Roman Rochel - Managing Director, Germany @ Houzz: Roman Rochel is responsible for leading Germany market activities at Houzz, the leading platform for interior design, architecture and the home. Houzz inspires everyone wishing to remodel their home and brings them together with experts in furnishing and interiors, who turn their dream projects into reality – available online and by mobile (iOS & Android). Roman and his team produced the first local, non-English version of the platform. He is in charge at Houzz for all activities in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Roman Rochel studied business engineering, logistics and entrepreneurship, was a co-founder and CMO at 9flats.com as well as Head of International Operations for Groupon.
Rowan Barnett - Head of Google for Entrepreneurs, Germany @ Google: Rowan Barnett is responsible for leading startup activities in Germany including launching Campus Berlin in 2018, a startup hub where entrepreneurs and founders come to learn, share, connect and grow. Prior to Google, Rowan spent nearly 5 years at Twitter where he was Senior Director for strategic market development in D/A/CH, Benelux, Russia and Emerging markets. Previously he spent 8 years leading digital and social innovation at the German publisher Axel Springer and news site BILD.de. Rowan has always been passionate about startups and has played an active role in the Berlin ecosystem. Rowan, born and raised in England, studied History at Oriel College, Oxford, before moving to Berlin in 2004.
Richard Robinson - Entrepreneur, Advisor & Founding Partner @ GRW China: Richard is a serial tech entrepreneur and executive, working in China since 1996. He has served as a senior executive at three companies from pre-IPO through public listings then went on to found five companies of which three have exited to publicly listed firms. Richard is an Adjunct Professor at Peking University's Guanghua MBA program teaching Entrepreneurship in China. He frequently speaks at tech conferences globally, including TechCrunch Beijing, Web Summit Lisbon and Dublin, GMIC Beijing and Silicon Valley, and Startup Asia Singapore and Jakarta. Richard earned an MBA from RSM at Erasmus University in The Netherlands, studied at Cambridge University in the U.K., and graduated with a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Southern California. A perpetual student of Mandarin Chinese, lovely entrepreneur wife, Richard also has three little guys Made in China.
William Bao Bean - Partner @ SOSV: 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.
Swati Bhargava - Co-Founder @ CashKaro.com: Swati Bhargava is the Co-Founder of CashKaro.com, India’s largest cashback & coupons site. The company is backed by Mr. Ratan Tata and one of India’s leading VC firms, Kalaari Capital. With over 1.5 million registered users, CashKaro is a one-stop destination for savings on all online shopping, enabling members to compare prices, earn extra cashback and get free coupons across 1500+ e-commerce sites. In her current role at CashKaro, Swati leads the marketing activities, brand communication, customer and investor relations while also spearheading the expansion of CashKaro.com into different verticals. Swati is honored to be amongst the top 5 women trailblazers in the Indian e-commerce industry by Economic Times, and she was also nominated amongst the Top Young Business Women 2016 by CNBC-TV 18. Swati is a graduate of London School of Economics (LSE) with a BSc in Mathematics and Economics.
Neeraj Roy - Managing Director & CEO @ Hungama Digital Media: known as an innovator, and sought for his vision in the digital and mobile media and entertainment industry, Neeraj leads a team of highly motivated professionals at Hungama, the largest Digital Media Company in South Asia. He is an active speaker at various international forums as Mobile World Congress, CTIA, World Handset Forum etc and on several domestic and international committees advising on the global Mobile & Digital Entertainment economy. Neeraj has served as Chairman of the Mobile Entertainment Forum - Asia (MEF) and is currently Vice President of IAA – India Chapter. Neeraj was also awarded the Sun Microsystems- Economic Times Young Leader award in 2001 and voted as 25 young leaders in the new millennium by Business India.
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.
Paul Kogan - Entrepreneur-in-Residence @ XRC Labs: Paul has an impressive track record as an entrepreneur in media, e-commerce and the on-demand economy. After 6 years with Microsoft in New York, managing partnerships with publishers and media companies for MSN/Bing, Paul was part of the founding team of 4 startups, including Merchantry, an eCommerce marketplace platform for media companies, OMGPOP a mobile game company best known for the “Draw Something” game, and Hovee, a ride-share startup he built over the last 3 years in San Francisco. Paul is a graduate of Princeton University.
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.
Igor Senra – Co-Founder & CEO @ Moip: Igor Senra is Co-Founder, Chief Executive Officer and Board Member of Moip, which is a complete payment solution that enables online payments. He co-founded Moip in 2007 with two other partners, Daniel Fonseca and Leonardo Mendes. The foundation of Moip was built in Belo Horizonte where the company kept its activities until 2008 after which point its headquarters was transferred to São Paulo. In 2016, with his partners, Senra sold Moip to Wirecard group, one of the leading payment provider in the world extending its service for all continents. He is a graduate of the Owner and President Management program from Harvard Business School and holds an MBA from Ibmec Business School in Finance Management and a BA from UNA in Strategic Management.
Carlos Pessoa Filho – Regional Manager, Latin America @ Coursera: Carlos is the Regional Manager, Latin America at Coursera, a leading platform which provides universal access to the world’s best education to more than 21 million learners. Before his current role, Carlos was the Managing Director of Wayra Brazil, a startup accelerator supported by Telefonica Group. Previously, he worked at Endeavor for 10 years both in Sao Paulo and in the US fostering high-impact entrepreneurship on a global level. From analyzing business plans to mentoring entrepreneurs, he has extensive experience in dealing with common venture creation, management and growth challenges, including financing, recruiting, expansion, strategy and governance. Carlos holds a B.A. in Business Administration from Fundação Getulio Vargas in Sao Paulo and also has specializations from Harvard Business School and Columbia Business School.
Dilawar Syed - President @ Freshdesk: Dilawar heads Freshdesk’s North America business overseeing enterprise sales, marketing, customer success and partnerships. Backed by Tiger Global, Accel Partners and Google Capital, Freshdesk has rapidly grown to more than 50,000 customers globally. Prior to joining Freshdesk, Dilawar was C.E.O at Yonja Media Group and launched emerging markets social networking, commerce and jobs digital brands. Earlier, Dilawar was head of platform strategy and operations at Yahoo! and spent several years in product management in enterprise software at SAP and Siebel Systems (now part of Oracle). In 2010, President Obama appointed Dilawar to the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI). Dilawar holds an M.B.A. from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and earned Bachelors in Computer Science and Economics from the University of Texas at Austin.
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.
Reza Behnam - Co-Founder & Chairman @ CtrlShift: Reza has had over 20 years of experience in driving and executing business strategy and analytical maketing, focusing on the application of “big data” to drive smart business decision making. Reza is the founder and CEO of AdzCentral that provides a Scientific Media Buying platform which simplifies the media procurement process for brands, direct marketers, and agencies. Reza is also an investor, mentor, advisor and director in a number of companies, including MOL Global, an e-payments and game-distribution company, and StrikeAd, the first mobile-dedicated DSP. He is a founding partner at Digital Direction - an executive advisory practice in the field of Digital Strategy and Execution. Reza graduated from Boston University with a MA in Economics and BA degrees in Mathematics and Economics.
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.
Jonathan Seroussi – Co-Founder & CEO @ Jumper Labs: In 2006 Jonathan co-founder VisualTao, and online CAD company which went on to be acquired by Autodesk, Inc.. Jonathan then went on to lead Autodesk's local R&D team and then took on leadership of the Autodesk's Tel Aviv site. He also served as Director of AutoCAD Web & Mobile where he was in charge of mobile subscription growth, monetization and overall product strategy for Autodesk's leading professional design cloud application. After 6 years at Autodesk Jonathan left the company to start his latest venture. At Jumper Labs, Jonathan and his team are working on driving the creation of smarter, better connected physical products and systems.
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.
Aiko Katoh – Managing Director @ Houzz Japan: Aiko Katoh is the Managing Director of Houzz Japan, launching its operations in April 2015. She started her career at Goldman Sachs in the Tokyo and London offices, where she worked with institutional investors in the Asian equities markets and subsequently spearheaded new product initiatives targeting the EMEA market. She then launched Glossybox Japan, a beauty subscription service as the CEO, where she led the business to profitability within the first year. She has also advised and supported various start-ups in Japan and the US, primarily driving cross-border expansion. Aiko holds a BA in Economics from the University of Chicago and an MBA from INSEAD.
Hannes Graah – Global Head of New Markets @ Spotify: Hannes Graah heads up global expansion for Spotify, the biggest and most successful music streaming service of its kind globally. The service is currently available in 60 markets globally with more than 100 million active users and over 50 million paying subscribers. He's been with the company since 2011, initially settings up HQ operations and later launching its business in Japan where he is still based. Before Spotify, he managed various brands at Procter & Gamble and started a series of companies in Sweden, Singapore, and Switzerland.
PREVIOUS & FOUNDING CHAIRS
- BERLIN: Marc Strigel (2015-17), Markus Berger De-León (2012-15, Founding), Gerrit Müller (2012-14, Founding)
- CHINA: Celia Pan (2015-17), Dan Brody (2014-16), Tina Shi (2014-15), William Bao Bean (2013-14), Richard Robinson (2012-13, Founding), Andy Tian (2012, Founding)
- INDIA: Ashish Kashyap (2015-17), Kirthiga Reddy (2015-16), Samir Bangara (2012-15, Founding), Anupam Mittal (2012-15, Founding)
- LONDON: Stephen Taylor (2012-13), Claude London (2012-13), Martin Ott (2012), Jane Thompson (2011), Christian Hernandez (2010-11, Founding), Kevin Eyres (2010-11, Founding)
- NEW YORK: Paulo Lemgruber (2014-16), Jesse Hertzberg (2013-14), Rabin Yaghoubi (2013-14, Founding), Teymour Farman-Farmaian (2013, 2015-16, Founding)
- SAO PAULO: Fred Hohagen (2015-17), Marco Perlman (2014-16), Flavio Pripas (2014-15), Paulo Veras (2013-14), Fabricio Bloisi (2012-13, Founding), Daniel Heise (2012, Founding)
- SINGAPORE: Daryl Arnold (2016-2017), Tom Clayton (2012-14), Mark Britt (2010-11, Founding), Robbie Hills (2010-11, Founding)
- TEL AVIV: Barak Rabinowitz (2013-17, Founding), Joe McCormack (2013-15, Founding)
- TOKYO: Emi Takemura (2016-17), Antti Sonninen (2014-16), Kei Sugawara (2015-17), Gen Kanai (2013-15), Koji Fukada (2012-14, Founding), Tak Miyata (2012-13, Founding)