Connect and learn with top-tier entrepreneurs, artists, and scientists at a beautiful location. Experience inspirational storytelling, interactive panels, knowshops, pillowtalks, art installations, live music, and so much more...
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.
Adina Popescu is a creator of mixed reality simulations that integrate viral, mobile, and interactive elements into storytelling, and is leading the way for creating the entertainment of tomorrow, working closely with Brett Leonard and Scott Ross (ILM/Digital Domain) at Virtuosity Entertainment.
She worked as a creative advisor to Conservation International (CI) on new forms of engagement via immersive & viral storytelling and has been an advisor to Peter Seligmann (CEO of CI) directly – which led to Conservation International’s VR experience Valens Reef @ Chris Milks company WITHIN.
She has been working with the team of CI on the ‘Nature is Speaking’ campaign, working alongside Media Arts Lab and Lee Clow and has advised Media Arts Lab on storytelling in VR/AR and social Media.
She has a deeply rooted interest in Nature Conservation and was curator of a conference format called ‘Parley for the Oceans’ – organized on behalf of Pharrell Williams and Bionic Yarn, aiming to find biomimicry solutions in industrial production.
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.
Alex Caccia is an entrepreneur with start-up experience in media, technology, manufacturing and a background in finance and investment banking. After a career as a fund manager, and subsequently in investment banking, Alex founded successful sports equipment business WaterRower Ltd. In 1999 Alex joined Sportal, a European dotcom startup, where he was head of advanced technology development. In 2003 Alex was involved in The Cloud (wifi Aggregator, sold to Sky in 2010). From 2005-2010 Alex was CEO of Marmalade Technology Ltd, a leading mobile applications cross platform software SDK. In 2012, Alex founded an exercise technology business called Muoverti Ltd., and in 2015 co-founded Animal Dynamics, a spin-out form Oxford University.
We are over the moon to welcome Alex to the TOA Festival stage this year. As the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer at SoundCloud, Alex is an integral part of the Berlin startup ecosystem, and we couldn’t be more excited to have him join us this year. With the recent launch of SoundCloud’s mid-priced subscription plan, SoundCloud Go, and with his finger on the pulse of the music streaming category, Alex is sure to share some serious insights into the startup scene plus give the lowdown on the future of the industry. Welcome to TOA, Alex!
Anne Kjær Riechert is CEO and co-founder ReDI School of Digital Integration. She is a 2006 graduate from KaosPilot in Denmark, a hybrid of a business and a design school. From 2006-2009, she worked as a corporate social responsibility consultant. In that capacity, she developed and implemented Samsung Electronics’ award-winning corporate social responsibility strategy for Scandinavia. In July 2010, Anne moved to Japan, where she spent 2 years researching open social innovation and received the prestigious Rotary Peace Fellowship. In 2012, she moved to Berlin to set up the Berlin Peace Innovation Lab, which is associated with Stanford University. The lab focuses on how technology is facilitating emerging and measurable social change toward global peace. In 2015, in response to the refugee crises, Anne co-founded ReDI School of Digital Integration, a vocational training program teaching programming and tech skills to asylum seekers and refugees. In 2016, Anne was recognized by Capital Magazine as “Young Elite – Top 40 under 40” in Germany.
ReDI School of Digital Integration was founded in 2015 by a team convinced that technology can break down barriers and bring people together to build new solutions to old problems. The idea of ReDI was sparked by the insight that amongst the refugee population there are incredible talents eager to learn and eager to contribute, who could help fill the 51.000 open IT jobs in Germany.
Annina Roescheisen is a multimedia artist, humanist and philanthropist. Her creative practice acts as a visual language that breaks down elitist thinking, illuminating empathy and human connections. Literature, music, and poetry serve as inspiration in her practice, namely through religious iconography, Medieval Art, German Romanticism, Gothic Architecture, and fairytales. Through various mediums, such as video and sculpture, it is her belief that Art can advocate for social change. (Photo credits : Patrick Desbrosses)
Dr. Aubrey de Grey is a biomedical gerontologist based in Mountain View, California, USA, and is the Chief Science Officer of SENS Research Foundation, a California-based 501(c)(3) biomedical research charity that performs and funds laboratory research dedicated to combating the aging process. He is also Editor-in-Chief of Rejuvenation Research, the world’s highest-impact peer-reviewed journal focused on intervention in aging. He received his BA in computer science and Ph.D. in biology from the University of Cambridge. His research interests encompass the characterisation of all the types of self-inflicted cellular and molecular damage that constitute mammalian aging and the design of interventions to repair and/or obviate that damage. Dr. de Grey is a Fellow of both the Gerontological Society of America and the American Aging Association, and sits on the editorial and scientific advisory boards of numerous journals and organisations.
Avi brings more than 20 years of accomplished entrepreneurship and leadership to Sixgill. He has vast experience in the network security industry. Avi holds a Bsc. in Computer Engineering and an MBA of High Tech firms from Technion – Israel Institure of Technology.
Brad Folkens is the co-founder and CEO of CloudSight, where he leads the effort to build the world’s first visual cognition platform to power the future of AI. He earned his Theoretical Computer Science and Mathematics degrees with honors and immediately went to work building profitable companies, first with the award winning PublicSalary.com HR Tool, and later with his co-founder, Dominik, grossing over $1m/year in revenue.
Brigitte Zypries has headed the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy since 27 January 2017. She was born in Kassel in 1953 and served as Federal Minister of Justice from 2002 to 2009. From December 2013 to the end of January 2017 she was Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, and has acted as the Federal Government Coordinator of German Aerospace Policy since January 2014.
Bryant is a serial entrepreneur and technologist, having built several successful businesses in the mobile advertising and web design & digital publishing space. His current company, Webflow, is transforming the way people build for the web by marrying design with a codeless interface. Webflow has over 600,000 users and powering websites for the Fortune 500, to thousands of small businesses.
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.
Cathy Twigg began her career at MTV Films where she was responsible for discovering new talent and adding projects to the development slate. Over her industry tenure, Cathy has served at Dreamworks Television Animation, Sony Pictures Television, Bandeira Entertainment and Dreamworks Animation working on several live-action television series and notable projects including Toonsylvania, Invasion America, KUNG FU PANDA, MONSTERS VS ALIENS, HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON, SHREK THE HALLS, MADAGASCAR, MADAGASCAR 2, PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR, TIGERLAND, SLAP HER, SHE’S FRENCH and THE LOVE LETTER.
Using her well-rounded film, animation, television and worldwide product distribution experience, she has produced, directed and written several short films and web series and is currently developing the company’s IP for VR, interactive, feature and television projects.
Charlotte Slingsby is the founder of Moya Power: London based wind energy harvesting startup, developing a flexible building textile to scavenge from existing infrastructure. Our future relies on farming green energy, therefore their mission is to capture abundant ambient wind energy from wasted urban space; creating energy generating hubs. Working together with CrossRail they have tested the potential in underground train tunnels, and have been recognised by Forbes 30u30 and Shell LiveWIRE.
Cornelius is Co-Founder and CEO of Opinary, which seeks to burst the filter bubble and enable meaningful interaction online. Opinary’s technology visualizes opinions and lets over 40 million monthly users share their views, building on the notion that if you really want someone’s attention, you’re best off starting with a question. Opinary thus helps leading publishers and global brands engage and understand their audiences at scale. Prior to that, Cornelius helped start up McKinsey’s office in Lagos, Nigeria and graduated with an MBA from Harvard.
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.
Dan Zakai is Founder and CEO of Mindspace, a rapidly growing global provider of beautiful and inspiring coworking spaces for teams of all sizes. Since starting Mindspace in 2014, the company has opened multiple locations in Israel, established its leadership as an upscale co-working provider in Germany with buildings on Friedrichstraße, Berlin and Rödingsmarkt, Hamburg, and raised over $15M to expand further, with at least 3 new spaces and communities opening up at prime locations in Berlin and Munich this year. Dan is a serial entrepreneur. Prior to Mindspace, he founded in 2008 a solar energy company, which was later acquired. Earlier, Dan worked as an investment banker at Lehman Brothers and HSBC. Dan holds a BA in Law & Business Administration from the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, Israel, and an MBA from the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago. Dan is married and a proud father of four children.
David is the Founder and CEO of Founders Pledge, a global charity through which technology entrepreneurs commit to donate a small percentage of their personal exit proceeds to high impact social causes. Having run the gauntlet of finance, start-up, and academia, David started Founders Pledge to make it absurdly easy for entrepreneurs to do good through their work and in their lives. Since launching in June 2015, Founders Pledge has raised $235 million for charity from more than 850 pledges in 25 countries.
David moved into the non-profit sector from an eclectic commercial background. Immediately following high school, David joined one of the largest privately held mortgage banks in the U.S., where he launched the secondary marketing department. He also founded and ran a boutique real estate firm in Germany and was the general manager of Urban Motion Inc., the highest volume Segway dealer network in the world.
David Okuniev is Co-founder and joint CEO of Typeform, a platform that helps you collect data in a conversational way. He’s also a designer working to make the web a little more human. When he’s not playing his ukulele, he’s hanging out with his family and eating lots of hummus.
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.
Didier Rappaport is the CEO and co-founder of Happn, the 100% mobile app which is revolutionising dating and allows users to meet people they have crossed paths with in real life, using a unique combination of real time and hyperlocation. Today the application has 30 million users worldwide and operates in about 40 cities. Didier began his career in setting up an international trading company. In the 90’s he discovered the digital world and created the first platform for B2B services devoted to the textile trade on an international scale. He then set up another platform, SourcesIT, this time devoted to IT professionals.
In 2005, Didier co-founded Dailymotion, where he served as chief operating officer.
Diva is Founder and CEO of Solenica, a hardware startup that brings sunlight into homes with a portable solar-powered robot called Caia. Solenica went through the Qualcomm Robotics Accelerator, powered by Techstars. Diva has a Ph.D. in Bioinformatics from the University of Cambridge and she attended Singularity University in 2010. Diva was nominated “Top 50 Influential Women in European Entrepreneurship” by EU-Startups and in 2017 has given her first TEDx talk in Rome on Italian vs US startups.
Dominik is a young entrepreneur and Blockchain expert from Italy. He has been in the Blockchain space for more than 5 years now, with several Blockchain startups in Switzerland and the UK. For the past 2 years has been focused on realizing the “Machine Economy” through IOTA. He firmly believes in the potential of Blockchain, especially in mobility, but generally has a pragmatic view and is focused on applications with clear business models behind them. In IOTA he leads the non-profit foundation and oversees partnerships and the overall realization of the project’s vision.
Dr. Andy Yen is the Founder and CEO of ProtonMail, the world’s largest encrypted email provider. Today, ProtonMail is used by millions of people and organizations around the world, including journalists and activists. He is a long time advocate of privacy rights and has spoken at TED, SXSW, and the Asian Investigative Journalism Conference.
Dr. Yen was previously a researcher at CERN. A physicist by training, he holds a PhD in Particle Physics from Harvard University, and prior to that studied Physics and Economics at Caltech.
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 OIympic swimmer Dr. Elvira Fischer started her academic career at UCLA, where she received a BSc in Psychobiology and then continued pursuing a MSc. and a PhD in Cognitive and Behavioral Neurosciences at the Max-Planck Institute in Tübingen. Continuing as a neuroscientist and researcher she worked at various world leading facilities such as the Centre for Integrative Neuroscience (CIN) in Tübingen and the Danish Centre for Magnetic Resonance Imaging (DRCMR) in Copenhagen. With more than 15 years experience in neuroscience and human behavior research, Elvira joined iMotions in September 2016, where she works as a neuroscientist and product specialist to support clients like Harvard, Stanford, Unilever or BMW in their endeavour to utilize insights into human behavior and emotional responses. Working with iMotions’ state-of-the-art technology, she enables clients all over the world to drive innovative ideas and technological advances.s
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.
Edda advocates for sustainability and ethics in the fashion industry. She’s the founder and CEO of Undress; an online marketplace to list, discover and borrow quality clothing. It’s the share economy for fashion, welcome to the future.
Edda is also the founder of Australia’s largest sustainable fashion runway show, Undress Runways. Exhibiting since 2011, the event engages 50,000+ people each year to celebrate sustainable designers. Edda is a UN Young Leader for the Sustainable Development Goals.
Eddie Miller is the Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of greenRush, the world’s largest online marketplace in Cannabis. Eddie is a serial entrepreneur who founded his first business at 16 years old and developed it into the largest New Year’s Eve ticketing marketplace. His expertise in creating marketplaces expanded to other high profile ticketing and experiential businesses, with his most successful efforts in: newyearseve.com, balldrop.com, and pubcrawls.com.
Miller entered the Cannabis industry in 2013 to start greenRush. Using his expertise in marketing and building marketplaces, greenRush has grown to be the largest online marketplace in Cannabis. The greenRush platform includes tens of thousands of consumers, hundreds of retailers, and over 20,000 products. greenRush operates across hundreds of cities in California, Nevada, and Colorado.
Miller is considered a Cannabis industry expert and recently started his own cannabis investor series. He has also contributed to several national media outlets including but not limited to Forbes, USA Today, and ABC.
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.
Fabian Siegel is a passionate entrepreneur who, prior to launching Marley Spoon in 2014, built a global leader in online food ordering at Delivery Hero, co-founded Europe’s largest online payments brand ClickandBuy International, Germany’s first online auction business Kikin, and a financial services startup Strateer. He is now investing in startups and building Marley Spoon, a global company available in six countries worldwide.
Gadi Amit is a San Francisco based technology designer behind some of the most innovative and lasting products created over the last two decades. Founder of the award-winning NewDealDesign, Gadi leads a multidisciplinary team matchmaking people, culture and technology to build joyful experiences for the world’s top brands and disruptors like Intel, Microsoft, Google, Fitbit, Herman Miller, Deutsche Telekom and Verizon.
