Women Startup Challenge Europe 2018 Jury


Europe 2018 | Finalists | Judges | Advisors | Mentors | Sponsors

A jury of top investors and tech leaders scored 10 women founders as they pitched their ventures on October 25, 2018, at Women Startup Challenge Europe at City Hall in Paris, cohosted by the Office of the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo. These finalists were selected by a jury of investors, serial entrepreneurs, and tech executives, and competed for the chance to win $60,000 in total cash grants for their startups.

Meet the Jury

Mitchell Baker

Executive Chairwoman, Mozilla

Mitchell Baker co-founded the Mozilla Project to support the open, innovative web and ensure it continues offering opportunities for everyone. As Chairwoman of Mozilla, Mitchell Baker is responsible for organizing and motivating a massive, worldwide, collective of employees and volunteers around the world who are building the internet as a global public resource, open and accessible to all. Mitchell is deeply engaged in developing product offerings that promote the mission of empowering individuals. She also guides the overall scope and direction of Mozilla’s mission. Mitchell has written the key documents that set out Mozilla’s enduring mission and commitments – the Mozilla Public License in 1998, the Mozilla Manifesto in 2007 and the Mozilla Manifesto Addendum – also known as the Pledge for a Healthy Internet – in 2018.

Mitchell is a strong advocate for the open internet, open source, and the importance of connecting technology to its impact on individuals and society. She is highly regarded as one of the pioneers of the web and bringing the open internet to consumers. She was instrumental in Netscape’s decision in 1998 to release its source code to the public. This later led to the release of the Firefox browser and the creation of the Mozilla Foundation as a global technology force that spans software product development, educational initiatives, and participatory movements. After co-founding the Mozilla Project, Mitchell served as its general manager and CEO from 1999 until January 2008, when the organization’s rapid growth encouraged her to split her responsibilities and add a CEO.

Mitchell is a member of the Advisory Boards of the Oxford Internet Institute and the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy. She is an MIT Media Lab Research Affiliate with the Open Agriculture Initiative, and a Board Member of OpenMRS, Inc., which develops open source medical records systems for use in resource-constrained environments. She co-chaired the U.S. Department of Commerce Digital Economy Board of Advisors from its inception in March 2016 until August 2017, served on the United Nations High Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment, and the ICANN High Level Panel on Global Internet Cooperation and Governance Mechanisms. A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Mitchell received her B.A. in Asian Studies from UC Berkeley and her J.D. from Berkeley Law.

TIME Magazine profiled Mitchell in its global list of “100 Most Influential People” under “Scientists and Thinkers”. Bloomberg listed her as one of the “25 Most Influential People on the Web”. She was honored as winner of the Anita Borg Institute’s 2009 Women of Vision Award and received the Aenne Burda Award for Creative Leadership in 2010. In 2012, Mitchell was inducted into the founding group of the Internet Society’s Hall of Fame. In 2018 she received the Webby Lifetime Achievement Award. She also received an honorary doctorate from the Universite Catholique de Louvain in Belgium. She has written op-eds for the Atlantic and CNN.com and appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press”, BBC’s “HardTalk”, CNN’s “Global Office”, NBC’s “Weekend Today”, France 24, the UK’s Channel 4 and NPR’s “Morning Edition”. She has spoken at high-level events like Tech for Good, VivaTech, Wired NextFest, World Economic Forum, Mobile World Congress, Web Summit, Collision and Singularity University.

Fatou Diagne

Partner and Co-Founder at Bootstrap Europe

Fatou is a partner and co-founder at Bootstrap Europe in Zurich, where she focuses on the sourcing, risk evaluation, negotiation, and due diligence of new investment opportunities.

Prior to starting Bootstrap, Fatou co-founded TREE. In this role, she focused on investment, selection, due diligence, and performance optimization of clients’ direct holdings in private companies. Fatou also contributed to the setup and implementation of the African Risk Capacity, a $100m sovereign risk insurance facility against drought in 22 countries.

Fatou worked at Citigroup in their London and Johannesburg offices, where she spent over five years advising clients in Europe and emerging markets on cross border acquisitions, high yield debt, and equity financings. Her work experience also extends to strategic advisory to the CEO at SFR, France’s second largest mobile operator, as well as the sovereign credit ratings team Standard and Poor’s in London.

Fatou is originally from Senegal. She holds a BSc in Economics and Finance from the University of Calgary and graduated from the HEC Business School in Paris, where she majored in Finance. Fatou is fluent in French, English, Wolof, and Spanish.

Julien Quintard

Managing Director, Techstars Paris

Julien is the Managing Director of Techstars Paris.  Previously he was a researcher at the University of Cambridge in a field that recently became popular with blockchains, then founded Infinit out of his research which was acquired by Docker in 2016. Julien is also a mentor, advisor and investor to startups.

Stéphanie Hospital

Founder and CEO, OneRagtime

Stéphanie Hospital is the Founder and CEO of OneRagtime, a new generation venture platform, advisory and studio focused on investing in and scaling early stage European startups in both Europe and the United States and working closely with Corporates.

Prior to this, Stéphanie was the Executive Vice President of Orange Digital, the Digital & New Growth Business Unit. She has an extensive international and management background in the digital, telecommunication and advertising sectors with a proven track record in setting up and growing new ventures, investing, building best-in-class teams and forming international partnerships.

Stéphanie is founding member of Level 39, the leading tech accelerator in London. And she was an Executive Director at Dailymotion, as well as Vice Chairman for IAB Europe.

Stéphanie graduated from Grenoble Ecole de Management, and has recently been selected as part of the 50 most inspiring women in tech in Europe.

Jean-Louis Missika

Deputy Mayor of Paris

Since 2014, Jean-Louis Missika is a Paris councilor and Deputy Mayor of Paris, in charge of urban planning, architecture, Greater Paris projects, economic development and attractiveness. From 2008 to 2014 he served as Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of innovation, research and higher education.

Jean-Louis Missika is a media sociologist. He holds a PhD in management, a degree in philosophy and is graduated of Sciences Po Paris. He was head of the Information and Dissemination Service of the Prime Minister Michel Rocard and director of BVA, before setting up a consulting firm. He also served as Vice President of Iliad. He has taught media sociology at Sciences Po Paris.

Jean-Louis Missika has written several books, notably on media and politics: La Folle du logis. Television in Democratic Societies, with Dominique Wolton (Gallimard, 1983), La Fin de la télévision (Le Seuil/La République des idées, 2006) and Parler pour gagner, sémiotique des discours de la campagne présidentielle de 2007, with Denis Bertrand and Alexandre Dézé
(Presses de Sciences Po, 2007).

Alejandro Tauber

Editor in Chief, The Next Web

Alejandro is the Editor-in-Chief of TNW (The Next Web). Previously he was editor of MOTHERBOARD NI, Vice Media and an Online Editor at Vice Media.

Preliminary Judges

Mary McKenna

Director at Elemental Software and Co-Founder of Learning Pool

Mary McKenna, MBE, is a well-known Irish technology entrepreneur and angel investor. She co-founded the successful Northern Irish e-learning company Learning Pool following a long public sector career and a spell as a Silicon Valley dotcommer. She exited from Learning Pool in 2014 so that she could return to working with earlier-stage startups.

Mary is interested in helping to start and grow indigenous Irish and UK tech companies. She is also keen to work with female and young entrepreneurs. She is a resident expert at the University of Oxford’s Said Business School; one of the Entrepreneurs in Residence at the Northern Ireland Science Park in Belfast; a trustee of the Centre for Acceleration of Social Technology; and an active member of Tech London Advocates.

She has invested in six early-stage tech startups to date, three of which have female founding teams. Mary was awarded the MBE by Her Majesty the Queen in the 2014 New Year’s Honours for services to digital technology, innovation, and learning.

Renaud Visage

Co-Founder @ Eventbrite

Renaud Visage is the technical co-founder & CTO of Eventbrite, the largest live experience platform in the world by the number of events and creators. Eventbrite has raised $334M from high caliber VCs including Sequoia, Tiger Global, and T. Rowe Price, and the company recently crossed $10B in cumulative gross ticket sales.

Renaud anticipated several fundamental shifts in the way we use the internet – including the arrival of social media, big data analysis, the shift to mobile devices as first screens and the ubiquity of APIs – and leveraged their disruptive power to Eventbrite’s advantage, fueling the company’s growth into the globally leading self-service ticketing platform it is today, processing more than 3M tickets every week.

Renaud is also an angel investor, guiding founders that are solving challenging technical problems in realizing their global ambitions.

With engineering degrees from Cornell University (USA) and Ecole Centrale de Lyon (France), Renaud started his career as an environmental consultant before joining the dot com world in 2000 in Silicon Valley, as Director of Engineering at Zing Networks, the Internet photo-sharing pioneer later acquired by Sony.

In 2014, Renaud was included in Wired UK’s Top 100 digital influencers in Europe. When he is not thinking about technology, he’s taking pictures somewhere around the world.

Ivana Ojukwu

COO and Cofounder of SeeFashion

Ivana is COO and co-founder of SeeFashion – an omnichannel personalisation and intelligence platform that helps retailers understand what their customers want as soon as they arrive on your online store. SeeFashion leverages cross-site customer behavioural data from their retail network and cutting-edge computer vision to turn first-time visitors into loyal customers. A 2017 Women Who Tech finalist, FUTR’s Retail Tech Top 50 start up and 2018 Forbes 30 under 30 nominee, Ivana heads up operations and overall strategy execution in order to deliver the best data-forward yet compliant solutions to retail clients.

Prior to SeeFashion, Ivana worked with some of London’s leading data start-ups including Musicmetric, which was sold to Apple in 2015. Some of her projects included organising a roundtable with former MP Eric Pickles, the British Council of Shopping Centres and 5 leading retailers such as John Lewis on the role of retail in town regeneration, and the development of a Social Media Tracker for BBC’s 2014 Glastonbury coverage.

