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Pan-European Deal Flow in Silicon Valley & SFO

Yandex Labs, Novozymes, Renault Innovation - Jan 30 2012

European Tech Multinationals @ SV
Yandex Labs (RU), Novozymes (DK) & Renault Innovation Silicon Valley (FR)

WINTER '12, Mondays 4:15pm. Stanford Engineering's European Entrepreneurship and Innovation Thought Leaders (ME421) is a weekly speaker series that presents industry leaders from Europe's hitech startup, venture finance, corporate and university research and technology commercialization communities to share their insights and experiences with aspiring and veteran entrepreneurs from Silicon Valley.

From Iceland to Russia, and from Scandinavia to the Mediterranean and Turkey, Europe's technology sector is today playing a growing role in bringing new energy, environmental, water, information, medical device and life sciences technologies to market thru small- and medium-sized enterprises. Europe's countries and regions, however, face substantial challenges in rapidly moving to the marketplace the technical innovations that are being developed in universities, national laboratories and corporations. Many of these regions are increasingly looking to Silicon Valley to accelerate this process and train a new generation of entrepreneurs and innovation professionals. We invite you to join us each week for a lively discussion of the challenges and opportunities facing European entrepreneurs, venture investors, universities and innovation sector organizations.

Session 7 - Monday, Mar 5  4:15pm

(see full schedule below)
Reshma Sohoni, Seedcamp (UK)

Venture Capital in the UK and Nordic Europe

Reshma Sohoni

Partner, Seedcamp (UK)

Michel Wendell, Nexit Ventures (Finland)

Michel Wendell

General Partner, Nexit Ventures (Finland)

Session 8 - Monday, Mar 12  4:15pm

(see full schedule below)
Adeo Ressi, Founder Institute (USA)

Pan-European Dealflow in Silicon Valley & San Francisco

Adeo Ressi

Founding Member, Founder Institute (USA)

Aydin Senkut, Felicis Ventures (US/TUR)

Aydin Senkut

Managing Director, Felicis Ventures (USA/TUR)

Duncan Logan, Rocketspace (US/UK)

Duncan Logan

CEO, Rocketspace (UK/USA)

Paul Bragiel, i/o ventures (USA)

Paul Bragiel

Managing Partner, i/o ventures (USA)

Alfredo Coppola, US Market Access Center (USA)

Alfredo Coppola

President, US Market Access Center (USA)

Zarko Maletin, Plug and Play Tech Center (Serbia)

Zarko Maletin

VP, Plug and Play Tech Center (Serbia/USA)

Winter 2012 Speaker Lineup



January 9

Big Data & AI Startups by Nordic & Mediterranean Founders

Our first Winter session will kick off with a look at two startup founders from very different European regions and traditions - the Nordics and the Mediterranean. One began his career as an AI scientist who moved to the Valley and then jumped into his own startup, while our first speaker out of Sweden comes from a strong hacking and programming background, which has led him to the path of being an entrepreneur in Europe and Silicon Valley today.

Course Introduction: Dr. Burton Lee PhD MBA, Stanford Engineering

  • Session Photos
Emil Eifrem — CEO, Neo Technology (SE)

Emil is the CEO of Neo Technology and founder of the Neo4j open source graph database project, which is the most widely deployed graph database in the world. Part of the lightning hot "NOSQL" space, graph databases are expected by analysts like Forrester to "boom in 2012 as companies everywhere adopt them". As a life-long compulsive programmer who started his first free software project in 1994, Emil has with horror witnessed his recent degradation into a VC-backed powerpoint engineer. He founded Neo4j's commercial sponsor Neo Technology in Sweden in 2007 and in 2011 raised a $10M series A and moved the company's headquarters to Palo Alto. Emil intends to marry the European 'sustainable pace' with America's 'aggressive ambition' and build Neo Technology into an American company with a Swedish soul.


Lorenzo Thione — Co-Founder, Powerset Inc. (IT)

Lorenzo is the co-founder of Powerset, Inc., an innovative search startup founded in 2005, with the vision of bringing to consumers a more natural and effective type of Internet search than conventional keyword search. Funded by notable Silicon Valley VCs and angel investors, Powerset was acquired by Microsoft Corp. in 2008 to complement and innovate on its own search technology and offering. Lorenzo joined Microsoft as Principal Program Manager in charge of the Powerset division of Bing, Microsoft’s innovative “Decision Engine”. Lorenzo is an active angel investor, board member and advisor in several startups, including Dolores Labs, an exciting and energetic San Francisco startup building a scalable platform for human-based computing and crowdsourcing, Crowdflower, and several others at various stages, in the US and abroad, like Kidlandia, Etacts, 8Coupons, and iBrii.


Jan 16

No Class - Holiday

Jan 23

The Software Startup Scene in Estonia & UK Universities

Session Two features an indepth look at a very cool crowdsourced CAD engineering startup out of Estonia, and the broader university entrepreneurship scene in the United Kingdom. Both speakers are examples of the new generation of company leaders and pioneers in Nordic countries and the UK.

Our returning Government Partner Enterprise Estonia will give an overview of Estonia's economic climate and innovation tech sector.

Estonia Overview - Andrus Viirg, Director, Enterprise Estonia Silicon Valley

Hardi Meybaum — CEO & Co-Founder, GrabCAD (EE)

Hardi is the CEO and co-founder of GrabCAD Ltd., a free crowdsourced CAD library that is creating a freelance CAD engineers marketplace. He has 8 years of experience in manufacturing field as an engineer, business and sales consultant, CIO and ERP Team Manager. He also holds a MSc in product development from Tallinn University of Technology.


Hushpreet Dhaliwal — CEO, National Association of College & University Entrepreneurs (UK)

Hushpreet Dhaliwal is CEO of NACUE, which is headquartered in London, UK. Her enthusiasm for entrepreneurship and development of start-ups came when she studied in the USA and worked at an international start-up. She holds a first class BA degree in International Business. Since graduating in 2009, she has managed NACUE's corporate relations, operations and developed key programming to unlock the entrepreneurial potential of students. She has since been appointed CEO to carry NACUE through into its next stage of growth, exposing the model to all students post the age of 16 in the UK.


Jan 30

European Technology Corporations in Silicon Valley

Our third session presents a panel of speakers from selected leading European multinational corporations (MNCs) that have major research, product development, commercialization, technology scouting or sales/marketing operations in Silicon Valley. Panelists include the following speakers:

Claus Fuglsang - President, Novozymes (DK)

Claus Crone Fuglsang, President and Managing Director, has worked in Novo Nordisk’s Enzyme Division (later renamed Novozymes) since 1993, first as a research scientist, then as a manager, and since 2002 as Director/Senior Director responsible for Novozymes Protein Chemistry area and Pharmaceutical Protein Development. At the end of 2008, he transferred to the US and assumed responsibility for Novozymes’ global R&D efforts in BioEnergy with a focus on cellulosic ethanol. He manages a portfolio of projects with more than 100 employees. Claus possesses a Master’s degree in Biochemistry from the University of Copenhagen, specializing in protein chemistry, and in July 2000, secured his MBA from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh Business School, in the United Kingdom. He is author/co-author on over 20 refereed publications, and inventor/co-inventor of more than 20 patents and patent-applications.


Arkady Borkovsky — CTO, Yandex Labs (RU)

Arkady Borkovsky is the Chief Technology Officer of Yandex Labs based in Silicon Valley. Prior to joining Yandex in 2008, Arkady worked as relevance scientist at Yahoo!, and before that, at Inktomi, Verity and Knight Ridder / Dialog. He is an expert in search relevance and statistical semantics. At Yahoo!, Arkady built query speller (“Did you mean:..” mechanism) and search suggestions (Suggest). In late 80s, it was Arkady Borkovsky who, together with Arkady Volozh, founded Arkadia, the company which was developing search considering Russian morphology. Arkadia was Yandex's predecessor. Prior to Arkadia, he worked in the AI Lab of the Computer Center of Academy of Sciences of the USSR. Arkady graduated from the CS Department of Moscow State University.


Frederic Maire — Director, Renault Innovation Silicon Valley (FR)

Frederic Maire has been based in Silicon Valley since June 2011, when he opened the new Renault Innovation office located in Mountain View. The major mission of this office is to contribute to fostering innovation inside Renault for all technology-related applications, with a particular focus on ‘Life on Board’, ‘Electric Vehicle’, and ‘New Services’. Maire’s professional history encompasses 20+ years of experience in many fields of automotive engineering in Renault, including appointments in manufacturing engineering, advanced architecture design, design tools and methodology, and customer performances deployment and development. He has held various positions as a vehicle project leader, and managed several departments in development engineering. His previous appointment was Renault Group Global Deputy Director of Customer Performance Engineering, in charge of Perceived Quality, Ergonomics, HMI, Multimedia, and Embedded Systems.


Feb 6

German Technology and Life Sciences Startup Bridges with Silicon Valley

In Session Four, we focus on Germany's emerging startup ecosystem in technology and life sciences, and new innovation bridges being forged between Munich, Berlin and Silicon Valley.

Dietmar Harhoff-Chair, German Silicon Valley Accelerator

Prof. Dietmar Harhoff is Professor of Business Administration at the Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich (LMU). He also chairs the Institute for Innovation Research, Technology Management and Entrepreneurship (INNO-tec), and is Academic Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at the LMU. Since February 2007 Prof. Harhoff has also served as chairman of the Commission of Experts for Research and Innovation thru an appointment from the Federal Government of Germany.


