HONEST LIKE NOWHERE ELSE.
We gauge whom to bring on stage by one predominant metric: what concrete advice can they bring to the table. The result? A dissection of how to grow a business, delivered by people who have built some of the most successful companies on the planet.
Here’s who will take the stage in 2021.
Tony is Principal at Future Shape, an investment and advisory firm coaching deep tech startups. Currently, Future Shape is coaching over 200+ startups innovating game-changing technologies.
Tony is an active investor and entrepreneur with a 30+ year history of founding companies and designing products that profoundly improve people’s lives.
He is the founder and former CEO of Nest, the company that pioneered the “Internet of Things.” Tony was the SVP of Apple’s iPod Division and led the team that created the first 18 generations of the iPod and the first three generations of the iPhone. Throughout his career Tony has authored more than 300 patents. In May 2016, TIME named the Nest Learning Thermostat, the iPod and the iPhone as three of the “50 Most Influential Gadgets of All Time.”
About Future Shape
Founded: 2014 | HQ: France | Stage: Series A–Series B
Renate Nyborg is CEO at Tinder. With over 15 years experience building mobile and subscription businesses, Renate joined Tinder in 2020 to lead its European operations. Now Renate is the first female CEO at Tinder.
Renate joined Tinder from Headspace, where she built and led its first international product and marketing team. She previously spent four years at Apple, where she led the App Store subscription business in Europe. Renate is also the founder of Pleo, a human-centric app design studio, and was the first-ever Global Director of Mobile at Edelman.
Renate is of Norwegian and Dutch origin and has worked in London, Silicon Valley, Stockholm, Paris, and Switzerland. She is a Philosophy graduate from the University of Cambridge. Renate currently lives in Europe with her husband, whom she met on Tinder and her three stepkids. She loves food, her piano, and music, and can often be found hiking or Nordic skiing around the Alps.
Founded: 2012 | HQ: United States | Funding: €682M | Industry: Social Media
Peter Carlsson is Founder and CEO of Northvolt, a company on a mission to build Europe’s largest lithium-ion battery factory. Having raised €5.55 billion of funding to date, Northvolt works with the biggest automotive manufacturers in the world such as BMW and Volkswagen.
Before founding Northvolt, Peter worked as CPO and Head of Supply Chain at Tesla Motors. He left these positions at the end of 2015 to become an entrepreneur, advisor, and angel investor. Prior to Tesla, Peter worked as Chief Product Officer in several notable companies such as NXP (former Philips Semiconductors) and Sony Ericsson.
Peter holds an M.SC. in Economics, Production, and Quality Control from Luleå Technical University.
Founded: 2016 | HQ: Sweden | Funding: €5,55B | Industry: Energy
April Koh is Co-founder and CEO of Spring Health, a comprehensive mental health benefits platform for employers.
April has received honors from the American Psychiatric Association and has been featured in numerous news outlets such as Forbes 30 under 30. She is also a Yale Entrepreneurial Institute Fellow.
About Spring Health
Founded: 2016 | HQ: United States | Funding: €96M | Industry: Health
Guillaume Pousaz is Founder and CEO of Checkout.com, an online payments platform.
Founded in 2012, Checkout.com is now one of the world’s largest fintech companies with 13 offices and a team of over 750 people.
Originally from Switzerland, Guillaume has since lived all over the world while driving Checkout.com’s ambitious international expansion.
Founded: 2012 | HQ: United Kingdom | Funding: €755M | Industry: Fintech
Luciana Lixandru is Partner at Sequoia, where she focuses on enterprise and consumer technology companies across Europe. Luciana works closely with companies like Xentral and Getir, and is passionate about helping founders at all stages to unlock their potential and think on a global scale.
Prior to becoming Sequoia’s first partner in Europe, Luciana worked at Accel for eight years, where she led investments in UiPath, Deliveroo, Miro and Hopin. She has also held positions at Summit Partners and Morgan Stanley.
Luciana holds a B.S. in Economics and Mathematics from Georgetown, and currently resides in London.
