Simon is CEO of Frenzoo, creator of the Me Girl™ series played by millions of women and girls. As a game designer he is about personal and playful entertainment. Prior to founding Frenzoo, Simon was the Asia head for emerging technology Juniper Networks, where he ran a US$20M business. Simon is originally from Melbourne where he studied engineering at University of Melbourne, and loves games, tech and reading. His industry blog is at iteratingfun.com
Guy Rosen is the co-founder and CEO of Onavo. He brings over a decade of technology entrepreneurship and management experience to Onavo, spanning mobile, cloud technologies and analytics spaces. Onavo is the company behind Onavo Insights, the most comprehensive market intelligence service in the mobile industry. Onavo Insights data powers decision-making and media buying in the world’s largest mobile companies.
Andrew comes to Globant through the acquisition of Nextive, a San Francisco-based mobile software developer he co-founded and led as CEO. Today he is a Business Partner for the Mobile Studio at Globant.
Andrew has experience in finance, consulting and management roles at companies in the US and Latin America. Prior to co-founding Nextive, Andrew structured private/public equity and public debt offerings, M&A transactions and strategic advisory engagements for approximately $20 billion at Wachovia Securities. Before joining Wachovia in San Francisco, California, Andrew was a Financial Analyst at Fidelity Broadband Group, a private equity division of Fidelity Investments focusing on worldwide telecom and software in Boston, Massachusetts. Prior to Fidelity, Andrew consulted for Lucent Technologies and IBM Software.
Andrew holds an MBA and M.S. in Information Systems with high honors from Boston University and a B.S. in Business Administration and B.S. in Information Systems from Universidad de Buenos Aires.
Christian Limon is responsible for all of Glu’s worldwide advertising-based monetization and user acquisition efforts. Prior to Glu Mobile, Christian served as Director of Global Partnerships for Tapjoy where he helped build to scale a leading mobile advertising and monetization platform. He drove business development strategy and led international expansion across LATAM, Japan, and Korea. Before joining Tapjoy, Christian held positions in M&A at Morgan Keegan’s investment banking practice, SK Telecom Americas, and served as a venture consultant. Christian holds an M.B.A. in Finance from Loyola Marymount University and a B.A. degree in Economics from the University of Southern California.
James Peng manages user acquisition and monetization for Storm8′s complete portfolio of 40+ titles. Storm8 is a leading mobile social gaming network and developer with more than 10 million daily active users and 400 million downloads across 200 million devices worldwide. Prior to joining Storm8, James worked at H.I.G. Capital, a $9.0 billion private equity fund, where he evaluated, structured, and executed leveraged buyouts in partnership with management teams. Prior to that, he worked as an investment banker for Lazard, where he advised on various M&A and restructuring deals.
Fabien-Pierre Nicolas is General Manager, Mobile at Perfect World, the leading developer and publisher specialized in free to play online multiplayer games with hits like Dungeons & Dragon Neverwinter, Torchlight and Star Trek Online. In his role, he oversees the mobile publishing and content creation operation across the company’s portfolio of mobile games.
Prior to his current role at Perfect World, Fabien was a DeNA, the world largest social mobile games company, overseeing their creative services, product marketing and user acquisition teams in the West across the company’s portfolio of mobile games. Previously, Fabien spent five years at Ubisoft where he handled strategic, brand and online marketing for major game franchises, including Far Cry, Splinter Cell, Prince of Persia and Heroes of Might & Magic.
Fabien holds an MBA from Grenoble Business School.
Dr. Hanno Fichtner
Hanno is the Co-Founder of games distribution incubator HitFox Group. He’s currently building up the San Francisco office for the HitFox portfolio company, AppLift. Previous to that, Hanno worked for 7 years at McKinsey & Company and founded 2 companies in the online and mobile space. AppLift acquires high quality users for 150+ mobile game publishers and helps them monetize their traffic.
Shaun Rebello is a Senior Product Manager at GREE where he as worked on Monster Quest as well as upcoming casino and midcore titles. He got his start working on award-winning real-time strategy (“RTS”) games for PC at Stainless Steel Studios and, after a hiatus from games to attend the University of San Francisco School of Law, he worked on free-to-play MMO titles, Facebook games and console titles as well as spending some time at Harmonix. Prior to GREE, he was a Senior Producer at Kabam, where he focused on Live Operations and Monetization for multiple mobile and social titles.
