Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a dynamic, growing business unit of Amazon. Since early 2006, Amazon Web Services has provided companies of all sizes with an infrastructure platform in the cloud. Today, Amazon Web Services provides a highly reliable, scalable, low-cost infrastructure platform in the cloud that powers hundreds of thousands of businesses in 190 countries around the world.
Executive Sponsor - Rob Ruyak, Global Lead, VC & Startups Business Development at Amazon Web Services
Rob Ruyak leads business and partnership development efforts with venture capital, commercialization firms and startups for Amazon Web Services in the global public sector group. He specializes in topics related to aerospace, smart/digital cities, cybersecurity, blockchain, and AI/ML. Rob has an M.B.A. from the University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business and a B.A. in economics from Georgetown University.
Ananda Development PCL is a Thai property developer that focusses on condominium developments related to major transportation infrastructure. Its brands cover all segments of the market from luxury units costing over $1 million to super value costing $30,000. The company was founded in 1999 and its 2012 IPO unleashed its potential when it began a growth spurt that has the company expecting to grow 10X between its IPO and 2020. The company grew its market share in condo launches by major developers from less than 5% in the year before its IPO to over a quarter of the national total by 2017. This growth has been fuelled by the company’s dedication to innovation. The company has a long history of successfully working with foreign partners beginning in 2006 with Prudential, continuing with Mitsui Fudosan from 2013 and expanding with Ascott (A CapitaLand Company) in 2017.
Ananda Development PCL has the vision and commitment towards continuously improving the lives of urban-dwellers. In support of the lifestyle in this futuristic digital age, technology has been used to aid in solving problems or support an improved quality of urban life. The ultimate aim is to raise and further develop this quality of life in all aspects of modern living, covering safety, speed and convenience in the areas of housing, commuting, working, health and personal finance. The company places great importance on technology as another key driver that can provide change and solve problems in every aspect of business. As a result, a careful strategy has been set to lead Ananda Development PCL towards an “UrbanTech” existence. Our initiatives consist of three parts: 1. Ecosystem Support, 2. Fund of Funds and 3. Corporate Venture Capital. All three components play a vital role in moving a strategy of innovation and technology forward for the company to become “UrbanTech” and ensure that Ananda Development PCL is able to develop and further improve the lives of future city residents.
Executive Sponsor - Dr. John Leslie Millar, Chief Strategic Development Officer at Ananda Development
John is currently the Chief Strategic Development Officer of Ananda Development Public Company Limited. In 2017, he led the repositioning of Ananda as the first UrbanTech company in Thailand and currently heads up its innovation strategy and investment operations. He has helped Ananda incorporate Life-as-a-Service features such as smart homes, smart-living mobile applications, ridesharing and big data analytics into the group’s projects, significantly enhancing occupant experience through technology. He advises the Royal Thai Government for matters related to regulatory changes that impact innovation. He has also sat on the Foundation for Science and Technology Committee to advise the House of Lords on innovation policy in the UK. He previously founded a company that was funded by the National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts (NESTA) to support IP commercialisation across the UK among numerous other projects.
Executive Liaison - Alan Landau, Technology Innovation Manager at Ananda Development
Alan is currently the Technology Innovation Manager at Ananda Development Public Company Limited. Over the last 10 years Alan has acquired deep and broad experience working for and with clients as diverse as television, computer science research, healthcare/pharmaceuticals, military/government, gaming, and real estate/hospitality. He has designed, implemented and managed multiple major organizational change programs, notably around digital transformation and user experience. Alan has also been instrumental in initiating and managing many of Ananda’s strategic partnerships, particularly UrbanTech. Alan also played a key role in the development and execution of Ananda Campus @ FYI Center – leading the technology systems design that enables many of the office’s functions. Today Alan focuses on continued enhancements at Ananda and sourcing for its CVC via his 4D strategy – Discover, Develop, Deploy, Disrupt – as well as managing strategic corporate special projects.
Using the world’s top-class technologies cultivated through a history of technological innovation extending over 100 years, AGC has continued to achieve the creation of new values in the business areas of Glass, Electronics, Chemicals, and Ceramics.
Azcende is a venture capital and advisory firm that seeks to evolve the infrastructure utility and value of the world’s cities through its investment mindset in urban innovation. As a result of our expertise and insights into (smart city) infrastructure, Azcende can harness existing assets and services or enhance construction or new infrastructure through effective identification and matching of early-stage tech startups (in which we may seek to invest). Combined with our approach to identify societal, economic and environmental problems, there has never been a better time to leverage new approaches to intergenerational infrastructure necessary to support humanity’s urban future. This is why our Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) focus is central to our business – to ensuring that we advance humanity with positive (economic, social and environmental) impact.
Executive Sponsor - Alok Patel, Chief Executive at Future of Cities and Infrastructure Innovation at Azcende
Alok is a Future of Cities and Infrastructure Innovation thought explorer and an aspiring adviser to the world political leaders. He is a holistic executive with 20 years’ experience across numerous industries including Engineering, Real Estate and Investment Banking. Alok has succeeded in developing and leading initiatives, programs and projects across industry and government that leverage large capital assets. His strength lies in providing pragmatic vision that enables organizations to further establish themselves and retool for the future. Alok also has a track record of facilitating the conceptualization and use of technology to deliver advancement through use in operation of assets worth up to AUD$4bn; leading complex transactions of up to AUD$42m. Alok has an in depth understanding of the challenges of sustainable growth of organizations, and the integration of capabilities for learning, innovation, and technology adoption. He is also a member of the Expert Reference Group on Infrastructure Customer Stewardship at the University of Sydney’s John Grill Centre for Infrastructure Excellence (an Australian University infrastructure think-tank).
