Pitch 2009: Sponsors and Judges

Find out more about the Women 2.0 Startup Competition: Pitch 2009!

 

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About the Sponsors

Golden Seeds
Golden Seeds supports women entrepreneurs and investors to achieve business and financial success. We identify and invest in women-led ventures with the potential to grow into multi-million dollar businesses, and provide women entrepreneurs with strategic business advice and the tools they need for growth.

Georges Harik
Georges is an investor and advisor for startups, a live judge for Pitch 2009, and a proud sponsor of Pitch 2009!

Involver
Involver is a video marketing platform designed for social networks. Our turnkey solution gives companies the opportunity to build, promote, manage and track video campaigns for targeted audiences based on age, sex, location and content preference.

Microsoft
Microsoft reveals one of their best-kept secrets: the availability of lots of free software for development through the Microsoft Startup Zone, as well as some terrific program and software values for small companies. If you are interested in enrolling in the BizSpark program, email [email protected] with subject line “Interested in BizSpark”.

Morgenthaler Ventures
Morgenthaler Ventures focuses in two investment areas: Information technology and life sciences. Interest in information technology can be broken down into five areas: Materials and Devices, Semiconductors and Components, Systems, Software, and Services. We invest in a broad spectrum of life sciences companies, particularly those in the fields of: Therapeutic Biopharmaceuticals, Medical Devices, and Health-care Services.

O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures
O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures (OATV) is in the business of funding disruptors, innovators, and hackers of the status quo. From open source to the early days of the web and its recent resurgence, O’Reilly Media has played a key role as trend spotter and advocate for putting world-changing technologies on the map. OATV is our effort to bring the legacy, resources, and relationships of O’Reilly to each investment we make.

Orange Labs
Orange Labs San Francisco is part of one of the world’s largest corporate research and development organizations, owned by France Telecom. It is a multidisciplinary and multinational team of engineers, scientists, developers, software & network architects, and researchers working in a startup-like atmosphere with small teams working on innovative ideas.


About the Pitch 2009 Live Judges

The live judging panel for Pitch Night on May 7th, 2009 consists of successful executives, venture capitalists, and successful entrepreneurs.


Christine Herron
Principal, First Round Capital

Interested in: Web 2.0, Mobile, Consumer Hardware (electronics), Enterprise (web, mobile), and areas of growth that do not require specialized info to assess

Christine is a Principal with First Round Capital, an early-stage venture capital firm. Previously, Christine was a director at Omidyar Network, where she developed the Media practice strategy. Prior to Omidyar Network, Christine held operational roles with Mission Research, NetObjects, and Microsoft, and was the founder and CEO of Mercury2. She started as an investor with Geocapital Partners, where she funded early Internet and network infrastructure businesses including Netcom and AXON Networks. Christine was ranked among the Top 20 Women in Technology for 2000 by AltaVista, and has earned degrees from both Stanford University and Columbia University.


Eric Eldon
Writer, VentureBeat

Eric came to VentureBeat through a startup that was trying to help newspapers succeed on the web. He had cofounded a company in 2005, called Writewith, that made software so writers and editors could manage their editorial processes online. Which is how he met VentureBeat founder Matt Marshall. He approached Matt about trying Writewith out, back in February of 2007. Matt was a one-man band at the time. He’d recently left the San Jose Mercury News to blog solo. So he didn’t need Writewith, but he was looking to grow. Eric tried his hand at reporting for VentureBeat, beginning that March, and it went well. Much better than the startup, in fact. He started writing full-time that July. It is perhaps fitting, then, that having failed to help newspapers, Eric is now part of the online competition — particularly VentureBeat, which is mostly comprised of former newspaper reporters. Writewith itself grew out of Eric’s experiences as a reporter, a news editor and finally the business manager at The Stanford Daily, the student newspaper at Stanford University. Writewith was originally designed to organize the chaos of The Daily’s newsroom. These days, Eric edits the site’s Digital Media category, where he works with Dean “The Machine” Takahashi, MG “Machine Gun” Siegler, and contributors. The team covers the convergence of web and mobile technologies with more traditional media and advertising industries. Eric holds a B.A. in International Relations from Stanford University.


