After 10 years as senior manager in the Telecom & IT industry in Sweden and Norway, Thomas founded his own Ed-tech and e-learning company Edvantage group and ran it as CEO for 12 years. As one of Europe’s leading e-learning companies, it was sold to Lumesse in 2011. During the same period Thomas co-founded two Med Tech Companies and sold them in 2007 and 2014. Thomas has been investing in start-ups for more than 10 years and as Business Angel full time the last two years he holds a portfolio of fifteen companies. His latest project, Angel Challenge, is a hands-on program to empower private investors to co-invest into startups. He also runs a co-working space for Business Angles in Oslo called Oslo House of Innovation or OHOI’.
Marianne is the President and COO of Slush, the biggest technology and startup event in Europe and Asia. She studies Industrial Engineering and has been involved with Slush since 2012.
Slush is the focal point for startups and tech talent to meet with top-tier international investors, executives and media. In 2014, Slush brought together over 14.000 attendees and more than 3500 companies for the two-day event. More than 750 investors came to Helsinki to meet startups in nearly 3.800 pre-booked meetings. Next Slush will take place in Helsinki on November 11-12th, 2015.
Slush is a non-profit event organized by a community of entrepreneurs, investors, students and music festival organizers. Although Slush has grown from a 300-person event to become one of the leading events of its kind in the world, the philosophy behind it has remained the same: to help the next generation of great, world-conquering companies forward.
Meli James is the Head of New Ventures at Sultan Ventures, a boutique venture firm focused on early-stage startups, a Program Director at the award winning XLR8UH, a first of its kind venture accelerator formed in partnership with the University of Hawaii; and the President of the Hawaii Venture Capital Association. Prior to returning to her native Honolulu, Meli lived in Silicon Valley for over 10 years, where she co-founded and contributed to numerous start-ups in the Bay Area and Honolulu, including Nirvino – #1 ranked wine app, an Apple Platform Top 100 App, & Top Ten Lifestyles App. Meli is a founding member of the Startup Paradise initiative helping to build a thriving startup community that nurtures collaboration and innovation in Hawaii. She is committed to establishing resources to grow talent and high-growth ideas.
Hawaiian entrepreneur Mark Quezada has cofounded numerous startups getting accepted into 500 Startups, getting acquired, and working with Pierre Omidyar along the way. He is currently the CTO and Cofounder for Hobnob, a mobile-first event invite and communication service that makes it fun and fast to get people together.
Alan Matthew is an Active Angel Investor, investing in over 24 companies in the past year and a half. He has been a member of the Chicago Board of Trade since 1977 and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs for over 30yrs. As a published photographer in the New York Times, Alan has explored over 85 countries in his life and has been a Shamanic Healer for over 17yrs. His company, Tribal Ventures, LLC invests in a vast array of companies and their core values lie within investing in the people of the company, not just the idea.
Rob Cressy is founder of both Cress Media and Bacon Sports where he specializes in creating content and marketing to millennial males, with an emphasis in sports and new media (Snapchat, video, live streaming, podcasting.) On this episode we discuss how startups can use snapchat to grow their business, the ins and outs of Chicago's tech scene and Rob's experience working out of 1871, the lifeblood of the Chicago entrepreneurship community.
Daniel Blomquist is a Partner at Creandum where he focuses on SaaS and game-related stuff with a special passion for analytics. While being based in Stockholm, he also spends much time in Helsinki and San Francisco. Before joining Creandum in 2007, Daniel was a Vice President at Ascade – a VC-backed startup that at the time was one of Europe’s fastest-growing enterprise software companies. Daniel spent his early days at Ascade as a spaghetti-code programmer and eventually ran product and marketing.
Per is Director of Strategy and Communications for Nova, a top talent network for both top talent and organizations in Sweden. He also serves as CMO for Just Arrived. Per has been a leader in the Stockholm startup community for years. Per became involved early on in Stockholm's growth taking on leadership roles through organizations like Startup Grind, Swedish Startup Space, and Gothenburg Startup Hack. In this episode we discuss Stockholm's growth into one of Europe's most prominent tech hubs and what lessons other ecosystems can take from Stockholm.
Andreas König is the CEO and Co-founder of Just Arrived. Just Arrived is a Swedish startup founded to connect new arrivals in Sweden to Swedish companies. Just Arrived has formed partnerships with Universum Group, aglobal leader in employer branding, Antrop - one of Sweden's leading design agencies, and TaskRunner - a startup in the sharing economy space. On this episode we discuss the Stockholm scenes' latest trend towards startups looking to make a big social impact, Andreas' efforts in the Gothenburg startup scene, and the story behind Just Arrived.
Tara Silver is the founder of Silver Strategy, a D.C.-based, full-service PR & Marketing agency with a focus of technology companies. Tara is an award-winning strategist and entrepreneur, with over 15 years of experience and a results-driven track record. On this episode we discuss the importance of a PR strategy for startups, mistakes most startups make, and the rise of the DC tech sector.
A Forbes 30 Under 30 in Venture Capital, Alexander Pessala joined Middleland Capital in 2012. Middleland is a DC based investment firm that focuses on early stage technology opportunities around the world. Since then he has invested in the likes of UrbanStems, Speek, and Fleksy. On this episode we discuss how Alexander got into the VC world, DC deal flow, and more.
Tien Wong is an serial entrepreneur, CEO, angel investor and founder of the Connectpreneur conference. Tien is currently CEO of Tech 2000 inc., Chairman of Lore Systems, and Chairman of Opus8, Inc. Tien founded CyberRep in 1991 and grew it into one of the largest private call center companies in North America before getting acquired by Affiliated Computer Services in 2003. Tien is an incredible connector of people and is regularly helping to promote collaboration between DC, Northern Virginia, and Maryland ecosystems.
Zvi Band is the CEO and a Cofounder of Contactually, a relationship marketing platform which has raised over $11 million in venture funding to date. Zvi is a part of the lifeblood of the DC tech ecosystem having founded the DC Tech Meetup, Proudlymadeindc.com, and numerous successful technology companies in the area. On this episode, Zvi tells us the story of the DC technology scene rising back up into the national spotlight over the past 10 years.
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.
Mike Decelle is the Dean for the University of New Hampshire. Previously, he served as the Chief Executive Officer and President of CrossFiber, Inc. Mike comes on to talk about his perspective, as both dean of the university and a season entrepreneur, on opportunities for entrepreneurs in New Hampshire. We also discuss lessons learned from 30 years serving as CEO of multiple industry leading companies.
Kyle York is the Chief Strategy Officer at Dyn where he has been a long-time executive, having joined in 2008. Prior to joining Dyn, Kyle spent nearly six years at SaaS company, WhippleHill Communications, Inc., acquired by Blackbaud Inc. In addition to his efforts at Dyn, Kyle is an entrepreneur, startup advisor and angel investor who has played a major role in the establishment of New Hampshire and greater Boston as a vibrant technology ecosystem. Raised in a family business, Kyle is also a strong supporter and promoter of family business as co-founder and board member for 3rd generation, YORK Athletics Mfg. He is chairman of Alpha Loft, New Hampshire’s most powerful and influential non-profit for entrepreneurship and an advisory board member for The Entrepreneurs Foundation of New Hampshire (EFNH). Kyle is also a board member, advisor and investor in several fast growth startups looking to scale like CloudApp, Datanyze, Fastly, and more.