21st & 22nd of May
Maribor, Slovenia

All speakers

Martin Pejsa /Creative Dock, Czech Republic Sheel Mohnot /500 Startups, USA John Harthorne /MassChallenge, USA David Rose /Warby Parker & MIT Media Lab, USA Amrit Dhir /Google, UK Urška Sršen / Danyelle Pollock /Freelancer, USA Enis Hulli /500 Startups, Turkey Letitia Seglah /Startup Manufactory, UK Rune Theill /Rockstart, Netherlands Cristobal Alonso /Startup Wise Guys, Baltics Anuj Adhiya /The Predictive Index, USA Maurizio Rossi /H-FARM, Italy Bret Siarkowski /MedScience Ventures, USA Mela Chu /BLCKSWN, Germany Alexis Kopikis /Alexify.co, USA Marco Trombetti /Pi Campus, Italy Henry Hwong /Cunningham Collective, USA Joshua Reola /Cisco Webex Innovation, Norway Dr. Ulrich Kleipaß /Roland & Berger, Germany Stephan Schambach /NewStore, USA Nejc Škoberne /Cone-headed Cat, UK Nuno Gonçalves Pedro /Grishin Robotics and Strive Capital, USA Tristan Pollock /500 Startups, USA Lisa Kuttner /WhataVenture, Austria Ivo Remmelg  /EstBAN, Estonia Krisztina Toth /EMG Group, Hungary Štepan Kaiser /Revolgy, Czech Republic Mariano Kostelec /UniPlaces, Spain Krzysztof Gawrysiak /MIT Enterprise Forum, Poland Mark Durno /Rockstart, Netherlands Žiga Drev  /OriginTrail, Slovenia Stefan Perkmann Berger /WhataVenture, Austria Florian Kandler /GetFunding.how, Austria Stefan Holzer /Independent innovation consultant, Austria Alexandre Massart /Blend Ventures, UK Francesco Ferrero /European Investment Bank, Slovenia Živana Žerjal /She's Well, USA Tanja Sternbauer /Female Founders Global, Austria Itamar Lesuisse /Argent, United Kingdom Francois Marmion /Manao, United Kingdom Andrej Mertelj  /Datalab, Slovenia Daniel Cronin /AustrianStartups Matt Kuppers /Startup Manufactory, UK Jonas Schneider /Startup Alm, Germany Toni Balažič /Panvita, Slovenia Maja Tomanič Vidovič /Slovene Enterprise Fund, Slovenia Francois Mazoudier /TMRW, UK Jasmina Henniova /Pioneers.io, Austria Dr. Guenther Dobrauz /PwC Legal, Switzerland Grega Potokar /ABC Accelerator, Slovenia Stoyan Yankov /Productivity & Performance Strategist, Denmark Markus Raunig /AustrianStartups, Austria Christian Holloway  /Digital Manufacturing, UK Jan Dovolil /Creative Dock, Czech Republic Chuck Goldman /SkyX Systems Corp., USA Anu Oks /EstBAN, Estonia Markus Lang /Speedinvest, Austria Jes Nordentoft /Accelerace, Denmark Rutger de Graaf  /Netherlands Enterprise Agency, Netherlands Saša Arsenovič  /Municipality of Maribor, Slovenia Vedran Blagus /South Central Ventures, Croatia Michel Scian  /H-FARM, Italy Urban Lapajne /Start:up Slovenia, Slovenia Rok Upelj /Movalyse, Slovenia Kebbie Sebastian  /Penser, UK Martin Mössler  /Science Park Graz and ESA BIC, Austria Jugoslav Petkovič  /Silicon Gardens Fund II, Slovenia Rumen Iliev  /LAUNCHub, Bulgaria Miha Pahulje /Zavarovalnica Sava, Slovenia Nina Dremelj /AlpVent, Switzerland Julien Coustaury  /Fil Rouge Capital, Croatia Vera Nunić /Technology Park Ljubljana, Slovenia Herwig Springer /i5invest, Germany Jan Habermann /Credo Ventures, Czech Republic Matej Cerar /Technology Park Ljubljana, Slovenia Nejc Novak /Novak Law, Slovenia Radim Woznica /Revolgy Team, Czech Republic

Honorable Guests at PODIM 2019

Saša Arsenovič
Municipality of Maribor, Slovenia

Saša Arsenovič, a lawyer by education, but an entrepreneur in the soul, successfully joined politics after many years of active engagement in entrepreneurship. In 2018, he took over the management of the Municipality of Maribor as mayor, who is continuously striving for the development of the city of Maribor.

Prior to this position, he gained reach experience in entrepreneurship. He started his business career as a tennis player and owner of a tennis school in Germany. Later he was many years co-owner and director of the license for the German brand s.Oliver, and besides he launched several catering stories in Maribor. In the center of Maribor, he established a number of catering and accommodation facilities, such as Restaurant Rožmarin, La Pizzeria, Restaurant and Hotel Maribor. He brought to Maribor a cosmopolitan hint. His company Galerija Gosposka was announced as the best micro company in Podravje region. He develops his business ideas in previously decaying buildings in the center of the city, which he is renovating, and for his concern for the cultural heritage of the city he earned the recognition of the Slovenian Conservation Society.


Martin Pejsa
Creative Dock, Czech Republic Linkedin profile

Martin Pejsa is the founder and CEO of Creative Dock, one of the top 3 European company builders. Before founding Creative Dock, Martin worked in Vodafone, where he acted as the business director, leading more than 1000 people. Then he sold his apartment, took all his savings and founded Creative Dock with two associates. After 7 years of hard work he is now leading company with offices in 9 foreign countries, with more than 300 employees. During those years Creative Dock launched more than 47 start-ups in Europe, Asia and the U.S. 
The model of Creative Dock is to systematically develop and launch new companies in cooperation with corporations, like Škoda, E-ON, Raiffeisen Bank, Societe Generale, AXA, Sodexo, PPF Group,  …

Sheel Mohnot
500 Startups, USA Linkedin profile

A creator and investor, Sheel Mohnot leads the 500 Startups FinTech Fund and accelerator. His startup experience includes founding 2 fintech companies with successful exits, one being FeeFighters, as well as co-founded a food and health company called Thistle. He advised some big names, like Coinbase, Instacart and Flexport and runs a startup podcast called The Pitch (sold to Gimlet media), where founders pitch investors. He formerly worked as a financial services consultant at BCG and started his FinTech career at the non-profit P2P lender Kiva. Sheel holds an MBA from the University of Michigan and a BS in Industrial Management from Carnegie Mellon.

Sheel is helping to design, build, and improve human ecosystems through technology. He is particularly interested in "financial services for the rest of us" – financial innovation that helps those who feel abandoned by the current financial system. Sheel has been quoted in a number of publications on both his business and private life, some of his work has been featured in giants such as The Atlantic and The New York Times, and he has been a regular public speaker on topics of financial innovation, entrepreneurship, social innovation, and the revolution taking place in payments/point of sale.

John Harthorne
MassChallenge, USA Linkedin profile

An innovative and results-oriented entrepreneur, John Harthorne is the cofounder and CEO of MassChallenge, the largest and most startup-friendly non-profit accelerator on the planet. He is on a mission to catalyse a startup renaissance by restoring creativity to the soul of the economy and has more than a decade of experience with top-tier strategy, technology and startups to back him up in his goal. As of early 2019, MassChallenge's 1,975+ startups have raised $4.3B+ in funding, generated $2.5B+ in revenue and created over 121,000 jobs.

John has a track record of successfully leading teams, empowering his colleagues to achieve their full potential, solving problems, developing services, driving sales growth and pioneering leading edge ideas. He holds a BA in German literature and chemistry from Bowdoin, an MA in European Political Culture from the Humboldt University Berlin, and an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management. He is also an alumnus of the U.S. Department of Defense’s 88th?Joint Civilian Orientation Course and was elected as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2013.

John currently sits on the Board of Directors for Lab Central in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the Board of Governors for the Boston College Chief Executives Club. His extensive list of skills includes executive education, global leadership, public policy and decision-making. In his free time, he is an unabashed geek and gadget collector.

David Rose
Warby Parker & MIT Media Lab, USA Linkedin profile

David Rose is an expert on strategic innovation, computer vision, spatial computing, and the internet of things. Currently, he is VP of Vision Technology at Warby Parker, the direct-to-consumer eyeglass brand, which disrupted this process with its system for trying on glasses at home, using just your phone. He is an award-winning product designer, lecturer and researcher at the MIT Media Lab, a five-time entrepreneur, former CEO or founder at Ditto Labs, Vitality, Ambient Devices, Opholio, Interactive Factory. David is on a mission to make technology subtle and polite, and has a track record of success in developing innovative customer-centric products that drive company revenues and visibility.
He is also the author of the book Enchanted Objects: Design, Human Desire, and the Internet of Things, wherein he focuses on the future of the Internet of Things, and how these technologies will impact the ways we live and work. David's work has been featured at the MoMA, covered in The New York TimesWIREDThe Economist, and parodied on the Colbert Report.
David has an Ed. M. in Technology in Education from Harvard and an MA in Physics from St. Olaf College. He has extensive entrepreneurial, marketing, sales, and product development experience, ranging from founding technology organizations to leading research and innovation groups within large public companies.

Amrit Dhir
Google, UK Linkedin profile

Amrit Dhir connects promising tech startups to Googlers and others who can help them. He draws from his network and experience in new business development and operations for some of Alphabet's most innovative products and groundbreaking technologies: projects in Google Research and AI; X, the Moonshot Factory (formerly Google X); Verily (formerly Google Life Sciences); the Cultural Institute; and Google for Startups. In areas of business strategy, partnerships, and operations, Amrit offers advice, support, and insights himself. For challenges and opportunities beyond his immediate skill and experience set, he works with entrepreneurs to identify and refine their needs and then navigates Google for an expert who can help. As the Head of Startup Connections for Google for Startups, an initiative to level the playing field for startup founders and communities, he measures his success by the success of the startups he connects.

Urška Sršen
Bellabeat, USA Linkedin profile

Urška Sršen is a sculptor and designer by profession, who entered entrepreneurship five years ago, when she was accepted in winter 2014 batch of Y combinator, the most renowned US seed accelerator. Since then she became very successful young startup entrepreneur who was placed at the top of the Technology field on the first European Forbes 30 under 30 list. 
She is a co-founder and CCO at Bellabeat, leading Silicon Valley smart-tech business, targeting health-conscious women globally. Bellabeat creates beautiful, innovative products that help women to easily track their overall health and get connected to their body and mind throughout different stages in life. Bellabeat's smart jewelry that tracks stress, activity - even menstrual cycles. Through beautifully designed technology they aim to inform, motivate and inspire women around the world to be healthier, happier and more conscious. 
The company is successfully competing globally with the largest competitors in the world in the health-tech and wearables. 

Danyelle Pollock
Freelancer, USA Linkedin profile

Danyelle Pollock is a master of company culture. Most recently, she headed up Internal Communications and Events at Lyft, a transportation technology company. She helped lead the Community team, became a founding member of Lyft's internal Culture Board, and assisted the company in navigating 50x employee growth, which rose from 60 to 3,000 employees. Before Lyft, Danyelle was with Fortune 10 company UnitedHealth Group managing their full stack internal communications, from recognition programs to intranet creation. In her career, she has planned various events and ran marketing for startups and nonprofits alike. 
Danyelle finished her BSc in mass communication from St. Cloud State University. She is currently on an international tour, visiting tech hubs around the world and providing consultations to startups of all sizes. In her free time, Danyelle enjoys calligraphy, volunteering with dogs, and traveling the world with her husband.

Enis Hulli
500 Startups, Turkey Linkedin profile

Enis Hulli is a Venture Partner at 500 Startups. 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.

Letitia Seglah
Startup Manufactory, UK Linkedin profile

Letitia Seglah is an independent consultant providing business management services to clients, including the European Commission, the European Court of Auditors, the Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and others. She is active in devising and executing programmes for corporate innovation through the procurement and engagement of innovation into financial institutions and digital transformation. She’s working with RegTech and FinTech firms, small and medium-sized enterprises on scale-up programmes and strategic alliance initiatives. She is also actively working with startups, both as the COO at Startup Manufactory and at Black Star Gold Ltd, as well as trainer and mentor at Startupbootcamp FinTech.
Listed on the Innovate Finance Women in Fintech 2017 Powerlist, Letitia is an advocate for institutional adoption and engagement of FinTech and RegTech, both emergent as well as disruptive innovation. Prior to becoming an independent consultant, Letitia spent her career in equity research, credit risk and regulatory compliance.

She did her bachelor studies in International Business and Economics at the University of Westminster, and her master studies in Finance at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Her extensive list of experience includes the fields of corporate innovation, RegTech and FinTech, as well as agile project management, business process optimisation and technology implementation.

Rune Theill
Rockstart, Netherlands Linkedin profile

Rune Theill is experienced entrepreneur passionate about building startup ecosystems with more than eight years of experience in startup scene. He is experienced in creating accelerator programs and mentor-based programs and loves to support other entrepreneurs to succeed.
He is the co-founder and CEO of Rockstart, a global startup accelerator that supports and empowers the best startups on their way to success. Rockstart has accelerated over 150 startups, which have raised a total of over €87 million and generated more than 700 jobs. Rockstart will be closing its first fund of €15 million for its AgriFood domain accelerator and fund. Notably, Vaekstfonden from Denmark and De Hoge Dennen Capital from the Netherlands are confirmed as cornerstone investors of Rockstart AgriFood fund. Besides launching a couple of startups, Rune also took an active role in the Danish Startup Ecosystem working for Startupbootcamp and Venture Cup. 
Rune was also the Winner of the Dutch Startup Award as the Best Investor in 2012 and 2013. Additionally, he has expertise within business strategy, business development, entrepreneurship, startups, team leadership, marketing, venture capital and much more.

Cristobal Alonso
Startup Wise Guys, Baltics Linkedin profile

The ultimate "make-it-happen" person, Cristobal Alonso is a serial entrepreneur and the Global CEO of Startup Wise Guys – Europe’s leading B2B accelerator and one of the most active early-stage investment companies in the Nordics & Baltics. Cristobal’s unique background combines extensive CxO experience in different mobile operators in Europe with advisory and CEO roles in multiple startups.

As an entrepreneur today he sits at the board of a number of promising startups, including the leading Africa’s social Marketplace (MoboFree) and one of the most promising e-commerce start-ups in Europe (Selffy). In the past he also co-founded mmCHANNEL, a mobile application start-up, where he was the interim CEO and led the negotiations for a €2M round of VC funding. All this has enabled him to gain insight into team management, corporate innovation, (corporate) accelerators, investability, trends in the CEE startup scene, and the ins and outs of networking. Cristobal has a degree in business administration and an MBA by INSEAD, the world’s leading business school.
His wide-ranging list of skills includes corporate planning and strategy, transformation and turnaround efforts across different countries and cultures, mobile operators, and the technology, media and telecom (TMT) sector.

Anuj Adhiya
The Predictive Index, USA Linkedin profile

Anuj Adhiya is experienced growth marketer. He is professional in extracting growth insights from qualitative and quantitative data, continuousimprovement and community engagement.
Anuj is Category Growth Lead at The Predictive Index, talent optimisation platform, used by IBM, VMware, Husquarna. Before this position, he was the Director of Engagement and Analytics at GrowthHackers where he was responsible for growing their community and he was also the data analyst in their growth team. 
Additionally, he is a Growth Mentor at Seedstars where he is mentoring ventures in developing economies. He is also Marketing Specialist at Harvard Innovation Labs. At both organisations he coaches startups in order to find out their best growth opportunities and manage early growth challenges. Furthermore, Anuj is also an advisor at The mmj.org Initiative and ioVita as well as he is a co-founder at PlanitWide Inc., the company that offersa faster and smarter way to search for the best travel websites, books and apps

Maurizio Rossi
H-FARM, Italy Linkedin profile

Curiosity driven dreamer and always a keen observer, Maurizio Rossi likes to travel to understand people's lifestyles and their local traditions. He's fascinated how technologies impact our daily life and their influence in the lifestyle and thanks to his dynamic personality he has developed an important network of international connections.

Pioneer in the startup business and Venture Capital in Italy, Maurizio is cofounder and CoCEO of H-FARM Ventures, a global innovation hub on the outskirts of Venice. Maurizio has over 8 years of experience in H-FARM Ventures and over 50 investments in digital startups. -FARM is renowned provider of open innovation project, cooperating with Generali, Deutsche Bank, Cisco and other companies. They also invested some €27 million euros in 120 startups, that had seven exits, which has helped them recoup their investment.

Maurizio has rich experience in luxury goods and sportswear industries, some involving acquisitions by global leaders such as LVMH fashion holding and other majors sport brands, as well in newspaper publishing.

If in the past Maurizio managed to distinguish himself in the world of sports as a champion in offshore racing, today Maurizio is committed to running after his 4 children and more than 350 startuppers.

Bret Siarkowski
MedScience Ventures, USA Linkedin profile

Bret Siarkowski is a founder of MedScience Ventures (MSV), collaborating with Boston Unversity, Ecole polytechnique federale de Lausanne, Harvard Medical School, Imperial College London, Massachusetts Institute of Technology - MIT, Zhongguancun Science Park. He is also a Member of the General Partner with a rich background as an investor, (co-)founder, board member and CTO in the entrepreneurial environment, especially healthcare. Bret is also a Limited Partner at Kodiak Venture Partners, an angel investor, and serves on the board of advisors for several technology companies. He is a seasoned entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience initiating and leading technology companies in the design and application of innovative market-demanded solutions, as well as creating new markets. His extensive experience spans the mobile, gaming, healthcare, software, semiconductor and electronics industries.

Mr. Siarkowski holds a BSEE from Northeastern University in Boston, MA and an MSEE from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, CA. He is also the holder of several patents that cover both software and hardware industries. His extensive list of skills includes product management, business development, strategic planning, healthcare information technology and others.

Mela Chu
BLCKSWN, Germany Linkedin profile

An innovation evangelist, design thinker, Mela Chu is the founder and CEO of the Innovation Consulting BLCKSWN, focused on design thinking and working with clients like Audi, ARAG, Sparkasse Versicherung, Autodesk, Handelsblatt. She believes that empathy is one of the core resource in business and society, so her work is human-centered, striving to bring more humanity into business. She teaches Design Thinking / Creative Leadership and Digital Transformation at the higher education institutes Rheinische Fachhochschule Köln and Hochschule Fresenius.

She was previously a successful businesswoman in the fashion industry and is to this day the owner of the Chu gallery in Cologne. Her extensive experience lies in innovation and implementing creativity as the key to the future of permanent change.

Alexis Kopikis
Alexify.co, USA Linkedin profile

Serial founder and investor, we could say. Alexis Kopikis has spent 20+ years founding and investing in technology startups building human-centered products.  He has founded four startups Sync Project (acq. Bose), Krush, Convoq, WorldStreet (acq. Thomson), three creative startup studios Vox Studio, Ubuntu Labs and Propel, two branding agencies Alexify and Frank, and helped create two investment platforms (PureTech (LON:PRTC) and Cambridge Innovations.

In addition, Alexis has helped dozens of companies craft and deploy the strategic stories to launch their brand and products. He received an M.A. from the Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, San Diego. Alexis is a brand storyteller and a product management master who loves startups and entrepreneurship but also has extensive skills in business development. He is also an ardent supporter of efforts to find a cure and treatment for Fragile X and Autism.

Marco Trombetti
Pi Campus, Italy Linkedin profile

Marco Trombetti is a serial entrepreneur and investor, who has more than 40 investments in Europe and US in his portfolio. He is a founder and CEO of Translated, one of the first Internet-based translation service providers that has been selected as one of the 50 fastest-growing European tech companies and is one of the most innovative and successful online translation companies in the world. Translated’s services, backed by AI technologies, have been adopted by many leading global companies and fast-growing businesses.
Additionally, Marco is a founder and CEO of Pi Campus in Rome, a startup district and a venture fund that helps and supports young entrepreneurs around the world to start with their own business. He invests in seed-stage technology ventures through Pi Campus, where applied AI is their core investment focus. He also shares his rich knowledge to young entrepreneurs at Pi School.

Besides, he created other successful e-businesses such as WebChatWorld, where WebChatWorld Ads management was later acquired by Doubleclick (now part of Google). In recent years, Marco has created an exciting internet search technology for images, which he has sold to a well-known IT company. He also co-founded Memopal, a cloud storage company. Marco is an innovator always looking to find out and deliver the best solutions.
In his book “The New Prince” he reveals counterintuitive lessons he's learned by building startups to encourage young entrepreneurs to do great things that contribute to improving their communities and our planet.

On PODIM Marco will advise how to be not better but different from California!

Henry Hwong
Cunningham Collective, USA Linkedin profile

Henry Hwong is an experienced marketing and product management executive focused on helping companies build and launch disruptive innovations. Henry is currently a Principal at Cunningham Collective, where he has led several brand strategy and marketing engagements for clients in artificial intelligence, virtual reality, consumer technology, enterprise solutions, IoT, video, food tech, eCommerce, and semiconductors. Prior to joining Cunningham Collective, he led product marketing at Deem and Ariba, was the Vice President of Marketing at Provade as well as held product management roles at Elance and PeopleSoft, and managed strategic alliances at Moai Technologies.

Henry has a BS in Electrical Engineering from Rice University, an MS in Computer Engineering from the University of Southern California, and an MBA from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. With now over two decades of experience in technology and consulting for venture-backed startups and public companies, he has strong operational experience in both large enterprises and startup teams. Henry is a thought leader in the constantly evolving nature of product marketing and development, and knows how to leverage the latest tools and technologies to deliver successful products and services.

Joshua Reola
Cisco Webex Innovation, Norway Linkedin profile

Joshua Reola is Top Cisco Achiever with a strong record of business and technical excellence and extensive experience in various telecommunications fields he gained through various IT positions. He is a Business Development Manager at Cisco Webex Innovation, where besides many other tasks he also co-founded Cisco Webex, the internal startup program, and additionally works as a Startup Mentor. 

For several years, he was a System Engineer at Cisco Systems with a focus on unified communications with a specialty with telecommunication API's. He has background in VoIP, Telepresence, Sales Security, Wireless IP Routing, Contact Center, Web Conferencing, Instant Messaging…
Besides this, he is also entrepreneurial soul. He is co-founder and CTO of LiberWave, which developed the world's first app to buy and sell used textbooks and class notes, “The Uber of College Textbooks”, according to Eagle.
His main achievement is a talking “Tom Tom” he created together with his team, which provided real time location base traffic information while driving(TIPS - Traffic Information Positioning System). Additionally, he programed and demo’ed Cisco technologies similar to YouTube, Skype and Moodle.

Dr. Ulrich Kleipaß
Roland & Berger, Germany Linkedin profile

Dr. Ulrich Kleipaß is a principal at Roland Berger, a global strategy consulting firm. He is an innovative thinker with a proven ability to quickly analyze key business drivers and implement strategies to grow bottom-line. He is former head of Innovation at ERGO Group AG and former Head of Customer Performance at Allianz and has more than 10 years of consulting experience and 6 years of insurance experience..
Ulrich has a doctorate in economics and was the chair of marketing at ESCP Europe. He also has an MA in Corporate Strategy & Governance from University of Nottingham, a BA in International Business and Management Studies from Hogeschool van Arnhem en Nijmegen, and a BA in Business Studies from De Montfort University. His extensive list of experience includes insurance, fintech, insurtech, innovation, business development and technology management.

Stephan Schambach
NewStore, USA Linkedin profile

Stephan Schambach is an investor and a serial entrepreneur and pioneer of E-Commerce, who built several companies. He has been changing the commerce world since 1992, from founding Intershop by invented eCommerce by building the first standard software for online shoppingto putting retail in the cloud with the founding of Demandware with the first cloud-based ecommerce service. Salesforce bought Demandware for $2.8B, which brought Stephan €220M.

As Founder and CEO of NewStore, Stephan is changing the market once again. As the future of retail shifts to mobile, his most recent venture transforms brick and mortar shopping into app-powered, digitally connected retail experiences. After winning numerous awards around the world for his technology and entrepreneurial leadership, he published his first book Makeover: How Mobile Flipped the Shopping Cart
Additionally, as a sailing enthusiast, Stephan built one of the first hybrid electric sailing catamarans. He founded the company "Moonwave Systems", which was sold to Torqeedo where Stephan became the lead investor.

Nejc Škoberne
Cone-headed Cat, UK Linkedin profile

Nejc Škoberne is a T-shaped growth and product leader with a focus on Data Analytics, Product Management and Performance Marketing with experience as growth marketing & product lead at Uber and as head of performance marketing and customer-relationship management at Coinbase, a secure digital currency exchange. He is also the cofounder and CEO of personal growth agency Cone-headed Cat who works with WooCommerce, Google AdWords, Bing, Scrunm.org, Microsoft... Besides Uber, Nejc previously headed growth marketing at Honest Brew as well as was a partnerships and affiliates manager at Transferwise.

He believes in scalability, incrementality, attribution, virality and cannibalisation, and is convinced that every performance/growth marketer should know how to code. He has 25+ product, Scrum and marketing certifications, has held 10+ keynote presentations and was voted as one of the Top 250 Global Growth Hackers. In his free time, he likes to build and manage affiliate websites.

Nuno Gonçalves Pedro
Grishin Robotics and Strive Capital, USA Linkedin profile

Nuno Gonçalves Pedro is a co-founder and managing partner of Strive Capital, an early-stage venture firm that backed Keepsafe and App Annie, among others. He has also invested as an angel for a dozen years. Additionally, he is Venture Partner at Grishin Robotics, providing full time leadership to the existing Grishin Robotics fund. Grishin Robotics raised $100 million for its second fund in 2016. Growth strategist and operator: extensive experience in strategy and getting things done in the form of deals, playbooks, processes and products.

He was also a partner with Delta Partners Group, leading its Investment Banking and Investment units in the US. Strive was the first early stage "quantitative" early-stage fund in Silicon Valley, deriving most of its deal flow from its own analytics engine and investing globally, including in China and Japan. Recently, he has focused on investing in start-ups that leverage blockchain and/or AI in unique ways. Nuno has been a Director on a variety of for-profit and non-profit Boards, and has more recently been heavily involved in several ICOs (AppCoin, LGBT, among others).

Prior to this, he was a senior leader with McKinsey in Asia-Pacific, while based in Beijing. He was also the head of Strategy, Corporate and Business Development for the GSM Association, the leading mobile player, which he helped transform from a small organization into the case-study of trade association transformation.

He has a unique 20+ year track record in the Telecom, Tech and Digital spaces, which includes expertise in strategy, product, business development/partnerships, corporate development (M&A and investments) and the general management/business building of organizations and business units. He has led teams from several hundred people to small empowered SWAT teams of 3-4 that have produced billion USD impact in industries (e.g. Telecom), companies and non-profits.
Finally, he is also a prolific angel investor, advisor/advisory board member and board director that has served in several companies in all possible roles – executive, investor and independent. He has a degree in Computer Engineering from IST, one of the top Engineering Schools in Europe, and is a postgraduate from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, Wharton School, as well as the London Business School.

