Orkun Oğuz began his career working as a Marketing Analyst at FedEx in the United States. Later for 15 years, as a Co-Founder and Managing Partner he was responsible for establishing and growing operations of Peppers & Rogers Group, a boutique data analytics & management consulting company. After exiting successfully from his several ventures, he joined Akbank (one of the largest Turkish banks) as the Executive Vice President responsible for establishing and managing Direct Banking & CRM business unit. He also served at the Board of Directors of Akbank AG and AKInvestment.
Ersin Pamuksüzer, is the Chairman and The Head of the Basaksehir Living-Lab Project and founder of Startershub . He is also the Founder of the well-Being companies “The LifeCo” and “SAF” brands. The LifeCo company was formed in 2005 and is providing services in Well-Being therapies and natural healing, while SAF was formed in 2006 as a vegan restaurant and is providing healthy and nutrional food through its restaurants in Istanbul and London as well as retail products and take-away food channels. Both companies have an international reputation with more than 60% of its guests from various parts of the world with a majority from Europe.
Ersin Pamuksüzer started his career in Ericsson Telecommunications company in Sweden in 1981 and was the general Manager of Ericsson Turkey for long years. He stopped his Ericsson career in 2002 and moved into the well-Being sector. During the Ericsson Turkey period he initiated the formation of Turkey’s first GSM Operators and a number of other ICT companies in the region, Turkcell in 1993 and has been a Board Member of Turkcell andTurkcell’s International operations until 2006. Turkcell is the leading operator in Turkey and the region and also one of the worlds largest and innovative operators. With a deep business mind and long years of experience, Ersin has also been initiator, driver or board member of other start-up companies. He also recently opened a cancer treatment center in Phuket
Ersin Pamuksüzer has a M.Sc. in Electronic Engineering from Linkoping University, Sweden and MBA degree from Upsalla University, Sweden.
Rodrigo de Alvarenga
Nate helps high-growth SaaS startups to supercharge their sales, recruit and build amazing marketing and sales teams and hit revenue plans on budget by providing proven leadership and mentorship.
He is an operations executive with 18 years of experience in sales, marketing, business development, and fundraising. He coaches and invest via my growth velocity program Up To The Right. He is also an attorney, but he focuses his legal expertise on providing direction and speed to growth through partnership, business development, and sales acceleration.
He works with;
• High-growth B2B and SMB Software companies
• Larger companies that need C-Level startup growth leadership
• Startup CEOs, startup accelerators, and building teams
• Venture capital companies
• Platforms, Infrastructure, Marketplaces, eCommerce, Telecom, Logistics, Marketing Software
He understands growth and is focused on team building, service delivery, customer experience, and ensuring that the strategic direction is implemented. He is skilled in balancing competing priorities across operations, customer support, sales, HR, and product, and I’ve built entire ecosystems of partnerships to support growth strategies. He actively invests in startups, have coached growth for multiple months with 50+ companies, and he is a team player and culture builder.
He’s had a lot of experience and some good success. He’s grown a company from 0-$100M in sales (Shipwire); had an exit to a huge company (Ingram Micro); restructured two divisions (Ingram & Concentric).
Andrew Tang is currently serving a dual role as the CEO of Draper University, and investment partner at Draper Associates and Draper Dragon Fund. Draper Associates is a global early-stage venture fund, while Draper Dragon invests in US companies curious about the China market. He is looking for extraordinary entrepreneurs who want to change the world. He is privileged to be part of the Draper University platform that helps accelerate people along a steeper career trajectory. Draper University provides education, incubation, venture capital investments, fund raising advice and corporate development. Draper University offers a complete ecosystem for entrepreneurs: a residential education program for 18-28 year-old aspiring entrepreneurs; Hero City, a co-working space for top founding teams with business plans; and, Draper Venture Network for early stage venture capital. DU also offers an online program DraperTV, executive education for internal innovation within large corporations, and an invite-only VCx program to educate family offices about venture investing.
Proven leader with extensive experience in leading large, complex and globally distributed organizations. Developed and implemented innovative expansion strategies and groundbreaking programs across two continents. Possesses outstanding skill in evangelizing ideas, mentoring empathically, building teams and leading change initiatives, which transformed multiple organizations from bottom tier performers to top tier performers. Globally respected speaker with audiences as large as 10,000.
Consistent track record of exceeding expectations for customer-engaged revenue and achieving the highest levels of customer satisfaction. Spearheaded training programs to evangelize Oracle cloud solutions, both with internal audiences and with external customers. Regularly commended by customers and colleagues for ability to add value through technical knowledge, communication skills and mentoring expertise. Provided emotional intelligence training to 700+ people within the sales organization – from new hires to managers – enabling their professional, personal and interpersonal success.
Highly refined ability to synthesize information and communicate insights and solutions. Utilized this skill to earn a perfect score of 1600 on the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). Earned a Bachelor’s of Science with Honors in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley. Awarded the university’s most prestigious distinction, the Regents’ & Chancellor’s Scholarship.
Seda Çelik Teker
Seda Çelik Teker has 20 years of diversified experience in business development, planning, implementation and operation of new projects related to sales & marketing, supply chain management, controlling activities; investment planning in multinational companies. Due to her experience, she has both professional and academic perspectives for business solutions.
She is listed as one of the top 100 women CEO’s in Turkey by HAY Group and Ekonomist. She currently teaches at the Turkish-German University in the Department of Industrial Engineering and is also leading Industrial Relations of the university. She is also the mentor of a project supported by the ministry of economics and commerce.
Scott Kraft serves as Chief Executive Officer of Kraft Consultants and helps clients optimize their marketing investments and create lasting business value. Kraft served as an Executive Vice President of Marketing of Six Apart Ltd. He has over 20 years of experience developing strategies and campaigns for leading brands such as Vodafone, Citigroup, Viacom, Nike, General Electric, NewsCorp, IAC, Microsoft, and SBC.
He served as Global Vice President of Branding and Advertising at Sun Microsystems. He served as Principal in branding and strategic marketing consultancies of Nicholson NY and was its Executive Vice President of Interpublic agency. He created many groundbreaking marketing campaigns including one of the world’s most recognized integrated e-culture advertising campaign for IBM. He also served as Chief Executive Officer of Gadfly Inc. and Managing Partner of Sterling Group. He serves as Member of the board of advisor at buySAFE, Inc. He served as Director of Buysafe Inc.
Kraft is an award-winning expert in branding and marketing. His work has been awarded the top honours in the marketing and advertising industry, including the Cannes Lions Grand Prix, the Grand Clio, and the AdClub’s Golden Pencil.
Bora Gemicioglu was born in Istanbul in 1980. He graduated from Galatasaray High School in 1999 and within the same year, he commenced his undergraduate education at Istanbul Bilgi University Faculty of Law. After he completed his undergraduate education in 2004, he started his graduate education on European Union Law at Essex University Faculty of Law and earned his master”s degree in 2006. He is a PhD student on private law at Istanbul University. Bora Gemicioglu has been practising law as a member of the Istanbul Bar Association since 2006. He provides consulting and case management services to various companies from different sectors, and he has also been taking part in mergers and acquisitions processes. He is fluent in English and French.
Eda Şahbaz is the Head of Connected Products and Platforms-Regional Digital Transition of BSH for Turkey, Middle East, Africa and CIS region. She is responsible for partner ecosystem and business development of BSH’s smart home appliances platform ‘Home Connect’ as well as the expansion of connected solutions of BSH in the region.
Before joining BSH she took several roles at Turkcell’s Digital Services and Solutions Department including Senior IOT Partnership Manager for the connected car, energy and smart industry solutions, Senior IOT Product Manager for smart city and farming solutions and she also worked as a Strategic Projects Manager in Consumer Marketing Department. Prior to Turkcell, she worked for Siemens A.Ş. as a Commercial Project Manager for Energy projects of Siemens in Turkey and the Middle East region. She also worked as a teaching assistant at Universidad de La Sabana in Colombia after her graduation from Marmara University Business Administration Department with major in Marketing.
In her career, Eda mainly focused on partner ecosystem management, partner business development and product management to find and position the best digital partner products and services to enrich IoT solutions for a more connected world.
He is CEO of Gameroom, a mobile platform for live gaming over video chat.
He is also a partner at Z1, a startup studio that builds new companies, an alumnus of YCombinator, an Endeavor entrepreneur and a Fulbright scholar.
Most recently – He was EIR and Venture Partner at 500 Startups, where he helped invest in startups in the San Francisco accelerator program and helped run growth programs for later state startups.
Prior to that, he co-founded Boostable. Based in San Francisco and funded by notable silicon valley investors like YCombinator, SVAngel and 500 Startups, Boostable helped online marketplaces offer digital marketing services to their sellers. Boostable was acquired by Metric Collective.
Before Boostable, he founded SocialWire (later renamed Manifest) that helped some of the largest retailers automate their products ads. Funded by First Round Capital, SofttechVC and 500 Startups, Manifest was a recipient of Facebook’s innovation awards in 2013. Manifest was acquired by Rakuten Marketing.
