Event Moderators

Mike Kail

Mike D. Kail, Co- Founder & Chief Innovation Officer

Mike D. Kail is currently Co-Founder & CIO of Cybric, a continuous   security as service platform that applies security methodologies into the application delivery process of an organization without impacting their   production environment.

Prior to Cybric, Mike D. Kail was Yahoo’s CIO and SVP of Infrastructure,   where he led the IT and Data Center functions for the company. He has more   than 25 years of IT Operations experience with a focus on highly scalable   architectures.
Prior to joining Yahoo, Kail served as VP of IT Operations at Netflix, where   he was responsible for Employee Technology and various Engineering   components. Before that role, Kail was VP of IT Operations at Attensity,   where he was responsible for the Americas data center operations team;   including managing various Big Data systems with their Hadoop cluster, HBase,   and MongoDB components.
He has been recognized widely for his   insightful industry commentary on Twitter, and was recently named by the   Huffington Post as one of the “Top 100 Most Social CIOs on Twitter.”
He holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Iowa State University.

Mike's Twitter   Handle: https://twitter.com/mdkail
Mike's LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mdkail

Danielle Davenport

Danielle Davenport - Co-Founder and Chief Innovation Officer for XYZ Corp.

Danielle Davenport is considered a key thinker and contributor in the launch of several innovative start-ups. She is currently Co-Founder and Chief Innovation Officer for XYZ Corp., an international provider of hybrid sourcing solutions across IT Development, IT Consultancy and Business/Product Innovation. Danielle is also an active investor, advisor, and board member in several high-tech initiatives.  She provides capital, strategic analysis and capacity building to high potential ideas with a focus on disruptive technologies. Danielle is considered an innovator in the domains of  sports/recreational, mixed-media, agri-business, and social impact initiatives. She has been invited to speak, judge and advise on ideas for the ABC Silicon Valley, William James Foundation, FundingPost, Ag-Tech Forum, Produce Marketers Association, The Hub, Bpeace, Silicon Valley Young Entrepreneurs, Pitchtank, Thrive Young Innovators and various others.     

Danielle has over 20 years of experience at high technology companies, most notably with Royal Dutch Shell in London and The Hague and for Hewlett-Packard Corp., Ltd. and GmbH in the US and across Europe. She has served as an Executive within IT, Operations, Marketing and Corporate Development. She has successfully led large-scale operational functions and the implementation of complex corporate strategies and mergers/acquisitions. Danielle has authored several patents and won several awards for innovation such as the Stevie’s Entrepreneur of the Year. She graduated from UC Texas with an M.S. in Computer Science and from San Jose State University with a B.A. in Economics. She has also completed post-graduate studies in Technology and Corporate Strategy from IESE in Barcelona Spain. Danielle is a Silicon Valley Native and continues to live in the Bay Area with her two daughters and husband. She is an advocate for leveling the entrepreneurial playing field and for advancing women’s rights and education world-wide.

Judging panel

Ryan Baird

Ryan  is   a serial entrepreneur, advisor, investor, speaker, and connector. He is currently an investor at the GWC Innovator Fund and Startup Manager for the Global Mobile Internet Conference (GMIC) pitch competitions, G-Startup   Worldwide. 

He is also the Co-founder of StartUpRising, an invitation   community of influencers, thought leaders, innovators, changemakers,   investors, and entrepreneurs who are challenging the status quo in the tech   ecosystem. He also sits on the board of a number of tech companies and   non-profits.    

John Shimmick

John is a registered patent attorney in the Palo Alto office of Wilson   Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, where his practice focuses on patent   prosecution and counseling designed to help his clients protect their   intellectual property rights both domestically and internationally. 

In addition   to protecting intellectual property rights, John has experience with investor due diligence and financing. He frequently advises clients in connection with various rounds of financing, acquisitions and IPOs.

Eric Hu

Eric Hsu is an associate in the Palo Alto office of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, where he practices corporate law with a focus on the life sciences industry.

During law school, Eric served as an extern with the UC Davis Technology Transfer Office, Innovation Access, where he performed threshold patent analysis and drafted contracts and licenses. 

