Partners & Supporters


Foundation Partners

ANA is Japan’s five-star international airline with 83 international routes and 116 domestic routes. Founded in 1952, ANA bridges the divide between places, people and their cultures. The airline prides itself on providing passengers with a unique and flawless journey through the airline’s relentless drive towards excellence, innovation and creativity. To learn more, click here.

Deloitte Consulting LLP helps organizations grow their businesses and enhance value by identifying actionable insights. Over 31,000 practitioners provide a broad range of capabilities across human capital, strategy & operations and technology that are aligned to the particular needs of specific sectors, businesses and organizations. Deloitte provides clients with leading business insights that can help generate a tangible and measurable impact. For more information, click here.


IEEE Computer Society is the world’s leading membership organization for professionals in all aspects of modern computing—from cloud to big data, security to mobile, robotics to software defined systems, cybersecurity to IoT. A true community for technology leaders, the Computer Society provides resources to keep its members current in technology and moving forward in their professions—publications, a renowned digital library, a vast program of conferences, technical committees, and much more. The Computer Society also serves the profession at large through the establishment professional qualifications and certifications, training and education programs, events on leading-edge technologies, conference publishing, and a wealth of other services and programs focused on advancing the science and art of computing. More information on IEEE Computer Society can be found at www.computer.org.
The Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) is a nonprofit scientific society devoted to advancing the scientific understanding of the mechanisms underlying thought and intelligent behavior and their embodiment in machines. AAAI aims to promote research in, and responsible use of, artificial intelligence. AAAI also aims to increase public understanding of artificial intelligence, improve the teaching and training of AI practitioners, and provide guidance for research planners and funders concerning the importance and potential of current AI developments and future directions.
IFIP, the International Federation for Information Processing, is the global professional federation of societies and associations for people working in Information and Communications Technologies and Sciences. Established under the auspices of UNESCO in 1960 and recognized by the United Nations, IFIP represents ICT professional associations from more than 50 countries and regions with a total membership of over half a million. It also brings together more than 3,500 scientists from industry and academia, organizing them into over 100 Working Groups and 13 Technical Committees to conduct research, develop standards and promote information sharing. Based in Austria, IFIP organizes and supports over 100 conferences each year, fostering the distribution of research and knowledge to academics and industry practitioners alike.
ITU is the leading United Nations agency for information and communication technologies, driving innovation in ICTs together with 193 Member States and a membership of over 700 private sector entities and academic institutions. Established over 150 years ago in 1865, ITU is the intergovernmental body responsible for coordinating the shared global use of the radio spectrum, promoting international cooperation in assigning satellite orbits, improving communication infrastructure in the developing world, and establishing the worldwide standards that foster seamless interconnection of a vast range of communications systems. From broadband networks to cutting-edge wireless technologies, aeronautical and maritime navigation, radio astronomy, oceanographic and satellite-based earth monitoring as well as converging fixed-mobile phone, Internet and broadcasting technologies, ITU is committed to connecting the world. www.itu.int

Capital Partners

Founded in 2013, Zetta Venture Partners is the first fund focused on intelligent enterprise software. That is, companies building software that learns from data to analyze, predict and prescribe outcomes. The firm leads or co-leads $1-5M funding rounds. Current portfolio companies include Appdiff, Clearbit, Domo, Domino Data Lab, EventBoard, Focal Systems, InsideSales, Kaggle, Lilt, Lucid Design Group and Tractable.
Tech Coast Angels(TCA) is one of the largest and most active angel investor networks in the nation, and a leading source of funding for seed-stage and early-stage companies across all industries in Southern California. TCA members are accredited investors who collectively invest in startup companies in the range of $250k to $2M as a group. TCA is a catalyst in the growth of the thriving Southern California entrepreneurial ecosystem of innovation, funding mostly emerging technologies and life science companies. The most recent Halo Report rated TCA as #2 nationally in a number of funded deals. A recent analysis by CB Insights ranked TCA #1 out of 370 angel groups on “Network Centrality” and #5 overall in “Investor Mosaic.” Since its founding in 1997, TCA has invested over $176 million in more than 300 companies and has helped attract more than $1.5 billion in additional capital/follow-on rounds, mostly from venture capital firms. For more information, please visit www.techcoastangels.com.
Crowdfunder is a leading equity crowdfunding platform for sourcing and funding early stage ventures with accredited & institutional investors online. Companies on Crowdfunder are typically early-stage startups, many of which are backed by leading Venture Capital firms and private investors. Our investor network of thousands of angels and institutions get direct access to public & private deals online. Get free access to private early-stage VC-backed startups on Crowdfunder. For more information, click here.