Georges Harik
Principal, Better Planet Investments

Interested in: Web 2.0

Georges was Director of Googlettes and a Distinguished Engineer at Google. As Director of Googlettes, his team was responsible for the product management and strategy efforts surrounding many starting Google initiatives including Gmail, Google Talk, Google Video, Picasa, Orkut, Google Groups and Google Mobile. As a Distinguished Engineer, Georges was the co-developer of the technology behind AdSense, the first engineering manager of the Google Search Appliance, and the co-author of the original product plan for the AdWords Online system. Georges has contributed to numerous patents covering Google’s search engine and advertising networks. Georges worked previously at SGI, where he was a developer on MineSet, a data mining product. Georges received a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where he focused on mathematical models of genetic algorithms, programs that evolve to solve problems, that are inspired by natural processes. Georges is currently an advisor to various startups focusing on the areas of internet applications and biotechnology. He is also a founder of imo.im and starting an open source research lab in the area of artificial intelligence.


Mark P. Jacobsen
Managing Director,
O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures

Interested in: Web 2.0, Mobile, Clean Tech, Enterprise (web, mobile)

Mark was a co-founder of O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures in 2005, and is currently a board member of CollabNet, Instructables, O’Reilly Media and TripIt, and a board observer of Chumby Industries and Acquia. Mark joined O’Reilly Media in 1995 and, as EP for New Ventures and Business Development, managed its investment portfolio for nine years. While at O’Reilly, he had extensive operational experience including managing two startup companies, and overseeing O’Reilly’s conferences business, and was responsibile for most business development and strategic relationships. Prior to joining O’Reilly Media, Mark was the Business Affairs Director at Colossal Pictures, an animation studio in San Francisco. Mark holds a JD from Georgetown University Law Center and a BA from St. Olaf College.


Nola Masterson
Managing Director, Science Futures

Nola is Managing Director of Science Futures LLC, a 26 year old investment and advisory firm. Nola is a biotechnology industry leader and forward thinker with more than 32 years of business experience in the life sciences industry and in venture capital investment. From 2000 to 2005, she was a Venture Partner at TVM Capital GmbH, one of the first and largest venture capital firms in Germany. She was a co-founder and President of Sequenom, Inc., a DNA sequencing company which went public on Nasdaq in 2000, and wrote the first business plans for IDEC and Insight Vision, as a consultant to Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and for ReSound, with Dr. Rodney Perkins, the founder of ReSound. She was the first biotech analyst on Wall Street working for Drexel Burnham and Merrill Lynch. Nola is a member of the Board of Directors of Repros Therapeutics Inc, (RPRX) and Generex Biotechnology Corporation (GNBT), both Nasdaq-traded companies. She serves on the Audit Committee and Compensation Committee of both companies. She also is on the Board of Directors of Omicia, Inc., an early-stage pharmaco-genomics company. She is Chairwoman of the BayBio Institute and also serves on the Board of Advisors to Astia. She also is on the Board of Advisors of the Professional Women’s Healthcare Alliance and of BioAgenda. She is a graduate of the Stanford Law School Board of Directors College course.


Rebecca Lynn
Principal, Morgenthaler Ventures

Interested in: Web 2.0, Enterprise (web, mobile)

Rebecca joined Morgenthaler’s Menlo Park office in 2007, and she focuses on early-stage investments in mobile, internet services, digital media and financial services. Rebecca began her career at Procter and Gamble where she worked in international new product market entry. She then spent four years at NextCard where she led product development efforts and later served as the Vice President of Marketing where she managed one of the top five largest online marketing efforts. After NextCard, she ran her own consulting business focusing on online marketing for financial services and affiliate marketing. During law school, she was a Summer Associate at Heller Ehrman/Venture Law Group and at Quinn Emanuel where she focused on intellectual property litigation. Rebecca is also an inventor on several issued patents. She was published in the Berkeley Law and Technology Journal, and she is a registered Patent Agent. During business school, Rebecca chaired the Berkeley Business Plan Competition and was a member of New Venture Fellows. Rebecca earned a JD/MBA degree from the Haas School of Business and Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California at Berkeley, and a B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Missouri.


