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Renee LaBran is an Investor / Board Director
Renée LaBran is an active investor, advisor and board director with more than 25 years of operating, strategic and financial experience. She currently advises a number of early stage companies and serves on the boards of Sambazon, Inc, Idealab, and TomboyX. Additionally, she is Governor Brown’s appointee to the Board of the California State Bar as a non-attorney public member, and a faculty member at UCLA Anderson School of Business. Renée is also a co-founder of Women Founders Network, which provides access to capital, visibility and mentorship to female entrepreneurs. Renée was a founding partner of Rustic Canyon Partners, an early stage technology investment firm, and RC / Fontis, which focused on investments in businesses targeting underserved markets. Prior to the funds, Renée was an operating executive at the Los Angeles Times, where she was also co-founder and CEO of CareerPath (now CareerBuilder), and a management consultant with Monitor Company. Renée graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a degree in economics from UC Berkeley, and received her MBA with honors from the Harvard Business School.
Executive Director of Base 11
Ingrid serves as the Executive Director of Base 11. She previously held the position of Senior Vice President of Programs & Partnerships for the organization from 2016 to 2019. A longtime education advocate, Ingrid’s experience includes 30 years in the K-16 education market in key roles ranging from business development to operations, marketing to strategic planning, and management to leadership development. Prior to joining Base 11, she served as a C-suite executive at successful and innovative education and education technology firms in the public, private and non-profit sectors including start-ups, mid sized, and large for-profit corporations. Her guiding principle has always been to provide equity and access to quality programs to ensure that all students can achieve high standards. Ingrid serves on the National Board of the NAACP Foundation and the Orange Country Excellent Public Schools Advisory Board.
Partner and Managing Director + Diversity & Inclusion Lead at BCG
Danny Acosta, currently Partner and Managing Director with the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), has built a career that brings together global public and private sector experience, working on policy and strategic growth initiatives, and organizational transformations, with corporate and government leaders across a range of industries. Now based in his hometown of Los Angeles, Danny has worked heavily in industries ranging from Media & Entertainment to Infrastructure and Economic Development. Building on his background in international development – and having worked across the U.S., Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, Middle East, and Southeast Asia – Danny also works with BCG’s Social Impact and Global Advantage Practices, helping companies and governments bridge the gaps between developing and developed markets.
Born and raised in Southeast Los Angeles, Danny was fortunate to be one of those “first in the family” to go to college, building on the support and mentorship of many along the way. He carries that privilege forward by investing actively to create additional opportunity for an inclusive US community and economy. He is the co-lead of BCG’s Black+Latinx network, which brings together both Black/African-American and Hispanic/Latino colleagues; he has actively supported the activities and mission of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, where he serves as a Board Member; he is a Board member of the Univision Foundation and the Latino Donor Collaborative.
Prior to his work with BCG, Danny served as a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of State, spending time as an Economics Officer in Washington, D.C. and overseas. He earned his Juris Doctorate and Master’s in Business Administration, both with honors, from Georgetown University. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Political Science, with honors, at Yale, and has participated in programs at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School and Oxford University.
Senior Vice President and General Manager of Stage 13
Diana Mogollón is a senior entertainment executive who has impacted and fueled critically-acclaimed, award-winning, multi-platform content. A leader in creating cross-cultural, tastemaker audiences for studios, networks and talent, she is the Senior Vice President and General Manager of Stage 13, a distinctive brand in the Warner Bros. Digital Networks Group. With a curated team of creative executives, Stage 13 is the leader in creating award-winning premium scripted and unscripted programming for highly-coveted, multi-dimensional audiences.
Focusing on fearless original digital storytelling, Stage 13 showcases a new generation of talent and fresh creative voices, creating dynamic and unapologetic scripted and unscripted series, features and short-form content. Mogollón helped develop and incubate the brand, transitioning to Stage 13 after serving in Business Strategy and Development at the Warner Bros. Television Group, where she led a core business team as part of broader strategic initiatives for Warner Bros. Entertainment.
