· Robin Kent, Former Chairman & CEO of Universal McCann Worldwide
Robin is the Co-Founder of Rebel Digital. A company which consults to a number of digital music platforms and sells advertising on their behalf to “blue chip” advertisers.
Prior to this Robin was the founding CEO of SpiralFrog from May 2005 to December 2006 where he was responsible for raising funds, creating the brand, putting in place the ad sales team and signing record label and publishing contracts. He left along with the majority of his team and the Board in December 2006 to establish Rebel Digital.
Until April 2005 Robin was the Chairman & CEO of Universal McCann, the media arm of McCann Erickson advertising and a part of the Interpublic Group of Companies.
Robin joined Universal McCann in 1996 and was appointed EVP, Regional Director for Europe, Middle East and Africa in January 1997. Under his leadership in EMEA, Universal McCann has led all media agencies in winning media-only new business throughout Europe for three consecutive years. Many proprietary research programs and strategy methods that were developed under his leadership have since been adapted worldwide within Universal McCann’s 123 countries, 180 offices and over 4000 employees.
In April, 2002, Robin was promoted to the worldwide post of Chairman & CEO of Universal McCann. In addition to his role of global Chairman, Robin assumed the role of Regional Director of UM North America and focused on elevating the quality of client servicing and new business development in the United States. In 2002, Universal McCann won over $1.7BN in new business in the US; $2.5BN globally. Under Robin’s leadership, Universal McCann was named “2002 U.S. Media Agency of the Year” by industry leading publications Advertising Age and AdWeek. Under Robin’s Global leadership Universal has been successful every year at the Cannes advertising festival, winning many media Gold Lions and the Grand Prix in 2003.
Robin has been in the media industry for 33 years and has expertise across all communication disciplines. He began his career at Saatchi & Saatchi in 1976, where he managed the media planning and buying for Proctor & Gamble, Dunlop and BP. Subsequently, Robin spent 11 years at Leagas Delaney as Media Director, responsible for Porsche, Harrods and Adidas. After Leagas, he moved to Paris as Client Services Director for Carat, managing Disney, Danone and VW.
Robin has received several prestigious industry awards including:
- AdAge Media Maven award 2002.
- AdWeek/MediaWeek: “Media All Star” for the media executive category 2002.
- AdAge Global: “Top 100 Marketers” (AdAge Global, July 2003) where he was recognized for his “fresh thinking and initiatives.”
- AdWeek and AdAge voted Universal McCann “Media Agency of the Year” in 2002
- Gotham Top ten advertising people September 2004.
· Rod Underhill, Founder of MP3.com
Rod Underhill made his initial splash in the technology sector when he cofounded MP3.com, an Internet business that became worth more than six billion dollars. He is the author of "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Making Millions on the Internet" and other technology books. In 2008 he received a Webby Award, honoring his work in mobile technology relating to Podlinez.com. Attorney, law professor and technologist, Professor Underhill serves as an advisor to technology start ups.
He works with software companies and web based businesses as well as providing pro-bono advisory services to noted cancer research scientists and medical research driven universities. His help spans venture capital expertise to technology development as well as legal issues and business modeling and has two significant patents pending before the US Patent Office. Recently, the New York Times praised his Podlinez.com project by making it a "Tech Tip of the Week." Underhill is currently assisting several new start ups to reach their goals. He has appeared on the Geraldo Show and NPR and was profiled in Rolling Stone Magazine.
Rod serves as an adjunct professor of law at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, San Diego, where he teaches music law. He resides in the remote mountain village of Julian, California with his wife and two children.
· Jim Anderson, Co-Founder of About.com
In 1996, Jim Anderson started training a computer he named Vicki how to think like a human – and now twelve years later he is integrating those concepts into the offerings at Dorthy.com and Saber Seven. Today, we are doing things with technology that most would have never dreamed back when Jim first put Vicki to work.
As Saber Seven’s Chief Technology Officer Jim leads the companies search, content delivery, mobile, and social strategies as well as technological vision. The mixture of his experience, with leading advances in Artificial Intelligence, Natural Language Processing, Machine Learning Technologies, and his hundreds of patents have all been fertile training for his new challenge – creating Dorthy.com as the premiere web destination.
While in his teens, Jim was working on early versions of speech recognition at IBM. He was one of the first to develop personalization within web technology and, after serving as a key developer at the early consumer online service Prodigy, Jim went on to become a founder and played a key role in the growth of the Internet company About.com.
