Incubator Mentors & Experts
Right Person, Right Moment
World-class executives contribute to the Incubator, mentoring companies and providing subject matter expertise, helping our companies bring products to market faster and position themselves for the next stage of growth.
Alessandra works at CONNERY CONSULTING as Recruitment Director where she is simultaneously managing various projects pertaining to her expertise in recruiting strategy, building a recruiting foundation, interview training and process implementation. She describes the way she approaches each situation. “Each company is unique and each has its own personality traits.” Her perspective begins with an understanding of the culture, the values and the immediate needs of companies she works with, in order to develop a successful recruiting plan.
Founded in January of 2007, Connery Consulting helps tech companies scale for success by focusing on all things people. Their HR advisory services include talent acquisition, strategic compensation; performance management; HR operations and support; mentoring, executive coaching and 360 feedback. With decades of industry experience, Connery provides quality and personalized service to drive sustainable growth and create value for organizations through people and culture.
Alex Cram is the Chief Technology Officer and product lead for Track Technologies, Inc. He previously was a Global Product Manager at InMobi. For the last 12 years, he has brought multiple startup and enterprise applications from failure to technical success.
Alex holds a BS in Physics and MS in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Minnesota.
Amanda began her technology career as a start-up entrepreneur. Over a 15 year period, she helped build four companies, enjoyed two IPOs, and learned many valuable start-up lessons on a first-hand basis. In 2001, she brought her operations experience to early-stage venture capital and opened Palomar Ventures’ Northern California office. In her role as a General Partner, Amanda endeavors to help other entrepreneurs realize their best possible outcomes and generate positive returns for all shareholders.
Amanda is a graduate of Dartmouth College. She is a Senior Advisor to numerous incubators and accelerator programs, a frequent speaker and guest on industry panels, and an inspirational speaker to Microsoft’s Women in Technology group.
“Growing up in Silicon Valley as a third-generation entrepreneur, I learned from my earliest experience to value and respect the unique qualities of leadership, perseverance, and loyalty required to build great companies. I seek team members with brilliant and disruptive ideas, operational skills, and the endurance and ethics to build and sustain long-term shareholder value.”
Anatoly has a wealth of experience working in strategy and corporate development within financial technology, credit, consumer healthcare and identity markets. His deep understanding of the data industry combined with his thoughtful and strategic approach to nurturing relationships has helped him win partnership, investment, and acquisition opportunities with global data companies. Before joining Trulioo, Anatoly was on the Corporate Development and Strategy team at Experian Consumer Services.
Ayman Abukhater is an accomplished financial and technology executive with over 24+ years of product, engineering, software development, and leadership experience. He has a long track record of delivering innovative financial products and technology solutions across all digital channels. He is currently the founder and CEO at SaveDay. Previously, Mr. Abukhater was Senior Vice President, Global Technology Development for ETRADE Financial where he led strategy, development, execution and delivery of Architecture, Innovation, Brokerage, Banking, Corporate Services, Active Trading, Mobile, and domestic and International websites and platforms. Mr. Abukhater started his career at Tandy Corporation and was a co-founder and COO at Advanced Computer Assistance. He also held various engineering roles at Software Publishing Corp and Datalex Corp.
Barry A. Newman joined Catapult Advisors in April of 2017 and is an experienced and accomplished investment banker, director and investor and was previously the Managing Partner of Rutberg & Company from 2012. Mr. Newman was a Managing Director at NeoCarta Ventures from 2006 until 2011. Mr. Newman served as a Vice Chairman of the Technology Group at Bear Stearns, the Head of Global Technology Corporate and Investment Banking for Banc of America Securities and its predecessor Nationsbanc Montgomery Securities and as the head of Global Technology Corporate Finance at Salomon Brothers and Salomon Smith Barney. Mr. Newman has advised many of the largest technology companies in the world over a career spanning more than thirty years. Mr. Newman was a founder and served as CFO of Anthem Partners, a boutique merchant bank. Mr. Newman was also a principal at Odyssey Partners, a private equity and hedge fund organization and has served as CEO and CFO of several financial services and manufacturing organizations.
Mr. Newman holds Bachelor of Science degrees in both Chemical Engineering and Life Sciences from MIT, MBA and JD degrees from Stanford University and a Master of Laws (Taxation) from NYU.
Mr. Newman served on the board of directors of Meru Networks and help guide Meru to its IPO in 2010 and was Chairman of the Audit Committee, served as Vice Chairman, and as a member and Chairman of the Nominating and Governance Committee. Mr. Newman also serves on the boards of StudyDog Inc. and Outhink Inc. and is Managing Member of StudyDog Reading Software LLC.
Mr. Newman is also the founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Erie Engineered Products, Inc. Mr. Newman was an early investor in Weborder (acquired by Netopia), Medstory (acquired by Microsoft), Bharosa (acquired by Oracle), and Tripwire Inc. (acquired by Thoma Bravo.)
Mr. Newman is a member of the MIT Visiting Committee on History, Anthropology and Science Technology and Society, the Board of Directors of the MIT Club of Northern California, and serves as Regional Chair of the MIT Corporation Development Committee. Mr. Newman also serves on the Advisory Council to the Dean of the School of Engineering at MIT and the Dean’s Advisory Council of the Stanford Law School.
Barry and his wife, Stacey, live in Los Altos Hills, California.
Ben Narasin is Venture Partner at NEA. Prior to joining NEA, he served as a General Partner at Canvas Venture Fund and President, Seed Stage Investments, at TriplePoint Ventures. Mr. Narasin, an entrepreneur since the age of twelve, spent much of the early 2000s acquiring companies in the consumer Internet and e-commerce industries and providing liquidity to shareholders. Prior to his acquisition investment and consulting roles, he founded Fashionmall.com in 1993 which became one of the first e-commerce companies in the world and the first cost-per-click portal. He took Fashionmall.com through a successful public offering in 1999. Prior to that, Mr. Narasin founded and acted as CEO of a consumer products company. When not overseeing investment activities, Mr. Narasin manages to be a freelance food and wine writer, a lifelong passion. Mr. Narasin’s works have appeared in numerous publications including San Francisco Chronicle, Wine Enthusiast, Wine News, Health Magazine and various other consumer trade magazines. Mr. Narasin holds a B.A. in Entrepreneurial Studies from Babson College.
Billy Robins was named Bank Innovation’s ‘Banking Innovators to Watch’ in 2013 and co-hosts a monthly San Francisco fintech MeetUp. He is director of technology alliances at Zendesk. Previously he was VP of Business Development at PayNearMe, where he built the partnership ecosystem with banks and software vendors serving the financial services industry. Before PayNearMe, Billy led the product team at Wells Fargo that rebuilt the proprietary version of the company’s Mint.com functionality. Before finance and payments, Billy held entrepreneurial roles at gourmet coffee, online yellow pages and cloud computing companies. He is a graduate of Emory University and the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.
Brady is Vice President at Highway1, PCH International’s incubator program. A prolific speaker and maker on the geek scene, Brady can be found at speaking engagements around the world, inventing new forms of transportation at Burning Man, or creating in the Highway1 San Francisco workshop. Additionally, Brady writes for O’Reilly Radar, tracking changes in technology. Brady is the founder of Ignite, a geek event which has spread to over a hundred cities worldwide.
Brandon is a Partner of Elixirr and a Member of Elixirr Partners LLP. He is a recognized leader in innovation, transformational change, strategy and operations, with nearly 20 years of consulting and industry leadership across consumer products, manufacturing, resources, transport and financial services. He has advised several of the world’s leading companies, including Exxon-Mobil, BP, Procter & Gamble, Honda, SITA and ABB. He has also worked extensively in emerging markets, particularly China and India.
Brandon has traditionally focused on helping clients improve their customer experience and deliver more value to their shareholders, as well as spanning strategy formulation and operating model design through to the execution of complex change initiatives. Recently, he has been helping clients catalyze and orchestrate innovation within their organizations, establish relevant external partnerships and drive the necessary operational and behavioral changes to make it work.
Brandon joined Elixirr from Infosys Consulting, where he led the Manufacturing and Process Transformation practices. Prior to that, he worked in the high tech industry leading several globalization and process improvement initiatives. Brandon began his career as part of Price Waterhouse’s management consulting practice.
Brendan is User Acquisition Lead at AGS Interactive. Previously he was a very early hire at Vungle (12) and was tasked with growing the advertiser side of the business. His expertise lies somewhere in customer and market identification – with a specialty in B2B – as well the acquisition support of those customers, with special attention towards aligning the value proposition of the company’s offering with the problem currently being had by the customer. He is also happy to discuss the importance of differentiation.
Brian Stoeckert is a partner at Stratis Advisory. He is a recognized risk management expert with more than 15 years of experience in providing startups through Fortune 500 companies with strategy intelligence, advisory services, and serving as an expert witness in domestic and global civil and regulatory matters related to anti-money laundering (AML) and digital currency compliance. Previously, Brian led Booz Allen Hamilton’s San Francisco-based strategy and risk practice, advising boards of directors, audit and compliance committees, and executive management teams of financial institutions, money service businesses and global intelligence firms. Brian has also served as a guest lecturer at New York University’s Law School and Stern School of Business on AML laws, regulations and digital currency compliance, and he is a frequent presenter at global risk, compliance and FinTech conferences. Brian has been featured in a wide range of publications including the Wall Street Journal, CNBC, Fortune, and Bloomberg Businessweek. He is a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors, chairman of the ACAMS Chapter Steering Committee, and an executive board member of the award-winning ACAMS Northern California Chapter. He is a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS) and Fraud Examiner (CFE). Brian holds a JD from New York Law School and BA in Political Science from Stony Brook University.