Tristan Pollock
500 Startups, USA Linkedin profile

An entrepreneur and investor, Tristan Pollock, has started and sold two companies, SocialEarth and Storefront. The first he bootstrapped. The second he raised $10M in venture capital for and grew to be the de facto marketplace for retail space. Storefront has since worked with many brands, including Nike and Kanye West, and has been hailed as the Airbnb for Retail by The New York Times.

After exiting Storefront, Tristan joined 500 Startups as a venture partner, where he has by now awarded $30M in funding to over 220 startups. He recently also cofounded Shisharka Skunk Works to develop new projects.
Tristan holds a BSc in business administration, management and operations from North Dakota State University. He has been named Forbes 30 Under 30 for his work, created street art for a TEDx talk on creative cities, cameoed in NBC Universal's Bazillion Dollar Club, and crafted the most read Best Buy email of all time reaching over 23 million customers. Today, he is traveling the world with his wife supporting global accelerator programs and startup ecosystems

Lisa Kuttner
WhataVenture, Austria Linkedin profile

Lisa Kuttner is innovation expert and a senior project manager at WhataVenturewith rich background in entrepreneurship and innovation and know-how on how to set up successful innovation teams. She sets up successful innovation teams and guides them through intrapreneurship and acceleration programs. Over the past few years, she has coached startups on early stage validation, business modelling, and market entry. Lisa is eager to see each project succeed, and she drives teams to always give their best. 
She has a bachelor’s degree in international marketing and sales from the Fachhochschule Wiener Neustadt, and a master’s degree in product marketing and innovation management from the Austrian Marketing University of Applied Sciences. Her areas of expertise include innovation, marketing, and entrepreneurship.

Ivo Remmelg
EstBAN, Estonia Linkedin profile

Ivo Remmelg is a serial entrepreneur, active venture partner, business angel, mentor, advisor and partner in many companies as well as experienced lecturer of Innovation Management, Entrepreneurship and Collective Behaviours with experiences in successful startups, mergers, acquisitions and exits. He has done a double-whammy many of us can only dream of - he sold his telecom software provider Telegrupp AS in 2002 and then bought it back at a discount in 2005.

Currently, he is the President and Management Board Member of EstBAN, Estonian Businees Angels Network, CEO at Payste Group Ltd, partner and founder at Romivo.com, which is a non-public investment syndicate with minimised risks. Additionally, he is also a Venture Partner at Superhero Capital, looking for Superheros, startups from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. As a mentor at Tallinn Science Park Tehnopol he enjoys to share his knowledge and experience with startups in Tallinn Tehnopol, helping them to become success stories..
Recently, he published a book "Kes on toeline juht?" (only in Estonian language) in which he reveals the secrets, how he earned his millions and became among 300 richest in Estonia. He has very wide range of skills from Start-ups, Telecommunications, Business Strategy, Business Development, Product Management, Management, Go-to-market strategy and many more.

Krisztina Toth
EMG Group, Hungary Linkedin profile

Krisztina Toth is the President and Co-Founder of the Startup Europe Central and Eastern Europe and Western Balkans Network (https://startupeurope.network/) and the Director of Corporate Affairs of Europa Media Group (https://emg.group/ ), the Hungarian founding member of the Network. The Network that represents seven countries from Central and Eastern Europe and six countries from the Western Balkans was established under the patronage of Startup Europe, aim at creating connections between key startup players, promoting entrepreneurial culture and leading the Central and Eastern European and Western Balkan regions toward success.
Krisztina has almost 10 years of experience in developing and managing EU-funded projects under Horizon 2020, FP7, CIP-IEE programmes with a specific focus on international cooperation, innovation management, SME and startup support, youth entrepreneurship. Krisztina is leading the startup activities at EMG Group and supporting the improvement of the Hungarian startup ecosystem as Startup Europe Ambassador. Currently, she is coordinating the Horizon 2020 project MY-GATEWAY which aims at boosting entrepreneurship in Central and Eastern Europe. Krisztina has experience in EC tenders. She has been an evaluator to the European Commission. Her main area of interest is supporting the future generation of innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders by building businesses, connecting and engaging people and creating new and innovative ideas.

Štepan Kaiser
Revolgy, Czech Republic Linkedin profile

Štěpán Kaiser is a Cloud-native enthusiast, specialising in Cloud Operations, and Google Maps Projects. He has more than 2 years of experience with Google Cloud Platform and Amazon Web Services and 5 years of experience with Google Maps.
Currently, he works as a Cloud Native Team Leader and a Business Development Manager at Revolgy.
He deals with sales and specification of the scope of projects. Revolgy is an independent expert in cloud technologies, a certified Google Cloud Premier Partner, Google Cloud Infrastructure Partner and Amazon Web Services Partner, helping businesses grow and function with more efficiency by using the cloud. So far they have helped more than 1,500 businesses in 15 European countries to leverage the full potential of modern technologies to cut costs, simplify processes, save time, and improve employees' working experience. 

Mariano Kostelec
UniPlaces, Spain Linkedin profile

Mariano Kostelec is a young and ambitious entrepreneur and a global citizen who has lived in 10 different countries so far. He is the co-founder and CCO of Uniplaces.com, the international portal for student accommodation that has so far raised over € 27M in funding. Over the past few years, Mariano has worked for leading investments banks, including UBS, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, and several fast-growing startups. He led the international expansion of Groupon and Wimdu in Asia.

He has a BSc in Computer Science with Management from King’s College London and has recently completed the Oxford Fintech Programme at the Said Business School. He is a member of the Entrepreneur Organization and the Sandbox Network, the global community of hand-picked young achievers and innovators under 30. Mariano’s extensive list of skills includes operations, marketing, international expansion and fintech.

Krzysztof Gawrysiak
MIT Enterprise Forum, Poland Linkedin profile

A serial entrepreneur and startup investor, Krzysztof co-founded Cyber Armadillo Inc., a company envisioning a new approach to enterprise security solutions. He is also a board member at the Valuetech Seed Fund, co-founder of the MIT Enterprise Forum Poland, and a startup competition judge of the Inter Global Challenge.
Krzysztof is a member of several business angel networks and has several companies in his portfolio. He also won the “Deal of the Year” prize granted by the European Business Angels Network (EBAN).
He has an MA in Law from the University of Warsaw and completed the executive management program with tech transfer specialization at Stanford University. Besides investing into startups, he also mentors and coaches them.

Mark Durno
Rockstart, Netherlands Linkedin profile

Mark Durno is an entrepreneur with a focus on the agrifood industry, being passionate about startups, entrepreneurship and agriculture. Currently, he is Director of AgriFood at Rockstart, supporting Agritech & Foodtech startups, driving sustainable and commercial solutions in food and agriculture, supporting and developing companies and investments with sustainable consumption at the core. Rockstart is an international company that supports and empowers the best startups on their way to success across four domains: Energy, Health, AgriFood, and Emerging technologies and has invested in more than 150 startups and supported them in their journey to raise more than €69 million and hired more than 700 people.
Mark grew up farming 350 ha of mixed production in Scotland. As a member of the startup team of UrbanFarmers, he was responsible for expanding UrbanFarmers AG activities in the Benelux area and Northern Europe, raising multiple financing rounds. He is also a qualified (Scottish) lawyer with both domestic and international experience.

Žiga Drev
OriginTrail, Slovenia Linkedin profile

Žiga Drev is a co-Founder and COO of OriginTrail, a blockchain company developing the application that brings transparency to complex international supply chains and enables seamless data sharing along any supply chain. Decentralized, blockchain-supported network ensures trust, transparency, and security and delivers verifiable supply chain traceability and product authenticity for consumer product brands.
Žiga is an authority on using the blockchain technology and GS1 standards for data integrity in global supply chains. He is heading the operations in Asia where he established the partnership with Bits x Bites foodtech accelerator. The project with Yimishiji Chinese online organic food marketplace received the Innovation Spark 2017 Award from the Walmart Food Safety Collaboration Center in Beijing.
He frequently speaks at international conferences and events and also advises blockchain startups within the Blockchain for Social Impact Coalition.

Stefan Perkmann Berger
WhataVenture, Austria Linkedin profile

Stefan Perkmann Berger is the cofounder and managing partner at WhatAVenture, an innovation consultancy that combines corporate power with startup agility. WhataVenture has reach experience in building and running open innovation programs and initiatives across Europe for renowned corporates like DHL, Deutsche Post, Kapsch, Deutsche Bahn and many others.

He is also a board member at the Karanobin innovation group, and university lecturer at the MCI Management Center Innsbruck. Stefan has a strong research background in the field of open innovation and has been running many initiatives in the startup scene.

He is well-informed in both the corporate and startup worlds, which helps him bring ideas to success, and he strongly believes in the positive synergies between startups and established companies. He loves to support technologies that make the world a better place. He has a doctorate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation from the Vienna University of Economics and Business. His areas of expertise include innovation management, entrepreneurship, and strategy.