Previously, she served as a corporate executive at NBCUniversal as Executive Vice President and General Manager for the award-winning mun2 cable network, the leading lifestyle entertainment cable network targeting Latino millenials. In this capacity, she was responsible for developing and executing overall operational and P&L leadership for the business. She spearheaded the brand’s unparalleled growth strategy across all business units, providing astute leadership within the Telemundo, NBCUniversal, and Comcast divisional portfolio, yielding major achievements with all stakeholders.
Mogollón has been recognized as an one of the “Industry Leaders, Top Women in Digital” by Cynopsis, a “Woman of Impact” by Variety Magazine, one of the “Most Powerful Women in Cable” by CableFAX magazine, a “Wonder Woman to Watch” by Multichannel News, one of the “Most Influential Minorities in Cable” by CableFAX magazine, one of the “Most Powerful and Influential Latinos in Entertainment” by the Imagen Foundation, a “Top Woman in Music & Entertainment” by Billboard Magazine and a CableFAX Diversity Award nominee.
CEO & Co-Founder, Women Founders Network
General Partner at Fika Ventures
Eva is a General Partner at Fika Ventures, an early stage technology fund investing in companies that leverage the power of data as a core component of their business model. Prior to Fika, Eva was a founding GP at Susa Ventures. She is a serial entrepreneur and founder, with a company experience portfolio including Applied Semantics (AdSense), Factual, Google, Youtube and Navigating Cancer. She also serves on the board of California Community Foundation and is a founding member of All Raise, an organization committed to diversity in venture funders and founders. She was recently the Entrepreneur-in-Residence for the city of Los Angeles working with Mayor Eric Garcetti and his team. Eva holds an MBA from Cornell and a BA from Harvard.
Professor of Higher Education in the Graduate School of Education & Information Studies at UCLA
Linda J. Sax is Professor of Higher Education in the Graduate School of Education & Information Studies at UCLA. She received her B.A. degree (1990) in political economy from UC Berkeley, and her M.A. (1991) and Ph.D. (1994) degrees in higher education from UCLA. For over a decade, Dr. Sax served as director of the Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP) and Associate Director of the Higher Education Research Institute (HERI) at UCLA, where she oversaw nationwide surveys of college students and faculty.
Dr. Sax’s research focuses on gender differences in college student development, with an emphasis on women in STEM fields. Dr. Sax has generated over $5 million in research funding and is currently Principal Investigator for BRAID Research, a national, longitudinal study of gender and racial/ethnic diversity in undergraduate computer science that has received funding from the National Science Foundation, AnitaB.org, the Computing Research Association, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Intel, Qualcomm, and Pivotal Ventures, Executive Office of Melinda Gates.
Dr. Sax was selected as a 2007-2008 Fellow for the Sudikoff Family Institute for Education & New Media. She is also the recipient of the 2005 Scholar-in-Residence Award from the American Association of University Women and the 1999 Early Career Award from the Association for the Study of Higher Education.
Dr. Sax has authored over 100 publications including The Gender Gap in College: Maximizing the Developmental Potential of Women and Men, as well as several book chapters, monographs, and articles in journals such as Research in Higher Education, The Review of Higher Education, The Journal of Higher Education, The Journal of College Student Development, and The Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering. She has served on the Editorial Boards for The Review of Higher Education and Research in Higher Education and is a Trustee of Mount Saint Mary’s University in Los Angeles.
McGregor-Girand Associate Professor of computer science at Harvey Mudd College
Colleen Lewis is the McGregor-Girand Associate Professor of computer science at Harvey Mudd College. At UC Berkeley, Lewis completed a PhD in science and mathematics education, an MS in computer science, and a BS in electrical engineering and computer science. Her research seeks to identify effective teaching practices for creating equitable learning spaces where all students have the opportunity to learn. Lewis curates CSTeachingTips.org, a NSF-sponsored project for disseminating effective computer science teaching practices.
