Meet the Jury
Ellie Wheeler is a Partner at Greycroft and is based in the firm’s New York office.
Prior to joining Greycroft, Ellie worked in a similar role evaluating investment opportunities at Lowercase Capital. Ellie also worked at Cisco in Corporate Development doing acquisitions, investments, and strategy within the unified communications, enterprise software, mobile, and video sectors. While at Cisco, she was involved in multiple acquisitions and investments, including PostPath, Jabber, Xobni, and Tandberg. She began her career in growth capital private equity at Summit Partners in Boston.
Ellie graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown University with a BA in Psychology and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Executive Founder, Wellville and Investor
Esther Dyson is executive founder of Wellville, a 10-year project to show the long-term value, both social and financial, of investing in health. The Wellville team of six is doing that by coaching leaders in five US communities who are working to improve the physical, mental and financial health of their residents.
The communities are all under 200,000 in population: Clatsop County, OR; Lake County, CA; Muskegon County, MI; North Hartford, CT; and Spartanburg, SC. Dyson is the Wellville lead for Muskegon, and is actively involved in overall policy and fundraising for the project.
Overall, Dyson works to leverage new business models, new technologies and new markets (both economic and political). From October 2008 to March of 2009, she lived in Star City outside Moscow, Russia, training as a backup cosmonaut.
Apart from this brief sabbatical, she is an active board member for a variety of companies, including 23andMe, Luxoft, Pressreader, Swvl (Cairo), Wellpass (the company behind text4baby.org), and Yandex (Russia – YNDX). Her past investments have included Medstory and Powerset (sold to Microsoft), Dulance (sold to Google), Geometric Intelligence and Jump (sold to Uber), Flickr and del.icio.us (sold to Yahoo!), Brightmail (sold to Symantec), Vizu (sold to Nielsen), Basis Science (sold to Intel), Eventful (sold to CBS), SquareTrade (sold to AllState for $1.4B), and Init.ai (acqui-hired by Apple). Her current investments include AdKeeper, AnchorFree, ChallengePost, Evernote, Fancy, Factual, Flattr (Sweden), GoodData, Jana, LinkedIn (LNKD), Linqia, Payperks, RockTech, Square in information services; AlterGeo, Ostrovok, and more.
Investor, First Round Capital
Nashilu is an investor & writer, currently investing as an Associate at First Round Capital, one of the most active seed-stage venture funds in the country. Before joining First Round, she spent time with founders and investors across New York as an Investing Partner at First Round-backed Dorm Room Fund, Co-President at student-run startup advisors InSITE Fellows, and a Senior Management Associate at Bridgewater Associates. Nash earned her MBA at NYU Stern and her Bachelor at UC Berkeley, spending a number of years in the Bay Area working at the intersection of people and economic opportunity in international development, urban development and edtech.
Managing Director, Techstars New York and CoFounder, The Fund
Jenny Fielding is the Managing Director of Techstars New York where she leads the program. She is also the founder and General Partner at The Fund, a first check fund investing exclusively in New York based companies. Her portfolio includes more than 100+ tech enabled companies. Previously, Jenny headed up Corporate Venture and Digital Innovation at BBC Worldwide where she made strategic investments and led business development deals. She has also started several tech companies, most notably Switch-Mobile, a mobile VoIP company that was acquired in 2009. Jenny began her career as a lawyer, spent time at JP Morgan and is a graduate of Columbia University where she is an Adjunct Professor.
COO and Partner, Initialized Capital
Jen Wolf is the COO and a Partner at Initialized Capital, an early-stage venture firm. She advises portfolio companies on Product & Design and is on the board of several companies, including Girlboss. Previously she was the Chief Product Officer at Reserve, an Expa-funded hospitality platform that connects restaurants and diners.
General Partner, BBG Ventures
Nisha Dua is a General Partner at BBG Ventures, which she co-founded with Susan Lyne in 2014. BBGV is a NYC-based seed fund, investing in consumer tech startups with at least one female founder. BBGV invests across content, commerce, future of work and platforms and services for Gen Z. BBGV has invested in over 60 startups.
Nisha has spent the last decade working in media, tech, strategy and law. She was the General Manager of AOL’s millennial site, Cambio, which she re-launched as a site “for girls, #BUILTBYGIRLS” in partnership with Girls Who Code. She founded the #BUILTBYGIRLS movement which challenges young women to be part of the tech-enabled economy and recently launched the WAVE platform, which connects girls with professionals to help them build their first networks into tech.
