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Abigail Edgecliffe-Johnson is the Founder of RaceYa, an educational technology company that uses programmable radio-controlled cars to excite kids about the power of iteration, experimentation and persistence to achieve their goals. Starting with a race-able science kit and expanding out into an immersive universe of customization, STEM education and collaboration, RaceYa is building a community of fearless kids.
Abigail has a PhD in anthropology from Columbia University where her work centered on pregnancy, drug use and prisons. An expert in communication and human behavior, with more than 10 years of commercial and academic experience of large-scale research projects, she founded RaceYa to teach kids how to turn failure into productive, creative problem-solving. In her spare time, she is a confectionery roboticist making moving, blinking and occasionally exploding cakes.
Alessio studied Business/Mechanical Engineering at RWTH Aachen and San Diego State University. After studying in the US, he dropped out of university to start tellM, an app that provided an anonymous newsfeed for friends. With two fellow students and one lecturer they founded a company and launched the app at various Universities in California. After tellM failed to gain sustainable traction and a following split of the founding team, Alessio eventually hired a new team and iterated tellM into the now known Jodel.
Alessio, now as a single-founder, was responsible for product/tech, marketing, community, financing, and HR in the early days of the company. Being a product guy, he nowadays keeps his focus on product, strategy&vision and HR.
Cal Fussman is a New York Times bestselling author, writer-at-large for Esquire Magazine, keynote speaker and corporate consultant.
As a highly sought-after speaker, Cal has worked with Pixar, Facebook, Lululemon, Turner Broadcasting, Vans, General Motors and several other companies and has inspired them to take a new look at the fundamental aspects of their business.
As a writer for Esquire, Cal has interviewed some of the most influential individuals of the past half-century of world history, including: Mikhail Gorbachev, Jimmy Carter, Ted Kennedy, Quincy Jones, Jeff Bezos, Jack Welch, Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino, Muhammad Ali, and hundreds of others.
Cortney Harding is a professor, author, and consultant working at the intersection of music and virtual reality. Harding works with technology companies to partner with music artists and labels to create immersive, groundbreaking virtual reality content. Her knowledge of both the music and technology industries position her to uniquely create experiences that move both industries forward.
Harding is the author of , “How We Listen Now: Essays and Conversations About Music and Technology”, published in January 2016. She is a professor at the Clive Davis School of Music at NYU, and has been a frequent speaker at conferences like SXSW, Further Future, Canadian Music Week, SF Music Tech, and the Right Tech Summit. Harding received an MPA from New York University, and her BA from Wellesley College. She lives in New York City, and is at thirty-two time marathoner and ultra-marathoner!
Damian Bradfield is the President and CMO of WeTransfer, based in Los Angeles. His background combines experience with the some of the world’s leading creative companies (Stella McCartney, J Walter Thompson) with launching and mentoring a range of design and tech start-ups (Kuvva, Present Plus). He brings together the ambitious, international strategic thinking of the former with the quicker, nimbler energy of the start-up world. He first joined WeTransfer as Chief Strategic Officer in 2010 and played a pivotal part in building it into the leading, much-loved creative brand it is today. Nowadays the site has 40 million active users who transfer one billion files every month. In 2015, WeTransfer took its first round of investment (series-A of $25million by HCPE) and Damian moved to LA the following year to spearhead the company’s US operations.
In his dual role heading the American office and leading the brand’s marketing, growth and content departments, Damian personifies WeTransfer’s commitment to supporting and showcasing the best creative talent. To this end he has brought in Gilles Peterson and Troy Carter to work with the company and set up content partnerships with the likes of FKA twigs, Rankin, Sampha and Nelly Ben Hayoun, among many others.
Damian’s professional and cultural interests include moving beyond buzzwords to create genuinely human companies, the role of doubt as part of the creative and commercial processes, and how the ambivert personality type works in a collaborative professional world. He regularly blogs on these topics as well as consulting for a range of businesses, awards schemes and non-profit organizations. Damian has been interviewed and profiled by titles including Fast Company, Designweek, Mr Porter, 33Voices and LA Weekly.
David is Chief Operations Officer for Stuart, a last mile delivery platform that is transforming the way goods move around a city by enabling any business to deliver any product in less than an hour. Stuart incorporates world class technology into a simple API, allowing game-changing speed, convenience and flexibility while ensuring that retailers retain ownership of their end-customer relationships.
Prior to Stuart, David co-founded Uncover, a mobile platform for restaurant reservations and payments. Named one of the Top 10 Apps of 2015 in the UK by Apple, Uncover disrupted the restaurant industry through a combination of cutting edge technology and expert curation, offering diners access to the best restaurants in London and driving profitability for its restaurant clients. As CEO, David guided the business from inception through fundraising, launch and growth to the leading restaurant app in the UK. On the back of that growth, Uncover was acquired by hospitality company Velocity in November 2015.