Noah Robischon

Senior Director of Product, Conde Nast and Former Executive Editor, Fast Company

Noah Robischon is a Senior Director of Product at Conde Nast. He was previously the Executive Editor of Fast Company, and launched a network of properties that included Co.Design. As the managing editor of the Gawker Media network, he helped launch new sites such as io9 and Jezebel. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, Time, and Gizmodo.

Cindy Padnos

Founder and Managing Partner, Illuminate Ventures

Leveraging 25 years of high tech industry experience, Cindy Padnos is the founder and Managing Partner of Illuminate Ventures. She focuses primarily in the Enterprise/B2B cloud and mobile computing sectors, with a particular emphasis on SaaS applications and platforms, solutions  leveraging big data for business impact and new business models that accelerate customer acquisition. Cindy serves as a board director or observer for Allocadia, Bedrock Analytics, BrightEdge, ChannelEyes, Hoopla Software, Peerlyst, Xactly and Yozio.

Cindy has been an active member of the venture capital community for more than 10 years and has helped raise and deploy $100’s of millions in venture financing for early stage tech companies. Prior to founding Illuminate in 2009, she was one of three investment professionals at Outlook Ventures responsible for committing the firm’s $140 million fund. Cindy sourced and led investments in companies in the IT infrastructure, enterprise software/SaaS and mobile application spaces.

Elizabeth Varley

Cofounder & CEO at TechHub

Elizabeth Varley is a serial entrepreneur with a background in technology, content, events and growing communities. She is Founder and CEO of TechHub – the home for technology entrepreneurs and startups in Europe, India and the USA and soon many other countries around the world. As well as being the global community for startups, TechHub works with corporates to help them with innovation culture and connecting with startups.

Elizabeth has appeared in all of the major UK tech and business press, including WIRED UK, the BBC, the Guardian and the Economist, and listed in other major publications such as Computer Weekly’s UKtech50 top influencers, the Evening Standard’s Silicon 60, Vogue UK’s Generation Tech and Cosmopolitan’s Fierce 40 Under 40. She has been a judge for many technology and business awards and is a sought-after conference and event speaker around the world.

Robin Wauters

Founding Editor, Tech.eu

Robin is a seasoned European technology journalist and the Founding Editor of Tech.eu – the premier source of European technology news, data analysis, and market intelligence. He was formerly the European Editor of The Next Web, and before that a senior editor at TechCrunch.

Anne Worsøe

Partner and Portfolio Manager at Bakken & Baeck

Anne Worsøe is a Partner and Portfolio Manager at Bakken & Baeck, an international product development studio with locations in Oslo, Amsterdam and Bonn, and an outpost in San Francisco. They partner with founders and companies to design and build digital products and new ventures. From their investment company, they also invest in early-stage technology startups. 

Previously, Anne initiated and co-founded the co-working space Nordic Innovation House in Silicon Valley, explored new business opportunities in the renewables industry and was the first CEO of the Norwegian Venture Capital & Private Equity Association. She has experience as a co-founder, angel investor, member of Board of Directors for startups and VCs, focusing on early-stage ventures, growth, and internationalization. Anne is passionate about helping startups scale their impact, and especially empowering female co-founders and angel investors.

Melissa Jun Rowley

Cofounder, Resolve

For more than 15 years, Melissa has been at the forefront of the intersection of technology, media, and social impact as a prominent author, speaker and entrepreneur.

A former field producer for CNN and Associated Press Television News, she is the co-founder of Resolve, a specialist accelerator partnering with sector-leading organizations to help startups across the globe scale internationally, and connecting business hubs to emerging markets. Resolve is an extension of The Toolbox, a humanitarian tech platform, which Melissa led with legendary musician and activist Peter Gabriel.

Melissa provides content strategy, partnership development and tech consulting to Fortune 500 companies, startups and social enterprises, while meeting the growing demand among leading organizations to extend market reach and build global ecosystems. She is a frequent speaker and moderator at major industry conferences supporting social justice and innovation. Her published work as an author includes features for BBC News, Fast Company, CBS News, NBC, Mic.com, Mashable, Village Voice Media, MTV, TechCrunch, and more.

Melissa is a champion for women’s rights and young people using science, tech, engineering, art and math (STEAM) to transform communities. Additionally, she mentors global teen activists with the We Are Family Foundation. She is currently based in London, but is a compulsive traveler always on the lookout for ways to promote global entrepreneurship, discover new music and hike adventurous trails.

Vidu Shanmugarajah

Legal Counsel, Google Ventures

Vidu is legal counsel for Europe and works on deal sourcing, diligence, and managing investments.

Vidu has a broad background spanning corporate law, startups, and investing. He began his career at Linklaters, advising companies and investment funds on mergers and acquisitions, financings, and commercial deals. Following Linklaters, Vidu founded an online marketplace that provided better access to legal advice for startups and small businesses. He also helped launch Grafton Capital, a London-based growth equity firm, and spent time at HgCapital on buyout and growth investments in the technology and renewable energy sectors.

Vidu holds a degree in law from the London School of Economics. He continues to advise startups on all types of legal and business issues.

Joanna Kirk

Co-director of StartHer 
Joanna is a senior communications & PR strategist for international ecosystem builders, fast growth companies and startups in Tech and creative industries. Based in Paris, she is the co-director of StartHer, non-profit organization that supports women in technology and entrepreneurship, and chair of Techfugees France which coordinates the tech community’s response to the needs of refugees, asylum seekers and displaced people. Joanna co-founded Tales & Remedies music project and Startup Sesame, the global network for Tech events, startups, ecosystem builders and corporations. Previously in charge of communications & PR for global entertainment and tech events Midem, MIPTV, MIPCOM and LeWeb, Joanna holds an MBA in Cultural Management in Europe from Paris 8 and a BA in European Studies from Reading University. 

Suki Fuller

CEO, Salaam Ventures

Suki Fuller is a startup advisor and globally recognized speaker, mentor and analytical storyteller. From national security to non-profits; China to Middle East, Suki is sought for her experience in the early adoption of emergent technologies and ability to translate the quantitative into qualitative insights. She is the CEO of Salaam Ventures and Founder of Miribure; a Strategic & Competitive Intelligence company. She is also a board member and NED to several startups. An Advocate for Tech, she is the Mentor Ambassador for Tech London Advocates (TLA) – Women in Tech Group. Suki was also recently named one of the 30 Change Makers for London Tech Week 2018.

Liva Judic

Executive Coach

Liva is a serial entrepreneur and executive coach. She has extensive international experience working with startups who who want to grow outside their domestic market on product-market fit, brand development, and communications. Liva strives to inspire senior leadership to make bold decisions that fuel growth and embolden their brands while making a lasting positive impact on their ecosystems.

Matt Wall

BBC, Technology of Business Editor

Matt Wall is a senior broadcast journalist at BBC News Online, Technology of Business editor and occasional acting Business Features Editor (www.bbc.com/techbusiness). He has more than 25 years experience in print, broadcast and digital media as a journalist, editor, author, copywriter and consultant. He’s written for The Sunday Times; Financial Times; Guardian and more.

Stacy Plum

Consultant, Biopharmaceutical Drug Development

Stacy M. Plum, Ph.D, is a seasoned entrepreneurial scientist. Throughout her career she has focused on the development of novel therapeutics to tackle a number of indications, including oncology, autoimmunity, infectious and cardiovascular diseases. In addition, Dr. Plum has leveraged scientific knowledge with big data to develop enhanced clinical approaches leading to optimized output for patients. With a focus on start-up companies, Dr. Plum has advised and been involved in fostering innovative and groundbreaking scientific endeavors.

Marta Krupinska

Cofounder of Azimo

Tech entrepreneur, proud migrant and diversity advocate. Recognised by Forbes in 30Under30 in 2016 and by Evening Standard in London’s Most Influential People 2017. Co-founder of one of the fastest growing companies in the global FinTech space, Azimo, sending millions of payments a year for migrants.

Working with entrepreneurs at the intersection of technology, sustainability and impact. Expert in bringing people together and creating cutting edge tech that matters.

Rajeeb Dey

Founder of Enternships.com and CEO of Learnerbly

Rajeeb Dey, MBE, is the Founder and CEO of Enternships, a portal which has connected students and graduates to internships and graduate jobs in over 7,000 startups and fast-growing businesses. In recognition of his work, Rajeeb was named the “O2 X Young Entrepreneur of the Year” and the youngest recipient of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion in 2013.

Rajeeb is passionate about helping people connect to opportunities and flourish in their careers. To further this goal, he recently launched Learnerbly – a platform to help manage employees’ professional development. Rajeeb is also the Co-Founder of StartUp Britain, a national entrepreneurship campaign launched by Prime Minister David Cameron in 2011. He is a vocal supporter of social enterprise, serving as a Trustee of UnLtd – the Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs – for over 8 years.

Rajeeb graduated with 1st Class Honours in Economics and Management from the University of Oxford and was appointed the world’s youngest Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2012 at the age of 26. He was named one of the 1,000 Most Influential People in London by The Evening Standard as well as being recognized in “Who’s Who” and “Debrett’s People of Today”. He was appointed Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the Queen’s 90th Birthday Honours List in June 2016 for services to Entrepreneurship.

Veronica Orvalho

Cofounder, MyDidimo

Veronica envisions a world where technology retains it humanity.

She is a dreamer and an optimist engineer. Fascinated by the many ways in which people communicate, learn and share knowledge, led Veronica to discover a new way to interact and scale her presence in the digital era instilling trust and empathy in digital communication. Veronica completed her PhD in Computer Graphics in Barcelona many years ago. She is a professor at Porto University and the Founder and CEO of Didimo. Veronica recently gave a TEDx talk to over 1000 people, won first place in Women Who Tech’s Women Startup Challenge in New York City and won the IBM scientific award.

Veronica’s inventions have been used by Universal Studios, Sony, Microsoft, Amazon and European and Portuguese research funded projects. She loves to be outdoors and talk with people: random people, close friends, everyone. She like creating new things, inventing and going beyond what her imagination can envision.

