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Govt Partners - 2014

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  • iMINDS - The Flemish Government ICT Research Institute
  • Platinum Partner
  • Enterprise Estonia-Silicon Valley
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Hungary & Poland - Streaming + UXDesign

  • Uwe Horstmann, Project-A & Signe Viimsalu, EstBAN - Jan 2014

    Project-A Ventures (DE) & EstBAN (EE)

  • Giuseppe Zocco, Index Ventures & Emrah Yalaz, String Ventures - Mar 2014

    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.

Session 7 - Mon Mar 3 2014 - 4:30pm

[Watch Video here] [Listen to Audio Podcast here]
Lieven Vermaele, SDNsquare (Flanders BE)

Flanders & Sweden - Enterprise Software Startups and Venture Capital Funds

Lieven Vermaele

CEO & Co-Founder, SDNsquare (Flanders - Belgium)

Martin Hauge - Creandum (Sweden)

Martin Hauge

General Partner, Creandum (Sweden)

Wim De Waele - iMinds (Flanders BE)

Wim De Waele

CEO, iMinds ICT Institute

(Flanders - Belgium)

Session 8 - Mon Mar 10 - 4:30pm

[Watch Video here] [Listen to Audio Podcast here]
Gyula Feher, Ustream (Hungary)

Hungary & Poland - Streaming & UX Design Startups

Gyula Feher

CTO & Co-Founder, Ustream (Hungary)

Marcin Treder - UXPin (Poland)

Marcin Treder

CEO & Founder, UXPin (Poland)

Winter 2014 Speaker Lineup



January 6

France + Russia - New Startup Accelerators and VC's

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.

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

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Alice Zagury — CEO & Co-Founder, TheFamily (FR)

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.


Sasha Galitsky — Managing Partner, Almaz Capital (RU)

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.


Jan 13

Estonia + Germany - New Angels, VCs & Accelerators

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.

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

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Signe Viimsalu — CEO, Estonian Business Angels (EE)

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 Fund, providing legal expertise around setting up Estonia's first public VC fund and fund manager structure, with the aim of supporting local high growth start-ups and encouraging early-stage inward investments. In 2011 Signe joined Glimstedt, the regional law firm, where she set up and marketed their new Corporate Advisory and Finance solutions practice. She has advised clients on quality management, corporate governance and finance, start-ups, venture finance, M&A, (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 Horstmann — Partner, Project-A Ventures (DE)

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.


Jan 20

No Class - Holiday

Jan 27

Bulgaria + Slovenia - Worldclass Enterprise Software and Design Firms in SouthEast and Balkans Europe

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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Vassil Terziev – Co-Founder & CEO, Telerik (BG)

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.


Japec Jakopin - CEO & Co-Founder, Seaway Design (SI)

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.


  • Presentation

Feb 3

European Entry Strategies for Silicon Valley Startups

In Session Four, we present two current|recent executives from selected leading Northern California startups that are currently entering or expanding into the European market. Our speakers will discuss 'lessons learned', why and how they entered 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 Svane - CEO & Co-Founder, Zendesk (DK)

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.


  • Presentation

Martin Reiter - Head, Int'l Operations (emeritus), Airbnb & Groupon (AT)

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.


Feb 10

UK + Croatia - Equity Crowdfunding & AgTech Startups

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 - CEO & Co-Founder, Seedrs (UK)

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 Kopic - CEO & Co-Founder, Farmeron (HR)

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.


Feb 17

No Class - Holiday

Feb 24

Switzerland + Turkey - Venture Capital & Product Design

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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Giuseppe Zocco - Partner, Index Ventures (CH)

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),, 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 - Founding Partner, String Ventures; Instructor, Boğaziçi University (TR)

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 the past year, he has been teaching entrepreneurship to tech startups as an Instructor in the Computer Engineering Department at Boğaziçi University in Istanbul.


Mar 3

Flanders + Sweden - Enterprise Software & VC Firms

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 extensive innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem around software|computing|security|AI, health, smart cities, energy and manufacturing. iMinds is based in Ghent, Belgium.

** Flanders Region Overview - Wim De Waele, CEO, iMinds ICT Institute

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Lieven Vermaele - CEO & Co-Founder, SDNsquare (BE)

Lieven Vermaele is the CEO of SDNsquare, a start-up company he co-founded in 2011 in Ghent. Based on innovative technologies like Software 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 telecommunications company 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 Hauge - General Partner, Creandum (SE)

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.

March 10

Hungary + Poland - Streaming & UX Design Startups

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.  

We are pleased to have UStream's co-founder as our second presenter from Hungary; UXPin's founder is likewise our second speaker from Poland in this European Entrepreneurship speaker series.

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Gyula Feher - Co-Founder & CTO, Ustream (HU)

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 - CEO & Founder, UXPin (PL)

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 –

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