Stephan Gutzeit - Executive Director, Stiftung Charite

Stephan Gutzeit has been working as a knowledge entrepreneur in Berlin for a number of years. Currently he is Executive Director at Stiftung Charité, a foundation endowed by German entrepreneur Johanna Quandt to advance innovation and entrepreneurship in medicine. He holds several other directorships, among them at Arcadia Berlin Stiftung. He is also a member of the investment committee at the Charité Biomedical Fund, a venture capital fund focussing on investments in medical device companies, and serves as a consultant for universities and foundations. Earlier, he worked for a global consultancy firm, started up the first German liberal arts college, and co-founded the second German school of governance. He was educated at Stanford and Harvard, where he studied chemistry and philosophy.


Feb 13

Mobile & Crowdsourcing Startups in Lithuania & Finland

For this fifth session, we shift our gaze to two top crowdsourcing and mobile apps startups from the Nordic Region. The lecture will also feature our first speaker from Lithuania's entrepreneurship scene.

Ilja Laurs - Founder & CEO, GetJar (LT)

Ilja Laurs is the Founder and CEO of GetJar, world’s largest open mobile application store. “European Manager of the Year 2011” by European Business Press Association, “25 European Tech Leaders” by Wall Street Journal, “Top 40 most influential people in mobile communications” by Informa Telecoms and Media, “10 Start-ups That Will Change Your Life” by TIME magazine and “Technology Pioneer 2011” by World Economic Forum are only a few of his numerous industry achievements. As a recognized thought leader, Ilja speaks on all major telecommunication conferences and is regularly quoted in Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Bloomberg, CNN, CNBC, BBC, Bloomberg and many other news sources. In February 2010, Ilja made the cover of America's leading entrepreneurship magazine "Entrepreneur".


Ville Miettinen - CEO, Microtask (FI)

Ville Miettinen (aka “Wili”) is the CEO and Founder of Microtask, a company commercializing technology for distributed digital labor. He is also a partner at Lots, a Nordic boutique VC and accelerator in the field of media technology. Wili concurrently serves as an investor and a board member in several high-tech, social media, and games companies in Finland and Silicon Valley. He coaches startups at Aalto Venture Garage and is a referrer for HackFwd. A serial entrepreneur and investor from Finland, for the last couple of years Wili has been particularly interested in crowdsourcing, cloud labor, and human computation -- disruptive technologies that are transforming the way people work all over the world.


Feb 20

No Class - Holiday

Feb 27

Cloud & Social Startups in Iceland and Central Europe

For Session Six we are pleased to host our first entrepreneurs from Iceland and the Czech Republic. These speakers will profile how they are bringing to market recent innovations in "green" geo-thermal powered cloud computing strategies and social media analytics.

Eirikur Hrafnsson - CEO, GreenQloud (IS)

Eirikur Hrafnsson is CEO of GreenQloud, the world’s first 100% green computing cloud service, headquartered in Iceland. A serial entrepreneur, he brings almost two decades of software development experience in leadership roles and product design and execution to GreenQloud. Eirikur is also a professional singer, occasional public speaker and technology advocate for the betterment of society.


Jan Rezab - CEO, Socialbakers (CZ)

Jan Rezab is the CEO & Co-founder of Socialbakers, a company focused on social media marketing and measurement with headquarters in Prague. Jan`s role is to actively push Socialbakers`s global strategy. Socialbakers is one of the largest social media statistics resources worldwide, and its goal is to provide the best social profile monitoring, and measure every social object there is in the world, in the context where it belongs. Socialbakers is also one of the Facebook Preferred Developer Consultants. Prior to joining the social media marketing world, Jan Rezab was CEO / Founder of a mobile company called Redboss for 8 years in mobile content / games / services business.


Mar 5

Venture Capital in the UK and Nordic Europe

Our seventh session this Winter Quarter will examine the state of seed and early stage venture capital in the United Kingdom and Northern Europe. Both our speakers are considered among Europe's top VCs today, have extensive ties into Silicon Valley, and bring portfolio companies from Europe to the Bay Area on a regular basis.

  • Session Photos
Reshma Sohoni - Partner, Seedcamp (UK)

As Partner, Reshma co-manages Seedcamp, one of Europe's leading seed stage investment groups, based in London. Her investment focus is on B2B, Fashion, Gaming, Travel, and Financial Services. Reshma helped found Seedcamp in 2007. During her tenure, she has managed companies likeMobclix (acquired by Velti), Zemanta, and Ubervu. Reshma was also on the board of Zoombu before it was acquired by Skyscanner and advises Launch48. Reshma joined Seedcamp from the Venture team at 3i. Prior to 3i, Reshma spent over 3 years at Vodafone in their Commercial Strategy team, working across the Europe and Japan footprints in marketing strategy and pricing functions. Her venture capital career started with eVentures India.

