SPEAKERS
 

Opening Keynote


Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson is the fifth President of the Republic of Iceland. He was born in Ísafjörður on May 14th 1943.
Ólafur Ragnar took his BA degree in Economics and Political Science at the University of Manchester in 1965 and completed his Ph.D. in Political Science at the same university in 1970, becoming the first Icelander to earn a doctorate in this discipline. During the period 1970-1988 he built up the Political Science department at the University of Iceland and was appointed the first Professor of Political Science there in 1973....[more]
From 1978 to 1983, Ólafur Ragnar served in the Alþingi as the People's Alliance member for Reykjavík, and as the same party's member for Reykjanes from 1991 to 1996. He was chairman of the parliamentary group of the People's Alliance from 1980 to 1983 and chairman of its executive committee from 1983 to 1987. He was editor of the newspaper Þjóðviljinn from 1983 to 1985, and was elected Leader of the People's Alliance from 1987-1995. In the years 1988-1991 he was Minister of Finance in a government headed by Steingrímur Hermannsson.
Ólafur Ragnar has been active in various other societies and organizations. He was a member of the Economic Council from 1966 to 1968, the Broadcasting Council from 1971 to 1975. He was Chairman of the Icelandic Social Science Association in 1975, and a member of the board of Landsvirkjun, the leading power company of Iceland, from 1983 to 1988, and a Vice-Chairman of the Icelandic Security Commission from 1979 to 1991.
He was a member of the Parlamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe from 1981 to 1984 and again in 1995-1996, was a chairman of the preparatory committee for the Council of Europe conference "North-South: the Role of Europe" in 1982-1984 and was Chairman and later President of the international organization Parliamentarians for Global Action from 1984 to 1990, serving on its council until 1996.
Among many international awards he has received is the Indira Gandhi Peace Prize which he received on behalf of PGA. Ólafur Ragnar was a member of the committee of the Peace Initiative of Six Heads of State in the years 1984-1989, and was awarded honorary doctorates by the universities of Ås (Norway) in 1997 and Manchester in 2001.
Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson is the author of a large number of academic articles that have appeared in both Icelandic and overseas periodicals. [less]



Keynote Speakers

Alf Bjørseth

Robin Chase

Nader F. Darehshori

Richard Kivel

Kenneth P. Morse


Alf Bjørseth earned his Ph. D degree in physical chemistry from the University of Oslo, Norway in 1979. He started his professional career as an associated professor at the Universities of Oslo and Bergen, and subsequently worked for contract research organizations in Norway (SI - today SINTEF) and in the US (Battelle Labs.). Then Dr. Bjørseth went into industrial research and served as Corporate Director of Research for Norsk Hydro and Director of Technology for Elkem. In 1994, Dr. Bjørseth started ScanWafer, a company specializing in the production of ...[more] multi-crystalline silicon wafers for the global solar industry. Later he started another three companies, related to solar cell and module production as well as a solar module installation company. These companies were later merged into one holding company, Renewable Energy Corporation (REC), of which Dr. Bjorseth served as President from the start. Today REC covers the whole value chain for solar energy and is one of the largest solar energy companies in the world. In 2005, Dr. Bjørseth retired as President of REC. He is now Chairman, running his private company, Scatec AS, where the main purpose is establishing new companies based on the latest technologies in the areas of renewable energy and advanced materials. The best know of these new companies, is probably NorSun, which has established a successful production of high quality mono-crystalline wafers to the PV industry. Dr. Bjørseth is a member of the Norwegian Academy of Sciences and The Norwegian Academy of Technical Sciences, and has been honoured as Commander of The Royal Order of St. Olav. [less]




Robin Chase leads Meadow Networks, a consulting firm that advises city, state, and federal government agencies about wireless applications in the transportation sector, and impacts on innovation and economic development. Robin is also founder and former CEO of GoLoco, an online ridesharing community, and Zipcar, the largest carsharing company in the world. She is on the Board of the World Resources Institute, as well as the transportation working group for the World Economic Forum. She also served on the ...[more]Massachusetts Governor's Transportation Transition Working Group, and Boston Mayor's Wireless Task Force. Robin lectures widely, has been frequently featured in the major media, and has received many awards in the areas of innovation, design, and environment, including Time 100 Most Influential People, Fast Company Fast 50 Innovators, and BusinessWeek Top 10 Designers. Robin graduated from Wellesley College and MIT's Sloan School of Management, and was a Harvard University Loeb Fellow. [less]




Nader F. Darehshori has more than 40 years of experience in all aspects of publishing beginning with sales, and including editorial, marketing, technology, globalization, and acquisition of organizations. He began his career with the Houghton Mifflin Company in 1966 as a sales representative in the College Division, then in 1990, Nader was elected Chairman and CEO of the Company and assumed the title of President in October 1991. ...[more]
He then founded Cambium Learning, a publishing company focused on K-8. Cambium became the premier education company delivering research and evidence-based outcomes for students at risk for academic failure. The company was sold to Veronis Suhler in early 2007.
In mid 2007, Nader co- founded Aptius Education a publisher of quality instructional materials developed to advance careers and enhance job skills. Content areas are selected for their focus on skills demanded by the 21st-century workplace, and distribution channels make the materials easily accessible - and customizable - for virtually any educational setting.
Nader is a director and member of the Executive Compensation Committee for State Street Bank. He is Director of the Audit Committee for Aviva USA, Chairman of the Boston Public Library, and a trustee of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. He a supporter of the U.N. [less]




