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Project-A Ventures (DE) & EstBAN (EE)
Index Ventures (CH) & String Ventures
Mondays 4:30pm @ Hewlett 201 Auditorium Stanford Engineering's 'European Innovation & Entrepreneurship' (ME421) is a weekly speaker series - now entering Year Seven - that presents industry leaders from Europe's hitech startup, venture finance, corporate, university research & 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, Europe's innovation sector is playing a growing role in bringing new products, services, companies and jobs to the world in energy, environmental, water, information, medical device and life sciences technologies. Europe, however, faces substantial challenges in rapidly moving to the marketplace the technical innovations that are being developed in universities, national laboratories and corporations. Today, many regions look to Silicon Valley to accelerate their innovation organizations and new job creation.
Flanders & Sweden - Enterprise Software
Startups and Venture Capital Funds
CEO & Co-Founder, SDNsquare (Flanders - Belgium)
General Partner, Creandum (Sweden)
Wim De Waele
CEO, iMinds ICT Institute
(Flanders - Belgium)
European ETL's first Winter session kicks off with a look at two entrepreneurs from very different European countries and traditions. Our French guest leads France's newest, most dynamic and visible startup accelerator in Paris, and showcases the growing role of women leaders in the European startup scene. Our second speaker from Moscow is one of Russia's leading venture capital investors, a serial software entrepreneur, and a world class technologist with deep roots in the Soviet space program.
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Alice Zagury, the “French startup Mama”, is fiercely involved in making the Parisian digital ecosystem no more toxic. An EMLYON Business School alumni, she launched Le Camping, the first startup accelerator in France. Indeed, back in 2010 she was offered to be in charge of the project and she accepted the job with one condition: to travel all over Europe, discover the different ecosystems and use this experience as an inspiration to create a unique place for the French market. Three seasons, 36 startups and 18 fundraisings later, it was time to leave for a new adventure. She is now the co-founder & CEO at TheFamily, the ecosystem accelerator with a very ambitious mission: aligning the interests of the main local actors by offering a programme of education and unfair advantages for startups, investors, corporates and high officials. Alice puts unlimited tenacity and hard work to make a change in a French landscape ruled by elistism and where nor youth neither diversity are admitted. TheFamily is backed by Index Ventures and accelerates 70+ startups in France.
Alexander Galitsky is Managing Partner of Almaz Capital Partners, a Skolkovo Board Member, as well as a well-known innovator, entrepreneur and investor in Russia, the USA and Europe. Prior to co-founding Almaz Capital Partners in 2008 with Cisco Systems and UFG Asset Management, Sasha formed the Information and Communications Technology investment practice at Russian Technologies, one of the first venture capital funds in Russia. Prior to his investment career, he founded and led as CEO five successful companies in the software, communications, semiconductor, internet and security sectors: Elvis, Elvis+, RCR Inc, Elvis Telecom, TrustWrosk Systems. Sasha has also been an individual investor and advisory/board member for a number of companies, including Parallels, S-Terra, NavMaps (sold to TeleAtlas in 2007), EzWIM (sold to TMT Ventures in 2010), Start-Telecom (control packet of shares was sold in 2007), WikiMart, Yam Labs, Magnifire (now F5, Nasdaq: FFIV), Acronis, and PGP Inc. As General Partner at Almaz Capital, Sasha has managed successful investments in several portfolio companies - Parallels, Acumatica, QIK, Vyatta, Jelastic, and AlterGeo, among others.
Session Two features an indepth look at one of Berlin's newest startup accelerators and venture investment houses, with close historical ties to the Samwer brothers' Rocket Internet GmbH operation. Our Estonian speaker will profile for us the current state of angel investing and angel investor networks in Estonia.
Our Estonian government partner ENTERPRISE ESTONIA - SILICON VALLEY will also present a brief overview of Estonia's extensive innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem around software|computing|security|eGovt.
