European Entrepreneurship & Innovation Thought Leaders Seminar

Speaker Bios - Spring 2009

April 6

Allan Martinson (Estonia)

Allan Martinson - Managing Partner and Founder, Martinson Trigon Venture Partners

During his career as an entrepreneur, Allan Martinson has launched, managed and sold several companies in the Baltic TMT sector, all of which became leaders in their respective industries. 

He was the founding CEO of Baltic News Service, which quickly after launch in 1990 became the dominant real-time news organization in the region after outcompeting and bankrupting its state-owned competitors. In 1998 Martinson joined MicroLink, the leading PC maker in the Baltics, and re-launched it as a fast-growing and diversified technology group, backed by four rounds of equity investments. As the CEO of MicroLink, Martinson orchestrated an aggressive M&A campaign to create the leading IT services and data communications group in all three of the Baltic countries. With EUR 40 m in annual sales and more than 500 employees, it strongly dominates the market. MicroLink launched Delfi , the leading Baltic new media enterprise. Delfi was sold in the fourth year of its existence after reaching profitability at EUR 2 m from revenues of EUR 5 m. MicroLink was also the parent of SAF Tehnika – the fastest-growing developer of microwave radiolinks for the global mobile telecom industry. 

Martinson is or was a member of the supervisory boards of MicroLink, SAF Tehnika, Baltic News Service, Tallinn Stock Exchange, the leading Estonian media company Ekspress Grupp, the IT company Regio, the Estonian ICT Association and the Estonian Academy of Arts. He was nominated for Businessman of the Year in 2000 and received the Best Decision Award in 2004 for successfully executing the strategy of MicroLink.

Kalev Kask

Kalev Kask Ph.D. - CEO and Founder, EGeen International

EGeen International is a CRO focused on doing clinical trials for biotech companies in selected countries in Eastern Europe. Having developed IT-platform for patient selection and capitalizing on highly centralized healthcare infrastructure in those countries, EGeen offers expeditious high quality clinical trials for its US and EU based clients. 

Before founding EGeen in 2001, Kalev worked at the neurogenomics company AGY Therapeutics of South San Francisco, followed by research at Stanford University and advisory work with Asper Biotech and Toshiba. He completed his graduate degree with Prof. Tamas Bartfai at Stockholm University and post-doctoral training with Prof. Peter Seeburg at the Max-Planck Institute for Medical Research in Heidelberg. Dr. Kask has authored numerous scientific publications and has patented genomics derived drug and diagnostic targets.

Andrus Viirg (Estonia)

Andrus Viirg - Director, Enterprise Estonia, Silicon Valley

Andrus Viirg is the Director of Enterprise Estonia, Silicon Valley (from 2007), which is the representative office of Enterprise Estonia - a state foundation for business, trade as well as technology support and development. Mr. Viirg has also served as the Director of the Estonian Investment Agency (2001-2003). 

During the 1990s Andrus followed an international career with the World Bank Group (IBRD and IFC) heading the Bank Group Office in Tallinn, Estonia (1995-2001); and with the International Monetary Fund in Washington, DC, as an Assistant to the Executive Director (1992-1994). Mr. Viirg has also worked for the Bank of Estonia (the Central Bank) on relations with international financial institutions. 

Andrus holds a diploma of engineering from the Tallinn University of Technology (1983) in the areas of automation and software engineering. He has also graduated from the Estonian School of Diplomacy (1992) in foreign trade relations. Mr. Viirg combines technical and economics knowledge with hands on experience in software development and electronics. 

As the Director of Enterprise Estonia, Silicon Valley, Andrus is responsible for building up the network of contacts enabling Estonian tech companies to access the US market, as well as promoting Estonia for foreign direct investment.

April 13

Uli Fricke (Germany)

Uli W. Fricke - Founding General Partner & CEO, Triangle Venture Capital Group

Uli W. Fricke has been Founding General Partner and CEO at Triangle Venture Capital Group since 1997. On the investment side, Uli focuses on mobile communications and media, chairing a number of boards of Triangle’s portfolio companies. Triangle has advised investments in 15 start-up companies, acting as lead investor in all portfolio companies with more than 60 transactions completed, including follow-on rounds and several exit transactions. Uli is Chairman of the EVCA Professional Standards Committee.

