Meet the Jury
Director, Galvanize Ventures
Kate Shillo manages investments for Galvanize Ventures, an early stage fund investing in technologies across the country. Previously she helped establish, build and manage three funds and over 200+ investments at Lerer Hippeau Ventures in New York City as Director of Operations for several years. Prior to Kate was an Executive Assistant to Kenneth Lerer, Founder of Lerer Hippeau Ventures and The Huffington Post, and launched her career as an Executive Assistant to Martha Stewart at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. She is a graduate of Middlebury College with honors and a BA in English.
Principal, Comcast Ventures
Kai Bond is a Principal at Comcast Ventures. Kai works on VR / AR, ML / AI, and consumer investments for Comcast Ventures and also manages the Catalyst Fund, a fund dedicated to African American and Latino entrepreneurs. Prior to his role at Comcast, Kai was the General Manager of the Samsung Accelerator in NYC. Kai is a repeat entrepreneur who has founded three companies including pixietv, which was acquired by Samsung in 2014. Kai has held leadership positions in product management, business development, and M&A at Microsoft, Samsung, Hatch Labs, and the Gerson Lehrman Group.
Entrepreneur and Cofounder, BlogHer
Lisa Stone is an entrepreneur and digital media strategist with 18 years of experience developing scale consumer communities via storytelling, quality conversation and analytics. Most recently, Lisa was CEO and Co-founder of BlogHer Inc., where she grew an idea for a grassroots conference into a leading start-up reaching 100+ million women each month, $30 million in annual revenues and a proprietary technology platform for engaging social influencers. She also executive-produced BlogHer’s conferences, the world’s largest for women in social media (her past interviews include President Barack Obama, Sheryl Sandberg, Soledad O’Brien, and Melinda Gates). In 2014, Lisa led the sale of BlogHer to SheKnows Media, creating the #1 women’s lifestyle digital media company. Previously, Lisa pioneered the first blog publishing network at Law.com, and was Vice President, Programming and Editor in Chief at Women.com Networks, where she led original programming and partnerships (Bloomberg, Gallup, E! Online, HBO’s Sex and the City), and helped launch 11 Hearst and two Rodale magazine sites.
Although Lisa left CNN for WebTV in 1997, she has continued to write (The New York Times, LATimes.com, LinkedIn, Medium, HuffPost and, of course, BlogHer.com). Her honors include a Fortune Most Powerful Women Entrepreneur Award, Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business and an Ernst & Young Winning Women award. She was the first Internet journalist awarded a Nieman Fellowship by Harvard University. A Montanan who goes home to ski as often as possible, Lisa lives in Silicon Valley with Christopher Carfi and their children.
Follow me on Twitter: @LisaStone
ROUND 1 JUDGES
Senior Software Engineer, Cisco
Nahid is the Entrepreneur-In-Residence at Backstage Capital. She leads the intelligent control system development a solar startup. Earlier, she founded Litehouse – a voice platform for connected home products. Recently, she mentored wearable/IoT startups at Intel for the reality TV show America’s Greatest Makers broadcasted at TBS. Previously, she was a Sr. Design Engineer at Intel where she worked on car infotainment products, low power microprocessor design and led efforts for Maker Movement inside Intel. She spoke at various conferences including TEDx, Google panel etc. and was featured at GigaOM, MacLife Magazine, EEWeb etc. She built and sold a mobile messaging startup during her college days at Bangladesh.
Follow her @nahidalam
CoFounder, Women in XR Fund
Abby heads up business development and strategic partnerships at DAQRI, a human-machine interface company changing the future of work. Their flagship product, DAQRI Smart Helmet™, is improving efficiency and safety for workers on the job. She is also an advisor to several startups including Entry Point VR and SilVRscreen Productions.
Follow me on Twitter: @abba7
Design Partner, Khosla Ventures
Irene Au is Design Partner at Khosla Ventures, where she works with early-, mid-, and late-stage startup CEOs. Irene has unprecedented experience elevating the strategic importance of design within internet companies, having built and led the entire User Experience and Design teams at Google (2006-2012), Yahoo! (1998-2006), and Udacity (2012-2014). She began her career as an interaction designer at Netscape Communications, where she worked on the design of the internet’s first commercial web browser. Irene graduated summa cum laude from the Honors College at the University of South Carolina in Electrical and Computer Engineering and received her Master’s Degree from the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering with a focus on Human-Computer Interaction at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Irene also teaches yoga at Avalon Yoga Center in Palo Alto where she is part of the teacher training program faculty and is a frequent author and speaker on the relationship between mindfulness practices, design, and creativity.