With the motto ‘we mix brains, bravery and magic to make people smile,’ Gadi and his team have won over 100 design awards, including the United States National Design Award for an unrelenting commitment to crafting delightful and workable solutions for real people. Gadi was selected by Surface Magazine as one of their ‘Power 100’ in 2016, listed by Fast Company on their ‘1000 Most Creative People’ list, and selected by Fast Company Magazine as the Most Innovative Design firm of 2016.
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.
His Highness Prince Fahad bin Faisal Al Saud is a technology evangelist, philanthropist and entrepreneur. A graduate of Stanford University, Prince Fahad’s passion and dedication to technology has contributed to dedicated works and investments in education, job creation and social empowerment. An active entrepreneur, Prince Fahad is co-founder of the recently sold Popover Games, a multi-player, multi-platform, heritage games company. He is co-founder of popular app developer Appiphany Inc., that launched its debut app #PicFeed in 2013. He is Founder & CEO of Na3m (New Arabic Media), a tech-led, games-orientated creative incubator dedicated to building, shaping and supporting Arabic entertainment online. Demonstrating his commitment to entrepreneurs and start-up companies, Prince Fahad also consulted on Saudi Arabia’s first Start-up weekend. In 2008 Prince Fahad became Facebook’s Head of User Operations‐Arabic, playing a significant role in the launch of the social media website’s Arabic version.
Prince Fahad Al Saud of Saudi Arabia is committed to both local and global social change; backing initiatives to see women, youth and new business prosper across the Middle East, Europe and Africa.
He has made pioneering contributions in education, job creation and social empowerment and is the Founder & CEO of NA3AM (New Arab Media).
Ian Forrester is a well known and likable character on the digital scene in the UK. Living in Manchester, UK where he works for the BBC’s R&D north lab. He specialises in open innovation and new disruptive opportunities; by creating value via open engagement and collaborations with startups, universities, early adopters and hackers.
His current research is into the area of future narrative and storytelling, with a technology he calls Perceptive Media. Its a new approach to broadcasting; which pairs the best of broadcast with the best of internet technology; creating a experiences like sitting around a camp fire telling stories.
Dr. Ijad Madisch is co-founder and CEO of ResearchGate, a professional network that connects the world of science and opens up research to all. Following his own frustrations as a researcher isolated in his lab, Ijad founded ResearchGate in 2008 together with his friends, fellow physician Sören Hofmayer and computer scientist Horst Fickenscher. ResearchGate has since grown to more than 12 million scientists around the world. Ijad spent several years working as a researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, focusing on tissue engineering and radiology. Under Ijad’s leadership, ResearchGate has attracted a group of renowned investors, including Bill Gates, Benchmark, Founders Fund, Goldman Sachs Investment Partners and Wellcome Trust.
Jacey Bingler is Chief Communications Officer at Ecosia.org. She is in charge of Ecosia’s general outreach, business development and PR. In short: Attracting new users that will help Ecosia plant as many trees as possible. She recently traveled to one of the company’s planting sites in Indonesia and now knows: leeches falling from trees are nothing for the faint-hearted. Having visited Orang-Utan rehabilitation centers, a Tengkawang nut factory and a sugar palm forest, she is also more convinced than ever that success should be measured in trees, not in profits. Jacey believes that when made accessible to a global community, Tech for Good can have a huge impact on the most pressing issues of our time.
Best known for creating Vimeo, Jake is a serial entrepreneur who’s helped establish companies like CollegeHumor, Tumblr, Bleacher Report, and MakerBot. In 2014 he cofounded Keezy, which makes fun & easy music apps.
James is CEO at Emoticast where we are on a mission to bring the universe of popular culture (music, sounds, interactive content, you name it) into your chat stream making the communication more engaging and emotive. Formerly James was the Founder of IdeaPlane and served as its CEO. Prior to founding IdeaPlane, he was one of four founders of MySpace International and played an integral part in its global expansion, which included launching MySpace sites in 17 languages across 30 countries. He qualified as a corporate finance and private equity attorney at leading international law firm Linklaters which included a secondment at Merrill Lynch. Mr. Fabricant holds a B.A. and an M.A. in Law from Cambridge University.
Jon von Tetzchner is co-founder and CEO of Vivaldi Technologies, the company behind the Vivaldi web browser and other services for the web’s most demanding and savviest users. He co-founded Opera Software where he served as CEO for 15 years. Jon steered Opera from a small basement nook shared into a global company with more than 900 employees in 13 countries. Under his leadership, Opera was an early pioneer in mobile web browsing and more than 350 million people used Opera to enjoy the web on their terms.