A.J. Yeakel oversees operations at Grow Mobile, an advanced user acquisition technology solution and managed service for leading app developers. Prior to co-founding Grow Mobile, A.J. led mobile marketing and revenue at Zynga, helping to grow the division from 100k to over 20m daily active users. Prior to his role in Zynga’s Mobile group, A.J. managed web marketing partnerships for the game developer and started several successful performance advertising businesses.
Stephen Sullivan is the CEO of Playnomi, a social casino startup and Yetizen Accelerator portfolio company. He was previously a senior manager in Zynga’s mobile division where he led game teams and developed strategy for titles such as Mafia Wars, Zynga Poker, and Dream Zoo. Before gaming, Stephen worked as a product manager in Cisco’s emerging technology group and built software for fighter planes at Northrop Grumman Space Technology. Stephen holds an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management and a double major in electrical engineering and computer science from Seattle University.
His favorite game is the original Legend of Zelda.
Lawrence Koh is Vice President of Kabam Studios, overseeing the operations and development of web and mobile free-to-play games. He most recently served as General Manager at Kabam and led the creative direction, production, and live operations for The Godfather: Five Families game. Before joining Kabam, he was the product lead at Raptr and led strategic planning efforts for the publishing organization at Electronic Arts. Earlier in his career, Lawrence worked as a management consultant at Deloitte Consulting and a software engineer at E*TRADE Financial. Lawrence holds a B.S.E in Computer Science from the University of Michigan.
Dimitri Sillam is the founder and CEO of Grantoo, a YetiZen portfolio company that helps developers change the world while making money at the same time. Using Grantoo’s Propeller SDK game developers can make any game multiplayer in 20 min and have their players compete in brand sponsored tournaments. Winners of these tournaments get to donate their winnings from the brands to the charity of their choice. Grantoo currently has 12 games running tournaments sponsored by brands such as Hilton, McDonald’s and Snapple.
Prior to Grantoo, Dimitri successfully founded and sold 2 companies, in dating and healthcare respectively. Dimitri is a Harvard University graduate with a Masters in Corporate strategy.
Sumeet Maniar is an online publishing industry veteran in the free to play space both in multiplayer PC and mobile games. As a founding member of $xxx+ Gamersfirst, Sumeet trademarked Free2Play in 2002. Gamersfirst published over 15 large titles (MMORPGs) and developed tools and various payment methods (first with e-pins). The success was replicated globally with operations in Turkey, Brazil, India, SE Asia, and Europe (Gamersfirst was the first to open these markets). As CEO of Gamiana, he led the development and self-publishing efforts of two titles that are in the process of becoming cross-platform (mobile, Facebook & PC). Sumeet has raised capital several times and has both B2B and B2C experiences which are critical in 3rd party relationships and has global relationships in the online games industry. As an internet e-commerce veteran, Sumeet was part of the team “T2” which developed into Orbitz and developed the model behind idine.com, the frequent dining discount program used by many airline loyalty programs. Currently Sumeet is leading efforts that developers can use – Scalify – scaling ability in synchronous mobile or PC games through true peer to peer, NinjaMetrics – predictive analytics that are stochastic based and IPPSUS - cloud mobile gaming.
With almost 20 years in the interactive and emerging markets space, Justin’s career spans international business development, sales, licensing, customer support, digital distribution and mobile gaming for video game publishers, developers and technology companies.
Justin is currently Vice President of Business Development & Strategic Relations for 505 Games where he is responsible for fostering relationships with developers and key platform holders in addition to finding ancillary revenue opportunities. He was formerly President Theseus Games, Inc., a digital entertainment consulting company specializing in strategic relationship acquisition and management. Justin has served as Vice President Business Development for EmSense Corporation, a quantitative biosensory metrics analysis company, and as Senior Manager Business Development & Latin America at Activision-Blizzard, a leading video game developer and publisher. Justin holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Santa Cruz where he was also music director for the college radio station and an on-air DJ.
Luke Lam is VP Business Development of PlayJam which has built and operates a built-for TV games platform that has served over 6 billion sessions across Pay and Smart TV devices worldwide.