Previously Managing Partner of an international insurance company, Uli sold this business successfully in a cross-Atlantic transaction, realizing a triple-digit multiple for a business which has been break even from day one. Prior to that she was Managing Director of a mid-size customer service company which specialized in international travel operation.

Uli initiated the “Starkenburg Enterprise Forum“, a program following the model of the MIT Enterprise Forum, to help young scientists commercialize their innovations and start technology companies under the guidance of experienced entrepreneurs and industry experts. Uli completed her study of Business Administration at the University of Applied Sciences Worms at the age of 22.

Sukbae Cha

Sukbae Cha - CEO, ACAL Energy Ltd.

Dr. S.B. Cha is the CEO of ACAL Energy, a UK based start-up company developing a new type of proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell architecture that promises to substantially reduce the cost and improve the reliability of PEM fuel cells, ultimately enabling PEM fuel cells to become a significant contributor to the future energy generation mosaic. ACAL completed a large funding exercise in December 2008 and investors include UK venture capital firms, led by the Carbon Trust Investments, and large corporations from Belgium and Japan. ACAL will be introducing a 1kW demonstrator later this year. 

S.B. lives in Japan and commutes regularly to the UK to manage ACAL Energy. Prior to joining ACAL, he was with CDT Ltd where he helped lead CDT’s growth which resulted in a NASDQ listing, a JV with a large Japanese Corporation, and ultimately the trade-sale of CDT to its JV partner. S.B. has also served with Philips Electronics and the Boston Consulting Group. He began his career as a chemical engineer at Texaco’s Alternative Energy Research Laboratory. 

S.B. holds a Bachelors and Masters degree in Chemical Engineering from the Colorado School Mines, a PhD in Statistical Thermodynamics from the Imperial College, London and an MBA from the University of Chicago.

Fritz Prinz (Austria)

Friedrich B. Prinz - Professor; Rodney H. Adams Professor and Robert Bosch Chair in the School of Engineering

Prof. Fritz B. Prinz is Professor of Mechanical Engineering and of Materials Science and Engineering, the Rodney H. Adams Professor in the School of Engineering, Director of the Rapid Prototyping Laboratory for Energy and Biology, and the Robert Bosch Chairman of Mechanical Engineering. He obtained his Ph.D. in Physics at the University of Vienna, Austria. 

Prof. Prinz's current work focuses on the design and fabrication of micro and nanoscale devices for energy and biology. Examples include fuel cells and bioreactors. He is interested in mass transport phenomena across thin membranes such as oxide films and lipid bi-layers. His research group studies electro-chemical phenomena with the help of Atomic Force Microscopy, Impedance Spectroscopy, and Quantum Modeling.

April 20

Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli (Italy)

Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli, Co-founder - Cadence and Synopsys; Professor, EECS Dept, UC Berkeley

Alberto Sangiovanni Vincentelli holds the Edgar L. and Harold H. Buttner Chair of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences at the University of California at Berkeley. He has been on the Faculty since 1976. He obtained an electrical engineering and computer science degree ("Dottore in Ingegneria") summa cum laude from the Politecnico di Milano, Milano, Italy in 1971. In 1980-1981, he spent a year as a Visiting Scientist at the Mathematical Sciences Department of the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center. In 1987, he was Visiting Professor at MIT. He has held a number of visiting professor positions at Italian Universities, including Politecnico di Torino, Universita’ di Roma, La Sapienza, Universita’ di Roma, Tor Vergata, Universita’ di Pavia, Universita’ di Pisa, Scuola di Sant’Anna. 