Bryan holds a B.A. in Business Administration and an M.B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin and serves on the advisory boards of the Santa Clara University Leavey School of Business and the University of Texas McCombs School of Business. Bryan has also Led the design, development, and/or market launch of products that have generated over $1B in revenues, delivered over $1B in returns to investors on less than $30M in venture capital.
Bryan is an avid Texas Longhorn sports fan, especially football and serves on the boards of the San Jose Children’s Discovery Museum and Montalvo Arts Center.
Wildcat Venture Partners
Brynly Llyr has over a decade of legal experience, strategically advising technology and FinTech companies in the areas of intellectual property, product, privacy, consumer protection, marketing and litigation. A former senior attorney with eBay and PayPal, Brynly has extensive experience advocating for her clients with regulators and government agencies.
Brynly graduated Order of the Coif from the University of California, Berkeley (Boalt Hall) and clerked in the Northern District of California before starting her law practice at O’Melveny & Myers, and continuing to advise as senior in-house counsel at eBay and PayPal.
Chad Ensz uses his J.D. and MBA degrees to help clients buy, sell, finance and operate their businesses through negotiations, documentation and advice for legal compliance. His practice focuses on general corporate transactional matters and regulatory compliance, including the representation of financial institutions and public and private companies in capital market transactions, mergers and acquisitions, licensing, joint venture and commercial transactions, and ongoing public company representation. Mr. Ensz also has significant experience with general business matters, including establishment of corporations, partnerships and limited liability companies, corporate governance and general contractual drafting and negotiation. Representative transactions include representation of: (i) financial institutions and private and public companies in public and private securities offerings, debt and equity; (ii) buyers and sellers in transactions ranging from small, privately negotiated transfers of shares or assets to public company combinations; (iii) public and private companies in licensing, joint venture and commercial transactions; and (iv) regulatory matters for financial institutions.
Charlie Gulick has been a management consultant to the finance industry for 20+ years. Delivering strategic advisory expertise to clients in the Financial Services and IT spaces, Charlie has been involved with design and implementation of numerous cutting edge digital technology solutions to improve Product, Operational and IT planning.
Charlie’s core clients have included Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo, Visa, First Republic Bank, US Bank, JP Morgan Chase, SocGen, AutoDesk and Verisign over his extensive FinTech career.
Charlie is an industry expert on “Robo Advisor” solutions for the Wealth Management industry. He has successfully partnered on two separate Robo design and implementation initiatives for leading wealth management organizations since 2015.
Charlie’s areas of expertise include: Digital product design and implementation, pricing/branding, organization redesign, operational redesign, systems and processes requirement design and implementation.
Chris is the Technical Program Manager in the Home program at Google. He previously led the Customer Success team at Kahuna, specializing in mobile engagement marketing and retention. Before Kahuna, Chris spent eight years at Google, most recently as Head of Deployment for Google Enterprise focused on mobile, Google Apps, and Chrome OS.
As VP at Yodlee, Christine drives financial technology innovation through a rapidly growing ecosystem of partners and developers creating market-leading digital consumer apps and services powered by Yodlee’s unique data platform. She leads efforts to accelerate the success of Yodlee’s ecosystem of fintech companies throughout their lifecycle.
Christine has more than 15 years’ experience marketing digital products and services to business and consumer audiences. She also led mobile marketing for leading brands including Yahoo!, AOL and Match.com.
Dariusz Paczuski is a senior marketing executive and business leader with a track record of delivering strong measurable results (audience reach, customer acquisition, user engagement, and revenue growth). He has served in key leadership roles at pioneering internet and mobile companies such as Telenav/Scout, Microsoft/Bing, Tellme, Aol, and Netscape. His specialties include positioning & branding, consumer insights & competitive intelligence, and product marketing & management.
Dariusz is a graduate of GE’s Financial Management Program. He has a B.S. in Marketing, a Minor in German, and a Certificate in International Business from California State University at Long Beach, where he also earned a swimming scholarship and competed for the Norwegian national swim team. He is an avid swimmer, cyclist, runner, triathlete, and skier. He lives in Menlo Park CA with his wife and two children.
Denise Aptekar is the Director of Global Payments for Upwork, the premier platform for top companies to hire and work with the world’s most talented independent professionals.
Denise was previously an early employee at PayPal as Director of Risk Management and Product Management. In these roles, she built PayPal’s bank payments, anti-fraud strategy, dispute mediation system and reputation engine that helped keep PayPal solvent and are still in use today. Denise has a BA in Political Science from Stanford University. In her free time, she enjoys advising startups in risk management and payments.
Dhana Pawar is GM of New Initiatives at Viator, a TripAdvsior company. Prior to joining Viator, Dhana spent over four years at Coupons.com (now Quotient), where she led the company’s mobile strategy and partnerships. She is an industry veteran with over 15 years of experience leading product teams for startups & Fortune 500 companies. Ms. Pawar is a regular speaker at tech events and has been quoted in a wide variety of leading media outlets, including CNN, ABC News, and All Things Digital. Ms. Pawar has been the Managing Director for the Silicon Valley Girls in Tech and sits on the advisory boards of the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center and PersonalShopping.com
Donna Griffit, Corporate Storyteller, has worked globally for over a decade with Fortune 500 companies, startups and investors in a wide variety of industries. She has consulted and trained clients in over 30 countries, helping them create, edit and deliver verbal and written presentations, pitches and messages. Donna has the ability to magically spin raw data into compelling stories that captivate audiences and drive to results. Through her guidance, clients have raised hundreds of millions of dollars. Donna is Co-Founder and CEO of www.invisu.me – a tool that helps startups create their pitch to investors and get the meetings they want!
Dorrian Porter is an entrepreneur living in Menlo Park, California. He recently founded Vestaboard, which has reimagined and modernized the split-flap message board you might see at a train station. In February 2013 he started Northern Imagination, a company named in tribute to his Canadian roots and dedicated to the pursuit of creative projects, ideas and inventions.
Prior to Northern Imagination Dorrian spent twelve years building and leading two venture backed start-ups based in San Francisco and the Silicon Valley. In 2005 he founded Mozes, a cloud-based mobile engagement platform licensed by world leading brands and major entertainment companies, which was acquired by ePrize in 2013. In 2000 he founded HigherMarkets, a provider of e-commerce software to universities and colleges, which was acquired by SciQuest in 2002. Through 2005 he helped transform SciQuest into a leading provider of SaaS software for spend management.
Prior to 2000 Dorrian was an attorney at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati in Palo Alto, California and at McCarthy Tetrault in Vancouver, British Columbia. He graduated from the University of Toronto in 1997 with J.D. and M.B.A. degrees and from the University of Ottawa in 1993 with a Bachelor of Social Sciences (concentrations in Public Policy & Management and Political Science). From 1990 to 1993 Dorrian worked at the Parliament of Canada, including the Prime Minister’s Office.
Ellen’s experience spans large, public companies and venture-backed start-ups where she’s had success building marketing teams & functions from the ground-up; re-tooling existing teams & functions, and scaling marketing & business performance in growth & mature categories.
Ellen has a journalism degree from Northwestern University and an MBA from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley.
Eric Hazard is the CEO of Vested Ventures and Managing Director of integrated communications agency Vested. In this dual capacity, he leads a new approach to early-stage fintech developments combining capital investment with communication know-how to help entrepreneurs and dreamers turn ideas into financial innovation. All the while, assisting Vested Ventures’ portfolio companies to grow their network through introductions to later-stage venture capital partners, industry conference organizers and fintech incubator networks.
Eric brings expertise from a 20-year career across financial advisory, corporate treasury, journalism, and public relations. During his public relations career Eric has led integrated communications campaigns for large, multinational corporations such as SWIFT, Deutsche Bank, Northern Trust, ING, BNY Mellon and fintech companies such as PayCommerce and Innotribe. Eric specializes in building brand images which resonate in the financial marketplace and activating across paid, owned, earned and shared media to achieve results on behalf of her clients. Eric began his career at Morgan Stanley as a financial advisor and later worked in the corporate treasury department at Michaels Stores and at Asset International, publishers of Plan Sponsor, Plan Adviser and Global Custodian, as a journalist and publisher.
He is the host of the video series Focus on Fintech, exploring the practical implications of the technology impacting our daily lives and a commentator on finance and technology concepts for media outlets including Cheddar, Bank Innovation, Fortune and Financial IT.
Erin has spent nearly two decades in the marketing field with a majority of that time working in the digital media and advertising industries. Prior to Kontrol Media Erin served as VP of Marketing for Purch, a digital content and commerce company that simplifies buying decisions for 100MM consumers and professionals each month, a VP of Marketing at Panache, a digital video monetization startup acquired by WPP, and a strategic marketing consultant at Demand Media. Previously, she held high-level marketing positions at Move.com and Herbalife HQ, where she focused on international marketing.
