Lead Experience Designer
Social Gaming Network
Jessica Abroms is the Lead Experience Designer at Social Gaming Network (SGN), a leading multiplatform game developer and distributor. Prior to SGN, she founded teatime media and created the hit mobile game M.A.S.H. (mansion, apartment, shack, house). Jessica began her career in animation at Pixar Animation Studios as a technical director on "The Incredibles", "Finding Nemo", and "Up". She transitioned to the gaming world as the lead user experience designer at Activision/Neversoft on the Guitar Hero series. Jessica received a B.A from Duke University in computer science and a M.S. in Human-Computer Interaction from Carnegie Mellon University.
Jay Baage, VP of Content, Digital Media Wire
Event Director, LA Games Conference
Jay Baage, both a "suit" and a creative, is a Sweden-born media professional, focused on shepherding media and brand properties from an analog to a digital world. Jay plays a key role at Digital Media Wire (DMW), a leading provider of news, financial information and conferences for media professionals. He keeps tabs of the most innovative companies and manages many of DMW’s most significant advertising and sponsorship relationships across its events and publishing properties. His clients range from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups and cover such industries as games, music, film, television, publishing, mobile and internet commerce. He has furthermore transformed the company’s approach to marketing by audience and community development through social media. He has during his career established high-profile strategic partnerships with other leading industry organizations such as PGA, SAG, GDA, CTIA, E3 and Canadian Music Week and connected senior executives in the media and entertainment industries, leading to high level deals.
Executive Director, IGDA
Gordon has served as the Executive Director of the International Game
Developers Association since November 2010.
He has spent the past seventeen years producing and marketing
interactive content. He also develops strategic business partnerships
with video game publishers, social media developers and technology
As an executive consultant for MTV, Bellamy provided creative guidance
on the content, direction and strategic marketing partnerships for the
annual Spike TV Video Game Awards show and the highly rated weekly
program GameTrailers TV with Geoff Keighley, also on Spike TV.
Previously, he was Executive Director of the game industry's trade
organization, the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences. Bellamy
has also played key business and product development roles at
Electronic Arts, where he was named the company's Rookie of the Year
for his work on the best-selling Madden Football franchise, THQ, and
Activision subsidiary, Z-AXIS.
Gordon previously served as Chair of the Board of the International Game
Developers Association and serves as a judge for the Promax/BDA MI6
Awards, which celebrate the best in marketing, advertising and design
within interactive and game entertainment.
He earned a BA degree from Harvard College in engineering, where he
was also a John Harvard scholar and an AT&T/Bell Labs Engineering
scholar. Gordon resides in Los Angeles, California and can be reached
Nick Bhardwaj is the VP of Monetization and User Acquisition at
NaturalMotion. NaturalMotion is a leading game technology and
development company based in Oxford and San Francisco that is
developing highly differentiated next-gen console and iPhone games.
Bringing extensive experience from the advertising industry, Nick
served as a Business Development Executive for W3i, a mobile
advertising network. He has worked directly with top gaming studios to
develop user acquisition strategies and new revenue models while
providing insight on mobile game development, mechanics and
heuristics. Nick is also an advisor and angel investor to mobile
gaming and tech startups in the Silicon Valley.
Paul Bricault is a Venture Partner at Greycroft Partners in the firm’s West Coast Office.
He is also an active angel investor and advisor in start-ups such as Beach Mint (LA), Burstly (LA), ContextLogic (SF), Gamesalad (Austin), Needly (LA), Mtime (China), Pose (LA) and Wide Orbit (SF).
Previously, Paul was the founder of The Mailroom Fund (MRF) - a venture fund in partnership with Accel Partners, Venrock and AT&T that focused on early stage investments in Southern California-based digital media firms.
He founded MRF during his 16 year tenure at the William Morris Agency (WMA) where he served as Executive Vice President and member of the Board of Directors as well as the head of both the Global Marketing Practice and the Digital Media Group.
Prior to WMA, Paul worked at Paul Kagan Associates where he ran the Los Angeles office for the Carmel-based media valuation and consulting firm and was responsible for covering the worldwide film, television and new media industries from 1989-1994.
Paul is an Adjunct Professor at the Graduate School of Cinema-Television at the University of Southern California where he has taught a course for the last 17 years on the Impact of Technology on Media.
He has an M.A. in Communications Management from the Annenberg School of Communication at USC and a combined Honors B.A. in English Literature and International Relations from the University of Western Ontario in Canada.
Read more: Paul Bricault | Greycroft Partners LLC http://www.greycroftpartners.com/author/paulbricault/#ixzz1pDITixRA
Greycroft Partners Greycroft Partners
Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
Stuart’s practice focuses on mergers and acquisitions and other complex business transactions for public and privately held entities including many of the region’s leading companies. Stuart also routinely advises founders of emerging technology and high growth companies and their investors with respect to entity formation, founder equity issuances, venture capital financings, strategic alliances, and liquidity transactions. Many of Stuart’s emerging company clients are in the Internet, software, wireless, and online game industries. Stuart also works with the firm’s bankruptcy group and has extensive experience managing recapitalization, restructuring and distressed sale and acquisition transactions.
Chief Revenue Officer
Anton brings to Apsalar over 15 years of experience in the software, Internet and mobile sectors spanning product strategy, sales, business development, marketing and operations. As a founding member of Mint.com’s executive team, he helped the service become the world’s leading personal financial management web service until its acquisition by Intuit. As Director, Revenue & Business Development at Intuit’s Consumer Group, Anton drove strategies to build Mint to obtain millions of additional users while increasing revenue per user.
Prior to Mint, Anton was VP of Business Development at Right Hemisphere, (acquired by SAP AG), the leader in visual enterprise solutions, and Director of Business Development at Spotlife.com, (acquired by Logitech in 2002), a pioneer in Web consumer video broadcasting. He began his career as an attorney working in London and Paris, and then in Palo Alto, California at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. He holds law degrees from the University of Auckland, New Zealand, and the University of Montpellier, France.
VP of Publishing, Americas
Baudouin Corman is the Vice President of Publishing for the Americas at Gameloft, a leading global publisher of digital and social games. In this role, Baudouin is responsible for spearheading the company’s publishing efforts in North America and Latin America.
Prior to his current position, Baudouin was Director of Sales for Gameloft’s Latin American division where he developed the distribution networks and local operations into a large scale business, making Gameloft the number one mobile games publisher in this region.
Baudouin received his MBA in marketing at the ESSEC Business School in Europe. He currently resides in San Francisco, CA.
Leo is an illustrator currently earning his BFA at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. He grew up in
North Carolina, and has always been a gamer. He hopes to start a small studio and produce unique mobile games.
VP of Brand Sales
Chris is a Digital Media Executive who has built large sales organizations and specializes in integrated advertising campaigns focusing on brand engagement. He has worked with many of the world’s most successful brands across numerous verticals, including entertainment, gaming, retail, and consumer packaged goods. Most recently, he ran global sales for Gaia Online, a leading online community targeting teens and young adults. Prior to that, Chris ran global sales for Neopets, a popular virtual world/social network acquired by Viacom (MTV Digital) in June 2005. He has spoken at numerous industry events targeting digital media and social gaming, as well as being quoted in numerous trade publications on the subject of brand engagement and Immersive Advertising. Chris earned a BS from Michigan State University.
DeBevoise, Chairman and CEO
Allen DeBevoise is the Chairman and Chief
Executive Officer of Machinima Inc, and its operating site Machinima.com, a
premier entertainment network for gamers. With more than 25 years of experience
in the entertainment and interactive multimedia industries, DeBevoise oversees
the company’s programming, marketing and sales. Since taking the reins the
company has grown three-fold and is now boasts over 100 Million views per month.
Additionally, he has recently closed a $3.5 Million venture capital deal for
Machinima.com bringing the total funds DeBevoise has raised during his 25 year
industry tenure to over $130 Million for a variety of business ventures
including dotTV, LowerMyBills.com and Dealer.com, where he was on the Board of
Directors. Prior to joining Machinima, DeBevoise co-founded Creative Planet, an
online resource for film and television production professionals, after serving
as President and CEO of TCI Interactive. Allen was featured on The Hollywood
Reporter’s DIGITAL POWER LIST for 2009 and has just been recognized as one of
Digital Media Wire’s “25 Executives to Watch” for 2010. The company has fast
become a revolutionary social media marketing tool due to its highly engaged and
interactive community, delivering high CTR and ROI to the brands, studios,
networks and retailers who advertise with them.