Board Partner at Upfront and co-founder and former Chairman of MoviePass
Hamet Watt is a Board Partner at Upfront. He is also co-founder and former Chairman of MoviePass, a subscription service for movies in theaters, and co-founder and former Chairman of bLife, a wellness innovation company acquired by Canary Health.
Previously, Hamet was an EIR at True Ventures, after exiting another company that he founded called NextMedium (acquired by Brand Affinity Technologies). Prior to NextMedium, Hamet advised Nielsen Media Research in the development of the first product placement measurement service for network and cable TV. Hamet was also a General Partner in the New Africa Opportunity Fund, the first US-backed venture fund investing in post-apartheid South Africa. Hamet received a BS from Florida A&M.
President of Harvey Mudd College
Maria Klawe began her tenure as Harvey Mudd College’s fifth president in 2006. Prior to joining HMC, she served as dean of engineering and professor of computer science at Princeton University. Klawe joined Princeton from the University of British Columbia where she served in various roles from 1988 to 2002. Prior to UBC, Klawe spent eight years with IBM Research in California and two years at the University of Toronto. She received her Ph.D. (1977) and B.Sc. (1973) in mathematics from the University of Alberta. Klawe is a board member of the Alliance for Southern California Innovation, the nonprofit Math for America, the chair of the board of the nonprofit EdReports.org, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and a trustee for the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley. She is the recipient of the 2014 Women of Vision ABIE Award for Leadership and the 2017 Academic Leadership Award from the Carnegie Corporation of New York.
Professor of Computer Science at Cal State Monterey Bay and Hartnell College
Computer Science Professor Sathya Narayanan is passionate about building actionable pathways that enable students from low-income communities to earn a quality computer science education and compete for opportunities in the tech industry. This passion has led him to develop a cohort-based model at his home institutions of Cal State Monterey Bay and Hartnell College, which has resulted in significant increases in retention, transfer, graduation, and job placement for URM students.
This work has been recognized with a $5M award for innovation in higher education from the state of CA, as well as multiple National Science Foundation grants including a $5M award to replicate the model at Cal State Dominguez Hills and El Camino College in LA. A paper describing the model, “Upward Mobility for Underrepresented Students: A Model for a Cohort-Based Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science” won a best paper award at SIGCSE 2018 and has been nominated for the SIGCSE Top Ten Symposium Papers of All Time award.
Sathya received his Master’s in Computer Applications from the College of Engineering, Guindy, India, in 1994, his M.S. in Computer Science from Temple University, Philadelphia, in 1998, and his Ph.D. in Computer Science from NYU-Polytechnic University, Brooklyn, NY, in 2006.
Partner, Lightspeed Ventures
I don’t want to just invest in the bubble of Silicon Valley. I want to listen to the core customer, and keep my eyes and ears open to new ideas.
Whether it’s discovering tomorrow’s platforms, marketplaces, media or ecommerce companies, the founder insight and company brand are core in Nicole’s mind. She began working with brands in the mid 2000s, specializing in consumer behavior; the retail landscape, both in the US and Europe; and taking brands to the public market.
When she previously worked on branding and marketing at Nutmeg, a London based fintech startup focused on online wealth management for millennials, Nicole experienced the importance of grit and focus for the founding team.
“Hard work, determination, and grit set apart the good from the great,” she says. “I want to work with founders who are willing to run through walls.”
Nicole was introduced to this mindset at an early age, by helping her father build an online pharmacy startup in the ‘90s. It was here that she first learned how hard startups can be.
When she’s not working one-on-one with founders, she’s researching potential investments, even if they take her on road trips to the middle of the country to meet the customer. “I don’t want to just invest in the bubble of Silicon Valley,” she says. “I want to listen to the core customer, and keep my eyes and ears open to new ideas.”
It’s one of the reasons she became involved in Planet of the Apps, the Apple-produced series that gives app developers a chance to receive funding from Lightspeed. “Getting into the mindset of the 99% is so important,” she says.
After earning a BSc in math and economics from York University, in England, and an MBA from Stanford, Nicole spent eight years on the equity sales and research side of Morgan Stanley. There, she worked on the IPOs for companies like Facebook, Groupon, and Pandora, which inspired her to become an angel investor and, later, a startup cofounder herself.