Luke is a key member of a team which recently completed a highly successful Kickstarter campaign to fund the production of its own dedicated games console – Gamestick. The campaign went on to close at 650% of the original target and is due to ship in April this year.
Before joining PlayJam, Luke held various leadership positions driving market-adoption of web and mobile solutions in global markets at a number of start-ups and Nortel.
Bill created “The Way It’s Meant to be Played”, “NVISION” Magazine, “NVISION” Digital, and “TegraZone” developer and consumer awareness programs that evangelized the use of NVIDIA technologies and helps consumers find the best games for PC and Mobile.
He managed the Developer Relationship program from 2001 until 2006.
Drove business development with Epic Games to create the first “Make Something Unreal” contest to motivate independent game developers to use advanced features of Unreal Engine on GeForce graphics cards.
Casey has been designing games since he was a child, using paper and pens, cardboard and whatever he could get his hands on. After graduating from the Academy of Art, with a degree in 3D Modeling for games, he entered the industry working as a designer for Activision. Since then, Casey has worked on games in the “Tony Hawk”, “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider”, “Drawn to Life”, “X-men” and “Disney’s: Tangled” franchises.
Casey has a backlog of crazy and innovative game ideas he would like to develop and release for the gamers out there that have been waiting for something a bit different.
Sumit has 15 years of product and business experience in social gaming, analytics and web startups. Previous to Bash Gaming, he was VP Strategy and Business Development at Monetize Media, founding team member at Business Signatures acquired by Entrust, an early employee at Escalate and Oracle CRM division.
Gerard Cunningham is a global leader in eGaming and mobile, freemium, social games.
As founder of Betfair USA, Gerard ran the largest, legal, real money eGaming business in USA.
Gerard is now Founder and CEO of Koolbit, building the largest Mobile Casino Network in the world. Koolbit operates one of largest mobile casino networks, with mobile freemium casinos globally, and real money casinos in UK.
Gerard is a Scot, who lived and worked all over Europe and Asia, on the cutting edge of technology and marketing, before making Silicon Valley his home. He has been involved in a number of successful startups and large companies including, Procter & Gamble, Gap, Lands End, DemandTec (DMAN), Trigo (acqd IBM), Evant (acqd MANH), Kabam.
YuChiang Cheng is an entrepreneur who builds businesses around exceptional content. He Co-founded WGT (World Golf Tour) in 2006 where he serves as CEO and is also an active angel investor mentoring startups in Silicon Valley (Openbucks, Viddy, BingoBash, Battle Bears, etc…).
WGT is home to the most engaged online sports fans and is the largest golf website in the world. World Golf Tour is the #1 online golf game and with its proprietary 3D HD technology has raised the bar for bringing console quality games to web browsers.
WGT is one of the first sports games to pioneer the virtual item transaction model merged with an in-game advertising platform. In 2012, WGT launched WGT Baseball: MLB on Facebook, in partnership with Major League Baseball. WGT has also partnered with the USGA, R&A, ESPN, NBC Sports, Nike, Ketel One, Lexus, RBS, Taylormade and top brand sponsors. Prior to WGT, YuChiang served on the executive team at WagerWorks as the vice president of corporate development and product marketing, launching Virgin Games, World Poker Tour, Hard Rock Casino, Paddy Power, MGM Mirage and over 80 Flash based slot, poker and table games for cash . WagerWorks was acquired by IGT.
James created and is the leader of the firm’s Social Media, Entertainment and Technology team, leader of the Virtual Worlds and Video Games team and co-leader of the Open Source team. He leverages his unique combination of over 25 years of IP experience, business insights and attention to technology trends to help companies develop IP and other legal strategies that are aligned with their business objectives. His practice focuses on all aspects of intellectual property, internet and technology law, including patent, trademark, copyright, trade secret and open source. His areas of technical focus include computer software, social media, video games, social networks, virtual worlds, mirror worlds, augmented reality, user-generated content, location-based services, business methods, Internet and e-commerce technology, media, financial services, optics, and wired and wireless telecommunications.
He has extensive experience advising internet and social media companies on business and legal strategies relating to virtual goods and virtual currency, handling terms of service and end user license agreements, (e.g. for online games, video games, virtual worlds and mirror worlds), developing DMCA policies, handling DMCA enforcement, privacy and COPPA policies and much more.
