Dr. Burton Lee PhD MBA is Director of Stanford University’s European Entrepreneurship and Innovation Thought Leaders Program (School of Engineering) in Silicon Valley. Dr. Lee's professional credentials span over 15 years of entrepreneurial and senior executive leadership and advisory positions with venture-backed startups, global technology corporations, venture capital and private equity firms, angel networks, federal S&T agencies, state economic development offices, leading research universities, foreign governments and industry associations. His management and technical experience includes senior executive and research positions with Hewlett Packard, GE Global Research, DaimlerChrysler AG and NASA in the United States, Europe and Japan. During 2006-2008, Burton served as Innovation Policy Advisor to Governor Bill Richardson’s presidential campaign; as a Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington DC; and as innovation cluster development policy advisor to the state of New Mexico. Dr. Lee is Managing Partner of Innovarium Ventures, a strategic, financial and technical advisory services firm based in Silicon Valley. He also serves as Principal and co-founder of Space Angels Network, a professionally managed national network of accredited investors focused on seed- and early-stage aerospace-related ventures. In July 2009, Burton was appointed to Ireland’s national Innovation Taskforce by Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen.
Paul J. Lange (Sydney, Australia)
Paul J. Lange is an Australian born entrepreneur with over 25 years international experience conceiving and creating blue ocean opportunities, and leading start-ups and complex expansions. Paul has been a key player during the development phase of several fledgling industries in the technology sector including on-line hosting, on-line trading where was responsible for the creation of the first on-line barter exchange, and remote off-site data backup. Paul continues to provide his expertise to companies, both large and small, through his consultancy business. He also mentors young entrepreneurs, and speaks regularly to large audiences around the world on the subjects of successful business building, building a world class sales and marketing organisation, and setting and achieving personal and business goals.
Dr. Janne Virtapohja (Tampere, Finland)
Dr. Janne Virtapohja is the Director of Research and Innovation Services at the Tampere University of Technology (Finland).
Dr. Virtapohja received his Ph.D. in Applied Chemistry in 1998 from the University of Jyväskylä (Finland). He has worked as a Research Scientist in Organic Chemistry and in Applied Chemistry in 1994-2000. Since year 2000 he has worked as Research Liaison Officer for the Lappeenranta University of Technology, as Innovation Manager for the Foundation for Finnish Inventions, as Innovation Manager for the University of Jyväskylä, and as Project Manager in a project called “Development of National Innovation Services” for the Helsinki University of Technology. The project was funded by the Ministry of Education.
Since year 2007 Dr. Virtapohja has been responsible for the Research and Innovation Services of the Tampere University of Technology. The Research and Innovation Services unit is involved in the establishment of start-up companies, cooperation with Finnish and foreign industry, Finnish R&D financing institutions, venture capitalists, and internationalization of Finnish businesses.
Fernando A. Garcia (Madrid, Spain)
Fernando A. Garcia has more than 20 years of experience in Software and IT Industry working at American and European multinational companies developing business and leading new projects. Currently he is responsible for Southern Europe & Latin America at illuminate Solutions, the pioneer Company of the Correlation Database (CDBMS) which allows to create a complete Data Warehouse in less than 2 months. He is Member of The Business Intelligence Institute as Data Warehouse Technology and Innovation Coordinator for the United States and Mexico, and frequent speaker in international trade-shows and workshops.
Will Cardwell (Finland)
Will Cardwell (46) is currently CEO of Technopolis Ventures, the largest high tech business incubator in Finland with offices in 9 cities and over 250 incubator clients. He is on the board of a number of Finnish companies, and has been living in Finland with his family for over 14 years. Prior to Technopolis, he was CEO of Valimo Wireless, and a partner with Finnish venture capital firms Conor Venture Partners and Eqvitec Partners. Earlier, he was a lecturer in finance and research director at the Helsinki School of Economics and at the Helsinki University of Technology. He holds an undergraduate degree in mathematics from Davidson College, and an MBA from the Helsinki School of Economics.
He has been married to his wife Jaana since 1987, and has 3 children: Aleks (20), Amanda (18) and Amelia (11). In his spare time he is involved in the sports and entertainment industries, and is a founder and board member of the American Chamber of Commerce in Finland.
Uly Wolters (Hamburg, Germany)
Uly Wolters is Senior Investment Manager - Head CEE Investments at eVenture Capital Partners GmbH, He has great experience in venture capital and on-line industry. In 2000, Uli worked in a team of creators Scandinavian online auction Tradera, then he developed online trading space Proxchange.com in Europe. eVenture Capital Partners recently invested into Ukrainian company Mapia.ua, which is the first agreement by fund at the CIS, іn addition fund has negotiations with few others.
Peter van Praag (Utrecht, Netherlands)
Peter van Praag (1959) joined MIND HUNTER as a Managing Partner in June 2009. MIND HUNTER provides Capital Search services and People Solutions services to mainly disruptive innovative companies who are looking for capital to get started or to grow. He served as President and CEO and then as Board Director of the public company Collexis Holdings, Inc., from 1999 to 2008. Collexis is a leading developer of semantic knowledge discovery software. He is one of the pioneers of the Application Service Provider model, which resulted in the world’s first pre-populated social network for medical researchers, www.biomedexperts.com. Before Collexis Mr van Praag was a Division Director of Fujitsu/ICL in the Netherlands, from 1996 to 1999. In 1996 Mr van Praag sold his software house VPI Gezondheidszorg BV., which company he founded in 1991, to Fujitsu/ICL. VPI developed specialized applications for the healthcare sector and grew rapidly from scratch to market leader. After his Chemistry study Mr van Praag started his career in 1979 in the IT business. Organizations he worked for are a.o. Shared Medical Systems, Datapoint, CMG, RAET and Fujitsu/ICL. Peter van Praag is a natural entrepreneur and a top level Officer as well. He has proven to be able to bring an organization to the highest level of performance in the shortest time possible.
Anne Sormunen (Finland)
Anne Sormunen (1972) is Executive Director of Venture Cup Finland, the national business plan competition since year 2000. Venture Cup supports the birth and internationalization of new innovative start-ups with growth focus. Venture Cup operates in 10 university cities in Finland and is arranged in cooperation with universities, polytechnics, incubators and technology centers. She holds M.Sc.(econ.) from Helsinki School of Economics and studies in four other universities. She has work experience in international business (chemical industry and constructions industry, market areas: US, Asia, Europe), fundraising (charity, culture, innovations), consulting, concept development and multimedia, theatre and event productions.
Patrick de Laive (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
Patrick de Laive (1979) is an Internet Entrepreneur. Patrick de Laive is initiator of The Next Web Conference, Bowlr and OpenCoffee Amsterdam. He is founder of Fleck.com (past), founder of twittercounter (Tracking Twitter stats) and Paydro (Your own ticketmaster). He is involved in the following companies: thenextweb.com - The European technology blog covering startups and technology, 2009.thenextweb.com - The European Internet Conference, confnetwork.com - An instant social business network. He’s investor in social software platform Wakoopa.com and music startup Twones. Patrick is one of the most connected internet entrepreneurs in the Netherlands. He graduated with a Masters Degree in Economics in December 2004 at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam.
Debra M. Amidon (Boston, USA)
Debra Amidon is Founder and CEO of ENTOVATION International, Ltd. (Wilmington, Massachusetts, USA) - a global innovation research and consulting network [E100] linking 67 countries throughout the world. Convening the first conference on ‘Managing Knowledge Assets into the 21st Century’ and first writing about ‘intellectual capital’ (IC) in 1987, she is considered one of the original architects of the knowledge economy. Referred by her peers as “Drucker operationalized”, and the “Deming for innovation management”, she was featured with Nobel Laureates in the Festival of World Thinkers in Abu Dhabi, and sponsored the World Summits on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (WSIE) in Muscat, Oman, and Dubai, UAE. She’s authored seminal books published in many languages, such as The Ken Awakening (1997) and The Innovation SuperHighway (2003) which has been called “the breakthrough innovation book of the decade”. In 2006, she premiered a trilogy of books on Knowledge Economics: Principles, Practices and Policies as well as the State-of-the-World KIZ Preview making visible the Triple Knowledge Lens (TKL) – beyond sustainability reporting - and 15 capital value drivers for the Knowledge-based Economy, Society and Infrastructure. Keynote presentations – primarily focused upon Knowledge Innovation Zones (KIZ) - have been heard in 36 nations across 6 continents. Her counsel has been sought by diverse organizations such as the National Research Council, the Asian Productivity Organization, The Confederation of Indian Industries, The Agility Forum, the Industrial Research Institute, the European Union, METI, PBS, BBC, The World Bank and the UN. Debra holds degrees from Boston University, Columbia University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she was an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow.
Héctor Franco (Mexico)
Hector Franco has Bachelor's degree in Computer Sciences and Engineering from the Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico (ITAM), Post-graduated Diploma in Accounting and Finance from the ITAM. Over 20 years of professional experience in Consulting, Project Management and Academic trajectory in Business Intelligence, Innovation and Improvement in Strategy-Tactics and Operations. President of The Business Intelligence Institute, Coordinator and Professor in the Business Intelligence Diploma Program at the ITAM. He is Project Management Professional (PMP) in the Project Management Institute Coordinator for Public Sector in the PMI-Chapter Mexico, Member of the PMI - College of Performance Management. Former leader of the DW-Business Intelligence Practice in PricewaterhouseCoopers, he is Mexican Institute of Finance Executives – IMEF. Certificate in Sales Strategies for European Markets and Certificate of Strategy and Innovation from the L’Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne Switzerland, Certificate in International Negotiations from the University of Notre Dame – Mendoza College of Business. Consulting Partner at Grupo Frabel-Business Intelligence and Business Intelligence Advisory for Mexico, United States, Spain and Luxemburg. Has participated in important projects in Data Warehouse/Business Intelligence engagements in global/multi-national and complex multi-cultural implementations in Fortune 500 Corporations in several industries and sectors combining Strategy, Tactics, Process Improvement, Innovation, Compliance, Project Management, Technology & Business Intelligence Methodologies. Editor and lecturer at conferences, seminars in Information Technologies and Business Intelligence for ComputerWorld, Software Guru, IDC, EXPOCOMM, US Commercial Service, ITAM, UNITEC, AMITI, IMCP, PwC, CONACYT (Science & Technology Council), Lider de Proyecto.com, PMI, among others.