Bechtel is one of the most respected global engineering, construction, and project management companies. Together with our customers, we deliver landmark projects that foster long-term progress and economic growth. Since 1898, we’ve completed more than 25,000 extraordinary projects across 160 countries on all seven continents. We operate through four global businesses: Infrastructure; Nuclear, Security & Environmental; Oil, Gas & Chemicals; and Mining & Metals. Our company and our culture are built on more than a century of leadership and a relentless adherence to our values, the core of which are safety, quality, ethics, and integrity. These values are what we believe, what we expect, what we deliver, and what we live.
Executive Sponsor - David Wilson, Chief Innovation Officer
David Wilson is the Chief Innovation Officer for Bechtel, a global engineering, construction, and project management company with $25 billion in annual revenue. Wilson manages Bechtel’s Innovate program, designed to encourage the company’s globally deployed employees to create, share, explore, and develop new ideas for enhancing performance and competitiveness. Wilson joined Bechtel in 2001 as a mechanical systems engineer at the Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant project in Richland, Washington. Since then, he has held leadership positions of increasing responsibility, including Lean Six Sigma master black belt and project manager of a telecommunications project. His most recent role was as manager of Innovation and Virtual Project Delivery for Bechtel Infrastructure and Power business units. He is a certified professional engineer and certified Six Sigma master black belt. Wilson received his undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Utah and a master’s degree in Engineering and Technology Management from Washington State University.
Affiliate Liaison - Thomas Donoghue, Manager, Innovation Ventures & Business Development
Thomas is the Venture & Business Development Manager for Innovation at Bechtel, a global engineering, construction, and project management company. Thomas leads global external innovation efforts for Bechtel Innovate, a program designed to create, share, explore, and develop new ideas to enhance project performance and competitiveness. Working closely with the emerging technology landscape, Thomas engages strategic partners to incubate evolving ideas and advance innovative solutions that deliver increased value for our customers and industry. Thomas’ experience spans the entire lifecycle of projects across Ireland, the UK, the Middle East, and North America. He holds undergraduate qualifications in Construction and Quantity Surveying and a master’s degree in International Law and Business where he graduated top of the class.
Gleaned from connecting more individuals with more doctors across more communities, Blue Cross Blue Shield Axis® (BCBS Axis®) enables richer analytics, sharper insights and smarter solutions to advance the quality and affordability of care.
carsales.com Ltd (ASX: CAR) is an ASX 100 company and one of the largest online automotive, motorcycle and marine classifieds business in the world. The carsales network has operations and interests in leading marketplaces across Australia, South Korea, Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Colombia, Argentina and South East Asia. carsales.com Ltd also has interests in a range of adjacent industries spanning vehicle inspections, e-commerce, data, commercial software, payments and media. The carsales network receives tens of millions of visits to its online properties each month, services ~30,000 dealer customers and has ~5m members. The company is headquartered in Melbourne, Australia and employs approximately 1000 people across the world.
Ajay Bhatia is currently Managing Director Consumer Business leading the consumer group of businesses and the group product management function for carsales.com. He was previously Chief Product and Information Officer, responsible for all aspects of product management, software development, infrastructure, IT operations and various support functions at the carsales.com Ltd. Ajay has over 15 years of experience in pure digital businesses. During this time he has held several commercial and technical leadership positions ranging from GM Commercial, Display Sales, Product Director, CIO and MD. Ajay holds a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering from University of Technology, Sydney and a Masters in Management from the same university. Ajay was awarded the “Australian CIO of the year” for 2015 by CEO Magazine Ltd.
Stephen Wong is the Chief Strategy Officer at carsales.com Ltd. He is responsible for leading strategy development, mergers, acquisitions, divestments and strategy partnerships. Prior to joining carsales.com Ltd in 2017, he spent his entire career in investment markets, most recently as Senior Portfolio Manager (Large Cap Global Equities) at Australia’s largest multi-family office where he delivered strong top quartile performance. He also had primary responsibility for Venture Capital and Private Equity investments. Prior to this, he was Vice President – Australian Equities in the Portfolio Management Group at BlackRock. Stephen holds a Bachelor of Commerce with First Class Honours from the University of Melbourne and is a CFA Charter holder. He is currently undertaking the General Management Program at The Wharton School (University of Pennsylvania) where he is an Aresty Scholar.
Cinémoi is a television network focusing on film, fashion and international style. It is available in the United States on DirecTV, Verizon FiOS-Frontier, Channel 236 and Sling TV. Originally the channel was dedicated to screening subtitled French movies from the New Wave onwards. And its premium programming currently gives viewers front row seats to an assortment of international titles and festivals, curated vintage to modern movies, as well as green and haute couture content, and an array of glamorous events, including the Cannes Film Festival Red Carpet and Closing Ceremony, and the channel's annual International Fashion Film Awards show.
Executive Co-Sponsor - Daphna Edwards Ziman, Founder, Co-Chairman, President and Chief Creative Officer of Cinémoi NA
Daphna Edwards Ziman, born in Israel, is Founder, Co-Chairman, President and Chief Creative Officer of Cinémoi, a television network devoted to Excellence, curating vintage to modern films, high fashion, and international lifestyle. Founder of a music label Unicorn/SST Records, a writer/director, an award-winning author and a philanthropist, respected internationally and in the Halls of Power in Washington, D.C. for her work on behalf of at-risk women and children. Away from the office, her passion is helping women in transition and at-risk and foster youth. She is the founder and chairperson emeritus of Children Uniting Nations, a charity that provides foster children with mentors, and successfully lobbied to amend the Family Preservation Act, ensuring the safety of children returning home after foster care. Ms. Ziman also serves on the Advisory Board of the Philanthropic Arm of the State Department, IREX, as well as on the Board of Trustees of Children’s Institute International, and is a Chairperson of ABC LOVE (Adoption Brings Children Love).