He was a co-founder of Cadence and Synopsys, the two leading companies in the area of Electronic Design Automation. He is the Chief Technology Adviser of Cadence. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Cadence and the Chair of its Technology Committee, UPEK, a company he helped spinning off from ST Microelectronics, Sonics, and Accent, an ST Microelectronics-Cadence joint venture he helped founding. He was a member of the HP Strategic Technology Advisory Board, and is a member of the Science and Technology Advisory Board of General Motors and of the Scientific Council of the Tronchetti Provera foundation and of the Snaidero Foundation. He consulted for many companies including Bell Labs, IBM, Intel, United Technologies Corporation, COMAU, Magneti Marelli, Pirelli, BMW, Daimler-Chrysler, Fujitsu, Kawasaki Steel, Sony, ST, United Technologies Corporation and Hitachi. He was an advisor to the Singapore Government for microelectronics and new ventures. He consulted for Greylock Ventures and for Vertex Investment Venture Capital funds. He is a member of the Advisory Board of Walden International, Sofinnova and Innogest Venture Capital funds and a member of the Investment Committee of a novel VC fund, Atlante Ventures, by Banca Intesa/San Paolo. He is the founder and Scientific Director of the Project on Advanced Research on Architectures and Design of Electronic Systems (PARADES), a European Group of Economic Interest supported by Cadence, Magneti-Marelli and ST Microelectronics. He is a member of the Advisory Board of the Lester Center for Innovation of the Haas School of Business and of the Center for Western European Studies and is a member of the Berkeley Roundtable of the International Economy (BRIE). He is a member of the High-Level Group, of the Steering Committee, of the Governing Board and of the Public Authorities Board of the EU Artemis Joint Technology Initiative. He is member of the Scientific Council of the Italian National Science Foundation (CNR) and Member of the Board of Directors of Rete Ventures. 

In 1981, he received the Distinguished Teaching Award of the University of California. He received the worldwide 1995 Graduate Teaching Award of the IEEE (a Technical Field award for “inspirational teaching of graduate students”). In 2002, he was the recipient of the Aristotle Award of the Semiconductor Research Corporation. He has received numerous research awards including the Guillemin-Cauer Award (1982-1983), the Darlington Award (1987-1988) of the IEEE for the best paper bridging theory and applications, and two awards for the best paper published in the IEEE Transactions on CAS and CAD, five best paper awards and one best presentation awards at the Design Automation Conference, other best paper awards at the Real-Time Systems Symposium and the VLSI Conference. In 2001, he was given the Kaufman Award of the Electronic Design Automation Council for “pioneering contributions to EDA”. In 2008, he was awarded the IEEE/RSE Wolfson James Clerk Maxwell Medal “for groundbreaking contributions that have had an exceptional impact on the development of electronics and electrical engineering or related fields” with the following citation: “For pioneering innovation and leadership in electronic design automation that have enabled the design of modern electronics systems and their industrial implementation”. 

He is an author of over 800 papers, 15 books and 3 patents in the area of design tools and methodologies, large-scale systems, embedded systems, hybrid systems and innovation. 

Dr. Sangiovanni-Vincentelli has been a Fellow of the IEEE since 1982 and a Member of the National Academy of Engineering, the highest honor bestowed upon a US engineer, since 1998.

Petri Martikainen (Finland)

Petri Martikainen, CEO - MultiTouch; Helsinki Institute for Information Technology (HIIT)

As CEO of MultiTouch, Petri Martikainen is responsible for overall strategy, customer relationships and building and maintaining MultiTouch’s international presence in the digital signage and large multitouch screen markets. He has been a member of the board of directors since 2008. 

Prior to joining Multitouch, Petri worked for over 20 years as a senior executive and co-founder with a number of ICT, media and design companies including Sofia Digital, TJ Group and DataUnit Consulting. He has been involved in a number of venture capital financing rounds, arranged an MBO deal and company merger, and completed his first successful exit in 1996. 

Petri is an experienced high tech sales and international business executive. During his career, he has developed valuable expertise in internationalization of technology start-ups, key account management, international sales and strategy. Having worked with customers around the world, he has the credibility, communications skills and cultural sensitivity needed to achieve positive results in global markets. 

Petri holds an MSc degree from the Helsinki University of Technology, and has worked for several years in the Helsinki Institute for Information Technology (HIIT) as research manager.

Ondrej Bartos (Czech Republic)

Ondrej Bartos - Managing Partner, Credo International Ltd.

An entrepreneur and venture capitalist, Mr. Bartos experienced his first successful business endeavor before he graduated from college. Several business enterprises later, he is again managing business consulting firm Credo Int. Limited which he co-founded in 1996. Until December 2008 he served as the Senior Investment Director of MCI TechVentures Technology Fund where he was responsible for making new investments in early stage technology companies, monitoring them, and deciding on exit strategies. Mr. Bartos views venture capital as a tool to help entrepreneurs reach their goals, execute their visions, and boost the economy by supporting innovative ideas and projects. As a result, he founded an early stage investment company Credo Ventures Inc. 