Jackie is an angel investor and has worked in private equity, investment management, and business development her entire career. Jackie served as a director at Silicon Valley Bank where she managed client relationships with venture capital investors in Latin America. Her passion for investing and startups started as a Fulbright Binational Business Scholar in 2012, where she analyzed deals for Angel Ventures Mexico. After completing her fellowship, she joined the investment team at Compass Group Asset Management and Venture Lab, leading seed stage fintech investments in emerging markets. She is an Endeavor Mentor and currently serves as an advisor to a variety of technology companies in the U.S. and Latin America.
Founder, Civic Hall
Nancy Hayes is an active angel investor and serves as mentor to entrepreneurs. She has invested in 22 women-led companies. She also advises corporate and nonprofit executives on management and leadership skills development.
Nancy was a senior executive of the IBM Corporation and left to become CEO of the STARBRIGHT Foundation, a national nonprofit which served seriously ill children by combining technology, media and healthcare. Later she was CEO of WISE Senior Services. In 2005 Nancy was named Dean of the College of Business at San Francisco State University and in 2011 she became CFO and Chief Administrative Officer of that university. Subsequently Nancy was cofounder of a rewards-based crowdfunding site in 2013. She was a Managing Director of Golden Seeds angel group for 3 years and on the leadership team of the Silicon Valley chapter.
Nancy has an MBA with a concentration in Finance from the University of Chicago.
Director of Product Legal, Netflix
Jishnu is Director of Product Legal at Netflix, where he provides strategic legal advice to Netflix’s product and engineering teams. Prior to his current role, Jishnu was at Mozilla, the company behind Firefox, where he ran the legal team as well as parts of business development. Over the past decade and a half, he’s built and led teams that worked on a diversity of initiatives that impact startups, from early-stage venture programs to net neutrality litigation with the FCC.
Executive Director, HearstLab
Lisa Burton Ph.D. is the Executive Director of HearstLab, providing investment and resources for early-stage, women-led startups that innovate across media, data and technology. At the Lab, she identifies prospective startups to invest in and supports the portfolio companies in residence, including advising on data science and product.
Lisa built data science teams at multiple startups before founding AdMass, a startup that leveraged social media data to help brands understand and connect with their customers online. She holds a Ph.D. and master’s degree (S.M.) from MIT and B.S. from Duke, all in Mechanical Engineering. Lisa volunteers to support women in business and STEM through GirlCode, WiTNY, Girls Who Code, ELEVACAO, NYU Summer Launchpad and NUMA, and is on the Advisory Board of Duke University’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science.
Managing Director, Obvious Ventures
For over a decade, Andrew has focused on clean technology and clean energy solutions. He started down the clean tech path with Energy Innovations in 2003, which he grew from a business plan to a major solar developer serving customers like Google, Disney, Sony Pictures, and British Telecom. After selling the company to Suntech in 2008, Andrew served as Chief Commercial Officer at Suntech as well as Vice President of Global Product Strategy.
During his tenure, Suntech became the largest solar company in the world. After leaving Suntech, Andrew spent two years as Vice President of Distributed Generation for Nextera Energy, the largest clean energy developer in the US. Before his clean tech career, Andrew spent a decade building companies in the early days of “Web 1.0.”
In 1998 Andrew co-founded Bigstep.com, an e-commerce platform designed to serve the needs of small businesses entering the Internet age. He has been supporting the enterprising ideas of people power ever since.
Andrew serves on the Board of Directors for Sighten and Plant Prefab and as a Board Observer for Enbala, Lilium, and Proterra. He is also a member of the NREL Investor Advisory Board, as well serving on the Board of Managers at Energy Accelerator.
A graduate from Dartmouth College, Andrew lives in Burlingame, CA with his wife and three children. When he’s not helping to build early stage companies, Andrew builds wooden boats and furniture. Andrew was born in New York City and spent his formative years on an avocado ranch in Ojai, California.
Cofounder and co-CEO, Established
Jen is cofounder and co-CEO of Established. Previously, she cofounded, operated and sold Tech.Co, a news, content, and events organization focused on better connecting and educating entrepreneurs, and amplifying startup communities everywhere. Consalvo is also a startup investor and advisor, and a founding member of NextGen Venture Partners.
Prior to Established and Tech.Co, Consalvo led product development teams in a range of product areas such as digital imaging, community & social platforms and personalization. Much of her career was at AOL, planning and building products used by millions of people globally.
