We continue to add new keynote speakers to the line-up. Please check back often to see the latest additions to the Web 2.0 Expo program.
Nora Abousteit is a “rare leader who can pull together technology, publishing, and fashion, and inspire people” (Fast Company). With a love for interaction and innovative technology, Nora reinvented an old sewing magazine into the DIY fashion community BurdaStyle.com, now an icon in the sewing community.
Nora started her career at German power-publisher Hubert Burda Media and is part of the founding team of the DLD (Digital Life Design) conference.
She has been invited to share her experience at Picnic, FOO (Friends of O’Reilly Media) East, Parsons School of Design, Stream, the World Economic Forum Media Summit, and NY Forum.
Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Wired, BusinessWeek, Women’s Wear Daily, and Fast Company.
Nora grew up in Germany, lives in Brooklyn, NY and holds a degree in Middle East Studies, Political Science, and Philosophy from the American University in Cairo.
Shelley is the Chief of Technology at the Brooklyn Museum where she works to further the Museum’s community-oriented mission through projects including free public wireless access, web-enabled comment books, initiatives for mobile devices and putting the Brooklyn Museum collection online. She is the initiator and community manager of the Museum’s initiatives on the social web, she organized Click! A Crowd-Curated Exhibition and Split Second: Indian Paintings. In 2010, Shelley was named one of the 40 Under 40 in Crain’s New York Business and her work has been featured in the New York Times.
Tony is a founder of about.me which was acquired by AOL in December 2010. In this role, he provides oversight of the development of the product and it’s integration with other AOL properties. Prior to about.me, Tony co-founded Sphere (acquired by AOL in 2008) with Toni Schneider. Tony is also a founding member & Venture Partner at True Ventures.
Early in his career, Tony spent nine years abroad, working in India, France, and Indonesia with Groupe Danone, focusing on brand extension opportunities through mergers and acquisitions in Southeast Asia. He then joined VSP as a general partner where he led consumer-tech and marketing software and services investments in Oddpost (acquired by Yahoo!), Iconoculture (acquired by Corporate Executive Board), MusicNow (acquired by Circuit City), and Centive (acquired by Xactly). Tony also played an active role managing investments in Post Communications (NASDAQ: NTVS) and Stonyfield Farms (acquired by Groupe Danone).
Anil Dash is an entrepreneur, technologist and writer acknolwedged as a “blogging pioneer” by the New Yorker for having started his site Dashes.com in 1999 as one of the earliest and most influential blogs on the Internet. Today his work focuses on applying the pioneering techniques and technologies of the startup world in order to transform major institutions in government, media and culture. To achieve these goals, Dash founding Expert Labs in 2009 to enable citizens to connect with government policy makers through social networks, and co-founded Activate in 2009 to help the world’s major media and technology companies reinvent their business strategies. In addition, Dash is an active advisor to many of the most prominent technology startups and non-profit organizations.
Dash is a member of the board of the popular question-and-answer site Stack Exchange and sits on the board of the New York Tech Meetup which serves as the hub for the New York technology community. Dash is also an advisor to the Web 2.0 conference in New York City, to the reading startup Readability, to the popular upstart hip hop label Greedhead Records and to the noted education non-profit DonorsChoose.
Dash has also been recognized for his role in popularizing web culture and advocating for social and civic responsibility within the technology industry. In addition to his frequent public speaking engagements, his digital works have been showcased in museums including the New Museum of Contemporary Art. In 2010, Dashes.com was named a Webby honoree in the Personal Blog category and Dash was named second most media-connected person in technology by Forbes, and in 2008 Dash was named one of the top ten most influential people in New York City by NowPublic.
Dash’s earlier career involved a seminal role as Chief Evangelist at Six Apart Ltd. (now SAY Media), where he joined as the first employee at the world’s leading blogging company, and that work was proceeded by roles in the newspaper and music industries.
Dash lives in New York City with his wife Alaina Browne, general manager of Serious Eats, the James Beard Award winner for Best Food Blog; They have a new son Malcolm. Dash can be found online at dashes.com and on nearly every social network as “anildash”.
