Nayan Patel - Founder & CEO @ H2: Nayan leads global strategy and operations for H2, working with its global chairs team across ten chapters spanning the US, EMEA, APAC, and LATAM regions. He has over fifteen years operating experience in growth-oriented leadership positions across product management, business development, and international operations with high growth, global companies including LinkedIn, Google, and Yahoo!. Prior to H2, he held early lead roles at LinkedIn with its international operations and corporate/business development teams, and previously at Google with its product management and syndication partnerships teams. Nayan received his MBA from Santa Clara University, and his BS in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from UC Berkeley.
Reshma Sohoni - Board Director @ H2: Reshma is Co-Founder & Managing Partner at Seedcamp, Europe's seed fund, identifying and investing early in world-class founders attacking large, global market and solving real problems using technology. Since launch a decade ago Seedcamp has invested in 250 startups including the likes of fintech unicorn TransferWise along with some of Europe's fastest growing companies Revolut, UiPath and wefox. Earlier in her career, 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. Her venture capital career started with eVentures India where she actively supported companies like Make My Trip (NASDAQ – MMYT), Contest2Win, and Clubgreetings. Reshma started her career in the US in investment banking with Broadview (now part of Jefferies). She has an MBA from INSEAD and dual undergraduate degrees in Engineering and Business from the University of Pennsylvania.
Charles Hudson - Board Director @ H2; Charles is Managing Partner and Founder of Precursor Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm focused on investing in the first institutional round of investment for the most promising software and hardware companies. Prior to founding Precursor Ventures, Charles was a Partner at SoftTech VC. In this role, he focused on identifying investment opportunities in mobile infrastructure. He was also the Co-Founder and CEO of Bionic Panda Games, an Android-focused mobile games startup. Prior to joining SoftTech VC and co-founding Bionic Panda Games, Charles Hudson was the VP of Business Development for Serious Business until the company was acquired by Zynga in February 2010. Previously, Charles worked in New Business Development at Google and focused on new partnership opportunities. He holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a B.A. in Economics and Spanish from Stanford University.
Tom Clayton - Board Director @ H2, former Chapter Chair @ H2 Singapore (2012-14): Tom has started, ran and worked for numerous technology companies. Currently, Tom is VP of International Operations at Houzz, where he is aggressively building out dozens of countries. Previously, the CEO of Bubbly, the Singapore-based company backed by Sequoia, JAFCO and other prominent investors, he built them into a leader in mobile social media across Asia with 200M+ users. Prior to running Bubbly, Tom was GM of the Mobile Business at BEA Systems, an infrastructure software company acquired by Oracle for $8.5B. Before BEA, Tom helped start five different companies. At his last startup, Bang Networks, another Sequoia-backed networking software company, he helped build out the BD and sales organizations. Tom’s other startups ranged from an ecommerce-focused SI to a high-end audio manufacturer.
Jeff Merkel - Founder & Board Director @ H2: Jeff is a Co-Founder at Ladder, a VC-backed startup that provides a smart, simple way to insure your life. He joined from Issuu, where he was CRO, responsible for managing sales and business development. Previously, he was director of global Android partnerships at Google. Jeff joined Google as part of the AdMob acquisition, where he was vice president and general manager of Asia Pacific. Earlier in his career, Jeff was director of media solutions for Motorola where he was responsible for sell in, commercialization, and marketing of media solutions and services. He also held the positions of marketing manager at Apple Computer, a business development manager for a wireless payment startup in Singapore and a management consultant for Price Waterhouse in the U.S. and Europe. Jeff holds bachelor's degree from Taylor University and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Rajesh Sawhney - 2019 Global Summit Co-Chair @ H2, Chapter Co-Chair @ H2 India (2018-present): Rajesh is Co-Founder & CEO @ InnerChef, Founder @ GSF: Rajesh is the CEO and co-founder of InnerChef, India's leading cloud kitchen company. Rajesh is also the founder of GSF, India's leading multi-city Tech Accelerator which has funded over 50 startups so far. Rajesh also serves on the boards of Microland, Neilsoft, and Indiamart. Additionally, he advises Trident Capital, a multi-billion AUM venture firm based in Palo Alto, California. Rajesh is an alumnus of the Harvard Business School (AMP), and has a fellowship from the London School of Economics.
William Bao Bean - 2019 Global Summit Co-Chair @ H2, Chapter Co-Chair @ H2 China (2016-present): William is a Partner at SOSV, a US$250m accelerator focused venture capital fund, and the Managing Director of Chinaccelerator, East Asia's first startup accelerator. He joined SOSV from SingTel Innov8 Ventures where he was Managing Director supporting China investments. Previously, William was a Partner at Softbank China & India Holdings, a venture capital firm backed by Softbank and Cisco. He currently sits on the boards of advisors/directors for a number of companies including GMobi, Massive Impact, ChaseFuture, Neonan, Mingbo, iTalki, and kineticOne as well as organizations including Angelvest (天使谷), the largest and most active angel investing group in Asia, AAMA Shanghai and the Techyizu, Beijing Hive, Digital Matters and AdTech: China events. He holds a BA from Bowdoin College.
Chara Burnett - Global Operations Lead @ H2: Chara is responsible for supporting H2's global programs, network operations and growth initiatives working across our Global and Chapter Chairs teams, as well as H2's partner network. She has over a decade of experience running independent events for executives at public companies (Informatica, Oracle, Siebel), venture capital firms (Technology Crossover Ventures, Elementum) as well as Event & Membership Administration for high end private organizations (YPO, Full Circle Fund). Prior to residing in Palo Alto in 2001, Chara spent 6 years in Boston where she worked in Management Consulting (EDS, HCm). She graduated, cum laude, with a degree in Operations Management, from University of Massachusetts at Amherst.