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He is currently Managing Director at Thin Line Capital providing investment and advisory services to funds such as Rusheen Capital, Climate Impact Capital, and other family offices, bringing investment capital to bear on some of the world’s toughest problems in energy, water and food sustainability.
While CEO of Edisun Heliostats, he was committed to lowering the costs of solar thermal power. Backed by Idealab, Bill Gates, NRG, and others, Edisun has received recognition from Hawaii’s Energy Excelerator as their only company to be accepted into both their 2015 and 2016 portfolio cohorts. Prior to Edisun, Aaron was the Founder and CEO of Energy Cache, a low-cost grid scale energy storage technology company, serving a multi-billion dollar energy market.
Previously he headed up the development of a $10m X PRIZE in Energy for the X PRIZE Foundation. Prior to that he was a Partner at Starfish Ventures, Australia’s largest venture capital firm, where Aaron led the investment into the fund’s biggest investment and exit – Ausra, a KPCB and Khosla Ventures backed solar thermal energy company.
Aaron is an adjunct lecturer on entrepreneurship at USC and has been a consultant and keynote speaker to utilities (e.g., TransAlta), corporations (e.g., Google), and a number of conference and media events (MIT Tech Review, AlwaysOn Going Green and others).
Aaron earned his MBA and MSME as an LGO fellow at MIT, and his BEng in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Victoria, graduating at the top of his class. He is a Professional Engineer both in California and British Columbia.
METAseismic develops cost-effective metamaterials to protect buildings and valuable objects from earthquakes. The name METAseismic combines the word metamaterials and seismic protection. Metamaterials are engineered materials with properties unseen in nature, (from “meta”, Greek world for “beyond”). This is the first startup that creates metamaterials specifically designed for earthquake protection.
Matt Bresnahan is a partner in the San Diego and Los Angeles offices of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, where he has focused his practice over the past 10 years on all aspects of intellectual property, including strategic patent counseling, patent prosecution, licensing, and litigation. Matt is primary outside IP counsel to more than 50 life sciences companies within the biotechnology, molecular biology, pharmaceutical, diagnostic, and medical device fields in Southern California. Matt is an adjunct professor of law at the University of San Diego School of Law, where he has taught patent law for the past five years.
Rob Freelen is Silicon Valley Bank’s Los Angeles Market Manager where he leads a team of technology bankers in search of commercial banking glory. Our team, based in Santa Monica, delivers SVB’s full platform: venture debt, corporate cash management, foreign exchange, strategic payment solutions, strategic analytics, private equity fund banking, private banking, wealth management and venture capital.
In 2014, prior to taking the LA Market Manager role, Rob served as SVB’s first Chief of Staff where he facilitated the reorganization of SVB’s sales organization. Prior to his role as Chief of Staff Rob led Business Development for SVB’s Life Sciences Practice in the Western United States. Since joining SVB in 2005, Rob has worked with several hundred companies, having led debt transactions for more than 100 public and private companies.
Rob found Silicon Valley Bank after spending his early career working for both a start-up and an asset management firm. Way, way back Rob earned a B.A. from Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA and still believes he’ll own a winery there someday. Rob spends his free time cycling and chasing his three young daughters in the surf around Santa Monica.
Previous GM of HP Software, CEO Polivec, President Finjan, Executive VP Akana, Executive Sun Microsystems, Advisor, Board Member
Executive in the information technology fields of cybersecurity, middleware, governance, API security, microservices, DevOps, software, SaaS, cloud integration, SOA/API management and enterprise architecture. Experience with major fortune 100 on digital transformation initiatives for Digital Business using cloud, mobile or web initiatives with SaaS, on-premises or cloud hybrid products. Deep experience not only in technology but also on launching and marketing products and companies, company strategy and growth. Has been a cybersecurity pioneer by working in the early phases of the firewall, content security, and security policy. Was selected as a participant in President Clinton’s White House Security Summit on cyber security. Founder/Board member for Information Technology Information Sharing and Analysis Center (IT-ISAC) and participated in the National Cyber Security Summits and The White House National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace. Have extensive general management and marketing experience with start-ups and large companies. Was one of the top 100 Sr. Executives at Hewlett Packard(HP). At HP was General Manager of HP Software. As division general manager for HP, served a vital role as head of HP’s key strategic emerging businesses that included cybersecurity, middleware, management, web services, CRM, and E-commerce. I was CEO of PoliVec, President of Finjan (FNJN)and Executive VP for Akana, leader API Management/API security. Was VP of Milkyway Networks (IPO 1996), firewall pioneer, and was VP at Avnet Inc (AVT) and an executive at Sun Microsystems.
Mr. Medrano was recently ranked (2014) as #12 CMO Worldwide. Medrano has been selected as one of “The 100 most influential Hispanics in US”, “the 100 most influential Latinos in Silicon Valley” “Top 100 most influential Hispanics in Information Technology” and is co-founder and previous CEO for Hispanic-Net, a non-profit organization.
He has been on the board of directors or board of advisors for many security companies and organizations among others: Arcot (Acquired by CA), Aventail (aquired by SonicWall, acquired by Dell), Encentuate (Acquired by IBM), Netscaler (Acquired by Citrix), Bigfix (Acquired by IBM), AirZip (Acquired by Willow Tech), Confluent Software (acquired by Oblix/Oracle), PivX (IPO 2004), Polivec, Clearpath Networks, Sand Hill IT Security (reverse IPO with EdgeWave), JackBe (acquired by SoftwareAG). Medrano has received numerous awards for business and product achievement from leading business and industry publications including Fortune, and others. Mr. Medrano has published many articles and quoted numerous times.
