Member, New York Angels and Co-Chair, Frontier Tech Committee Nisa Amoils is an active angel investor, Board advisor and entrepreneur. She is a member of New York Angels where she invests in a variety of technology and is the co-chair of the frontier technology committee which encompasses AR/VR, robotics, drones, AI, driverless cars, autonomous innovations, cybersecurity, remote sensing and other cutting edge technology. She also has sector and investment expertise in entertainment, beauty, marketplaces and digital media. She has startup operational experience in areas such as strategic and digital marketing, business development, product and package development, distribution, staffing, fundraising, management and legal. She is a regular judge/panelist on CNBC, MSNBC and Fox and does podcasts on investing. Prior to this, she spent many years at media companies, including Time Warner and NBC Universal, looking at Internet 1.0 deals and executing strategic partnerships with film and television on behalf of Fortune 500 brands. She holds a BBA (business) degree from the University of Michigan and a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania, where she serves on the Board of the Design School. She is a mentor at the Wharton Entrepreneurship Program and judges student competitions and a Mentor at XRC Labs.
Co-Founder and CEO, Ascend Robotics
David Askey is a founder of startup Ascend Robotics. Ascend is developing part handling systems that intelligently adapt to the customer’s environment. The robots retrieve components, provide production line supply, and enable automated kitting. He believes that embedded intelligence can enable robots that are inherently safe, accessible, and trainable by anyone. Prior to Ascend, David was a co-founder and Chief Business Development Officer at Energid, where he was responsible for key strategic initiatives, guidance, and market development of sensor-driven robotic systems. A core focus was driving the definition and shaping of new products to meet market needs. For the Energid subsidiary, Robai, David provided key product guidance for the Cyton compact robot arms, with particular focus on the industrial production and device testing markets. He has extensive experience in object tracking, image-based modeling, and video compression. David has held senior positions managing engineering teams, leading technology strategy, and directing R&D at leading technology and imaging companies both in the US and Europe. David has B.S. and M.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Founder and President, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation Dr. Robert D. Atkinson is one of the country’s foremost thinkers on innovation economics. With an extensive background in technology policy, he has conducted ground-breaking research projects on technology and innovation, is a valued adviser to state and national policy makers, and a popular speaker on innovation policy nationally and internationally. Before founding ITIF, Atkinson was Vice President of the Progressive Policy Institute and Director of PPI’s Technology & New Economy Project. He received his Masters in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Oregon and was named a distinguished alumnus in 2014. He received his Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1989.
General Partner, Asimov Ventures As a High Tech Evangelist, Tyler lives and breathes all things technology. He works with startups and the Fortune 100 alike to launch new initiatives in 3D printing. He is a contributing writer and researcher to Wohlers Report, the annual “bible” of additive manufacturing and has emceed more than ten Inside 3D printing and RoboUniverse conferences across eight countries. He also serves as a General Partner at Asimov Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm focused on 3D printing and robotics. Tyler joined the Rising Media team in 2013 as Event Consultant for Inside 3D Printing. Tyler received a B.S. in Applied Mathematics and Economics at Brown University and currently resides in Seattle.
CEO & CTO, 5D Robotics, Inc. A leader in robotics fusing emerging science and engineering into innovative technologies that can change the way robots interact with humans and their environment. Patents include robotic technologies for landmine detection, defeat of improvised explosive devices, urban search and rescue, decontamination, chemical plume tracing and decommissioning of radioactive environments, air and ground teaming reconnaissance systems, facility security and autonomous mapping solutions. An author & speaker of over 60 peer reviewed journal articles, book chapters and conference papers in the area of intelligent robotics. Leadership at the Idaho National Lab and consulting to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
CTO and Founder, Sphero Ian Bernstein, who grew up in rural New Mexico, has always been a maker and a hacker. As far back as he can remember he has taken apart cameras, cassette players, and other electronics to create new inventions. At the age of 12 he attended a robotics competition and his lifelong passion in the field of robotics was sparked. Then, one night in late 2009 while playing with his iPhone, Ian wondered why he couldn’t use this amazing computing device he was holding in his hand to control the robots he had been designing. Armed with this thought and hungry to do something big, Ian and co-founder Adam Wilson started a company, Sphero, with the mission to put a robot in every home. Their products, Sphero, Ollie, and most recently BB-8 from Star Wars The Force Awakens are sold in stores worldwide.
