2018 Speakers

  • Irina Kofman

    COO, Google AI

    Irina Kofman is the Chief Operating Officer working with the Google AI Team and Jeff Dean to lead the Research and Machine Intelligence organization. Since joining Google 11 years ago, Irina has partnered with many executives and cross functional partners, focusing on organizational efficiency and health, strategy, and team building. Irina was a founding member of the Machine Intelligence group at Google in 2013, and since that time continued to grow the Machine Learning efforts at Google, including program managing the launch of TensorFlow, Google’s open source software library for Machine Intelligence, and leading the creation and launch of the Google AI Residency Program.  

  • Kara Goldin

    CEO and founder, Hint

    Kara Goldin is the founder and CEO of hint, a healthy lifestyle brand that produces delicious unsweetened flavored water, as well as a fruit scented  sunscreen spray that is oxybenzone and paraben-free.  Kara regularly mentors aspiring entrepreneurs and recently launched the podcast Unstoppable, where she interviews disruptors across various industries.

  • Jenny Gove

    User Experience Research lead, Google

    Jenny Gove is a User Experience Research lead at Google, where she conducts research on device use. Jenny’s current area of focus is online Payments. Previously Jenny managed the Apps, and Ads Design Research teams at Google. Prior affiliations includes Sun Microsystems, Zadu, and the Open University, UK. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Southampton.

  • Susan Alzner

    Co-founder, Strategy & Ops, shift7

    Susan Alzner is co-founder of shift7, advancing tech-forward, open, sharable practices to drive direct impact on systemic challenges, particularly through scouting and scaling promising solution-makers and solutions. Susan led public engagement at the United Nations from 2010-2018, serving the Office of the President of the General Assembly and the Executive Office of the Secretary-General. Her leadership has included designing and facilitating open, transparent, and participatory processes for civil society and social entrepreneurs to contribute to the highest-level UN events and processes, including the UN Sustainable Development Goals negotiations and Summit. Susan received a UN Secretary-General Staff Award for Teamwork in 2015.

  • Ashley Sumner

    Co-founder, Quilt

    Ashley Sumner is a co-founder of Quilt, a platform that enables women to open their homes to other women for conversation, co-working and workshops in the U.S.  Her career started 8 years ago in NYC as a matchmaker. With an intuitive ability to bring people together, she turned her passion into a career as a community developer for brands such as NeueHouse and Wanderlust, ultimately leading to the creation of Quilt with her business partner, Gianna Wurzl. She now lives in Los Angeles, like every other New Yorker.

  • Ruzwana Bashir

    CEO and founder, Peek

    Ruzwana is Founder & CEO of Peek.com, a marketplace to book the best activities (from art tours to ziplining). Peek has raised $40 million in funding and provides over 10,000 experiences across the US and Mexico. She was selected as a Finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, named one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 and recognized as one of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs. She is a Young Global Leader for the World Economic Forum. Before starting Peek she worked at Goldman Sachs and the Blackstone Group. Ruzwana has an MBA from Harvard Business School, where she was a Fulbright Scholar, and a BA from Oxford University where she was President of the Oxford Union.

  • Alexsis de Raadt St James

    Managing Partner, Merian Ventures

    Alexsis is an investor and senior executive with a history of working in technology, venture, corporate finance and PE. Her expertise lies in Blockchain, AL, ML and consumer-facing technologies, product development and digital strategy.

  • Christie Pitts

    Partner and Chief of staff, Backstage Capital

    Christie is Partner + Chief of Staff of Backstage Capital. She is responsible for guiding their Crew to ensure Backstage runs smoothly towards its mission as well as joining Managing Partner, Arlan Hamilton, in making investment decisions. Christie has extensive experience creating valuable partnerships between startups and Fortune 500 top 20 corporations, and joins Backstage from her role as Venture Development Manager at Verizon Ventures.

  • Megan Smith

    CEO and 3rd U.S. Chief Technology Officer (2014-2017), shift7

    Megan Smith is an award-winning entrepreneur, engineer, and tech evangelist.  She is the CEO of shift7, a company focused on tech-forward innovation for faster, scaled impact. Smith served as the third U.S. chief technology officer from 2014-2017 helping the President and his teams harness the power of data, innovation and technology on behalf of the nation. Prior to joining the White House, she spent eleven years at Google as vice president of new business development; she led acquisitions of Google Earth, Maps, and Picasa; and later was a VP at Google[x]. Smith was CEO of PlanetOut and pioneered early smartphones technologies at General Magic. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from MIT, where she now serves on the board. Smith is an advisor to the MIT Media Lab, Vital Voices, Thinkof-Us, the Malala Fund, which she co-founded and a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

  • Sarah Hunter

    Director of Public Policy, X

    Sarah is the Director of Global Public Policy at X (formerly Google X). She has been in California for the past 5 years but recently returned to live in the UK. Sarah’s background is in politics. Before joining Google, she was a specialist in broadcasting policy and was Prime Minister Tony Blair’s Senior Policy Adviser on Culture, Media and Sport in Downing Street.

  • Bob Goodson

    CEO and founder, Quid

    Bob is founder and CEO of Quid. Quid is an award-winning AI company that has raised $70M and analyzes written content at scale. Originally from Norfolk, Bob has worked in Silicon Valley for 14 years, since attending this event while studying at Oxford. He was designer and first employee of Yelp (now public with 4,000+ employees).

  • Nicole Quinn

    Partner, Lightspeed Venture Partners

    Nicole an investor at Lightspeed Venture Partners, focused on early stage consumer technology companies. When she’s not working one-on-one with founders, she’s researching potential investments, even if they take her on road trips to the middle of the country to meet the customer.

  • Cal Henderson

    Co-founder and CTO, Slack

    Cal Henderson is the co-founder and CTO of Slack. He is an expert in the use of APIs, an author, and a popular speaker. He previously led engineering at Flickr from its founding and authored the best-selling O’Reilly book “Building Scalable Websites”.

  • Karen Appleton Page

    Executive / Investor

    Karen Appleton Page is an entrepreneur, advisor, investor and board member.  A respected business leader, Karen previously worked at Apple on the enterprise team, and she was a founding executive at Box, leading go-to-market activities. Karen is a Venture Partner with XFund, on the board of Plastiq and Pickit, and a trustee at the Computer History Museum, Thorn and The Newseum. Karen’s angel investments include Werk, Glassbreakers, Elliot, Strype and Wonderful Life. She is experienced in building businesses from zero to high growth, evaluating and deploying double-digit expansion efforts, defining and implementing net-new initiatives, passionate about executing strategic partnerships and business development plans through data driven analysis, strategic prioritization, and relentless execution.

  • Rahul Vohra

    Founder & CEO, Superhuman

    Rahul is the founder and CEO of Superhuman, the fastest email experience in the world.  Customers get through their inbox twice as fast, and many see Inbox Zero for the first time in years!  Previously, he was co-founder and CEO of Rapportive, which was the first Gmail plugin to scale to millions of users.  Rapportive was then acquired by LinkedIn.

    Rahul advises and invests in startups, and — more than anything — loves to design beautiful experiences that make people smile.