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Michael Gardner is a managing director and head of the Center at the BNY Mellon Innovation Center, Silicon Valley. Mike is responsible for ensuring access to the best and latest Silicon Valley expertise and technology, to supplement other company innovation centers and technologists around the world. Mike has nearly 30 years of experience in software engineering and executive leadership. At Borland, a well-known programming tools provider, he led teams pushing the envelope of databases, compilers, and Java. He co-founded and ran PeachPit Press, an early innovator in the desktop publishing revolution. At Lutris Technologies, he ran a large software engineering consulting practice, and later shipped one of the industry’s first application
servers and helped pioneer a commercial business model based on publishing open source software. Mike ran the Search engineering teams at Ebay and ran a very large codebase conversion
Steve Kirsch is the CEO of Token, a Silicon Valley startup company building the infrastructure components for next generation payments. He has pioneered several core computer technologies (optical mouse, Internet search, spam filtering, and secure identity) and founded 7 high tech companies, two with billion dollar market caps (Infoseek and Frame Technology). He has BS/MS in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT.
Sam Ostler, Venture Analyst at Wells Fargo Startup Accelerator. Sam joined the Startup Accelerator Investor Team in 2015 and his responsibilities include facilitating investment activities, portfolio management, and external partnerships. The Wells Fargo Startup Accelerator is a hands-on program designed to advance startups that create solutions for enterprise customers – inside and outside the financial industry. Prior to Wells Fargo, Sam was a developer for a number of startups and graduated from the University of Southern California with a BA in Economics and a Minor in Computer Security.
CS Lai manages relationships with venture capital firms and connects their portfolio companies to HSBC’s global network, technology investment, and strategic leadership. CS has been working with start-ups for over twelve years. He has a BS in Managerial Economics from UC Davis.
John Stewart is Global Head of Scouting and Research for the Royal Bank of Scotland. John joined RBS in March 2011 and relocated to San Francisco in March 2014 as Head of Silicon Valley Solutions. His role is to lead the global teams that identify new and innovative technologies that improve the way customers interact with RBS and help to progress them through to being live solutions and services. John has held senior roles in financial services since 1987 at TSB Bank, IBM, Barclays and KPMG where he had a lead role in the UK Government Banking Transformation Programme and helped to resolve some of the financial organisations impacted by the global financial crisis. John lives in Marin County with his wife and is enjoying the California weather and wines.
Brian Hamilton is an EIR with BBVA Digital Ventures and CEO at Azlo, a disruptive new banking service for freelancers and entrepreneurs. A serial entrepreneur himself, Brian has over 15 years of experience in product development, business management and innovation in Payments & FinTech. Brian was a co-founder at Pushpoint, a location-based ad redemption platform successfully acquired by Capital One, where he served as President of Capital One Merchant Services and SVP for National Digital SMB banking. Brian was also a founder at Isomer Labs, a technology incubator in San Francisco which developed the Chargesmart Mobile payments platform later acquired by Verifone. Prior to his start-up experience Brian led Product & Strategy for Clear2Pay, the global payments technology provider based in Brussels, and began his early career at Wells Fargo as a CLO, later leading new product development for the WF Foreign Exchange group.
Jessica Chen Riolfi is the Head of Asia at TransferWise, the international money transfer platform. She has spent her career building global products and currently accelerates TransferWise’s mission of money without borders throughout Asia. Previously, she led growth at eBay where she focused on reaching new customers in China, Brazil, and Mexico, including launching the eBay store on WeChat. Jessica holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA from Dartmouth College.
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.