James Currier is an Entrepreneur and Investor in Silicon Valley. He was an early proponent of social media and growth systems, and founded Tickle in 1999. Tickle grew to 80 employees, nearly 200 million registered users, and $38 million in revenue before selling to Monster in 2004. In 2007, with Stan Chudnovsky, James founded Ooga Labs to incubate digital businesses. In 2008, Ooga spun out WonderHill, a casual games company, which was funded by CRV and Shasta. WonderHill's biggest game was Dragons of Atlantis. Wonderhill grew to $60M in revenue and merged with Kabam in 2010. In 2011, Ooga spun out Jiff, a secure network and marketplace for connecting the mobile health ecosystem to the heath care industry. Jiff was funded by Aberdare Ventures, Venrock, Rosemark Smart Capital, GE, J&J, and Towers Watson. The company eventually merged with Castlight (NASDAQ: CSLT) in 2017. In 2012, Ooga spun out IronPearl, a growth analytics SaaS tool which was acquired by PayPal the following year. In 2015, James co-founded NFX Guild with Stan Chudnovsky and Gigi Levy-Weiss. NFX is a seed stage venture capital firm at www.nfx.com.
Bionic Panda Games
Based in Mountain View. Invests in Media, Sales and Marketing, Payments, Social Commerce, Games, Mobile Games, Mobile, Consumer Internet, Mobile Advertising, Recruiting, Marketplaces, Drones
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.
Initial Capital is a venture capital firm that prefers to makes investments in seed and early-stage technology companies with a focus on games, social media, digital, mobile, consumer services and technology enablers. The firm was founded in 2010 and is based in London, United Kingdom.
Sumit Gupta serves as Chief Executive Officer at Boom.tv. He co-founded afkVR and also served as its Chief Executive Officer and Board Member. He is a Co-Founder and serves as Chief Executive Officer at BASH Gaming. He also serves as Advisor at Rolocule Games. Previous to BitRhymes, he was VP Strategy and Business Development at Monetize Media. Previous to that, he was founding team member at Business Signatures and played a key role in product and sales strategy, and eventually to a successful acquisition. He has Masters from University of Missouri and Bachelors from IIT Delhi. Sumit Gupta served as Advisor at MyActivityPal. He is an Angel Investor.
Entrepreneur / Angel. Partner, Chaotic Moon (Acq by ACN). CEO, Team Chaos. Founder, Challenge Games (Acq by @zynga), Co-Founder, Pluck (Acq by @demand-media)
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.
Conor Stanley is a web entrepreneur and technology investor. He is co-founder of Tribal.vc, a new early stage venture fund, and co-location hub in Dublin. Founded by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs, Tribal is bridging Ireland and US tech communities & risk capital, partnering with top tier US VC's, advisors and innovators. Conor is an established investor with notable Irish & US tech startups including Intercom (CRM); Boxever (Big Data); PropelAd (AdTech); PageFair (AdTech); Cityhook (Travel); Phorest (SaaS); Visible Thread (SaaS); Balcony TV (Content) and LikeCharity (Payments). He was the lead investor and a board member of Jolt Online Gaming, which was a pioneering social games publisher in Europe and was acquired by GameStop corporation in 2009. In 2000, Conor co-founded and was CEO of Clearscape, a leading digital agency based in Dublin. The company was later acquired in 2008.
