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.
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.
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.
Swati Bhargava - Co-Founder @ CashKaro.com: Swati is the Co-Founder of CashKaro.com, India’s largest cashback & coupons site backed by leading investors including Mr. Ratan Tata and 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. 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.
Rajesh Sawhney - 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.
Aakrit Vaish - 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.
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.
Rick Watson - Founder & CEO @ RMW Commerce: Rick is a seasoned ecommerce executive based in New York City, having been in the technology industry for over two decades with such companies as Pitney Bowes, Barnes & Noble, Merchantry, and ChannelAdvisor. He was one of the first employees at ChannelAdvisor (NYSE:ECOM), spending 10 years there launching several of the company’s flagship innovative offerings helping retailers and brands sell more on eBay and Amazon marketplaces. After ChannelAdvisor, Rick was recruited to launch the third-party marketplace at Barnes & Noble.com, expanding the company’s product catalog by over 1M items. After the successful marketplace launch, Rick was selected as CEO of Merchantry, which he led to a $30M acquisition by Tradeshift. Most recently, Rick directed the cross-border product strategy of Pitney Bowes, a $450M business, comprised of Borderfree and eBay Global Shipping Program. Rick holds a M.S and B.S. from Vanderbilt University in Electrical Engineering.
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.
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.
Chris Misner - President, Roblox International @ Roblox: Chris Misner currently serves as President, Roblox International where he leads the company's international expansion and growth initiatives. Chris is an expert at creating high-functioning cross-border teams and bringing commercial opportunities from idea to scale. Prior to Roblox, he served as an internal entrepreneur at Apple Inc for 12 years – most recently launching the Apple Online Store in China and growing it to multiple billions in revenue while leading all of Apple’s e-commerce in Asia Pacific. Chris began his Internet career at Netscape, where he ran planning, pricing and M&A. After that, he led marketing, business development and international expansion on the executive teams of venture-funded start-ups Backflip and Good Technology (acquired by Motorola). Between his Architecture degree at Princeton and his MBA at Wharton, Chris was a management consultant and a United Nations observer of South Africa’s first free and fair election.
Kirthiga Reddy - Venture Partner @ Softbank Investment Advisers: Kirthiga is a technology industry executive with 20+ years of experience building high-growth global businesses and currently serves as Venture Partner with SoftBank Investment Advisers. Previously, she joined as the first Facebook India employee in July 2010 and was Managing Director of Facebook India and South Asia until her move to FB HQ in Aug 2016 when she was appointed as Global Client Partner and Emerging Markets Lead for Global Accounts. Kirthiga 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. She serves on Stanford Business School Management Board and ISB Next Generation Leadership Board. She is passionate about causes for children and about developing women leaders. Kirthiga has been involved with H2 across its India and Silicon Valley Chapters, including as an India Chapter Chair and 2017 Global Summit Chair.
Dan Lynn – Co-Founder & Co-CEO @ ZUZU Hospitality: Dan has built his career at the intersection of travel and technology. He is currently the Co-founder of Singapore-based ZUZU Hospitality, the chain for independent hotels. ZUZU disaggregate the chain hotel experience, working with independent hotels to offer distribution and revenue management solutions. Dan previously served on the board of Swiss-based Movenpick Hotels and Resorts prior to its successful sale to Accor. Prior to that he led the HomeAway businesses – Stayz; Bookabach and HomeAway – in Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Latin America. Before this Dan built Expedia in APAC, latterly as CEO of its joint venture with AirAsia, and previously as Global VP Search Marketing and Head of Customer Analytics, based in Seattle, USA. Dan, originally from the UK, started his career in London at McKinsey and at VC firm Smedvig Capital.
Greg Mittman – Co-Founder & COO @ MyRepublic: Greg is the Co-Founder & COO of MyRepublic, the world’s first telecommunications company powered by a proprietary cloud platform. He plays a key role in defining the company's regional growth strategy, with a focus on corporate development and investor relations. As VP Business Development at Alcatel-Lucent (Southeast Asia), Greg worked closely with Singapore’s IDA in representing the company through the government’s Intelligent Nation industry dialogue process, which ultimately resulted in a successful bid to supply $70m of infrastructure to the Singapore Nationwide Broadband Network. Originally an attorney, Greg practiced International Trade and Corporate law at Baker & McKenzie. Greg went on to co-found MCCI, a contact centre outsourcer with 1,100 stations, which was sold to Teleperformance for $40 million. He holds an MBA from INSEAD.
Itay Levy – Co-Founder and CEO @ Identiq, the first privacy-preserving, global, identity verification network. The Identiq service is built using the latest in cryptographic and multi-party computation technologies, meeting all privacy regulations. We allow network companies to help each-other validate users by vouching for their own users without exposing any of their private data. Prior to Identiq Itay was a co-founder and CEO of Appoxee, a mobile marketing automation platform designed to increase engagement, retention and revenue to mobile apps (now integrated with Teradata). Itay was also a part of the founding team of Buzzmetrics, a Social Media Research company acquired by Nielsen for $150M. Itay holds a BA in Computer Science and EMBA from Kellogg School of Management.
Ofir Yosef – CEO @ easy: Ofir is the CEO at easy, Israel's most popular service for local search with over 20% market share. Ofir is a veteran entrepreneur with a passion for building and scaling consumer products. Prior to leading Easy, Ofir Co-founded PhotoMania, one of the world's most popular photo editing and sharing services with a community of over 70M registered users. Ofir holds a B.Sc in Electrical Engineering from the Technion institute and had a long track record in R&D centers of major corporations such as Intel and Samsung.
Daniel Heffernan – Representative Director @ Stripe Japan: Daniel Heffernan has been leading Stripe's presence in Japan since 2014. Stripe is a technology company that builds economic infrastructure for the internet. Businesses of every size—from new startups to public companies like Salesforce and Facebook—use Stripe’s software to accept online payments and run technically sophisticated financial operations in more than 100 countries. Over the long term, Stripe aims to increase the GDP of the internet. Prior to Stripe, Daniel was an engineer at Cookpad, and earned his Masters in Creative Informatics at The University of Tokyo.
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.
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: Neeraj Roy (2016-18), 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: Deborah Uri (2016-19), 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)
- SILICON VALLEY: Valerie Wagoner (2018-2019), Dilawar Syed (2015-2017), Nayan Patel (2010-17, Founding), Jeff Merkel (2010-15, Founding)
- SINGAPORE: Ross Veitch (2016-2019), Reza Behnam (2017-2019, 2012-2014), Daryl Arnold (2016-2017), Roger Egan III (2014-2016), Tom Clayton (2012-14), Mark Britt (2010-11, Founding), Robbie Hills (2010-11, Founding)
- TEL AVIV: Mike Mallin (2015-18), Jonathan Seroussi (2017-18), Barak Rabinowitz (2013-17, Founding), Joe McCormack (2013-15, Founding)
- TOKYO: Hannes Graah (2017-18), 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)