Behind the Mic: Our Speakers

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Scott Galloway

Founder & NYT Best Selling Author

Prof G Media

Moderator

About

Scott Galloway is a Professor at NYU, serial entrepreneur, renowned public speaker, and New York Times Best Seller author of The Four, The Algebra of Happiness, and most recently, Post Corona: From Crisis to Opportunity. His insights reach millions through his award-winning pivot podcast, and he serves on several boards including the New York Times, Urban Outfitters, and Activant.

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Anu Gupta

Chief Business and Strategy Officer

Signet Jewelers

Speaker

About

Anu Gupta joined Signet in September of 2023 as Chief Business Development and Strategy Officer. She leads the development, evaluation and execution of strategic growth initiatives tied to Signet’s mid- and long-term goals. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of H&R Block, Inc., publicly traded global tax preparation, financial products, and small-business solutions company, since 2019. With over 25 years of transformative business experience in strategy, business development and operations, Anu has driven profitable growth with P&L responsibilities across Fortune 50, private equity, and early-stage entrepreneurial ventures, shaping a compelling strategic direction, building capabilities, and driving impact. She has deep experience in various strategic roles within Target, Inc., Safeway, The Michael’s Companies, Bed, Bath and Beyond Inc., Hellman and Friedman LLC and HCL Technologies. Most recently, Anu served as Chief Revenue Officer of Better Home & Finance, a digital-first fintech homeownership company.

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Bastian Nominacher

Co-Founder & Co-CEO

Celonis

Speaker

About

Bastian Nominacher is Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Celonis, the pioneer and global leader in process mining. Born out of a university project in 2011, Bastian and his two co-founders discovered a new technology called process mining and realized its limitless potential to reveal and fix the inefficiencies businesses can’t see. Celonis partners with leading technology companies such as IBM, Accenture, ServiceNow and more. Celonis has earned decacorn status, completed a $1 billion Series D round in June 2021, secured an additional $1 billion in liquidity in August 2022 and is currently valued at $13 billion. Prior to founding Celonis, Bastian previously worked for Ernst & Young, Accenture and IBM. He studied finance, information management and computer science at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and is the author of several scientific papers on IT carve-outs and post-merger integration.

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Carsten Thoma

President

Celonis

Speaker

About

Carsten Thoma, former co-founder of Hybris is celebrated for pioneering B2B and B2C omni-channel e-commerce solutions and leading SAP’s transition to cloud services post the acquisition of Hybris. He leverages his extensive experience in guiding hyper-growth companies to drive corporate strategy and development as President of Celonis.

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Wesley Chan

General Partner

FPV Ventures

Speaker

About

Wesley Chan, co-founder and managing partner at FPV Ventures, is recognized for his pivotal role in founding Google Analytics and Google Voice during his 14-year tenure at Google, where he also developed 17 patents. His notable venture capital career includes early investments in over twenty unicorns and five decacorns, such as Canva and AngelList.

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Peter Smith

Co-Founder & CEO

Blockchain.com

About

Peter is CEO and co-founder of Blockchain.com, one of the world’s largest and most popular crypto platforms, serving tens of millions of consumers and thousands of institutions since 2011. Evolving from early Bitcoiner to developer to CEO of a multinational company, Peter has worked tirelessly to accelerate crypto adoption and build a financial system for the internet. Under his leadership, Blockchain.com has emerged as a leading provider of cryptocurrency products and services to retail customers and institutional clients alike. The company balances a robust retail brokerage of over 85M crypto wallets across 200 countries, a thriving exchange, and one of the largest institutional desks in the crypto space. After a modest upbringing in rural America, Peter developed a global perspective living, studying, and working in the US, Europe, MENA, East Africa, and Asia. A World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer, he is frequently cited as an authority on cryptocurrencies and the potential impact they’ll have across the world.

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Gesa Miczaika

Founder & General Partner

Auxxo

Panelist

About

Dr. Gesa Miczaika, co-founder of the first all-female venture firm in Germany, Auxxo Female Catalyst Fund, plays a pivotal role in championing female entrepreneurship in Europe. Her influence extends through her deputy presidency at the German Startups Association and her co-founding of the Evangelistas network.

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Filip Dames

Founder & Partner

Cherry Ventures

Speaker

About

Filip Dames, a founding member of Zalado, is a German entrepreneur and the Founding Partner at Cherry Ventures, known for his significant impact on Zalando's expansion and product development. Honored as "Investor of the Year 2022" and being featured on Forbes Midas List Europe, he actively engages in the startup community, serving on various boards, and lecturing at top business schools.

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Sean Warrington

Head of Private Investments

Gresham Partners

Panelist

About

Sean is a senior member of Gresham’s Investment Team, serving as Portfolio Manager for its private market investment strategies. His primary responsibilities include developing, sourcing and executing private investments around the world.

