VC Briefings are a cornerstone of the NEVCA’s mission to facilitate the connections and relationships critical to a vibrant venture ecosystem. Invitation-only briefings offer in-depth, interactive discussions between investors, operators, and academics, on the topics at the cutting-edge of the venture landscape. This month, we’re gathering investors, experts, and operators from across the blockchain ecosystem for an evening of insights and discussion – and perhaps debate – on the 2020 outlook for blockchain-enabled business.
See you on September 24th at 4pm, and thanks to CBRE for making this possible!
Blockchain Landscape Overview
Ken Lang | Managing Partner & CTO, COSIMO Ventures
Ken is a technology visionary and inventor. He is a pioneer in AI and machine learning and invented search-engine methodology and collaborative filtering (e.g. if you like this, you will like that). Ken has successfully developed and commercialized technology throughout his career. As COO of Keane Advisors, he developed new algorithms and technology for trading, asset allocation and private equity. Ken served as CTO of Vringo (renamed Form Holdings NASDAQ:FH) and served on the Board of Directors while teaching as Adjunct Professor of New York University. He developed and founded WiseWire, where he served as CEO, CTO and board member. After WiseWire was sold to Lycos, he served as Lycos’ CTO.
Michael Casey | Author; CEO, Streambed
Michael Casey is CEO and co-founder of Streambed Media, an early-stage video technology provider that seeks to optimize capital formation and creative output in the digital media industry. He is also an advisor to the MIT Media Lab’s Digital Currency Initiative, a senior lecturer at MIT Sloan School of Management, an adjunct professor at Curtin University’s Center for Culture and Technology. Separately, he is chairman of the advisory board at CoinDesk, the leading provider of news and information for the blockchain and digital asset industry. Michael is a prominent media commentator, a fixture on the speaker circuit and a consultant to companies, helping audience and clients grapple with the disruption caused by decentralizing technologies. Previously, Michael was at The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones Newswires, where he had many roles over an 18-year stint, his last as senior columnist covering global economics. He has five acclaimed books to his name, including, most recently, The Truth Machine: The Blockchain and the Future of Everything, which he co-authored with Paul Vigna. Michael is a graduate of the University of Western Australia and has higher degrees from Cornell University and Curtin University.
Rob Frasca | Co-Founder & Managing Partner, COSIMO Ventures
Rob is an online pioneer, experienced entrepreneur that has built three venture-backed start-ups with successful exits, including Galt Technologies, sold to Intuit in 1995; WiseWire, acquired by Lycos in 1997; and Affinnova, which was acquired by Nielsen in 2015. He created the first commercially-available stock quote and portfolio management service on the Internet and served as Vice President and General Manager at a top 3 public Internet company. Rob has brought more than 50 products to market, including financial services, online clubs, search engines and AI platforms. Rob received a BS in Mech Eng. from Rochester Institute of Technology and an MBA from Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business. He is also a decorated US Naval Flight Officer with 18 combat missions.
Giovanna Fessenden | Intellectual Property Attorney, Hamilton Brook Smith & Reynolds
Giovanna Fessenden is a computer scientist, intellectual property attorney, and blockchain specialist with nearly two decades of experience in advising high tech companies and startups in software patents, software product development, software licensing, open source software licensing compliance, and intellectual property strategy.
Ethan Heilman | CTO, Arwen
Ethan has spent five years improving the security and privacy of cryptocurrencies. He is the author of 8+ technical papers on cryptocurrency and blockchain security, as well as one paper which broke the security of SHA-3 candidate Spectral Hash. Ethan is a PhD candidate at Boston University, an inventor of the Bitcoin privacy protocol TumbleBit, and has contributed security improvements to the Bitcoin Core codebase. He is the recipient of a IETF/IRTF Applied Networking Research Prize, and was nominated for a Pwnie in the category of Best Cryptographic Attack. Ethan previously designed cryptologic software and built genomic tools for the Broad Institute. In his spare time, he enjoys breaking cryptographic hash functions.
William Lopez-Cordero | Technical Lead, elphi
William is the Technical Lead of elphi. William has a BS from MIT in Aerospace Engineering with significant experience in Computer Science. Throughout his career, William worked at companies such as NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Lockheed Martin, Facebook, and Google. He has contributed to cutting-edge research pertaining to space exploration and aerodynamic simulation, and has won several hackathons pertaining to philanthropic fundraising for non-profit organizations on Ethereum. At MIT, William was the President of the MIT Bitcoin Club and Co-President of the MIT Sloan Blockchain Club with the mission to unite technological innovation pertaining to blockchain with real-life business use cases.
Alfred Browne | Corporate Transactional Lawyer, Cooley
Alfred L. Browne, III is chair of Cooley’s Fintech practice initiative and a corporate transactional lawyer with over 20 years of experience representing high growth and technology companies, particularly in the software industry. Al’s fintech practice focuses primarily on legal issues impacting blockchain-based technologies, smart contracts and convertible virtual currency. He regularly represents companies utilizing and incorporating distributed ledger technologies (DLT) into their businesses, including token issuers, and institutional investors investing in DLT. Al’s transactional practice, includes broad experience in PE-sponsored M&A, venture capital, and growth equity.
Dhesi Ananchaperumal | CEO, Oneiro
Dhesi is an accomplished software and business executive with over 20 years of industry experience. Before joining Oneiro, he was the co-founder and CEO of Verité, an identity and access management provider using blockchain technology. He has led Product & Engineering organizations at Tangoe, Dell EMC, and CA Technologies. In these roles, he led multi-billion dollar converged infrastructure product lines, integrated software technology acquired by startups, and built new data center management products. He holds 10 U.S. patents with nine pending and is an active CISSP. He was awarded the Distinguished Engineer by CA Technologies. Dhesi earned Master of Science degrees in Electronics Design and Technology and Computer Science from the Center for Electronics Design Technology and Marathwada University in India.