Jon is now steering Vivaldi which was came out with its final version in April 2016. He and his team are making a personal and a feature – rich browser that takes into consideration the needs of every user. Vivaldi is self-funded and aims to be this way where the employees hold equity.
Juraj Vaculik is co-founder and CEO of AeroMobil, an advanced engineering company founded in 2010 that is commercializing a sophisticated flying car, combining a sports car and a aircraft in a single vehicle. AeroMobil aims to make personal transportation vastly more efficient and environmentally friendly by allowing significantly faster door-to-door travel for medium distances or in areas with limited road infrastructure. Vaculik has over twenty years’ experience of working as a leader with very broad experiences from political revolution to advertising industry. During the Velvet Revolution in 1989 which ended a communist era in former Czechoslovakia, he was one of the key persons in theStudent Movement that have started the process of democratization. In 1992 he started his career as a creative director for major global advertising agencies. In 1996 he founded MADE BY VACULIK – one of the leading independent ad agencies in the CEE region. Vaculik acts as an angel investor in numerous projects in Europe and the US.
Founder and CEO of Funderbeam, the global startup stock exchange built on blockchain. Funderbeam combines three stages of investor journey into one: startup analytics, investing, and trading on the secondary market. Powered by blockchain technology, the marketplace delivers capital to growth companies and on-demand liquidity to investors worldwide. Member of Startup Europe Advisory Board at European Commission. Kaidi is a former CEO of Nasdaq Tallinn Stock Exchange and of the Central Securities Depository. Co-Founder of Estonian Service Industry Association. A lawyer by training, she co-authored the Estonian Digital Signatures Act of 2000 — landmark legislation that enables secure digital identities and, in turn, the country’s booming electronic economy.
Liviu is the CEO and co-founder of Cyborg Nest, a company aiming to help people expand their perception of reality by adding artificial senses to their life. Cyborg Nest launched their first artificial sense, the North Sense, a miniature piece of technology connecting the owner to the earth’s magnetic field. In his previous roles, Liviu spent his time leading projects driven to impact social and fiscal layers of the society. Liviu was the COO of Videre est Credere, and spent time in managing undercover networks of people capturing human rights violations in the most remote places on the planet.
Magnus Olsson is the Chief Xperience Officer and Co-Founder of Careem Networks. Magnus looks after product and technology. A geek at heart, Magnus started his first company at the age of fifteen. After moving to the Middle East in 2006, Magnus couldn’t wait to ditch his suit and tie and roll his sleeves up. You will often find him picking up a customer phone call, or chatting to a Captain about his day. Careem is his passion and he loves to hear customer feedback at every opportunity.
Marcel is a German Engineer turned actor. Having co-founded and joined multiple startusp in his past he is now focusing on producing and starring in movies that shape the way we see our environment. Currently he is building a production company for social impact interactive fiction VR movies.
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.
Father of four teenagers, founder of HowStuffWorks.com, Director of the Engineering Entrepreneurs Program at NCSU, author of more than a dozen books and the book “Manna, Two Views of Humanity’s future”, host of the National Geographic show “Factory Floor”, entrepreneur, futurist, speaker, teacher, consultant, mentor.
Originally a sound engineer, Matt Aimonetti became an internationally known software developer, technical writer and open source contributor. As CTO and Co-Founder of Splice, he found a way to mix his passions: software, music and entrepreneurship. Splice streamlines the fragmented process of creating and sharing music, freeing musicians to spend their time and energy on the creative process. Splice simplifies music creation by bringing all of the steps into one, frictionless digital home. Matt is based in Santa Monica, CA where he likes building robots with his daughter, playing with sound gear with his son and enjoying a good meal with his wife.
A curiosity-driven dreamer and always a keen observer, Maurizio, a father of four, likes to discover and understand differences of people’s lifestyles and their cultures. He’s fascinated about how technologies impact our day life and what about their influence in the society and cultures. He gained his early experience at the Rossi Group family business and worked in the 90s on growing the business.
In 2005, Maurizio, along with his partner Riccardo, co-founded H-FARM, an innovative platform that supports the creation of new business models and the digital transformation and training of large international corporations toward the open innovation. Structured as a campus where a young community of over 600 people work and about 300 study, H-FARM is considered a one-of-a-kind company.
H-FARM is the first company in the world to choose a model formed of both incubation and acceleration activities for young businesses and digital transformation services for traditional enterprises. Thanks to the major network of partners and investors established in its first 10 years, every year H-FARM analyses and evaluates over 1000 projects and selects the best ones to enter different programs every season. An academic study program from pre-school to graduate-level studies are part of H-FARM.
