About Us

Startup Grind is a global startup community designed to educate, inspire, and connect entrepreneurs. It is powered by Google for Entrepreneurs. We host monthly events in more than 85 cities and 35 countries featuring successful local founders, innovators, educators and investors who share personal stories and lessons learned on the road to building great companies. You should start a Chapter in your city! Our monthly fireside chat interviews, startup mixers and annual conferences provide ample opportunities to connect with amazing startups and the people behind them, tap into a strong support network, form meaningful connections and gain inspiration for the startup journey ahead. Started by Derek Andersen and Spencer Nielsen in February 2010 in a small office in Mountain View California, the original goal to bring together friends who would help each other has spread across the world.

Local Startup Communities with Global Reach

We aim to build a connected network of vibrant startup communities to help fuel innovation, economic growth and prosperity at the local level. While Startup Grind was founded in Palo Alto, California, our extended network of Startup Grind chapters are located in some of the most entrepreneur-friendly cities and startup ecosystems around the world including Silicon Valley, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Denver, Chicago, New York, Boston, Seattle, Toronto, Sydney, Singapore, Melbourne and more with dozens of new chapters launching in the coming months. Join our community by attending one of our monthly events or help us launch a Startup Grind chapter in your city.

Startup Grind Values

We believe in making friends, not contacts. We believe in giving, not taking. We believe in helping others before helping yourself. We are truly passionate about helping founders, entrepreneurs and startups succeed. We intend to make their startup journey less lonely, more connected and more memorable.



“One might think of it as an entrepreneurial Elk’s Club or a national, self-sustaining of local affiliate networks … a la Fight Club.”



“Aimed at creating relationships among entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, angel investors, incubators or just people looking for good ideas.”


“Startup Grind was a truly awesome conference. I hope to be asked back for next year’s event.”



“A great opportunity for entrepreneurs-in-making to network with ambitious people and benefit from pearls of wisdom.”


“Carefully designed by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs, making it one of the few ‘no-nonsense’ meetups in the city that any member of a founding startup team can learn a great deal from.”


“Another great example of people who are prepared to get off the couch in the evening to learn something and meet like minds.”



Our Team

  • Aaron Ellis Aaron Ellis
    Aaron Ellis
    St. Louis Chapter Director

    Aaron Ellis was formerly one of the founding partners of the Groupigg family of companies. Ellis has had a career spanning the rigid structure of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis to the dynamism of bringing a 100 year old publishing company into the dot com era at the Sporting News. At the Federal Reserve Bank, Ellis led a team of software engineers, QA testers and editors. He was heavily involved in Content Management Strategies, Information Security and developing E-Learning software and policies. Ellis served on various boards and committees focused on technology and improving efficiency. Ellis started with the Sporting News as a software developer but worked in various capacities for over six years and was instrumental in launching and growing the business to profitability. He developed SportingNews.com through many changes including major distribution deals, premium content, emerging platforms, social networking and the re-launch of Sporting News fantasy sports business. Ellis holds a Masters in Business Administration with a concentration in eCommerce and a B.S. in Communications.

  • Adam Muniz Adam Muniz
    Adam Muniz
    Sydney Chapter Co-Director

    Adam Muniz, 27, is the founder and director of renowned Australian e-commerce and media website For Tomorrow. Founded in 2007, For Tomorrow specializes in niche high-end fashion and lifestyle products. In 2010, Adam founded For Tomorrow Creative, which is the digital media and creative arm that provides coverage of fashion weeks around the world as well as providing e-commerce and digital marketing solutions for external clients. The For Tomorrow website is a custom built platform and has a large following in Australia and key fashion centres around the world. Adam splits his time between Sydney, Paris, London and New York, travelling the fashion week circuit, as well as provides mentoring to younger designers. Adam studied a degree in commerce, majoring in marketing at The University of Wollongong.

  • Alex Christoforou Alex Christoforou
    Alex Christoforou
    Cyprus Chapter Director

    Alex has 15 years experience in the internet and Information Technology industry. Prior to starting www.wadja.com, Alex was Managing Director of Box Up Solutions in Athens, Greece and held sales and consultant positions at AirTouch Cellular, in Phoenix, Arizona and Creative Technical Services in Scottsdale, Arizona. Alex is currently CEO, Founder and Executive Board Member of Wadja Media Limited, splitting his time between Cyrus, Athens and Sunnyvale, California and has been featured in guest posts on Mashable and Businessinsider on Entrepreneurship in Europe.

  • Anamarie Sabbagh Anamarie Sabbagh
    Anamarie Sabbagh
    Detroit Chapter Director

    Anamarie freelances with Coffee of Origin, LLC., www.coffeeoforigin.com. She asists with the online presence and launching the social media campaigns for the company. She has authored and delivered unique courses that focus on continuing education in the fields of entrepreneurship and small business development. Anamarie speaks several languages, has spoken/performed in four continents and is adept at cross-cultural communications.

  • Arif Nezami Arif Nezami
    Arif Nezami
    Dhaka Chapter Director

    Arif Nezami is a dreamer, doer and story teller. His local content & youth focused startup did magic in Bangladesh. He is an organizer of Google Developer Group Dhaka, renowned tech blogger and serial tech community manager. Tech communities and events in Bangladesh are hard to think of without him. Arif is passionate about innovation, tech and entrepreneurship. His love towards social business model made him start socbiz.org .

  • Arj Selvam Arj Selvam
    Arj Selvam
    Sydney Chapter Director

    Arj has a background in business development and strategy and most recently worked at Vodafone Australia within their sales & distribution strategy team. In 2009 Arj created his own eponymous fashion brand and presented his collection at Mercedes-Benz Australian Fashion Week in 2011. Arj is currently developing a social-commerce platform to disrupt the way fashion is broadcast and sold online. Arj holds honours degrees in B.Eng (Mechanical) and B.Com (Corporate Finance, Investment Finance) from The University of Western Australia.

  • Assina Kahamba Assina Kahamba
    Assina Kahamba
    Lubumbashi Chapter Director

    Assina is a computer scientist and assistant lecturer at University of Lubumbashi. She started a small company P&R Tech (Pebble and Ripples Tech) and she’s planning to take Congo by storm. Her goal is to create more female engineers. She likes reading and meeting people.

  • Brian Park Brian Park
    Brian Park
    Washington DC Chapter Director

    Brian is currently the COO of Startup Grind.  He has over 18 years professional experience in web/online/mobile product development. Experience in developing innovative consumer and enterprise collaborative web products and services.  Has started three previous startups, including one that had $17 million in revenues. Previously worked for AOL and Merrill Lynch. Is a CMUer.

  • Carel van Apeldoorn Carel van Apeldoorn
    Carel van Apeldoorn
    Guangzhou Chapter Director

    Carel is CEO and cofounder of Ink361.com, the leading web based Instagram photo sharing network. Carel is a serial entrepreneur and holds a MSc degree of the Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands. He has worked in investment banking prior to becoming an entrepreneur and has founded three successful companies over the last 12 years.

  • Chance Jiang Chance Jiang
    Chance Jiang
    Guangzhou Chapter Co-Director

    Chance Jiang is co-founder of welomo.com, a Guangzhou startup making cloud-ready electronic appliances for business and consumers. Chance is currently focused on startups making smart and connected appliances for business and consumers, including robots. He's been an active member in Guangzhou's tech community, from organizing community events to mentoring other startups. Chance was founding member (Interim Chair) of IEEE System, Man and Cybernetics Guangzhou Chapter (2004-2007).

  • Cheryl Draper Cheryl Draper
    Cheryl Draper
    Ottawa Chapter Director

    Cheryl has been living the startup life since 2008 when she co-founded Boxseat Suite Management. She has spent more than a decade in Events, Marketing & Partnership Activation. She was a founding member of Startup Weekend Ottawa & StartupOttawa.ca as well as a Curator at StartupDigest & StartupGenome. She is currently the Community Manager at Invoke Labs and calls Vancouver, Canada home. When she is not herding cats, she likes to drink tea, spend time with family & friends and travel.

  • Cheryl Mack Cheryl Mack
    Cheryl Mack
    Vancouver Chapter Director

    Cheryl Mack has been living the startup life since moving to Vancouver in 2008. She is an active member of the startup community, having worked with several startups, accelerators and investors. She is dedicated to building a thriving startup ecosystem in Vancouver and growing access to funding, developers, and other resources. UBC Sauder alumni, technology geek, and travel enthusiast.

  • Chris Joannou Chris Joannou
    Chris Joannou
    Melbourne Chapter Director

    Chris is a Parallel Entrepreneur, Digital Alchemist, and Startup Pusher with businesses in everything from Tech to Tequila. CEO and Founder of Startup MelbournePerceptar (live mobile to mobile video application) and the Startup Grind Melbourne Chapter Director.

    Outside of Tech he runs J&D Consortium an innovative private label food and beverage business that primarily imports for the Retail and Foodservice markets within the Asia-Pacific.

  • Christine Souffrant Christine Souffrant
    Christine Souffrant
    Dubai Chapter Director

    Christine is an aspiring Haitian-American entrepreneur with 7 years of business management experience, 6 years of international study in over 26 countries, and 2 years of banking expertise. Christine spent her early years managing a family business in New York that featured Haitian street artwork. After graduating from Dartmouth College in 2011with a Bill Gates Millennium scholarship, Christine completed a management career in retail/ commercial banking in DC. She is the Founder of Belle Femme Diaries-a resource blog for "Experiences that Inspire".  She currently lives in Dubai as a member of the Leadership Circle of the Rotary Club of Jumierah and will complete a Masters degree at Hult International Business School in 2014.

  • Christopher Richards Christopher Richards
    Christopher Richards
    Atlanta Chapter Director

    Chris Richards is a recent graduate of the University of Oregon with a Bachelor of Science in psychology and business.  He's currently the Director of Marketing for CheckAction, a B2B cloud based software startup, located at the Atlanta Tech Village.  He also volunteers as the social media manager for ChooseATL, a campaign from the city and Nebo Agency to represent Atlanta as a creative and digital epicenter, and Atlanta Untold, a movement from the local agencies to share the untold stories of the people the make Atlanta great.   When not finding new clients for a growing digital agency he has a passion for snowboarding, technology, and connecting the Atlanta startup community.

