Former head of Global Marketing Communications at Apple
Hiroki Asai is responsible for much of Apple's simple and elegant aesthetic. During his 16-year career at Apple, Hiroki was the head of Global Marketing Communications and Executive Creative Director of graphic design. He supervised hundreds of artists and designers responsible for all of the packaging, retail store graphics, website, online store, direct marketing, videos, and event graphics for Apple’s international market, before retiring from Apple last year.
Founder and CEO of Spanx
As the youngest ever self-made female billionaire, Spanx founder Sara Blakely was getting ready for a party when she realized she didn’t have the right undergarment to provide a smooth look under white pants. Armed with scissors and sheer genius, she cut the feet off her control top pantyhose and the Spanx revolution began! Spanx has secured its place in women’s hearts and in pop-culture with daily mentions from CNN to SNL. As the sole owner of ‘Spanx,’ Sara always knew she wanted to help women. Though in her wildest dreams, she never thought she would have started with their butts.
Founder and former CEO of bareMinerals
As a kid, Leslie Blodgett was known to cuddle up with the obituaries while dreaming of the future obliteration and ultimate death of heavy, chemical-based makeup. A short while later, Leslie was CEO of bareMinerals / Bare Escentuals, which she founded, grew into a global beauty brand, and sold to Shiseido in 2010 for $1.7B. A visionary recognized by WWD Beauty as one of The Big 10 Leaders in Beauty, Leslie credits her company's success to her therapy-inducing obsession with making women happy.
Partner at IDEO
Brendan Boyle is a toy inventor, professor at Stanford’s d.School, and Partner at IDEO. He founded IDEO's toy-invention studio, the Toy Lab, to uncover kid-centered solutions to boredom. Under his leadership, the Toy Lab has invented and licensed hundreds of toys and apps, including the best-selling Jumperoo and Elmo Calls, respectively. He believes that play is the key to innovation and has spoken to creative leaders, entrepreneurs, and students about the importance of playful exploration and risk-taking.
Creator/Writer at The Cooper Review
I’m Sarah Cooper, a writer, comedian, speaker, drawer and general trash-talker. I’m originally from Jamaica, grew up in Washington D.C. and now live in San Francisco. You might know me as the former-Googler-turned-satirist who wrote 100 Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings, or remember me from the photo of me right above this. These days I’m writing musicals, performing standup, working on my third book, and continuing to crush it at TheCooperReview.com.
Partner at Index Ventures
Dick Costolo is a Mentor at Index and the Chief Executive and co-founder of Chorus, a startup that is reimagining the path to personal fitness. Costolo was most recently Chief Executive of Twitter from 2010 to 2015. Prior to joining Twitter, Dick co-founded and ran three startups, including FeedBurner, which sold to Google in 2007. The former improv comedian has been a consultant on HBO’s “Silicon Valley” and currently sits on the boards of Patreon and IfOnly.
CEO of Funny Or Die
Mike Farah is the CEO and former President of Production for Funny Or Die, the premiere comedy website founded by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay. Mike produced the award-winning "Prop 8: The Musical," the Ron Howard directed "Presidential Reunion," and the Emmy-nominated "Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis." He is also the executive producer of "Billy on the Street" airing on Fuse, "@midnight" airing on Comedy Central, and "American Muscle," the upcoming sports-documentary series for Discovery.
Partner at August Capital
David Hornik was the co-founder of the now-defunct Stanford humor magazine, “Actual Malice." It has been all down hill since. He became a lawyer. He became a home owner. He bought a minivan. He got fat. Now he’s a VC at August Capital <www.augustcap.com> and rarely tweets anything funny @davidhornik. He’s still fat.
General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz
Jeff Jordan is a partner at Andreessen Horowitz. Prior to joining a16z, Jeff was president and CEO of OpenTable, which he took public in 2009. Before OpenTable, he was president of PayPal and the SVP and GM of eBay North America.
CEO of K5 Global
Michael Kives is the founder and CEO of K5 Global, a media and financial services advisory firm. He previously worked as a Motion Picture Agent with Creative Artists Agency, where he represented actors, singers and world leaders including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Katy Perry, and Warren Buffett. As a high school student, Michael became the first and only person ever to win the World Debate Championships twice, thus earning the title “World’s Most Persuasive Teenager,” which eventually allowed him to lose his virginity. He now lives in LA alone with no pets or even a plant.
