GLOBAL

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.
Jeff Merkel - Founder & Board Member @ H2: Jeff joined Issuu as CRO in 2014 and is responsible for managing sales and business development. He joined from Google where he was director of global Android partnerships. Jeff joined Google as part of the company’s acquisition of AdMob, where he was vice president and general manager of Asia Pacific. Earlier in his career, Jeff was director of media solutions for Motorola, responsible for sell in, commercialization, and marketing of media solutions and services. He also held the positions of marketing manager at Apple Computer, business development manager for a payment startup in Singapore and a management consultant for PwC. Jeff holds bachelor's degree from Taylor University and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Josh Becker - Board Director @ H2: Josh is CEO of Lex Machina, where he leads strategy and operations and is a thought leader on intellectual property trends and leveraging technology to improve the practice of law. Josh was part of the Founding team of Dice.com (NYSE:DHX) and ran corporate development at Agile Software (sold to Oracle). He was a Venture Capitalist at Redpoint Ventures and then a Founding General Partner of New Cycle Capital. Previously, he also worked at McKinsey & Co. and Netscape. Josh runs Startup2Startup, an entrepreneur group and is active with the Stanford Angels and Entrepreneurs. He Chairs the Full Circle Fund, a coalition of technology and business leaders that collectively funds and supports leading social entrepreneurs. Josh earned a joint J.D./M.B.A. from Stanford University and a B.A. from Williams College.
Ellen Levy - Board Director @ H2: Ellen is Managing Director of Silicon Valley Connect, working with organizations and entrepreneurs on opportunities for “networked innovation.” Additionally, she actively manages a portfolio of ~25 startups either as an angel investor or advisory board member. Ellen spent much of the last decade working with LinkedIn, including as VP of Strategic Initiatives, head of Corporate & Business Development and member of the Executive Team, and her original role as Advisory Board member. Over her career, Ellen has held roles in venture capital (Softbank; NeoCarta; Draper Fisher Jurvetson), startups (WhoWhere; Softbook Press; LinkedIn), think tanks (Interval), large corporations (Apple; PwC), and universities (Harvard; Stanford). She has a BA from the University of Michigan, and MA/PhD in Cognitive Psychology from Stanford University.

CHAPTER CHAIRS

BERLIN

Marc Strigel - COO @ SoundCloud: Marc is Chief Operating Officer at SoundCloud, the world’s leading audio platform that enables anyone, anywhere to create and share their originally created sounds across the web. In this capacity, Marc is responsible for Operations, Marketing, and Business Development with a keen focus to grow the company efficiently across the globe. Prior to SoundCloud, Marc lead PayPal’s business on the eBay Marketplace in Germany, introducing PayPal's mobile payments suite in the country, and later across Europe. Marc has a MBA with focus in International Management in Koblenz (Germany), Paris & Washington DC. He is also a published book co-author on entrepreneurship entitled, “Erfolgreiche Unternehmerteams: Teamstruktur – Zusammenarbeit – Praxisbeispiele.”
Markus Berger-De Leon - Digital VP @ McKinsey Digital Labs: Markus is an experienced, digital CxO and entrepreneur who has run many successful European internet and mobile companies. Prior to McKinsey, at Jamba/Jamster he build and grew the operation to 700+ people to become the worlds largest mobile content provider in to millions of users in 40 countries around the world, grossing $500m in revenues all based on mobile payment.  At MyHammer, a marketplace to find tradesmen, he initiated and lead the turnaround from a transaction based anonymous reverse auction site to a subscription based, trusted, open marketplace with verified tradesmen. Markus holds a business degree and has studied at WHU in Koblenz, CBS in New York and Plekhanov in Moscow.

