All speakers

dr. Miro Cerar /Prime Minister of Republic of Slovenia Chuck Goldman /Sky Ventures Group, Boston, USA Mariano Kostelec /UniPlaces, Spain Tomaž Štolfa /Layer, San Francisco, USA Marcin Szeląg /Innovation Nest, Poland Michael Nassirian /ARVR Academy, VIAR, 9Mile Labs, Seattle, USA Demetrios Zoppos /Klevio, London, United Kingdom Sunil Sharma /Extreme Venture Partners, Canada Heather Corcoran /Kickstarter, United Kingdom Alexandre Massart /Blend Ventures, Vastari, LaterPay GmbH, London, United Kingdom Nicolaj Højer Nielsen /Startup Funding Book, CluedIn ApS, Denmark Matthias Hilpert /MH2 Capital, Berlin, Germany Péter Szántó /B Creative, Hungary Enis Hulli /500 Startups Istanbul, Turkey Tapio Siik /Vertical Accelerator, EIT Digital, Finland Heissam Hartmann /mrHeissam Consulting, Germany Rado Pavlov /BusExpress, worldbeachclubs.com, Germany Peter Schlecht /The SaaS Co., Germany Edmar Ferreira /Rock Content, Brazil Mario Brkić /BeeOne, Austria Daniel Cronin /Austrian Startups Michael Matias /Hacking Generation Y, Israel Pavel Bogdanov /Almaz Capital, Russian Federation Adrián Ramos /Omron, Netherlands Arnaud Bonzom /500 Startups, Singapore Connor Murphy /Techstars, Berlin, Germany Jolanta Kokosińska /PwC, Poland Michelle McConomy /RocketSpace, USA Marcin Kasz /kontakt.io, Cracow, Poland Stuart Browne /Pycap Venture Partners, Toronto, Canada Hampus Jakobsson /Nordic Makers, Malmo, Sweden Peter Jacobs /European Investment Bank, Slovenia Niko Klanšek /BizMe, New York, USA Piotr Bucki /CMO, X Ventures Martin Pansy /UT11, Graz, Austria Armin Konjalić /Vienna, Austria Urška Jež /Ljubljana, Slovenia Robert Neivert /San Francisco, USA Mark Pleško /Cosylab, Slovenia Matej Golob /Co-founder, CorpoHub Peter Frankl /Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief, Finance Urban Lapajne /Initiative Start:up Slovenia mag. Maja Tomanič Vidovič /Slovene Entreprise Fund, Slovenia Matej Delakorda /CEED Slovenia Jakob Gajšek /ABC accelerator, Slovenia Tilen Travnik /D·Labs, Slovenia László Gulyás /EIT Digital, Hungary Branko Drobnak /Business angels of Slovenia Miha Valentinčič /Petrol, Slovenia Ivan Temovski /Danfoss, Germany Atsushi Sasawaki /Omron, Japan Andraž Štalec /Red Orbit, Slovenia Dolores Podbevšek Plemeniti /Delo d.o.o., Slovenia Iztok Renčelj /Pošta Slovenije, Slovenia Mateja Lavrič /Kolektor Ventures d.o.o., Slovenia Thomas Herlin /EIT Digital, France Boštjan Špetič /Zemanta, Slovenia Aljaž Andrejaš /Reveel Technologies, Slovenia Peter Poles /Slovenia Jure Tomc /International Technology Transfer Network, Slovenia Michael Schuster /SpeedInvest, Austria Chris Osborne /D·Labs, UK Igor Šiškin /PwC, Slovenia Mojca Avšič /Atlantic Grupa, Slovenia

Honorable Guests

dr. Miro Cerar
Prime Minister of Republic of Slovenia
 

Dr Miro Cerar was elected Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia by the National Assembly on 25 August 2014. Before entering politics, dr Miro Cerar was a Full Professor at the Faculty of Law of the University of Ljubljana, where he lectured on the theory and philosophy of law, comparative law and the ethics of the legal profession. In 2008, as a Fulbright Scholar, he taught comparative constitutional law at the Golden Gate University School of Law in San Francisco, and underwent professional development training at the University of California School of Law in Berkeley. After holding the office of Vice-President of the Judicial Council of the Republic of Slovenia for a year and a half, he became its President during the period from December 2010 to June 2012. In the period 2000-2014, he was selected as one of the ten most influential Slovenian legal experts thirteen times, and in the period 2011-2014, he was also named the Slovenian legal expert with the greatest reputation four times.  
 

Keynote

 Speakers

Chuck Goldman
Sky Ventures Group, Boston, USA Linkedin profile
 

Chuck Goldman is a top-notch manager and co-creator of companies that are valued in millions. The Boston based investor is the IOT Executive at Sky Ventures Group, that specialises in investing in health technologies and innovations.

He was a Senior Director for Enterprise Professional Services at Apple, founder and CTO at Applied CD Technologies and Interactive Media Solutions and founder and CEO of Apperian. Based on his references the least we can say is he has a proven track record in building successful businesses, both in the startup environment and within multi-billion dollar organizations. 


He is considered an industry thought leader and growth driver in the areas of prosumer technology (person who consumes and produces media) and has built mobile and IOT strategies for many of the world’s top brands.

Mariano Kostelec
UniPlaces, Spain Linkedin profile
 

Mariano Kostelec is a young and ambitious entrepreneur from Spain and the co-founder of Uniplaces.com, the international portal for student accommodation that raised $24M in 2015. 
 
Over the past years, Mariano has worked for leading investments banks, including UBS, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, and several fast-growing startups. He was recently leading the international expansion of Groupon and Wimdu in Asia.
 
His specialties are Entrepreneurship, Start-ups, Finance (Venture Capital), Technology, Real Estate, Project Management, Recruitment, Business Consulting, Strategic Management, e-commerce, e-Business and Travel & Tourism. 

Tomaž Štolfa
Layer, San Francisco, USA Linkedin profile
 

Tomaž Štolfa is the co-founder of Layer. Before Layer, Tomaž founded vox.io, one of the first cross platform messaging and voice/video over IP services, after building several value added services for mobile carriers at Marand. He is an alumni of the Faculty of Economics at the University of Ljubljana.


Layer, based in San Francisco, powers conversations of value, through rich in-app messaging for Nordstrom, Staples, Sears, Monster.com, Imgur and hundreds of other brands. Layer has been known to pioneer [hybrid conversational interfaces]. Layer - a TechCrunch Disrupt Battlefield winner in 2013 - is backed by Greycroft, SV Angel, Microsoft Ventures, AME Cloud Ventures and other top venture investors.

Michael Nassirian
ARVR Academy, VIAR, 9Mile Labs, Seattle, USA Linkedin profile
 

Michael Nassirian is a visionary entrepreneur, consultant and investor from Seattle, USA. Through his career Michael worked for two tech giants Texas Instruments and Microsoft. His last three years at Microsoft he worked as Partner Quality Manager and Architect in Windows Analog Division where he played a major role in developing HoloLens. Today his main focus is mentoring and investing in companies that are part of established B2B accelerator 9Mile Labs.
 
As a quality architect and visionary leader he built, inspired and worked with teams that created products for the US and International markets. He is on the cutting-edge of disruptive solutions in AR, VR, and Artificial Intelligence and is excited to bring pioneering strategies to complex issues.
 
With his extensive knowledge in software quality, reliability standards, automation tools and his experience in new product development he is involved with startups from those first product concepts to the final polished product. 

Demetrios Zoppos
Klevio, London, United Kingdom Linkedin profile
 

Demetrios Zoppos is a respected London-based investor and entrepreneur with a wide array of co-founder experience. One of them is his successful startup onefinestay, that was acquired last year for 170 million USD by a hotel chain AccorHotels. Currently, he is the Executive Chairman of Klevio a start-up in the IoT that is developing a service, which lets you open your door with your phone. Before venturing into the startup world he gained experience as a consultant for McKinsey & Co. and spent time at the World Bank.
 
He entered the world of startups with his first company GX-F, where he was the co-founder and managing and operations director, which was acquired for 10,6 mio USD by Descartes in 2007. Zoppos earned his MA with First Class Honors in Economics from Cambridge, and his MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School, where he was a Fulbright Scholar.

Sunil Sharma
Extreme Venture Partners, Canada Linkedin profile
 

Sunil Sharma is one of the most prominent investors in Canada and a Managing Partner at Extreme Venture Partners and Extreme Accelerator. He is also active as a board member at Fulfil.IO - Next Generation ERP, the board chair at Canadian Acceleration and Business Incubation (Association) and as an investor at Overbond. He was a co-founder of Extreme Startups, one of Canada’s leading technology accelerators.

 

Through his involvement in the Canadian startup ecosystem and backed by five of Canada’s best venture capital funds, Sunil has co-lead investments into more than 18 companies. He is very active in the technology ecosystem across Canada and particularly in the Toronto-Waterloo corridor.


Sunil has great knowledge in investment opportunities and a long networking ecosystem. He is always actively searching for motivated entrepreneurs who have a combination of business and technical abilities, and are market savvy. He’s looking for startups with global aspirations and massive ambition that work in the fields of mobile, e-commerce, enterprise software, SaaS, mobile games, social games, digital media, consumer internet and mobile payments.

Heather Corcoran
Kickstarter, United Kingdom Linkedin profile
 

Heather Corcoran leads outreach for Kickstarter in the UK and Europe, with a focus on the Design & Technology communities. Based in London, she works closely with  innovators, creators, and makers who use Kickstarter to bring new products to life.


Before that, she was the Executive Director of Rhizome, the influential digital art organisation based at the New Museum, New York, and its celebrated art-meets-tech conference, Seven on Seven. She was a curator at the Foundation for Art and Creative Technology (FACT), Liverpool, exhibition manager at Barbican Centre, and managed the media labs at places like Space Media Arts, London and Interaccess, Toronto.

She is passionate about the role of artists and designers in shaping the future of digital culture, a topic she has been invited to speak on at Microsoft’s Social Computing Symposium, REMIX at Google NYC, the Armory Art Fair, Ars Electronica Festival and more.

Alexandre Massart
Blend Ventures, Vastari, LaterPay GmbH, London, United Kingdom Linkedin profile
 

Alexandre Massart is an accomplished product innovation and tech senior executive. The co-founder of an investment group Blend Ventures has over 15 years global experience in investing, building and running successful companies with emphasis in payments, mobile, and the Internet.

He invested in Vastari, a web service connecting collectors and institutions worldwide for exhibition loans and tours, LaterPay GmbH, a two-click system that enables purchasing of digital content across platforms, websites and content types, orderbird AG, an iPad POS System for the catering industry and Visionarity, a startup developing digital and mobile platforms for a healthier lifestyle.

He actively shares his knowledge and experiences through his work as an educator and mentor. His specialties are entrepreneurship, venture capital investments and partnerships, new product strategy, development and implementation. He is experienced in sectors of Payments, Mobile, eCommerce, Micropayment, Technology, Media and Telecom.

Nicolaj Højer Nielsen
Startup Funding Book, CluedIn ApS, Denmark Linkedin profile
 

Nicolaj Højer Nielsen is a serial entrepreneur, business angel, lecturer and the author of The Startup Funding Book. He has cofunded and invested in thirteen IT startups, his latest venture was Copenhagen United, an investment fund focusing on providing capital and mentoring for early-stage software companies. 

