We have assembled a network of entrepreneurs, CEOs and individuals committed to working with very early stage companies.¬† Members of the mentor network will work with NYC Seed companies on everything from marketing plans to partnerships.¬†
Amol Sarva, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer and founder of Peek. Amol was the second person hired at Virgin Mobile USA, where he was in charge of finance and corporate development. He left to join McKinsey & Company where he served telecom clients around the world from the New York office. In 2005, he co-founded Blue Mobile, where he was Vice President of Corporate Development and ran Product Management. He is an original member of the Founders' Roundtable and the Wireless Founders Coalition for Innovation, and was an Advisor to Frontline Wireless in 2007.
Amol has a Ph.D. from Stanford with a dissertation about cognitive science, and an undergraduate degree from Columbia in economics and philosophy.
Doug Scott is President of Ogilvy Entertainment where he is responsible for developing and producing brand funded entertainment initiatives for Ogilvy's clients, including IBM, Cisco, Unilever and BP, as well as creating original entertainment programs in partnership with "best-of-breed" production companies. With over fifteen years of marketing experience, Doug has developed and produced some of the most successful integrated marketing programs including: LOHAS 8, a three-day forum sponsored by Ford Motor Company; BLENDER Sessions in Park City, Utah, during the Sundance Film Festival; "Diddy Runs the City" for MTV; the Chrysler Million Dollar Film Festival; Terry Tate Office Linebacker for Reebok; Eternal Darkness for Nintendo; Hollywood Stock Exchange's (HSX) Music Stock Exchange; Virtual Producer; Annual Academy Awards events; and weekly radio shows on CBS Radio. Doug has also been responsible for structuring and overseeing content syndication relationships with Access Hollywood, Advertising Age, Entertainment Weekly, and other national media outlets.
Doug sits on the advisory boards for Desi hits, Veoh, Sogua, and Transmedia Capital.
Joe Covey is CEO of Mag Rack Entertainment, a television VOD business which he acquired from Cablevision in October 2008. Prior to Mag Rack, he managed a family office fund/incubator where he launched several businesses. He was an Entrepreneur-In-Residence at Milestone Venture Partners from 2005-2006. Prior to Milestone, Joe spent 12 years running early-stage technology companies. These included two start-ups and one turn-around. From 2001-2004, He completed the turn-around and sale of Call Sciences/Onebox, a venture-backed Internet communications company (acquired by j2 Global). In 1997 Joe was a founding employee of MessageClick, which was acquired by Verso Technologies in 2000. Prior to MessageClick, Joe was with Klausner Technologies, which licensed a technology patent portfolio.
Joe received a B.A in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.B.A. from New York University's Stern School of Business.
James Green is a serial entrepreneur and CEO of Giant Realm, Inc. Mr.
Green began his career in the entertainment industry and spent eight years with The Walt Disney Company (Buena Vista International) culminating in his appointment as the General Manager of the Japanese market. From Disney, Mr. Green moved to Pixar Animation Studios where he worked for Steve Jobs as the Vice President of Marketing and New Business Development. In 1998, Mr. Green became a founding partner and CEO of Sabela Media, an Internet ad serving company. After an explosive 18 months of revenue growth, during which time offices were opened on four continents, Sabela Media became the subject of a bidding war and was ultimately sold in January 2000 for $70 million to
24/7 Real Media. Mr. Green remained with 24/7 Real media for nine months as President of Technology Solutions. In Oct 2000 Mr. Green was recruited by LiveWire (an investor in Sabela) to become CEO of GiantBear. He successfully launched new products with major carriers (Cingular, Rogers AT&T, and others.), and then sold the business to InfoSpace in March 2002. After GiantBear, Mr. Green became CEO of PVI (www.pvi.tv), a virtual advertising company most famous for the virtual first down line in football and the ad behind the batter in baseball. He took the company private in 2003 and then sold it to Cablevison in May of 2005.
Mr. Green joined Giant Realm as CEO in January 2007.