Veronica’s everyday life motto is: breath, learn, learn, learn, observe and then share.

Max Kelly

Managing Director (London) at Techstars

Max is currently Managing Director of Techstars London. Techstars is the world’s leading accelerator program for early-stage startups. Prior to Techstars, Max spent 12 years at Virgin where he was responsible for the strategy of the group and for starting new companies. Virgin Insight – which delivered big data consultancy to all the Virgin companies, including Virgin Mobile USA – grew to revenues of $1 billion within 18 months. Additionally, Virgin Mobile Canada was voted the best Canadian network in its launch year, while Virgin Healthbank froze stem cells cryogenically. These companies exited for more than $500M for Richard Branson.

Alongside his Virgin commitments, Max also co-founded lastsecondtickets.com which was successfully sold in 2014. He started his career at L’Oreal running the UK’s largest haircare brand – the irony was lost on no one. He was a scholar at Oxford University, where he obtained a First Class Degree in Chemistry.

Nina Klass

Head of nextMedia.Hamburg

Nina is a strategist and consultant in the field of organisational development. She leads nextMedia.Hamburg, an initiative to support digital transformation and innovation in the content industry. She is a PhD Candidate and was a Research Associate at the University of Hamburg, where she specialised in innovation and corporate development management with a focus on the media industry. As a freelance consultant she and her colleagues help different players in finding the right Digital Strategy and make use of Innovation Services and Tools. She was previously Head of Digital Marketing and oversaw many digital projects at SPIEGEL Group.

Matthew Ziskie

Lead, Americas for Airbnb for Work and LP at Backstage Capital

Matthew Ziskie is currently the Lead in the Americas for Airbnb for Work and LP at Backstage Capital. Matthew was previously Head of Global Procurement at Airbnb. He is also a Mentor for Techstars, Backstage Capital, and Alchemist Accelerator. Matthew is also on the Hotel Committee for the Global Business Travel Association, and is on the Tech Advisory Board for Delta Airlines. Alumni of BoxHQ and Genentech.

Anta Diallo

Digital and Economic Advisor, Consulate General of France in New York

Anta is the Digital and Economic Advisor for the Consulate General of France in New York.

Develop and promote the French Tech startup community (help startups get access to resources and expertise within the network, engage with the American Tech scene (VCs, angels, corporates, influencers…), organize conferences…). Previously she was the French Tech Hub Coordinator, focusing on tech incubation and fundraising, at La French Tech where Anta was responsible for market analysis for evaluation of startups.

Toby Kress

Head of Accelerator, London Metropolitan University's Business Incubator

Toby Kress is the Head of Accelerator, London Metropolitan University’s business incubator in Shoreditch. Accelerator is home to 30 technology start-ups and scale-ups who between them have raised over £25m investment over the past 3 years.

Toby was previously a Director at CultureLabel, a VC backed e-commerce platform, as well as REMIX, the global summit of Culture, Technology and Entrepreneurship organised in partnership with Google, Bloomberg and The British Council. Toby has co-founded a tech startup called Groop Gifts and has an MBA from London Business School.

Christopher J. Morris

Co-Founder & Managing Partner, Sustainable Ventures

A serial entrepreneur with more than 15 years of experience taking start-ups from concept to exit, Chris is the Co-Founder of Sustainable Venture Development Partners (“Sustainable Ventures”) and a lead shareholder in the 8 businesses they have launched since 2011.

In 2012 he founded E-Car Club and quickly cemented the company as a significant new player in the sustainable transport space, raising over £2m in seed investment and forging national partnerships with household names including British Gas, Nissan & Renault. In July 2015 he managed the sale of the business to car rental firm Europcar for an undisclosed sum, delivering the world’s first exit for an equity crowdfunded business and a significant multiple return for investors.

He is now Managing Partner at Sustainable Ventures where he and co-founder Andrew Wordsworth lead a team of some of the UK’s most talented venture development and investment professionals, united by a vision of the world where the twin challenges of climate change and resource scarcity are addressed by commercial solutions. Over the last 7 years they have founded 8 businesses, invested in 15 and provided co-working space for a further 50, transforming a disused warehouse in Central London into what is now Europe’s largest ‘Cleantech Cluster’.

Chris is a regular commentator on subjects including entrepreneurship, crowdfunding and sustainable transport. He holds an MA (Hons) in Geography from the University of Edinburgh, along with an MBA from London Business School, and was the 2016 BusinessGreen Entrepreneur of the Year.

Eva Bandelj

Community Engagement Lead & Tech Ecosystem Builder at Startupbootcamp Global Innovation Program

Based out of Amsterdam, Eva works as a Community Engagement Lead & Tech Ecosystem Builder at Startupbootcamp global innovation program to bring value to their community of startups, alumni, partners, mentors, investors, influencers, and media.

Before joining the tech world, Eva used to work on marketing, advertising, loyalty and promotional campaigns for several blue-chip companies, including Freelancer.com, Sky, Renault, P&G and L’Oréal Group.