He dedicates a significant part of his time to help other startups, through his employment as external lecturer at Copenhagen Business School where he teaches entrepreneurship, and via pro-bono coaching and mentoring of other entrepreneurs. His educational background is a MBA from INSEAD in France and Singapore, and an MSc in Marketing from Copenhagen Business School and University of Texas. 

Matthias Hilpert
MH2 Capital, Berlin, Germany Linkedin profile
 

Matthias Hilpert is currently the CEO of a private fund MH2 Capital and has 16 years experience in telecommunications, consumer electronics and media industries, both in developed and emerging countries and 11 years experience investing in public markets, real estate and private direct investments.
 
He is a high profile expert for sales management including online and telesales operation, customer and product marketing and is recognised in management and leadership excellence. He has worked in excecutive positions in various large and successful telecommunications and consumer electronics companies across Europe and tried his startup chops as the co-founder of Avalas.com, the first independent German WAP portal. 

Péter Szántó
B Creative, Hungary Linkedin profile
 

Péter Szántó is a hungarian 'appreneur' (entrepreneur who works in the mobile device application), speaker and a dreamer with solid proof, that he knows how to spot an opportunity and sell it like a pro. He is a USC Trojan, the founder and CEO of B Creative, and the founder TouchCo and SpringTab. As he says himself, if you cut him he bleeds solutions!

 

He helps companies like Time-Warner, L'Oreal, OTP, Fashion Street and TripTrotting in digital business development to grow their revenue. He won the Pro Universitate award from Corvinus University of Budapest, where he graduated cum laude. He is a regular speaker and guest in the hungarian media, and was recognized as a 30 under the age of 30 by Forbes Magazine hungarian edition.


One of Peter’s projects has been awarded Mastercard’s Mobile Banking App of the Year Award with the OTP SmartBank, where he was responsible for Customer Development and UX. Now he is focusing on social data and using it to increase brands’ revenue through auto-personalization. His specialities are business development, startups, social media, research, marketing communication, consulting, photography and branding.

Enis Hulli
500 Startups Istanbul, Turkey Linkedin profile
 

Enis Hulli is an associate partner at 500 Startups Istanbul. Educated as an engineer he has a firm grasp of the technological aspect of the startup world and the ambition and knowledge to see the global potential in the regional startup scene. That is why, rather than venturing on the civil engineer path, he joined firstseed, a network of investors focusing on early stages investements. 

 

He aims to cultivate and grow the Turkish startup ecosystem, help talented entrepreneurs of the broader region and the diaspora in building explosive businesses that will integrate with Silicon Valley. His goal is to position 500 Startups Istanbul as the leading actor in the region in order to re-shape the future of innovation at EMEA. 500 Istanbul is an early-stage VC fund within the San Francisco based 500 Startups network, a leading global venture capital seed fund and startup accelerator with over 1,500 investments in more than 50 countries and venture partners in more than 25 countries.


Tapio Siik
Vertical Accelerator, EIT Digital, Finland Linkedin profile
 

Tapio Siik is a Finnish Business Mentor and Angel Investor, with extensive Nokia background of around 17 years in various positions ranging from running large R&D organizations to Vice President level business line responsibilities. He actively shares his expertise as a Business Mentor at Vertical Accelerator, Finland and is a member of the EIT Digital Accelerator Team.  
 
As a passionate marathonist he is involved in various startups where he shares his years of experience and love for healthy and active living. Among others he is an Angel Investor and Advisor at Wellness Foundry, a startup committed to delivering cutting-edge web and mobile tools to help people eat better and to live healthier, their main product a revolutionary service for interactive nutrition coaching MealLogger and Angel Investor and Chairman of the Board of Directors at Flowmedik Oy, a startup that develops next generation control meters for the healthcare industry.
 
In the last seven years with Nokia he was a key member in Nokia VC investment teams, Nokia Venture Partners & Nokia Growth Partners, where he invested in companies like hardware development and licensing company Bitboys Oy (acquired by AMD for 44 mio USD in 2006) and a technology company that pioneered the use of spectral band replication in Advanced Audio Coding Coding Technologies AB

Heissam Hartmann
mrHeissam Consulting, Germany Linkedin profile
 

Heissam Hartmann is a consultant for digital strategy, startups, marketing, celebrity marketing, business development and expansion and is an experienced matchmaker, enabler, business angel and influencer. He is also the co-founder of mrHeissam Consulting, a Berlin based consulting company that focuses on helping startups and enterprises with their digital strategies and speed up their digital transformation.
 
He is the founder of Passiontainment.com, celebrity marketing and influencer service, the co-founder and shareholder at Powersnap, a social marketing and vertical video agency. As a shareholder he is involved in startups like BusExpress, a service for quick and convenient way to buy bus tickets, and the SaaS Co., a service that is changing sales through artificial intelligence – LISA – an email bot that helps answer your emails, and various others. Since the beginning of his career, he had opportunities to work for several companies throughout Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. He has been involved with pioneering businesses like myvideo.de and brands4friends and has witnessed companies like eBay grow from just 12 to thousands of employees.
 
He helps build bridges between Regions for expansion and funding, enables startups and enterprises to expand and do business development through established networks via a business angel. 

Rado Pavlov
BusExpress, worldbeachclubs.com, Germany Linkedin profile
 

Rado Pavlov, a Munich based entrepreneur, investor and advisor, is the co-founder and CEO of BusExpress, a no. 1 booking platform for bus journeys in Bulgaria that is now expanding to new markets, the co-founder of worldbeachclubs.com, a service for finding beach clubs around the world and member of the supervisory board at Orderbird AD, an iPad POS system.
 
As a student he moved from Bulgaria to Germany to finish his bachelor’s degree in management of tourism and worked his way to the CEO position at P1, a prominent Munich nightclub. By trying to push innovation in his club, Rado and a team of friends designed a POS system running on iOS devices that turned into Orderbird AG, where he is now a member of the board. He co-founded various other companies and, as a Business Angel, advises startups in building and growing their businesses. 

After ending his career in the hospitality industry in 2013, he is turning his passion about Tech and Internet into reality and is advising, investing and working with Startups from Berlin to Sofia. 

Peter Schlecht
The SaaS Co., Germany Linkedin profile
 

Peter Schlecht is the founder and CEO of the Berlin based startup The Saas Co., the fastest growing sales startup in Europe, used by startups and companies such as Twilio, TIBCO and The German Stock Exchange. Their service is changing sales through artificial intelligence, a Learning Intelligent Sales Agent – LISA – an email bot that helps answer your emails.
 
Before venturing in the startup world he build his career and gathered experience as a Business Development Consultant at mbrace labs GmbH, a company that developed mobile and web applications for communicating with people in (hyper)-local settings, was Head of Business Development at strucr.com GmbH (now Audisto), a service that helped the user to enhance a site's structure and internal linking, and Executive Assistant to the Chairman at Team Europe Management GmbH

Edmar Ferreira
Rock Content, Brazil Linkedin profile
 

Edmar Ferreira is the founder and CEO of Rock Content, the leading company in digital and content marketing in Brazil and Latin America.
 
With degrees in both biology and computer engineering he began his career path as a developer and later Lead Developer at Omnilogic Inteligência S/A, company specialized in big data and machine learning and via6, a professional social network focused in helping users to create and share content.
 
Proving that he knows what he is talking about on digital and content marketing he writes his own blog, on which he declares a challenge for the running year. In 2014 and 2015 he read 100 books per year, 2016 and 2017 have been all about trying out new technologies. His current challenge is to create one app each month. See how he’s doing so far

Mario Brkić
BeeOne, Austria Linkedin profile
 

Mario Brkić is the Lead of R&D at the Austrian BeeOne GmbH, a Digital Innovation Enterprise of Erste Group, and a mentor at Zagreb’s ZIP Startup Incubator.
 
He has a background in e-business analytics and innovation strategy and is actively participating in the Croatian startup scene as a mentor in the Zagreb based ZIP Startup incubator, where he shares his experiences with the up and coming startups.  
 
BeeOne creates digital experiences, products, applications and solutions for Erste Group customers. Their aim is to enable a pure digital experience in banking in finance in Central and Eastern Europe and position Erste Group as a reference player. The Zagreb based ZIP Startup Incubator focuses on helping aspiring entrepreneurs from the region of SE Europe build their companies. 

Daniel Cronin
Austrian Startups Linkedin profile
 

Daniel Cronin is a marketing enthusiast, speaker and entrepreneur. Since 2013, he has been co-founder and board member of austrianstartup.com, a non-profit independent platform that connects and builds the startup community as well as helps startups become more visible and strengthen their brand. He co-founded the company aaa-allaboutapps gmbh, which developed and launched more than 100 apps with several million users over the past few years.

He is the representative of the 2Minuten, 2Millionen – die PULS4 Startup Show at the broadcasting house Prosiebensat.1 PLUS Gmbh.He has extensive knowledge in the field of entrepreneurship, mobile marketing, finances and risk capital, and has been lecturing at three Vienna uiversities for more than 3 years. He is also the mobile marketing manager in the company pMediaNetwork GmbH. He participated in various startup events as moderator and coach. He obtained his master’s degree at the Vienna University of Economics and Business.

Michael Matias
Hacking Generation Y, Israel Linkedin profile
 

Michael Matias is a 21-year-old entrepreneur, technology enthusiast, founder of Hacking Generation Y and Forbes 30 Under 30 alumni. His passion for technology began at age 15 when he first took the stage at Jeff Pulver’s 140conf in NYC, following which he founded his first startup, AnyMeal, at MIT’s Launch Entrepreneurship accelerator. He served as CEO of AnyMeal throughout High School, during which he began his interest in Behavioral Economics.
 
Traveling to San Francisco to intern with Prof. Dan Ariely he became actively involved in the psychology behind technology, as well as promoting entrepreneurship among youth. In 2014, at 18, he founded Hacking Generation Y to organize Hackathons around the world (13 in 6 countries), impacting thousands of students.
 
Today he continues his love for technology as a developer, shares his startup experiences in speeches at events like TedX and is a firm believer in “learning by doing”, integrating ‘school’ knowledge into real life. 

Pavel Bogdanov
Almaz Capital, Russian Federation Linkedin profile
 

Pavel Bogdanov is the general partner at the Silicon Valley based VC fund Almaz Capital. They invest in companies that have strong management teams, large market opportunities, and possess either a proprietary technology or some other competitive advantage.
 
Bogdanov helps companies in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe that leverage R&D resources with connections in Silicon Valley to grow their business. He has a PhD in Applied Physics from Stanford University and gained his first experiences as a System Design Engineer at KLA Tencor, later as Investment Director at Sistema Telecom and as Partner at Russian Technologies. 

Adrián Ramos
Omron, Netherlands Linkedin profile
 

Adrián Ramos works for Omron as a Senior Business Developer in the Environmental Solution Business (ESB) division. He is responsible for the new business strategy development and leadership; partnerships, customer interaction and product innovation, particularly to North America.

 
He has worked as technical PV asset manager of a portfolio over 150MW in Italy and been responsible of the largest operational PV plant in Bulgaria. He has also contributed as Site Manager to the construction of a 10MW PV facility in France. In addition to that, Adrian has provided PV designs, technical due diligences and onsite technical audits to several hundreds of PV solar MWs. He holds a Master of Engineering in Energy Technologies from the Carlos III University of Madrid and a Master in Economics from UNED.


Arnaud Bonzom
500 Startups, Singapore Linkedin profile
 

Arnaud Bonzom is the Director of Corporate Innovation at 500 Startups. His recent report on ‘How do the World’s Biggest Companies Deal with the Start-up Revolution’ details the bullish efforts by Multinational Corporations to engage start-ups and leverage on their capabilities. He is an Entrepreneur in Residence at INSEAD.
 
Arnaud’s work has received extensive media coverage in Forbes, Bloomberg, Les Echos and other media. He developed tools for the Asian startup ecosystem including: The Asia Funding / M&A Newsletter, Singapore startup ecosystem and entrepreneur toolbox and the Map of the Money.

Prior to 500 Startups, Arnaud was part of INSEAD, where he was responsible for facilitating interactions between MBA students/alumni and the Entrepreneurship ecosystem.

Connor Murphy
Techstars, Berlin, Germany Linkedin profile
 

Connor Murphy is an experienced Investor, Technology Entrepreneur, Management Consultant and Board Director. Currently he is the Managing Director at Techstars.

Connor is an EY Entrepreneur of the Year alum, a Gartner ‘Cool Vendor’ winner, and won Best European B2B Startup at the Europas. He has featured in the New York Times, FT, BBC, Forbes, Inc, Wired and the Irish Times and is a regular speaker, mentor and board adviser. 

Jolanta Kokosińska
PwC, Poland Linkedin profile
 

Jolanta Kokosińska is a Partner in the Transactions group. She is also the Leader of innovative services, research and development. She has over twenty years of professional experience in financial and management advisory services. She specialises in strategic consulting as well as innovations and commercialisation of inventions. 

She has implemented a number of projects related to restructuring and privatisation of enterprises, and is experienced in leading works on sectoral studies that have been used by the National Research and Development Centre to launch grant programs for the given sectors. 

From the beginning of her career, Jolanta participated in more than 500 valuations and financial analyses, including valuations of intellectual property rights, and in more than 150 projects relating to evaluation of research teams, as well as inventions and their commercialisation.

Michelle McConomy
RocketSpace, USA Linkedin profile
 

Michelle McConomy is the Senior Vice President and General Manager of Corporate Innovation services at RocketSpace. She is an executive leader experienced in open innovation, corporate and startup engagement, corporate development, strategic partnerships, entrepreneurship, and change management. Balanced between the life of a corporation and the life of a startup. Paving the way for innovation to take life through corporate to startup engagement. Constantly on the hunt to finding opportunities to bring the best of both world's together to let innovation happen.

Marcin Kasz
kontakt.io, Cracow, Poland Linkedin profile
 

Marcin Kasz is the Product marketing manager at Kontakt.io. In the past, he’s also worked there as a beacon ambassador, a job that required him to present the complicated technical nature of their product simply and conveying the enthusiasm about IoT and beacons in general. Marcin is one the experts at Kontakt.io on beacon deployments and very creative. Furthermore, several marketing campaigns have been launched following his ideas. 

Stuart Browne
Pycap Venture Partners, Toronto, Canada Linkedin profile
 

Stuart Browne is the CEO of Pycap Corporation, a corporate finance and venture capital firm. He is an expert reviewer on four Ontario government funded investment portfolios. Furthermore, he is an advisory board member of the city of Toronto’s Startup Here initiative, Startup Toronto, Canada Mongolia Chamber of Commerce, and LatAm startups. In addition, he is a roundtable advisor on VC Industry policy for the Federal Economic Development Agency, Immigration Canada, and Startup Canada.

Stuart also participated in the investment of $2M in over 16 Information Technology companies within industries like finance, medical, communication, and education. He also founded Sector 75, a Tech Startup Incubator. 

Hampus Jakobsson
Nordic Makers, Malmo, Sweden Linkedin profile
 

Hampus Jakobsson builds businesses and people. Loves learning.

He co-founded and built TAT, a company that was later acquired by Blackberry and Hampus ran M&A EMEA. After that he co-founded Brisk in 2012 and has since angel invested in over 50 companies.
 
TAT AB was a mobile user interface company that licensed software to improve the user experience and development process of user interfaces for mobile phones and other devices. 

Peter Jacobs
European Investment Bank, Slovenia Linkedin profile
 

Peter Jacobs is the head of the Slovenian office of the European Investment Bank. Peter has a Masters degree in economics and accounting. He has worked for 10 years in commercial banking for the KBC bank, before joining the EIB 13 years ago. He has been Head of the Western Europe Project Finance team since 2011.  

The EIB is the European Union's bank. It is the only bank owned by and representing the interests of the European Union Member States. They work closely with other EU institutions to implement EU policy. EIB is also the world's largest multilateral borrower and lender.

Niko Klanšek
BizMe, New York, USA Linkedin profile
 

Niko Klanšek is best described by - entrepreneurship, sport, travel, art and fruit. As someone who has lived, studied and worked from NY, SF, Ljubljana (not to mention the rest of the world), he soon discovered he wants to move things forward in whatever he does. With Information System and Film & Video Majors at Fordham University and a Harvard Business School PLD program, he turned theory to practice by establishing an all natural smoothies company with his mother. Smoothies sold in 600 stores throughout USA, continued with one of the first electric bicycle companies present in +60 countries and a consulting company that helped +40 successful crowdfunding projects secure +$4M in funding.

As a member of the Union Olimpija basketball team, he's helped win 19 gold medals, became a high school world champion and played in the Slovenian junior national basketball team. His other interests include Yoga, Surfing and growing tropical plants - from pit to fruit.