Executive Co-Sponsor - Roderick Sherwood III - Co-Founder, Co-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for Cinémoi NA
Roderick Sherwood III is the Co-Founder, Co-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for Cinémoi NA. He was previously the President and CEO of Westwood One, which had syndication and distribution of programming to over 5000 radio stations and 165 TV stations. Some other positions he has held include: CFO, Operations of The Gores Group, LLC; Chairman and VP of CompuDyne Corporation; Senior VP and CFO of Gateway, Inc.; Executive VP and CFO of Opsware, Inc.; Executive VP of DIRECTV International and CFO of Hughes Telecommunications & Space Company. He received his AB degree with Honors and Distinction from Stanford University and an MBA degree from Harvard Graduate School of Business.
CloudCover represents next generation automated intelligent cybersecurity that establishes risk mitigation and risk scoring of network data, therein providing the insurance foundation for underwriting data insurance on-demand. CloudCover's CyberSafety Platform represents AI-based, real-time deep-learning cybersecurity that employs advance analytics which are driven by multi-layer algorithms demonstrating exceptional speed, accuracy and results to identify, analyze and proactive mitigate risk of data in-transit including the IoT network computing edge. The CS platform is a break-thru in real time cyber risk aware and risk control which further enables incremental data insurance.
Executive Sponsor - Stephen C. Cardot - Chief Executive Officer/President/Chairman
As the founder of the CloudCover organization, Stephen is a patent inventor of data insurance in-transit over TCP/IP, including cybersecurity risk scoring certification systems. He is focused on establishing the system and method to transfer the risks attributed to data in-motion real time. At its genesis, he was the principal who assembled and directed some of the first of many solutions to engage the Internet. When designing the first online-banking project, his group learned what it meant to develop advance risk control solutions to address data privacy and security objectives.
Executive Co-Sponsor - Robert J. Demopoulos - Chief Technology Officer/Executive Vice-President
Mr. Demopoulos has established a vast background in hardware, software, computer technology. Robert brings to CloudCover experience managing and designing IT networks and cyber security at every discipline. He has built and serviced security networks at the highest IT levels within the U.S. government, including Fortune 500 companies and institutions in a variety of fields. His 30+ years of experience and knowledge in IT security is truly extraordinary.
Cushman & Wakefield is a leading global real estate services firm that provides our clients with insight to make real estate decisions. In a world that continues to change faster than ever, we provide deep expertise locally, with global perspective. And in doing so, we strive to create a positive impact—on our employees and their families, our clients, local and global communities, and the natural environment. We work with stakeholders in more than 70 countries to create a sustainable, successful, responsible business, which includes understanding the way our activities affect other businesses, the environment, society, and the economy.
Executive Co-Sponsor - Kathleen Cahill - Solutions Owner for Valuation & Advisory
Kathleen Cahill is a Vice President at Cushman & Wakefield managing strategic partnerships and emerging technology initiatives. In her role, Kathleen advises C&W service lines on leading technology solutions and trends that can help drive organic growth, operational efficiencies and strategic transformation. Prior to C&W, she spent four years working for JPMorgan Chase & Co. as a strategy and business consultant analyst for their multifamily, commercial and construction lending businesses. She was recently named to CSQ’s NextGen 10 in 2018 for Real Estate and Finance and is the co-founder of the women’s focused real estate technology industry group, Women in PropTech.
Executive Co-Sponsor - Melanie Kirkwood Ruiz - Technology Strategy, Americas
Melanie Kirkwood Ruiz leads the firm’s technology strategy in the Americas and oversees the change agenda focused on innovation, integration and optimization. Melanie is responsible for developing tech solutions that improve and enhance client experience and value as well as drive new revenue streams. Prior to Cushman & Wakefield, Melanie was at Scientific Games where she served as Vice President of Business Technology. She holds an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and both a Master’s and Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Cornell University.
Established in 1924, Daikin Industries is one of the leading manufacturer of air conditioning equipment in the world. It had over $17B in annual revenue in 2016. Daikin sells its air conditioners in more than 150 countries. Leveraging its cutting-edge technologies, Daikin delivers outstanding products and solutions to ensure comfortable and sustainable living environments to people all over the world. Daikin strives to bring new technologies and solutions to improve its customers' every day life. In that spirit, Daikin has established an innovation center in the heart of Silicon Valley to collaborate and benefit from the innovation ecosystem here.
Executive Sponsor - Dr. Chun-cheng Piao, Vice President, Technology Alliances at DAIKIN US Corporation
Dr. Piao is the Vice President, Technology Alliances for DAIKIN US Corp. He has more than 20 years of experience in the HVAC industry doing fundamental research, system evaluation, product concept creation, and new business development. For the past three years, he has led Daikin Corporation’s Silicon Valley office for the creation of new business ecosystems, the development of corporate-startup collaboration models, and strengthening of relationships with research labs and universities with the aim of realizing innovative technologies for the next generation of HVAC products and services.
Affiliate Liaison - Tom Joseph, Principal Architect at DAIKIN US Corporation
As a Principal Architect, Tom Joseph is responsible for identifying and developing innovative technological solutions augmenting Daikin’s service offerings. In this role, Tom has collaborated with both internal and external organizations to develop a comprehensive IoT platform. Prior to Daikin, he worked with number of software companies building enterprise solutions for various industries including manufacturing, supply chain, e-commerce, asset tracking, and infrastructure engineering. Tom received his dual master’s degrees in business administration from Purdue University and ESCP-EAP. He also has a master’s degree in Mathematics from Gujarat University in India.