Technical Partners

Affectiva, an MIT Media Lab spin-off, is the pioneer in Emotion AI, the next frontier of artificial intelligence. Affectiva’s mission is to bring emotional intelligence to the digital world with emotion recognition technology that senses and analyzes facial expressions of emotion. Our patented software uses computer vision, deep learning and the world’s largest emotion database of 4.7 million faces analyzed in 75 countries. Affectiva’s SDKs and APIs enable developers to add emotion-sensing and analytics to their own apps, games, devices and digital experiences. Affectiva is used by more than 1,400 brands to gather insight and analytics in consumer emotional engagement.
Hart is a medical software company founded in 2012 in Orange County, Calif. Hart empowers people to access and engage with their health so they can focus on what matters most to them. In HartOS the Hart team has built a bi-directional API platform capable of powering a family of industry-optimized applications, sophisticated plugins, and a consumer-facing health- and activity-tracking app. Capable of extracting and intelligently acting on health data from multiple electronic medical records (EMRs), HartOS makes it possible to rapidly merge and access information among hospitals and clinics. This results in simpler and more effective communication between patients and providers, as well as higher engagement rates than traditional portals. Health providers and businesses gain the ability to adapt Hart’s resources to their own unique needs or to apply Hart’s APIs to their own applications. On the other side of the Hart health equation, app users can combine daily activities and medical information, conveniently schedule appointments, message their doctor, view test results and vitals, and more. Hart’s ultimate mission is to build products that help people become more aware of their health and they achieve this by simplifying information, access and the ability to engage.
Engine is a technology policy, research, and advocacy organization that bridges the gap between policymakers and startups, working with government and a community of high- technology, growth-oriented startups across the nation to support the development of entrepreneurship. Engine creates an environment where technological innovation and entrepreneurship thrive by providing knowledge about the startup economy and constructing smarter public policy. To that end, Engine conducts research, organizes events, and spearheads campaigns to educate elected officials, the entrepreneur community, and the general public on issues vital to fostering technological innovation. To learn more, visit http://engine.is.
TOPBOTS is a leading research and strategy firm guiding Fortune 500 clients on Artificial Intelligence innovation. TOPBOTS educates business leaders on high-impact applications of modern machine learning and AI techniques, and helps leading organizations adopt and implement emerging technologies. TOPBOTS provides design, development, and infrastructure solutions for enterprise-scale machine learning systems, with a special focus on natural language processing and chatbots for customer experience automation. For more information visit www.topbots.com.


Jason Pontin


Jason Pontin, Editor in Chief and Publisher at MIT Technology Review, and Global Chairman at MIT Enterprise Forum, is responsible for the editorial direction, media platforms, and business strategy of MIT Technology Review, including the rapidly expanding U.S. and international websites, the award-winning print magazine, videos, newsletters, business reports, and live events such as EmTech, the company's annual flagship conference focused on emerging technologies. He also serves as chairman of its international entrepreneurial network, the MIT Enterprise Forum. Mr. Pontin joined MIT Technology Review in 2004 as its editor and was named publisher in August 2005. Mr. Pontin has written for national and international publications, including the New York Times, the Economist, the Financial Times, and Wired.

Emilia Garito


Emilia Garito is an engineer in computer science and the founder of the first patent and design broker firm in Italy, Quantum Leap – Ideas for sale, as well as the creator of a world first business model New Trends Domains, whose activity consists of booking the future by finding emerging or forthcoming trends in all innovation fields. Both firms are under the hat of innovation hub Infinity Edge S.r.l. Emilia is also the organizer of TEDxRoma, the largest TEDx event in Italy.

Xavier Hervé


Xavier Hervé has a 25 year track record of building businesses and materializing innovations as well as experience in several technologies and engineering intensive domains such as aviation, information systems, simulation, and green tech. Having deployed business on an international export scale and achieved great exits, he now actively gives back to the Montréal innovation community. His dedication to innovation leaders and his passion for entrepreneurship led him to found the District 3 Innovation Center, which leverages proven innovation methods and coaching for the building of success. He’s a dedicated mentor, entrepreneur, and a contagiously creative person.

Alexandre Cadain


Alexandre Cadain leads the Post-digital research lab at Ecole Normale Supérieure, which explores possible futures of deep technologies, specifically AI. He is an entrepreneur and researcher in hybrid intelligence and exponential imagination. He is a graduate of Ecole Normale Supérieure, HEC Paris and La Sorbonne University, where he studied the intersections of modern science, art and economics. Committed to the idea that our Digital Renaissance should be about distributing the future evenly in the world, he went on a developing countries tour to investigate how governments and energy companies could leverage exponential technologies to tackle grand challenges in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Fang Yuan


Fang Yuan is a Director at Comet Labs, a VC fund and incubator specializing in early-stage AI and robotics investments with a focus on AI applied to specific industry verticals such as healthcare, transportation, agriculture, retail, etc. She is currently leading a special project at Comet Labs focusing on AI for social good. Previously, Fang worked in business operations for two fast growing startups, and prior to that was a general management consultant with years of experience working in emerging markets such as Brazil, Mexico, India, Nigeria, etc. She is a graduate of Harvard College.