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Signe Viimsalu is CEO of the Estonian Business Angel Network. EstBAN
was established in late 2012 with the goal of growing the quantity and
quality of local seed investors and investments in the region. From
2007-2011, she served as legal counsel at the Estonian Development
legal expertise around setting up Estonia's first public VC fund and
structure, with the aim of supporting local high growth start-ups and
encouraging early-stage inward investments. In 2011 Signe joined
regional law firm, where she set up and marketed their new Corporate
Finance solutions practice. She has advised clients on quality
management, corporate governance and finance, start-ups, venture
(cross-border) insolvency, taxes, contracts, competition and EU law,
intellectual property law, and employment law. Signe
is co-founder of think tank THETA, co-chair of INSOL Europe’s Eastern
European Committee, and an Estonian associate of WynRiver and Invesdor.
She possesses a Ph.D in international insolvency law, as well as a
mag.iur law degree.
Uwe co-founded investment firm Project-A Ventures ($100Mn+ fund) in 2012, where he focuses on product management, internationalization and deal flow for both incubation projects as well as seed stage deals. Project-A invests between $500K and $3Mn per company and supports portfolio companies with an operational team of 100 experts based in Berlin and Sao Paulo, Brazil. At Project-A, Uwe also served as interim CEO of Tirendo (sold after 18 months for $70Mn) and he is now on the board of Saatchi Online. Prior to Project-A, he worked as a senior manager with Berlin-based startup incubator Rocket Internet (best known for its ventures eDarling, Zalando and CityDeal|Groupon) from its founding in 2007. From 2009-2012 he served as Managing Director at Rocket, focusing primarily on international rollouts. He is a frequent lecturer in Entrepreneurship at his alma mater WHU and is pursuing PhD studies in Entrepreneurship at RWTH Aachen. Uwe studied business administration at the Otto Beisheim School of Management in Vallendar, Germany.
Our third session presents two hidden gems from Eastern and Balkans
Europe that deserve serious attention in Silicon Valley. Our first
speaker from Bulgaria leads one of Europe's top emerging enterprise
software companies that is impressive for its Google-style innovation
culture and training programs. Telerik
builds on this year's core theme of 'Enterprise
Software' startups out of Europe. We also are pleased to
showcase one of
Europe's many great product and engineering design firms, this one a
family-owned company based in Slovenia
in the Balkans region.
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Based in Sofia, Vassil is co-Founder and CEO of Telerik, an
end-to-end provider of application development tools and solutions for
building and analyzing cross-platform and mobile applications. He is a
seasoned executive with a successful international track record of
turning a small start-up into one of the fastest growing companies in
Central and Eastern Europe, and into a global leading provider of
software development tools, solutions and services. As a co-founder of
Telerik, Vassil played a key role in growing the sales, support and
business development units of the company. He was also instrumental in
establishing Telerik’s fanatical dedication to its customers and to
providing industry standard-setting customer support. Vassil’s vision
has helped Telerik enjoy a solid track record of growing revenues and
profitability in the ever changing developer tools marketplace. Telerik
established operations in Silicon Valley this past Spring 2013.
Based in Ljubljana, Slovenia, Seaway is the world's leading boat development company, with over 270 designs giving life to more than 65,000 boats and yachts, manufactured by 48 boat-builders from 20 countries. Over 60 of these designs have earned 'Boat of the Year', as well as Design and Environmental awards from around the world. Today, Seaway is a global leader in the supply of milling, engineering, tooling, composite production technologies and prototyping for composite-related and marine industries. It provides design, engineering and tooling to production sailboat and powerboat builders, transport, wind power and other industries.
In Session Four, we present two current|recent executives
selected leading Northern California startups that are
currently entering or expanding
European market. Our speakers will discuss 'lessons learned', why and
Europe, costs and benefits of expanding in Europe, the different
approaches and channels used, and what advice they would give
to new Valley tech firms who plan to move beyond the
North American market in the next year. Topics of particular emphasis
will be talent recruitment, culture management, user acquisition |
localization in Europe, and setup of
European operations by Valley companies. We are also pleased to host
our first speaker from Austria in this lecture series.
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Mikkel founded Zendesk with Morten Primdahl and Alexander Aghassipour to make great customer service available to everyone and create software that people love to use. Today, he leads Zendesk’s global operations and business strategy with those same goals in mind. A Dane-turned-San Franciscan, Mikkel in 2009 moved the company from Copenhagen to San Francisco. He keeps Zendesk’s Danish design roots at the center of the product while growing the number of people using it to hundreds of millions worldwide. During his earlier time in Denmark, Mikkel led a service-management consulting group, founded a software company for online community and launched Denmark’s first community portal.