Originally a particle physicist who pursued research at the CERN laboratory in Switzerland for 6 years, Elina was one of the leading researchers that discovered the Higgs boson, which lead to a Nobel Prize in physics 2013. After discovering the Higgs, Elina quit her science job to focus on women’s reproductive health. She then developed the algorithm behind Natural Cycles an effective and user friendly natural birth control method. Through analysing women’s body temperature the Natural Cycles mobile app identifies women’s fertile days for the purpose of both preventing and planning a pregnancy. Additionally, pregnant women monitor their temperature in the app to early detect sinking hormonal levels to be able to prevent a possible miscarriage. Elina continues to pursue research through Natural Cycles, and has now published two clinical studies concerning women’s reproductive health in a peer review journal. In January 2017 Natural Cycles became the first approved contraceptive app.
Former German Vice-Chancellor Philipp Rösler commands an impressive CV. His career in politics has seen him serve as Minister for Economics and Technology, Minister of Health, and as Federal Chairman of the Free Democratic Party. He currently serves as a Member of the Managing Board, and Head of Regional and Government Engagement at the World Economic Forum.
Erika Lust is a multi-award winning filmmaker, writer and owner & founder of Erika Lust Films where she offers an alternative to the mainstream porn industry. She is also the creator of XConfessions.com, the first crowdsourced series that brought adult film to cinema screens.
Erika’s philosophy for a new adult cinema is based on 4 main ideas: women’s pleasure matters, adult cinema can have cinematic values, we need more body types, different ages and diverse races and the production process has to be ethical.
Hector was born in Mexico City, and has always been fascinated by the tension between technology, art, and design. His major focus is attempting to harness that tension to create products and experiences that make our lives more productive, enjoyable, and inspiring. Uncertain of his direction he graduated with a BS in Computer Science from the UDLAP, and a MA in Interaction Design from the Interaction Design Institute of Ivrea in Italy.
Between obtaining his degrees he took on real jobs doing interface design for HP, among others. Next, he joined the MIT Mobile Experience Lab and later found his way to Google, where he’s worked on multiple products (Android, Android TV, Sky Map, Docs, Maps, etc) and led teams on multiple continents. Presently he leads Design for all Google Search and Assist related products. He now resides in California with his wife and daughter, bikes to work every day, and is still trying to answer that fundamental question: How can we make tech + art + design = happiness?
(Picture credits to Toby Peet.)
Henrik Zillmer is CEO of AirHelp, a leading global airline claims management company. Since 2013, AirHelp has assisted more than 1.5 million passengers receive their rightful compensation from the airlines as the result of delayed, canceled or otherwise disrupted flights. Prior to AirHelp, Henrik was Director of Product Management at Rocket Internet. He started more than 10 companies in Europe, Asia and USA within insurance/SaaS, travel and e-commerce.
As founder and CEO Markus has grown Babbel to the world’s most successful language learning app. Babbel employs a team of 450 in Berlin and New York and currently has more than 1 million paying subscribers. Babbel was named the world’s most innovative company in education by Fast Company Magazine.
Before Babbel, Markus worked at Native Instruments. He began his career as a lecturer at New York University, following two years as a lecturer at Humboldt University Berlin. His special interest is communication development and the future of learning. He started programming computers in 1984.
Ned co-founded UNITY in 2011, largely because he thought it was “simply the coolest biology” he had ever seen. Before UNITY, Ned co-founded four other biotechnology companies that together raised over $1.5 billion in financing and today employ over 400 scientists, engineers, and business people. Ned builds companies because he sees company creation as a means to create technologies that change the world. Ned is a co-founder of Syrrx (acquired by Takeda), Achaogen (AKAO), Kythera Biopharmaceuticals (KYTH, acquired by Allergan), and Sapphire Energy. Ned holds pending and issued patents in fields such as nanovolume crystallography, antibiotic resistance, aesthetic medicine, and cellular senescence. He has served on the board of directors of Kythera Biopharmaceuticals, Sapphire Energy, and the Buck Institute for Research on Aging and is a member of the board of trustees of the University of California Foundation. Ned was named one of the Top 100 innovators in the world under 35 by the MIT Technology Review. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in Molecular and Cellular Biology and an A.B. in Biology from Harvard University.
Nick Seneca Jankel is the author of best-selling book Switch On: Unleash Your Creativity With the New Science & Spirit of Breakthrough (Watkins, 2015) and a Cambridge-educated scientist, philosopher, purpose-driven entrepreneur and wisdom teacher. He has advised No.10 Downing Street; lectured at many of the world’s most prestigious universities; spoken on his work at Talks At Google, TEDx, The Economist Summit, and the leading academic conferences.