Diamond Wealth Strategies is a full service boutique advisory firm catering exclusively to the many unique needs of 85 Single Family Offices ranging in size from $250 million to $15 billion. Diamond has a direct investment division that serves as an outsourced private equity division for Family Offices that do not have a dedicated private equity division. This enables Family Offices to make direct investments in private equity without the high cost and inflexibility of traditional private equity fund investing. Diamond has a Wealth Transfer division which reviews estate and gift tax planning objectives in consideration of the Family’s goals and objectives. In doing so, Diamond identifies strategies that may minimize transfer taxes such as gift, estate, and generation skipping taxes while meeting the Family’s planning objectives. The planning is typically in response to specific planning needs which may include transactional planning and structuring, sophisticated inter-generational wealth transfer considerations, wealth preservation, asset protection and distribution strategies and family gifting strategies. Diamond has an investment banking division which provides financial advisory services to middle market companies throughout the world, including institutional private placements of debt and equity, merger and acquisitions advisory, financial restructuring & corporate turnarounds, valuations and strategic consulting services all geared around the unique goals and objectives of Family Offices. Lastly, Diamond has a Philanthropy division which focuses on governance design that reflect founder and family intent, methods for identifying and engaging trustees, coaching and leadership training, next gen training and connection to family values, tools and learning agendas for strategic giving, legacy, capital, and global giving, giving during times of natural disasters and active conflict, and portfolio evaluation and results driven learning and planning.
Executive Sponsor - Ronald S. Diamond - CEO
After graduating Magna Cum Laude with a B.A. in Economics from Northwestern University, Mr. Diamond started his career in 1986 at Drexel Burnham Lambert. It was at Drexel Burnham where he honed his skills as an investor, and became an Associate Director in 1988. Focusing on portfolio management, Mr. Diamond found he had a real passion for managing money. In 1990 Bear Stearns offered him the position of Managing Director. Having had success managing money for several Wall Street firms, Mr. Diamond decided to launch his own hedge fund, Pinnacle Capital Growth, Incorporated, which ultimately managed over $100 million in assets. While running Pinnacle, Mr. Diamond was asked by several investors for advice with their estate planning; a natural outgrowth of managing money. Feeling that the stock market was overvalued and after having a successful 10 year run, Mr. Diamond decided to focus full time on estate planning, wealth transfer and asset protection. Mr. Diamond developed several proprietary estate planning and wealth transfer techniques and officially launched Diamond Wealth Strategies, a boutique firm specializing in the unique needs of high net worth families.
Executive Co-Sponsor - Michael Loeb
Michael Loeb is a serial entrepreneur and venture investor. After an 8-year corporate tour at Time Inc., Michael’s first entrepreneurial endeavor was Synapse Group which revolutionized the marketing and sustaining of magazine and newspaper subscriptions worldwide by leveraging its patented continuous service business model. Synapse was sold to TWX in 2006. Incubated inside of Synapse was Priceline, which was founded by Synapse’s co-founder, Jay Walker, and co-funded by Michael. In 2007 Michael founded Loeb Enterprises (LE) with partner Rich Vogel. LE, and its lab Loeb.nyc, has been described as a ‘company factory’ – our ideas, our capital, our talent - developing both home-grown and early-stage external businesses. Today Loeb.nyc is building 20 companies.
Idaho Forest Group was formed in 2008 when two regional timber interests – Riley Creek Lumber and Bennett Forest Industries – combined their resources. The company continues to invest in new facilities, technology and manpower. From its Coeur d’Alene, Idaho headquarters, the closely held, family-owned company continues to be “Idaho Grown.” The company founders hold high standards when it comes to product, process and company objectives. This is a healthy, growing company – big enough for its national and international markets, but with hometown ethics and pride in a job well done. Excellence is the goal in caring for natural resources, employees and customers.
Executive Sponsor - Marc Brinkmeyer, Owner and President of Idaho Forest Group, LLC
Marc is Owner and President of Idaho Forest Group, LLC, the largest lumber producer in Idaho, consisting of state of the art production facilities located in Chilco, Laclede, Athol, Lewiston, Grangeville, Moyie Springs, and St. Regis. Annual capacity of over 1.46 billion board feet of dimensional lumber sold throughout the United States and exported overseas. Idaho Forest Group also has a Land and Timber Division of approximately 52,000 acres of timberland in Washington, Idaho and Montana.
Founded in 1975, Lite-On embraces being “Best Partner in Opto-Electronic, Eco-Friendly and Intelligent Technologies” as its vision to focus on the development of optoelectronics and key electronic components, and strives to build up competitive edge through resource integration and optimized management. Lite-On produces products that are used in a broad range of applications, such as computers, communications, consumer electronics, automotive electronics, LED lighting, cloud computing, industrial automation as well as biotech and healthcare. For more than 40 years, Lite-On has concentrated on establishing a competitive advantage in mass production. Through resource integration and management, we maximize the returns from a diverse product portfolio to realize excellent revenue growth and profits.
In recent years, Lite-On has been shifting its production focus from IT and communication towards IoT (Internet of Things) applications such as cloud computing, LED lighting, automotive, biotech, and industrial automation. The global technology industry is now set to welcome a new wave of changes, Lite-On aims to leverage its existing advantage as a world-class enterprise in this age of changes and challenges to become the partner of choice for global customers developing innovations and applications for photonics, energy-saving and smart technologies.
