Jouko Ahvenainen is serial-entrepreneur and private investor, and co-founder of Grow VC, the first global peer-to-peer micro-funding service for startups. Jouko is also a partner and board member in other finance or investments companies, like Springboard Venture Private (India) and Replicon (Finland). He also co-founded data analytics businesses (e.g. Xtract). Before his serial entrepreneur career Jouko held senior positions at diverse technology firms including Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, Powerwave Technologies Inc., Nokia, and Sonera. In all roles he has been a key driver to create new business. He is one of the pioneers in social media marketing, and personally had significant role to develop and sell the first social marketing intelligence solutions for mobile and media companies. He has also traditional marketing experience, starting from some well known political campaigns in mid 90′s. Jouko has vast experience of international business in Asia, Europe, and North America; he has lived and worked in Finland, Malaysia, UK, and the US, and run business in Hong Kong.
Jouko has worked in teams to close several VC deals (from 150k USD to 15M USD), and also closed many large customer deals and been responsible for 40M USD annual revenue. He started his first own software business when he was 16-year-old. Jouko also is also a Certified Adviser in NasdaqOMX First North list at Helsinki and Stockholm stock exchanges. Jouko is on the boards of various start-up companies, and is a co-founder or seed investor in six companies.
Jouko is a regular speaker in many marketing, start-up funding, mobile and web conferences including SXSW, Mobile World Congress, CTIA, Next Conference, Echelon and Singapore Infocomm conferences around Europe, Asia, and the US. He is also a co-author in Social Media Marketing book.
Jouko holds an MBA from Helsinki School of Economics / McCombs School of Business, at the University of Texas, Austin and a M.Sc.(Tech.) from Helsinki University of Technology.
Jeff is a qualified lawyer with extensive experience in the worlds of corporate transactions and early-stage businesses. He began his career practicing corporate law with Sullivan & Cromwell LLP in New York and London and later served as co-chairman of the investment committee of a UK seed investment fund. He also serves as the Chairman of The Coalition for a Digital Economy (Coadec) and has acted as a strategic adviser to several startups. Jeff holds an MBA and a BCL (advanced law degree) from the University of Oxford, a JD from the University of Virginia and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania.
Rishi brings a tremendous wealth of experience in real estate and corporate finance and has a track record of success in managing global businesses. His experiences have provided him the ability to make precise business strategic decisions while considering the financial circumstances. He is the Co-Founder of ARP Ventures, a real estate investment company focused on investing in single and multi-family homes in the Greater Boston area. Today, he continues to grow his real estate investment portfolio, acumen, and network.
At Collaperty, Rishi’s role focuses on strategic efforts and business modeling. His forward—thinking attitude and networking skills are essential to Collaperty’s growth and success. Rishi holds a BSBA degree in Finance, Entrepreneurship, and Economics from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts.
Heather Schwarz-Lopes is Co-Founder & CEO at EasyShares. Heather brings more than 15 years of management and financial industry experience with an outstanding track record of building an entrepreneurial division when she served as Sr. Vice President and Private Banker at Wells Fargo as well as launching her own successful businesses. She is a Certified Financial Planner™ and holds the Series 7 and 66.