He also co-founded Nomadic Mentors, a non-profit that connects top mentors in silicon valley with founders in emerging tech hubs around the world. Nomadic Mentors was acquired by The Family, one of the most successful accelerators in Europe.
He frequently speaks, advise and consults on topics including tech startups, advertising technology, online marketplaces and personalization.
Cloverpop is a product of Erik’s desire for people to be happy at work, his passion for building great things and his curiosity about how our brains create our minds, our minds perceive our world, and our world becomes what we decide it to be. An Illinois farm boy turned MIT rocket scientist and Harvard MBA, Erik spent the past decade launching a dozen v1.0 SaaS products at Adobe and Macromedia. He’s also happily married to a wonderful wife with two cute kids and two dazzling dogs. On the weekends you’ll find them hiking, biking and skiing around Northern California.
Duygu Öktem Clark
Duygu Oktem Clark is a Business Development Leader at the European Investment Fund where she leads early-stage tech startup investments. Concurrently she is the Founder of DO Consultancy LLC, a boutique consultancy company based in San Francisco that is focused on corporate innovation. Prior to that, as an Intrapreneur, she founded and ran Turkey’s first corporate-run startup accelerator where she led 22 early-stage investments. Before that, she was a Founding R&D Manager at Turk Telekom where she oversaw more than 40 R&D projects with an overall budget of +$100M. Prior to that, she worked for the EU Office of Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey where she sustained partner channels between European and Turkish organizations for more than 100 R&D projects with an overall budget of +$300M and contributed to Turkey’s national R&D Policies.
In the past 5 years, he has mentored hundreds of startups and served as a jury member and mentor to many startup programs including the Chobani Startup Program, Founder Institute Silicon Valley, United Nations Clean Tech, Telefonica Wayra UK and Startup Bootcamp IStanbul. She is a Computer Engineer with Master’s Degree in Technology Management.
A well-respected tenant advisor, Noah Barrasso helps local and global tenants achieve their real estate objectives, going above and beyond for each of them and doing everything in his power to help them. His clients choose to work with him because he really listens to them and puts their needs ahead of his own, and because he takes the necessary time to craft and implement unique real estate solutions to solve both short- and long-term real estate challenges. He is also very good at leveraging his extended network to service his clients in ways not inherently obvious.
Prior to joining Keyser, Noah was a founding member of the LSAG (Legal Sector Advisory Group) specialty group at the largest privately held commercial real estate firm in the world, Cushman & Wakefield. Prior to joining Cushman & Wakefield, Noah started his career at Colliers International in the research department where he developed many of the research and analytical skills he uses today.
Mehul is a Customer Success, Business Development and Marketing expert working with both users and creators of technologies to achieve their Engineering & Technology goals.
Mehul has worked with several startups, mid-size and large companies from the Valley and outside especially in the FinTech, Medical Devices, Connected Devices amongst others. He has generated over $45 Mil in revenue in the last couple years building one of the largest customer accounts for one of the companies he has worked with.
He mentors startups from around the world around Sales, Strategy, Growth & Marketing both as part of accelerator programs and independent companies.
On the education front, he has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Economics from Pune University and also a Master’s in Customer Relationship Management from Symbiosis University.
Experienced Chief Executive Officer with a demonstrated history of working in Energy and Construction Industry. Skilled in building Vision and Strategy following Turn Around proven track record in different industries, Negotiation, Analytical Skills, Operations Management, experienced large scale Investments in Power Plants and different Industries Internationally. Take Over and Turn Around history in multibillion USD Privatization Projects. Strong business development professional with a Certificate focused in Global Energy Strategy from Harvard Business School and Columbia University Executive Education programs.
Experienced tech CEO for 10+ years, having successfully sold one company and acquired two others. Previously a venture capitalist for 10 years, investing in a range of companies from digital media to semiconductors, and communications. Current angel investor, with an MS in Engineering and an MBA, both from Stanford.
Since dropping out of college in 1995, Eric has co-founded a number of companies. Some were successful, some not so much. They include IGN (IPO), MyBlogLog (acquired by Yahoo!), Gnip (acquired by Twitter) and OneTrueFan (acquired by BigDoor).
He also invests in and advises early-stage startups, including Chromatic, CitizenNet (acquired by Condé Nast), Foodzie (acquired by Joyus), Gigwell, Intense Debate (acquired by Automattic), Ubooly (acquired by Cartwheel Kids), Zemanta (acquired by Outbrain) and Zynga (IPO).
He is a product guy at heart. He speaks for the people not in the room. He brings the fire.
Chris Yeh is a co-founder of Global Scaling Academy and General Partner of Blitzscaling Ventures.
Along with Reid Hoffman, Chris is the co-author of Blitzscaling, originally taught at Stanford University. He an entrepreneur who has founded, invested in or advised more than 200 technology-based startups.
Chris was the first CEO of Ustream, sold to IBM in 2016, the VP of Marketing at PB Works, Product Manager at DE Shaw and Co LP, CMO at TargetFirst Corporation, Director of Marketing at Symphoniq. He is partner at Allied Talent, an organizational consulting firm focused on advising fast-growing companies. He is also board member at Silicon Valley Forum, Silicon Guild and Women’s Startup Lab, and a General Partner at Wasabi Ventures. Along with Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha, he is the author of NYT bestseller “The Alliance” and with Reid Hoffman of “Blitzscaling,” to be published in October 2018.
He is a graduate of Stanford University and Harvard Business School, where he was a Baker Scholar.
• 20+ years of management experience across the USA, Europe and Asia; in plant operations, management consulting and technology
• Executive roles at Google, GoodData and Inkling (VC backed start-ups)
• MME Arts et Metiers Paris Tech, MBA Harvard Business School
• Located in California
Figen had her bachelor’s degree in Business Management and started her career as a foreign trade expert in multinational foreign trade companies. After 5 years of experience, she made her first step to entrepreneurship with forming her own foreign trade company. As the General Manager of the company, she focused on textile and white goods industry and gained knowledge and expertise about contracted manufacturing and exportation. Throughout 12 years, the company realized various volumes of exportation all over the world and mainly specialized in African countries. In 2007, she changed her career path to health and wellness industry. Currently, she is working as General Manager of The Lifeco, Turkey’s pioneer healthy living and wellness company.
Stephen D. Torres
Stephen D. Torres studied in University of California majoring Organizational behavior and finished his MBA at Cornell university. Stephen Torres founded and actively managed PV Solar report between the years 2011-2014. Stephen dedicated his business life to clean energy industry. Continued his career in Sunbible and Domino. Currently, Stephen Torres is managing “Berkeley leadership network while lecturing at the university of California.
Matt Swanson is the founder and CEO of Augment, a customer experience-driven artificial intelligence platform, and is responsible for driving the strategic direction and vision of the company. He also serves as the managing partner of Silicon Valley Software Group in which he advises a number of enterprises on their technology strategy. Prior to founding Augment, he co-founded Google Ventures-backed SpeakerText in 2010 and served as its CTO before the company was acquired by CloudFactory in 2012. Matt received his M.S. in Computer Science and Robotics from Carnegie Mellon University. As a researcher, he worked with computer vision and machine learning systems to support one of the first industrialized self-driving agriculture vehicles.
Mike designed systems, crunched data, invested in ventures & projects, entertained crowds, raised capital, created ground-breaking pervasive games, and assembled successful LBO teams. Now based in Silicon Valley he crafts new technologies, advise multiple ventures, and participate as a value-added investor.
He has a passion for strategy, product development, new ideas and innovative problem-solving.
Before starting Strattica Capital, Mike helped design the Caltrain ticketing system, wrote a University Robotics Course, hosted a radio show, won a script-writing prize, consulted to Venture Capital & Private Equity firms, designed parking, bio-electronic, rail, financial, medical and signal processing systems – and once held the campus title for office-chair racing…
At the age of 30, his venture Strattica Group provided returns that allowed him to completely focus on building Commercially-Oriented Social Experiences.
Micah is currently CEO and co-founder of Graphic.ly.
Micah was previously VP, Business Development and chief evangelist for Lijit Networks, where he led publisher acquisition efforts, growing the publisher base from 1,000 to 12,000 and pageviews from 11mm/monthly to more than 350mm/monthly.
Prior to Lijit, Micah founded Current Wisdom, a full-service interactive agency. In early 2007, Current Wisdom was acquired by Indigio, a Denver interactive agency.
He has spent most of his career working with startups, including: Kozmo.com, MyPersonal (now Synacor) – IPO and ServiceMagic (Acquired by IAC). In addition, Micah has started several startups over the years.
Micah writes a blog at http://learntoduck.com where he covers “success through failure,” focusing on startups, entrepreneurship and his personal life.
Phil Mui is SVP Technology in Salesforce. He manages strategic programs including integration, multi-year initiatives and long-range planning across Salesforce’s Technology and Product team. Previously, he was Chief Product/Engineering Officer for Acxiom. Before that, he was head of products for Google Analytics for over 6 years. Phil is an advisor/board director for data/analytics startups and incubators including Brillio, CardinalPath, The Hive, AgileOne, Zebi Data, and others. Phil has an SB / MEng /PhD (EECS) from MIT, and an M.Phil. in organizational behaviour from Oxford where he was a Marshall Scholar.