Kenneth M. Dircks is a Senior Executive with Accenture, and co-leads their New York City government practice. He is charged with identifying, developing and delivering on opportunities to assist government clients with large-scale business change and technology implementation projects. He was the lead executive on the implementation of the highly successful NYC 3-1-1 function for Mayor Bloomberg, which not only introduced leading CRM and call center technology but transformed the way the City provides access to its services. Dircks was also the lead executive on NYCAPS, the City-wide implementation of a single, integrated HR/Benefits administration solution for over 250,000 active City employees. Dircks' 18 years with Accenture also include significant work in Business Intelligence, eGovernment and IT Planning. An avid musician, Dircks is a board member for Harmony, a nonprofit program that trains college and graduate student musicians to teach music to underprivileged young people.
Lubna Dajani, founder & CEO of Stratemerge Inc. a management and marketing consultancy firm specializing in mobile and emerging technologies with offices in NY, London and Milan. She is also co-founder of the NY chapter of MobileMonday, the global networking phenomenon dedicated to the enablement of innovation and entrepreneurship. Ms. Dajani is a published writer and an engaging moderator & public speaker who is widely recognized as a visionary & innovator of insightful user-centric solutions. Ms. Dajani launched her entrepreneurial career having achieved influential positions with leading companies in media, information & communication technologies such as GE, Viacom, Microsoft, Nokia, Detecon, IWO, Verizon & a host of global network operators.
Michael is a serial entrepreneur who has co-founded four successful internet-based media companies. He has a passion for creating, managing and growing companies from the ground up.
Michael's first foray into entrepreneurship came with the founding of University Wire, an Associated Press-like network of more than 700 student-run newspapers that is now owned by CBS Corp. Building on his growing experience in the online space, Michael next founded GOLF.com, which was purchased by Time Warner's Time Inc. division in January 2006. Michael left GOLF.com in February 2007 to start Lazerow Consulting, which helps finance, launch, manage and grow internet-based media businesses. Michael's client list included CSTV, a CBS Corporation company. At CBS, Michael helped launch two new businesses in the sports community and student media spaces. Michael is currently the chairman and CEO of Buddy Media, Inc., a New York-based company that is a leading developer of applications for social media sites, including Facebook and MySpace.
Michael graduated from Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. with a B.S. and M.S. in Journalism in 1996. His byline has appeared in more than a dozen newspapers, including Roll Call, the newspaper of Capitol Hill, the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, the Miami Herald, the Delaware State-News, The Capital Times in Madison, Wis., and the Montgomery Journal.
JOANNA STONE HERMAN
Joanna Stone Herman was most recently Senior Vice President of Global Strategy and Business Development for LexisNexis Group, where she was responsible for developing global strategy, as well as overseeing the strategic aspects of business development and acquisitions.
Prior to joining LexisNexis in 2006, she was EVP of Business Development for the Thomson Financial Corporate Group where she oversaw strategic planning, acquisitions and partnerships. During her time at Thomson Financial, Stone led efforts to offshore research staff to Manila resulting in improved margins, managed large channel partnership relationships, and founded the company.s Innovation Program. Stone also served as VP of Strategy and Development for Thomson Learning, developing that companies strategy for online education.
Stone also served as director of strategic planning at Dow Jones & Company, where she developed the initial business case for the Saturday Edition of The Wall Street Journal. Other companies she.s worked for include Accenture (where she spent 5 years doing strategy management consulting) and Time Warner.
She has also written articles for The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, The Washington Post, The New York Daily News and People Magazine.
Stone serves on the board of Pop & Politics, a nonprofit organization that encourages civic engagement in youth.
Stone earned a bachelor's degree and master's degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She also earned a Master.s in Business Administration from Harvard University.
Steve Jacobs leads the High Performance Computing, Solutions & Engineering group at Merrill Lynch. In this role he is responsible for designing and building the computational and data grids, globally. His team works with operations and businesses to innovate and build successful, scalable and cost effective solutions. Prior to this role he was responsible for Merrill's Global Business Intelligence and Data Integration platform. He built that team from zero to 20 people in New York, London, Mumbai and Chennai.