Melissa Eddy has been the Berlin Correspondent for The New York Times, since January 2012. She began covering Germany for The Associated Press in 2000.
Over the years, she has watched Helmut Kohl resign and Angela Merkel rise; she’s delved into the Energiewende and the COP21, migration and integration; the controversies surrounding the “fake news” and Germany’s struggle with digitization.
Melissa is a graduate of Columbia University’s Journalism School. She was a 1996-7 Fulbright Fellow for Young Journalists in Germany. Since 2016 she has been a member of the RIAS Berlin Commission.
While moving positions from London to Berlin, Michael Cassau found the process of acquiring new furniture, like most, wildly inconvenient. Noting that he was able to order a car without owning a car, stream an album without owning a record, and eat a meal of any cuisine without cooking, he began shifting his focus toward items most frequently cycled out of use: electronics. Fascinated by the intersection of ownership and experience, Cassau had an actionable strategy in mind: offer a pay-as- you-go on-demand system that promotes a logical, and more environmentally-friendly approach toward gadget ownership.
Michael Shmilov has been a key member of the Viber Management team working alongside with the founding team since the launch of the company in December 2010. As Chief Operating Officer, Michael is responsible for the operational running of the fast-moving business. Viber has gained more than 800 million users since its launch. In his previous role as Viber’s Head of Product, Michael was responsible for the long-term vision of the Viber platform, product planning, design and UX.
Prior to Viber, Michael was Product Manager for iMesh, one of the world’s first peer-to-peer file sharing services. Michael’s love to product design and user experience drove him to establish a design and development studio and ‘UX Storytelling’, a hub designed for the UX and product management community to share stories and ideas.
Moon Ribas is a Catalan avant-garde artist and cyborg activist best known for developing the Seismic Sense, an online seismic sensor implanted in her arm that allows her to perceive earthquakes through vibrations in real time. Since 2007 Moon has been experimenting with the union between technology and her body to explore the boundaries of perception and to experience movement in a deeper way. Some of her previous research includes transdental communication, 360º perception and the Speedborg. In 2010 she co-founded the Cyborg Foundation, an international organisation that aims to help people become cyborgs, defend cyborg rights and promote cyborgism as an artistic and social movement.
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.
Paul Kurtz is an internationally recognized expert on cybersecurity and the co-founder and CEO of TruSTAR Technology. Paul began working on cybersecurity at the White House in the late 1990s. He served in senior positions relating to critical infrastructure and counterterrorism on the White House’s National Security and Homeland Security Councils under Presidents Clinton and Bush.
After leaving government, Paul has held numerous private sector cybersecurity positions including founding the Cyber Security Industry Alliance (Acquired by Tech America), Executive Director of SAFECode, Managing Partner of Good Harbor Consulting in Abu Dhabi, and CISO of CyberPoint International.
Paula Schwarz built prototypes for solutions to social challenges together with her team at Startupboat.
For her activities, she was awarded with the Impact Award of Ashoka in Greece, named among the 30 best social entrepreneurs under 30 in Europe and invited to join the economic council of Germany, as well as the creative council.
She has employed scouts in Afghanistan, Uganda, Jordan and Greece who coach and mentor entrepreneurs that are building solutions under extreme conditions. Paula is half Greek and half German, 26 years old and lives in the academy of Startupboat on the island of Samos – 1000meters from the Turkish border.
Already an established first-mover in VR, Pete Blumel is an award-winning veteran producer of real-time, story-driven immersive entertainment with over 22 years of experience in feature film, animation and AAA interactive production.
He served in a key producer role at Activision’s Infinity Ward game development studio where he became intimately involved in the creation and production of the CALL OF DUTY: MODERN WARFARE series and GHOSTS video games for over 8 years. Prior, Pete spent over 10 years at DREAMWORKS SKG where he held roles of increasing responsibility, first at Dreamworks Feature Animation and later at Amblin Entertainment.
A bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering helped Prateep Beed to learn the basics of innovation & design. Soon he realised that machine design is far from humanised design since prototypes often lack the individualism required to cater to the needs of everyone yet at an individual level.
He then pursued further studies in Cognitive Psychology & Neurosciences to better understand and relate to the human mind. Prateep went on to complete his PhD in 2010 in Neurosciences. At present, he works as a senior research scientist at the Charité University Medicine, Berlin.
Given the interdisciplinary academic background, Prateep in 2016 founded Sensory.eu to consult individuals and businesses on how to leverage potential from the advances in neurosciences be it in decision making, analytical thinking or holistic systems solutions using both knowledge from fundamental neurosciences and cutting-edge neurotechnology.