About Sequoia Capital
Founded: 1972 | HQ: United States | Stage: Seed–Growth
Sarah Wang is Partner at Andreessen Horowitz where she focuses on late stage venture investments across enterprise, consumer, FinTech, and bio.
Prior to joining Andreessen Horowitz, she was a Vice President at TA Associates, a global growth equity firm that has raised €27.4B since 1968. Sarah also served on the board of DiscoverOrg/ZoomInfo, which scaled to €295M of revenue in the enterprise sales and marketing intelligence sector. Before TA, Sarah was an early stage investor at DCM Ventures and Radicle Impact. Her career started at Boston Consulting Group and Morgan Stanley Global Capital Markets.
Sarah holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business where she was a Siebel Scholar and Arjay Miller Scholar. She holds a BA in Economics from Harvard. Sarah grew up in the midwest across North Dakota and Chicago.
About Andreessen Horowitz
Founded: 2009 | HQ: United States | Stage: Seed-Growth
Jonathan Lai is Partner on the consumer investing team at Andreessen Horowitz where he focuses on games, crypto, and social. Today, Jon serves on the board of Elodie, Mainframe Industries, Mountaintop, Singularity 6, and StarStock.
Before joining Andreessen Horowitz, Jon led the North America games investments team at Tencent. Prior, Jon was a product manager at Riot Games, the developer of League of Legends, where he shipped the Riot API and Merch Store before the company was acquired by Tencent. He started his career in investment banking for Morgan Stanley.
Jon graduated from Harvard University with an MBA and BA in Economics, and lives in the Bay Area with his family.
About Andreessen Horowitz
Founded: 2009 | HQ: United States | Stage: Seed-Growth
Sonali De Rycker
Sonali De Rycker is Partner at Accel. She joined the VC firm in 2008 and focuses on consumer (especially marketplaces), next-generation financial services and software companies.
Sonali led Accel’s investments in Avito (acquired by Naspers), Spotify (NYSE: SPOT), Primer, MerxU, Calastone, Monzo, Shift Technology, Letgo (acquired by Naspers), Kry/Livi, Soldo, Hopin, and Sennder. Prior to Accel, Sonali was with Atlas Venture (now Accomplice). She also previously served on the board of Match.com (NASDAQ:MTCH).
Sonali is from Mumbai and graduated from Bryn Mawr College and Harvard Business School.
Founded: 1983 | HQ: United States | Stage: Seed–Growth
Arvind Gupta is Partner at Mayfield. He co-leads Mayfield’s Engineering Biology practice, investing in transformational companies. Arvind was the first investor in breakout companies such as Geltor, Synthex, Prime Roots, NotCo, Prellis, New Culture, DNA Lite, and Upside Foods.
As Founder of IndieBio, Arvind redefined early stage biotech, investing in over 136 companies, growing the IndieBio portfolio’s value into billions of dollars. Prior to founding IndieBio, Arvind was Design Director at IDEO in Shanghai. Arvind is also the author of Decoding the World: A Roadmap for the Questioner.
Arvind is a BASE jumper and big wall climber, and now fights submission grappling. Arvind holds 8 patents and is married to an Icelander and has two daughters. He holds a BSs in Genetic Engineering from UCSB.
Founded: 1969 | HQ: United States | Stage: Early Stage
Lila Ibrahim is COO at DeepMind, a London-based research community building safe AI systems. At DeepMind, Lila oversees both technology and organizational infrastructure including Engineering, Operations, and People.
Originally a microprocessor engineer, Lila has helped grow some of the world’s leading technology companies including Intel, venture firm Kleiner Perkins, and Coursera, where she was the first executive hire.
Lila is Co-founder and Chair of education technology non-profit Team4Tech. She has previously served on the Board of Gannett, helping it become the largest US print media company. Her exceptional impact has been recognized by a Henry Crown Fellowship from the Aspen Institute and the Anita Borg Institute Award for Social Impact.
Founded: 2010 | HQ: United Kingdom | Funding: Acquired by Google | Industry: Enterprise Software
Nicolas Julia is Co-founder and CEO of Sorare, the fantasy football platform building a revolutionary gaming experience that sets a new standard for how fans worldwide connect to the clubs and players they love.