CHINA

Dan Brody - VP of Business Development @ Tencent: Dan is an experienced internet executive with experience at several international and Chinese internet and technology firms including Spotify, Tencent, Tudou, Google, and Motorola. Currently VP of Business Development for Tencent, China's largest and most used Internet service portal, he leads partnership activities for Western Markets. As Head of New Markets and GM for Asia Pacific for Spotify, he built and led the team responsible for launching Spotify in new markets. Previously, he was the first person hired by Google in China and worked on the legal and then business development teams to launch google.cn and then sign deals that helped doubled Google's market share in China within 2 years of launch.
Tina Shi – VP of Mobile @ Qunar: Tina is Mobile VP of Qunar, the leading search-based travel ecommerce platform in China. Since joining the company in 2012, Ms. Shi is primarily responsible for user acquisition and retention, and has achieved 8 consecutive quarters of 3x yoy topline growth. She also runs tech incubation, FP&A and strategic investment for the mobile business group, and is a key player behind the company’s Nasdaq IPO in Oct 2013. Prior to joining Qunar, Ms. Shi spent 6 years with early stage VC fund GSR Ventures where she was based in Silicon Valley and ran deal sourcing and execution focused on the consumer internet and mobile space in China. Ms. Shi holds an MBA from Wharton, an MA from Stanford University, and a BA from Fudan University.

INDIA

Ashish Kashyap - Founder & CEO @ ibibo Group: Ashish is the Founder & CEO of ibibo Group, India's biggest online travel group that owns leading travel properties Goibibo.com, redBus.in, and travelboutiqueOnline. Prior to founding "ibibo Group", Ashish was the Country Head of Google India, wherein he set up the India facing operations from ground up. Before joining Google, Ashish founded E-Commerce businesses at Indiatimes.com and drove them to a profitable and scale position. He architected a first of its kind reverse auction Travel Auctions platform and launched the online marketplace business, Indiatimes Shopping. Ashish holds an Economics (Honors) from University Of Delhi, India and a diploma in International Masters in Practicing Management (IMPM) from Insead, Fontainebleau, France.
Kirthiga Reddy - Managing Director @ Facebook India: Kirthiga leads the Global Marketing Solutions teams in India and plays a key role in building and maintaining strategic relationships with top regional agencies and clients. Kirthiga joined as the first Facebook India employee in 2010 and set up the India operations in Hyderabad. Prior to Facebook, she was VP and GM of a Consumer Security business unit and India operations at Phoenix Technologies. Kirthiga has also held the positions of Director of Product Management at Motorola and Director of Engineering at Silicon Graphics, with most of her career based in Silicon Valley. She holds an MBA from Stanford University, where she graduated with top honors as an Arjay Miller Scholar, an M.S. in Computer Engineering from Syracuse University and a B.E. in Computer Science from Ambedkar University, India.

LONDON

Celia Francis - CEO @ Rated People: Celia is CEO of leading services marketplace, Rated People. Ms. Francis was previously Chief Executive Officer of WeeWorld (sold to private equity) and held a variety of marketing and leadership roles within companies in the consumer electronics, internet, media and wireless industries for over fifteen years. She served in the mobile sector for a number of years, as executive vice president of marketing of T-Mobile International. She previously served at IDEO, the world's largest product and services development consulting company. She served as Vice President, Marketing of Xtime (sold to Cox Automotive), Director for Marketing of AltaVista and Director of Compaq's Consumer Internet Division. Ms. Francis holds an MBA from the MIT Sloan School Of Management and a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard University.
Simon Davies - Founder & CEO @ Yakatak: Simon is Founder & CEO at Yakatak, a start up innovating around mobile messaging and consumer broadcast services. Prior to this Simon was founder and Director of Snaptu, a Sequoia Capital backed mobile application company acquired by Facebook in April 2011. He was responsible for growing Snaptu’s global user base through all available means, and establishing content partnerships with national and international media corporations such as ESPN, Reuters, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Accuweather, Kapan Lagi (Indonesia), Network18 (India) as well as handset OEMs and network operators.  Previously Simon was CEO of an IT managed services business, having spent 11 years in early stage tech venture capital and consultancy.