Rafael Laguna is the co-founder and CEO of Open-Xchange, a global leader of web-based communication, collaboration and office productivity software. From DNS, to secure data storage and end-to-end encrypted email, OX provides service providers unparalleled support, trusted services and an open source architecture that make it the only integrated stack developed for truly global scale.
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
Robbie Schingler is the Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Planet, leading global strategic efforts for the company. Prior to Planet Labs, Robbie spent 9 years at NASA. He helped to formulate the Small Spacecraft Office at NASA Ames Research Center and was Capture Manager for the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS). Robbie had two tours at NASA Headquarters. He served as NASA’s Open Government Representative to the White House; and the White House recognized NASA as a model for openness in government. Robbie also served on the founding team as Chief of Staff for the Office of the Chief Technologist at NASA – where he incubated $650M Space Technology Program that focused on advanced technology. Robbie received a MBA from Georgetown University, a Masters of Science Space Studies from the International Space University, and a BS in Engineering Physics from Santa Clara University and was a 2005 Presidential Management Fellow.
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.
Rolf Schrömgens is an innovative German entrepreneur, who is best known for his role as Founder and Managing Director for trivago GmbH. Pushing the boundaries of data-driven product development and rethinking the way that tech companies nurture and develop their talents are among his expertise. Parallel to spending his time at trivago, he is also President of the Entrepreneur’s Organization in Germany. Previously, Rolf was head of VP Product & Strategy at Ciao.com. Born and raised in Mönchengladbach, Rolf attended HHL (Leipzig Graduate School of Management).
Ryan has spent the past decade creating identities for companies such as Google, UNICEF, and Vevo. Working in the media space, he has helped communicate food, water, population, and resource issues via Food Inc., the G8 summit, and other organizations. In 2013, he entered the tech world with Avbl to help the freelance world connect in real time. In 2014, he created Isabel, a smart food system for the growth and transportation of deliciously efficient produce. After many years of research, he believes AI/AR to be one of the best solutions to feeding 10 billion. Plant Vision by Huxley augments operations for the scaling of efficient growth systems.
Ryan Walsh is a Partner at Floodgate a venture capital firm specializing in micro-cap investments in start-ups that seeks to invest in technology related sectors. It typically invests between $150,000 and $1 million. Prior to Floodgate, Ryan directed product management for media at Apple, including Apple Music and the iTunes stores for movies, music, and television. He joined Apple as part of the Beats by Dre acquisition, where he was Vice President of Product, managing design, product development, analytics, and growth. Prior to working with Beats, Ryan spent 15 years starting ventures, building businesses or helping others do the same.
Sam is the founder and chairman of Fnatic. Since 2004, Fnatic’s pro-gamers have won 1000’s of tournaments, over 10m USD in prizes, in more than 20 games, the most out of any brand. Boasting over 8 million fans on social media, and millions more watching their games each month, they have a clear mission to lead the New World Sport into every household, through content, products and experiences. In 2015, they launched Fnatic Gear, an esports equipment brand on Indiegogo. Previously Sam has also founded NEVERBLAND, Conjure, and Slate App (sold to Extreme Reach).
With a passion for building and innovation, Sasha combined his deep knowledge of hardware and software with the worlds of industrial design and user experience. Over the years he has consulted for companies such as Juniper Networks, Cisco, Panasonic, Microsoft, Nike and LG, mastering the finest details of product development from conception to implementation. He was the first undergrad ever hired into the Supercomputing Systems Division at Silicon Graphics. Sasha found a friend in Mark Williams at Burning Men Festival and the two started tinkering in Mark’s garage to develop an elegant hand-held vaporizer.
Scott Heiferman is on a mission to spark real community everywhere. He is the co-founder and CEO of Meetup, helping 30 million members use the internet to get off the internet. He started Meetup after seeing the potential for community renewal around the terrorism of 9/11. Today, Meetups bring people together around technology, fitness, career, health, parenting, creative passions, and other self-organized topics in 100+ countries every day. Meetup employs over 180 people at its New York City headquarters
Shaul Olmert is Co-Founder and CEO of Playbuzz, an award-winning storytelling platform that empowers publishers, brands and agencies worldwide to create interactive content for editorial and commercial purposes. Native of Israel, Shaul spent most of his professional career in the United States where he held several executive positions in digital media ventures, with an emphasize on games and entertainment content products. His previous roles include Vice President of Digital Products at MTV Networks, President of SundaySky, Chief Marketing Officer at Conduit, Director of Business Development at I-play and investment professional at STI Ventures.In his free time, Shaul is a Director and Adviser to many digital media ventures. Shaul holds a master’s degree in Interactive Telecommunications from New York University.
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.