Patrick Davison is from Atlanta, Georgia but lives in Brooklyn, New York where he is pursuing a PhD in media studies from the Media, Culture, and Communication department of NYU. He makes performance work as WhatWeKnowSoFar, writes and performs MemeFactory, and does research with the Web Ecology Project. He has spoken at ROFLcon, Ignite New York, Yale, NYU, and Social Media Week (Sao Paulo).
R. Luke DuBois is a composer, artist, and performer who explores the temporal, verbal, and visual structures of cultural and personal ephemera. He holds a doctorate in music composition from Columbia University, and has lectured and taught worldwide on interactive sound and video performance. He has collaborated on interactive performance, installation, and music production work with many artists and organizations including Toni Dove, Matthew Ritchie, Todd Reynolds, Michael Joaquin Grey, Elliott Sharp, Michael Gordon, Maya Lin, Bang on a Can, Engine27, Harvestworks, and LEMUR, and was the director of the Princeton Laptop Orchestra for its 2007 season.
Stemming from his investigations of “time-lapse phonography,” his recent work is a sonic and encyclopedic relative to time-lapse photography. Just as a long camera exposure fuses motion into a single image, his work reveals the average sonority, visual language, and vocabulary in music, film, text, or cultural information. Exhibitions of his work include: the Insitut Valencià d’Art Modern, Spain; 2008 Democratic National Convention, Denver; Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis; San Jose Museum of Art; National Constitution Center, Philadelphia; Cleveland Museum of Contemporary Art, Daelim Contemporary Art Museum, Seoul; 2007 Sundance Film Festival; and the Sydney Film Festival. His work and writing has appeared in print and online in the New York Times and Esquire Magazine.
An active visual and musical collaborator, DuBois is the co-author of Jitter, a software suite for the real-time manipulation of matrix data developed by San Francisco-based software company Cycling’74. He appears on nearly twenty-five albums both individually and as part of the avant-garde electronic group The Freight Elevator Quartet. He currently performs as part of Bioluminescence, a duo with vocalist Lesley Flanigan that explores the modality of the human voice, and in Fair Use, a trio with Zach Layton and Matthew Ostrowski, that looks at our accelerating culture through elecronic performance and remixing of cinema.
DuBois has lived for the last seventeen years in New York City. He teaches at the Brooklyn Experimental Media Center at NYU’s Polytechnic Institute, and is on the Board of Directors of the ISSUE Project Room. His records are available on Caipirinha/Sire, Liquid Sky, C74, and Cantaloupe Music. His artwork is represented by bitforms gallery in New York City.
Cindy Finnecy is Vice President, Industry Marketing, IBM North America. She leads
the development of management of integrated industry marketing plans with a focus
on driving IBM market leadership in North America.
She joined IBM in 1983 as a college intern and as a permanent employee in 1984. From 1984 through 1990, Cindy held both line and staff positions in field sales with a focus on the Legal Industry vertical.
From 1991 to 1994, Cindy held various sales management and staff positions including unit manager for the finance industry, Executive Assistant to the General Manager of Product Marketing, and Business Unit Executive for Midrange Servers. During this time, Cindy gained experience in outsourcing with her leadership on the award to IBM of a multi-million, 10-year customer outsourcing agreement.
In 1994, she joined the Personal Software Products Division in Austin with the responsibility for executive public relations. In 1995, Cindy joined the product marketing team and led the development of the division marketing plan.
In 1996, Cindy was appointed the Executive Assistant to the Vice President, Finance, IBM North America. In 1997, she was named Director, Solutions Marketing and Sales, within IBM North America software. In January 1999, she was named Vice President, Marketing Planning and Strategy, IBM Global Industries.
In February 2000, Cindy was named Vice President of Strategy for IBM Sales & Distribution. In April 2003, she was appointed Vice President , Channel Enablement, IBM Sales & Distribution. In October 2004, she was named Vice President, WW Channel Enablement, IBM Corporate Marketing.
