Adam is CEO and Co-founder of TheWaveVR, a VC-backed music tech startup building the world's first social platform for VR music concerts. He has 10 years of experience working on music tech products as a sound designer, game designer, and product leader. While at Harmonix, he worked on AAA titles like Rock Band, Dance Central, Disney's Fantasia, Harmonix Music VR, and more. He led the development of the 2015 Music App of the year Ditty, at LA-based startup Zya.
Andy Lark is globally recognized for his marketing and leadership in high growth start-ups and enterprises. He has built one of the most successful SaaS start-ups into a global software powerhouse; launched apps used by millions every day; lead the transformation of Australia's most vibrant financial services brand; and, built one of the largest eCommerce sites in the world.
Most recently he was the chief business officer for global accounting software company Xero - named by Forbes as the world's most innovative company. He previously held senior positions at Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Dell, LogLogic, Sun Microsystems, Nortel Networks and Fleishman-Hillard. He is a non-executive director of Mercury Energy and SLI Systems. He is the co-founder and chair of hot Australian-based marketing technology start-up, Simple Technologies.
Today he leads Group Lark - a global consultancy driving brand and digital transformations for the world's leading countries and enterprises. Group Lark helps great ideas flourish in a digital world - and great brands design their future there.
Andrew Trickett is the Co-Founder of Merge Labs, Inc. Founded in 2013, Merge is a Texas-based startup focused on making virtual reality fun and easy for everyone. In charge of strategic planning for the technology startup, Trickett oversees fundraising, business development, customer support and business operations. He has a strong history of operating, evaluating and advising tech startups, and working with investor groups.
Trickett co-founded and managed all revenue generation activities at startup Virtual Alert, which enjoyed a successful exit when purchased by a strategic buyer. He was a partner at Mercer Management Consulting (now Oliver Wyman). His experience also includes strategic alliance and business development at Trilogy Software.
He is a member of the selection committee of the South Texas RCIC, which reviews regional applicants for the Texas Emerging Technology Fund. Trickett holds an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and a BBA from the University of Texas.
Aviad founded Bionaut Labs with the vision of transforming drug development into a predictable process. Today multiple localized health conditions (e.g., cancer tumors) are treated using systemic drug delivery or invasive surgical procedures, resulting in limited efficacy and safety. Existing targeted delivery technologies rely on passive motion in the bloodstream or diffusion in tissue, leaving accurate delivery up to chance. Bionaut Labs aims to change this paradigm, creating a revolutionary treatment modality for a wide range of clinical conditions. The Bionaut vision is part of a medical future where treatment development is no longer ruled by randomness, localized clinical conditions are treated locally and not systemically, where medicine is personalized on the anatomic level and not “one size”, where medical diagnostics are seamless, accurate and continuous rather than invasive, noisy and infrequent.
Aviad was founder and president of PrimeSense, a 3D sensing company for consumer and commercial markets, best known as the technology behind Microsoft's Kinect as well as the facial recognition features of the IPhone X. In 2013, the company was acquired by Apple Inc. Aviad received the World Economic Forum’s Technological Pioneer award in 2013, and has been named by Business Insider Tech one of the most influential Israelis in tech. Among others, he is serving today on the boards of the Weizmann International Board, Yeda Research and Development company and the Schwartz/Reisman Science Education Center.
Alex Zhou is the founder and CEO of Yamibuy. Born in 1986 and raised in the beautiful harbor city of Dalian, China, he came to the U.S. to attend Kansas State University in 2007, obtaining a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering in 2011. Following graduation, Alex relocated to Los Angeles and was astonished by how convenient life in LA was compared to Kansas. He saw the opportunity of establishing an e-commerce company for those who have little or no access to Asian goods in the U.S. When Alex founded Yamibuy.com in 2013, he was a one-man army working on every task, from placing overseas orders to packaging to customer service. As of today, Yamibuy has more than 300 employees and a 200,000 square-foot warehouse with a house-built, automated logistics system. Alex was named one of Ernst & Young's 2017 Entrepreneurs of the Year in the greater Los Angeles area.