Ben Casnocha is a Silicon Valley-based entrepreneur, author, executive, and venture capitalist.
He is co-founder and partner at Village Global, an early-stage venture capital firm backed by some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs.
He is the co-author of the New York Times bestselling management book The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age (with LinkedIn chairman Reid Hoffman and entrepreneur Chris Yeh). He is also co-author of the New York Times bestselling career strategy book The Start-Up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career (with Reid Hoffman).
As entrepreneur and executive, he has started and scaled several ventures, including an e-government SaaS company that delivers CRM solutions to hundreds of local governments in America, an online education business, and a top tier boutique management training business.
Recently, he helped conceive, then built up and ran a new organization to amplify and extend Reid Hoffman’s strategic priorities. He worked out of the LinkedIn and Greylock Partners offices for two years. Lessons learned here: http://www.casnocha.com/Reid-Hoffman-lessons
Finally, He regularly delivers keynote speeches on business and globalization. He has spoken in a dozen countries in front of tens of thousands of people. He has appeared on the CBS Early Show, CNN, Charlie Rose, CNBC, and other media outlets.
Murat Tanrıöver serves as Deputy General Manager of Investment Banking at Gedik Yatirim Menkul Degerler A.S and Gedik Yatirim Holding AS. Mr. Tanriöver served as Assistant General Manager of Yatirim Finansman Menkul Degerler A.S. He served as Head of Strategic Planning at Sancak Group. He served as Assistant General Manager at Garanti Yatirim Menkul Degerler A.S. between from 2010 to 2012. He started his career as an Analyst at Türk Boston Bank in 1994. He worked at the Turkish Industrial Development Bank as a Specialist from 1996 to 1997. Mr. Tanriöver then became a Manager at Yapi Kredi Investment from 1997 to 1999, before transferring to Dogan Yayin Holding as Capital Markets Coordinator from 1999 to 2005. He served as Director at Yapi Kredi Yatirim. Mr Tanriöver received a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Marmara University in 1992 and received a Master’s degree in Finance from Louisiana State University.
Now focused on building industry leading consumer startups and investing in the best female founders.
Recognized Mobile, Music, TV and Advertising thought leader with 17 years global experience in UK, Asia and the US. Proven track record of turning companies around, helping companies launch new divisions, grow into new areas of business, create new revenue streams and establish a market leadership position. Continued tangible results have delivered multiple industry firsts in the areas of Music, Television, Gaming, Online, Advertising and Mobile. Fascinated by people and what people want, need or don’t know they need yet. Always looking for new business models, new technology and new partnerships that can help facilitate amazing and engaging experiences that delight consumers.
Specialties: Business development, Brand sponsorships, branded entertainment, wireless content production, licensing and distribution, mobile content, company structuring, music marketing, sales, publishing, M&A, deal making and corporate partnerships, TV production, sales and distribution, Interactive Television, IPTV, managed carrier and handset services, mobile marketing, mobile advertising, mobile application, brand development, online video and hiring.
Experienced in Structured Finance with a demonstrated history of working in the banking industry. Skilled in Banking, Credit Analysis, Commercial Banking, Credit Risk, and Loans. Strong professional with a master of Science (M.Sc.) focused in Business/Managerial Economics from Universiteit van Amsterdam.
Avi Sahota is a seasoned executive leader with deep experience in custom system development, operational transformation, enterprise portfolio management, and agile transformations.
He is a 15 year veteran who started his journey working at KPMG and Deloitte Consulting before transitioning to the payments and cloud computing industry working at PayPal and Salesforce. In his extensive consulting experience he worked with various Fortune 100 companies such as Adobe, HP, and Intel to name a few.
– At Deloitte, he managed COTS and custom software integration projects in the Public Sector before working on huge e-commerce transformations at Adobe and TOMS. At Adobe he managed the Adobe.com transformation which focused on making the site the store using Oracle ATG and Adobe CQ5. At TOMS he led a custom e-commerce implementation to integrate Magento with SAP to deliver a seamless shopping experience.
– At PayPal he led the Agile Transformation for the payments platform and was instrumental in the re-platforming of it’s core payment transaction processing engine. This platform handled 100% of PayPals payment transactions and processed roughly 8 billion API calls per day.
– Currently as a Sr Director at Salesforce he manages the portfolio of a $2B revenue business unit whose products drive the customer service experience for some of the biggest companies in the world. He is also responsible for the daily oversight of the BU focusing on operations efficiency and effective product delivery.
Avi holds a Bachelors degree in Computer Science from the California State University Sacramento.
For over 25 years, Mr. Karasahin has been immersed in the digital marketing and advertising industry in Turkey and has built a professional portfolio of corporate clients, highly successful marketing and creative agencies, and a solid reputation as on the industry’s top influencers.
Through his various digital marketing and advertising ventures, Mr. Karasahin and his team has worked with several of the Fortune 500 companies in Turkey and is regularly called upon by senior executives and CEO of leading companies to provide them with marketing and communications advice.
Karasahin, which has been operating in Istanbul for many years with ReAjans, Hiperaktif and HiperSosyal,
With 25 years of experience in digital marketing, advertising and creative industries, Karasahin has launched a new agency in the UK in 2017: RemixLondon
RemixLondon an award winning creative agency with digital focus.
RemixLondon produce integrated communications solutions by taking heed of the analytical data, coupled with the proven facts of strategic communications and services such as; Digital Marketing, Marketing Communication Consultancy, Creative Advertising Services, Web Design & Development, Branding, Mobile Application, SEO&SEM, Video Production, Printing & Producing, Packaging Design, Corporate Identity Design, Digital Campaign Purchasing and Managing etc.
Mr. Karasahin initial foray into advertising began in 1995 when he launched his first agency. ReAjans, has become one of the top full-service adverting agencies in Turkey. ReAjans provides 360º integrated communication solutions by using all media, tools and methods of traditional and new generation communications disciplines.
Recognizing the opportunities within the up and coming digital marketing channel, Mr. Karasahin founded and launched Hiperaktif (Turkey), a fully equipped digital agency. Launched in 1996, Hiperaktif was the first digital agency of its kind in Turkey. Today, Hiperaktif produces digital marketing and digital communications solutions for many prestigious brands and companies.
Always operating at the forefront of the marketplace, Mr. Karasahin founded and launched social media agency HiperSosyal in 2006. The company is a full service social media consulting offering social media strategy, community management, Facebook application development, and social media optimization services for an impressive array of Turkish corporations.
In addition to launching and operating these successful companies in Turkey, Mr. Karasahin has also been involved in the start-up and successful launch of other corporations.
Mr. Karasahin is currently a mentor for Start-up Boot Camp – a leading global entrepreneurial incubator based in the United Kingdom. With the combination of his marketing expertise and entrepreneurial experience, Mr. Karasahin provides up and coming entrepreneur’s critical advice on market entry, product launch, and successful corporate branding.
As the one of the foremost experts in digital marketing and advertising in Turkey, Mr. Karasahin has published many articles and lectures widely at conferences and universities. He is a highly sought after speaker known for engaging his audiences and providing new insights into the cross sections of creativity and marketing.
Prior to launching his career in advertising and marketing, Mr. Karasahin spent 8 years working as a journalist, advertisement photography, media consultant, radio host and copywriter. These formative experiences provide Mr. Karasahin with a creative and media insight that enables him to understand the various cross sections and segments of communications, marketing and public relations.
Metin Karasahin is a graduate of Istanbul University’s Faculty of Communication, Journalism and Public Relations.
Greg is Chief Business Officer at Automat. He got his start with large-scale, cloud-based conversational systems at Tellme Networks. Across a range of product, marketing, and strategic planning roles, Greg helped grow Tellme to over $100M in revenue. Tellme was subsequently acquired by Microsoft for (a rumoured) $800M and parts of Tellme’s technology later became part of Cortana. After two adventures in cleantech at LS9 (acquired by REG) and Opower (went public and was later acquired by Oracle), Greg returned to conversational systems to lead marketing, strategy, and business development for a division at Nuance where he led a strategic shift towards the cloud and AI-based solutions. Greg has a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Greg is a Tough Mudder and Spartan Race competitor who is both proud and slightly embarrassed that his teenage sons regularly beat him.
Kieran is VidCaster’s original founder and technical brains. His career began before he even graduated from high school as a daily producer of a live sports TV program for his high school’s top-ranked basketball team. Kieran went on to raise $500k while an undergrad at Indiana University to create a completely student-run television station that still thrives today. After graduation he moved to San Francisco to work at Omnicom’s OMD Group as a media buyer, sharpening his analytical and business skills to help him found VidSF, a partnership with SF Chronicle and other SF-based media groups to create a local online video destination property. The core technology for this product evolved to become VidCaster.
