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Speakers

Mohammed AL Samawi is an interfaith activist from Yemen and author of The Fox Hunt: A Memoir of coming to America (Harper Collins) which shares the moving story of love war and hope in which he recounts his harrowing personal trans mission from traditionalist to an Interfaith activist, and how he escaped the brutal civil war in Yemen with the help of a daring plan engineered on social media by a small group of Facebook friends in the west. The Fox Hunt is a 2019 Nautilus book award winner and was a finalist for the National Jewish book awards.

 

 

La La Land producer Marc Platt, and Josh singer who won an Academy award for best original screenplay “Spotlight” are developing the movie The Fox Hunt based on AL Samawi's memoir.  sharing his powerful story around the globe, he has addressed audiences from religious organizations to schools and universities to humanitarian and global groups

 

In 2019 AL Samawi launched The Abrahamic House, a multi-faith incubator for social change with a mission to build sustainable Interfaith learning and action across Muslims, Jewish, Bahai and Christian Communities in order to foster an environment of respect, justice, and social change. www.abrahamichouse.org

 

For more info:

 

https://www.harpercollinsspeakersbureau.com/speaker/mohammed-al-samawi/

Mohammed AL Samawi

Author of The Fox Hunt

Or is CEO and Co-Founder of Venn. Founded in 2016 and raised in a cooperative community in Israel, Or was first inspired by neighbourhood development when he founded an investment fund focusing on Communal Living for Casco Viejo, Panama City. Before founding Venn, Or was a Founding Partner at Selina, a hospitality and wellness start-up with over 50 locations across the world and $350M in funding.

 

Venn (https://www.venn.city/) is a pioneering urban development startup that transforms the way people live in cities by turning neighbourhoods into vibrant communities. Going after a $1.2T global market opportunity with a solution tailored for young adults, Venn offers a neighbourhood network of homes, shared spaces, local business initiatives and community engagement. Led by a team of experienced visionary entrepreneurs and backed by top venture capital investors Venn is a new movement of neighbouring that impacts tens of thousands of people in three cities (Tel Aviv, Brooklyn, and Berlin). Venn has recently announced their first $40M round from some of the world’s leading investors like Sir Ronald Cohen, Pitango VC, Lord Alliance, Hamilton lane, Gigi Levy and others.

Or Bokobza

CEO and Co-Founder of Venn

Steven Greitzer is Head of Leadership Operations at Quibi. He is an Excel Fellow from 2011. He shortly thereafter went on to graduate from Stanford University with a Bachelors in STS: PD and a Masters in MS&E, while additionally juggling gigs as a Sophomore Class President, Senior Class President, member of the Stanford Alumni Association Board of Directors, member of the Stanford Ski Team and a Mayfield Fellow. Upon graduating, Steven moved to Mammoth to ski bum and fail as an aspiring screenwriter before moving back home to the Greatest City in America (Los Angeles). Steven then started his career as an Associate at Upfront Ventures, LA's largest venture capital firm. After a few great years, Steven jumped at his dream job to join former Dreamworks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg's new holding company WndrCo. At WndrCo, Steven continued investing in media companies while working with Jeffrey, CFO Ambereen Toubassy, and ultimately CEO Meg Whitman to raise the largest seed round in history at $1 billion for the then nascent Quibi. Quibi, a mobile premium entertainment platform that launches in April 2020, has grown from idea to 200 employees since Steven's start as employee #3 and Head of Leadership Operations. In the few hours a week when he is not working, Steven is a licensed wedding officiant and would happily marry any of you. His mother is very proud. 

Steven Greitzer

Head of Leadership Operations at Quibi

Sean Grundy is Co-Founder & CEO of Bevi, a beverage technology company that has raised over $60M in venture capital. The company's mission is to eliminate disposable bottles and cans via smart water machines. Prior to founding Bevi, Sean worked in environmental conservation at a non-profit organization in the US and China. He has an MBA from MIT and a BA in Philosophy from Princeton University.

