Aakrit Vaish - Advisory Board Member @ H2; Co-Founder & CEO @ Haptik: Aakrit is the Co-Founder & CEO of Haptik, one of the world's largest conversational AI platforms. Aakrit started the company from his house in 2013 way before AI or chatbots became cool. Today, the company processes more than 10 million bot queries a month and has some of the biggest global brands on its roster. Aakrit has been instrumental in shaping the chatbot industry over the years, which is finally going through its inflection point in 2018. He got his BS in Industrial Engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign and was part of the Business World 40 Under 40 List of 2017. He started his career at Flurry, which was acquired for $300m in 2014.
Aiko Katoh - Advisory Board Member @ H2; Regional Managing Director, Asia @ Houzz: Aiko is Regional Managing Director, Asia at Houzz and leads the company's growth initiatives across the region. In her previous role as Managing Director, Japan she helped launch the company's 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.
Hari Krishnan - Advisory Board Member @ H2; CEO & MD @ PropertyGuru Group: Hari is a seasoned general manager and board director with a deep digital technology pedigree. He is a TEDx speaker and vocal advocate for sustainable urban living solutions. As the CEO and MD of PropertyGuru Group, Hari leads a team of over 1,700 employees of the Group across Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam, for Asia’s leading proptech company. Served on the Singapore Government’s Future Economy Council Modern Services Sub-committee, and has advised the government on Real estate industry transformation and Skills development. Prior to PropertyGuru, he started up, scaled and led LinkedIn in the Asia Pacific region, as their Vice President & Managing Director.. He has also worked in leadership positions at Fox Interactive, Yahoo! and Cisco, and market-changing start-ups like Travelguru. He is a long-time investor and advisor to multiple innovative startups. Hari has an MBA from INSEAD and an M.S. in Telecommunications from the University of Colorado.
Matthew Romaine – Advisory Board Member @ H2; Co-Founder & former CEO @ Gengo: Matthew co-founded and led Gengo, a human crowd-sourced AI training data platform launched from Tokyo, Japan. Gengo was backed by notable investors including 500Startups, Atomico, Intel Capital, and Recruit, and was acquired in January 2019 by Lionbridge. Prior to Gengo, Matthew was an audio research scientist at Sony Corporation. He studied music theory and computer science at Brown University, and received his Masters at Stanford University. As an early entrepreneur in Japan's internet tech venture ecosystem, Matthew is a big supporter of new generations of entrepreneurs and gives back through mentorship and the occasional investment.
Rajesh Sawhney - Advisory Board Member @ H2; Founder & General Partner @ GSF: Rajesh founded GSF in 2012, establishing it as India's leading seed-stage tech investor. Rajesh has made over 100 investments in tech startups in India, providing the first cheque to today's category defining businesses. Rajesh was the Founding President of Reliance Entertainment, prior to which he founded Times Internet (Indiatimes.com). Rajesh was also the Founder & CEO of Innerchef, a leading cloud kitchen platform in India. Rajesh serves on the board of Indiamart, Ixigo, Microland and Zest Money. Rajesh is an alumnus of the Harvard Business School (AMP) and has a fellowship from the London School of Economics.
Reza Behnam - Advisory Board Member @ H2; Reza, named one of The Drum’s 50 most influential people in the APAC digital industry, is a recognized visionary with an unmatched track record in venture building and scaling across both startups and large enterprises. He has deep ties into Southeast Asia’s entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem. He first entered the APAC region 17 years ago, when led Yahoo!’s expansion into Southeast Asia, launching products and services in 6 new countries and crafting the foundational investment plan for the region. Reza soon transitioned into a Venture Partner role at IDG Ventures, a VC practice, before founding, launching his own startups: adzcentral, CtrlShift (both with exits)and Digital Direction which is an incubation, investment, coaching and business transformation practice. Reza holds a BA in mathematics and economics and an MA in quantitative economics from Boston University. In his free time, he enjoys engaging in mindfulness practices as well as playing polo, a sport he associates with his Persian ancestry.
Richard Robinson - Advisory Board Member @ H2; Advisor, Investor, Entrepreneur & Professor: Richard is a seasoned operator, serial entrepreneur, investor, advisor and professor with over two decades of experience across Asia. Currently based in Bali, Richard is an EIR at Animoca Brands, where he is focused on empowering users to leverage digital assets to earn/own across blockchain games and multiple metaverses. Richard previously served as a Co-Founder or senior executive with eight successive startups and has supported dozens of companies/organizations as an investor, board member, advisor or mentor (e.g. HAX, Chinaccelerator and 500). He teaches globally on China's Entrepreneurial Ecosystem and has guest lectured at Harvard University, University of Southern California, Technical University of Munich and RSM at Erasmus University. Richard received an MBA from RSM at Erasmus University in The Netherlands in 1996, studied at Cambridge University in the UK in 1988 and holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles in 1989.
Sumesh Menon - Chapter Director @ H2 Singapore; Founder & MD at U2opia Mobile: Sumesh leads U2opia, a diversified mobile technology group with interests spanning Gaming platforms, Telecom Applications and Digital Advertising. He is a successful technology entrepreneur and investor with wide-ranging global experience across mobile and internet domains and a passion for simple innovations that can create a large impact in fast-growing internet markets. U2opia pioneered mobile internet access over traditional cellular networks and was recognised with Fast Company’s Most Innovative Company Award in 2015. Sumesh also actively invests in the start-up community with over 30 investments so far. With a front-seat view of the start-up boom in India and South East Asia, he is well entrenched with the community across this region and always looking to spur them on.
Vinnie Lauria - Advisory Board Member @ H2; Managing Partner @ Golden Gate Ventures: Vinnie is an entrepreneur turned venture capitalist. He is a founding partner of Golden Gate Ventures, an early-stage VC firm in Southeast Asia with US$250M AUM and 60+ investments to date. He is a Kauffman Fellow, and a guest lecturer at the National University of Singapore. He was rated by the Founder Institute as highest startup mentor in Asia from a pool of 2,500 mentors. Prior to setting up Golden Gate Ventures, Vinnie built two startups in Silicon Valley: Meetro, a location-based chat service which was dissolved with many lessons learned in 2007; and Lefora, a forum hosting platform which grew to over 100,000 communities and was acquired by CrowdGather in 2010. Earlier in his career, Vinnie spent four years within IBM, helping to shape how IBM was approaching social software for the enterprise. Vinnie is a graduate of Boston University’s College of Engineering. Vinnie is passionate about building startup ecosystems and joined his first startup while still in high school.
William Bao Bean - Advisory Board Member @ H2; General Partner @ SOSV: William is a General Partner at SOSV the #3 most active venture capital investor in the world in (2Q21, Pitchbook) and #7 in India, #6 in Singapore and #8 in SE Asia (3Q21, TechInAsia) with US$990m assets under management. At SOSV he is the Managing Director of Chinaccelerator the first accelerator to launch in Asia and the only active program in Asia to back a unicorn – Bitmex - in Fall 2015. He is also Founder and Managing Director of MOX a mobile internet platform with 93m monthly active smartphone users in the ecosystem providing invested companies with free advertising. William joined SOSV from SingTel Innov8 Ventures where he was a founding Managing Director supporting China investments. Prior to that William was a Partner at Softbank China & India Holdings, a venture capital firm backed by Softbank and Cisco, leading investments in China and South East Asia.