raw talent behind a dream. He loves working with entrepreneurs who explore uncharted territory on their path to creating game-changing ventures.
Throughout his career, Dror has been passionate about using technology to personalize people’s experiences in the world. Prior to joining Innovation Endeavors, Dror worked on global search strategy with Yahoo, spearheaded an R&D team at NICE Systems, and led business development for an Israeli CE retailer. He also spent three years in an elite unit at the Israeli Defense Forces.
Dror has an MBA from the Stanford GSB, and graduated cum laude in Computer Science and Bioinformatics from Ben Gurion University in Israel. Dror lives with his wife Diti in Palo Alto and travels frequently to Israel.
 

Corporate Members


Partners

 

What They Say About Us

"The wonderful thing about entrepreneurs is that their passion for starting new companies transcends languages and geographic boundaries."

Ron Conway, Founder and Managing Partner of the Angel Investors LP funds, early stage investor in Google and PayPal

"Networking is very important for start-ups. The challenge for them is often not money: it is mentoring and finding people who can give good advice from experience."

Esther Dyson, Founder, EDventure Holdings

"This conference is clearly a labor of love for a group of dedicated professionals who care deeply about the Eastern European entrepreneurs. From the value-packed educational panels, to the star-studded key note speakers' line up, to an amazing quantity of venture capitalists – this is a not to be missed event for any high tech entrepreneur,"

Richard Guha, President of the Marketing Executives Network and Managing Partner at MaxBrandEquity

"As Stanford MBA students, we were exposed to a lot of VC firms both from the Valley and abroad. It is at Stanford that we met Anna Dvornikova, an absolutely amazing business leader and (by our big luck) our friend, who was the center of the Russian Silicon Valley professional community, and was doing a huge work to connect Russia and the Valley. Anna helped us a lot with kick-starting Wikimart, put us to our first-ever conference, introduced us to most of Russian VCs. And all that happened in a very short time span! It was the beginning of a six-month journey that despite the particularly tough times resulted in an extraordinarily group of investors backing our start-up."

Maxim Faldin and Kamil Kurmakayev,
co-CEOs, Wikimart