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Mark Achler - Startup Mentor, Investor, and Advisor

Mark was recently the senior vice president of new business, strategy and innovation at Redbox, where he managed the Company’s long-term planning and expansion into new business opportunities. Achler was featured as a mentor to a tech startup on Bloomberg TV’s “The Mentor.”, and in Inc. Magazine Trep Life series.

Prior to joining Redbox in 2009, Achler co-founded one of the first personal computer retail stores in the country and participated in the launch of the IBM PC in Boca Raton in 1981. He then moved to Apple, where he was the worldwide introduction manager for the Apple //c. Upon leaving Apple, Achler co-founded and served as chief executive officer of the Whitewater Group, a company that specialized in development tools and programming languages and shipped the second application for Windows 1.0. After building and eventually selling the Whitewater Group, he co-founded the video game company, Kinesoft Development, where he served as president. Kinesoft was instrumental in developing the technology that allowed Sega and Nintendo scrolling action arcade games to be played on Windows 95. After leaving Kinesoft, Achler served as a founding general partner in Kettle Partners, an early-stage venture capital fund. While at Kettle, Achler was the lead investor in local Chicago companies such as Surepayroll (sold to PAYX) and Novarra (sold to NOK).

Fueled by a lifelong passion for building new businesses, Achler also has helped to co-found Emmi Solutions, a provider of patient education, where he first served as president and later became chief executive officer. Achler is a frequent speaker, resource and ardent champion for the entrepreneurial community; where he is a mentor for TechStars and the Chicago High Tech Academy. He is also now an Adjunct Professor and Lecturer on Entrepreneurship at Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management.

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Joe Medved - SoftBank Capital, Partner

In 2005, Joe Medved joined SoftBank Capital, where he helps identify, evaluate and support early stage investment opportunities. The fund focuses on companies that address ubiquitous, social computing. Prior to joining SoftBank Capital, Joe was an Associate with Constellation Ventures, a media and communications venture capital fund under Bear Stearns Asset Management. Prior to Constellation Ventures, he was an Associate and Analyst for the Technology, Media and Telecommunications Group with JPMorgan Investment Banking. Joe is Chairman Emeritus of the New England Venture Network (NEVN), the largest young venture capital organization on the East Coast. Under NEVN, he co-founded VentureNetwork.VC, the first social network built exclusively for the venture capital community. @joevc

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Shawn Reynolds - SAP, Global Vice President

Shawn Reynolds is Global Vice President at SAP and responsible for leading SAP Services Marketing. SAP Services represents approximately a $5 billion segment of the SAP business, reaching more than 200,000 customers through 15,000 consultants. Shawn leads the SAP Services Marketing team, charter, messaging, and promotion of SAP Services globally. He has held multiple leadership roles within SAP, and was recently a member of the post-merger go-to-market team for SAP Cloud. Shawn played a significant role in the development of the SAP Cloud strategy, and was instrumental as a member of the marketing leadership team for the SAP Cloud division. SAP Cloud now has the largest user base in the market with over 24 million subscribers, and a broad portfolio leveraged by a majority of the top brands in business. Shawn also led a global business development team for SAP’s Business ByDesign, SAP’s most significant product investment to date. Before joining SAP, Shawn held global leadership positions in the software industry developing markets in the United States, EMEA, and BRIC. Reynolds has 20 years of experience leading entrepreneurial business and has advised clients such as Procter & Gamble, TNT, Bank of America, Ogeda, TIM, Avaya, and Barclays on customer experience and cloud business strategy. Mr. Reynolds is a member of multiple venture capital associations, and advises early stage technology companies.

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Daniel Incandela - ExactTarget, Senior Director of Global Marketing

Daniel Incandela serves as Senior Director of Global Digital Marketing at ExactTarget, where he drives digital marketing strategy for the company across five continents. He recently led the relaunch of seven regionalized versions of exacttarget.com, complete with a new CMS.

Daniel formerly worked as Director of Online Strategies at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar Series, leading strategy for online marketing, social media, content creation, and online community development. Prior to that, Daniel spent five years as Director of New Media at the Indianapolis Museum of Art where he established the new media team, renowned for museum technology innovation, brand development, and digital content delivery.

Among his accomplishments, Daniel counts the launch of ArtBabble.org, a forum to showcase high-quality video art content. He was honored to be the keynote speaker at the National Digital Forum in New Zealand, included in the Indianapolis Business Journal’s Forty under 40, and named a British American Project Fellow. In 2011, he contributed a chapter to The Digital Innovation Playbook: Creating a Transformative Customer Experience.

Daniel holds a B.A. in Anthropology from Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis. He believes, as best phrased by Thea Alexander, that great things are only possible with outrageous requests.

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Chris Olsen - Drive Capital, Co-Founder

Chris, a native of Cincinnati, is building his career partnering with entrepreneurs striving to create the best companies in the world. He co-founded Drive Capital in 2012 to focus on entrepreneurs based in the Midwest, where he believes the next great companies will call home. Before Drive Capital, Chris was a partner at Sequoia Capital where invested over $200M in technology and services companies, including Lightpoint, Klarna, Weebly, Electronic Arts, GSI Commerce and eMeter.

Prior to Sequoia, Chris worked at Technology Crossover Ventures, where he invested in growth stage IT companies. He started his career on the UBS Investment Banking team in the healthcare practice in New York and San Francisco. Chris graduated with a B.A. in Political Science from Yale University. He took a hiatus during college to play professional squash and became one of the highest internationally ranked players from the US.

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Wendy Lea - Get Satisfaction, Executive Chairman

An accomplished leader and passionate innovator, Wendy Lea has over 3 decades of experience helping companies drive predictable growth through trusted relationships with customers and partners. An expert at leading digital innovation, she’s lived and worked from coast to coast, personally delivering business solutions in over 30 countries around the world. 

Wendy has worked closely with a wide range of businesses, from start-ups to large multinational companies. With exceptional functional expertise in marketing, sales, and customer experience, Wendy has worked with freemium, direct and indirect business models. She has extensive experience in all kinds of business financing, from bootstrapped start-ups to venture funds and private equity partnerships.

Her entrepreneurial success is evidenced by the acquisitions of OnTarget in 1999 by Siebel Systems, where she was on the founding team, as well as Stratify in 2007 by Iron Mountain, where she served on the board.

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Bob Arnold - Google, North America Digital Media & Strategy Lead

Bob is the North America Digital Strategy and Media lead for Google, where he drives the digital marketing strategy for all Google products. Additionally, he is focused on developing programmatic buying, advanced digital media measurement and digital agency management.

Prior to Google, Bob spent 3 years at Kellogg and 10 years at Procter & Gamble. At Kellogg he was the North America Director of Digital and Social strategy, leading their digital marketing and social media practice. At Procter & Gamble, he was responsible for the global digital strategy across the Home Care, Feminine Care and Oral Care business units.

Additionally, Bob is an internationally sought after speaker on digital marketing, with conference appearances including Ad-Tech, IAB and Luma Partners Digital Media Summit.

Bob has been recognized many times over by various industry bodies, including being named as a “Media Maven” by Advertising Age, by iMedia as one of the “Top 25 Internet Marketing Leaders and Innovators” and by OMMA as a “Marketing All-Star.” His work has been featured in publications such as the Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, New York Times and Investor’s Business Daily, as well as “Groundswell,” a BusinessWeek best selling book.

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Adam Weber - Dollar Shave Club, Vice President of Consumer Marketing

Adam is the Vice President of Consumer Marketing at Dollar Shave Club, the membership based e-commerce start up that delivers high quality shaving products for a few bucks a month. In this role, he is leading all marketing efforts behind the company’s rapid subscription growth – including direct, subscriber, and content marketing. Prior to Dollar Shave Club, Adam was the Marketing Director for Gilt Groupe’s Women’s division building marketing strategies and plans across paid media, search, CRM, social media, and partner marketing with some of Gilt’s top luxury fashion & beauty brands. For 6+ years prior, he was in Brand Management within P&G’s Beauty & Grooming division, where he enabled break though innovation in digital, entertainment marketing, & e-commerce. His most recent Brand Manager role was leading the P&G’s acquisition & rapid expansion of the prestige grooming brand & retailer, The Art of Shaving.

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Phin Barnes - First Round Capital, Principal

Phin is a Principal at First Round Capital, a leading seed stage venture capital firm. Before joining First Round Capital, Phin founded an independent videogame company that developed and published Yourself!Fitness, the first fitness game for Xbox and PlayStation2. While managing the marketing and distribution of Yourself!Fitness from 2003-2006, Phin secured retail partnerships with Nordstrom and Best Buy as well as promotional partnerships with Proctor & Gamble and McDonald’s. One of the earliest employees at AND 1 Basketball, Phin spent six years helping to grow the company from revenues of $15 million to over $225 million. While at AND 1 Phin led product direction, managed relationships with national retail accounts and created the initial concept for the signature AND 1 marketing property—the AND 1 Mix Tape. Phin also has consulted with several companies, including MTV Networks, where he focused on non-traditional games and the growth of the MTV Games division. @phineasb

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Blair Garrou - Mercury Fund, Managing Director

Since the late 90’s, Blair Garrou has focused on funding, operating and incubating startup software companies. Blair is a co-founder and Managing Director of Mercury Fund, a seed and startup venture capital firm headquartered in Houston, Texas. With over $100 million under management, Mercury invests in compelling and novel software and science-based start-up opportunities, focusing on entrepreneurs and innovation originating in the U.S. Midcontinent. Blair is also a co-founder of SURGE Accelerator, a Houston-based, mentor-driven seed accelerator focused on entrepreneurs seeking to solve the world’s energy problems using software. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Management at the Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University where he teaches acourse on venture capital. Prior to Mercury, Blair was the CEO of Intermat (NYSE: IHS), a leader in product information management software; a Principal with Genesis Park, a Houston-based private equity firm; helped launch and was the Director of Operations for the Houston Technology Center, where he led the formation of the Houston Angel Network; was an investment banker with BMO Nesbitt Burns; and began his career with Deloitte & Touche. Blair received a B.S. in Management from Washington & Lee University.

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