Rob DeMillo is the CTO of Revision3, where he runs engineering and R&D, represents the company to internet video partners, ad agencies, and generally setting the pace/direction of Revision3 technology. DeMillo came to Revision3 after being a technical advisor to the company while he was CTO at 4INFO. At 4INFO, DeMillo oversaw the strategic direction of company technology, research and development, and product development.
Before 4INFO, DeMillo was the Chief Technology Officer / co-Founder of Transpera, Inc. in San Francisco, California, where he was responsible for the technology and operational aspects of the company and serves as the technical liaison to mobile operators, video content providers and ad agencies globally.
Prior to Transpera, DeMillo was the Chief Technical Officer for Third Screen Media, where he drove the research, specification, development and technical operations of the companyâ€™s MADX platform. DeMillo also served as Vice President of Mobile Technology at VeriSign, following the acquisition by Verisign of m-Qube where DeMillo was Senior Vice President of Engineering.
DeMillo was also founder and CEO/CTO of MediaRush, an early market leader for media distribution within the home, and held technology leadership positions at ATG, a personalization and eCommerce leader, and SynaPix, a computer graphics and video effects company.
Before he became a serial entrepreneur, DeMillo was a research scientist/engineer at Lincoln Laboratories, and Jet Propulsion Laboratories before that, applying technology to study and understand topics as diverse as planetary cratering and effects of microbursts on aircraft.
Flint Dille, Writer
Flint Dille is a living embodiment of Transmedia. His career started by turning toys into TV Shows with G1 Transformers (and Movie) all the way to writing the 2007 movie game and the Digital Comic ‘Autocracy’ with Chris Metzen currently being released, G.I. Joe, Inhumanoids and Visionaries. He has designed games with Gary Gygax and written movies for Steven Spielberg. Flint has sold game design documents as feature films twice(Venom: Dimension 2006) and Agent In Place (Lionsgate 2010). He created the ‘Comics Module’ for TSR, a comic book that contained both roleplaying and tabletop gaming content way before Transmedia (soon to be re-published by Cryptozoic). His Agent 13 novels, are in feature film development. Flint directed the Interactive Movie Terror T.R.A.X., Track of the Vampyre which became a television pilot for Fox as well as Dragonstrike, one of the first hybrid film projects.
Currently, Flint’s graphic novel for Diablo III, The Book of Cain is charting on Amazon, and his digital Transformers Comic, Autocracy is a best-selling digital only comic which, at the time of this writing holds four of the top 25 slots for digital comic downloads (only four issues are out right now).
Flint has, himself, become a Transmedia character. Old friend Frank Miller immortalized him as Dillios (Spartan-ization of Dille), the narrator in 300. Gary Gygax made him a Barbarian named ‘Chert’ (in geology a low grade of flint). And nobody knows whether Flint from G.I. Joe was named for Flint, but Mr. Dille certainly elevated the Warrant Officer’s career.
Deemed by the Writer’s Guild of America, the most published Game Writer in the World, Flint has twice won 'Game Script of the Year' (Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay (with JZP) and Dead to Rights and was nominated for Ghostbusters and Dark Athena. He has multiple platinum titles and has worked on crown jewel franchises including James Bond, Mission: Impossible, Tiny Toons, Batman: Rise of Sin Tsu (Guiness Book of Videogame Records for creating the first Batman villain outside of the comics) and also adapted as a novel, Superman, Dungeons & Dragons, Teen Titans and Scooby-Doo.
He has a degree in Ancient History from U.C. Berkeley and an MFA from USC. Currently, Flint is teaching a class on Alternate Reality Games at UCLA. His follow up book to The Ultimate Guide to Video Game Writing and Design is about Transmedia.
Director, Global Publisher/Developer Relations
Chris is responsible for Publisher and Developer Relations at Onlive, Inc., the world’s first cloud gaming service. Prior to Onlive, Chris was President of the SparkWorkz online division at inXile entertainment. Chris was also with Live Gamer, Inc. as SVP of Sales & Marketing and at Microsoft as Director of Games for Windows, where he helped define and build the Games for Windows program and define the gaming strategy for Windows. Chris previously ran developer relations for Nvidia and ATI and was Executive Producer at The ImagiNation Network and Sierra Online.
Stuart Drexler is a kids product developer and innovator with over 20
years’ experience creating interactive content, games and toys for
global brands including Club Penguin, Moshi Monsters, Barbie, Elmo and
LEGO. Among his current portfolio of initiatives, he is advising on
strategy, user experience and design of the Tykoon financial
management platform for tweens. Tapping bothonline and mobile
platforms, Tykoon enhances and incentivizes the way kids and their
parents manage chores, allowance, saving, spending and charitable
In previous roles, Stuart has been VP, Product Design & Production at
Disney Online Studios, where he oversaw product development across all
of Disney’s virtual worlds. There he guided teams to innovate
Disney’s next generation gaming platform as well as a
ground-breaking system that embeds, measures and reports back learning
in online and mobile games. During 10 years in London, Stuart led the
development team at VC-backed Mind Candy to create and launch Moshi
Monsters, currently the fastest-growing MMO for tweens with over 60
million registered users. His initiatives while EVP, Brand Development
for Polly Pocket strategically positioned Polly as the world’s
number one small doll and facilitated its sale to Mattel in early
2007. He previously directed product development for LEGO MindStorms
programmable robotics toys and originated the LEGO Knights Kingdom
franchise, lauded 2005 Toy Of The Year for boys.
Director, Digital Distribution
Jon Estanislao is the Director of Digital Distribution at Activision
Publishing, where he manages the worldwide digital distribution of
games and content to console, PC, mobile and other connected devices.
Since joining in 2002, he established most of the company's key
digital relationships, led business development and licensing deals
for feature phone mobile games, and launched several smartphone games.
Prior to joining Activision, Jon worked with Accenture's media and
entertainment strategy practice servicing several video game and
communications clients. Jon received his M.B.A. degree from the UCLA
Anderson School of Management and his B.S. degree in Business
Administration from Georgetown University.
Leader in Exile
Brian Fargo has been in the software publishing industry since 1983 where he founded Interplay Entertainment Corp. While at Interplay, Mr. Fargo brought Universal/MCA in as a 45% equity partner and later took Interplay public in 1998. In addition to Interplay, Mr. Fargo formed an on-line entertainment company with partner Softbank in 1996 and sat on the board of Virgin Europe after it was acquired by Interplay in 1998. Mr. Fargo has served on the board of the IDSA and has given key speeches at the industry's leading shows such as E3, Global Gaming Forum and the Computer Game Developers. Brian Fargo has been behind some of the greatest RPG franchises of all time including: The Bard's Tale, Wasteland, Neuromancer, Dragon Wars, Stonekeep, and the hits Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale, and Planscape Torment. Currently he is working on creating the Wasteland 2 RPG for which he raised over 2.8 million dollars through crowd sourced funding.
Guy started his career in the entertainment industry as a successful performer and producer, making music with industry giants such as Phil Ramone, Elliott Scheiner, and Dave Grusin. He joined the home entertainment industry as president of LFA, Inc., providing home video brand and business consulting services for a worldwide clientele. His firm represented JVC (Victor Company of Japan, Ltd.) in North America licensing the loading and duplication of VHS videocassettes bearing the VHS Logo Trademark. He became the director of operations for CDSA (then IRMA, International Recording Media Association) in 2005 where he pioneered the Daily News Portal, co-chaired the accountability sub-committee of EPCglobal Item Level Tagging Public Policy Steering Committee and helped form the Plastic DVD Packaging Standards Committee (authoring the standard used to certify packaging plants around the world).
In 2008 he helped found MESA with Martin Porter and Devendra Mishra. MESA supports service providers in building efficiencies in the creation, production and distribution of physical and digital media and entertainment. As co-producer of many conferences and meetings, including the acclaimed Entertainment Supply Chain Academy (ESCA) series, Burbank Think Tank, GameSupply, Hollywood IT Summit, Entertainment Content Protection Summit and Blu-Con, its mission is to foster end-to-end collaboration among entertainment service providers, their customers and trading partners. MESA also manages other trade organizations including the Content Delivery & Storage Association, DiscMail Direct Coalition and Hollywood IT Society.