Medrano holds a master’s degree in business administration from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), a Master of Science degree in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Southern California (USC).
Leonard M. Lanzi has over 30 years of non-profit organization management and fund development experience. He has been serving as the Executive Director of the Los Angeles Venture Association since 2007. In his capacity at LAVA, Len works with the LAVA board of directors to direct the strategic plan and organize educational and informational programs within the venture funded business ecosystem in the greater Los Angeles region.
Leonard brings a well-rounded knowledge from such diverse human service organizations as the Community Kitchen of Santa Barbara, Court Appointed Special Advocates, Junior Achievement of Southern California and the Boy Scouts of America.
Leonard graduated from the University of Rochester with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. He is an active member of the Rotary Club of Santa Monica where he served on its Board of Directors as VP Programs. Leonard also serves on the board of directors as Board Chair for Meals on Wheels West, as Board Chair for Rotarians for Family Health and AIDS Prevention, also the Italian American Chamber of Commerce West, the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce and the Board of Governors for StartOut, a nationwide entrepreneurial organization for the GLBT community.
Prior to launching the Wavemaker Three-Sixty Health venture fund, Jay Goss worked with more than 30 early stage companies, sometimes in a CXO role and sometimes as an advisor, helping the start-ups develop and execute their go-to-market and fundraising strategies (which include rounds from nearly every funding source – angels, VCs, strategics, family offices, crowd investing and celebrities). He also has experience working “intrapreneurially” building new business units for large companies such as Disney/ESPN, Reed Elsevier and Summa Group. Goss earned his BA from UCLA (Economics & Business) and then went across town to USC for his MBA (concentration in Entrepreneurship).
Nikhil Jain is the Co-Founder and CEO of ObEN, an artificial intelligence company developing Personal Artificial Intelligence (PAI), an intelligent 3D avatar that looks, talks and behaves uniquely like the individual user and is authenticated and secured with the PAI blockchain. Prior to ObEN, Nikhil cofounded technology companies OnGreen and Up and Running Software. Nikhil has an MBA from the University of Southern California and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Pondicherry University.
Kara Nortman joined Upfront Ventures as a partner in November 2014. Kara is also co-founder of Seedling where she currently serves as Chairman. Prior to starting Seedling, Kara spent close to seven years at IAC where she acted as the Senior Vice President and General Manager of Urbanspoon and Citysearch. Prior to Urbanspoon/Citysearch, Kara co-headed the M&A group at IAC where she lead some of their most successful acquisitions, notably Urbanspoon, Dictionary.com and Aston Hotels. While at IAC, Kara also served as a board member to Hatch Labs, IAC’s mobile technology incubator, where she recruited and advised Tinder. Kara also spent time at Morgan Stanley, Microsoft, and Battery Ventures. Kara received her AB in Politics from Princeton University and her MBA from Stanford University.
Rick Smith is a Co-Founder and Managing Director of CrossCut Ventures. CrossCut is an early-stage venture capital with over $200 million under management.
CrossCut’s investments are focused in consumer internet, enterprise software and gaming. CrossCut current and past portfolio companies include Fabletics, JustFab, Ipsy, Docstoc (sold to Intuit), GumGum, Pulpo Media (sold to Entravision), Data Science (sold to Oracle), Verve, Shoedazzle (sold to JustFab), Dermstore (sold to Target), Winc, Lettuce (sold to Intuit), BlackTux and Super Evil Megacorp.
Prior to co-founding CrossCut, Rick was a managing director at an early-stage venture capital firm based in Santa Monica, California, with over $500 million under management. Prior to that, he was a managing director at SunAmerica, Inc., where co-founded SunAmerica Ventures, a $750 million fund focused on both direct investments and investments in other venture funds.
Rick began his career as a corporate attorney, working five years at the Los Angeles office of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley and McCloy, a New York-based firm. He graduated from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, with a degree in finance. He also graduated from Harvard Law School.
Rob Brass began his career in investment banking in 1996 at a regional investment bank working in real estate, where he practiced commercial lending for industrial companies (REITs), eventually transitioning into mortgage backed security origination for healthcare.
After obtaining an MBA, Brass moved to the West Coast to focus on technology, initially broadly in scope across all sectors including hardware, software, internet and semiconductors, but eventually focusing on semiconductors. For a two year period from 2009 – 2011, Brass ran the execution function for all financings for West Coast technology companies, before returning at a more senior level to a semiconductor and electronics focus.
Eric Hoek is an internationally recognized expert in water treatment, UCLA environmental engineering professor, founder of 6 successful water technology startups, and considered a thought leader in the water industry. He has worked on various aspects of water treatment including drinking water treatment, wastewater treatment, desalination, oil & gas produced water treatment, municipal and industrial water reuse and oil spill remediation. He has served as a consultant to municipal water authorities, water technology startups, hedge funds, venture capital funds, law firms, private research foundations, non-profit foundations, US federal, state and local agencies and foreign national research agencies. He has over 130 scientific publications, over 70 patents filed in the U.S. and internationally, and serves as the Editor-in-Chief of the Nature Publishing Group journal npj Clean Water. He is a graduate of Penn State (B.S.), UCLA (M.S.), Yale University (Ph.D.) and the Executive Management program at the UCLA Anderson School of Management.
