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.