Most recently, Jim has emerged as a leader in mobile solutions utilizing VoIP over Satellite and holds patents on Secure SMS/MMS Messaging and Secure Mobile Commerce. Jim has also created a number of patented security related products including Secure ID Credentials, EvolvID, Predictive Risk Analysis for KYC solutions. Much of Jim’s work has resulted in proprietary solutions in computing, security and telephony via his privately held companies, most notably Standard ID and Augment Communications.
Jim’s unique thinking and innovative practices have lead him to create many solutions around a variety of areas including Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning Technologies, Search, Security, Telecommunications, Social Networking, Software and Systems Architecture. Specifically, Jim has worked on intelligent systems and designs around the U.S. Patriot Act, KYC (Know Your Customer), and Anti-Money Laundering solutions. Jim is also a respected authority on Security, Terrorism and Counter Terrorism Solutions.
Jim resides in Westchester County with his wife Cathy and their three children and works out of Dorthy.com and Saber Seven’s downtown Manhattan offices.
- Albert Wenger, Partner at Union Square Ventures
Albert combines over 10 years of entrepreneurial experience with an in-depth technology background. As an entrepreneur, he has founded or co-founded five companies, including a management consulting firm (in Germany), a hosted data analytics company, a technology subsidiary for Telebanc (now E*Tradebank), an early stage investment firm, and most recently (with his wife), DailyLit, a service for reading books by email or RSS. Albert also served as the president of del.icio.us through the company’s sale to Yahoo. His technology background goes back to winning the German national computer science competition at age 18. Albert graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College in economics and computer science and holds a Ph.D. in Information Technology from MIT. He has managed technology projects for organizations as diverse as Tacoda (startup) and Telebanc (leading Internet bank).
Albert currently serves on the boards of Clickable, a platform for managing online advertising; and Maptuit, a provider of realtime navigation; he is a board observer at Etsy, an online marketplace for handmade goods. Albert is married with three kids and lives in Scarsdale, New York.
- Steve Brotman, Managing Director at Greenhill SAVP
Steve Brotman is a Managing Director of Greenhill & Co, and co-founder and co-head of Greenhill SAVP. Prior to founding SAVP in 1998, Steve was the founder, CEO and Chairman of AdOne Classified Network, one of the nation's leading classified ad web sites which merged with Powerdz to become PowerOne Media.
While at SAVP, Steve was a finalist for the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2000 and was named in Crain's 2001 Tech 100. While at AdOne, Steve, in 1997, was selected for Crain's Top 25 Players Shaping Silicon Alley and the 1995 Top 40 under 40 among New York businessmen.
Steve currently serves on the boards of ReachForce, Managed Systems, Critical Mention, and Knovel (Observer) and has previously served on the boards of Medidata (Observer), DataSynapse (Observer), 7thOnline and Bla-bla (acquired by UGO in 2001). In addition, Steve has served on the board of the MIT Enterprise Forum and as a mentor and judge for the Columbia Business School Lang and Greenhouse Funds.
Steve received his undergraduate degree in Economics from Duke University and a joint JD/MBA degree with honors from Washington University.
· Jalak Jobanputra, Vice President at New York City Investment Fund
· Owen Davis, Managing Director at NYC Seed
Owen has worked in all aspects of the online world. He created one of the first 200 web sites on-line, and founded Thinking Media in the summer of 1995, an online marketing firm which pioneered client-side tracking of pages and advertisements, which has become the standard method for online measurement. He co-founded Sonata in 1999, a wireless company that provided location-based services and marketing to cell phones. Owen also co-founded, Petal Computing, a firm that developed software which allowed large numbers of commodity PCs to act like a single unit, useful in industries ranging from image rendering to pharmaceuticals. He was also an original member of the Board setting online advertising and media specifications and has served as Managing Director of the Wireless Advertising Association. Owen was named various times as one of the 100 Top Internet Executives in New York by The Silicon Alley Reporter. Owen currently runs NYC Seed, the first true seed fund in NYC in partnership with the City of New York.
· Eduardo Saverin, Co-Founder of Facebook
· Sergio Fernandez de Cordova, Founder of Fuel Outdoor
Sergio Fernández de Córdova is founder of Fuel Outdoor. Started in 2003, Fuel Outdoor has grown into a $150MM+ company with six offices in nine cities nationwide, and is now a portfolio company of Och-Ziff, a global institutional asset management firm with over $38 billion in capital. With more than 4,000 outdoor advertising locations, a growing portfolio of clients, and a very active philanthropic program, Sergio Fernández de Córdova is more than just a sharp businessman;he’s a young entrepreneur with an incredible ability to turn opportunity to success.