Shahin empowers entrepreneurs aiming to accelerate humanity towards a fantastic future through feats of engineering. His recent investments at Lux Capital include Nervana, the deep learning chip company recently acquired by Intel; Planet Labs, which has launched the world’s largest fleet of Earth-imaging satellites; Plethora, which is rolling out a fleet of robotic machine shops; Flex Logix, making chip IP blocks that can reprogram themselves; Relativity Space, launching 3D-printed rockets; Aeva, inventing a new sensing paradigm for robots; Mythic, building powerful deep learning chips for edge devices, and Zoox, what comes after the automobile.
MIT-trained engineer, tech entrepreneur and adventurer, Krisztina “Z” Holly is the host of The Art of Manufacturing podcast and Founder & Chief Instigator of MAKE IT IN LA, a non-profit launched out of LA Mayor Garcetti’s office. Z is known for curating and hosting the first ever TEDx (TEDxUSC) in 2009 and founding two innovation centers at MIT and USC. She has an instinct for finding and amplifying undiscovered talent and ideas, whether it’s helping dozens of faculty spin out new venture-backed startups, or curating nearly a hundred different speakers whose talks have garnered 14 million views online; ten have appeared on TED.com.
Early on, Z played key roles at tech startups, such as Stylus innovation (acquired by Artisoft), Direct Hit Technologies (acquired by Ask Jeeves), and Jeeves Solutions (acquired by Kanisa). She started her career as an undergraduate researcher at the MIT Media Lab and a member of the Space Shuttle Main Engine advanced manufacturing team. She served as Vice Provost for Innovation at USC and has been advisor to nearly two dozen companies and organizations, including the River LA, World Economic Forum, and the Obama Administration.
She is an avid traveler, backcountry skier, mountain biker, rock climber, and the quartermaster of the Black Rock City airport logistics team in her spare time. Z has two engineering degrees from MIT and currently lives and plays in Los Angeles.
Nirav R. Shah, MD, MPH, is Senior Scholar at Stanford’s Clinical Excellence Research Center. He is a leader in patient safety and quality, innovation and digital health, and the strategies required to transition to lower-cost, patient-centered care. Board-certified in Internal Medicine, Dr. Shah is a graduate of Harvard College and Yale School of Medicine, and is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine.
Dr. Shah serves as an independent director for public and private institutions, advises companies in the life sciences and health services, and has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles. Previously, he served as the senior vice president and Chief Operating Officer for clinical operations for Kaiser Permanente in Southern California, a $25B system with 10,000 physicians and 4.4 million members, and as Commissioner of the New York State Department of Health, with a budget of $55B and overseeing the health of 19 million New Yorkers.
Klawe became Harvey Mudd College’s fifth president in 2006. A renowned computer scientist and scholar, she is the first woman to lead the college. Klawe is a North American expert on diversity in science, technology, engineering and mathematics; gender and gaming; utilizing lessons from her own career in STEM industry and education. A fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, she was ranked 17th on Fortune’s 2014 list of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders. Klawe is on the boards of the Alliance for Southern California Innovation and the nonprofits Math for America and EdReports.org. She was previously dean of engineering and professor of computer science at Princeton University and dean of science, vice president of student and academic services, and head of the computer science department at the University of British Columbia. Klawe spent eight years with IBM Research in California and two years at the University of Toronto. She received a PhD and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Alberta.
Andy is a leader in the Southern Californian innovation ecosystem and has started, led or invested in more than two dozen tech start-ups. In addition to leading the Alliance as Executive Director, he serves on the City Council for the City of Pasadena and he is a founder of Innovate Pasadena (www.innovatepasadena.org), which is dedicated to advancing the Eastside of Los Angeles as a vibrant innovation center for deep tech.
Previously, as founder of Momentum Ventures, an early stage tech accelerator and venture fund, he personally led more than a half dozen SoCal tech start-ups and invested in almost a dozen others. He previously held senior executive roles (President, SVP Product, CIO, COO) at Overture Services/Yahoo!, RiverOne, Bowne & Co and RR Donnelley & Sons. He has extensive board experience in not-for-profit and community organizations such as Pacific Oaks College, Pasadena Heritage and STEAMCODERS. He is a regular speaker at entrepreneurs’ events and business schools and was named one of the 50 Most Innovative Men in the San Gabriel Valley. Andy holds an engineering degree with honors from Dartmouth College and received his MBA with a concentration in operations and technology management from Harvard Business School.
SDS develops technology and equipment that enables semiconductor and optoelectronic device manufacturers to utilize environmentally friendly water-based synthesis & deposition of advanced materials to reduce manufacturing costs and/or enhance device performance. SDS is currently focused on a technology for depositing high quality ZnO based transparent conductive layers.
Senseer is currently developing a wireless, multi-sensor platform which integrates with hydrocephalus shunts. Our sensors provide real-time and simultaneous tracking of catheter patency, CSF flow, and ICP in an outpatient setting.
QT Medical has reinvented the electrocardiogram (ECG) by making hospital quality 12-lead ECG available to patients at home.
We are developing the next generation of battery solutions that are 2X more energy, 3X faster recharge, 5x higher power at half the cost and never catch fire! We have more than 16 patents, issued or pending in US, Europe, Korea, Japan and China.
Fluency Lighting Technologies creates next-generation bright and narrow beam light sources for highly efficient and flexible design illumination, using laser technology and materials design. Our overall goal is to provide ultra-efficient light sources, surpassing the limitations of current lighting technologies,
FarmSense has developed a real-time, cloud-based insect monitoring platform which detects, classifies, and quantifies insects. When this information is integrated with additional crop and environmental information, it enables optimization of pest interventions, reducing crop losses.