James is frequently invited to speak at leading business and legal conferences in the U.S. and internationally. He is a regular contributor to VirtualWorldLaw.com, Pillsbury’s blog that addresses business and legal issues that affect social media applications, technologies and business models. He has also appeared as a featured guest on Bloomberg television and the Fox Business Network, and has been quoted in popular internet news sites, such as CNN.com.
Ian McGee was the co-founder and Software VP of Expresso Fitness, he drew on his long experience in console, PC and online casual games to bring a rich virtual world experience to high-end commercial stationary bikes. Ghost rides, achievements, asynchronous play and later Facebook/Twitter integration provided much-needed motivation to people trapped in the typical 80′s-tech gym. Ian helped Expresso raise $40m in venture capital over 7 years.
Previously Ian worked at multiple startups. He started & ran Malibu Interactive UK developing original and licensed IP on console. Next he joined Sony internal development for the launch of the original Sony Playstation in 1995. At AndNow in Half Moon Bay he used development talent from Moscow Russia and Budapest Hungary to develop original console & PC titles. Also at AndNow he helped create the online casual game SmallBall in 2001.
Ian advises startups and consults at the intersection of games, fitness and social as well as managing external production teams.
As an entrepreneur and veteran game creator, Randy has built a career working at startups or companies pivoting for emerging technologies with new business models. A champion of change, innovation and creative problem solving, Randy approaches each new challenge with his polymath skills in game design, software engineering, production, studio management, consumer behavior, player psychology and brand building.
With credits on over 60 games, Randy has worked on almost every platform and genre of games (including table-top). As president and co-founder of Pronto Games, a 3rd party game developer, he helped bootstrap the studio from 4 people to 45 people over 8 years earning millions in revenue and generating hundreds of millions for the clients.
His ‘order and chaos’ style creates a mixture of enthusiasm, invention and ‘get it done’ discipline. His PM methodologies allow small, motivated, teams to be much more productive and truly agile compared to larger teams. His systematic and iterative approach to game design ensures fewer project risks and staying focused on player satisfying features with a production roadmap that adapts easily to changing business needs.
Since 2008 Randy has put his sights on the rapidly growing mobile and emerging smart-device app market helping to develop free-to-play mobile social games for companies like SGN, FunMobility and iWin. Randy thrives in this new frontier as it requires the unique blending of social analysis, business acumen and game design to run successful games as a service.
As a strong believer in sharing what he has learned and mentoring others, he enjoys working with passionate and creative teams at all stages of development or business expertise. He advises several early stage mobile social game studios on both product development and business issues. As Randy says, “Do Good, Annoy Evil!”
Randy mentors YetiZen startups on game design, studio and production management.
Jordan has been writing, producing, and designing games for over a decade on franchises such as CSI:, FrontierVille, and Delta Force: Black Hawk Down. He’s a social game design expert, an accomplished producer, and an instructor of Game Design at the Bay Area Video Coalition. His work for Zynga, Novalogic, & Ubisoft has generated several hundred million hours of engagement. Oh, and several hundred million dollars.
He currently serves as a consulting designer for leading organizations inside and outside the game industry.
Atul is an independent consultant helping companies on strategy within social media, mobile and video games sectors. Until recently, he was the Senior Equity Research Analyst covering Internet and Video Games industries at Lazard Capital Markets. Previously, Atul was the Senior Equity Research Analyst covering Social Media and Video Games industry at ThinkEquity. Atul has authored multiple research notes including a couple white-papers on Games-as-a-Service. He has been regularly presenting at industry conferences in the US as well as international such as Game Developer Conference, LOGIN, Inside Social Apps, Social Games Summit, Virtual Goods Summit, ChinaJoy and others. He has also been regularly interviewed on TV and print media such as Economist, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Time, Forbes, Bloomberg, Washington Post. Prior to ThinkEquity, Atul worked as Equity Research Analyst with Smith New Court (now Merrill Lynch.) Atul received his MBA from Haas School of Business at University of Berkeley, Masters in Management from University of Bombay and Bachelors in Engineering from National Institute of Technology in India.