“All of this gave me an understanding of what exceptional founders look and act like,” she says. “They’re on a journey and I want to provide the support (in good and bad times), insight, empathy, and peripheral vision along that path.” Nicole is happiest when helping others realize their full potential and then amplifying it when needed
Chief Diversity Officer at the ArtCenter College of Design
Dr. Aaron Bruce, serves as the Chief Diversity Officer and Vice President at ArtCenter College of Design where he focuses on campus-wide multicultural understanding, social justice, and strategies related to diversity, equity and inclusion. In addition to developing ways of improving campus climate, Dr. Bruce helps strengthen the college’s connection to diverse local and global communities and organizations. His experience in the advertising and marketing affords him with the creative energy to promote diversity and inclusion in a variety of ways. He presently is a member of the National Association for Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE), and former President of the Southern California Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (SCADOHE). He is an International Multicultural Institute certified diversity trainer and consultant who has facilitated numerous professional development seminars in the U.S. and abroad.
Prior to joining ArtCenter Dr. Bruce served as the CDO at San Diego State University for over a decade. Helped the university earn the ranking of one of the nation’s top 5 campuses for study abroad. His strategic leadership efforts helped SDSU to significantly close the achievement gap for historically underrepresented students.
Dr. Bruce has held management positions in Latin America and Africa. His passion for global understanding has afforded him with opportunities to conduct research on management strategies, public health and education in Cuba, Mexico, and Kenya. As an advocate for inclusive curriculum design Dr. Bruce created an annual faculty led study abroad course in the Dominican Republic that made global education accessible to numerous first generation college students.
Originally from Princeton, New Jersey Dr. Bruce holds a BA degree from Michigan State University, where he majored in Economics and Political Science, and earned a certificate in Latin American and Caribbean Studies. He holds a Master’s degree in International Business Administration from U.S. International University. Dr. Bruce completed his Ph.D. in Education from the joint Rhode Island College and University of Rhode Island Doctoral Program in Education. He is the first African American male to hold such a distinction. He is a former participant in Global Education “Think Tank” at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education. He volunteers for numerous organizations and serves on several boards. He is a lifetime member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. He lives by the motto “Awaken the sleep, empower the weak, and guide the strong”.
Susan is responsible for building, scaling and elevating BlackLine’s global talent practices and programs as the company continues to expand and add employees around the world.
Susan came to BlackLine with more than 20 years of experience building and leading successful human resources organizations at mid-size and large companies across multiple industries. She most recently was Chief Human Resources Officer at digital automotive marketplace TrueCar. Prior to that, she spent four years as Chief People Officer at ModCloth, a San Francisco-based online retailer of women’s apparel. Previously, Susan held senior human resource leadership positions with Electronic Arts and Medtronic.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Marketing and Management from Saint Mary’s University and a Master of Arts degree in Human Resources and Industrial Relations from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management.
Therese founded BlackLine in 2001. She designed the first offerings of BlackLine’s products, engineered its transition to the cloud in 2007, and has led the organization in automating the financial close process via the company’s flagship Finance Controls and Automation Platform. Under her direction, BlackLine has experienced strong growth since its inception.
Previously, Therese served as Chief Technology Officer for SunGard Treasury Systems. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and Mathematics from the University of Illinois.
Author and Former VP, Communications at Google
Jessica Powell is the author of The Big Disruption: A Totally Fictional but Essentially True Silicon Valley Story. The first novel ever published by the digital platform Medium, The Big Disruption has surpassed over 100,000 readers and was described by The New York Times as “a zany satire [whose] diagnosis of Silicon Valley’s cultural stagnancy is so spot on that it’s barely contestable.”
Until recently, Jessica was Google’s Vice President of Communications and served on the company’s management team. She is the author of Literary Paris, and her fiction and non-fiction has been published in The Guardian, the New York Times, Time, WIRED, and the Medium magazine. She is also the co-founder and CEO of an early-stage start-up that builds software for musicians.
