One of MIT Sloan's oldest conferences in its 19th year
a convening of movers and shakers
It's that time of the year again. The event this February will showcase the latest cutting edge research and technology in development at MIT, along with TED-style talks and fireside chats (plus debates) between interesting people. No boring 45 minute panels.
Talk topics announced soon. In the meantime, check out some of our speakers below!
Interested in attending, speaking or volunteering? We'd love to hear from you. Tickets on sale now.
Professor Alex "Sandy" Pentland directs the MIT Connection Science and Human Dynamics labs and previously helped create and direct the MIT Media Lab and the Media Lab Asia in India. He is one of the most-cited scientists in the world, and Forbes recently declared him one of the "7 most powerful data scientists in the world" along with Google founders and the Chief Technical Officer of the United States. He has received numerous awards and prizes such as the McKinsey Award from Harvard Business Review, the 40th Anniversary of the Internet from DARPA, and the Brandeis Award for work in privacy.
He is a founding member of advisory boards for Google, AT&T, Nissan, and the UN Secretary General, a serial entrepreneur who has co-founded more than a dozen companies. His most recent books are `Social Physics,' published by Penguin Press, and 'Honest Signals', published by MIT Press.
Bijan primarily invests in digital canvases and online communities for people at work and at play. He typically invests in startups after becoming a passionate user of the product. In particular, he looks for new approaches to building communities through the sharing of ideas and interests. Bijan led early investments for Spark in Trello, Stack Exchange, Crowdrise, Foursquare, OMGPOP (acquired by Zynga), thePlatform (acquired by Comcast), Runkeeper (acquired by Asics), Tumblr (acquired by Yahoo) and Twitter (NYSE:TWTR).
Before becoming an investor, Bijan led product management and/or business development at GameLogic (acquired by Scientific Games), Moxi Digital (acquired by Digeo) and WebTV Networks (acquired by Microsoft Corporation).
Bijan holds a B.S. degree from Boston College. He lives in Boston with his wife and three kids and is a passionate amateur photographer.
Kat Manalac is a partner at Y Combinator and originally joined as its first Director of Outreach. Kat focuses on finding great entrepreneurs for the program. Prior to YC, Kat worked as Chief of Staff to Alexis Ohanian, cofounder of reddit and head of the nonprofit Breadpig. Before that, she was at WIRED Magazine. Kat attended Northwestern University where she studied communications and worked with the university's Web Use Project. Kat was born in the Philippines and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Magatte Wade was born in Senegal, educated in Germany and France, and launched her entrepreneurial career in the San Francisco Bay Area. Magatte is a serial-entrepreneur and passionate advocate of positive change in business, gender roles, and Africa. Magatte is a Forbes “20 Youngest Power Women in Africa”, a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum at Davos, a TED Global Africa Fellow and a "Leading Woman in Wellness” award winner by the Global Wellness Summit (she later got invited to join the Board, where she now serves). Magatte also serves on the Advisory Board of the Whole Planet Foundation, of Whole Foods Market.
Jerry Colonna is an American venture capitalist and certified professional coach who played a prominent part in the early development of Silicon Alley. He is the recipient of numerous awards and a speaker on topics ranging from leadership to starting businesses. Colonna has been named to Upside magazine's list of the 100 Most Influential People of the New Economy, Forbes ASAP's list of the best VCs in the country, and Worth's list of the 25 most generous young Americans. He is a co-founder and CEO of the executive coaching and leadership development company, Reboot.io. He also serves as chairman on the Board of Trustees at Naropa University.
Tony Tjan is an entrepreneur, strategic advisor, and venture investor. He is the author of the New York Times best-seller Heart, Smarts, Guts, and Luck and CEO of The Cue Ball Group, a private investment and venture capital firm based in Boston. He is also the Chairman and co-founder of MiniLuxe, a retail services brand focused on transforming the nail care services industry with studio locations in Massachusetts, Texas, and California. Prior to joining Cue Ball, Tony served as Vice Chairman of The Parthenon Group and as Senior Advisor to the CEO of The Thomson Corporation (now Thomson Reuters), where he worked to transform the publishing company into one of the world’s largest information services corporations. He began his career at McKinsey & Company, and in 1996 founded the Internet services firm ZEFER, a pioneering early commercial web initiative that eventually grew to more than $100 million in annual revenue.
Tony holds degrees from Harvard College and Harvard Business School, and has also served as a Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and an Entrepreneur in Residence at Harvard Business School. He is a regular contributor to the Harvard Business Review and a member of the Advisory Council for the MIT Media Lab.