Craitor has created a combination 3D printer and CNC mill that employs a quick swap carriage for switching between applications easily and quickly. The carriage is designed to be universal for future planned applications (like adding laser engraving/cutting, plotting, and others).
CellectGen has developed a patented saliva-based diagnostic device that enables detection of specific markers of disease. The first use of this platform technology is in a test for early detection and real-time monitoring of gum-disease.
BumbleBeast is a moduar desktop machine that can perform 3D printing, 5 axis CNC milling, laser engraving and many other functions. It has a wide range of automated tools to create objects out of plastics, wood, acrylic and various metals.
Sensorygen discovers natural small molecules that modify smell and taste behavior in people and insects using computational biology that utilizes a specific and sensitive screening approach that couples digital biology with real biology. Our first product is a natural mosquito repellent that works as well as DEET-based repellents (based on independent lab and strategic partner testing).
Rasalas Therapeutics has developed a platform technology for delivering protein and small molecule therapeutics across the blood-brain barrier, addressing a significant unmet need in CNS diseases.
Paradigm is developing a system that will be able to simultaneously remove pathogens & cytokines from blood using lead compounds that bind human IgG antibodies with very high affinity. This will allow us to have a cartridge that will bind multiple antibodies in a matter of minutes.
Mazen Animal Health is focused on developing, delivering and commercializing novel biological vaccines and therapeutics that address complex or unsolved challenges in animal health and protein production.
Hillhurst is enabling the use of carbon monoxide (CO) as a Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) therapeutic with HBI-002, an oral drug product that provides a highly novel dual mechanism of action to this orphan disease.
GlyTR (pronounced Glitter) is a disruptive immunotherapy platform technology capable of targeting the vast majority of cancer types, from breast cancer to leukemia. GlyTR overcomes many of the shortcomings of current immunotherapies by binding to never before targeted sugar antigens (TACA’s) that are common to virtually all types of cancer.
DNATWO will develop a new line of molecularly targeted drugs and therapeutic modality in breast, ovarian, and other cancers, based on our recent identification of a new class of small molecule inhibitors of DNA2, which functions at the nexus of DNA replication and repair.
Charlot Biosciences is changing how clinical labs identify disease through a platform named Intrepid Microfluidics which identifies biomarkers based on their inherent biophysical properties. This reduces the need to perform genetic analysis to identify the subtle difference between normal and abnormal tissue. They pioneered a biomarker discovery platform for researchers named Intrepid Microfluidics which identifies biomarkers based on their inherent biophysical properties.
Cayuga Biotech is developing polyphosphate-based therapeutic candidates to accelerate coagulation only at active bleeding sites. Our technology delivers platelet-length polyphosphate (polyP), endogenous to the coagulation cascade, to accelerate blood clotting in bleeding patients.
Xtelligent is an algorithm and device company bringing the latest innovations in dynamic network theory, Internet of Things, and machine learning technologies to road networks. By connecting signalized intersections to the latest sensor technology and enabling rapid, edge computing capabilities, Xtelligent is driving the step-change in traffic intersection technology and laying the ground logic required for the connected and autonomous vehicle future.
Visionful is an artificial intelligent vision-based parking monitoring and management solution. It identifies empty parking spaces in real time and can be connected to mobile apps and future self-driving cars. It also automates the enforcement and payment process in real-time and reports violations of parking regulations.
STL enables multi-user interactive shareable experiences via a projector aggregation and interaction software (PRAIS) without the use of wearable devices. Our PRAIS enables high-resolution, high-brightness projections on arbitrarily shaped objects and surfaces as well as lucid interaction with precisely illuminated surfaces via various interfaces (e.g. laser pointers, hand gestures, mobile devices).
Ops Guru, part of UCI Health, developed a system to reduce exam room wait times which significantly decreases patient cycle time allowing the facility to book more appointments and generate more revenue from the same exam room assets.
MemComputing, inspired by the human brain, pioneered a new concept called Self Organizing Logic Gates that use physics to work cooperatively to drive to a solution in one compute cycle.
Lucid Circuit, Inc. is developing the Astrum line of processors specifically for machine learning and blockchain applications by enabling analysis and information accountability “at the edge”.
InfoCoding Labs Inc. offers a transformative means to achieve near-optimal audio compression at low latency through a novel proprietary technology, called cascaded long term prediction, that provides optimal prediction of all periodic components of an audio signal from the immediately preceding segment of samples.
Link Express™ (LEX™), invented by GigaIO™ is a complete interconnect fabric, extending the industry-standard communication interface (PCI Express) to deliver data to cluster applications with the fastest bandwidth, lowest latency, and lowest power consumption of any alternative.
CellOnyx offers software-only capacity solutions aimed at load-balancing and minimizing cluster level congestion for clusters of cellular towers in metropolitan areas operating on 3G, 4G, and 5G standards.
Canvass Labs develops software using AI techniques to scan and analyze Open Source Software. Their software can accurately find OS license information in source code and they developed an algorithm to quickly identify software components along with logical explanations to the results.
AcuraStem utilizes advanced stem cell technology and machine learning to predict drug efficacy for diseases of the central nervous system (CNS) using living neurons from current patients – a virtual nerve biopsy. This precision medicine platform has identified a novel ALS target and preclinical lead candidate.
Steve Poizner has launched, grown, and sold three tech companies in Silicon Valley; managed a portfolio of a dozen start-ups as an SVP for Qualcomm; worked at the highest levels in state and federal government; and volunteered for a year as a public high school teacher.