Executive Sponsor – Tony An, Chief Marketing Officer at Lite-On Technology Corporation SLA BG
Tony An is Chief Marketing Officer at Lite-On SLA (Smart Life & Application) Business Group, with responsibility for realizing new business opportunities and driving the new sales business from Smart City, Smart Car to any Smart Application for Lite-On’s Digital Transformation, and to enrich Lite-On professional B2B brand image. Prior to joining Lite-On, he worked for Garmin as APAC Director in charge of Garmin APAC operation. The major achievements are to setup Garmin China ( Beijing & Shanghai ) offices, Indian ( New Delhi ) office and rebuilt Garmin APAC Sales & Marketing including Product & Channel strategies, which assisted the company to establish a professional brand name and to earn the market leading position in Automotive, Outdoor, Fitness and Marine product segments within APAC region. Tony’s greatest strengths are his sales skill, drive and leadership. He thrives on challenges, particularly those that expand the company’s reach. During 1991 ~ 2001, Tony stayed in Europe including Germany, UK and the Netherlands for almost 10 years to extend business operation in Europe for Lite-On.
Affiliate Liaison - Bruce Bateman, CTO
Mr. Bateman previously worked for Dell, Ruckus Wireless, 2Wire, PictureTel as senior executive and director of the networking department. And he has founded or been an early team member in 9 startups. Some of them are very successful, some has been closed down and some were sold. Mr. Bateman has been working and researching in the field of telecommunication, networking, large WiFi deployments and IoT for Smart Cities and Connected Cities. He has years of experience acting as a mentor, technical advisor, Angel Investor for startups as well. He is particularly passionate about AI and robots. Therefore, he has been devoting his time to practice how to create a better life with them.
Executive Co-Sponsor - Dr. Michael Hartmann, DeGroote School of Business
Dr. Michael Hartmann is a Professor of HRM at the DeGroote School of Business, Executive Director of DeGroote’s EMBA in Digital Transformation and Principal of The Directors College. Prior to joining DeGroote, Dr. Hartmann was Deputy Director, Manchester Business School and Assistant Dean, Rotman School of Management. He has taught graduate and undergraduate courses and executive workshops in the areas of corporate governance, leadership, strategy, innovation, design thinking, and change management. Dr. Hartmann holds graduate degrees from the University of Toronto and York University and a doctoral degree from the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland.
Executive Co-Sponsor - John Preston, McMaster University Engineering
John Preston is the Associate Dean Research and External Relations for McMaster Engineering. He is responsible for the Faculties Innovation Agenda, Support for Entrepreneurship, Strategic Industrial Relations and International Partnerships. Dr. Preston’s research interests are in nanotechnology and novel materials for sensor and energy applications.John Preston is the Associate Dean Research and External Relations for McMaster Engineering. He is responsible for the Faculties Innovation Agenda, Support for Entrepreneurship, Strategic Industrial Relations and International Partnerships. Dr. Preston’s research interests are in nanotechnology and novel materials for sensor and energy applications.
Microsoft enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.
Executive Sponsor - Chris Pendleton, Head of Azure Maps, Microsoft
Chris Pendleton is the Head of Azure Maps at Microsoft. As a veteran in the mapping industry whose 20+ years of experience spans across a multitude of disciplines, he has led the shipment of dozens of Microsoft products across various mediums inclusive of web services; mobile, web and desktop applications; and, spatial database software. Chris currently works in the Microsoft Azure IoT organization focused on the intersection of Location and IoT technologies. Chris holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from San Diego State University.
Affiliate Liaison - Tara Prakriya, General Manager, Business AI
Tara is a General Manager in Microsoft’s Business AI division focused on ambient computing. She rejoins Microsoft after a fun ride as CPO of a startup in enterprise AI, Maana, from seed to just before the close of series C. Prior to that she worked at Microsoft cumulatively for 15 years in Windows, and Bing. She also had roles at Merck and Scantron. In these roles she has tackled machine learning, enterprise AI, big data analytics, content management, handwriting recognition, ink / touch and new hardware, educational LMS systems, and online advertising. She’s an AI pragmatist and believes the most important part of any solution is identifying and decomposing the right question.
MISO is a not-for-profit member-based organization that ensures reliable, least-cost delivery of electricity across all or parts of 15 U.S. states and one Canadian province. In cooperation with stakeholders, MISO manages approximately 65,000 miles of high-voltage transmission and 200,000 megawatts of power-generating resources across its footprint.
Prologis is the global leader in logistics real estate. We own, manage and develop 678 million square feet of high quality properties in the most vibrant centers of commerce around the world. With over 3,300 buildings in 19 countries we serve over 5,000 of the best international brands and businesses. We foster strong relationships with our customers because we provide a more efficient supply chain that makes their operations more effective and more sustainable. This strategic relationship with Prologis creates a powerful competitive advantage. Our nine private and two public co-investment vehicles invest in our developments with specific risk profiles and each funding vehicle supports our sustainability goals, values and initiatives. We develop industrial property for different solutions – Build-To-Suit, Inventory Development, Fee Development and Renewable Energy Solutions. We also acquire logistics properties, focusing on high quality and value-add facilities, in markets that matter most to our customers around the world. We have $67 billion of assets under management. At Prologis sustainability is embedded into our business strategy, our operations and our culture. It is central to what we do. We manage sustainability holistically creating value for our business and our stakeholders in the areas of energy, water, waste, transportation, human health, wellness, economics, social responsibility, governance, ethics, culture and innovation. Prologis has earned a spot on Corporate Knights’ annual list of the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World.