Co-founder of SkyMall, Inc., the company whose merchandise catalog is available on most US commercial aircraft
Co-founder of Convrrt, Inc., a SaaS focused on quick and economical landing page creation and optimization to improve conversion of leads into sales
Recognized for advising fast-growing companies wishing to move from crisis management/inefficient management to a management framework and practices that facilitate and scale with growth.
Serving several startups as an Advisory Board member
Named a Wall Street Journal Startup Guru
Tugrul has over 25 years of experience in the software and network industries as a hands on leader and executive in business development, sales, strategy and operations. An early pioneer in the enterprise software industry as a co-founder of TIBCO Software, his areas of focus have evolved through software integration, business intelligence, Big Data Analytics to Software Defined Networking and Blockchain. His strong technical background and vision combined with innovative business skills have successfully been applied in start-ups as well as in established corporate operations. Throughout a career that has spanned all continents, Tugrul has extensive experience and contacts in the software, network manufacturing, telecommunications and financial services markets globally. His focus has been in revenue generation and selling although his broad range of experience should be helpful when all hands are needed on deck.
Progressive career growth in technology leadership roles; customer-facing; software focus. Consistent community service in Board of Director service and other volunteer roles with the community and international nonprofits.
Mid-career pivot from the tech sector to a nonprofit leadership role (ED and CEO); Experience with complex operations, substantial fundraising, combined with sophisticated grant/funding management and compliance- strong fundraiser. Merger experience to form $20M human services organization.
Yeşim Güra is an experienced executive in FMCG and Food & Beverage.
Ms. Yeşim Gura has started her career in 1991 with Procter & Gamble in Finance in Turkey, and spent 13 years working in various roles from Financial Analysis to Sales Finance, Product Supply Finance, Corporate Treasury, Tax, Accounting, Forecasting and Strategic Planning. As the Finance Manager of the Sanipak JV with Eczacıbaşı, Ms Güra had a seat on the Board of Directors of Sanipak which gave her valuable exposure. Following this experience, Ms. Güra was leading the valuation for the acquisition and restructuring that followed; merging three legal entities of P&G into one. The Finance experience gave full VUCA exposure; living through 1994 and 2001 economic crises. Ms. Güra’s latest role in P&G was Associate Director for the whole Finance Organization, managing all of the 10+ product categories (from Laundry Detergents to Haircare, Snacks, Health & Beauty Care, Paper Products and more).
Following P&G experience, she joined Danone Company in Turkey as VP Finance in March 2004, right after the acquisition of shares from Sabancı. She transformed the Finance Organization to a %100 Danone Company through organization restructuring, systems and reporting set up and managing cultural changes. After three years, a new role was given to her as a preparation to General Management; the role of Business Unit Director of the HOD (Home Office Delivery) Business Unit; as an Accelerated Business Unit. Rapid growth, managing 500+ distributors, reaching 400,000+ homes directly, yielding high double-digit profit margin and new geographical expansion through acquisition. This responsibility led to promotion to General Manager of Waters Division in Turkey in January 2009.
Yeşim Güra held the General Managers Water Turkey role for 8 years until February 2017. During this period, a new Joint Venture was formed through Danone’s acquisition of Sırma Beverage Company shares (50,1%) in July 2013. While this JV was managed as a separate legal entity, Ms. Güra was in a position to lead it from many angles; definition of a strategic roadmap, brand and sales strategies, organizational support and synergies in operations. The combined businesses had a major complexity with 10 factories, 10+ warehouses, 1500 people.
During her tenure, she set up the Sales and Distribution Operations for Hayat and Akmina after a period of five years of exclusive distribution with Ülker. Also has led several key innovation projects which achieved profitable growth for the Company and also grew the Beverage Category. Some of these ideas were exported to Danone Companies abroad (Spain, France, Mexico) as best practices. Ms.Güra also led R&D projects to launch new categories, set up a digital roadmap and new business models for growth.
Throughout this role, Ms Güra was the Board Member of SUDER (Water Association) and the Chairman for a period of four years. She also was Executive member of the Danone Waters Board of Directors.
Yeşim Güra later joined Altıparmak Gıda (Balparmak) in March 2017 as the first General Manager of the Company, leading an important mission to bring back the Company to growth following several years of no growth, opening up internationally and leading Corporate Governance. The results at the end of 2017 were double-digit strong profitable growth, a new project kicked off to open globally starting with the Middle East as planned through a strategic distribution partnership, and new partnerships formed with EBRD and other Corporations to move along the Corporate Governance Roadmap.
Yeşim Güra has decided to leave this role as of early January 2018 to focus on new ventures. Today, Ms.Güra is assisting young startups, companies through a model of strategic business consultation and coaching-mentoring.
Ms. Güra is an ICF Coach, accredited by Gestalt Coaching in June 2017.
Yeşim Güra also has the following volunteer experience :
Member of the Board BRM: Boğaziçi University Business People Association,
Member of YKK (Yönetim Kurulunda Kadın): More Women in the Board of Directors Association,
LEAD Network Turkey Member.
Member of BUMED (Boğaziçi Alumni), Member of P&G Alumni, Member of IU Alumni.
A supporter of the following Non-Profit Organizations :
TEGEV (Education Volunteers Foundation), PAYDA, Koruncuk, YenidenBiz, Binyaprak, TurkishWIN, YenibirLider, Günyüzü.
She is recently appointed as a member of the Global Deans Council of Kelley School of Business, Indiana University, USA.
Yeşim Güra holds an MBA from Kelley School of Business (Indiana University) and a BA degree from Bogaziçi University in Turkey.
She lives in İstanbul with her husband, and their two sons, 18 and 15 years old.
Bahadir Ilgaç serves as the Business Development and Affiliates Director at MV Holding A.S. Mr. Ilgaç joined MV Holding in 2011 and was previously a Business Development and Affiliates Manager at the firm. Prior to MV Holding, he worked at Strategic Planning & Business Development departments of Dogan Holding and Borusan EnBW Energy, respectively. He serves as the Member of the Board of Directors for StartersHub. He has nine years of experience in merger and acquisitions, project financing, strategic planning, financial reporting, budget planning and subsidiary management. Mr. Ilgaç completed his BS degree in Mathematics at Middle East Technical University in 2004 and MBA program at Sabanci University in 2006 with full scholarship.
Author, entrepreneur, and acclaimed international speaker, Frans Johansson has inspired readers and audiences worldwide with his ideas on leadership and success, innovation, and diversity. Innovation legend Clay Christensen cited Frans’s debut book THE MEDICI EFFECT as “one of the most insightful books on managing innovation that I have ever read,” while his follow up, THE CLICK MOMENT, was hailed by Fast Company as the book that challenges traditional business-school thinking, and has been charged with destroying the 10,000 hour rule. Since its publication in 2004, THE MEDICI EFFECT has become the definitive book on diversity driving innovation, influencing numerous industries and fields such as architecture, design, economic development, education, and investing.
In his role as thought leader and CEO of The Medici Group, Frans has advised executive leadership at Fortune 500 companies such as Disney, IBM, ESPN and Nike. Frans has been featured on ABC, CNN, CNBC, the PBS Newshour, and National Public Radio. He has spoken to audiences on six continents, in virtually every industry and across disciplines, from creatives to engineers, financiers to scientists, and politicians to humanitarians.
Raised in Sweden by his African-American/Cherokee mother and Swedish father, Frans has lived all his life at the intersection. He has written articles on healthcare, information technology, and the science of sport fishing. Frans founded a software company, an international healthcare firm, and a hedge fund.
Martin Tantow is the Managing Director at Blissity, where he’s advising startups and SMBs on sustainable growth and global expansion strategies. He is a serial entrepreneur with three exits and a board member with several venture backed startups. Previously, Martin has been a top management consultant with Booz & Company and Oliver Wyman, where he advised Fortune 500 clients on corporate strategy, marketing and M&A. He holds an MBA from Munich School of Management (LMU).
Jeff Abbott is co-founder and Managing Partner of Global Scaling Academy and General Partner of Blitzscaling Ventures.
Jeff is an experienced international marketer, general manager and strategy and innovation executive who was Founding Director of E-Commerce at GE Appliances, where he built and scaled Latin America’s largest online appliance store, Tienda Mabe, to over $20M in sales in its first year.
He founded AIM, a Hubspot partner agency, was Marketing leader for navigation startup Metropia, VP Business Development for fast-scaling healthcare company Passport Health, CEO of Louisville Stoneware and Director of Corporate Strategy at Brown-Forman Corp.
As Director of the Venture Accelerator at Arizona State University, ranked #1 in the US for innovation, he developed the startup curriculum and managed an accelerator with 125+ startups and 600+ mentors. He is also General Partner of Wasabi Ventures Global, Chief Mentor at European Innovation Academy, and co-author of two books.
Jeff holds a BA from the University of Illinois and an MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management. He has lived and worked in Europe and Latin America.
Scott Johnson is a co-founder of Global Scaling Academy and Managing Partner of Blitzscaling Ventures, our investment fund.
Scott is a lifelong Venture Capitalist specializing in information technology with specialities Digital Health, Digital Marketing, and Enterprise SaaS.