Before entering financial services, Steve was the CTO of online marketing company, Poindexter Systems, which serves, tracks and optimizes the delivery of over 10 billion ads per month. In his 5 years there, Steve was responsible for development, architecture, operations, optimization and innovation. To gain massive cost-effective scale, he implemented one of the first utility computing models to outsource operations of the high volume, globally load balanced ad server. Steve led development teams at two other startups prior to joining Poindexter.
Steve holds a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Columbia University with a focus on video compression and networking.
Are Traasdahl is founder and CEO of Thumbplay, an award-winning company that he and co-founder Evan Schwartz established in 2004 and have already grown into one of the top mobile entertainment services in the U.S. In recognition of the remarkable growth and accomplishments of the organization, he was named one of 2008.s .Top Mobile Executives. by Billboard magazine, and was named .Best Emerging CEO. by the Executive Council of New York in 2007.
Are has been on the leading edge of wireless communications throughout his career. In 2002, Are co-founded and led the launch of Telenor Interactive (nasdaq: teln), a U.S. Subsidiary of Telenor Group, the first company to launch cross-carrier premium messaging in the U.S. In 1999, Are helped establish Carrot Communications, a leading wireless company in Scandinavia and one of the first companies to sell wireless content directly to consumers. He has spearheaded wireless entertainment campaigns for such companies as NewsCorp, Disney, ABC, Univision, Telemundo and Fuse and with wireless carriers like Verizon, AT&T Wireless, Cingular and T-Mobile.
Earlier in his career, Are worked as a journalist for one of the largest media concerns in northern Europe and as a strategy consultant for a leading global management consultancy based in the UK. He is a graduate of the Norwegian Institute of Technology (NTH), Trondheim, Norway.
Jennifer Stranzl was most recently Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations for Dow Jones & Company, where she was responsible for building revenues for The Wall Street Journal, Barron's, and Marketwatch.com. In this role, Jennifer grew online subscription revenues by +30% in just two years, created an innovative PR plan that reached an audience of nearly 200 million in less than a month for one of the Journal's largest-ever new product launches, and developed an award-winning, integrated TV, print, online and direct marketing campaign.
Prior to joining Dow Jones in 2001, Jennifer was Vice President of Marketing and Business Development for NetBeat, a pan-European online music start-up (a pre-iTunes concept), where she orchestrated two country launches (UK and France), forged key strategic partnerships and sponsorships with Yahoo, Microsoft, music portals, and radio stations, and organized investor meetings and forecast models for first round funding. Other companies she worked for include L'Oreal and Procter & Gamble, where she spent three years in classic consumer goods marketing. Earlier in her career, Jennifer worked at Goldman, Sachs & Co. where she was a financial analyst in their investment banking division.
She also has served on the Board of WHEDCo, a non-profit serving disadvantaged families in the Bronx. She is an active member of the Junior League and is the co-Chair of the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Preschool parent committee.
Jennifer graduated with a B.S. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and an M.B.A. from The Harvard Business School.
David Teten is Acting CEO of software company Attendees.com, and CEO of Teten Advisors, which specializes in advising venture capital funds on accelerating deal flow, portfolio company executive optimization and recruiting, and due diligence. David was most recently a Managing Director with Evalueserve, a 2,500-person global financial research and analytics company. David was previously Founder and CEO of Circle of Experts, an investment research firm he sold to Evalueserve. David was formerly Founder and CEO of Teten Recruiting, an executive recruiting firm acquired by Accolo, #42 on the 2007 Inc. 500 list.
David was also formerly Founder and CEO of an Israel-based investment bank focusing on serving the internet domain name asset class, which he built to 450 customers. He worked with Bear Stearnsí Investment Banking division as a member of their technology/defense mergers and acquisitions team, and was a strategy consultant with Mars & Co. David holds a Harvard MBA and a Yale BA, both with honors.
David is the lead author of The Virtual Handshake: Opening Doors and Closing Deals Online. He is a frequent keynote speaker to audiences such as the Founder Institute; Kauffman Fellows program; Keiretsu Forum; Golden Seeds; MIT CIO Symposium; InfoWorld; New York Software Industry Association; Software Information Industry Association; and the Vistage CEO Community. He has three times received the highest ratings of any speaker at a conference.