Robert Bilder is the Tennenbaum Family Professor of Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences, Chief of Medical Psychology - Neuropsychology at UCLA's Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, and Director of the Tennenbaum Center for the Biology of Creativity. His research has focused on the links between brain and behavior, using tools spanning genetics, neuroimaging, cognitive and other assessments of human behavior. He is particularly interested in studying dimensions of brain function to help eliminate artificial boundaries between mental illnesses, between health and disease, and between the brain mechanisms involved in exceptional and everyday creativity. Recently he has been engaged in research on the NIMH Research Domains Criteria initiative, with a focus on working memory processes. He also directs the Mind Well pod within UCLA's Healthy Campus Initiative to concentrate on how we can support resilience, well-being and creative achievement at UCLA and beyond. Finally, Dr. Bilder has been studying the brain bases of creativity across species, and identifying brain and behavioral traits associated with exceptional or "Big C" creativity in humans.
Chris Gibson, PhD, is the Co-founder and CEO of Recursion Pharmaceuticals, a biotech company leveraging the latest in automation, artificial intelligence and biology to do drug discovery at scale. Chris developed the technology and approach that seeded Recursion as part of his MD/PhD graduate work in the lab of Co-Founder Dr. Dean Li at the University of Utah. Chris left medical school to transform this technology into the rapidly growing company it is today. Chris is a graduate of Rice University with degrees in bioengineering and management, as well as a graduate of an intense entrepreneurship course at Stanford GSB. He is a Board Member of CureHHT, a patient advocacy group for Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia, and a member of the Rare and Undiagnosed Network Advisory Board. Outside of work, Chris enjoys cycling on both the road and the trails that cut through Utah's great wilderness, as well as spending time with family.
David is Co-Founder & CEO of Happy Returns, a service for shoppers and retailers that is solving the #1 pain point of online shopping: returns.
Happy Returns does this by providing a seamless, integrated system of technology, service, and logistics that gives shoppers the frictionless returns experience they want and retailers the low-cost and efficient service they require. Happy Returns operates a national network of 50+ Return Bar locations in 14 metro areas staffed by friendly, well-trained Returnista™ return specialists located in premier shopping centers, independent boutiques, and other convenient spots.
Prior to Happy Returns, David was Chief Marketing Officer at REVOLVE, leading all online and offline marketing, branding, acquisition and business development. Earlier in his career, David led Marketing and Business Development for HauteLook, a flash sale pioneer acquired by Nordstrom, and held senior roles at eBay Motors.
Drew Skillman is Creative Director on "Tilt Brush by Google", a virtual reality application that allows anyone to paint in 3D space at room scale. That project developed as part of a number of different augmented reality, virtual reality, and natural motion experiences at the company he co-founded, Skillman & Hackett, before it was acquired by Google in 2015.
Prior to diving deep on AR & VR, Drew worked in the games industry for over a decade as Technical Artist, Visual Effects Artist and Project Lead. Drew weaves together a cross disciplinary skillset of design, visual effects, engineering and physics to deliver immersive experiences carved from the intersection of art and technology.
Erik Schluntz is the CTO and Co-Founder of Cobalt Robotics. He is an accomplished engineer and entrepreneur, having obtained his Masters and Bachelors in Electrical Engineering from Harvard University. Previously, Mr. Schluntz worked for Google[x] on the Smart Contact Lens project, and he was on the SpaceX’s Flight Software Team, where he led testing for an entirely new fuel system and video telemetry systems on the Falcon 9 rocket in 2015.
Imran Khan serves as Snap Inc.’s Chief Strategy Officer, and joined the company in January of 2015 after a long career on Wall Street at Credit Suisse and JP Morgan.
Jeff Miller is the Global Head of Creative Strategy at Snapchat. His team is responsible for building best-in-class mobile campaigns that drive business impact.
Before Snapchat, Jeff served as Gatorade's Director of Digital Strategy where he set the company’s vision across Content, Commerce and Technology. Under his leadership, the brand created award-winning campaigns ft. Michael Jordan, Serena Williams and Usain Bolt.
Jeff received his BS in Commerce from the University of Virginia and MBA from Emory University. When off the clock, he loves singing Moana with his daughter, Pia.
Jeremy Conrad is the CEO of a new robotics company focused on the future of automation. Previously he was a founding partner at Lemnos, an early stage hardware focused venture fund. Prior to Lemnos Mr. Conrad was an active duty United States Air Force officer working on the Airborne Laser Program. Mr. Conrad received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Dr. Leo Petrossian is the Co-Founder and CEO of Neural Analytics, Inc., a medical device startup focused on modernizing brain health management. Dr. Petrossian earned his MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management in 2014 and earned his PhD & MS in Biomolecular Nanotechnology & Solid-State Device Physics as an NSF IGERT fellow at Arizona State University in 2007. Leo also holds a double B.S. in Electrical Engineering & Biomedical Engineering from California State University, Long Beach.