Nick is the chief architect of the Bio-Breakthrough Way, he has been a transformational coach on BBC TV and MTV. He is founder of Switch On Worldwide, a leadership and personal development company that brings the Bio-Breakthrough Way to the world within innovative leadership programs and products to unleash conscious breakthrough creativity.
Nicole Shanahan is an attorney in California and a research fellow at CodeX, the Stanford Center of Legal Informatics, a joint center between Stanford Law School and Computer Science. She is the founder and CEO of ClearAccessIP an integrated patent management technology, and a legal technologist who specializes in the utilization of structured databases, APIs, UI/UX, automation and SaaS.
Her research at Stanford is entitled “Smart Prosecution,” an ongoing, multi-disciplinary project applying data science to the prosecutorial process and involving partnerships with district attorneys and police departments. Apart from the practical applications of legal technology, she is formulating an economic theory, entitled “Coasean Mapping” to predict the pace and nature of society’s adoption of legal artificial intelligence.
Based in Washington D.C. Rebecca is a photographer, photo editor and social media specialist, currently working as the Image Coordinator and Social Media Specialist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Rebecca has worked at NASA for nearly 8 years and is charged with sharing images of our universe with the media and public through channels such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Prior to working at NASA, Rebecca worked as a photojournalist and photo editor for outlets including National Geographic Television & Film, Roll Call Newspaper, and USA Weekend Magazine.
Richard Rabbat, Gfycat’s CEO, received his PhD from MIT before taking positions at Fujitsu, Google, Zynga, and Tango. At Google, Richard led the “Make the Web Faster” initiative, which led to the creation of new web standards including HTTP 2.0 and WebP, a new image format for the web.
During his stint at Zynga, he managed the client platform team that developed api.zynga.com. As VP of Platform and Advertising at Tango, he ran business operations for the gaming and ad verticals
Dr. Robin Berzin is the Founder and CEO of Parsley Health. A Summa Cum Laude graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Robin went to medical school at Columbia University -where she co-founded the physician communication app Cureatr – and later trained in Internal Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital.
She is a certified yoga instructor and a meditation teacher, writes for a number of leading wellness sites, and speaks regularly for organizations including Stanford Medicine X, The Clinton Foundation, Health 2.0, Summit at Sea, and Further Future, on how we can reinvent health care.
Shermin is the founder of BlockchainHub. What originally started in Berlin has panned out internationally to a decentralized network of autonomous Hubs. Shermin was a curator of theDAO, a bold attempt to run a fully decentralised autonomous organisation (DAO), a company without managers on the Ethereum Blockchain.
Her past work experience ranges from internet start-ups, IT consulting & filmmaking. Among others, her films have screened in Cannes and at dOCUMENTA.
Raisin GmbH, is a young and quickly growing FinTech company, which builds an online portal with transparent and fair banking products for customers in Europe. Since our foundation in 2013, we were able to raise €60 million from well-known investors. Tamaz graduated with honors in law from the University of Giessen and in International Economics from Tbilisi State University. He also holds a PhD in agricultural economics from the University of Giessen.
Prior to building and scaling Raisin, Tamaz spent 10 years with McKinsey & Company, the last 3 years as Principal also leading the McKinsey Savings and Investment Products Service Line for EMEA countries. He served some of the largest retail, universal, and wholesale banks throughout Europe and in Asia.
Vince Steckler is Chief Executive Officer and board member of Avast, a global leader in digital security products for consumers and businesses. Through Vince’s leadership, Avast has transformed into a dynamic, full service security provider that goes beyond traditional security solutions and detection methods to advance its mission of making the internet safe and accessible for everyone. Vince led Avast’s acquisition of AVG Technologies in 2016 and now oversees more than $700 million in revenue and all global operations for the combined company.
Prior to joining Avast in 2009, Vince was the Senior Vice President of Worldwide Consumer Sales at Symantec Corporation. Vince joined Symantec in 2000 as Vice President of Public Sector Business and started Symantec’s business of serving U.S. local, state, and federal governments. He also held the position of Symantec’s Vice President for Asia/Pacific and Japan and was responsible for all enterprise and consumer business in that region. Prior to joining Symantec, Vince had 20 years experience in software development, systems analysis and engineering, project management, and business development.
Vince holds two B.S.’s from the University of California, Irvine, one in Mathematics and the other in Information and Computer Science.
Zoe Adamovicz is an entrepreneur and occasional angel investor.
Zoe is passionate about building technology businesses that are impactful, positive and at the same time profitable and powerful. Prior to Neufund, she founded Xyo, a company that re-imagines how people discover apps, Priori Data (app store intelligence), and ConciseSoftware which provides software development and engineering services.
She is also a mentor at the Gaza Sky Geeks, where she supports technology entrepreneurship in the challenging area of the Gaza Strip and helps introducing Blockchain. Zoe is an expert in technology entrepreneurship and venture capital.