Global Director of Diversity, Equity and Workplace Culture at Tala
Bonnie is one of the founding team members at Tala, and is currently the Global Director of Diversity, Equity and Workplace Culture at Tala. In this role she acts as a strategic consultant to Tala’s business leaders and People team focused on attracting, retaining and developing talent that reflects the company’s D&E values and promoting an inclusive environment where employees at all levels can perform their best. Previously, as Global Operations Director she has worked on a variety of projects to ensure that the wheels are always turning at the company. From people operations and culture to finance, compliance and investor relations, her role continues to evolve as the company evolves. Prior to working at Tala, Bonnie worked as a Bilingual Business Specialist for Empowerment Group, an SBA Women’s Business Center in Philadelphia, as a Program Manager for the NYC Department of Small Businesses Services and a Grants Manager at Good/Corps. Bonnie received a BA in Government from Wesleyan University and an MPA at NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. She is a StartingBloc Fellow and an Echoing Green Fellow. She serves on the Board of Trustees at De La Salle Academy in New York City and is a member of the Equity and Inclusion committee on Alumni Council at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts.
Arjen Mackaaij, SVP of People at FabFitFun
Originally from the Netherlands, Arjen is a business leader, people geek, and strengths-based coach, with 12+ years of experience in leading HR strategy and people functions. As the first SVP of People for FabFitFun, a fast-growing lifestyle company based in LA, Arjen oversees the end-to-end employee experience and people operations. As a member of their senior executive team, his mission is to further develop a unique employee experience that engages people to be their best fab self as the company scales, while retaining the foundational elements that have made the company so successful. In 2018 FabFitFun earned a Timmy Award for excellence in diversity. Prior to FabFitFun, Arjen was the People and Operations Director for BCG Digital Ventures, a corporate investment and incubation firm in Manhattan Beach, overseeing the people operations for their North America region. At BCG DV Arjen helped to build their diversity initiatives, inspired by their core company value to “Seek Difference”. Previous experience includes HR roles at LG Electronics and strategic advisory roles at the Boston Consulting Group. Arjen is driven by his passion for inclusion (his number one Clifton Strength is “Includer”) and empowering everyone to contribute to the best of their abilities.
Liji Thomas, CPA, CIA, CRMA, SHRM-CP
Head of Diversity & Inclusion, Southern California Edison
Liji began her career lobbying on Capitol Hill for an increase in housing for low income women and children. In 2005, Liji joined Countrywide as a Project Manager and quickly rose through the ranks to become Assistant Vice President of Compliance and Risk Management. In this role, she oversaw compliance and risk assessment in Countrywide’s offshore operations and authored Countrywide’s Model for Offshore Compliance, a cross functional, global, risk-based approach to the company’s compliance efforts. In 2008, Liji joined the Internal Audit Department of Southwest Airlines. During her time in Internal Audit, Liji led the company’s first Capitalization of Labor Audit and published an article advancing thought leadership in the space in the 2010 issue of Internal Auditor magazine. She then assumed a role as Manager of Business Strategy, implementing new business initiatives impacting over 3,600 individuals. These initiatives included strategies to increase revenue, improve customer experience and realize process efficiencies. In the first six months of 2012, Liji impacted revenue generation in excess of $40 million. In late 2012, Liji Thomas was shoulder-tapped to help build diversity and inclusion efforts for Southwest Airlines. In this role, she informed all aspects of diversity and inclusion for the nations’ largest domestic airline and helped align Southwest Airlines culture with an award-winning diversity and inclusion strategy. After consulting with several Fortune 500 clients, Liji now leads the diversity and inclusion journey at Southern California Edison, a Fortune 250 company at the forefront of creating the clean energy future.
Liji is married and is the proud mom of two girls. In her spare time, Liji contributes to various charitable and civic causes. She is a Former Jesuit Volunteer and a 1998 graduate of Vanderbilt University. She has an MBA in Finance, a Master’s degree in Accounting and a Master’s degree in Information Technology Management and Consulting and holds CPA, CIA, CRMA and SHRMCP designations. She was chosen to deliver her graduate school commencement address and is a graduate of the Leadership Dallas Class of 2017.