Michel Wendell - General Partner, Nexit Ventures (FI)

Michel Wendell is a co-founder and General Partner of Nexit Ventures, a venture capital firm with a focus on game changing companies in the mobile and communications business. The firm has offices in Finland, Sweden and Silicon Valley, and invests predominantly in these areas and actively help their portfolio companies in building a global business. Prior to founding Nexit in 1999, Mr. Wendell had a long career in general and biz dev/sales/marketing management in high tech companies, both start-ups and large corporations, having started and run companies in four different countries. Mr. Wendell also serves as the Honorary Consul for Finland in San Francisco and the Bay Area.


March 12

Pan-European Dealflow in Silicon Valley & San Francisco

In our final Winter Quarter session, we present a panel of veteran European and US entrepreneurs, investors and accelerator/incubator leaders to discuss major trends in startup teams and dealflow coming out of Europe to the Bay Area. The panel will also touch on which European countries and regions are today systematically engaging with Silicon Valley, and which ones are not.

  • Session Photos
Aydin Senkut - Managing Director, Felicis Ventures

Aydin Senkut is the Founder and Managing Director of Felicis Ventures. He has been named one of the top 25 tech angels by Businessweek recently and was featured as one of the top 8 up and coming VCs by Forbes’ Midas List. Felicis Ventures portfolio encompasses over 50 companies currently including Azumio,, Clearslide, Dropcam, Chloe & Isabel, Imageshack, Inkling,, Meraki, Room 77, Practice Fusion, Rovio, Shopify, Wildfire and Zaarly. In the last four years, 20 Felicis backed start-ups have been acquired by firms such as Google, Twitter, Groupon, Microsoft, AT&T, Disney, Ebay and Intuit.

Adeo Ressi - Founding Member, Founder Institute

Adeo Ressi is Founding Member of the Founder Institute, a mentoring program that helps entrepreneurs launch hundreds of world-class companies each year. Adeo also runs, an online community of 12,000 CEOs to research, rate, and review funding sources worldwide. The Institute is the eighth start-up that Adeo has founded or built, four of which were acquired and three of which are still operating.

Paul Bragiel - Managing Partner, i/o ventures

Paul Bragiel is a Co-founder and Managing Partner at i/o ventures, an early stage startup accelerator in San Francisco. Previously, he has founded and served as the CEO of 3 companies including: Lefora, a product bringing forums into the 21st century, proudly hosting over 100,000+ unique communities; Meetro, the first location-based social network; and Paragon Five, a game development studio specializing in console and mobile content with offices in Chicago and Krakow, Poland. He often advises governments on entrepreneurship and policy that encourages startup ecosystems including Tanzania, Brazil & Malaysia.

  • Presentation
Duncan Logan - CEO, Rocketspace

Duncan Logan is the founder of RocketSpace Inc, a Techcelerator in San Francisco. RocketSpace started in 2011 and currently contains over 100 seed funded technology startups. RocketSpace is widely regarded as one of the leading co-working spaces in America based in San Francisco and heavily integrated with the Silicon Valley community.

Alfredo Coppola - President, US Market Access Center

Alfredo Coppola is the President and Executive Director of the US Market Access Center, the longest-standing high-tech business incubator in Silicon Valley for foreign companies seeking to successfully enter the Silicon Valley and the greater US Markets. Alfredo joined US MAC in 2004 as a management consultant and then joined the management team in 2008 as Director of Business Development, where he expanded US MAC’s partner programs and introduced the “Go Global” Silicon Valley market accelerator program.

Zarko Maletin - VP, Plug and Play Tech Center

Zarko Maletin is Vice President at Plug and Play Tech Center, where he is responsible for managing Plug & Play Ventures and currently advises over 80 Plug and Play start-ups. He is responsible for coordinating the co-investment partnerships and fundraising with more than 180 VCs, 400 Angels and 100 high-tech corporations with about 40 corporate venture arms. Zarko also established the M&A Practice at Plug and Play and since 2009 has increased the number of partnerships with Silicon Valley VC firms tenfold (from 17 to 180). He initiated the PwC/PnP Partnership and also drafted the foundations for the investment vehicle to support the expansion of European start-ups to Silicon Valley.

Burton Lee - Lecturer, Stanford Engineering

Dr. Burton Lee PhD MBA directs Stanford Mechanical Engineering's European Entrepreneurship and Thought Leaders speaker series. His professional credentials span over 15 years of innovation sector entrepreneurial, senior executive leadership and advisory positions with venture-backed startups, global technology corporations, venture capital and private equity firms, angel investor groups, federal S&T agencies, state economic development offices, leading research universities and foreign governments. Burton's management and technical experience includes senior executive, research and advisory positions with Hewlett Packard, GE Global Research, DaimlerChrysler AG, NASA and the European Commission in the United States, Europe and Japan.


  • Presentation

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