Executive Sponsor - Grant Stevens Managing Director, Global Construction & Development
Grant Stevens leads Prologis’ worldwide construction and development activities as well as the company’s Sustainability initiatives that include environmental, social and governance (ESG) programs. Grant is also responsible for the Global Energy and Development initiatives that include installation of over 180 MW of solar energy installments, 233 sustainability building certificates and the retrofit of LED light fixtures in operating buildings around the world. Prior to joining Prologis, Grant worked at Hines Development for over 30 years as a development executive in numerous cities around the world. During his tenure at Hines Grant managed the development of over 22 million square feet of diverse real estate investments including commercial, retail, mixed use and residential. His professional experience includes cities across America, Canada, Western and Eastern Europe, Russia and India. He has an exceptional record of recruiting, training and managing multi-national teams that cultivated collaboration and respect for the best of all cultures. Grant’s contributions to industry innovation started over 20 years ago when he participation with Ray Levitt at Stanford’s Collaboratory for Research on Global Projects. Grant earned his BA in Organizational Communications from the University of Utah and his Master of Science in Construction Engineering and Management from Stanford University.
Affiliate Liaison - William O'Donnell, Lead
William O’Donnell leads Prologis Ventures, the innovation platform and Venture Capital arm of Prologis. With over 18 years of experience in both real estate and technology he heads this new group’s efforts to invest in cutting-edge technology for supply-chain logistics and real estate. Mr. O’Donnell joined legacy AMB in 2003 and established a successful track record of building and acquiring investment platforms and companies globally.
QIC is a leading provider of dynamic investment solutions for sovereign wealth funds, superannuation funds and other institutional investors. Established in 1991 by the Queensland Government to manage its long-term investments, we have grown to be the third largest institutional investment manager in Australia, with more than 90 local and international clients and $74.3 billion in funds under management. With a strong foundation in Australia, our global presence also extends to Asia, Europe and the United States.
Executive Sponsor - Ross Israel, Head of Global Infrastructure
Ross co-founded Global Infrastructure (GI) in early 2006. He provides overall leadership to the team and has oversight of all the team’s investment. Ross is a member of the GI Investment Committee; the Clients, Investments and Assets Committee, and Operating Committee. As well as his Global Infrastructure responsibilities, Ross is a member of QIC’s Executive Committee. He has more than 24 years of experience in the field of corporate finance and funds management with specialist skills in infrastructure, capital raisings and M&A. He is currently a director of CampusParc (Ohio State University Car Parking), and an alternate director of Brisbane Airport Corporation and Port of Brisbane. Ross holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws.
The Royal Bank of Canada and its subsidiaries operate under the master brand name RBC. We are one of Canada's largest banks and one of the largest banks in the world, based on market capitalization. We are one of North America's leading diversified financial services companies, and provide personal and commercial banking, wealth management, insurance, investor services and capital markets products and services on a global basis. We have over 80,000 full- and part-time employees who serve more than 16 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the U.S. and 35 other countries.
Affiliate Liaison - Lara Druyan, Managing Director
Lara Druyan is a Managing Director at RBC where she is the Head of Innovation on the West Coast. She is responsible for identifying and working with start-ups on the Bank's behalf, creating partnerships, establishing relationships with the Silicon Valley ecosystem, and new product creation as well as investing in start-ups that are strategic to the Bank. Previously, she was the Founding Partner of G&B Partners, an investment and advisory firm focused on technology companies. She also served as a Venture Partner for Almaz Capital, an Adviser to Pilot Growth Equity and as a Venture Adviser to SRI where she helped SRI conceive of, launch and incubate new ventures. Ms. Druyan served as Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees and Chair of the Investment Committee for the City of San Jose’s Federated Employee Retirement System (a $2B pension plan) for six years. Previously, she was an Investor in Residence at US Venture Partners and a General Partner for over a decade with early-stage venture capital firm, Allegis Capital. Lara also worked at Silicon Graphics as a product manager in its heyday and released a dozen software products while at SGI. Ms. Druyan has led many investments and served on numerous boards of directors and advisory boards. Some of the companies in which she has invested or served as an adviser include: Xactly (XTLY), Powerset (MSFT), Skout (MEET), Xlink, Ironqloud, Galvanize Labs and Krome Photos. In 2016, she was named as one of the “Silicon Valley Investors You Need to Know” by Inc.
Executive Sponsor - Mike Dobbins, Chief Strategy and Corporate Development Officer
As Chief Strategy and Corporate Development Officer, Mike is responsible for working with RBC’s Group Executive to develop RBC’s overall strategic plan as well as providing leadership for mergers and acquisitions. Mike also chairs RBC’s Innovation Council that, in addition to overseeing investments in strategic partnerships, has responsibility for coordinating RBC’s Innovation Labs that focus on research and the development of advanced capabilities in the areas of data, security and client experience. Mike is also Chairman of RBC Bank U.S., a director of City National Bank and is responsible for RBC’s auto finance business. As a member of Group Executive, he is one of nine executives responsible for setting the overall strategic direction of RBC. Prior to this position, Mike served as Executive Vice President of Personal Financing Products, RBC’s largest banking segment. In addition, he had responsibility for U.S. strategy where he led both the acquisition and integration of City National Bank – RBC’s largest ever acquisition. Mike joined RBC in 2010 from Capital One in the U.S. where he served as Executive Vice President, Consumer Banking Segment. Mike also held executive positions with Charter One Bank and Citibank during his 25 year career. Mike is a graduate of the University of Delaware. Mike and his family are active supporters and fund raisers for Free the Children and other local charities. Mike, his wife Nikki and their two sons live in Toronto.