Richard Kivel is a serial entrepreneur and seasoned life science & technology executive with a proven record of building successful companies, world-class teams and securing profitable exits for investors.
Rich presently serves as Chairman and CEO of Rhapsody Biologics, a biotech company focused in the field of vaccine development, with offices in the US and Singapore. Prior to this, Rich served as CEO of TheraGenetics, a UK-based genetic diagnostics company ...[more]focusing on the development and commercialization of pharmacogenetic diagnostic tests to guide and improve the treatment of Central Nervous System (CNS) disorders. In January 2009, TheraGenetics was acquired by UK based Avacta Group plc. LSE: (AVCT). Rich remained as CEO and continued to lead the growth of TheraGenetics under the new ownership until June 2009.
Before becoming the CEO of TheraGenetics, Rich spent two years working with a select group of investors and entrepreneurs to launch and grow a portfolio of life science companies. Rich was retained to focus on: technology identification, market development and financial operations in the areas of diagnostics, genetics, healthcare and biotech.
From 2001-2004, he served as CEO of MolecularWare, Inc., an MIT spin-out and leader in genomic and proteomic microarray technologies. Under his leadership, MolecularWare secured venture capital and debt funding and launched multiple products globally. In June, 2003, the company was acquired by California based CalbaTech, Inc.
Rich is a Senior Lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management and serves as Chairman of the global Board of Directors of the MIT Enterprise Forum and is a member of the MIT Alumni Association Board. He serves as a judge for the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition. Over the past decade, Rich has worked with many of the leading scientist and researchers at MIT and at other universities, focused on early-stage technology identification, development and commercialization.
Rich is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Bankinter Foundation of Innovation, based in Madrid Spain. He also serves as an Advisor and Board member to life science companies in the US, Europe and Asia as well as government and entrepreneurial organizations globally. He is a mentor to the United Kingdom Trade & Investment (UKTI), Global Entrepreneurs Program and is a founding board member of the Enterprise Ireland biotech initiative (BioLink).
Rich is a sought after speaker and lecturer and has shared his insights on future trends in life sciences, personalized medicine and technology with audiences throughout the US, Europe, UK, Asia and South Africa. He has extensive knowledge and experience in entrepreneurship, IP, corporate finance, sales and organizational development. Rich was selected by Mass High Tech: Journal of New England Technology for the "All Star" award for leadership in Biotechnology and by the Boston Business Journal as one of its "40-under-40"; most promising business people under 40 in Massachusetts. [less]




Ken Morse was a co-founder of six high-tech companies, together with MIT friends and classmates. Five of these ventures had successful IPOs or mergers; one was a disaster. They included 3Com Corporation, Aspen Technology, Inc., a China Trade Company, a biotech venture, and an expert systems company. Ken was either the CEO or responsible for the Sales organization in each of these new enterprises. During his 5+ years as Managing Director of AspenTech (AZPN) Europe SA/NV, Ken’s team achieved 18 consecutive quarters of on-target sales ...[more]performance by building close strategic relationships with the leading chemical and pharma companies throughout the region. He grew the AspenTech EMEA organization from 22 to 200+ employees with basically zero staff turnover, and expanded sales revenue 600% - 900% with key client relationships. Ken was also a member of AspenTech’s Board of Directors.
Ken’s interest in international high tech ventures began at MIT, where he graduated with a BS in Political Science in 1968 followed in 1972 with an MBA from Harvard Business School. Upon graduation, he joined Schroders, the UK-based merchant bank, where he worked directly for Jim Wolfensohn, former President of the World Bank.
In 1975 Ken formed a trading advisory company under the aegis of Chase Manhattan Bank to assist U.S. technology-based companies such as IBM, General Motors, Gilette, Hughes Aircraft, Mine Safety Appliances, Waters Associates, and others to enter the China market. Ken was based in Beijing for five years during the latter half of the Cultural Revolution. In 1980, he relocated to Silicon Valley as a founding member of 3Com Corporation.
In the thirteen years since 1996 that Ken served as Founding Managing Director of the MIT Entrepreneurship Center, the number of students taking Entrepreneurship Courses increased from 220 to 1,600 per year while the number of professors grew from 3 to over 36. Ken was named "Education All Star" by "Mass High Tech" magazine. Ken is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (New York City) and the Cercle Royal Gaulois Artistique & Littéraire (Brussels). Ken is a member of the Board of Advisors of three early-stage Venture Capital Firms: PolyTechnos Venture-Partners (Munich), Rudyard Partners LLC (Boston), and The Entrepreneurs Fund III (Silicon Valley) and he serves on the Board of Advisors of Denkwerk GmbH in Germany, iMotions - Emotion Technology A/S and Zylinc ApS in Denmark, Naseeb Networks and Sofizar in Pakistan, as well as Dynasil, and several MIT spin-offs, including FlowDesign Sonics, Inc. and Terrafugia, Inc.
Ken speaks Fluent French and some Chinese. When he is not helping young companies to succeed, Ken enjoys sailing his wooden boat with his family around Cape Cod. He is currently writing a book about global entrepreneurs who built great companies far from Silicon Valley and Route 128. The working title is "Making it Happen Globally". [less]




Confirmed Panelists

Jónas Björgvin Antonsson

Mohammad Asfour

Alex Bellinger

Jeroo Billimoria

Bjarni Bjarnason

Stephen Brown

David Clark-Murphy

Guðjón Már Guðjónsson

Chris Hannaway

John Hawthorne

William Hirsch

Gísli Hjálmtýsson

Gunnar Hólmsteinn

Þóranna Jónsdóttir

Eyþór Ívar Jónsson

Örn D. Jónsson

Isaac Kato

Jose Mourelle

Joseph Nejman

Donny Ouyang

Yaw Owusu

Gary Palin

Lewdmila Pavlova

Hilmar Veigar Pétursson

Robert L. Pratt

Sam Purtill

Kristin Vala Ragnarsdóttir

Dmitry Repin

Alexander Richter

William Rodriguez

Rögnvaldur Saemundsson

Andy Schroeter

Joshua Schuler

Rosemary Sexton

Thorsteinn Sigfusson

Vilhjálmur Thorsteinsson

Tine Thygesen

Trond Unneland

Bjørn Utgård

Helga Valfells

Markus Wolf

Ory Zik

Tina Zournatzi


Jónas Björgvin Antonsson is an Icelandic entrepreneur and the CEO of Gogogic. He believes that "multiplayer", "social" and "casual" are key concepts for today's game industry. Gogogic follows Jónas' beliefs and specifically develops games focused on social and well-connected platforms such as Facebook and the Apple App Store to shake up the traditional value chain.







