Michael is a serial entrepreneur who is best-known for selling social software company Buddy Media to Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM) in 2012 for $800+ million. With 65 early-stage investments under his belt, including Eaze, Liquid Death, Map Anything, Buzzfeed, Domo, Namely, Braze, Tumblr, Empathy Wines and Dash Radio, Michael is one of the most prolific tech investors in New York City. In addition, Michael and his wife Kass are avid philanthropists through the Kass and Michael Lazerow Family Foundation. They have donated millions to Cycle for Survival and, as part of the leadership board, have helped raise $220 million for cancer research w/ 100% funding clinical trials and research studies. Michael was the recipient of Ernest & Young’s coveted Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2011 and Kass and Michael were given the Leader of the Future Award by the Frances Hesselbein Leadership Institute alongside legendary CEOs Alan Mulally (Ford, Boeing) and AG Lafley (Procter & Gamble). Additional honors include Fortune Magazine’s 40 Under 40, Crain’s New York 40 Under 40, #1 on the Silicon Alley 100 and the Ad Age Digital A-List.
Sunil Nagaraj is the Founder and Managing Partner of Ubiquity Ventures, a seed-stage institutional venture capital firm that invests in “software in the real world” startups, primarily around smart hardware and machine intelligence applications. Prior to founding Ubiquity Ventures, Sunil spent six years as an investor with Bessemer Venture Partners where his work included investments in Auth0, Defense.Net (acquired by F5 Networks), Rocket Lab, Spire, Tile, Twitch (acquired by Amazon), and Zapier. Before being an investor, Sunil was founder/CEO of Triangulate, a VC-backed online dating startup using machine learning and behavioral data to improve accuracy. He has also worked at Bain & Company, Cisco, and Microsoft. Sunil holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BS in Computer Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He serves on several non-profit boards: NextGen Partners (a Bay Area VC networking organization), Astronomical Society of the Pacific, and the Harvard Business School California Research Center. He is also an Alumni Advisor to the Harvard MS/MBA program. In his free time, he enjoys coding, piano, sailing, stargazing, and family time with his wife and 3-year old daughter.
Vibhu is the CEO of Edmodo and former Co-founder and CEO of Root-One, a startup in the education space, working on problems in language literacy. He has previously held positions with Google Research, Xerox PARC, Stanford/CSLI, CMU/LTI and TIFR Bombay. A panglossian optimist, he has been associated with other startups over the years.
Abhishek is passionate about working with mission-driven founders who are aiming to build transformational companies in technology and healthcare. He works closely with Nexus partner companies: Apollo, Clover, Cricket Health, Imagen, HeadOut, Mezi, Parsley Health, and TileDB among others. Abhishek has been an entrepreneur and business builder prior to joining Nexus. He co-founded HelloIntern.com, a marketplace for internship search. Most recently, he worked with eBay on partnerships with marketing technology startups. Previously, Abhishek worked with Booz & Co where he served wide-ranging companies in the US, India, and Middle-East. He also had short stints with Institut für Mikrosystemtechnik (IMTEK), Bain Capital, and CNBC. Abhishek holds M.Tech and B.Tech degrees in Engineering from IIT Bombay. He received his MBA from Harvard Business School. While at HBS, he served as the President of Harvard India Student Group (HISG) and co-chair of Harvard India Conference and led venture capital activities at VCPE club. He is currently on the board of IIT Bombay Heritage Foundation.
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.