Florian Kandler
GetFunding.how, Austria Linkedin profile

Florian Kandler is an experienced entrepreneur, startup mentor and 3-time founder from Vienna. He is a fundraising expert who helps European startup founders to build fundable startups and find the right investors.

On GetFunding.how, in his Startup Podcast, and in his Fundraising Masterclass he shares his 10 years of experience of starting 3 companies, two of which closed 3 funding rounds in total of over €3.000.000 of venture capital with VCs and Angels in Europe and the USA.

Additionally, he supports startups as a Publisher and Editor in Chief of Startup Report that aims to spread the knowledge and inspiration from successful founders to the ecosystem.

Last year he also helped de-mystify the ICO-hype by hosting the 1st Global Crypto Online Summit.

Stefan Holzer
Independent innovation consultant, Austria Linkedin profile

Stefan Holzer has 20 years of experience in developing digital products and innovation management, and more than 10 years in leading management positions in agile organizations and after being Head of Innovation and Chief Product Owner at Hutchison Drei Austria, a telecommunications company based in Vienna, he is now an independent innovation consultant.

He currently focusses on Corporate Entrepreneurship programs, making large organizations more agile/innovative as well as maximizing impact on innovation activities.

Stefan likes building things, from teams and products to new markets. His expertise includes innovation management, IT, product marketing, growth management, and agile and organizational development, all of which helps him get a broader perspective. He is a strong lateral thinker who believes that the best outcome happens when a strong analytical mindset is paired with a bit of creative craziness. He studied Computer Science and Music in Vienna.

Alexandre Massart
Blend Ventures, UK Linkedin profile

Alexandre Massart is a renowned investor who currently runs Blend Ventures, Ltd, a consulting and advisory company for early-stage and established companies in the technology, fintech, payment and Internet segments. He is also an active Angel Investor in several tech startups EU/USA – payment, technology and blockchain.
As Director of Corporate Ventures and Strategic Partnerships, Visa Inc., and Innovation and Corporate Ventures Advisor at Visa Europe, Alexandre led and executed Visa Europe’s first corporate venture investment, ran mobile venture capital investments and strategic partnerships to strengthen Visa’s leadership in mobile, authentication, loyalty and contactless payments. Prior to this, as Director of Product Innovation and Business Development at Visa Inc., Alexandre built the mobile payment business in Latin America, a $15b opportunity to Visa. Together with his team he launched the first mobile top-up payment program.
Before that, he was responsible for building and launching UBS’s first mobile app offering real time financial market data and transaction capabilities.
Alexandre is also an entrepreneur and was co-founder and VP Products of Viarua, Ltd., a crowdfunding startup offering funding to cultural projects utilizing both direct funding and funding through underutilized tax incentives, as well as co-founder at Msystem AG, a Swiss startup in computer networks. His expertise lies in international strategic business development, deal making - Venture capital investments and strategic partnerships, new product development and implementation, strategic business planning.

Francesco Ferrero
European Investment Bank, Slovenia Linkedin profile

Francesco Ferrero is Head of EIB Group Office for Slovenia at European Investment Bank, where he is responsible for country management for EIB operations in Slovenia. He has been working for the EIB in the Luxembourg headquarters since 2013, where he has covered roles in the Risk Management area as well as in the Lending team in the Adriatic Sea Department of the Bank.
Prior to working for the EIB, he also held positions in the private sector with financial institutions based in Frankfurt (Deutsche Pfandbriefbank) and in Dublin (Depha Bank), as a portfolio manager and earlier as a credit risk analyst specialising in the areas of infrastructure, utilities and the public sector.
He is skilled in portfolio management, financial anaylsis, credit, structured finance, credit risk, credit analysis, investment banking, corporate finance and others.

Živana Žerjal
She's Well, USA Linkedin profile

Živana Žerjal is experienced Co-founder with a demonstrated history of working in the health and wellness tech. She is skilled in IT Strategy, Mobile Product Development, Management, Strategic Planning, Technology Product and Development. She is strong business development professional graduated from 500 Startups Batch'22.
She is a Co-founder at She's Well, a company that provides services to help women and couples to preserve their fertility and have childrenwhen they’re ready. Prior to this, she was a co-founder of many other business ideas, like Elyse 28, an AI powered health coaching platform for chronic disease prevention, U2G, an independent design and development agency specialized in mobile and web development, where she was a Co-founder and CEO. Additionally, she was also a Co-founder and CEO at Sportwip, an enterprise well-being platform that allowed companies to reward top performers with memorable, meaningful experiences, including yoga, skydiving, spa treatments and more.

Tanja Sternbauer
Female Founders Global, Austria Linkedin profile

Tanja Sternbauer is very active in the startup scene. She has international working experience and is passionate about the CEE startup scene, networking, personal development and digital trends.
As the Managing Partner of Startup Live, the leading European Acceleration Program and one of the largest startup communities worldwide, Tanja is responsible for helping founders implement their business ideas and connect them internationally with relevant players.

In order to raise more awareness among women to the topic of entrepreneurship and to connect female entrepreneurs, Tanja co-founded the initiative Female Founders Global where she is also a Board Member. Additionaly, she is also an active mentor for startups and a speaker for entrepreneurship and diversity topics on an international level. She is also an Ambassador at Central European Startup Awards and Women Startup Competition.
Before her work for the European startup ecosystem, she started her own startup HeyBeauty, a scheduling tool for beauty appointments.

Itamar Lesuisse
Argent, United Kingdom Linkedin profile

Itamar Lesuisse is entrepreneurial and international senior manager with strong experience developing blockchain, eCommerce, web and mobile services with extensive strategic background. Currently, he is a co-founder and CEO at Argent Labs, backed by Index Ventures and Creandum, a startup that focuses on providing safe and easy access to decentralised apps, enabling global, transparent and accessible financial and consumer services.
Prior to Argent, Itamar worked at Boston Consulting Group as a consultant, at Visa as senior manager of e-commerce products and at Amazon where he gained strong web product management experience, and founded Peak, the leading mobile brain training service with more than 50 million users and 500 thousand subscribers, sold to Lagardere SCA in 2016.

Itamar has a Master’s degree in Electronic Engineering from Université libre de Bruxelles and the University of Ottawa. His extensive list of experience includes blockchain, product development, customer acquisition, and strategy.

Francois Marmion
Manao, United Kingdom Linkedin profile

Francois Marmion is managing director and startup advisor at Manao, an independent boutique advisory firm in London, which wishes to help bridge the gap between entrepreneurs and investors. Francois has more than two decades of experience in investment, entrepreneurship and consulting. Having worked as both the CEO of start-ups and as an investor, he understands both sides.

On the one hand, he helps entrepreneurs in structuring, growing and financing their project, from strategy clarification, business plans, pitches and differentiation, mentoring, project management, go-to-market strategy, fund raising. On the other hand, he helps investors in pre-investment activities (sourcing, assessing projects) and post-investment: entrepreneur mentoring, pivoting, project management, part-time management, business plan reviews, controlling.
Alongside his mentoring activities, Francois is also a lecturer in business schools, teaching Future Studies, Entrepreneurship and Strategy at several university campuses in London (Dauphine, INSEEC). He completed an MA in Finance and Marketing at Université Paris Dauphine. His extensive list of experience includes the industries of telecommunications, internet, e-commerce, IoT, SaaS, education, airlines, tourism, manufacturing, and services.

Andrej Mertelj
Datalab, Slovenia

Andrej Mertelj is a serial entrepreneur with a passion for information technology. He has almost thirty years of experience in informatics and almost as much also in entrepreneurship, which gives him a unique combination of information and business knowledge.

He is the Chairman of the Management Board and non-executive director of Datalab, the company dealing with development of business software, consulting and professional training. Currently, he is building cloud services for small and medium-sized enterprises. Additionally, Andrej is also the President of the Association of Slovenian Manufacturers of Software KODA.SI, he was also the President of the Association for Informatics and Telecommunications at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia and a member of several standardization bodies.
He also worked as a consultant with several governments when introducing the Euro, value added tax and fiscal cash register. He often participates as a mentor at startup events and entrepreneurial workshops.

Daniel Cronin
AustrianStartups, Austria Linkedin profile

Daniel Cronin is a marketing enthusiast, speaker and entrepreneur. Since 2013, he has been co-founder and board member of austrianstartups.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 2 Minuten, 2 Millionen – 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 several years now. 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.

Matt Kuppers
Startup Manufactory, UK Linkedin profile

Matt Kuppers is the founder and CEO of Startup Manufactory, a consultancy with a focus on startup consulting, entrepreneurship training and startup ecosystem development. Since joining the startup industry in 2008, he launched new businesses, taught entrepreneurship, and advised governmental organisations across the EU. He is a private sector development consultant with 11 years of experience.

Matt is currently also an Independent Expert to the European Commission, an External Entrepreneurship Expert at the European Institute of Innovation and Technology, and consults the London School of Economics on entrepreneurship education. He is a renowned speaker who has spoken at 50+ global conferences and events on the topics of innovation, entrepreneurship, EU-level initiatives and policies.

