Program & Speakers

  • For the 2015 edition, we are looking for speakers and panelists.

    Are you the founder of a startup in the drone, wearable or 3D printing space? Are you crushing it? If so, we’d like to talk to you about featuring you on stage.

    Is your startup experiencing high growth? Contact us.

    1) If you are local the the Bay Area, join one of the Friday open lunches to meet with the organizers (install the app and search for the next lunch called “Office Hours with the Startup Conference Organizers”). That will allow us to discuss what your talk would cover in details and is your best chance to be selected on stage.

    2) Contact us by email. Indicate what makes you relevant to address entrepreneurs. Share some metrics that tell us how successful you are (number of users, or amount of funding, or number of employees for instance). What stories from your startup would you like to share that are both insigthful and fun?

    Use the contact form at the bottom of this page. This call for speakers in open until end of March.

    2014 Conference Schedule

    9:00-9:30 am Opening Keynote: Tim Draper
    9:30-10:10 am Panel: I Can Do It, Too!
    Vivek Wadhwa, VP of Research and Innovation, Singularity University
    Sandy Miller, Entrepreneurship Co-Chair and New Venture Development Managing Director, Singularity University   
    Alison Johnston Rue
    , CEO and Cofounder, InstaEDU
    Moderated by Angelika Blendstrup, Ph.D. Chief Entrepreneur Evangelist, SV LATAM Fund
    10:15-10:30 am Break – village opens
    10:30-10:50 am Josh Reeves, Co-Founder and CEO, ZenPayroll
    10:50-10-11:10 am David Hornik, General Partner, August Capital
    11:10 am-12:00 pm Elevator Pitch Competition
    apply to launch your startup here
    12:00 pm Lunch break
    1:15-1:45 pm Guy Kawasaki, Chief Evangelist of Canva
    “Top Ten Mistakes of Entrepreneurs”
    1:45-2:15 pm Frederik Pferdt, Head of Innovation & Creativity Programs, Google
    2:15-2:40 pm How to Pitch the Press
    Cyndy Sandor, Founder & CEO, FireStart Partners
    Owen Linderholm, Sr. Editor, Yahoo! Small Business Advisor
    Moderated by Mike Kanellos, Vice President, Eastwick Communications
    2:40-3:00pm Lisa Stone & Jory Des Jardins, Co-Founders, Blogher
    “Still together after all these years: How to keep a partnership alive through recessions, right-sizings, and industry disruptions”
    3:00 pm Break
    3:15-3:30 pm Mark Linsey, VP Engineering, Homejoy and Co-Founder, Crowdbooster
    “How to Eat the World”
    3:30-3:45 pm Monisha Perkash, Co-Founder and CEO, LUMO BodyTech
    “The Failures, Successes, and Pivots of a Wearable Tech Company”
    3:45-4:00 pm Coen Hyde, Co-Founder, Popbasic
    “Building a vertically integrated brand in 80 days”
    4:15 pm Investor Panel:
    Christine Herron, Managing Director, Intel Capital
    Steve Goldberg, Partner, Venrock
    Arif Janmohamed, Partner, Lightspeed Ventures
    Amber Fowler, Partner, EchoVC
    Sunny DhillonPrincipal, Signia Venture Partners
    Kevin Swan, Partner, iNovia Capital
    Moderated by Bill Reichert, Managing Director, Garage Technology Ventures
    5:30pm After-Party


    2014 Conference Speakers

    • Guy Kawasaki

      Guy Kawasaki Chief EvangelistCanva

      Guy Kawasaki is the chief evangelist of Canva, an online graphic design tool. Formerly, he was an advisor to the Motorola business unit of Google and chief evangelist of Apple. He is also the author of APE, What the Plus!, Enchantment, and nine other books. Kawasaki has a BA from Stanford University and an MBA from UCLA as well as an honorary doctorate from Babson College.