Vice Chair, the Producers’ Guild of America New Media Council
Currently Vice Chair of the Producers’ Guild of America New Media Council,
Caitlin Burns has spent a decade working with narrative intellectual
property franchises and brands. For several years she has been working to
develop sustainable business models for VR, AR and WebVR for companies
large and small. She is currently working as a creative producer and a
business consultant for media companies.
Her past work includes: Pirates of the Caribbean, Disney Fairies, Tron
Legacy and Disney Descendants for The Walt Disney Company, James Cameron’s
Avatar for Fox, Halo for Microsoft, The Happiness Factory for The Coca-Cola
Company, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for Nickelodeon and Transformers for
Hasbro. She has also worked with Sony, Showtime, Pepperidge Farm,
Scholastic, Tribeca Film Institute, FEMSA, Diageo, Wieden+Kennedy, Odd
Division, Tool of North America, Hush, Campfire, Reebok, Stratasys,
Innpulsa, EY, The US Mexico Chamber of Commerce, US Fund for UNICEF and The
Vice President, Amazon Web Services
Sandy Carter is the founder and CEO of Silicon-Blitz, focused on helping companies with innovation, technology, and cognitive diversity. One of the leading pioneers in the digital business revolution, Sandy Carter was a driving force of Innovation at IBM for the last decade. Most recently serving as IBM’s worldwide General Manager of Ecosystem Development, Sandy was the global evangelist responsible for connecting emerging technology companies and accelerators with enterprises to increase productivity and creativity while fostering a community of innovation. As a warrior for workforce diversity, she is the founder of “Super Women’s Group,” the longest running and largest diversity group at IBM.
Sandy Carter is an international speaker who has presented in 80+ countries and author of 3 best-selling books, including “The New Language of Business,” “The New Language of Marketing” and “Get Bold” which was translated into 9 languages. Her latest eBook “Geek Girls are Chic” was featured in USA Today. She was named Best Speaker by Baptie & Company for receiving the highest speaker rating at the Channel Focus North America/Latin America conference and Best Speaker at the IoT Slam 2016 Conference.
Consistently recognized by her peers as one of the most influential and powerful women in technology, Forbes named her one of their 2016 Digital Influencers, Onalytica’s Top 100 Influencer both for Cloud and IoT and a Top Channel Chief by CRN Magazine. Sandy is a board member of Girls in Tech and WITI (Women in Technology International). She was honored twice with the AIT United Nations Member of the Year award for helping developing countries in the area of technology.
Follow me on Twitter: @sandy_carter
Founding Partner, 1843 Capital
Tracy is the Founding Partner of 1843 Capital. 1843 Capital is an early stage venture capital fund that is focused on technology and consumer products companies with at least one female founder. Tracy has over 14 years experience in venture capital and private equity. She has 4 years of experience investing in early stage companies with a female founder through her personal entity Coyote Capital. Tracy was a Partner of a growth capital fund – Baker Capital which had more than $1 Billion under management. Tracy has a broad network in the female founder community. She recently was a speaker on women in venture at the Wonder Woman Summit, and a speaker on Augmented Reality at HighCourt, She is a frequent judge of startup competitions. Most recently she was a judge for the Cornell (Johnson) Business School Women in Tech Competition, and a Mentor at MentorHerNYC. She is featured in a chapter of the book “The Internet of Women” by Nada Anid, Laurie Cantileno, Monique Morrow, and Rahilla Zafar. She was also included in the documentary “Dream, Girl about female entrepreneurs. She is a Board Member of Marstone and was the former Treasurer of The Belle Haven Land Company and a former Board Member of the YWCA of Chicago. She is a member of Women in VC, Private Equity Women Investor Network, and Boost. She serves on theAdvisory Board of the MIT Enterprise Forum and an Executive Advisor for the Echoing Green Foundation. She is an attorney and earned her JD at Loyola University of Chicago. Tracy speaks conversational Japanese and restaurant French.
