Michelle Bacharach is the CEO & Co-founder of the award winning retail technology company FINDMINE. Michelle is a thought leader in the retail technology industry, having spoken to over 2000 retail executives at the National Retail Federation Conference, and has been sought out by some of the top consulting firms and publications for her opinion on current retail trends, particularly as they relate to digital experiences, automation and artificial intelligence. Her company FINDMINE has been featured by Womenswear Daily, The Washington Post, Fox, CBInsights, VentureBeat, Alleywatch, and others. About FINDMINE: FINDMINE is a retail technology that uses machine learning to scale the currently manual and tedious process of product curation (e.g., creating outfits, sets of furniture & decor, compatible electronics, ingredients for recipes, etc.). FINDMINE’s first product “Completes the Look” around every product in fashion retailers’ inventory. Our customers are billion dollar brands, womenswear retailers, and high-fashion leaders like John Varvatos, for whom FINDMINE has unlocked 6% in incremental revenue. Built by a team with experience not only launching apps and websites that millions of people use, but also deep in the retail industry, FINDMINE has won numerous awards and has been featured by Women’s Wear Daily, Fox, National Retail Federation, Alleywatch, and The Washington Post.
Mike is the General Partner at Bowery Capital based in New York. Prior to Bowery Capital, Brown co-founded AOL Ventures and led investments in over 30 companies primarily focused around the next generation of CMO and CTO spend. Before AOL Ventures, Mike worked for the investment arm of Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, helping to invest capital in early stage companies.
As a transformational technology evangelist, Sam Gross brings a fresh approach to the technology industry that promotes contemporary experiences, intelligent automation and strategic platforms. He believes we have become so accustomed to years of IT cost cutting that CIO’s are at risk of missing one of the biggest opportunities in IT history to drive the strategic agenda – thru the implementation of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and AI. Sam contends that the most significant impact of this very promising technology is on enhancing employees’ ability to do their jobs better, which in turn enables the competitive edge that differentiated customer experiences require. In addition to his belief in the transformational potential of RPA and AI, Sam is passionate about developing emerging technologies and strategic markets that encompass end-user enablement, cloud technology, automated infrastructure, network, and security management, across managed IT services, financial services, telecommunications, retail, healthcare and federal contracting markets. Sam is CTO and Co-Founder of Apptinuum, a startup that is simplifying the intelligent automation of IT and has more than 25 years of experience leading transformational portfolio management, building and delivering best in class service delivery technology platforms in the U.S. and globally. Serving as the CTO of CompuCom from 2013 until 2017 he was leading the development of their Advanced Intelligent Automation initiatives. Previously as CTO for ChoiceWORX Consulting from 2011 to 2013, and VP of Global ITO Solutions at Unisys from 2008 to 2011, Sam led the development of several secure cloud and converged technology management platforms. Prior to 2008, Sam spent 10 years with CSC, where he was leading the development of their Global Outsourcing Services delivery platform products, as well as several years as CTO for Nortel Networks, AON, and the US Army account. Sam often speaks at industry forums and client events and is quoted in the press, and he has served on multiple technical advisory boards. Follow Sam on Twitter: @Sam_Gross.
Matthew Zeiler is an artificial intelligence expert with a Ph.D. in machine learning from NYU. His groundbreaking research in visual recognition, alongside renowned machine learning pioneers Geoff Hinton and Yann LeCun, has propelled the image recognition industry from theory to real-world practice. As the founder of Clarifai, Matt is applying his award-winning research to create the best visual recognition solutions for businesses and developers and power the next generation of intelligent apps. Reach him @MattZeiler
Brandon is co-founder and CEO of Cognical, parent of Zibby, a consumer leasing platform for online, brick and mortar and omnichannel retailers. Prior to starting Cognical at Cornell, he co-founded a prime residential mortgage brokerage and a retail coffee business, both in the Pacific Northwest. Brandon has also co-founded business associations and served on mayoral advisory committees for economic development. Brandon has a BA in Economics from Whitman College and an MBA from Cornell University.
