Marc Nager | CEO and President, UP Global
In early 2009, Marc Nager found the opportunity to acquire Startup Weekend, LLC and to transform it into a non-profit. Startup Weekend has found a way to help others pursue their passions, solve real problems, and impact the world around them. Startup Weekend has built a network of more than 75,000 alumni, thousands of volunteer organizers and 100 trained facilitators spread across more than 300 cities in 100 countries. Startup Weekend’s efforts have garnered exposure in almost every major media outlet around the world. Marc has an uncanny ability to integrate his mission with his active lifestyle. He believes that there is no better way to start a work day than to do an early morning eight-mile hike in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.
Marc holds a degree in International Business from Chapman University in Southern California. Marc considers himself a do-er, an orchestrator of passions and talents, and an instigator. He has strong faith in always investing time, energy and resources into “doing the right thing.” An ambitious go-getter, he is dedicated to expanding his experience and understanding of startup ecosystems around the world. His efforts focus on increasing the levels and quality of support available for passionate entrepreneurs and communities. Entrepreneurship is something that can be taught and learned, and he’s on a mission to make it possible for anyone.
Shailendra Vyakarnam | Director, CFEL, Cambridge University
Shai is Director for the Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning (CfEL), part of University of Cambridge Judge Business School. He started his working career in small companies, leaving to complete his MBA and PhD at Cranfield School of Management, where he stayed on the faculty for ten years, before taking up a Chair in Enterprise at Nottingham Business School. Since 2001, Shai has been closely involved in building the curriculum for a practitioner-led approach to education for entrepreneurship at the University of Cambridge.
Together with a core team of staff, researchers, an established pool of Entrepreneurs in Residence and a wider community of practitioners, the Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning (CfEL) provides a portfolio of programmes and activities that encourage, inform and support students at the University and elsewhere to take a learning journey through entrepreneurship. Several of the courses have been copied, transplanted or redeveloped in context. In 2011, the Centre ran the first Postgraduate Diploma in Entrepreneurship programme which is accredited by the University of Cambridge.
Shai has published five books and several papers on entrepreneurship. His current research includes work on social capital, entrepreneurial learning, opportunity recognition and risk taking and decision making, e.g. ‘The Innovative Brain’ with Prof Barbara Sahakian, Nature, Nov 2008. He co-authored a World Economic Forum report published in 2009 entitled 'Educating the Next Wave of Entrepreneurs' with specific responsibility for the chapter on Social Inclusion.
He is Senior Member at both Darwin College and Wolfson College at the University of Cambridge, UK. Shai is currently a Chartered Member of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) and a Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA). He also holds a Visiting Professorship at the Indian Institute of Science.
Shai has combined academic and business interests having co-founded several businesses. Presently, he is Director of AcceleratorIndia – founded to transfer innovations, technology and know-how between the UK and India.
Adeo Ressi | Founder of the Founder Institute
Adeo Ressi is CEO of the Founder Institute, an idea-stage incubator for high-tech entrepreneurs with chapters in over 20 cities worldwide. The Institute plans to help launch 1,000 companies per year worldwide.
Adeo serves as the Founding Member of TheFunded.com, an online resource for CEO's to research, rate, and review venture firms worldwide. TheFunded.com has two goals: streamline the fundraising process and encourage more innovation through venture investment.
Mr. Ressi also serves on the Board of the X PRIZE foundation, a non-profit chartered to inspire human achievements through competition.
Bjoern (28) was born in Germany, and has become a recognized entrepreneur and expert on data products, data driven decision making, education, innovation, entrepreneurship and organizational development.
He founded and led 5 for and non profit ventures in Germany, Bangladesh & the US. He also worked as an executive in Russia for one year for a mid sized marketing firm. In his free time he is an advisor to multiple for and non profit (e.g. Startup Canada), a mentor for the Thiel Fellowship, Startup Bootcamp and Spark Labs and a speaker at various conferences (e.g Strata & Hadoop World, Pioneers Festival, Int. Startup Festival) and Universities (e.g. Stanford, Oxford, Cambridge, SU). He is also a member of the Sandbox Network, the WEF Global Shapers and the Silicon Valley Leadership group. He is actively engaged into German, European and US politics on the issues of entrepreneurship and immigration.
Most recently he & his team set out to decrease the massive failure rate of businesses by transforming the business world from gut driven to data driven. The first product "Startup Compass" now serves tens of thousands of software businesses around the world. Its success has been covered in WSJ, PBS, ARD, Techcrunch, Wired and Forbes. The young company has been backed by prominent investors including Steve Blank, Allen Morgan, Roger Krakoff, Daniel Recanati, Gianluca Dettori, Erik Jansen and Stefan Glaenzer.
Since its inception Compass has released a series of well-regarded reports: The Startup Genome Report (1) the startup lifecycle, (2) success & failure of startups and (3) startup ecosystems. They have been adopted into the curriculum of more than 100 Universities worldwide such as Stanford and Science Po and have inspired numerous businesses and political initiatives.
Bjoern's personal passion or "leitmotif" is: unleashing human potential. He enjoys to see people grow. His higher purpose is to strive to maximize the capitalization of every single individual.