Prior to his current position, Mohammad Asfour's was the Environment, Water and Energy Sector Lead at the USAID Jordan Economic Development Program (SABEQ), and an Advisor to the Board of Trustees of Princess Sumaya University for Technology and a Founder & Director of Queen Rania Center for Entrepreneurship. Additionally, he worked on conceptualizing and developing El Hassan Science City concept. He had also served at the Jordan Investment Board and worked as a consultant for the UNDP, UNIDO, and USAID’s AMIR Program....[more] He served as a regional advisor to OECD’s MENA Investment Program and is currently Secretary to the board at Al Shajarah NGO. Mohammad has continuously maintained a presence in the business world through a fourth generation family business. [less]




Alex Bellinger is a journalist who writes extensively about small businesses and startups. He is the founder and editor of SmallBizPod, the pioneering UK podcast and blog on business and has interviewed many of the best known entrepreneurs as well as other business owners with insight and great stories to tell. Before starting his own online publishing business in 2005, Alex had over 10 years experience in senior corporate communications roles in the food and financial services industries. He is passionate about supporting startups and the wider economic and social benefits of entrepreneurship.




Jeroo Billimoria is a serial social entrepreneur who has founded six organizations including Aflatoun. Jeroo was named an Ashoka Innovator in 1999 and received the Schwab Fellowship for Social Entrepreneurs in 2001 among many other awards for her work. She was featured in David Bornstein's book How to Change the World. She is a volunteer for several organizations in different capacities and consults with the Government of India on issues related to child protection. She has written several educational books for children and published academic ...[more]literature on management of non-profit organizations.
From 1991 to 1999, she was a Lecturer at the University Tata Institute of Social Sciences. She is also the founder/honorary secretary of the Childline India Foundation (1996-present) and the founder / president of MelJol (1991-present). Jeroo moved to Amsterdam and founded Child Helpline International in 2003. Aflatoun was founded in 2005. [less]




Bjarni Bjarnason is the CEO of Landsvirkjun Power in Iceland since January 2008, the Engineering and Investment Arm of Landsvirkjun, The National Power Company of Iceland.
Before joining Landsvirkjun Power Bjarni was Executive Vice President of Landsvirkjun, responsible for power production and power sales. He has also served on other CEO posts, including the power intensive industries of Elkem in Iceland. Bjarni holds BSc. in Geology and a Technical Licentiate in Rock Engineering from the University of Lulea in ...[more]Sweden. Bjarni is active on a number of Boards of companies and organizations in Iceland and overseas and presently he is Vice President of the Board of Directors of IHA, the International Hydropower Association focusing on the sustainable development of hydropower globally. [less]




Stephen Brown studies the barriers to technology commercialization in regions and organizations, focusing on the missing or weak components needed for support of innovation based on the stage of the idea, team composition, sector characteristics, and cultural norms. These studies suggest ways for individuals, commercialization teams, and regions to enhance their effectiveness. Steve has spent most of his career directly involved in the management of new products, business development and commercialization activities. He is the founder of ...[more]Innovate4Growth Consulting.
Previously, Steve worked for the MIT Technology Licensing Office in the chemicals, materials, bioPharma, and medical devices areas. He worked with over 100 successful U.S. technology based startups during his career at MIT, either as the Licensing Officer who negotiated their license, as the Licensing Office Ambassador who provided them with advice and contacts, as a judge in MIT's 100K Entrepreneurship Contest, or as an evaluator of their funding proposals to the Deshpande Proof of Concept Fund. He has also worked with groups representing over fifteen different countries interested in best practices for regional economic development in addition to some US cities, universities, and regional economic development agencies. His most extensive international engagement was working with the University of Cambridge Technology Transfer Office in Cambridge, England, on university technology commercialization practices. [less]




David Clark-Murphy's background is rather diverse and includes being a successful Management Consultant to Government in U.K./Europe and Australia, Director of an Advertising Agency, Marketing Director of an Oil Company, London; General Manager of Transport Companies in Australia and Europe; and a Ship's Navigating Officer.
David's PhD is in Management Psychology focusing on decision making performance. David has taught Managerial Finance and Entrepreneurship in Australia, China, Malaysia, Kenya and ...[more]Singapore. David mentored Australia's Entrepreneurship semi-finalists team in the 2004 Global Business Competition; was short-listed for the award of Australia's Best Entrepreneurial Educator of the Year 2006, and was a speaker and.panelist at MIT GSW in Madrid 2008 and Capetown 2009.
David is currently developing a full innovation industry and education hub and research centre at his university, including a strong social entrepreneurship stream.
Other passions include Marathon running, Ballroom Dancing, and Motorsport. [less]




Guðjón Már Guðjónsson is an Icelandic entrepreneur and founder of several Icelandic startups.
Guðjón started his entrepreneurial life at a young age and has since his teenage years founded several innovation and communication companies. Among them are OZ, Vodafone Iceland, Extrada, Vyre, Industria, Medizza and Agora. Guðjón has gained a few international recognition for his entrepreneurial work. In early September 2009, Guðjón was selected by the JCI International as one ...[more]of the "Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World" for 2009.
In beginning of 2009, Guðjón founded the Ministry of Ideas, which is a forum for discussion and promotion of innovations in industry, education, economics, and society.
Guðjón has driven the research, development and design of many leading-edge technologies and is the author of several granted patents. He has served on the board of directors on a number of high-growth companies and acted as key consultant and advisor for both governments and technology companies. [less]




Chris Hannaway, President of the University of Bath Enterprise Society, BANTER. Chris started his frozen yogurt business, Arctic Farm, with best friend Will in 2007, when they first started at Bath. After winning £5k in a national competition they tried the product on friends and the people of Bath. In 2009, they branded the product and launched into Harrods of London. Since then, they've developed their range, upscaled manufacturing, taken investment and are now selling nationwide in 110 Sainsbury's supermarkets.




