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This panel of investors & founders enlightens us as to the key points to achieve success in FinTech companies!
Ben Narasin is a Partner at Canvas, focused on early-stage venture investments in mobile, fintech, and marketplaces/eCommerce as well as exciting new categories. Ben was an active institutional seed investor for eight years before joining Canvas, during which he personally invested in 75 companies including Lending Club, Check, Kabbage, Realty Mogul, Dropcam, Zenefits, and many more world-class startups. Half of the companies he seeded went on to raise follow-on venture capital. An entrepreneur since the age of twelve, Ben ran startups through high school and college before founding Boston Prepatory Company, a menswear company. He then founded Fashionmall.com in 1993, one of the first e-commerce companies on the Web and the first cost-per-click based business, which he took public in 1999 on the NASDAQ. In the moments when Ben is not spending time with his entrepreneurs and family, he is also a professional freelance writer on food and wine for various print publications as well as writing online about technology and entrepreneurship. His work has appeared in The SF Chronicle, Wine Enthusiast, Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch, Venture Beat, Gentry Wealth, SV and many other consumer and trade publications. Read Ben’s writings at Venture & Venison. Ben earned a B.A. in Entrepreneurial Studies from Babson College.
Thomas France is the cofounder of Ledger, the leading Blockchain security company. The team is behind the Ledger Nano hardware wallet used by tens of thousands people all accros the world. Prior to his Bitcoin involvement Thomas was a consultant at The Boston Consulting Group before founding Prixing, a mobile shopping app sold to $HCO in 2013. Thomas is also an angel investor notably in the Fintech and Insurancetech space
Laura Cain is an associate at Thomvest Ventures, a $250MM cross-stage fund based in Redwood Shores, CA. At Thomvest, Laura focuses on fintech investments, with a specific interest in online lending and insurance. Laura is responsible for evaluating new investment opportunities, conducting financial & business due diligence, and supporting existing portfolio companies. Prior to Thomvest, Laura worked at Deloitte Consulting as part of the Technology Strategy & Architecture division. There she focused on advising clients on cloud computing, enterprise architecture, IT cost optimization, and M&A. She served a broad range of clients across healthcare, information technology, finance, hospitality, and consumer product industries. Laura graduated from the UC Berkeley with a BS in Business.
Nadim Homsany, Co-Founder, EarnUp. Nadim is son of immigrants who arrived in the US with virtually nothing. His upbringing instilled in him a passion for helping people build financial resilience and independence. Prior to EarnUp, Nadim worked at Serent Capital, a $600M private equity firm, focused on tech-enabled services. Prior to Serent, Nadim led investments with NCB Capital, a $12B asset manager. Before this, Nadim worked at McKinsey & Company consulting large banks. Nadim also practiced IP and technology law at Kirkland & Ellis. Nadim holds a JD degree from Harvard Law School and graduated highest honors from Rutgers University.
Dan Macklin, Co-Founder at SoFi, a new kind of finance company taking a radical approach to lending and wealth management. To date, SoFi has lent more than $15 billion in mortgages, personal loans and student loan refinancing. In September 2015, SoFi announced a $1 billion dollar Series E funding round led by SoftBank. Prior to SoFi, Dan spent twelve years at Standard Chartered Bank across London, Singapore and Shanghai. Dan is a graduate of the University of Durham in England and the Stanford Graduate School of Business and has been interviewed by publications including Bloomberg, CNBC, Financial Times, Forbes, Reuters and Wall Street Journal. Dan was named as one of the 25 Inspiring Entrepreneurs to Watch in 2017 by Inc and, much to the amusement of his kids, was selected as one of the 40 Coolest People Under 40 in Silicon Valley by Business Insider. He can be found on twitter @macklindan.
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.