President, Association for Advancing Automation Jeff Burnstein is the President of the Association for Advancing Automation (A3), the parent group of the Robotic Industries Association (RIA), AIA – Advancing Vision + Imaging, and the Motion Control & Motor Association (MCMA). Together these trade groups represent some 900 global companies involved in robotics, vision, motion control and related automation technologies. Burnstein joined RIA in 1983 and has held a variety of senior positions, culminating in his promotion to President in 2007. He is a frequent commentator on issues such as the impact of automation on jobs and the future of automation beyond the factory floor.
Partner, Fox Rothschild LLP Mark Connot heads the litigation practice group in the Las Vegas office of Fox Rothschild LLP, a national law firm with 750 attorneys in 22 offices coast to coast. He handles a wide variety of complex commercial and business disputes in the state and federal courts and in private arbitrations and mediations. Among his recognitions, Mark has been annually recognized as a “Super Lawyer” since 2013. He has a lengthy background dealing with all manner of technological issues and has a keen interest in the evolving drone industry. Mark founded and is co-editor and a regular contributor to “On the Radar,” a blog that tracks news and legal developments about drones and unmanned autonomous systems. He advises companies on coping with federal law and regulations, as well as the current patchwork of state and local laws, governing drones. Mark has written articles on drone related issues for Law360 and has been featured as a speaker on drone related issues.
Executive Director, Investment Banking, Mooreland Partners Bryan is an Executive Director at Mooreland Partners in the Silicon Valley office. Bryan joined Mooreland in 2013 and has over ten years of experience advising technology companies on strategic and financial transactions, completing over 50 transactions in his career. At Mooreland, Bryan is responsible for origination, transaction execution, relationship management and business development in the industrial technologies, electronics and clean energy sectors. Prior to Mooreland, Bryan was a Director and Head of the Clean Energy and Industrial Technology Investment Banking Group at ThinkEquity, where he focused broadly on the clean energy and industrial technology sectors, including advanced manufacturing, lighting and efficiency, energy storage and alternative transportation, emerging environmental technologies, capital equipment, and alternative energy generation. Previously, Bryan was also a member of the Technology Investment Banking Group at Needham & Company. Bryan holds a B.S. in Finance and Management Information Systems from the Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University.
Founder, RaceYa Abigail is a Maker, a Baker, a Tinkerer, a Mother and an Anthropologist, She has more than 10 years of commercial and academic experience researching complex social systems (aka – why people do the things they do). She founded RaceYa to give kids hands-on opportunities for learning, problem solving and fun.
Co-Founder and CEO, Reality Analytics Inc. Stuart is co-founder and CEO of Reality Analytics Inc, a new company using advanced, proprietary artificial intelligence techniques to detect real-world features and events in sensor data. Reality Analytics recently released UAV Sensor Revolution™, which allows users to speed up and automate analysis of drone data by automatically spotting ground features. UAV Sensor Revolution can identify different surfaces (road vs, dirt, vs foundations, for example), spot discontinuities (fences, ditches, pipes), and judge surface quality (spotting rust and cracks, or damaged crops, for example). Reality Analytics also offers products for analyzing other kinds of sensor inputs, including acceleration, vibration, sound, image, AC power, and RF signals. The technology behind Reality Analytics was originally developed for the defense and intelligence sector, but is now available for commercial use. Reality Analytics holds 7 patents, and has 6 patents pending, all in the field of machine learning as applied to sensors and signals. Stuart was previously CEO of LaCrosse, a technology and operations platform for investment funds that was acquired by Wells Fargo. He has a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, and a BA from the University of Chicago.
Founding Partner, ff Venture Capital John Frankel is the founding partner of ff Venture Capital and has been a seed- and early-stage investor since late 1999. John focuses on advising and growing technology and technology-enabled companies across emerging industries. He is a close adviser to Skycatch, a drone data company offering an end-to-end product for aerial data capture and processing, machine learning and team collaboration, as well as Top Flight Technologies, which develops drones focused on extended flight time and enhanced payload capabilities. John has served on the boards of more than 35 companies and has led investments in more than 80 companies, including Cornerstone OnDemand (CSOD), Indiegogo, Ionic Security, Unikey, Socure, Reaction Housing, Skycatch, Plated, 500px, Distil Networks, and Bottlenose. Prior to founding ffVC, John worked at Goldman Sachs for 21 years in a variety of roles that involved technology development, reengineering and capital markets. At Goldman Sachs, he worked closely with some of the world’s leading hedge fund managers and developed a keen understanding of emerging technologies and portfolio risk/return management. John started his business career in London with Arthur Andersen having earned a Master of Arts from New College, Oxford, where he studied Mathematics, Philosophy and Logic. He is a Fellow Chartered Accountant of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.
Managing Director, Canary Ventures Alex Goldberg is a VC investor at Canary Ventures, where he focuses on early-staged technology startups. He had more than two decades of product management, business development, and strategy roles within four high-growth, VC-backed startups in Boston, including: ATG (an innovator in personalized online advertising), Open Market (an innovator in online retailing), Frictionless Commerce (an innovator in strategic sourcing), and Adjoin Solutions (an innovator in cloud technologies). He then spent several years working for the one of the top executives at Computer Associates, where he researched emerging technologies in the “Office of the CTO.” Alex is an active member of the New York Angels, serves as an advisor to the annual Nantucket Conference, serves on the Young Professionals Steering Committee at Carnegie Hall, and is a member of the TED community. Alex has an MBA from Columbia Business School and studied finance in Mumbai, Buenos Aires, London and New York.
VP Strategy and Globalization, PrecisionHawk Thomas is a business development, marketing and sales leader with a decade of experience building new business opportunities, maximizing customer impact, and identifying strategies for global economic trends. Currently he leads global strategy for PrecisionHawk – overseeing strategic direction, ecosystem development and commercial focus. Previously Haun was a member of DuPont corporate’s Management Leadership Development Program where he built new market opportunities for DuPont Pioneer’s Encirca services business and internal commercial strategy development for several DuPont businesses. Prior to DuPont, he managed customer relationships, led proposal development, and provided business analysis for Northrop Grumman Corporation. Haun holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, BS in Mathematics and BA in Economics from the University of Maryland.
CEO, Asylon Damon has been involved in the RC/drone industry for 15 years. After graduating from MIT, he went on to graduate from GE’s Operations Management Leadership Program (OMLP) where he ran several military manufacturing lines for aircraft including V-22 and P-3. While in these position Damon received his Green Belt in Lean Six Sigma and manufacturing resource planning. His most recent endeavors involved structural and payload design for advanced rotorcraft and small UAVs under Phantom Works at The Boeing Company.
IBM Fellow, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, IBM Watson Rob High, IBM Fellow, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, IBM Watson is one of the world’s leaders in artificial intelligence, as well as a distinguished architect and technical strategist with a long history in distributed system component models. As the Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for IBM Watson, High leads the IBM team responsible for bringing cognitive computing to the world, supporting the development of deep natural language processing and other cognitive computing capabilities in the areas of speech, language, vision, and reasoning. Under his leadership, Watson is ushering in a new era in computing in which systems are able to interact in natural language, analyze large volumes of unstructured data, respond to complex questions with evidence-based answers, and discover new actionable patterns and insights. High is recognized as one of the world’s most exceptional technical professionals and was named an IBM Fellow in 2008 for his pioneering work in the field of SOA and for his leadership of the SOA Foundation.
Consultant & Founder, The Air Zone Darryl Jenkins has been interested in aviation since he was nine years old. His first experiences in aviation were as a travel agent. His aviation experience covers over thirty years. Recent work includes extensive merger and acquisition experience at United Airlines and Delta Air Lines. Previously, he was at GWU for fifteen years and served as director of the Aviation Institute and was the Director of the Graduate Certificate Program in Aviation Management from 2001 to 2003. He was visiting faculty at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in 2004.As a consultant he has worked for the majority of the world’s top fifty airlines. In addition, he has consulted for many foreign countries and done work with the FAA, NTSB and other government agencies. In 2012 he did the first economic impact study on integrating commercial drones into the airspace.