Bradley started Tusk Ventures to help startups work with governments at scale.
In 2010, Bradley started Tusk Strategies, a political and strategic consulting firm dedicated to helping major institutions run multi-jurisdictional campaigns to shape their public reputation, overcome regulatory hurdles, and proactively engage governments to solve problems and seize opportunities. Tusk Strategies works with Fortune 500 companies like Google, Walmart, AT&T and Expedia, media companies like AMC, NBC News, The Weather Channel, Discovery and Cablevision, institutions like Stanford University, and individuals like Mike Bloomberg.
Previously, Bradley served as the campaign manager for New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s successful re-election bid in 2009.
Bradley served as Deputy Governor of the State of Illinois from 2003-2006. He oversaw the $60 billion state budget in addition to policy, legislation, communications, and operations encompassing 57,000 employees.
After serving as Deputy Governor, Bradley served as Senior Vice President at Lehman Brothers, where he created the lottery monetization group and headed all of its efforts regarding U.S. based lotteries.
Earlier in his career, Bradley served as Special Assistant to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Communications Director for New York Senator Charles Schumer. Bradley also served as Senior Advisor to New York City Parks Commissioner Henry Stern, and was an Adjunct Professor at Fordham University. Bradley is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Chicago Law School.
One of Facebook's first 10 employees.
Kevin Colleran is Managing Director of Slow Ventures, an early stage venture capital fund run by a group of early Facebook executives. Slow manages nearly $250 million in capital financed by a group of 100+ tech industry founders, CEO's, executives as well as a select group of notable venture capital firms and endowments. At Slow, Colleran focuses on early stage tech investments in consumer and enterprise startups including Pinterest, Barkbox, Birchbox, Postmates, Nextdoor, Casper, Pillpack, Classpass, Shyp, Breather, Slack, Product Hunt, Evernote, AngelList, Handy, Wealthfront and 180+ other companies. Kevin was also recently a Venture Partner and Advisor at General Catalyst Partners and wrote a column for the Wall Street Journal (online & print) as part of their "Accelerators" section.
Previously Kevin was one of the first 10 employees at Facebook Inc. having joined in early 2005 as their first advertising sales person. He stayed at Facebook for nearly 7 years on the revenue team leaving in 2012 after having become the longest tenured employee at the company other than Mark Zuckerberg.
Patricia is a General Partner of Oak HC/FT where she focuses on growth equity and early-stage venture opportunities exclusively in financial services technology. Since Oak HC/FT’s launch in September 2014, Patricia has led the fund’s investments in Fastpay, Feedzai, Insureon and Trov among others, and sits on the boards of each. She is also a Board Observer on Poynt.
Patricia joined Oak Investment Partners as a Venture Partner in 2002 and continues to serve on the Boards of Duedil and Freshbooks. Some of Patricia’s past portfolio activity includes Vesta Corporation, Acculynk, Argus Information & Advisory Services (acquired by Verisk Analytics), Harbor Payments (acquired by American Express), NetSpend Corporation (acquired TSYS), Point Carbon (acquired by Thomson Reuters), and TxVia (acquired by Google).
Patricia’s history includes over 11 years of senior management experience at Cendant (formerly CUC International). At various times she was responsible for the marketing, operations, or general management of a variety of direct marketing credit card affinity programs. Patricia has also previously held positions at Hewlett Packard and Merrill Lynch.
Tricia earned a BA and MBA from Stanford University.
Habib is a tech entrepreneur and angel investor, recently turned VC. He is currently the CEO of Wamda.com and the managing partner of Wamda Capital. He founded Yamli.com the Arabic search and transliteration startup that licensed its technology to Yahoo. He also started a number of non-profits including YallaStartup, INLET and ReliefLebanon.
In 2009, the World Economic Forum recognized Habib as a Young Global Leader and the ArabianBusiness named him one of the top 30 influential Arabs under 30 as well as of the most 500 powerful Arabs. He currently serves on the Global Agenda Council on innovation. He is an advisor to several US and Middle Eastern startups and non-profits.
Habib is behind the original idea behind Yamli, and today drives Yamli's vision of empowering the Arabic language and users on the web. His responsibilities span from product strategy and design to business development. The World Economic Forum recently recognized Habib as a Young Global Leader for 2009.
Prior to Yamli, he worked as a senior engineer at ATI (later acquired by AMD); and before that he was part of the early engineering team at Mok3 (now Everyscape), a startup out of the MIT CSAIL lab.