In addition, Sergio has created a philanthropic program to provide continued support for such organizations as the Guggenheim, FoodBank New York, Alvin Ailey Dance, Operation Smile and Make a Wish and acts as a founding global board member for the Entrepreneur Organization’s “EO Injected” global initiative.
· Allan Young, Co-Founder of University Venture Fund
Allan Young has a background in software startups, venture capital, and private equity. Allan is currently consulting with Sendside Networks, an Enterprise 2.0 startup that has built a next generation customer communication platform. He helps the company with fundraising, marketing, SEO/SEM, and partnership strategies. Previously, he was VP of Business Development at mediaFORGE, a venture-backed startup that pioneered widget-serving display advertising technology. Prior to that, Allan worked at Sorenson Capital, a private equity firm engaged in leveraged buyouts of manufacturing companies.
Allan previously was with University Venture Fund where he sourced the firm's investment in Omniture, a startup that subsequently went public and is the leader in web analytics. Other venture capital investments include Infinera and Socialtext.
Allan studied economics and political science at BYU and was a Fellow at Harvard Law School's Civil Rights Project. He also served as a basic infantryman in the United States Marine Corps.
· Jason Olim, Co-Founder of CDNOW
Jason Olim experienced just about every aspect of leading and operating a growth company. As the founder and CEO of CDNOW (NASDAQ:CDNW) and as a member of public and private company boards, he raised venture, debt and public capital; he acquired and merged with other companies; and took his company private through a sale to Bertelsmann, the third largest media company in the world. In his various roles, he hired management teams, developed strategic plans and acted as spokesman to the media.
A graduate of Brown University with a degree in computer science, Olim worked for two years at Soft-Switch, designing software systems for multinational corporations. Olim founded CDNOW in February of 1994, and became a highly recognized Internet entrepreneur. He has earned Entrepreneur of the Year awards from various organizations, including the Small Business Association, Arthur Andersen and the Greater Philadelphia Venture Group. Olim consults for startup companies on strategy, fundraising and organizational development.
Jason is a frequent guest lecturer at business schools, an instructor at The Wharton SBDC and needs to take his comprehensives to get his MA in organizational psychology at NYU. His current project is www.freshmanfund.com.
· Jeff Stewart, Founder of Mimeo
Jeff Stewart is an entrepreneur and investor. His most recent company, Urgent Career, pioneers the use of linguistic technology to find, screen, and assess sales professionals.
Jeff has founded over a half-dozen companies, which combined employ over 600 people. Immediately prior to founding Urgent Career, Jeff started a technology-based financial intelligence firm that provided real-time analysis of semi-structured text information to hedge funds and other institutional investors. Jeff is also the founder and managing director of Geometric Group LLC and Urgent Ventures LLC, two companies that focus on seed-stage investments.
He is the founder, former CEO, and current chairman of Mimeo.com, a state-of-the-art, Internet-based document production service included in the 2004 and 2005 Inc. 500 lists of the fastest growing companies, the Red Herring 100 list of private companies that drive technology, and Deloitte’s Technology “Fast 500” list.
Mr. Stewart’s entrepreneurial career began with his launch of Square Earth, an Internet technology company whose customers included Citibank, Compaq, UPS, Merrill Lynch, Oppenheimer and AIG. Consistently profitable, Square Earth grew at a rate of over 100% per year, merged with Proxicom in January 1998, and successfully completed an IPO as the combined company. Jeff’s blog can be found at www.urgentspeed.com
· Bill Sobel, Founder of Sobel Media
· Louis Meade, Co-Founder of PCM Exchange
· Gil Beyda, Managing Partner at Genacast Ventures
Gil Beyda is a seasoned entrepreneur turned venture capitalist. Gil launched his first company Mind Games in 1982 to develop games for the original Apple II. Gil then started a software consulting firm with Fortune 100 clients in the U.S., Asia and Europe. In 1995, Gil helped pioneer Internet advertising by founding Real Media, the first online ad network and ad server company. After Real Media was acquired in 2001, Gil pioneered the next wave of online advertising as CTO of TACODA, the first behavioral targeting, ad network. Following AOL’s acquisition of TACODA in 2007, Gil founded Genacast Ventures in partnership with Comcast Interactive Capital to invest in seed-stage, technology-centric, Internet start-ups.