Based in Vienna, Martin recently led Airbnb's international operations from 2011 to Spring of 2013, during which time he built out the firm’s global presence by expanding the sales and marketing team from 1 to 250 FTE employees across 12 offices on 4 continents (North America, Asia, Latin America and Europe). Reporting to Airbnb’s CEO, Martin served as a member of the company’s executive team, and helped the company scale from 40 to 700 employees in just two years . Prior to coming to Airbnb, Martin worked at McKinsey from 2007 to 2011 as a B2B commercial turnaround expert, when he left to join Groupon. As Groupon’s Vice President International, Martin was responsible for the integration of two major overseas acquisitions (Qpod in Japan and darberry in Russia). His work encompassed improving business performance and profitability at these new subsidiaries thru alignment of strategy, optimization of their operations processes, and also via recruitment of new local senior management talent.
For this fifth session, we shift our gaze to the evolving equity crowdfunding scene in the UK|Europe, and to enterprise software startups from the Balkans that are focusing on moving the agriculture, farming and herd management sector into the Cloud. This lecture features our first company from Croatia's emerging entrepreneurship scene and a speaker who today is a leading role model in Croatia for entrepreneurs and innovators. Farmeron is a portfolio company of Seedcamp in London.
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Jeff Lynn is CEO and Co-Founder of Seedrs, one of the world’s leading equity crowdfunding platforms. Based in London, Seedrs allows investors across Europe to invest from £|€10 up in startups they choose—and it allows entrepreneurs across Europe to raise capital from friends, family, their communities, angels and the crowds—all through a simple online process. Since its launch in July 2012, Seedrs has raised over £4.8 million across 51 deals.
Matija is the CEO of Farmeron, a cloud-based dairy farm herd and business management software company located in Osijek, Croatia near Zagreb. Farmeron has also recently established US operations in Columbus, Ohio. Coming from an agricultural background, he founded Farmeron with a vision to integrate different disconnected farming data sources, allowing producers across the world to consolidate their databases and become more efficient managers. Matija is an IT engineer but today runs the company's expansion to different markets around the world. He graduated in 2010 from University of Zagreb. During his studies, Matija received the prestigious Rector's Award. Matija has also graduated from music school and has written a musical book. In 2012, he was decorated with the Presidential Order for Innovation by the President of the Republic of Croatia.
For Session Six we host our fourth equity investment organization - one of Europe's most experienced and successful VC firms - along with a leader in the emerging product design and startup movement in Turkey. The speakers will discuss challenges associated with investing in European startups and building startup ecosystems, as well as hurdles that Europe faces in building product design culture and competency within universities and enterprises. We are pleased to feature here our first speaker from Turkey.
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Based in Geneva, Giuseppe co-founded Index Ventures with David Rimer
and Neil Rimer in 1996. His investment focus is on growth-stage
companies in the areas of online services and software, e-commerce and
branded consumer products. His current investments include Milestone
Systems, Moleskine (MSK.MI), MutuiOnLine (MOL.MI), Ozon.ru, Privalia
and Zendesk. He was involved with several prior Index investments,
including RPX (Nasdaq: RPXC), Ciao AG (Microsoft), Numerical
Technologies (Synopsis), Virata (Nasdaq: VRTA, Conexant) and Digiquant
(Intec). Prior to founding Index, Giuseppe spent five years as a
consultant with McKinsey & Company in several European offices,
advising major corporations on a number of strategic and organizational
matters including European entry strategies, strategic positioning,
marketing, and new product introductions.
Emrah Yalaz is co-founder of String Ventures, an Istanbul-based
product design studio aimed at young startups, and that is focused on
incubation and seed stage deals.
Since 2003 he has trained over 400 software engineers, designers and
quants from top science and engineering schools such as MIT, Harvard,
University of Chicago, Stanford, Oxbridge, Moscow State University,
IITB and Tsinghua University. Participants have post-graduate degrees —
about 12% PhDs, 40% Master’s degrees– and most now work for technology
startups, research-oriented software firms or companies such as Google,
Facebook, McKinsey and Goldman Sachs.