Ondrej has recently been named a 2009 Eisenhower Fellow. During his fellowship, he looks forward to meeting leaders in venture capital and private equity, business angels and business angel networks, university-based incubators and technology centers, and entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs’ associations.

Jouko Salos (Finland)

Jouko Salo - Tekes Silicon Valley

Jouko Salo joined the Finnish Funding Agency of Technology and Innovation (Tekes) in 1997 and has worked in the Silicon Valley office of Tekes during 2001 – 2003, and again from August 2008. He manages the Tekes researcher visitor programs with UC Berkeley and Stanford University. Jouko's main responsibility is to promote and facilitate joint research between Finnish universities and research institutes and UC Berkeley and Stanford. At Berkeley Tekes is a member of International Computer Science Institute (ICSI) and the CITRIS (Center for Information Technology in the Interest of Society) program. At Stanford Tekes is a member of H-STAR (Human-Sciences and Technologies Advanced Research Institute). 

Salo has 11 years of experience in the European IT industry. He has held management positions in product development and marketing departments of Nokia, ICL and Fujitsu. From 1999 to 2001 he was the Program Manager of the USIX (User-Oriented Information Technology) program of Tekes. 86 research groups and 81 IT companies participated in the program. The total volume of R&D projects funded through the USIX program was USD 80 million. .

April 27

Bjorn Haugland (Norway)

Bjorn Haugland - Chairman, Symphonical

Bjørn Haugland is a Norwegian based serial entrepreneur with a global network in the survey research world. Within the research space he founded Feedback Research and Confirmit. He is co-founder and Chairman of Symphonical, ACTonFACT and SurvAid and is a board member of Attentio and Open Advertising Exchange as well as Chairman of the Norwegian Market Research Association. He has skied to the North Pole and summited four of the “Seven Summits” around the globe.

Fabrizio Capobianco (Italy)

Fabrizio Capobianco - CEO, Funambol

Fabrizio Capobianco is CEO of Funambol, the mobile open source company. Fabrizio is both a serial entrepreneur and a veteran executive, with work experience that includes stints at Reuters and Tibco. He founded the first Italian Web company, Internet Graffiti, in 1994. Capobianco holds a Ph.D. in computer science at the University of Pavia, Italy. He was recognized in 2007 as a top "40 under 40" leader by American Venture Magazine and by the readers of Mobile Village for being a mobile email visionary. He writes a blog that was voted among the 20 best in the wireless industry (

Svein-Egil Nielsen (Norway)

Svein-Egil Nielsen - Innovation Norway

Svein-Egil started working for Innovation Norway in January 2007 and in addition to managing the San Francisco and Houston offices, he is focusing on ICT, Energy and Life-Science companies with ambitions in the US market. 

Svein-Egil has a background from strategy consulting and the semiconductor industry. During his time with the Boston Consulting Group he worked on multitude of projects across various industries. Before joining Innovation Norway he worked at Nordic Semiconductor ASA, a Norwegian semiconductor company focusing on wireless components. At Nordic he held the position of Sales and Marketing Director and established a world-wide sales network for the company. He has also held the position as R&D Director at Nordic managing a large portfolio of semiconductor and software development projects. 

Mr. Nielsen is an BSc Honors graduate from University of Strathclyde, Scotland majoring in Computer and Electronic Systems. He also holds an MBA from the Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley.

May 4

Richard Yemm (UK)

Richard Yemm - CTO, Pelamis Wave Power Ltd.

From a background in wind energy, Richard Yemm founded Pelamis Wave Power Ltd (PWP) in 1998. Over the past ten years PWP has grown to become the leading company in this exciting new sector. As CEO until August 2007, Richard raised over $50 Million from a range of sources to fund the business, and led the major technical effort to deliver the world’s first wave electricity from offshore waves into an onshore grid in 2004. This led directly to the company securing the world’s first commercial order for a multi-machine ‘wave-farm’ in 2005. As part of the continuing focus on business development and growth Richard recently moved to the post of CTO. Building on all experience to date, PWP is currently in the process of rolling out its second generation machine, with the first unit on order to the German utility E.on. 