  • Colleen Kazemi Colleen Kazemi
    Colleen Kazemi
    Startup Grind Denver Co-director

    Colleen is passionate about making connections between people and businesses. Colleen is an Angel Investor, Digital Marketing Expert, and has supported her Husband at his Probiotics Manufacturing Startup, where she helped him hire staff and discover funding through the power of her network. She believes that if you spend time in your local Community connecting and creating meaningful conversations with the people around you, that you will create powerful connections that will strengthen and benefit everyone. Colleen is a Denver native and is excited to be part of Startup GRIND Denver so she can help educate, inspire, and connect local and global entrepreneurs.

  • Daniel Linhart Daniel Linhart
    Daniel Linhart
    Kansas Chapter Director

    Daniel is a small business owner in Kansas City, Missouri. He co-owns and operates Cremalab, a web and mobile development company that works alongside startups and entrepreneurs to build online products. He joined in 2010 as Partner and COO, overseeing all of the firm’s day-to-day operations, business strategy, and general management. His previous experience in account management, entrepreneurial spirit, and educational background brought fresh insight, organization, and direction to the company. Since joining in 2010, Daniel has been a key catalyst in the growth, efficiency, and sustainability of the company, leading to year-over-year growth and profitability. Daniel’s key responsibilities include operations, administration, business strategy, and organizational leadership.

  • Darren Mulvihill Darren Mulvihill
    Darren Mulvihill
    Ireland Chapter Director

    Darren is the Head of Seed Investing at The Lucey Fund, Lucey Technology, a Dublin based cloud specialist with offices in London. He was also a featured interviewer at Startup Grind 2013, conducting a memorable discussion with Patrick Collison of Stripe

  • Derek Andersen Derek Andersen
    Derek Andersen
    Founder and CEO of Startup Grind

    Derek Andersen spent four years in product management at Electronic Arts working on games like the Godfather, Burnout, and Mirror's Edge. He left in 2009 to found Vaporware Labs, a company that has tried and failed many times, but successfully launched products like Startup Grind, Commonred, and Steve Young Football (iOS). He's also a contributing author for Techcrunch and Business Insider and lives in Palo Alto, California.

  • Diego Garcia Cacho Diego Garcia Cacho
    Diego Garcia Cacho
    Mexico City Chapter Director

    Mechanical engineer by education and natural tinkerer by design, recently self-proclaimed amateur rocketeer. Diego started off as project engineer in an energy savings production startup that involved mixing hydrogen and diesel into power generators. He then went on to develop the business model for an Industrial Agropark in Veracruz that is beginning construction. Now he is in charge of the Business Development area in the Mexico Business Summit, the premier platform in Mexico that addresses the key issues shaping Mexico`s future and its relationship with its key partners.

  • Dustin Masancay Dustin Masancay
    Dustin Masancay
    Manila Chapter Director

    Dustin is the Associate Director for Ventures at IdeaSpace, a non-profit incubator/accelerator based in the Philippines.  Dustin is one of the select youth leaders from 105 countries who participated at the recent Global Startup Youth Summit and Global Entrepreneurship Summit. His ultimate aspiration is to significantly improve the lives of Filipinos by bringing in new opportunities and services to the bottom billion through entrepreneurship and startups.

  • E. Patrice Perkins E. Patrice Perkins
    E. Patrice Perkins
    Albany Chapter Director

    An Army brat, Patrice lived in Germany; Hawaii and several less exotic locations during her father’s illustrious 29 year military career. A propensity for the limelight first surfaced when Patrice thoroughly routed second grade competition to appear live on the German public access show, “Potpourri", as one of Santa’s Reindeer Keepers.  She encountered a less appreciative audience state-side, however, and following an unsuccessful audition for The High School for Performing Arts in New York City, Patrice set out to prove the critics wrong. Words are her forte and she has parlayed a gift for people engagement into a myriad of successful situations: event planner; paralegal; executive assistant; director of marketing; writer; editor; proofreader; prospect researcher; narrator and producer of documentaries; workshop presenter; poetess, television/radio interviewer, and most recently, Chapter Director for Startup Grind Albany. A newish and thrilling role for Patrice is as philanthropist, having just founded a memorial scholarship fund in honor of her mother, Margaret “Peggy” Perkins that will benefit its first recipient in the fall of 2014.

  • Emily Cooper Emily Cooper
    Emily Cooper
    Cincinnati Community Manager

    Emily is a marketing and social media gal with a love for Cincinnati, startups, and Cincinnati startups. She's currently finishing up her last year at the University of South Carolina's Moore School of Business while contributing to The Brandery's social media presence, event planning, and more.

  • Eric Otterson Eric Otterson
    Eric Otterson
    San Diego Chapter Co-Director

    Eric has 15 years experience in marketing and business development working with high growth technology and life science companies. Currently he is the VP of Business Development at the law firm of Cooley Godward Kronish, LLP, where he manages the national business practice groups, and locally builds relationships between San Diego entrepreneurs and the firm’s capital provider clients. Previously, Eric lead the sales closure and implementation of a CRM suite at clients like Fiserv, Countrywide, AT&T, and British Telecom. Eric is an active board member of the CONNECT foundation, Taco del Mar, and a trustee at the San Diego French-American School. He has also been an active real estate developer successfully building ten San Diego beach homes. Eric holds B.A. in Environmental Design from UC Berkeley and an M.B.A. from The Anderson School at UCLA.

  • Erik Walenza-Slabe Erik Walenza-Slabe
    Erik Walenza-Slabe
    Shanghai Chapter Director

    Erik manages the Shanghai office of The Applied Value Group, a professional services and investment group, and support Startup Grind as director of the Shanghai chapter. Applied Value is strategic management consultancy with a focus on cost reduction, complemented by a merger and acquisition advisory and management training expertise. They combine the in-depth expertise of a global advisor with the focus, attention, and flexibility of a boutique consulting firm.

  • Fabian Knopf Fabian Knopf
    Fabian Knopf
    Shenzhen Chapter Co-Director

    Fabian works in foreign direct investment advisory and implementation with Dezan Shira & Associates in South China. Before coming to Shenzhen, he was based in Xi’an, Beijing, Shanghai and Suzhou, where he built the firm’s office. Through his day job he has insights into foreign companies’  startup process in China and Asia. Besides that, he has founded the stock exchange society at his university, served as board member of the German Junior Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, and currently serves as a guest lecturer at Peking University HSBC Business School.

  • Fawaad Saleem Fawaad Saleem
    Fawaad Saleem
    Karachi Chapter Director

    Over 7 years of Brand Management & Digital Marketing experience with an educational background of MBA (IBA). Founder of DigitalTribe working with clients in Pakistan,US & Middle East helping them create a Digital Footprint.

  • Francisco Cruz Francisco Cruz
    Francisco Cruz
    Startup Grind Global Community Director

    Francisco is the Global Community Director at Startup Grind, a community designed to connect, inspire, and educate entrepreneurs through monthly events around the world. He is responsible for on-boarding new chapter directors, overseeing local events, and producing video content on the Startup Grind Youtube Channel. Since he joined the team in 2012, Startup Grind has achieved exponential growth expanding from 10 to 60 cities, five to 30 countries, and now reaching a network of over 40,000 entrepreneurs globally.

  • Franco Varriano Franco Varriano
    Franco Varriano
    Startup Grind Ottawa Director

    Franco's been an entrepreneur since the age of 11. After working overseas during university, he returned to work in the NGO, public and private sectors building web and mobile programs. He's been actively involved in helping and organizing various Ottawa events to make the city a better place.  He's currently leading community and growth with Accel.io, a startup seeking to change the way people produce and consume helpful content.

  • Guillaume De Smedt Guillaume De Smedt
    Guillaume De Smedt
    Cape Town Chapter Director

    Guillaume De Smedt is involved with Joojooberry, Startup Gind (Cape Town) and doing his bachelors degree in engineering. "G", as he is otherwise known, started his career at a local Telecommunications Company. He then worked for Daimler Chrysler on robots and advanced sensors. Joined One Digital Media in 2009 as the Electronic Design Engineer creating interactive displays. He currently runs an Instant Website * Marketing Company - Joojooberry. Studying Electronic Engineering at Cape Town University of Technology [CPUT] and running Startup Grind in the beautiful city of Cape Town. Guillaume's driving forces are Simplicity, Functionality & Beauty. He loves life, positive attitudes and amazing people with awesome ideas.

  • Hisham Al-Shurafa Hisham Al-Shurafa
    Hisham Al-Shurafa
    Calgary Chapter Director

    Hisham Al-Shurafa is co-founder of Startup Calgary, an entrepreneur-led, grassroots, non-profit organization with the mission to activate startups, connect founders and grow the tech ecosystem in Calgary. He's also an entrepreneur himself, co-founding and running SnapDx and Pixineers. Hisham previously held software and product management positions at Amazon.com and NexJ Systems. Hisham graduated from the University of Waterloo with a B. A. Sc. in Systems Design Engineering. You can follow him on twitter @hisham.

  • Jason Cross Jason Cross
    Jason Cross
    Adelaide Chapter Co-Director

    Jason is the Co-founder & VP of Innovation Engineering at Aston Club Pty Ltd, a mobile payment platform. He has been developing software since the young age of 8, where Jason self taught himself how to code in multiple languages. Jason has always been a hustler, looking for the next thing to develop and sell. The idea of working 9-5 for someone else has never stuck to Jason, he has always wanted to run his own companies and has had a few startups in the last 10 years.
    He has helped many startups get off the ground from advice to developing MVPs, most notably boogiespot.com. Jason lives and breathes startups, he lives to educate others about the startup life.

  • Joel Fernandes Joel Fernandes
    Joel Fernandes
    Startup Grind CTO

    Engineer. Co-founder of Commonred. Toronto / Lisbon

  • Johannes Fischli Johannes Fischli
    Johannes Fischli

    Johannes is the Controller and Director of Finance for IMVU. He was a CPA and previously worked for Ernst and Young as a Supervising Senior. He has experience in managing audit teams and public filings of forms S-1, 10-Q, and 10-K and revenue recognition for software products, including review of multi-element contracts in Spanish and Portuguese. He's also originally from Brazil.

  • John Mueller John Mueller
    John Mueller
    Kalamazoo Chapter Director

    John Mueller is an assistant professor at Western Michigan University (WMU) in Kalamazoo where he teaches entrepreneurship. Prior to working on his PhD in Entrepreneurship at the University of Louisville, he started and ran several businesses in the software industry, including GolfSolutions.com. His work experiences have allowed him to live and work in the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.  He enjoys being involved with exciting businesses in the startup community.  

  • Jon Rossi Jon Rossi
    Jon Rossi
    Startup Grind Denver Director

    After attending StartupWeekend Boulder in April 2009, Jon took the plunge. He’s now working on his first two startups. He is a social-media, technology and business enthusiast who wants to make a difference in the lives of others. Jon is the lead organizer for StartupWeekend Denver and Boulder. When not working on Startup projects, Jon is busy helping the community and being a social connector for Denver.

  • Jonas Almeling Jonas Almeling
    Jonas Almeling
    Stockholm Chapter Manager

    As a teenager, Jonas started working in his mother's accounting firm and quickly got an understanding of how businesses work. Today Jonas works with business development that combines social and business value. Jonas has founded and managed several companies, among them an IT-consultant firm, a TV-channel and an event company. He is passionate about helping people grow and develop. He was the regional manager for Venture Cup, a business plan competition started by McKinsey and the leading universities in Sweden. Being a passionate social entrepreneur Jonas has funded a non-profit organization called Why5 for Life which is a platform for entrepreneurs to test new social innovations. He is also a board member of Young Entrepreneurs of Sweden.

  • Joshua Ness Joshua Ness
    Joshua Ness
    Director of Marketing and Operations

    Joshua Ness is a marketing strategist in New York City helping startups bridge the marketing gap.

  • Joy Randels Joy Randels
    Joy Randels
    Tampa Bay Chapter Director

    Joy is the Founder and CEO of NewMarket Partners.  She’s launched 13 startups, had 2 IPO’s and 9 acquisitions, raising over $300M seeing the hard work payoff and experiencing failure. Joy is a frequent speaker on entrepreneurship, security and mobile. New Market Partners helps emerging tech companies create scalable businesses, performs due diligence for capital raises and M&A. Joy is also the co-founder of Applied G2 and Nurturism Media Group. She’s an active angel investor and an organizer of Startup Weekend, Ignite Tampa Bay and Barcamp. Bottom line, she wants to see Startups ROCK!

  • Karlie Krieger Karlie Krieger
    Karlie Krieger
    Director of Events

    Karlie is passionate about producing flawless events. Prior to Startup Grind she spent 3+ years running all national conferences for Inc. Magazine in New York. In August 2013, she joined the HQ team as the Director of  Events, heading up the 2014 global event and then some. Karlie now lives in San Francisco.

  • Katie Maxwell Katie Maxwell
    Katie Maxwell
    Memphis Chapter Director

    Katie Maxwell worked in the corporate world for the past 8 years specializing in marketing, communications and public relations.  Due to a company wide restructuring her position was eliminated in early 2013.  Unsure of what she wanted to do next, Katie spent several months working with a team to start a coworking space in Memphis, TN.   In just a few months, the lease was signed, renovations completed and Cowork Memphis came on the scene.  She now serves as the Director of Community Relations at Cowork Memphis.

  • Kelly Tomlinson Kelly Tomlinson
    Kelly Tomlinson
    Startup Grind Kansas City Chapter Director

    Kelly Tomlinson is a designer focused on user interface and experience design at Cremalab. She is the founder of Coffee & Design, chapter director of Startup Grind Kansas City, and a KCSW organizer. She believes in solving problems, sharing stories, saying thank you, and small wins.

  • Khari Parson Khari Parson
    Khari Parson
    New York Community Manager

    Khari is a founder of tech and brick and mortar companies and a lawyer with a background in corporate law and business planning and strategic development for start-up companies.

  • Kyle Shields Kyle Shields
    Kyle Shields
    Utah Chapter Director

    Kyle is currently pursuing a Master of Accountancy at Brigham Young University. A large portion of his time is devoted to learning the ins and outs of tax accountancy, but once the books are closed Kyle can be found working on some new entrepreneurial pursuit, or working with professors on research projects.

  • Laís de Oliveira Laís de Oliveira
    Laís de Oliveira
    Buenos Aires Chapter Director

    Entrepreneur. Technology, Personal and Leadership Development enthusiast. Current Mindvalley Entrepreneurship Coordinator (Zentrepreneur.com and mindvalleyinsights.com).  Before moving to KL: co-organized the 1st #StartupCampLatam with @Wisboo, did Marketing and PR for @NXTPLabs (leading seed fund accelerator for Latam) and was the Country Manager for AIESEC in Southern Cone (Argentina, Chile and Uruguay).  