Founder, suitX Dr. Homayoon Kazerooni is the founder of suitX, the Berkeley, California-based robotics company which designs and manufactures medical and industrial exoskeletons. Dr. Kazerooni is also a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, serving as the Director of the Berkeley Robotics and Human Engineering Laboratory. With more than 30 years of mechanical engineering experience and a doctorate degree from MIT, he is a leading expert in robotics, control sciences, exoskeletons, human-machine systems and augmentation, bioengineering, mechatronics design, artificial locomotion, intelligent assist devices, and power and propulsion. Prior to his more well-known research on lower extremity exoskeletons, Dr. Kazerooni led his team at Berkeley to successfully develop robotics systems that enhanced human upper extremity strength. The results of this work led to a new class of intelligent assist devices that are currently used by manual laborers in distribution centers and factories all over the world. Dr. Kazerooni’s later work focuses on the control of human-machine systems specific to lower human extremities. After developing BLEEX, ExoHiker, and ExoClimber–three super-light, load-carrying exoskeletons–his team at Berkeley created HULC (Human Universal Load Carrier). It is the first energetically-autonomous, orthotic, lower extremity exoskeleton that allows its user to carry 200-pound weights in various terrains for an extended period, without becoming physically overwhelmed. The technology was sold to Lockheed Martin and now is used for a variety of military applications. Dr. Kazerooni has also developed this lower-extremity technology to aid persons who have experienced a stroke, spinal cord injury, or have health conditions that obligate them to use a wheelchair. His medical exoskeleton, Phoenix, has successfully allowed those who have been paralyzed to walk, stand, and speak face to face with peers in an upright position. Over the years, Dr. Kazerooni has won Discover Magazine’s Technological Innovation Award, the McKnight-Land Grant Professorship, and has been a recipient of the outstanding ASME Investigator Award. His research was recognized as the most innovative technology of the year in New York Times Magazine. He has served in a variety of leadership roles in the mechanical engineering community and is notably the editor of two journals: ASME Journal of Dynamics Systems and Control and IEEE Transaction on Mechatronics. A recognized authority on robotics, Dr. Kazerooni has published more than 200 articles to date, delivered over 100 plenary lectures internationally, and is the owner of numerous patents.
General Manager, Universal Robots’ Americas Region Scott Mabie is the Danish robot manufacturers’ General Manager of the Americas Region, overseeing the rapid market expansion of the company’s game changing, collaborative robots. He has a proven track record of more than 25 years in industrial automation; spearheading strategic leadership, building up businesses and expanding them internationally. Before joining Universal Robots, Mabie was the Business Unit Manager with Rofin-Sinar Inc., one of the leading global manufacturers of laser sources and laser-based solutions for industrial materials processing. Prior to this he was Director of Business Development with Danotek Motion Control.
Partner, Mach 5 Ventures and Co-Chair, Frontier Tech Committee Oliver has been a investor and entrepreneur of emerging technologies for more than 20 years. As a partner of Mach 5 Ventures, Oliver advises and invests in early stage data-driven digital, hardware, and robotic companies. An example of recent exits have included Que Innovations, Ekso Bionics (OTCBB: EKSO), Locemia Solutions (acquired by Eli Lilly), and NovoCure (NASDAQ: NVSR). Oliver is also a chair of the Frontier Technology investment Committee of New York Angels, focusing on software innovations in the fields of autonomous mobility, robotics, IoT cybersecurity, computer vision, drones/emote sensing, data science, artificial intelligence, AR/VR and nano technologies.
Co-Founder/Partner, First Round Capital Dr. Howard Morgan is co-founder/ partner in First Round Capital, a seed stage venture capital firm. He has more than 30 years of experience with more than two hundred high-tech entrepreneurial ventures. He serves on the boards of Idealab, Kentik, Memsql, Augury and other companies. Howard was a Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, Cornell and Caltech. He a Trustee of Cold Spring Harbor Labs and Math For America and is a respected author. He received the Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 1997. He holds a Ph.D. in operations research from Cornell University (1968) and a B.S. from the CCNY (1965).
Founder and CEO, AeroAnalytics Andy Perez-Benzo is the Founder and CEO of AeroAnalytics. The company executes industrial inspections and survey work with drones, and was named one “of the world’s hottest startups of 2015″ by CNBC, MSN, and Global Entrepreneurship Week. Aero works with some of the largest construction companies on the planet, and provides them with full service delivery, from sourcing pilots and executing drone flights to processing data and delivering analytics. Prior to launching Aero, Andy worked on drone analytics at IBM and directed expansion for Uber in New England and Latin America. He is a graduate of Princeton University
Product Manager, ams AG Rudolf Pichler has 6+ years of experience in magnetic position sensors. He works as product manager for the position sensor product line at ams AG. Based in Austria he is working on next generation position sensor products, providing support material and holds technical trainings. His latest work is primarily concerned with the field of robotics. Rudolf holds a degree in electrical engineering and a master’s degree in automation technology. He supports you in finding the best-fit sensor solution.
Founder, Rieg and Associates Carol Rieg is Founder of Rieg and Associates, a public relations firm. As a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) innovation leader, Ms. Rieg builds collaborative public/private partnerships that leverage business and education resources. By joining together people, organizations and resources to address global challenges, Carol creates solutions to tough problems through the application of innovative technology to provide a better quality of life for all. Recently Carol served as the Corporate Foundation Officer at Bentley Systems, the global leader with comprehensive engineering software solutions for advancing the design, construction, and operations of infrastructure with $650 million in annual revenues. Carol was responsible for establishing and building the corporate global giving program in 50 countries throughout North America, South America, Europe, Africa and Asia. Prior to that, she co-founded and served as national director of the Future City Competition “STEM” program. Over a 16 year period, she grew the program to reach over 500,000 middle school students nationwide utilizing gaming technology and engineer mentors through the DiscoverE Foundation. Carol is also a member of the Global Women’s Leadership Network and the Women in High Technology Coalition. Carol currently serves on Twomentors, LLC Board of Advisors. She previously served on the Board of Directors for the Maryland Transportation Authority focusing on the building of the $2.5 billion “Inter-County Connector” 18-mile tollway. Carol started her professional career as a senior auditor with PwC.
Managing Director, RoboBrain Project, Neurorobotics-Human Brain Project and Chief Co-Editor, Frontiers in Neurorobotics Dr. Florian Röhrbein is a senior lecturer at the research group “Robotics and Embedded Systems” in TUM’s Informatics Department. He is managing director of the Neurorobotics subproject of the Human Brain Project flagship. He has international work experience in various projects on brain-inspired cognitive systems. Research stays include the MacKay Institute of Communication and Neuroscience (UK), the HONDA Research Institute Europe (Germany) and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine (New York). He received his Diploma (with honors) and PhD (magna cum laude) from TU München. In 2011 he received the venia legendi for computer science from Universität Bremen.
Partner, Lux Capital Zack is a Partner with Lux Capital, based in the Firm’s New York office. Zack has been working with Lux since 2006, focusing on marketing, operations, and investments at the intersection of the digital and physical worlds. Zack led Lux’s investment in Shapeways, SOLS Systems, Moment and Latch and has worked extensively with a number of Lux portfolio companies including Transphorm, Kurion, and Siluria. Before joining Lux, Zack worked as an expedition photographer on the Colorado Plateau. He created his own curriculum at Cornell University to study materials science and business entrepreneurship, graduating in 5 years with a B.S. in engineering and an MBA. Zack is a regular contributing editor for Forbes and has been an invited speaker and guest lecturer at Cornell University, Drexel University, NYU, and the University of Pennsylvania.
Founder & CEO, PRENAV Nathan Schuett is the founder and CEO of PRENAV, a Silicon Valley startup developing intelligent drones that are guided by computer vision. PRENAV systems are used for automated inspection of cell phone towers, wind turbines, and oil/gas infrastructure, as well as for cinematography and virtual reality capture. Previously, Nathan managed robotics projects at The Society for Creative Research, performing work for Google and others. Nathan graduated from Stanford University with a degree in computer music.
Founder and CEO, MoonLab Dr. Sabine Seymour is a serial entrepreneur and researcher focusing on the next generation of wearables and the intertwining of aesthetics and function in our garments. Sabine founded Moondial in 1998, a consultancy working with Fortune 500 companies worldwide to invent new products, to examine manufacturing processes, and to build prototypes. She recently founded Moonlab. Moonlab has engineered the SoftSpot [patent pending], a biometric sensor system for clothing that automatically connects a garment with the “Internet of Things”. Sabine has received numerous grants and awards. She was awarded the Michael Kalil Endowment for Smart Design Fellowship, is a Women of M2M 2016 winner, won the WomenWhoTech Challenge, was selected as a member of the inaugural group at NewInc incubator, was a finalist at the SXSW2015 Accelerator Wearable Technologies and the DKNY Challenge. Sabine is the first professor of Fashionable Technology at Parsons School for Design in New York and chairs the Rockefeller Foundation Grant funded project Computational Fashion at Eyebeam. She is an international adviser and jury member and authored the successful books “Fashionable Technology, The Intersection of Design, Fashion, Science, and Technology” and “Functional Aesthetics” and co-edited “Computational Fashion”.
Founder, New York City Drone Film Festival Randy Scott Slavin is an award-winning director, photographer and aerial cinematographer and is the founder of the New York City Drone Film Festival. He is drone expert who is regularly featured in publications and on television. Slavin first gained attention for racking up millions of television views and YouTube hits for brands including American Express, AT&T, Bank of America, AdWeek, Tribeca Film Festival, Sunoco, Island/Def Jam Records for which he has received multiple awards. As a surrealist photographer, his work can regularly be found in the pages of Time Magazine, Gizmodo, Mashable, The Washington Post, Fast Company Design and other publications around the world. In 2014 Slavin founded the New York City Drone Film Festival, the world’s first event exclusively dedicated to celebrating the art of drone cinematography. It has experienced rapid growth since its inception, counting companies like GE, NBC News, Adobe and DJI as headline sponsors. In 2016 the #NYCDFF was a three-day event including a dynamic slate of interactive panels and a “Day of Drones”hosted at theLiberty Science Center which included drone battling and and drone racing. The festival received 350 film submissions from 45 countries,5,000+ people in attendance over the festival weekend and over 270 million media impressions worldwide Slavin lives with his wife and young daughter in New York City.
CEO & Co-Founder, DARTdrones Abby Speicher is the CEO and Co-Founder of DARTdrones, a flight school for drone pilots. Abby started her first company when she was seventeen and graduated from Babson’s MBA Program in Entrepreneurship in May with the Entrepreneurship Award and the Sorenson Scholarship. She is young female entrepreneur forging her way in the male-dominated drone market. DARTdrones has seen tremendous success and quick growth since winning the Babson BETA Challenge, participating the Babson WIN Lab and Summer Venture Program, and receiving a coveted FAA 333 Exemption to fly drones commercially. DARTdrones is flight school for drone pilots that focuses on safety, FAA regulations, and comprehensive understanding of the equipment. DARTdrones offers courses such as Basic Training and Advanced Missions for corporate clients, emergency services teams, and individual drone pilots. DARTdrones currently offer courses in 20 states and plans to add an additional fifty flight instructors in 2016.
Production Manager, ABC News, Good Morning America Maria Stefanopoulos is an Emmy Award Winning Production Manager for ABC News, Good Morning America. She feels very passionately about using drones to enhance storytelling for journalists and believes they’re a great tool which allows viewers to experience the scope and scale of an event like never before. She loves when drones are used as stedicams, jibs and helicopters and believes they provide the most compelling vantage that captivates viewers. Maria was responsible for the production of GMA’s LIVE drone coverage over the erupting Bardarbunga Volcano in central Iceland, where viewers were able to see the volcano from just 380 feet above. She also pitched, managed the production and live drone produced GMA’s “Hidden Worlds, Son Doong” show, from uncharted terrain in a place where there’s no map of a route, inside the world’s largest cave system hidden deep in the jungle of Central Vietnam, 8,000 miles away from ABC’s studio. This show won the News and Documentary category at the 2016 NYC Drone Film Festival. Two of her most recent LIVE productions included using the very latest in drone technology to watch a daring team of elite ice climbers venture down into a vertical ice drop located in the Breidamerkurjokull glacier in Southeast Iceland, where researchers and scientists study formations to understand how the ice melts and sweeps into the ocean. This past February, she managed another epic GMA expedition, this time LIVE on safari from Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania, where 2 drones and 3 other cameras were launched on a mission to find animals near extinction. During this amazing journey, the drones came face to face with lions, elephants, rhinos and hippos, all in their natural habitat. The best part is that before drone technology, showing the world these marvels in such a way wouldn’t have been possible. Maria has experienced a feat that’s unprecedented in television history.
