How to Out-Amazon Amazon
The common perception is that Amazon has won commerce, but the reality is actually anything but. This session features several unique and well-positioned companies who are "out-Amazoning Amazon" - disrupting commerce and creating tools for retailers to compete in this new world.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.