He is Managing Director of New Atlantic Ventures, Managing Director of DFJ New England, and investor/advisor to BrandYourself, YieldBot, Truveris, Everyscape Corporation,circulate.com, Pontiflex, Fashion Playtes, Maptuit Corporation, Image Space Media, ContextWeb, EnerNoc, and numerous others.
Scott earned a BS from Cornell University and an MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management.
David Feinleib is Founder and CEO of Content Analytics, the Control Center for ECommerce. Prior to Content Analytics, David was Managing Director of The Big Data Group, where he produced the well-known Big Data Landscape. Previously, David was a general partner at Mohr Davidow Ventures, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm. David co-founded Consera Software, which was acquired by HP; Likewise Software, which was acquired by EMC; and Speechpad, a leader in web-based audio-video transcription. He began his career at Microsoft. David holds a BA from Cornell University, graduating summa cum laude, and an MBA from the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University. The author of Why Startups Fail (Apress, 2011) and Big Data Bootcamp (Apress, 2014), David is an avid violinist and four-time Ironman finisher. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife Nicole.
Larry Kane is a partner of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe. Kane represents clients in several areas including capital financing, mergers and acquisitions, and private and public offerings of securities. For 12 years, Kane served as volunteer head coach of the wrestling team at Galileo Academy of Science, where he has led hundreds of wrestlers to both athletic and academic success.
Kane serves as Director of GreatSchools, Inc. Kane also serves on the San Francisco Library Commission and ran for a seat on the San Francisco Board of Education in 2004. Kane earned his J.D. from the Columbia University School of Law and his B.A. from Columbia University.
CEO and author of New York Times best-selling author of “I Will Teach You To Be Rich”
Founder of IWT, which hosts over 1 million readers/month on business, careers, negotiation, psychology, money.
Focus on behavioural change, combining tactical recommendations with insights from social influence and persuasion
Deep experience in psychology, online education, marketing, pricing, and premium content.
Tim Villanueva is the CTO of Ustream.tv. Tim was previously GM of the PayPal Platform and Developer Network at eBay/PayPal. Previously, he was VP/GM at Yahoo HotJobs. He initially joined HotJobs.com as the Chief Technology Officer. Villanueva came to HotJobs.com from a nine-year tenure with Intuit where he served a variety of roles, including Chief Architect and Director of Business Development & Product Management. He was one of the original engineers of the best-selling Quicken personal accounting software.
An instigator on how to thrive in the future of work, Sally is the CEO of Forshay, a firm that focuses on how people can do their best work through executive recruiting, project-based work, and improving the system of work through increased diversity, inclusion, and belonging.
Forshay was awarded #290 on the Inc. 5000 “Fastest-Growing Private Companies” list for 2015. Prior to founding Forshay, Sally co-founded and was CEO of Flexperience. Under her leadership, Flexperience grew into a nationally acclaimed firm and was awarded “Top 100 Fastest-Growing Private Companies” in 2010 by the San Francisco Business Times.
A recent speaker in two TEDx talks, Sally is a frequent keynote speaker on the future of work, women in leadership, the science of work/life blend, applying design thinking to make work better, harnessing the value of a multi-generational workforce, and talent recruitment and engagement strategies. Sally has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, BBC, Forbes, YahooFinance, Huffington Post, KQED radio, NBC11 News, ABC7 News, among numerous other media publications.
Sally co-founded WorkLab in 2015, a design thinking community of action committed to making work better, based on her work with Stanford’s “Redesigning and Redefining Work” project. She is committed to prototyping new workplace strategies and systems that align with the lives of today’s workforce so companies can better harness talent for mutual success. Sally lectures regularly at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business as well as UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. She serves on the Advisory Council of Stanford’s Clayman Institute for Gender Research, the educational partner of LeanIn.org.
Serial entrepreneur and mentor, best in scaling startups and guiding corporates in digital transformation. Mesut is cofounder of multiple enterprises both in EU and USA. He mentors startup teams globally, cofounded Startupbootcamp- and Innoleaps USA. Together with The Talent Institute, these three make up the “We Empower Innovators” (WEI) family.
Every year, the programs of the WEI family accelerate hundreds of startups in 12 different industries, jet-fuel corporate innovation and agile business acceleration, and unlock the potential in thousands of individuals. Working with these different stakeholders, provides the unique advantage of seeing innovation process explored and utilized in every form. With this Mesut is able to connect the worlds of Startups and Corporates, and help them leverage the skills, tools and mindsets that allow innovation to thrive.
Ben invests in early-stage media entrepreneurs who are helping to build a more informed, inclusive, and empathetic society.
Previously, he was an open source startup founder, engineer, and web product strategist, driven by a belief that connecting people and letting them share their stories would help create a more peaceful world.
He co-founded Elgg, one of the first white-label social networking platforms, which was used by hundreds of universities, non-profits like Oxfam, Fortune 500 companies like Hill & Knowlton, startups like Minds.com, and the governments of at least three nations. He was also the CTO and first employee at Latakoo, which empowers video news delivery from the field for outlets like NBC News.
With Known, he built a social product that helped organizations bring social engagement back to their own websites, instead of yielding control to the likes of Facebook and Twitter. And he was also a Senior Engineer at Medium, working on tools that supported publishers like ThinkProgress and The Ringer.
At its best, the internet is a movement that transcends gatekeepers and creates new democratic opportunities. At its worst, we now know it can empower regressive movements, harm vulnerable communities, and sew distrust. In a world where the internet has found its way into every major industry and facet of our lives, building tools ethically is now a moral imperative. That’s what he wants to help people to do.
Okan is a senior executive in the insurance field with more than 25 years’ corporate experience and an executive coach/leadership mentor.
During his professional career, he spent 14 years in top executive and CEO level roles. Okan is currently MD and country head for Guy Carpenter. Previously, he was CEO of Eureko (Garanti) Sigorta, part of Achmea, a Dutch insurance company.
In his role as an executive, he led senior teams in various change projects, innovation and transformation programs within a multinational working environment. Some examples are; M&A project in Garanti Sigorta and cultural transformation to Eureko Sigorta, setting up Guy Carpenter’s Istanbul office.
Alongside his executive career, Okan is an executive coach and leadership mentor. Okan reflects his own execution and leadership experience in his coaching. The experience, wisdom and know-how gained during his executive roles are harmonized with his positive energy, calmness and confidence. This defines the flavour of his coaching style and enables him to create the right atmosphere for his coachees to inspire, attain self-confidence to improve and to execute change.
While working as a CEO, Okan attended various coaching & mentoring programs. He completed a number of Adler advanced coaching programmes and is ACC (Associate Certified Coach) accredited by ICF (International Coach Federation). Okan is actively involved in the European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC) Turkey.
He is passionate about innovation, digitalization and startup ecosystem. He is supporting startups as a mentor, specifically in fintech/insurtech field. He is an insurtech enthusiast and his aspiration is to develop an insurtech ecosystem in Turkey.
He moderated various workshops and training programs, joined many local and international conferences as speaker and panelist.
Okan also writes a column in a monthly insurance magazine about new generation insurance, disruptive technologies, digitalization.
Murat Hatipoğlu is the Regional Head of Marketing Strategy at BSH. He is responsible for Strategy, Business Development, Consumer Insights, Market Intelligence, Innovation and Product Training for 80+ countries in the region.
Prior to BSH, Murat was a management consultant for 10 years; first with Peppers & Rogers Group, then with EY (Ernst & Young). He worked with several multinational clients in 10+ countries in Turkey, Middle East, Africa and Europe. His focus areas included corporate strategy, customer experience, multichannel strategies, organizational, digital and cultural transformation programs.
Before his consulting roles, Murat spent 6 years in retail banking with Garanti, TEB and Citibank mostly focusing on digital banking, new product and business development areas in Turkey and the MEA region. Murat holds an MBA from Texas A&M University and B.Sc. degree in Industrial Engineering from Istanbul Technical University.
Daniel Braun is the Regional Head of Category Laundry Care at BSH Group who has 15+ years of marketing experience including business development, strategy and product marketing in volatile market environments. Born in Kazakhstan, grew up in Ukraine, starting his business life in Germany and working in different countries, multicultural experiences characterized Daniel’s life and work. During his career at BSH Home Appliances Group, he gained international experience in various roles, being responsible for Marketing in Ukraine, Product Management in South East Asia and India and since 2014 he is leading Category Laundry Care for a region with 80+ countries including Turkey, Middle East, Africa and CIS.
Fluent in German, English, Russian and Ukrainian, currently located in Istanbul he is improving his language skills in Turkish.
Passionate about people & cultures, markets and consumer trends Daniel is looking forward to challenges and chances of the digital era.
Amal is a passionate professional in designing experiences, guiding corporates and startups to innovation and customer centric design, providing creative solutions, achieving mastery in service industry, manipulating the tools of marketing to evoke customers emotions. She is also immersed in working on corporate innovation to instill the ability to adapt to a rapidly changing social and business environment leading to great rewards and returns.