Richard is a leading member of a number of key UK trade associations, lobby groups and government advisory boards, including over five years as Chairman of the Board of Scottish Renewables trade association. He has been instrumental in raising the profile of wave energy as a major new energy source and industrial opportunity, and in shaping and securing major government policy initiatives to drive its progress. 

Richard graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1989 with 1st Class Honours in Mechanical Engineering, and completed his PhD in 1994.

Horst Bruning (Germany)

Horst Bruning - CEO, Animage LLC

Dr. Horst Bruning is CEO and Founder of Animage and Exxim Computing. Coming from the esoteric world of particle physics, Horst Bruning had a successful career as R&D manager at Siemens Healthcare in Germany spanning almost 20 years, from rookie physicist to project lead, Vice President Engineering and finally head of basic research. 

As Founder of Exxim Computing Corporation in 2002, he grew it into a successful niche company providing medical imaging companies with highly efficient software tools to generate three-dimensional x-rays. More recently, Horst founded Animage, LLC as a spin-off from Exxim. Animage is a manufacturer of multiple modality x-ray scanners for the veterinary market. The company is close to rolling out FIDEX, a first product designed for companion animal clinics, with initial installations in the Bay Area.

May 11

Lars Dalgaard (Denmark)

Lars Dalgaard - CEO, SuccessFactors

Lars Dalgaard runs SuccessFactors, the fastest growing public software company in the world, with significant total revenue growth of 95% and 77% in 2007 and 2008, respectively, to a revenue run rate greater than $132 million. SuccessFactors has risen from an unknown start-up to a market leader in the Enterprise Cloud, with more than 2,600 customers, 100 of which have greater than 100,000 users. In 2008, SuccessFactors added more than 1.5 million users in under a year, resulting in over 4.5 million total end users gaining the benefit of iterative solutions delivered via the worldwide web that are widely deployed across 60 industries in over 185 countries in 31 languages, and scale from 3 users to over 300,000 users in a single organization. And Lars and SuccessFactors are just getting started. Lars is on a mission to increase worldwide productivity by 50 percent by making employees more energized and engaged and giving companies a way to systematically optimize the way they execute every day. 

SuccessFactors is an industry leader in on-demand Business Execution Software (BES), driving performance at every level of an organization. Lars is passionate about changing the world by making businesses execute faster and with greater results and, at the same time, giving employees a clear view into how their daily activities are tied to the overall goals of a company. Just as ERP revolutionized the way companies managed finance, BES is revolutionizing the way companies execute. And as a Chief Executive Officer who lives and breathes execution, performance and results, Lars Dalgaard embodies his vision in everything he does. 

Lars brings over 15 years of proven strategic and hands-on operational and leadership experience worldwide. Before SuccessFactors, Lars was an integral global leader at Unilever, one of the 10 largest transnational employers in the world, and Novartis, at the time one of the largest pharmaceutical companies globally. Lars has a Masters of Science from Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he was a Sloan Fellow, and a B.B.A in economics, psychology and consumer behavior from Copenhagen Business School.

Marianna Lubanski (Denmark)

Marianna Lubanski - Innovation Center Denmark, Silicon Valley

Marianna Lubanski joined Innovation Center Denmark (ICDK) in August 2008. Prior to joining ICDK, Marianna has had a long track record of management and front end innovation, most recently as Development Director at Mandag Morgen, a Danish think tank. At Mandag Morgen Ms. Lubanski served as head of the Danish Innovation Council, and among others things headed the so-called Billion Dollar Industries Partnership Program, where Danish companies and researchers together look for new innovative solutions to today´s challenges within health, climate, environment, and education among other areas. 

Marianna has been part of three start ups before that, and has had her own consultancy company for 7 years. She has working experience all over the world including in Eastern Europe, Central America, Africa and the US. 

Marianna received her MBA from Copenhagen Business School in 1991. During her studies she was already part of one start up and while simultaneously working for a Swedish company as a consultant on a front end research project in Industrial Marketing.

May 18

Claire Munck (Belgium)

European - US Angel Groups Mini-Summit

Claire Munck - Managing Director, European Business Angel Network

Claire Munck has been involved in issues relating to early stage venture capital and to the financing of innovation and entrepreneurship for the last six years. Claire now serves as General Manager of the European Trade Association for Business Angels and Early Stage Investors. She is a speaker at numerous conferences around the world on the topic of business angel finance. She is the author of several publications related to business angel financing and the role of business angel networks in European economies. She has taken part as an expert in the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Committee on Innovation Financing for Development in 2007. Since March 2009, Claire has joined the Board of Be Angels, the business angel network for the Walloon Region in Belgium. Since 2008, She participates as expert on the European Commission’s Advisory Board to improve SME participation in Framework Programme 7 projects. 

From 2003 to 2006, Claire acted as project manager of EURADA, European Association of Regional Development Agencies, and Deputy Director of EBAN. Her work involved activities related to the implementation of projects in the framework of Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS and RIS-NAC), Interreg, Leonardo, Paxis, and FP6. Her educational background includes a Post-Graduate degree in International Politics (Free University of Brussels - Great Distinction), an MA in Political Communication EFAP – Belgium – Great Distinction) and a BA in Political Science (McGill University – Canada - Distinction).

Marco Villa (Italy)

Marco Villa - Managing Director, Italian Angels for Growth

Marco Villa is Business Angel and Managing Director of Italian Angels for Growth (IAG), the largest angel group in Italy, that he co-founded in 2007. Marco manages the angel group with a strong commitment towards the organisation’s philosophy of being dedicated to promote entrepreneurship as an engine for economic growth and a means to foster human development. 

Marco is also owner and Managing Director of Mirade Ventures Srl, a small venture firm specializing in equity investments in high-potential start-up businesses. He invests in Italy and abroad across industries and is involved as an investor, executive and non-executive director in start up businesses in Italy, China and Latvia. 

Previously Marco has been Director and Head of Business Development at Villa & Bonaldi (, a production company in the oil & gas processing industry and Manager in the global office of PricewaterhouseCoopers (, based in London, New York and Amsterdam. Before joining the private sector and has held various positions in two global nongovernmental organizations: the Society for International Development ( and AIESEC (, where he has also been a recipient of the Global Alumni Contribution Award.

Arne-G. Hostrup (Germany)

Arne-G. Hostrup - CEO, netzwerk | nordbayern

After studies in business management in Germany, the USA and the UK, Arne-G. Hostrup assumed the commercial leadership of a German medium-sized company for several years. He then moved into the franchise-field of an international fast-food-company before being responsible for the Northern Bavarian Business Plan Competition as project leader in 2000. Further, he acted as Finance Director and involved in building a start-up in the media branch for two years. 

Since January 2003 he is Managing Director at netzwerk|nordbayern. His main ambits are fiscal planning and private-equity finance of high-growth companies by business angels and venture capital. He is a Member of the Board of the European Business Angel Network (EBAN).

Kit Hunter Gordon (UK)

Kit Hunter Gordon - Chairman and Managing Partner, Seraphim Capital

Kit Hunter Gordon is the Chairman of Seraphim Capital and one of the Managing Partners. He has over 20 years experience of early stage investment. He is also the Managing Director of The Summit Group which he raised £7m to found in 1985. Kit was responsible for growing The Summit Group into a diversified financial group encompassing vendor finance, property investment and services, structured finance and insurance - many of which commenced as start up operations. Under Kit's guidance, The Summit Group raised more than £150m of capital, and grew its total assets to more than £500m. 

In 1999, Kit and his co directors took 100% control of the Group by buying out all its institutional shareholders. The Group is now focused on early stage venturing and has a portfolio of 15+ companies spanning a wide variety of sectors including software, business services, finance, medtech, energy and cleantech. 

Kit himself is an active angel investor, having personally backed more than a dozen early stage companies across a number of sectors, several of which have been successfully exited via trade sales and IPOs.

Marianne Hudson, ACA (USA)

Marianne Hudson - Executive Director, Angel Capital Association

Marianne Hudson leads two non-profit organizations: the Angel Capital Association (ACA), the professional alliance of angel groups in North America, with 165 member groups representing 7,000 individual accredited investors, and the Angel Capital Education Foundation (ACEF), which provides information, education, and research about angel investing to investors, policy makers, university leaders, entrepreneurial support professionals, and entrepreneurs. 

