An engaging panel with leading investors and venture capitalists to discuss the current investing landscape and what the entrepreneurs should be doing to raise funds in this challenging environment.
Kristina Serafim, Managing Director, Verizon Ventures
Kristina Serafim is a Managing Director at Verizon Ventures, focusing on early stage investments in data science, ML, AI, immersive technologies, enterprise SaaS and consumer mobile. Kristina joined Verizon Ventures from Verizon’s ML and AI product team where she led product management. Prior to Verizon, Kristina was a Managing Director at Intellectual Ventures, where she led investments in machine learning, AI, immersive media, and gaming technologies. Kristina’s entrepreneurial experience includes co-founding and leading two enterprise SaaS start-ups, from inception to acquisition by global Fortune 500 companies. Kristina also spent several years on the strategy, ventures and corporate development teams at IBM and at NAGRA. She has an electrical and mechanical engineering degree from Kettering University and an MBA from Harvard University.
Ken Denman, Venture Partner, Sway Ventures
Ken is currently a venture partner at Sway Ventures. He is an active board member for public companies including; Costco Wholesale, Mitek Systems, LendingClub and Motorola Solutions. Ken is the former President and CEO of Emotient, Inc., a company that developed software for automated facial expression measurement, and which was acquired by Apple, Inc. in January 2016. Prior to that he served as CEO for Openwave Systems Inc. and iPass, Inc. He has also held executive roles at Mediaone Group, Inc., US West Communications, and the Battelle Memorial Institute Laboratory. He formerly held board roles with ShoreTel, iPass, Openwave, and United Online. He has also served as the Director of the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association (CTIA).
Ken continues to support early stage venture backed companies as an advisor and board member. Ken was appointed to the Edward V. Fritzky Endowed Visiting Chair in Leadership at theUniversity of Washington’s Michael G. Foster School of Business in September 2012, is a member of the advisory board at the University of Washington’s Michael G. Foster School of Business, and sits on the board of directors at the University of Washington Foundation. He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Central Washington University and an MBA in finance and international business from the University of Washington.
Abhishek Shukla, Managing Director HPE Ventures
Abhishek leads the venture investments for HPE Pathfinder across the HPE Portfolio (including Aruba). Abhishek joined Pathfinder from GE Ventures where he was a Managing Director of software investing. His areas of focus at GE Ventures included IoT, cybersecurity, cloud+ edge computing and data analytics. Prior to GE Ventures, he was a part of Cisco’s Corporate Development and Ventures Investments team, leading venture investments and acquisition efforts for the $12B+ Services and Solutions portfolio. He also held multiple leadership positions in venture investing, M&A strategy and sales at Agilent, Sony, and SAP.
He has served on numerous boards while at GE Ventures and Cisco including IoTium, Portworx, ThetaRay, Alchemist, The Hive, Equalum, Morphisec, Xage, Verodin, Flashpoint and eSentire. Abhishek received his MBA from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, and a Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics from the Delhi College of Engineering, India. Abhishek is a certified scuba diver who has taken multiple dives with great white sharks.
Aniqa Hijazi, CFO/Angel Investor (Moderator)
Aniqa Hijazi is the CFO-Advisor of Ecwid, the leading e-commerce platform for SMBs. She is also the co-founder of TechCon SoCal, the catalyst for tech innovation and entrepreneurship in Southern California. Prior to joining Ecwid, Aniqa served in a variety of leadership positions at companies including Cisco, Ernst & Young and Morgan Stanley. She currently serves on multiple for-profit and non-profit boards, and is an advisor to many startups. She is a member of Tech Coast Angels, one of the largest and most active angel investment networks in the country.
Aniqa obtained her M.B.A. from San Jose State University, and is a Certified Public Accountant in the State of California.