Luminary Labs Ventures
Sara Holoubek is the CEO and founder of Luminary Labs, a consultancy focused on operationalizing innovation. Her firm develops strategies and innovation systems for Fortune 500 and government leaders seeking to transform their organizations and industries. Holoubek is also an active adviser and investor. She currently serves on the Pioneer Advisory Group for the Robert Wood Johnson Pioneer Fund, and founded Luminary Labs Ventures, which invests in early stage companies. She currently chairs the New York Board of Directors of the Step Up Women’s Network. In 2011, she was the recipient of the Pepsico WIN award for her contributions to the tech community. Holoubek has been widely quoted in publications such as Fast Company, The Washington Post and WSJ.com. She has been recognized as a female founder to watch in Mashable, and her company has been profiled in business books, The Big Enough Company and Stiletto Network. She also serves as a frequent guest lecturer on the subjects of technology and innovation. Prior to founding Luminary Labs, Holoubek served as the Chief Strategy Officer of iCrossing and President of SEMPO, the global trade organization for the search marketing industry. Holoubek brings an international perspective to her work, having lived and worked in Latin America and Europe; she is fluent in Spanish and French, and conversant in Portuguese. She holds a B.A. from the University of Iowa and an M.B.A. from HEC in France. She resides in New York City with her husband, bass-baritone Claudio Mascarenhas.
Interactive Advertising Bureau
Rich LeFurgy is the former Investor of BookFresh. He has been a Board Member, Advisor or Investor in over 35 online advertising companies. Drawing from a 17 year ad agency career in New York (NW Ayer 1978-1995) . He was Head of Sales at, Starwave, The Walt Disney Internet Group, (ESPN.com, NFL.com, NBA.com and ABCnews.com 1995-1998). He was founding Chairman of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (1996-2001) . He was a Venture Capitalist in San Francisco (WaldenVC 1999-2004) . Prior to starting advisory firm Archer in 2004. Archer is a multifaceted advisory services company, assisting early stage online media companies by serving on their Board of Directors, completing Advisory projects and proving early stage Investments. LeFurgy has served on company boards as a Director, Blue Lithium [sold to Yahoo], Web Clients [sold to ValueClick] x+1, Associated Content . He provided Advisory services to large and small online advertising companies, Google, AOL, Blue Lithium, Glam, Placecast . He personally invested in promising online advertising startups , Ad Relevance [sold to Nielsen NetRatings], Grouper / Crackle [sold to Sony] , Blue Lithium . He has long been a supporter and evangelist to help grow the industry. He was the founding Chairman of the IAB, the Future of Advertising Stakeholders (FAST) and the SF Bay Area Interactive Group (SFBIG) . He has served on the board of the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF), the Advertising Education Foundation (AEF) and the advisory board of ad:tech. He received the IABâ€™s Lifetime Achievement Award (2004) . He was inducted into Advertising Ageâ€™s Interactive Hall of Fame (2000) . He was recognized by USAToday as â€œthe Johnny Appleseed of Online Advertisingâ€ (1998) .
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.
Ethan Batraski serves as Vice President at Venrock. He is an Angel Investor. Ethan joined Venrock, focusing on emerging technologies that rewire industries, including robotics, autonomy, space/aeronautics, decentralized systems, and agriculture, after 15+ years as a product & design executive. He sits on the boards of Osmo Systems and SkyRyse. Prior to Venrock, Ethan was a Product Leader at Facebook leading a $15B+ revenue business, and was a Partner at ProFounder, a pre-seed angel syndicate focused on deep technology breakthroughs. Previously, he was the VP Product & Design at Box, leading new products and growth from $150M to $400M ARR through IPO, the VP Product & Design at Adchemy through their acquisition by @WalmartLabs, and was the founding product & design leader at RiseSmart (acquired by Randstad) and Headcase Labs (acquired). He spent time earlier in his career leading the Search Business at Yahoo! and Consumer Products at Symantec. Ethan has 16 patents issued or pending across semantic search, recommendation models, and predictive syste
Kevin Siskar is Managing Director of the Founder Institute in New York where he help's aspiring entrepreneurs launch their startups. You can find find him on www.Siskar.co talking startups, products, technology and services — and the people who build them. He also hosts the Ambition Today Podcast interviewing ambitious startup founders and entrepreneurs. Previously, Kevin founded Brinkway Inc. as a graduate company of the Founder Institute. Before that he helped start up Jason Calacanis' Launch Ticker researching startups, founders, and technology news. He applies his background in Cognitive Neuroscience to enable the capacity for innovative problem solving and uncovering unique insights.