A few of his key accomplishments include transforming the mobile phone market by inventing a way to integrate GPS into handsets thereby saving tens of thousands of lives and enabling a new multi-billion-dollar location-based services sector. While working as a White House Fellow, he helped develop a post-9/11 Homeland Security plan for the National Security Council. As the elected CA Insurance Commissioner, he modernized California’s Department of Insurance, resulting in multi-billion dollars in cost savings for consumers. Mr. Poizner was inducted into the Silicon Valley Engineering Hall of Fame in 2014.
Michel is the founder and CEO of Lucid Circuit, Inc. where he leads a team of experts working on blockchain enabled AI edge processors and an engine for accelerating resilient microelectronic development.Michel is an active researcher with over 15 years of experience in the areas of high-performance adaptable-computing architectures, machine learning, side-channel analysis and radiation-effects mitigation for space and terrestrial applications. He is an experienced researcher and manager who has led multi-million dollar microelectronics research programs for different government agencies. Michel successfully converted converted over $30M of government funded university research in to commercial IP in use today. Michel’s broad experience reaches across research and commercial organizations in the areas of Space, RFID and high-reliability banking microelectronics.
Professor Soatto received his Ph.D. in Control and Dynamical Systems from the California Institute of Technology in 1996; he joined UCLA in 2000 after being Assistant and then Associate Professor of Electrical and Biomedical Engineering at Washington University, and Research Associate in Applied Sciences at Harvard University. Between 1995 and 1998 he was also Ricercatore in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at the University of Udine – Italy. He received his D.Ing. degree (highest honors) from the University of Padova- Italy in 1992.
His general research interests are in Computer Vision and Nonlinear Estimation and Control Theory. In particular, he is interested in ways for computers to use sensory information (e.g. vision, sound, touch) to interact with humans and the environment.
Dr. Soatto is the recipient of the David Marr Prize (with Y. Ma, J. Kosecka and S. Sastry of U.C. Berkeley) for work on Euclidean reconstruction and reprojection up to subgroups. He also received the Siemens Prize with the Outstanding Paper Award from the IEEE Computer Society for his work on optimal structure from motion (with R. Brockett of Harvard). He received the National Science Foundation Career Award and the Okawa Foundation Grant. He is Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence (PAMI) and a Member of the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Computer Vision (IJCV) and Foundations and Trends in Computer Graphics and Vision.
Mark Stevens is the managing partner of S-Cubed Capital, his family investment office based in Menlo Park, California. He is also a special limited partner and former managing partner of Sequoia Capital, a prominent and leading venture capital firm in Silicon Valley, known for backing iconic technology leaders including Apple Computer, Cisco Systems, Google and Nvidia. Mark joined Sequoia in 1989, focusing on semiconductor, software, and Internet investments.
Prior to Sequoia, Mark worked at Intel Corporation from 1982 to 1987 and at Hughes Aircraft from 1980 to 1982. He earned a B.S. in electrical engineering and a B.A. in economics (both magna cum laude) in 1981, and an M.S. in computer engineering
in 1984, all from USC. He also earned an M.B.A. from Harvard University in 1989. Additionally, he is a member of the Board of Councilors of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering and serves on the Board of Dean’s Advisors for the Harvard Business School. Mark has served on the USC Board of Trustees since 2001.
Currently, Mark serves as a director of Nvidia, the world’s leading graphics technology company, Second Spectrum, a sports data analytics software company, Innovium, a next generation data center technology supplier, and Quantenna, an innovator of leading-edge performance Wi-Fi solutions. Mark is a director of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Foundation (USOPF) and is an owner and executive board member of the Golden State Warriors basketball team.
Dr. Allen Gruber is a neuroscientist, physician, and founder of several successful technology companies. In 1993, Dr. Gruber co-founded INTERVU, Inc, a streaming video provider, which went public and was sold to Akamai Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: AKAM) for $2.8 billion. He founded Kintera, Inc., in 1999, and later served as Executive Vice President in charge of Engineering for Kintera, Inc., an online fundraising and marketing platform for nonprofit organizations. Kintera reached a market capitalization of $500 million and was sold to Blackbaud, Inc. (NASDAQ: BLKB).
Dr. Gruber graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a BA in Biochemistry and also with an MD. He attended Washington University for clinical and research training and was on the faculty of the University of Texas. Dr. Gruber was a Senior Fellow in the Institute of Neural Computation at UCSD in 2007. His professional memberships include the American Academy of Neurology, the Society for Neuroscience and IEEE.
Dr. Leo Petrossian, Ph.D. is the Co-founder of Neural Analytics, Inc. and has been its Chief Executive Officer since 2013. Dr. Petrossian has been Director of Nanofabrication of NABsys, Inc., since his joining in April 2008. Prior to NABsys, he served as a Product Engineer of KLA-Tencor, a company developing next generation defect detection tools for the semiconductor industry.
Dr. Petrossian has a Bachelors of Science in Biomedical Engineering and in Electrical Engineering from the California State University at Long Beach. He then received his Masters Degrees in Electrical Engineering and doctorate from Arizona State University where his research focused on biological applications of nanopores fabricated in a semiconductor substrates. Dr. Petrossian also has an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.
Kristin received her PhD in materials from the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB), after completing her BS in Materials Science and Engineering from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. Her research focus had been on phosphor materials for solid-state white lighting under the guidance of Professor Ram Seshadri, and worked closely with recent Nobel laureate Professor Shuji Nakamura.