John Hawthorne, MBA, is founder and CEO of MassChallenge the newly launched world’s largest startup competition – www.masschallenge.org. Their goal is to connect entrepreneurs with the resources they need to launch and succeed immediately. MassChallenge is a non-profit organization which uses the power of competition to create urgency, and to identify and aggregate high-impact teams and resources. They strengthen and accelerate entrepreneurs by providing high-quality, personalized mentorship and by connecting them to potential ...[more]team members, advisors, customers and sponsors.
John has more than 10 years of top-tier strategy, technology and startup experience. Before joining Bain & Company as a Strategy Consultant, he received an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management, graduating with a 4.9/5.0 GPA. While at school, John received Grand Prize in the 2007 MIT $100K Business Plan Competition as the sole MBA student working with a team of MIT engineers to commercialize a telerobotic needle insertion system that facilitates the early detection and treatment of lung cancer by enabling doctors to target smaller lesions. Previously that year, John led the 10th annual MIT Global Startup Workshop (GSW) held in Trondheim, Norway. [less]




William Hirsch is a serial entrepreneur with over 25 years experience in the medical device industry, and an inventor with 14 issued US patents. He is a Co-Founder and the CEO of LapSurge, LLC, a startup company developing and manufacturing ergonomic medical devices for laparoscopic and other minimally invasive surgical procedures. Mr. Hirsch is a Co-Founder and COO of Remedy Mobility Products, a manufacturer of mobility aids such as crutch pads and hand grips to the US orthopedic market. He is also the Founder of High ...[more]Road Biomedical, LLC, a small business providing expert witness and professional consulting services in marketing and engineering to the medical device industry. Previously, he held various marketing and business development management positions with Boston Scientific's Oncology Division. He was a key member of the Vascular Access Group whose product sales grew at >90% CAGR to over $30MM/yr over a 5-year period. Prior to this, he worked with Neoprobe and Johnson & Johnson's Ethicon Endosurgery Division training sales teams around the world and leading professional education programs for oncology surgeons in the US. At Ross Products Division of Abbott Laboratories, he introduced four major product lines for enteral feeding catheters and procedural kits over a 10-year period.
William expects to receive a PhD degree in Biomedical Engineering from The Ohio State University in 2010. He earned an MS in Biomedical Engineering from OSU in 1996, and a BS in Chemical Engineering from MIT in 1983. William is happily married and lives in Laconia, New Hampshire with his wife Bonnie and two sons, Ben and Marc. [less]




Dr. Gísli Hjálmtýsson has over 20 years of experience as an innovator, entrepreneur and manager. He joins Thule investments as co-founder from Reykjavík University where he was Dean of Computer Science and Engineering. Prior to that Dr. Hjálmtýsson was a Chief Technology Officer and fund manager at AVX-e.com, a PA based venture capital group focusing on Internet related opportunities. Before joining AVX, Dr. Hjálmtýsson conducted research on the Internet and novel network services, joining AT&T Research at Bell Laboratories in 1995...[more], later AT&T Research at AT&T Shannon Laboratories most recently promoted to a Technology Consultant. Dr. Hjálmtýsson has a Ph.D. in Computer Science from University of California at Santa Barbara. He has held positions on the faculty of Columbia University, University of Iceland and at Reykjavík University. In 1993 Dr. Hjálmtýsson was a visiting research scientist at Telecom Research Laboratories, in Melbourne Australia for six months. He has been a co-recipient on significant grants from EC, NSF, DARPA, with leading researchers from MIT, Dartmouth College, Carnegie Mellon University, Princeton and more.
Dr. Gísli Hjálmtýsson has a BS degree in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science from University of Rochester, (NY) and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from University of California, Santa Barbara. Dr. Hjálmtýsson has been an invited speaker at numerous symposia, universities and leading companies. He has published over eighty papers, holds over twenty patents, and is a voting member of IEEE and ACM, and active in organizing professional conferences and serving on program committees. [less]




Gunnar Hólmsteinn, CEO, Clara. Gunnar is a market research fanatic and an entrepreneur currently in CLARA, a Reykjavik based start-up helping companies understand their customers. At CLARA, Gunnar's role as CEO is to ensure that the team always performs to its full potential. Gunnar is the youngest ever to receive a full research grant from the Iceland's biggest Research Fund, as well as raising capital during the financial crisis in Iceland. Prior to founding CLARA, Gunnar was a Brand Manager at The Coca-Cola Company in Iceland...[more], as well as doing extensive work for their market research efforts. Gunnar has been an active civil servant through projects involving development aid in Africa and strengthening the education system. He is both an active practitioner and thinker in the worlds of marketing, market research and the social web. He loves to talk and has given lectures on those topics on numerous occasions. [less]




Thoranna Jónsdóttir is the director of communications and pension plans at Audur Capital – financial services. She was previously a general manager Artasan ehf and the VP of business development for Veritas Capital/Vistor. She spent a number of years at Reykjavik University’s School of Business as a vice dean, assistant professor and management consultant. Her responsibilities included, management, teaching, research and executive development in the field of marketing, entrepreneurship, services and change management. She ...[more]co-headed an initiative to increase women participation in start-ups and entrepreneurial activities between 2000 and 2003.
Thoranna is a chartered stock broker, she holds a Masters Degree in Pharmaceuticals from the University of Iceland, an MBA degree from IESE, Barcelona and has just handed in her doctoral thesis on corporate governance and women directors at Cranfield University in the UK. She has substantial experience as a non-executive director and conducts an executive course on corporate governance and board responsibilities at Reykjavik University. [less]




Dr. Eyþór Ívar Jónsson, Associate Professor, is responsible for the Entrepreneurship courses in the MBA program at Copenhagen Business School. His first book about entrepreneurship was published in 1998 and he has written hundreds of articles about related subjects. Eyþór is currently the CEO of Klak – Innovation Centre and the chairman of Seed Forum Iceland. He has started several programs for entrepreneurs in Iceland and Denmark, among those the Business Accelerator, which focuses on fast growing companies, and the A-Board ...[more], advisory board program for Danish high growth companies. He holds a Master‘s degrees in finance, marketing and international business and a doctorate degree in corporate governance. His fields of research are: The role of boards, opportunity recognition, incubation, internationalization of SMEs, venture capitalism and transformational strategy. [less]




Örn D. Jónsson is a Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the School of Business, University of Iceland. Former vice director of The Technological Institute, Head of the Fisheries Research Institute of the University of Iceland, Project manager of RITTS, an innovation study of the regional innovation system in Iceland and a professor from the year 2000.






