Keynote Interviewers

 
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Name: Kara Swisher

Title: Executive Editor

Company:  Recode

Kara Swisher started covering digital issues for the Wall Street Journal's San Francisco bureau in 1997. Her column, "BoomTown," originally appeared on the front page of the Marketplace section and also online at WSJ.com.

Previously, Kara covered breaking news about the Web's major players and Internet policy issues, as one of its first hires to cover the Web, and also wrote feature articles on technology for the newspaper. She has also written a weekly column for the Personal Journal on home gadget issues called "Home Economics."

With Walt Mossberg, over the last 11 years, she has been co-producing D: All Things Digital, a major high-tech conference with interviewees such as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and many other leading players in the tech and media industries. The gathering is considered one of the leading conferences focused on the convergence of tech and media industries. Kara and Walt also have been co-executive editors of the AllThingsD.com Web site since 2007 until the end of 2013.

Kara won a Loeb Award while at AllThingsD.com for her coverage of Yahoo. She also writes occasionally for Vanity Fair magazine, which is owned by Condé Nast.

Previously, she worked as a reporter at the Washington Post. She is also the author of “aol.com: How Steve Case Beat Bill Gates, Nailed the Netheads and Made Millions in the War for the Web,” published by Times Business Books in July 1998. The sequel, “There Must Be a Pony in Here Somewhere: The AOL Time Warner Debacle and the Quest for a Digital Future,” was published in the fall of 2003 by Crown Business Books.

Kara was an undergraduate at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service and did her graduate work at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

 

Name: Thomas R. Eisenmann

Title: Howard H. Stevenson Professor of Business Administration

Company:  Harvard Business School

 

Thomas R. Eisenmann is the Howard H. Stevenson Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School and Faculty Co-Chair of the HBS Rock Center for Entrepreneurship. Eisenmann teaches the MBA elective course Scaling Technology Ventures and leads a January Term Startup Bootcamp for first-year MBAs.  In recent years, Eisenmann has served as Chair of Harvard's MBA Elective Curriculum—the second year of the MBA Program—and as course head of The Entrepreneurial Manager, taught to all 900 first-year MBA students. He was co-creator of the MBA elective field courses Product Management 101, in which students specify and supervise development of a software application, and Entrepreneurial Sales & Marketing, in which project teams take actions to help a startup acquire customers.  Eisenmann also created the MBA electives Launching Technology Ventures, which examines challenges confronting early stage startups in the information technology sector, and Managing Networked Business (now called The Online Economy), which surveys strategies for platform-based businesses that leverage network effects. He twice co-led a Harvard Innovation Lab course, Cultural Entrepreneurship in New York City, in which students from across Harvard spent a winter break week in New York exploring new ventures in fashion, food, and fine arts, and co-led four similar winter break trips to Silicon Valley.

 

The Future of Finance Speakers

 

 
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Name: Ian Sheridan

Title: Managing Director

Company: Vestigo Ventures

Ian Sheridan is a Managing Director at Vestigo Ventures, a financial technology focused venture firm based in Boston. Prior to helping launch Vestigo, Ian spent over two decades in the financial services industry including senior roles in retirement services, wealth management and payments. Ian was the Executive Vice President of Strategy & Product Management at SunGard Financial Systems, a divisional VP at DST Systems, divisional CMO of multiple MassMutual businesses and was the CMO and VP of Business Development for ADP. Ian is party to a U.S. patent pertaining to accessing financial data and is a graduate of the Ancell School of Business at Western Connecticut State University.

 
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Name: Blair Baldwin

Title: Co-Founder & CEO

Company:  Quilt

Blair is Co-Founder & CEO of Quilt, a financial technology business that offers digital insurance products to the millennial generation. Quilt creates mobile-first insurance products designed to fit the needs of modern consumers. Prior to co-founding Quilt, Blair was the CMO of Goji, an auto-insurance focused digital insurance platform that has raised over $90mm of venture funding. Blair was also Chief Product Officer at Dailybreak, a venture-backed advertising platform and held prior roles at consulting firms High Start Group and Digitas. Blair is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Business School.