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Felix Plapperer

Founder & General Partner

Booom

Speaker

About

Felix Plapperer, previously a partner at Square One Ventures and focused on Automation in early-stage B2B tech companies, is now on building Booom VC as the founding GP.

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Marie Pestalozzi

About

Marie Pestalozzi is an accomplished investment professional with over fifteen years of experience in investment management and consulting. She has a diverse background that includes a significant tenure as Partner and Senior Investment Advisor at Marcuard Family Office and Vice President at BlackRock, where she worked in both investment management and investor relations. Marie also spent a year as a consultant at IFBC AG. She possesses a deep understanding of financial markets and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her roles. Marie holds a Master of Arts in Business Administration and Management, with a focus on Finance, from the University of Zurich. She is also a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and a Certified Financial Risk Manager (FRM) from GARP. Marie is currently involved in wealth management, applying her extensive expertise to help clients achieve their financial goals.

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Andrew Sugrue

Co-Founder & Managing Partner

Avenir

About

Andrew Sugrue is the cofounder and managing partner of Avenir, a New York–based private investment firm with $2.5B in assets under management. Mr. Sugrue previously worked at Shumway Capital, L Catterton, and PJ Solomon.

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Greg Schuler

Chief Investment Officer

Geisinger

About

Greg’s investment experience spans hospital systems, endowments and family offices. Most recently, he joined Geisinger Health in 2022 to become the organization’s first in-house CIO. Prior to that, he was the CIO at the University of Pittsburgh endowment, BJC Healthcare in St. Louis and Jerome Kohlberg’s family office (founder of buyout firm KKR). His investment experience spans equity, fixed income, hedge funds and Illiquids. He received both his Bachelor and Master’s degree in Finance at the University of British Columbia. He is also a CFA charterholder.

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Harley Miller

Managing Partner & CEO

Left Lane Capital

About

Harley Miller is the Founder, Managing Partner, and CEO of Left Lane Capital, which focuses on high-growth internet technology and consumer companies. He currently holds a director seat at GoStudent, M1 Finance, Bilt, Masterworks, Jackpocket, Choco, and many more Left Lane companies. Harley previously was at Insight and in 2017, received the Forbes 30 Under 30 Award in Venture Capital.

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Dan Westgarth

Chief Operating Officer

Deel

Speaker

About

Daniel Westgarth, COO of Deel, brings his rich experience from Revolut as its General Manager for North America to steer Deel's business, operations, FinTech, and compliance, aiming to revolutionize how remote businesses and workers globally are served.

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Felix Haas

Chairman & Co-Host

Bits & Pretzels

Speaker

About

Felix Haas is a German entrepreneur and investor, known for founding Amiando and IDnow, and for co-organizing Bits & Pretzels. He began his entrepreneurial career in high school and has since been involved in various ventures, including angel investing in over 50 internet startups.

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Raj Ganguly

Co-Founder & Co-CEO

B Capital

Panelist

About

Raj Ganguly is a Co-Founder and Co-CEO of B Capital, based in the firm’s Los Angeles office. His focus is connecting extraordinary entrepreneurs with the people, capital and support needed to drive exponential growth. Raj is a Senior Advisor to BCG, a strategic partner to B Capital that provides a unique value-add to founders in each stage of the investment lifecycle. Raj previously was at Bain Capital investing in technology-driven companies across the U.S. and Asia.

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Carsten Lebtig

Co-Founder & CEO

WorkMotion

Speaker

About

Carsten Lebtig is the Co-Founder of WorkMotion, a global HR platform enabling companies to hire & onboard their employees internationally. Additionally, he serves as a venture scout for Picus Capital.

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Simon Hennes

Co-Founder & CEO

Vivenu

Speaker

About

Simon Hennes is the co-founder and CEO of Vivenu, a company that specializes in API-first ticketing for event organizers and venues, and is revolutionizing the future of ticketing.

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Frederic Court

Founder & Managing Partner

Felix Capital

About

Frederic is Founder and Managing Partner at Felix Capital, a London-based venture capital firm for the Creative Class. Felix is a thematically focused firm, operating at the intersection of technology and creativity, with over $1.2 billion in venture and growth capital. Felix invests in fast-growing digital consumer brands, platforms and related enabling-technologies, with a focus on Europe and North America. At Felix, Frederic works closely with portfolio companies across the firm’s B2C and B2B focus areas, including Mejuri, a modern jewellery brand; Mirakl, a SaaS platform for marketplaces; Yoobic, a frontline SaaS solution; Effy, an energy renovation business; and AMI Paris, a contemporary luxury apparel brand. Recent exits for Felix include Peloton, a digital fitness business (IPO in 2020); Moonbug, a children’s entertainment platform, acquired by Candle Media in 2021; Highsnobiety, a digital media and lifestyle brand, acquired by Zalando in 2022; and in 2023, Felix exited its investment in Yfood to Nestlé. Frederic has worked in the technology industry for over 20 years, previously as a VC-backed tech entrepreneur, and as General Partner with Advent Venture Partners in London, where he was the first investor in global online fashion and luxury marketplace Farfetch. Farfetch IPO-ed at a $6 billion valuation in 2018 (NYSE: FTCH). Frederic was named “Investor of the Year” in Europe by his peers at the 2012 and 2019 Investor All Stars event. He has been on Forbes’ Midas List Europe every year since 2017

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Robert Lacher

Founding Partner

Visionaries Club

Founding Partner

About

Robert is Founding Partner of Visionaries Club and an entrepreneur at heart. Before Visionaries he has been the Founding Partner of La Famiglia having been the driver behind the fund’s history and early vision. Robert continues to manage La Famiglia’s first independent fund with more than 30 portfolio companies such as deel, Personio and Forto. Robert is also a Founder of the fashion platform AMAZE, which he sold to Zalando in 2016. Prior to that, he worked for Boston Consulting Group and studied engineering and business at RWTH Aachen, University of Cambridge, Imperial College London, and Harvard University.

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Nina Mayer

Principal

Earlybird Venture Capital

Panelist

About

Nina is a Principal with Earlybird VC in Berlin where she focuses on early stage investments in B2B FinTech & InsurTech, and Enterprise Software. She is a well-known investor in the European Fintech market, having invested in and working with companies like Upvest, Flanks, Finmid, and Hakuna.

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Nate Maier

Investment Officer

State of Wisconsin Investment Board

Speaker

About

Nate Maier, CAIA is an Investment Officer at the State of Wisconsin Investment Board focusing on the fund’s growth equity and venture capital portfolio. Nate is focused on sourcing, underwriting, and managing the best direct and fund investments. Nate holds a B.S in Economics from University of Wisconsin – Madison and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

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Philipp Petrescu

Founder & CEO

MVP Factory

Founder & CEO

About

After working at Mckinsey and J.P. Morgan, Petrescu founded Lendico, among others, with a successful exit to ING Diba during his time at Rocket Internet. In 2018, the young enterpreneur founded MVP Factory - a leading European product and venture builder. With this, he succeeded in achieving something that most digital consultants fail at: incorporating digital transformation and successfully executing it at startup speed while creating real impact. MVP Factory has already completed more than 300+ projects with partners ranging from SMEs to large corporations.

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Joshua Browder

Founder & CEO

DoNotPay

Speaker

About

Joshua Browder is the founder and CEO of Do-Not-Pay, the world’s first robot lawyer, which has automated for 200 rights for processes for customers. Additionally, he has been named a “35 innovators under 35” by MIT Technology Review, and serves as an Activant Advisor.

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Helmut Schönenberger

Co-Founder & CEO

UnternehmerTUM GmbH

Co-Founder & CEO

About

Scalable tech-startups are Helmut’s passion as co-founder and CEO of Unternehmertum, the Center for Innovation and Business Creation at Technische Universität München (TUM). He is especially interested in startups in the field of smart enterprises, additive manufacturing as well as smart city and mobility solutions. With his background as a founder, aerospace engineer and venture capitalist he loves to help new ventures solve strategy, recruiting, business development and future financing challenges.

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Billy Sarracino

CEO

Turvo

CEO

About

Billy brings over 20 years of operating, investment banking and corporate finance experience across technology, consumer and retail industries, spanning multi-billion dollar enterprises to start-ups. Billy joined Turvo in 2019 as Chief Financial Officer, where he developed the Company’s financial organization, secured financing from strategic partners, and led the sale of Turvo to Lineage Logistics and Bay Grove. Prior to joining Turvo, Billy was an Executive Director at J.P. Morgan Securities and at Morgan Stanley in the Global Consumer Retail Investment Banking Group. Billy began his investment banking career at Citi in 2007. Additionally, Billy worked at Central Garden & Pet (NASDAQ: “CENT”) where he was the Manager of Corporate Finance & Treasury. Billy holds a BA in Political Science from UCLA, and an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

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Steve Sarracino

Founder & Partner

Activant Capital

Speaker

About

Steve founded Activant Capital in 2015 and is the firm’s general partner. He has a long track record of investing in disruptive technology companies and has extensive experience as a board director in high-growth B2B platform businesses. He has since grown the firm to $1.0bn+ in AUM, and drives Activant’s long-term strategy.

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Maximilian Mayer

Partner

Activant Capital

Speaker

About

Max joined Activant in March 2021, and leads investing efforts in Europe from the firm’s Berlin office. He is focused on enterprise software and commerce infrastructure technology with over a decade of experience as an investor and entrepreneur.

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Andrew Steele

Partner

Activant Capital

Speaker

About

Andrew joined Activant in Fund I and has played a key role in all aspects of firm building as one of the firm’s longest-serving investors. He focuses primarily on fintech and commerce infrastructure software.

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