Sheila Gulati
General Manager, Application Platform and Developer Marketing, Microsoft

Sheila is responsible for driving all aspects of marketing for a variety of Microsoft application platform and developer technologies including SQL Server, Visual Studio, BizTalk Server. In addition, she oversees Microsoft’s efforts around technical audience marketing and community. Previously, Sheila was as General Manager of Developer and Platform Evangelism in the US subsidiary. In that role, she focused on evangelizing Microsoft’s platform and next generation technologies with the technical community and with Microsoft’s customers in the academic, enterprise and ISV segments. Before moving back to the US, she worked for two years for Microsoft India as the Director of Developer and Platform Evangelism. She focused on enablement of the Indian software and services ecosystem with an emphasis on the development of a stronger local software ecosystem for India. Prior to that, she was at the Microsoft Corporate headquarters in Redmond where she was the Worldwide Business Manager for the Server and Tools business. Sheila started at Microsoft as a part of the Corporate Development team that managed Microsoft’s strategic equity portfolio, driving deals and strategy for Microsoft’s acquisitions, investments, and joint ventures. Before joining Microsoft, Sheila worked in the Silicon Valley as an Investment Banker at Robertson Stephens where she worked with technology companies. Sheila holds a B.S. from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. In her free time, she enjoys yoga, travel, and water sports like scuba diving.


About the Pitch 2009 First Round Judges

The judges for the first round consist of successful executives, venture capitalists, and successful entrepreneurs. These first round judges will provide written feedback for all startup competition submissions.


Alka Gupta
VP of Business Development, Retrevo; Founder, The Ojas Group

Alka is veteran of and has strong interest in digital consumer media and Internet services. While serving as an advisor to and board member for startups in this space, she was a former VP of Corporate Development at Lycos and founding member of the company’s Community and Communications products team. Alka holds a BS (cum laude) from Case Western Reserve University and MBA from Wharton.


Anurag Nigam
Board Director, Sand Hill Angels

Anurag manages the Sand Hill Angels prescreen and deal management processes. He is an Electrical and Computer Engineering graduate from Carnegie Mellon University and has has been part of 6 different startups. He was part of the founding teams & leading ASIC efforts at Cerent Corp (bought by Cisco) and Siara Systems (bought by Redback Networks). Anurag switched into the consumer Internet space and was is an investor and founder of hi5.com, a profitable social networking site with over 20M users. He currently is the founder and CEO of BuzzBox.com, a social discovery platform that is in early alpha. He has been an active angel investor and entrepreneur for the last 7 years putting money into 20+ companies. Anurag has spoken at events and actively helps startups understand that great technology doesn’t always make a good business. His current investment interests are consumer internet, consumer product and medical devices. He can be reached at [email protected].


Betty Kayton
Founder and CEO, InnovativeCFO

Interested in: Web 2.0, Mobile, Clean tech, Consumer Hardware (electronics), Enterprise (web, mobile), SaaS

Betty has over 25 years of experience in the technology industry, as a key member of the executive team at high-growth, venture-funded start-ups. Her contribution ranges from strategic planning and fund raising to tactical challengers such as building appropriate infrastructure without stifling growth. Betty concurrently serves as CFO of several high tech companies (Wi-Fi/mesh networks, consumer products, Web 2.0, eLearning), and previously was CFO at Leapfrog (a leading manufacturer of interactive learning aids), Nominum (internet/telecom infrastructure software), MGA Entertainment (since grown to be the world’s largest privately-held toy company), and senior financial management positions at Fortune 500 companies including Fujitsu and Citicorp. Betty was certified as a CPA while working for Ernst & Young. She holds an MBA from the University of Southern California and a BA from Pomona College.