Mark was Vice President at Visa Corporation and lead Payments and Platform Product management team there. Mark joined Visa as part of its $190M acquisition of Playspan in March 2011. Mark joined PlaySpan after co-founding Spare Change – the first and largest micropayments solution on social networks (acquired by PlaySpan in April 2009). Mark has over 15 years experience in product management and consumer financial services including PayPal, E*TRADE, Yodlee and HedgeStreet. Mark is also a mentor of the YetiZen Accelerator Program. He advises a number of startups especially in consumer experience, analytics and M&A.
Sash grew up in Sydney where he ran a small flash games company out of his room during college. He moved to the valley to work at Zynga, where he became Mark Pincus’ technical assistant. Now, he’s making games again as a cofounder at MinoMonsters, an iOS games startup.
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.
Chris has over 8 years of experience as an investor, entrepreneur, operational executive and investment banker within the technology space. Prior to Blumberg, Chris worked at Menlo Ventures where he pursued investment opportunities in mobile, internet, gaming, software, and e-commerce. Before joining Menlo Ventures, Chris served as the Director of Corporate Development & Analytics at PlayPhone. In this role he was responsible for M&A sourcing and execution, strategic partnerships, and improving operational metrics. Chris also worked as an investment banking analyst in the TMT group at Cowen and Company where he completed a number of M&A and equity transactions in the digital media and communications equipment sectors. Chris began his career at Intel as an operations financial analyst within the Flash Products Division. In addition, Chris has consulted for several technology startups including Gilt Groupe and ngmoco.
Chris earned a B.A. with a double major in Economics and Political Science from the University of California, Davis and an MBA from IESE Business School in Barcelona. Chris was selected as a Kauffman Finalist in 2012.
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 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.
Will Harbin is the Chairman & CEO of KIXEYE a hard core social gaming company that is the makers of popular successes like Backyard Monsters, Battle Pirates, and Desktop Defender. With KIXEYE since early 2010, he recently led it to a successful $18 Million seed round.
Prior to Casual Collective, he co-founded Affinity Labs, a company focused on building a global network of online communities. Post acquisition by Monster Worldwide (NYSE:MWW), he served as General Manager and led all operations for Affinity Labs and Monster’s Education properties.
Previously, he was part of the team responsible for restarting Netscape Communications Corp. where he led product management for the Netscape Browser and was responsible for various patents in security and usability. Before Netscape, he co-founded MD Drinks, Inc and Media1st as well as held positions at Yahoo, Internet Security Systems, Radiant Systems and was the Entrepreneur in Residence with Trinity Ventures.
Emily co-founded Kongregate in 2006 with brother Jim and as COO oversees most day-to-day operations including product development, marketing, community, and monetization. Prior to Kongregate, Emily worked in marketing/e-commerce for various catalogers & retailers building statistical and financial models predicting customer behavior as well as doing product analysis, customer research, strategic planning and website development.
Jason got his first high score on a NES when he was still 3 ft. tall. Learned how to code in QBASIC while in middle school. Worked in the console games industry for a few years, notably at DoubleFine. Launched the first social game on the App Store, which turned into OpenFeint. Coded the first version himself. Grew the company as CEO to 100 employees, 7,000 games and 120,000,000 users. Sold it for a lot of zeroes after three years to GREE. Now he’s working on a new games company called Phoenix Guild. It’s a small startup with a big vision: to be the Blizzard of the post-pc era.
It’s hard to have a serious conversation about gaming without mention of Steve. It’s also hard to have a humorous conversation about gaming without mention of him. Steve’s contributions to the industry began in 1981 at the legendary adventure game company Infocom, where his titles included Planetfall, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (a collaboration with Douglas Adams), Leather Goddesses of Phobos and Zork Zero. Prior to joining Playdom, Steve co-founded Boffo Games and held senior creative posts at Blue Fang Games, Floodgate Entertainment and WorldWinner.com. Over his prolific career, Steve also consulted with teams at Activision, Blizzard, Disney, EA, Harmonix, Hasbro and Legend, to name a few. A former board member of IGDA, Steve is co-organizer of the Social and Online Games Summit at the GDC as well as the annual Game Designers Workshop. Steve holds a BS in construction project management from MIT, but otherwise assures us that he did not waste his four years there.
If you’ve played casual games on the Internet this century, odds are decent that you’ve played a game that Dave Rohrl touched. After beginning his career in edutainment, Dave moved to Pogo in 2000 where he created many of Pogo’s best-loved franchises, including Word Whomp and Tumble Bees. He also co-founded Pogo To Go, Pogo’s downloadable game service. Dave was the founder and GM of PopCap’s original San Francisco studio which created Plants vs. Zombies. Since 2000, Dave has been working in gaming at Zynga, Playdom, PopCap, and Pogo, where he has worked on popular titles like Zynga Poker, Scramble, Wild Ones, Mobsters 2, and Sorority Life. Dave now serves as VP of Game Production at Goko, where he oversees design and development on the company’s premier game titles. Dave lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his two children and approximately 500 board games.
David Helgason, an entrepreneur, visionary and ex-programmer, has served as the CEO of Unity Technologies since co-founding it in 2003. The vision is to democratize game development and develop technology for the next generation of the industry.
Unity Technologies is revolutionizing the game industry with Unity, its award-winning breakthrough development platform. Unity Technologies has more than 450,000 registered users worldwide — including Bigpoint, Cartoon Network, Coca-Cola, Disney, Electronic Arts, LEGO, Microsoft, NASA, Nickelodeon, Ubisoft, Warner Bros., large and small studios, indies, students and hobbyists — all using Unity to create games and interactive 3D on the web, mobile, consoles and beyond. Unity Technologies is aggressively innovating to expand usability, power and platform reach along with its Asset Store digital content marketplace and Union distribution service.
David founded and participated in startups in fields such as news and community integration, music distribution and consulting. He serves on the boards of several games and technology startups.
Founder of YouWeb: a rapidly growing “Entrepreneur in Residence” program for exceptional technical founders. A wide range of innovative products and technologies are in the works in consumer and mobile internet services sectors. In the last two years, three social gaming companies were incubated at YouWeb.
Peter has spent the last 25 years in Silicon Valley in the networking, software, consumer and mobile services industry, both as product development executive at Oracle and Hewlett Packard and as a serial entrepreneur. Peter is also an active angel investor in, and board member and advisor to, a number of early stage companies.
Rizwan Virk (aka “Riz”) possesses extensive experience as an entrepreneur, technologist, author, angel investor, and indie film producer. His areas of experience include social and mobile games, online publishing and advertising, venture capital, with a particular focus on innovative, early stage organizations.
Riz is currently CEO of Gameview Studios, which he cofounded. Gameview’s mobile games have been used by over 30 million iphone and android smartphone users. Gameview was acquired by the leading Japanese mobile/social game company DeNA. In addition, Riz has been an angel investor in many gaming and social/mobile companies, including Offerpal Media, Tapjoy, Apsalar, Pocket Gems, Telltale games, Funzio, Assured Labor, and others.
Prior to Gameview, Riz was a cofounder of a number of technology companies, including CambridgeDocs (sold to EMC), Service Metrics (sold to Exodus) and Brainstorm Technologies.
Riz frequently writes and lectures on mobile, social, gaming technologies, and entrepreneurship. Riz has also been a executive producer in a number of independent family and fantasy/sci-fi films. He has been featured in in periodicals ranging from the Boston Globe , Inc. Magazine, and the Wall Street Journal. Riz is also the author of Zen Entrepreneurship. Visit his blog at www.zenentrepreneur.com/blog
Joe Dunn is Co-Founder and CEO of e23 Games, a San Francisco-based startup concentrating on Geo-Located, Social Augmented Reality Games. Joe has a deep background in digital media tools for artists, professionals and end consumers, and was a key member of the team that built Macromedia into a successful public company. Joe co-founded e23 Games to pursue his fascination with mixed-world entertainment – building on the experience of successful social games by combining objects in the real world with social gaming rules and Augmented Reality to produce personal, connected casual fun for the mobile consumer.
Josh Rose is Co-Founder and CEO of Flying Wisdom Studios. Flying Wisdom Studios is Josh’s fourth startup company; his most recent project is Lamplighter Studios, Inc. where he has built a worldwide team of 80 artists for outsourcing services generating $1.2 million in sales in 2008 before being sold to Broadcaster.com in 2008. With over seventeen years in the interactive entertainment industry, Josh is equal parts CEO, producer, game designer, and professor. At Lamplighter Studios Josh managed sales and management for projects such as Upper Deck, BioShock, Aurora Feint and numerous Zynga projects. His formative years in the industry began in 1993 at Crystal Dynamics amongst some of the industry’s most respected veterans, and he has also spent time at a few other reputable studios such as 3DO and Stormfront. His shipped games include: Solar Eclipse, Blood Omen The Legacy of Kain, Gex 2, Akuji the Heartless, Greed, and Forgotten Realms: Demon Stone.