In 2009 he started advising
technology startups in San Francisco and Istanbul on building consumer
and enterprise applications, and which have included teams from Y
Combinator, Etohum and the Founder Institute, where he is a mentor. For
year, he has been teaching entrepreneurship to tech startups as an
Instructor in the Computer Engineering Department at
Boğaziçi University in Istanbul.
Our seventh session this Winter Quarter showcases a highly
innovative enterprise software startup out of Belgium's Flanders Region
that is employing 'Software-Defined Networking' approaches to solve
broadband streaming scalability and reliability challenges for digital
media customers. Our second
industry speaker comes from one
of Nordic Europe's leading venture capital firms that invests in
emerging hardware, software and consumer teams.
Our Flemish government partner iMINDS
will also present a brief overview of the Flanders Region's
innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem around
software|computing|security|AI, health, smart cities, energy and
manufacturing. iMinds is based in Ghent, Belgium.
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Lieven Vermaele is the CEO of SDNsquare, a start-up company he
co-founded in 2011 in Ghent. Based on innovative technologies like
Defined Networking, the company has developed innovative storage and
network solutions that
lead to extreme efficiency, absolute reliability and easy manageability
for the media, medical and military domains. Where other companies
guarantee connectivity, SDNsquare guarantees data pipes end-to-end.
Lieven started his career in 2000 at the Belgian Flemish public
broadcaster VRT, where he played a key role in developing and
implementing the organization’s digital strategy. He was in charge of
the negotiations with Telco operators and with the Flemish Government
of VRT's management contract for 2006-2011. Lieven moved in 2006 to the
Alcatel Lucent, and from there he later joined to EBU/Eurovision. As
media organisations face a challenging period of transition, where new
technologies and business models are emerging increasingly quickly,
Lieven‘s passion is to ensure that media organisations are able to
operate within the optimal technical frameworks in terms of cost
effectiveness, maximizing their audience and reach, and enhancing the
media consumer’s experience.
Martin has been General Partner at Creandum, Nordic Europe’s leading
venture capital firm, since 2004. Prior to moving to the investment
side, he co-founded several companies in Scandinavia including
Interaction Design (Norway, 1997, acquired by Adcore in 1999) and
Creuna (Denmark-Norway-Sweden, 2001, with venture capital from Borea
Private Equity and Atlantis Vest), which he successfully exited in 2004
after joining Creandum.
As a Creandum Partner, Martin has served on the boards of Jays AB (IPO
on First North), Nanoradio AB (acquired by Samsung), and Iptronics A/S
(acquired by Mellanox). Today he sits on the boards of Appear TV AS,
Vivino ApS and Autobutler ApS. He also served as CEO of several
companies (Return Aksjeselskapet, Ambrasoft and Olivetti AS) for more
than 15 years. Privately, Martin is a co-founder and the chairman of a
family business running hotels and restaurants in Norway.
In our final Winter Quarter session, we present two digital infrastructure|design enterprises from Hungary and Poland that have had major global and regional impacts. We will discuss how Central and Eastern Europe's emerging entrepreneurship ecosystems are being grown, shaped and educated by the bridges to Silicon Valley created by these fast-growing startups that have recently come from Budapest and Gdansk.
pleased to have UStream's co-founder as our second presenter from
Hungary; UXPin's founder is likewise our second speaker from Poland in
European Entrepreneurship speaker series.
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Gyula Feher is Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Ustream, the leading technology platform for live video streaming. A native of Budapest, Hungary, Gyula is focused on setting the product and technology strategy, as well as managing the spectrum of overseas development efforts of the Ustream engineering team. His team has built the company’s proprietary Ustream Content Delivery Network (UCDN), Ustream Media Server (UMS), and Ustream TCP Congestion Control Algorithm (UTCP), and they continue to drive the company’s vision through innovation.
Marcin Treder, Founder & CEO of UXPin, is a design enthusiast from Gdansk, Poland who literally lives for creating the best user experience possible. After years of working as UX Designer and UX Manager, he focused on his own startup UXPin – The UX Design Platform - which provides tools for UX Designers all over the world. UXPin was recently funded by Andreessen/Horowitz, Freestyle Capital, IDG Ventures, Gill Penchina and others...Follow Marcin on Twitter (@marcintreder) and read his blog – marcin.is.