Piotr Bucki
X Ventures Linkedin profile
 

Piotr Bucki from Poland is an expert on new era communications  – inbound marketing, public relations, growth hacking strategies, discovering zeitgeists and personas.
 
He is a popular  and sought-after trainer, lecturer, teacher, journalist, coach,  manager, and entrepreneur. Piotr is best described as a modern day Hermes – a great researcher, combining different inspirations to come up with new solutions or collecting ideas and merging them into new ones.
 
He helps companies hone their message using cognitive science and neuropsychology. Always puts theory into practice when helping companies from Poland, Slovenia, Chile, Moldova, Azerbaijan and Australia. He also constantly learns to stay up to date with new trends and research.
 
He works in marketing and R&D in different companies and projects around the globe, but he also teaches at three different Polish universities. His main areas of interest are UX, visual communication,  PR, and marketing strategies, but he is also very well known in the world of startups for its excellent pitching coaching sessions.

Urška Jež
ABC Accelerator Linkedin profile
 

Urška Jež, Educated at Mechanical Engineering Faculty, is one of the very few female managers with an engineering background. She is the “heart & soul” of the first privately owned accelerator in South Eastern Europe – Acceleration Business City (ABC) in Ljubljana.
 
Focused on organization and management of all stakeholders and involved in strategic as well as operative decisions, Urška represents the most important link among owners, start-ups, management team, mentors, and investors. As a multilingual (speaking 8 languages), communicative and proactive person she has always been welcomed in executive management teams.

Robert Neivert
500 Startups Linkedin profile
 

Robert Neivert is presently a Venture Partner at 500 Startups specializing in B2B seed investments. Previously, he was an executive for startups having founded or worked at eight companies with four exits and four companies still operating. He was the CEO for last two venture funded start-ups. He also maintains a broad domain of expertise, having held leadership positions in products, marketing, and operations.
 
He is a 500 startups Venture Partner, a mentor/advisor for Cardinal Ventures, Stanford iFarm, and Stanford's Treehacks program as well as an executive advisor for over 15 funded startups, and previously held the position of Executive in Residence at Quest Venture Partners.

Mark Pleško
Cosylab, Slovenia Linkedin profile
 

Mark Pleško has been many things in his life: professional sportsman (Balkan champion), nuclear physicist (co-discovery of matter turning into antimatter), programmer, MBA (graduated with honours), lecturer, scientist, engineer, entrepreneur, salesperson and CEO.

For some, he's a high-tech wizard, for others an eccentric, living in a small village of ten mostly empty stone houses in the Provence-like countryside of Kras (Karst, Carso). In truth, he is only trying to find a balance in life between work success, quality time with his family and a little bit of time for himself. And somehow it worked out, therefore he considers himself a lucky person so far. But no one knows what the future will bring, so let's keep the fingers crossed.

Matej Golob
CorpoHub Linkedin profile
 

Matej Golob is a computer geek who was drawn into the world of sales and business development through a long  international career in IBM, from which he disembarked right into the startup  world.

TEDx events organizer who is taking networking passionately seriously. MBA valedictorian,  the founder of CorpoHub, enabling mature organizations to run internal lean startup incubators. Fighting hypotheses and failing all the way to disruptive success.

Peter Frankl
Finance Linkedin profile
 

Peter Frankl, Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief of Finance daily newspaper, studied journalism at Ljubljana University and also trained at Stanford University in the USA. He has worked at the Finance newspaper since its inception in 1992. He was Editor since 1994, becoming its Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief in 2006. The newspaper is owned by Swedish publishing multinational Bonnier Business Press, which issues business newspapers in ten countries. Before working for the Finance he worked for the Gospodarski vestnik magazine and the Delo newspaper. He has contributed columns to the Saturday issue of Delo, the Dnevnik newspaper and the Institutional Investor business monthly from the USA.

Urban Lapajne
Initiative Start:up Slovenia Linkedin profile
 

Urban Lapajne is a Startup Enthusiast,  Evangelist, and Mentor. Passionate about sports in mother nature. Hater of haters.

At the moment he is 100 % focused on putting together this years  PODIM  Conference - the coolest startup event in  The Alps - Adriatic Region.

PODIM  Conference is a great opportunity for startups, investors, and corporations. Contact him with ideas for partnerships, cool speakers or topics suggestions.

mag. Maja Tomanič Vidovič
Slovene Entreprise Fund, Slovenia Linkedin profile
 

Maja Tomanič-Vidovič, specializes in the management of financial incentives and growth financing of small and medium-sized enterprises.

During her studies, she started working as a reporter on national television station RTV Slovenia, where she remained for three years after finishing studying of Economics. She continued her career at the Ministry, with jurisdiction over development and promotion of entrepreneurship. She carried out various functions the for the promotion of entrepreneurship, among others she led the sector for promotion of entrepreneurship.

In the year 2002, she became the assistant of the director of the Slovene Enterprise Fund and became its director in the year 2007.

She has numerous domestic and foreign experiences in financial management of small and medium-sized enterprises, financing of entrepreneurial sector, financial planning and formation of strategic measures for development acceleration of young innovative companies and companies with high growth potential. As a lecturer, she collaborates with various educational institutions and is a member of various expert groups for financial planning of support for the entrepreneurial sector in Slovenia as well as in Europe. 
 

Other

 Speakers

Marcin Szeląg
Innovation Nest, Poland Linkedin profile
 

Marcin Szeląg is a partner at Innovation Nest and an investor in a polish startup Notatek.pl. He is a VC based in Poland, focused on European early stage B2B SaaS startups. His main interest is in martech and vertical SaaS.