Kristin has years of experience working in materials science and engineering and has published numerous scientific papers and patents in the field of solid-state lighting. Kristin also completed the Graduate Program in Management Practice certificate from the Technology Management Program at UCSB, focused on providing a foundation in business and management skills. During that time, the concept for Fluency was conceived and was awarded second place in UCSB’s New Venture Competition. Kristin founded Fluency Lighting Technologies to develop and commercialize laser-based light sources.
Kristin has also gained experience in environmental life cycle analysis and scientific research communication. In addition to her graduate work in Materials, she was a researcher in the Chemical Life Cycle Collaborative (CLiCC) at UCSB, where she collaborated on the development of an open-access, online tool to evaluate lifecycle impacts for chemicals and materials at an early stage of the chemical product development process, an important consideration for industry. She was also a committee member of the Research Communications Committee for the Institute for Energy Efficiency at UCSB, where she presented and published non-technical synopses on recent research efforts at the UCSB with significant implications for industry and society relating to energy efficiency for the Institute for Energy Efficiency website and newsletter. Kristin currently leads Fluency Lighting Technologies as the Founder and CEO, and is working to bring about societal and environmental benefits through her work.
David is an experienced inventor, entrepreneur, and manager with 15 years experience building tools to solve challenges in human health. He is a knowledgeable bioengineer with specialization in automation and systems integration for live cell analysis. He received his PhD in bioengineering from University of California, San Diego and BSc in physics from Delaware State University. He worked as a senior systems engineer at Hycor Biomedical. He developed intellectual property (IP) and systems for Vala Sciences. David is also co-founder and former Chief Technology Officer of Biological Dynamics, an oncology diagnostics company based in San Diego. During his tenure from 2009 – 2016, David gained considerable experience translating university IP from research to a commercially viable product. He established the technical vision of Biological Dynamics and developed their proprietary platform from idea through commercial readiness for research use and FDA clinical trials. He helped raise $37M across 3 rounds of funding, managed a diverse cross-functional team of 25, and generated 15 patents for the company.
As CEO of Charlot Biosciences, David leads a multidisciplinary team to implement his vision to provide access to novel tools clinicians and researchers need to detect treatable disease early. His core passions are providing access to advanced live cell analysis tools and expanding opportunities in STEM education. He believes empowering the next generation of researchers with disruptive technology will spark their creativity and reshape the future of clinical diagnostics.
Gene Sykes is LA 2028 Chief Executive Officer and supervises all aspects of the organizing committee’s business, operations and activities. Prior to joining LA28, Sykes was co-head of global mergers and acquisitions at Goldman Sachs as well as Co-Chairman of the global technology, media and telecom group. While at Goldman he was also a member of the management committee and the firm-wide client and business standards committee. A native Angeleno, Sykes is a trustee of the California chapter of The Nature Conservancy, a board member of Common Sense Media, a member of the Advisory Council of the Stanford University Graduate School of Business and a member of the Stanford board of trustees. Sykes joined the Advisory Council for the Alliance for Southern California Innovation in 2017.
Sykes received a bachelor’s degree in government from Harvard University and an M.B.A. from Stanford Graduate School of Business. He remains an employee of Goldman Sachs but has stepped down from his leadership positions. While at LA 2028, he does not participate in Goldman Sachs’s day-to-day operations and serves the firm in a limited capacity as a Managing Director. His work with LA 2028 is unpaid.
Vicki Dobbs Beck has more than 28 years of broad-based management experience in the entertainment industry. She drives top-level strategic vision and translates that into successful, sustainable strategies that foster creative growth, innovation, and excellence. She strives to be holistic in her approach and a catalyst for transformation in this increasingly dynamic environment.
Currently, Beck is the Executive in Charge of ILMxLAB, a new division launched in June 2015, whose mission is to create, develop, and release premium, story-based immersive entertainment experiences for the home, theater, and public venues. ILMxLAB wants to make it possible for people to “step into our stories.” The division combines the storytelling and innovation talents of Lucasfilm, ILM, and Skywalker Sound and builds on a foundation of pioneering R&D in real-time computer graphics and virtual production.
Beck received her MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business where she also completed her undergraduate studies, earning a BA with distinction in International Relations.
Prior to assuming the position of CEO in October 2017, Roy spearheaded hardware and software strategy as Chief Product Officer, successfully bringing DAQRI Smart Glasses™ and DAQRI Vos™ Extension for Unity, a proprietary operating system, to market. Since
then, Roy has continued to lead the creation and execution of the overall professional-grade product roadmap.
Ashok brings over a decade of experience in augmented reality technology as well as a strong foundation in computer engineering to the DAQRI team. Throughout his career he has held a variety of management leadership roles in software engineering, business, and product management for notable industry leaders including Hughes Software Systems, and, most recently, Qualcomm Incorporated, as Director of Product Management. In this role, he co-founded and led the development of five generations of Vuforia – an AR platform for mobile devices that grew into an ecosystem with over
200,000 developers and 20,000 applications. During his tenure, Ashok assisted in the sale of Vuforia to PTC in late 2015.
Ashok has several patent applications in the AR space and one granted patent. He holds a BE(Hons) in Electrical Engineering from BITS, Pilani (India), an MS in Computer Engineering from the University of Cincinnati, and an MBA from Cornell University.
Dr. Michl Binderbauer is the architect of research and development of TAE Technologies and is a co-inventor of many of the company’s technological advancements.