  • Laura Lorek Laura Lorek
    Laura Lorek
    San Antonio Chapter Director

    I'm the founder of Silicon Hills News, an online technology news site covering entrepreneurs and companies in the Austin and San Antonio region. Founded in 2011, SHN won a New Media Women Entrepreneur grant to provide seed stage funding to launch the site, which now has a staff of five reporters. Previously, I worked as a senior writer covering technology and business news at the San Antonio Express-News, a senior writer for Interactive Week Magazine and a specialty writer and technology columnist at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. I'm interested in startups, entrepreneurship, technology and storytelling.  I live in Wimberley, in the Texas Hill Country, with my husband, Charlie, teenage son, Teddy, and two Labradors, Apollo and Zeus.

  • Lee Blaylock Lee Blaylock
    Lee Blaylock
    Dallas Chapter Director

    Lee Blaylock is the founder and CEO of Who@. Starting his career at Dell (badge #244) for 7 years he was their 2nd ex-pat and worked two years in Dell Germany then to Oracle, where he left as a practice director in the high technology consulting group. His first company, ServiceLane, was funded by Austin Ventures and Silicon Valley Bank and sold to Owens Corning (NYSE: OC). He later co-founded Annandale Capital, an investment advisor managing ~$500 million in institutional and private client assets. Who@ is a mobile centric app helping professionals, and the companies they work, for maximize the value of their relationships in a unique and private way. Who@ improves the way companies leverage their most valuable asset, their relationships. See more at www.whoat.net.

  • Leo Khin Leo Khin
    Leo Khin
    Baltimore Chapter Director

    Leo Khin is a Founder, Thought Leader, and Advisor to some of the best and brightest CEO’s, Presidents, Owners, and Entrepreneurs in the Washington, DC and Baltimore regions. With a natural passion for entrepreneurship he's had since childhood, Leo has founded multiple startups focused on technology and social impact. Along with being the Chapter Director for StartupGrind Baltimore, Leo is deeply involved in the local tech and startup communities. He is the Venture Advisor and a Lead Mentor for AccelerateDC, a MIT based mentorship program that aims to influence and inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs and business leaders. He is currently the Cofounder of AMPlus, a Partner at Gratii, and sits on the Board of Advisors for various startups in the region. His passion is connecting people, and helping founders take their vision and make it a realization.

  • Marian Gazdik Marian Gazdik
    Marian Gazdik
    London Chapter Director

    Digital Entrepreneur and startup advisor. He helps startups and digital companies on marketing and product strategy, with strong focus on acquisition, growth and conversion. Marian is the founder and CEO of Tiger Studios, an app publishing house that produces and markets apps to help people improve their skills. He teaches at General Assembly, has an MBA from ESCP, European School of Management and loves adventure travelling.

  • Matthew Gaulding Matthew Gaulding
    Matthew Gaulding
    Startup Grind San Rafael Co-Director

    I provide support to the Director of the Venture Greenhouse in office and facility management, web-site maintenance, event logistics, billing/payments, research and stakeholder engagement. Also makes Startup Grind possible.

  • Melonee Hawkins Melonee Hawkins
    Melonee Hawkins

    Melonee is a CPA and the founder of Badabean. Specializing in stage appropriate services for startups and small business owners, she is currently dedicated to development of systems that deliver real time business results and instant tax benefits. She is a long time Black Card member of the Silicon Valley Chapter.

  • Micaela Wade Micaela Wade
    Micaela Wade
    Auckland Community Manager

    Marketing and Events Manager at Generator

  • Michael Boesen Michael Boesen
    Michael Boesen
    Copenhagen Chapter Co-Director

    Full-time "juggler" with an IT-engineering background, who have been working as Research Affiliate at NASAs Jet Propulsion Lab. Now inventor of the self-repairing chip technology commercialized by Biomicore, VP of Silicon Vikings CPH, Co-host of Silicon Drinkabout CPH, Co-founder of AppGarage DTU, Co-founder of "ssshh-it's-still-a-secret”-startup and avid vinyl collector. When I’m not doing … stuff… you can usually find me with an Islay whisky in hand in front of the piano or with a guitar.

  • Michael Cayley Michael Cayley
    Michael Cayley
    Toronto Chapter Director

    Hi I'm Michael Cayley, Founder of Cdling (pronounced "seedling"), a platform that builds trust between investors, startups and mentors. I'm also Founder of the Ontario Cross-border Technology Innovation Ecosystem (OCTIE) Study. I've been doing the startup grind my whole career across Canada, the US, in Europe and China over the years. I hope that helps add some value to this conversation!