True to Erin’s borderline obsessive love of all things digital media, she has served as an Interactive Emmy Awards judge, a MIXX Awards judge, and also co-authored the wildly entertaining Digital Video and Online Content industry standards through Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Committees.
A virtual LA native by way of Ukraine, Erin lives in Santa Monica, CA where she wears lots of sunscreen. When she’s not correcting people on the spelling of her last name, she likes to browse art exhibits, lift kettle bells, and think about the world. She speaks English, Russian, some French and a bit of Polish.
elipe Daguila, is a global executive, forward-thinking and idea-driven technology professional. Mr. Daguila has a history of leading organizations and inspiring teams to achieve unparalleled results in technology transformation and digital business.
As Head of APAC gTech Ads GS at Google, he is digitizing Asia by bringing content, users & businesses online, making ads easy. He is committed to implementing business models and technology solutions that change the way customers view an organization, trust its reputation, and use its products and services.
Previously, Felipe was Head of IT at Everis and developed the strategy, product, service approach, and defined the sales and delivery model for IT products and services. He led IT engagements that effectively merged businesses with leading-edge technology solutions. He enhanced products and services by teaming up with marketing agencies, top software vendors and startups. Felipe has managed +$10M P&L and CAPEX/OPEX budget exceeding $100M.
Felipe is a certified PMP, ITIL, Mobile Marketing and Inbound Marketing and has a PLD in Executive Education from Harvard Business School.
Francesco Matteini has 20 years of leadership experience helping innovative companies disrupting highly regulated markets, with focus on FinTech and financial services. Francesco has designed compliance systems and obtained regulatory approvals for several disruptive products in the financial services space, including the first social media platform focused on trading and investing.
From 2005 to 2012 Francesco was Chief Compliance Officer at TradeKing and Zecco, startup online brokers he helped launch and merge into the 6th largest online BD in the US with 500,000 customers and $2.6 billion in assets. The combined company was acquired by Ally Bank in 2016.
In 2013 Francesco founded InnReg, a consulting company that helps FinTech innovators set up operations and compliance. InnReg's typical client is a FinTech startup that has come up with a disruptive product or service and needs help with:
- -- Figuring out the best regulatory structure for a its product/service to maximize functionality and revenues.
- -- Building the compliance stack (e.g. user-facing and back office flows, key partnerships)
- -- Enhancing the profile of founding team with the addition of an experienced and reputable compliance partner
- -- Establishing partnerships with compliance-heavy vendors/service providers, such as banks, credit card processors and clearing firms
Francesco holds a Master in Public Administration from Harvard Kennedy School and a JD from Italy’s Universitá degli studi.
Having spent the last 15+ years at top global advertising agencies (Ogilvy, Grey Global, Epsilon), Garrick offers an extensive experience in developing insight-driven marketing strategies and communication platforms to capture new brand opportunities and consumer value to drive brand leadership, revenue growth and share maximization.
An accomplished senior advertising professional with expertise in building brand strategies and integrated marketing platforms that deliver meaningful consumer experiences and drive purchase, Garrick brings valuable multi-disciplinary communications experience coupled with an innate ability to develop breakthrough go-to-market campaigns (advertising, digital, experiential) that accelerate competitive advantage and elevate brand strength. He is passionate about ideas that sell.
Garrick is a graduate of Ogilvy’s globally recognized Account Management Programs. He has a M.B.A. in Marketing from Fordham University Graduate School of Business and a B.A. from Wheaton College (MA) in Political Science. He lives in Rye, NY with his wife and two beautiful, crazy kids.
Genessa Stout is Director of Litigation at PayPal in the Bay Area. At the end of 2015 she moved to San Francisco to begin working for PayPal and left Washington D.C. and her role as an enforcement attorney at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. While at the CFPB, Genessa lead the investigation and resolution of several large enforcement actions related to mobile payments, mortgages, and small-dollar lending. She also worked on the CFPB’s Arbitration Study and Report to Congress released in March 2015. Before joining the CFPB, Genessa worked at Hagens Berman Sobol Shaprio in Seattle where her practice focused on representing plaintiffs in complex financial services class actions. She is a graduate of the University of Washington and Seattle University School of Law. Genessa serves as a middle school math tutor for San Francisco Public Schools and spends her free time enjoying California’s natural beauty.
Harris Hunt is a Product Management and Marketing executive, currently VP Product Management at Evisions. Previously he was with Experian Consumer Services where he led the product management and user experience teams in the creation of products such as freecreditscore.com and protectmyid.com as well as white-label products for large financial services organizations. He is an accomplished product management and marketing leader known for his strategic approach and demonstrated ability to translate market opportunities into world-class software products and solutions.
A graduate of Cornell University’s College of Engineering, Harris has over 20 years of product management and marketing experience having previously held responsibility for Yahoo! Search Marketing’s platform, leading FileNet’s core product management team as well as its international product marketing team, and holding a number of product management and marketing leadership positions with MSC Software.
Ila Afsharipour joined U.S. Bancorp’s Public Finance group in 2010 and leads the firm’s Education and Nonprofit practice providing investment banking and capital markets advisory services to borrowers nationally. Ila has been involved in over $10 billion of tax-exempt and taxable financings, private placements, third-party tender option bond programs, structured trades and interest rate derivatives.
Prior to joining U.S. Bancorp, Ila was a member of the Public Finance department at Banc of America Securities and the Debt Capital Markets department at Credit Suisse First Boston.
Ila has served on the Board and advisory committees of several nonprofit organizations. Ila is also a frequent speaker at Public Finance conferences and events, including most recently serving as Co-Chair of the Bond Buyer’s 2014 and 2015 Healthcare and Higher Education Super Conferences.
Ila received a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.
Irfan is Vice President and the global sanctions compliance policy governance lead at BNP Paribas, one of the largest banks in the world, and is experienced at implementing risk and compliance programs from corporate and government perspectives. Prior to joining BNP Paribas he was a Senior Economic Sanctions and Terrorism Finance Advisor at the U.S. Department of the Treasury from 2009-2016 and served as a Money Laundering and Terrorism Finance Analyst at the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) from 2006-2009.
While at Treasury, Irfan conducted complex sanctions and money laundering investigations and wrote analytical briefs on national security-related issues for senior U.S. policymakers, including articles for the President’s Daily Brief (the “PDB”). He has represented Treasury and DoD in high-risk money laundering and transnational terrorism finance jurisdictions, including Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Irfan served as Treasury’s Financial Attaché to Pakistan from 2013-2014 where he led U.S. diplomatic engagements with the State Bank, Finance Ministry, and commercial banks on a range of economic, financial, and regulatory policy issues.
Irfan is a licensed attorney and is a native of Chicago, IL.
Before starting Leverate, Itai graduated with excellence from Basmach- the IDF’s Academy for Computer Science and Cyber Defense. He then served as a senior software developer / architect for 4 years.
Itai has a strong passion for building businesses around complex problems. His current interests include cryptocurrencies, data science, machine learning and hardware. He invests in startups and actively mentors in leading accelerators worldwide, including 500 Startups (US), Barclays Techstars (Tel Aviv) and HAX (China).
Silicon Valley Bank
Jason Kobus is a channel director with Silicon Valley Bank’s Product Development/Digital Channels team with a focus on integration of SVB’s API channels with accounting and fintech applications. In his prior role at SVB, Jason managed the infosec governance and privacy programs. Prior to joining SVB in 2007, he worked at Deloitte advising enterprises on information security and privacy risk management. He has also worked at Merrill Lynch as VP Infrastructure & Data Services, and was involved in a wide range of application and strategic infrastructure integration efforts including acquisitions, infrastructure resiliency, and third party integration with Merrill’s retail and institutional client portals.
Jason W. Henrichs
The Kinetic Group
Jason is an entrepreneur and builder with a focus on turning opportunities into scaleable organizations. He’s founded companies, advised growing companies, built a venture capital firm and headed innovation (including strategic investment and corporate development) for a public company. He’s previously helped found PerkStreet Financial, Britemoon, US Genomics and Rock Maple Ventures. He is an investor in Blacksmith Applications, Blueleaf, Currency Cloud, Fundly, Helpscout, Owl Invest, Seahorse Biosciences and Zagster. He helped start Boston’s Financial Entrepreneur Working (FEW) Group, FinTech MeetUp and FinTEx Chicago. Jason is a frequent speaker on leadership, building effective organizations and financial innovation.
JP has focused on financial crime compliance for most of his career. In the government, he worked in anti-money laundering (AML) and economic sanctions investigations and enforcement dealing with narcotics trafficking, terrorism, transnational organized crime, and proliferation. More recently in the private sector, JP worked with banks to improve know your customer (KYC) and sanctions compliance policies and procedures and train colleagues in the U.S. and abroad. JP is fluent in Spanish and French, and has studied several additional languages.
Jeff Anop is the Business Development & Innovation Leader for Strategic Partnerships at Equifax. Mr. Anop joined Equifax in 2012. Prior to joining Equifax, Anop held several product leadership positions including Product Manager at AutoTrader.com, Vice President of product at RentPath and Vice President of operations at Sharecare.com.