Josh is Co-Founder and CEO of Plated.com, which is on a mission to help people Eat Better and Live Better by improving the broken American food supply chain. To date, Plated has shipped millions of meals to over 95% of the United States. Josh received his MBA from Harvard Business School and a BS in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Tech.
Laura set out in 2008 with her co-founders, Ben and Pete Van Leeuwen, with the dream of selling delicious artisan ice cream made with only the best ingredients — that means nothing more complicated than what you would find in a pantry, and always natural and sustainably sourced. Today, Laura is COO of Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream, wearing many hats across nearly every function from procurement to brand experience. Laura, originally from Australia, is also co-founder of Indonesian restaurant, Selamat Pagi, runs a weekly dance jam in Brooklyn called ‘No Lights, No Lycra’ (a concept that began in Melbourne and now happens in over 50 cities around the world) and forms one half of garage-pop band Laura & Greg.
Mitchell Weisman is founder and CEO of RevJet, a radically different advertising platform that empowers marketers to access the largest untapped source of value in digital advertising. He also serves as chairman of LifeStreet Media, a company he previously co-founded. In just a few years, Weisman’s team grew LifeStreet from a four-person start-up into a global company with five offices across the world. LifeStreet is currently the largest social media ad exchange for the Facebook canvas application platform. Prior to founding LifeStreet, Weisman served as senior vice president at Claria Corporation, an early digital marketing firm he helped grow from a pre-revenue start-up to nearly $100 million in annual revenue. Previously, Weisman spent seven years in technology venture capital and private equity. A serial entrepreneur, Weisman founded and ran two successful student businesses while attending the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
Steven Kuyan is Managing Director of the future Labs at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering. The program has a mission to provide early state NYC startups with the highest likelihood of success and to date the unique process has graduated 68 companies, 13 as acquisitions totaling more than $300M, and a combined valuation of graduates exceeding $1B. Steven co-founded the Future Labs – formerly the NYU Polytechnic Incubators, NYC’s first incubator program – as is responsible for managing the Data Future Lab, Digital Future Lab, Veterans Future Lab, and the AI NexusLab, NYC’s first program designed specifically for early stage Artificial Intelligence startups. The Future Labs are a network of programs supporting entrepreneurs in technology specific verticals such as; Artificial Intelligence, Machining learning, and Data at the Data Future Lab; and Augmented/Virtual Reality, Video, Virtual Machines at the Digital Future Lab. The graduate portfolio includes industry leading startups like CB Insights, Clarifai, Geometric Intelligence, Tap Commerce among many others. Steven is an adjunct professor of Entrepreneurship at NYU and leads entrepreneurship curriculum across the engineering School; including the development of new courses, the Inno Vention hardware prototyping competition, fellowship programs, entrepreneurship clubs, and entrepreneurship education programs such as the Veteran Entrepreneurship Training (VET) Program. Steven holds a Bachelors and Masters degrees from NYU.
Mr. Greiper has had a highly successful 30-year career on Wall Street and in his own businesses, with a focus on helping to back and build emerging growth companies. He is the Founder and President of Viridian Capital Advisors, LLC, a financial and strategic advisory firm dedicated to the medicinal and legal cannabis market. Viridian provides market intelligence, investment banking, and corporate development services to emerging growth companies in the cannabis sector. Its banking practice, through broker-dealer Pickwick Capital Partners, provides capital and M&A to fund the growth of Viridian’s clients, while its advisory practice helps to position and build their businesses. Leveraging the team’s decades of high level operating and transactional experience on Wall Street and in the commercial and government sectors, Viridian provides comprehensive strategic and financial solutions that assist cannabis enterprises in realizing their full potential. Scott has been involved in raising more than $400 million in capital for emerging growth companies and has completed a range of M&A transactions. He attended the Executive MBA program at Columbia University and received his B.A. in economics from the University of Chicago. He lives in New York City with his wife and two children.