  • Michael Gasiorek Michael Gasiorek
    Michael Gasiorek
    Shenzhen Chapter Director

    Michael is a marketing maverick in booming Shenzhen by day and founding hustler of ShopHop Hong Kong by night. Polish-born, US-raised, Hong Kong-loving, and Shenzhen-based, Michael loves travel, new tech, and learning by doing. His current mission is to connect with passionate people and help others do the same. Besides directing Shenzhen Startup Grind, Michael fuels the Shenzhen startup community as Startup Weekend volunteer, director of Shenzhen DrinkEntrepreneurs, Startup Digest curator, and cross-regional brand consultant.

  • Michael Reid Michael Reid
    Michael Reid
    Adelaide Chapter Co-Director

    Michael runs Majoran Distillery, Adelaide's tech coworking space, which went from 5 members in the first month to over 50 members a year later and is still growing. Michael's first exposure to startups was entering the local Startup Weekend with a business idea that didn't take off, but Michael was hooked. He knew he wanted to be surrounded with startups, so he, along with two other guys, set out to open a tech coworking space which Adelaide was in desperate need of. Michael's drive and excitement about coworking and the startup life is shown throughout everything Michael is involved with, including Startup Grind.

  • Michael Sauter Michael Sauter
    Michael Sauter
    Munich Chapter Director

    Michael is Founder / Managing Director of QUARTER/TO Ventures, a consulting and management training firm for the digital age. He is actively bridging the gap between startups and established companies, growing startups as a mentor and helping corporates innovate like startups. Michael has a diverse background in consulting, software and digital businesses with 15+ years experience and is a frequent public speaker.

  • Michael Terpin Michael Terpin
    Michael Terpin
    Las Vegas Chapter Director

    Michael Terpin is founder and CEO of SocialRadius, one of the nation’s first social media marketing firms.  Success stories include the viral outreach for recording artist Will.i.am’s Yes We Canvideo during the Obama campaign (which won an Emmy, Webby and Clio Gold Lion), as well as social media event marketing for Live8 and LiveEarth, and blogger outreach for Participant Media (“The Cove”) and several divisions of Philips.  SocialRadius is headquartered in Las Vegas, with offices in Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco, and is a division of Terpin Communications, a leading international high-tech PR firm, which launched some of the biggest success stories of the consumer Internet era, including America Online, Earthlink, and The Motley Fool. Terpin also founded Marketwire, one of the world’s largest and most technologically sophisticated company newswires.   Originally known as Internet Wire, Marketwire was funded by Sequoia Capital and Hummer Winblad, and it was acquired in 2006 for $35 million.  Most recently, Terpin co-founded BitAngels, the world’s first angel network for digital currency startups, in May, 2013.  The distributed angel network currently has more than 200 members, representing $20 million in capital for bitcoin and cryptocurrency investments. Terpin holds an MFA in Creative Writing from SUNY at Buffalo and degrees in Newspaper Journalism and English Literature from Syracuse University, where he serves as an advisor to its top-ranked Newhouse School of Public Communications and was inducted into its prestigious Wall of Fame in 2000.  Terpin is also an investor and advisor to many media and technology companies, including Launch.it, Liquipel, Playsino, Stockr, Sverve, Virurl, Walls360, YouMail and XFire.    

  • Mike Bott Mike Bott
    Mike Bott
    Cincinnati Chapter Director

    Digital marketer, tech startup enthusiast, and GM of the @Brandery. I mostly tweet articles I find interesting. Some I agree with, some not.

  • Mike Grabham Mike Grabham
    Mike Grabham
    Seattle Chapter Director

    Michael is optimistic, genuine and a problem solver. He is a product guy that focuses on uses and  revenue. He loves starting companies and enjoys the collaboration with smart people to figure out how to create value for a customer. He has been lucky enough to start a few companies, raise capital and see the hard work payoff. Michael enjoys the experiences you must go through to get a company into a growth mode and see its first service/product create revenue.  Currently he is working on an platform to help the homeless in the US, that has yet to be released to the public and is the Creative Services Director for Portent.com, a FULL service internet marketing agency. You can visit his blog at michaelgrabham.com or follow him on twitter @grabmike

  • Mike Maher Mike Maher
    Mike Maher
    Philadelphia Chapter Director

    Formerly a Naval Officer, Mike is a real estate and technology entrepreneur.  He's passionate about building companies with amazing people and creating as much value and impact as possible.  Mike is a graduate of the Naval Academy where he played varsity soccer, and he has an MBA from the Villanova School of Business in Real Estate, Finance, and International Business.  Currently, Mike is the Co-Founder & CEO of Benjamin’s Desk, Philly's premier shared office and coworking space for mobile professionals, entrepreneurs, and startups.  Along with his wife Jennifer, Mike recently launched FirstBase, a startup real estate brokerage that helps match startups with the best office brokers and then powers them with discounted services when they find their home.  As the Co-Founder of RealComps, a real estate technology startup, Mike recently pivoted the model in an effort to disrupt the residential real estate industry with his new startup Houwzer, where he is the Co-Founder & CEO.  A lover of all things Philly, Mike is looking to bring his "real estate-tech" portfolio to a city near you. LinkedIn | Twitter | Email  

  • Nikhil Narayan Nikhil Narayan
    Nikhil Narayan
    New Delhi Chapter Director

    Nikhil is a technology enthusiast who specializes in Business analysis. He has a degree in Mechanical Engineering and works for Fidelity Worldwide Investments where he drives technology requirements for European business. He is a dreamer, a go-getter and a thrill seeker with passion for travelling and exploring new places.

