About This Event

Register here for the 2017 GeekWire Summit, Oct. 9-11 at the Sheraton Seattle, 1400 6th Ave., Seattle, WA.

Event Will Start In

Schedule

Meet Summit attendees, speakers, and other VIPs at this warm-up party hosted by Vulcan, Inc. at the unique Living Computers Museum + Labs in SODO (2245 First Ave S, Seattle WA, 98134). The Welcome Party is open to all GeekWire Summit attendees. Select VIP guests will be invited to a pre-party hosted by Baidu, featuring a fireside chat with Baidu President Ya-Qin Zhang.

Newly-appointed Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson will talk about the future of retail, and how Starbucks is transforming into a tech-powered company that thinks just as much about digital transformation as it does about double-tall lattes.

Hear the inspiring stories of immigrant entrepreneurs, innovators and trailblazers in this first-of-its-kind GeekWire Summit series.

Drones, Driverless Cars, and Artificial Intelligence: New Frontiers in Human-Technology Interaction.
How artificial intelligence is changing transportation systems, from driverless cars to cargo drones to flying cars. Will humans be needed as operators of these systems? And will your job one day be threatened by AI and robots?

The annual Geeks Give Back campaign, presented by Bank of America, kicks off benefiting the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship opening doors to a brighter future.

From a career that spans volcanology, non-profit entrepreneurship and executive roles for some of the world’s most dynamic businesses, OfferUp Vice President of Product Chloe Harford brings unique perspective to the challenge of building a life of meaning and a career of impact in a fast-paced age. Join Chloe, along with OfferUp Vice President of Employee Experience Deb Nielsen, for this special fireside chat hosted in the Willow Room.

Fred Hutch president Dr. Gary Gilliland will discuss the latest innovations in the fight against cancer, and provide an update on his bold prediction that “we will have cures and therapies for most, if not all, human cancers” in the next eight years.

The grocery market is rapidly changing, and Instacart founder and CEO Apoorva Mehta — a former supply chain engineer at Amazon — will share insights on the changing face of grocery shopping and a few entrepreneurial lessons that he’s learned along the way.

Grab a boxed lunch and visit with our sponsors and exhibitors.

What it Takes to Build the Next Great IT Systems Company
In this fireside chat moderated by GeekWire co-founder John Cook, ExtraHop CEO Arif Kareem will explore how new market opportunities, customer influence, people, and community contribute to a company’s ultimate success.  Hosted in the Willow Room.

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson provides an update on the battle against President Donald Trump’s immigration ban, and discusses the intersection of public policy and tech. GeekWire profile: The unassuming ambition of Bob Ferguson, one of President Trump’s most successful adversaries

AI and the Future of Humanity

After a deep winter, artificial intelligence — in the form of deep machine learning whose origins can be traced back to brain science — has burst into prominence. While companies, governments and consumers have much to gain by its commercial and medical applications, it is not clear how beneficial AI will be for human society in the long-term. Threatening trends include massive job loss due to automation, complete loss of privacy, growing inequality, weaponized AI and, possibly, even extinction.

“Alexa, what’s next in artificial intelligence and the connected home?” Find out in this chat with longtime Amazon exec Toni Reid who leads the company’s Alexa and Echo Devices group. The session will be moderated by Nick Wingfield of The New York Times.

Hear the inspiring stories of immigrant entrepreneurs, innovators and trailblazers in this first-of-its-kind GeekWire Summit series.

Cryptocurrency. Virtual Reality. Artificial Intelligence. Find out what’s hot in the startup world from three leading venture capitalists. Panelists include Rebecca Lynn of Canvas Ventures, Julie Sandler of Pioneer Square Labs and Sarah Tavel of Benchmark. Moderated by Emily Chang of Bloomberg TV.

If you’ve purchased anything on Amazon lately, you’ve likely got Jeff Wilke to thank, at least indirectly. As head of Amazon’s consumer business, Wilke oversees a diverse range of businesses in the consumer arena, everything from third party marketplaces to new entertainment offerings to Amazon’s historical roots in book sales. We’ll talk to Wilke about Amazon’s expansion into brick-and-mortar retail; how the company uses artificial intelligence and robotics in its operations; and what it’s like to work for Jeff Bezos.

Inventions We Love, presented by Sirqul, is a fun geek show-and-tell featuring some of the coolest gadgets and hardware devices we’ve seen. Presentations by Pillsy, JikoPower and SafKan.

Wrap up day one of the GeekWire Summit at the Capital One Rooftop Party hosted at Frolik Kitchen + Cocktails (Motif Seattle, 1415 5th Avenue), just a quick 2-minute walk from the Sheraton. Hang out with GeekWire Summit speakers, attendees and other VIPs and geek out on one of the best rooftop decks in Seattle. Play a little shuffleboard and ping pong. Oh, yeah, drinks and appetizers to be served, too!

Tech companies often focus on the numbers when discussing diversity & inclusion efforts – but it’s about a lot more than that. Zillow Group COO Amy Bohutinsky will lead a panel about how companies can authentically build a culture that values D&I – whether that company is a start-up or has thousands of employees. Panelists include Moz CEO Sarah Bird, HERE Seattle co-founder Eric Osborne and Effenus Henderson, co-director of the Institute of Sustainable Diversity & Inclusion. Join us in the Willow Room for this breakfast panel discussion.

Catch a wide-ranging conversation with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, exploring the themes and subjects of his upcoming book, “Hit Refresh.” An engineer by training, Nadella led Microsoft businesses including its Bing search engine and Azure cloud computing platform prior to becoming CEO, putting him in a unique position to understand and shape the future of technology.

How Tech Makes History. The technology industry is making waves in the political world these days. But the relationship between tech and government has a long history—with some surprising twists. University of Washington history professor Margaret O’Mara — author Cities of Knowledge and the upcoming book Silicon Age — explains the complex interplay between tech giants and government, and discusses what’s next, from the future of work to the future of cities.

Hear the inspiring stories of immigrant entrepreneurs, innovators and trailblazers in this first-of-its-kind GeekWire Summit series.

Living with quadriplegia since the age of eight, Todd Stabelfeldt shares his decades-long struggle for increased independence in both his personal and professional life. An expert in applying universal design — the idea of making products and communities accessible — Stabelfeldt has found it offers autonomy, empowerment and dignity. Stabelfeldt is the founder of a successful database administration business, the husband to a retired USN Commander, a father and owner of the “Quadthedral,“ his family’s smart home. Read more about Stabelfeldt in this GeekWire profile: Dream the accessible dream: Developer pushes the boundaries of innovation in pursuit of independence

Get an inside look into Stripe, the $9 billion dollar mobile and online payments powerhouse that’s quietly re-engineering commerce. John Collison — the 27-year-old president and co-founder of Stripe — will discuss everything from future of financial transactions to security to what it’s like to build a business with your older brother. Moderated by Ina Fried, chief technology correspondent at Axios.

Grab a boxed lunch and visit with GeekWire Summit sponsors and exhibitors.

Check out the sponsored lunch talk in the Willow Room, featuring Dragonchain Inc. founder Joe Roets, an expert in the emerging world of blockchain technology.

Hear insights from theBoardlist founder Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, the former Google executive and startup founder who is now leading an effort to bolster the number of women serving on company boards. Zillow Group CEO Spencer Rascoff will moderate the in-depth discussion as part of a special episode of his Office Hours podcast.

Inventions We Love, presented by Sirqul, is a fun geek show-and-tell featuring some of the coolest gadgets and hardware devices we’ve seen. Presentations by Deako, Open APS and Play Impossible.

Fake news, Facebook and the fate of the world. How emerging trends in technology, journalism and social media are changing the way we consume, process and react to information — and what we should do about it. Panelists include Vinny Green, co-owner and vice president of operations at Snopes, Jevin West, an associate professor in the Information School at the University of Washington and co-creator of the highly-regarded class “Calling Bullshit” and Axios Chief Correspondent Ina Freid bringing a journalist’s perspective to the conversation.

Catch up with attendees and grab a post-event cocktail, courtesy of Boeing. Enter to win an awesome drone.

Speakers

Satya Nadella

CEO, Microsoft

Satya Nadella CEO, Microsoft

Satya Nadella is Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft. Before being named CEO in February 2014, Nadella held leadership roles in both enterprise and consumer businesses across the company.

Joining Microsoft in 1992, he quickly became known as a leader who could span a breadth of technologies and businesses to transform some of Microsoft’s biggest product offerings.

Most recently, Nadella was executive vice president of Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise group. In this role he led the transformation to the cloud infrastructure and services business, which outperformed the market and took share from competition. Previously, Nadella led R&D for the Online Services Division and was vice president of the Microsoft Business Division. Before joining Microsoft, Nadella was a member of the technology staff at Sun Microsystems.

Originally from Hyderabad, India, Nadella lives in Bellevue, Washington. He earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Mangalore University, a master’s degree in computer science from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Chicago. Nadella serves on the board of trustees to Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center as well as the Starbucks Board of Directors. He is married and has three children.

Kevin Johnson

CEO, Starbucks

Kevin Johnson CEO, Starbucks

Kevin Johnson is president and chief executive officer for Starbucks. A passionate servant leader, he proudly carries on Starbucks legacy of human connection, driving the company’s core strategies for growth, and being of service to the more than 330,000 partners who wear the green apron around the world.

Kevin first joined the company in 2009, serving on the company’s board of directors during a period of record-setting transformation and growth. In March 2015, Kevin took on the role of president and chief operating officer, leading the company’s global operating businesses across all geographies, as well as the core support functions of Starbucks supply chain, marketing, human resources, technology and mobile and digital platforms. He assumed the role of president and ceo in April 2017, as Howard Schultz transitioned into the role of executive chairman.

His career spans more than 30 years, scaling global businesses, including 16 years at Microsoft and five years as CEO of Juniper Networks. In 2008, he was appointed to the National Security Telecommunication Advisory Committee where he served presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

Kevin’s commitment to innovation and following his heart extends beyond the world of business. He was a founding board member of NPower, an organization that provides nonprofits with access to technology and the skills needed to fulfill their social missions. He is involved with Catalyst, a leading nonprofit focused on expanding opportunities for women in business. Kevin also supports Youth Eastside Services, one of the largest providers of youth and family counseling in the Seattle area. At Starbucks, Kevin is passionate about continuing to nurture what’s at the heart of the company’s success: human connection – the tens of millions of interactions large and small that happen between partners and customers every week, and make a meaningful difference in the communities around the world where Starbucks does business.

He graduated from New Mexico State University with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.

Toni Reid

VP, Amazon Alexa & Echo Devices

Toni Reid VP, Amazon Alexa & Echo Devices

Toni Reid, Vice President of Alexa Experience and Echo Devices at Amazon, leads the product development team behind the category-defining Alexa voice service and Echo devices. Since joining Amazon in 1998, she has been a part of several teams including IMDb, Amazon Media Group, and Amazon Fresh, joining the Alexa team in 2014. Throughout Toni’s career she has helped launch several initiatives such as Dash, X-ray on Amazon Video, and most recently Echo devices and Alexa. Named to Fortune’s list of Most Powerful Women in 2016 and Fast Company’s list of Most Creative People of 2017, Toni is passionate about innovating on behalf of customers. Toni earned her bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from the University of North Texas.

Bob Ferguson

Attorney General, Washington State

Bob Ferguson Attorney General, Washington State

Bob Ferguson is Washington’s 18th Attorney General. As the state’s chief legal officer, he directs 500 attorneys and 600 professional staff providing legal services to state agencies, Governor and Legislature.

Bob received his J.D. from New York University School of Law in 1995. He earned a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Washington, where he was student body president. Bob began his legal career in Spokane where he served as a law clerk for Chief Judge W. Fremming Nielsen of the Federal District Court for Eastern Washington. He then clerked for Judge Myron Bright of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in the Midwest. Ferguson returned to Seattle and joined Preston, Gates, and Ellis (now K&L Gates), one of Washington’s leading law firms.

In 2003, Bob was elected to the King County Council. In 2005, after the council was reduced from 13 to nine and Bob’s district was eliminated, he was re-elected.

Bob is a fourth-generation Washingtonian. His family homesteaded on the beautiful Skagit River, which may explain why Bob is such an enthusiastic mountain climber, backpacker, and birder. He has hiked hundreds of miles of Washington trails and climbed many of the state’s highest peaks.

Bob is an internationally-rated chess master. His games have appeared in local, national and international chess publications. Bob has twice won the Washington State Chess Championship.

Bob, his wife Colleen and their 9-year-old twins, Jack and Katie, reside in the Maple Leaf neighborhood of North Seattle.

Apoorva Mehta

Founder & CEO, Instacart

Apoorva Mehta Founder & CEO, Instacart

Apoorva Mehta is the founder and CEO of Instacart. Launched in 2012, Instacart has fundamentally changed the grocery industry by connecting customers with shoppers who hand-pick and deliver fresh groceries to their doorsteps in as little as one hour. Today, Instacart operates in over 90 metropolitan areas across the United States, and works with hundreds of national and local retailers like Costco, Publix, and HEB to offer customers access to hundreds of thousands of items from their favorite stores. Additionally, through innovative partnerships, Instacart is leading the evolution of digital advertising and marketing solutions for CPG brands.

Mary Cummings

Director, Humans and Autonomy Lab at Duke University

Mary Cummings Director, Humans and Autonomy Lab at Duke University

Professor Mary (Missy) Cummings is the director of the Humans and Autonomy Laboratory at Duke University. She received her B.S. in Mathematics from the US Naval Academy in 1988, her M.S. in Space Systems Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School in 1994, and her Ph.D. in Systems Engineering from the University of Virginia in 2004. A naval officer and military pilot from 1988-1999, she was one of the U.S. Navy’s first female fighter pilots. She is currently a Professor in the Duke University Pratt School of Engineering, the Duke Institute of Brain Sciences, and the Duke Computer Science Department. She is the co-chair for the World Economic Forum’s Council on Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, as well as a member of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s advisory committee on autonomous transportation.  Her research interests include human supervisory control, human-unmanned vehicle interaction, human-autonomous system collaboration, human-robot interaction, human-systems engineering, and the ethical and social impact of technology.

Dr. Gary Gilliland

President, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Dr. Gary Gilliland President, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Dr. Gary Gilliland, a renowned physician-scientist, took the helm as Fred Hutch’s fifth president and director on Jan. 2, 2015. Gilliland is an expert in cancer genetics and precision medicine who has devoted his life to finding better treatments and cures for diseases.

Gilliland, who holds a Ph.D. in microbiology as well as a medical doctorate, spent 20 years on the faculty at Harvard where he was professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and professor of stem cell and regenerative biology at Harvard University. He was also an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the director of the leukemia program at the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center. He has earned numerous honors for his work, including election to the National Academy of Medicine in 2015.

The bulk of his initial work at Harvard focused on the genetic basis of blood cancers.

In 2009, Gilliland left Harvard to go to Merck Research Laboratories to learn how to “take a good idea and turn it into a cancer treatment,” he said.

As the senior vice president and global oncology franchise head, he oversaw preclinical and clinical oncology development, as well as clinical oncology licensing. During his four years there, he and the Merck team were able to bring an immunotherapy cancer drug called lambrolizumab (Keytruda) to market in record time, from first human trials in 2011 to approval in 2014 by the Food and Drug Administration.

In 2013, he returned to academia when he became the vice dean and vice president of precision medicine at Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

There, he worked to bring together research and clinical care initiatives across disciplines to create a model for delivering personalized medicine to patients with a range of diseases.

“This is the perfect time and perfect place to develop curative approaches for cancer,” said Gilliland when he was named the Hutch’s fifth president. “Everything I’ve done in my career has pointed here.”

Emily Chang

Anchor, Bloomberg Technology

Emily Chang Anchor, Bloomberg Technology

Emily Chang is the San Francisco-based anchor of “Bloomberg Technology,” Bloomberg Television’s weekday technology program airing at 5pm ET/2pm PT from the network’s San Francisco studio.

Chang reports on global technology and media companies and the startups that may become them. She regularly speaks to top tech executives, investors and entrepreneurs, including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, Twitter Co-Founder Jack Dorsey, Disney CEO Bob Iger, and Alibaba Founder and Executive Chairman Jack Ma. She is also the host of Bloomberg Television’s interview series, Studio 1.0, where she’s interviewed Andreessen Horowitz co-founder Marc Andreessen, author Malcolm Gladwell, screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, and Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom while he was under house arrest at his New Zealand mansion, among others.

Currently, she sits on the board of BUILD, a national non-profit organization that uses entrepreneurship to excite and propel disengaged, low-income students through high school to college success.

Before joining Bloomberg in 2010, Chang served as an international correspondent for CNN in Beijing. There, she reported on a wide range of stories, including the 2008 Olympics, President Obama’s first visit to Asia and North Korea’s nuclear ambitions. She also reported for CNN in London, where she covered international news for CNN’s “American Morning” program.

Prior to joining CNN in 2007, Chang served as a reporter at KNSD, NBC’s affiliate in San Diego, California. There, she filed reports for MSNBC and won five regional Emmy Awards. She started her career as a news producer at NBC in New York.

Born and raised in Kailua, Hawaii, Chang graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University.

Jeff Wilke

CEO Worldwide Consumer, Amazon

Jeff Wilke CEO Worldwide Consumer, Amazon

Jeff Wilke has served as CEO Worldwide Consumer since April 2016. From 2012 to 2016, Jeff served as Senior Vice President, Consumer Business. From 2007 through 2011, he served as Senior Vice President, North American Retail for Amazon. And, from 2002 until 2007, Jeff was Senior Vice President, Worldwide Operations. He joined Amazon as Vice President and General Manager, Operations in September, 1999. Prior to Amazon, Jeff was Vice President and General Manager, Pharmaceutical Fine Chemicals for AlliedSignal (now Honeywell). He did his graduate work (MBA and MS in Chemical Engineering) at MIT’s Leaders For Global Operations program where he focused on Total Quality and Process Improvement techniques. He also holds a BSE degree in Chemical Engineering, Summa Cum Laude, from Princeton University.

Rebecca Lynn

Partner, Canvas Ventures

Rebecca Lynn Partner, Canvas Ventures

Rebecca Lynn is a Co-founder and General Partner at Canvas Ventures, where she focuses on early-stage venture investments in fintech, digital health and artificial intelligence. She was named a Top-20 VC by the New York Times in 2016 and a Top-100 VC by Forbes in 2017, 2016 and 2015. Prior to co-founding Canvas, Rebecca led early-stage investments in Lending Club (NYSE: LC) and Check (acquired by Intuit), Doximity, and Practice Fusion. While at Canvas, Rebecca led investments in FutureAdvisor (acquired by BlackRock), Casetext, CrowdFlower, Luminar, HealthLoop, and Vida. She began her career at Procter and Gamble where she launched new products internationally. She then joined NextCard, the first issuer of online credit cards, and became VP of Marketing and head of customer acquisition. Rebecca has a degree in chemical engineering from University of Missouri and a JD/MBA from University of California at Berkeley.

John Collison

Co-founder, Stripe

John Collison Co-founder, Stripe

John Collison is president and co-founder of Stripe, the software company that is expanding internet commerce by making it easy to process transactions from anywhere.
John and his brother Patrick Collison started Stripe in 2010 while John was studying physics at Harvard. Their goal was to make accepting payments online simpler and more inclusive, after learning firsthand how difficult it was. Today, the 700-person (and growing) Stripe team powers online businesses around the world.
Prior to Stripe, John co-founded Auctomatic, which was acquired by Live Current Media in March 2008. Originally from Limerick, Ireland, John lives in San Francisco, California, where Stripe is based.

Sukhinder Singh Cassidy

Founder, theBoardlist

Sukhinder Singh Cassidy Founder, theBoardlist

Sukhinder Singh Cassidy is a leading digital executive, entrepreneur and angel investor with 20 years of leadership experience scaling and founding companies including Google, Amazon, Yodlee, Joyus and Polyvore. She is currently Founder of theBoardlist, and most recently served as the Founder & CEO and then Chairman of Joyus, Inc. Sukhinder also serves as a public board director at Ericsson, TripAdvisor and Urban Outfitters.

