Urs Cete is Head of Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments (BDMI), the venture capital arm of Bertelsmann AG., and serves on the boards of Mojiva, Qeep and Exit Games. Before joining BDMI, Mr. Cete was Senior Director Corporate Controlling and Strategy at Bertelsmann AG. In that capacity he worked on strategic projects for all of the media company's divisions, including television, radio, music publishing, book publishing, magazine publishing and services. BDMI is a strategic venture investor focused on innovative digital media technologies, products, and distribution channels across the globe. We look for opportunities where we can accelerate growth through BDMI's financial and management resources and close connectivity with one or more Bertelsmann divisions. BDMI is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bertelsmann AG. Bertelsmann AG is an international media company encompassing television (RTL Group), book publishing (Random House), magazine publishing (Gruner + Jahr), media services (Arvato) and media clubs (Direct Group) in more than 50 countries.
Brett Topche is a Co-Founder and serves as Partner at Red & Blue Ventures. Brett Topche serves as Managing Director at MentorTech Ventures. He also serves as Advisor at entreprenYOURS. He joined MentorTech Ventures in 2007 and has more than a decade of venture capital and private equity experience. He has spent much of his career primarily focusing on investments in ecommerce, digital media, mobile applications, marketing technologies and B2B software. He represents MentorTech on the Boards of Directors of Cloudmine and PayPerks and served on the Board of Wanderfly prior to its acquisition. He also serves as a Board Observer at Curalate, Quad Learning, Burrow, Soft Tissue Regeneration and TicketLeap and was a Board Observer at SeniorHomes.com prior to its acquisition by Bankrate. He also served as a member of the Investor Advisory Board of SnipSnap prior to its acquisition by Slyce. Prior to joining MentorTech, he was a member of the Fund Investments Team at Hamilton Lane Advisors, a fund-of-funds manager and private equity investment consultant. In this capacity, he evaluated private equity funds across a broad spectrum of stages and strategies on behalf of both discretionary and non-discretionary clients. During his time at Hamilton Lane, Topche reviewed more than 100 funds, including venture capital, mezzanine, buyout and real estate funds. Based in part on reports he drafted, more than $1 billion was invested into these funds. Prior to working for Hamilton Lane, Topche spent more than four years as an Associate with NJTC Venture Fund, where he focused on investments in early-stage companies in the software, Internet and communications sectors. His responsibilities included deal flow generation, initial company reviews, performing due diligence on potential investments, participating in deal structuring, reviewing legal documentation and working with companies post-investment, occasionally as an Observer on Boards of Directors. Topche is a magna cum laude graduate of the Wharton School, with a B.S. in Economics, with concentrations in Finance and Legal Studies and a Political Science minor from the College and Arts and Sciences.
Peter is a Managing Partner at Transmedia Capital, an early stage venture fund focused on: digital media, marketing automation, online marketplaces, mobile and SaaS companies. Peter founded three technology companies and has been in the early stage venture business for more than 18 years. He has completed more than 85 investments including top search engines Baidu (China) and Yandex (Russia), C2B (Inktomi), and more recently: Percolate, Domo, and Wish. Peter was a co-founder of Kicklabs, a San Francisco based seed stage accelerator. In 1998, he was a Managing Partner at Whittman-Hart (WHIT), a $1 billion global IT solutions provider. Prior, he was a founder and CEO of Axis Consulting, a leading systems integrator specializing in Internet and ERP solutions, which was acquired by Whittman-Hart in 1997 in a deal valued at $60M. He holds a BS degree in Mathematics from the Western Australian Institute of Technology. When he is not focused on his technology investments, Peter is most passionate about his family, wine, food, skiing, and fly-fishing.
