Christopher M. Schroeder is a Washington D.C. and New York City based entrepreneur and venture investor. He co-founded HealthCentral.com, one of the nation's largest social and content platforms in health and wellness, backed by Sequoia Capital, Polaris Ventures, The Carlyle Group, Allen & Company and IAC Corporation. The company was sold to the health media publisher, Remedy Health, in January 2012 where Schroeder remained a board advisor.
Schroeder was invited to speak and mentor at the Celebration of Entrepreneurship in Dubai in 2010, one of the first major gathering of tech startups in the Middle East, and it began his journey that became Startup Rising. In thirteen subsequent trips to the region, interviewing over 150 entrepreneurs, investors and global tech leaders, he has written extensively about startups and technology in emerging growth markets for The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Fortune, AllThingsD, TechCrunch, Pando Daily, Harvard Business Review, Business Insider among other publications. He speaks regularly around the globe, and sits on the board of advisors of The American University of Cairo School of Business, the Jordanian incubator Oasis500, the Middle East online entrepreneur information platform and network wamda.com. He was named one of LinkedIn top 50 Influencers.
Mr. Ahmed El Alfi is the Founder and Chairman of Sawari Ventures a Cairo-based venture capital firm. Established in 2010, the goal of Sawari is to help transform Egyptian and MENA region economies through the creation of high impact businesses. In 2011, Sawari created Flat6Labs, its own startup accelerator. Flat6Labs immerses startup entrepreneurs into real-world challenges of creating and managing sustainable enterprises.
Before Sawari Ahmed was a veteran investor and venture capitalist from California with over 25 years of experience in top executive and management positions. Investment track record over the last 17 years includes the execution of numerous successful transactions in technology, Internet, healthcare and financial services at various stages of development. Has executed many rewarding exits, including several IPOs on the NASDAQ. 2006, CEO, EFG-Hermes Private Equity; then founded Sawari Ventures.
Erick Pinos is Americas Ecosystem Lead at Ontology, a high-performance public blockchain and distributed collaboration platform. In addition to his role at Ontology, Erick is President of the Blockchain Education Network (BEN) and a graduate of MIT, where he was President of the MIT Bitcoin Club and a researcher at the MIT Digital Currency Initiative.
Ranked 30th on CoinMarketCap and listed amongst the top blockchain projects in China, Ontology’s unique infrastructure supports robust cross-chain collaboration and Layer 2 scalability, offering businesses the flexibility to design a blockchain that suits their needs.