Eamon is a true connector of European entrepreneurship community. He is not only a director at Techstars London but also an early stage investor, advisor and board member for companies across the US, Europe and Asia. Eamon has built a startup community in London through which many entrepreneurial stars are rising.
He keeps his hands-on approach with many projects, so don't expect only theory and networking with Eamon. Serves as an adviser of Zeroth in Hong Kong - one of the major incubators in APAC region with the focus on artificial intelligence and machine learning companies.
Diamantis has gathered over 25 years of experience strengthening blue chip global brands and leading a number of multi-dimensional marketing, innovation and new product developments across both Europe and Asia.
A true globetrotter, having lived and worked in over 14 countries, his experiences spans across multiple categories from FMCG, direct B2C to OTC giving him excellent global vision of what it takes to build strong brands, scale up to achieve sustainable long term growth.
Dave Evans has a long history in innovation. He was part of Apple in the early days, where he led the first mouse team and introduced laser printing to the masses. Next, he was a co-founder of Electronic Arts and became the company’s first VP of Talent. After fifteen successful years as a tech executive, Dave went out on his own as a management consultant assisting both startups and multi-nationals in strategy, marketing, and corporate culture formation.
Along the way, Dave discovered his real passion is to help people discern and build the life they really want. That led Dave to co-found the Stanford Life Design Lab with Bill Burnett in 2007 with the mission of applying the innovation principles of design thinking to the wicked problem of designing your life.
The Life Design Lab has enjoyed great success at Stanford and is now expanding broadly across higher education. Bill and Dave's 2016 book, Designing Your Life, How to Build a Well-Lived and Joyful Life, is a NY Times #1 bestseller, available in 23 languages worldwide.
Milan is a digital strategist and a real expert when it comes to influencers marketing. Within 12 years he has spent in Red Bull Media House Milan has helped more than 200 projects and 100 global athletes and artists to rise and shine.
Successfully kicked-off the marketing of ODIVI fashion brand (Forbes 30 under 30). Consults with both corporate and CSR clients (T-Mobile, Siemens, CAMP IPR, Hospodářská komora, Czechitas) and is happy to share his knowledge with knowledge-hungry seed startups.
Rostya Gordon-Smith has been in the HR management and talent development business for over 25 years, not only in the Czechia, but also in Canada, Great Britain Japan, Brazil, Estonia, Russia, Hong Kong and other countries.
She was named one of the top 50 most successful HR managers in the world. Rostya is also experienced in the areas of equal opportunities, personal development, strategic HR management and many more.
She was also voted one of the 20 most influential women in Czechia in 2006. She is the founder of PeopleIMPACT s.r.o., and an association for development of men and women “MINERVA 21. She is the co-author of a motivational book “Úspěšně s kůží na trh” and is a co-founder of HR Academy at the economics faculty of University of Ostrava.
Rostya is also a frequent speaker at international conferences, presentations and seminars (Canada, USA, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Bangalore, Amsterdam, London, Budapest, Vienna Frankfurt, Tallinn, Moscow)
Andrew (New Zealander based in Prague) is Director at D21, a civic-tech startup tackling the important challenge in today's society of connecting communities and leaders. D21 does this by developing tools and methods for voting/participating in key decision processes - to date, over 750k people on four continents have used D21's platform.
Andrew is passionate about futurism, social innovation and venture financing - all passions which he is looking forward to sharing with his startups in the SWCS this year. Andrew enjoys immersing himself in the local startup scene and is a mentor at local incubator. Andrew believes in the growing strength of Prague as a clustered hub of CEE venture activity and is excited to see the increased deal flow and maturing of the ecosystem here.
Prior to living in Prague, Andrew worked at a top Management Consulting firm in New Zealand. Andrew is a qualified Chartered Accountant and the proud father of two small monsters.
With 10+ years of experience in tough consultancy business, Julian has developed a very strong suit - a business development. Focusing on innovations, startups and tech companies he is helping entrepreneurs to scale-up on the new markets and also to grow their business. With very strong connections in “DACH” region but also other parts of Europe, Julian is a right advisor when it comes to rapid growth across the borders.
