Dan Chen is currently a managing director at Siemer & Associates with 15 years of investment banking, private equity and corporate development experience and completed transactions totaling over $5 billion in value. Most recently, Mr. Chen was Managing Director of Corporate Development at a Los Angeles-based holding company where he evaluated and executed on a wide variety of new investment and partnership opportunities in multiple industries, including healthcare IT, software & services and the energy sector. Prior to that, Mr. Chen was Vice President in the media practice at Montgomery & Co., where he provided M&A and capital raising advisory services to companies in the software, digital media and Internet services space. Key transactions completed include Disney’s $700 million acquisition of Club Penguin, HBK Investments’ $165 million LBO of CoCreate Holding GmbH (now part of Parametric Technology Corp.), and late stage financings for companies such as Vantage Media and WildTangent. Before joining Montgomery & Co., Mr. Chen was an Investment Associate at TPG Capital. At TPG, he handled all aspects of deal sourcing and transaction execution for TPG’s cross-border private equity and venture investments in the U.S. and Asia. He participated in the investment activities of Newbridge Asia III, LP ($724 million) and Newbridge Asia II, LP ($392 million), and he monitored several portfolio companies in the Internet services space within those funds.
Eric Wu is the VP of Growth & Product at SpinMedia and the former Director of SEO for eHow.com. As a Growth Hacker and Product Manager, he has made a career of connecting millions of consumers with large brands while at AT&T, Demand Media, REALTOR, and EarthLink. Since 2000, Eric has worked at scale across a variety of industries for some of the internets most popular websites including eHow.com, LIVESTRONG.com, YellowPages.com, Realtor.com, VIBE.com, and SPIN.com He has a Bachelors of Science degree in Cognitive Science & Human Computer Interaction (HCI) from UC San Diego.
Gene Chuang is most recently CTO of Oversee.net and has been a technologist at Los Angeles companies including Yahoo!, AT&T Interactive, YP Mobile, Chegg, Overture, GoTo.com and Wilshire Associates. Gene contributes to the LA tech community as mentor at Muckerlab and Launchpad LA, tech advisor to Laudville and GoTokki, and actively involved in Innovate Pasadena, LA Ruby Conference and LA Java User Groups. He strongly believes in mentorship as his mentors include Brian Acton co-founder of WhatsApp, Joseph Essas CTO of Opentable, Qi Lu President of Bing and David Henke SVP of Ops of LinkedIn. Gene received a BS in Biochemistry from UCLA, a former pre-med who failed to get into medical school resulting in his first pivot into Internet startups. He feels his greatest accomplishment is raising his three kids right and keeping his wife of 12 years happy.
Tom Weedon is an experienced digital media and advertising executive with over 20 years of business development, operations and management consulting experience. Tom has a track record of building successful Internet companies, launching new media startups and being at the forefront of driving disruptive digital advertising technologies. He is currently a Board Member of Los Angeles based media company Hypomania Content. Most recently, Tom was Vice President, Global Accounts at The Rubicon Project, a company that pioneered the yield optimization business for display ads. At Rubicon, Tom had revenue responsibility for the yield optimization business which represented over 75% of Rubicon’s revenue and $250 million in managed revenue for its premium publisher customers. Prior to Tom’s stint at Rubicon he served as Senior Director, Partner Development at Microsoft, where he oversaw the company’s multi-year strategic partnership with Viacom, valued at more than $500 million. Tom began his career in the digital space at GoTo.com (later Overture Services) in 1999 where he started in product management. He held several roles at GoTo/Overture, the last being Senior Director, Search Quality where he built and ran the group responsible for the quality of Overture’s paid search listings. (Overture created the paid search business, now a $12 billion plus annual market in the US alone.) Overture was sold to Yahoo! in 2003 for $1.63 billion. Tom took a sabbatical after his time at GoTo/Overture to focus on working with charitable organizations, travel and consult with companies such as Veoh Networks and Spot Runner. Tom began his career working as a management consultant for The Monitor Group and then later The Boston Consulting Company. He holds an MBA from Stanford University and a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours, First Class) from Queen’s University in Canada. Tom currently lives in Venice, CA with his dog Ella. He snowboards and travels ever chance he gets.
Tomer is a co-founder and the CEO of Quixey – The Search Engine for Apps. Quixey developed a new kind of search, Functional Search, specifically for app discovery. He is also an advisor for Particle Code, GeoTrio and the Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence. Prior to Quixey, Tomer was the founder and CEO of Your Logo Here, a branding solutions provider for companies such as Google and Slide. A lifelong entrepreneur, Tomer founded a custom apparel printing business in college to pay his own tuition while studying Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology at UC Santa Cruz. In his spare time, Tomer advises a chapter of the B’nai B’rith Youth Organization, a leadership organization for Jewish teens
Mr. Wootton joined Verifi in May 2010 as Chief Revenue Officer responsible for Sales, Marketing and Business Development and brings 11 years of digital distribution and alternative payments expertise to the company. Prior to joining Verifi, Mr. Wootton was Senior Vice President of Business Development at RentPayment.com, the largest payment processor for the real estate and utilities industries where he launched and managed two strategic business units, forged distribution partnerships with leading software providers and managed the company’s inside sales team. Previous to this experience, Mr. Wootton was General Manager and Vice President of Payment Solutions and Business Development for Green Dot Corporation, the nation’s leading provider of prepaid debit cards. At Green Dot, Mr. Wootton developed debit card and payment programs with leading brands such as AT&T, DirecTV and Visa. Previous experience includes management positions at Fox Sports Net, NASCAR and Moviso, a mobile ringtone and game company where Mr. Wootton was responsible for launching the first ever retail prepaid mobile content product in the U.S. with partners 7-Eleven, Wal-Mart and Best Buy. Mr. Wootton earned an MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management and a BA in Philosophy from UC Santa Barbara.