He believes that entrepreneurship leads to peace, economic stability, and prosperity and therefore promotes entrepreneurship actively. Matt certified in science entrepreneurship at the University of Oxford and trained at a Military Academy. His extensive list of experience includes the areas of startups, venture capital, consulting, and public tenders.

Jonas Schneider
Startup Alm, Germany Linkedin profile

Jonas Schneider is a trainer, moderator and startup enthusiast, wishing to encourage startup innovation in the corporate world. As a member of Ex-AVL's Startup Initiative Creators Expedition, which is aiming to make an impact on automotive and mobility industries, he gained extensive experience in operational management, including the definition and maintenance of the startup programme and content, the community and startup network management, representation on events, and scouting activities.

He is also the cofounder of Startup Alm, an organization offering companies inspirational offsite locations for team development, team events, team meetings and workshops in the mountains. Jonas has a BSc in Business Information Technology from the Duale Hochschule Baden-Württemberg and a Bachelor of Honours from The Open University.

Toni Balažič
Panvita, Slovenia Linkedin profile

CEO of Panvita, Toni Balažič, is an experienced manager with rich leadership experience gained through the years of leading some of large Slovenian companies. As a Chairman of the Management Board, he headed the companies Fructal, Žito and Mercator.

Prior to that, he began his successful business career in the field of public relations at Spem d.o.o. as a director of projects and development. He continued his professional career as a marketing director at Petrol, and after that joined the internationally renowned advisory company A. T. Kearney, where he was a consultant in the field of energy and consumer goods as well as responsible for marketing in the South Eastern Europe.

As a speaker, he actively participates at conferences and business meetings. His rich experience includes strategic business, business planning, management, strategic marketing, marketing, communication, new business development.
He is very skilled in business strategy, business planning, management, marketing strategy, marketing management, marketing communications and new business development.

Maja Tomanič Vidovič
Slovene Enterprise 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 connected with the promotion of entrepreneurship, among others she was leading the sector for promotion of entrepreneurship.

In 2002, she became the assistant of the director of the Slovene Enterprise Fund and since 2007 she has been its director.

She has numerous domestic and foreign experiences in financial management of SMEs, 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.

Francois Mazoudier
TMRW, UK Linkedin profile

Francois Mazoudier has been in the Tech industry for all his life. As a Founder & Chairman of TMRW (“tomorrow”), south London’s epicentre for Tech, as well as seasoned entrepreneur he uses his practical business-building experience, industry knowledge and contacts to help the next generation of start-up talent. He runs also Tech Leaders Capital, a global, co-investment club for Tech CEOs with outstanding careers and track records. 
He has more than 20 years of experiencebuilding TMT companies and early stage Venture Capital. Francois is specialist in fast-scaling TMT into International markets, who helped grow 8 tech businesses and experienced the thrill of two startup-to-IPO successes and the hell of one company going bankrupt. Previous companies include Central Point Software (now Symantec), PictureTel (now Polycom), RealNetworks, The Cloud Networks (Wifi operator, now SKY).
Hehas a network of  more than 200 investors globally and is a small private investor himself. If you want unbeatable business advice, pick his brain.

Jasmina Henniova
Pioneers.io, Austria Linkedin profile

Jasmina Henninova is result-driven professional and is especially passionate about deep tech startups, mainly MedTech and BioTech. Her areas of expertise are HealthTech, BioTech, AgTech, Startup-Driven Innovation, Sustainable Development, Workshop Design and Moderation, Non-Formal Education and Intercultural Communication.
Currently, she is leading startup and community activities as a Head of Startups & Community Partnerships at Pioneers, creating collaboration opportunities for global tech innovators. She is working closely with Pioneers Ventures and other VCs worldwide and is building strategic partnerships with other investors, accelerators and ecosystem players worldwide. She is very well connected in the international startup scene and knows what is important to present a company in the right way and to catch attention. 
Besides, she is a Jury Board Member at Global Startup Awards. She has also many years of experience designing and facilitating interactive trainings and workshops at ASF Intercultural Programs, organizing events, coaching and mentoring students, marketing and PR.

Dr. Guenther Dobrauz
PwC Legal, Switzerland Linkedin profile

Passionate about translating legal into business, dr. Guenther Dobrauz is a lawyer, VC investor, disruption disciple, author, and an exponential technologies enthusiast. A Partner at PwC Zurich and Leader of PwC Legal Switzerland, he and his team are building the law firm of the future. Every day. Prior to this he was a successful Venture Capitalist, served as in-house counsel at an international hedge fund and practised in court and with a leading business law firm. Guenther holds a PhD in law from Johannes Kepler University (Austria), an MBA from the University of Strathclyde (Scotland) and has completed an Executive Education Program at Harvard Business School. He is the author of three books on innovation and disruption and of five books on European, Swiss and Liechtenstein regulation. He also wrote 100+ publications in international expert magazines and has to date spoken at more than 200 conferences worldwide.
He is one of the leading specialists on European banking, investment, and blockchain/crypto law, specializing in supporting the structuring, authorization and ongoing lifecycle management of financial intermediaries and their products. He strongly focuses on LegalTech, RegTech and the blockchain space. In his free time, Guenther is passionate about innovation, entrepreneurship, rock music, custom bratstyle motorcycles, obstacle course racing and vinyl records.

Grega Potokar
ABC Accelerator, Slovenia Linkedin profile

Grega Potokar is a co-founder and CBO at ABC Accelerator, the largest private accelerator in South Eastern Europe that helps startups and new businesses to grow globally by offering mentorship, training sessions, investments and office places. 
Additionally, he has also experience entering new markets and has wide international network. He was also a co-founder of ABC Venture Gates in Germany, bringing SMEs and Startups to the German market.
Being passionate about business development in startups, he is looking for the best startups and helping them grow and expand all over the world. Experienced startup manager and startup mentor is extra skilled in business development, business planning, business strategy, team management and management. He enjoys to share his experience to provide support to startups

Stoyan Yankov
Productivity & Performance Strategist, Denmark Linkedin profile

Stoyan Yankov is a productivity and performance strategist and keynote speaker. He builds up teams through workshops, trainings, 1:1 consulting and coaching sessions, but also delivers inspirational keynotes, motivational speeches and workshops globally. He helps people to grow in business and life, and inspires teams to get the most out of their valuable time.
Stoyan is the co-founder and managing director at Samodiva Masterminds, and a Productivity and Performance Consultant partner at Pro-Lead A/S. He advises startups on the topics of productivity, performance and media production at Startup Wise Guys and in the Next Media Accelerator. He is also the co-author of an upcoming book Cycles: The simplest, proven way to build your business.
He has a BSc in Finance from the University of Economics, Varna, and an MSc in Finance from Aarhus University. He works with brands globally, and often gets invited to speak at international business and creative conferences, where he shares his best advice in the areas of productivity and performance.

Markus Raunig
AustrianStartups, Austria Linkedin profile

As an expert in the field of entrepreneurship and innovation Markus Raunig believes that entrepreneurial thinking and acting are key for positive change in our world. Therefore he is working on a future that will empower people to realize their own ideas and is dedicating  his time, energy and passion to build a future in which entrepreneurship will be as common asskiing in Austria.

Markus experienced the positive effects of entrepreneurship first hand, starting his own startup, founding his own football club and an international student organization and worked closely as a Startup Mentor with several successful international startups. After working at Pioneers.io and organizing Europe’s largest student startup conference Entrepreneurship Avenue, Markus is today the CEO of AustrianStartups- a non-profit platform that promotes entrepreneurship in Austria. 
He holds a Master degree in strategy, innovation and management control. He loves to share his experiences as a Lecturer at WU (Vienna University of Economics and Business) and as a speaker at international events. Additionally, he is also European Digital Leader at The World Economic Forum.

Christian Holloway
Digital Manufacturing, UK Linkedin profile

Christian Holloway is a corporate intrepeneur, part of the first DHL Start-up Lab incubation programme which provides a platform for employees to test and validate their business ideas. Cofounder of the first team to successfully set up an internal business unit following the programme in DHL’s History. Providing efficiency  improvements to the production logistics environment through innovative solutions primarily focussing on collaborative robots, bespoke tooling and automation.
Christian is also a director of a dynamic start-up focussing on diesel particulate reductions for the combustion engine with no need for complex systems or additives providing up to 95% reduction in particulates in prototype testing.

Jan Dovolil
Creative Dock, Czech Republic Linkedin profile

Jan Dovolil is the COO at Creative Dock, one of top 3 European company builders, also known as tech studios, startup factories, venture builders, who are revolutionizing the startup model through the synergetic entrepreneurship. Their model is to systematically produce new companies in cooperation with corporations, like Škoda, E-ON, Raiffeisen Bank, Societe Generale, AXA, Vodafone, Sodexo, Veolia ….

Previously, he was the head of Creative Dock’s Fintech sector, Filip and Sofie, where he was in charge of proposition design (creating new innovative fintech propositions) and proposition testing (qualitative and quantitative research, propositions final tuning, target group specification, market potential evaluation, business case and MVP preparation). He was also previously CEO at WUBI, where he amongst other things led mobile app development and the implementation of UBI (usage-based insurance). Before that, he spent seven years leading projects at Constat research.