Founder & Managing Partner of The 22 Fund
Ms. Gray is the Founder & Managing Partner of The 22 Fund, an impact, growth firm with a mission to great the quality jobs of the future by increasing the export capacity of Southern California manufacturing companies, targeting women- and minority-owned businesses. She is also an Executive in Residence at the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) and chairs LACI’s Diversity in Entrepreneurship Advisory Council.
In addition, Ms. Gray is the founder of the non-profit We Are Enough (WAE). WAE’s only mission is to educate ALL women on how and why to invest in women-owned, for-profit businesses or with a “gender lens.” WAE recently released the study Creating LAIA:The Feasibility of a Women-Focused Incubator and Accelerator in Los Angeles. Ms. Gray was named one of the 50 “Women of Influence” in business in Los Angeles and is featured in the recently released book “200 Hundred Women: Who Will Change the Way You See the World”.
Soha El-Sabaawi, Manager, Diversity & Inclusion at Riot Games
Soha El-Sabaawi leads diversity and inclusion at Riot Games, creator of League of Legends. She also sits on the Board of Directors of a non-profit in Toronto, Canada called Dames Making Games, where people of diverse genders learn how to make independent games using open source tools.
Formerly, she was a video game critic and community organizer with a focus on gender and race, reflecting on her own experiences as a Palestinian-Iraqi immigrant.
For fun, Soha loves creative writing, experimental game design, cats, and of course, playing video games.
Anthony Mays, Software Engineer at Google
Anthony is a software engineer at Google. Raised in Compton as a foster kid after suffering physical and sexual abuse, he taught himself how to program computers at age 8 and started his career as an INROADS intern.
Perhaps best known for the short BuzzFeed documentary about his journey from Compton to Google, he is a frequent public speaker at schools and other student organizations. He was awarded the 2016 INROADS Trendsetter Award for his work promoting diversity in tech.
Anthony graduated from the University of California, Irvine with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. His GPA was horrible, so don’t ask.
Eva is a General Partner at Fika Ventures, an early stage technology fund investing in companies that leverage the power of data as a core component of their business model. Prior to Fika, Eva was a founding GP at Susa Ventures. She is a serial entrepreneur and founder, with a company experience portfolio including Applied Semantics (AdSense), Factual, Google, Youtube and Navigating Cancer. She also serves on the board of California Community Foundation. She was recently the Entrepreneur-in-Residence for the city of Los Angeles working with Mayor Eric Garcetti and his team. Eva holds an MBA from Cornell and a BA from Harvard.
Founder & CEO, Cornerstone OnDemand
Adam Miller is the founder and CEO of Cornerstone OnDemand (NASDAQ: CSOD). He started the company in 1999 from his one bedroom apartment to help people around the world to realize their potential. Today Cornerstone is one of the world’s largest cloud computing companies, with over 37 million users across 192 countries. Mr. Miller is also an active social entrepreneur. He is the chairman of Team Rubicon and the Cornerstone OnDemand Foundation, serves on FARE’s executive board and is a current director of IKAR in Los Angeles. He is a frequent speaker and writer on entrepreneurship, philanthropy, technology and talent management. Mr. Miller holds a BA from the University of Pennsylvania, a BS from its Wharton School of Business, a JD from the UCLA School of Law, an MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School of Business, and has both CPA and Series 7 certifications.
Founder and Managing Director of March Capital Partners
Jamie Montgomery is a Founder and Managing Director of March Capital Partners. Prior he was the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Montgomery & Co, a well-known Los Angeles-based investment bank where he advised and financed hundreds of leading technology companies over a 25 year period. He is the founder of The Montgomery Summit, an annual conference that attracts over 1,000 global entrepreneurs, investors, and corporate executives to Santa Monica. Jamie currently serves on the Board of Directors of Descartes Labs and Foghorn and is a Board Observer at Crowdstrike, Forter and Earnin. Jamie has also had two successful exits at March Capital – the IPO of RUBI and the sale of Telesign to BICS. Jamie focuses on identifying disruptive technology companies and providing capital at a critical inflection point.