Isaac Kato is CFO and EVP of Verne Global. Verne is building the first large scale, green data center in Iceland. Mr. Kato is responsible for the company's finances, Icelandic governmental affairs and corporate development. Before joining Verne Global as a full-time employee, Mr. Kato was part of the team at General Catalyst Partners and Novator that initially conceived of and formed the venture. Prior to Verne Global, Mr. Kato was a Principal at General Catalyst Partners, a venture capital and private equity firm based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with ...[more]over $2 billion USD under management. At GCP, he led the firm's investments in a number of technology-enabled services companies, including Icelandic firms, CCP Games and Verne Global. Earlier in his career, Mr. Kato worked as an investor at Summit Partners, a global private equity fund, and Shamrock Holdings, Inc., the Roy E. Disney family's private equity firm. Mr. Kato holds an MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School, and an MS in Engineering-Economic Systems and a BA in Quantitative Economics from Stanford University. [less]




Jose Mourelle is a founder and the Commercial Director of Maqtec, a company launched from a garage workshop in the Argentine countryside that has developed the biggest, most efficient, and most innovative mechanical harvesting machine to hit the olive production market in years. The founding entrepreneurs set off to internationalize the company as Argentina's domestic market collapsed as a result of the economic crisis of 2002. Starting with the flagship product, dubbed "the Colossus," Maqtec has developed cutting-edge harvesting machines ...[more]that reflect the growing movement to modernize fruit production. Backed by a creative and pragmatical R&D department in Venado Tuerto Sante Fe, Argentina, Maqtec now operates in three countries and sells in six countries to the growing global contingent of modern olive producers. Jose received a B.A. in Economics from the University of Salvador in Buenos Aires in 1985, pursued a Masters Degree at Georgetown University and University of Paris, and had a long career in the auto industry, where he worked as Director of Planning for Renault Argentina and Director of Online Marketing for Car One, one of Argentina's largest dealerships. [less]




Joseph Nejman is a budding serial entrepreneur. Nejman has built a range of businesses including Brandcasting Unlimited - responsible for the technology and digital media strategy behind Britney Spears’ comeback tour - and most recently a bespoke customizable clothing platform. Prior to Tomorrow Ventures, Nejman worked at Google in a variety of business development roles with focus on local markets, mobile, and entertainment. Joseph graduated from Harvard, competes for the Olympic Club Lacrosse team, and is an active supporter of youth sports and community leadership programs.




Donny Ouyang, Founder and CEO, Kinkarso Tech Ltd. Donny Ouyang is a young web entrepreneur and the CEO / Founder of Kinkarso Tech Ltd. - a web-based development and internet startup company. Starting when he was 12, Donny started exploring the online business world through the family PC, and soon began developing intuitive and creative web projects. In 2006, Donny organized his active web properties under the Kinkarso.com Network. In late 2007, he decided to register the network into what is now Kinkarso Tech Limited....[more] Since the formation of Kinkarso Tech Ltd., Donny has been interviewed and featured by a number of media outlets for the quality of his work, and the awards that his various websites have won. Today, he works as a project manager and Internet marketer within his business at age 17. [less]




Yaw Owusu founded Ghana Cyber Group in 1999 to promote technology investments in Ghana. In 2004, Mr. Owusu co-authored the book Modernising Commonwealth Governments, published by the Commonwealth Business Publications, London, England and available on Amazon. The book, among others, outlines the role of technology parks and incubation in transforming Africa's IT economy. Mr. Owusu founded Gateway Innovations Ltd in 2006. The company finalized a joint-ventured deal in 2007 with Washington-based Xalles Ltd...[more] to develop Ghana Cyber City, slated to become the first technology park in West Africa. The project also comprises a Tier IV data center, targeted primarily at the telecom, IT and financial services industries. Mr. Owusu has presented papers on technology and innovation in emerging markets at international business the 8th Annual Africa Business Conference at Harvard Business School, Cambridge, Massachusetts and the Shanghai Workshop on Planning, Developing and Managing Technology Parks in China. Mr. Owusu worked in Washington, DC for General Electric and IBM as programmer analyst for 5 years and moved to New York to join the technology group of Goldman Sachs Investment Banking Division (IBD). He enrolled in the Executive MBA program at Columbia Business School 2001-2002 and studied Mathematics and Economics at Albright College in Reading, PA. [less]




Gary Palin is the Executive Director of the Doherty Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership at Elon University and a senior lecturer of the Love School of Business at Elon University. He brings a combination of over 30 years experience in both the academic and entrepreneurial communities. He founded the Entrepreneurship Education Initiative at NC State University in 1993 and served as the Executive Director until 2008. He was a faculty member of the NC State College of Management for 17 years. Palin's areas of expertise ...[more]include new venture development, social entrepreneurship, intrapreneurship and venture growth.
He was a founding member of the MIT Global Startup Workshop Board of Advisors, founder of the Social Entrepreneurship and Education Consortium, founder of the Entrepreneurship and Education Network and a participant in the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers, Academy of Management, North Carolina Center for Entrepreneurial Development and the North Carolina Chapter of The Indus Entrepreneurs.
Palin has been named a recipient of the 2008 Excellence in Entrepreneurship Education Award from the Acton Foundation for Entrepreneurial Excellence. He has served as Director of NC State University's Small Business Technology and Development Center where he assisted hundreds of business launches, expansions, and acquisitions. He has developed executive education programs in business planning, new venture launches, and technology commercialization. He has consulted for numerous entrepreneurial ventures and also with major corporations such as Texas Instruments, FMC Corporation, and Thomas Register. Palin serves on a number of high growth company advisory boards. [less]




Lewdmila Pavlova is the vice director of the Business Incubator at the Russian State University Higher School of Economics. She has organized BPC's and other startup and student events for more than 5 years. She is the Co-organiser of TEDxMoscow, the first Russian TED-style conference, and the founder of several commercial and nonprofit projects in extreme tourism, dance, art, and card games. She is experienced in event-management and event-marketing. She teaches a course of event-management in Higher School of Economics. Lewdmilla was the co-founder and CCO at TimePad, a web-service for event-marketing.