A respected veteran of the interactive entertainment industry, Mike
Goslin is the general manager of Rebel Entertainment, an innovative
game studio currently developing and publishing social and web-based
games. Rebel Entertainment is owned and operated by IAC, a prominent
media and internet company with more than 50 leading consumer brands.
Before Rebel Entertainment, Mike led a venture-backed startup and
created Superstar City, a groundbreaking experience that combined the
rich immersion of virtual worlds with the powerful community of social
Prior to his entrepreneurial endeavors, Mike was Vice President of
Virtual World Design and Development at the Disney Interactive Media
Group. There he developed an entirely new online business for Disney
by creating a uniquely successful portfolio of virtual worlds,
including the award-winning Toontown Online, Pirates of the Caribbean
Online, Pixie Hollow, and The World of Cars Online.
Before he pioneered online games and virtual worlds at Disney, Mike
led the Walt Disney Imagineering VR Studio in the development of
several innovative virtual reality theme park attractions, including
“Aladdin’s Magic Carpet Adventure,” “Hercules’ Adventure in
the Underworld,” and the award-winning “Pirates of the Caribbean:
Battle for Buccaneer Gold.”
Mike holds a Masters in Computer Science from the University of North
Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Previous speaking engagements include: 2011 Engage Conference, 2011
Game Developer’s Conference (GDC) Online, 2011 L.A. Games
Conference, 2010 GDC Online, 2010 Game Developer’s Conference, 2009
LOGIN Conference, 2009 Austin Game Developer’s Conference, 2008
Austin Game Developer’s Conference, 2007 Online Game Conference,
2007 Game Developer’s Conference, 2006 L.A. Games Conference, 2006
Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3).
Co-Founder & CEO
Jim is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Kongregate and is responsible for the company's strategic direction. He is the driving force behind its vision of community around games, including its focus on game developers, and most importantly its ability to identify and retain great talent. Jim, a self-described gaming addict and spokesperson for developers and publishers, is a regular contributor to Kongregate's codebase, and developed many of the site’s customer support and fraud screening tools.
Before founding Kongregate in June 2006, Jim was technical director for Pogo at Electronic Arts and led the web and game engineering teams. Jim was also a software engineer at shockwave, and co-founder and product director at game development studio Titanic Entertainment. He has worked in the game industry since 1991, when he went from summer intern to leading the game world design team on Ultima VII: The Black Gate. Despite the advice of his then boss Richard Garriott, he finished his computer science degree at Princeton University before returning to the game industry.
Before coming up with the idea for Kongregate, Jim was forced to get both his poker and World of Warcraft habits under control. The busy father of two spends more time than he would like to admit on Hacker News and Reddit, and he also tries to fit in a little snowboarding, golf and running from time to time. He can also be found on
Phyllis Guo is Chief Strategist for The9 Limited (NASDAQ: NCTY), focusing on corporate business development and new marketing strategies. She is The9’s U.S.-based liaison, also supporting the Mobile Business Unit as its mobile social gaming platform, The9 Game Zone, expands to partner with U.S. developers bringing their games to China.
Prior to The9, Phyllis was involved in founding several companies, including AsiaInfo (NASDAQ: ASIA). She has 20 years of experience in sales, business development and company management. Phyllis earned her degree from Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications.
Lisa is the Managing Partner and Founder of Niko Partners, the Leader
in Asian Video Game Market Intelligence ™. Her responsibility
includes client relations, research & analysis, business development,
operations, and partnerships. Lisa founded Niko Partners in 2002 and
has since developed expertise on the Chinese and Southeast Asian
online games industries that has benefitted Niko’s clients,
companies that are global leaders in game publishing, game services,
hardware, and investments.
Lisa has spent 17 years honing her experience in management positions
and in the roles of Asian and specifically Chinese market research
analyst, Asian and Chinese market entry consultant, Japanese equities
analyst, and US-Japan economic policy analyst. She has been a
well-regarded speaker on global technology markets for many years.
Lisa has lived and worked in New York, Washington DC, Los Angeles, San
Francisco, San Jose, Tokyo, and London, and makes frequent trips to
Shanghai and Beijing for Niko Partners. Her past US-based
international business roles included extensive travel throughout Asia
and Europe. She speaks Japanese and is studying Mandarin.
She earned an MA in International Economic Policy from The American
University in Washington, DC, and a BA in Political Science &
International Affairs from UCLA. She believes in peace through
intercultural understanding, hence she volunteers her time for AFS
Intercultural Programs, a leading global exchange student
Brad has transitioned from console to digital with a focus on marketing. He moved from managing the licensed portfolio at Activision, including Transformers, Marvel and James Bond, to run marketing at Nexon America, a worldwide leader in free-to-play online games.
Nexon pioneered the concept of microtransactions in the free-to-play business model and currently services more than 50 online games in more than 100 countries with over 1.3 billion player registrations.
SVP, Business Development
Anthony Jacobson is the Senior Vice President Business Development at Atari where he has been instrumental in shifting the organization from a physical goods to digital publisher. Prior to Atari, Jacobson served as Senior Vice President of Game Studios at PlaydayTV, the Softbank funded, branded, free to play, ad-supported interactive television channel featuring casual game play. At PlaydayTV he was responsible for the creation and implementation of content programming and acquisition strategy. Previously, Jacobson was the CEO and Founder of the Shanghai based AAA game development company, Spicy Horse Games, as well as The Mauretania Import Export Company, the first game-centric transmedia production company. While there, Jacobson led all aspects of business development, finance, legal, partnerships as well as strategic planning. Jacobson sold his first internet venture, Goodstory.com, to Creative Planet and has previously held positions at The William Morris Agency and Sony Pictures Classics.
, Managing Partner
Marshall has nearly two decades experience working with emerging growth companies, largely within the TMT (Technology, Media and Telecom) and Digital Media sectors. A seasoned investment banker, attorney and private equity professional, he has completed in excess of one hundred and fifty financing and M&A transactions in either an advisory (investment bank and legal) or principal investment capacity. From 1996 to 2005, he worked in New York and San Francisco in the investment banking groups of several major financial institutions including CIBC, UBS and Adams Harkness (subsequently acquired by Canaccord) where he was a Managing Director and Head of the Equity Private Placement Group. Marshall also spent three plus years (2005 to 2009) at a San Francisco-based $100+million AUM hedge fund and private equity vehicle (Fort Mason Capital, LLC) where he was a Managing Director, lead the origination and structuring of over 30 TMT-focused and related private investments and where he was integrally involved in numerous fund administration matters. Pre-dating his investment banking and principal investment experience, Marshall briefly practiced corporate law as an associate attorney with Shearman & Sterling, supporting clients including Apple Computer, Viacom and Silicon Graphics. Today he continues to advise numerous emerging growth clients as a Managing Member of DMW Hexagon Advisors. Marshall holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Brown University and JD degree from Columbia University.
Head of Business Development for Consumer Payments
Steve is Head of Business Development for Consumer Payments for Google. He has over 30 years of experience in sales, business development, and strategic alliances in electronic payments, authentication and fraud prevention. He has worked in senior management roles at VeriFone, CyberCash, CyberSource, PassMark Security (acquired by RSA/EMC) and BilltoMobile. He was responsible for a wide variety of partnerships with companies such as First Data and Visa including the original equity investment by Visa in CyberSource and the co-branded product – the CyberSource Advanced Fraud Screen enhanced by Visa. He was on the board of directors of the Electronic Transactions Association (www.electran.org) and is on a variety of advisory boards. Steve has spoken at over 50 conferences during his career.
Michael Klein joined Canaan Partners’ Menlo Park office in 2010 as an Investment Analyst on the technology team. He focuses on the firm’s digital media, mobile and cloud investments.
Prior to joining Canaan, Michael served as an Associate in technology investment banking at ThinkEquity. While at ThinkEquity, Michael advised on and executed over 20 strategic and financing transactions for leaders in the technology sector including OpenTable, SuccessFactors, Xoom, On2 Technologies, SigmaTel and DG FastChannel.
Michael received a BS in Business Administration from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University where he specialized in finance and accounting. Michael also studied international finance at Bocconi University in Milan, Italy.
Sr. Director of Security Policy, Interactive Entertainment Business
Leading the Security Policy Team for Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business (IEB), Aaron guides an organization focused on solving complex challenges across anti-piracy, confidential information management, privacy and online safety, content ratings, Accessibility, geopolitical matters, and patent protection. Aaron’s team protects the IEB by driving comprehensive solutions across these areas by partnering with numerous engineering, legal, marketing, media relations, and operations teams across the global business.
Microsoft’s IEB – home to more than 7,000 employees – produces the video game and entertainment console Xbox 360, and its innovative motion-control sensor: Kinect for Xbox 360. The IEB also encompasses the Xbox LIVE online gaming service which delivers Netflix movies, Xbox console games including the Halo and Gears of War franchises, PC Games such as Microsoft Flight Simulator, and associated TV, video, and music delivery services.
Aaron was named to the Puget Sound Business Journal’s “40 Under 40″ list for 2010, a select group of the region’s next generation of business leaders. Aaron is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, all federal, state and bankruptcy courts in Washington State, and the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and Armed Forces.
Director of Product Management, Digital Goods
Mary Ku has been at PayPal for over seven years, managing products in a variety of different areas, including PayPal’s marketplaces business, international business, partnerships, and most recently digital goods. She holds a BA in Computer Science from UC Berkeley and an MBA from Stanford University.
Director of Business Development, Enterprise Growth
Michael Maher is Director of Business Development, Enterprise Growth, at American Express. Prior to its acquisition by American Express, Maher held a similar position at Sometrics, where he worked with online game publishers to implement in-game payments and optimization platforms. Leading the business development team, Maher executed agreements with direct payment partners, closed advertising and licensing deals, and was directly responsible for exponential revenue increases annually.
Maher’s professional background spans a variety of industries including IT, medical, real estate, aerospace, and finance. An expert on social media utilities, micro-transactions, gaming and advertising, he graduated from the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business with an MBA in 2008.
As RockYou’s Chief Executive Officer, Lisa Marino is a key driver of RockYou’s growth and success, having taken on a variety of responsibilities across the company over the past several years. She served as RockYou's Chief Operating Officer, overseeing all business functions and leading all brand and ad sales initiatives for the company. As COO, Lisa was instrumental in hiring executive talent and acquiring new gaming studios to solidify RockYou’s position as a leader in the rapidly evolving social entertainment space. Lisa held the position of Vice President of sales at RockYou, where she created and led a team that generated more than $6 million during its first year. Before that she served as Chief Revenue Officer and expanded the company's media business, making RockYou one of the largest social media advertising networks where brands can meaningfully engage users in-game. Before joining the RockYou executive team, Lisa was the National Sales Manager for eBay Motors, calling on major automotive original equipment manufacturers as well as their franchise dealers. Lisa also co-founded Cima Systems, a leading provider of automatic customer-interaction technology to the automotive industry. She began her career in Silicon Valley as a technology mergers and acquisitions investment banker for Montgomery Securities. Lisa is a thought leader in social media marketing; she has been recognized as one of the most influential women of the Bay Area by the San Francisco Business Times and has spoken at leading conferences and events including OMMA, iMedia Summits, CES, Casual Connect and Digital Hollywood. Lisa received her Bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania and holds an MA in Latin American Studies from Stanford University, along with an MBA from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.
Karl Mehta is the founder of PlaySpan, Inc., a leading monetization platform for digital media, mobile apps, social networks and online games. Mr. Mehta brings more than 18 years of experience to PlaySpan in founding, building and funding technology companies in the U.S. and international markets. Prior to founding PlaySpan, Mr. Mehta was part of the founding team at MobileAria Inc. (acquired by Wireless Matrix) based in Mountain View and co-founder/ CEO of OmniLabs Inc., based in Singapore and India. Prior to that, he held executive positions at Hughes, leading new business and technology development. Mr. Mehta won the 'Entrepreneur of the Year 2010' Award from Ernst & Young for Northern California and is a Charter member of TiE-Silicon Valley and a board member of Ecosystem Ventures.
Head of Product and Partnerships
Jordan Metzner is head of product and partnerships at Xsolla.
His focus is product development in the payment space and
key strategic partnerships with major payment brands.
Prior to Xsolla, Jordan, born and raised in Los Angeles, CA
studied Business at Indiana University.
After school Jordan founded and grew an international restaurant
franchise from concept, to single store to 14 stores in six Latin
Jordan loves technology, making music, running, snowboarding,
golf and photography.
Vice President, Social Games, GSN Digital
DAVIN MIYOSHI leads GSN's Games application, a top 20 game on Facebook, where over 7 million users play casual Flash games and compete in tournaments for virtual currency every month. Previously, Davin was a Co-Founder and CEO of Mesmo, a leading social game developer that since the launch of the Facebook platform in 2007 had engaged over 25 million users on Facebook, MySpace, hi5 and Bebo. In addition, Davin helped build two other Internet start-ups. At Intraware, a pioneer in online digital media distribution, he was integral in helping the company achieve a $2+ billion market cap and $50 million in annual revenues. After Intraware, Davin joined as VP of Business Development and one of the first employees at EQuill, an early social web discovery company that was acquired by Microsoft. He started his career in Investment Banking at Montgomery Securities (acquired by Banc America Securities) and also led corporate development initiatives at 3Com. Davin serves on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors for Hands On Bay Area, a Bay Area non-profit where he previously served as the Board Chair and Treasurer. He received a Bachelors degree in Economics with honors from the University of California at Berkeley.
Founder & CEO
Jay is a serial/parallel entrepreneur, who thrives on building successful new ventures in the gaming sector. Founder and CEO of Popzy, a game publishing company with the mission of bringing great mobile entertainment brands to raving fans and building vibrant communities. Popzy works to build the reputation and visibility of talented developers.
Jay has been an evangelist and brand manager in the games industry since 1994, a partner in GarageGames and host of Indie Game Con `02-`05. Frequent speaker at GDC SF & Austin, e3, LA Games Conf., LOGIN and Casual Connect. Start up advisor to game entrepreneurs he is an insight merchant focused on building strong business teams and advising on brand, business and corporate development.
EVP, Digital Entertainment
BBC Worldwide Americas
Robert Nashak is EVP of Digital Entertainment & Games, overseeing BBC Worldwide’s games strategy. Robert launched the business in 2010, working with top BBC brands to develop new opportunities across a wide range of game platforms. The business is responsible for the company's first MMO, Doctor Who: Worlds In Time, the upcoming console release Doctor Who: Eternity Clock and the multi-year partnership with Top Gear and Forza Motorsport, among others.
Prior to joining BBC, Robert was SVP at Electronic Arts (EA), VP and General Manager of Yahoo! Games, and SVP for the mobile entertainment publisher, Glu Mobile. Earlier in his career, Robert held key positions at Acclaim Entertainment, Vivendi Games and Disney Online.
Robert Serves as an Adjunct Professor in the University of Southern California’s interactive media program.
SVP of Global Sales & Marketing
Sony Online Entertainment
As Senior Vice President of Global Sales & Marketing for Sony Online Entertainment LLC, Laura Naviaux is responsible for managing the company’s global marketing, sales, public relations and community relations departments, as well as helping to establish the long-term strategic direction for the company’s efforts to reach new audiences, identify new business opportunities and support the longevity of the current portfolio by extending the viability of established intellectual properties.
Bringing more than a decade of product marketing experience in the video games industry, Naviaux has a broad range of experience across diverse demographic groups including tweens, teens, females, mainstream, and hardcore gamers utilizing a diverse array of innovative strategies. She has spearheaded and guided large scale teams to launch dozens of products and drive growth for a portfolio of virtual worlds, specializing in online acquisition and conversion in addition to traditional advertising and retail presence. Naviaux has also led SOE’s effort on developing overseas brand presence through Europe, Asia and Russia for SOE’s wide array of online game titles, including EverQuest®, EverQuest® II, Free Realms™, Legends of Norrath®, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes®, DC Universe™ Online, and the upcoming PlanetSide 2. She also guided the strategic development of ecommerce, digital distribution and analytics initiatives across the company’s portfolio, keeping SOE on the cutting-edge of business models, virtual currency offerings and revenue conversion in the online gaming space.
