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Speaker Series

Once a week during the program, we host our Speaker Series. We serve a casual dinner and invite in leading visionaries, entrepreneurs, investors and experts to talk to the companies. Often the speaker comes in early to mingle with the companies and to provide individualized guidance.

Chris Ackermann, Platform Partnerships at Facebook

Chris works on Platform Partnerships at Facebook, where he helps the world’s leading media companies and emerging startups build awesome applications and services on the Facebook Platform. Prior to Facebook, Chris was Director of Emerging Platforms, R&D at The New York Times Company where he explored the intersection of media and technology by prototyping new products that demonstrated the shifting ways in which content will be consumed in the future.

Prior to NY Times, Chris was Director of Business Development at Scripps Networks, where he lead business development and strategy for mobile, social, and new platforms across all Scripps Networks media properties (Food Network, HGTV, Travel Channel). Chris has also held product management and development roles at Travel Channel, Zoombak, and Spirent Communications, focused on different parts of the mobile ecosystem.

Chris received a BS in Computer Engineering from Villanova University and an MBA from Rutgers Business School.


Fred Wilson, Managing Partner at Union Square Ventures

Fred Wilson has been a venture capitalist since 1987. He has made early-stage investments in companies such as Twitter, Zynga, and Etsy. He currently is a managing partner at Union Square Ventures and also founded Flatiron Partners. Fred has a Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering from MIT and an MBA from The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.


Ben Lerer, CEO and Co-Founder of Thrillist

Ben Lerer is a Manager of Lerer Ventures and the Co-Founder and CEO of Thrillist.com, a leading men’s multi-platform lifestyle publication with over 3 million daily subscriptions in 19 localized markets in the U.S. and the U.K. Since its launch in 2005, Lerer has overseen the growth of Thrillist’s marketing, sales and business development efforts, as well as its recent expansion into e-commerce with the acquisition of members only online retailer JackThreads.com and the launch of localized commerce platform Thrillist Rewards.


Anita Garimella Andrews, CEO of Sepiida

Anita has nearly 15 years of solid e-commerce experience. In her most recent online commerce role, she was VP, E-commerce at Nutrisystem. Prior to that, she headed product for Wallop (a Microsoft Ventures start-up) as well as Ingenio (funded by Benchmark Capital and acquired by AT&T YellowPages.com). Anita has expertise in building B-to-B and B-to-C platforms, social gaming, search and advertising, user experience design, product management viral metrics optimization, online marketing, and social networks.

Anita holds a Master’s Degree in Computer Science from Stanford University with a specialization in Human-Computer Interaction. She earned her B.A. in Politics from New York University with a minor in Mathematics. Her many civic projects include TechGirlz – a project to expand exposure to and interest in technology among young girls in the Philadelphia area. She is also Chair of the Marketing Communications Committee for the Alliance of Women Entrepreneurs and is a member of the Mayor’s Digital Philadelphia task force. Anita shares her wealth of web analytics knowledge by teaching product management and online marketing internationally.


Stephen Messer, co-founder of Linkshare

Mr. Stephen Messer is Co-founder and Vice Chairman of Collective[i], the first Big Data network to deliver enterprise-wide analyses curated and developed by the world’s leading data scientists directly to business users in order to answer essential questions about marketing, sales, service and support data. Mr. Messer is also Chairman of the Council for Accountable Advertising, an industry association for best-of-breed advertising technologies, and is Co-Founder and President of World Evolved, a platform for global investment and expansion. Prior to these ventures, Mr. Messer, along with his sister, Ms. Heidi Messer, founded, built and managed LinkShare Corporation until its sale in 2005 to Rakuten for $425m. Mr. Messer is recognized as an authority on entrepreneurship and online marketing. He is frequently cited in industry publications, has appeared on numerous national business programs and regularly speaks at industry events. Mr. Messer holds a J.D. from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York and a B.A. from Lafayette University.


Alan Weinkrantz, tech PR consultant

Alan has over 25 years of PR experience, and is currently a renowned tech PR / Social Media consultant serving clients in the U.S. and Israel to sell their vision and their story to the media, industry analysts, thought leaders, and throughout social media and the blogosphere.