Hilmar Pétursson has been the Chief Executive Officer of CCP since 2004 and is leading the company's continuing success and explosive growth. Overseeing the expansion of CCP operations to Shanghai, China in 2004 as well as a strategic merger with Atlanta-based White Wolf Publishing in 2006, Mr. Petursson has brought CCP to the forefront of the video game industry as a widely-recognized innovator in the areas of virtual world development, publishing and technology. Named as one of the 20 Most Influential People in the MMO Industry in 2007 and ...[more]2008 by Beckett Massive Online Gamer Magazine, Hilmar is frequently sought after as an engaging public speaker, delivering thought-provoking presentations and keynote addresses for many prestigious industry-, technology- and business-related events including the Edinburgh Interactive Festival, Nordic Game Conference and the Austin Game Developer's Conference.
Originally joining CCP in 2000 as CTO, Hilmar spearheaded the engineering efforts necessary to bring CCP's critically-acclaimed EVE Online to life in 2003. Previously, Hilmar was CTO of SmartVR, an OZ.com spin-off based on that company’s multi-user virtual reality technology, and following his tenure as VP of software development for the OZ Studios division of OZ.com. He is active on a number of boards and committees relating to Icelandic information technology and innovation. Hilmar has a B.Sc. in Computer Science from the University of Iceland. [less]




Rob Pratt is the founder, Chairman and CEO of EnergyClimate Solutions (ECS), a company dedicated to helping colleges and universities become climate leaders while reducing energy, water and infrastructure costs. ECS assists colleges and universities become climate leaders, significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions through the implementation of energy and water efficiency projects, cogeneration and renewable energy installations, and student-led behavioral programs. Mr. Pratt was formerly the founder, Chairman and CEO ...[more]of Energia Global International (EGI, now Enel Latin America), a company that became one of the leading renewable energy companies in Central America. From a startup in 1991, EGI became the largest private power company in Costa Rica through the development and construction of high head hydroelectric and wind projects, with substantial power and distribution assets in Guatemala, El Salvador and Chile. Prior to ECS, Rob was the Senior Vice President of the Henry P. Kendall Foundation, where he strategized and developed innovative, large-scale city energy efficiency projects such as the Cambridge Energy Alliance as well as assisted in developing efficiency programs in New York City and in the Southeast US. He also served as Director of the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust, a $250 million state fund to promote the development of renewable energy as well as clean energy economic development in MA.
Rob is a national and regional leader in clean energy and currently serves as Chairman Emeritus of the American Council on Renewable Energy; Chairman, founder (1984) and board member of the International Institute for Energy Conservation; Treasurer and board member of the Alliance to Save Energy; Executive Committee and board member of the New England Clean Energy Council; and President and board member of the Cambridge Energy Alliance. He received an MPA degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, a JD degree from Georgetown University Law Center, and a BA degree from Wesleyan University. [less]




Sam Purtill is one of the founding team members of YouNoodle, joining in September of 2007. He worked as a software engineer at YouNoodle and helped program what has become the largest database of startups in the world. As a sophomore in high school, he founded Okapi Studio with two partners, a digital agency based in Bucharest, Romania. He is currently a freshman at Stanford University and is an active member of BASES, the entrepreneurship club on campus.




Kristín Vala Ragnarsdóttir studied geology at the University of Iceland. She completed MSc and PhD at Northwestern University in Chicago and her thesis research was on the mass transport and thermodynamic equilibria between fluids and rocks in geothermal systems. Her academic career took her to Paris, France and Bristol, UK where her research centred on understanding the fate and transport of pollutants in the natural environment. Since 2000 Kristín Vala has shifted her research and teaching towards sustainability related issues. She came ...[more]back to the University of Iceland at the end of 2008 as the Dean of Engineering and Natural Sciences. Her current research is on how to manage water and soil sustainably as well as developing participatory methodologies and indicators for the creation of sustainable communities; her teaching is on Sustainable Futures. Kristín Vala was on the Scientific Advisory Panel for the European Commission's Framework 7 Environment (Including Climate Change) programme from 2006-2008.
Kristín Vala has a strong interest in bridging the gap between academia and society and lead community based work on the vision for a sustainable city of Bristol. This vision has now become the policy of the city government and has formulated the basis for Bristol being short-listed as a EU Green Capital in 2009. She is currently working with the government to formulate a sustainability policy for Iceland. [less]




Dmitry Repin is a Start-up Projects Director and Professor of Entrepreneurship at SKOLKOVO.,, where he leads the process of creating and supporting the student start-up projects. Dmitry also oversee the business incubator and interaction with the venture fund in order to attract financing for the projects.
Dmitry Repin received a PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience from Boston University in 2000. He worked at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and studied entrepreneurship at executive education ...[more]programs in Harvard Business School and UC Berkeley.
Dmitry Repin had worked in the State University - Higher School of Economics until October 2009. There he created and led one of the best student business incubators of Russia. Dmitry created a number of entrepreneurship-related educational programs at the Higher School of Economics; he was one of the partners of the Start-In-Garage program that helped to develop new business in IT. Dmitry had also developed a unique program for entrepreneurship education that takes place in extreme conditions aboard a sailboat - eXtrepreneurship.
In 2003 Dmitry acted as one of the founders of the national entrepreneurship competition - Business of Innovation and Technology that has been held annually ever since and currently has five regional and several university tours. Dmitry acts as a Board Member or an Advisor for several start-up companies and on the Board of Directors of Russian Entrepreneurship Education Association. [less]




Alexander Richter is heading research & communication in the geothermal energy team of Islandsbanki. Having joined the bank in January 2005 as a credit analyst in Corporate and Investment Banking, he has been focusing on business development, origination and research in sustainable energy for Íslandsbanki the last 5 years. The geothermal energy team of Íslandsbanki built up the global geothermal energy business of the bank and created a strong portfolio, as well as a brand for the bank as a leading financial player in the geothermal energy space. He is also heading a leading news service for the global geothermal industry, ThinkGeoenergy.




William Rodriguez, MD, is a specialist in global health diagnostics and health care delivery in the developing world. As a member of the Harvard Medical School faculty, he established a research program on global AIDS policy and the use of appropriate diagnostics. In 2003 he was asked to assist the South African government with the development and launch of its landmark national HIV treatment program. He left Harvard to become the Chief Medical Officer of the William J. Clinton Foundation, where he helped broker pricing agreements between African ...[more]and Asian governments, and the major suppliers of HIV drugs and diagnostic tests, such as BD, bioMérieux, Roche, and Cipla. He remained at the Clinton Foundation through 2007, where he worked with the major diagnostics companies, governments, and local clinics to build the market for the available HIV, TB and malaria diagnostic systems, bringing essential tests to places where they had not previously been accessible. He has served as a consultant to the World Health Organization and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on global HIV and tuberculosis treatment, has been an advisor to more than a dozen national governments, and served as a member of the WHO's global HIV guidelines committee. In 2008, he co-founded Daktari Diagnostics, and serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer. He is a graduate of Brown University and the Yale University School of Medicine. [less]