Jen has served on the digital advisory boards for The Nature Conservancy and for the Master of Arts in Media Entrepreneurship at American University. She was nominated by Nevada’s TBAN for 2014 Entrepreneur of the Year, listed by Business Insider in their 100 Most Influential Tech Women On Twitter, named a 2013 and 2011 Tech Titan by Washingtonian Magazine, was has been featured in Forbes, the Washington Post, Huffington Post, DC Modern Luxury Magazine, and others.
Investor, FirstMark Capital
Cofounder, Black Female Founders
Sibyl is the Executive Director for DC Innovates (DCI), a nonprofit organization with the mission of fostering and supporting a diverse tech innovation economy in DC. DCI manages the Digital DC Technology Fund (DDCTF), a $1 million fund and customized mentorship program dedicated to promoting the success of early and growth stage technology ventures in the District.
Sibyl is also the President of DC Web Women (DCWW), one of the longest-running tech nonprofits for women in D.C, which supports and advocates for women and girls in technology.
For over a decade, Sibyl has created successful digital campaigns for Fortune 500 companies, non-profit associations, and startups.
General Partner, Google Ventures
Erik is a General Partner at GV, where he manages GV’s operations in New York and is part of the enterprise investing team. Erik has over a decade of technical experience as an engineering leader with expertise in building first-class teams and scaling massive systems. He has interests in developer tools, cloud infrastructure, and machine learning.
Prior to joining GV in 2010, Erik led the development of Google’s next generation display ad serving system. He helped with the acquisition and technical integration of DoubleClick (DCLK) and led a team that built statistical and machine learning models for Google’s ad businesses. Erik was also a developer on Google’s core infrastructure, creating a distributed file system that Google.com and Gmail rely on today.
Erik studied computer science and engineering at MIT. He completed his graduate research at the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory where he focused on unique data extraction and disk forensics. Erik is an avid runner and an expert in television game show theory.
Founder, The Hatchery and Venture Partner, Pereg Ventures
Yao is a highly entrepreneurial executive who works with businesses and startups in many industries with a focus on technology, assisting with revenue and funding. She founded The Hatchery, a venture collaboration organization with international reach bridging the gap between entrepreneurs and investors through resources, advisory, funding and building communities.
She has had multiple successes as an entrepreneur and supports other companies in advisory and C level management roles. She leads up the enterprise incubator in New York building products with corporate partners — from ideation, development, sales, funding to exit. Yao also traveled with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Indonesia in 2011, as a member of the Global Entrepreneurship Program Delegation.
Andrea Turner Moffitt
Cofounder, Plum Alley Investments
Andrea Turner Moffitt is the co-founder of Plum Alley Investments, a membership of investors creating the future with intention and resources. Plum Alley’s membership is designed for individuals, families and corporations looking to invest in the future, stay current about innovation and be in a community of leaders redefining investing. Our members get access to highly selective private companies so they can build a portfolio of direct investments; exclusive learning experiences so they can stay “future literate” about innovation and investing; and a community of high caliber intentional investors. Core to our mission is investing in innovative companies with gender diverse founding teams where our members can have a multiplier effect as they invest their capital.
Turner Moffitt is also a thought leader on women investors. Her recent book Harness the Power of the Purse: Winning Women Investors is the culmination of two years of research in partnership with think tank the Center for Talent Innovation where she serves as a Senior Advisor. Turner Moffitt’s research unpacks insights into women investors including demand around aligning their values and their investments. Turner Moffitt has served as a strategic advisor for numerous financial services firms. She designed business strategies for large financial institutions to realize growth opportunities through better serving women investors and building more inclusive and diverse cultures across global organizations. Her work has been featured in Forbes, Harvard Business Review, Inc., Fortune, NPR, Wall Street Journal, among other media outlets.
Cofounder and CEO, Cricket Health and Investor
Arvind is Cofounder and CEO of Cricket Health, a health care company in San Francisco on a mission to eliminate the burden of kidney disease. Before Cricket Health, Arvind spent six years at LinkedIn, in a variety of senior leadership roles, including leading LinkedIn’s entry into new markets all over the world, and developing the company’s China strategy. Prior to joining LinkedIn, he spent nine years (five as CEO) at Grassroots Enterprise, a technology and services firm that built online grassroots marketing and influencer programs for Fortune 500 companies, nonprofits, and issue campaigns.