Habib co-founded INLET (International Network of Lebanese Entrepreneurs and Technologists), an organization geared towards promoting entrepreneurship and leadership for the Arab world in general and Lebanon in particular. He also founded Relief Lebanon, a grass roots effort aimed at supporting the relief operations in Lebanon during the July 2006 war. Relief Lebanon was featured by the "101 Stories to Tell" initiative by the UNDP in February 2009.
Habib often speaks about early stage development and entrepreneurship, and has spoken at venues such as the Harvard Business School, Boston College and the American University of Beirut. He currently sits on the advisory board of Meedan, a non-profit startup that aims to enable cross-cultural dialogs online.
Habib holds a Bachelor of Computer and Communication Engineering from the American University in Beirut and a Masters in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California.
Peter is co-leading and building McKinsey’s new 'Fast Growth Tech' Practice, serving innovative, growth-stage tech companies that are shaping the future. The practice is delivering real and lasting impact through a range of approaches that fit smaller companies — including strong counseling relationships, powerful knowledge assets such as SaaS Growth Benchmarking, published insights (www.SaasRadar.com), and rapid growth focused projects. In the last year the practice has built 100s of successful relationships with the C-Suite and investors (VC and growth PE) and successfully delivered our expertise in over 30 projects scoped for startup speed, teams, and fees. Prior to his current role, Peter spent nearly 8 years as a leader in McKinsey's 'Tech, Media, and Telecom' Practice, focused on serving leading technology companies on growth strategy in his core knowledge leadership areas (Cloud/SaaS, mobility, consumer tech/media, and IoT) and the related operational and execution topics across the product pipeline (e.g., design, pricing, COGS, and GTM).
Ben Finkel founded and served as the CEO of Fluther.com--a Q&A site focused on getting fast answer to the right people. In December of 2010, Fluther was acquired by Twitter. Ben now works at Jelly Industries as CTO.
His background is in CS / math (which he studied at Brown University). His honors thesis was in the field of graph drawing, and was published in 2004 Journal of Graph Drawing. After Brown, he worked at MIT Lincoln Laboratory, developing algorithms in the Space Control Systems group.
In 2005, he moved to San Francisco, with the goal of starting his first company, which was Fluther.
Daniel leads McKinsey New Ventures, recently launched to pioneer the firm’s next frontier of innovation and entrepreneurship. New Ventures complement McKinsey’s current capabilities to deliver even more impact to clients.
Also a member of McKinsey’s global operating committee, Daniel has helped to build the firm’s Industrial and Aerospace & Defense practices in the Americas. He has extensive experience serving clients across a broad range of sectors (aerospace, defense, technology, software, industrial) and geographies (North America, Europe, and Asia). In his work with clients, Daniel’s primary focus is strategic and operational: creating new digital businesses; building new operational capabilities (e.g., Design To Value, Next Generation Procurement); building new marketing and sales capabilities to accelerate growth; expanding portfolios through acquisitions and partnerships, and capturing the full value of acquisitions.
Daniel graduated from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales (HEC) in Paris, and, as part of that program attended Haas School of Business of the University of California at Berkley.
Currently Senior Advisor to the Digital Currency Initiative at the MIT Media Lab, Casey has two decades of experience as a journalist—most recently as a senior columnist at The Wall Street Journal, covering digital currency, global finance, and economics. In addition to co-authoring The Age of Cryptocurrency: How Bitcoin and Digital Money Are Challenging the Global Economic Order — a “timely and colorful book [that] is a rewarding place to learn it all” (The New York Times) and “the most thorough and readable account of the short life of this controversial currency” (The Washington Post)—and hundreds of bylines at WSJ, he has written for Foreign Policy, The Washington Post, The Financial Times and many other publications. He is also the author of two prior books: The Unfair Trade: How Our Broken Financial System Destroys the Middle Class and Che’s Afterlife: The Legacy of an Image. His new book is The Social Organism: A Radical Understanding of Social Media to Transform Your Business and Life (co-authored with Oliver Luckett), about how social media functions just like a living being.
Gareth Keane is an Investment Manager with Qualcomm Ventures, based in the Bay Area. His career to date has stretched from engineering roles to venture capital investment.
Prior to Qualcomm Ventures he worked for two years in the corporate development teams at National Semiconductor and Texas Instruments, focused on strategic investment, corporate M&A and corporate strategy. Previously he worked for PMC-Sierra and a number of other technology firms across both hardware and software.