Founder, Vecna Daniel co-founded Vecna in 1998 with the mission to empower humanity through transformative technology after working on the Mars Rover program as a researcher at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. Vecna is a leader in logistics automation and telepresence with thousands of robots deployed worldwide. Daniel also co-founded Vecna Cares (2008) and Mass Robotics (2015) both 501(c)3 organizations with missions to improve the lives of people around the world through ethical application of technology to solve some of the world’s toughest problems. Not only do Vecna’s talented and dedicated employees make it a fun and profitable business, they also have contributed over 100,000 hours of community service to date. Daniel has a blast serving as the Chief Innovation Officer at Vecna and currently serves as the President of MassRobotics.
Founder, Twin Oaks Computing Nina is the co-founder of Twin Oaks Computing, and has the current responsibility for creating and managing customer and partner relationships for Twin Oaks Computing. Her responsibility is to assure ongoing beneficial relationships with potential and existing customers and partners. This includes management and oversight of the University Program, Partner Program, and Training and Education Programs. Nina has a strong passion for both engineering and education. Nina was born in South Florida and grew up with local small business owners. She started her career with G.E. Aerospace (now Lockheed Martin) in Valley Forge, PA as an entry level software engineer. Over the next fifteen years, Nina worked on a number of programs developing and maintaining a variety of large and complex software systems, in a various technical roles, from system administrator, to senior software engineer, to software engineering manager. Nina co-founded Twin Oaks Computing in 2005, and has personally worked and held responsibility for all roles of the company during its growth since inception.
CMO, MindMeld Sam Vasisht is a hi-tech product and marketing executive, with more than 15 years of experience leading marketing and product management for businesses and organizations. He has helped numerous venture-backed digital media technology startups with market entry, growth, turnarounds and exits as a member of the management team and as an advisor. Prior CMO at MindMeld, Sam was the CMO and SVP of Marketing at Rovi (NASDAQ: ROVI) through the acquisition of Veveo, a semantic technology startup. Before that, Sam held senior management and executive roles for companies including Motorola, Bose, Real Networks, and On2 Technologies (Google).
VP of Engineering, Starship Technologies Lauri is a technologist with a wide angle view on the world. He specializes in figuring out how complex systems are best built for maximum effect, even scenarios with major constraints (product, technical, regulatory or organizational). Lauri has joined Starship Technologies to help make the next generation of local delivery solutions come alive.
Senior Associate, Maveron Anarghya Vardhana is a senior associate at Maveron’s San Francisco office. Prior to entering the world of venture capital, Anarghya worked for several startups in product management roles, including the early founding teams of fin-tech and health-tech companies. She also expanded her product experience to the non-profit and developing world through her work for Ushahidi, where she was a product manager and led user experience research across South America and East Africa. Previously, Anarghya held various roles at Google, leading operational teams and focusing on international expansion of the AdWords Express product. Anarghya was also an investor at Rothenberg Ventures, where she focused on investments in consumer, media, and frontier technology companies. At Maveron, she brings her passion for the intersection of cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence to existing mass consumer experiences, identifying these opportunities in the Bay Area and beyond. Anarghya is a board observer for Booster Fuels. Anarghya earned a BS is Science, Technology, and Society from Stanford, with a focus on math and computer science. She’s passionate about investing, diversity in tech, marathon training, eating paleo, and her lifelong mission to get more women involved in technology.
Entrepreneur In Residence (EIR), Techstars
Dr. Wang was a Director of the Qualcomm Robotics Accelerator, Powered by Techstars, the world’s first robotics-focused accelerator, which hosted 10 startups from countries around the world creating various types of robots, from drones and AGVs to gaming robots to robot arms. He is currently an EIR at Techstars, the largest technology incubator/accelerator in the world, with 20 programs spanning 14 cities worldwide. Previously, he founded San Diego’s first tech-focused coworking center, Ansir Innovation, catering to creatives, innovators, and entrepreneurs. He also founded a tech startup (in consumer electronics) after experience in large companies like Agilent Technologies as well as startups in Silicon Valley. With a double major BS in Computer Science and Biology, as well as Masters in Electrical Engineering, all from Stanford University, Dr. Wang combined these fields to fulfill an interdisciplinary PhD in Theoretical/Computational Neuroscience from UCSD. As such, Dr. Wang is well versed in both hardware and software systems using multidisciplinary approaches, including bio-inspired design principles. He’s also held several research positions for institutions such as the Salk Institute and the Burnham Institute, and has been published as first author in such prestigious peer-reviewed journals as “Science”. He is also one of the selected few “Mayfeld Fellows”, from the Stanford Technology Ventures Program focused on entrepreneurial development and innovation.
