Kaustav Chaudhuri (KC Wisdom)


He is the author “Grow Your Mindset” and co-author of The First Mile (John Wiley), on behalf of TIE the world’s largest network of investors and is currently re-writing sections on his upcoming book on Innovation Mindset. KC has also started SV Access Inc, a JV focused on US India Innovation& Funding in association with someone who is a Policy Advisor to Head of States.

Axel Tillmann

Founding EIR of PITCH GLOBAL, Former US CEO of $1billion fund of funds, Former Board Member of MassChallenge (largest US accelerator), Serial entrepreneur with multiple exits

Axel Tillmann is the embodiment of a serial entrepreneur that came to America to fulfil his dreams.  Having run a few companies in Germany, he, however, learned the true skills here in the US with several companies he was involved in, and particularly through one acquisition receiving mentorship of two extraordinary people.  For the last 6 years he has been coaching, and mentoring startup companies, including the spin-out of a $20B Japanese corporation.  Axel is comfortable in many different verticals and has embraced entrepreneurship as a way of life. He describes his way to success as de-germanyficaton.  

Prior to his role as CEO of WORLD SUMMIT he was CEO of RVC-USA, the US arm of a $1Billion Fund of Funds, a Direct Investment Fund in which he managed $300M of various investments.  Additionally, RVC was a Going-To-Market strategy firm for foreign companies that wanted to enter the US market.  He was also advisor to Maxwell Biotech, a venture capital firm for Biotechnologies, ALPHA CONSULT, a consulting Firm  (among many projects lead a team of German Energy developers to work on the opportunity for 300 MW wind power in New Hampshire cooperating with the then Governor of NH), Arcsight (acquired by HP), Azure Technologies (acquired by GN), ENIRA Technology (acquired by ArcSight) and GBS Laboratories. In 1998 he founded NOVILIT, Inc., a firm specializing in tools for the EDA industry. At NOVILIT, Mr. Tillmann oversaw and successfully ran the funding, market strategy, all product development and R&D for the firm. 


Gerry Barañano

EIR working with Corporate Venture Arms

EIR working with Corporate Venture Arms

Gerry Barañano co-founded Tech Futures Group in 2012 and served both as the director and an entrepreneur-in-residence for the Tech Futures Group from 2014 to 2020.  Tech Futures Group, a non-profit funded by the US Small Business Administration and State of California is a group of experienced advisors who act as the complete advisory board of select startups and small, established tech companies.  Since its inception, TFG helped more than 750 companies raise over $400 million in equity and government grants.

In his career, Gerry was VP of Marketing and Sales for companies ranging in size from Fortune 100 to startups.  He was instrumental in selling a technology startup for over $3.2 billion dollars.  As principal of his own company for twenty years, Gerry provided go-to-market strategies and strategic business development for tech companies and gets them their first paying customers. 

Gerry is a graduate of Yale University and earned an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Jim Simmons

EIR & VC-in-Residence. Co-founder Simmons Goodspeed VC, and Co-Chair of Caltech Angels

Jim Simmons is co-founder and Managing Partner at Simmons Goodspeed Ventures, Extensive experience as a Tech Executive with companies like Hewlett Packard, KLA Tencor etc. before becoming a VC with Draper Richards and then co-founded his own VC fund. Holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.  He is Co-Chairman of the Caltech Angels Network and co-founded the Caltech Alumni Entrepreneurship Group in Silicon Valley.

Deborah Magid

CVC-in-Residence.  Founder Innovation Now

Director, Software Strategy, IBM Venture Capital Group for over 20 years in which capacity she was a Speaker in over 100 countries and build relationships with Silicon Valley VC’s on behalf of IBM.  Extremely well connected with the CVC and other investor eco system both in Silicon Valley and globally.

Her specialties include AI, IoT, Cyber Security, Analytics, Big Data, Cloud; emerging technologies, markets, and business models; venture capital; entrepreneurial ecosystems globally

Sharon Sim

EIR- Tech PR. PR Tech Serial Entrepreneur with exits

Sharon Sims is the Founder of SKC PR; sold her previous firm to one of the leading Tech PR companies in USA. Startup Advisor to the Govt of Taiwan. Sharon has brought senior Editor of TechCrunch, USA Today and others to our events.

Virendra Ahluwalia

EIR—CFO in Residence

Virendra Ahlwalia has been a CFO for both startups and leading companies in Silicon Valley like Singularity University and Shutterfly for almost 25 years. He has raised almost $ 500 m in his career as a CFO. Understands all the responsibilities of being a CFO and has counselled entrepreneurs and investors at a high-level. Member of several Angel Funds like US Angels, Alumni Ventures and more. Co-founder of Yes

Labs(yeslabs.org) , an Impact Platform affiliated to Pitch Global.

Newton Paskin

EIR—Impact VC in Residence

Newton Paskin was involved as an early leader of Singularity University & SU Ventures as well as a long-term Business Advisor. Newton mentors CEO’s in Brazil, Mexico and other countries on strategy and Impact. He is also an EdTech Serial entrepreneur with previous exit.  In addition he is also a Co-founder of Yes Labs(yeslabs.org) , am Impact Platform affiliated to Pitch Global


Laszlo Horvarth

Managing Partner of Vespucci Partners—leading Central European Fund.

Co-owner of Active Media with the Rockefeller family. Startup Advisor to several Heads of States in the European Union.  Co-organizer of elite entrepreneurial conferences in Europe, Asia and USA.  Laszlo founded award winning global online search, advertising and media agency ActiveMedia (www.activemedia.com) in 1996. Prior to launching his business, Laszlo was tapped as a Strategic Consultant for America Online in 1995. His clients included the Greenhouse /AOL Studios, the AOL Finance and a wide range of interactive brands like the Motley Fool, iVillage and NetNoir. Laszlo placed the first advertising program on AOL’s largest content site.