Gareth has an MBA from The Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania, a PhD in Electronic Engineering from The Queen’s University of Belfast and a BE in Electronic Engineering from the National University of Ireland, Galway. Gareth is also a Kauffman Fellow.
Roberto Rigobon is the Society of Sloan Fellows Professor of Management and a Professor of Applied Economics at the MIT Sloan School of Management.
He is also a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, a member of the Census Bureau’s Scientific Advisory Committee, and a visiting professor at IESA.
Roberto is a Venezuelan economist whose areas of research are international economics, monetary economics, and development economics. Roberto focuses on the causes of balance-of-payments crises, financial crises, and the propagation of them across countries—the phenomenon that has been identified in the literature as contagion. Currently he studies properties of international pricing practices, trying to produce alternative measures of inflation. He is one of the two founding members of the Billion Prices Project, and a co-founder of PriceStats.
Roberto joined the business school in 1997 and has won both the "Teacher of the Year" award and the "Excellence in Teaching" award at MIT three times.
He received his PhD in economics from MIT in 1997, an MBA from IESA (Venezuela) in 1991, and his BS in Electrical Engineer from Universidad Simon Bolivar (Venezuela) in 1984. He is married with three kids.
TJ Parker is the co-founder and CEO of PillPack. Parker is a second generation pharmacist and holds a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. He was named one of Forbes' '30 Under 30' in 2015 and Inc Magazine's ‘30 under 30’ "Most Dynamic Young CEOs in America" in 2016.
Karl Iagnemma is CEO of nuTonomy, the leading developer of state-of-the-art software for self-driving cars, which he co-founded in 2013. As CEO, Karl has established nuTonomy's US and Singapore offices, spearheaded nuTonomy's fundraising efforts, and led the recruitment of a world-class 50+ person technical team.
Karl was previously a Principal Research Scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he directed the Institute’s Robotic Mobility Group. His research has resulted in more than 150 technical papers and 19 issued or filed patents, and has found application in passenger vehicle safety systems, robotic surgery, and Mars surface exploration, among other domains.
As an author of multiple fiction novels and short story connections, Karl won several major awards including the Paris Review Discovery Prize and the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Cultural Council.
Soma joined Madrona in November 2015 and is a Managing Director at Madrona. Prior to Madrona, Soma had a successful twenty-seven year career at Microsoft Corporation. His last role at Microsoft was Corporate Vice President of the Developer Division.
Soma has long been an angel investor with investments across a wide range of technology areas both in the U.S. and internationally. At Madrona, he is focusing on Machine Learning/Artificial Intelligence, Intelligent Applications, Developer centric platforms and tools, and the emergence of new technologies such as VR/AR. He has authored several pieces outlining Madrona’s thinking about how these technologies will evolve.
in partnership with IBM Research
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IBM Research is one of the world’s largest and most influential corporate research labs, with more than 3,000 researchers in 12 labs located across six continents. Our scientists are charting the future of artificial intelligence, breakthroughs like quantum computing, how blockchain will reshape the enterprise and much more. We are dedicated to applying AI and science to industry challenges, whether it’s discovering a new way for doctors to help patients, teaming with environmentalists to clean up our waterways or enabling retailers to personalize customer service.
Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LLP, commonly known as Finnegan, is an international intellectual property law firm based in Washington, DC, United States. Finnegan was founded on March 1, 1965 by Marc Finnegan and Douglas Henderson in Washington, DC with the mission, "to do high-quality legal work focused exclusively on intellectual property law." It is one of the largest law firms focusing exclusively on the practice of intellectual property (IP) law, practicing all aspects of patent, trademark, copyright, and trade secret law, including counseling, prosecution, licensing, and litigation.
With offices in Brussels, Paris, Boston and Shanghai, Solvay Ventures has over $100m assets under management, and a focus on advanced materials with applications in energy transition, sustainable resources, health and industry 4.0. In addition to providing capital to start-up companies, Solvay Ventures leverages Solvay capabilities to generate business synergies between start-ups and Solvay's Innovation Platforms.
WilmerHale's Emerging Company Practice has helped thousands of entrepreneurs successfully launch their businesses; raise billions in angel, venture and strategic financing; and take their companies to sale, IPO and market leadership. Learn how we can help at WilmerHaleLaunch.com.
The MIT Industrial Liaison Program (ILP) is dedicated to creating and strengthening mutually beneficial relationships between MIT and corporations worldwide. Established in 1948, the ILP continues to be a key player in making industrial connections for MIT.
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