Jeff Cain has extensive technology and startup experience, having been a business development and M&A executive at companies such as Common Sense Media, Cadence Design Systems and Red Herring. He built an ecosystem of wireless startups for Rutberg & Company and ran a consultancy that provided M&A, partnership and business planning services to technology and media companies. Jeff also started two consumer products companies and even was an investment banker.
Jeff holds a BA in economics from Stanford and an MA in theological studies from Harvard.
Jennifer has over 15 years experience in a variety of roles in the Fintech space ranging from investing, innovation, product, marketing, and business development. She is an avid traveler and has lived and worked in more than six cities across three continents. Jennifer enjoys working in industries on the verge of transformation and has honed her strategic ability to get ahead of opportunities by recognizing trends, developing strategies and building teams to execute. She is passionate about products with big game changing ambitions and she enjoys mentoring other career switchers on their journey to product management.
She is passionate about creating more diversity and inclusion in the workplace, promoting women into leadership and board exposure, and working to identify and achieve a harmonious work environment through the balance of an inclusive environment incorporated into corporate vision.
As co-founder of the Women’s Advisory Council, Jessie is also dedicated to empowering women through career mentorship and helping organizations attain greater gender diversity, particularly within the ranks of executive leadership.
Joe Lynam is an accomplished entrepreneur and executive with extensive Global fin-tech startup and operating experience. He is currently the co-founder and CEO of xPressTap leading a team of entrepreneurs and engineers building a disruptive payment technology, global platform, and APIs designed to turn every smart phone into a mobile POS terminal. Prior to xPressTap he founded and led PaymentOne Corp. (DBA PayOne) and VRS Billing Systems (Acquired by AT&T), which he grew from scratch to $300M in annual billings by year three.
Joe holds 11 patents supporting his work in mobile commerce, mobile wallets, data analytics and authentication methodologies. Joe is an Inc. 500 alumnus and a noted and oft-requested speaker and commentator at industry events and for print and broadcast media including Business Week, Forbes, AdWeek, CBS MarketWatch, Investor's Business Daily, and CNN.
Joe holds a Bachelor of Science and Commerce degree in Finance from Santa Clara University.
Johanna Maska is the CEO of Global Situation Room, an international consultancy with offices in Washington, DC and Los Angeles, CA. Previously, Maska was Senior Vice President of Communications and Marketing for Karmic Labs, a financial technology company based in San Francisco that is leading innovation in corporate card issuance. Maska was also Director of Press Advance for President Barack Obama, managing President Obama’s public image on trips across the United States and to 40 countries including extended tours of Asia, South America, Europe and Africa. She played an important role in both successful Presidential elections, starting in Iowa in 2007.
Maska served as Vice President, communications and marketing at the Los Angeles Times. Prior to her service on the Obama campaign, Maska worked for Governor Kathleen Sebelius in Kansas and in state government and politics in Iowa.
Maska is from Galesburg, IL, graduated from the University of Kansas with degrees in journalism and history. She is married to writer and journalist Henry C. Jackson, and is the mother of a young son, Hugh.
John has 20 years’ experience in legal and operational roles within financial services and technology and is currently General Counsel at Unison. Before his role at Unison Home Ownership Investors, John served as General Counsel and Vice President of Loan Operations at Funding Circle USA. In this role, John was responsible for managing all legal and regulatory matters as well as loan servicing and administration. Prior to Funding Circle, John served as Legal Director and Chief Compliance Officer for Liquidity Realty Partners, a real estate secondary investment firm. Previously, he served as Vice President at Redwood Trust, a publicly traded mortgage REIT specializing in real estate loans and securities. Other prior roles include management duties with Dorado and Countrywide Securities. John began his legal career as an Associate Attorney at Booth, Mitchel & Strange, a commercial litigation firm.
John received a Juris Doctor and a Bachelors of Business Administration from the University of San Diego. He is a member of the State Bar of California.
With more than 25 years in venture capital and technology, John has facilitated investments in several successful startups. He currently serves on the boards of Blurb, Cardlytics, SilverRail Technologies, SOASTA, Stayful, Switchfly and UrbanSitter. John’s prior investments include Commerce One, which brought B2B e-commerce to the masses; Echopass, a leader in world-class contact center solutions (acquired by Genesys); eStamp, a pioneer in Internet postage; Everdream, an innovator in on-demand desktop management services (acquired by Dell); ID Analytics, the nation’s only real-time fraud prevention system for enterprises (acquired by LifeLock); Intraware, the leading provider of electronic license delivery & management; Istante, an early pioneer in real-time analytics & reporting (acquired by Oracle); and Rightpoint, real-time CRM analytics software (acquired by Epiphany).
Prior to joining Canaan Partners, John held a variety of operational and financial roles. While Managing Director at Horsley Bridge Partners, a multi-billion dollar private equity firm, John was responsible for investing in venture capital partnerships and aspiring technology companies. He also worked as an engineer at two entrepreneurial companies, Digital Equipment Corp. & Codenoll Technology.
John received a BS in electrical engineering and an MBA from Cornell University.
For the last six years, John has worked with Visa’s largest U.S. issuing clients to grow and expand their payment businesses. John provides an important bridge between established banks, evolving product offerings and emerging FinTech innovation; a significant portion of his work focuses on strategic integration of new digital payment technologies, digital channel capabilities and the emerging Millennial generation.
Prior to joining Visa John held positions in commercial banking, software, small business services, management consulting and public accounting. John’s past clients include: Visa, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, U.S. Bank, BB&T, Oracle, Cabela’s, Nike, Pacific Telesis, Viacom and Matson.
John has an M.B.A. from U.C. Berkeley, a B.S. in Finance from U.S.C., and started his career as a CPA at Ernst & Young.
John joined RBS in March 2011. He is Head of Solutions Silicon Valley and manages the corporate innovation outpost established in early 2014. His role is to identify new and innovative technologies that improve the way customers interact with RBS and help to progress them through to being live solutions and services.
John has held senior roles in financial services since 1987 at TSB Bank, IBM, Barclays and KPMG where he had a lead role in the UK Government Banking Transformation Programme and helped to resolve some of the financial organisations impacted by the 2009 financial crisis.
John lives in Marin County with his wife and is enjoying the California weather.
John Vaughn is a Partner in the Firm’s Commercial Litigation Division and is a resident in the San Diego office and also part time in the San Francisco office. Mr. Vaughn is the Founder and Chairperson of the Firm’s FINRA Dispute Resolution Practice Group.
Mr. Vaughn has a diverse, national trial and arbitration practice. Clients regularly seek Mr. Vaughn’s counsel and expertise in complex commercial litigation matters, securities fraud claims, employment disputes, FINRA arbitrations, broker disciplinary actions, injunction cases, non-competition and trade secret cases, and general business litigation matters.
A significant portion of Mr. Vaughn’s practice includes representation of clients within the Financial Industry. He has successfully handled dozens of cases, on behalf of both individuals and institutions, before FINRA (NASD, NYSE), the American Arbitration Association, state and federal courts. This practice includes counseling financial institutions and financial advisors during employment transitions; prosecuting and defending suitability claims, as well as claims for breach of contract, unfair business practices, and misappropriation of trade secrets (both in federal court and before FINRA arbitration panels); prosecuting and defending raiding claims; and representation of clients subject to FINRA reviews, investigations, and examinations, working directly with FINRA on behalf of such clients.
In the area of employment disputes, Mr. Vaughn represents individuals and major corporations in matters involving restrictive covenants, protection of trade secrets and confidential information, fiduciary duty and the duty of loyalty, professional employment agreements, and other matters relating to employee resignations and terminations and/or the movement of employees, partners or shareholders between firms.
Mr. Vaughn also has significant experience as lead counsel litigating general commercial and business disputes. Mr. Vaughn has successfully tried numerous cases to completion, in both state and federal court, involving claims of securities and common law fraud, unfair business practices, fiduciary duty disputes, officer/director disputes, trade secret, trademark, and trade dress
disputes, and other business-related torts. Mr. Vaughn has successfully briefed and argued cases before the California Court of Appeal and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and is a member of the bar of the United States Supreme Court.
Mr. Vaughn’s clients include multi-national corporations, large national corporations, closely held businesses, brokers (registered representatives), and individual entrepreneurs, spanning a number of industries including financial services, technology, biotechnology, energy and utilities, real estate and entertainment.
Mr. Vaughn has been recognized as a San Diego Super Lawyer and a Southern California Super Lawyer in the categories of Commercial Litigation and Securities Litigation (most recent listings, 2014) and is recognized by The Legal 500 in the area of Trade Secret Litigation. He has been honored as a “Top Lawyer,” “Top Rated Lawyer,” and a “San Francisco Top Rated Lawyer” by both industry and national publications (most recent listings, 2014), and holds the highest peer-reviewed rating (AV) by Martindale-Hubbell.
In addressing both brokers’ and investors’ rights issues, Mr. Vaughn has been quoted by the press in publications that include the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Reuters, and the Dow Jones Business News. Mr. Vaughn has spoken at the Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association annual meeting and has authored and co-authored numerous articles for multiple publications.
Prior to joining McKenna Long & Aldridge, LLP, Mr. Vaughn was a partner at Luce Forward Hamilton & Scripps, LLP from 2001 to 2011 where he Chaired the firm-wide Complex Business Litigation Department. Mr. Vaughn works out of the San Diego, San Francisco and Los Angeles offices of McKenna Long & Aldridge, LLP.
Jonathan C. Baer
Jonathan C. Baer is the Managing Partner of Threshold Ventures. Jon Baer is a recovering venture capitalist who loves working with early stage companies around the world. He was the founder and CEO of two venture-backed companies, one of which was a spinout from SRI International. Jon now spends his time teaching, mentoring, and advising early stage companies with leading accelerators and investors around the world. He believes that startups require tough love; and need to focus on money, metrics, and milestones. Jon teaches startup CEOs to say less, because less is more.
Jon assists companies with a range of startup issues and challenges: refining presentations, connecting with customers and partners, raising capital, validating markets and sales channels and recruiting advisors and board members. Jon was a General Partner at Oscco Ventures, a Sand Hill Road early-stage venture capital firm that was one of the pioneering firms in Silicon Valley. Jon started his career at Exxon Enterprises where he was responsible for creating and managing new businesses for the corporation.
He has a BA in Biology and a BS in Engineering Science from Tufts University and an MBA from Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business. Jon provides mentoring to Stanford University’s StartX accelerator and Singularity University’s acceleration programs and teaches at Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. He is the co-author of Decoding Silicon Valley: The Insider’s Guide.
Joy Schoffler, partner at Casoro Capital, is a nationally recognized author and speaker in the field of innovative financial services marketing and communication. Before joining Casoro, Joy founded, ran, and sold Leverage PR.
Prior to launching Leverage PR, Joy served as a senior level consultant providing strategic communications counsel to several tier-one growth-phase financial service, fin-tech and technology firms. Additionally, Joy served as the director of acquisitions for the two-time Inc. award-winning commercial real estate investment firm, The PPA Group. Companies that Joy has worked with, have benefited greatly from her expertise being acquired, raising large amounts of capital, closing funding rounds, securing targeted Fortune 500 accounts, as well as experiencing substantial growth in revenue and brand awareness, through creative messaging and dynamic media strategies.
Joy has written for a number of publications including: Entrepreneur.com, Social Media Monthly and MarketingProfs, among other outlets and is a contributing author for the Wiley-published Bloomberg Media book “Crowdfunding: The Ultimate Guide to Raising Capital on the Internet.”
Her proficiency in helping new businesses launch and established businesses grow new and existing revenue streams in the financial services and fintech sectors has made her a go-to source for media and industry. Her expertise in JOBS Act regulations as well as helping issuers and investment firms become thought leaders within the accredited investment community has additionally led to Joy being featured in a number of outlets including: CNBC, Forbes, Inc., Reuters, Yahoo! Small Business and dozens of other niche sites.
An experienced speaker, Joy has spoken at a number of conferences, such as SXSW, SXSWV2V, Growth Capital Expo, numerous CFGE events, The Crowdfunding BootCamp, Startup America, Kingonomics, SV Crowdfund, Execsense and many others.
Her company has additionally managed media relations for a number of high-profile events, including SXSW and Kingonomics – which included a “Shark Tank” casting call – and a crowdfunding summit in Washington D.C. titled “The State of Equity-Based Crowdfunding,” which included a press conference held at the National Press Club, a luncheon on Capitol Hill, a White House meeting and a meeting with SEC officials responsible for Titles II and III of the JOBS Act.
Joy has won the Stiletto Women in Business Entrepreneur of the Year Award and the Women Communicators of Austin’s “Outstanding Austin Communicator” award and was a finalist for the Austin Under 40 Award.
Outside of the private sector, Joy served as a finance officer for six years in the U.S. Army Reserves and three years as a public relations officer for the Texas State Guard. Her service included a year on active duty for Operation Iraqi Freedom, where she led a 16-man team of finance soldiers and interned at the Pentagon.
Joy sits on the board of the Crowdfund Intermediary Regulatory Advocates (CfIRA) – the main lobbying organization for the crowdfunding industry that works directly with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to help establish industry standards and best practices.
Kathryn White is an Innovation Consultant for RBS, scouting new and exciting technologies in Silicon Valley which can streamline the way the bank is run and improve service to its 24 million customers in the UK. Kathryn has many years of experience with analysing new technologies and exploring corporate innovation strategies for Financial Services. She has a broad understanding across the full landscape of technologies impacting financial services, from backend data handling and storage, to front-end customer technologies and security. She has a soft spot for high tech hardware with her own home-built 3D printer and dreams of a pet robot
Kurt works with community banks, financial technology companies, closely-held and family organizations, and publicly-traded companies on strategic, regulatory, governance and operational matters.
Recent engagements include bank acquisitions and recaps, private placements through registered broker-dealers, sale of a half interest in a family business, and structuring contractual relationships between fintech companies and banks. Kurt often counsels investors, directors and officers on matters affecting their personal interests and liabilities, and has served as counsel to special committees of boards.
Before joining Breakwater Law Group, Kurt was a corporate and banking partner for more than 16 years with Luce Forward, McKenna Long and Dentons (as the result of mergers of those firms). He has first-hand experience of the challenges that business owners and executives face in leading organizations through difficult changes as a result of his service as Managing Partner of Luce Forward.
Kurt has been active in civic and charitable organizations, including the San Diego Economic Development Corporation, the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation of San Diego. He has provided pro bono services to various charities in San Diego.
Raised in a San Diego Naval family (and a Helix Highlander), Kurt left home for U.C. Berkeley where he graduated with Great Distinction, Phi Beta Kappa. He ventured to New York for law school, where he graduated from the Columbia University School of Law and was Editor-In-Chief of the Columbia Journal of Environmental Law, but eventually returned to San Diego. Kurt later earned his L.L.M. in Taxation from the University of San Diego School of Law. He is a member of the California State Bar.
Lauren works at Connery Consulting as HR Director where she helps various early/mid stage companies set up ‘everything HR’ including: onboarding, benefits, policies, performance management, training/coaching, etc. Each engagement typically begins with a thorough review of current practices to determine the highest priorities for the individual client. Not one engagement is identical to another and we take the approach of acting as an in house HR representative; taking time to absorb and understand the culture in order to build a customized plan.
Founded in January of 2007, Connery Consulting helps tech companies scale for success by focusing on all things people. Their HR advisory services include talent acquisition, strategic compensation; performance management; HR operations and support; mentoring, executive coaching and 360 feedback. With decades of industry experience, Connery provides quality and personalized service to drive sustainable growth and create value for organizations through people and culture.
Marc comes to Two Sigma after being an independent private investor in strategic and financial consulting (2009 to 2014). In this role, he assembled, sold, and donated several precious stone/mineral collections, which are on public display at the Museum of Natural History and the Bruce Museum of Greenwich, CT. Prior to this role, Marc served as chairman of City Light Capital Investment (2004 to 2008), a venture capital investment firm specializing in early-stage (start-up) enterprises focused on progressive solutions involving products contributing to the safety and well-being of society, including enterprise sustainability, green technology, and impact investment projects. Marc also served as chairman of WST Partners (2001 to 2003), where he raised 60 million in assets, and chief investment officer/senior EVP of Citigroup (1991 to 2000), where he led the Citigroup Investment department of 600 employees and $130 billion in insurance, investment, pension fund, and wealth management business lines. Marc holds an MBA in Economics and Accounting from Columbia University and a BA in Economics and Business from Vanderbilt.
Maria Potapov, CFA is a partner at Stratis Advisory with over 20 years of experience in business strategy, risk, startups and investments. She has launched and lead 11 ventures in finance and technology and brought 15 products to market over the course of her career. Prior to Stratis, Maria served as the head of R&D at SVB Financial Group, where she helped create several new business lines for long-term EPS growth. Before SVB, she was founding partner, chief investment officer and chief compliance officer of Green Alpha Advisors. Maria previously lead investment research, portfolio management, product development and regulatory compliance at a boutique investment management firm with more than $2 billion in assets under management. Maria has also served as a C-level officer, Board director and investor at several FinTech and software startups. She started her career as a research analyst at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Maria is a Chartered Financial Analyst, a member of the CFA Institute, and a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors. She has also served as a board member of the CFA Society of San Francisco and the Financial Women’s Association of San Francisco. Maria holds an MBA from Imperial College London and a BA in economics from Boston University.
Marion Smith has over 20 years of experience building and managing emerging companies. He is a veteran of start-up ventures and board-level decision-making as well as a successful corporate manager and team builder. Marion is currently VP & GM at Pulse Secure. He was formerly Head of Strategy and Operations for the Software Networking BU within Brocade Communications (formerly Vyatta). Before joining Vyatta (acquired by Brocade in 2012), Marion built four companies from start-up to commercial operations, including being instrumental in building Inktomi Corporation from a 6 person start-up to a 500 employee publicly-traded company with a peak market-cap of $25 Billion in 2000. Marion was Founder and CEO of Renewvia Energy Corporation, Founder and CEO of Micron Misting, CEO of e-lingo and a key member of the founding team and Director of Business Operations at Inktomi. Marion has led organizations raising over $15 million in venture/angel investment in early stage companies and taken companies through strategic sale and IPO. Marion holds a B.S. in Economics from Georgia State University and is an avid pilot.