With more than twenty years of leadership and business experience bringing to market many of the systems that power the Internet, Lior has directed and guided teams developing everything from back-office systems to the core technologies of the business. As a serial entrepreneur, Lior has completed several successful exits, including HostPro (now Web.com), KnowledgeBase and EdgeCast. While working on his Ph.D. at the University of Southern California, Lior worked closely with inVia Robotics co-founders Dan and Rand on various robotics and neuroscience projects, including the DARPA Robotic Challenges, Smart Drones, Cognitive threat detections and various autonomous robotics technologies. Currently on a leave of absence from the Ph.D., Lior holds a Masters in Robotics from the University of Southern California and has several publications and patents in the field of neuroscience, computer science and robotics.
Nick Fajt is the CEO and co-founder of Against Gravity, the company behind Rec Room, a virtual reality social club where you can play games with people from around the world. Rec Room is available on Steam, Oculus, and PSVR. Before Against Gravity, Nick worked at Microsoft on both the Hololens and Forza Motorsport teams.
Dr. Noah Craft MD, PhD is the co-founder and CEO of Science 37 and a physician-scientist-entrepreneur. Science 37 transforms the clinical research process, accelerating biomedical discovery and reducing clinical trial costs by shifting the center for research from traditional institutional investigative sites to the patient's home and local healthcare system. We use our patient-centered technology platform (NORA®) to create metasites™, simplify the process of participating in trials, and connect patients safely and securely to the world's best scientists, no matter where they live. For 10+ years, Dr. Craft has worked on the skin microbiome, parasite immunology, and cancer vaccine development. He serves as a Senior Strategic Advisor to both VisualDx and Direct Derm and is on the Board of Directors at BioGraph 55. He has published more than 45 peer-reviewed research manuscripts and holds multiple patents. Dr. Craft received a B.S. from Brown University, completed medical school, graduate school, residency, and post-doctoral research at UCLA.
Omid Toloui is Vice President of Digital Health Strategy & Alliances at CareMore Health, a health plan, care delivery system and subsidiary of Anthem, Inc. Omid leads the company's digital innovation efforts, which seek to identify and implement leading-edge programs, partnerships and/or technologies that improve outcomes for patients and address the needs of the health system and its clinicians. Previously, Omid was at Altegra Health (acquired by Emdeon) where he led the growth and development of its portfolio of analytics and technology-driven engagement solutions aimed at improving quality, increasing access to care and encouraging patients to take a more active role in their health. Omid earned his MBA, MPH and B.S. degrees from UCLA.
Dr. Paolo Pirjanian is the founder/CEO of Embodied inc. a robotics and AI company based in Pasadena, CA. Most recently he was the chief technology officer of iRobot where he lead technology and product innovation leading to a break-through visual indoor mapping and navigation technology which is now powering millions of home robots. Prior to joining iRobot, he was the founder and chief executive officer of Evolution Robotics, Inc. Earlier in his career, he worked as a lecturer, teaching AI at the computer science department at the University of Southern California and as a researcher at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Pirjanian has and still is serving as the chairman and board of directors of various technology organization and companies. He has more than 50 issued patents in robotics, AI and related fields.
Raja Rajamannar is Chief Marketing & Communications Officer of Mastercard and President of its Healthcare business. He is responsible for building the Mastercard brand, driving business and advancing sustainable competitive edge for the company. Mr. Rajamannar joined Mastercard in 2013, bringing with him more than 25 years of extensive experience as a global executive managing large P&Ls, as well as business transformation and innovation for companies in multiple industries including consumer products, financial services and healthcare.
Mr. Rajamannar has been globally recognized for the innovative thinking and leadership in business transformation he has brought to executive roles across industries. He has been named one of the "World's Most Influential CMOs" by Forbes magazine twice. He has also been included in the Top 25 of iMedia's Top Digital Innovators in the world and has been featured numerous times in the Billboard Power 100, an annual ranking of executive excellence and influence in the music industry. AdWeek has named him as one of the "Top 50 Most Tech Savvy CMOs in the World" and one of the "Top 50 CMOs Leading Charge to Transformation". Recently he was also named one of the "World's Most Innovation CMOs" by Business Insider.