Kenny Chen


Kenny Chen is the Program Director of Ascender, a Pittsburgh-based startup incubator that also produces the annual Thrival Innovation + Music Festival. Kenny focuses on curating innovative programs and building relationships locally, nationally and globally. He also hosts startup competitions and speaks at conferences around the US. Kenny's career interests in cross-sector collaboration have led him to work in education, behavioral research, federal government, local government, nonprofits, foundations, economic development, and entrepreneurship. He was raised in Las Vegas, NV, graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Social Psychology, and worked in Washington DC, San Francisco, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Guangzhou prior to moving to Pittsburgh.

Stephen Ibaraki


Stephen Ibaraki has received numerous lifetime achievement awards and recognitions for innovation and held more than 100 executive roles in the technology field. A few of Stephen Ibaraki’s positions include: chairing as social entrepreneur and futurist digital financial services and artificial intelligence events at the flagship UN ITU World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly, UN ITU Telecom World, and UN ITU Kaleidoscope; co-chair Practitioner Board Association for Computing Machinery; founding chair Global Industry Council and vice-chair board IP3 International Federation for Information Processing and founding managing partner REDDS Venture Investment Partners.

Hamet Watt


Hamet Watt is a Venture Partner at Upfront Ventures. He is also co-founder and Chairman of bLife, a wellness innovation company, and co-founder and Chairman of MoviePass. Previously, Hamet was an entrepreneur-in-residence at True Ventures and a General Partner in the New Africa Opportunity Fund, a $120 million venture capital fund, which was the first US-backed venture fund investing in post-apartheid South Africa. Hamet has received numerous awards for technology innovation and entrepreneurship including a “Top 10 Black Innovators Award” and was named by Business Insider Magazine one of 2014’s “46 Most Important African-Americans in Technology.”

Kristian Hammond


Kristian Hammond is the Chief Scientist and co-founder of Narrative Science and a professor of Computer Science and Journalism at Northwestern University. At Narrative Science, Kris’ main priority is future of Advanced NLG, the democratization of data through automatic language generation and the challenges and opportunities of interfacing with machine through language. Prior to moving to Northwestern, Kris founded the University of Chicago’s Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. His research has always been focused on artificial intelligence, machine-generated content and context-driven information systems.

Naresh Soni


Naresh Soni is a technology industry veteran most recently involved in the development of Enterprise Immersive applications using AR/VR, artificial intelligence and predictive analytics using machine learning with applications in industrial, entertainment and healthcare sectors and in developing human-centric computing. He has also developed rich-media software for mobile uses and hold several issued and pending patents in the field of computing, wireless and video compression technologies. He has held executive positions at blue chip companies, such as Interdigital, Nokia and STMicroelectronics and technical positions at IBM and AT&T Bell Labs.

Mohamed Alkady


Mohamed Alkady is the president of Hart, a medical software technology company in Orange County empowering people to easily access and engage with their health. He and his business partner founded Hart in 2012 after identifying a critical need for improvements in the flow of patient data within and across multiple health networks. Today Alkady’s world-class team at Hart develops products and services to help clients stay on the cutting edge of technology. Under his guidance, Hart is fulfilling a vision of an industry that can better serve patients by maximizing, rather than resisting, the perpetual changes and transformations so inherent to it.

Jessica Brillhart


Jessica Brillhart is the principal filmmaker for VR at Google. Since directing, WORLD TOUR – the first VR film made with the Jump ecosystem – Brillhart has continued traveling the world, filming and experimenting, all in an effort to better understand and help inform others about this emergent medium.

Hilary Mason


Hilary Mason is Founder and CEO of Fast Forward Labs, a machine intelligence research company, where she leads a team of applied researchers advising Fortune 500 executives, governments, and startups. She's also the Data Scientist in Residence at Accel Partners, a silicon valley venture capital firm. Previously, Hilary was Chief Scientist at bitly. She co-hosts a DataGotham, a conference for New York's home grown data community, and co-founded HackNY, a non-profit that helps engineering students find opportunities in New York's creative technical economy. She’s on the board of the Anita Borg Institute and an advisor to startups including Sparkfun Electronics, Wildcard, and Wonder. Hilary served on Mayor Bloomberg’s Technology Advisory Board, and is a member of Brooklyn hacker collective NYC Resistor.

Mark Schelbert


Mark Schelbert is the CEO of Gracelock Industries an international e-commerce business in recreational boating, power sports, and home décor. Mr. Schelbert is also the Managing Partner of Shackleton Equity Partners, a special-situations private equity investment firm that has focused on virtual reality technologies, aerospace and electronic component manufacturing. Prior to Shackleton, he worked at Chanin Capital Partners, a leading investment bank specializing in debt restructurings. Mr. Schelbert graduated with a Master’s in Business Administration from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

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