Prior to co-founding Sorare, Nicolas was the VP of Operations at Stratumn – a SaaS software developer for large companies. He holds an MSc in Management from EM Lyon and an MSc in Economics from the Hanken School of Economics.
Founded: 2018 | HQ: France | Funding: €50M | Industry: Gaming
Sujata Bhatia is COO at Monzo, the UK neobank on a mission to make money work for everyone.
Before joining Monzo, Sujata was a Senior Vice President & GM for Global Merchant Services Europe at American Express. In her early career, she was a strategy consultant at Bain & Company in London and worked at Goldman Sachs and Ernst & Young.
Sujata holds her MBA in Finance from the Wharton School of Business. Originally from Boston, Sujata resides in London. Even so, she remains an avid Boston sports fan.
Founded: 2015 | HQ: UK | Funding: €622M | Industry: Fintech
Andrey Khusid is Co-founder and CEO of Miro, a collaborative whiteboard platform. Miro currently has over 20M users around the world, including 95% of the Fortune 100 companies.
Prior to Miro, Andrey was Founder of Vitamin Group, an award-winning creative agency.
Founded: 2011 | HQ: United States | Funding: €68M | Industry: Enterprise Software
Christina Cacioppo is Founder and CEO of Vanta, a leading security and compliance platform backed by Sequoia Capital.
Born in the Midwest and based in Silicon Valley, Christina Cacioppo sits at the intersection of security, tech, and business. After starting her career in early stage VC at Union Square Ventures, Christina went on to lead product management for Dropbox Paper, bringing the product to market. With Vanta, the Y Combinator alum is pioneering a continuous, automated approach to security monitoring.
Christina received her Masters in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford University and has taught Entrepreneurial Design courses at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. In her spare time, she reads books, runs with no destination, and cooks Sunday dinners for friends.
Founded: 2017 | HQ: United States | Funding: €48M | Industry: Cybersecurity
Albert Wenger is Managing Partner at Union Square Ventures. Before joining USV, Albert was the president of del.icio.us through the company’s sale to Yahoo and an angel investor, for example, Etsy, Tumblr.
Albert has previously founded or co-founded several companies, including a management consulting firm and an early hosted data analytics company.
Albert graduated from Harvard College in Economics and Computer Science and holds a Ph.D. in Information Technology from MIT.
About Union Square Ventures
Founded: 2003 | HQ: United States | Stage: Seed-Growth
Linnéa Kornehed is Co-founder and CMO of Einride, a Swedish company focusing on all-electric autonomous transport vehicles. Their mission is to design and develop intelligent technologies for movement. Einride has worked with several companies such as Coca-Cola, Oatly, Lidl and Electrolux, helping them switch to sustainable transport.
Einride has been recognized as one of the world’s most innovative companies according to Fast Company.
Prior to founding Einride, Linnéa worked as a Business Solutions Consultant at Forefront Consulting. Linnéa has twice been on Forbes’ prestige list of Europe’s hottest entrepreneurs and is also a TEDx speaker.
Founded: 2016 | HQ: Sweden | Funding: €138M | Industry: Transportation
Michael Acton Smith
Michael Acton Smith is Co-founder and Co-CEO of Calm, the leading digital health brand for mental fitness, meditation, and sleep. Calm has grown to over 100 million downloads, was the Apple 2017 app of the year, and is the world’s first mental health unicorn.
Long fascinated by neuroscience, flow states, and mental fitness, Michael is passionate about spreading meditation as a simple yet valuable skill around the world.
Prior to Calm, Michael was Founder of Ping Pong Fight Club, and Berwickstock music festival. In 2014, he was awarded an OBE for services to the Creative Industries.
Founded: 2012 | HQ: United States | Funding: €198M | Industry: Health & Wellbeing
Nazim Salur is Founder of Getir, a rapid delivery service company that distributes over 1,500 everyday items within minutes. With an established status in Turkey, where the company trends towards a super-app, and a London launch behind it, Getir has further European and US expansion on the horizon.
Prior to Getir, Nazim launched his first tech startup in 2012, BiTaksi, which brought people taxis in three minutes.
Nazim holds a BBA from Bogazici University.