Through the years he gathered a lot of knowledge and hands on experience in internet marketing, consumer facing web products, business models and monetization. Along the way he gained expertise in customer development, business model generation and growth hacking. In order for the VC community to connect he started a crowdsourced list of blogging VCs, where you can freely use the data or contribute to the list.

Martin Pansy
UT11, Graz, Austria Linkedin profile
 

Martin Pansy is the co-founder and Managing Director of Up to Eleven, an innovative Company Builder for Mobile Startups based in Graz, Austria. With UT11, he built a digital hotspot in Graz that provides everything to scale digital businesses – seed stage investment, operational expertise to focus on the essentials, high involvement of the UT11 team, mentoring for startup excellence and office & IT infrastructure. With two decades of international experience in mobile and digital business models, the Company Builder supports technology-oriented and unique startups that have already surpassed the proof-of-concept stage to tackle new challenges.
 
As CEO of Nuki, the door lock of the 21st century, Martin is driven by the entrepreneurial challenges and startup spirit. He is expert in the fields of business development, strategy and internationalization. Martin holds a master's degree in Finance from University of Graz and an MBA from IE Business School Madrid.

Armin Konjalić
East-West Digital News Linkedin profile
 

Armin Konjalić, Bosnian-born, Europe-based entrepreneur, mentor and startup activist. He is periodically based in Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greece, Latvia, and Russia.

He is the CEE Representative of East-West Digital News, the leading research, and media on tech and vibrant venture scene of Central Europe, Russia, Ukraine and other emerging markets.

Matej Delakorda
CEED Slovenia Linkedin profile
 

Matej Delakorda is a sociologist and a man of many talents, interested in sustainable social changes. He is a digital enthusiast, team leader and connector of the community at CEED Slovenia, part of Alumni School for leaders from Warsaw, and program manager and moderator at TEDxCelje. He is a longtime editor of the nonprofit TV and community media Studio 12, for some time also an editor of the expert magazine HRM. He spent many years in training in London, where he learned skills of team dynamic, leadership, and communication. They say he asks too much, but that makes him a better listener. He likes computers and phones that work faster than he can type.

Jakob Gajšek
ABC accelerator, Slovenia Linkedin profile
 

Jakob Gajšek is dedicated to building the ecosystem. He is seeking people interested in cooperating in the creation of a borderless community of startups and entrepreneurs. In his free time, he likes to pick up a good book, visit an art gallery, or learn more about bespoke tailoring and fine scotch. Feel free to talk about this, also!

Tilen Travnik
D·Labs, Slovenia Linkedin profile
 

Tilen Travnik is a 15-year veteran in managing Internet projects. Combining an MBA in Entrepreneurship and a range of certifications from Scrum Alliance, he is uniquely skilled to boost development processes of corporations and start-ups alike. He has successfully converted management and operational teams to agile in over 20 companies in the last 5 years and is currently a development advisor in 5 of them. He also holds a biotech engineering degree. But that's more of a hobby.

László Gulyás
EIT Digital, Hungary Linkedin profile
 

László Gulyás is regional lead of EIT Digital's ARISE Europe program in Central and Eastern Europe. His professional history for 15 years has been divided between higher education, research and ICT business practice, in about equal parts, with a mission to bring cutting edge scientific results to the market and vice versa, to let practical needs of ICT companies be known in higher education. After receiving his PhD from Loránd Eötvös University, Budapest, he worked at the same institution, at Harvard University and at the Central European University. He also held management positions at various startup and SME companies. Dr. Gulyás has authored 70+ articles and participated in and co-managed 7 successful European projects (from FP6 to H2020) and 11 Hungarian R&D grants.

Branko Drobnak
Business angels of Slovenia Linkedin profile
 

Branko Drobnak is the president of the Business angels of Slovenia.   

Business angels of Slovenia invest exclusively in companies with an innovative idea and a vision towards international expansion, which is key for fast growth. In addition, a dedicated and a competent team that is willing to work hard for the realization of their vision is of even greater importance to them.

Miha Valentinčič
Petrol, Slovenia Linkedin profile
 

Miha Valentinčič is the director of innovative business models and digitalization at Petrol d.d. 

Petrol, the leading Slovenian energy company, is the principal strategic supplier of oil and other energy products to the Slovenian market. Through an extensive distribution network of proprietary service stations, Petrol provides drivers on Slovenia's roads and highways with a broad range of automotive goods and services and a wide selection of household and food products and other merchandise.

Ivan Temovski
Danfoss, Germany Linkedin profile
 

Ivan Temovski is the head of digital marketing and digital transformation at Danfoss Heating Segment.

Danfoss engineers technologies that enable the world of tomorrow to do more with less. They meet the growing need for infrastructure, food supply, energy efficiency and climate-friendly solutions. Their products and services are used in areas such as refrigeration, air conditioning, heating, motor control and mobile machinery. We are also active in the field of renewable energy as well as district heating infrastructure for cities and urban communities. Their innovative engineering dates back to 1933 and today Danfoss is a world-leader, employing more than 25,000 employees and serving customers in more than 100 countries. They are still privately held by the founding family.

Atsushi Sasawaki
Omron, Japan Linkedin profile
 

Atsushi Sasawaki is the manager of the planning department at Omron. 

Atsushi Sasawaki graduated at the Aoyama-gakuin University in Tokyo. He has been working in the Japanese corporation Omron for 25 years. Omron’s primary business is the production and sale of automation components, equipment and systems, and they are especially recognizable for their medical equipment, such as digital thermometers, blood pressure monitors, and nebulizers. In his career, Atsushi has gained rich sales and marketing experience in factory automation, solar energy, safety components, and optical devices. He has successfully led the photovoltaics business of a corporation with top market share on the Japanese residential market. He also led the solar and battery hybrid inverter business in Japan and the factory automation sensors business in the Niigata area.

Andraž Štalec
Red Orbit, Slovenia Linkedin profile
 

Andraž Štalec is the CEO and co-founder of Red Orbit. Red Orbit is the leading digital performance agency in Adriatic region, focused on search engine marketing, search engine optimization and digital analytics. Andraž has been working in the area of digital marketing since 2001. Through a mixture of different projects he gained invaluable experience in marketing and management. As a Google Certified Trainer he helps and coaches companies and individuals to set up and run Google AdWords campaigns and other Google products.

Dolores Podbevšek Plemeniti
Delo d.o.o., Slovenia Linkedin profile
 

Dolores Podbevšek Plemeniti is the marketing director at Delo d.o.o. In the past, she was also the President of the 25th Slovenian Advertising Festival.

Delo d.o.o. is a company with a half-of-century tradition. In this time, it became one of the leading and most influential companies in the Slovenian media market. Professionalism and following the highest standards enabled them to get the trust of readers and advertisers. Trust is also something that they value the most.

Iztok Renčelj
Pošta Slovenije, Slovenia Linkedin profile
 

Iztok Renčelj is the director of sales and development of IT services at Pošta Slovenije.

Pošta Slovenije is a successful company wholly owned by the Republic of Slovenia. With their nearly 6,000 employees, they play an important role in the Slovenian society. They are one of the leading partners for the business enterprise sector.

Mateja Lavrič
Kolektor Ventures d.o.o., Slovenia Linkedin profile
 

Mateja Lavrič is the managing director at Kolektor Ventures d.o.o.
 
Kolektor Ventures is a corporate venture capital fund of the closed type established by Kolektor. Their aim is to invest in companies in their early stages of development that are focused on the industrial segment of innovation.

Thomas Herlin
EIT Digital, France Linkedin profile
 

Thomas Herlin is a Business developer accelerator at EIT Digital Accelerator. He has 15 years of experience as a founder in several startups and business development manager in international corporations.
 
EIT Digital is a leading European digital innovation and entrepreneurial education organization driving Europe’s digital transformation. They deliver breakthrough digital innovations to the market and breed entrepreneurial talent for economic growth and improved quality of life in Europe. It does this by mobilizing a pan-European ecosystem of over 130 top European corporations, SMEs, start-ups, universities and research institutes.

Boštjan Špetič
Zemanta, Slovenia Linkedin profile
 

Boštjan Špetič is the CPO at Zemanta. He is a Global Entrepreneur, Application Developer, Project Manager and Consultant in a wide variety of multimedia, art and business applications.
 
Zemanta is an advertising-technology company, offering programmatic native advertising platform. We are specialized in the art and science of content distribution, and our product is designed for media agencies and brands who want to put their content to work. 

Aljaž Andrejaš
Reveel Technologies, Slovenia Linkedin profile
 

Aljaž Andrejaš is the CPO at Reveel Technologies.
 
Reveel's visual media platform allows brands and media outlets to turn print, digital or video media into a mobile experience that drives engagement, commerce, and monetization. One can use the Reveel-it app or any app equipped with Reveel's SDK to snap a picture or tap an image to display companion content that informs and inspires one's audience and enables them to purchase products they Reveel. One can use Reveel Studio to tag images or video in magazines, catalogs, circulars, TV, online video or out-of-home ads and instantly measure audience response for each individual media placement by location.

Peter Poles
Slovenia
 

Peter Poles is a Slovenian TV host. He is most famous as the host of entertainment shows on the channel RTV Slovenia. Up to 2009, he has received two Viktor awards for his work.

Jure Tomc
International Technology Transfer Network, Slovenia Linkedin profile
 

Jure Tomc is the chief representative of ITTN for Central and Eastern Europe.
 
ITTN is a gateway to China for innovation. A professional service organization committed to promoting International Technology Transfer and International Innovation Cooperation. It carries out work in association with well-known technology transfer and innovation service organizations both at domestic and overseas level. It has fostered long-term partnerships with more than 200 international technology transfer organizations in 15 countries through continuous development in recent years.

Michael Schuster
SpeedInvest, Austria Linkedin profile
 

Michael Schuster is a partner at SpeedInvest.
 
SpeedInvest is a venture capital fund based in Austria. They not only invest capital in world-class talent, but also provide the entrepreneurial know-how, and operational experience that is rare outside of a place like Silicon Valley, but is so essential to building great companies.

Chris Osborne
D·Labs, UK Linkedin profile
 

Chris Osborne is the digital product & business guy at D·Labs.  
 
D·Labs is a Slovenia-based team of internet veterans, product experts, and devoted agile developers. Over the years, they have helped their clients grow their business by building them successful internet products. At D·Labs they are heavily focused on users, passionately engaged within the development process, but also cold and analytical when it’s time to check the ROI. With new clients they usually start with a small (but scalable) project, observe the results and then quickly scale the successful parts of the product.?
 

Igor Šiškin
PwC, Slovenia Linkedin profile
 

Igor Šiškin is a tax consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers Slovenia.
 
PwC's purpose is to build trust in society and solve important problems. They're a network of firms in 157 countries with more than 223,000 people who are committed to delivering quality in assurance, advisory and tax services. 

Mojca Avšič
Atlantic Grupa, Slovenia Linkedin profile
 

Mojca Avšič is the R&D Director SBU of Savoury Spreads at Atlantic Grupa.

Atlantic Grupa is one of the leading food companies in the region with the renowned regional brands which is, alongside the product range of external partners, supported by own distribution system in the region. Atlantic Grupa's products are highly represented in Russia, the CIS and Western European countries, and with its product range of sports food, Atlantic is the leading European player in this segment. Atlantic Grupa employs approximately 5300 people in total.