Jeff has been a venture investor for ten years, an angel investor for four years, and an operating executive of technology companies for 18 years. Jeff presently serves as the Director of the Reitler Advisory Group, Co-chairman of the evaluation committee of the ARC Angel Fund, and a Founder of Gotham Angel Network (GAIN), a consortia of active angel investors in the metro NY region. He is a frequent panelist and speaker on angel and venture investing in NY, and is active advisor/coach to startup companies through Reitler Advisory. Previously Jeff was a Co-founder and Managing Partner of Odeon Capital Partners, an early stage venture capital fund. Prior to Odeon, Jeff was an operating executive at CA, Inc., and Cheyenne Software, Inc., where he served as GM of the Unix Division, VP of Corporate Development, VP of Corporate Marketing and Director of Product Management. Prior to that he was Co-founder of NHance Systems, Inc.
Mr. Hoffnung serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Vireo Health of New York, one of five licensed medical cannabis providers in New York State. Mr. Hoffnung was previously the founder and CEO of Fiorello Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a medical cannabis company. Prior to that, Mr. Hoffnung served as New York City’s Deputy Comptroller for Budget & Public Affairs, where he oversaw the City’s $70 billion budget, managed a 100+ employee staff, and served as the chief liaison to all levels of governments and to various labor unions. Prior to serving in New York City government, Mr. Hoffnung was a Managing Director at Bear Stearns, where he worked for more than a decade. Mr. Hoffnung also led a research team composed of economists and policy experts that published two-dozen white papers, including two ground-breaking and widely-cited reports on the public-health and economic impacts of reforming cannabis policies: 100,000 Reasons: Medical Marijuana In The Big Apple and Regulating and Taxing Marijuana: The Fiscal Impact on NYC. He holds an Masters of Business Administration in Finance degree from New York University’s Stern School of Business and a Bachelor’s degree from Queens College.
Ari J. Schwartz, Esq. is the Director of Acquisitions for Kalyx Development Inc., drawing upon his experience and background in commercial real estate brokerage, investment sales and related distressed debt investments. Mr. Schwartz is a licensed attorney in New York and New Jersey, having practiced law for several years in the areas of bankruptcy, creditors’ rights, commercial real estate and related litigation before state and federal district courts. Ari holds a J.D. from Brooklyn Law School, an L.L.M. in Bankruptcy Law from St. John’s University School of Law, and a B.A. in Economics from Emory University.
Giadha Aguirre de Carcer is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Frontier Financial Group Inc., dba New Frontier Data. She is an entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience in business execution, management and strategic business development with an emphasis on emerging markets. Giadha has worked in investment banking with JPMorganChase in both Manhattan and London, and served as a senior consultant in the Defense, Technology, and Telecommunication industries for both the commercial and government sectors domestically and abroad. She has successfully launched and operated four data-driven businesses, including disruptive technologies such as the original patent application behind Progressive’s Snapshot and Verizon’s Hum. She is considered an expert in strategic positioning and risk management in emerging high growth markets. Investment banking; government and commercial intelligence data collection and analysis; as well as entrepreneurship have defined Giadha’s career and drive her vision for New Frontier Data.
Arthur Minson, also known as Artie, is the President and Chief Operating Officer at WeWork, which provides workspace, community, and services to over 35,000 members in 17 cities around the world. As President and COO, Minson is responsible for scaling WeWork’s operations and expanding the company’s presence globally through management of operations, services, sales, business development and administrative functions including finance, legal, information technology, and human resources. Prior to joining WeWork, Minson served as the Chief Financial Officer of Time Warner Cable, and before that, as AOL’s Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial and Administrative Officer. Minson graduated cum laude from Georgetown University with a bachelor’s degree in accounting, and is a member of Georgetown’s Board of Regents. He also holds a master’s degree in business administration from Columbia University. A native New Yorker, Artie is a graduate of Regis High School in New York City where he has been a member of the school’s Alumni Board.
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