Passionate about all things startups, Eva actively engages with the tech community internationally, advocating the importance of knowledge-exchange, collaboration, diversity inclusion, and access to talent in the global sharing economy.

Alex Baker-Whitcomb

Manager of Audience Development, WIRED Magazine

Alex is the Manager of Audience Development for WIRED Magazine in San Francisco. He is a former Facebook employee, race car driver, and still a Vermonter at heart.

Previously, Alex served as the Social Video Editor for WIRED and worked at Oculus. He professionally raced cars for several years, ran a ceramics program, wrote a romance novel, and has his gliding license. Alex describes himself as wearing many hats (helmets).

Berna Ülman

Executive Director of South Eastern Europe Visa Inc.

Berna Ulman is Executive Director for South Eastern Europe at Visa since 2008. She is responsible for delivering Visa’s strategies and business growth in 9 markets comprising of Turkey, Israel, Greece, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia, Slovenia and Malta. Prior to her current role, Ms Ulman was Visa’s General Manager for Turkey, where she was responsible for leading Visa’s business development and relationship management with client banks.

Berna Ulman is a senior executive with over 30 years of professional experience in payments and finance, including 18 years at Visa. She has joined Visa in 2000 from Koç Finans where she served as Vice President in charge of Systems Planning and progressed to Vice President in charge of Credit Cards. Earlier in her career, she has held a number of management consultancy roles in various companies in the U.S. between 1987 and 1995.

Ms. Ulman holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from Bosphorus University and a Master of Business Administration degree in Finance from the University of Tennessee. She has also completed an Extended Studies Program on EU Relations at Bilgi University.

Berna Ulman is also a Trustee and Board Director in the Health & Education Foundation (SEV).

Managing Partner, StartupBootcamp

Managing Partner at Startupbootcamp: Serial Entrepreneur who started 12 companies in FMCG, Home Electronics, Healthcare, E-Commerce, HR, and Finance, both B2B and B2C. Failed 4 times. Because of this experience, he has an in-depth knowledge in many fields, which can help entrepreneurs maintain a 360-degree view of their business. He is a motivator, business coach, and critical optimist. With his skills and experience, he is currently in charge of selecting startups for the Accelerator programs in Amsterdam, and helping over 100 alumni from Startupbootcamp Amsterdam as a part of the SBC NXT program, which focuses on the execution of their business after the program. In that capacity, he meets with over 1.000 startups a year, trying to help them if possible.

Triin Linamagi

Head of Ecosystem at SBC Colab FinTech

Triin is Head of Ecosystem at SBC Colab FinTech, an innovation program for mature markets providing corporates within an industry early access to relevant growth stage companies. In her previous career she has helped to establish a handful of technology companies. She is also part of British Estonian Chamber of Commerce bridging the relationships between UK and Estonia and helping businesses and entrepreneurs to reach their full potential and overcome limitations to growth.

Antonella Socci

Startup Adviser & CMO on demand

Antonella is a passionate Marketing, Brand and Communications leader with expertise in innovation, tech start-ups and financial services. She combines a classical marketing approach with the dynamics of digital marketing, effectively spanning both areas and has broad experience in marketing strategy, value proposition development, product market validation, brand management, commercial partnerships and world-class sponsorships.

She spent most of her career with blue chip companies including Visa Inc. where she held senior roles in international B2B and B2C marketing. Antonella has always channelled her energy towards transformational consumer-centric propositions that anticipate markets.

Her journey in start-ups started in 2014 when she launched and grew Visa’s Card-Linked-Offers business in Europe. The enterprise was a partnership with edo Interactive, a US venture-backed start-up at the intersection of data, loyalty and payments. Currently, Antonella is the Founder & CEO of We Marketing, an international hub of senior marketers and she supports Founders as a CMO/VP on demand. Also, she is an Adviser to Skipping Rocks Lab, the 2016’s Wired Retail Award start-up winner on a mission to make plastic packaging disappear and a Mentor at Startupbootcamp, L39 and Accelerator-London.

Martin Bryant

Consultant and Former Editor of Tech North and The Next Web

Martin Bryant is a consultant, speaker, writer, and educator in the fields of technology and media.

He works to help technology companies craft a narrative around their products and business. He was previously Editor-in-Chief of international technology publication The Next Web, and Community Editor at Tech North, where he shone a light on the stories of startups and entrepreneurs in the North of England.

Martin has interviewed top technology executives onstage at some of the world’s biggest technology conferences like the Web Summit, SXSW, and LeWeb. He delivers engaging fireside chats and panel discussions, and is also in demand to MC whole events.

He also delivers workshops on emerging technology, helping individuals and businesses understand how new trends and products will change the way they live and work. He often appears on TV and radio, and has given insight into technology news stories on the likes of BBC Breakfast, Sky News, You & Yours, and Good Morning Wales.

Benedetta Arese Lucini

Co-Founder, Oval Money; Former GM Uber (Italy)

Benedetta Arese Lucini was born in Milano and earned her Bachelor’s degree in International Economics from the University of Bocconi. She began her career in investment banking at Morgan Stanley in London. Then, she earned her MBA from NYU”s Stern School of Business, where she specialized in technology, media, and entertainment.