Damon Grow is CEO and Co-Founder of CrowdMob Inc., a mobile social startup that builds geolocation games for the masses. Damon has been a top serial entrepreneur and game designer for social games. He previously founded Shattered Reality Interactive (now Rocket Ninja), a venture funded social gaming company that was a 2008 TechCrunch 50 finalist. He formerly served as Creative Director of Lolapps where he built their X-Wars games, Yakuza Lords, Diva Life and Band of Heroes. Prior to Lolapps, Damon was Co-Founder and Head of Games at ROFLplay, which was acquired by Lolapps. A lifelong gamer, Damon has designed games for multiple platforms and genres, from immediate social experiences to large-scale massively multiplayer online games. His depth of knowledge in gaming and ability to spot emerging market trends within the social gaming space has earned him a top spot as one of the most respected social game designers.
Tracy Espeleta is currently a lead producer at Booyah where she’s worked on MyTown, Nightclub City, and most recently DJ Rivals. Previously, she worked as a producer at Electronic Arts, working on titles such as Dante’s Inferno and Dead Space.
Blake Commagere is the CEO of a new stealth company. Blake pioneered the social gaming category on social networks by creating some of the biggest apps ever on Facebook including Zombies, Vampires and many other games. Blake was also a key member of the team that created “Facebook Causes” which has raised over $15 million for non-profits on Facebook. Blake was also co-founder and CTO at Ohai - a company creating a Flash MMORPG. Before that, he was a co-founder at Mogad, focusing on fundraising for non-profits on MySpace. He sits on the Advisory Board of several companies in the Bay Area and Austin. Blake is obsessed with human behavior and is currently working on something that is, in his words, “going to be really f—ing fun.”
Curt Bererton is the CEO and cofounder of ZipZapPlay. Curt is very familiar with the acquisition procces, as his company ZipZapPlay was acquired by PopCap, which in turn was acquired by EA only a few months afterwards. Curt earned his PhD in Robotics from the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. Prior to co-founding ZipZapPlay, he gained three years of game industry startup experience at AILive, an artificial intelligence middleware company, developing innovative machine learning tools. Curt’s passion is creating something from nothing. Whether it is developing innovative products from concept to release, researching new algorithms and ideas in academia, or starting organizations, Curt is all about creating products with real-world value.
A veteran flash developer, entrepreneur and consultant, and is half the team behind the iPhone sensation Pocket God. Castelnuovo founded Bolt Creative in 2001 as a flash development company and game studio, and helped to lead the indie charge onto the iPhone in 2008 and 2009. Castelnuovo has worked with a variety of internet technology companies throughout his career, as well as leading game publishers such as Electronic Arts.
A Slovenian entrepreneur active in the field of social media and advertising. He helped found RSG, the first VC found in Slovenia and is an advisor to many start ups and an angel investor. In 2009, the World Economic Forum named him a Young Global Leader, an honor bestowed each year to recognize outstanding young leaders from around the world for their professional accomplishments, commitment to society and potential to contribute to shaping the future of the world.
A Venture Partner at SoftTech VC and the CEO & Co-founder of Bionic Panda Games, a mobile games company based in San Francisco, CA.
Until February 2010, he was the VP of Business Development for Serious Business, a leading producer of social games for the social web. Zynga acquired Serious Business in February of 2010. In addition to working at Serious Business, he also produces technology conferences focused on the intersection of gaming and social media. The two flagship conferences he produces are the Virtual Goods Summit and the Social Gaming Summit.
Simon Jeffery is the Chief Publishing Officer at ngmoco:) and supervises the Mobage Third Party program. Simon has been in the videogame business for 25 years, having been President of Sega of America and President of LucasArts prior to joining ngmoco:) in 2009, also having worked in various Marketing, Biz Dev, and PD positions at Virgin Interactive and EA.