ACEF was founded by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation in 2005 and spun out of Kauffman as an independent charitable organization in March, 2007. Marianne led the angel initiative at the Kauffman Foundation that resulted in ACEF and also oversaw many of the Foundation’s entrepreneurial education and mentoring programs designed to ensure that more entrepreneurs develop sustainable, innovative businesses. 

Ms. Hudson has worked in the entrepreneurial support field for more than twenty years. She holds a B.A. in Economics and Political Science from the University of Kansas and an M.A. in Public Policy from Rutgers University.

Laurie Lumenti Garty (USA)

Laurie Lumenti Garty - Managing Director - Entrepreneur Services, Silicon Valley Bank

Laurie Lumenti Garty is a Managing Director in the Entrepreneur Services Group at SVB Capital where she is leading the Bank’s efforts to strengthen its relationships with universities, incubators, angel and seed stage investors. Garty has significant experience working with entrepreneurs and has an extensive network of angels, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and CXOs. 

Prior to joining SVB Capital, Garty was Manager of Silicon Valley Bank’s Emerging Technologies Practice, where she led a team that focuses on early stage companies that are bootstrapped or backed by angel investors, helping those clients raise capital. Before joining Silicon Valley Bank, Garty was a Director in the Venture Capital Group at Comerica Bank. Prior to Comerica, she held positions at two Bay Area startup companies; she was the Director of Strategic Alliances for and Business Relationship Manager for iOwn. 

With more than a decade of experience in financial services, working for the FDIC, Capital Crossing Bank and Bank of America, Garty employs a unique combination of practical operational experience and financial engineering in working with clients and investors. She is involved in many civic and industry organizations and serves on many of their board of directors and advisory boards. Some of the organizations she is involved with are: The Enterprise Network (TEN), Astia, the Technology Ventures Corporation, The National Center for Women in Information Technology (NCWIT). She is also chair of the Angels Breakfast Club. 

Garty holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Framingham State College and a certificate of special studies in management and administration from Harvard University Extension School.

June 1

Lisa Waits

Lisa Waits - Director, Business Validation, Nokia Research Center

Lisa Waits leads new business initiatives and technology transfer for the Palo Alto Nokia Research Center. She is passionate about addressing real-life customer needs and brings this focus to her work of guiding and nurturing mobile consumer services created in one of Nokia’s most advanced research offices for both developed and emerging markets. Services she is currently focused on include Nokia’s industry-defining community-enhanced traffic system, its versatile and functional mobile conferencing tool as well as novel emerging market commerce systems. The common thread is a relentless drive to bring great value to everyday people, today, with the mobile device as the centerpiece. 

Based in Silicon Valley, Ms. Waits has an extensive strategy and M&A background; she was a key architect for some of Nokia’s most recent major acquisitions. An escapee from the practice of law, Ms. Waits spends her (limited) free time learning to drive faster, hiking, swimming and cooking.

Burton Lee

Burton Lee - Course Director, Stanford School of Engineering

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

Dr. Lee is Managing Partner of Innovarium Ventures, a strategic, financial and technical advisory services firm based in Silicon Valley. Recent clients include the National Science Foundation, the Civilian Research and Development Foundation, and NASA. He also serves as Principal and co-founder of Space Angels Network, a professionally managed national network of accredited investors focused on seed- and early-stage aerospace-related ventures. Dr. Lee's European experience includes 9 years of professional and academic assignments in Munich (Ludwig Maximilians Universität), Stuttgart, Barcelona, Vienna (Bundesamt für Eich- und Vermessungswesen), Geneva (International Union of Food Workers), Prague (Univerzita Karlova v Praze), Kiev, Strasbourg, Toulouse and London. 

During 2006-2008, Lee served as Innovation Policy Advisor to Governor Bill Richardson’s presidential campaign, and as a Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington DC. Early in his career, Burton worked as a policy and corporate campaigns analyst with leading labor union organizations in the United States and in Europe.

Burton holds a PhD in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering (minor) from Stanford University (2002), and an MBA in Finance and Entrepreneurship (Cornell, 2004). He speaks German and Spanish.

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