President and CEO, SpoutVR
Irena Cronin is the President and CEO of SpoutVR which provides strategic finance and marketing services for both VR and AR companies, and InnovationCMS, a web development company. Irena has spent the last three years first meeting and talking with VR companies who have been developing VR head-mounted displays (HMDs), and then with those who have been developing VR apps and content, with frequent travels between the San Francisco Bay and greater Los Angeles areas. She is the creator and administrator of the largest Virtual Reality closed (non-public) Facebook group, with a focus on up-to-date news and commentary [https://www.facebook.com/groups/Virtual.Realities/]. Irena has management consulting experience and worked several years as an equity research analyst.
Irena has a Joint MBA in Finance/MA in East Asian Area Studies from the University of Southern California and an MS in Information Technology – Management and Systems from New York University. She graduated with a BA from the University of Pennsylvania with a major in Economics (summa cum laude). Irena has near-fluent proficiency in Mandarin, intermediate in Japanese and beginning in Korean.
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.
CoFounder, Entry Point VR
Carissa cofounded Entry Point VR, the world’s first web-based interactive 360 video player, because I recognized that a lot of people were excited about VR, but many others still don’t “get it.” We’re on a mission to move VR beyond the hype and make it more accessible. Entry Point is bringing everyday people into virtual reality experiences—from any device, anywhere in the world. We’re building a cross-platform distribution solution that is accessible on desktop, mobile, and tethered HMD and has unique interactive elements that allow users to stay emerged in the virtual worlds and seamlessly traverse between experiences.
Follow me on Twitter: @EntrypointVR
Partner, First Round Capital
Chris Fralic is a Partner at First Round and is based in our New York office. He joined the firm in 2006 and has focused on a number of the firm’s investments in areas such as Advertising and Marketing Technology, Social/Mobile, eCommerce/Travel, Connected Devices and Gaming. Some of his investments that have been acquired include Flurry (Yahoo!), Invite Media (Google) and Demdex (Adobe), and two are now public companies, ScanScout/Tremor (NYSE:TRMR) and MyYearbook (NYSE: MEET). Some of the current investments he works directly with include Warby Parker, Hotel Tonight and Refinery29. Chris has 30 years of technology industry experience, with significant Internet business development roles since 1996. Chris was VP of Business Development at social bookmarking and tagging company del.icio.us through the Yahoo! acquisition. Chris was also one of the early employees and VP of Business Development at Half.com starting in 1999, and after the eBay acquisition spent six years with eBay in a variety of business development, media and entertainment roles. He has attended the TED Conference for over 20 years and worked with them in 2006 to help launch TEDTalks, which have now been viewed over 2 billion times.
VC, and Founding Partner, SoGal Ventures and A-Level Capital
Director of Post Production, East Coast Digital
Stina Hamlin, veteran member of the Producer’s Guild of America (PGA) and committee member of the Women’s Impact Network, has produced non-fiction, lifestyle television for twenty years. Producing credits include Production Executive and Post Supervisor for multiple Scripps Networks and Discovery television series.
She transitioned from working in commercials to Senior Producer at post production facility, DuArt, and now is the Director of Post Production at East Coast Digital. At ECD, she has been post producing the in-app videos for the Unicef Kid Power Band over the past year and is currently in post-production for a 360 documentary that was filmed in Mozambique, Africa for the U.S. Fund for Unicef.
Stina’s life-long enthusiasm for the arts, documentaries, and technology has evolved into a passion for producing cinematic virtual reality and 360 storytelling. Her first virtual reality project, “Cardboard City,” was winner of the Samsung Gear Indie Milk VR contest in January 2016 and premiered at Sundance on the Milk VR platform. “Cardboard City” then evolved into an interactive documentary featuring a blend of makers’ space, augmented reality, and virtual reality that premiered at New York Film Festival’s Convergence in October 2016.
A former professional dancer, she was driven to direct a series of 360 dance pieces by choreographer, Jonathan Lee, one of which recently won the grand prize in the #causes category for the Samsung Creators Awards, entitled “Say Our Name.” Stina is also working on the sequel to “Cardboard City,” “Boxed Out,” which has live action, stop motion, and interactivity.
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.”
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.
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.
