Rodrigo is a digital native venture capitalist, formerly a strategy consultant, serial entrepreneur, and business angel. After earning his Computer Science Engineering degree at EPITA in Paris, France, he started his career working with industrial, banking, retail and media clients for two large consultancies (KPMG Consulting, Gemini Consulting) co-creating the Internet security, Internet strategy and online marketplaces practices. In the following 10 years, Rodrigo also led a number of digital strategy assignments as a free-lance consultant for public multi-billion revenue companies working closely with both the executive committees and CEOs, with clients such as AOL Europe, Capgemini and Darty. After getting two MBAs (from the Sorbonne University, and later at INSEAD and The Wharton School), he co-founded in 2002 and later ran Glowria, a video-rental and VOD service, that quickly became #1 in France and #2 in Germany. In 2005, he also co-founded and ran vpod.tv, an award-winning multimedia content management software aimed at Fortune 500, with operations in France and Spain. Both had significant venture-capital financing and were acquired. In 2009, he became an active business angel and startup mentor with a strong focus on consumers investing in companies such as Amiando, Trigami, GetAround, RecargaPay, ManifestCommerce, Tribe, Holberton School, Attach.io, etc. He is a frequent speaker at events worldwide, a regular jury member at startup competitions and occasional lecturer in top graduate schools. Rodrigo has also participated in over 300 podcasts in the past 10 years (“French Connection” at LCI Radio, “On Refait Le Mac”), always commenting on the business side of technology. In his spare time, Rodrigo is an avid traveler, B&W photographer, genealogist, wine enthusiast and enjoys opera, fine dining, biking and snowboarding. Rodrigo is a Chilean national, fluent in French, English and Spanish, and has working knowledge of German, Italian and Thai.
Highland Capital Partners
VC investor at Commerce Ventures. Mostly tweet about entrepreneurship/startups, VC, mobile, payments and the future of retail.
DC Thomson Ventures is the corporate venture capital arm of the international media group DC Thomson & Co. Through acquisitions and investments, the organization has diversified into new media, digital technology, education, retail, radio and television sectors. It is headquartered in Dundee, Scotland with an additional office in London, United Kingdom.
Sam Rubenstein is the President of Panacea Capital Advisors, Inc., a venture capital and strategic advisory firm based in Bethesda, Maryland, that works with a broad range of US middle market companies. In addition to startup and early stage Food Tech, Music Tech and other technology-enabled B2B services with an innovative or disruptive focus, Panacea Capital also invests in and provides strategic advisory services to middle market companies in foodservice, content and information services, outdoor media, distribution and supply chain services, marketing services, financial services, crowd funding services and some consumer retail.
Beechwood Capital is a growth equity firm founded in 2010 and is based in Wellesley, Massachusetts. The firm invests in food and beverages, personal care and cosmetics, housewares and kitchen technology, specialty retail and restaurant, apparel and accessories, footwear, pet food and supplies and baby and juvenile products sectors.
Baltimore Angels is an angel investor group that invests in companies operating in the business products and services, computers and peripherals, consumer Goods/consumer products, education, food and beverage, internet/web services, IT services, lifestyle, marketing/advertising, media and entertainment, mobile, retailing/distribution, software and telecommunications sectors. The firm was established in 2009 and is headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland.
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.
Cotter Cunningham is the Founder and serves as Chief Executive Officer at RetailMeNot. Cotter founded the company in 2009 and raised over $300 million from private investors before leading the company to an IPO in July 2013 (NASDAQ: SALE). Prior to RetailMeNot, Cotter was the senior vice president and COO of Bankrate Inc. (NYSE: RATE) for seven years, taking the company public in 1999. He also previously served as CEO-in-Residence at Austin Ventures, Vice President and General Manager of VML, Vice President of Block Financial Corporation and Assistant Vice President of H&R Block. He wrote the book "Your Financial Action Plan: 12 Simple Steps to Achieve Money Success." Cotter has an MBA from Vanderbilt University and lives in Austin, TX.
Pritzker Group Venture Capital
Peter joined Pritzker Group Venture Capital in 2012. Prior to joining Pritzker Group Venture Capital, Peter was an investment banking analyst at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in New York, where he advised clients in the consumer and retail sectors on debt and equity offerings, mergers and acquisitions, and the structuring and origination of leveraged buyouts. Prior to working in investment banking, Peter completed a summer analyst program in the Investment Grade Debt Capital Markets group at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in New York. Peter is an attendee of national technology and venture capital events where he meets with entrepreneurs and their startups. He also participates at numerous events held at 1871, Chicago’s hub for digital entrepreneurship. Peter is a graduate of The McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Commerce with concentrations in Finance and Management. Peter also completed a semester abroad at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology where he studied Finance and Information Systems.
ClearVue Partners is a private equity firm focused on the consumer sector of China, investing in the companies that are informed by data, and powered by technology. The firm invests in the retail, lifestyle, health & wellness and digital consumer sectors.
Marcus Daniels is a startup accelerator leader, digital product entrepreneur, seed capital investor and corporate innovation platform architect that helps new ventures win in global markets. Co-founder & CEO of HIGHLINE, a VC-backed acceleration platform that helps digital startups achieve product-market fit, establish global connectivity and secure institutional capital. Focused on delivering a ''Speed to Seed'' brand promise through specialized accelerator products, timely investments and programming in Vancouver-Toronto-NYC-SF. HIGHLINE's foundation was derived from the Extreme Startups-GrowLab merger and has 35 active portfolio companies with 4 meaningful exits. Founder & Executive Chairman of MeshSquared Ventures, an investment & education company with ownership positions in accelerators (HIGHLINE) and media (Toronto Standard). Also, a Limited Partner (LP) investor in the Rothenberg Ventures Fund based in SF with positions in SpaceX & AngelList. Prior to HIGHLINE Marcus was the Managing Director of Extreme Startups, a VC-backed startup accelerator where he evolved it into a three staged model and led 9 investments. Former COO at TrendHunter.com, the world's #1 Trendspotting website with over 2 billion views & an innovation partner to Fortune 500 brands. Past VP Operations & Product at Frameworks, a leading retail QSR business intelligence software & eLearning company. Started the eLearning division at AME Learning, a global financial education company. A digital native that started tech ventures in 1989 that led to co-founding Fluid eNovations, an award winning web marketing agency. He has significant board of director experience that includes HIGHLINE, Canadian Association Business Incubation, Extreme Startups and Youth In Motion (Canada's Top 20 Under 20). Community involvement includes: Dell Center for Entrepreneurs Advisory Council, Board of Advisors for Venture for Canada, StartupNext (Google for Entrepreneurs)mentor, SXSW mentor and co-chair of Enactus Toronto chapter. A frequent speaker on growing digital startups, seed investing/VC and corporate innovation accelerators. Also, he has architected digital strategy curriculum for University of Toronto. Marcus holds an MBA from Queen's School of Business, a BA in Psychology & Economics from McGill University and completed the Venture Capital Executive Program from Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley.
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.
Passionate & chronically curious early stage investor. Eliot is a early stage technology investor @ BOLDstart Ventures in NYC. His investments include; GoInstant (acq. Salesforce.com), Rapportive (acquired by LinkedIn), SpinBack (acquired by Buddy Media), Blaze.io (acquired by Akamai), Look.io (acquired by LivePerson), Enterproid, IndieGoGo, LocalResponse, Klout, ThinkNear (acquired by TelNav), YieldMo, Anchor Intelligence (sold to Comscore), YourKarma, PlainVanilla, ShowMe, Yipit, Playhaven, and also invested in Numberfire, Roqbot, TechStars (NYC), & Amplify.LA. Prior to BOLDstart, Eliot cofounded Penny Black in 2008; a private investment firm managing venture / PE investments for multiple family offices across multiple countries. He oversaw more than 300 transactions in 6 years and conducted business in South America, Middle East, China, and Europe. Eliot previously founded Templates.com, an online software retailer that was acquired 2002. He subsequently worked at the Permal Group, a multi-billion dollar global fund of hedge funds (acquired by Legg Mason in 2006). Eliot is a graduate of Georgetown University with post-graduate study at Columbia University. He enjoys surfing and lives downtown, NYC. Favorite Quote; ''The Master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his education and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence in everything he does, leaving others to determine whether he is at work or at play. To him, he is always doing both.'' -- Zen Buddhist Text
Bain and Company
Over the past 15+ years, Eurie has evaluated, invested in, and advised a breadth of companies in their quest to define business models, identify target markets, understand consumer behavior, and overcome operational and competitive challenges to drive growth. Since joining Forerunner in May 2012 before the close of the firm’s inaugural institutional fund, Eurie has led and supported investments in 40+ early stage companies and supported the firm’s efforts to raise $600M+ from leading institutional investors. Eurie currently serves on the Board of Directors of several Forerunner portfolio companies including: Away, ATTAbotics, Alchemy 43, Curology, ShopShops, The Farmer's Dog, among others. Eurie is also a founding member of a female investor/founder mentorship and advancement focused non profit called All Raise, which aims to increase the number of female general partners and female founders in the tech industry over the next ten years. Prior to Forerunner, Eurie was a management consultant at Bain and Company, where she advised large retail and e-commerce clients on strategy, identifying acquisition opportunities, and harnessing consumer insights to drive growth. Before that, Eurie was an investor at Castanea Partners where she invested in growth-stage consumer and retail businesses. Eurie earned an MBA with honors at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and holds a B.S. with honors in Business Administration from the University of California, Berkeley.