Business Development Manager, SRI International Zak Weiler is a business development manger at SRI International one of world’s largest independent non-profit research institutes. There he identifies research with promising market potential and works with commercial partners to bring technology to their customers through collaborative research, tech-transfer, or ventures. Past projects have been applied in a variety of industries including robotics, energy, and information technology. He holds a B.S. in computer science and a B.A. in international relations from University of California, San Diego.
CEO, Fetch Robotics Melonee Wise is the CEO of Fetch Robotics, which is delivering advanced robots for the logistics industry. The company introduced their robot system, including Fetch and Freight, in May of 2015. Prior to joining Fetch, Melonee was CEO and co-founder of Unbounded Robotics. Before then, Melonee was Manager of Robot Development at Willow Garage, where she led a team of engineers developing next-generation robot hardware, including the PR2 and TurtleBot from Willow Garage. Melonee also has extensive experience in the growth of ROS as a research and commercial platform. Melonee is currently a Mentor in the Qualcomm Robotics Accelerator.
Head of Autonomy and Robotics Group, SCISYS Mark Woods leads the autonomy and robotics group at SCISYS with particular focus on application to both space and terrestrial, robotic platforms. He was the autonomy technical lead for several European Space Agency, EC, UK and commercially funded projects focusing on a range of topics including, Long-range Autonomous Navigation, Vision Based Localization, AI based planning and scheduling and Autonomous Science. He has recently led work in the Atacama Desert in Chile in order to validate long-range autonomy and remote operations for Mars missions.
Director of Content, Rising Media Stewart curates the Inside 3D Printing conference and oversees the programs for RoboUniverse and Virtual Reality Summit. Previously, he played a leadership role in running the Search Engine Strategies (SES) trade shows as part of the content team at Incisive Media. Prior to that, Stewart worked with Jupitermedia and was responsible for launching emerging technology events such as Nanotech Planet, Plug.IN, Game Market Watch, Enterprise Linux Forum, and Digital Rights Management (DRM) Strategies. Stewart has worked closely on events with a diverse range of non-profits and associations including the Apache Software Foundation (ASF), IT Service Management Forum (itSMF), Object Management Group (OMG), Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO), World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), International Game Developers Association (IGDA), 3D Printing Association, and the Bitcoin Association.
Conference Chairman, RoboUniverse Francis Rabuck is a Technology Research Analyst with a 30 year career of contributions to the industry as a consultant, thought leader and internationally recognized expert in emerging technologies in the Mobile/Wireless, RFID/Sensors/IoT, Social Media/Collaboration and Curation and Sustainability Indexes. He is a frequent speaker/writer, advisor and judge at major technology industry events. Fran has a history of delivering leading edge research, trend tracking and innovative business solutions in various roles including: Director of Technology Research for Bentley Systems, Mobile Practice Leader at Alliance Consulting, Director –Manager of Applied Research for Towers Watson and entrepreneurial roles within multiple start-up companies. Fran is a member of the Global Advisory Council for the World Future Society (www.wfs.org ) and one of the 100+ Experts driving future predictions through forecasting with Techcast.org. In 2006 he was awarded the first FIATECH STAR Award in recognition of his contribution for the innovative use of technology in the construction industry. Fran also worked with the Construction Industry Institute on their Breakthrough Strategy Committee. He is a long time member of the eWeek Corporate Partner Advisory Board, and past member of the Academic Advisory Council at Drexel University. Fran is also the co-author of the book – RFID for Materials Management and Productivity Improvement. Fran became involved in 3D printing 8 years ago and shortly after that became interested in applications and STEM efforts for Robotics. Today he clearly sees the crossover of these technologies to create a new 3D Techtronic Era.
*Speakers are subject to change.