 

 
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Name: David Snitkof

Title: Co-Founder & Chief Analytics Officer

Company:  Orchard Platform

David is Co-Founder & Chief Analytics Officer of Orchard, a financial technology business that provides technology, analytics and data for the online marketplace lending industry. Orchard has raised nearly $45mm of venture funding and sits between originators and investors of marketplace loans – providing the tools and infrastructure needed for institutions to invest in the asset class. Prior to co-founding Orchard, David was a Senior Vice President at Citigroup, helping lead analytics and strategy for small business and commercial banking. David was also the director of analytics and marketing at Oyster.com and a Senior Manager in Risk Management at American Express. He is a graduate of Brown University.  

 
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Name: Lowell Putnam

Title: Co-Founder & CEO

Company:  Quovo

Lowell is Co-Founder & CEO of Quovo, a financial technology business that provides account aggregation, visualization and analytics for developers, financial service professionals and wealth management firms. Quovo has raised more than $5mm in venture funding and employs about 30 professionals in New York. Prior to co-founding Quovo, Lowell was an investment banker at Lehman Brothers and Barclays Capital. He is a graduate of Harvard College.

 
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Name: Derek Brown

Title: VP of Product

Company:  Addepar

Derek is VP of Product Development at Addepar, a financial technology business that provides data aggregation, investment analysis and reporting tools for financial institutions and asset management companies. Addepar has raised over $65mm of venture capital and employs more than 220 professionals nationwide. Prior to joining Addepar, Derek was UI engineering lead at LinkedIn. He has spent several years prior to LinkedIn as a front-end and web developer. He is a graduate of East Carolina University.

 

The Future of Flight Speakers

 

 
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Name: Jonathan Ruane

Title:  Lecturer in Global Economics and Managment Group

Company: Sloan

Jonathan Ruane is a Lecturer in the Global Economics and Management group at Sloan where he teaches "The Business of Artificial Intelligence" and a Researcher in the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy. He is a Fulbright recipient and a former lecturer in entrepreneurship at University College Dublin. He serves on the advisory board of the Cantillon Centre for entrepreneurship research. Jonathan leads a blockchain collaboration between MIT and an industry wide insurance consortium and is interested in the impact of digital technologies such as artificial intelligence on businesses and markets.

 
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Name: Gareth Keane

Title:  Senior Investment Manager

Company: Qualcomm Ventures

Gareth joined the team in 2012 and has been heavily involved in Qualcomm Ventures activities in the hardware and connected device ecosystems. He helped define the Qualcomm Ventures investment thesis around UAVs and robotics, and led the Qualcomm Ventures investments in companies like 3D Robotics and Spire.

Gareth started his professional career as an engineer, and spent many years in engineering roles before turning to the darkside. He graduated from the National University of Ireland with a Bachelor’s degree in Electronic Engineering in 1994, and followed this up with a PhD in Electronic Engineering from The Queen’s University of Belfast in 1999, where his thesis focused on low-power design methodologies for signal processing systems. His first job out of graduate school was working on complex semiconductor design tools for Cadence, and he continued working on methodologies and design flows as an engineer and manager at PMC-Sierra. After eight years solving technology challenges in successively smaller silicon geometries he decided it was time for Business School and spent two years in the MBA program at UPenn/Wharton in Philadelphia, graduating in 2010.

 
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Name: Dan McKinnon

Title: Director of Product

Company:  3D Robotics

Dan McKinnon received his bachelor’s degree in Physics and doctorate in Chemical Engineering before co-founding Agribotix after being conscripted by the Denver Zoo to develop a drone for wildlife observation and capture. At Agribotix, he has worked extensively with growers and agronomists to develop both a front-end data collection workflow and a back-end data processing solution that quickly and easily gets valuable actionable intelligence into their hands. These efforts have resulted in the establishment of several concrete value propositions for drones in agriculture as well as numerous lessons for what works and what doesn’t in the field.