Kuo-Yi is a Founding Partner at Monk's Hill Ventures, an early-stage tech venture fund focused on Southeast Asia. Prior to Monk's Hill Ventures, Kuo-Yi was the CEO of Infocomm Investments, a $200M venture fund based in Singapore investing in technology startups globally. At Infocomm Investments, Kuo-Yi led investments in Twilio, Dataxu, Reebonz, Quid, Gengo, DS3 and other leading startups. Kuo-Yi has been a founder, early employee, mentor and angel investor of early-stage technology startups spanning the US and Asia. He was a senior sales executive at Encentuate (acq. by IBM) and Reputation Technologies (acq. by Security Sources). Kuo-Yi started his career as a strategy consultant at the Boston Consulting Group. Kuo-Yi graduated from MIT with the bachelor, master's and doctorate degrees in electrical engineering where he did pioneering research in nanophotonics.
Paul Judge is a serial entrepreneur and angel investor. He is CEO and founder of Luma, the home WiFi company. In addition, he serves as Executive Chairman of Pindrop, a pioneer in voice fraud prevention and authentication, which he co-founded in 2011. Paul is also the Co-Founder of TechSquare Labs, an incubator, seed fund, and corporate innovation space in Atlanta, and the Co-Founding Chairman of Looklive and Monsieur. Formerly, Paul co-founded Purewire, a leading web security company, serving as CTO until its acquisition by Barracuda Networks in 2009 where he then served as Chief Research Officer through its IPO in 2013. Prior to this, Paul served as CTO on the founding team of CipherTrust, a leader in email security that was acquired by Secure Computing in 2006. He also worked briefly with IBM and NASA. Paul has received many awards including being named to Fortune's 2016 40 Under 40 list, MIT's Technology Review Magazine's “top 100 innovators under 35”, Black Enterprise’s “50 Most Powerful Players Under 40”, and InfoWorld's “Top 25 CTOs”. Paul is an inventor of approximately 30 patented and patent-pending computer security technologies and has spearheaded multiple research initiatives including founding the Internet Research Task Force’s Anti-Spam Research Group. He is a recognized authority on information security issues, having authored numerous papers that have been published in leading academic journals and presented at multiple industry and academic conferences. He is a member of the 2016 Class of Henry Crown Fellows and the Aspen Global Leadership Network at the Aspen Institute. Paul holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Morehouse College and received his Ph.D. and M.S. in Network Security from Georgia Tech.
Investor. Advisor. Entrepreneur. Founded in 2007, Theorem Ventures provides seed and angel capital along with experienced advice at key milestones for select technology start ups. Theorem has made 24 investments, with 5 acquisitions, one IPO, two investments reaching emerging Unicorn status, and one noble fail to date. All the rest are on the path. More at www.theoremventures.com. Andy was previously co-founder and CEO of PR and social media firm Atomic, acquired in 2011 along with sister agency H3O. Atomic was a multi-country agency, and the third largest PR firm in San Francisco, with additional offices in Palo Alto, Los Angeles, Seattle, New York, London and Munich. Atomic was 2010 Tech Agency of the Year, and one of the fastest growing firms in the US for 3 consecutive years, reaching $19 million in annual fees. More at www.atomicpr.com. In addition, Andy was chief architect and co-developer of ComContext, a pioneering communications analytics platform - also acquired. He remained CEO of Atomic Group throughout a successful, 3 year earn out. Atomic was merged into international communications firm Grayling in January 2014. Atomic managed high profile PR and social programs for a range of global tech, Web 2.0 and consumer tech brands including Verizon, Sony, Polaroid, Pioneer, Intuit, McAfee, IMAX, Hitachi and many others. Headquartered in San Francisco, with additional offices in the US and Europe, Atomic was regarded as a top PR/social firm for quality startups. Andy and associates have played a role in PR and social media for more than 350 start up launches. More than 75 Atomic clients were acquired or went public, including Photobucket, Linkedin, Mint.com, Simplify Media, Milo, Fusion.io, Arcsight, Moonfruit, Rocket Fuel, Opower, Shopkick, Lending Club, BrightRoll and dozens of others. Andy has a Masters Degree in Business Administration and a Bachelor's degree in research Psychology from Cal State University Fresno. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Founder of @brightstart. Searching for investments for a small angel fund. Worked at @merrill-lynch. Brit.