Rögnvaldur Saemundsson was the technical director and one of the founders of Flaga, an international leader in the sleep diagnostic equipment industry and has been involved in a number of other technology-based start-ups. Rögnvaldur holds a MS degree in Engineering from the University of Iceland and a Ph.D. in Technology Management from Chalmers University of Technology. Last year he enjoyed his first sabbatical at MIT. He is the director of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) team in Iceland and has ...[more] been a member of the board of the Global Entrepreneurship Research Association (GERA) that runs the GEM research project. Currently, he serves as the chairman of the board of the Icelandic Competition Authority. Rögnvaldur's teaching and research interests include technology-based innovation and entrepreneurship. Outside work he enjoys spending time with his family of six, reading, and hiking in whatever weather Icelandic nature has to offer. [less]




Andy Schroeter, director of Sunlabob Renewable Energy Co. Ltd., is a successful German entrepreneur who is looking back on 25 years of technical experience in renewable energy, infrastructure and operational logistics. During his 18 years of experience as company designer and manager in countries such as Germany, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, China, Nigeria and Canada, he has implemented numeral visions of technical and design concepts that many have never thought possible. His projects in the field of renewable energy have been ...[more]recognized and awarded by the Development Marketplace of the World Bank in 2005, the German Solar Award 2005 and BBC World Challenge in 2006, awarded by the Ashden Award in 2007 and recently he won the African Lighting Award organized by the World Bank. Andy Schroeter is a professional in project and company design, management, technical design as well as practical implementation of renewable energy conceptions, financial management and rural development. Besides the work in his own company, he is constantly involved in new conceptions, e.g. as a practical advisor for the government and the private sector. His 9 years of work in Laos with Sunlabob Renewable Energy Co. Ltd. have had a significant effect on rural and country-wide infrastructural development. His efforts have been shown to provide commercially viable and affordable energy service to remote areas in Laos which are off the grid. The implementation of Public-Private-Partnership programs - in Schroeter's opinion the only possible strategy for sustainable development - has lifted the company to be the only internationally accredited and awarded company from Laos.
The services of Sunlabob Renewable Energy. Ltd. now include the very successful programs of Solar Home Systems as rental units for poor village populations, as well as Village Hybrid Grid systems that combine various renewable energy forms to generate collective village energy, selling light per hour by portable battery charged lamps and selling drinking water on the village level. These new concepts have already started to evoke interest and acknowledgement throughout the world. [less]




Joshua Schuler is the executive director of the Lemelson-MIT Program, a non-profit organization within MIT¹s School of Engineering, which recognizes outstanding innovators and enables and inspires young people to pursue creative lives and careers through invention. Joshua joined Lemelson-MIT in 2003 to develop and run InvenTeams, the program¹s nascent national grants initiative designed to foster inventiveness among high school students. A graduate of Tufts University (Political Science/Environmental Science) and MIT (Technology and Policy/Entrepreneurship), Joshua also holds a MBA from the Collège des Ingénieurs (Paris, France).




Rosemary Sexton is the Head of Corporate Development & Policy at Enterprise Ireland, a post she was appointed to in 2009. Enterprise Ireland is a government agency responsible for the development and promotion of the indigenous Irish business sector. Their mission is to accelerate the development of world-class Irish companies to achieve strong positions in global markets resulting in increased national and regional prosperity. ...[more]
A native of Dungarvan Co Waterford, Ms Sexton graduated from University College Cork with a master’s degree in Economics. On graduating she spent a year in Australia working in the research division of WD Scott Management Consultants. On her return in 1984 she joined the Industrial Development Authority as a researcher in the Policy & Planning Division. She has wide experience of manufacturing and service businesses gained through working with a range of companies in developing their strategies. In 1993 she was seconded for a 5 year period to set up and develop the International Education Board Ireland.
Since 1998 Ms Sexton has worked in the Planning Division of Enterprise Ireland, where she was responsible for corporate planning. She contributed to the agency’s new strategic direction and in 2004, was appointed Director for the North East Region, encompassing the six border counties. During this time, she served as a member of the Small Business Forum – a policy forum established by the Minister for Enterprise Trade and Employment, whose work “Small Business is Big Business” was published in May 2006, and subsequently as a member of the National Entrepreneurship Policy Forum, whose work resulted in the publication in October 2007 “Towards Developing an Entrepreneurship Policy for Ireland”. [less]




Thorsteinn Sigfusson is an internationally recognised physicist educated in Copenhagen and Cambrigde UK. He is professor of physics at the University of Iceland and Director General of the Icelandic Innovation Centre which belongs to the Ministry of Industry and Energy in Iceland. He has been a key figure in the introduction of new ideas and opportunities in the further greening of Icelandic society through the energy industry.
He has started over a dozen spin-off companies from research ...[more]in Iceland and chaired various international societies and actions in alternative energy. He has published over 200 scientific papers and received a number of awards for his work and is a laureate of the international Global Energy Prize awarded to him in St. Petersburg Russia in 2007. [less]




Vilhjálmur Thorsteinsson has been an entrepreneur in the IT & telecom industry for 25 years. He is an investor in and board member of several startup companies in IT-related fields. He currently serves as Chairman of the board of CCP Games, a developer and publisher of online virtual worlds, best known for the massive multiplayer game EVE-Online. He is also Chairman of the board of Verne Holdings, which is building a campus of data centers in Iceland. Vilhjalmur is an investor in and board member of Audur Capital, an Icelandic financial services firm emphasizing sustainable business.




Tine Thygesen is the Managing Director of Venture Cup Denmark and founder of Nordic Cleantech Open. Tine came to Venture Cup after selling her own startup company mid 2008. An avid traveler Tine spent the last 10 years away from Denmark, working within event management in New Zealand, investment banking in London, tourism in Switzerland/Italy prior to making the jump and becoming an entrepreneur in Australia. Venture Cup works to help new entrepreneurs create successful startups, in addition to Denmark; it exists in Norway, Sweden and Finland. It is the largest business plan competition in the world.