16-years game veteran Barry Dorf currently holds the position of Director of 3rd Party Product Development for the Mobage platform. Earlier in his tenure at ngmoco:), Barry produced the critically-acclaimed Adventure Bay social mobile game and ran development for the Mobage Developer portal.
Previously in his career, Barry co-founded social gaming network GameStrata after spending 12 years at Electronic Arts working on the Madden franchise and the Pogo platform.
When not delighting 3rd party developers, Barry enjoys winemaking on Treasure Island and finely tuning the Sabermetrics of his keeper fantasy baseball team, currently in its 20th season.
Perry Tam is the CEO and co-founder of Storm8, the leading social game developer on iPhone and Android with over 210 million downloads across 58 million devices. Having never taken funding, Storm8 is also the parent company of the TeamLava studio. Every title released by Storm8 and TeamLava has reached the Top 10 Free Apps in the Apple App Store. Prior to founding Storm8, Perry worked as an engineer at Facebook, where he led the payments team and architected Facebook Credits. The author of four patents, Perry received his undergraduate degree from Cornell University.
Kabam is an interactive entertainment company that creates free-to-play games for social networks and other platforms.
Since January 2010, Kabam has grown from 25 people in one cramped office to a rapidly growing 400-plus person global, multi-platform game company and a leading innovator in the world of free-to-play social games and virtual goods.
Harry Liu is currently heading 3 games at Kabam, generating multiple million dollar revenue per month through virtual currency.
- The Godfather: Five Families
- Final Eden
Before joining Kabam, Harry Liu developed and grew online dating site SpeedDate.com from scratch to over 10 Million registered members and dozen million dollar revenue. He was founding engineer at SpeedDate.
Two other start ups Harry Liu worked at previously, were both acquired by public companies with great term.
Jon-Paul has been a designer, product manager and Director of Game Design in his three years at Zynga leading games like Mafia Wars. He later moved over to work on mobile titles. He was one of the early creative directors on Zynga mobile, working on games like CityVille Hometown, and Zynga Poker mobile, among others.
Before Zynga, he was a game designer at EA on the Godfather 2, Lord of the Rings and other titles.
Tom Hess is a Producer at ngmoco:) and oversees the creation of free-to-play mobile games from inception through live management. Before moving into mobile games Tom was a Producer at Electronic Arts where he led teams on production of both single player and multiplayer cross platform titles. Before working as a Producer, Tom worked as a Game Design lead for both Electronic Arts and Activision. Tom has worked on such well-known AAA franchises as Medal of Honor and Gun as well as Eliminate:Gun Range and Skyfall mobile games. An East Coast transplant, Tom holds a degree in Computer Science from Rutgers University, leaving his home state of New Jersey immediately following graduation in search of the more cerebral California lifestyle. In his free time, Tom can be found surfing and mountain biking and generally enjoying the San Francisco Bay Area he currently calls home.
Raymond is Creative Director at MunkyFun, the console quality social mobile developer behind My Horse, and Archetype. Raymond has been a producer and lead game designer on numerous projects for more than 15 years, with diversity that includes among others; Barbie Team Gymnastics, Tetris Dreamcast, BloodRayne2, Aeon Flux, Sopranos and Alpha Protocol. A few years ago, Raymond’s career migrated from traditional games, to Facebook games when he joined Zynga. There he designed successful features for Mafia Wars, and was the designer of FarmVille. Leaving a few months after the launch of FarmVille, he has made a trip through a few of the major social game companies, working at Playdom and Playfirst. When not making games, Raymond is busy playing them with friends and family.
RJ Mical, at age 14, invented a tic-tac-toe game computer made of relays, flashlight bulbs and D batteries. It’s a funny story; ask him sometime. RJ’s professional career started with arcade development at Williams Electronics and led to his role in the creation of the Amiga Computer. He was co-inventor of the Atari Lynx handheld game system and the 3DO entertainment console, and he was responsible for software engineering at Red Jade for Ericsson. Most recently RJ has been Chief Architect for the Fathammer mobile game engine, VP of Technology for GlobalVR, and he worked on top-secret technology for Sony. Currently RJ is developing mobile games and writing books. He has developed more than 15 video games, has 10 patents, designed 4 hardware platforms, architected 3 operating systems, has too many hobbies and is one swell guy!