In April 2008, Cindy became Vice President of Marketing for ibm.com, IBM Sales & Distribution. She assumed her current position in January 2011.
Cindy, a Chicago native, holds a BA degree in marketing from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is active within her community and Girl Scouts and in 2010 was awarded The President’s Volunteer Service Award.
Ben Fried is Google’s Chief Information Officer, overseeing the
company’s global technology systems. His extensive hands-on experience in technology includes stints as a dBASE II programmer, front-line support manager, Macintosh developer, Windows 1.0 programmer, and Unix systems programmer. Prior to joining Google, he spent more than 13
years in Morgan Stanley’s technology department, where he rose to the level of Managing Director. During his time there, he led teams
responsible for software development technology, web and electronic commerce technologies and operations, and technologies for knowledge
workers. Ben is a graduate of Columbia University.
Cindy Gallop’s background is brandbuilding, marketing and advertising
- she started up the US office of ad agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty in
New York in 1998 and in 2003 was named Advertising Woman of the Year.
She is the founder and CEO of www.IfWeRanTheWorld.com, a web meets
world platform designed to turn good intentions into action one
microaction at a time, which launched in beta with a demo at TED 2010,
and of www.makelovenotporn.com, launched at TED 2009. She acts as
board advisor to a number of tech startups and consults, describing
her consultancy approach as ‘I like to blow shit up. I am the Michael
Bay of business.’ She has a reputation as a compelling and
inspirational speaker at conferences and events around the world on a
variety of topics, and recently published ‘Make Love Not Porn:
Technology’s Hardcore Impact on Human Behavior’ as one of TED’s new
line of TEDBooks launched this year with Amazon.
As President of the Applications and Commerce Group and head of AOL’s Silicon Valley operations, Brad Garlinghouse leads the charge around AOL’s renewed focus on innovation and most importantly, the consumer. This includes the company’s efforts to expand the global reach of its communications products such as AOL Mail and AIM as well as reinvigorate the company’s mobile and social strategy and its legacy client and toolbar products.
Brad also leads a newly created Commerce Group that will focus on developing new commerce opportunities and initiatives across all of AOL’s sites. In addition to Brad’s responsibilities for growing AOL’s Consumer Applications business, he is the West Coast lead for AOL Ventures, the company’s venture capital arm.
Brad believes that a truly successful company begins with its employees and the culture they build together as a team. So in addition to his daily responsibilities on the senior management team, Brad is incredibly focused on creating a winning culture at AOL by constantly challenging the way people think and approach their day-to-day roles at the company.
Prior to joining AOL in 2009, Brad was a Senior Advisor at Silver Lake Partners, serving as an in-house counselor on a variety of potential acquisitions. Before that, Brad spent nearly six years at Yahoo! most recently serving as SVP of Communications and Communities. During his tenure, he also oversaw Front Doors, which included the Yahoo! home page. Brad came to Yahoo! in 2003 as VP, Communications Products. Under his leadership, Yahoo! Mail went from No. 3 to leading all competitors by a wide margin, and the company’s messaging service rose to become the leader in that market as well. Brad also oversaw the company’s Flickr photo-sharing service and Yahoo! Groups.
Before Yahoo!, Brad was CEO of Dialpad.com Inc., responsible for the company’s operations, finance, sales and marketing. He was also General Partner at @Ventures, Category Manager of Media Development for @Home, Inc., and Manager at SBC Communications.
Media Lab director Joi Ito is a leading thinker and writer on innovation, global technology policy, and the role of the Internet in transforming society in substantial and positive ways. A vocal advocate of emergent democracy, privacy, and Internet freedom, Ito is board chair (and former CEO) of Creative Commons, and sits on the boards of the Mozilla Foundation, WITNESS, and Global Voices. In Japan, he was a founder of Digital Garage, and helped establish and later became CEO of the country’s first commercial Internet service provider. He was an early investor in more than 40 companies, including Flickr, Six Apart, Last.fm, Kongregate, Kickstarter, and Twitter. Ito’s honors include TIME magazine’s "Cyber-Elite” listing in 1997 (at age 31) and selection as one of the “Global Leaders for Tomorrow” by the World Economic Forum (2001). In 2008, BusinessWeek named him one of the “25 Most Influential People on the Web.” In 2011, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Oxford Internet Institute.