James brings all the answers to all your intellectual property questions. How to protect the know-how your startup creates? How to prove the value of the technology behind your company? Meet James, TMT Lawyer with broad experience in intellectual property protection, information technology and contract negotiations. Author of several articles on protecting intellectual property online with a recent publication in the Communication Law Review on U.S. telecommunications and information technology regulations and also a law school lecturer.
Mathematician, entrepreneur, sportsman, visionary. Who else could bring such find blend of unique personality features apart from Karel Janecek? A Czech billionaire with a rich history of support of both business and social-responsible causes stands behind UP21 incubator and supports innovators and startups. A believer into new technologies through which mankind has unique chance to change the world for the better.
Ondřej studied at the University of Economics, Prague, and won the first prize in the biggest competition for young creative people, Cannes Lions, when he was 28. And then, after 5 years spent as an employee, he switched careers in order to help business partners Juraj Atlas and Martin Hausenblas found Liftago; and then, step by step, he became its director. Liftago is a local but best-rated app for ordering a taxi in the world. Its long-term goal is to improve mobility in cities and provide an alternative to personal vehicles.
Cedric has been a serial Internet entrepreneur for the past 22 years. Initially an engineer in AI, Cedric is now running StartupYard, the oldest running startups accelerator in CEE which has invested in companies like DameJidlo, BrandEmbassy, NeuronSW, Rossum, WaymarkTech to name a few. Cedric is also a Board Member of the French-Czech Chamber of Commerce and an official French Foreign Trade Advisor.
Dita is a founder of Czechitas, organisation that focuses on finding and developing future talents for IT, especially girl talents. Since the numbers of “boys and girls” in IT industry are not exectly even, Dita aims to change that. She is a leader of the change that aims to utilise the hidden potential in women working in the technological industry. And since there is everpresent lack of quality developer all around the world, her mission resonates strong within the society. In 2016 Dita has received European Citizen Award from European Parliament, she is also in the Forbes 30 under 30 list.
A big fish among big fishes in social media. Although James has kickstarted his career at a rather tech director's chair in Dell UK, in 2011 he joined Facebook to become a social media rising star. He served as Facebook's EMEA Director. Under his watch the social media platform number one expanded in the region and so it was no surprise he has climbed up the ladder and become a vice president of Instagram with the focus on business development. From 2014 until 2017 Instagram has seen both a massive popularity and revenue growth and so James has acquired yet another success in the startup world. Since 2017 James is a CEO to Strava, the most engaged community of athletes in the world. Under James watch Strava is skyrocketing it's popularity gaining 1 million users every 40 days!
Bill Reichert is one of the Silicon Valley's icons. With Guy Kawasaki Bill stands behind Garage Ventures that he co-founded in 1998. Bill is also a partner in Fenox Ventures and is one of the fathers to the concept of Startup World Cup, the biggest startup challenge on the planet. Prior to Garage, Bill was a co-founder or senior executive in several venture-backed technology startups - Trademark Software, The Learning Company, and Academic Systems.
John brings more than 25 years of experience helping to guide some of the world’s most successful technology companies through start-up phases, major product launches, branding and marketing campaigns, rapid growth, acquisitions and IPOs. He has raised over $150M in private and public markets and was a key early-stage contributor to companies that are today delivering well over $100B in combined annual sales.
He began his career with Intel and then joined Apple where he worked hard on the marketing of the first Macintosh computers alongside with demanding genius Steve Jobs. John ran marketing and sales for Weitek, the world’s first fabless chip company, which completed an IPO and pioneered 3D graphics for video gaming. John was also a Vice President of Global Market Planning and Programs at Oracle and CEO of Cahoots/Informative (a social networking and customer intelligence SaaS company).
Petr Rokusek is a visionary entrepreneur and investor in modern energy. In these pursuits, Petr has focused on demonstrating options for a smart combination of nature and technology. In 2008, Petr founded Nano Energies, an energy trading company with three divisions, offering businesses and households the opportunity to consume electricity efficiently and responsibly.