Co-Founder of Pitch Comedy
Matt is a comedy writer and whose credits include The Onion, Comedy Central, Adult Swim, IFC, Funny or Die and The Upright Citizens Brigade NYC, where he performed and taught writing. He is the co-founder of Pitch, a comedy writing app and community incubated by Funny or Die. A lot of his work centers on tech, comedy, consciousness and like, dick jokes and stuff.
Executive Director of Insights and Applied Improv at The Second City
Kelly has hired and produced tens of thousands of shows with a lot of funny people, like Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, Amy Poehler, Seth Meyers, Steve Carell, Keegan Michael Key, Amy Sedaris and more. He wrote a semi-funny book “Yes, And” for Harpercollins and he has achieved the low bar status of funniest person on campus at The University of Chicago in his position as co-director of a new initiative with the Center for Decision Research that looks at behavioral science through the lens of improvisation.
Founders of Rhyme Combinator Inc.
Rhyme Combinator seeks to champion positive entrepreneurial culture through creative media. We are engineers, we are artists, we work the hardest. For local community, startups, and misfits. To create opportunities where none existed. Our current production in development, ZipSloth the Musical, has been described (by us) as a young, scrappy, and hungry Hamilton meets HBO's Silicon Valley.
Director of Comedy Studies at The Second City
Anne Libera oversees the only BA in Comedy Writing and Performance in the country at Columbia College Chicago and The Second City. Her book The Second City Almanac of Improvisation (NU Press) appeared in Tina Fey’s first American Express print ad. Anne has directed and taught many astonishingly funny people including Aidy Bryant, Adam McKay, Jordan Peele, Ashley Nicole Black, Kristen Schaal, and Steve Yeun (yes Glen from The Walking Dead ) but is not known to be funny herself. When Anne was Second City box office manager and Jeff Garlin and Stephen Colbert were on her staff.
Host of Late Night with Seth Meyers
Seth Meyers hosts Late Night with Seth Meyers, where he helps us breathe (and laugh) each day as he brings us A Closer Look at the new American political reality. Seth is an Emmy and Golden Globe Award winning comedian, writer, producer, political commentator, actor, media critic, and television host. He was previously a cast member and the head writer for Saturday Night Live, where he also hosted the show’s news parody segment, Weekend Update. In 2011, Seth was the keynote speaker at the White House Correspondents' Dinner, and in 2014 Seth hosted the Emmy Awards.
Founder of FunnyBizz
David is the bestselling author of Do You Talk Funny? and the Founder of FunnyBizz, a community, writer platform, and conference series helping content creators access top comedic writing talent. As a storyteller, David finished runner up in The Moth’s largest storytelling competition and has won multiple Moth Storyslam competitions. He has performed stand-up comedy at leading clubs like the Comedy Store, the Improv, the Punchline, and the Upright Citizens Brigade even though he strongly denies being a comedian and is well aware most people don’t understand his Irish accent.
Virgin Unite + PlusWonder
Jean Oelwang is the President and a Trustee of Virgin Unite, a senior partner at the B Team and now the co-founder of Plus Wonder, a multi-year project to explore the power of partnerships. Over the past thirty years, she has partnered with and learned from: homeless teenagers in the US; the natural wonders of the Australian National Parks and teams helping to set up mobile phone companies in South Africa, Colombia, Bulgaria, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia and the US. She has also helped lead the incubation of; the Elders, The B Team, The Carbon War Room, the Caribbean Accelerator and Ocean Unite.
CEO of Bill4Time
Steve is an executive manager who has worked in a wide range of businesses including his own tech start up, a mid-sized sports retail chain and a global banking group. Steve has consulted to a large global bank assisting them with developing a strategy for fintech engagement in Africa. He also founded and hosts the podcast BlindSpot. He is currently the CEO of Bill4Time, a Saas, time tracking and billing solution.
CEO and Co-Founder of JibJab
Back in ancient times, 1998 to be exact, two brothers bore witness to an animated dancing doodie streaming over a 56K modem and it changed their lives forever. They scraped together a few thousand dollars and started JibJab in a Brooklyn garage. Since then, Gregg and Evan Spiridellis grew JibJab into a nationally recognized brand by being obsessed about the quality of the programming and products they produced. Today, they are expanding their mission by creating StoryBots, a set of educational apps and books inspired by the five children from ages two to eight that they have between them.
VP of Product at Slack
Consumer internet junkie with a passion for platforms and partnerships, now tackling the enterprise at Slack. Product gal who can also do deals and partner / ecosytem strategy. Usually found bridging prod/eng and business teams.
Fascinated by improving life in the offline world with the online one. Fun lady to work with. Not bothered by dangling prepositions, usually.