Tom is the COO of LA-based Savings.com. Prior to Savings.com he was with Lagovent Ventures in Los Angeles where he evaluated consumer internet businesses as an EIR. Prior to Lagovent Ventures, Swalla was the President at Knowledge Adventure, the leading venture-backed developer and publisher of childrens gaming content, where he was responsible for launching and managing all online business initiatives for the company. He was also the VP of Business Development and Strategy for RazorGator.
Todd Gitlin has been working with start-ups since 1999 as an executive recruiter completing over 500 recruiting assignments. He has also been an active angel in Southern California since 2006 investing between $250k-1m annually with 20+ investments. He founded Safire Partners in 2006 to work specifically with SoCal’s emerging growth companies. Safire supports seed and series A funded start-ups for equity, and completes about 50 executive searches annually for series B and series C funded companies. From 2002 to 2006, Todd was a Principal with a SoCal based executive search firm. From 1999 to 2002, Todd worked as a Search Consultant with a Silicon Valley retained search firm focused on recruiting CFOs for the venture community. At the beginning of his career, Todd founded and served as CEO of CareerCreations.com, a venture-backed software company that focused on leveraging technology to develop integrated recruitment programs and job search methods for college students. Todd has a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Management from California State University, Chico. Recent clients include: Betterworks; Break Media; Brighter; Business.com; CBS Interactive; CBS Mobile; Central Desktop; CitizenHawk; Cocodot; CyberDefender; Datapop; DocStoc; FunnyorDie; Gehry Technologies; Goldstar; Graphight; Hautelook; LeadPoint; LegalZoom; LiveNation; LiveOffice; Machinima; Maker Studios; MyLife; Onestop Internet; OpenX; Oversee.net; RevolutionPrep; RingRevenue; Rubicon Project; SocialVibe; Techforward; The Search Agency; Ticketmaster; TigerText; Touch Commerce; TrueCar; uSamp; Wilshire Media Group.
Tom Andrus is a creative internet leader with a history of marrying innovative technology and consumer behavior to create profitable new businesses. Tom is currently on the board of Rhapsody International Inc, and is advising a handful of small companies. Tom has experience building products and business across a wide number of internet niches, including voice and text communication, hosting, commerce, mobile, social networking, content, classifieds, utilities and music. As an executive at both EarthLink and Fox’s MySpace, Tom identified and created new business opportunities and oversaw the creation and launches of over 100 new products. At MySpace Tom was the Head of Product. He was responsible for the product organization, the mobile business unit, and managed a 9-figure revenue-generating partnership. His group launched new products on a near monthly basis ranging from small changes such as unifying the design to large platform-changing products used by tens of millions of users, including MySpace Music, MySpace Mail, MySpace developer platform, MySpace Local, and many flavors of MySpace Mobile. Prior to joining MySpace, Tom spent eight years at EarthLink where he created the company’s product management team, led business development, and created new products and business units including wireless, cable and value-added services. Previously, he led the Norton Utilities product team at Symantec and was one of the founders of Fitnesoft, a health management software company. He is a graduate of Yale University where he played football and ran track. Perhaps his most unique experience was a yearlong sabbatical backpacking around the world with his wife and four children. Together they explored 31 different countries, volunteered with children in Asia and Europe, bonded with each other, and unexpectedly found themselves guests on The Oprah Winfrey Show
As a kid, Tom Austin dreamed of a job where he could wear shorts and play for a living. He didn’t make the NBA, but is currently an aspiring screenwriter and the happy, T-shirt wearing founder and managing partner at Sumo Ant( www.sumoant.com; password ‘footprints’). By referral only, Sumo Ant helps a handful of (mostly) consumer products companies with branding, product design, sourcing, licensing, sales and visual storytelling. Tom was previously cofounder of the global ‘niche’ basketball-only brand, AND 1. In his ten years at AND 1, he was instrumental in building the brand, talking trash around the office, setting up sourcing and supplier relationships, managing the design of a host of products and crafting a number of successful market penetration strategies. For instance – in his final five years at AND 1, he led the global footwear business launch from inception to over $220 million in annual sales. Tom has a finance degree from the Wharton school of the University of Pennsylvania (summa cum laude), an MA in development psychology (also from UPENN) and an MFA from the University of Southern California (directing and writing).
Backed by Kleiner Perkins, General Catalyst, and Comcast Ventures, Plum District is the leading daily deals site for moms. Susan was recently recruited by the Board to accelerate growth and position the company for long-term success. She oversees all areas of the business, including Engineering, Product, Sales, Merchandising, Marketing and Business Development. Prior to Plum District, Susan was the VP of Operations & Finance at Minted.com, which is a social commerce company that crowd-sources graphic designs and content from a global design community and sells those as printed paper products. She helped scale the operations from 10 people to over 400 people. At Google, Susan was Head of Operations at Google Commerce where she led a team of 200 people responsible for extracting customer insights to support 500,000+ merchants and hundreds of millions of end-users across Google Product Search, Google Wallet, and Google Offers. At eBay, Susan held various leadership roles such as being the Chief of Staff for the GM of eBay Marketplaces, Group Product Manager for Consumer Electronics, and a Senior Manager for Buyer Product Marketing. For iHome.com (sold to retailer Linens ‘N Things in 2000), she was Director of Marketing and Business Development. Susan began her career at Booz Allen Hamilton. Susan received her BA from Harvard University and her MBA from Harvard Business School.