Ms. Jaques is responsible for Visa Inc.’s Global Corporate Development and Mergers & Acquisitions Activities. The Corporate Development and M&A group leads Visa’s engagement in a range of transactions from strategic investments through joint ventures and acquisitions. Since founding the group, Ms. Jaques has led Visa’s $2 billion acquisition of CyberSource in the ecommerce segment and its acquisition of PlaySpan in the digital commerce space, as well as the company’s two joint ventures in India. In addition, she led the formation of the Syncada joint venture in the commercial payments space as well as the divestiture of key business stakes in Brazil with aggregate value in excess of $1 billion. Ms. Jaques is an active speaker at industry and educational forums including the Thomson Reuters Western M&A conference and at the Stanford Law School.
Visa is a leading payments platform and among the most recognized brands globally. The company has a market capitalization of approximately $55 billion having successfully gone public in 2008.
Prior to joining Visa, Ms. Jaques spent 17 years in investment banking, the last 12 of which were at Deutsche Bank in the firm’s technology mergers and acquisitions practice where she was a Managing Director. During her tenure in investment banking, Ms. Jaques advised clients on a range of transactions including acquisitions, asset purchases, cross-border deals, divestitures, joint ventures, leveraged buyouts, mergers of equals, recaps, and equity and debt issuances.
Ms. Jaques received an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a BA from the University of Michigan.
Mo Koyfman is a Principal at Spark Capital, a Boston-based venture capital firm focused on disruptive investments in the media and technology industries. Prior to joining Spark, Mr. Koyfman spent six years at IAC (Nasdaq: IACI) in a variety of strategic, transactional and operational roles. He most recently served as Chief Operating Officer of Connected Ventures, parent of CollegeHumor.com, BustedTees.com and Vimeo.com, and previously held the roles of Vice President of Programming and Vice President of Mergers & Acquisitions. Mr. Koyfman began his career as an investment banker at Bear Stearns where he focused on mergers & acquisitions and capital raising in the media, entertainment and technology sectors. Mr. Koyfman joined Bear Stearns after graduating magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania. He received a B.S. in Economics from The Wharton School with a concentration in Finance and a B.A. in English from The College of Arts & Sciences.
Michael is a serial entrepreneur who has co-founded four successful internet-based media companies. He has a passion for creating, managing and growing companies from the ground up.
Michael’s first foray into entrepreneurship came with the founding of University Wire, an Associated Press-like network of more than 700 student-run newspapers, now owned by CBS corp. He next founded GOLF.com, leading it from a start-up to a multi-million dollar profitable golf media company, which was purchased by Time Warner’s Time Inc. in January 2006. In February 2007 he started Lazerow Consulting, which helps finance, launch, manage and grow internet-based media businesses.
Michael is currently the chairman and CEO of Buddy Media, Inc., a New York-based company whose Facebook management system is used by global brands and agencies. He graduated from Northwestern University with a B.S. and M.S. in Journalism. Michael is a contributor to Advertising Age, MediaPost, Business Insider and Fortune, among other publications, and frequently is called upon to speak at events including the Monaco Media Forum, the Consumer Electronics Show, South by Southwest (SXSW), OMMA Global, Web 2.0 Expo and iMedia Brand Summit.
Michael lives in New York City with his wife, Kass, two sons, Myles and Cole, and daughter Vivian. In addition to investing in private companies and real estate, he enjoys live music, golf, tennis, poker, fly-fishing, reading, writing and video editing.