Gil has a MBA and BS in Computer Science from California State University. He lives with his wife and four daughters in the Philadelphia suburbs.
· Chris Fralic, Partner at First Round Capital
Chris Fralic joined First Round Capital in 2006. Chris was most recently VP of Business Development at del.icio.us, which was acquired by Yahoo! in December 2005, focusing on distribution partnerships to integrate del.icio.us across a broad set of browsers, tools and publishing partners.
Chris previously spent 6 years at eBay, and his last position there was a combination ad sales and business development role helping entertainment companies such as Twentieth Century Fox, Universal Music Group, Apple and Netflix reach and connect with eBay users. Chris previously led the Entertainment categories, managing the transaction, platform and supply/demand aspects of the books, movies and music marketplaces on eBay in the United States. Chris had been the VP of Business Development at Half.com, which was acquired by eBay in June 2000. Chris was one of the early employees of Half.com, where he helped develop many parts of the business including fund raising, content licensing, the affiliate program, supply and distribution partnerships, and advertising and sponsorships sales.
Chris has over 20 years of technology industry experience, including significant Internet sales and business development roles since 1996. He was Vice President of Business Development at Nextron Communications, a Safeguard Scientifics funded startup focusing on web site development technology and services. He was Director of Business Development for the Enterprise division of America Online, which provided secure remote access and virtual private network services to businesses.
At Oracle Corporation, Chris was Internet Account Manager for the national industry group responsible for Cable, Entertainment, Media and Telecommunications companies. His focus was on Oracle’s early Internet offerings including Web Application Servers and Commerce Servers for some of Oracle’s largest accounts such as AOL and Time Warner.
Earlier in his career, he held senior sales and management roles in the computer reseller and consulting services industry for companies including The Computer Factory, BusinessLand, ComputerLand/Vanstar, and CoreTech, where he was responsible for over $100 million in hardware, services, and consulting sales.
He currently serves on the Board of Governors for the Leader to Leader Institute (www.leadertoleader.org - formerly the Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management.) He has previously served on the Retail Advisory Councils of both NARM and VSDA, the retail trade associations for the music and movie industries, and the Advisory Board of the Library Portal Project of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He has taught graduate-level classes at Temple, Rutgers and Eastern University, and has spoken at numerous industry events including Gartner Group’s Retailvision, Jupiter’s Plug.in, and DigitalHollywood’s Media Summit.
Chris earned his BS in Finance from Villanova University, and his MBA from St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia.
· Mark Mackenzie, Senior Digital Media Analyst at AllianceBernstein ESG/VC
Mark Mackenzie is the Senior Telecom, Media & Technology Analyst and heads the TMT Venture Capital effort at AllianceBernstein. Mark analyzes emerging global trends and utilizes that knowledge to drive late-stage venture capital and advise on themes that impact the firm’s public equity and fixed income portfolios.
In this cross-over roll, Mark leverages the largest publicly traded money manager (AllianceBernstein has almost half a trillion dollars under management) on behalf of his private investments - complementing existing venture capital by offering: a unique strategic vision through access to 300 internal and thousands of sell-side analysts; introductions to potential business clients through significant ownership in public companies; and insight into Wall Street's thinking as AllianceBernstein is one of the largest consumers of IPOs. Mark’s portfolio includes Brightcove (online video), Hillcrest Labs (digital home), JumpTap (mobile advertising), Lingtu (Chinese location based services), Obopay (mobile payments), Pure Digital (maker of the Flip camcorders) and Visible World (intelligent TV advertising).
Prior to his current role, Mark was at AllianceBernstein’s sell-side subsidiary Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. where he co-founded the media & communication strategy team and analyzed the impact of technology on film, internet, music, television and wireless. In this role, Mark co-authored books on the digital home, internet video and media’s digitalization. Prior to co-creating the M&C Strategy team, he was part of Bernstein’s Global Media research team covering large, publicly traded companies such as Comcast, Disney and Time Warner. Before joining Bernstein in 2002, he was a telecommunication, media & technology investment banker with Lehman Brothers in New York and London and a manager for PricewaterhouseCoopers in Beijing. Mark also worked for PwC in London where he co-founded a company, Pilgrim House Services.
Mark has a BBA in accounting from the University of Texas and an MBA from New York University. He is also a CPA.