Chris Shipley
Co-Founder and Chairman, Guidewire Group

Chris is a leading technology and product analyst. Best known as the executive producer of the DEMO Conferences for IDG Executive Forums, Chris has helped technology companies bring over 1,000 new products to market since 1996. As a founding partner and Global Research Director of Guidewire Group, she analyzes emerging technology companies around the world to identify market opportunities and accelerate products to market. Fortune Small Business Magazine placed Chris on its “Top 10 Minds in Small Business,” and the San Jose Business Journal named her a “Woman of Distinction.” She has often been cited as a leading influencer by Marketing Computers magazine. Chris has covered personal technology since 1984 and has worked as a writer and editor for a variety of technology and consumer media. She is currently working on a book on the social impact of technology-driven change. Chris holds B.A. degrees in Literature and Communication Arts and pursues knowledge and understanding relentlessly.


Christine Herron
Principal, First Round Capital

Interested in: Web 2.0, Mobile, Consumer Hardware (electronics), Enterprise (web, mobile), and areas of growth that do not require specialized info to assess

Christine is a Principal with First Round Capital, an early-stage venture capital firm. Previously, Christine was a director at Omidyar Network, where she developed the Media practice strategy. Prior to Omidyar Network, Christine held operational roles with Mission Research, NetObjects, and Microsoft, and was the founder and CEO of Mercury2. She started as an investor with Geocapital Partners, where she funded early Internet and network infrastructure businesses including Netcom and AXON Networks. Christine was ranked among the Top 20 Women in Technology for 2000 by AltaVista, and has earned degrees from both Stanford University and Columbia University.


Cindy Padnos
Managing Director, Illuminate Ventures

Interested in: Web 2.0, SaaS, Enterprise (web, mobile)
Cindy is a venture capital investor with a prior track record as a serial entrepreneur (founder/CEO Vivant, CEO Acumen, VP Marketing Scopus). She originally moved into venture capital as a director with Outlook Ventures and founded Illuminate Ventures in 2008. Cindy serves on the board of directors of Xactly Corporation, Sim Ops Studios/Wild Pockets, ScoutMetrics and LPI&M. She is a member of the Board of Advisors for Carnegie-Mellon’s Tepper School of Business and for Astia. Cindy also serves as an advisor to several early-stage technology and services companies including SmartNow and Mylawsuit.com. Cindy holds a BA, magna cum laude, at the University of Michigan and a MBA/MSIA with honors from Carnegie-Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business.


Dave McClure
Founder, Startup2Startup, and Partner, Founders Fund

Dave has been geeking out in Silicon Valley for almost twenty years as a software developer, entrepreneur, startup advisor, angel investor, blogger, and internet marketing nerd. His current passion is helping startups with marketing, product strategy, and startup metrics. He is an advisor or investor for: Canopy Financial, Eventvue, HealthUnity, KissMetrics, Mashery, Mint, Oortle (PhotoPhlow), RichRelevance, 750 Industries, Simply Hired, SlideShare, Spock, TeachStreet, TipMobile, TradeVibes, Twilio. Dave is the founder of Startup2Startup, and was the conference organizer & chairperson for STARTonomics, Graphing Social Patterns, and co-chair for Web 2.0 Expo (SF). Dave is partner at Founders Fund. He has been a guest lecturer on social networking application platforms & viral metrics at Stanford University. Dave is a board member for microfinance accelerator Unitus, advisor to microfinance lender Kiva.org, and a co-founder of the Silicon Valley Microfinance Network. Dave holds a BS Engineering in Mathematical Sciences from Johns Hopkins University.


Howard Hartenbaum
Partner, August Capital

Interested in: Web 2.0, Mobile, Clean Tech, Consumer Hardware (electronics), Social entrepreneurship, Enterprise (web, mobile)

Howard focuses on investments in enterprise and consumer software and services, wireless network solutions, and peer-to-peer technology. His current directorships include LucidPort, NearbyNow and Zimbio. He led the founding investment in Skype (acquired by eBay), and was also a former member of the board of directors where his achievement resulted in his joining the Forbes Midas List of top venture capitalists for the years 2006-2007. Prior to joining August Capital, Howard was a General Partner with Draper Richards. He also held positions at Hughes Electronics, where he was responsible for supporting business development, marketing and sales of satellite, information security and automotive technologies developed by HRL Technologies. He has also worked in engineering positions at Honda Motor Company and Teledyne Relays. Howard has worked overseas for a total of ten years in Luxembourg and Japan, is professionally fluent in Japanese and a graduate of M.I.T.


Katherine Barr
Partner, Mohr Davidow Ventures

Interested in: Web 2.0

Katherine is a member of the investment team at Mohr Davidow Ventures (MDV) focused on Internet-enabled companies. Prior to joining MDV, she was a Senior Consultant at Vantage Partners (spin-off of the Harvard Negotiation Project) helping high tech clients such as IBM, Cisco and HP to better negotiate and manage their critical business relationships (including customer, supplier, outsourcing service provider or buyer, and alliance partners). Before Vantage, she worked as a Product Development Manager at HSA, an education technology startup in Boston, leading a team that developed multi-media products and online learning systems. Katherine teaches a yearly Professional Education Negotiation program for the School of Engineering at Stanford. During her graduate studies at Stanford, she was a research and teaching assistant for the US-Asia Technology Management Center in the Dept. of Electrical Engineering. She was also involved in running the E-Challenge business plan competition for BASES (Business Association of Stanford Engineering Students). Katherine received her BA from McGill University, and completed an MA and the MS core curriculum in Management Science and Engineering at Stanford University.


Kevin Braithwaite
Director, Tech Impact

Kevin is an entrepreneur with a particular interest in technological innovation and currently divide his time between Silicon Valley and Cambridge, UK. Over the last 10 years, Kevin has advised very early stage academic spin-outs through to multinational technology corporations, telecom operators and banks. He has worked with or founded companies in a variety of industries including software, media, Internet solutions, and business services. Kevin has worked with new spin-outs and start-ups from Cambridge University through his role as an advisor to Cambridge Enterprise and mentor at The Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning at The Judge Institute of Management. Most recently, Kevin became involved in social entrepreneurship. This has led to the founding of various initiatives that empower technology based ventures to solve social and environmental issues in disadvantaged communities around the world. Kevin holds an MBA from London Business School.


Marleen McDaniel
CEO, Lightworks

Interested in: Web 2.0, Mobile, Consumer Hardware (electronics), Social entrepreneurship, Enterprise (web, mobile)

Marleen’s career spans over 30 years in high technology. A serial entrepreneur, she has been a part of many startup companies. Some of them are 3Com, Sun Microsystems, Crescendo (now Cisco), and Women.com (now part of NBC). Over the course of this career, Marleen was able to rise sequentially into positions of greater authority until she became CEO of Women.com and took it public in 2000.


Mike Cassidy
CEO, Ruba

Mike is currently the CEO at Ruba, Inc., and has been the Co-Founder and CEO of three start-ups: Xfire, Direct Hit, and Stylus Innovation. Xfire is an instant messenger for gamers that helps them play online with their friends much more easily. Xfire has over 10 million registered gamers in over 100 countries. MTV acquired Xfire for $110 million. Direct Hit was a revolutionary Internet search engine whose customers included MSN, Lycos, AOL, and dozens of others. Ask Jeeves acquired Direct Hit for $533 million. Stylus Innovation’s flagship product was the award winning computer telephony software Visual Voice. Mike studied jazz piano at the Berklee College of Music. Mike holds a BS (’85) and MS (’86) in Aerospace Engineering from MIT. He graduated from Harvard Business School in 1991.


Navam Welihinda
Associate, Sierra Ventures

Interested in: Web 2.0, Clean tech, Enterprise (web, mobile)

Navam is an Associate at Sierra Ventures focused on consumer (mobile internet), enterprise technologies and energy (demand side efficiency) investments. Prior to joining Sierra in 2006, Navam was at American Capital Strategies as an Associate and prior to that spent two years as an Analyst at Insight Venture Partners. Navam holds a BA in Computer Science from Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH.