Mas Sakamoto, a former IT executive, has many years’ experience in international and new business development, strategic planning, US-Japan partnerships, venture capital investment, new business incubation and cross-border operations with planning and logistics responsibilities. His recent activities include M&A, fundraising and coaching startups from Japan -government sponsored incubation program – and in Silicon Valley. He has served on the board of several companies in the US and Japan. He has also been involved in leading roles in non-profit activities such as co-chair of Sustainable Silicon Valley, advisory board member of Santa Clara University’s Global Initiative Program, and US Japan Council. He graduated from Keio University in Japan with a BA in Economics and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Matt Schiffman is a three-decade veteran of the financial services business with a history of record-setting sales, product and marketing strategies. His professional experience was honed at major firms including Legg Mason, Lincoln Financial and Prudential. He founded J-Curve Marketing to help advise senior executives on accelerating growth in their firms through creative marketing and distribution strategies.
Matt’s unique specialty is storytelling, a critical ingredient to any organization’s success. The ability to articulate in an understandable and differentiated way what your product does, for whom and how, will have a dramatic impact on convincing investors and customers to engage with you.
Schiffman holds a BA in Economics from Franklin & Marshall College and attended executive education courses at Harvard Business School and Wharton. He is also keenly interested in eradicating hunger in America. His story-telling exercises at Feeding America’s Mobilizing the Public Conference are frequently sold out and he serves on the Board of The Connecticut Food Bank.
Matthew is a partner at Montage Ventures covering financial services. Prior to joining Montage, Matthew was the Global Vice President of Renren (NYSE: RENN) and focused on driving their global investment strategy in the FinTech, HealthTech and EdTech spaces. In addition, Matthew was the co-founder of Appsurdity, the US innovation lab for Renren, which creates mobile applications that unleash connections, communication and creativity in a way that may seem absurd today, but will become the standard very soon.
Previously, Murphy was the Chief Marketing Officer & Co-Founder of Lemon.com, a leading mobile wallet solution, General Manager of Bling Nation, a provider of mobile payment services; and the CMO at Chegg, the leader in textbook rentals. Murphy was also the head of Advertising & Media at E*TRADE Financial and won numerous awards for his work, including a Clio, Effie and Stevie Award.
Murphy earned his Master’s in Business Administration from The Christos M. Cotsakos College of Business at William Patterson University, holds a degree in finance from Santa Clara University and attended executive marketing education courses at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
A seasoned technology marketing executive for nearly 30 years, Mike delivers consistent results for clients through creative applications of strategy, technology and key partnerships. Prior to founding Clarland Group he was executive vice president of Top-100 PR firm The Hodges Partnership, and principal and president of Los Angeles-based digital agency Velodea Media. Broggie’s technology experience includes three venture-backed startups including Webcasts.com (IPO April 2000).
Mike began his marketing career executing national consumer awareness campaigns for General Motors, MCI, Ford, General Mills and other Fortune 500 brands. Broggie holds a B.S. in Management from California State University Chico, and is an active mentor and advisor to mid-Atlantic GAN member accelerator Lighthouse Labs.
Mike Milmoe is an experienced Business Development Executive and Entrepreneur with a successful record of delivering new products and establishing new territories and markets. Mr. Milmoe has worked extensively within the technology industry, helping startups drive growth and develop new revenue opportunities. Mr. Milmoe has also worked with Fortune 100 companies, delivering complex technology and bundled services to new markets.
Mike is an avid sports fan, extensive world traveler, and three-time Boston Marathon finisher.
Monette’s background encompasses product/market strategy, partnership and customer development, as well as monetizing software and services. She helps companies with customer acquisition, bringing products to market, developing growth strategies, increasing corporate value, as well as identifying and developing partnerships. Monette also co-founded the investment bank Newforth Partners, focused on both buy and sell side M&A as well as private placements. Prior to becoming an investment banker, she held technical, managment and executive roles at mental images (nVidia), Software.com (now Openwave), Sandpiper Networks (Level 3), and Digital Sound Corp while also working with numerous startups.
Monette has deep expertise in FinTech, Enterprise Software, SaaS, PaaS, Networking, Wireless, Embedded Systems, Security and Software Infrastructure. She had numerous successes, including developing a growth strategy which led to a 30x revenue acquisition of Bridgestream by Oracle Corp.
As a Managing Director, a Co-founder, a CTO, a VP of Strategy and other managing positions, she has managed teams, projects and products from inception, through implementation, to completion. Monette taught at UCSB's Computer Science Department as an adjunct faculty member and also has developed and taught technical courses covering topics such as: software engineering and program/project management to professionals. Monette enjoys reviewing the complexities of business, market and technical diligence on investment and M&A transactions and is an expert analyst for software litigation.
Mad Mork Enterprises
Patrick is an Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) at Signia Venture Partners, an early stage venture fund based in Menlo Park, California. Prior to joining Signia, he spent 5 years on the distribution side of the apps business both as CMO / global head of marketing for Google Play, where he led the rebranding of Android market and was responsible for overall marketing strategy, and at GetJar (an app discovery platform backed by Accel Partners) where he was CMO. In addition, Patrick has worked extensively in the mobile games industry as VP of marketing in Europe for both glu mobile (NASD: Gluu) and Iplay.
Patrick is a board advisor to Connect and has also served on the Advisory board of Onavo (which was acquired by Facebook) and Distimo (an apps analytics / data firm acquired by App Annie). He speaks Spanish, English, French and Portuguese fluently, has lived in 11 countries and holds an MBA from Insead and a BSFS from Georgetown.
Considered a go-to expert in mobile, he has appeared in the press including on CNBC, Pim Fox’s “Taking Stock”, CBS, WSJ, Techcrunch, All Things D and has spoken at conferences including SXSW, CTIA, GDC, Casual Connect, GMIC and the Mobile Marketing Association forums.
Peggy Burke is the founder and CEO of 1185 Design, an award-winning digital branding agency specializing in brand development through positioning and design. Since November of ’85 she has done extensive work in Silicon Valley for Fortune 100 companies such as Adobe Systems, Cisco Systems, IBM and SAP, as well as numerous startup and venture firms in technology, biotech, nonprofit and consumer markets. Previously, Burke worked for eight years in the television and publishing industries on the East Coast and in the Midwest before relocating to the Silicon Valley to be the Design Director for Boole and Babbage, Inc. Burke is a member of the World Presidents’ Organization (WPO), a former member of Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO), a former trustee on the boards of The Djerassi Foundation and Sand Hill Systems, an advisor to Isabella Capital and a current trustee of the Computer History Museum. She is a frequent lecturer at Stanford University. Burke has judged many national design competitions and has been featured in multiple publications.
She holds a B.S. in Graphic Design from the University of Cincinnati.
Managing Director, Venture Capital Relationships, Square 1 Bank. Square 1 Bank is a leading provider of venture banking services in the US. The Bank has $3 billion in Assets and is NASDAQ listed (IPO in March 2014).
Philip leads venture capital outreach and venture capital relationships for Square 1 Bank. Philip is the primary venture capital resource at Square 1 for venture capital strategy and is an expert on venture capital fundraising for early stage startups.
Philip is also responsible for business development and sourcing new technology clients across the US. He has nearly 20 years of venture banking experience. Philip has developed extensive relationships with the venture capital community and has a very large network of VCs and entrepreneurs. He works actively with early to mid stage companies to advise them on venture debt or other non-dilutive expansion capital financing. He also consults companies on venture capital fundraising, business strategy, and makes key introductions within his network. Philip hosts regular CEO dinners and other worthwhile forums where entrepreneurs can network and develop meaningful relationships with other startups and VCs.
Mr. Pierre-R. Wolff is Managing Director of E-coSearch Inc. (dba. ExecConnect), a firm facilitating professional transactional connections, where he focuses on the FinTech ecosystem. His clients include firms in global financial services, corporate venture capital, and early stage company accelerators/incubators that are interested in executing corporate development transactions (including investments, M&A, and strategic partnerships) or seeking experienced senior executives savvy in the evolving FinTech ecosystem for leadership roles or to advise on specific issues or technologies.
With a focus on Internet-related companies, Pierre has spent over 20 years working as a business and corporate development professional scouting and executing transactions in such emergent markets as FinTech, social media networks and platforms, e-commerce platforms, content management and classification technologies, and AdTech. He currently serves on several advisory boards, most recently joining those of some early stage Bitcoin companies. Pierre received his MBA from EDHEC in Nice, France, and conducted his undergraduate studies at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA.
Rebecca Cooper serves Grant Thornton as a Business Development Executive. She focuses on priority targets in the technology and financial services industries and is based in San Francisco. Rebecca works closely with our partners and service delivery teams to develop and grow client relationships and ensures that our teams are identifying and addressing issues relevant to those clients. As a member of the core account team she helps provide key insights, critical content and thought leadership to offer the full depth and breadth of our global services to assist in addressing client needs. Rebecca’s responsibilities include helping to manage and coordinate Grant Thornton’s West Coast business development efforts by driving greater communication, collaboration, training and performance in the practice. She has extensive experience working with pre-IPO, growth and Fortune 500 companies. Prior to Grant Thornton, Rebecca worked for NASDAQ OMX and Merrill Financial where she was responsible for Business Development and Relationship Management working with both public and private companies. She developed and maintained relationships at the C-Suite advising management teams on capital markets and exchange requirements. Rebecca received her Bachelor of Art degree in political science from the University of San Francisco. She is an active member of ACG, Watermark and the San Francisco Ballet Auxiliary.
Renzo N. Rocchegiani
Renzo N. Rocchegiani’s practice focuses on patent litigation, patent prosecution, and client counseling, with an emphasis on intellectual property and technology. Mr. Rocchegiani has been closely involved in numerous patent litigations. He also has extensive experience prosecuting patent applications and counseling clients on patents, patent due diligence, and patent validity and freedom to operate opinions.
Mr. Rocchegiani’s practice is focused in technologies that involve organic and inorganic chemistry, semiconductor technology, designs, and mechanical structures. He holds a bachelors of science in Chemical Engineering. He has extensive experience in prosecuting applications relating to chemical engineering, including organic light emitting devices and materials, and semiconductor device manufacture and design. He is also experienced in a number of interdisciplinary areas including materials science, battery technology, liquid crystal displays, and mechanical structures.
Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Rocchegiani worked for over five years as a patent examiner at the United States Patent and Trademark Office. As a patent examiner he specialized in the art of manufacturing processes and semiconductor devices. In addition, Mr. Rocchegiani clerked at the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences for Administrative Patent Judge Chung Pak and Administrative Patent Judge Andrew Metz.
Rita has 20 years of experience working with companies ranging from early stage start-ups to publicly-traded firms. With a background in investment banking, her specialties include: business development, financial planning, equity and debt fundraising (raised $25M), M&A, board management, international expansion and overall strategy.
She is President of YourUpside, Inc. which is a consulting firm focused on early-stage start-ups. She most recently returned 10x to investors in 18 months by revamping a content company and negotiating the acquisition.
Rita was the former VP, Operations at RadPad, which is a mobile app in the real estate space. She was instrumental in raising a $9M Series A and executed all partnership deals to launch mobile/web payments.
Previous roles include VP of Business Development and VP of International Strategy at MySpace, where she launched operations in 27 countries, 5x international revenue and 3x user growth; and, VP, Operations at Wittlebee, an ecommerce start-up.
Rita has both M&A buy-side and sell-side expertise having worked in corporate development and investment banking.
She holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and an undergraduate degree in Economics from UCLA.
With more than 20 years experience in the credit industry, Ron is currently Vice President of Sales and Business Development for TransUnion Interactive, TransUnion’s direct-to-consumer business unit. Prior to that, he was Sales Manager for TransUnion’s local business unit handling Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Diego Counties. In 1994, Ron joined TransUnion’s Denver, Colorado Division handling the non-traditional markets. Previously, Ron worked for Nordstrom National Credit Bank in every department from new accounts to collections, ultimately serving as Risk Manager, where he was instrumental in researching credit and behavioral modeling and implementing the Visa Bank Card line. Ron holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Northern Arizona in Marketing and Management.
Band of Angels
Dr. Ronald Weissman has more than twenty-five years of experience in investment and executive management. Since 2000 he has been a partner at a global venture capital and private equity where he focused on early-stage software investing. After the firm’s transition out of venture capital, he has continued to consult for the fund by managing its legacy venture technology portfolio. Through his VC and his angel activity Ron has invested in or advised more than 60 companies and has served on more than 25 early and growth stage company Boards. His current investment focus is on software, analytics, SaaS, text analytics and health IT. He currently is Chairman of the Software Special Interest Group of the Band of Angels, Silicon Valley’s oldest Angel group and a model for angel groups worldwide. His most recent angel investments include Practice Fusion (electronic medical records), Navera (insurance benefits education), Gainsight (customer engagement optimization), Poetic Brands (food products), Wingtip (hybrid men’s furnishings and men’s club) Taulia (dynamic invoicing and payment management) and Sonim (telephony).
He recent Directorships include Composite Software (data virtualization, acquired Cisco), Host Analytics (Chairman, corporate performance management), Planview (enterprise planning, acquired 12/13), Transera (call center optimization) and Navera (insurance benefits education).
Prior to Apax, he was Vice President of Strategy and Marketing for Verity, a leader in corporate information retrieval. During his tenure, Verity’s executive team earned the Large Company Turnaround of the Year award (1999) from the Turnaround Management Association; Verity gained dominant market share and saw its market capitalization grow from $50 million to more than $1.5 billion. Before joining Verity, Ron spent more than five years working for Steve Jobs at NeXT Computer, where he managed European and corporate marketing. Prior to his work in Silicon Valley, he ran academic computing at Brown University and at the University of Maryland, where he was also Associate Professor of History. He is the author of numerous works on the history of Florence during the Renaissance, including Ritual Brotherhood in Renaissance Florence (1984) and Urban Life in the Renaissance (1989).
A startup advisor and frequent conference speaker, Ron has published and lectured extensively on venture capital and angel investing, entrepreneurship, corporate governance and software trends and was one of three industry leaders profiled in the 2003-2006 Price Waterhouse Coopers Technology Forecast. His views on angel investing were recently profiled in the Silicon Valley Business Journal (Angel of the Apocalypse). He has been an advisor to many organizations, including Apple Computer, Digital Equipment Corporation, IBM, Microsoft, NeXT, Sun Microsystems. Unisys and the US Department of Energy. Ron has also served on US government advisory panels, including the future of electronic record keeping for the National Archives and Records Administration and the National Academy of Public Administration, and has recently served on a US State Department task force on the future of e-diplomacy. Ron is also active in film and Broadway play investing communities. He has also served as interim CMO at Composite, BlueArc and Scality.
Ron is a Fulbright Scholar and member of Phi Beta Kappa. He received his BA, M.A., and Ph.D. degrees in History from the University of California at Berkeley. Ron serves on the advisory boards of market research firm BASEX, Silicon Valley Association of Startup Entrepreneurs (SVASE) and the Venture Capital Task Force. He is an Overseer of the University of Pennsylvania Libraries and an Associate Trustee of Penn and on the Corporate Council of the San Francisco Opera. He is also Board Secretary of San Francisco Classical Voice, the Bay Area’s leading classical music community website. His interests include music, European history, photography, politics and entrepreneurship.
Rose is an experienced mobile technology entrepreneur who has led product, design and engineering for top brands including Samsung Innovation Labs and SAP Labs. Rose has a passion for designing experiences that enable self-awareness of the environment and creating meaningful change. She has experience across a wide range of sectors including healthcare, smart kitchens, sports and fitness and education technologies. Rose holds an MBA from Case Western Reserve and HCI certificate from Stanford University.
The Mackenzie Group
Scott is a business development executive, advisor, entrepreneur, and is presently Managing Director of the Mackenzie Group. During his 25+ year career he has held senior operating and consulting roles for startups and established Fortune 500 companies including VP Strategic Initiatives at E*Trade and other financial services firms. Scott’s background includes deep expertise in business development, sales, marketing, strategic positioning, leadership development, and executive counsel. Over the past 15 years he has been part of five founding startup teams in the Bay Area and LA, and continues to be directly involved in the startup ecosystem. His operational and consulting work has covered a range of industries including, e-Commerce, Mobile, Financial Services (payments, brokerage and asset management), B2B(SMB), Consumer, Hospitality, Gaming, and Professional Services. He is a hands on influential leader with a passion for building teams, leading high growth initiatives, transforming organizations and the development of human capital. From Scott’s early work in the hospitality industry and TQM initiatives, he continues to have a constant focus on the customer to drive decisions.
In 1983 Scott began his career with Merrill Lynch in New York. He received his MBA from the University of Michigan and a BS from Cornell University.
Seth holds a BS in Math Sciences from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His relevant areas of expertise include banking and brokerage operations, regulatory compliance, financial crimes, payments, lending and digital transformation.
Shubha Pant heads Yodlee’s Global Technology Organization based in US and India driving Innovation, Advanced Development, Technology Management and Ecosystem Creation for SaaS and Cloud-based Online Banking, Money Management Solutions and consumer services. A versatile Technology Leader with more than two decades of exposure to Finance, Retail and Defense sectors, she has held Software Engineering, Technology and Product Leadership positions at First Marblehead Corporation (US), SAS Institute (US) and Defense R&D Organization (India).
Shubha’s areas of expertise span Technology Strategy, Innovation Leadership, Software Architecture, New Product Development, Security, Mobility, Cloud, Big Data and Analytics. She holds US patents in the areas of Financial Data Aggregation using Artificial Intelligence and Token-based Secure Financial Data Access.Adept at pioneering and evangelizing emerging technologies and new ideas across organizational and geographical boundaries for co-creation.
Shubha holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics & Statistics and Master of Science in Computer Science. She continued her educational pursuit through Advanced Courses in Computer Science at Harvard University (US) and also served as a Teaching Fellow for graduate courses. Shubha is an alumna of ISB-Kellogg Global Advanced Management Program, jointly hosted by the Indian School of Business (India) and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management (US).
Sonny Singh is the Chief Commercial Officer at BitPay which is the largest processor of bitcoin in the world. BitPay has raised over $30M in funding from top investors like Founders Fund, Richard Brandson, and Index Ventures.
