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Stewart's dream mentor is Peter DruckerStewart Townsend is one of the NextAdvisors signed up to advise our community in our Business Advice Programme.

Stewart has spent twelve years in Pre-sales, Partner Relations, Marketing and Business Development in the IT industry.

Recently he developed the channel partner programme for DataSift, a $30m funded startup based in Reading, which will accelerate their revenue growth.

As of January 2013 he joined the EMEA management team at Zendesk in a senior role as Business Development Director to build out a channel plan across Europe to increase and accelerate revenue.

His role at Oracle to develop a lead generating social media strategy for Enterprise 2.0 gave Stewart a deep understanding of the corporate account base, whilst for the previous nine years at Sun Microsystems, Stewart has worked with independent software vendors, channel partners and small businesses/startups and so he has a deep understanding of corporate and small business processes and requirements.

Stewart is ready to start advising you on your business. For more details on The Business Advice Programme and to sign up, click here

Marianne Abib-Pech started her career in Arthur Andersen, before joining General Electric Europe and then becoming global CFO of one of the business units of Shell International Petroleum at the age of 35. 

About two years ago, Marianne decided to start a more entrepreneurial and impactful chapter in her career. She moved to Hong-Kong, wrote 'The Financial Times Guide to Leadership' and created Lead the Future (LTF), an umbrella brand that includes a leadership consulting firm, a financial advising platform and a thought leadership platform. 

Her objective is to act as a catalyst of ideas (via the writing), businesses (via the advising) and of people (via the leadership consulting) to contribute to the emerging of a new and better world. 

We spoke to Marianne about her passion for writing and business; the benefits of being both entrepreneur and investor; and her top tips for successful leadership - particularly for women striving to succeed in a male-dominated business environment.

Lauren Maillian Bias is a serial entrepreneur; she is the Founder and CEO of Luxury Market Branding, a strategic marketing company, and is a Founding Partner at Gen Y Capital Partners, an early stage venture firm focused on investments in mobile and consumer facing technology enabled companies.

At age 19, Lauren founded a boutique winery that quickly became an internationally recognized award-winning wine brand, making her the youngest self-made winery owner in the country. She served as the Chief Operating Officer of the company from inception through the brand’s acquisition in 2011.

Lauren often speaks about entrepreneurship, female leadership, marketing, branding, business development and early stage venture at various conferences. She has spoken at prestigious institutions including Harvard, Columbia University, Cornell and the University of Virginia. She is a large supporter of entrepreneurship and judges the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship’s (NFTE) business plan competition and the incoming classes of Start Up Chile, an incubator program in support of entrepreneurship sponsored by the Chilean Government. Lauren is an active advisor to several startups and is a mentor to the Women Innovate Mobile Accelerator.

Kristian Segerstrale is an entrepeneur, executive and investor in games, consumer internet and technology companies.

Best known as Co-Founder of Playfish, a social games company which was acquired by EA for $400 million in 2009, he is currently a Partner at Initial Capital, an investor and accelerator for early-stage technology companies, and a board member of game company Supercell.

Kristian's previous positions have included Director at LoveFilm; Executive Vice President at EA Games (staying on with EA after they aquired Playfish); and Co-founder of VP EMEA Studios and Publishing.

We spoke to Kristian about selling Playfish; the differences between building a business in Europe and the States; and his suggestions for Neelie Kroes on fostering entrepreneurialism and innovation in Europe.

Great news, an investment fund which explicitly states that it wants to invest in female entrepreneurs. Time to talk! The Next Women talked to Dave Richards, Founder & Managing Partner of Unitus Seed Fund.

Dave Richards is an experienced entrepreneur, executive and global early-stage investor.  He has been an early investor in microfinance and other emerging market sector businesses serving BoP (low-income) populations. Dave has been involved with the Unitus Group since 2005, helping to lead efforts to select and invest in BoP entrepreneurs in many developing countries.

Previously, Dave developed multiple high-growth technology businesses at RealNetworks, Sybase and Symantec from startup to multiple hundred million dollar global enterprises. He also is a partner with Social Venture Partners Seattle and leads the Social Innovation Fast Pitch startup angel fund. We spoke to Dave about investing in India; his thoughts on microfinance; and why Unitus Seed Fund is specifically looking for female entrepreneurs to invest in.

After earning her Stanford MBA in 1983, Heidi Roizen co-founded T/Maker, a personal computer company, on a leap of faith.  She was one of only a handful of women tech entrepreneurs at the time.

Following a successful exit, she served as VP of Worldwide Developer Relations at Apple, and then entered the venture world as Managing Director of Mobius Venture Capital in 1999.

She was elected to the Board of Directors at London-based global media company, DMGT, in 2012, making her the first female director in the company's 116-year history.

She is now a venture partner at Draper Fisher Jurvetson.

Dale Murray, who regularly appears on the panel of investors at The NextWomen Pitch Events, was last month awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List. The 2011 Angel Investor of the Year received the honour in recognition for her services to British business, where she had a major impact on the UK’s telecommunication industry.

Dale is a successful entrepreneur, award-winning British business angel investor and experienced non-executive board director. She co-founded British mobile pioneer Omega Logic in 1999 and launched pre-pay mobile “top-ups”. She built top-ups to £88m (generating annual revenue of £7m) within three years of founding the business, and then sold to a privately held company, Eposs Ltd. She then became Eposs’s CEO, sold the group to First Data Corporation, and built top-ups to £450m (generating annual revenue of £25m) within another three years.

The NextWomen LATAM Theme.

Marta Cruz is the Co-Founder & Director of NXTP Labs, an Latinamerica-based acceleration program with an early-stage fund, focusing on Spanish-speaking technology startups that are pursuing global or regional opportunities. NXTP provides seed funding, consulting services, hands-on advice, training and, access to a network of mentors across Latin America, the US and Europe.

Marta is also Co-Founder of digital agency Nextperience, where she currently serves as a Director.

Prior to these two ventures, Marta worked for more than 8 years at MRM Worldwide, the McCann Worldgroup digital agency, as Latam Regional Director, managing accounts likes of HP, Intel, Coca-Cola, GM, Hilton Hotel, Nortel and MasterCard

Marta’s introduction to entrepreneurialism began in 1979, when she founded with her husband, Ponchiarello, a men's clothing factory, focusing on the wholesale and retail business. Their decision to start manufacturing and selling uniforms for companies led them to develop their business on a large scale.

The NextWomen LATAM Theme.

Felipe Matos is the COO of Start-up Brasil, a national program promoted by the Brazilian Government to foster and stimulate the nation's startup ecosystem.

The program provides funding, space, business services and mentorship through partnership with top accelerators.

The NextWomen LATAM Theme.

As an Internet entrepreneur and investor, Fabrice Grinda has successfully transposed, adapted and invested in business ideas between the U.S., Europe, Asia and Latin America.

In March of 2006, Fabrice co-founded OLX, Inc. with business partner Alec Oxenford, in the hopes of building the largest free local classified site in the world. Until December 2012, as co-CEO, Fabrice drove the company’s business development, investor relations, M&A and product development efforts. OLX now has over 300 employees and is present in over 90 countries and 50 languages with over 150 million unique visitors per month.

Fabrice is also a prolific angel investor with over 100 active investments in various companies including Viajanet, Peopleperhour, Brightroll, and many others.