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November: Understanding the Investment Climate for Games

November: Understanding the Investment Climate for Games

Couldn’t get enough of the Yeti, Zen, and fill of knowledge? Itching for more? Come join us on November 27th for another night of learning, networking, and fun!

Our previous San Francisco Game Developer’s Workshop was an huge success! We had people asking when we’ll be bringing in more rock stars to talk. In response to popular demand, instead of having a mixer for November as originally planned we decided to have a panel discussion with well known investors to talk about the investment climate for games!

You have all heard the rumors we have-investors are not investing in gaming businesses. Game franchise based plays are a hits based business and super risky for traditional investors. This begs the question what makes game investments less risky? A game factory approach? A hybrid between a franchise and a game factory? Being first on new platforms? What are the new platforms? What are the options? Does Kickstarter really work for games without a big designer brand behind campaigns? To hear perspectives on all this and more come to our San Francisco Game Developer’s Workshop on Nov 27th.

As always, we will be providing FREE DRINKS, cool music, and some awesome networking time! However, space is limited! Hurry and reserve your ticket FAST before it is sold out!

Evening Schedule:
6:00pm - 7:30pm ———— Check-in, Network, Drinks, & Rocking with Music!
7:30pm - 9:00pm ———— Investment Panel Discussion
9:00pm ———————— Closing / End

Our Speakers:

Chris Petrovic
GM of Digital Ventures for GameStop

As GM of Digital Ventures for GameStop, Chris is responsible for building on the company’s ongoing efforts to integrate digital media into the company’s global multi-channel strategy through strategic partnerships, investment and acquisition.

Prior to GameStop, he served as Vice President of Digital Media for Playboy Enterprises (the organization’s first dedicated digital media hire), where he managed multiple online and mobile initiatives, while also guiding new product and digital media business development efforts – both domestically and internationally. His innovative ideas and focused management style resulted in the expansion of Playboy as a lifestyle brand and has spearheaded content creation and distribution initiatives, as well as the deployment of new business models (mostly around advertising) for new and emerging platforms.

Chris was responsible for doubling the size of Playboy’s international digital brand and distribution footprint, spending a good part of the last 18 months expanding the Playboy brand into over 50 markets on 4 continents, and spearheading other high-impact projects that fueled worldwide visibility and multimillion-dollar revenue potential. He also recently served as Executive Producer of a new digital series, in partnership with Spike Digital Entertainment, called 「Playmate Show and Tell」.

Prior to that, Chris have held numerous senior level positions across the spectrum of digital organizations, from early stage start ups to a venture capital firm to big media entities.

Ankur Jain
Vice President of Blumberg Capital

Ankur has over 12 years of experience as an investor, strategy consultant and operational executive. Prior to joining Blumberg Capital, Ankur did strategy consulting for Accenture specializing in IT strategy. Ankur has also worked at many small and large technology companies. Ankur worked at Softaware Networks when it was acquired by Digital Island in 2000 and at Andiamo Systems when it was acquired by Cisco in 2004.
Ankur earned a B.S. in Computer Science and Engineering from IIT Delhi, an M.S. in Computer Science from UCLA, and an MBA in Management from the Wharton School, where he graduated as a Palmer Scholar. Ankur is also a co-inventor for five technology patents.
Ankur serves as a member or observer on the Board of Directors of Appboy, Mobsmith,, Legolas Media, MomTrusted, DealSquare and Sonar.

Manu Rekhi
Principal at Inventus Capital

Manu is currently a Principal with Inventus Capital. Manu has a well respected operating record with both Silicon Valley startups and cross-border US-India companies. Prior to Inventus Manu was most VP of Products at NewsCorp’s Digital Division. Manu previously oversaw strategy, marketing, business and corporate development at Lolapps, a Silicon Valley startup where he transformed the company into a promising social gaming business. Manu also spent over 4 years on Google’s product team where he worked on several products including Gmail, Calendar, OpenSocial, Doubleclick and Orkut and spent over a year with Google in India.

Manu has been active with Inventus since 2008, informally diligencing new investments as well as co-investing in, advising and mentoring Inventus entrepreneurs particularly at Vivu, Dhingana, Genwi, and Credit Sesame. He has also advised entrepreneurs in India (Games2Win, Sapplica and Popcorn Apps), Canada (j2play and Social Game Universe) and Brasil (Mentez). j2play was acquired by EA in 2009 and Vivu was acquired by Polycom in 2011.

Manu holds a B.S. from Boston University and a joint MBA from Columbia Business School and Walter Haas School of Business. He is also a TiE charter member and actively mentors entrepreneurs.

Jeff Karras
Managing Director of Investments at Sing Tel Innov8

Jeff is a Managing Director of Investments for Sing Tel Innov8 and supports the fund’s North American investment activities. Jeff joins Innov8 from Levensohn Venture Partners where he spent 10 years and was a General Partner, responsible for investing in early to expansion stage companies in software, semiconductor, and communicational technologies. Past investments include Atheros (Nasdaq: ATHR), COVIGO (acquired by Symbol), Veraz Networks (Nasdaq: DLGC), Informative (acquired by SatMetric), Radiance (acquired by Comcast), Rapt (acquired by Microsoft), Reconnex (acquired by McAfee), Plum (acquired by Nokia), Sim Ops Studios (acquired), and ShotSpotter (private).

Before Levensohn Jeff was Group Product Marketing Manager at Sun Microsystems where he established the Portal Server division and played the lead role in developing the market and product strategy, product specifications, and partnership ecosystem.

Prior to Sun, Jeff was a Principal Consultant with PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Strategic Change Group, where he provided strategic guidance across a variety of industries included telecommunications, software, energy, and financial services.

Eric Tilenius
Executive-in-Residence at ScaleVP

Eric is currently ScaleVP’s Executive-in-Residence (EIR) focused on consumer Internet and mobile. Prior to ScaleVP, Eric was general manager for Zynga, where he ran Mafia Wars and Zynga’s other MMO games, setting records for Daily Active Users and monetization on those franchises. Eric also ran Zynga’s corporate-wide player retention and engagement efforts.

Before Zynga, Eric was an active angel investor, founded two companies, and served as CEO of three companies, all of which had successful exits (two IPO’s and one acquisition).

Eric holds an M.B.A. from Stanford University and a B.A. in Economics from Princeton University.