SRI is an independent, nonprofit research center that works with clients to take the most advanced R&D from the laboratory to the marketplace. Serving government and industry, we collaborate across technical and scientific disciplines to generate real innovation and create high value for our clients. We invent solutions that solve your most challenging problems today and look ahead to the needs of the future. For more than 70 years, we’ve led the discovery and design of ground-breaking products, technologies, and industries – from Siri and online banking to medical ultrasound, cancer treatments, and much more.
Executive Sponsor - Stephen Ciesinski, President
As president of SRI, Stephen Ciesinski jointly develops SRI strategy with the CEO and ensures that corporate resources and talent are aligned with supporting SRI’s research needs. Ciesinski also serves as president of Global Partnerships at SRI. In addition, Ciesinski is a member of SRI’s strategy committee, new venture committee, and technology investment committee. Ciesinski’s professional experience includes a number of industries and businesses: applications software, semiconductor capital equipment, telecommunications, mobile/wireless, medical devices, open innovation, and others. Ciesinski has held executive management positions with Applied Materials, a global manufacturer of semiconductor capital equipment; Octel Communications, a worldwide leader in voice-messaging products; Resumix, Inc., the inventor of Web-based personnel recruiting applications; and Laszlo Systems, a pioneer in Web 2.0 software. He started his career at Procter & Gamble, was a consultant with Booz, Allen & Hamilton, and also was a venture capitalist with Earlybird Ventures. He is an active international angel investor, and assists several private companies and VC firms as an advisor and board member. Ciesinski is also a faculty member at the Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) where he teaches courses on entrepreneurship. He received an MBA from Stanford University.
Urban Venture Labs is a platform to inspire, mentor and fund early stage innovations that will transform Cities. We support entrepreneurs who are solving critical urban issues like air quality, water health, mobility, city governance and product and services for the urban poor.
Executive Sponsor - Malayappan Murali, Managing Director, Shriram Properties
Mr. Murau is the Managing Director of Shriram Properties, the property development arm of USD 10 billion plus business conglomerate Shriram Group, Chennai. The Group manages assets of over INR 90,000 Crs . An Alumnus of Harvard Business School, Mr. Murali is a civil Engineer and he, at the age of 28, in 1997 took over the reins of SHRIRAM PROPERTIES. From a mere USD 0.50 million company in 1996-97, Shriram properties, today is a multi million company with nearly USD 4 billion business across India. Mr. Murali has been instrumental in attracting FDI and Non FDI investments of nearly USD 460 million from majors like Walton Street Capital, Starwood Capital Group, TPG Capital, HYPO, TATA opportunities fund, Sun Apollo, ICICI Prudential, ASK, Motilal Oswal and Amplus. Trust, transparency and credibility are his watchwords. Mr. Murali is a most sought after panelist for High–Level National and International seminars and forums, and an invited, speaker at world renowned business schools. He is on the Governing Council of many Real Estate Bodies in India. In September 2015, ASSOCHAM adjudged Shriram Properties as the “Best Developer of Southern region”.
Affiliate Liaison - Stuthi Vijayaraghavan, Co-Founder, Urban Venture Labs
Stuthi Vijayaraghavan is the Co-founder of Urban Venture Labs. Stuthi is a seasoned Strategy professional with more than 16 years of experience in Strategy and Genl Management. She has worked with Mckinsey in New York City, consulted for the UN and World Bank, and been responsible for P&L at IBM, and LexisNexis. She founded AgileStrat in 2010 to leverage these skills and apply them to businesses in India. Her passions are travel (she has managed to hit up more than 50 countries) and affordable housing (currently developing her own project). Stuthi holds a Bachelors in Engineering from PSG College of Tech, and MBA from IIM-Bangalore and a Masters degree from Carnegie Mellon University. She has mentored social ventures for over 10 years with Global Social Venture Challenge , Unitus Seed Fund, Villgro & Social Venture Partners India.
Visa is a global payments technology company working to enable consumers, businesses, banks and governments to use digital currency. We work to improve lives and economies around the world. From advancing financial inclusion to helping in times of crisis, we're using our products, know-how and philanthropy to bring about positive change.
Executive Sponsor - Brendan Fitzgibbon, Senior Director, Global Public Policy
Brendan Fitzgibbon is Senior Director for Global Public Policy at Visa, based in San Francisco, CA. Brendan oversees Visa’s response to global regulatory and government activity as it pertains to the payments industry, with expertise in a variety of areas, including fintech, financial inclusion, economics of payments, innovative payment products, and the benefits they bring. In addition to advising the business on policy development, Brendan has led notable engagements alongside renowned research firms, including ESI Thoughtlab’s Cashless Cities study and the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Government e-Payments Adoption Ranking.
WILO SE is one of the world’s leading premium providers of pumps and pump systems for the building technology, water and industrial sectors. Wilo is setting new standards as an innovation leader. We offer our customers tailored products with a high level of system efficiency and maximum energy conservation. Our goal is to make this as individual as necessary and as efficient as possible. With smart solutions that connect people, products and services, the Wilo Group is on the way to becoming the digital pioneer in the sector. The company has around 7,600 employees worldwide and makes more than 1.3 billion Euro turnover. Who we are: Founded in 1872 as “Kupfer- und Messingwarenfabrik” in Dortmund, Wilo has evolved from being a local specialist to a global player. As the majority shareholder with a stake of approximately 90 percent, the Wilo Foundation ensures the company’s continuity and independence. An uncompromising customer-driven mind-set, immediate market proximity and, in particular, our culture of innovation have made us who we are: one of the worldwide leading manufacturers of high-tech pumps and pump systems.