Cofounder, Upload VR
Will Mason is the co-founder and editor-in-chief at Upload, Inc., a multi-faceted VR organization focused on accelerating the growth of the consumer VR industry. Mason is a passionate innovator with a personal mission to bring virtual reality to the masses while developing the professional VR industry as the next game-changing technology for humanity.
Prior to joining Upload, Inc., Mason assisted in social media communication for multiple companies including Spectrum, an Emmy Award-winning entertainment and branding/content studio, and Suffusion Social, a media and internet marketing company. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in communication and media studies from Stetson University.
Principal, Social Starts
Tony comes from a background as both an entrepreneur and investor. He attended the University of Virginia where he studied Economics and Mathematics. After graduating, Tony worked as a financial analyst for the University of Virginia Investment Management Company. After leaving UVIMCO, he worked for a boutique wealth management firm as the director of portfolio management. After working with a number of startups part time, Tony moved to New York City in 2013 to focus on building Pyne full time. Pyne was a social polling app that enabled people to ask questions of their friends and/or strangers to get feedback about their everyday questions. It also enabled people to have conversations based on the results of those questions. Pyne eventually expanded into a tool for publishers in order to help them drive engagement. After Pyne, Tony joined Social Starts in October 2015 as a principal in NYC. He is focused both on sourcing new deals as well as assisting existing portfolio companies.
Partner, KBS Ventures
Jessica Peltz-Zatulove is a Partner at KBS Ventures, where she focuses on investments in early stage startups in digital media and marketing tech. Prior to joining KBS, she specialized connecting marketers with emerging technology and spent 10+ years working with Fortune 500 brands including Verizon Wireless, Kraft Foods, and H&M. At Evol8tion, she helped startups secure their first customers through brand partnerships, and as a VP at Zenith Media was recognized an industry pioneer in the mobile space; her cutting edge collaborations were often featured in Mashable, Adage, Mobile Marketer, and Mediapost. Jessica has a global footprint with strategic relationships at over 300+ startup organizations across 20+ countries. In addition to being featured on CNBC, Fox Business, and popular podcasts – she’s been named one of “NYC’s 100 Most Influential People in Tech”, “35 People in NYC Tech to Watch in 2016”, and a Rising Star by Global Corporate Venture. Jessica has a BA from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, with a double concentration in Marketing and International Relations.
Founder, Lesbians Who Tech
Leanne is an entrepreneur, investor and thought leader at the intersection of technology and diversity. As the founder of Lesbians Who Tech, she’s built a global community of over 20,000 queer women and allies in tech to create community, increase visibility and improve representation among women and lesbians in technology. Lesbianswhotech.org/sanfrancisco2017/
Lesbians Who Tech hosts three conferences annually including San Francisco, New York and an international Summit. Due to the demand for more innovation in this realm, two new programs will be launched this year, Bring a Lesbian to Work Day & a coding scholarship fund for queer women who want to learn how to code.
Before her work with Lesbians Who Tech, Leanne founded and led Start Somewhere, a design and technology agency focused on helping social good organizations. During her time at Start Somewhere she launched the following innovative initiatives: Social Good Tech Week, Lean Impact, helping social good organizations use Lean Startup principles and When You Work at a Nonprofit, a fun and creative tumblr blog only the nonprofit community would understand.
From 2006 to 2010 Leanne served as the senior director at Equality California, the largest statewide LGBTQ organization in the U.S. where she worked on the No on Prop 8 campaign. She also served on the board of StartOut, a nonprofit that supports LGBTQ entrepreneurs and co-founded the Lesbian Entrepreneurship Mentoring Program during her time on the board. Recently named 40 under 40 in the San Francisco Bay Times, her current investments include Avari and Republic Restoratives.
Follow me on Twitter: @Lepitts
Investor, NextGen Angels
DJ Saul is the CMO and Managing Director of ISL (an AdAge 2014 Small Agency of The Year). One of the company’s first employees, DJ is now responsible for ISL’s marketing, DC operations, partnerships and business development as well as the company’s ongoing experimentation/prototyping efforts. He was recently named a 2015 Washingtonian Tech Titan.
DJ advises companies and early stage ventures on everything from digital to experiential marketing strategy, to branding and partnership development, and has been described as “an invaluable pillar of support for the region’s aspiring entrepreneurs.” In short, he brands, markets, and creates experiences that launch companies, sell products, and connects people and organizations with what they need to succeed.