Marc Benioff is a Co-Founder and serves as Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer at Salesforce. A pioneer of cloud computing, he founded the company in 1999 with a vision to create a new kind of enterprise software company, with a new technology model based in the cloud, a new pay-as-you-go business model and a new integrated corporate philanthropy model. Under his leadership, Salesforce has grown from a groundbreaking idea into a Fortune 500 company, the fastest-growing top ten software company in the world and the largest CRM company. For its revolutionary approach, Salesforce has been named one of the World's Most Innovative Companies five years in a row by Forbes Magazine, one of Fortune's World's Most Admired Companies in the software industry four years in a row, and a Fortune Best Company to Work For eight years in a row. He has been widely recognized for his visionary leadership and pioneering innovations. He has been named one of the 50 World's Greatest Leaders by Fortune, Businessperson of the Year by Fortune readers, one of the Best CEOs in the World by Barron's and received The Economist's Innovation Award. Benioff is also a member of the World Economic Forum Board of Trustees. He also serves as an Investor of BirdEye. He created the 1-1-1 model of philanthropy, which leverages the resources of Salesforce to improve communities around the world: donating 1% of Salesforce's product, 1% of its equity and 1% of employees' time to help nonprofits achieve their missions. Today, more than 700 companies have adopted the 1-1-1 model through the Pledge 1% movement. Benioff and his wife, Lynne, have focused their personal philanthropy on children's health, including building UCSF Benioff Children's Hospitals in San Francisco and Oakland, as well as on public education, homelessness and other social issues. Benioff believes that businesses are the greatest platforms for change in the world. He has embraced World Economic Forum founder Klaus Schwab's multistakeholder approach to leadership, serving not only shareholders but all stakeholders--including customers, employees, partners, communities and the environment to make the world a better place. Benioff is also inspiring fellow business leaders to do the same. He led a group of CEOs and business leaders in opposing state legislation that discriminated against LGBTQ communities and instituted a company-wide salary assessment at Salesforce to ensure men and women were being paid equally for comparable work. Benioff is a 35-year veteran of the software industry. Prior to launching Salesforce, he spent 13 years at Oracle Corporation. He founded his first company, Liberty Software, which created video games, at the age of 15. He also worked as an assembly language programmer in Apple Computer's Macintosh Division. Benioff received a B.S. in Business Administration in 1986 and an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters in 2014 from the University of Southern California. He is the author of three books, including the national bestseller, Behind the Cloud. He is also an Angel Investor. He also served as Advisor at Datawallet and DoubleRock.
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.
Norwest Venture Partners
Sergio brings to NVP extensive operational and venture capital experience from a wide range of business and consumer technology companies. Sergio is focused on early and growth investments in ecommerce, consumerized SaaS, consumer finance, and educational technologies. His current investments and board seats include Adaptive Planning, Bionic Panda Games, Branchout, Gemvara, Motif Investing, and Rafter. Sergio was previously on the board of The DealMap (acquired by Google), myYearbook (acquired by Quepasa), and StarCite (acquired by The Active Network). He is a board observer at InsightsOne and Lending Club. Sergio started his career at Morgan Stanley, where he advised several companies on mergers and acquisitions. Sergio was also a marketing and business development manager at Portal Software (now part of Oracle) which had a successful Initial Public Offering in 1999, during his tenure. Sergio was also the co-founder and first business development executive at Cymerc, which was a hosted SaaS solution for consumers and small-sized businesses. Sergio successfully raised two rounds of venture financing and grew Cymerc from inception to more than $15 million in sales. From 2001 to 2005, Sergio was Director of the Mobile Electronics Categories at eBay, which he grew from $150 million to more than $500 in gross merchandise sales. Prior to NVP, Sergio was Vice President of Marketing at Photobucket, which was successfully sold to News Corp. for $300 million in 2007. Sergio was born and raised in Latin America and has worked in Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico. Sergio holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a bachelor of science degree in management sciences and engineering (industrial engineering) from Stanford University.
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.