Prior to joining SOE, Naviaux worked as a Brand Manager at THQ Inc., marketing many of the company’s internally developed video games, including Red Faction, the motor sports category and a long line-up of children’s games. Naviaux began her career at 989 Studios, a division of Sony Computer Entertainment America, assisting media relations and promotions for the Cool Boarders series, the Twisted Metal series, Syphon Filter and the 989 Sports line.
Naviaux graduated cum laude from the University of Southern California with a double major in Education and Journalism and a minor in Business Administration.
Since the age of 12, Naviaux has loved playing video games and continues to enjoy playing games to this day and now with her children!
I have worked for the past 12+ years as a founder, operating executive and advisor helping VC’s to scale their early stage portfolio companies. I have helped start-ups raise over $100MM in financing and serve in interim operating or advisory roles focusing on strategy, business development, corporate development and market expansion. Key areas of focus are on mobile, gaming, monetization, payments and the scaling of sales/BD and marketing organizations.
I continue to work extensively with a number of Silicon Valley based private equity and venture capital firms including GE Capital, Lightspeed Venture, Intel Capital, Redpoint Ventures, Mayfield Partners, Western Technology, USVP, SVAngels, Canaan Partners, MDV, Morgenthaler Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners, Singtel Innov8, SK Telecom Ventures, Nokia Growth Partners, Google Ventures, American Express Ventures, Doll Capital, Index Ventures, Deep Fork Capital, CitiVentures, and Motorola Ventures. My client and partnering experience includes working with companies such as Citibank, Tapjoy, Rakuten, Disney, Motorola, Omnicom, Zynga, Facebook, HP, Publicis, IBM, Viacom, Amazon, Tencent, PapayaMobile, inMobi, PayPal, Yahoo!, Nokia, EA, Orange, MySpace, CAA, Google, and Playdom.
I am an advisor to the following companies/organizations:
Koolbit –Mobile games – Founders of Kabam and Betfair (Canaan Partners)
Moblyng -- HTML5 Mobile/FB Games (MDV, Deep Fork Capital, Motorola Ventures)
Factery --Semantic Next Gen Search with team from Powerset, Google, eBay (SV Angels, USVP)
Billing Revolution - Mobile payments (CitiVentures, DCM, SKTelecom Ventures)
Ringi– Visual voice calls developed for operators and brands (Nokia, Angels ) Helsinki
Yetizen – SF based game accelerator
Playgrid – Stealth gaming company focusing on tablets experiences
Swissnex – SF based outpost of Swiss Government that selects promising Swiss start-ups to migrate to Silicon Valley
KlickPush – early stage digital content distribution/ad network
Christian has over 20 years of experience within online and mobile app
industry. He has worked internationally as an expert on mobile
applications and advergaming for companies such as Macromedia, Microsoft,
Symbian, Kellogg's, LEGO, Mars, and Nestle. Christian’s current role -
Vice President at CloudMade – involves regular communication with top game
developers and publishers and provides a clear understanding of the main
trends and challenges of the gaming market. Christian is a frequent
speaker at mobile and developer conferences, the most recent examples –
Mobile 2.0, Where 2.0, Casual Connect Hamburg.
VP & General Manager,
Andrew joined Tagged as Vice President & General Manager of Social Games and head of Tagged’s new in-house Game Studio.
A respected visionary with 20 years experience in the design and development of online entertainment and software properties, Andrew Pedersen knows casual games and the casual gaming audience. Most recently SVP of Creative for BlueNoodle, Pedersen was previously the creative and design lead as Vice President and General Manager for EA’s Pogo. While there he developed more than 100 games for the platform and introduced the Club Pogo subscription service, Pogo Badges and Pogo Minis (avatar system) to deepen player engagement and increase monetization. Andrew’s experience also includes Executive Producer with Mattel, The Learning Company, Berkeley Systems and Broderbund Software where he was a responsible for well-known franchises such as Prince of Persia, Carmen Sandiego and After Dark.
GameStop Digital Ventures
Chris Petrovic serves as GM of GameStop Digital Ventures, the digital strategy, M&A and incubation arm for GameStop, the world’s largest provider of video game products and services. As a member of the company's senior management team, Chris serves as the principal leader of GameStop's global digital strategy. He is responsible for building on the company's ongoing efforts to integrate digital initiatives into the company's multi-channel strategy, as well as overseeing the development and execution of digital acquisitions (Jolt Online Games, Kongregate, Impulse & Spawn Labs), strategic partnerships (IGN) and investments. This includes leveraging the company's unique and distinctive relationship with customers in-store, online and around the globe.
Chris has over 12 years of experience in digital media, having held senior level positions at Playboy, AG Interactive (a division of American Greetings), drkoop.com and theglobe.com. He began his career in the late 90’s as an entrepreneur, serving as the CEO of Internet start-up BannerGreetings.com. From there he went on to become COO of Buzztone.com, a leading interactive marketing agency, before joining Prime Ventures, an early stage venture capital firm started by current Demand Media CEO Richard Rosenblatt
Clearstone Venture Partners
William Quigley joined Clearstone Venture Partners (formerly idealab Capital Partners) shortly after its formation and concentrates on its Internet, Gaming and Communications related investments.
William’s current portfolio reflects his belief in the enormous opportunities in the consumer Internet, wireless and enterprise markets (Xfire.com, Titan Gaming, AOptix Technologies, SoonR, Meru Networks, Novariant). He is also focused on emerging companies offering managed services in the enterprise and consumer sectors (Communicado, Spock Networks). William is a member of the board of directors of AOptix Technologies, Meru Networks, Novariant, SoonR, Xfire and Evertune.
William joined Clearstone from Mid-Atlantic Venture Funds, where he invested in early- stage Internet and communications companies. Prior to MAVF, he was the chief financial officer of Disney's merchandise licensing division, the world's largest licensor. Before Disney, he was a consultant with Arthur Andersen where he worked with media entertainment and banking clients.
Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences
Martin Rae brings his experience in video games and finance/business development to his position as President of the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences. Rae took the helm of the non-profit organization in October 2010, championing the $21 billion video game industry by raising awareness of individuals, games, companies, organizations/associations and changing issues by promoting innovation and commitment.
As President of the AIAS, he is the voice of the Academy and oversees the annual D.I.C.E. (Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertain) Summit, the Interactive Achievements Awards (IAA), the Indie Game Challenge, the Academy scholarship programs and the Into the Pixel video game art exhibit. Rae will continue to advance the international presence of the Academy and Into the Pixel by bringing it to New Zealand, Germany, China, work with related industry conferences to promote the interactive video game industry and work with industry-related organizations like the International Game Developers Association and Entertainment Software Association.
Prior to joining the AIAS, Rae served as CEO at Sunleaf Studios where he provided overall business and strategic leadership of Pandanda.com, an internationally acclaimed children’s site. He also held executive positions at Boss Entertainment where he served as CEO at Boss Game Studios and The Electric Playground where he developed and was instrumental in leading the efforts for growing these companies into internationally recognized, multi-million dollars companies.
Earlier in his career, Rae held senior level positions in business development, sales and finance in many entrepreneurial startups, including Microserv, China Shopping Network and Krakatoa Records.
Rae earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the University of Washington. In his spare time, Rae enjoys the intricacies of boat building and sailing.
As managing partner of Rustic Canyon, Nate is responsible for leading the firm.
Nate is part of an extended family of entrepreneurs. Growing up in this environment instilled in him an appreciation for the process of creating and building great companies. He leans on experience as an investor, entrepreneur, and strategic advisor to work alongside extraordinary entrepreneurs. Nate has a keen interest in disruptive change to help emerging companies create breakthrough products and build value.
Before Rustic Canyon, Nate worked with Professor Clayton Christensen at the Harvard Business School and co-founded an Internet infrastructure company. Previously, Nate worked with the Boston Consulting Group, The Boeing Company and General Electric.
Nate enjoys mountains and oceans and all activities that involve being active with family in these venues.
Education: Nate earned his MBA from Harvard Business School and an MSE and BSE from The University of Michigan College of Engineering, where he was an Entrepreneurial Fellow in the Engineering Global Leadership Honors Program.
Juan Reyes is the Chief Technology Officer for BluFocus Inc., a Quality Assurance and Certification Facility in North Hollywood, CA specializing in entertainment technologies such as 3D, Blu-ray, DVD, Digital Distribution, Apps, Broadcast, and more. Juan has been a technical professional in the Entertainment Industry for almost a decade.
Juan started in the industry as a DVD Authoring Engineer. Very early on in the format, he became involved in Blu-ray and headed up a team of over 12 BD-J Engineers. During his involvement with Blu-ray, he and his team worked through many industry firsts such as firsts. Juan interfaced with several studios and creative vendors throughout the development of the format to help them understand the capabilities and limitations of the format in order to help them progress in their ability to create advanced features for a good user experience.
In his current role as CTO at BluFocus, Juan has established the company as an official 2D and 3D BDA (Blu-ray Disc Association) Testing Center for software and set-top Blu-ray players as well as Blu-ray content. In addition to this, Juan has established a dedicated BluFocus 3D lab and a dedicated BluFocus App Testing Division capable of testing apps for a wide variety of operating systems on a wide variety of devices. Juan is also responsible for many of the company’s high profile projects such as managing the Blu-ray production process for The Dark Knight. He is an active member in many of the technical groups in the BDA and an active member in the 3D@Home Consortium, DEG, International 3D Society, MESA, CEA, and SMPTE. In addition to this, he serves as the chair for the 3D@Home Consortium’s Steering Team 4 for 3D consumer products and is on the Board of Advisors for the Connected TV – Hollywood Alliance.
Founder and CEO
Marc is the CEO and Founder of Openbucks. He created Openbucks to give consumers an easy and secure cash-payments method for online commerce after his son racked up several hundred dollars in music purchases after being lent a credit card. A serial entrepreneur, Marc began his first business at 16 years old and hasn’t stopped creating innovative ventures since. He brings over 19 years experience in the payments and plastic card industries. In his previous company, CardUSA Inc., Marc leveraged his extensive knowledge of the card and printing industry to grow the firm to one of the ten largest producers of prepaid phone cards in 2002 and in 2003 ranked among the top 500 growing companies by Inc.500.
Founder and CEO
Shirin Salemnia currently serves as the founder and CEO of PlayWerks, a company that is a leading independent producer of children's interactive entertainment online specializing in innovative social and casual games and transmedia content on multi-platforms (web, iOS/Android apps, TV, music, etc) across all age demographics.
Previously, Shirin worked as the Research Manager & Bratz Brand Manager at MGA Entertainment, where she combined her child and youth marketing expertise with her toy marketing experience to perform ongoing research and analysis of the most current industry trends, consumer motivations and competitor activity for over five years. Salemnia was also responsible for the design development of MGA’s Play Lab - a place where dyads and triads of children and their parents gather for in-house qualitative research right on MGA’s premises.
Prior to MGA, Salemnia worked at Mattel, Inc. in Worldwide Consumer Research for the Girls Division. Here, in addition to conducting both qualitative and quantitative research, she was responsible for supporting Strategic Planning in all related new business ventures.
Before entering the Toy industry, Salemnia was a Nursery and Pre-Kindergarten Teacher at Stephen S. Wise Preschool in Los Angeles for several years where she developed team projects and study plans for the class curriculum, as well as honed her skills at observing children at play with toys. “My teaching experience gave me an incredible opportunity to gain a thorough understanding of the universal and timeless emotional needs that all children share,” says Salemnia. “I love kids, and watching them at play is so magical. I learn so much from them!”
Salemnia obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Child/Family and Consumer Sciences at California State University, Northridge in 2000. She is currently very actively involved in Women in Film, Next Gen Femmes, the Entertainment Division of the Jewish Federation, and was the past President of Hadassah Southern California Vanguard II, a charitable organization that raises funds for the Hadassah Hospital in Israel. Her hobbies include fashion, spirituality, and personal development. She currently lives in Los Angeles.
The Raine Group
John is a Partner at Raine. He is responsible for Raine's interactive entertainment, digital media and e-commerce efforts. Prior to Raine, John was Global Head of Digital Media at UBS Investment Bank where he worked for over eight years in the Technology, Media and Telecommunications Group. Prior to UBS John worked in the Internet and New Media group at Volpe, Brown, Whelan & Co, a boutique investment bank based in San Francisco. John has worked on advisory and capital raising assignments for a number of leading and emerging entertainment and media companies including Down Double Interactive, Activision Blizzard, Square Enix, Beyond The Rack, myYearbook, Turbine, Legendary Pictures, NBC Universal and Giant Interactive among others. John is on the board of directors of Jagex and a board observer of OpenSky, Raine portfolio companies.
Vice President of Sales
Selby is a game industry executive and entrepreneur with a wide-ranging background across the entertainment industry. He has years of experience leading cross-disciplinary design and production teams in the creation of multiplayer social games. He is a veteran producer and designer, skilled at managing complex projects through their complete life cycle.
Selby’s core focus at Socialtype is new business development and sales. He crafts strategic partnerships, manages client relationships and works with the executive team to drive new product development. He also serves as chair of the Los Angeles chapter of the International Game Developers Association and is the founder of Downloadable Change, a non-profit dedicated to promoting virtual fundraising partnerships between the game industry and non-profit organizations.
Prior to Socialtype, Selby served as Senior Producer at TimePlay Entertainment, creating a new generation of location-based multiplayer gaming. He worked extensively on the company’s core in-cinema gaming platform. He also designed and produced bingo and related games for the company’s CineBingo product line. He opened the live interactive poker show The Real Deal at The Venetian in Las Vegas and adapted Deal or No Deal! into a multiplayer, pay-to-play, game show currently running on cruise ships. He maintains a solid network across the casino industry from Las Vegas to the Native American casinos.
He served as Head Writer at ODVD Games on the critically acclaimed Shout About… line of trivia games. Hasbro entrusted their team to work with the high profile titles Trivial Pursuit and The Simpsons. His many years working in television included shows ranging from Sabrina, the Teenage Witch and Oz to The Weakest Link, Entertainment Tonight and Duel.
Orb Media Group
Peter brings to Orb Media Group a diverse range of experiences that have informed the Orb model. Prior to Orb, Peter founded Ironpond, a US and China based producer and financier affiliated with the China Film Group across its traditional and new media businesses, co-founded Ionic Studios to champion the cross platform integration of film, television and the Internet, and co-founded Celestial Pictures from which he produced RESTLESS, the first ever Hollywood-Chinese film co-production. In addition to his professional pursuits, Peter is a seeker of wisdom and has developed a body of work in support of personal and planetary transformation.
Prior to his entertainment career, Peter served as the director to the CA Senate Committees on the Pacific Rim, and the Entertainment Industry.
Ned Sherman, CEO & Publisher, Digital Media Wire
Founder & Chair, LA Games Conference
As CEO, Publisher and Executive Editor of Digital Media Wire, Inc., Ned Sherman works at the center of the rapidly growing digital media industry, where he brokers relationships and keeps a tab on the most important developments shaping the industry. According to the Wall Street Journal, “Publisher Ned Sherman is more than the average pundit: He is an attorney and has an inside grasp of what is happening.”
Ned has established Digital Media Wire as a leading digital age media company that owns and produces nine annual conferences and provides daily news, information and community to tens of thousands of executives and professionals at entertainment, media and technology companies throughout the world. The advertising, sponsorship, client, partner and subscriber relationships that Ned has brokered make Digital Media Wire one of the best known media and entertainment industry brands to emerge in the digital age.
Ned is responsible for establishing DMW's partnerships with NYU's Stern School of Business, the Consumer Electronics Association and numerous other industry publishers, associations and businesses. Future of Television Forum, which he co-chairs, with NYU's Professor Al Lieberman, is widely considered to be the most prestigious event of its kind, bringing together industry leaders from around the globe twice annually in Los Angeles and New York to network, do deals and discuss the industry's future. He also co-chairs and hosts Digital Music Forum, the industry standard among digital music industry events.
In 2004, Ned created the Billboard Digital Entertainment Conference & Awards, which was acquired from DMW by VNU (now Nielsen) in 2005. Ned continued to be active in the Awards, which he co-chaired with Billboard and Hollywood Reporter President and Publisher John Kilcullen. In 2006, Ned was instrumental in securing an investment from the Consumer Electronics Association, now a partner on two DMW events, Digital Music Forum East and Future of Television Forum. In 2007, Ned established a partnership with Canada's leading media and entertainment event, Canadian Music Week, and chaired, produced and hosted the successful Millennials Canada Youth Marketing event in Toronto.
As Publisher and Executive Editor of DMW since 2000, Ned overseas all content for the site and newsletter, writes a weekly column Digital Media Week in Review and has published two books, Millennials & The Digital Entertainment Age: A Sourcebook for Consumer Marketers and The Digital Entertainment & Media Directory. From 2003 to 2004, he was Editor-in-Chief of Digital Media Law Report.
Before co-founding Digital Media Wire, Ned spent seven years as a corporate and entertainment attorney practicing at several of the leading law firms in the world. Ned is a graduate of Brown University (AB, with honors, 1990) and the University of Texas School of Law (JD, 1994) where he was Chief Articles & Notes Editor of the Texas International Law Journal.
Founder and CTO
Code-Monkeys and Soma Games
Chris Skaggs is founder and CTO of Code-Monkeys and Soma Games and is
responsible for the technical vision and product designs of the two
organizations. Since 1999, Chris has been designing and developing web
and mobile applications for industry leading clients like Intel, Four
Seasons, Comcast and Aruba Networks.
In 2009, Chris joined forces with Rande Bruhn and together they formed
Code-Monkeys and Soma Games to create quality, world-class mobile
technology and video game software. Part of Chris’s vision around
great development included establishing an innovative and nurturing
environment for the artists, designers and developers to foster
creative thinking and excellence.
In 2010, Chris was awarded the Intel Black-belt and helped usher in a
new gaming platform – Intel AppUp. He is also a popular speaker at
the Intel App Up Forums and mobile app and game developer
Chris was in the US Navy and received a History degree from George Fox
University with Honors. Chris serves on the Board of trustees for
Bootcamp NW Men’s Ministry and serves on the advisory board for the
Christian Game Developers Conference.
Chuck Sommerville is technology and video game guru who made his fortunes in the LED lighting field by founding one of the largest LED lamp manufacturers in the USA. A gamer at heart Chuck is also know for his extensive success in game design during the early years of video games. With family and financial success secured, Chuck is plotting his return into video game design through his work with Niffler and the release of Chuck's Challenge a game with similar dynamics as the Lynx/Atari Chips Challenge which gained world recognition.
California Technology Ventures
Alex Suh is a founding Managing Director with California Technology Ventures, LLC, a Southern California venture capital firm that focuses its investments in the fields of Life Sciences and Information Technology globally. Alex is the managing director that invests in both Life Sciences as well as Information Technology.
He is also a founding Managing Director with J.J. Jacobs Enterprises, LLC and Jacobs Capital Group, LLC, both an evergreen venture capital and fund-of-fund firm where he has invested in other venture capital funds globally that offer a strategic fit with California Technology Ventures.
Alex was an entrepreneur having started several businesses, helped develop the first small business incubator in the San Gabriel Valley, managed several small business lending programs for minority and women-owned businesses, consulted with nonprofits and cities on economic development projects and taught college in entrepreneurship, business and management.
He was one of the earliest VCs to invest in the gaming industry having invested in Turbine Entertainment which produced Asheron’s Call, Dungeons & Dragons Online and Lord of the Rings Online which was acquired by Warner Brothers Entertainment. He invested in Thinglefin which was acquired by Big Fish within four months of the investment. The most current company he has invested in is Blade Games World which has produced Jumala.com which is currently in beta.
Alex currently or has formerly sat on the advisory board for EmTek, a San Diego based community small business lending and equity program; LARTA, a technology think tank; Claremont Graduate University’s Venture Financial Institute; and the Life Science Steering committee for State of California Governor’s Policy Office and Advisory Council member for Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Sciences.
His community involvement included past president to Villa Esperanza, a school for developmentally challenged persons; distinguished president for Kiwanis; Advisory board member for Women at Work and the Crippled Children’s Society; Special Olympics coach and others.
Alex was honored in 2009, Outstanding 50 Asian Americans in Business while California Technology Ventures was also named by ACQ Finance Magazine’s Technology Investor of the Year, North America
Independent Game Producer
Dave Taylor received his BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin in 1993. While in school, he created the IEEE CS National Programming Contest for which he was awarded both the Lifetime Entrepreneurial Award and the Student Leadership Award in Engineering.
Upon graduation, Taylor was hired by id Software to help program the iconic games Doom and Quake. He then funded, produced, and self-distributed the cult-classic side-scroller Abuse. After Abuse, he left to join processor start-up Transmeta, where he performed various roles including helping to debug the Crusoe processor and developing the IPO roadshow demo. The Transmeta IPO is still considered one of the most successful IPO's of all time, with a first-week market cap of well over $5B.
Several months after the IPO, Taylor left Transmeta for Los Angeles to do independent producing and consulting on a variety of projects, including Karateka, Band Together, Abuse Classic, Beakiez, Spy Kids, ER Critical Condition, RoboHordes, Igor, and Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle Earth. He also taught a class in game production last year.
He now resides in Santa Monica, California and stays busy with a variety of game, technology, and entertainment projects, including Band Together for the iPad 2 & iPad 3. Taylor sits on the Advisory Board to the President of The Academy of Art University.
Founder & CEO
Spitball Entertainment, Inc.
Mike is founder and CEO of Spitball Entertainment (www.spitballent.com), a developer of character-based brands that are launched through multi-player online and mobile games. The company’s first title, Miya: Before & After (www.miyamackenzie.com), is a free-to-play, multi-player game that takes players on the adventure of becoming a pop star in Hollywood with the animated singing celebrity, Miya Mackenzie, as their guide.
Prior to Spitball, Mike was VP of marketing and business development at hi5, one of the world’s largest social media and online gaming sites with over 50 million monthly users at its peak. At hi5, Mike helped launch the company’s games portal, virtual currency, 3D avatars, and original social game titles. Previously, Mike was VP of marketing and interim CEO of Spoke, a social networking site for sales professionals. He co-founded Truviso, a real-time web analytics provider. He also was VP of product management at Epiphany, a leading provider of marketing analytics and web personalization (now Infor), and an early employee of Octane Software prior to the company’s acquisition by Epiphany. Mike has also held marketing and products positions at 3Com and MCI.
Mike has his B.A. from Northwestern University and M.B.A from the University of California at Berkeley.
CEO & Lead Designer,
Character TD, DreamWorks Animation
Kristafer Vale is the CEO and Lead Developer for Winterkewl Games LLC.
A new independent game developer currently working on their first
title. In addition to running Winterkewl Games, Kristafer is a
Character Setup TD at Dreamworks Animation working on Feature
Animation projects including Kung Fu Panda 2, and the upcoming Croods
and Turbo. Kris graduated from Ringling School of Art and Design with
a BFA in Computer Animation.
Winterkewl Games is currently developing a game in partnership with
and based on a YouTube Celebrity known as The Yogscast. The Yogscast
has over 1.6 million subscribers and is currently the # 1 most
subscribed YouTube Comedy channel in the UK. This month Winterkewl
Games and The Yogscast kicked off a Crowd-Funding campaign on the
popular site, Kickstarter and Raised $175,000.00 in the first 6 days
it was active. Winterkewl Games is dedicated to bringing fans closer
to the development of the game to promote a more interactive process
where the players have input about the games they want to play.
Jesse Vigil is one of the founding partners of Los Angeles-based hybrid media studio Psychic Bunny and from 2010-2012 was the CEO of the indie games label Codename. He is a creator, producer, and entrepreneur, and veteran of the entertainment industry, with work appearing on television, consoles, in casinos, military bases and even, once, a multinational construction company. He has been described by his mother as being "very chatty."
CEO & President, Magid Advisors
Mike Vorhaus, President, Magid Advisors founded the Magid Internet and New Media research and consultation practice in 1995, with AOL and Excite as his first two clients. Mike’s team has completed over 2,500 engagements with over 100 Internet clients. Mike began the Magid Gaming Practice in 2001 with EA and Sony Online as his first two clients. The Magid Game Practice now works with most of the major game publishers. Mike provides research and consulting services to a number of major traditional media companies in regard to their new media initiatives, as well as consulting a number of leading Internet and gaming companies. He has also provided advice to venture capital and private equity firms in regard to investments in the media space. Mike has been involved in strategic and tactical consulting, including the launch of new services and programming, as well as development and implementation of online and offline marketing programs. Mike has also been extensively involved in video and PC gaming strategies for a number of our companies, as well as the development of game concepts. Mike has consulted on a number of film projects such as You’ve Got Mail and The Matrix. He holds a B.S. in psychology and sociology from Wesleyan University and has worked as a fundraiser and transfer of technology officer at the California Institute of Technology and the University of California. Mike also worked for the U.S. House of Representatives, The U.S. Senate, and for two Administrations in the White House.
