Berlin is a special place to be right now. When Kickstarter CEO Yancey Strickler took to the stage at TOA16 he echoed the thoughts of the changemakers in attendance when he said that “the gravitational force of technology and innovation will shift squarely to Berlin”. He’s right, this city is brimming with talent, creativity and opportunity just waiting to be harnessed. TOA is where this powerful mix of talent and opportunity comes together to connect, grow and be inspired. Join us in Europe’s startup capital and place yourself squarely at the intersection of tech, music, art, and science.
Luis von Ahn is an entrepreneur and professor at Carnegie Mellon University, regarded a pioneer of crowdsourcing. He is known for inventing CAPTCHAs, being a MacArthur Fellow and selling 2 companies to Google.
He has been named one of the 10 Most Brilliant Scientists by Popular Science, 50 Best Brains in Science by Discover, and 100 Most Innovative People in Business by Fast Company.
Luis is the co-founder and CEO of Duolingo, the world’s most downloaded education app with 120 million users.
Chris Barton is the co-founder of Shazam which started as an idea he conceived in late 1999. With three other co-founders, Chris led the creation of Shazam from concept through inventing a new pattern recognition technology to building and launching the world’s first mobile music recognition service.
Today Shazam has more than 100 million monthly active users and drives more than $300 million in digital downloads. Chris currently works at Dropbox where he is responsible for business development with mobile operators/carriers. He also serves on the board of Shazam Entertainment.
Prior to Dropbox, Chris spent nearly eight years at Google focused on mobile with his last two years on the Android business development team. He has also worked at Microsoft (MSN), News Corp, San Francisco Consulting Group, and LEK Consulting. Chris holds an MBA from UC Berkeley.
Robert Gentz is Co-founder and member of the management board at Zalando SE, Europe’s leading online fashion platform. He’s responsible for the retailer’s tech business as well as strategy and management of new business.
Robert founded Zalando together with his partner David Schneider in 2008 in Berlin. Before this, he studied Business Administration at the WHU – Otto Beisheim Graduate School of Management, graduating in 2007.
Yancey Strickler is co-founder and CEO of Kickstarter. Yancey served as Kickstarter’s Head of Community and Head of Communications before becoming CEO. Prior to Kickstarter, Yancey was a music journalist whose writing appeared in The Village Voice, New York magazine, Pitchfork, and other publications.
Danae Ringelmann co-founded Indiegogo in 2008 with a mission to democratize fundraising and has since helped to propel the company into the world’s largest crowdfunding platform.
Danae was listed on Fast Company’s “Top 50 Women Innovators in Technology” in 2011 and was named one of Fortune’s “40 Under 40″ in September 2013. Danae frequently speaks at conferences around the world, including TEDx, Le Web and CeBIT. Danae also testified before the United States House Small Business Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight and Regulations on “Financing America’s Small Businesses: Innovative Ideas for Raising Capital” in June 2013.
Danae is a CFA charterholder and holds an MBA from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley. Danae graduated with a B.A. in Humanities from UNC-Chapel Hill.
Cindy Gallop, founder & CEO MakeLoveNotPorn/IfWeRanTheWorld. I like to blow shit up. I am the Michael Bay of business.
Eric Wahlforss is the founder and CTO of SoundCloud, the world’s leading audio platform that enables anyone, anywhere to create and share their originally created sounds across the web.
Since its inception in 2008, Eric has been responsible for overseeing product strategy, engineering and design. The company has experienced exponential user growth, with creators on SoundCloud now posting 12 hours of music and audio every minute. SoundCloud reaches more than 350 million people every month, 175 million of whom are unique listeners.
Eric has been working with the web since 1995 and, among other positions, was Interaction Designer for Gate5 (acquired by Nokia in 2007). He holds a M.Sc degree in Industrial Economics from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm and has studied three years at the Stockholm School of Economics. Under the artist name Forss he has released electronic music on Berlin based label Sonar Kollektiv and toured across the world.
As the Chairman and CEO of German media group Axel Springer SE in Berlin, Mathias has been in the role since January 2002. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of Time Warner, Inc., of Warner Music Group and of Vodafone Group.