Throughout her career Amal gained a diversified range of experience in management and marketing related roles particularly in education and consultancy. Previously, Amal was part of the Entrepreneurship Center in King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in a number of roles including the New Ventures Acceleration and Corporate Innovation program. Prior to that she worked in the KAUST Seed Fund where she developed marketing and events, while also providing a range of services to startup clients. Amal has previously managed an educational organization; during that time she designed programs and started several innovative initiatives to be implemented by the educators to improve the mindsets in order to foster creativity in the work place and the educational tools.In parallel to this she started her own business, which organized sports events and offered commercial consultancy to large organizations.
During her masters degree research period in the University of Wollongong she managed to be exposed to large organizations and built marketing strategies to several entities such as Dubai government departments, Kempinsky hotel, Infiniti Cars and other service providers. She was also involved in a joint venture with another start up in Dubai focused on creating media and production services to other agencies including Starcom Dubai, Yahoo Dubai and many others. She also co authored two business articles focused on services marketing during her masters .
Gigi Wang serves as Venture Partner of iGlobe Partners. She serves as a Senior Advisor on Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Mobility Ventures LLC. As the Managing Partner at MG-Team, Wang leads a team which provides strategic marketing and international business development services for corporations, start-ups, and governments with clients in the United States, Europe and Asia.
She served as a Senior Vice President of Marketing and Alliances and Vice President for Marketing at July Systems Inc. She headed the marketing for July Systems with an international background in sales and marketing for telecom and Internet services, both consumer and enterprise.
She also launched Pacific Internet, along with holding sales and business development positions at InterNex (acquired by XO Communications) and Pacific Bell (acquired by SBC). Wang is the Chair Emeritus and Board Member MIT/Stanford Venture Lab and Board Member and Co-Chair of the LBS SIG for the Wireless Communications Alliance. She serves on the Advisory Board of the MIT/Stanford Venture Lab.
Wang holds a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University, and a Masters in Business Administration from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley.
Yilmaz Cakir is an experienced businessman who served as a C-level executive for several national and multinational companies. He is the founder of ARA Limited. He serves on the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK). He started his career at Grasso and went on to become the Secretary-General of Chamber of Industry. He was the General Manager of Cicisan and Suntasan A.S. and Santek AS. He was the Chairman of Finnish – Turkish Business Council and Turkish – Swedish Business Council, also Vice Chairman of Turkish – EU Business Council. He was an Honorary Ambassador to Courchavel Ski Resort. He has excellent knowledge of Turkish bureaucracy, Turkish Holdings, Ministries, Universities, State Planning Organization-SPO, Foreign Economic Relation Board-DEIK, Confederation Of Chambers of Commerce-TOBB, SMSs, Chambers of Commerce, Organized Industrial Districts, NGOs and other business organizations. Yilmaz has strong access to the EU /Brussels, private and public companies, enterprises, European Delegation in Ankara, Research Institutions, Technoparks, European Development Bank, Framework Program 7-FPVII, European Investment Bank, Turkish Development Banks, commercial banks and business associations in every part of Turkey. He was has honoured by the Finnish President Tarja Halonen with a first-class “White Rose” decoration in 2009.
Barış Özistek intermediated the sale of two successful internet companies within the SHR group, which he joined as the company CEO in 2011. He has been acting as Chief Executive Officer of Netmarble EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) since 2013. Global Gaming Company Netmarble with its head Office in Seoul/Korea has offices all over the world including Istanbul and Dubai. Joygame, Wolfteam, Paramanya, MARVEL Future Fight, STAR WARS™: Force Arena and Lineage 2: Revolution are Netmarble’s most known brands in Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Mr. Özistek is one of the founders and a board member of “StartersHub”, the largest venture building program that supports Startups in Turkey.
Mr. Özistek has worked for several companies at top executive positions such as Adecco and Bureau Veritas in Turkey, Caspian Sea and Middle East & North Africa region. He is one of the founding partners of “Hugent”, a well-known HR company in Turkey. He is also one of the investors of various technology ventures.
He holds an MBA in Finance and Marketing in addition to his MSc degree in Energy and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Yildiz Technical University. After studies on multiple trainings of management, sales and marketing, he completed an advanced leadership programme from IMD Business School / Switzerland.
Barış Özistek has acted as the President of Turkish Digital Games Federation (TUDOF) and also board member of Turkish Informatics Foundation. In addition he has roles among several NGOs and associations like 1907 Fenerbahce Association, Entrepreneurship Foundation and TUSİAD (Turkish Industry and Business Association).
David Galvan is a payments, technology and internet veteran, with over 25 years of business and operating experience in Silicon Valley. He is currently VP of Business Development and Strategic Alliances for MasterCard International, where he focuses on digital partnerships, relationships and investments with emerging companies in the Fintech space. Prior to that, Galvan was Senior Vice President of Business Development and Strategy for 24 Hour Fitness, the largest privately owned U.S. fitness club chain in the United States, serving nearly four million members in more than 420 clubs. Galvan was hired by Private Equity firm Forstmann Little to prep the Company for sale after a failed attempt in 2012. Galvan oversaw business and operational management of the 24HF Personal Fitness Business, Retail Business, Corp/Healthcare Sales, Sponsorship Sales, and Real Estate Development Team. He was also responsible for all new and legacy deals and strategic partnerships for entire Company. 24 Hour Fitness was successfully sold to an investor group led by AEA Investors for $1.85B in June 2014, after which the Forstmann Little team sold their stakes and left the organization.
Before 24HF, Galvan was the President/Head of BD at Schedulicity, a leading online scheduling service for appointment-based businesses. Galvan has also held senior leadership and operating roles at Topix, InfoGroup, Yahoo, AOL/Netscape, and Motorola.
He is a frequent speaker on the Payments and Innovation, Digital Commerce and Marketplace scene. A native Californian, Galvan is a graduate of Stanford University
Leading business development at Wine.com, Tim has launched dozens of successful marketing partnerships with Retailers, Wine Regions and brands that value access to the world-class assortment of passionate wine drinking consumers that frequent the site. Tim has also developed a successful third party distribution business at Wine.com focused on getting premiere e-tailers, like Omaha Steaks and Hickory Farms, to expand their share of wallet with their current customers.
For over 20 years, Tim Taylor has created compelling communications and executable strategies for entrepreneurial leaders. Tim shifts leaders’ perspectives by asking the right questions to get to the “right question” and turning complex businesses into compelling and understandable content for investor presentations. He is the primary pitch coach for the Band of Angels.
Tim received his MBA from Wharton and has worked for companies including KPMG & Charles Schwab. His main priority is: “I do the right thing. I won’t push something that doesn’t fit, even if it means delaying a transaction or business partnership. I always make sure it’s mutually beneficial when the time is right.”
Sinem Guler, is an enthusiastic product management professional, working for BSH with +10 years’ experience including solid financial affairs background earlier in her career. After managing Consumer Products for 3 years, she is now responsible as the head of Dish Care category within a region of 80+ countries mostly focusing on emerging markets. She is skilled in strategic planning and target setting, launch management, multiple brand management, strategy building for new market entries, P&L analysis and defining profit-generating opportunities for related product categories. Holds a BA degree in Economics, and an MBA from Istanbul Technical University during which she had focused on International Marketing.
Başak is a serial entrepreneur, digital marketing strategist, and e-commerce expert. She is passionate about building brands, telling stories, creating innovative ways of doing business, inspiring her customers with data-driven methods and generate growth around e-commerce. Her seventeen years of experience outlines a proven track record and a unique perspective that extends well beyond traditional marketing.
An entrepreneur by nature, Bashak founded Altinci Cadde, the first online furniture selling & home décor company in Turkey, in 2011. Later she opened the first Altinci Cadde Showroom in Istanbul. After running it for 3 years, she sold the company to a Turkish media conglomerate Dogan Yayin Holding. She moved to NYC in 2013 to found NYFU (New York Functional Furniture), an e-commerce company that designed, produced and sold smart furniture for small spaces. She decided to establish ROAD (Return on Advertising Design), is a full-service digital marketing agency operating in Miami, Istanbul, and New York. She is also a Founder and Head of Marketing Communication of Urbanarba -, She connects cities with the public and private sectors to boost the local economy and positively impact the community.
She believes in empowering women will transform the society that why she voluntarily supports Arya Women Investment Platform as the Digital Strategist. She has been coaching the entrepreneurs on how to develop efficient e-commerce and digital marketing strategies.
In 2017 she was named a “Young Society Leader” by The American Turkish Society, and in 2018 was listed as one of Inspiring Women of Turkey by Dunya Finance and Business Daily.
Başak is a passionate and avid public speaker. She enjoys sharing her thoughts on the future of the marketing, trends.
She was born and raised in Turkey, studied e-commerce at the University of Westminster in London. She works in three cities, speaks two languages, and have a son.