Rob is the CEO of Flow Commerce and co-founder with Mike Bryzek. Flow, is the world’s most advanced solution for cross-border ecommerce. The platform provides brands and retailers with complete control over every element of the website, landed cost and local payment methods as well as a range of integrated carrier options for international shipping. As a result Flow generates a precisely tailored domestic-like customer experience for consumers everywhere in the world.
Previously, Rob was founder/CEO of The Fizzback Group a solution for enterprises to capture realtime feedback and customer experience analytics. He grew the business from a one-man start-up to a multi-national business acquired by NICE Systems for around $80M in 2011. Prior to The Fizzback Group, he was the Managing Partner of 3K Digital, a UK based venture capital fund, where he led the fund’s investments into software and applications. Rob started his career as a strategy consultant with Booz Allen. Rob has served as Chairman and Non-Executive Director on various public and private company boards. He holds degrees from Bristol University, UK in Mathematics and Philosophy and an MBA from Kellogg (Northwestern) Business School.
Timoni West leads the immersive Authoring Tools group in Unity Labs, a team of cross-disciplinary artists and engineers exploring new interfaces for human-computer interaction. Labs’ first project, EditorVR, was introduced at Vision Summit in February 2016 and released in December.
Before Unity, Timoni was SVP of Design at Alphaworks, and cofounder & creative director of Department of Design. She's worked at startups across the country, including Foursquare, Flickr, and Betaworks. Timoni also mentors and advises new AR/VR startups in the Bay area.
Kara joined Upfront as a partner in November 2014. Before joining Upfront, Kara co-founded Moonfrye, a children’s e-commerce company which merged to become Seedling. Prior to Seedling, Kara spent close to seven years at IAC where she acted as the Senior Vice President and General Manager of Urbanspoon and Citysearch. Prior to Urbanspoon/Citysearch, Kara co-headed the M&A group at IAC where she lead some of their most successful acquisitions, notably Urbanspoon, Dictionary.com and Aston Hotels. While at IAC, Kara also served as a board member to Hatch Labs, IAC’s mobile technology incubator, where she was the seed investor and advisor to Tinder. Kara also spent time at Morgan Stanley, Microsoft, and Battery Ventures.
Kobie is a Partner at Upfront. He joined the firm in June 2016 after having previously worked at Silicon Valley based Accel, where he was involved in investments including Campaign Monitor, UserTesting, AdRoll, Emergent VR and Invoca (also an Upfront portfolio company). Prior to Accel, Kobie was the Chief Marketing Officer at REVOLVE, one of the largest global fashion ecommerce players based in Los Angeles.
Kobie brings to Upfront expertise in SaaS businesses and marketing technologies and is an author of Growthverse, an interactive visualization of the marketing technology landscape. He has deep knowledge of emerging technologies including VR and AR and was also an early personal investor in Oculus, later sold to Facebook for $2B. Earlier in his career, Kobie helped found OpenView Venture Partners and was an investor at Insight Venture Partners where he sourced notable early investments in Exact Target (acquired by Salesforce for $2.5B) and Instructure (NYSE: INST).
Greg joined Upfront as a Partner in 2013. Greg was the Chief Marketing Officer for HauteLook, a leading online flash-sale retailer. Launched in December 2007, Los Angeles based HauteLook was acquired by Nordstrom, Inc., in March 2011 for $270mm. Prior to joining HauteLook, Greg was Executive Vice President of Business Development and Strategy at Live Nation, responsible for strategic direction and key business partnerships for Live Nation’s ticketing and digital businesses. Before Live Nation, Greg held a number of leadership positions at eBay, including Sr. Director of Business Development at StubHub, where he led business development, partnerships, sales and seller development, including spearheading StubHub’s landmark relationship with Major League Baseball. Prior to transitioning to StubHub from eBay, he led eBay.com’s Event Tickets and Media businesses (including half.com) and was the business leader who led eBay’s acquisition of StubHub in 2007.
Greg focuses on investment in businesses at the juncture of retail and technology. He is our resident expert on user adoption & acquisition with significant operating experience in marketing and BD at top online retail brands.