He has a Master’s in Management of sport from Charles University in Prague, and a doctorate in the Organization and management of a company from the Technical University of Liberec.

Chuck Goldman
SkyX Systems Corp., USA Linkedin profile

Chuck Goldman is an investor, experienced manager and creator of high-growth technology companies that create value. He is the co-founder of VUI – the first and only voice-driven customer engagement platform. Chuck is also an investment partner at Sky Ventures Group, specializing in health technologies and innovations, and the executive advisor in SkyX Systems Corp., where he’s working with the most talented drone team in the industry. He spends a lot of time helping people, sharing his knowledge and experience, also by working with and mentoring young management teams at MassChallenge in Boston.

He was a Senior Director at Apple who formed an Enterprise sales team and led the launch of the iPhone into the Enterprise market. Chuck was the founder and CEO of enterprise mobile app management company Apperian as well as several other software and services companies.  He has a proven track record of building successful businesses, both in large enterprises and in the startup environment. His extensive list of experience includes the development of cloud-enabled mobile, IoT and Voice-AI platforms and investing into med-tech startups from both Slovenia and the US. He is a former semi-pro hockey goalie and still tries to stop hockey pucks every once in a while.

Anu Oks
EstBAN, Estonia Linkedin profile

Anu Oks is the CEO of Estonian Business Angels Network EstBAN and startup ecosystem builder working with teams, beginner startups, building business processes across functions and helping to improve and build relationships between industries and academics. She has been following her goals to develop new systems and processes to support SME’s and scientist’s entrepreneurial mindset. Before she worked at TTÜ (Tallinn University of Technology) Innovation and Business Centre Mektory as Startup Programme Manager and startup ecosystem builder. Additonally, she has been for 6 years a co-founder of Eesti Identiteedi ja Kultuuri Koda MTÜ, organizing cultural events.
She has a Master of Business Administration Degree, her skills range from startup development, early-stage startups, entrepreneurship, management, project management, business strategy to research.

Markus Lang
Speedinvest, Austria Linkedin profile

Markus Lang is Early stage investor at Speedinvest, a European venture capital fund for tech start-ups managing €200 M, where he supports outstanding founders of digital tech companies all across Europe. The list of backers behind Speedinvest is impressive, ranging from Dietrich Mateschitz, Red Bull's iconic founder, to Herman Hauser, or the latest generation of successful founders of startups such as Runtastic, Shpock or Busuu.

Markus is a tech entrepreneur turned venture capitalist, knowing many ways to engage in innovation and change. He has taken over several board roles in his portfolio startups and provides them with comprehensive support in every stage and situation where they need a hand – from finding a product-market fit to successfully raising follow-on funding. Previously, he was the managing director of Pioneers Ventures for three years, he co-founded and led a logistics tech startup, helped to scale several companies, and worked as a project manager and consultant.
He has a background in Business Administration and Business Law, having studied at the Vienna University of Economics and Business and the Johannes Kepler Universität Linz. He has extensive experience as project manager and consultant.

Jes Nordentoft
Accelerace, Denmark Linkedin profile

Jes Nordentoft is seasoned business development executive with over 18 years of experience, including general management, supply chain, sales and marketing, business operations, and strategy. 

Currently, he is business accelerator and investment manager at Accelerace, one of world’s top 10 seed accelerators. Since 2008 Accelerace has spotted, trained and invested in more than 500 of the most promising Danish and international startups and growth companies. 88 % of the companies are still on the market today. Main focus is on developing great energy & cleantech startups and helping corporates with their innovation and change management. Additionally, he is Board Member at Kastberg Is Aps and InVentilate ApS.
Prior to Accelerace, he was Business Accelerator & Investor at Next Step Challenge and Nordic Business Development Manager at Nestlé.

Rutger de Graaf
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, Netherlands Linkedin profile

Rutger de Graaf is working closely with the Dutch ecosystem to open the doors for ambitious startup founders, entrepreneurs and foreign investors. He is highly skilled in Economics, Analysis, International Relations, Research, and Market Analysis.
Currently, he is Advisor residence permit foreign startups & foreign investors at Netherlands Entreprise Agency where he advises on residence permits for startups (the Startup Visa), foreign investors, ambitious entrepreneurs & knowledge workers. The agency stimulates entrepreneurs in sustainable, agricultural, innovative and international business and aims to improve opportunities for entrepreneurs, strengthens their position and helps them realise their international ambitions with funding, networking, know-how and compliance with laws and regulations. Prior to this, he was Senior Economic & Commercial Officer at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Vedran Blagus
South Central Ventures, Croatia Linkedin profile

Vedran Blagus is Investment Manager at South Central Ventures (SCV), a leading SEE venture capital fund. At SCV, Vedran works on deal sourcing, screening, and advising portfolio companies. He also sits on the Board of Directors of two SCV portfolio companies. He refined his knowledge through experience working for Big 4 accounting companies as a management consultant on a multitude of projects for the Big 4 within the region. His focus and specialties within management consulting are market strategy & expansion, and process optimization. 

Michel Scian
H-FARM, Italy Linkedin profile

Michel Scian is Associate, Busines analyst and Project Manager at H-FARM with a degree in “Marketing and Communication” from the University of Trieste and a Masters Degree in “Digital Economics and Entrepreneurship” from Digital Accademia with a passion for e-commerce, Online Marketing and construction of small websites.
Michel's adventure at H-FARM, a Venture Incubator and the most important innovation center in Europe, began 6 years ago and he's been involved in a multitude of activities, supporting the CEO team, managing the scouting processes of new technologies and startups for H-FARM’s clients such as Luxottica, Whirlpool R&D Global, De Longhi, Confagricoltura etc., working in a Human Innovation Culture Team, which focuses on innovating organisations from within. His main activity inside the team is the project www.maize.io, H-FARM's magazine and media platform that is focused on the impact of technology on business, education and life. He works on some projects on the Digital Transformation field and is a Mentor in various events. Besides this, he has also experience as a Startup Coach at Digital Accademia.
His skills range from e-commerce, market analysis, competitive analysis, Online Marketing, PR, Digital Media, start-ups, Web and to Wordpress.

Urban Lapajne
Start:up Slovenia, Slovenia Linkedin profile

Urban Lapajne is a Startup Enthusiast, Evangelist, and Mentor. Passionate about sports in Mother Nature. Hater of haters. 
He has extensive business experience and knowledge, skilledin start-ups, entrepreneurship, business strategy, new business development, management, project management, marketing, digital marketing and much more.
Urban has been actively involved in the startup scene for 14 years as a project manager at Start:up Slovenia at Venture Factory, University business incubator where he is driving force of different activities connecting and promoting different stakeholders of Slovene startup ecosystem, motivating future entrepreneurs to take action and providing them with support. Everything with the aim of boosting entrepreneurship in Slovenia.
Additionally, he has been Program Manager at PODIM Conference, the coolest startup event in the Alps-Adriatic and Western Balkans Regions, for several years.

Rok Upelj
Movalyse, Slovenia Linkedin profile

Rok Upelj is a Bachelor of law with a passion for motorcycles and technical novelties. He is skilled in Business Strategy, New Business Development, Marketing Strategy, Sales Management and Social media.
His passion for motorcycles drove him to the entrepreneurship scene. He is a co-founder and COO at Movalyse, company developing intelligent solutions to improve motorcyclists road safety. They have managed to develop the first self-canceling turn signal module for motorcycles - Smart Turn System. They also developed Smart Brake Module, a new way to be more visible and a brand new solution against thefts. The company has gained several investments and with their innovative solution they were also part of project Start Slovenia. Prior to this position, Rok was CEO at Ducat.

Kebbie Sebastian
Penser, UK Linkedin profile

Kebbie Sebastian is an expert in the payments space with over 15 years of experience across the US, South America, Europe and Asia. His areas of expertise include mobile payments, eCommerce, money transfers and debit and prepaid cards.
Currently, he is the Managing director of Penser, a specialist consulting firm focused on payments and fintech, working for leading financial institutions, private equity investors, retailers and payments companies.
Previously, he was responsible for Global Product Development at Barclaycard and has held senior leadership positions with PayPal and Bank of America as Senior Vice President, where he worked to expand its international remittances business into China and Latin America. He holds an MBA from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia.

Martin Mössler
Science Park Graz and ESA BIC, Austria

Martin Mössler is the Managing Director of Science Park Graz and General Manager of ESA BIC Austria. He is driven by a passion for innovation and entrepreneurship.
Science Park Graz is the oldest Austrian high-tech incubator and has a lot of experience in creating some of the strongest Austrian companies, such as Tyromotion, Imagotag and Sunnybag.
Martin and his team develop 20 high-tech startups per year and their excellent consulting team offers high-tech startups with global ambitions extensive support in business operations, financing, and networking. Furthermore, his company, Science Park Graz, is home to one of the most elite startup programmes of the European Union – European Space Agency’s Business Incubation Centre (ESA BIC).
Prior to this, he was working in the management of a tourism company as well as at the rectorate of the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. From 2010-2016 he worked as an assistant to the Rector of TU Graz. In addition, he was head of the Uniratsbüro for Prof. Helmut List, AVL.