In June 2015, Sukhinder founded theBoardlist, a Benefit corporation and premium talent marketplace aimed at connecting highly endorsed women leaders with board opportunities in the tech industry. Supported by a community of over 1300 leading CEOS, senior executives and venture capital firms, to date 2000+ senior women leaders who have been nominated to serve on boards and publications including: Fortune, Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, NYT, Wired, TechCrunch, Fast Company, and USA today.

Julie Sandler

Managing Director, Pioneer Square Labs

Julie Sandler Managing Director, Pioneer Square Labs

Julie Sandler is a Managing Director of Seattle startup studio Pioneer Square Labs.  She joined PSL in June 2017 from Madrona Venture Group, where she was a Partner and led new investments for the firm (including Integris, Julep, and Poppy) and served on portfolio company boards.

Julie launched the Seattle Entrepreneurial Women’s Network, an informal forum for women entrepreneurs and startup executives to connect in the greater Seattle area. She is a lecturer at the University of Washington Foster School of Business, and a Director on the boards of the Washington Roundtable and the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship.  Julie was one of 60 Americans selected as a Presidential Leadership Scholar in 2016 by the Clinton Foundation, LBJ Foundation, and both the Bush Sr. and Bush Jr. Presidential Centers, and was voted Geekwire’s 2014 “Geek of the Year” for her work supporting women entrepreneurs.

Prior to her career in venture, Julie was a senior product manager at Amazon on the Kindle team, where she developed new device shopping experiences and managed digital marketing for Kindle’s ebook business, both in the U.S. and internationally. Earlier in her career, Julie worked in product at Accenture and at TeachStreet.com (later acquired by Amazon).  She received both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in psychology from Stanford University, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Dr. Christof Koch

President and Chief Scientific Officer, Allen Institute for Brain Science

Dr. Christof Koch President and Chief Scientific Officer, Allen Institute for Brain Science

Christof Koch joined the Allen Institute as Chief Scientific Officer in 2011 and became President in 2015. He received his baccalaureate from the Lycée Descartes in Rabat, Morocco, his M.S. in physics from the University of Tübingen in Germany and his Ph.D. from the Max-Planck-Institut für Biologische Kybernetik, Tübingen.

Subsequently, he spent four years as a postdoctoral fellow in the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and the Brain and Cognitive Sciences Department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. From 1987 until 2013, he was a professor at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena, from his initial appointment as Assistant Professor, Division of Biology and Division of Engineering and Applied Sciences in 1986, to his final position as Lois and Victor Troendle Professor of Cognitive & Behavioral Biology. See here for Christof’s academic pedigree and his students.

Koch has published extensively, and his writings and interests integrate theoretical, computational and experimental neuroscience. His most recent book, Consciousness: Confessions of a Romantic Reductionist, blends science and memoir to explore topics in discovering the roots of consciousness. Stemming in part from a long-standing collaboration with the late Nobel Laureate Francis Crick, Koch authored the book The Quest for Consciousness: A Neurobiological Approach.

He has also authored the technical books Biophysics of Computation: Information Processing in Single Neurons and Methods in Neuronal Modeling: From Ions to Networks, and served as editor for several books on neural modeling and information processing. Koch’s research addresses scientific questions using a widely multidisciplinary approach. His research interests include elucidating the biophysical mechanisms underlying neural computation, understanding the mechanisms and purpose of visual attention, and uncovering the neural basis of consciousness and the subjective mind.

Sarah Tavel

General Partner, Benchmark

Sarah Tavel General Partner, Benchmark

Sarah Tavel is a General Partner at Benchmark. Sarah invests in consumer businesses, consumerization of IT, and in the cryptocurrency ecosystem. Prior to Benchmark, Sarah was a Partner at Greylock Partners, where she led Greylock’s investment in two (unannounced) companies. Before Greylock, Sarah was the product lead for search, recommendations, machine vision, and pin quality at Pinterest. As one of the first 35 employees, her first order of business was to launch Pinterest internationally and close the Series C financing. Sarah then moved into product, becoming Pinterest’s founding PM for search and discovery, and launching Pinterest’s first search and recommendations features. She also led three acquisitions as she helped the company scale through a period of hyper-growth. Sarah graduated from Harvard College with a degree in Philosophy.

Spencer Rascoff

CEO, Zillow Group

Spencer Rascoff CEO, Zillow Group

As chief executive officer of Zillow Group, Spencer oversees the company’s portfolio of real estate and home-related brands, including consumer brands Zillow, Trulia, StreetEasy and HotPads. Spencer joined Zillow in 2005 as one of its first hires, and served various roles including chief operating officer, until his appointment to CEO in 2010. Since becoming CEO, Spencer has led Zillow through its 2011 IPO and 11 acquisitions. In 2015, Spencer co-wrote and published his first book, the New York Times’ Best Seller “Zillow Talk: Rewriting the Rules of Real Estate.” Spencer is also the host of “Office Hours,” a monthly podcast featuring candid conversations between prominent executives on leadership and management topics.

Fortune and Forbes both listed Spencer as one of America’s most powerful CEOs under 40 and he is a recipient of Ernst and Young’s National Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Spencer has also been awarded Glassdoor’s Highest Rated CEO recognition for 2016. Before joining Zillow, Spencer was vice president of lodging for Expedia. In 1999, at the age of 24, Spencer co-founded Hotwire.com, a leading Internet travel company, which a few years later he sold to InterActiveCorp (the parent company of Expedia). Before his consumer Web career, Spencer was in investment banking and private equity. He worked in the mergers and acquisitions group at Goldman Sachs and as an associate at TPG Capital.

Spencer graduated from Harvard University. Spencer is on the boards of directors of TripAdvisor and privately held online beauty company Julep. He is also a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization, and is on the advisory board of Seattle Children’s Hospital Research Institute.

Nick Wingfield

Reporter, The New York Times

Nick Wingfield Reporter, The New York Times

Nick Wingfield is a technology correspondent for the New York Times based in Seattle. Prior to that he worked as a reporter for the Wall Street Journal for 14 years in San Francisco, New York and Seattle.

Todd Stabelfeldt

CEO, C4 Database Management

Todd Stabelfeldt CEO, C4 Database Management

Todd Stabelfeldt is an entrepreneur and computing technology expert. His primary computing focus is database administration and how data effectively integrates into front-end programs and reporting engines. He created a company C4 Database Management that primarily serves clinical and anatomical pathology labs and hospitals with ongoing database maintenance and special projects like SharePoint migrations.