Craig Martin

Craig Martin is President and founder of The Family Wealth Consultants, Inc. which is a financial planning firm regulated as a Registered Investment Advisor and doing business as The Family Wealth Consulting Group (FWCG).  Mr. Martin has been coordinating estate and income tax planning with investments and cash flow for high net worth clients of The Silicon Valley since 1976.  

Since 2005, Mr. Martin has been an active angel investor as a member of Keiretsu Forum, the largest angel investment group in the world.  He teaches due diligence to entrepreneurs in the Keiretsu Academy as well as leading focused academies on this topic for other Keiretsu members. 

Gary Jinks

During his 20 year corporate tenure Gary developed complex advanced technologies, managed multi-million dollar budgets, and developed high performance teams. He jumped into the Dotcom foray (launching two startups) for a couple of years before being recruited by Rockwell Collins and successfully lead their assessment and entry into a new market; now a multi million dollar business. In 2005 Gary created GLJ Group which has captured over $300M in new business for clients. Over the last four years Gary has been working primarily with entrepreneurs and early stage companies. In 2011 he created South Valley Angels to provide funding opportunities and mentoring. 

Sam Heshmati

Sam focuses on helping the early stage venture and tech ecosystem. With more than 15 years of experience, Sam has the privilege of working with several hundred companies, in addition to over 100 micro-VCs, playing not only the role of banker, but also advisor. He spends his time cultivating and managing relationships with some of the West Coast’s top incubators, micro-VCs and entrepreneurs.

Steve Kurd

Steve is a hands-on serial entrepreneur in the areas of healthcare IT and biotechnology, having served as a leader in ground-breaking organizations such as UnitedHealthCare, WebMD, VantageMed, and NantHealth.  He has been widely recognized for creating successful business models and building highly effective teams.  His leadership has resulted in numerous accolades including Most Promising HealthTech Company, CIO Innovator of the Year, Mobile Game Changer, and the HealthTech Capital People’s Choice Awards. In addition to his business accomplishments, Steve is named as inventor on numerous patents, has served as Director on numerous private and public company boards, and was awarded an MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Doug Ericsson

Doug Erickson is a 25 tech veteran who has held executive roles at Cisco WebEx, SugarCRM, and Nanigans.  He organized and built the Santa Cruz New Tech MeetUp which, now in its 10th year, is the 8th largest New Tech MeetUp in the US.  This monthly event has become the hub for Santa Cruz’s growing $2.2B tech ecosystem.  Erickson’s community building also includes Hack UCSC, Cruz Cares, and angel investments.  

Carmen Palafox

Carmen is a Venture Partner at Make in LA, an accelerator and early stage venture capital fund that specializes in technology enabled hardware (e.g., internet of things, robotics, wearables, VR/AR/MR, etc.). She was formerly Vice President at Dimensional Fund Advisors LP where she scaled operations into new markets, including Latin America, Canada, and Europe. Carmen has an MBA from Berkeley-Haas, an M.A. in sports management from the University of San Francisco, and a B.A. in economics from the University of Southern California. Carmen is currently a board member of CCEO YouthBuild and on the advisory board at Santa Monica College Business Department

Speaker panel

Russell Hancock

Russell Hancock is President & CEO of Joint Venture Silicon ValleyIn this role Dr. Hancock is best described variously: as a civic leader, community gatherer, institution builder, social entrepreneur, and outspoken advocate for regionalism. Russell is also the founder of the annual State of the Valley conference, a “town hall” meeting attracting more than 1,500 leaders for a day spent in dialogue and discussion about the Valley’s challenges and opportunities. Educated at Harvard in the field of government, Russell received a Ph.D. in political science from Stanford University where he currently teaches in the Public Policy Program.  The Silicon Valley Business Journal perpetually names Russell to its annual list of Silicon Valley’s most influential “players.” 

Andrew Wasserman

Andrew Wasserman is the Head of Sports Training at STRIVR Labs where he oversees   product, sales, and operations for STRIVR's customers across the NFL, NBA,   NHL, and NCAA. Prior to STRIVR Andrew worked at Bain and Company in San   Francisco and Credit Suisse in New York. He graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill, where he was a walk-on WR on the   football team, in 2006, and from Stanford's Graduate School of Business in   2012.     

Chadwick Manning

Chadwick Manning is an entrepreneur with a focus on leveraging technology to help solve global energy problems.   Mr. Manning is a co-founder and the CEO of ElectrIQ Power, a technology company based out of Palo Alto, CA that develops energy storage and management systems. ElectrIQ's first product is an all-in-one home energy storage, monitoring, and management system. Mr. Manning was also the founder of Torero Laundry Services, a pick-up/drop-off laundry service at the University of San Diego, and Fellowship of the Pacific, a non-profit focused on pairing experienced executives with young entrepreneurs to spur innovation.   Prior to founding ElectrIQ, Chadwick headed business development and sales for inDinero, a Y-combinator backed software start-up in San Francisco, and spent three years as a consultant in Silicon Valley at Pricewaterhouse Coopers where he helped venture capitalists and start-ups grow their businesses.  Manning holds a BS and MS in Accounting from the University of San Diego and resides in Palo Alto, California.

Chris Yu

Chris Yu currently leads a group called Integrated Technologies at Specialized Bicycle Components. This group encompasses a diverse team of engineers, researchers, and product people focused on bringing innovation to the ride experience. Chris’s passion lies in connecting together teams with expertise in many different technical disciplines toward a common goal of creating innovative product that provide a performance benefit for riders. Chris started at Specialized as an Aerodynamics R&D Engineer and in addition to working in product development has led the aerodynamic optimization of over 50 elite athletes, both in the wind tunnel and in velodromes around the world. In 2012, he co-led the design of the Specialized “Win Tunnel,” a world class facility specific to cycling and human-powered sports. He received his B.S. in Aeronautical Engineering at Caltech and M.S. and Ph.D. from Stanford University.

Jason Fass

Jason Fass Jason’s professional career is deeply rooted in the technology sector, having held positions in product management for leading tech companies   including Apple, IronPort, Cisco, and Jawbone. Jason saw a massive opportunity in the market to develop sensor-based products that change the way people practice, play and experience sports. This led to founding Zepp Labs (zepp.com) where he and the team built the world’s fastest growing Sports Technology company. At Specialized, Jason is leading a new innovation group called S-Digital.
Jason received his Bachelors degree from the University of Florida and an MBA from Pepperdine University. When he’s not working, Jason can be found out on the trails of Demo Forest and UCSC riding his mountain bike, kiteboarding at 3rd Ave and spending time with his family.     

Ana Lukner

Ana Lukner is an internationally respected entrepreneur, visionary & inspirational speaker. A strategist at heart, Ms. Lukner is passionate about people & frequently addresses large audiences, including TEDx, in the U.S. & Europe to share insights into business success, personal growth & philanthropic leadership. Educated at San Jose State University with a major in international business (full athletic tennis scholarship), Ms. Lukner went on to receive her MBA with emphasis in Marketing. In 2012, Slovenian National Newspaper named Ms. Lukner National Person of the Year, & in 2013 she was named National Woman of the Year by a respected Slovenian lifestyle magazine. As CEO of BE-EL, Ms. Lukner cofounded two other international entities. She is also a Managing Director at ABC Silicon Valley. Ms. Lukner founded her non-profit organization Anina zvezdica - Ana’s little star, which is the biggest, transparent non-profit organization in Slovenia & has helped over 60.000 families.  She is an active member of Silicon Valley Capital Club and the Rotary Club of San Jose. She provides a strong entrepreneurial & philanthropic bridge between Europe & Silicon Valley. 5 years ago, she patented her life philosophy TruHoMa (True & Honest Mankind), which is her inspiration. Through all of her endeavors, she is inspiring & connecting the world to make it a better place. You can see more on her TEDx talk.It is over 3 yrs old, a lot happened in between :) http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=LwG9pBc7joE

The world is small, anything is possible ...... and this is just the beginning.