Ayaz ul Haque serves as Managing Director at Exalt Capital Partners. A boutique advisory and principal investment firm, Exalt Capital Partners is a subsidiary of Exalt Capital Management, a privately owned investment manager. Exalt Capital Management manages a series of hedge funds that employ fundamental analysis to make investments in the public markets primarily in the United States, and more recently, through Exalt Capital Partners, in the private equity markets. Exalt Capital Partners specializes in growth investments across the globe, with a particular emphasis on the emerging markets, in venture capital backed revenue-stage companies that have achieved market validation and are well-positioned to be leaders in their markets. On a highly selective basis, Exalt Capital Partners also looks at early-stage investment opportunities where we feel our strategic advisory angle can significantly enhance deal value. Our focus, in this context, is generally on deals that combine technology/innovation with various service sectors and on businesses that are looking to build the next global franchises. Ayaz specializes in investing in companies at various stages of development (early, expansion, growth, secondary market transactions as well as special situations/roll-ups ), particularly targeting investments in Internet and digital media, communications and wireless, enterprise IT, financial services, consumer/retail and education. Ayaz possesses broad investing, operating, and transaction experience in private and public companies. His current investments/board affiliations include: Acceptly, Assured Labor, buzzArab, CaliberVantage, Coho Solar, EdEqual, Envision Telecom Group, Hungrybuzz, inmobly, Ovagen, Secret Builders, Simularity, Teamly and Vufind. Previous investments/board affiliations include: Clickmarks, Cyanea, Ember, Friendi Mobile, HiSoft, IXI Mobile, Manthan Systems, Naseeb Networks, Pachube, Seventymm, Techpacific and Visto. Prior to joining Exalt Capital Partners, Ayaz was a Managing Director with ePlanet Ventures and a Director with Draper Fisher Jurvetson ePlanet Ventures focusing principally on expansion and later-stage investments in the United States, MENA as well as in India. Notable DFJ ePlanet investments include Baidu, Skype and Focus Media. Prior to joining DFJ ePlanet, Ayaz was the Director of Mergers & Acquisitions at Crosby Financial Holdings in London, where he managed the cross-border corporate finance advisory and investment initiatives of one of the leading Asia-focused specialist investment banks. While at Crosby, Ayaz focused on both mergers and acquisitions and private equity investments and worked in London, Bangkok, Singapore and Seoul covering various sectors including technology, media, telecom, financial services, transportation, aviation and manufacturing. Prior to his involvement with Crosby Financial Holdings, Ayaz served as an Associate Director of Corporate Finance at Peregrine Investments, a pan-Asian investment bank, where he was responsible for developing Peregrine's corporate finance and private equity businesses in the Middle East, and identifying and evaluating Middle East to Asia investment opportunities. Previously, Ayaz was an Associate in the Corporate Finance Group of Bear, Stearns & Co. in New York, where he was involved in the execution of North American and Asian transactions. Ayaz is a summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Middlebury College holding a B.A. in Economics.
Chris is the Founder & CEO of SignalFire, an early stage venture capital fund. He focuses on investments in consumer Internet, software and mobile with particular emphasis on seed stage investments and working with Entrepreneurs-In-Residence to launch new businesses. Previously, Chris was a Partner with General Catalyst Partners where he led the firm's successful seed investment activities and served as a Venture Partner on the firm's main fund. Previously, Chris was a Vice President with Bessemer Venture Partners where he led investments in digital media & mobile companies. Prior to BVP, he was a consultant with Bain & Co where he advised on large scale technology buyouts. Prior to Bain, Chris spearheaded the successful turnaround of Skybitz, a wireless enabled SaaS company, where he led Product Management, Finance & Business Development. Earlier in his career, Chris founded an investment advisory firm for angel investors & private equity funds and served as a Venture Advisor to an early stage venture capital fund where he led investments in SkyBitz and Applied Semantics (acquired by Google). He started his career on Wall Street in the private equity group of Cowen & Company. Chris received a BA in International Relations & Business from Tufts University & the Fletcher School of Diplomacy. He has been published in Harvard Business Review, Institutional Investor, The Journal of Private Equity and other leading publications.
Brian is a private investor and serial entrepreneur focused on the software, internet/digital media and mobile sectors. Brian co-founded and/or invested in 22 private companies. Of that group, 9 exited, 10 are independent and 3 were shut down. Some of his private investments include AdMovate (sold to Yahoo!), IMsecure (sold to Checkpoint), Pixoart Design (sold to 51.com), Ultris (sold to Saba), Fotolog (sold to Hi-Media), Qpod (sold to Groupon) and other companies which are independent (Relevad, Wheelhouse, Mixbook, Meltwater, iDentalSoft, Cleanshelf, Pinkoi, Chairish, Markable, CFOPlans). He is also an LP in Infinity Venture Partners, a Japan-China mobile Internet fund. Brian spends his philanthropic time mentoring early stage technology entrepreneurs in Ghana, Africa. He currently serves on the Board of the Meltwater Foundation which runs MEST (Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology). Earlier in his career, Brian served as Head of Corporate Development at Macromedia where he managed strategy, investments and acquisitions and facilitated the sale of the company to Adobe for $3.9 billion. He also was an investment banker at Morgan Stanley & Co. and Robertson Stephens where he closed more than 40 mergers, acquisitions and financings. Specialties: Entrepreneurship, early stage investments, M&A, corporate development and strategy. Software, internet/digital media and mobile.
Serial Entrepreneur, Founder, Seed/Venture Investor, Co-founder, Chairman, mentor and advisor. Obsessed with the infinite realm of possibility in the digital transformation of the world. Focused on innovation and disruption in digital media/marketing, big data, machine learning, cybersecurity & blockchain. CEO of Kubient. Kubient's full stack audience advertising platform is a single point of entry for advertisers and publishers to know, reach and optimize audiences. Kubient's audience advertising platform optimizes the advertising supply-chain. Giving advertiser and media partners the data-driven power to connect their audiences, increasing return on ad-spend and inventory yield. In a transparent environment with artificial intelligence powered pre-bid ad fraud prevention. Prior to Kubient Mr. Bordes was a co-founder of oneQube, the leading digital Audience Management Platform [AMP] to build, manage and market to digital audiences. Prior to oneQube Mr. Bordes was a founder, CEO & Chairman of MediaTrust the leading real-time performance marketing exchange. During his tenure as CEO the company was the 9th fastest growing company in the United State in 2009, and he was a founding member and Chairman of the Performance Marketing Association. Mr. Bordes spent much of his career in banking and venture capital and was a founder of Mason Cabot investment bank, which specialized in early stage media and technology financing. Active angel investor and entrepreneur mentor. Ranked in the top 100 most influential angel investors in the United States and social media. Member of the Thiel Foundation 20 Under 20 Mentor Program. Founder Trajectory Capital and TruVest real estate. Serves on the Board of Directors and Advisor Boards of media and technology companies Member of the Board of Directors Beasley Media - Beasley Broadcast Group (BBGI: NASDAQ) is a public media and digital broadcast company offering music, news, sports information and entertainment to over 19 million listeners a weekly from 63 stations in 15 radio markets across the United States. Fraud.Net - The leading real-time collective intelligence fraud analytics. Eliminating e-commerce fraud with artificial intelligence big data analytics. Vice Chairman Ocearch.org - Educate. Inspire. Enable. World leader in scientific data related to tracking and biological studies of keystone marine species such as great white sharks. Chairman HoobieApp - Sync all of your social and content in one place to enhance the human connection through technology. Advisor Job.com reinventing recruiting on the blockchain. New York City Father who loves adventure travel, skiing and fishing with his son Pablo.
Act One Ventures LP
Alex Guerrero is a Principal at Act One Ventures, a community focused, early-stage micro-vc fund based in Los Angeles. Previously, Alex was the co-founder & CEO of Uniq Apps, Inc., a SaaS platform for encrypted work messaging. Prior to Uniq, he was the co-founder of Live Entertainment Network, an HTML5 interactive video player platform that helped artists monetize live shows on a “premium-content-only” destination. He has over 10 years of experience in strategy, business, product development, digital media, start-ups and music.
Hummingbird ventures is a venture capital firm headquartered in London, United Kingdom. The firm makes transactions in seed round, early stage, growth capital and later stage funding. It specializes in the information technology, online service and focuses on digital media, social media, e-commerce, cloud computing, infrastructure software, enterprise software, gaming and mobile application sectors.
Robert Siegel serves as Partner at XSeed Capital. He is the Advisor at Pixlee. He serves as Board member at Sparta Science. He served as Advisor at K5 Ventures. His investment areas include enterprise software, business operations where computational technology helps automate / improve company performance, and computing platforms that shape both business and consumer behaviors. He sits on the Board of Directors of Zooz, Lex Machina, Cape Productions and DropThought, and he led XSeed's investments in CirroSecure (acquired by Palo Alto Networks - NYSE: PANW), Chatous, Dispatcher, Breezeworks, The League, Teapot, Smart Coffee Technology, Neon, Pixlee, Caller Zen and SIPX (acquired by ProQuest), and also supports other portfolio companies such as Citrine Informatics. He is currently on the faculty at the Stanford Graduate School of Business where he teaches Strategic Management of Technology and Innovation, Formation of New Ventures, The Industrialist's Dilemma and Entrepreneurial Finance. In these classes he has led research and written cases on companies including Google, Box, AngelList, SurveyMonkey, Medium, Wikimedia Foundation, Zuora, Minted, 500 Startups, TrueCar, Axel Springer, General Electric and Starbucks (La Boulange), amongst others. Robert is the Co-President of Stanford Angels & Entrepreneurs, an alumni association that fosters relationships to strengthen the Stanford startup community, as well as the Chairman of the Strategic Advisory Board for TTTech in Vienna, Austria. He has co-authored several articles for California Management Review, is a Wall Street Journal Startup Guru, and is a frequent contributor to Forbes and VentureBeat. Prior to joining XSeed, Robert was General Manager of the Video and Software Solutions division for GE Security, with annual revenues of $350 million. Robert was also Executive Vice President of Pixim, Inc., a fabless semiconductor firm specializing in image sensors and processors (acquired by Sony). Before Pixim, Robert was Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Weave Innovations Inc. (acquired by Kodak), a network services developer that invented the world's first digital picture frame, and delivered photos and other digital media to PCs and internet / mobile devices. Robert served in various management roles at Intel Corporation, including an executive position in their Corporate Business Development division, in which he invested capital in startups that were strategically aligned with Intel's vision. Previous to Intel, Robert was promoted to a series of senior sales and marketing positions at GeoWorks, which went public in 1993. Robert holds a BA from UC Berkeley, an MBA from Stanford University, is the co-inventor of four patents and served as lead researcher for Andy Grove's book Only the Paranoid Survive.
Eden Ventures invests in technology companies in the telecommunications software, enterprise software, digital media, e-commerce, internet and mobile sectors in the UK and Ireland.
Chris is a founding partner of Transmedia Capital, an early stage venture fund focused on capital efficient companies that provide technology and services for digital media, entertainment, content publishing, gaming, mobile apps and online advertising. Recent investments include: Wish, Domo, Percolate, Snap, Genius, Scan, TalkIQ, Kickback, Alpha, Superphone, Lively, Mystery Science and Facebook. Chris was also the founder of KickLabs, one the top rated technology accelerators in the world. Chris has been on the forefront of emerging technologies since the commercialization of the web. In 1997 he co-founded AdAuction, the first online media exchange; the precursor to auction based and dynamic pricing platforms for online media. Chris was instrumental in restructuring business strategies for marketing and lead generation companies GetRelevant (acquired by Lycos), and Aptimus (acquired by Apollo LLC). He launched the first online independent yellow page directory, automated coupon platform, RSS advertising and content syndication system, and helped develop the first peer to peer ad delivery system. He received Ad Age's prestigious i20 award for his contributions to the development of interactive marketing and advertising. Chris has been an active adviser and investor in emerging companies for the past twenty years. He was a seed investor in Omniture, the webs leading analytics company (IPO 2006), acquired by Adobe in 2009. Chris spent more than ten years at Reebok International where he held management positions in sales and marketing and also owned one of the first sports retail chains in Southern California. For twenty years, Chris was distance runner completing multiple marathons and ultra marathons. Today he is a fitness junkie, golfer, and skier. Chris co-founded The Last Mile with his wife Beverly, a program that helps bridge the gap between the nation's penal system and the technology business sector. The Last Mile was first launched at San Quentin State Prison, and is in multiple correctional facilities throughout California. Chris lives in San Francisco, with his wife and business partner, Beverly. They are focused on fitness and a sustainable lifestyle. They are GS Warrior fans and spend their chill time in Jackson Hole, WY.
Wolpert is a Co-Founder and serves as the Chief Executive Officer at Hello Tech. He also serves as an Advisor at Jukin Media. Wolpert is also a Venture Advisor at Wonder Ventures. He also serves as Venture Advisor at Zuma Ventures. Wolpert is a Co-Founder and serves as the Chief Executive Officer at Big Monday. He serves as a Venture Partner at Amplify.LA. He also serves as Venture Advisor at Accel. He has been a pioneer in the fields of consumer digital media and entertainment for several years. He is the Founder of Chance Technologies, a technology development and investment portfolio focused on technologically driven entertainment ventures including GameSpy, GameFly, Smilebox, LookOut, Mob.ly, AdECN, Universal Audio, Zetta Systems, Digital Map Products, Intent.com and AudioMill. He served as President of Disney Online from 1996-98, where he was responsible for the business and creative strategy for the company. During his tenure, he oversaw all aspects of Disney Online's internet initiatives, including the Web's most popular family website, Disney.com, as well as the development and successful operation of The Disney Store Online, Disney's prosperous e-commerce business, and Disney's Daily Blast. From 1984-94, he founded and developed several thriving technology companies, including After Hours Software, Bit Jugglers, and Mind Over Technology, among others. Many of these companies have since successfully merged with, or were acquired by, industry giants such as Adobe Systems, Compaq/HP and RealNetworks. Richard began his career at Apple Computer in 1984, where he was involved in the early development of the Macintosh. He has taught classes at both Stanford and UCLA, and he is a Board Member for the Los Angeles Chapter of the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America, where he is the Founder of CCFA's camps. He also serves on the board of the UCLA School of Theater Film and Television and on the Board of Governors for Cedars Sinai Medical Center. Richard earned his degree in Math and Computer Science at the University of California, Los Angeles. He also serves as Venture Partner at Amplify.LA. Wolpert is also an Angel Investor.
Texas Atlantic Capital is a venture capital firm which specializes in seed, early stage, later stage and growth investments. The firm invests in the e-commerce, internet, SAAS, cloud, big data, digital media and software sectors. It was founded in 2010 and is based in Houston, Texas.
Updata Partners is a private equity firm that provides growth equity to software and software-enabled businesses. The firm invests in the infrastructure software, application software, SaaS, technology-enabled services, digital media and e-commerce sectors. It was founded in 1998 and is based in Washington, District of Columbia.
Launch Tennessee is a venture capital firm focused on supporting the development of high-growth companies in Tennessee. The firm invests in early-stage, high growth, technology-enabled companies through its INCITE Co-Investment Fund. It invests in the information technology, technology, healthcare, digital media, ed-tech, transportation, energy and sustainability, healthcare IT and gaming sectors.