Todd has consulted for both anatomical and clinical pathology labs across the Western United States as well as hospitals. He’s advised on LIS enhancement and management: Corepoint interface implementations, ADT, results, order entry, billing, Powerpath, Kronos, Meditech and Cortex upgrades, migrations, and systems management projects. Todd is also a C4 quadriplegic. During his decades-long struggle for increased independence, he has become a noted expert in technologies for the spinal cord-injured.

Sharing his unique insights, Todd regularly contributes to usability testing efforts for technology companies in product development to help shape better hardware and software functionality. He has been a featured keynote speaker at WWDC, Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference; as well as featured in several online publications such as CNN Money, NBCNews, Cupertino Times, Think Leaders IBM Blog and noted by Stuart Varney on Fox Business News. Mr. Stabelfeldt holds an AOS in Software Development from RCH Technical Institute. He currently resides in the Puget Sound region of Washington with his wife Karen and two sons

Leslie Feinzaig

CEO, Venture Kits

Leslie Feinzaig CEO, Venture Kits

Leslie Feinzaig is a tech executive and entrepreneur on a mission to democratize entrepreneurship. Leslie is Founder & CEO of Venture Kits – games that turn kids into leaders through play. Her one-of-a-kind, inspirational concept has garnered critical acclaim, including features in Today Show Parents, Fox 10 News, the Seattle Times and Seattle’s Child magazine.

In early 2017 Leslie launched the Female Founders Alliance, a peer to peer startup incubator for high potential female founders. Its mission is to normalize female founder success. FFA has grown in a short period of time to close to 100 members in Seattle, and is gearing up for national expansion.

Leslie is a frequent public speaker, including solo keynotes at SXSW Interactive, Startup Grind and TEDx. Her work has been published by Forbes, All Things Digital (now Recode), and Geekwire. She has a BSc from the London School of Economics and an MBA from Harvard Business School. She is originally from San Jose, Costa Rica.

Arif Kareem

CEO, ExtraHop Networks

Arif Kareem CEO, ExtraHop Networks

Arif is the CEO and President at ExtraHop Networks. Arif holds over 30 years of experience formulating and executing business and operational strategies to accelerate growth in the enterprise and technology markets.
Before joining ExtraHop, Arif served as President of Fluke Networks. During his tenure, the company focused on troubleshooting and monitoring of enterprise IT environments, data centers, and cloud and Wi-Fi networks with on-premise and SaaS solutions. In his six years as president, Arif helped Fluke Networks increase revenue to more than $350 million while considerably increasing operating margins. Arif also realigned and expanded the company’s product portfolio to provide greater visibility across networks and cloud applications, improve the end-user experience, and increase business value. Arif also oversaw the acquisition and integration of Air Magnet and ClearSight Networks.Previously, Arif was Vice President and General Manager of Tektronix and Senior Vice President and General Manager at Radisys.
Arif is the recipient of the Geekwire “Hire of the Year” for 2017. He holds a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Lehigh University and an MBA from the University of Oregon.

Dana Lewis

Founder, OpenAPS

Dana Lewis Founder, OpenAPS

After building her own DIY “artificial pancreas,” Dana Lewis founded the open source artificial pancreas movement (known as “OpenAPS”), leading the making of safe and effective artificial pancreas technology available (sooner) for people with diabetes around the world. She is part of the #WeAreNotWaiting movement & engages with patient communities globally to solve healthcare problems in new and innovative ways.

Brian Monnin

CEO & Co-founder, Play Impossible

Brian Monnin CEO & Co-founder, Play Impossible

Brian is the co-founder & CEO of Play Impossible Corp, an active gaming company dedicated to getting players of all ages outside and moving with connected technology. The company is part of the Amazon Alexa Accelerator powered by Techstars.

Previously Monnin was the Director & Head of Interactive Media for Intel Media’s OnCue TV service overseeing product innovation. Intel Media’s OnCue was sold to Verizon in 2014.

Brian founded the app publishing company Daily Interactive Networks (later Happly) that achieved four Apple iTunes New & Noteworthy titles. This included the family app app Happly, apps for the Humane Society, renowned photographer Michael Nichols and National Geographic’s 50 Greatest Photographs which also won a 2012 People’s Voice Webby Award.

Monnin was the VP Publishing Products for Brightcove. Before Brightcove Brian was CEO and co-founder of MetaStories, a rich media editing platform used by Discovery Channel, MSN, Yahoo!, USATODAY.com, Scripps Networks and National Geographic. Brightcove acquired MetaStories in 2006.

 

Brian is a former MSNBC.com Senior Interactive Producer responsible for interactive content, broadband and ITV. Prior to MSNBC.com, Brian spent three years at Microsoft as Program Manager creating multimedia programming and also developing the small business channel on MSN. He is a graduate of Brown University.  

Naria Santa Lucia

Executive director, WSOS

Naria Santa Lucia Executive director, WSOS

Naria  Santa Lucia has extensive experience in leading mission-driven organizations in their quest to raise revenue, increase effective programming, and act strategically to increase outcomes for their clients.  Santa Lucia currently serves as Executive Director of the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship (WSOS), a unique public-private partnership helping to build the next generation of scientists, engineers, mathematicians, health care professionals in Washington state’s high-demand employment fields through scholarships and support for low- and middle-income college students in Washington state. As Executive Director, Santa Lucia is responsible for overall leadership and management of WSOS, including resource development, program design, implementation, and evaluation, and program advocacy.

Chuks Onwuneme

Co-founder, Pillsy

Chuks Onwuneme Co-founder, Pillsy

Chuks, a native of Nigeria, is an engineer by trade and a social entrepreneur at heart. After beginning his career at IBM, he spent almost a decade in key engineering roles building Nokia’s flagship smartphone software. He moved to Seattle in 2011, just after the Microsoft acquisition and has remained in the pacific northwest where he now calls home with his family. Chuks co-founded Pillsy after his own family’s experience with the healthcare system and conversations with friends led him to believe he could use his technical and entrepreneurial skills to make a meaningful impact in healthcare. He holds a B.Sc. degree in Computer Science and Engineering with honors from The University of Texas at Arlington.

Chloe Harford

VP of Product, OfferUp

Chloe Harford VP of Product, OfferUp

Chloe is the Vice President of Product at OfferUp, the largest mobile marketplace for local buyers and sellers in the U.S., and is responsible for product management, user experience, customer insights and data science. Before joining OfferUp, Chloe was the Vice President of Strategy at Zillow Group. One of Zillow’s first, pre-launch employees, Chloe was responsible for building and leading core teams from the ground up, including product management and business analytics; defining and managing core business areas, including mortgage and rental products; and leading growth and acquisition strategy.