Patricia Roller
Member, The Angels’ Forum

Patricia has been a member of The Angels’ Forum since 2006 with interests in hi-tech, entertainment, medical, mobile services and automotive. She was one of the owners and Co-CEOs of frogdesign inc., a strategic, creative consulting firm operating in the US, Asia and Europe. She blends creative leadership with hands-on style and has architected one of the most significant business agreements in the industry with manufacturing giant Flextronics in 2004, and a subsequent deal with private equity fund of Kohlberg, Kravis, Roberts & Co. in September 2006. While at frog, Patricia also had a key role in managing major accounts such as HP and Motorola. She is still a strategic advisor to the company in the capacity of frog fellow. Patricia was honored by YWCA’s Tribute to Women in Silicon Valley in 2003.


Prasanna Krishnan
Associate, Draper Fisher Jurvetson

Prasanna is an Associate and Kauffman Fellow at Draper Fisher Jurvetson and serves on the boards of Catura Systems and Graspr. Prior to joining DFJ, Prasanna worked as a Program Manager at Microsoft on WinFS – a new storage system for next generation Windows PCs. She defined the product design for storage and search capabilities, managed cross-functional teams, and worked with leading media software and document management companies to persuade them to adopt WinFS. Prasanna was selected into the Microsoft Select Fast-track Program as one of 15 employees who demonstrated potential to be future leaders at the company. She also worked at McKinsey & Company in their Philadelphia office, at Internet Capital Group and at Novell Software Development Ltd in India. Prasanna holds an MBA from the Wharton School where she graduated as a Palmer Scholar. She has an MS in Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she was a Siebel Scholar, and received the C.W.Gear Outstanding Graduate Student award for research and service. Prasanna holds a B.E. in Computer Science from BITS, Pilani, India where she received the University Fellowship awarded to the top 10 undergraduates each semester. She was also awarded the BITS Alumni Association’s “30 under 30″ award.


Rachel Sheinbein
Senior Associate, CMEA Capital

Interested in: Clean tech, Social entrepreneurship

Rachel joined CMEA Capital in 2008 and is part of the firm’s Energy & Materials team. Before CMEA, Rachel was a consultant for start-ups in the areas of bio-plastics, solar and water treatment. For 9 years prior to consulting, Rachel worked in several positions at Intel Corporation – as a Chemical Engineer for industrial liquid waste systems, a Program Manager for Environmental Health & Safety, a Purchasing Analyst, and a Strategic Product Manager in the Information Technology group. Rachel currently sits on the board of the Expanding Your Horizons Network, a non-profit that encourages girls in math, science, engineering and technology. She also is an angel investor, focusing on clean technology, and co-chairs the Keiretsu Forum angel’s WISE (Women Investing in and Supporting Entrepreneurs) group. In addition, Rachel volunteers in various roles for California Clean Tech Open – a business plan competition that encourages the development of clean technology companies. Rachel holds a Chemical Engineering degree with a concentration in Environmental Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. Rachel was also a sponsored fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where she received an MBA and a Masters in Civil and Environmental Engineering, with a focus on operations and supply chain.


Saad Khan
Partner, CMEA Capital

Interested in: Web 2.0, Mobile, Clean tech, Social entrepreneurship, Enterprise (web, mobile), Cloud Computing

Saad joined CMEA Capital in 2007 as a Partner and is focusing on the firm’s software investments. Currently, Saad sits on the board of directors for CMEA portfolio company Jobvite, a company that developed an on-demand recruitment application to drive and manage talent acquisition for small to mid-sized enterprises. Saad also serves on the advisory board for start-up Lending Club, and is a founding member of the FilmAngels. Prior to joining CMEA, Saad was a Venture Partner and led the advisory services group at Garage Technology Ventures (GTV), a seed stage venture fund. During his career at Garage, Saad focused on emerging technology investments in the software and digital media space, working closely with many companies including TripleHop (acquired by ORCL), cFares, and Savage Beast (Pandora). Before GTV, Saad worked for the IBM alphaWorks group in Cupertino, CA, focusing on commercializing IBM R&D. Saad also worked for the Strategic Planning and Business Development Groups at the Walt Disney Company, helping to develop the strategic and operating plans for ABC, ESPN and Disney’s e-businesses. Saad holds a BS in Symbolic Systems and an AB in Economics with Honors in Science, Technology, and Society from Stanford University.