· JB Lockhart, Vice President at Greenhill SAVP
Mr. Lockhart joined Greenhill SAVP in 2006. Previously, he was a Manager in The Walt Disney Company’s Strategic Planning Group, where he worked on the acquisition of Pixar and the formulation of Disney’s new media investment strategy. Prior to Disney, JB worked in media investment banking and technology strategic investments at Lehman Brothers.
JB currently serves as a Board Observerat Pontiflex and Serious. He is also a junior Board Member at The Beginning with Children Foundation,a non-profit charter school organization.JB received a BA with honors from Yale and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
· Ross O’ Brien, Business Development Manager at Geller & Company
Ross O’Brien serves as Business Development Manager at Geller & Company. He has experience working with emerging businesses focused on advising clients on strategy, business planning, raising angel and VC funds, and structuring debt and equity.
Prior to joining Geller & Company, Ross served as Assistant Vice President at JPMorgan Chase where he primarily structured debt to small business clients and provided day to day cash management services. His experience also encompasses many entrepreneurial ventures ranging from being the first employee of a UK based Digital Media Technology firm where he launched their North American business. Following that he founded his own digital technology company which was acquired in 2006. He began his career at Sony BMG and has international experience working in Hong Kong and Canada.
He is a current MBA candidate in finance at Baruch College and obtained a BS in Business Marketing & Management from Ferris State University. He is also a graduate of the Investment Banking Institute where he received intensive training focused on financial statement analysis, valuation methodologies and financial modeling. Ross is a member of many industry groups and frequently is a feature panelist for business planning and raising capital symposiums.
· Mark Davis, Associate at DFJ GothamVentures
In addition to his role as a Venture Capitalist at DFJ Gotham Ventures, Mark is the author of Get Venture, a blog that addresses industry topics and offers guidance to entrepreneurs on how to raise venture capital. Mark is also an occasional contributor to a number of industry news services, including Silicon Alley Insider and CenterNetworks.
Mark is an active supporter of venture community. In addition to organizing events for entrepreneurs through the Blue Venture Community, a group Mark founded to serve Columbia University’s student and alumni entrepreneurs, Mark helps connect NY venture organizations as a member of the NY Tech Meetup's Community Committee. He is also helping Duke University support its entrepreneurs by serving on Duke’s Global Entrepreneurship Network taskforce.
Before joining DFJ Gotham, Mark was an active entrepreneur and advisor. He was the Founder and CEO Zotspot, an internet search destination, and an advisor to numerous startups. In addition to his entrepreneurial endeavors, Mark consulted to Fortune 1000 and private equity clients on the strategic and financial attractiveness of acquisition targets at both Bain & Company and KPMG.
Mark earned his B.A. in Economics, cum laude, at Duke University and his M.B.A. at Columbia Business School, where he was the Early Stage President of the Private Equity and Venture Capital Club and an InSITE Fellow.
Sarah Tavel, Associate at Bessemer Venture Partners
Sarah focuses primarily on software, eCommerce and Internet investments. She has been closely involved in the firm's investments in Diapers.com, Yodle, Cornerstone OnDemand, Metalogix, Onestop Internet and CPower.
Prior to joining Bessemer, Sarah started and ran a general contracting business and was a strategy consultant with The Kerdan Group. She graduated from Harvard University with a degree in Philosophy. While at Harvard, she captained the women's Rugby team and was a Harvard Scholar. She maintains a blog at www.adventurista.com.
Jason Yeh, Associate at FirstMark Capital
Jason focuses on investments in the emerging media sector, specifically in online gaming, social media and advertising. Prior to joining FirstMark Capital, Jason served as an Associate at Pequot Ventures. Jason began his career as an Analyst at Oliver Wyman, where he worked on several engagements across the retail, media and Internet sectors.
Jason graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2006 with a B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School and a B.A. in International Studies from the College of Arts & Sciences.
Andrew Parker, Associate at Union Square Ventures
Andrew has been a member of the investment team at Union Square Ventures for over two years. His responsibilities include sourcing investment opportunities, product strategy, due diligence, fundraising and fund administration.
Prior to Union Square Ventures, Andrew was a Producer at Homestead Technologies where he designed web interfaces, managed the realization of the designs through the dev-cycle, and managed user experience initiatives. Prior to Homestead, he worked for Groupspace.org as a Developer on a web service for asynchronous online deliberation, built on the LAMP stack.
A graduate from Stanford in 2005, Andrew received his B.S. in Symbolic Systems, which is a hybrid of Computer Science and Cognitive Psychology.