Previously, Sonny was part of the founding sales team at Jumio where he was the first Vice President of Sales and Business Development. Jumio is a revolutionary mobile payments and ID verification company that has raised over $40M from Andreessen Horowitz, and Citibank. Prior to Jumio, Sonny was part of the founding sales team at InMage Systems (acquired by Microsoft) and a Sales Manager at Niku (acquired by Computer Associates).
Sonny is a frequent speaker on payments and ecommerce. He is also an Advisor to Lumia Capital and is an angel investor in several companies including TubeMogul, Getaround, Jumio, Sendhub, and Estate Assist. Sonny has an MBA from Thunderbird, is a graduate of Binghamton University (NY) and studied at Cambridge University in England.
Steve is the founder and Managing Director of Nexus Partners, a Silicon Valley-based consultancy that works with clients on innovation, market entry, strategic partnerships, and revenue growth. He has worked with high technology and financial services companies, angels, and entrepreneurs for over twenty-five years.
Steve’s clients have included dozens of startups from Silicon Valley, Europe, and Asia; as well as Adobe, American Express, Cisco, Citrix, HP, Hitachi, Omidyar Network, Palm, the U.S. Secret Service, and VMware. He was President of Broadware (acquired by Cisco), one of the first streaming Internet video companies. Following that, he was Vice President of Corporate Development at Novell, responsible for investments, acquisitions and strategic partnerships.
Previously, as Executive Vice President at Reuters NewMedia, Steve managed early stage investments and partnerships with companies including Yahoo!, Verisign, Wired and Infoseek/Disney. He was a Senior Managing Partner at Gartner Consulting, and a strategy consultant with Booz & Co. He started his career at AT&T’s Bell Laboratories.
Steve has been an advisor to a number of accelerators and incubators, including the Citrix Startup Accelerator (Silicon Valley), Spain Tech Center (San Francisco), Innovation Next (Cracow, Poland), and Sirdab Lab (Kuwait).
Steve is Faculty Advisor to the Wharton School’s Venture Initiation Program, Project Faculty in the Wharton School’s Global Consulting Practicum, and a mentor in Steve Blank’s Lean Launch Pad classes at Stanford and UC Berkeley. He holds a BS in computer science from Columbia University and an MBA from the Wharton School, and served as a paratrooper in the Israel Defense Forces.
Steve joined ONSET Ventures, an early stage venture firm, in 2006. Steve leverages his startup and big company experience to source and support ONSET’s investments in SaaS, Big Data, and infrastructure software companies. Steve has partnered as an investor with portfolio companies including Adaptive Planning, Arcot Systems, Buysight, Placecast, Vidder and Vindicia.
Prior to ONSET, Steve focused on business development, corporate development and market strategy at both large technology companies and startups. Steve came to ONSET from Microsoft, where he built partnerships with the venture capital community and sourced and developed strategic and commercial alliances with venture-backed software startups. Prior to Microsoft, Steve led the business development function at an early stage ecommerce search startup, Mercado Software (acquired by Omniture). He also was a strategy management consultant at Andersen Consulting (Accenture) where he advised enterprise software and hardware vendors on corporate strategies including new market entry, acquisition, and licensing. Lastly, Steve has prior investment experience at both Citibank in London as well as at a Bay Area-based portfolio management firm Bailard.
Steve holds BS and MBA degrees, both from Stanford University.
As Senior Vice-President of Engineering, Thomas Hempel is in charge of the technical architecture, design, and implementation of our products. He is also responsible for all aspects of our data collection and analysis infrastructure. Thomas enjoys creating scalable, highly productive, distributed teams and helping them deliver great products. Prior to Yodlee, Thomas was a Senior Engineering Director at NetApp, where he developed a highly successful SaaS self-service support automation application, led the introduction of a new generation of build, test and publishing tools, and spearheaded the consolidation of NetApp’s data centers by leading the drive into virtualization and internal cloud technology. Thomas was also VP of Engineering at Epiphany, where he transformed the organization by automating all testing and introducing agile development, while developing the email, telephony, and patented model-based testing subsystems for Epiphany’s CRM. He served as President and Co-Founder of CoreTek and was a Director at Computer Curriculum Corporation (CCC) developing computer-aided instruction systems.
A native of Germany, Thomas speaks three languages and is a board member at Art in Action in Menlo Park, CA, for whom he designed online courseware. Thomas has a bachelor of arts from Stanford University.
Tracy is Manager, Data Research for the Data Products Group at Yodlee where she is working on new product development. She has been with Yodlee since 2017. Prior to her current role, Tracy worked with the finance team at Uphold, a cloud-based digital money platform to transact currencies, commodities, and cryptocurrencies. Tracy has over 15 years of experience in corporate finance and equity research. At Evercore, where she was a Managing Director, her research focused on media and information services sectors. Tracy enjoys mentoring management teams of companies with disruptive technologies and helping them to envision and craft their business forecasts.
Trevor is Managing Director at Eisbach Group LLC, and Managing Partner at TC2 Legal. He helps startups and emerging companies succeed through providing cross-discipline expertise. He assists companies in ecosystem development, business development, and exit planning. He also assists clients in M&A, licensing, intellectual property and venture capital financing.
Trevor has over 20 years in the field of corporate development, strategy, M&A and business development with startups, venture capital firms, private equity groups, and Fortune 1000 companies. He holds a MBA from Columbia University and UC Berkeley, and a JD from McGeorge School of Law.
With a passion for technology, Triane has built startups in Internet/ecommerce, mobile, IoT and consumer tech. She has also led innovation and businesses at scale as Managing Director of Strategy at Charles Schwab, Senior Business Leader in Products at Visa, and as a strategy consultant at Mercer Management Consulting (now Oliver Wyman), driving growth and profitability for Fortune 5000 clients, in a variety of industries, around the world.
Triane is an active mentor and startup advisor in Silicon Valley, including at 500 Startups (FinTech), Village Capital (global social impact), StartupHouse (pre-seed incubator), and Envestnet | Yodlee Incubator (Fintech). Her specialties include: Product, scaling, strategy, business operations, FinTech and payments.
Growing up internationally, Triane speaks several languages (Mandarin Chinese, French, Indonesian), and is a graduate of Brown University and the Georgetown Graduate School of Foreign Service.
Vijay Chattha is the founder of VSC, one of the top marketing, communications and strategy firms in Silicon Valley. In 2013, Chattha launched a hardware marketing studio and seed investment fund, Wareness.io, that has launched Tile, Moov, Navdy, Vessyl, Osmo, Ringly and Coin, all of which have become some of the most successful hardware crowdfunding campaigns of all time. Wareness.io companies project to top $60M in direct-to-consumer revenue by the end of 2014.
Vincent started his first tech company in Australia at age 17, the country’s first map based real estate listing site. Moved on to financial software at 22, raising venture capital and developing software that was used by 90% of Australian banks. Moved to San Francisco to start Planwise, which is now Uno Home Loans. We are focused on helping people make better financial decisions. Also investor & adviser to a handful of other startups, run the SF fintech meetup and founded fin-tech.org
In terms of areas, I am comfortable with
- domain expertise around retail banking, especially loans/mortgages
- enterprise sales
- early stage funding
- software development strategy
three legged stool
Vishal brings success in entering new markets and driving high growth business strategy and execution. He has successfully incubated new businesses within large companies, driven OEM and joint development partnerships, and built and managed engineering and marketing organizations.
As Vice President of Marketing and Product Management at Cadence Design Systems, Vishal successfully incubated and launched the EDA industry’s first SaaS solution and its entry into the Design IP segment. He previously led product management for vertical market solutions, professional services and enterprise software. Vishal also held roles in corporate development, strategy and partnership at Cadence.
While at Silicon Access Networks, Vishal developed and managed the company’s foray into the IP market segment. As General Manager, he led the business unit to profitability in its first year. At Verisity Design, he was part of the early team that developed an entirely new market segment in design verification. Earlier in his career, Vishal managed design engineering teams at Alcatel Network Systems and developed Big Data systems at the Superconducting Super Collider for the US Department of Energy.
Vishal also served as an Executive-In-Residence at the Plug and Play Tech Center, working with startup companies on business plans with a focus on product design, positioning and management. He has served on the board of several companies.
Vishal earned a B.S. in Engineering from the University of Bombay as well as an M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Texas. He serves on the Board Of Trustees of the Bowman International School and on the Advisory Board of Satalia.
Wynne Ahern Kokka
Wynne Ahern Kokka is a communications strategist with 18 years of experience in corporate, brand and product communications in the technology industry. Wynne is the founder and CEO of the CommStrat agency, a boutique public relations firm servicing emerging technology companies. Over the course of her career, Wynne has helped position, launch and market hundreds of products and companies, predominantly in the areas of consumer and financial tech.
With a proven talent for helping companies and their products stand out from the competition, Wynne has played a central role in helping start-ups build mindshare and market share, many of which have had successful exits. Client experience includes GreenDot, Credit Sesame, Credit Karma, DealMap, (acquired by Google), FeedBurner (acquired by Google), FlipVideo (Acquired by Cisco) BankersLab, and Cotendo (acquired by Akamai).
Wynne holds a J.D. from the University of San Francisco and a B.A., cum laude, from Denison University. She practiced law in San Francisco before entering the start-up world. She held senior positions at leading public relations agencies Edelman and UpStart Communications (a Fleishman-Hillard Company) prior to founding CommStrat in 2002.