Sean Grundy

Co-Founder & CEO of Bevi

Athena Karp is the founder and CEO of HiredScore, an artificial intelligence HR technology company that powers the global Fortune 500. HiredScore leverages the power of data science and machine learning to deliver deep hiring efficiencies, enhance talent mobility, and help organizations adapt for the future of work. HiredScore has won best-in-class industry recognition and honors for delivering business value and transformation in the HR industry.

 

Prior to founding HiredScore, Athena was an investor in New York, most recently at Altaris Capital, where she managed and sourced healthcare. Previously, she was an Investment Banker at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, focused on public technology and media companies. Athena is a member of the technology advisory board of Belmont Charter Network schools. She is continually active, including former board member, for efforts to alleviate poverty and improve the public education system in West Philadelphia, through Community Education Alliance’s network of charter schools with +1,000 disadvantaged students, focused on preparing youth with skills for the future of work. Athena holds a BSFS in international politics from Georgetown University Walsh School of Foreign Service. She is a member of the 2018 Class of Henry Crown Fellows within the Aspen Global Leadership Network at the Aspen Institute and is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers.

Athena Karp

CEO & Founder, HiredScore

Terry serves on the Management Committee of Elliott Associates, a hedge fund founded in 1977 where she is Counsel and Senior Advisor. Previously, she was Global Head of Human Resources and member of the Operating Committee, Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc.; Counsel and Head of Human Resources, Private Client Division, Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc.; Litigation Counsel, Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith. Terry Kassel serves as Chairman of the Board of Start-Up Nation Central, a not-for-profit based in Israel; Director of the Paul E. Singer Foundation; Board Member of OneTable;  Board Member, Jewish Funders Network and The Jewish Food Society.

Terry Kassel

COO and General Counsel, Elliott Associates

Jonathan is the Co-founder & Managing Director of Talent Tech Labs. He is a lawyer by education and an entrepreneur and investor by trade. Jonathan can be found at HR technology conferences all over the world as a sought-after speaker and panelist sharing deep insights into the evolution of the Talent Acquisition Ecosystem.

Jonathan Kestenbaum

Co-founder & Managing Director of Talent Tech Labs

Casey Lau is one of Asia's foremost tech startup pioneers. Born and raised in Canada, it was in Hong Kong that he had a successful e-commerce exit during the dotcom era. He went on to co-found StartupsHK — re-branded as StartupsGBA: to cover Hong Kong and encompass the entire Greater Bay Area of China — the startup ecosystem community with 15,000+ members, celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2019.

Heading into 2020, Casey again co-hosts RISE alongside co-founder and CEO Paddy Cosgrave, as it returns on March 30-April 2 to Hong Kong - powered by the same team behind Europe's massive Web Summit. Casey has helped propel RISE into what is now the largest and most influential technology, innovation and entrepreneurship conference in the Asia-Pacific region.

He is also a partner at Dimsum Ventures; an Asia-based proptech fund dedicated to mentoring and investing in next-generation founders dedicated to emerging property and future of work technologies.

He frequently speaks about building and developing ecosystems and community around the world. In his spare time, he is a comic book collector and action figure aficionado.

Casey Lau

CEO of StartupsGBA, Head of Asia, RISE

Yuna Leibzon is TV journalist, anchor and radio host. She is the US correspondent for channel 12 news, Israel’s most popular tv channel and news broadcaster. Prior to her posting in NY on April 2019 she covered social affairs and magazine stories for channel 12 news, and hosting a weekly economy show on cable channel 3. She started her journalist career on ‘Galatz’, the IDF radio station as the chief economy correspondent, and hosted a daily radio show.

Yuna Leibzon

US Correspondent, Channel 12 news Israel

Gidi Mark has served as International CEO of Birthright Israel since 2008. Before becoming CEO, Gidi was Birthright Israel’s first employee at the program’s inception in 1999, holding the role of International Director of Marketing and Community Relations. He produced the Birthright Israel brand (“Taglit” in Hebrew) and spearheaded the organization’s international outreach. 