Johnny Lee has a PhD. in Human Computer Interaction from Carnegie Mellon University exploring a wide range of technologies to enhance the way we interact with computing devices. As a researcher in Microsoft’s Applied Sciences, he became a core contributor to the development of Xbox Kinect, a controller-free motion gaming device, which sold over 8 million units in the first 60 days. His videos demonstrating how to create low-cost interactive whiteboards and 3D displays using a Nintendo Wii remote have accumulated over 15 million views on YouTube, and his talk at TED also remains one of thier most viewed. In 2008, Lee received recognition by MIT’s TR35.
Brian McClendon built computer graphics software and hardware at Silicon Graphics before co-founding Keyhole in 2000. Keyhole was purchased by Google in 2004, now known as Google Earth. Brian is currently a Google Vice President of Engineering, responsible for geo-products including Google Maps, Google Earth, Streetview, and Sketchup.
Sarah Milstein is TechWeb’s General Manager and Co-Chair for Web 2.0 Expo; she is also coauthor with Tim O’Reilly of The Twitter Book. Previously, she was on the senior editorial staff at O’Reilly Media, where she founded the Tools of Change for Publishing Conference (TOC) and led development of the Missing Manuals, a best-selling series of computer books for non-geeks. Before joining O’Reilly in 2003, Sarah was a freelance writer and editor, and a regular contributor to The New York Times. She was also the CSA program founder for Just Food, a local-food-and-farms non-profit, and co-founder of Two Tomatoes Records, a label that distributes and promotes the work of children’s musician Laurie Berkner.
Dr. DJ Patil has been the VP of Product at RelateIQ and the Data Scientist in Residence at Greylock Partners.
He has held a variety of roles in academia, industry, and government, including Chief Scientist, Chief Security Officer, and Head of Analytics and Data Teams at the LinkedIn Corporation. Additionally he has held a number of roles at Skype, PayPal, and eBay.
Carlota Perez. British-Venezuelan researcher, lecturer and international consultant, specialized in the social and economic impact of technical change and on how it changes opportunities for growth, development and competitiveness. In her acclaimed book Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital: The Dynamics of Bubbles and Golden Ages she presented a theory of the role of finance in the creative destruction process brought about by technical change that has helped understand the boom and bust episodes of the last two decades. She is Professor of Technology and Development at the Technological University of Tallinn, Estonia, Research Associate at CFAP/CERF, Cambridge Finance, Judge Business School and Visiting Scholar at the Faculty of Economics, both at Cambridge University, U.K. and Honorary Professor at SPRU, Science and Technology Policy Research, School of Business, Management and Economics, University of Sussex, U.K. Her articles from the early 1980s have helped understand the relationship between technical and institutional change, between finance and technological diffusion and between technology and economic development. As consultant and lecturer she has worked for various public and private organizations, for major corporations (IBM, Cisco, Ericsson, Telefonica, etc,) and for governments in Latin America, North America, Europe and Asia as well as for the EU, the OECD, the UN and several multilateral agencies. In the early 1980s, when acting as Director of Technological development in the Ministry of Development in Venezuela, she founded the first venture capital agency in the country. She is frequently invited to participate as keynote speaker in major international academic, public policy and business events.
Casey Pugh is an Emmy-winning technologist immersed in the online video industry. He was one of the original Vimeo developers and then moved onto Boxee. In 2009 he created StarWarsUncut.com, a crowdsourced remake of “Star Wars: A New Hope,” which became the first site for a broadband-only production to win an Emmy. His new startup is VHX.tv, a website for watching and curating videos with friends.
Product Manager at foursquare; former Product Manager of Blogger at Google.
Eric Ries is an entrepreneur and author of the New York Times bestseller “The Lean Startup” and the popular entrepreneurship blog Startup Lessons Learned.
He co-founded and served as CTO of IMVU, his third startup. In 2007, BusinessWeek named him one of the Best Young Entrepreneurs of Tech. In 2009, he was honored with a TechFellow award in the category of Engineering Leadership. He serves on the advisory board of a number of technology startups, and has consulted to new and established companies as well as venture capital firms. He is currently serving as an entrepreneur-in-residence at Harvard Business School and a Fellow for IDEO, the design consulting firm.