CEO and Cofounder, Women 2.0
Kate Brodock is CEO of Women 2.0, a global brand for gender equity and inclusion in the tech industry. Women 2.0 has catalyzed over $91m in funding to women-led startups, provided programming for women at any stage in the industry, and engaged with numerous firms and companies to promote internal diversity and inclusion. Kate is a regular speaker, appearing on stages at SXSW, 15 Seconds, Collision Conference, Fast Company’s Innovation Uncensored, and Techstars. She has been featured in the Washington Post, TechCrunch, Al Jazeera, and MSNBC, and she’s a contributor for Forbes.com.
Shelly Kapoor Collins
Founder, Shatter Capital
Shelly is founding partner of the Shatter Fund, a returns driven fund investing in technology companies led and started by women. Shatter is the culmination of Shelly’s entire career of working in the Tech industry as a founder, investor and advisor, and extensive experience in mentoring and empowering women in the US and abroad.
Shelly has the privilege of being appointed to the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) by the Obama Administration and Vice Chair of Secretary Clinton’s Women in Public Service Project. Shelly has been named one of the top 20 influential Indian women by the Economic Times of India, named to the Forbes ‘40 women to watch over 40’ list in 2013, and profiled by Fast Company as one of three entrepreneurs achieving success through selfless work.
Strategic Advisor, Angel Investor, Cultural Producer, Deal Lawyer
Melinda Wang is a strategic advisor to startups in the fintech, blockchain-based technology, legaltech, consumer internet, VR/AR, mediatech, SaaS and private social networking spaces, and is an active angel investor. She is part of Pipeline Angels, and a member of the steering committee for Princeton Alumni Angels. She is also the Founder and Principal of MW Projects. She was previously the Executive Director of New York Artists Equity Association, and founded Equity Gallery in 2015.
Melinda has been practicing corporate law for over 15 years. She was previously Senior Vice President at XL Group plc (NYSE: XL), where she was the lead attorney on capital markets, mergers & acquisitions, corporate finance and corporate governance matters. Melinda graduated from Princeton University and received her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She serves on the Board of Governors of the Princeton Association of New York City and is Chair of the Association’s Arts & Culture Committee.
Investor and Partner, Kairos
Lynne d Johnson
Senior Editor, AdMonsters
A veteran journalist turned digital and social media strategist who led cross-functional teams to develop creative content and community experiences for popular media brands like Vibe, Spin, and Fast Company, as well as for a host of B2B and B2C brands. Although always a technologist and storyteller, Lynne got her start in the content/community space at the original social network, BlackPlanet.com.
Currently working as a Content + Community Engagement Consultant developing brand marketing strategies and campaigns, with a focus on insights, strategy, planning, and execution to help brands reach their business goals by better engagement with their target audience through the power of storytelling. Also a tech evangelist and still a journalist covering popular culture, as well as various aspects of emerging media and technology, such as the augmented reality and wearable technology markets, for various media outlets. Lynne is currently writing a diversity tech column for Ebony.com, called “The Upload” and has often appeared as a guest on TWIT TV’s “This Week In Google.”
Managing Director of Consumer Technology, Allison+Partners
Jordan Fischler oversees the consumer technology practice for Allison+Partners. In her more than 15 years at the agency, she has focused on PR strategy and implementation for technology products and services as well as consumer brands and digital media companies with an eye toward driving consumer adoption. She has played a senior role with IKEA, YouTube, Mozilla, the launch of MySpace, as well as PR product strategy and support for a wide variety of Samsung consumer and B2B products.
She leads teams that regularly push beyond the technology pubs and reviewers to showcase how a product or service impacts the consumer. She guides teams in the implementation of award winning product launches, review programs and influencer strategies spanning platforms. She has worked extensively on client events including tradeshows, celebrity red-carpet events, and media roundtables as well as worked closely with clients to drive impactful thought leadership programs.
Throughout her career Jordan has garnered numerous awards for campaigns from the launch of American Idol Underground, the Children Affected by AIDS Foundation, Samsung and Real Mex Restaurants. She was also recently named one of PRWeek’s 2017 “40 Under 40.” She is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis with a major in Psychology and a minor in Business.