Prior to joining the Birthright Israel team, Gidi worked as a diplomat with Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs for 15 years. He served Israeli embassies and consulates around the world – as Spokesperson and Consul for Communications and Public Affairs in New York, as First Secretary for Information in Bonn, Germany, and as Consul and Deputy Consul General in Istanbul, Turkey. 

Gidi Mark 

International CEO, Birthright Israel 

Stephanie manages investment sourcing and market research into new categories at Zx Ventures, the corporate venture capital group within AB InBev. Her main focus is on opportunities in health and wellness. Stephanie is a graduate of Stanford University as well as the Natural Gourmet Institute, where she studied culinary technique and nutrition science. She volunteers with the Stonewall Community Foundation.

Stephanie Nevel

CEO of StartupsGBA, Head of Asia, RISE

Isaac Oates is the founder and CEO of Justworks, the HR technology company

that helps entrepreneurs and businesses grow with confidence by giving them

access to big-company benefits, automated payroll, HR tools, and compliance

support — all in one place.

 

Before founding Justworks, Isaac served for 12 years in the National Guard and

Army Reserve as an intelligence officer. It was during this time that the importance of an unshakeable team and a focus on people became clear to him. He reaffirmed this belief while working as a software engineer at Amazon, followed by his first startup Adtuitive, which was acquired by Etsy.

 

At both Adtuitive and Etsy, where Isaac led the HR and payments team, he

recognized the system was broken. Frustrated by paperwork, exorbitant costs,

and endless hours spent on administration instead of his team, he came up with the idea for Justworks in 2012.

Isaac holds an MBA from Cornell University and a BS in Computer Science from

the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He Lives in Manhattan with his son James.

Isaac Oates

Founder and CEO at Justworks

Abigail is the Director of the BrandUnit, Google’s creative think tank for brands and agencies.  She and her team works closely with the advertising and marketing communities to help develop their strategic and creative efforts for the digital space.  While at Google, she has also launched an industry-first thought leadership series on human beings deep, emotional relationships with the digital space: Humanizing Digital.  This research decodes technology in an inspiring and useful way.  

 

Prior to joining Google, Abigail was Executive Vice President, Strategy Director at Publicis New York, where she directed strategic planning efforts for major new business pitches and provided thought leadership to key global clients, and co-strategy director at DDB.

 

Abigail is a recipient of the prestigious Media Impact Award from the UN and speaks at key conferences around the globe and has been featured in a host of publications including: NYTimes, Business Insider, Forbes, Advertising Age, Huffington Post, La Presse, CNBC, Mumbrella, AdNews, B&T & Globes Israel.

 

She blogs and podcasts regularly on beauty in our culture at Beautyskew.com and has published her thought pieces in publications around the world.

 

Abigail graduated from Harvard University with a bachelor’s degree in social anthropology.  She lives in NYC with her husband and 3 children.

Abigail Posner

Director of the BrandUnit, Google

Brian Powers is CEO of TemperPack. He cofounded TemperPack along with materials engineers James McGoff and Charles Vincent. Prior to TemperPack, Brian worked in M&A and restructuring investment banking at Moelis & Company in New York. Brian has a B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. Brian was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in 2016, was a EY Entrepreneur of the Year Winner in 2018, and Inc. 30 Under 30 in 2019."

Brian Powers

CEO of TemperPack

Paul E. Singer is the founder and president of Elliott Management Corporation, a New York–based trading firm.  Launched in 1977 with $1 million of capital, total assets under management for the Elliott funds have grown to approximately $38 billion today.  Elliott has affiliated offices elsewhere in the United States, London, Hong Kong and Tokyo.

The Wall Street Journal has recognized Elliott for its early forecasting of the systemic economic crisis of 2008.  The New York Times has written that “of all the hedge fund managers on Wall Street, Paul E. Singer is one of the most revered.”

In his philanthropic activities, Mr. Singer has played a leadership role in supporting research and scholars in the areas of free-market economics, rule of law and transparency, health care delivery innovation, U.S. national security, and the future of Israel.  Mr. Singer is also widely recognized for his advocacy for LGBT equality causes. 

 

Mr. Singer is co-founder of Start-Up Nation Central, an organization committed to solving global problems through deepening ties between Israel’s start-up ecosystem and the global innovation economy. He is on the board of Harvard Medical School and is also chairman of The Manhattan Institute for Policy Research.

Paul Singer

Founder and President of Elliott Management Corporation

Adam Singolda is the founder and CEO of Taboola, the world’s largest discovery platform, serving over 450 billion recommendations of articles, blogs, videos, products and apps to over 1.4 billion unique users every month.

Adam founded Taboola because he couldn’t find anything to watch on TV, and he thought he should not be looking for TV shows but rather TV shows should be looking for him. The initial idea of Taboola was to build a search engine in reverse -- instead of expecting people to look for information, he wanted to build an engine that surfaces relevant and personalized content to people when they are most open to discovering something new. 

 

Taboola is Adam’s first job. Prior to founding Taboola in 2007, Adam developed his engineering & analytical skills while serving as an officer in an elite mathematical unit of the Israeli National Security Agency (NSA) for nearly 7 years. Adam is an honored alum of the Israeli Defense Forces’ elite computer science training program and graduated first in his class at the Officers Academy of the IDF. He has also been named one of Israel’s top “30 under 30” business managers by TheMarker, and “Entrepreneur of the Year” by Geektime. 

 

Adam spends a lot of his time thinking about Taboola’s culture, believing that what really makes or breaks a company is its culture, saying you can copy anything (logo, website, business, product) but you can’t copy a company’s culture. It doesn’t matter who did anything first, but rather who does it best. Some of it was written as part of a presentation he gave at MIT called “Economy Of Good Enough”, 

 

Taboola now employs over 1400 employees with offices in 18 countries around the world. Taboola raised nearly $200M from Fidelity, Comcast, LVMH, Baidu, Yahoo Japan and currently partners with over 10k digital properties.

 

Adam has spoken on stage at TEDx with his dad comparing music to technology, Collision, DMEXCO,  Business Insider’s IGNITION, ClickZ LIVE, Advertising Week, Web Summit, NAB, MIT (Sloan), Wharton (UPenn) and Columbia. He has also appeared in broadcast TV interviews on CNBC'S SquawkBox, Bloomberg West, and Fox Business.

Adam Singolda

Founder & CEO of Taboola

Miriam Roure is passionate about improving cities through technology and design. She is the Program Director at URBAN-X, an accelerator built by MINI and Urban Us, dedicated to investing in and supporting entrepreneurs developing urban solutions.

Previously, Miriam started a platform that would bring together cities and city makers called Field, and worked at MIT Senseable City Lab, a research laboratory dedicated to exploring the future of cities from a data and sensor-based technology perspective. Trained as an architect and urban planner, she also worked at the Office for Metropolitan Architecture in Rotterdam.

She is currently an advisor at Citibeats and Citiesense, and sits on the Advisory Council of 9YVentures Sareb, and on the Evaluation Committee of the Smart Cities Conference in Barcelona. Miriam holds degrees from Harvard University (MArchII) and Cornell University (BArch).

Miriam Roure

Program Director at URBAN-X

Yoram is the Managing partner of EY Israel, the largest accounting firm in Israel. He is also the Chair of Birthright Israel Excel. Yoram has been spending most of his career helping the high tech sector globally and in Israel in particular.

With background deeply rooted in the research and development Yoram manage to weave together his knowledge and desire with his job.  Yoram has been working with some of the best entrepreneurs and the best developments there is. Fascinated by the way technology enables a profound change in our life and the way we live, combined with healthy curios nature Yoram has been able to use his experience to take part of their journey and help many entrepreneurs achieve their dreams and goals.

Yoram has a vast experience working with entrepreneurs and startups on strategy, finance, growth and fulfillment and with big corporation on similar issues.

With over 30 years of experience Yoram has participated in many M&A’s and IPO’s on NASDAQ and the European and Tel Aviv Public Capital Markets.  Yoram has helped many clients in a multitude of issues advising management on strategy, growth and Innovation.

Yoram holds a BA in accounting and economics (honors) from Tel Aviv University.

Yoram Tietz

Managing partner of EY Israel

Deborah Weinswig is CEO and Founder of Coresight Research, a research and advisory firm specializing in disruptive technologies reshaping today’s retail landscape. Coresight Research has a global presence spanning the US, Europe and Asia, including deep expertise in the fast-changing China market.

 

Weinswig serves on the board of directors for Goodwill Industries NY/NJ, GUESS?, Inc., Kiabi, Street Soccer USA and Xcel Brands, Inc.   She is on the advisory board of the World Retail Congress and Retail Analytics Council, WWD Women in Innovation and a mentor for several accelerators.

 

Weinswig is a Certified Public Accountant and holds an MBA from the University of Chicago.

Deborah Weinswig

CEO and Founder of Coresight Research

Liz Wessel loves helping people get hired. She is the Co-Founder and CEO of WayUp, the go-to platform used by millions of early-career professionals to get hired, and by thousands of employers to scale their early career recruiting without scaling their recruiting teams -- all with an emphasis on diversity and candidate experience. 

 

Founded in July 2014, WayUp is a venture-backed startup based in NYC that has raised over $30M and was named by CNN as one of the 30 most innovative companies changing the world. WayUp has worked with top companies -- including Fortune 500s, startups, and nonprofits -- to help them reach, recruit, and engage with the next generation of talent.

Liz has been featured as one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30, named one of the “18 Coolest Women in Silicon Valley” by Business Insider, and one of New York Business Journal’s “Most Influential Women.” Liz has been a featured speaker at TedX, the Forbes 30 Under 30 Summit, Advertising Week, TechCrunch Disrupt, SXSW, NACE, and several other notable events.  Before founding WayUp, Liz worked at Google as a Product Marketing Manager in California and India.

Liz Wessel

Co-Founder & CEO of WayUp

Diane Yu is the chief technology officer for Comcast Advertising as well as the co-founder of FreeWheel, A Comcast Company. In this capacity, Diane leads the architecture and operation of FreeWheel’s video monetization platform, with oversight of a global engineering team spanning the Americas, Europe and China. Diane also oversees the engineering operations and complete lifecycle product development, and leads organizational and high level technical architecture design.

 

Over the past 10 years, she built and evolved the company’s research and development hub in her native Beijing. Today, the organization is comprised of over 600 engineers and ops employees in Beijing, France, Philadelphia, Chicago and New York — 30 percent of whom are female engineers, reflecting Diane’s commitment to diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

n 2017, Diane assumed greater responsibility as chief technology officer of Comcast Advertising, the advertising arm of Comcast Cable. Looking ahead, Diane’s leadership and commitment to innovation and engineering excellence will amplify a legacy of advertising technology solutions purpose-built to serve the needs of programmers, distributors and advertising agencies across the TV and digital ecosystem.

 

Formerly with DoubleClick/Google, Diane played a critical role in architecting and managing the development of the company’s advertising product suite, including DART ad serving and big data processing, Motif/Rich Media, Advertiser (DFA), and Search Performics, while leading engineering teams across DoubleClick’s global offices.

 

Diane earned her Bachelor of Science from Peking University and holds a MS in computer science from Ohio University. In 2018, Cablefax recognized Diane both as one of its “Most Powerful Women” and “Most Influential Minorities.”

Diane Yu

CTO, Comcast Advertising

Strauss Zelnick, a partner in ZelnickMedia since 2001, became Chairman of Take-Two in March 2007 and Chief Executive Officer in January 2011. Mr. Zelnick is currently Chairman of ITN Networks and serves on the boards of directors of Naylor LLC, Alloy, Inc. and Starwood Property Trust, Inc. In August 2013, Mr. Zelnick was elected Vice Chairman of the Entertainment Software Association, the interactive entertainment industry’s trade association. In 2014, Mr. Zelnick was elected Chairman of the Entertainment Software Association, the interactive entertainment industry’s trade association.