Upon graduation, Benedetta took her newfound passion for tech startups to the West Coast. She led startups to the public market through her role at Credit Suisse. Once she felt ready for a new adventure, Benedetta moved to Malaysia and led the operations of Zalora – an e-commerce company under the Rocket Internet Group. After nearly 10 years of global tech experience, Benedetta returned to Italy and worked as the Italian General Manager at Uber, where she managed the brand’s expansion through Italy and the launch of new products, like its peer-to-peer solution.

The knowledge and exposure that she gained at Uber drove Benedetta to start something new. As Co-Founder of Oval Money, she wants to tackle another highly regulated industry -finance. Her goal is to build a web and mobile app that uses behavioral data and artificial intelligence to help users make smarter financial choices.

Max Kranendijk

Senior Innovation Manager at VodafoneZiggo

Max is working as Innovation Manager at VodafoneZiggo. The last 6 years he has pitched, negotiated and managed over 50 successful innovation projects and programs, with corporates, startups and knowledge institutions. He is active as mentor and corporate partner for Startupbootcamp and has assessed over 1000 startups for Vodafone(Ziggo). Furthermore, actively engaged with startup partnerships TNW, TQ, Rockstart, StartupDelta and StartupAmsterdam.     

Max has a background in Business Engineering (BEng) and Management of Innovation (MSc). Moreover, he loves to give guest lectures, presentations and joins panel discussions and juries about innovation management and corporate innovation partnerships.


Charles Thiede

Co-Founder and CEO of Zapnito

Charles is Co-Founder and CEO of Zapnito, a publishing platform that allows organizations to build their own online, branded knowledge networks. Together with his co-founder, Charles created, bootstrapped, developed, and pivoted Zapnito from an idea to a thriving SaaS business that won Digital Startup of the Year at the 2015 Professional Publishers Association Awards.

Prior to Zapnito, Charles worked as Chief Technology Officer at Informa Business Information. In this role, he managed a portfolio worth $400 million for one of Informa’s most successful business units. Charles also worked as Interim Chief Product Officer and Digital Systems Director at Nature Publishing Group, where he created and developed the first product office for Nature.com.

A former triathlete and triathlon coach, Charles excels at helping founders build their businesses from bootstrap to profit. Creating world-class digital products with outstanding colleagues gets Charles out of bed each morning.

Stephanie Redish Hofmann

Director of Agency Development, Google

Stephanie Redish Hofmann leads the WPP Holding Co team at Google responsible for driving digital media investment across GroupM (Mindshare, Mediacom, MEC, Maxus) and leads the team responsible for x-Hold Co digital capability development for the Google Agency Development Team.

Previously, Stephanie launched and led Google’s Shopping Solutions team dedicated to developing digital solutions that enabled retailers and manufacturers to win the shopping ‘moments that matter’. Other prior roles at Google, over her eight year tenure, include Director of Agency Development for IPG & Specialty Agency (Shopper and Multicultural agency development) and leading Agency learning & development. Before joining the Agency Development team, Stephanie was Head of Industry Marketing for Google’s CPG vertical where she led research efforts focused on proving the efficacy of digital advertising for CPG manufacturers.

Prior to Google, Stephanie spent 16 years working at brand marketing and consumer promotion agencies on CPG brands including Clorox, Del Monte, Dole, Revlon, among others and started her career in non-profit fundraising and development. Stephanie is an undergraduate of Penn State University and received her Masters in Communication from Seton Hall University. She’s an avid sports fan, (any team Peyton plays for!), former marathon runner, and passionate wife, and mom of Cooper (6 years) and Ellie (2 years).

Fun fact: “Most School Spirit” — H.S. Superlative

Jason Leder

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.

Marilyn Waite

Program Officer, Hewlett Foundation

Marilyn Waite’s vision is a world where sustainability’s values of social cohesion, environmental consciousness, intergenerational equity, and economic health drive decision-making and business practices. A multi-lingual engineer, project manager, and author, she has experience across four continents in investment (Lincoln International in China), renewable and nuclear energy (AREVA in France), education (Kaplan and Shanghai Normal University), economic development (United Nations in Madagascar), tourism and Internet start-ups (SustainableVisit), and public policy (National Academy of Sciences in the United States).

As the author of Sustainability at Work (Routledge-Earthscan 2016), Marilyn has addressed global audiences worldwide on sustainability in careers, manufacturing, climate change, water, and energy. She also founded SustainableVisit, an app and online platform that provides users with sustainable travel and tourism suggestions for locations worldwide. Marilyn holds a Master’s degree with distinction in Engineering for Sustainable Development from the University of Cambridge and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering (magna cum laude) from Princeton University. Marilyn currently leads the energy practice at Village Capital; serves on the Board of Directors for Engineers for a Sustainable World; and is a Senior Research Fellow at Project Drawdown.

Florent Roulet

Cofounder of NOR Capital

Florent Roulet is a co-founder of NOR Capital, a pan-European TMT-focused Corporate Finance advisory firm mainly working on M&A and Capital Raising transactions.

