We’re delighted to announce judges for our Inspiring Fifty: Europe 2017 initiative, featuring business and technology influencers from across the world.
Dr. Werner Vogels is Chief Technology Officer at Amazon.com where he is responsible for driving the company’s customer-centric technology vision.
As one of the forces behind Amazon’s approach to cloud computing, he is passionate about helping young businesses reach global scale, and transforming enterprises into fast-moving digital organizations.
Vogels joined Amazon in 2004 from Cornell University where he was a distributed systems researcher. He has held technology leadership positions in companies that handle the transition of academic technology into industry. Vogels holds a PhD from the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam and has authored many articles on distributed systems technologies for enterprise computing.
Sukhinder Singh Cassidy is a leading technology executive and entrepreneur. She is currently Founder & CEO of JOYUS, the leading online video entertainment network dedicated to shopping. Headquartered in San Francisco, with offices in LA and New York, JOYUS is funded by leading investors and media companies, including Accel Partners, Marker LLC, Time Warner Investments and Disney’s Steamboat Ventures.
Prior to founding JOYUS in 2011, Sukhinder was President of Asia Pacific and Latin America at Google (2003 -2009), CEO of Polyvore (2010) and founder and SVP of Business Development of Yodlee (YDLE) (1999-2003). In addition Sukhinder serves as a Director of TripAdvisor Inc (TRIP) and Ericsson (ERIC) and has previously served as a Director of J.Crew Group and Advisor to Twitter (TWTR).
Sukhinder is also founder of #choosepossibility and theBoardlist, launched in July 2015 and aimed at accelerating business performance globally through gender diversity. theBoardlist is a premium talent marketplace where business leaders come together to nominate and discover great female candidates for boards, starting with the technology industry.
For her work, Sukhinder has been recognized and profiled in numerous publications including Fortune, Forbes, Business Week, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Recode, USA Today, Techcrunch, Inc, Wired, Business Insider, Women’s Wear Daily, Vogue, Marie Claire, and Glamour.
Maithreyi Seetharaman is the Co-Chair of Fortune Most Powerful Women International. She is also the Anchor and Executive Editor of ‘Real Economy’ – the flagship economic show of the pan-European news network, Euronews which has completed 3 seasons with a total of 49 episodes.
Maithreyi has been a financial and economic broadcaster for more than 15 years. She has been an anchor, stocks editor and reporter for networks like Bloomberg Television and CNBC in the US, Europe & Asia. Her journey through the fourth estate has taken her across 4 continents; interviewing global political, business & thought leaders – Getting viewers the stories that matter, minus the jargon; all while connecting the East & West!
A 3rd generation journalist, she has successfully transcended borders. Beyond pure financial journalism, her global perspective has helped tie geo-political stories like the Arab Spring, U.S. Presidential Elections and worldwide disasters like Tsunamis, Tanker Spills & War to market movements, the Global Economic Crisis & Europe’s Debt Problems.
With 20 years of VC experience, PJ has gained a strong relationship to some of the greatest entrepreneurs coming out of the Nordics. Consequently, he led the investment and serves on the Board of Directors in online music juggernaut Spotify, Russian online classifieds giant Avito.ru and hyper growth mobile advertising company Widespace, Stockholm. He also serves on the Board of Directors in payments company iZettle, Stockholm, Women´s lifestyle blog aggregator Bloglovin, New York, events promotion company Jukely Inc, New York, Mobile banking company Qapital Insight AB, Stockholm, Mobile gaming company Playdots Inc, New York and Crypto currency exchange Cryex AB, Stockholm
In September 2013, Pär-Jörgen was awarded “Investor of the Year” award at the InvestorAllstars gala in London, considered as “The Oscars of The European Venture Capital community”
PJ is particularly focused on early stage Internet Media, Adtech, Digital Content and Consumer Fintech.
Shari is an Executive in Residence at Atomico. She was a Communications Partner at Atomico before moving home to San Francisco and joining Uber in 2016 as Head of Product Communications.
Passionate about communications, Shari brings her track record of building global consumer brands to help portfolio companies with their growth – whether through a long-term strategy, relationship-building with the media, global product launches, or the numerous other challenges faced by tech companies.