Over the past twenty-five years, Bill has held leadership roles – often as founder or chief executive – in dozens of institutionally backed early stage companies. He has been involved in over 150 financing and M&A transactions, with more than 100 co-investors (including Andreessen Horowitz, Bessemer, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Comcast, Emerson Collective, Formation8, Founders Fund, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Goldman Sachs, Mayfield, Pritzker, Qualcomm, and Union Square Ventures). Bill is the longtime chairman of Axioma, a leading risk analytics provider to financial institutions and regulators. He has also been the lead institutional investor in an array of notable technology startups as a general partner of three early-stage venture capital firms. Earlier, he co-founded and served as chairman and chief executive of CMU-spinout Panopto, one of the world's leading video content management platforms. Panopto has been named a ''Leader'' in Gartner's Magic Quadrant for video content management every year since 2014. Panopto was also designated #61 among the 500 fastest growing technology companies in America by Deloitte, and one of the ''Top 10 Most Innovative Education Companies'' by Fast Company. Previously a professor of economics at CMU, Bill served on the cybersecurity committee of the National Academies of Sciences and Engineering, and co-founded CMU's Cylab, one of the world's largest security research centers. Before entering the private sector, Bill led projects in Africa, Asia, and Latin America for the U.S. Agency for International Development, the World Bank, the IMF, and the OECD. He earned master's and doctoral degrees in international relations at Balliol College, Oxford University, where he was a British Council Scholar.
Dara Akbarian serves as Chief Financial Officer of APIMA & Senior Vice President at Omnicom Group. He also is an Angel Investor. Prior to his association with Highline, Akbarian spent five years at Omnicom as Senior Vice President, overseeing corporate M&A initiatives. Before his initial stint at Omnicom, Akbarian spent seven years with Wasserstein Perella & Co.'s private equity investment unit, most recently as a director in charge of sourcing, negotiating, and structuring venture capital, growth equity, and leveraged buyout investments across a variety of industries. During his tenure, he played a key role in advising and serving on the board of directors of a number of Wasserstein & Co. portfolio companies. Akbarian began his career at the Federal Reserve, performing economic research and econometric modeling for the Board of Governors and senior economists in the Fed's international finance division.
Safa Rashtchy is a Silicon Valley investor, advisor, and trendspotter and sits on the boards of several start-ups and global organizations. Safa has been an Investor/Advisor in Angellist, Bina Technologies (acq. by Roche) , Uber, OpenGov, Payjoy, Nimble VR (acq. by Facebook), Signifyd, CleverSense (acq. by Google) and many other investments. Overall, Safa has invested in 30 start-ups, with six exists all to public companies. Safa has pioneered the concept of ''Consumer Value Proposition'' and the Four-Stage Investment Research Model. From 1997 to 2007, Safa was a Managing Director and Senior Research Analyst focused on Internet media and marketing, and the Lead China analyst at Piper Jaffray and Company. He led the firm’s expansion efforts in the Internet industry and its expansion to China, as well as active involvements with leading Web 2.0 companies. Currently, Safa is one of the most active Silicon Valley angle investors and is working on formation of a new type of venture capital concept, Think +. Safa is currently on the boards of Capshare, Investmentyogi.com (India), Wings Learning Center, and The Mexican Museum (San Francisco- Smithsonian). He is also on the advisory boards of The Hunt.com, Snapwire, ChinaVenture (China), and Early Bird Alert. Safa’s current investment portfolio consists of companies focused on Digital Health, consumer, media and technology innovations, with a deep attention to the value proposition for the users.