Ramsay Brown is a creative technologist, neuroscientist, escaped circus bear, and oxford comma enthusiast. A SoCal native, Ramsay trained at the Brain Architecture Center @ USC where he worked on brain mapping and pioneered a Google Maps for the Brain. Now he's the Chief Operations Officer at Dopamine Labs, where he and his team use AI and Neuroscience to make apps more persuasive AND help people break app addiction. An emerging leader in Persuasive Technology, Ramsay's obsessed with exploring what lives at the intersection of brains, machines, and the human spirit. You can find his work, ideas, and copious fur on 60 Minutes, TechCrunch, Big Think, and GQ.
Steven Wolfe Pereira
Mr. Wolfe Pereira is Chief Marketing and Communications Officer of Quantcast Corporation, the world’s largest AI-driven audience behavior platform. As the real-time pulse of the Internet, Quantcast’s Q platform directly quantifies over 100 million mobile and web destinations and offers brand marketers and publishers audience insights, targeting and measurement solutions.
Named by Adweek as one of the "50 Most Indispensable Executives in Marketing, Media and Tech" as well as one of the top Chief Marketing Technology Officers, he has more than two decades of experience at the intersection of technology, entertainment, advertising, media and marketing.
Mr. Wolfe Pereira is a purpose-led leader who builds high-performing teams that are client-obsessed, data-driven and ROI-focused. He is responsible for Quantcast's go-to-market strategy, corporate marketing, product marketing, industry marketing, consumer insights, design, communications and corporate social responsibility efforts.
Prior to joining Quantcast, he was the Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at Neustar which was acquired and taken private by Golden Gate Capital. Before Neustar, he served as the Chief Marketing Officer of Datalogix which was acquired by Oracle. Mr. Wolfe Pereira has also held executive roles at Starcom MediaVest Group (Publicis Groupe), Univision Communications and Akamai Technologies. He began his career in finance, focused on technology, media and telecom mergers and acquisitions, working at firms including The Blackstone Group, Salomon Smith Barney (Citigroup) and Violy, Byorum & Partners.
A passionate supporter of diversity and inclusion as well as STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education, he serves as a board director of the Ad Council, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and the Kapor Center for Social Impact’s Level Playing Field Institute. He earned a B.A. from Tufts University, was a Fulbright Scholar and completed the Greater Boston Executive MBA Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management. He also is a Co-Founder & Chairman of Encantos Media Studios PBC, a family entertainment & education company focused on multicultural content. A Dominican American, Mr. Wolfe Pereira lives in San Francisco, CA with his wife and two children.
Hamet Watt is a Board Partner at Upfront Ventures. He is also co-founder and Chairman of MoviePass, a subscription service for movies in theaters, as well as co-founder and former Chairman of bLife, a wellness innovation company acquired by Canary Health in 2015.
Previously, Hamet was an entrepreneur-in-residence at True Ventures, after exiting another company that he founded called NextMedium, which was acquired by Brand Affinity Technologies. Prior to founding NextMedium, Hamet advised Nielsen Media Research in the development of the first product placement measurement service for network and cable television. Hamet was also a General Partner in the New Africa Opportunity Fund — a $120 million venture capital fund, which was the first US-backed venture fund investing in post-apartheid South Africa.
Wes Nichols is a Board Partner at Upfront Ventures and an active technology investor and advisor. Wes is serial entrepreneur and an industry authority in predictive analytics, AI/Machine Learning, and attribution, creating and scaling solutions for global brands. Wes is the author of the Harvard Business Review cover story, Analytics 2.0, on next-generation analytics to drive more predictive CMO decision-making.
Most recently, Wes was the Chief Strategy Officer at Neustar (NYSE: NSR), the leading company in authenticated identity for marketing and security. Neustar acquired his company, MarketShare, where he was co-founder and CEO. MarketShare’s analytics SaaS solutions are used by companies globally to drive resource allocation decisions and marketing investments, and is now the dominant market leader in the field of analytics, with its clients directing over $80 billion in marketing this year. MarketShare, recently acquired by Neustar for nearly a half a billion dollars, was backed by FTV Capital, Elevation Partners and Silver Lake, the world’s largest technology investor.
Kevin joined Upfront Ventures in 2012. Most recently, Kevin was at Boston Consulting Group, where he advised on strategy and operations for technology, healthcare, and industrial goods clients in the US and Asia and conducted due diligence for private equity investors. Previously, Kevin worked at Verisk Health, a healthcare IT startup in Boston, focusing on project management, product development, and consulting for strategic accounts.