Первая тема: Art and Science of Putting together a Team
Первый спикер: Chris Tara-Browne, President and co-founder at Unfurl
Chris Tara-Browne is a Board Member/executive/entrepreneur who really enjoys building great teams, organizations and products for the automotive, food & beverage, coffee and education spaces.
Promoting integrative approaches that work in both for-profit corporations and not-for-profit organizations.
Building unity of vision and purpose, facilitating unified thought, supporting a culture of accompanying one another in unified action a sustainable process oriented organization comes into being and intended, as well as unforeseen, outcomes emerge.
Examining together with the teams I work with to find the right people and by accompanying them, promoting a humble posture of learning and making sure the right balance of “doing” and “being” is constantly preserved.
Chris grew up in Sebastopol, CA and graduated from San Francisco State University in 1992 with a major in Music Production and a minor in Religious Studies and Philosophy.
After six years of managing music acts in San Francisco he moved to Novosibirsk, Siberia to help promote the interests of the Baha’i community in post-Soviet Russia. There he established the coffeehouse chain Traveler’s Coffee where he was founder and CEO for over 17 years, establishing over 100 coffeehouses in six countries.
Currently Chris is the one of the founders and President of Unfurl (San Mateo, CA) and the vice-chairman of the board of directors for Bauman College & Bauman Wellness (Berkeley, CA).
In 2015 Chris moved from Novosibirsk, Russia to Santa Rosa, CA with his wife Sveta and two sons Daniel (14) and Alex (19).
Вторая тема: Entrepreneurial Landscape and Ecosystem
Второй спикер: Tien Wong, Founder of The Big Idea CONNECTpreneur Forum; Private Investor; CEO at Opus8
Tien Wong is a tech entrepreneur, CEO, and angel investor. He is Chairman & CEO of Opus8, Inc., a private investment and strategic advisory firm specializing in tech investments and fundraising for alternative investment funds and companies seeking to raise capital. Opus8’s Phoenix Fund makes early stage investments in remarkable fintech, proptech, healthtech, and martech companies that are disrupting their markets and changing the world. Tien is Chairman of Lumious, a Virginia-based EdTech company which provides advanced tech training, mobile e-learning, and software development to Fortune 500 customers. He is also Chairman of Lore, a national provider of IT and business process outsourcing services to commercial and government clients.
Tien has made direct investments in over 25 early stage companies and VC funds. He has been an investor/shareholder and mentor to several successful companies including Parature (exited to Microsoft for $100 million+), Transactis (exited to MasterCard), DataRPM (exited to Progress Software), LiveLook (exited to Oracle), TerraCycle, and TopBox, among others.
Tien has assisted several dozen leading venture capital and private equity fund managers in raising institutional and family office capital. Some of these clients include Morgan Stanley, Mitsubishi Corp., TPG, Ares, StepStone, Thomas H. Lee, K1, and US Venture Partners.
In 2012, Tien created the Big Idea CONNECTpreneur Forum, a now-global community of over 20,000 founders, CEOs, angels, VCs, CXOs and other business leaders. The community hosts bi-monthly live Forums with upwards of 600 attendees, as well as monthly virtual online Forums and pitch events with several hundred attendees. Events feature VIP guests, speakers, exciting presenting companies, and the best CXO to CXO networking on the East Coast.
In 1991, Tien co-founded and served as Chairman & CEO of CyberRep, Inc. until its acquisition in 2003 by a “Fortune 500”company, which was then acquired by Xerox. CyberRep was one of the world’s largest privately held CRM outsourcing companies, operating 9 customer interaction centers throughout the USA with over 2,300 employees and $80 million in revenue. Today, the CyberRep business units comprise about $2 billion in revenue as divisions of Xerox and Conduent. CyberRep garnered multiple prestigious awards including Customer Inter@ction Solutions magazine’s MVP Quality Award and Customer Interface magazine’s ACCE (Award for Call Center Excellence), as well as INC. magazine’s 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2000’s “Inc. 500” recognition as the 51st, 53rd, 72nd and 408th fastest growing private company in the USA, respectively. CyberRep was profitable for 11 consecutive years and was backed by Allied Capital Corporation, a $5 billion investment company.
A recognized international expert in CRM, direct marketing, and BPO, Tien has presented at dozens of conferences around the world. He has also provided industry commentary on the ABC, Fox, NBC, CNBC, Maryland Public Television, and China’s CCTV networks, as well as for publications such as Time Magazine, The Washington Post, Inc. Magazine, and Success Magazine.
Tien received the 2001 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for Greater Washington and the 2003 Ernst & Young Performance Excellence Award. He was inducted into the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Hall of Fame. He was recognized by Washingtonian magazine as a “Tech Titan” in 2017, 2018, and 2019. Tien is a 2012 and 2013 Washington Business Journal “Power 100” selection as one of the region’s most influential leaders, a three-time SmartCEO Magazine selection as a “Smart100” CEO (’09, ’10 and ’11), a 2013 DCInno “Fifty on Fire” awardee, community service honoree as a member of Greater DC Cares 2009 “Class of Change” and The Gazette of Politics and Business selection in 2010 as one of “25 CEOs You Need to Know.” He is a member of YPO and is a frequent guest lecturer on entrepreneurship, leadership, venture capital, and private equity at the University of Maryland and Georgetown University, where he is an Entrepreneur in Residence.
Tien was appointed by Governor Martin O’Malley to the 9-member Maryland Venture Fund Authority which oversees $84 million in venture capital allocations; he serves on the Boards of Directors of the Montgomery County (MD) Economic Development Corp. and Junior Achievement of Greater Washington. He serves on the Investment Advisory Board of the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology GAP Fund and is a Mentor at the Mach37 Cybersecurity Accelerator and Conscious Venture Lab. In the past, he has served as Treasurer and National Board Member of the American Teleservices Association; Chairman of the Executive Leadership Committee for the Network For Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE); Trustee of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and on the Boards of the Maryland Tech Council, Association for Corporate Growth – National Capital, Digital DC Tech Fund, Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce, Potomac Officer’s Club, Trade-Up Capital Fund, Monte Jade Science and Technology Association, FounderCorps, and Startup Maryland. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College.
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