Prior to Zillow, Chloe worked at eLong, a leading online travel company in Beijing, the Boston Consulting Group, where she focused on technology and innovation, and Expedia.  Chloe’s startup career began as a founding member of the Montserrat Volcano Observatory, developing new technologies to monitor and active volcano. Prior to getting hooked by tech, Chloe was a volunteer teacher in a remote Himalayan region in Nepal, where she now runs a nonprofit to connect underprivileged kids to the internet.

Chloe holds an MA in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University, a PhD in Volcanology from Bristol University, and an MBA from INSEAD. Chloe has also served on the board of REI, the leading outdoor retailer, serves on the board of The Mountaineers, an outdoor education nonprofit, and serves as a mentor for Techstars Seattle.

Jonathan Sposato

Chairman, GeekWire + PicMonkey

Jonathan Sposato Chairman, GeekWire + PicMonkey

A successful serial entrepreneur and startup investor, Jonathan is Chairman of GeekWire, one of the tech sector’s top news sites, and Chairman of PicMonkey, the world’s most fun and popular photo-editor.

He also has the distinct honor of being the first person to sell 2 companies to Google.

His startup investments include Glamhive, GiftStarter, Runway2Street, Poppy, Scout, Vivifi, and others.

Sposato recently handed over the CEO responsibilities of PicMonkey to a successor in order to dedicate himself to the mission of developing, identifying, and promoting more female representation and leadership in business. His new book BETTER TOGETHER:  8 Ways Working with Women Leads to Extraordinary Products and Profits will debut in Winter 2017.

Jonathan is also the founder of WeCount.org, the first non-profit to apply smartphone technologies to help the homeless receive items critical to their survival on the streets.  Jonathan was awarded the “Civic Innovation Award” from Seattle’s Mayor in 2016. Prior to all this, Jonathan co-founded Picnik.com and created the first profitable online photo subscription service, reaching over 60M visitors a month. Prior to Picnik, Jonathan founded Phatbits which went on to become Google Gadgets.

In the early ‘90’s Jonathan was a senior manager in Microsoft’s consumer division, and was a key player on the first Xbox, the Xbox games business, and various consumer applications.  Jonathan is a graduate of Whitman College, where he is on the Board of Trustees.

Margaret O'Mara

Professor, University of Washington

Margaret O'Mara Professor, University of Washington

Margaret O’Mara is Professor of History at the University of Washington. She writes and teaches about the history of U.S. politics, the growth of the high-tech economy, and the connections between the two. She is the author of Cities of Knowledge (Princeton, 2005), Pivotal Tuesdays (Penn Press, 2015), and is currently working on a history of the modern high-tech revolution and its relationship with the worlds of politics and finance. O’Mara is a Distinguished Lecturer of the Organization of American Historians and a past fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the National Forum on the Future of Liberal Education. She received her MA/PhD from the University of Pennsylvania and her BA from Northwestern University. Prior to her academic career, she worked in the Clinton White House and served as a contributing researcher at the Brookings Institution.  She lives in the Seattle area with her husband Jeff and their two daughters.

Brad Smith

President, Microsoft

Brad Smith President, Microsoft

Brad Smith is Microsoft’s president and chief legal officer. In this role Smith is responsible for the company’s corporate, external, and legal affairs.  He leads a team of more than 1,300 business, legal and corporate affairs professionals working in 55 countries. These teams are responsible for the company’s legal work, its intellectual property portfolio, patent licensing business, corporate philanthropy, government affairs, public policy, corporate governance, and social responsibility work. He is also Microsoft’s chief compliance officer.  Smith plays a key role in representing the company externally and in leading the company’s work on a number of critical issues including privacy, security, accessibility, environmental sustainability and digital inclusion, among others.

Smith joined Microsoft in 1993, and before becoming general counsel in 2002 he spent three years leading the Legal and Corporate Affairs (LCA) team in Europe, then five years serving as the deputy general counsel responsible for LCA’s teams outside the United States.

Smith has overseen numerous negotiations leading to competition law and intellectual property agreements with governments around the world and with companies across the IT sector. He has played a leading role within Microsoft and in the IT sector on government surveillance, privacy, intellectual property, immigration and computer science education policy issues. As the senior executive responsible for ensuring Microsoft fulfills its corporate responsibilities, he has helped the company achieve its consistent ranking in the top 2 percent of the S&P 500 for corporate governance scores. He has played a leadership role locally and nationally on numerous charitable, business and legal initiatives. In 2013 he was named by the National Law Journal as one of the 100 most influential lawyers in the United States. In 2014, the New York Times called Smith “a de facto ambassador for the technology industry at large.”

In addition to his work at Microsoft, Smith is active in several civic and legal organizations and in the broader technology industry. In March 2015, Smith joined the Netflix board of directors. He also works to advance several significant diversity and pro bono initiatives, serving as chair of the board of directors of Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) and as chair of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD). In addition, Smith chairs the board of the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship program, at the appointment of the governor.

Smith grew up in Appleton, Wisconsin, where Green Bay was the big city next door. He attended Princeton University, where he met his wife, Kathy (also a lawyer), and graduated summa cum laude with a concentration in international relations and economics. He earned his J.D. from the Columbia University School of Law and studied international law and economics at the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva, Switzerland. Prior to joining Microsoft, he was an associate and then partner at the Washington, D.C.-based firm of Covington and Burling, where he is still remembered as the first attorney in the long history of the firm to insist (in 1986) on having a personal computer on his desk as a condition for accepting a job offer. He can be followed at http://twitter.com/@bradsmi.

Reetu Gupta

CEO, Cirkled in

Reetu Gupta CEO, Cirkled in

Reetu Gupta is Co-founder and CEO of Cirkled in – a 21st-century recruitment platform for colleges and universities connecting them with good-fit high school students based on students’ rich portfolio. A platform for students to showcase themselves in the best possible way and get discovered by colleges and universities. Cirkled in has garnered national awards, latest one being Grand Stevie Award given to top 10 companies in US. Cirkled in has been featured in local and national media including Huffington Post, SiriusXM, Seattle Times, TechCrunch, GeekWire, CBS KIRO7 etc. Reetu is a marketer, technologist and entrepreneur at heart who bridges the gap between technology and customer needs.

Reetu spent 20 years in corporate America from startups to Fortune 50 companies, engineering to marketing, and individual contributor to a supervisor. Reetu has broad and deep experience in many aspects of business that she is utilizing in her current CEO role for Cirkled in that she launched in 2015.

Reetu earned her MBA (Valedictorian) in Technology Management from Foster school of Business at UW and MS and BS from NIT, India. Reetu volunteers her time and skills for various organizations as speaker, mentor and judge for business plan competitions. With Cirkled in, she hopes to leave a lasting legacy in the field of technology and education.

Joe Roets

Founder, Dragonchain Inc.

Joe Roets Founder, Dragonchain Inc.