Dr. Binderbauer has dedicated the past two decades to evolving the knowledge and technology of TAE. He is an expert in reactor kinetics, equilibrium, and stability of advanced beam-driven Field-Reversed Configurations and aneutronic fusion systems. Recently, he has focused on reactor physics, engineering and enabling technologies, and a wide array of applications of the core TAE technologies — from medicine to isotope production and chemical processing. He holds more than 40 issued and pending U.S. patents and numerous international technology patents, and he has authored or co-authored many peer-reviewed publications in the areas of plasma physics and fusion. Dr. Binderbauer holds a Ph.D. in physics from the University of California, Irvine.”
Larry W. Sonsini has gained international recognition for his expertise in the areas of corporate law, corporate governance, securities, and mergers and acquisitions. He has been instrumental in many of the financings, IPOs, mergers, acquisitions, and other key transactions of Silicon Valley and beyond.
In addition to his duties at the firm, which included serving as chief executive officer as well as chairman for more than 35 years, Larry served as chairman of the New York Stock Exchange’s Commission on Corporate Governance, which was formed in 2009 and issued its final report in fall 2010. Larry is also a member of the NYSE’s Proxy Working Group and served as a member of the NYSE’s board of directors from 2001 to 2003. He also served as chairman of the NYSE’s Regulation, Enforcement and Listing Standards Committee until 2008, and previously was a member of the NYSE’s Legal Advisory Committee and the NYSE Committee for Review.
Larry has served on a number of advisory boards and committees, including: SEC’s Advisory Committee on Capital Formation and Regulatory Processes; ABA Committee on Federal Regulation of Securities; and Legal Advisory Board of NASD, Inc. Additionally, he is a member of the board of trustees and a founding fellow of the American College of Governance Counsel.
In 1999, Larry was selected as a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is a trustee of Santa Clara University (SCU). Larry was recently chosen as the honorary chair of SCU’s High Technology Law Institute, and is a Foreign Policy Association Fellow. He was formerly a trustee at the University of California, Berkeley (1990-1996), and has served on the Board of Advisors, Technical Law Journal at Boalt Hall. He has taught at Stanford Law School and at Berkeley School of Law.
Alex Barinka is Bloomberg’s San Francisco-based deals reporter covering technology mergers and acquisitions and U.S. initial public offerings across all industries. She has broken some of the biggest news on the beat, including the details on the multi-billion dollar IPOs of Snap and Dropbox, as well as Dell Technologies’ considerations to once again become a public company.
Her written work appears on the Bloomberg Terminal, Bloomberg.com and Bloomberg Businessweek. Alex has interviewed prominent players in tech and finance on Bloomberg TV and Radio, from Dropbox’s CEO Drew Houston and Blue Apron’s co-founder Matt Salzberg to Goldman Sachs’ investment banking division co-head Gregg Lemkau and Sequoia partner Bryan Schreier.
Prior to covering deals, Alex was Bloomberg’s New York-based technology reporter and broke news on topics including IBM’s aggressive buybacks and firing practices, and Etsy’s opaque overseas tax structure. Alex attended UNC-Chapel Hill, where she studied business journalism and art history.
Bill Gross founded Idealab in March 1996. Bill is a lifelong entrepreneur, starting his first solar business in high school. After graduating from California Institute of Technology, Mr. Gross started GNP Development, Inc., which made a natural language product for Lotus 1-2-3 called HAL. In 1985, Lotus Development Corporation acquired GNP. In 1991, Mr. Gross started Knowledge Adventure, an educational software publisher that was eventually sold to Havas/Vivendi. Bill serves on the boards of directors of numerous companies and is also a member of the Board of Trustees of California Institute of Technology and the Art Center College of Design. Mr. Gross received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from California Institute of Technology.
Known for his contributions to the theory of spiking networks, in 2005 Dr. Izhikevich implemented the world’s largest thalamo-cortical model. It simulated one hundred billion neurons and one quadrillion synapses – the same number as the human brain. In addition, Dr. Izhikevich was a senior fellow in Theoretical Neurobiology at the San Diego-based Neurosciences Institute and is the founder of Scholarpedia, a free, peer-reviewed encyclopedia.
Dr. Dahiyat has been Xencor’s president and chief executive officer since the Company’s incorporation in August 1997, and is the co-founder of Xencor, and co-inventor of Xencor’s breakthrough XmAb® technology. He has led the Company in raising over $700 million in public and private financing, creating a diverse portfolio of monoclonal antibody clinical programs for the treatment of life-threatening and debilitating diseases, and establishing alliances with leading biopharmaceutical companies that generated over $200 million in upfront payments. Dr. Dahiyat holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Caltech and B.S. and M.S.E. degrees in Biomedical Engineering from the Johns Hopkins University. He has co-authored numerous scientific papers in the fields of protein design and drug delivery, is an inventor of over 30 US and numerous foreign patents, and has received scientific awards from the American Chemical Society, the Controlled Release Society, the Protein Society and Caltech.
Thomas Gewecke serves as Chief Digital Officer and Executive Vice President, Strategy and Business Development, with responsibility for driving the Studio’s worldwide digital growth, managing its global business strategy, including its M&A and investing activities, and leading its worldwide technology efforts. Gewecke is charged with oversight and coordination of the Studio’s various digital strategies to maximize the value of Warner Bros.’ content across all current and emerging digital exhibition platforms. Additionally, he oversees the Studio’s Corporate Business Development and Strategy, Technology, Content Protection and Anti-Piracy groups.