Luke Woods is the Head of Product Design at Facebook, Inc., leading the company’s growth design team and product design function overall. In this role, Luke and his teams have shipped products including Messenger, Internet.org and Safety Check, while helping Facebook reach a community of over 1 billion people each day. Luke joined Facebook in 2011 and has been Head of Product Design since March 2015.
Daniel Barenboim, pianist and conductor, is general music director of the Berlin State Opera and the Staatskapelle Berlin; he previously served as Music Director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre de Paris and La Scala in Milan. Barenboim is widely known for his work with the West–Eastern Divan Orchestra which he founded in 1999 together with his friend Edward Said. Barenboim has received many awards and prizes, including seven Grammy awards for his work and extensive discography. He is the author of several books and currently records for Deutsche Grammophon, Decca as well as his own digital label Peral Music.
Paola Antonelli’s work investigates design’s influence on everyday experience, often including overlooked objects and practices, and combining design, architecture, art, science and technology. She lectures frequently at high-level global conferences. A true interdisciplinary, energetic, and generous cultural thinker, Paola was recently rated as one of the top one hundred most powerful people in the world of art by Art Review.
Serkan Piantino was most recently Director of Engineering at Facebook’s AI Research lab and founder and Site Director of Facebook’s New York office until June 2016. Previously he developed the Multifeed system powering Facebook News Feed, the EdgeRank algorithm for ranking social content, and lead the infrastructure engineering behind Timeline and Messenger. He’s an active investor and advocate for tech startups in New York, serving on the board of TechNYC and the Academy for Software Engineering. Prior to Facebook, Serkan was an Investment Associate at Bridgewater Associate.
Caterina Fake is an American businesswoman and entrepreneur and is best known as the co-founder of Flickr, the popular photo sharing site. Flickr ushered in the so-called Web 2.0 integrating features such as social networking, community open APIs, tagging, and algorithms that surfaced the best, or more interesting content. Flickr was bought by Yahoo! in 2005. After Yahoo! Fake co-founded Hunch, a search and discovery engine. Hunch sought to build the ”taste graph”” of the Internet, mapping every user on the Internet to every entity, and their affinity for that entity. It was acquired by eBay in 2011. She is currently the Founder and CEO of Findery, a social mobile application for places. Findery’s members post notes around the world, telling stories about locations on a host of subjects such as personal history, local news and world history.
Fred Wilson started as an associate and then became a General Partner at Euclid Partners. He worked at Euclid Partners from 1987 to 1996.
In 1996 Wilson and Jerry Colonna founded Flatiron Partners, which was named after the Flatiron District. Based in New York City, it grew into an investment fund that focused primarily on follow-on investing, with investments in notable dot-com bubble successes and failures, including Alacra, comScore Networks, Yoyodyne, Geocities, Kozmo.com, New York Times Digital, PlanetOut, Return Path, Scout electromedia, Standard Media International, Starmedia, and VitaminShoppe.com.
The firm’s 1996 fund capitalized at $150 million with two investors: SOFTBANK Technology Ventures and Chase Capital Partners, the private-equity arm of Chase Manhattan Corp. The firm later raised another fund capitalized at $500 million with Chase Capital Partners as the sole active LP. In 2001 Wilson and Colonna shut down Flatiron. Prior to cofounding Flatiron, he was at Euclid Partners.
In 2004 Wilson and Brad Burnham founded Union Square Ventures and have since invested in companies such as Twitter, Tumblr, Foursquare, Bug Labs, Meetup, Zynga, Covestor, del.icio.us, Etsy, FeedBurner, Heyzap, Indeed.com, Tacoda, Oddcast, Disqus, Zemanta, and Clickable.
Susan Danziger has founded several companies, sold the last one and now serves as Founder/CEO of Ziggeo, a cloud-based video API company. She’s a 2016 Woman of Influence, a 2016 Brava SmartCEO Winner, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. She champions other female founders: advising, connecting and investing in their businesses. She lives in Chelsea, New York City.