Shai Goldman
Director, SVB Capital

Interested in: Web 2.0, Mobile, Clean tech, Enterprise (web, mobile), SaaS

Shai co-manages SVB Capital’s Venture Exchange program, which serves as a platform to provide quality referrals to venture firms and assist emerging companies in raising capital through strategic introductions to the right investors for their business. His responsibilities include identifying investment opportunities for SVB Capital Partners Fund and other venture capital firms. Shai joined SVB Financial Group in December 2001. Prior to joining the Venture Exchange program in 2006, Shai worked with SVB Private Client Services, providing personal financing solutions to entrepreneurs, investors and senior executives in the technology, life science, private equity and premium wine industries. Shai holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Santa Clara University. Shai is the co-chair of SDForum’s Venture Finance SIG, a group dedicated to helping early-stage entrepreneurs prepare to meet with and attain funding from the venture capital community. Since 2004, Shai has also been a mentor for BUILD, a non-profit organization committed to motivating underserved high school students to succeed in school and go onto higher education, by helping them start and run their own businesses.


Steve Kan
Associate, Clearstone Venture Partners

Interested in: Web 2.0, Mobile, Enterprise (web, mobile)

Steve joined Clearstone in June 2005 to focus on online media & monetization, mobile communications, and internet infrastructure. Steven currently serves as a board observer and advisor to Vast, The Rubicon Project, ThisNext, Nokeena Networks, SupplyFrame, LeisureLink, and SoonR. Prior to Clearstone, Steve interned at Redpoint Ventures where he identified early-stage investment opportunities in Southern California. Steve gained valuable operating experience at Yahoo/Overture, where he managed product and business development initiatives for their contextual advertising and local search businesses. Steve holds a BS in Applied Physics from Yale University, graduating magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. Steve holds an MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Management, where he was a Venture Fellow and Dean’s Scholar.


Stewart Bonn
VP Production, PlaYce

Interested in: Web 2.0, Social entrepreneurship, Entertainment

Stewart is VP Production at plaYce. Stewart is an industry pioneer, who helped turn computer games into a business. He joined Electronic Arts in 1983 as one of the first employees and produced many of Electronic Arts’ most successful titles during his 12-year career. As SVP and General Manager of EA Studios, he directed the development for all PC and videogame cartridge game development for 4 years. Stewart has served as CEO of AnyRiver Entertainment, VP Fun at There.com and VP Talent at Bix.com. Stewart holds a BS in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from UC Berkeley.


Tami Zhu
Vice President, AOL

Interested in: Web 2.0

Tami spearheads corporate development within the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Besides collaborating with VCs and Angels on deal flows, Tami works closely with the CEOs, board members of startups, and AOL senior executives to identify potential M&A candidates as well as operating opportunities. Tami holds dual BS degrees in Information Science and Psychology from Beijing University in China, a MS in Computer Science from UC San Diego, and an MBA from MIT Sloan.


Will Bunker
Entrepreneur, White Space Ventures

Interested in: Web 2.0

Will is co-founder of the online dating service that became Match.com, the world’s largest personals site. In 1996 Will and a partner raised $90,000 from angel investors to start online personals pioneer One-and-Only.com. Will designed the software and developed the hardware infrastructure for the site, which grew to 4.5 million monthly unique visitors and annualized subscription revenues of $14 million, outperforming Yahoo Personals and other competitors. In late 1999 they sold Dallas-based One-and-Only for $45 million to Ticketmaster Online/City Search, where it was rebranded Match.com. Following his exit from Match.com in 2000, Will acquired Click Patrol, a service that managed key word advertising for Overture and others, which he sold to a competitor in 2002. He then moved back to his native Arkansas and acquired an industrial catfish farming operation, which he expanded into a more efficient and profitable business. In 2004, Will and Dan Owen formed White Space Ventures. In 2007 Will relocated to Portola Valley, CA so he could utilize the infrastructure and talent pool in the Bay Area to develop a new student-centric online learning community, YoYoBrain.com. Will received a BS degree in Industrial Engineering from Mississippi State University in 1992. Prior to his career in technology, Will performed in a variety of management assignments around the world for Nelson Bunker Hunt’s international mining group.