Darwinian Business Event Panellists

The following founders and investors will be at our upcoming Darwinian Business Event: Survival of the Fittest (Entrepreneur) on October 7, 2009 in London as panel members. Sponsored by Sun Startup Essentials, book your tickets via Eventbrite, and check out the 10 Pitchpreneurs who will be competing before the Investor Panel.

Bindi Karia, VC/Emerging Business lead for Microsoft UK

Not many women can claim to have been involved in 600 startups in just six months, and yet Bindi Karia, VC/Emerging Business lead for Microsoft UK, can do just that, due largely to the launch of Microsoft’s UK BizSpark program in November 2008. With a career encompassing many companies, she has enjoyed positions including Senior Business Analyst at Data Monitor; Management Consultant at Coopers and Lybrand (later PWC) and Associate Director in Interregnum, a UK-based Technology Merchant Bank.

Karia joined Microsoft four and a half years ago, originally as a Business Productivity Advisor, and is now a key member of the UK Local Software Economy and Emerging Business cross-company team for Microsoft. Responsible for the strategy and delivery of Microsoft’s innovation initiatives, she works closely with entrepreneurs and investors alike, and leads the Microsoft Startup Accelerator Programme, BizSpark and Venture Capital/Investor Relations for the UK Marketplace.

Mentioning her redundancy from PWC, at the start of her career, she says:

“I think the thing about redundancy is not to take it personally. It is not about you, it is about the role within the organisation. So have some confidence in yourself and look to your network for support”.

Julie Meyer of Ariadne Capital and recently released ACE fund

Pic_julie meyer_compressedJulie Meyer is one of the leading champions for entrepreneurship in Europe. With over 20 years investment and advisory experience helping start-up businesses, she is the well known founder & CEO of Ariadne Capital, Managing Partner of the Ariadne Capital Entrepreneurs Fund [ACE Fund], founder of Entrepreneur Country, co-founder of First Tuesday, dragon on BBC's Online Dragons Den and weekly columnist in London's City AM.

Through these intertwining roles of entrepreneur, advisor, investor and industry commentator, Julie has set her mission to build a growth story for the UK and Europe. This passion and entrepreneurial flair is what has earned her awards as Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year, World Economic Forum Global Leader of Tomorrow and in the Wall Street Journal's Top 30 Most Influential Women in Europe.
American by birth and European in spirit, Julie has added a flourishing media career to her business commitments, recently joining BBC's Online Dragon's Den. In addition to her weekly column for London's City A.M. and regular contributions to Business Week, Computing, FT Digital Business, Spectator Business, Julie is also a regular industry commentator on the BBC and CNBC.

Julie is Chief Executive of Ariadne Capital, the investment and advisory firm she founded in August 2000. Ariadne backs entrepreneurs in the media (music, broadcast, publishing, advertising, gaming), mobile internet and communications, and internet sectors.

Most recently Julie founded Entrepreneur Country. Managed by Ariadne Capital, Entrepreneur Country is a dedicated community for leading and emerging entrepreneurs, investors, the media and corporate partners who service the start-up industry across the UK and Europe.

From 1998 to 1999, Julie was part of the team at NewMedia Investors, which became early stage investment firm Spark Ventures in October 1999. During this time she took her first steps in the entrepreneurial arena founding First Tuesday, the largest global network of entrepreneurs, which many credit for igniting the Internet generation in Europe. It was sold for $50million in cash in and shares in July 2000.

As a personal project, Julie is also currently setting up an association for teenage girls to help them find their unique contribution to the world and create a virtuous circle of investment in women.

Lois Cook, Co-founder of Angels Den

Pic_Lois Cook_compressedLois Cook co-founded Angels Den in 2007 to provide an efficient and economical way for businesses to raise equity funds.

Lois has been helping small businesses over the last 10 years in a whole host of ways, from running a web-based business support forum and setting up skill sharing groups for SME's, to coaching business owners/managers for Business Link and training business coaches.