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    • Timothy Draper

      Timothy Draper Founder and Managing Director Draper Fisher Jurvetson

      Timothy C. Draper is the Founder and a Managing Director of Draper Fisher Jurvetson. His original suggestion to use “viral marketing” in web-based e-mail to geometrically spread an Internet product to its market was instrumental to the successes of Hotmail and YahooMail, and has been adopted as a standard marketing technique by hundreds of businesses. On behalf of Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Tim serves on the boards of DoAt, Glam, Meebo, Prosper, SocialText, and DFJ Plug ‘N Play companies. DFJ’s previous successes include: Skype (EBAY), (YHOO), Baidu (BIDU), Parametric Technology (PMTC), Hotmail (MSFT), PLX Technologies (PLXT), Preview Travel (TVLY), Digidesign (AVID), and others. Tim launched the DFJ Global Network, an international network of early-stage venture capital funds with offices in over 30 cities around the globe. He founded or co-founded DFJ ePlanet (global), Draper Fisher Jurvetson Gotham (NYC), Zone Ventures (LA), Epic Ventures (Salt Lake City), Draper Atlantic (Reston), Draper Triangle (Pittsburg), Timberline Ventures (Portland), Polaris Fund (Anchorage), DFJ Frontier (Sacramento and Santa Barbara), DFJ Vina Capital (Vietnam), and DFJ DragonFund (Shanghai). As an advocate for entrepreneurs and free markets, Tim is regularly featured as a keynote speaker in entrepreneurial conferences throughout the world, has been recognized as a leader in his field through numerous awards and honors, and has frequent TV, radio, and headline appearances. He was #52 on the list of the 100 most influential Harvard Alumni, and #7 on the Forbes Midas List. He was named Always-On #1 top venture capital deal maker for 2008. He was awarded the Commonwealth Club’s Distinguished Citizen Award for achievements in green and sustainable energy. His blog is featured at Tim is the course creator and Chairman of BizWorld, a 501c3 organization built around simulated teaching of entrepreneurship and business to children. He also serves on the Harvard Business School Board of Dean’s Advisors. Previously, Tim served on the California State Board of Education. In November of 2000, Tim launched a statewide cyber-initiative on school choice for the California General Election. He was a member of Singapore’s International Economic Council and Ukraine’s Orange Circle. He was on the Board of U.C. Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. He has a BS in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, and an MBA from Harvard Business School. ...

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    • Angelika Blendstrup

      Angelika Blendstrup Founder and Principal Angelika Blendstrup & Associates

      Angelika Blendstrup, Ph.D. is the founder and principal of Angelika Blendstrup & Associates, As of January 2014, she is also Founding Partner & Chief Entrepreneur Evangelist of SV LATAM Fund located in Silicon Valley, investing in Latin American startups; Founding Partner & Chief Entrepreneur Evangelist, ZFunction University, Latin America’s Tech Entrepreneurship Program in SV. She holds a Ph.D. from Stanford University and a Master’s from UC Berkeley. In addition to English, Angelika speaks and teaches in French, Spanish, Portuguese, and German. Angelika coaches international executives and entrepreneurs on US business communications in Silicon Valley and delivers classes at Stanford University’s Continuing Studies, Haas Business School and UCLA Anderson School of Management on US business communications, personal branding and US business presentations. Angelika is the author of They Made It! – featuring interviews with major foreign-born leaders of Silicon Valley, and co-author of Communicating the American Way. She mentors @ 500 Startups, Up West labs [Israeli accelerator] and is mentor and advisor at Brazil Innovators, Endeavor, SiliconHouse and Startup Embassy.

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    • Vivek Wadhwa

      Vivek Wadhwa  VP of Research and InnovationSingularity University

      Vivek Wadhwa is Vice President of Research and Innovation at Singularity University; Fellow, Arthur & Toni Rembe Rock Center for Corporate Governance, Stanford University; Director of Research at the Center for Entrepreneurship and Research Commercialization at the Pratt School of Engineering, Duke University; and distinguished visiting scholar, Halle Institute of Global Learning, Emory University. He is author of ”The Immigrant Exodus: Why America Is Losing the Global Race to Capture Entrepreneurial Talent”–which was named by The Economist as a Book of the Year of 2012. He was named by Foreign Policy Magazine as Top 100 Global Thinker in 2012. In 2013, TIME Magazine listed him as one of The 40 Most Influential Minds in Tech.