Jugoslav Petkovič
Silicon Gardens Fund II, Slovenia Linkedin profile

Jugoslav Petkovič is an entrepreneur, active angel investor and mentor to several startups who started his first company right after turning 18. He co-founded mimovrste=), the leading on-line retailer in Slovenia with 50 % market share, and Domenca (now D.labs), an awesome agile web development shop that's helping companies not just build a website but build a business on-line. He served as CTO and then CEO of both companies, bootstrapping growth from combined $5M revenue and 35 employees to $30M+ revenue and 100+ employees. Mimovrste raised $4M from Netretail Holding (part of Naspers) for international expansion in 2011. And in 2012 he sold his share in company.
Currently, he is based in San Francisco, working on a new venture and bridging Silicon Valley and South East Europe. He is a co-founder and CEO at Flaviar, which is an exclusive club for fans of spirits. Additionally, he is a founder of Yougo.vc, a personal angel fund, which helps entrepreneurs establish and grow their businesses.

His specialties are on-line retail, product management & product due diligence, digital marketing & PR, creating creative workplaces, introducing startup thinking to older companies.

Rumen Iliev
LAUNCHub, Bulgaria Linkedin profile

Rumen Iliev is highly skilled in Startups, Entrepreneurship, Venture Capital, Investments, Business Strategy, Management Consulting, Business Planning, Business Development, Risk Management. He can provide first hand advice with fundraising strategies for early stage teams, business modeling as well as how to present to investors.
Currently, he is partner at LAUNCHub Ventures, a leading seed stage venture capital firm in Bulgaria, investing in early stage startups in Bulgaria and the wider Southeastern European region. Rumen co-manages selection and investment process and works closely with the LAUNCHub startups. He is focused on building connectins with the relevant people in the startup / entrepreneurial ecosystem that can help early stage companies achieve their goals.
Before joining LAUNCHub, he had his own business consultancy practice focused on solving business issues and helping companies and their management to achieve various business goals. During his professional career, Rumen has held various senior expert level positions at some of the biggest multinationals in Utilities and Insurance in the CEE Region.

Miha Pahulje
Zavarovalnica Sava, Slovenia Linkedin profile

After 17 years of working in insurance companies, Miha Pahulje has a very broad experience in insurance industry in all aspects of product development, claims handling, underwriting, management of insurance company, marketing & sales, marketing communications …
Currently, he is a Member of the Management Board at Zavarovalnica Sava, where he is mainly responsible for life and non-life product development, underwriting, reisurance, innovations and call center. Prior to this position he was holding different positions at Zavarovalnica Sava: Executive Sales & Marketing Director, Executive Director for Life, Health & Accident Insurance and Authorized Officer of the Management Board. Before joining Zavarovalnica Sava, he was also working at Triglav Insurance company and Merkur Insurance company.

Nina Dremelj
AlpVent, Switzerland Linkedin profile

Nina Dremelj. Passionate about Startups, keen about Entrepreneurship, ecstatic about creating stories together! With more than ten years of experience in leadership, with emphasis on leadership management and a good knowledge of legal, HR and financial instruments. She is also active in fund raising for startups, advising on the principles of lean business and managing general administrative, HR, financial and project processes in startups.
Currently, she is CEO at AlpVent and Vice President at Business Angels of Slovenia, the first and the biggest club of angel investors in Slovenia. AlpVent is a Swiss investment company that invests in highly promising startup businesses. Having 25 years of entrepreneurial experience helps them understand the needs of entrepreneurs very well. To support startups at selling, AlpVent has established a specialized sales department.
Prior to working with AlpVent and Business Angels of Slovenia, Nina worked for a Slovenian startup Airnamics as the Executive Assistant to CEO and was responsible for company management. Prior to that she worked for the English company Enerbee Ltd.

Julien Coustaury
Fil Rouge Capital, Croatia Linkedin profile

Julien Coustaury is one of the most active angel investors in the region who became entrepreneur when he was 13. He has worked in more than 80 countries across five continents. Now, he is mostly an investor with rich experience in business and entrepreneurship. Since starting investing in startups, Julien has made some 50 direct and much more than 100 indirect investment into tech startups.

He is Founding partner of Fil Rouge Capital, providing growth capital for early stage businesses. Julien has over 20 years of relevant experience in manufacturing and services, much of it at CEO level. He is also the co-founder and entrepreneur in residence of ABC Accelerator in Slovenia as well as Advisor at Eventum and at Limitlex, which is introducing the world's first smart cryptocurrency exchange.

Vera Nunić
Technology Park Ljubljana, Slovenia Linkedin profile

Vera Nunić is Head of startup center at Technology Park Ljubljana advising startup entrepreneurs while developing their business, connecting them, informing, organizing, encouraging and at the same time offering them assistance in realizing their visions. She is skilled in entrepreneurship, research, leadership, economics, strategic planning, business planning, management consulting, project planning.
Her passion is to be surrounded by inspiring and motivated people who have a goal to improve the world. And this is also one of the reasons why she is working with startup entrepreneurs. Career led her from being advisor for entrepreneurship at the Institute for Employment, HRM manager at HR agency, Project manager at the Small Business Support center Ljubljana to work at the Technology Park Ljubljana, where she has been working for 11 years, starting as an advisor for the development of entrepreneurship.

Herwig Springer
i5invest, Germany Linkedin profile

Herwig Springer is highly recognized and experienced valuation and deals expert, who has worked in corporate finance as well as deals consulting since 2005 advising a multitude of clients ranging from SME to multinational corporations. In addition, he is highly skilled in Business Strategy, Startups, Merger & Aquisitions, Corporate Finance, Business Development, Financial Analysis and much more.
Currently, he is CEO of of Tech, Strategy and Growth at i5invest responsible for Business Development, Corporate Development. i5invest is an international tech, corporate finance advisory & business accelerator with primary focus to support and manage corporate development and cross-border processes for extraordinary tech companies.
In addition to his management functions he authored various publications in economic literature and is a frequent speaker and trainer at conferences.

Jan Habermann
Credo Ventures, Czech Republic Linkedin profile

Jan Habermann is a founding partner of Credo Ventures, a venture capital firm that focuses on early stage companies in Central and Eastern Europe in the information technology, internet and mobile. Jan is interested in early stage B2B oriented companies using internet and technologies to provide unique services to its customers globally.
Before becoming a venture capitalist, Jan co-founded and operated several companies and later served as an M&A advisor representing the sellers as well as the acquirers. Since 2003, he has completed several mergers and acquisitions projects.
He is also a member of Kauffman Fellowship, a highly sought-after program and network dedicated to the world of innovation investing, as well as he is a Member of a number of Management and Supervisory Boards. He is highly skilled in Venture Capital, Private Equity, Start-ups, Mergers & Acquisitions, Corporate finance, Business Development, Investments.

Matej Cerar
Technology Park Ljubljana, Slovenia Linkedin profile

Matej Cerar is the new CEO at Technology Park Ljubljana, who gained his experience in a renowned law firm and the City of Ljubljana as Higher Advisor to the Director of Administration, and finally as Deputy General Manager at Technology Park Ljubljana.

Technology Park Ljubljana is a leading entity and key national stakeholder in the development of innovative and knowledge based entrepreneurship in Slovenia. It is focusing on facilitating knowledge and technology transfer from research institutes and the academia to national and international markets. In this respect they establish international collaboration with prominent partners and lead as well as participate in transnational and cross-border projects. It represents a small smart city with more than 300 companies and more than 1,500 professionals.

Matej enjoys sport activities, especially skiing, surfing and cycling, and relaxing by playing the piano.

Nejc Novak
Novak Law, Slovenia Linkedin profile

Nejc Novak founded the Novak Law Firm in 2016. He graduated cum laude from the Law Faculty at the University of Ljubljana in 2010 and part of his studies took place at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. He then pursued his Masters of Law at University College London, where he wrote a dissertation on issues related to minority shareholdings in EU competition law and obtained his LL.M. in International Commercial Law.

He started working as an Attorney Trainee at the Law Firm Miro Senica and Attorneys in 2011. In 2014 he passed the Slovenian state bar exam and continued to work as an Attorney Candidate and since 2015 onwards as an Attorney at Law.

He devotes most of his work to issues related to business and commercial law, in particular statutory law, mergers and acquisitions, restructuring and insolvency. Special field of Nejc's interest is also regulatory framework of blockchain solutions.

Nejc Novak is a regular guest and lecturer at professional development conferences and events. Since 2010 he has been acting as an arbitrator at the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot in Vienna.

Radim Woznica
Revolgy Team, Czech Republic Linkedin profile

Radim Woznica is an accomplished CTO / CIO with over 20 years of proven record in sales, design and implementation of cost effective strategies, technologies and systems. He has delivered significant business improvements leveraging Information Technology and creating business competitive differentiators. He is very skilled in client relationship management, general management, business development, contract negotiation, including experience in estimation, bidding, operational project controls and vendor management processes.
Independent Technical Advisor and interim CTO and Senior Advisor in Telco and Media. Previously, he worked also for O2, Oracle, KPMG, CCG (Care Consulting Group), GTS Novera and cofounded Omnihouse.