In May 2013 Horvath has co-founded Silicon Valley Growth Partners and Crimson Growth Partners to capitalize on his digital marketing and business development capabilities for startups, incubators, small /midsize companies and International ventures.  In January 2014 Laszlo founded VirtualIncubator.us, assisting overseas companies entering the US marketplace.

Laszlo received his MBA from Harvard Business School in 1995. He graduated from the Film Academy of Budapest in 1989, as a film and television director, including a study period at the BBC in London. Laszlo received his Bachelor of Arts degree in languages literature from the ELTE University of Budapest, Hungary. He is founding service provider for exportvirginia.com. He is a member of the Harvard Club of NY, DC and San Francisco and an Alumni Advisor and Fundraiser for HBS.

Jim Simmons

Jim Simmons is co-founder and Managing Partner at Simmons Goodspeed Ventures

Simmons Goodspeed Ventures is an early-stage venture capital firm in Silicon Valley that invests in enterprise DeepTech startups in spaces such as wireless, semiconductor, materials, industrial systems, and IoT. He previously served in operating roles for 28 years in high technology firms before becoming an Entrepreneur in Residence for Draper Richards, an early-stage venture capital firm.

He is currently a member of the board of directors of Sylvan Source Inc. (SSI), which Simmons Goodspeed believes has developed the first breakthrough, commercially viable water treatment technology platform since reverse osmosis was commercialized in the 1960s. Other investors in SSI include a former Chevron Vice Chairman, a former US Ambassador, and a member of the Caltech Angels Network. Jim is also CEO of a stealth fashion mobile commerce startup, and a board member at eLOT. He was a board member at LucidPort and a board observer at WiDeFi (acquired by Qualcomm) and Nusym (acquired by Synopsys). Jim was Vice President, Marketing and Sales and Vice President, Marketing at Conductus and Superconductor Technologies from 1994 until 2002. In 2000, the market capitalization for Conductus exceeded $1.3 Billion.

Previously, Jim was Product Marketing and Applications Manager at Therma-Wave Inc. (now KLA); Vice President, Marketing and Sales at Nanometrics; and Product Marketing Manager at KLA. He began his career by holding a variety of marketing, product management, and manufacturing management positions in wireless semiconductors and computers at Hewlett-Packard.

Jim received a BS in Applied Physics with Honors from the California Institute of Technology and an MBA from the Harvard Business School. He served as President of the Caltech Alumni Association from 2012 to 2013, as a member of its Board of Directors from 2008 to 2014, and remains a lifetime member. He is Co-Chairman of the Caltech Angels Network and co-founded the Caltech Alumni Entrepreneurship Group in Silicon Valley.

Thomas Kluz

Thomas Kluz, Managing Director, Global Investing & M&A, Niterra Ventures

Venture Lab). a global investing platform with billions of $’s under management. Stage agnostic investment mandate: Seed through growth, minority and majority deals. Sectors of focus: digital health, services, medical device

Thomas is also managing partner of Pegasus Ventures, a fund that he incepted as $100M venture fund dedicated to NGK targeting the healthcare, utilities and mobility space. Pegasus has invested in companies such as SpaceX, Doordash, Instacart, 23andMe, Twitter, Calm and AirBnB.

Thomas looks back at a stellar career.  He was a partner at Qualcomm Ventures and transition from there to  DRx Capital a joint venture between Qualcomm and Novartis to invest in digital health, medical devices and diagnostics. Noteworthy investments included: Cala Health, Doctor On Demand, Science 37, TytoCare and Noom.

He served on many boards including Noom INc, Common Sensing, Doctor on Deman, Science 37, Welltok, Cala Health, Aktana, ultaLINK, Marche Health, NOTA Laboratories, Neoplas Med GmBH, AliveCor, and Dispatch Health,


Sasha Johnson

Co-founded Draper VTB Fund with Tim Draper and VTB Bank. Founder of Silicon Valley’s “ultimate insider” elite annual GTS Conference started in 2001 where every major Head of well known VC Funds like Sequoia Capital,NEA, IVP, Draper etc participates. www.mercurynews.com/2012/12/28/sasha-johnson-bridging-the-gap-between-russia-silicon-valley/

Founder and Managing Director of the Global Technology Capital and President of the Global Technology Symposium, a premier investor conference on global emerging markets held annually in Silicon Valley since 2003.  Alexandra is an experienced investor in early-stage companies and was one of the first female partners in the VC community starting her first fund in 2003.  She is a board member of several science-enabled tech companies, based In Silicon Valley.  Prior to that, Alexandra was a Managing Director of DFJ VTB Capital Aurora, a venture  group specializing in investments in the developing world. Alexandra invests in a broad range of companies targeting enterprise, material science, social network, and industry innovation and has grown a variety of product and services start-ups and emerging technology companies.  She was a private sector Co-Chair of the U.S. – Russia Innovation Working Group and has spent her career connecting Bay Area  investors with companies in emerging markets, supporting international cooperation and global talent.  Previously Alexandra was CEO of Libritas, Inc., a venture backed provider of Information Technology (IT) products and managed telecom services for small, medium and Fortune 500 Corporations. Libritas was acquired in 2001.
Ms. Johnson was named among Top 20 most influential men and women in Bay Area finance (Worth) Alexandra has an M.B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley