CorpDev.Ninja with Andreas Penna
By Andreas Penna
Wisdom and truths from the trenches. All things business from seed stage to public companies with Entrepreneurs, CEOs, VC, Corporate Development Gurus, M&A Advisors and more.
21. Sara Clemens - COO @ Twitch
Sara Clemens is COO of Twitch and the former COO of Pandora! She has over 20 years of leadership experience in the broadcast, technology, and entertainment industries. Prior to Twitch Sara was COO at Pandora, where she worked to transform the internet radio pioneer into a personalized music service connecting artists directly with fans at scale. Prior to Pandora, Sara was on the Executive Team at LinkedIn, responsible for CorpDev and new ventures, during which time she led the company’s successful entry into the China market. Sara spent five years in a range of leadership positions at Microsoft, including leading international expansion, business operations and new ventures for the Xbox division. During this time she was a founding member of the team that created #HoloLens, Microsoft’s market-leading AR headset. Sara has extensive experience building consumer internet businesses across a broad range of international markets, including EMEA, LATAM, and the Greater Asia Pacific. She holds an MA with honors from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand.
December 16, 2020
20. James Glasscock - Founder & CEO of GoodHuman
James Glasscock is the CEO of GoodHuman, an immersive mobile app for all things sustainable and ethical. Glasscock has spent much of his career as a leader of media and new product businesses. He has worked for media giants like Warner Bros, Machinima and Turner Broadcasting, and as an analyst for Zone Ventures LLP and KPMG's Digital Media Incubator. He is a cryptocurrency investor with a focus on projects that are pioneering new forms of distributed coordination for the future of work. He is also a decorated veteran, having served in the US Navy during Operation Desert Storm. In his spare time, he is a nature and haiku enthusiast.
December 15, 2020
19. Veronica Juarez - VP @ Lyft & Lightspeed Scout
Veronica Juarez is the VP of Social Enterprise & Government @ Lyft. She is also a Lightspeed Venture Partners Scout looking to invest in companies that address societal inequities, and under-represented founders / operators. Veronica is a 5th generation Mexican-American from Houston, TX, and a 1st generation college graduate from Stanford University. Veronica is passionate about creating access and opportunity for low-income and vulnerable communities. She serves on the board of Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana (MACLA), a contemporary Latino arts organization, and is an advisor for Vamos Ventures, a VC fund that supports Latinx entrepreneurs. Veronica enjoys traveling, the outdoors, and breaking bread with family and friends. Veronica is a proud native Houstonian, home of her family’s infamous taqueria, Villa Arcos. She is a graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy and #Stanford and resides in West Hollywood, CA.
December 5, 2020
18. Brian Goldfarb - CMO/SVP BD @ Chef (M&A)
Brian Goldfarb was most recently the Chief Marketing Officer and SVP of Business Development at Chef Software, which was sold to Progress Software in October 2020. Prior to joining Chef, Brian was the Chief Marketing Officer at Splunk from 2016 to 2019, leading that business through a major digital marketing transformation. Brian also served as Senior Vice President, Platform and App Cloud Marketing at Salesforce.com, a provider of enterprise cloud computing software, from 2015 to 2016. From 2012 to 2015, Brian served as Head of Marketing of Cloud Platform at Google, launching Google’s multi-billion dollar cloud service provider to compete with Amazon and Microsoft. Previously, Brian served in product marketing and product management roles at Microsoft from 2003 to 2012 across developer tools and platforms, IT infrastructure systems, digital media, and cloud computing. Brian holds an A.B. from Duke University in Computer Science and Economics.
November 13, 2020
17. Charlie Newark-French - COO @ Hyperscience
Charlie Newark-French is the COO @ Hyperscience. The company just raised a $80M Series D with Tiger Global Management & BOND! Hyperscience modernizes mission-critical processes and operations for Global 2000 organizations and governments. Previously, Charlie was an Investment Partner @ Fusion Global Capital, a growth stage #VC fund focused on enterprise software. He began investing in the venture space in 2012. Notable investments include: RingCentral (IPO), The Trade Desk (IPO), VeloCloud, Now part of VMware, Instart Logic Inc, & Barefoot Networks (Intel). In 2014 Charlie was President Fuze, a 120-person video conferencing software start-up, where he helped scale the organization and lead the company through its M&A by ThinkingPhones. Charlie began his career in London with McKinsey & Company before moving to Vodafone. Charlie holds an MBA from Harvard Business School & a BA in Economics and Management from the University of Oxford.
October 31, 2020
16. Secretary Carlos Gutierrez: Former U.S. Commerce Secretary
Secretary Carlos Gutierrez is the former WhiteHouse U.S. Commerce Secretary, CEO of Kellogg, Vice-Chairman @ Citi, Chair @ Albright Stonebridge Group & now Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of EmPath, a SaaS tech platform that uses machine learning to transform the way talent is managed and grown inside a company! Previously, Secretary Gutierrez served as Chair of the Albright Stonebridge Group, a global strategic advisory firm. Secretary Gutierrez served as U.S. Secretary of Commerce from 2005 to 2009 under President G.W. Bush. Secretary Gutierrez played a key role in the passage of landmark free trade agreements that remove trade barriers, expand export opportunities, and boost global investment. Secretary Gutierrez spent nearly 30 years @ Kellogg Company, becoming President and CEO of Kellogg − the youngest CEO in the company's 100 year history. In 2000, he was made Chairman. Secretary Gutierrez spent nearly 30 years @ Kellogg Company, becoming President and CEO of Kellogg − the youngest CEO in the company's 100 year history. In 2000, he was made Chairman. Current Boards: Boao Forum for Asia, Occidental, MetLife, PwC. Former Boards: TimeWarner, United Technologies, Corning & Colgate-Palmolive. Secretary Gutierrez was born in Havana, Cuba. He is based in Washington, DC.
October 23, 2020
15. Ben Smith: From YouTube to CorpDev Ninja
Ben Smith is a serial entrepreneur and the managing partner at Chancebending Ventures, Inc, a digital media investment firm, as well as a full-service digital consulting agency servicing early stage startups to Fortune 500 clients. Ben previously founded Blayze Inc. (acquired by Vobile in Feb 2014). Prior to that, Ben was an early Google and YouTube businessperson behind YouTube’s biggest partnerships and strategic efforts. Ben created many first of its kind social media partnerships on the web, and led YouTube’s efforts with Hollywood for years. He helped bridge the gap between Hollywood and Silicon Valley, leaving YouTube HQ to be the company's first businessperson in Los Angeles in 2008.
September 28, 2020
14. Paul Murphy: Microsoft to Startup Founder to VC
Paul Murphy is a General Partner at Northzone, based in London, and focuses mainly on companies in the consumer, entertainment, and enterprise applications spaces. Paul was Founder and CEO of Dots that recently sold to Take-Two Interactive for nearly $200M... His portfolio includes TIER, Hopin, ThirtyMadison, Klang, and Bunch. Prior to Northzone, Paul founded and was CEO of mobile games company Dots in NYC, and built and invested in companies at betaworks, the startup studio behind companies such as Poncho and Giphy. Before this, he held several roles at Microsoft in the US, UK and India. Paul holds a BS in Computer Engineering from Virginia Tech and an MBA from The IE Business School in Spain, where he is an adjunct professor.
September 27, 2020
13. Will Chucawat, M&A, Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP
Will Chuchawat is the Managing Partner of the M&A Practice. He also has led the firm’s A&D Team and the Life Sciences Team.
September 26, 2020
12. Sam Hodges, Vouch Insurance
12. Sam Hodges, Vouch Insurance
September 26, 2020
11. David Moricca: Founder & CEO of Socialive
David Moricca is the founder & CEO of Socialive, an enterprise video creation and live streaming SaaS platform. Trusted by organizations from startups to the Fortune 100, Socialive brings unprecedented ease and scale to high-quality video content creation for teams across the enterprise. With 15 years of leadership and innovation in digital media, David is helping drive and shape the video-first communications revolution in business. Before Socialive, David developed and launched Scholastic’s first digital learning platform and worked as a strategy consultant at McKinsey & Company. A New Jersey native, David holds a B.A. from UNC Chapel Hill and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.
September 25, 2020
10. Sonia Weymuller: Middle East VC
Sonia is a Founding Partner of VentureSouq, a UAE-based investment platform focused on global early-stage tech-enabled businesses. Previously, she worked with Microsoft, Viacom and Turner in London and Dubai. She is a Charter Member & Board Director for TiE's Dubai chapter, serves as the UAE Director for the Yale Alumni Schools Committee and is a Board Member and Mentor for e7 Daughters of the Emirates. Sonia holds a B.A. from Yale University, a MSc from the London School of Economics and is a Kauffman Fellow. VentureSouq (VSQ) is a UAE-based investment platform focused on early-stage technology companies both regionally and globally. Launched in 2013, we've organically built a network of over 1000 angel and institutional investors, creating one of the largest venture platforms in the GCC with a global portfolio of over 160 companies. VSQ develops rich educational content around venture investing, and delivers it via a number of programs throughout the MENA region.
September 25, 2020
9. Robin Chan: Internet Entrepreneur & Investor
Robin Chan is an internet entrepreneur & investor. Robin was the CEO & Co-Founder of XPD Media, which sold to Zynga in 2010 to become Zynga China before their IPO. He was CEO & Co-Founder of Operator. Robin is General Partner of Goat Capital with Justin Kan. Robin was an angel investor of Twitter, Square, Ramp Financial, Xiaomi Technology, etc... He is best known as a unique bridge between the technology communities of China and the US. He advised Uber in their entry into China, introducing them to DiDi when both companies were below 50 employees. He advised Bird on their China supply chain, negotiating all their supplier agreements in Chinese and built their China team. He also helped Xiaomi expand internationally. Most recently, he founded Operation Masks, a 501c3 non-profit to bring factory-direct PPE supplies from China to the US medical front line. Since March 2020, Operation Masks has delivered over 50MM PPE to governments and hospitals throughout the US, with a goal of disrupting immoral profiteering in this global crisis with direct factory cost. Customers include the states of Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, New York, and institutions Cedars Sinai and Johns Hopkins.
September 25, 2020
8. Aryan Rashed: Founder and CEO of Tremble
Aryan Rashed is the founder and CEO of Tremble, a chain of boutique Pilates studios in South Florida and growing. Aryan focuses primarily on strategy & vision as well as oversight on operations in the Company.
September 25, 2020
7. Ben Pasternak Founder of Nuggs
Ben Pasternak is 20 years old and well known for being the youngest tech entrepreneur to receive VC funding from Silicon Valley, when he was just 15. After his first company Monkey was acquired in 2017, Ben turned his attention to the nutrition space, launching NUGGS, a chicken nugget simulation. NUGGS raised $11 million in funding, led by McCain Foods.
September 24, 2020
6. Raaja Nemani: Finance Ninja to Entrepreneur Business Ninja
Raaja Nemani , a certified Business Ninja, is Co-Founder and Chief Revenue Officer of MarketerHire, a talent marketplace with a mission to make expert marketing accessible to everyone. MarketerHire has scaled rapidly with hundreds of clients from early stage startups to Fortune 100 companies in less than a year and a half. Prior to MarketerHire, he was the Co-Founder and CEO of Bucketfeet, a footwear brand collaborating with a global community of artists to create the most unique shoes in the world. Bucketfeet raised over $20M in venture capital (including from adidas) and sold ~1 million pairs of shoes shoes in 30+ countries, before it was acquired by Threadless in 2017. As a passion project, Raaja co-founded Counterpoint in 2019, a “both-sides” political cartoon newsletter with approximately 200,000 subscribers, written and illustrated by Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonists. He began his career in Private Equity and Investment Banking and he graduated from Northwestern University in 2004. On the personal front, Raaja is an avid traveler, and from 2008-2009 backpacked around the world by himself for a year and a half, traveling to over thirty-five countries on every continent.
September 23, 2020
5. Emil Michael: From White House to Uber & More
Emil Michael is the former Chief Business Officer of Uber. He raised the most amount of funding in history for a private company $15B! Emil is a true Business Ninja having also built three successful companies: Tellme (sold to Microsoft), Klout (sold to Lithium Tech) & Uber. At Uber he built $10B in market value as THE KEY EXECUTIVE for Uber China and Russia. Emil also struck partnerships with some of the world’s largest companies including American Express, AT&T & Softbank.
September 23, 2020
4. Ravi Sarin: Private Equity Guru
Ravi Sarin, a verified Business Ninja, is Founder and Managing Partner at ROCA Partners, a Los Angeles-based growth equity investment firm focused on tech-enabled services and healthcare services. Ravi previously was a Principal in the Private Equity Group at Ares Management. At Ares, Ravi helped lead investments in healthcare services, retail, and gaming, lodging & leisure among a few other sectors and served on the Board of Directors of Floor and Decor, Jacuzzi Brands, OB Hospitalist Group and Unified Women’s Healthcare. Prior to Ares, Ravi was a private equity investor at Bain Capital and a consultant at Bain & Company. Ravi has an MBA from Harvard Business School and an MS in Management Science & Engineering and a BS in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University.
August 27, 2020
3. Patrick Bosworth: From White House to Founder and CEO!
Patrick Bosworth, a verified Business Ninja, is the CEO of Royalton Investment; the firm focuses on start-up businesses within Royalton related to new business models in yachting, and developing hospitality and wellness projects. Patrick is also an advisor to Duetto Research, which is a company he founded in 2012. He served as CEO, President & Chairman throughout his tenure at Duetto until deciding to join Royalton. He led the company to significant milestones, including growth to serve more than 3,500 hotel and casino properties in over 60 countries. He raised over US$140M while serving as CEO from some of the top investors in the world, and he promoted his successor during a time of record growth and company performance. Patrick serves as an advisor to technology companies in the transportation, real estate, and human resources sectors. He also served on the board of Eoliasur, which develops wind energy in Argentina, and the charity, Win-Win Entertainment. Previously, Patrick was an executive at Wynn Resorts in the US and China, and he was an appointee in the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.
August 9, 2020
2. Fritz Lanman: Managing a Unicorn Fitness Tech Company during a Pandemic
Fritz Lanman is the CEO of ClassPass; the largest pre-IPO, health & fitness tech startup. He’s also a prolific Angel investor with investments in: Square, Pinterest, Wish, Flexport, Formlabs, etc… 100+ investments over the past decade! Fritz started his career @ Microsoft after getting his Bachelor’s degree in history from Yale. He rose through the ranks to become one of the youngest Directors in Microsoft history! He was the “go to guy” for many things Corporate Strategy and M&A and led the $240M Facebook ($FB) investment in 2007 when $FB was only worth $15B; that’s ~45X as of today! After Microsoft, Fritz founded and was CEO of Livestar, a mobile-based recommendation engine on food and culture that sold to Pinterest in 2013. I consider Fritz to be a preeminent Business Ninja in all things from Startups to investing. We explore his kernels of knowledge and wisdom. He would give Master Splinter a run for his cheese- COWABUNGA!
July 27, 2020
1. Eric Engineer & VC
Eric Engineer is really an Engineer (Computer Science) by background. He’s worked in Product Management at Microsoft, then went to Harvard Business School graduating to pursue a VC role at Sevin Rosen Funds. He joined one of his portfolio companies, Invodo, where he went from VP of Product & Partnership to CEO, ultimately selling the company to Industrial Color in 2018. He’s now back in VC as a Partner at S3 Ventures, the largest VC focused on Texas, HQ’d in Austin. Given his career, he’s a masterful Business Ninja with truths from the trenches that we explore!
July 20, 2020