Executive Sponsor – Sven Prochowski, Chief Information Officer
Sven Prochowski, CIO of WILO SE, is leading the global IT organization in 65 countries. His major achievement is the creation and leadership of a globally acting Group Information Management (GIM) organization with a clear focus on Wilo’s business strategy, supporting Wilo’s core business processes best in class. This means: Implementation of the GIM IT strategy in order to support the “Ambition 2020+” and to drive GIM as a corporate IT service provider within the Group. In parallel, Sven is a member of Wilo’s Digitalization Team to define and implement Wilo’s Digitalization Strategy and to push Wilo’s Digital Transformation. Sven’s team creates new digital business models and coordinates Wilo's start-up activities. Before joining Wilo, he worked for a private bank in Frankfurt and afterwards for an automotive supplier in Lippstadt. Since joining Wilo in 2007, he managed several IT-departments. As an expatriate manager in Beijing Sven built up the GIM Organization in Asia Pacific in 2010, accompanied by his family. Soon afterwards, he took over the position as Senior Vice President and since 2012, he has been fully in charge for the Group Information Management.
DLA Piper is a global law firm with lawyers located in more than 40 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific, positioning us to help clients with their legal needs around the world. We strive to be the leading global business law firm by delivering quality and value to our clients. We achieve this through practical and innovative legal solutions that help our clients succeed. We deliver consistent services across our platform of practices and sectors in all matters we undertake. Our clients range from multinational, Global 1000, and Fortune 500 enterprises to emerging companies developing industry-leading technologies. They include more than half of the Fortune 250 and nearly half of the FTSE 350 or their subsidiaries. We also advise governments and public sector bodies.
Greenberg Traurig helps clients bridge diverse legal systems and cultures, with a focus on efficient and effective strategic advice and legal services. We not only help clients navigate change, we also help our neighborhoods stay strong in changing times – through the Greenberg Traurig Holly Skolnick Fellowship Foundation and our work with numerous community service organizations.
PARC, a Xerox company, is in the Business of Breakthroughs®. Practicing open innovation, we provide custom R&D services, technology, expertise, best practices, and intellectual property to Fortune 500 and Global 1000 companies, startups, and government agencies and partners. We create new business options, accelerate time to market, augment internal capabilities, and reduce risk for our clients. Since its inception, PARC has pioneered many technology platforms – from the Ethernet and laser printing to the GUI and ubiquitous computing – and has enabled the creation of many industries. Incorporated as an independent, wholly owned subsidiary of Xerox in 2002, PARC today continues the physical, computer, and social sciences research that enables breakthroughs for our clients' businesses
Motus Ventures helps new businesses raise seed level funding to develop and launch their new product and/or service. We have investment syndication experience and relationships with a substantial array of active early stage investors who will help us fund good opportunities. Motus Ventures has substantial connections and working relationships with automotive OEMs, tier one suppliers, fleet management companies, logistics providers, mobile phone manufacturers, internet and e-commerce companies, large retailers and consumer goods businesses, academic and government institutions, and businesses participating in the supply chains for all these businesses. We leverage these relationships to help new companies commercialize their products, form channel partnerships, win early adopter customers, and gain much needed early market traction.
Executive Sponsor - Jim Disanto, Managing Partner at Motus Ventures
Jim DiSanto is a 20 year silicon valley technology executive and veteran entrepreneur. Jim has extensive experience in enterprise software, mobile applications, navigation and location based services, and automotive applications. During the past decade, Jim co- founded and lead KonaWare, a pioneer in mobile applications for transportation and logistics operators, which he sold to Yamei Electronics of Beijing, China in 2008. Jim joined Yamei as a board director and General Manager and formed strategic partnerships with automotive OEMs and Tier One suppliers in China. Yamei was purchased by Trimble Navigation in 2011 yielding a 4X return on invested capital over two years. Prior to this, Jim co-founded Simplexity Wireless, the leading web MNVO now over $400M in annual revenue, and Vicinity (VCNT), one of the first web location based services, which went public in 2000, and was purchased by Microsoft (for MapPoint) in 2002.
TDP is a managed-services provider that accelerates corporate innovation for faster financial impact. TDP does this through the unique combination of its senior management team made up of intrepreneurs from global 2000 corporations, Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, artificial-intelligence and data-science experts whose proprietary process and technology platform synthesizes top-down human insights with bottom-up, machine learning. TDP enables its corporate clients to get real-time insights for just-in-time decision making just as consumers are able to get for personal media, wellness, and financial decision-making. (www.decisionplatform.io)
Executive Sponsor – Jim Beddows, TDP CEO
Jim Beddows has over thirty years of intrepreneurship experience across various verticals and global 2000 corporations (including the US Air Force, General Electric, PepsiCo/KFC, Disney, Microsoft, and Xerox PARC) generating over $3 billion in new businesses and services. Jim launched the first mobile services for Disney in Tokyo in 1997. Since then, he has been at the cutting edge of digitalization, and the intersection of the physical and digital spaces, including Microsoft launching MSN Mobile in 2007 and retail location-based services with Microsoft Research, 3M, and Wendy’s International in 2011. Prior to joining TDP, Jim served as a consultant at PARC helping to develop and implement a new process to rapidly accelerate the rate of research commercialization. Combined with his multi-industry experience, Jim has lived internationally in Madrid, Hong Kong, and Tokyo allowing him to see macro trends and patterns first hand. Jim is an adjunct research assistant professor in psychiatry and behavioral science at USC’s Keck School of Medicine in Los Angeles.