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. 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.
Nirav Tolia is the Co-Founder and CEO of Nextdoor, the free and private social network for neighborhoods. Nirav began his entrepreneurial pursuits as an early employee at Yahoo! before co-founding and serving as CEO of Epinions, a website devoted to user-generated product reviews. Epinions was acquired by Shopping.com, and Nirav was COO before the company went public on Nasdaq and was subsequently acquired by eBay. Nextdoor was founded in 2010 and is actively used in thousands of neighborhoods across the U.S. Under Nirav's leadership, Nextdoor has raised $210 million in funding from Benchmark, Greylock Partners, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Tiger Global Management, Allen & Company, Google Ventures, and others. Tolia grew up in Odessa, Texas, and graduated from Stanford University.
Gil Penchina is a serial entrepreneur and prolific angel investor. He is the founder of Flight.vc which manages over 25 investment syndicates supported by over 3,000 other angels via AngelList. He is a co-founder of Fastly, and Vouch Financial. Previously he was CEO of Wikia, now a top 50 website and was a member of the pre-IPO team at eBay. Before eBay, Gil worked at General Electric, Bain & Co. and started two small technology companies. He has a Bachelors in Engineering from the University of Massachusetts and an MBA from Kellogg. In addition, Gil has been an active angel investor in 70 companies over the last 12 years including firms such as Linkedin, Paypal, Beepi, Zirx, AngelList, AltSchool, eShares, Joist, Boost Media, Switch.co, Wealthfront, Indiegogo, Datanyze, Songpop and many others.
Ellen Levy 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.
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.
Anupam Mittal - Founder & CEO @ People Group; H2 India Chapter Chair (2012-15, Founding) - Anupam started his entrepreneurial journey by founding People Group, which includes category leading businesses such as Shaadi.com, Makaan.com and Mauj Mobile, collectively drawing 40+ million people every month. Besides his operational role, Anupam is also an active angel investor with over 75 investments such as Interactive Avenues, Ola Cabs, Druva, Fab Hotels, PipeMonk, Pretty Secrets, Ziffi, PropTiger, Limo, The Porter, Ketto, InstaLively, Intelligence Node, Just Ride, TrueBil, Lets Venture and others. He is an advisor and LP in some of the leading VC firms in India. He is passionate about entrepreneurship & innovation and is well regarded for his understanding and views of the same. Anupam Mittal has been voted by Business Week as one of India’s 50 Most Influential People and is consistently ranked amongst top Icons of India’s Digital Ecosystem.
Shinichi (Shin) Takamiya is General Partner and Chief Strategy Officer at Globis Capital Partners, a leading Tokyo based VC focusing on IT, Core Tech and Service industries. He takes a hands-on approach to his portfolio companies initiating strategy development, organization/process development, partnership development, and global expansion. His track record includes IPO iStyle (ticker TSE 3660), Aucfan (3674), Kayac (3904), and Pixta (3416); M&A Shimauma Print System (acquired by CCC), and nanapi (acquired by KDDI) and portfolio includes Lancers, Viibar, Mercari, and Tsukuruba etc. Shin received BA in Economics from University of Tokyo (graduation thesis with Honor), and MBA from Harvard Business School (Second Year Honor). Shin has 8+ years of overseas experience in England, Holland and the US. Shin enjoys his life as a VC integrating his personal interest in internet and creativity with innovation and entrepreneurship.
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.
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.
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.
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.