 
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Name: Ben Marcus

Title: CEO and Co-Founder

Company:  AirMap

Ben Marcus is an FAA-certified Airline Transport Pilot and Flight Instructor with over 4,000 hours of flight experience in more than 100 aircraft types. Prior to AirMap, Ben co-founded jetAVIVA, the largest aircraft sales company in the world that centers on light jets. 

The Santa Monica, CA, resident grew up in the shadows of that city’s airport, took his first flying lesson at 10, became a licensed pilot at 17, and obtained his college degree from Purdue University in aviation technology. He serves as vice chairman of Angel Flight West and is a member of the Space Angels Network. Ben also flies volunteer missions for animal rescue groups Pilots N Paws and Wings of Rescue.

 
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Name: Travis Mason

Title: Public Policy and Government Relations

Company:  Google[x]

Travis G. Mason is a member of Google's public policy & government affairs team focused on the company's most innovative work in autonomous technology, renewable energy and health sciences primarily at Google[x]. From smart contact lenses to cargo delivery via self-flying vehicles, Travis works with regulators and industry leaders to advance next generation technologies. Before Google, Mason worked at Booz Allen Hamilton with government leaders at the Departments of Homeland Security, Defense and State.

He graduated from the Maxwell School of Citizenship at Syracuse and was recognized as a Harry S. Truman Scholar, one of the country's most prestigious undergraduate awards. He earned his Masters from the University of Michigan and has also studied at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public Policy and Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government as a Galbraith Scholar. Mason is also a classically trained pianist and vocalist who enjoys good Jazz.

 

The Future of Food Speakers

 

 
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Name: David Benzaquen

Title: Founder and CEO 

Company: PlantBased Solutions

David Benzaquen is the Founder and CEO of PlantBased Solutions, a mission-driven, brand management and marketing agency for consumer products made with plant-based and cultured ingredients. David is a sought after natural products industry expert and has spoken about social entrepreneurship and the growth of the plant-based industry at numerous conferences. He is also an advisor to various food incubators, accelerators, and venture capital funds.

 
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Name: Andras Forgacs

Title: Co-founder and Chief Executive

Company:  Modern Meadow

Andras Forgacs, an entrepreneur and venture investor in technology and life science, is the co-founder and chief executive of Modern Meadow, which launched in 2011. Previously, he had also co-founded Organovo, a leader in tissue engineering which pioneered the use of 3D bio-printing to create human tissue for a range of medical applications. Organovo’s bio-printer was named one of the top inventions of 2010 by TIME and the company was recognized by MIT Technology Review on its TR50 list of most innovative companies for 2012. Andras also served as managing director with Richmond Global, an international technology-focused venture fund. Previously, Andras was a consultant in the New York office of McKinsey & Company, focused on biopharma and private equity. Earlier, he was a founding member of Citigroup’s corporate and investment banking e-commerce group where he led a team that developed award winning financial technology products and advised large cap corporate clients on a range of corporate finance challenges. He is also co-founder and chairman emeritus of the international non-profit Resolution Project. Andras is a Kauffman Fellow with the Center for Venture Education and a term member with the Council on Foreign Relations. He holds an MBA from the Wharton School of Business and a Bachelor of Arts with honors from Harvard University.

 
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Name: David Lee

Title: COO & CFO

Company:  Impossible Foods

David is the COO & CFO of Impossible Foods, a Khosla, Horizons, and Bill Gates-backed company developing a new generation of delicious and sustainable meats and cheeses made entirely from plants. Its mission is to give people the enjoyment of food that comes from animals without the health and environmental drawbacks. With diverse experience in general management, marketing, finance, strategic planning, and M&A, David has a proven track record of increasing shareholder value in both publicly and privately owned companies. Previously as CFO of Zynga, David was responsible for leading the company’s finance and corporate development teams. David helped lead ZNGA from being majority web-based to mobile. David delivered several quarters exceeding topline and bottomline guidance and delivered the first quarter of positive net income since 2013. David earned his B.A. from Harvard and an MBA from the University of Chicago.