Jeff Glass, Managing Director at Bain Capital Ventures

Jeff is currently a Managing Director at Bain Capital Ventures in Boston. Prior to Bain, Jeff was President & CEO of m-Qube, Inc. a Bain Capital portfolio company acquired by VeriSign. In 2006, Jeff was voted Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year” in New England and was also named to the Boston Business Journal’s “40 under 40” list. Prior to m-Qube, Jeff held positions as Founder and President of Transactive Solutions, Chief Operating Officer of Travelers/NETPlus, and a strategy consultant with the Boston Consulting Group where he focused on multimedia and convergence technologies.

Jeff received an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA in Economics and Political Science from Amherst College.


Matt Blumberg, Founder and CEO of Return Path

In 1999, Matt Blumberg founded Return Path, a globally-leading email certification and scoring company which helps enterprise clients get e-mail to reach their target audience. Matt is passionate about enhancing the online relationship between email subscribers and marketers so that both sides of the equation benefit. He grew Return Path to a company of more than 325 employees with the market leading brand, innovative products, and the email industry’s most renowned experts.

Before Return Path, Matt ran marketing, product management, and the internet group for MovieFone, Inc. (later acquired by AOL). Prior to that he served as an associate with private equity firm General Atlantic Partners and was a consultant with Mercer Management Consulting. He holds a B.A. from Princeton University.


Ted Sullivan, CEO and Founder of GameChanger Media

An avid baseball fan, player, and coach, Ted Sullivan founded GameChanger Media, a company which creates coverage platforms for amateur sports so that games can be followed online and on iOS devices. Previously, he was Director of Consumer Marketing for Rave Wireless. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a bachelor’s degree from Duke.


San Kim, CEO and Co-Founder of ShowMe

San Kim is CEO and Co-Founder of ShowMe, an online global learning community – a place where anyone can learn or teach anything using the ShowMe iPad app, which lets you create lessons using a whiteboard. San also serves as the VP of Partnership for the Columbia Venture Community. Previously, he co-organized the NYC Lean Startup Meetup and was an Operations Manager for Proverian Capital. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University.


Ryan Hubbard, CTO of Yellowhammer Media

 

Ryan is CTO of Yellowhammer Media Group, an ad-serving service provider, where he executes the company’s geo-contextual and micro-targeting ad optimization tools

Previously, Hubbard was Co-Founder and CTO at a start-up, eVariant, and a specialist in enterprise-level marketing automation and cloud-based marketing software solutions. At eVariant, Hubbard built HealthConnect, a cloud-based management and marketing platform designed for hospital systems and built completely on Salesforce.com.

Prior to eVariant, Hubbard worked at Eloqua Corporation, the leading automated marketing solution provider for enterprises. He has also consulted on cloud-based solutions for numerous Fortune 500 companies like AMEX, AIG, CIGNA, Monster.com and Abbot Labs.

Hubbard graduated from the University of Connecticut with a degree in Computer Science & Engineering.


Lucinda Holt, Former CEO/Click Equations; Director, Monetate

Lucinda is an accomplished technology CEO who led a number of successful companies. In 2004, Lucinda co-founded and led TurnTide, an anti-spam technology company, which was acquired by Symantec for $28 million in only six months. Prior to founding TurnTide, Lucinda was President & CEO of Destiny WebSolutions, a venture-backed Inc. 500 winner that provided Internet strategy and implementation consulting to large financial institutions. While growing Destiny from $250,000 to $25 million in revenue Lucinda received many honors. She was named America’s 17th Most Influential Consultant by Consulting Magazine, won the Eastern Technology Council’s Enterprise Award for CEO of the Year, and was an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in Philadelphia.

In addition to her CEO roles, Lucinda has been an Entrepreneur-In-Residence at First Round Capital and has held management positions at Infonautics, Automated Call Processing, SEI Investments, and American Express. She graduated cum laude from University of Pennsylvania and earned an MBA from the Wharton School in Entrepreneurial Management.