In addition to serving on the Advisory Board of the Rady School of Business at the University of California, San Diego, he actively supports programs for innovation and entrepreneurship at the University of California, San Diego, Claremont McKenna College, USC and Chapman University. Jamie received his M.A. in Economics from the University of Cambridge, and a B.A. from the University of California, San Diego.
Founder and Managing Partner of Strategic Law Partners, LLP and of SLP Ventures
Brad Schwartz is the Founder and Managing Partner of Strategic Law Partners, LLP and of SLP Ventures. He has extensive experience in corporate and securities law matters, mergers and acquisitions, and venture capital and other financing transactions having closed several hundred financing and acquisitions over his career ranging from a few million to a few billion in deal size. Brad formed Strategic Law Partners over 20 years ago with the purpose of providing the highest quality corporate legal services to emerging growth and mid-market companies at reasonable rates and has been an active participant and leader in the Los Angeles technology and emerging growth community in Los Angeles for over 20 years. Prior to the founding of Strategic Law Partners, Brad was a partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, LLP, one of the country’s leading law firms.
Managing Principal, OCV Partners and Co-Founder & CEO (former), j2 Global
Hemi Zucker is a Managing Principal of OCV Partners. OCV is a $260 Million Los Angeles-based venture fund that invests in, owns, and operates companies in the information technology, e-commerce, media & telecommunications & the life sciences sectors with the objective of creating sustainable long-term value.
Hemi joined OCV Partners in 2018 to replicate his success as the CEO of j2 Global that he co-founded in 1996 in New York City and moved it to LA in 1997. Under Hemi’s management j2 Global reached $4.5 Billion Market Cap, $1.25 Billion Annual Sales in over 50 countries. Hemi and j2 were super acquisitive and it’s M&A activity yield a record of 161 acquisitions during his 21 years.
Hemi is now bringing his M&A, operations and deal making experience to OCV Partners one of LA’s largest Venture Funds.
Editor, TechCrunch (moderator)
Jonathan is an editor at TechCrunch. Previously he worked as a senior reporter for Dow Jones & Co., covering venture capital and private equity investment from New York and Shanghai.
Founder & CEO
With more than 20 years of experience creating and leading technology businesses, Alex is Openpath’s CEO. Prior to creating Openpath, Alex co-founded EdgeCast Networks, a global content delivery network that sold to Verizon for $400M. After the sale of EdgeCast, Alex spent two years shaping the strategy of Verizon Digital Media Services. Alex also co-founded KnowledgeBase and HostPro, which were both acquired. Alex has received several awards during his career, including E&Y’s Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2014. Alex is an active investor in several venture capital funds and has served on boards of universities and private and public companies. He graduated from Tufts University and lives in Santa Monica with his wife and children.
J. Douglas Winter, also known as Doug, co-founded Seismic Software, Inc. and has been its Chief Executive Officer since June 2010. Douglas Winter served as Chief Financial Officer of Objectiva Software Solutions, Inc. He served as the Chief Operating Officer at EMC Document Sciences Corp. Douglas Winter served as the General Manager of Technical Operations at EMC Document Sciences Corp.
Prior to joining EMC Document Sciences Corp., Douglas Winter co-founded Objectiva Software Solutions, Inc. and served as its Chief Executive Officer. Previously, he served as General Manager of ONEWORLD Software Solutions California client service centers, establishing their west coast operations and also served as part of their global operations committee, responsible for formulating and executing strategic operations.
Douglas Winter also served as Program Manager for Qualcomms 3500 series of CDMA base stations and later was responsible for the product certification and testing of the QUALCOMM Thin Phone (QCP 860/1960). He served as Chairman of the Board of Objectiva Software Solutions, Inc. He serves as a Director of EMC Document Sciences Corp. and Objectiva Software Solutions, Inc. Following his undergraduate work, he worked for three years for Westinghouse where he was an instructor for the US Navy’s nuclear training program. Douglas Winter holds an MSEE and an MBA from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a BSEE from Virginia Technological University.
CBRE Divisional President, Southern California, Arizona and Hawaii
In this role, Mr. Horne leads the strategic direction and performance of the firm’s Advisory Services business, which includes Advisory & Transaction Services, Asset Services, Capital Markets, Local Project Management and Valuations.
Mr. Horne is passionate about collaboration and actively promotes the integration of multiple disciplines to ensure well-conceived, strategic solutions for complex client assignments. This passion led him to become an early adopter and champion for workplace transformation, including Workplace Strategy, Experience Consulting, Change Management and Occupancy Management. Mr.
Horne is an active and well-respected leader in the Los Angeles community, regularly lending his voice, experience, and time to help create meaningful solutions for a wide variety of business and social issues, including the complex challenges around homelessness.
Prior to his current role, Mr. Horne held a variety of leadership positions in the company, beginning as an industrial brokerage professional in 1984 and quickly growing to become one of the top 3% of brokerage professionals company-wide. He has successfully grown his career at CBRE for more than 30 years.
Professional Affiliations / Accreditations
-Co-Chair, Homelessness Initiative, Central City Association
-Manager Innovation Award (2010, 2013)
-Past Chairman, LAEDC (Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation)
-Current Board Member, LA Business Council
-Current Board Member, World Trade Corporation Los Angeles
-Current Board Member, Catholic Big Brothers Big Sisters
Founder & CEO, GumGum
Ophir Tanz is a serial entrepreneur, an enthusiastic woodworker and a recognized thought leader on the subjects of articial intelligence and computer vision. Tanz’s AI expertise was the driving force behind GumGum’s In-Image advertising platform, the rst and largest product of its kind. Under his leadership, GumGum has continued to revolutionize the digital media industry while expanding into the social media and sports marketing. Along the way, Tanz has served as a guest columnist for TechCrunch and earned the distinction of being named one of Goldman Sachs’ 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs of 2017.
Prior to founding GumGum in 2008, Tanz co-founded and sold two successful digital media companies: the mobile-media sharing platform Shozu.com and the award-winning interactive and branding agency Fluidesign. Tanz holds a B.S. and an M.S. from Carnegie Mellon University and currently lives in Los Angeles. In his free time, he enjoys surng, playing guitar and hitting the courts for a game of tennis or basketball.
Founder & CEO, Inspire
Patrick Maloney is the founder and chief executive officer of Inspire. A lifelong entrepreneur, Maloney has focused his career on disrupting the energy category. He founded Inspire to simplify consumer adoption of clean energy and smart home technologies. His mission is to drive massive progress towards a brighter energy future. Since launching in 2014, Inspire has prevented the equivalent of 1,190,747 metric tons of GHG.
Maloney was recently recognized as an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2018 in LA for Cleantech & Renewables, and earlier this year Inspire was named among the top 10 percent of the Inc. 5000, and recognized by Fast Company as a World Changing Idea.
Prior to Inspire, Patrick worked as a venture capitalist and served on the founding team of two energy ventures, which were collectively acquired for $190 million.
Principal, Upfront Ventures
Chang Xu is a Principal at Upfront Ventures, the oldest and largest early-stage venture capital firm based in Los Angeles. Upfront is currently investing out of its sixth fund of $400M and primarily leads Seed and Series A rounds.
Chang invests in technology that augments human potential. She is passionate about enabling humans to be what they aspire to be, breaking down artificial barriers, automating undesirable work, and creating original on-ramps. She tends to spend time in the future of work (HR tech, non-traditional education, early childhood), AI/ML (computer vision, robotics), and commerce tech (logistics, manufacturing, supply chain).
Previously, she was the first Product Manager at the Minerva Project, co-founded an ed-tech startup in China, and was a Consultant at The Boston Consulting Group. She received her MBA from the Harvard Business School and her AB in Applied Mathematics from Harvard University, with a minor in Computer Science.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.