Vamsi Sistla serves as Advisory Partner at Laconia Capital Group. He is an innovative technologist with over 18 years of experience in the Television, Digital Media & Financial industries. He has built various enterprise quality software and technology (Web and Mobile) platforms. Vamsi currently serves as CTO for OfferBoard and Technical Advisor to various early stage startups. Previously, Vamsi co-founded - Telvetto (2nd Screen Social TV Platform), Mogozz (Mobile Events Platforms) and Captivision Networks (iTV Educational Channel). Vamsi is an active Angel investor in ARC Angels, Eniac Ventures (1 & 3) and TIE SV Angels. He is also active in social & impact enterprises as a mentor (Microsoft Ventures, The Unreasonable Institute, TechStars London IoT Spring 2013 Session, 37Angels and Americas Amazing Teens Project), advisor to various early stage startups and a board member (The Good Life Organization & Chaupal India).
Jon Vlassopulos is the founder and CEO of Trailerpop, where he leads a mission to revolutionize the way people discover entertainment and engage with advertising. Jon has spent the last 17 years building businesses in and around the mobile, entertainment and advertising industries and as a founder, senior executive, investor and advisor, his work has driven hundreds of millions of dollars worth of innovation and delighted tens of millions of consumers. Prior to founding Trailerpop, Jon has served as CEO of award winning mobile entertainment studio skyrockit, where he managed major US carrier content platforms for companies like Sprint and built innovative branded entertainment products and experiences for companies like GAP, Intel, Coca Cola, Kraft and Zippo. Dubbed a digital media and advertising visionary by The Hollywood Reporter, Jon has created successful industry firsts in the areas of mobile, games, advertising, TV and music. Before skyrockit, Jon was the SVP of digital media and branded entertainment for Endemol, the world’s largest independent production company, where he was responsible for its worldwide digital & advertising business. Jon is credited with launching interactive TV in the US with shows like Deal or no Deal and 1 vs. 100 and with creating some of the first live, multi-platform game formats for networks like BET and TBS. He also produced games that were successful on multiple platforms including Xbox, online, and mobile and sold and produced some of the first online web series. Jon served as senior director of business development & strategic partnerships at AT&T Wireless, establishing the first phase of messaging and mobile data. At AT&T Jon ran the mobile content business and mobile marketing where he established the first mobile marketing campaigns with major brands and led the youth marketing team responsible for tracking and implementing new applications and business models Early in his career Jon was at Bertelsmann, where he helped to create BMG’s global digital strategy and held multiple executive positions with other Bertelsmann divisions in New York, Hong Kong and Tokyo. Jon has served on the board of NATPE, the Producer’s Guild and was a founding member of the Mobile Marketing Association. He holds a degree from Durham University and is fluent in French, Spanish and Mandarin. Jon got his start as a DJ and radio host, from where he nurtured his love of music & entertainment, building a career that blended interests in original content, emerging platforms and marketing innovation.
Mohamed Nanabhay serves as Deputy Chief Executive Officer at Media Development Investment Fund. He is also an angel investor. He s a digital media practitioner, entrepreneur and strategist. As the Head of Online at Al Jazeera English he led the team that produced the award winning coverage of the Arab revolutions in 2011. Previously, he started Al Jazeera's New Media department, and served as an advisor to the Director-General. In 2005 Mohamed founded QatarLiving.com (acquired in 2012), a listings and community website that quickly grew to be the largest site in Qatar. He also co-founded Signalnoi.se, a social analytics platform for newsrooms that won the Knight News Challenge, and he's been an active angel investor in a variety of digital start-ups. Mohamed is a member of the Board of Directors of Global Voices Online and the Mozilla Foundation. He is also a member of the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on Social Media. He received his undergraduate degree in Computer Science at the University of the Witwatersrand and a master's degree in International Relations from the University of Cambridge. Mohamed is based in Johannesburg.
Ben joined Eden as a General Partner in 2006 and is one of Eden's Investment Managers. He joined the Eden team after 18 years of corporate finance experience in Europe and the US, most recently as Managing Director at Broadview International (now Jefferies) where he was responsible for building the global digital media practice. Ben focuses on opportunities in the internet, e-commerce, SaaS and games markets. He currently sits on the boards of Borro, Huddle, Reevoo and Green Man Gaming. What he loves about early stage investing is the daily interaction with entrepreneurs looking to build world-class companies.