Patrick Muhire is the cofounder of VugaPay. VugaPay is a payment gateway connecting mobile money telecoms online on one platform promoting a cashless economy across emerging markets. Patrick is a serial entrepreneur in Rwanda, having had previous success starting Rwanda TV, an Android app allowing anyone worldwide to stream Live Rwandan TV channels.
Stephan Morais is an Executive Board Member at Caixa Capital, the Private Equity and Venture Capital fund management company of Caixa Geral de Depósitos with 700 Million Euros under management, where he leads Venture Capital and co-leads Private Equity investments. With a diversified background as an investment banker, consultant, entrepreneur and CEO, he has lived in 8 countries and 4 continents over the last 18 years. He is a non-Executive Director and Advisor to numerous innovative companies and member of Investment Committees of several VC and PE funds. He is also the current Chairman of the European Venture Fund Investors Network, which gathers 24bn Euros from several major European fund managers, Council Member of the European Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (VC Council), and Council Member of International Venture Network, that gathers over 50 European Venture Capital firms.
Vasco Pedro is the Founder and CEO of Unbabel. Unbabel develops state-of-the-art technology which has a direct impact in translation quality, selection of translators and predictive translation. Unbabel has received funding from numerous VC funds including Google Ventures, YC, and Caixa Capital.
Vasco comes on the show to talk about his experience in the early days founding his startup in Lisbon, the story of getting invited to join YC, and what we can expect from the Lisbon startup ecosystem over the next few years.
VentureSouth is an early stage investment firm that manages angel groups and funds across South Carolina and Western North Carolina. As one of the largest angel investment groups in the United States. Venture South develops and manages angel groups and funds comprised of more than 200 accredited investors across the Southeast. Charlie Banks is an experienced serial entrepreneur who has founded, run, and invested in multiple manufacturing, financial services, building science, and real estate companies in South Carolina. He was recently named to the "50 Most Influential People" and "20 under 40" lists in Columbia, SC.
The USC/Columbia Technology Incubator is a partnership between the University of South Carolina and Columbia, SC to foster innovation in the capital city of South Carolina. The incubator provides space, education, mentors, and a meaningful networking to entrepreneurs. A former entrepreneur is the music industry, Jack Beasley is the current Managing Director of the Incubator. Jack directs strategic planning and management of programs and is currently focused on the Incubator's accelerator program, FiredUp.
Greg Hilton is an active entrepreneur and has launched and worked with over 100 early stage ventures. He recently cofounded SOCO, the region’s first coworking community and is a Chief Opportunity Wrangler at Period Three an industry leading web design shop. Hilton’s professional experience includes management roles for EngenuitySC, a public/private partnership formed to grow Columbia’s knowledge economy; and New Carolina, South Carolina’s Council on Competitiveness. Greg was recognized in the State Newspaper’s “20 Under 40 2011” publication.
Tia Williams is the Founder of the Midlands Anchor. The Anchor is a web-based publication showcasing South Carolina's Midlands talent, events, philanthropy and development. The mission of the Anchor is to connect vibrant Midlands communities, spur engagement, and promote a collective voice that will ignite and transform the region.
Formerly the Finance Wales Technology Seed Fund manager, James Henderson was named as the fund manager of new investment consortium InspireWales in 2016. Inspire Wales consists of of 20 of Wales’ leading business people with the goal of backing ambitious start-ups and growth firms with growth finance through both equity and mentoring. James spent a large part of his career at Finance Wales, sourcing and executing a range of investments into Welsh businesses, and managing their £7.5m Technology Seed Fund. Finance Wales invests from £1,000 to £3 million at a time in SMEs based throughout Wales from a number of investment funds and can invest up to a total of £5 million in one SME.
Steve Dimmick is CEO and founder of Doopoll, a decision making platform that enables action from consensus. So far in 2016, Doopool has been named the Sir Michael Moritz Tech Startup of the Year, the highest honor given to a startup in Wales and was featured in Product Hunt. Steve joins the show talk about the Welsh Startup Community and his experience building a rapidly growing tech company in Cardiff.
Mark Kaplan, CEO of Alpha Loft has three decades of executive, venture capital, financial, and investment industry experience. He led the creation of the current Alpha Loft organization in New Hampshire through the combination of three separate entities. Alpha Loft works collaboratively with a strong NH startup network to support and provide resources to entrepreneurs launching and scaling innovation-based businesses. Mark is a strong supporter of the startup ecosystem in NH and serves on the Advisory Council of the NH Live Free & Start initiative, aimed at making the state an even better place to start and grow companies. As a member of the council he chairs the capital access subcommittee. Prior to moving to NH, Mark spent more than fifteen years working in entrepreneurial endeavors in the state of Maine. This included venture capital as a partner with CEI Ventures and as Chair of the Maine Venture Fund board. He’s been active in the roles of board member, advisor, mentor, investor, and executive.