 
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Name: Andrew Ive

Title: Managing Director

Company:  Food-X

Andrew is the Managing Director at Food-X responsible for building, innovating and supporting the emerging Food-X ecosystem. P&G brand management trained, while in his Harvard Business School dorm room, he took a new product idea, raised angel funds, established a manufacturing facility in China and a sales force selling his first product line into major US retailers. In his second Silicon Valley based company, Andrew raised $20M+ from VCs to focus on the data challenge between retailers and vendors. Andrew has spent the last twenty years focused on innovation, developing high-growth businesses opportunities and as a business advisor in multiple verticals. Holding an MBA from the Harvard Graduate School of Business, his first product, the X-IT Ladder, is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Reach out to Andrew if you want to join Food-X.

 
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Name: Alexis Fox

Title: CEO

Company:  Lighter

Alexis Fox is the CEO (Chief Empowerment Officer) at Lighter, a powerful platform that helps the world eat better. Lighter tells people what food to buy and how to throw great meals together based on the recommendations of food leaders. Fox has dedicated her life to fixing our broken food system and has worked in the movement as an attorney, political leader and entrepreneur. She also spent three years as an adjunct Professor of Leadership at Emerson College.

 

 

Tech Talk: Biofabrication Speaker

 

 
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Name: Andras Forgacs

Title: Co-founder and Chief Executive

Company:  Modern Meadow

Andras Forgacs, an entrepreneur and venture investor in technology and life science, is the co-founder and chief executive of Modern Meadow, which launched in 2011. Previously, he had also co-founded Organovo, a leader in tissue engineering which pioneered the use of 3D bio-printing to create human tissue for a range of medical applications. Organovo’s bio-printer was named one of the top inventions of 2010 by TIME and the company was recognized by MIT Technology Review on its TR50 list of most innovative companies for 2012. Andras also served as managing director with Richmond Global, an international technology-focused venture fund. Previously, Andras was a consultant in the New York office of McKinsey & Company, focused on biopharma and private equity. Earlier, he was a founding member of Citigroup’s corporate and investment banking e-commerce group where he led a team that developed award winning financial technology products and advised large cap corporate clients on a range of corporate finance challenges. He is also co-founder and chairman emeritus of the international non-profit Resolution Project. Andras is a Kauffman Fellow with the Center for Venture Education and a term member with the Council on Foreign Relations. He holds an MBA from the Wharton School of Business and a Bachelor of Arts with honors from Harvard University.

 
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Name: Yiannis Monovoukas

Title: former Chairman, President and CEO

Company:  TEI Biosciences Inc & TEI Medical Inc

Yiannis Monovoukas, Ph.D., MBA, is the former Chairman, President and CEO, and major shareholder of TEI Biosciences Inc. and TEI Medical Inc., two regenerative medicine companies based on technology generated at MIT focusing on the repair, reinforcement, and regeneration of soft tissues.  Both companies were sold to Integra LifeSciences in 2015. Dr. Monovoukas is also the Founder, President and CEO of Helios Cardiovascular and Helios Biomedical, and the co-Founder, President and CEO of AuraGen Aesthetics and Quantum Medical Analytics.

Prior to joining TEI, he was President and CEO of Thermo Fibergen, a Thermo Electron (now Thermo Fisher Scientific) spin out, which he grew from an R&D concept to a profitable public company.

Dr. Monovoukas holds a BS degree from Columbia University and MS and Ph.D. degrees from Stanford University, all in chemical engineering, as well as an MBA from the Harvard Business School.

Dr. Monovoukas was winner of the prestigious Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2011 Award for New England in Life Sciences, and was a 2011 Life Sciences US Finalist.  The program recognizes global entrepreneurs who demonstrate excellence and extraordinary success.  He also served on a panel of judges for the 2012, 2013 and 2014 E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year® New England Awards Program, and on the 2015 and 2016 US national judging panel for life sciences.  TEI was also winner of the SBANE 2011 New England Innovation Award.

Since 2010, Dr. Monovoukas has been serving on the Board of Directors of Owlstone, a leading-edge nanotechnology chemical sensing company span out of the University of Cambridge, England, focusing on the early detection of cancer and inflammatory diseases via highly selective identification of biomarkers in breath and bodily fluids.  From 2011 to 2014, he served as a Mentor for the Columbia Engineering Entrepreneurship Program, and as of 2015 he is serving as a member of the Board of Overseers of the Boston Museum of Science.  Dr. Monovoukas was recently elected to serve on the Board of Directors of InterAx Biotech AG, a Swiss biopharmaceutical company focusing on the discovery of novel and safer GPCR drugs.

 

The Future of Reality Speakers

 

 
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Name: Sivan Iram

Title:  General Manager

Company: UploadVR

Sivan was born and raised in Israel. He served four years as a military officer in the Israeli Defense Force. Sivan has a B.Sc in Software Engineering, started two companies (sold one), and has an MBA from Harvard. Previously, Sivan was the general manager at River Studios, a Virtual Reality Production Studio based in San Francisco, focused on producing premium VR experiences (for brands such as The Denver Broncos, NBC/Universal, Time.inc, Coldplay, Bjork and more). Sivan is currently the general manager at UploadVR, the top media publication focused on Virtual Reality. Upload also has a co-working space and a VR/AR educational program.

 
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Name: Kristian Bouw

Title:  Founder and CEO

Company: NotionTheory

Kristian Bouw is the Founder and CEO of NotionTheory, a boutique product agency based in Washington D.C. that specializes in creating custom augmented and virtual reality content for leading brands. A serial entrepreneur and self-taught engineer, Kristian has become one of the most creative influencers in the VR industry. NotionTheory launched the first virtual reality arcade on the East Coast and has been involved with WebVR from its inception, creating one of the first available open-source frameworks (PrimroseVR) for rapid VR application development on the web. NotionTheory’s latest VR product leveraging WebVR, Plume, allows users to create a VR-enabled room in less than 10 seconds. Users can then share this room with anyone in the world through a standard web URL, transporting all participants into the same virtual space. The application is platform agnostic and requires no installation steps, reducing friction in user adoption while allowing for unparalleled interaction and collaboration.

 
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Name: Eric Janszen

Title: CEO

Company:  VirZoom

Eric is currently the CEO and Co-Founder of VirZOOM, Inc. a virtual reality game and game controller start-up based in Cambridge, MA. Previously, Eric President and CEO of AutoCell Laboratories, Inc., EIR at $1.6B Venture Capital firm Trident Capital, President and CEO of Bluesocket, Inc. and Managing Director of seed stage investment firm Osborn Capital. Between 1998 and 2003, Osborn Capital had six exits out of 20 portfolio companies, including two IPOs and four acquisitions (Cisco, Microsoft, EMC, and Nortel). Writes for numerous publications including Harvard Business Review and Harper's Magazine

 
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Name: Ailyn Mendoza

Title: Director of Client Experience

Company:  IrisVR

Ailyn is the Director of Client Experience (CX) at IrisVR, functioning as the liaison between users and the engineering team to develop features, case studies, and educational materials. Prior to joining IrisVR, Ailyn worked at various internationally recognized firms leading initiatives, involving project design,acquisition, marketing and construction administration. She holds a post-professional degree from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University and has 8 years of practice within AEC.

 

Name: Ricardo Alvarez

Title: Researcher

Company:  MIT’s Senseable City Lab

Ricardo is a researcher at MIT’s Senseable City Lab where he is studying the profound transformation of cities through digital technologies. He is also interested in the integration of real and synthetic spaces through the use of VR/AR technologies to design new types of human experiences. He is also interested in the process of creating and synthesizing the language for expression and interaction for VR/AR media and in understanding the possibilities of simulating presence for enhanced sensorial stimulation and social interaction for processes of co-design and the development of new urban spaces and services.

 

The Future of Health Speakers

 

 
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Name: Dan Gebremedhin

Title:  Principal

Company: Flare Capital