He also speaks and writes regularly on building meaningful relationships, brand strategy, emerging tech and marketing trends, and entrepreneurship. He teaches much more about marketing strategy in his courses on Brand Positioning and; Product/Company Naming.
DJ studied International Affairs at George Washington University and Beijing Foreign Studies University. He is a member of NextGen Angels, a member of the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Shapers, co-producer of the DC Tech Meetup, and serves on the advisory board of Think Local First DC.
In his spare time, DJ plays in the DC Bocce League where his team, Ben’s Chili Bowl Bocce, has donated thousands of dollars in winnings to local non-profits. He has won DC’s Great Urban Race and was a finalist in the Great Urban Race National Championship. DJ is an ardent supporter of DC United and Liverpool F.C.
Entrepreneur in Residence, Upload VR
As entrepreneur in residence at Upload VR http://www.uploadvr.com/ Scoble travels the world looking for what’s happening on the bleeding edge of technology.
He’s interviewed thousands of executives and technology innovators and reports what he learns in books (“The Age of Context,” a book coauthored with Forbes author Shel Israel, has been released at http://amzn.to/AgeOfContext ), YouTube, and many social media sites where he’s followed by millions of people.
As entrepreneur in residence at Upload, he spends 2016 working with the virtual reality ecosystem to figure out what media and conference businesses Upload needs to build next. He’s also be assisting startups in the Upload Collective (a coworking space) in their efforts to get to market.
He has been a technology blogger since 2000, was one of five people who built Microsoft’s Channel 9 video blog/community, worked at Fast Company Magazine running its TV efforts, and has been part of technology media businesses since 1993.
Follow me on Twitter: @Scobleizer
Founding Partner, SoGal Ventures
Pocket is the Founder of SoGal and Founding Partner of SoGal Ventures. During graduate school, Pocket built and grew SoGal from a new student organization in November 2014 to an empowering global community of 3,000+ diverse entrepreneurs and investors in 26 countries. She created and produced dozens of large-scale events for hundreds of emerging founders, and advised over 20 startups within a year. She is also known as a master connector. Prior to SoGal, Pocket was a Global Marketing Specialist co-managing a $3B product portfolio.
Born and raised in China, Pocket is bicultural and bilingual. She holds a Master of Science in Entrepreneurship and Innovation degree from University of Southern California, and Bachelor of Business Administration degree from College of William & Mary.
Follow Pocket on Twitter @pocketysun
Head of Developer Strategy, Oculus
As Head of Developer Strategy, Anna oversees developer relationships and the ecosystem that supports and inspires developers to create and deliver the world’s best virtual reality experiences. She brings more than 10 years of noted success in the gaming industry, specializing in strategic planning, product & business development and marketing. Prior to Facebook, Anna led Steam software and hardware programs globally and is credited with growing the platform user base exponentially. She has an engineering background with a Computer Science degree from RIT and on the side runs Sweet Farm – a farm animal sanctuary dedicated to helping rescued animals.
Always passionate about mathematics, Anarghya published a math theorem at the age of 17 which set her on a lifelong path in STEM. Prior to entering the world of venture capital, Anarghya worked for several startups in the product manager and head of product capacity, including the early founding teams of fintech and healthtech companies. She also expanded her product experience to the non-profit and developing world through her work for Ushahidi, where she was a product manager and led user experience research across South America and East Africa. Before entering the startup world, Anarghya held various roles at Google, leading operational teams and focusing on international expansion of the AdWords Express product.
Prior to joining Maveron, Anarghya was an investor at small seed fund where she focused on consumer and media investments while also spending significant time focusing on frontier technology.
At Maveron, she brings her passion for the intersection of cutting edge technologies like artificial intelligence to existing mass consumer experiences, identifying these opportunities in the Bay Area and beyond. Within the portfolio, Anarghya is a board observer for Booster Fuels.
Matt works at the intersection of behavior change and business. Originally an academic (social psychologist), he started translating what we know about the psychology of human behavior into creating products that change those behaviors. He’s a feminist and has built several successful tools that address feminist issues (GetRaised.com, SalaryOrEquity.com). Matt is a scientist and continue to evangelize Competing Pressures Design, so that not just one team or person can change behavior but everyone can look to affect the world through behavioral design.
Follow me on Twitter: @mattwallaert
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