Prior to his current role, Gewecke served as President of Warner Bros. Digital Distribution, a position he had held since January 2008. Gewecke joined WBDD from Sony BMG Music Entertainment, where as Executive Vice President, Global Digital Business he was responsible for worldwide digital business development efforts and oversaw the creation of new digital ventures. Prior to Sony BMG, Gewecke was Senior Vice President of Business Development in the Digital Services Group for Sony Music Entertainment, Inc, where founded and led its mobile business. Gewecke also held the position of Publisher of the PC World Online Network at International Data Group, a leading publisher of print and online technology magazines.
Gewecke graduated from Harvard College in 1991 with a bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, in social studies.
Rich currently serves as Executive Chairman and Co-founder of Metacrine Inc., a biotech startup company developing new therapeutics for the treatment of diabetes and fatty liver diseases. Previously, he was the co-founder and CEO of Aragon and Seragon Pharmaceuticals; two San Diego biotech companies focused on discovering and developing next generation therapeutics for hormone dependent cancers. Johnson & Johnson purchased Aragon in 2013 and Genentech/Roche purchased Seragon in 2014. Following his post-doctoral training at the Salk Institute, he joined and held various roles at Ligand Pharmaceuticals, including Vice President of Research
Dr. Heyman is also actively involved in ORIC Pharmaceuticals, an oncology based biotech company where he serves as a BOD member and is currently serving as interim CEO. He is also on the BOD of Gritstone Oncology, Yumanity Therapeutics, Vividion Therapeutics and was a Board member of Receptos Inc. (recently sold to Celgene). Dr. Heyman serves as Vice Chair on the Board of Trustees of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, Board Foundation for the AACR and both the Executive Committee and Board of Visitors at the UCSD Moores Cancer Center. Dr. Heyman received a PhD in pharmacology and a BS in chemistry. He is the author or inventor on more than 120 publications and patents.
Greer’s research focuses on creating and characterizing classes of materials with multiscale microstructural hierarchy, that utilize the combination of three-dimensional (3D) architectures with nanoscale-induced material properties. These nano-architected metamaterials not only provide a rich “playground” for fundamental science but also have the potential to enable new technological advances in biomedical devices, nanophotonics, energy storage, lightweight structural materials, 3D logic circuits, and smart multifunctional materials. Greer is a full professor (Ruben and Donna Mettler Chair effective July 2019) at Caltech with appointments in Materials Science, Mechanical Engineering, and Medical Engineering.
Greer has over 140 publications and has delivered over 100 invited lectures. She was named a Vannevar-Bush Faculty Fellow by US Department of Defense (2016) and CNN’s 20/20 Visionary (2016). Her work was recognized as a Top-10 Breakthrough Technology by MIT’s Technology Review (2015). Greer was named as one of “100 Most Creative People” by Fast Company and a Young Global Leader by World Economic Forum (2014) and received multiple career awards: Kavli (2014), Nano Letters, SES, and TMS (2013); NASA, ASME (2012), Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Award (2012), DOE (2011), DARPA (2009), and Technology Review’s TR-35, (2008).
Marcie Jastrow is an industry veteran with over 20 years in the Entertainment business. Currently the SVP of Immersive Media at Technicolor, as well as the Head of the Technicolor Experience Center (TEC), Marcie is dedicated to bringing artists, technologists, and partners together to build the future of immersive media. Since the opening of the TEC in July, 2016, Marcie has consulted on many immersive projects and has provided her insights in dozens of interviews, published articles, and speaking engagements. Focused on igniting VR, AR, and beyond, Marcie sits on several boards including the Interactive Emmys, Periscope, and BAFTA. In 2018, she was honored with the Advanced Imaging Society’s ‘Distinguished Leadership Award’, which recognizes creative, productive and forward-thinking efforts in visual technology and emerging content. Prior to her current role, Marcie was responsible for growing Technicolor’s post production sales pipeline as SVP of Sales. Before joining Technicolor, she served as EVP of Sales at Laser Pacific, which Technicolor acquired in 2011, as well as SVP of Sales at Modern Video Film for over eight years.
Thomas Vu has designed and produced beloved and iconic experiences such as The Sims, SimCity, and League of Legends. He is currently leading Creative and Franchise Development at Riot Games where he and his team are developing deep, engrossing characters and universes. He believes in a future where games, streaming, and traditional media are converging and will be seamlessly interchangeable for audiences. Thomas studied bioengineering and neuroscience in a past life. He currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Rebecca, and daughters, Lauren and Katherine.
Peter Beck is the founder and CEO of Rocket Lab, an orbital launch company revolutionizing access to space for small satellites. Peter has grown Rocket Lab to become a globally recognized industry leader in space.
Peter led a team of engineers to develop the ĀTEA-1 rocket in 2009, a launch that saw Rocket Lab become the first private company in the Southern Hemisphere to reach space. In 2013 Peter established the Electron orbital launch program to develop the world’s first fully carbon-composite launch vehicle, powered by the world’s first 3D printed, electric turbopump-fed rocket engine.
Peter played an instrumental role in establishing international treaties and legislation, which enabled orbital launch capability from New Zealand. He also oversaw the development of the first and only private orbital launch range on the globe, located on New Zealand’s Mahia Peninsula.
Today, Peter has built a billion dollar company and leads a 200-strong team comprised of world class engineers and technicians across New Zealand and the United States. With its first successful orbital launch completed in January 2018 and many more to follow, Rocket Lab is driving the small satellite launch revolution.