Trond Unneland, PhD, is vice president of the Venture Capital business unit of Chevron Technology Ventures. In this capacity, he is responsible for identifying and investing in promising new technology that can deliver a clear competitive advantage and superior financial returns for Chevron.
A native of Norway, Unneland graduated from Stavanger University where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in petroleum engineer and a Master of Science degree in reservoir engineering. He later received his doctor of technical sciences from the Norwegian University of ...[more]Science and Technology. He also served as a visiting scholar at Stanford University, and has worked for the Norwegian Industry Attaché at the Royal Norwegian Consulate General, San Francisco, CA.
In 1984, Unneland began his professional career as a petroleum engineer with Statoil in Bergen, Norway, working in offshore oil production operations. After serving in various positions of increasing responsibility, he was named vice president of information technology in 1998.
Unneland joined Chevron in 2000 as technology account manager for Chevron Energy Technology Company. In 2004, he was named managing director and country manager for Chevron Denmark, where he was responsible for leading all of the company's upstream operations and serving on the executive leadership team for all of Chevron's European upstream business.
In 2006, he returned home as managing director and country manager for Chevron Norway with management responsibility for technical, financial, personnel, planning, and reporting for the company's upstream business. Unneland assumed his current post in August 2007.
The author of numerous articles on reservoir management and well dynamics, Unneland has been cited as an expert source in more than 100 international technical papers. He has been recognized three times by the Society of Petroleum Engineers for his service to the organization. Unneland is currently a board observer for the four portfolio companies Brightsource Energy, DynaPump, RealityMobile and Southwest Windpower. [less]




Bjørn Utgård is an energy policy advisor at The Bellona Foundation, an Oslo-based international NGO working to identify, promote and industrialize the solutions necessary to deliver sustainable, low-carbon growth. To do so, Bellona takes an interdisciplinary and results-oriented approach, cooperating closely with current and future industrial champions to get the necessary policy regimes in place. Going green by black numbers is the mantra.
Mr. Utgård holds an MSc in Energy and Environment ...[more]Engineering from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), with a specialization within qualification of new technology for carbon dioxide capture. In addition, he has studied energy economics and policy at Kyoto University (JP), energy and development at Makerere University (UG) and political science and entrepreneurship at the University of Oslo. Prior to joining Bellona, he worked 3 years with education, research and innovation policy as member of the University board at NTNU. In 2008, he led a team of 5 to win 2nd place in Venture Cup Norway with his own business idea. At Bellona, he works with energy and climate change at the nexus of technology, policy, finance, and industry. [less]




Helga Valfells is an Investment Manager at the New Business Venture Fund (NBVF). The NBVF is a venture capital fund which invests in, and actively supports Icelandic start-ups with significant growth potential. Helga has enjoyed a diverse career in finance and international marketing. Previous employers include Merrill Lynch Europe, Estee Lauder UK and the Trade Council of Iceland, where Helga worked with a wide range of export companies in the early stages of export. Helga has also been an entrepreneur and an independent consultant to a ...[more]number of export companies from Iceland, UK and Canada. Most recently, after the collapse of the Icelandic financial system, Helga worked as an advisor to the Icelandic Minister of Economic Affairs.
Helga holds an AB degree from Harvard University and an MBA degree from London Business School. She is married with three children, aged three, nine and twelve. [less]




Markus Wolf, PhD, is the technology-scout and consultant for university and high tech spinoffs for Netzwerk-Nordbayern, which runs a successful Business Plan Competition (BPC) in Northern Bavaria, a private equity financing network and entrepreneurship education for innovative new ventures. He previously worked as manager of the Northern Bavarian Business Plan Competition and is also, currently, a lecturer at the Wuerzburg University of Applied Sciences and the University of Bamberg.
Marcus studied business administration and holds a master ...[more]degree from the University of Wuerzburg and a PhD from the HHL Graduate School of Management in Leipzig. He finished his studies ranked first in his class and subsequently gained some foreign experience in Lithuania. In 1998 he founded an internet start-up which was sold in 2002 to an international media company. After that he worked for the marketing group in the department of strategic development before joining Netzwerk-Nordbayern.
Netzwerk-Nordbayern has established itself as the Northern Bavarian "networking institution" for those innovative entrepreneurs and founders, who want to grow their businesses and need to get ready for corporate financing on the free market. They provide an unbiased and professional platform for the exchange of knowledge and experiences as well as making contacts among entrepreneurs and other partners. The core activities of the network are financed as a public-private partnership, a perfect example of regional business development at its best. [less]




Dr. Ory Zik is a serial entrepreneur focusing on Cleantech. His recent company was HelioFocus which he co-founded and led for 3 years as CEO. The company is developing a solar thermal booster for solar and conventional power plants. In Jan 2010 after completing a strategic round with Chinese Sanhua (first equity investment of a Chinese company in an Israeli startup), he stepped down as HelioFocus CEO, while remaining on the company board. Prior to HelioFocus, Ory was the founding CEO of QuantomiX Inc., a company based on his invention which he led ...[more]from inception in 2001 to commercialization. QuantomiX introduced a new imaging modality by visualizing cells and tissues in their native wet state with an electron microscope. Prior to that Ory lead a spin-off of El Mul technologies where he developed the 'E-beam on a Chip' a nanotubes-based platform. He holds B.Sc. (cum laude) in Physics and Mathematics from Tel Aviv University as well as M.Sc. (cum laude) and Ph.D. in Physics from the Weizmann Institute of Science, where he received the Feinberg physics award and the national Amos De Shalit physics prize. Ory is also active in education and environmental protection. In 1992, he was appointed the scientific curator of Israel's National Museum of Science. In 1993 he founded the Israel branch of Greenpeace which he led for 3 years while a Ph.D. student, focusing on a clean Mediterranean, waste and energy campaign. [less]




Tina Zournatzi works at the European Commission's unit responsible for developing Europe's small business policy. She manages the European Enterprise Awards, a Europe-wide competition to identify the most innovative policies to promote small business and entrepreneurship. She also works on developing communication campaigns and tools to make more people aware of entrepreneurship as a career option and the support that is available for potential or actual entrepreneurs. In the past, Tina worked as a consultant on corporate social responsibility ...[more]for the European network CSR Europe. She started her career in the United Nations working in central Africa and then in New York on development, conflict resolution, reconstruction and governance. A native of Greece, Tina received a Masters degree in international relations from the John Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and a Bachelor of Science from Georgetown University. [less]