Ståle Fredlund Husby is a Norwegian born, serial entrepreneur. He is currently co-founder and CEO at Relink. This Nordic, venture backed startup, uses machine learning and AI to match applicants to jobs and jobs to applicants. Ståle has spent the last 10 years on building and scaling media and technology startups. His latest company, plapre.com, was acquired in 2014.
Susan Danziger is the Founder/CEO of Ziggeo, an award-winning cloud-based video technology company. Named a Woman of Influence and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Susan is also a contributor to Forbes on entrepreneurship. She previously founded (and sold) DailyLit, a pioneer in digital serialization.
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.
Tim Schumacher is co-founder and chairman of Eyeo.com (makers of Adblock Plus), and active German angel investor. He cofounded and was the longtime CEO of the publicly traded company Sedo AG, which currently has revenues of 130m euros per year and maintains approximately 350 employees. Since 2012 he has dedicated his professional career to the German startup scene, acting both as a business angel and mentor for young companies with economic potential. His current startups, among many others, are Eyeo/Adblock Plus, Aklamio, Hitfox and Ecosia.
Tom is a general partner at GV. Prior to GV, Tom was a design director at IDEO Europe. He founded OpenIDEO, an open innovation platform where 100,000 users from more than 170 countries solve challenges for social good. Tom also launched OIEngine, a SaaS platform with clients including Harvard Business School and the Knight Foundation.
Prior to IDEO, Tom was managing director of Marcos, a British sports car manufacturer and founded Magnom, a magnetic filter startup. Tom’s filter designs have been widely used in Formula One, superbikes, agricultural equipment, and central heating systems. He has also angel-invested in more than 20 companies, including as the founding investor in Mile IQ (sold to Microsoft).
Tom has been recognized as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, and has been featured in WIRED UK’s Top 100 Digital Power Brokers list every year since the list was established. He has also been included in the Evening Standard list of London’s 1000 Most Influential People.
Tom Wheeler is a business, social and creative entrepreneur. In 2010 he launched IR Global, which has grown to become the largest professional services network of its type in the world. He formed Sinchi Collective in 2014, a popular electronic music blog and creative collective based out of Amsterdam. Then launched Sinchi Tribe, a non profit focusing on the preservation of indigenous culture and knowledge in 2016. Following an existential crisis in his twenties, his travels took him from working with plant medicines in the Amazon to trekking solo through Greenland to spending time with remote aboriginal communities in Australia. These experiences have had a profound influence, shaping his career and his definition of happiness and aspirations for the future.
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.
The tree hugging capitalist who runs the business with kind brutality. Waldemar is a serial entrepreneur, having started businesses together with Berlin-based incubators Rocket Internet and Team Europe. At some point, growth, scale and money weren’t motivation enough: With the tools and skills he collected over the past years, he decided to use them for a better cause. Together with his co-founder Philip Siefer, he started Entrepreneurs Pledge, a movement that’s already gathered about 100 successful entrepreneurs to build a new kind of social companies – and make them grow and scale with a significant revenue stream of which at least 50 percent must be re-invested in social or environmental cause. Fairstainability is part of their DNA. Waldemar and Philip have also built one of the first fairstainable businesses coming out of the Entrepreneurs Pledge initiative; they are both founders of the fairstainable condom brand, einhorn. Waldemar joined the light side after years in the digital start up & venture capital business.
Yaël is a former CIA analyst, national security advisor to Vice President Joe Biden, diplomat, CSR strategist for a Fortune 5 company, and head of a global political risk firm. She speaks, writes and consults on topics at the intersection of security, political and humanitarian issues. She has been published in the New York Times, TIME and The Huffington Post and has appeared on CNN, CBS News and C-SPAN. She is the founder of Kilele Global, providing intelligence-based advice to help companies operating in emerging markets do so smartly and with purpose.
Yoni Bloch is an Israeli musician and the founder and CEO of Eko, a media and technology company pioneering a new medium in which stories are shaped by viewers as they unfold. Eko has partnered with media companies, independent creators and top brands to create experiences for highly-engaged, digitally native audiences, and has positioned itself as the leading tech platform for the creation and delivery of interactive entertainment.
Eko was founded by Bloch and his band in 2011 after they wanted to create a unique music video that fans would want to play over and over again. When they discovered that no technology existed that would support their vision of online seamless interactive play, the co-founders set out to develop such technology themselves.
Under Bloch’s leadership, Eko is creating interactive videos with Sony, MGM, CBS, Warner Music and many more. Eko Studio, which provides the company’s authoring tools free of charge, is also home to a large and growing community of creators. Eko investors include Sequoia Capital, Intel, NEA, WPP and Samsung.
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.