His Lean Startup methodology has been written about in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Harvard Business Review, the Huffington Post, and many blogs. He lives in San Francisco.
As head of AOL’s AIM team, Jason oversees the growth and development of the AIM suite of products. Under his leadership, the team most recently launched a new offering, AIM AV, which enables users to instantly launch a video chat with up to four people without the need to download anything or sign-up for a service.
Jason joined AOL in September 2010 after the company acquired Thing Labs (makers of Brizzly), which he founded in 2007. Prior to Thing Labs, Jason worked with Blogger which was acquired by Google in 2003. While at Google, Shellen started the Google Reader project and became the founding product manager.
After earning his Bachelor of Arts degree from Saint Mary’s College of California, Shellen worked with a number of Silicon Valley companies in hardware sales and marketing. Jason Shellen is on the RSS Advisory Board and the advisory boards of Feedly and 8tracks.com. He lives in Lafayette, CA with his wife and two active boys.
Elena Silenok, MS is a Founder & CEO of Clothia, a fashion technology platform. Clothia is a pre-launch Internet startup that is productizing motion detection and augmented reality technology developed in St. Petersburg, Russia. Clothia users can virtually try on clothes using augmented reality via their webcam, mix-n-match items to create outfits, and share their looks with friends. Elena is a guest lecturer at Columbia University and General Assembly. She is also a contributing writer to Business Insider and a root member of NYhacker. Elena has been recently featured by BetaBeat as one of the “25 Women Driving New York’s Tech Scene.”
Elena holds a MS in Computer Science from University of California, San Diego, where she focused on Network Security. Elena has also worked at San Diego Supercomputer Center researching Internet topology and trends, and in several startups doing large-scale data mining and project management.
Rachel Sterne is Chief Digital Officer for the City of New York, where
she focuses on improving the way that City government engages New
Yorkers through technology. Her first task in the role was the
development of a “Road Map for the Digital City,” a comprehensive plan
to realize New York City’s digital potential through enhanced Access,
Open Government, Engagement, and Industry. Prior to this role, Rachel
was Founder and CEO of GroundReport, a citizen journalism platform
that empowers reporters to publish original, intelligent reporting to
an international audience. She founded GroundReport in 2006 with the
mission to democratize the media and help the world share its stories.
Rachel is also an Adjunct Professor at Columbia Business School, and
previously worked as a digital strategy consultant and business
developer in the software industry. She attended New York public
schools and graduated magna cum laude from NYU.
Baratunde Thurston is a politically-active, technology-loving comedian from the future. He co-founded the black political blog, Jack and Jill Politics and serves as Director of Digital for The Onion. He has written for Vanity Fair and the UK Independent, hosted Popular Science’s Future Of on Discovery Science and appears on cable news regularly to say smart things in funny ways. Then-candidate Barack Obama called him “someone I need to know.” Baratunde travels the world speaking and advising and performs standup regularly in NYC. He resides in Brooklyn, lives on Twitter and has over 30 years experience being black. His first book, How To Be Black, will be published in February 2012 by Harper Collins.
Alexa von Tobel is the founder and CEO of LearnVest.com, one of the leading independent personal finance websites for women. Alexa came up with the idea for LearnVest in 2006, during her senior year at Harvard when she realized she, and most of her peers, had never had any formal education about how to effectively manage their finances. Alexa searched for reliable financial guidance and consistently came up overwhelmed or disappointed. Thus, the LearnVest mission was born – to make trusted personal financial information accessible to millions of women.
Originally from Florida, Alexa received an A.B. in Psychology at Harvard College. Upon graduation, she worked as a trader at Morgan Stanley on their Proprietary Trading Desk before leaving to be the Head of Business Development at Drop.io, a venture backed start-up in NYC. She enrolled in Harvard Business School Fall of 2008 only to take a leave of absence to launch LearnVest and pursue her dream of bringing financial literacy to millions of women everywhere. In addition to LearnVest, Alexa is the co-founder of L.W.A.L.A. (www.lwala.org) a 501c3 focused on fighting HIV/AIDS in Africa.