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    • Sandy Miller

      Sandy Miller Entrepreneurship Co-Chair; New Venture Development Managing DirectorSingularity University

      Sandra Miller manages Singularity University Labs, an accelerator with a portfolio of globally distributed startups involving technologies such as 3D printing in space, peer-to-peer car sharing, synthetic biology, and telepresence robotics. In this role, she leverages strategic connections among Singularity University’s global alumni network of investors, entrepreneurs, and innovators to help launch sustainable organizations that positively impact the world’s biggest problems. An expert in entrepreneurship education, before joining Singularity Miller played a major role in the formation and growth of two world-renown entrepreneurship education programs: Kauffman Labs for Enterprise Creation and the Stanford Biodesign Program. At Stanford she was instrumental in developing and implementing several biomedical innovation courses and programs. As managing director for the Bioengineering Department, she was the founding program director for a pioneering seed-grant program, the Coulter Translational Research Partnership Award and managed a portfolio of medical device inventions for Stanford’s Office of Technology Licensing. Miller has advised more than 200 early-stage, technology-based companies and is an invited lecturer on the topics of innovation, entrepreneurship, the commercialization of university research, and related policies. Other professional activities Mentor to the Thiel Foundation’s 20Under20 program. Advisory board member of Morpheus Medical, an early-stage medical device company. Past Trustee of the Licensing Executives Society Foundation. A founding member of the Stanford Entrepreneurship Network, with the mission to support entrepreneurship education, research and collaboration campus-wide. Phase II reviewer for the National Science Foundation’s SBIR/STTR grants program’s Biotechnology Section.

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    • Alison Johnston Rue

      Alison Johnston Rue  CEO and CofounderInstaEDU

      Alison Johnston Rue is the CEO and cofounder of InstaEDU (, the largest marketplace for online tutoring.  At InstaEDU, Alison drives strategy, business development and marketing. Prior to confounding InstaEDU, she was an early team member at Box and Aardvark (acquired by Google), then worked in marketing at Google and Nextdoor. She also cofounded in-home tutoring company, Cardinal Scholars, which sold to CourseHero. Alison has a BA from Stanford and has spoken at SXSWedu, Launch, SIIA, TieCon, and Harvard Business School on education technology and entrepreneurship. You can follow her on Twitter at @ajalison.

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    • David Hornik

      David Hornik General PartnerAugust Capital

      For nearly two decades, David has worked with technology startups throughout the software sector. In 2000, David joined August Capital to invest broadly in information technology companies, with a focus on enterprise application and infrastructure software, as well as consumer facing software and services. Prior to joining August Capital, David was an intellectual property and corporate attorney at Venture Law Group and Perkins Coie. In his legal practice, David represented high tech startups in all aspects of their formation, financing, and operations. Before that, David was a litigator in New York City at Cravath, Swaine & Moore. David has an eclectic educational background. He holds an AB in Computer Music from Stanford University, an M.Phil in Criminology from Cambridge University and a JD from Harvard Law School. David is currently a lecturer at the Harvard Law School, where he teaches entrepreneurship and venture capital, and previously lectured at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, where he taught intellectual property. He is the author of VentureBlog, the first venture capital blog, and VentureCast, the first venture capital podcast, and is the founder and executive producer of The Lobby conference, an annual gathering of the thought leaders of the digital media ecosystem.

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    • Dr. Frederik G. Pferdt

      Dr. Frederik G. Pferdt Head of Innovation & Creativity ProgramsGoogle

      Dr. Frederik G. Pferdt is the Head of Innovation & Creativity Programs at Google and leads a talented team which catalyzes 10x thinking at Google by building a thriving innovation environment. Frederik is co-founder of “The Garage” at Google and was nominated as a visiting scholar at the Center for Design Research (, Stanford University and research scholar at EdLab, Columbia University. As the founder of LearningDesign:Lab, he created award-winning user-centered design experiences for various groups -- from kindergartners, to teachers, to CEOs. As a Lecturer at Stanford University, he feels lucky to see students being empowered through user-centered, prototype-driven design so that they can do cool things that matter in the world. He has also authored and co-authored books and has written more than 18 articles about Innovation, Design Education, eLearning, Change Management and Mentoring.  He currently lives in Silicon Valley with his wife and two sons, and draws inspiration from his boys' childish minds and playfulness.

