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Panelists: Shahin Farshchi, Partner Lux Capital grew up in the San Francisco Bay with a passion for computers, cars, and space. His first computer was a PC XT clone, first car was a 1976 Alfa Spider, and chose to pursue engineering after observing his father design rockets. He majored in electrical engineering and computer science at UC Berkeley, during which he worked as a software developer in several startups. In 2001, he moved to Detroit to design hybrid electric vehicles, and later returned to California to complete a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering with a focus on wireless and MEMS technology. In 2004, he founded Vista, which made wireless vital sign monitors for hospitals. Shahin joined Lux in 2006, with a focus on technology including advanced transport, space, robotics, communications, and computation. He led Lux’s investments in Silicon Clocks (NASDAQ:SLAB), SiBeam (NASDAQ:SIMG), Planet Labs, Plethora, Flex Logix, Nervana, and Scaled Inference.
Scott Robinson is the founder and VP of Plug and Play FinTech, the financial technology focused startup innovation platform in partnership with BNP Paribas, Santander, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, TD Bank, Sberbank, USAA, Mitsubishi, Capital One, Sumitomo, Intuit and many more global financial institutions. Since the launch of the program in February 2015, Scott and his team have accelerated over 90 FinTech startups and has led numerous investments into the domain. Scott has worked with Plug and Play, a global startup accelerator headquartered in Silicon Valley, for the past three years managing a number of FinTech, Blockchain, and Bitcoin-related initiatives. Additionally, Scott is the founder of Plug and Play Bitcoin, the co-organizer of the world’s oldest Bitcoin Meetup and founder of the first nationally syndicated Bitcoin Job Fair. Prior to joining Plug and Play, Scott worked in various roles with a number of early stage startups where he led fundraising, product development and marketing activities. Scott graduated from UCLA in 2008, where he received his B.A. in History.
Paul Veradittakit is Partner at Pantera Capital and focuses on the firm’s venture investments. Since joining in 2014, Paul has helped to launch the firm’s second venture fund and has executed 15 investments. Paul is also a Board Observer at ChangeTip, a mentor at Boost VC, an accelerator in Silicon Valley started by Adam Draper and focused on seed stage Bitcoin companies, and a mentor at Golden Gate Ventures, an accelerator in Singapore. Prior to joining Pantera, Paul worked at Strive Capital as an Associate focusing on investments in the mobile space, including an early stage investment in App Annie. Previously, Paul was at Hatch Consulting and LECG and performed partnerships and growth for Urban Spoils, an early stage startup in the daily deal space.
Pedro Sorrentino is a Venture Associate at FundersClub, focused on early stage and series-A technology investments. FundersClub is a shareholder in Coinbase, Slack, Instacart, Shippo, Flexport, RapidAPI, Pipefy, Rappi and 200+ other companies. Previously, he held multiple roles at SendGrid, a cloud-based email platform, that delivers billions of customer engagement emails each month for companies like Uber, Spotify, Tumblr and Airbnb. While there, Pedro was their first hire responsible for all partnership-reseller channels with companies like Heroku, Microsoft, Softlayer and Rackspace. Additionally, he led the company expansion to Latin America. Prior to SendGrid, Pedro co-founded two companies, including Recomind.net, which was acquired by Buscapé Company, the largest e-commerce conglomerate in Latin America. In a past life, Pedro had a classic rock band and was a music journalist. Today, he enjoys Formula 1, meditation and believes that everyone can improve by one percent, every day. Moderator: Pierre-R. Wolff is Managing Director of ExecConnect, a firm facilitating professional transactional connections. His clients include firms in global financial services and corporate venture capital interested in executing corporate development transactions (specifically investments, M&A, and strategic partnerships), and early stage companies in need of business/corporate development and fundraising strategy assistance. Over the past 3 years he has spent a significant amount of time in the Blockchain ecosystems consulting on various transactions. Pierre currently serves on several advisory boards of blockchain, 3D printing, collaborative communications, real-time streaming and payment system companies. He received his MBA from EDHEC in Nice, France, and conducted his undergraduate studies at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA.