Speakers at PODIM 2017

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, 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, 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,, 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, 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, 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 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,, 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, 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 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, 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.

Nathaniel Koloc
The Future Project, New York, USA Linkedin profile

Nathaniel Koloc is Entrepreneur-in-Residence at The Future Project. He is an expert in team building and team performance strategies; most recently he served as Director of Talent Acquisition & Development for Hillary for America. He oversaw the systems and recruiting architecture that hired 4,500 people in less than 18 months!
Before the campaign, Nathaniel cofounded and led ReWork - a mission-driven recruiting firm - as CEO for five years. Nathaniel speaks and writes on topics related to people strategy & operations - including being a contributor to Harvard Business Review, among others.

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.

Will be announced soon ...




Marcin Szeląg
Innovation Nest, Poland Linkedin profile

Marcin Szeląg is a partner at Innovation Nest and an investor in a polish startup 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.