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    • Michael Kanellos

      Michael Kanellos Vice President and Technology AnalystEastwick

      Michael Kanellos is vice president and technology analyst at Eastwick, where he advises technology companies on their communications and marketing strategies. Before coming to Eastwick, he worked as a reporter and analyst in Silicon Valley for CNET and Greentech Media for over 15 years and frequently speaks on sustainability, energy and IT and industry events. A graduate of Cornell University and the University of California, he has also worked as an attorney, a travel writer and a busboy in a pancake house.

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    • Cyndy Sandor

      Cyndy Sandor Founder & CEOFireStart Partners

      Cyndy Sandor is the Founder & CEO of FireStart Partners, a marketing and business development resource for young technology and consumer companies . Cyndy is also currently working with, leading their sales and marketing efforts in the Publisher role. Previously, Cyndy held sales and marketing executive management roles with large technology and consumer publishers – International Data Group (IDG), Ziff-Davis Enterprise, Jupitermedia, TechWeb, GeekNet and PennWell Publishing. Publication titles include GamePro, InformationWeek, CIO Insight, PCWeek, Baseline, SlashDot, SourceForge, PCGames and Dr. Dobb’s Journal and Computer Graphics Design. Her primary business leadership focused on consultative sales and revenue growth, building first class sales, marketing and business development teams, creating innovative sales and marketing programs and opening new markets for revenue expansion.

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    • Owen Linderholm

      Owen Linderholm Sr. EditorYahoo! Small Business Advisor

      Owen Linderholm is the senior editor for Yahoo! Small Business Advisor, the online destination for news, advice, and tools to help growing small businesses. In this role, he is responsible for the content and editorial helping inform and educate small businesses owners. He has over twenty years of editorial experience for organizations like PC World, C|Net, and the BBC. He has also held online editorial roles at Microsoft, Kaiser Permanente,, and Sun Microsystems.

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    • Joshua Reeves

      Joshua Reeves CEO and Co-founderZenPayroll

      Joshua Reeves is the CEO and co-founder of ZenPayroll, a Silicon Valley startup on a mission to deliver delightful, modern payroll to businesses everywhere. ZenPayroll launched in 2012 with funding from the CEOs of Dropbox, Yelp, Box and Yammer, as well as Y Combinator, Google Ventures and Salesforce, and is now processing hundreds of millions of dollars in payroll. Joshua was selected to the 2012 Forbes 30 Under 30 list and is a regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Entrepreneur and Business Insider. Prior to co-founding ZenPayroll, Joshua was the CEO and co-founder of Unwrap, a SaaS start-up which was acquired in 2010, and he began his career as an early employee at Zazzle. Joshua holds a BS & MS in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, where he was a Mayfield Fellow and a recipient of the Terman Engineering award. Follow Joshua at

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    • Lisa Stone

      Lisa Stone Co-Founder and CEOBlogHer, Inc.

      Lisa Stone is one of the three co-founders of BlogHer, Inc., along with Elisa Camahort Page and Jory Des Jardins. As CEO of the company, Lisa has charted the path from an idea for a grassroots conference to a new kind of media company, made in partnership with, by and for women (and men) on the forefront of social media, publishing and content creation. Lisa works across BlogHer on strategies that partner Fortune 500 brands with a new wave of content creators.

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    • Jory Des Jardins

      Jory Des Jardins Co-Founder and President of Strategic AlliancesBlogHer, Inc.

      Jory Des Jardins is one of the three cofounders of BlogHer, Inc., along with Lisa Stone and Elisa Camahort Page. As President of Strategic Alliances, Jory leads the company’s relationships with some of the world’s largest brands, working with them to create high-impact presence within the BlogHer community, which reaches more than 92 million internet influencers via its network of 3,000 blogs and their readers.

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    • Monisha Perkash

      Monisha Perkash CEO & Co-founderLUMO BodyTech

      Monisha Perkash is CEO & Co-founder at LUMO BodyTech, makers of the Lumo Lift and Lumo Back posture and activity trackers. She and her team are shaking up the wearable tech space with fashion-forward designs to help people look and feel great. They have recently received notable coverage in outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, Oprah Magazine, and ABC News.  LUMO is backed by Madrona Ventures, Eric Schmidt's Innovation Endeavors, and Jerry Yang's AME Cloud Ventures. Monisha previously served as CEO and Co-Founder of TuitionCoach (acquired by SimpleTuition in 2009), where she oversaw the financing, launch, and general management of the start-up. After the acquisition, she stayed on with SimpleTuition as VP Products. Monisha has an MBA from Stanford and a BA from Yale.

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    • Coen Hyde

      Coen Hyde Co-FounderPopbasic

      Coen Hyde is Co-Founder and CTO at Popbasic; a women’s fashion brand based in San Francisco that recently graduated from 500 Startups. Originally from Australia, Coen previously ran Blue Dog Frontiers, a technology company that built Learning Management Systems. Coen’s passion for building easy to use software disrupted the construction training industry in Australia. The organization won numerous awards including Australia’s Most Innovative Training Company. He has brought his expertise in building simple software to the e-commerce space. You can follow Coen on Twitter @coenhyde.

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    • Mark Linsey

      Mark Linsey Vice President of EngineeringHomejoy

      Mark Linsey, Vice President of Engineering at Homejoy.  Mark first befriended Adora and Aaron while at Y-Combinator in summer of 2010 where he worked on Crowdbooster, a social media analytics company he founded. With the experience of successfully building his own startup, Mark is able to inspire, create and lead the Homejoy engineering team to go above and beyond for both Homejoy partners and clients.  Mark graduated from Stanford with a degree in Computer Science in 2007.

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    • Bill Reichert

      Bill Reichert Managing DirectorGarage Technology Ventures

      Bill Reichert has over 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur and operating executive. Since joining Garage in 1998, Bill has focused on early-stage information technology and materials science companies. He has been a board director or board observer at CaseStack, WhiteHat Security, ClearFuels Technology, Simply Hired, MiaSole, D.light Design, ThermoCeramix, and VisaNow, among others. Prior to Garage, Bill was a co-founder or senior executive in several venture-backed technology startups, including Trademark Software, The Learning Company, and Academic Systems. Earlier in his career, he worked at McKinsey & Company, Brown Brothers Harriman & Co., and the World Bank. Bill earned a B.A. at Harvard College and an M.B.A. from Stanford University. He was a founding board member and a Chairman of the Churchill Club, and a Board Member of the Silicon Valley Association of Startup Entrepreneurs. Currently he is the Chairman of the Small Fund Roundtable of the VC Taskforce and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

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    • Christine Herron

      Christine Herron Managing DirectorIntel Capital

      Christine Herron is a Director at Intel Capital, where she invests in Internet and digital services companies. At Intel, Christine has led investments including betaworks, E la Carte, Goldbely, Jelli, Movable Ink, and Storenvy. She previously was an investor at First Round Capital and Omidyar Network, working with companies such as Double Verify, Get Satisfaction, Mint, and Common Sense Media. At Geocapital Partners, Christine funded Netcom and AXON Networks, two key builders of Internet infrastructure. She was also a hands-on operator at Mission Research and NetObjects, and was the founder and CEO of e-commerce SaaS vendor Mercury2. Christine works as an active catalyst for startup teams, and is an enthusiastic advisor to both 500 Startups and StartX.