NEW YORK

Deborah Uri - Co-Founder & VP of Marketing & Operations @ Ruby Ribbon: Deborah has worked at some of the most well respected digital companies, offering general management, strategic, and marketing leadership. She is the Co-Founder of Ruby Ribbon, Inc. and advises some of NYC's leading direct marketing and fashion tech brands. Previous positions and clients, in both the U.S. and Europe, include: General Manager, Yahoo! Europe Dating; CMO, Squarespace; Electronic Arts; chloe + isabel; Harrods. She holds an undergraduate degree from Tufts University and an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School. She lives in Brooklyn, NY with her family.
Paulo Lemgruber - VP of Business Development & Strategy @ Hearst Digital: Paulo is a business development and general manager executive. He currently advises large media companies, including Hearst and NBC Universal, and startups such as Brit & Co, Vemba, Hitfix and Pluto.tv. Until 2014, Paulo was the Vice President of Business Development and Strategy of Hearst Digital Media, where he oversaw acquisitions, investments, partnerships, ecommerce and strategy. Prior to Hearst, Paulo was the CEO of Bookish, a startup focused on book discovery, recommendation and commerce. From 2001 through 2004, he ran the international business development efforts of AOL, responsible for driving revenue to AOL's services in Europe, Asia and Latin America. Paulo is a graduate of Harvard Business School.

SAO PAULO

Marco Perlman – Founder & CEO @ Digipix: In 2004 Marco Perlman started Digipix, which became Brazil’s largest online photo printer. Serving both professionals and consumers, directly and through partnerships with major retailers, Digipix specializes in producing high quality printed materials in very small quantities. In 1999, Marco joined GP Investimentos, Brazil’s largest private equity firm, where he participated in early stage Internet and technology investments. Prior to that, he was an associate at McKinsey & Company and a project manager at Gradus Management Consultants. He attended Stanford University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and a master’s degree in industrial engineering.
Flavio Pripas – Founder & CEO @ Bitinvest: Nominated as one of the Most Creative People in Business 2012 by FastCompany, Flavio has more than 18 years of IT leadership in Brazil, Latin America, US and Europe. Prior to Bitinvest and Fashion.me, Flavio was JPMorgan’s IT Head in Brazil, Credit-Suisse Hedging-Griffo development head and JPMC Vastera Latin America IT Head. Flavio was responsible for the first full-web Supply Chain Management System in Latin America in 1997. Flavio has a B.S. in Computer Science and a MBA from FGV/SP.

SILICON VALLEY

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.
Jeff Merkel - Founder & Board Member @ H2: Jeff joined Issuu as CRO in 2014 and is responsible for managing sales and business development. He joined from Google where he was director of global Android partnerships. Jeff joined Google as part of the company’s acquisition of AdMob, where he was vice president and general manager of Asia Pacific. Earlier in his career, Jeff was director of media solutions for Motorola, responsible for sell in, commercialization, and marketing of media solutions and services. He also held the positions of marketing manager at Apple Computer, business development manager for a payment startup in Singapore and a management consultant for PwC. Jeff holds bachelor's degree from Taylor University and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

SINGAPORE

Ross Veitch – Co-Founder & CEO @ Wego: Ross is CEO of Wego, a search-driven online travel marketplace operating across Asia-Pacific and the Middle East and backed by top tier investors Tiger Global, Crescent Group and Square Peg Capital. Ross is a veteran of the Asian internet industry having established Yahoo!s Southeast Asian operations in Singpaore back in 1998 and leading product development efforts across the region for 6 years. He is co-founder of AngelVest Singapore and an early stage tech investor who enjoys working with other passionate entrepreneurs. He has worked in Sydney, Melbourne, London, Kuala Lumpur and is now based in Singapore. He travels frequently for business but not nearly enough for leisure.
Roger Egan III – Co-Founder & CEO @ RedMart: Roger is Co-founder & CEO at RedMart, SE Asia's customer-centric online grocer headquartered in Singapore. Prior to RedMart, Roger co-founded Integro Insurance Brokers - the largest US venture capital deal of 2005. At Integro, he created and launched Hedge Shield®, a new insurance product that protects hedge fund investors against fraud. Roger started his career in investment banking at Bank of America in NY. He then joined Omega Capital, a hedge fund based in Madrid. PENN undergrad, INSEAD MBA.