Ebru Dorman is Chairwoman of StartersHub and a very active mentor. Ebru started her career in 1995 at McKinsey & Co. and served in their Istanbul, London, Helsinki and Warsaw offices. She worked in investment banking with Goldman Sachs and in venture capital with Morgan Stanley in London. Following 10 years at Orange (France Telecom) as an investment manager in Orange Ventures and as Vice President with pan-European roles, Ebru joined Maxis in Malaysia where she served for three years, initially as VP Strategy and later as Head of Home & Broadband business unit. She returned to Istanbul after 17 years abroad when appointed as Deputy CEO at Acibadem Healthcare Group, part of IHH Healthcare. In February 2015, she joined MV Holding where she serves as Chief Executive Officer and Board Member.
Ebru completed her BS with a first degree in Industrial Engineering at Bosphorus University in 1994. She also holds an MS degree in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from the University of California at Berkeley (’95) and an MBA degree from Harvard Business School (’99).
Barry James Folsom
Barry James is a visionary strategist and operational executive who alters the game by using ‘unfair advantages’ as the basis for delivering sustaining profitable growth and consistently improving margins. He has been CEO of public and private companies.
Barry James has over 35 years of executive management and strategic marketing experience in digital media, internet and high tech with a successful track record of rapidly growing divisions and companies into billion $ category leaders.
Barry James has played pivotal roles in 4 major game changing market categories: PCs, Workstations, Internet Data Centers and Web Conferencing. He has extensive Internet, entertainment, digital media, cloud computing services, collaboration, connected consumer devices (mobile, home), and computing devices (desktops/servers) experience. Barry James’ teams have sold over $2B of products & services.
As a respected company leader, Barry James was Frost & Sullivan’s 2002 CEO of the Year. Also in 2002, PlaceWare was the 4th fasting-growing private company in Silicon Valley. In 1997, Exodus was ranked one of the Silicon Valley’s top 10 fastest growing private companies by The San Jose Business Journal for 2 years in a row.
He is a frequent speaker at venues such as Ad:Tech, Media Summit, Digital Hollywood, & Digital Connections.
Specialties: Visionary, Strategy & Strategic Marketing, Game Changer Who Has Run Profitable Growth Businesses as CEO, including multiple successful turnarounds. Experience in providing innovative products and services in the Internet, Media, Mobile and Professional/Industry Productivity Tools segments, both to consumers and to businesses.
– Passionate advocate and developer of the Asian tech industry with a strong network of international and regional contacts
– Aspiring builder of the Deep Tech ecosystem via strategic venture investments and talent network development in Singapore and the US
– Entrepreneurial experience in setting up and running a startup in China
– Adept at working across cultures; familiar with North American, Chinese and Indonesian markets; effectively tri-lingual in English, Chinese (Mandarin) and Bahasa Indonesia
– Highly effective communicator and influencer; a creative and enthusiastic team player
Koray Gültekin Bahar
CEO and Managing Partner of Foriba (FIT Solutions) the leading e-Transformation solution company inTurkey. The large scale of solution portfolio from Large enterprises to micro size companies.
Bora Sahinoglu completed his undergraduate and graduate studies in Belgium. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering and Master’s degree in Computer Engineering and Business Administration from the Faculté Polytechnique de Mons. In 1989, Sahinoglu joined GIB Group, Belgium’s largest retail store chain. Between 1992-1996, Sahinoglu worked as a Vice President and member of the board for Öztüre Kimtas (Izmir), a joint venture between Carmeuse Group (Belgium) – worldwide 2nd largest lime producer – and Öztüre Holding (Turkey). Bora Sahinoglu moved to Istanbul in 1994 and became partner of Netsis a major Turkish ERP software company where he held the position of Vice President of Sales and Marketing. In 1999 he left Netsis and founded Tikle a technology company developing Internet and mobile Internet solutions. Tikle has become a success story and one of the most recognizable brand in the Turkish mobile service market. Today Tikle is the market leader in the mobile services business working in active partnership with the three Turkish mobile operators: Turkcell, Vodafone and Avea. Bora Sahinoglu’s entrepreneurial drives continues founding technology and sales companies in Turkey and abroad. Bora Sahinoglu is married and has two daughters.
Ayşenur Evcil, Regional Head of Digital Transition at BSH Home Appliances is leading the Digital Strategy and Transformation of T-MEA-CIS region (Turkey, Middle East, Africa and Commonwealth of Independent States) that includes 88 countries. Ayşenur has over 17 years of global experience in branding, digital and E-commerce marketing and generating revenue and customer growth via integrated omni-channel marketing strategies across Consumer Packaged Goods, Retail, Financial Services, Digital Publishing and Media industries.
Prior to joining BSH, she was the Digital Marketing, Sales and Customer Insight Country Lead at Accenture Digital Turkey where she spearheaded numerous complex digital transformation and ecosystem development consulting projects for leading Financial Services, Telco, Retail and CPG industry clients that generated significant business growth.
Previously, Ayşenur was the CEO and Head of Global Direct to Consumer Marketing at Eaglemoss Inc. , where she led the development of go-to-market strategy for North America region to fuel growth of global digital portfolio and ignite new customer generation.
Prior to joining Eaglemoss, she held strategic senior management positions at Citigroup, Kraft Foods, and IMP Inc. in USA where she led cross-functional teams in various game-changing, data-driven digital business strategies and initiatives. During her tenure at Citigroup, Ayşenur lead the development Citi’s first-ever Dining Platform, with exclusive ecosystem partnerships, new mobile payment platforms and personalized digital solutions. She was instrumental in successfully launching digital CRM and loyalty programs for Kraft Foods.
Ayşenur received her MBA degree in Marketing and International Business from Zicklin School of Business in Baruch College in New York and Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Bosphorus University in Istanbul.
Credentials and credibility:
• Consultant, Mentor, Change Agent (present) – translating wisdom and experience to value, growth, and success for others
• Managing Partner (IPS Learning) and Master Trainer supporting Stanford Advanced Project Management (SAPM) (11 years) – travelled the world (20+ countries) learning, growing, and sharing knowledge
• The principal of Management Consulting Company, Link (9 years) – learning to run a business and cultivating and leading others
• Management Consultant (Leemak) in Silicon Valley (10 years) – mentoring from and to all levels of fast track managers
• Supervisor in a union manufacturing (Frito-Lay) facility (2 years) – school of hard knocks learning management and leadership
• Strategy Execution workshops/training (leadership, stakeholder management, team development, execution)
• Mentoring/Coaching (networking and relationships, performance and accountability, leading self and others)
• Off-Sites and Retreats (design, develop and deliver/guest speaker/team building)
• Performance-based consulting (cost reduction, process improvement, new product introduction, project management)
Aylin Aktürk Şahin
Dr. Aylin Sahin is the cofounder of Igniters Tech Consulting which offers startups technical and business consulting services to enter US market and enable them to connect with their network of investors, business and technology partners. She helps startups design and manage their localization in the USA. She also provides consulting services to Venture Capital Firms and angel investors regarding their investments in US based companies.
Upon starting her law career at Sabanci Holding’s law department, Aylin has worked in a prominent international law firm in Istanbul on M&A projects and in the field of Corporate Law for 7 years. During this period she advised her clients on 100+ million dollar M&A projects in Turkey, MENA region, Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Meanwhile, she pursued Ph.D. studies in International Private Law at Istanbul University Law School. She served as a parliamentary advisor to European Union Harmonization Commission and Justice Commission at Turkish Parliament between 2007-2011. She has briefed and advised members of the Turkish Parliament and European Parliament on more than 30 draft Codes in the field of Business Law, International Law and Intellectual Property Law.
Aylin holds master of laws degrees from Galatasaray Law School and UC Berkeley Law in International Economic Law and Technology Law. She also holds JSD (Ph.D.) in Technology Law from UC Berkeley where she worked as a research assistant at law school and department of political science. During this period, she was invited to Max Planck Institute on Innovation and Competition in Munich as a visiting scholar to conduct research on European legal system on Software and Internet Law. Later, she worked on global Internet policies at Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), one of the most prominent Internet and digital rights associations in the USA. She has academic publications on technology law, investment and commercial law alongside international intellectual property law and political science. Her research interests range from implications of AI in contracts law and legal personalities of robots etc. to pursuit of the best food in the world.
Entrepreneur in the venture investing arena, investor and advisor. Founder of ScaleIT Capital and Senior Advisor @ LVenture Group, I have invested in 20+ startups internationally. In 2007 I co-founded the angel group Italian Angels for Growth and managed the group as managing director till 2014. Some of my investments are Musement, Tok.tv, Biobeats, Gipstech, Spreaker, Agroils, Biogenera, Angiodroid. Previously I was VP Marketing @ Gialloviaggi.it and Stage Entertainment and Manager @ Iveco. Graduated with honour in Economics and Commerce @ the University of Florence, I had executive education @ Stanford and Cranfield. I’m part of several national and international start-up selection committees and have been lecturer on angel investing in many Italian Universities.
Max Shapiro is CEO of PeopleConnect (a boutique executive staffing agency), Chair of Angel Elevator Pitches at VC TaskForce, and an active member of Silicon Ventures and Keiretsu Forum.
Yusuf Ercan Güvenç
Cüneyt Ortan was born in 4th of May 1964 in Izmir Turkey. He graduated from Bornova Anadolu Lisesi in İzmir/Turkey and had attended Richmond College in London majoring in Business Administration and then attended and graduated from American College in London majoring in Marketing.