Florent co-leads NOR Capital’s efforts in the technology space on a pan-European basis, advising entrepreneurs at various stages of their journeys.

Florent was previously with UBS’ Strategic Investments team, in TMT M&A with Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and with established Corporate Finance boutiques GP Bullhound and Bryan Garnier, advising from early-stage to very large global firms in the TMT sector.

Kevin Brown

Partner at Electric Glue and at The Garage Soho

Kevin began his advertising career in his homeland of Ireland where he graduated from the College of Commerce, Dublin. He moved to the UK & later joined BBH in 1990 as Group Media Manager and in 1995 was made Media director. Earning him an appointment to the board. Kevin was the founding partner of Motive, BBH’s media arm. In 2000 he left to form a new advertising agency Soul. Soul was later acquired by the Asian independent Network Agency “Nitro” in 2005. In 2005 Kevin re-joined BBH as a global partner where he was also appointed to the board of BBH’s brand invention business ZAG. In 2014 he co-founded BBH’s new sports marketing venture BBH Sport alongside rugby legend Lawrence Dallaglio, and was also a non-executive director of Universal Music.

Kev is now Partner at Electric Glue; where he helps glue Media together, Partner at The Garage Soho; leading all Media deals for their unique portfolio of start-ups as well as working on BRO-KEN with cofounder Nick Kendall.


Ton van ‘t Noordende

CEO of 01Ventures and Investor In Residence at StartupDelta

Ton is CEO of 01Ventures – European early and growth stage deep tech VC. Next to that, he’s the Investor In Residence at StartupDelta working closely together with HRH Prince Constantijn of Oranje. Founded the E/D/T Global Foundation in 2017 to support the pioneers in emerging technologies that are fundamentally changing the way our world operates.

Diane Tate

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 WebFWDMozilla’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.

Paul Celen

Business Consultant and Head Coach at IMEC, Belguim

Paul Celen has been active the last 16 years as an entrepreneur with extensive business and management experience. He received a a PhD in science from the State University of Ghent, an MBA from the University of Antwerp – associated with Boston University (USA), and holds several prestigious degrees from global institutions.

He currently works as an independent business consultant in Austria, specialised in interim management, coaching other entrepreneurs, start-ups, scale ups for any occasion where there is a potential for growth and business development. He is also head coach at IMEC, Belgium, for B2B-sales.

Paul’s work varies between incubators, investors, and individual companies often focusing in the integration of ICT-technology for existing fields like IoT, e-health, AI, Speech technology, Pharma, Retail, Art, Multimedia, Jewellery, Luxury goods, 3D-printing, Design.

Fiona Wilkinson

Founder, FBW Consulting and Non-Executive Director, Contis Group

Fiona Wilkinson has a 35 year track record in business, including board level roles at Visa Europe, most recently as chief communications officer.  She has extensive experience of communications, risk, reputation and issues management, as well as sales, marketing and change management. She is a non-executive director of banking and payments company Contis Group, a consultant to fin-tech and fast growth businesses, an accredited coach, and a trustee of Speakers Trust.

Alfredo Adamo

Startup Advisor and Angel Investor

Alfredo is an entrepreneur and manager with 30 years of experience in ICT and Innovation sectors. Expert in business processes, innovation management, technology scouting, business impact analysis, Artificial Intelligence impact on business strategies, Internet of Things and smart living. Professional of business development and executive manager. He is actually a startups Advisor and Business Angel Investor, personally supporting 25 startups. You can find Alfredo’s extended bio here.

Rachel Carrell

Founder and CEO, Koru Kids

Rachel Carrell is the founder and CEO of Koru Kids, a fast-growing technology company dedicated to helping working parents who need childcare. Originally from New Zealand, she has a masters and doctorate from the University of Oxford, where she was a Rhodes Scholar. Rachel is the former CEO of DrThom.com, which she grew to 1.3 million patients in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Australia. In 2012 Management Today featured her as a ‘businesswoman to watch’, and in 2014 Ms Carrell was elected to the World Economic Forum’s group of Young Global Leaders, a group which also includes Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and Marissa Mayer. Rachel is also the mother of two kids under 4 years old. It was when she had her first baby and experienced how difficult and expensive it was to arrange childcare, that she decided to found Koru Kids in order to help other working parents.

Alan Walsh

Head of Network and Partnerships at Bud

Alan is a seasoned financial services professional, having delivered commercial growth at some of the largest and most respected FS brands including American Express, Barclays, GE and Santander.

Now leading the strategy and development of the Bud network and its distribution, Alan is helping craft Bud into one of the most innovative companies in the Open Banking space.

Bud is the award winning financial network that makes managing money easier.

Kristin Johnson

Technical Project Manager, Rad Campaign

Kristin has been active in the field of web development, UX, marketing, fundraising, and social media for the past 13 years, helping NGOs develop strategies and digital tools to communicate and engage users. She frequently oversees requirements gathering for complex technical builds, and assesses technology platforms to match organizations with the best solutions to meet their needs. She has also worked on the product development of multiple mobile and web applications.