Over the last few years she has turned her focus to what she sees as the major issue for small businesses - helping to get them funded, cheaply and easily. Despite having over 25 years business experience she's still an idealist who would like to change the world and have businesses funded on merit, rather than how much money your parents had.

Lois has degrees in Physics and Electronics (don't ask!) and in Psychology, and is an accredited NLP Coach for her sins. She can usually be found, tied to her PC, coming up with new ideas and services to help Angels Den reach out to more diverse people.

Anna Sofat, Founder and CEO of Addidi Business Angels

Anna Sofat
Anna Sofat is founder and CEO of Addidi, a financial advisory firm with a women-only clientele for lifestyle, financial and wealth management needs. At the end of September 2008 Anna went on to launch Addidi Business Angels - a group of 100 women who will invest an amount of £1 million per annum in start-up ventures. Kay Vasey, Director of Mesh - an Online Cultural Marketplace Mesh and their first investment - said:
“the angels have been incredibly helpful, well-organised and understanding”.

Inmaculada Martinez, Digital Media Strategist and Investment Advisor at Stradbroke

Inma founded and led her first entrepreneurial venture, Escape Velocity, in 1999. With entrepreneurial drive she went on to co-found and lead a further to ventures, one of which successfully grew from a team of 3 to one of 25, achieving a global technology launch for NOKIA and HP. Her LinkedIn profile is impressive, and it is no doubt that her experience in the world of start-ups is what makes her the respected VC that she is now.

As an Investment and Innovation Executive for STRADBROKE, she works with Private Investors and VC firms assessing investment opportunities and advising their portfolio companies on how to innovate their strategy, brand, products and services to successfully come to market or increase market share. Martinez is also a Liveryman at Information Technologists' Company - City of London Livery, as well as finding the time for advisory positions with the EU Technology Commission and Blyk, and as a blogger for their industry blog www.shift6.com

Gregory Kris, Entrepreneur / CEO, Investor and eBusiness Strategist
Pic_GregoryWith over a dozen years experience in the online sector, Greg has successfully founded and exited from two digital businesses; has consulted on, and launched numerous start-ups; and has grown a number of small businesses into successful organisations. Greg is currently involved as an investor and director in early-stage, innovative and sustainable ventures in the online media sector; specifically developing and executing commercial route-to-market strategies. He is always on the lookout for new opportunities and projects with game-changing potential.

He has lived and worked in the UK, France, Belgium, China, Switzerland and the USA; speaks fluent English and French, and is currently struggling to learn Mandarin.

Miriam Lahage, CEO of Koodos
Miriam LahageMiriam relocated from Boston to London 3 years ago to launch koodos, the UK's first and foremost online designer discount boutique. With over 200 brands at up to 70% off, koodos has been featured in The Times, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, Grazia, Elle and Marie-Claire. Miriam has over 20 years' experience working within the fashion and retail industry, most of which was in the US. She joined the TJX Companies, Inc. in 1984 and served in various senior merchandising and buying positions where she was responsible for $1.2 billion in sales in 1,300 branches of fashion discounter TJMaxx and Marshalls.

Miriam has been featured in Women's Wear Daily, The Daily Mail, The International Herald Tribune, Internet Retailer, Retail Week and Draper's Record, and has been a guest speaker at eTail, Internet Retailing, Luxury Interactive, Retail Week, Drapers, Club e-Luxe Summit and Luxury Briefing conferences.

Miriam was named The Independent Online Fashion Star of 2009 by her peers.

I'm looking forward to this event. For anyone interested, my projects are:

(1.) 360-2020, a set of tools designed to replace 5* star and other scalar rating systems:

http://www.360-2020.com

(2.) worques, a social network for art investment:

http://www.worques.com

I think this article made some interesting points, I read a textbook directly related to this topic, its called Essentials of Investments by , I found my used copy for less than the bookstores at http://www.belabooks.com/books/9780073368719.htm

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