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    • Steve Goldberg

      Steve Goldberg PartnerVenrock

      Steve joined Venrock in 2009 after having been CEO of several early stage companies including DataRunway, Vidient, Arcwave and CoWave Networks. Prior to that, he was Vice President of Research and Development at Nokia Internet Communications and Vice President and General Manager of the Wireless Communications Division at Cylink Corporation. Steve also held senior management and engineering positions at Trimble Navigation and Hewlett Packard. At Venrock, Steve focuses on investments in the wireless, mobile and energy sectors. He currently sits on the Board of Directors of Asoka, FutureDial, Newport Media, Kineto Wireless and Quantenna Communications. Previous board seats include Canesta (Acq by Microsoft) and Teranetics (Acq by PLX Technology). Steve received his B.S. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Washington University and his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

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    • Arif Janmohamed

      Arif Janmohamed PartnerLightspeed Venture

      Arif joined Lightspeed in 2008 and focuses primarily on investments in the areas of cloud and datacenter technologies, as well as enterprise mobile and SaaS solutions. Arif is currently working closely with the teams at Avi Networks, Memoir Systems, Netskope, Nutanix, Pertino Networks, Qubole, Xova Labs and Virtual Instruments. He was also involved in several Lightspeed investments which have had successful exits including Edgespring (acquired by, IO Turbine (acquired by Fusion-io), RAPsphere (acquired by AppSense) and StreamOnce (acquired by Jive Software). Prior to joining Lightspeed, Arif worked in the Corporate Business Development group at Cisco Systems where he focused on mergers and acquisitions, strategy, and investments in the Unified Communications, Enterprise Collaboration, Mobile, and SaaS market segments. Before joining Cisco Systems, he was with Novitas Capital, an early-stage venture capital firm. Earlier in his career, Arif worked in technical development and product management roles at WebTV (acquired by MSFT), Andes Networks (acquired by SUNW), and Sun Microsystems. Arif is a charter Member and member of the Organizing Committee for the C100, a non-profit, member-driven organization that supports Canadian technology entrepreneurship through mentorship, partnership and investment. He also founded WVP Ventures, a student-run venture capital fund, while in business school. Arif holds an MBA from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and a BSc in Computer Engineering from the University of Waterloo, Canada.

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    • Sunny Dhillon

      Sunny Dhillon PrincipalSignia Venture Partners

      Sunny joined the Signia team in 2012 after launching his own location-based mobile startup named Barstool and investing in early stage digital media start-ups for New World Ventures in LA and Chicago. He was previously an M&A analyst in technology investment banking at Rothschild in London, a business development manager at a venture backed spin-off of New Line Cinema, and a corporate strategist for Warner Bros. He serves as Board Observer with Signia’s investments in Super Evil Megacorp, Artillery, Grow Mobile, and Hall. He invests across consumer and enterprise sector startups, with a particular interest in gaming, consumer mobile, online video, and education technology.

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    • Kevin Swan

      Kevin Swan PartneriNovia Capital

      Kevin Swan is passionate about building technology companies and working with the entrepreneurs behind them. Prior to iNovia, Kevin worked various roles in product management, was a startup CEO, managed a seed-stage fund and spent over 10 years as a beekeeper. Kevin currently focuses on investments in SaaS, Digital Media and Connected Devices and currently serves or observes on the boards of Mitre Media, Allocadia, Basis, Parent Media, Drivewyze and Growlabs.  Kevin has a BSc. In Mechanical Engineering from the University of Alberta and a MS in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University, concentrating on control systems, dynamics, mechatronics and entrepreneurship.

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    • Amber Fowler

      Amber Fowler Partner & Chief of Staff EchoVC

      Amber is a Partner and Chief of Staff (overseeing fund operations and portfolio development). Prior to EchoVC, Amber was Vice President, Finance at Founders Fund, a venture capital firm with over $1B under management. Before this, she consulted for 14 years on accounting, systems integrations, financial planning & reporting, and tax matters for start-ups, philanthropies, and financial firms, incl. the FF Angel programs at Founders Fund. She has worked with Topspin Media, Federated Media, Thiel Foundation and the Dalai Lama Foundation. Amber was also controller at Reactor, an online marketing firm and in private practice at boutique accounting firms. Ms. Fowler has a BS in Accounting from the University of Washington. She is an avid cyclist, art lover and foodie.

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