TEL AVIV

Michael Mallin – Chief Product Officer @ MyHeritage: As Chief Product Officer at MyHeritage, Mike Mallin is responsible for leading product strategy and product management for the company. He has a rich background in product management, strategy and marketing across a variety of domains and platforms, including social, mobile, web, search engines and recommendation systems. Prior to MyHeritage, Mike was the VP Product at SelectMinds, where he led the company's pivot into the recruiting technology space before the company was acquired by Oracle in late 2012. He received an MSc in Computer Science from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and a BSc in Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Barak Rabinowitz – CEO @ Win: Barak is a serial entrepreneur and angel investor in Israel. He was Founder of Win, backed by bwin.party (LSE: BPTY), CEO of Mytopia, acquired by 888 Holdings (LSE: 888) and co-Founder and CEO of Amuso, acquired by BBC Worldwide. His angel investments include Crossrider (LSE: CROS), Optimove and Ubimo, among others. Prior to the game industry, Barak served in the Corporate Development Group at Yahoo! and Technology Mergers & Acquisitions Group at Morgan Stanley. Barak has a BA from Georgetown University and MBA from Harvard Business School.

TOKYO

Kei Sugawara – CFO @ Istyle: Kei is a multicultural general manager and former management consultant with more than 10 years industry experience. He is currently CFO for online beauty company Istyle, based in Japan. Prior to his role as CFO, he served as Head of Corporate Development and Corporate Venture Capital for the group. Kei holds MBA degrees from both University of Bristol and Ecole des Ponts Business School.
Antti Sonninen – COO @ Beatrobo: Antti is COO @ Beatrobo, social music community where you can listen songs with your friends together endlessly. Joining Rovio as Country Director, Japan in early 2011, Antti saw the company grow from 80 employees to around 700 employees and one office expand to a chain of international offices by late 2013. Antti grew up listening to Finnish, Swedish and English as a child and as a result developed an interest in foreign languages. With interest in also building things, he studied a cross-disciplinary product development curriculum at Aalto, Tokyo and Stanford universities.

PREVIOUS & FOUNDING CHAIRS

ADVISORY BOARD

Our global advisory board consists of leaders within the industry, investor, and academic communities.