Since launching the company in 2009 and LearnVest being selected as a TechCrunch50 Company, Alexa has been widely quoted as a personal finance expert and entrepreneur in top tier business and consumer publications including: New York Times, New York Post, BusinessWeek, Shape, Fast Company, Marie Claire, Forbes Woman, InStyle, People StyleWatch, Time Out New York, The Huffington Post, AOL’s Lemondrop, TechCrunch.com, VentureBeat.com and more. In addition, Alexa has appeared on several major local and national television shows including The Today Show, CNN, The Nate Berkus Show, Fox Business News, ABC News, Good Day New York, NY1 News, LX-TV, WCBS-TV, WABC-TV and The Gayle King Show and The Derrick Ashong Experience on Sirius XM Radio. Alexa has been included on Business Insider’s 2010 Silicon Alley 100 list, named “One of the Coolest Young Entrepreneurs” in Inc. Magazine’s 30 Under 30 feature, titled a “Woman to Watch” by Forbes, listed as one of “18 Women Changing the World” in Marie Claire, selected as a 2011 Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and recognized as one of 2011’s “Game Changers of the Year” by AWNY (Advertising Women of New York). Most recently, Alexa was highlighted on BusinessWeek’s annual list of “Best Young Tech Entrepreneurs” and Worth Magazine’s list of “20 Entrepreneurs to Watch.” LearnVest was also recently named one of “25 Women-Run Startups to Watch” by Fast Company.
In April 2009, Alexa closed a $4.5 million series A round of funding led by Accel Partners, the venture firm responsible for backing Facebook, Groupon and more. In addition, Alexa has held speaking engagements at Harvard Business School, Columbia Business School, Princeton, Yale and at Maria Shriver’s Women’s Conference in October, 2010. To date, LearnVest has helped over 1 million women gain control of their finances.
Duncan Watts is a principal research scientist at Yahoo! Research, where he directs the Human Social Dynamics group. Prior to joining Yahoo!, he was a full professor of Sociology at Columbia University, where he taught from 2000-2007. He has also served on the external faculty of the Santa Fe Institute and Nuffield College, Oxford.
His research on social networks and collective dynamics has appeared in a wide range of journals, from Nature, Science, and Physical Review Letters to the American Journal of Sociology and Harvard Business Review. He is also the author of Six Degrees: The Science of a Connected Age (W.W. Norton, 2003) and Small Worlds: The Dynamics of Networks between Order and Randomness (Princeton University Press, 1999).
He holds a B.Sc. in Physics from the Australian Defence Force Academy, from which he also received his officer’s commission in the Royal Australian Navy, and a Ph.D. in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics from Cornell University. He lives in New York City.
Joanne has had several careers starting out as a buyer at Macys to running a company in the rag trade eventually leading to spearheading sales for a start-up magazine/e-zine/events company called Silicon Alley Reporter. On to the non-profit world where she chaired MOUSE (Making Opportunities in Upgrading Schools in Education) an organization focused on technology in inner-city schools. She has sat on a number of profit and non-profit boards and has been involved with a variety of real estate transactions from beginning to end.
Joanne has been blogging since 1994 under the name Gotham Gal. She is involved with the start-up community as an angel investor and adviser. She has been a champion of women in tech by starting and co-chairing the Women’s Entrepreneurial Festival with the ITP division of NYU. Many of the companies she is working with are owned or started by women. The tech companies are Food52, Catchafire, Dailyworth, Editd, Editions 01, Nest.io, Red Stamp, Curbed (Eater/Racked) as well as Ricks Picks, Gotham Gym, The Moon Group and Cacao Pietro. She also sits on the board of Hot Bread Kitchen and the Highline.
Her most successful venture is being married to her best friend, Fred and raising her three kids, Jessica, Emily and Josh.
Fred Wilson has been a venture capitalist since 1987. He currently is a managing partner at Union Square Ventures and also founded Flatiron Partners. Fred has a Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering from MIT and an MBA from The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. Fred is married with three kids and lives in New York City.