Mark Patricof is an American businessman and entrepreneur. Considered a digital media pioneer, tech investor, and seasoned investment banker, he has advised on and invested in a wide range of leading traditional and digital media and entertainment companies and transactions. Patricof is the founder of Patricof Co, a highly specialized private investment platform designed to meet the unique business needs and opportunities of professional athletes. The firm is backed by J.P. Morgan Private Equity Group (PEG), one of the longest-standing and most successful private equity firms in the industry with over $24 billion in assets under management. The Patricof Co investing platform, in conjunction with PEG, provides flexible capital to co-invest alongside clients in later stage growth equity and private equity transactions, while the firm’s advisory platform gives sports professionals a competitive edge in private investing by augmenting their ability to evaluate, structure, negotiate and ultimately exit individual principal investments. Previously, Patricof served as Co-Head of the TMT (Technology, Media, Telecom) practice at Houlihan Lokey, a publicly-traded global investment bank to whom he sold his previous firm, MESA Global. While at Houlihan Lokey, Patricof’s notable transactions include advising on the highly publicized sale of Gawker Media to Univision at a bankruptcy auction for a staggering $135 million and the sale of the iconic concert venue Webster Hall to AEG Presents and Brooklyn Sports and Entertainment. Prior to Houlihan, Patricof co-founded MESA, a boutique investment bank focused on providing M&A advisory, private placement, and structured finance services to high-growth companies across the media and entertainment landscape. Core areas of focus included film, television, music, sports, live entertainment and digital media, including key verticals such as games, interactive, advertising, and e-commerce. MESA advised on over 80 transactions including some of the most notable deals in the sector: Colony Capital’s acquisition of Miramax, the sale of Songza to Google, the sale of Indiagames to Disney, structured finance transactions for Relativity and IMAX, and equity financings for Blue Man Group and FanDuel. Additionally, MESA advised multiple global corporations, including Discovery Channel, Time Inc., and Viacom. In 2012, Patricof launched MESA Ventures, an early-stage venture fund focused on e-commerce, advertising technology, and digital content. The fund, which invested in Seed and Series A rounds alongside established and top-tier early-stage VC firms, combined a unique data-driven ranking system with a co-investment strategy, thus creating the first “indexing” approach to seed-stage investing. Patricof was a co-founder of <kpe>, an incubator/digital studio that financed, designed, and built businesses for media and entertainment industry clients such as the BBC, CBS, Disney, Hearst and Viacom. Patricof served as President and CEO of the company until it was sold to Omnicom. Patricof began his career with a six-year stint at Creative Artists Agency (CAA) in Los Angeles, where he started in the agency’s famed mail room. Patricof graduated from Emory University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. He then attended the University of Southern California’s Master of Film Studies program. Patricof is a member of the board of directors of the Hornblower Cruises and NEP Broadcasting; he formerly served on the board of the New York Economic Development Corporation. He also currently serves as a Senior Advisor to Crestview Partners. Patricof currently serves as Chairman of the Board for New Heights, a non-profit organization based in New York City whose stated mission is to “inspire inner-city youth to be leaders, champions and student-athletes and empower them to be successful in high school, college and life.”
Investor in real-time web companies in the US & China via 2020 Ventures, LLC Previously: - Managing Partner at Alacon Ventures, LLC (San Francisco) - Co-founder & Partner at Mandarin Ventures Ltd. (Beijing) - Founder & President of GoodWork International, LLC (Beijing) - Co-founder & SVP Sales & Marketing of Work.com (Redwood City) - Director of E-commerce and Financial Content at Excite.com (Redwood City) - Director of Games Publishing, Powerhouse Entertainment (Dallas) - GM of Consumer Software at Micrografx (Dallas) - Associate M&A at Charterhouse plc (New York) - Analyst, Kidder, Peabody & Co. (New York)
Managing Partner @CrossPacific Capital in Vancouver, BC. Co-founder of among others @tudou-com and @unitedstyles-com. Former CEO @spil-games Asia.
Boz has built his reputation designing/developing some of the richest web experiences for Hollywood and Fortune 500 companies in the past 15 years. With his award winning creative talent, in-depth knowledge and experience in engaging front-end interfaces, back-end coding as well as deep understanding of mobile platforms, Boz brings important technological value to Venture51 and portfolio companies. Boz loves to spend time with his closest friends grilling steaks, drinking beer, laughing and rocking games. He's a home theater geek, who loves building crazy overpowered computers while constantly thinking about new startup ideas.
Japheth is Co-founder and CCO/CSO of YetiZen, a hugely successful Game Industry Accelerator. Japheth has been making games for 20+ years.
YuChiang Cheng serves as President at Topgolf Media. He is also an Angel Investor. He was a Co-Founder of World Golf Tour and serves as its Chief Executive Officer and Board Member. Cheng serves as Vice President of Product Marketing & Corporate Development of IGT/Wagerworks Inc., where he was instrumental in securing business clients such as Virgin Games, World Poker Tour and BskyB. Cheng serves as Director of World Golf Tour Inc.
Founded @openfeint. Programmed the first version myself. Grew the company as CEO to 7,000 games and 120,000,000 users. Sold it for $104 million after 3 years.