Nathaniel G. Pearlman
Founder, Lever Fund
Nathaniel is an experienced entrepreneur. He founded NGP Software, Inc. in 1997 (now NGP VAN, Inc.) to join his interests in politics and technology and grew that company into the market leader in fundraising and compliance software for progressive political campaigns. Nathaniel served as Chief Technology Officer for the Hillary Clinton for President campaign in 2007-8. In 2009, Nathaniel founded the information graphic products company Timeplots and reserved the name Graphicacy for information graphics consulting and services. Together, Timeplots and Graphicacy are dedicated to making the visual display of information more comprehensible and aesthetic. He is also an adviser, coach and investor in a variety of businesses, and a founder of the antipoverty nonprofit Lever Fund.
Senior Program Manager, Mozilla
Diane works on communications, events and programs for Mozilla’s 1000+ global staff. Previously, she worked in Mozilla’s MDN Web Docs group supporting web developers worldwide. She joined Mozilla to run WebFWD, Mozilla’s accelerator for open source startups. She currently works on internal communications; previously she was Program Manager for Mozilla’s Developer Relations team.
Pre-Mozilla she did communications, marketing, product management, and business development at various startups as well as at Charles Schwab. She got her MBA from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and her BA in History from Stanford.
Founder of Fosterly and Investor
Adam is the founder of Fosterly, an Eisenhower Fellow, an advisor to numerous startups, an angel investor, and former intrapranuer and VC at Discovery. He now consults for organizations, universities, and governments — often with a sustainability and future facing technology impact focus — around the world.
A solutions-focused executive, thought leader, and board member with more than ten years of success across the entertainment media, startup, nonprofit, finance, legal, and CPG industries,, Adam leverages extensive experience leading strategic planning and partnerships. His broad areas of expertise include business development, key partnerships, rapid ideation, marketing, and project management.
In addition to providing commentary for CNBC nearly two dozen times, he’s also enjoy speaking opportunities related to innovative technology trends, trust/authenticity, and the future. Adam has keynoted private and public events (ranging in size from intimate gatherings to large conferences for Fortune 100 companies), and has served as a panelist, moderator, judge, presenter, and emcee at events around the globe.
Just a few of the brands he has collaborated with include American Airlines, Anheuser-Busch, Box.com, Discovery, DocuSign, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, NASA, Pfizer, and Verizon.
Follow me on Twitter: @Adamz
Investor and CSO, 1776
Penny Lee is a seasoned political and communications strategist with over 20 years of experience. She has worked extensively with the executive branch, as well as elected officials in both houses and across the aisles of Congress, State Government, and in the private sector.
Lee is presently a Senior Advisor at Venn Strategies, LLC, having served as the firm’s President for the past four years. Venn Strategies, LLC is a public affairs and government relations firm located in Washington, DC. She has provided federal, state, and local advocacy, strategic positioning, guidance, crisis communications ad-vice, and political strategy direction to clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to non-profits.
As an avid golfer, Lee has also served on the First Tee of Greater Washington Board, and the Advisory Board for Bloomberg Government. Lee has lectured at Harvard’s Institute of Politics, Georgetown University and the University of Pennsylvania.
Founder and CEO, Hera Hub DC
Julia is the founder and CEO of Hera Hub DC, a professional work and meeting space for women business owners in the Washington, DC Metro area. Julia’s passion for supporting women business owners comes from her 20+ years working with small businesses, helping them manage their financial and HR needs. She is focused on building a vibrant community and network of women in business that fosters collaboration and supports the launch and growth of their businesses. Through her work as the Hera Hub DC founder, she supports organizations focused on entrepreneurship and women in business.
Head of VC and Startup Partnerships (US), Google
Jason Leder has over 20 years experience developing and launching new businesses, products, and strategic partnerships. He is currently Google’s Head of VC & Startup Partnerships (US) based in New York City. Jason works across Google to accelerate partnerships with startups’ C-Level Executives/Founders and their teams by up-leveling support, uncovering new product opportunities and generating custom partnerships.
Daniel Weiss, MD
Chief Medical Officer, Bongiovi Medical & Health Technologies
Dr. Weiss received a degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science with honors from Princeton University, and his MD with honors from the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine. He did his internal medicine residency at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York and fellowships in Cardiology and Electrophysiology at the University of Maryland Hospital. He was in clinical practice for 15 years, combining patient care, research, and consultancy for top medical device companies and Wall Street firms. Since 2004, he has been the Chief Medical Officer and/or advisor for several medical device companies, developing relationships with researchers worldwide, proficiency in FDA and patent/IP issues, clinical trial design, and investor relations. He has presented numerous papers and lectures internationally. He is proficient in issues related to devices and engineering for medical products and the delivery of medical care, from the perspective of the physician, the hospital, insurers, and office flow and logistics.