Margaret Wallace is an entrepreneur focusing on the gaming, tech and media sectors.
Margaret is Founder/ CEO of Playmatics (www.playmatics.com), a company dedicated to bringing rich games and applications to the Internet, in social media networks, and on a variety of connected gaming & transmedia platforms. Located in the heart of Chelsea, Manhattan, Playmatics focuses both on branded and original IP.
In April 2011, she also became CEO of Shadow Government, Inc., an angel-funded social mobile gaming company, headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland and New York City, NY.
Prior to forming Playmatics, Margaret was Founder/CEO of Rebel Monkey, a venture-backed company focused on creating a free-to-play cooperative game world and community platform utilizing virtual goods and micro-transactions. Before Rebel Monkey, Margaret was a founding member and CEO of Skunk Studios in San Francisco, CA, one of the first-ever casual game companies and game portals (www.skunkstudios.com).
Margaret also spent time at Shockwave.com, PF.Magic (Dogz/Catz), Mattel and Mindscape and has worked on numerous brands, licensed products, gaming portals and original IP. She also worked with AMCTV, A&E Television Networks (AETN) Game Division, which includes Lifetime Television, The History Channel, A&E, and The Biography Channel on brand, business, portal and online/social media strategy.
Margaret is on the advisory board of the annual Casual Connect Conference in Seattle and a frequent speaker on the topics of gaming, gamification, entrepreneurship and transmedia. She is also an adviser to YetiZen, a gaming incubator organization located in San Francisco, CA. She also advises the social gaming start-up, RealLifePlus, also based in San Francisco, CA
Margaret holds an MA and BS in Communication from the University of Massachusetts/Amherst and Boston University, respectively. She is a State Department Alumni, having participated in the Congress-Bundestag Exchange Program to Germany in the first year of its inception.
Chairman and CEO, Founder
Virtual Piggy, Inc
Dr. Jo Webber is an experienced software company CEO. She served as the CEO of InnaPhase Inc., and led the company to become a world-leading supplier of scientific software and management solutions. She directed the acquisition of a division of a public company and led the sale of InnaPhase to Thermo Electron (NYSE:TMO) in 2004. She then became CEO of Energy Solutions International, a supplier of software for the management of oil and gas pipelines, and directed two strategic acquisitions and the successful sale of the company. She has a Ph.D. in Quantum Physics from the University of Nottingham Trent/Manchester University and serves on the boards of Maxwell Systems and Octagon Research Solutions. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and a Chartered Chemist.
President, Making Fun, a News Corp. division
John Welch is veteran leader of the online games industry and one of the early pioneers of digital distribution of entertainment. He is President of Making Fun, Inc., a division of News Corporation Digital Media Group. John came to News Corp via its acquisition of Making Fun, where he was CEO and co-founder.
Making Fun is the first full-service social games publishing company. Making Fun blends the financial, production, technology and marketing resources of a big publisher with the passion and creativity of independent developers to deliver an innovative and diverse portfolio of games. By working with external studios across a variety of platforms — including social networks, smartphones and tablets — Making Fun is working to bring high-quality games to consumers on their preferred device. For more information about Making Fun, please visit: www.makingfun.com.
Prior to forming Making Fun, John was co-founder & CEO of PlayFirst, the casual games publisher famous for the best-selling "Diner Dash" brand that has touched hundreds of millions of consumers. John was responsible for the vision, financing, strategic direction and operations of the company for its first five years. Like Making Fun, PlayFirst was an innovator in bringing the full-service publishing model to its sector, casual online and downloadable games.
Prior to forming PlayFirst, he spent nearly five years building Shockwave.com into one of the Internet's top game portals as the company's Vice President of Games and Product. He was a key member of the Dreamcast Network leadership team at SEGA from 1998 to 1999. Previously, John spent several years running a small consultancy he co-founded. He began his career at Andersen Consulting.
In addition to his operating role, John is an active advisor and investor in several startups including Secret Builders, a creative virtual world heavily endorsed by parents and teachers.
John has served as steering committee member and chair of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) Online & Casual Games groups, and he is a regular faculty member of the annual Game Developers' Conference. John is an active member and officer of the Golden Gate chapter of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO). He holds degrees in Mathematics and Computer Science from M.I.T. and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
SVP and GM of Digital Media
Bill Wheaton is Senior Vice President & General Manager of the Media Division at Akamai. Mr. Wheaton leads the Akamai team responsible for products and solutions that make video and software applications accessible, and complex media content easy to use.
Mr. Wheaton’s service at Akamai includes roles as Vice President of Digital Media Solutions, supporting key digital media customers and driving innovation at Akamai to help customers take advantage of emerging opportunities.
Mr. Wheaton has also served as the Director of Streaming Sales at Akamai, overseeing streaming sales efforts including partnership programs.
Prior to Akamai, Mr. Wheaton worked at Intervu, where he managed the Business Communications Sales Group supporting customers like CCBN, MCI, AT&T, Sprint and others. He has started and sold several businesses including VCS Technologies, which he sold to Intervu in 1999.
Mr. Wheaton started his career at Procter & Gamble and moved to Pfizer before starting his entrepreneurial ventures. He has a B.S. degree from WPI and a MBA from NYU.
VP Games, CBS Interactive
Simon Whitcombe has worked in the gaming and publishing industries for more than 20 years. A UK native, he started in the print world, working in ad sales on Zero Magazine and Game Zone Magazine for Dennis Publishing. Later he contributed to the success of Amiga Format, Total Nintendo and Edge Magazine. After moving into business development, Simon began the task of persuading consumer advertisers to buy into the video games. In 1995 he left the UK to work on Next Generation and GamePlayers magazines for Imagine Media.
In 1996 Simon became the launch publisher of IGN. Three years later he helped spin IGN and other internet properties out of Imagine Media into Snowball.com, a company that later became IGN Entertainment. In 2001 Simon left IGN to run the games group for Future US. During his tenure Simon was instrumental in helping win the official print magazine licenses for all three major hardware platforms. He also launched Qore, a digital video magazine on the PlayStation network, oversaw the launch of GamesRadar before he joined GameSpot in 2009.
SVP, Digital Media, Business Development and Strategy
Mara Winokur is the lead executive for Starz Digital Media, overseeing the strategy, operation and execution of the digital businesses and initiatives supporting Starz’ various film, television and digital-only content properties. Winokur and her team manage digital distribution, licensing, syndication, content and vendor relationships across a wide array of partners and distributors ranging from traditional cable/satellite/telco multichannel video affiliates to internet/mobile distributors to game and social media developers/publishers to consumer electronics companies.
The video content Starz Digital Media distributes and markets ranges from theatrical features to short-form animation from each of Starz’ various business units including: Starz Entertainment (pay television), Anchor Bay Entertainment (home entertainment), Manga Entertainment (Japanese Anime) and Film Roman (animation). In addition to Winokur’s business development responsibilities, she also handles operational activities for the Starz Media digital team, including coordinating release schedules, managing content delivery, adjusting pricing and tracking and reporting financial results
Winokur served previously as vice president, digital media and business development. Prior to joining Starz Media, Winokur was the Senior Director of Digital Business Development at EMI Music Entertainment. In this role, Winokur led the team responsible for evaluating business proposals; structuring and negotiating deal terms; and executing agreements in the online and mobile spaces. She also analyzed developing digital trends and advised on new product strategies and business models.
Before her position at EMI, Winokur was a Director of New Technology Business Development at Sony BMG Entertainment, coordinating new media deals across territories and guiding regional sales and marketing teams in assessing business development opportunities. In addition, Winokur assisted in analyzing new technology solutions such as anti-piracy, watermarking, and digital formatting. Winokur has also worked in New Media Strategy at The McGraw-Hill Companies, Strategic Alliances at Palm, Inc., and has consulted with several Silicon Valley companies.
Winokur received her MBA with honors in Strategy and Finance from the University of Chicago’s Graduate School of Business and her BA in Communications and Psychology from Stanford University.