Prior to forming ZelnickMedia, Mr. Zelnick was President and Chief Executive Officer of BMG Entertainment, a $4.7 billion music and entertainment company. Mr. Zelnick's appointment as President and Chief Executive Officer of BMG Entertainment followed his tenure as President and Chief Executive Officer of the company's North American business unit from 1994 through 1998. Before joining BMG Entertainment, Mr. Zelnick was President and Chief Executive Officer of Crystal Dynamics, a leading producer and distributor of interactive game software. Prior to that, he spent four years as President and Chief Operating Officer of 20th Century Fox, where he managed all aspects of the worldwide motion picture and distribution business.

Previously, he spent three years at Vestron Inc. as a senior executive, and rose to become President and Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Zelnick also served as Vice President, International Television for Columbia Pictures.

Mr. Zelnick holds an MBA and a JD from Harvard University and a BA from Wesleyan University. He is an associate member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, has served on the Board of Directors of the Recording Industry Association of America and the Motion Picture Association of America and is a Trustee Emeritus of Wesleyan University.

Strauss Zelnick

CEO of Take-Two Interactive

Michael Zhu is an experienced serial entrepreneur, international speaker, and cross-border innovator.

 

Michael founded Accathon Capital, a global innovation platform whose innovation programs and investments infuse digital transformation to drive expansion, build value, and solve critical challenges in the cross-border market. As the current Managing Partner at the firm, Michael is leading a team of innovation experts who together have over 50 years of rich experiences in investment, startup, and accelerator, and have helped 850+ startups, lead 300+ investments, and covered 20+ verticals in total; corporates served including Vanke, Microsoft, Founder Institute, Barclays, SAP, CCCC, and etc. Under Michael’s leadership, Accathon Capital have offered pioneering services and programs for startups with frontier technologies across a wide range of industries in both the U.S. and China markets, upon a powerful and collective ecosystem of over 150+ leading universities, 120+ VCs, 100+ incubators, and 50+ startup communities.

 

Michael also built the first cross-border innovation hub - Lair East in 2015, which is the first “Tech & Culture” themed collaborative co-working space and global entrepreneur communities on the East Coast connecting work, leisure, and knowledge for global entrepreneurs in the business of disrupting technology and shaping cross-border communications. Through Lair East, Michael worked with and advised over 100 startups, facilitated over 15 cross-border programs, and spearheaded international expansions for multiple organizations. Michael was also an investor at Palm Drive Capital and Lair East Labs, whose portfolio includes Boom, Jet.com, Zenefits, Clover Health, WeLab, Catalyte, and, b8ta, and supported Eximchain in a post-program $20MM fundraising.

 

Michael is serving as the Advisory Board member in multiple startups and an advisor at the NYC Chinese Entrepreneur Organization. He was also named as one of the “Top 30 Entrepreneurs Under 30 in Northeastern America” by Mandarin Quarterly. Michael holds an M.S. in Investment Management from Pace University. In 2018, as the only Asian representative, Michael also sat in the Host Committee of Cela (f.k.a. Accelerator Awesome), the first-ever accelerator conference connecting top innovation organizations such as Techstars, 500 Startups, Dreamit, SAP, Verizon, NUMA New York, Google, and more.

 

Meanwhile, Michael serves as the U.S Managing Director of his family business, Huayuan Cultural Industry Group (founded in 1993), which developed to be a global conglomerate in Cultural and Creative Industry. Huayuan Group was recognized and named by China’s Ministry of Culture as the “National Cultural Industry Demonstration Base” in 2004, and now focuses on global entertainment, hospitality, education and creative industry investments.

Michael Zhu

Founder & Managing Partner, Accathon Capital