Prior to Atomico, Shari led global communications for Android and Google Play for over three years, launching new versions of the platform and flagship devices across the world as new Android activations rose from 60,000 to over 1.5 million every day.
Not many people can say that they have worked on the marketing for the global release of a Star Wars movie and for the Clinton/Gore presidential campaign, but Shari is one. She refuses to reveal which was the more exciting project
Sandra E. Lopez is vice president and oversees strategic relationships and business development within Intel.
She is responsible for establishing industry alliances and generating business for Intel in key strategic market segments, including fashion, sports and fitness.
For the past several years, Lopez has been a vocal advocate for the convergence between fashion and technology. Before assuming her current position, she was director of strategic partnerships for fashion and fitness, with responsibility for defining and carrying out Intel’s business strategy for wearables technology. She is also a champion of Intel’s diversity and inclusion initiatives.
Earlier in her Intel career, Lopez held various roles within corporate marketing, including director of new business marketing and director of consumer marketing. In the latter role, she led Intel’s brand repositioning work to earn an Intel Achievement Award in 2010. She has also earned industry honors. In 2013, she won a Marketers That Matter award, a program that recognizes top marketing executives in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 2015, she was named among the Top 10 Latina Executives by LATINA Style Inc.
Before joining Intel in 2005, Lopez worked at Adobe Systems Inc., Macromedia, Computer Associates International Inc. and several other technology companies.
Lopez holds a bachelor’s degree in textiles and clothing marketing and agricultural economics from the University of California at Davis. She is an active member of several organizations focused on women and Latino advancements, including Intel’s Hispanic Leadership Council and Pay It Forward Program.
Rupert started his career in media at Leo Burnett, working on global giants brands such as McDonalds, Procter & Gamble, United Biscuits & Mercedes. From there he moved into magazine publishing where he has stayed for 19 years.
Working on magazine brands including HELLO!, Men’s Health, Condé Nast Traveller, House & Garden and GQ. He was launch Publisher of Wired UK and oversaw its evolution from print magazine to multi-platform brand, with a digital portfolio, several annual conferences, a weekly podcast and a consulting business.
He currently works for Time Inc as Group International Publisher for TIME & Fortune and is using his learnings at WIRED to help shape the future of these two venerable brands. Rupert frequently talks at industry conferences on the role of magazines in the 21st Century.
Jeanne M. Sullivan is a passionate about delivering ideas – information – and inspiration – to young people – of all ages. Jeanne is a Co-Founder of StarVest Partners, a NY City-based venture capital firm, which was created in 1998 and raised $400 million, investing in technology enabled business services companies. Prior to her venture experience, Jeanne gained her operating experience with AT&T and Bell Labs while serving in product and industry marketing roles.
Over the past 20 years as a founding principal of StarVest and previously with Olivetti Ventures, Ms. Sullivan has served on the board of multiple technology companies and has extensive experience creating “go to market” plans for growth and expansion stage companies. Her expertise also includes strategy, an understanding of the tech landscape and industry trends.
Ms. Sullivan is a sought-after industry speaker on the subject of “how to get the wallets out of investors’ pocket.” Jeanne serves on the board of the New York Venture Capital Association; is a member of the Women’s Leadership Board at the Harvard Kennedy School and is an Athena Entrepreneur Fellow for Barnard College. She also serves as advisor for many women-focused organizations that work to “fund and fuel” women entrepreneurs and is on the Global Board of Trustees of Astia, an organization that funds high growth women entrepreneurs. Forbes cited Sullivan as “one of the women VCs changing the world – grooming the next generation of female entrepreneurs”. The New York Angels organization honored Jeanne as the OPEL award winner – Outstanding Professionals for Entrepreneurial Leadership. The New York Hall of Science honored Jeanne this year for her work inspiring girls and women in science, technology (STEM) sectors – opening doors for opportunities.
I’m Features Director at UK Marie Claire, a leading international brand with a reputation for provocative journalism and inspirational fashion. We talk to over 3 million women every month through print, online, social media and events. So if you’ve got an idea for a story or collaboration, you’re in the right place.
I started out 15 years ago and have worked as an editor and writer across print, TV, and digital media. I’ve held staff positions at The Daily Mail, Grazia and Glamour and freelanced for The Sunday Times, The Guardian, Channel 4 and many more.
Julian David is the CEO of techUK. He was appointed as the director general of Intellect in March 2012 and led its transformation to techUK in November 2013.
Julian leads techUK’s 60 strong team in representing more than 900 member companies, including multi-nationals and more than 500 SMEs to ensure that the digital tech industry is at the heart of a modern society and economy in Britain.
He is also a trustee of the Tech Partnership which works to promote careers and skills development in the Digital Technology Industry.
Amy Bell is a content editor and journalist. She has been at the Financial Times for six years, where she creates programmes for FT Live events across various topics and sectors globally including the FT Women at the Top summit, which focuses on how companies can redefine leadership and achieve gender balance at senior level.
In addition to women and diversity issues, she also has a special interest in Spain and Latin America, as an executive council member of the BritishSpanish Society and as Editor of its flagship magazine, La Revista. Before joining the FT she worked in Madrid, and she holds a BA in English from the University of Nottingham.
Babba Canales was pursuing a promising career in fashion, advising eyewear brands in Stockholm and Berlin, when Uber reached out to her to launch its service in Stockholm. Following the launch in January 2013, it became the fastest growing launch market of all times. Uber later on relocated Babba to New York where she headed up strategic partnerships within fashion and lifestyle. Babba has now moved on from Uber to join the travel brand Away, as their Director of Brand Marketing. Babba also serves on the board of Directors at leading European mobile gaming company, Leo Vegas.
In January 2016 Babba was listed on the ‘Forbes 30 under 30’ list for Marketing and Advertising. Babba was also listed as Sweden’s number 1 Super Talent 2016 by leading business magazine Veckan’s Affarer, and featured by Sweden.se as one of Sweden’s 10 Superwomen alongside Swedish Oscar-winning actress Alica Viklander, singer Zara Larsson and the Swedish Crown Princess Victoria.
Babba Canales comes from a Chilean family, was born in Sweden and is now living in New York.
Robin Wauters is the founding editor of Tech.eu. With a background in online marketing for technology companies, he has been an entrepreneur, startup advisor but primarily a tech journalist for many years, most recently as the European Editor of global technology news site The Next Web and previously senior reporter at TechCrunch, a Silicon Valley-based tech blog and event organiser.
Carolina is a Principal at Atomico based in London. She works on sourcing, evaluation and due diligence of global investments. Carolina focuses on fintech, consumer / retail, and marketplaces. She works with several of Atomico portfolio companies including Lendinvest, Farmdrop and Uniplaces, and sits on the boards of Gympass, Chemist Direct and Bebestore.
Having interned at Atomico during her MBA, Carolina then moved to London as acting COO of an e-commerce start-up, leading daily operations across product management, business development and marketing, before joining Atomico’s team on a permanent basis.
Prior to her MBA, Carolina was at private equity firm Madison Dearborn Partners, where she worked on multiple buyout opportunities across sectors, including the global credit bureau TransUnion.
Carolina has a Bachelor of Science degree in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and an MBA from Columbia Business School.
Nathalie has more than 12 years of experience working for TMT clients within Deloitte. As segment lead Digital Clients, she is a member of the Core TMT industry team within Deloitte Netherlands.
Nathalie has worked mainly in the area of strategic risk management and Governance Risk & Compliance for broadcasters, publishers, production companies, telecom providers en technology companies. Nathalie is an active committee participant with the IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau), the industry trade organization for digital marketing, where she fulfilled the role of MD Netherlands (a.i) last year.
Next to serving clients in the TMT industry, Nathalie is a board member of the Inspiring Fifty foundation. Strong believer of creating role models as a positive and inspiring means of reaching more diversity and changing the perception of women in technology.
Arno Lubrun and his team work together with local and international companies, organisations and agencies in the Benelux region to help them reach Facebook users in an authentic and relevant manner. The Facebook Team enables these companies to utilize the newest insights, creative concepts, and the social aspect of Facebook’s platform in order to reach their consumer and business audiences.
Arno has a passion for all things where technology and creativity come together and has always worked for companies that lead innovation in the digital and online world. During his high school years he was involved in the first computer networks and while studying Economics he worked with some of the first internet pioneers and was an active software developer. Via the Lotus Notus Groupware division, he stepped over to Microsoft, where, after various consultancy, sales, marketing, and management roles, he became head of the Dutch Microsoft Online & Advertising Division. Since 2011, Arno has been Director of Facebook, Benelux.
Sigrid Johannisse is counselor for innovation, technology and science at the Netherlands Embassy in Washington and in charge of the Dutch innovation attaché network in the USA and Canada.
Before this she was founder and director of StartupDelta and launched this national startup program together with Special Enoy Neelie Kroes, who she also had served as her advisor for innovation, startups and cyber security in her Cabinet for the Digital Agenda at the European Commission.
Sigrid Johannisse has had a long career in management, developing new policy concepts for innovation for the Dutch government.
Margaret has been at Google for over 10 years, starting in our Headquarters in Mountain View, and relocating to London, her home town, in 2006. In that time she’s worked across several products including AdWords, YouTube and Commerce, and she is now leading the London Display Ads team, focussed on sustainable web publishing businesses.
Before Google, Margaret earned a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University, and then worked in Robotics & Controls for a few years. Outside of work, she is passionate about diversity and inclusion, particularly women in technology and how to make teams and individuals thrive, and spends her downtime building lego with her 2 little boys.
Ola Ahlvarsson is a Swedish entrepreneur based out of Stockholm. Since the mid 90’s, Ola has been at the cutting edge of digital entrepreneurship as an entrepreneur, investor, thought leader and advisor. He has a deep understanding of how business can embrace digital opportunities and technology.
Apart from being a founder of over 20 companies, Ola has been a part of launching and managing leading internet companies like Xing, FON, Spray, Boxman, Letsbuyit, SIME and many more. He is a member of the board of the World Economic Forums Technology Pioneer program ( where he was elected young global leader) and course director of Stockholm School of Economics Riga’s Executive MBA program . He has been an advisor on innovation and internationalization to world leading organizations like Google, Ericsson, Telenor and Microsoft. He has authored a book called “Mission Possible”. The book was published in 2005.
Dr. Cara Antoine joined Microsoft the Netherlands in January 2017 as Chief Marketing & Operations Officer. In this position, Cara is responsible for the overall marketing, strategy, and operations of Microsoft the Netherlands, in particular for the digital transformation of companies which is made possible thanks to innovations in the cloud.
Cara was previously employed at Royal Dutch Shell where she was responsible for the business transformation of the global IT within the Shell organisation. Prior to Shell, she held various executive roles in both Germany and France for Compaq, Hewlett-Packard, and Polaroid. Cara received her DBA degree (Doctor of Business Administration) through her research into Collaborative Innovation in Technology at the University of Bradford Graduate School of Management & Law in the UK and the Tias-Nimbas Graduate School of Business in the Netherlands.
Cara is passionate for the arts and music and she has a special affinity for persons with impairments. She has an active voice to bring equality, accessibility, and sustainability to the world for all persons, no matter our differences.
Lola is a commercial, IP and technology lawyer working in the Information Services Division based at the London Stock Exchange Group in New York. The Information Services division provides an extensive range of real-time and reference data products, including Sedol, Unavista, and RNS, as well as access to over 200,000 international equity, bond and alternative asset class indices, through, FTSE Russell. Her team focuses on dealing with a range of legal issues including technology, intellectual property and commercial law.
Lola also supports the corporate M&A legal team on matters relating to the Information Services Division. Lola started her career in the Corporate department of Allen & Overy in London focussing on Technology Media and Telecommunications. She has spent the majority of her career as an in-house lawyer working in a range of businesses including satellite telecommunications, a technology start up and investment management. In 2012, Lola gained an MA from Goldsmiths College, University of London in Creative Entrepreneurship focussing on computer games and was nominated a “Creative Pioneer” in 2012 by The London Metro Newspaper.
She is passionate about education technology and in particular believes that all children should learn programming skills.
Ronald ter Voert is Chief Editor of EMERCE, the leading Dutch platform about innovation in e-business, media, marketing & tech. Also known as the Dutch equivalent of Wired/Fast Company.
For this, he was amongst others Editor in Chief of Broadcast Press (print, online, events), executive producer (including Endemol, SBS Broadcasting, FremantleMedia), digital trend watcher and advisor in the area of (online) media, marketing communications & tech.
Ronald has a passion for innovation and media in the broadest sense. And likes to be in the forefront of new (digital) trends and developments.
Joelle is CEO and co-founder of Improve Digital, a high growth pan-European technology company (>$150 mln revenues) with the mission to automate the trading of media. She is recognized for thought leadership on both innovation and entrepreneurship and possesses the ability to bring small ideas towards high growth businesses.
She’s entrepreneurial, thinks and plans strategically with a creative angle and in the end, is effective in translating complex technology solutions into tangible business results.
She is cofounder of InspiringFifty and is an advisor and investor for numerous start-ups. Topics of personal interest to her are the use of technology for Empowerment, Women in tech, Education, Environment and health.
As a 10+ year employee of Amazon, she has been part of the recent period of growth. Ellenore is currently serving as Director Kindle Content Risk management. Previously, she worked for Amazon in Seattle, Luxembourg, and Paris – and is passionate about bringing change and forward momentum. Prior to Amazon, she received her legal start at the Chicago firm of Baker & McKenzie, then went on to manage complex litigation including regulatory and government matters, public relations and crisis management, as well as supported strategic sourcing for Sears, in Chicago Illinois.
Ellenore Angelidis is the founder of Open Hearts Big Dreams Fund (and the Board President) which is focused on increasing educational opportunities for kids in Ethiopia. At home, Ellenore has a partner of 20+ years and 3 children, ranging in age from college to elementary school, plus a dog and a parrot. As a volunteer, Ellenore has held board and fund-raising positions with the not for profits WACAP and Ethiopia Reads. Ellenore is also published writer; on blogs (Ethiopian Ties and Balancing Career Family), and on-line magazines (Working Mother, Adoptive Families, InCulture Parent, and Women’s Essense) as well as is the author of a children’s book title The Loud Prince.
Ben Regensburger is currently SVP Business Intelligence & Analytics at ProSiebenSat.1, one of the largest independent media corporations in Europe and Number 1 in the German TV advertising and audience market.
Ben has more than 25 years experience in European marketing with the last decade spent focusing on digital media and technology. Before ProSiebenSat.1 Ben was President of Tapad Inc, the leading provider for cross device marketing and analytics. Prior to Tapad he was President of DoubleClick International (EMEA & APAC) until Google acquired it in 2008. He then ran Google’s European media platform business and was on Google’s EMEA management board. In 2011, Regensburger founded RollUp Media, a SaaS platform for content marketing and native ads. Before that, Regensburger held diverse brand manager positions at P&G, served as Chief Marketing Officer at Hugo Boss and held various positions at Lycos Europe, ultimately serving as Managing Director of Lycos Germany and as a member of its EMEA management board.
Ben has served in numerous Board roles including Burda Forward, IAB UK and Imagini.
Janneke is a serial entrepreneur, technologist, innovator, and creative thinker. Most recently, she co-founded Improve Digital, a leading European marketing technology firm, and currently serves as the company’s Chief Innovation Officer. She also invests considerable time serving as a member of company (advisory) boards, she is mentor for start-ups, and she is active as an angel investor. In her industry, Janneke is a sought-after speaker and thought leader, regularly appearing at events to discuss entrepreneurship and digital marketing.
Janneke was named 2014 EY Entrepreneur of the Year. One of many in a long list of honours for Janneke in her time with Improve Digital, with past recognition including Deloitte Fast 50, Deloitte Rising Star, Emerce European Startup Top 10, and European Digital Women of the Year, The Next Women Top 100 Most Influential Businesswomen, Online Media Women of the Year, Red Herring 100.
Janneke is also co-initiator of InspiringFifty, a pan-European programme that identifies, encourages, develops, and showcases women in leadership positions within the technology sector. As part of the InspiringFifty initiative, Janneke has published a novel for young girls in conjunction with an award winning child book’s author. The goal of the project is to encourage young girls, inspiring them to pursue a career in technology and invest in an educational foundation focusing on math and computer science. Janneke recently joined the supervisory board of UNICEF and writes a column about entrepreneurship for Sprout and about technology for LINDA. At a personal level, she is a strong and vocal advocate for greater computer science and entrepreneurship education, beginning as early as the elementary school years. More broadly, she is an active voice in the Netherlands and across the EU, helping to highlight national and regional market strengths and reinforce their importance within the global technology landscape.