He started his business carrier In the year 1985 in a company called A J Beckhor and CO as a stockbroker trainee in the City of London. In 1987 he became an overseas investor in financial markets. After that, in 1990 he returned to Istanbul, Turkey to establish a daily sports paper called “Fotospor”. With the successive launch of Fotospor. He became one of the few entrepreneurs who started the private radio era in Turkey. He established the following media companies in succession such as Radio Sport, Şık FM, Le Chic Fm, Kiss Fm, Kiss Tv. He also established record companies called Kiss Müzik, Klip Müzik and Müyada Distribution becoming Sony Music’s distribution company in Turkey region.
Later in the ’90s and in early 2000, he became a board member in Atv Television Channel, Sabah Newspaper with many magazines like Cosmopolitan magazine, etc and Medya Holding which was and still is one of the two largest media groups in Turkey sold to Turkuvaz Group in 2007. Apart from this he also was the writer and the co-producer in a major motion picture called “Beyza’nın Kadınları” “Shattered Soul” which was also a milestone in Turkish film Industry. And this movie had won a major award in St.Petersburg Film Festival. Furthermore, he then went into concert and event promotion business with Ahmet San in the year 2007. Having promoted 60 concerts ranging from artists Jose Carreras to Lionel Richie, Enrique Iglesias, Kylie Minogue, Metallica etc in 2007- 2008.
He then went into advertisement production by promoting Kevin Costner for Turkish Airlines’ 2010 global campaign along with other artists’ concert promotions like Julio Iglesias Turkish tour in 2009, Michael Bolton and Gloria Estefan’s Istanbul concert.
He also launched Bosphorus Conference in Istanbul hosting 42nd President of USA William Jefferson Clinton and 7th Prime Minister of Germany Gerard Shroeder. Previously besides he was consulting to The Secretariat General To The EU Affairs. In 2011 he launched Turkey’s first virtual shopping mall. Currently, he operates in retail radio and music licensing business in 23 countries (www.dijimedya.com.tr) apart from his artist promoting company REACH Media which is still booking International artists for Turkish Airlines and other clients.
Besides he is also the co-founder of two mobile startups, one a global loyalty app called Pins launching in Turkey also with a mission of making İstanbul-İzmir Private Highway World’s Smartest and safest Highway. The other one a globally aimed restaurant reservations and mobile payment app called Dineandpay starting in Turkey, Russia, Baltics and Finland soon.
Fifteen years of professional experience in privately held company Optimum Computers Ltd., which was selling computer software and computer parts.
Different responsibilities in the management role of the company like Online & Offline Marketing Management, Business Development, Major IT and Operations Projects, E-Commerce Projects, Hardware & Software import, distribution & sales.
Rob Castaneda found his passion for technology and training as a 17-year old, working on the Sydney helpdesk of a Silicon Valley software company. Within three years he had worked in various departments of the company, ranging from pre-sales, training, support and research & development. In 2000, Rob moved to Silicon Valley to work for a startup, and also contributed and co-authored several books and publications related to Enterprise Java. In 2001, Rob started his company ServiceRocket, which is headquartered in Palo Alto, California and has grown to more than 170 employees worldwide with offices in the U.S., Australia, Chile, and Malaysia. Rob’s leadership style of thinking team and sharing knowledge is part of what has helped him build a successful global company, completely boot-strapped, having no received no VC funding, and has most recently landed him a spot in the Silicon Valley’s Top 40 under 40.
+ Founder, CEO
Now: Building Workr, a consumer internet company to help workers save time and do great work.
Previously: Built Envictus, a national social entrepreneurship which helped 1 million students get into college.
Specialize in building web-based applications to solve large-scale social problems.
Featured: TIME magazine, Washington Business Journal, other.
Multiple Awards & Recognition: Public Policy & International Affairs Fellowship (PPIA), BMW Foundation, AIP, other.
Katherine is a co-founder of Global Scaling Academy and General Partner of Blitzscaling Ventures.
Katherine is a highly accomplished CEO, marketer, entrepreneur and general manager with a strong track record of success in growing revenue and creating liquidity events on behalf of innovative technology companies serving both consumer and business markets.
She was Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Brio Technology and lead that company through a successful IPO, Founder and CEO Aurora SFC Systems, CEO of gForce Software, CEO / Founder – LightScan Technologies: Medical Device Technology Transfer, Vice President Marketing (Software)- Hewlett Packard, COO – Cruzin (Sharing Economy Startup) and has been a Mentor and Advisor for Wasabi Ventures Global, Women’s Start-up Lab, and Detection Group.
Katherine holds a BS from Cornell University.
David a feisty entrepreneur with executive, strategic and operating experience in automotive SaaS companies. He has worn many hats, started several companies and am always looking for new challenges. Today he is helping Dealer-FX define and grow its industry leading customer experience management platform throughout North America and the world. He is also helping ALVA transform the commercial lighting market with its gorgeous LED fixtures.
Specialties: transformative strategy, complex product design, technical brand & product marketing, business development, team-building, execution, fundraising.
Gregor A. Berkowitz co-founded MOTO Development Group, Inc. in 1991 and serves as its President. He leads MOTO’s services for startups and has driven key product development for startups including Pure Digital (Acquired by Cisco), Livescribe, Cepheid, Omnicell, SkyPilot.
He has over eighteen years experience working across Asia, creating successful development partnership with companies from Japan, to Taiwan, China, Malaysia and South Asia. His understanding of cultural context, influences, and values has helped MOTO establish a reputation for building long-term relationships and ongoing partnerships with Asian suppliers and clients. Berkowitz serves as Fund Advisor at Q Venture Partners. He serves on the Board of advisors for multiple startups including Twenty20 and JimmyJane.
Berkowitz authors the Design Review column for CNET, sharing insights into how and why form meets function in consumer electronics. Berkowitz holds six US and international patents in area including mechanism design and cloud computing. Berkowitz received a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, and contributed to research at both the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Institute (computer vision systems), and the Carnegie Mellon Engineering Design Research Institute (space vehicle design).
Carl Wheatley joins our team as a design recruiter mentor. After working in Amsterdam for Startupbootcamp, he currently resides in the bay area. For the past several years Carl has been working as a design recruiter. He also has experience as a UI/UX designer where he focused on mobile and web design. Carl worked with many high tech startups in the bay area.
Dennis Wong is a currently an investor, advisor and mentor with various tech startups focusing on the Fintech, eCommerce and Cloud Computing verticals. He is a 25-year internet technology and business veteran who has held executive roles at Alibaba, eBay, PayPal, Yahoo!, HP and various tech startups. Dennis possesses in-depth operational knowledge and experience across functions like Engineering/Operations/Program Management and Business Development. He ran large-scale technology programs that had direct significant impact on companies’ top and bottom lines.
- At Alibaba, he was a founding member of Aliyun, Alibaba Cloud Computing, heading product strategy. He served as Chief Liaison in maintaining the strategic relationship with Yahoo!, and concurrently served as International BD Director managing key relations with strategic partners like Softbank.
- At Yahoo!, Dennis headed the technology partnership program with Alibaba Group, managing resources across multiple business units and developing core products for Alibaba’s business.
- At PayPal, Dennis was Head of Global API program that managed product development, budgeting, planning, and rollout of core Developer API’s that were responsible for more than $100B of TPV for the company. Prior, he was Lead SDLC architect and helped revamp PayPal’s enterprise development process.
- At eBay, He also led the technology integration of acquisition of various companies like PayPal, Verisign Payments, Braintree and Eachnet.
- At Loudcloud, he managed the Business Process Management group that accelerated the hyper growth of Loudcloud from 50 employees and no revenue, to IPO with 800 employees in less than 3 years.
Dennis holds a Master’s degree in Engineering from UCLA and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University.
Matthieu Soulé is passionate about new technologies and has been working for the last 10 years for BNP Paribas between Paris and San Francisco, looking for new opportunities and innovation in the fintech, mobility and insurtech spaces for BNP Paribas Group.
Since 2015, he is leading the analyst team of l’Atelier BNP Paribas in San Francisco and is involved in the fintech community both in the USA and Europe as public speakers and mentors in venues such as SV Forum Fintech event, Finextra Future of Money, Draper University, StartupBootCamp Fintech and EFMA.
Matthieu has also been active in civic engagement organization; he was Vice-President and prior to that in charge of the International Relations & New Technologies program at the Open Diplomacy Institute.
Jason Johnson is a Silicon Valley technologist and entrepreneur with nearly twenty years of technology expertise. He is currently the CEO of August. Jason is also a managing partner of startup incubator Founders Den and the chairman of the Internet of Things Consortium. Jason co-founded mobile security software company AirCover (acquired by M Dream, HK:8100).
Previously he was vice president of Dolby Laboratories (NYSE: DLB), vice president of Global IP Solutions (acquired by Google) and was the co-founder and CEO of InterQuest (acquired by Darwin Networks). Jason earned a bachelor’s degree in business from Pepperdine University and currently resides in San Francisco, CA with his wife and son.