Joe Roets is a successful software and systems architect with experience as CIO, CTO, and Senior Vice President across industries. For over 20 years he has worked at companies such as Disney, Lockheed Martin, Sprint, FBI, DoD, and createTank, and has spearheaded new technology groups and led software engineering teams both large and small. He has been involved with blockchain and cryptocurrency projects since 2010, working with Coinbase, Overstock, Symbiont, Bloq, and Disney. He currently heads the Dragonchain Foundation and Dragonchain, Inc.

Amy Bohutinsky

COO, Zillow Group

Amy Bohutinsky COO, Zillow Group

As chief operating officer, Amy oversees Zillow Group’s people organization (HR, recruiting and learning & development), as well as marketing, communications and consumer care. Amy joined Zillow pre-launch in 2005, as one of the company’s earliest employees, and previously served as Chief Marketing Officer.

In 2017, Amy was the first woman to be named one of Swanepoel’s ten most powerful people in real estate. Amy has received numerous awards including: Inman News’ list of The Real Estate Influencers of 2017, Direct Marketing News’ Marketing Hall of Femme 2014, HousingWire’s 2014 Women of Influence and Puget Sound Business Journal’s 20 Under 40 in 2012. Amy also lends her expertise on the boards of directors of Avvo, the web’s largest legal marketplace, and HotelTonight, a fast-growing mobile-based hotel booking service.

Before joining Zillow, Amy ran communications for Hotwire, a discount travel site. She led the PR launch of Hotwire in 2000, and continued through the company’s $675 million acquisition by IAC/InterActiveCorp in 2003.

Amy started her career as a broadcast journalist, working for various CBS, NBC and ABC affiliates. She earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications from Washington & Lee University.

Effenus Henderson

President, Institute for Sustainable Diversity & Inclusion

Effenus Henderson President, Institute for Sustainable Diversity & Inclusion

Effenus Henderson is Co-Founder of Institute for Sustainable Diversity and Inclusion (www.i4sdi.org ) and President and CEO of HenderWorks, Inc. (www.henderworks.com). He served as Chief Diversity Officer for Weyerhaeuser Company, Federal Way, Washington until his retirement in December 2013. In this role he advised the CEO and senior management team on diversity, inclusion and affirmative action related matters. He has over 40 years of experience in a variety of human resources roles and responsibilities. He is an internationally recognized diversity thought leader and has been invited by numerous companies and organizations to share his expertise. He has provided advisory support on diversity to the US Federal Government’s EPA office, Office of Personnel Management, US Forest Service, State Department and the USDA. His background includes development of diversity and inclusion change agendas, formation and oversight of employee resource groups, and training and skill building workshops.

He has addressed members of the General Assembly of the United Nations on intercultural and interreligious diversity, and also addressed a high-level panel of the Alliance of Civilizations in Madrid, Spain in 2008, Istanbul Turkey in 2009, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2010 and Doha, Qatar in 2011. He also participated in a high-level dialogue sponsored by the High Commissioner on Human Rights in preparation for the 60th Anniversary Celebration of the Universal Declaration of human rights. He was part of a special panel on diversity at the VII Annual Inter-American Conference on Corporate Social Responsibility held in Punta del Este, Uruguay in December 2009. He has advised members of the United Nation’s Alliance of Civilization and Global Compact offices on emerging issues. Additionally, he has advised leaders of Club de Madrid’s Shared Societies Project (Madrid, Spain) on cross-cultural inclusion. He was a keynote speaker at the 9th and 10th Forum at Fez Morocco (2012, 2013) and at the 2nd World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue held in Baku, Azerbaijan (2013). He currently serves as a member of the Advisory Board of the Global Dialogue Foundation, located in Melbourne, Australia.

He was named one of the top diversity officers in corporate America by Diversity Best Practices / Working Mother Media and received its first Diversity Officer Leadership Award in 2007. He was among the finalists for the second annual global ORC Peter C. Robertson Award for Equality and Diversity Champions. He was one of 100 Global Diversity Thought Leaders invited by the president of the Society of Human Resource Management to a special forum in April 2008 to provide a perspective on the future of global diversity and inclusion. He was named to Savoy magazine’s 2010 list of the Top 100 Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America. He was the 2010 recipient of the National Urban League’s Collins Award for distinctive service and commitment awarded at the National Urban League’s Whitney M. Young, Jr. Awards Gala in Washington, DC in July 2010. In May of 2011, he was named by Black Enterprise Magazine as one of the “Top Executives in Diversity” for his outstanding business achievements. The World HRD Congress in Mumbai, India honored him for “Outstanding Leadership in Human Resource Management” in 2014.

He currently serves as Chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Standards Project sponsored by the Society of Human Resources which will lead to national standards, approved by American National Standards Institute (ANSI) in the areas of lead diversity professional competencies, diversity programs, and diversity metrics. Additionally, he is a member of the United States Technical Committee 260 (human resource standards) for the International Standards Organization (ISO) and will be supporting the development of global diversity and inclusion standards.

He has served on numerous boards including the International Society of Diversity and Inclusion Professionals (ISDIP) where he is a member of the founding board, the National Urban League Board where he has served as a national trustee and president of the Council of Affiliate Board Members. He is also a past chair of the Attrition Retention Consortium, a national group studying turnover trends in Corporate America.   He is also former member of the Board of Advisors, School Business, Florida A&M University.

Ina Fried

Chief Technology Correspondent, Axios

Ina Fried Chief Technology Correspondent, Axios

Ina Fried is chief technology correspondent for Axios and editor of its daily tech newsletter, Login. Before joining Axios in February, she was a senior editor at Recode, covering mobile, and produced the Code/Mobile series of conferences.

Her road to becoming the woman she is today has been a long one. Before helping launch Recode, Ina covered mobile at All Things Digital. Prior to that she spent a decade at CNET where she covered, among other things, Microsoft and Apple. Her reporting spanned several continents, two genders and included chronicling the Hewlett Packard-Compaq merger, Bill Gates’ transition from software giant to philanthropist, as well as the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

Eric Osborne

Co-founder, HERE Seattle

Eric Osborne Co-founder, HERE Seattle

Eric Osborne is an Account Director for Aquent by day and Cofounder of HERE Seattle by night.  Eric specializes in recruiting and sales strategy for companies with a focus on diversity.  He is a proud father who really spends his free time trying to making lanes for minorities in the tech and creative industries here in Seattle.  Eric and his HERE Seattle leadership team have built a community of over 1800 diverse professionals in the Seattle area that acts as Ambassadors for all the Diversity and Inclusion initiatives in the Greater Seattle area.

Sarah Bird

CEO, Moz

Sarah Bird CEO, Moz

Sarah Bird serves as CEO of Moz. A student of the world, Sarah attended Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada; Koç University in Istanbul, Turkey; University of Washington School of Law in Seattle, Washington; and East China University School of Law and Politics in Shanghai, China. After practicing law for several years, Sarah threw herself into the startup lifestyle and helped build Moz from the ground up. She sets the company’s strategy and vision with her colleagues on the Board of Directors. She frequently speaks on entrepreneurship, culture, search marketing, and internet law. Her super-sharp business acumen is always paired with her TAGFEE core beliefs.

Sahil Diwan

CEO, SafKan

Sahil Diwan CEO, SafKan

Sahil Diwan is the Co-Founder & CEO of SafKan – Ear Care, a quickly growing Seattle-based medical device company, which is launching the world’s first automated ear cleaning device. He drives SafKan’s vision and business strategy by utilizing the decades of experience of his advisors and mentors, in combination with his own.

Before devoting his work fulltime to SafKan, Sahil founded two software companies, the latter of which was acquired in early-2017. He is a Startup Weekend winner, Entrepreneur Magazine’s College Entrepreneur of the Year finalist, and TEDx speaker.

Sahil is a young engineer and entrepreneur with a passion for overcoming challenges by learning and building together.

Jevin West

Assistant Professor, Information School, University of Washington

Jevin West Assistant Professor, Information School, University of Washington

Jevin D. West is an Assistant Professor in the Information School at the University of Washington. He co-founded theDataLab — a collection of faculty and graduate students focused on research in Data Curation, Computational Social Science, Data for Social Good, Information Visualization and the Science of Science. He is one of the architects of the new Data Science curricula across UW. Together with Carl Bergstrom, he has developed a new class to combat the onslaught of misinformation in today’s digital environments. The course — Calling Bullshit in the Age of Big Data —  places a special emphasis on refuting BS wrapped in the authority of numbers, statistics and algorithms. The course is already being adopted at scores of colleges and high schools around the country.

Derek Richardson

CEO, Deako

Derek Richardson CEO, Deako

Derek Richardson is the CEO and Founder of Deako Smart Lighting, an IoT and Smart Home startup started in Seattle in April of 2015.  He holds an MBA degree from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, and received a bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering from the Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada.  Originally from Canada, Derek started his career as an Engineer and early employee at Research In Motion (BlackBerry) in the early days before BlackBerry was publicly launched.  In a technical role, he helped bring BlackBerry to International Markets across Europe.

He then moved to Silicon Valley where he spent the next 13 years at Cypress Semiconductor holding a variety of positions in Sales, Business Development, Product Management and Engineering Management.  In 2009, he moved to Seattle to start a new business unit within Cypress focused on making large form factor Touchscreen IC devices in anticipation of an emerging Tablet market.  Cypress Large Touchscreen ICs were in almost every major tablet maker (outside of Apple) and he grew that business from nothing to $50M in revenue within two years.
In 2015, after renovating his home he realized there were real problems with smart home technology, and specifically smart lighting.  He left Cypress to pursue his passion in creating Deako and has multiple patents pending on a new type of modular light switch and whole home automation system that is poised to change the landscape for the smart home.  Deako is a 27 person based startup in Seattle Washington, has raised over $10M in capital and is about to publicly launch there new smart lighting solution.

Marene Wiley

Co-founder, JikoPower

Marene Wiley Co-founder, JikoPower

Marene Wiley is CMO, VP and co-founder of JikoPower Inc. and a graduate of the University of Washington. Marene developed JikoPower’s brand, marketing materials and international marketing strategy. Using social and traditional media JikoPower raised more than $52,000 on Kickstarter and captured the attention of a global audience. JikoPower has been featured on Snapchat, GeekWire, YahooTech, The Seattle Times, New Day NW and many other outlets. Marene won Audience Choice at TechFestNW 2017 and Grand Prize at the 2017 Elevating Impact Summit for her pitch. The JikoPower team won the Grand Prize at the 2016 University of Washington Business Plan Competition, Graduated Jones and Foster Accelerator Program, and won first place in the 2015 Environmental Innovation Challenge.

Vinny Green

Co-owner and VP of Operations, Snopes

Vinny Green Co-owner and VP of Operations, Snopes

Vinny Green is the co-owner and Vice President of Operations for Snopes.com, the Internet’s top resource for fact-checking myths, rumors, and Internet misinformation. Green joined Snopes after co-founding an ad-tech company, working with and consulting for top tier publishers. Currently, he handles Snopes’s business and product development, partnerships, and strategy. Green has been integral to the establishment of key Snopes collaborations with Facebook and Google, and has recently been profiled by CNN, Forbes, and honored in Forbes’s 30 Under 30 in 2017. He is also a veteran, having served as a U.S Marine

Citlaly Ramirez

WSOS Scholar

Citlaly Ramirez WSOS Scholar

Citlaly Ramirez is a Junior at Western Washington University studying Management Information Systems, with a minor in Computer Science. She is a proud first generation student, a Washington State Opportunity Scholar, and the oldest of four siblings. A graduate of Highline High School, Citlaly can speak three languages including, Spanish, ASL and English.

Michael Grabham

Founder & Host, Start IT Seattle

Michael Grabham Founder & Host, Start IT Seattle

Michael Grabham is a curious startup guy that has been delivering revenue, new products and creative solutions in the startup chaos for 20+ years. He is a six time founder and is in relentless pursuit of knowing the customers better than any competitor. He recently invented a new product called Package Guard, to help stop package theft.  He is a “make it happen” person that drives growth, inspires and teaches employees on how to have fun and get things done, yes you can do both.  He has raised $3M+ from angel investors over the past 20 years, sold two companies and failed. He has managed marketing, product, engineering and sales staffs throughout his career.

He is constantly learning from others having conducted more than 100 interviews with great leaders in Seattle at Startup Grind each month and Start IT Seattle on King 5 TV evening magazine. He loves helping smart people change industries, studying consumer behaviors and searching for the perfect glass of wine.

Guillaume Wiatr

Founder, Metahelm

Guillaume Wiatr Founder, Metahelm

Guillaume Wiatr is in the business of taking the ideas of thought leaders from flat to fully dimensional. Because in today’s ever-changing idea economy, business concepts must be clear enough to be quickly understood and meaningful enough to inspire success.

Founder of MetaHelm LLC, he currently helps clients breath visual life into their ideas, so they can view them more clearly and rewrite them into impactful stories that engage audiences, drive change, and propel their future.

Throughout his eighteen-year career, many clients have come to know Guillaume as a prolific concept generator. Others appreciate his creative approach to problem solving, in which he combines research, design strategy, storytelling, graphic facilitation, information design, presentation production, and prototyping.

This unique combination of abilities has led Guillaume to build four successful, leading-edge startup companies, provide strategic advice to a number of executive leaders and entrepreneurs and contribute to several books.

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