With a team of experts, he is currently developing technologies for electricity-sharing and flexibility aggregation, including blockchain. While still a student at the Czech Technical University, Petr founded his first venture with a Dutch business partner in 1995, establishing what is now a leading visual display group Jansen Display, which was acquired by the US's Sign-Zone last summer. Petr applies an environmentally sustainable approach at several other companies in which he is active. He currently resides in Liechtenstein and spends his workweeks partly in Switzerland and in the Czech Republic researching energy innovations, blockchain technologies and smart textiles under brand NowYou.
Petr has also founded Bluelight.LI fund investing into business ideas with positive impact on our environment and wants to meet or associate with other investors or funds with similar mindset and goals.
Mr. Steckler has served as Chief Executive Officer and
Director of Avast since January 2009. Through his
leadership and business strategies, Mr. Steckler grew
billings 35X, reaching $811M in 2017, and has developed
an executive leadership team that has consistently
delivered industry leading profits to the bottom line. Prior
to joining Avast, Mr. Steckler was the Senior Vice
President of Worldwide Consumer Sales at Symantec
Corporation, where he was in charge of multi-channel
international consumer sales valued at $2.0 billion. Mr.
Steckler also served over two years as Symantec’s Vice
President for Asia Pacific and Japan and was responsible for all enterprise and consumer business in
that region. Prior to joining Symantec, Mr. Steckler had 20 years of experience in software
development, systems analysis and engineering, and business development. Mr. Steckler holds two
B.S. degrees from the University of California, Irvine, one in Mathematics and the other in Information
and Computer Science.
Brand strategist and value proposition designer who’s worked across the globe for brands like Achmea, Unilever, O2, MINI, Pernod Ricard, Starbucks and many others. As part of the board of UP21 Milan is responsible mainly for strategic and creative steering of the invested ventures. Also active on the advisory board of multiple start-ups and family businesses, heading the strategic efforts of STRV on the American market and building a company called Unicorn Attack that helps corporations to create new value.
Pavel’s experience with startups was gained early and firsthand. After graduating from university, he started his own small consulting firm to assist foreign companies entering the Czech market. In the 1990s, he matched local companies with relevant and eager foreign investors.
Business–IT alignment is Pavel’s greatest strength. During his tenure in the banking industry in the late 90’s, he developed his financial services skills. Later he solidified his experience in technology at IBM where he spent 12 years. Another domain Pavel has been focusing on is cultivating an innovative corporate culture at the companies where he has been involved. Currently Pavel leads the Deloitte Consulting and Technology advisory business in Central Europe. He also serves on the advisory boards of several technology startups, where he identifies and builds alliances with various technology vendors (both startup and big tech).
Vít Šubert is a co-founder of the startup incubator UP21, a manager with more than 20 years of corporate experience and a team leader in the cultural arts field.
He is one of the founding fathers of online services in the Czech Republic. At the turn of the millennium, he built and led, in typical startup fashion, the Internet division of what was then known as Czech Telecom incumbent under the Internet On Online (IOL) brand.
He spent 23 years of his career at multinational corporations, including serving as marketing and product director at Dell Computers in London, where he was responsible for Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, Ireland, Portugal, Greece and Italy. He also led 1,400 employees at O2, where he was personally responsible for generating multi-million-€ turnovers is Business Division Director.
In 2015, he started to build, literally out of a garage, the startup incubator UP21, which was funded by Czech billionaire and mathematician Karel Janeček. To date, more than 15 projects in the Czech Republic as well as various other countries have gone through UP21. Vít aims to make UP21 one of the top 10 best startup incubators in Europe.
Vít draws inspiration for leading the incubator and negotiating with promising B2B project founders (UP21’s primary focus) from different types of startup approaches he experienced firsthand. He helmed a startup regime within O2’s corporate environment. In 2010, he founded his own startup selling tennis equipment online and building a network of tennis players and coaches. He sold the company three years later. Today, as the CEO of UP21, he decides which projects the company will finance and also mentors several startups on the Czech market that are not involved with UP21.
Blake Wittman is CEO of GoodCall, known as one of the first disruptors of the recruitment agency business in Central Europe. Blake has a 17-year career highlighted by a passion for people and purpose, with experience across a broad spectrum of companies – from internet startups to Fortune100 companies.