Reid Hoffman is a Partner at Greylock, and Co-Founder and Executive Chairman at LinkedIn. Reid joined Greylock Partners in 2009. His areas of focus include consumer Internet, enterprise 2.0, mobile, social gaming, online marketplaces, payments, and social networks. Reid likes to work with products that can reach hundreds of millions of participants and businesses that have network effects. An accomplished entrepreneur, executive and angel investor, he has played an integral part in building many of today’s leading consumer technology businesses, including LinkedIn and PayPal. He possesses a unique understanding of consumer behavior and the dynamics of viral businesses as well as deep experience in driving companies from the earliest stages through periods of explosive growth. Reid co-founded LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional networking service, in 2003 and led it through its first four years and to profitability as Chief Executive Officer. Prior to LinkedIn he served as executive vice president at PayPal, where he was a founding board member.
Joi Ito is the Director of the MIT Media Lab and board chair of Creative Commons. Joi was the CEO of the first commercial ISP in Japan, PSINet Japan, which was later sold to Cable and Wireless. He went on to set up Infoseek Japan, which was acquired by Disney and then Rakuten. He also co-founded one of the first web companies in Japan, Digital Garage. Previously a board member of the Open Source Initiative, ICANN and a variety of other non-profits, he currently holds positions at Keio University and is CEO of Creative Commons, a board member of Digital Garage, and board member of the Mozilla Foundation and an international advisor to Twitter. Joi also set up Neoteny, an incubator in Japan which had worked with Singapore’s Kent Ridge Digital Labs, and was the first investor in Six Apart, the largest independent blog software company. As an angel investor, he was an early investor in Flickr, Last.fm, Kongregate and other firms. His firm Digital Garage is an investor in Twitter.
Dave McClure is a venture capitalist and founding partner at 500 Startups, an internet startup seed fund & incubator program headquartered in Mountain View, CA. He has been working in Silicon Valley for over twenty years as a software developer, entrepreneur, startup advisor & investor, blogger, and in internet marketing. Dave’s passion is helping startups with product & marketing strategy, and he is a vocal & notable industry speaker on lean startup metrics. He has invested in over 100 startup companies including: Mint.com (acquired by Intuit), CreditKarma, Crowdflower, KissMetrics, Mashery, Sendgrid, Simply Hired, SlideShare, TeachStreet, Twilio, and Wildfire Interactive, among others. He also runs conferences and events on technology, marketing, design, & entrepreneurship such as SMASHsummit & WarmGun and leads a travel group called GeeksOnaPlane to promote cultural exchange & education for tech entrepreneurs around the world.
Gokul Rajaram is Product Engineering Lead at Square. He oversees Square Register, the point-of-sale system that the startup designed for small and medium businesses to use from tablets and smartphones. Previously he was Product Director, Ads at Facebook. In this role, he drove the product roadmap and execution for Facebook’s advertising products.Before Facebook, Gokul was Co-Founder and CEO of Chai Labs, a semantic technology startup he grew to profitability and a multi-million dollar annual revenue run-rate before its acquisition by Facebook. Earlier in his career, Gokul was Product Management Director for Google AdSense. He helped conceive and crystallize the product in early 2003, and played a key role in its launch and growth into a multi-billion dollar product line. Gokul was also product lead for a number of acquisitions for Google, including DoubleClick, AdScape and dMarc. Gokul holds an MBA from MIT Sloan, a MS in CS from UT Austin, and a B. Tech in Computer Science from IIT Kanpur, where he received the President's Gold Medal for being Class Valedictorian.
Charles Hudson is a Partner with SoftTech VC, one of the most active seed stage investors in Internet and mobile startups. He focuses on identifying investment opportunities in mobile infrastructure, mobile applications, and marketplaces. In addition to his investment activities, he supports SoftTech portfolio companies on business and corporate development matters. 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. Prior to Serious Business, he was the Sr. Director for Business Development at Gaia Interactive, an online hangout and virtual world for teens. Prior to Gaia, 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.
Beezer Clarkson leads Sapphire Ventures’ fund investment program investing in early stage venture firms globally. She began her career in financial services 20 years ago at Morgan Stanley in its global infrastructure group. Since, she has held various direct and indirect venture investment roles, as well as operational roles in software business development at Hewlett Packard. Most recently, Beezer managed the day-to-day operations of the Draper Fisher Jurvetson Global Network, which then had $7 billion under management across 16 venture funds worldwide and 400 active portfolio companies. Beezer earned a BA in government from Wesleyan University, where she recently served on the board of trustees, and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Born in London, she has dual U.S. and EU citizenship and has also lived in Boston, New York, Honolulu and Spain. She moved to the Bay Area in 1996. In 2014, Beezer was named to the Forty Over 40 list of women to watch.
Peng T. Ong is a Founding Partner at Monk's Hill Ventures, a technology venture fund. He sits on the boards of YY Inc. and Singapore University of Design & Technology; and, also on the advisory board of the Chancellor of the University of Illinois. Until recently, Peng was also on the boards of SingTel and Singapore's National Research Foundation; and, chaired Infocomm Investments. Peng founded Match.com (now part of IAC), Interwoven (now part of HP), and Encentuate (acquired by IBM). The businesses he created now generate annual revenues that total more than US$1 billion. He has a master's in Computer Science from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a BSEE from University of Texas at Austin. Peng is also an avid audiophile.
Sherry Coutu is a former CEO and angel investor who now serves on the boards of companies, charities and universities. She is a non-executive member of Cambridge University (Finance Board), Cambridge Assessment, Cambridge University Press, Artfinder and Duofertility. She also serves on the Advisory Boards of Linkedin.com, Care.com and Tyze.com. As an angel investor, she loves working as a product strategist with great entrepreneurs to solve problems that matter and specialises in consumer internet, information services and education. She has made angel investments in more than 40 companies and holds investments in 2 venture capital firms. Sherry was voted by TechCrunch as the best CEO mentor / advisor in Europe in Nov 2010 and in May 2011 was voted by Wired magazine as one the top 25 ‘most influential people in the wired world’, and one of the top ten most influential investors and women.
Reshma Sohoni is a founder of and Partner at Seedcamp, an early stage mentoring and investment program she co-manages and helped start in 2007. Her investment focus is on B2B, Fashion, Gaming, Travel, and Financial Services. During her tenure, she has managed companies like Mobclix (acquired by Velti), Zemanta, and Ubervu. 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 a MBA from INSEAD and dual undergraduate degrees in Engineering and Business from the University of Pennsylvania.