  • Nrupesh Soni Nrupesh Soni
    Nrupesh Soni
    Guangzhou Chapter Co-Director

    Nrupesh Soni has spent 10 years in China, from 1999-2009, providing ICT Solutions, Security Assessment and Training to Chinese companies as well as specialising in customised sourcing solutions for companies around the globe. He then spent 3 years in Namibia, Southern Africa, doing Investment Consulting. While in Africa, he launched 2 startups and provided ICT and E-Government Solutions. In 2012, Soni returned to China, getting back into IT, startups, and investment. Soni has organised over 30 IT networking events since 2002 in Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen.

  • Ozan Sonmez Ozan Sonmez
    Ozan Sonmez
    Istanbul Turkey Chapter Director

    Ozan started his career at Deloitte and served in managerial positions for 8 years in the financial services sector. He transitioned into business development roles in a private university, then to entrepreneurship and impact investment roles with Angel Wings Ventures where he launched the AWV's Turkish office. He's a NBIA certified incubation manager and is passionate about teaching, supervising, motivating entrepreneurs as a jury, mentor, trainer in international events like MIT GIST and various national start-up events. He's the co-creator of Social Change Labs, the first social entrepreneurship incubation program and is most proud of this. He has an MBA and an MS in Environmental Social Sciences and loves tattoos btw

  • Pablo Lascurain Pablo Lascurain
    Pablo Lascurain
    Monterrey Chapter Director

    Pablo is an entrepreneur that has participated professionally in different areas. Lawyer by education, he has been involved in international franchising, real estate consulting, business logistics, and technology development in government. He is founder of Grupo CREA, a company dedicated to business development and Startups via alternative investment mechanisms. Currently he is developing CREA Muebles, Mexico’s first RTA furniture store. He participates actively in the organization and development of the Startups and Investors community in Mexico with emphasis on creating an entrepreneurial ecosystem in Monterrey that provides opportunities on a regional  level to latinamerican entrepreneurs.

  • Per Bergstrom Per Bergstrom
    Per Bergstrom
    Stockholm Chapter Director

    Per is a young, driven mind with passion for entrepreneurship, business design and urban development. At the age of 22 he entered as CEO of the IT-consultancy startup We Know IT alongside his engineering studies and has ever since been loving to inspire and connect people.

  • Perri Blake Gorman Perri Blake Gorman
    Perri Blake Gorman
    San Francisco Chapter Co-Director

    ceo/founder @archively : co-founder @unrollme : moderator@StartupGrind :: I am an alchemist. I am a collector of people.

  • Peter Crysdale Peter Crysdale
    Peter Crysdale
    New York City Chapter Director

    Peter is the Founder/CEO of StrategyHack, running marketing strategy hackathons for startups and professional marketers.  He has a diverse background with 8+ years experience spanning engineering, social good and technology startups.  In his spare time, he enjoys day dreaming and cross country skiing.  

  • Peter Sinkevich Peter Sinkevich
    Peter Sinkevich
    Greenwich Chapter Director

    A Fairfield County native, Peter is a well adjusted, smart and agile thinker, a genuine problem solver who possesses a knack for spotting new business opportunities and relationships. He has a natural curiosity to overcome adversity and a true passion for entrepreneurship and the startup process. Peter has made a lifelong career as the quintessential serial entrepreneur, working for himself and assisting others on more than 66 ventures to date. He has been fortunate to have been a part of several multi-million dollar exits and his clientele list ranges from small local startups to international household brand names. From a multi-disciplinary background and deep skill set that spans the 'entrepreneurial eighteen hats', Peter has conquered the art of switching gears. He seeks to bring together entrepreneurs, thought leaders and idea generators from all markets in an effort to brainstorm the solutions to their challenges through a collaborative ecosystem. Currently, he is working on a management consulting startup geared specifically to the needs of entrepreneurs and the startup process.

  • Rafael Bertani Rafael Bertani
    Rafael Bertani
    São Paulo Chapter Director

    Rafael Bertani has three main goals in his life: to acquire knowledge, to nurture relationships, and to have meaningful experiences. That’s the reason why he decided to leave a stable job at Multi Group, one of the largest education groups in the world, and become an entrepreneur. He entered in the tech world through ofertas.com, company that he left in 2011. After that, he has invested in several startups, becoming a known and credible angel investor in Brazil. He is currently sitting in the board of three different companies with a bright future in Brazil.

  • Ryan Frederick Ryan Frederick
    Ryan Frederick
    Columbus Chapter Director

    Ryan has had the privilege of being part of several startups and growth companies. He has helped companies grow from inception, to viability, through to sustainability. During the evolution of these companies, Ryan as served on company boards and been instrumental in capitalization activities. He has also helped companies to expand to international markets. Ryan brings a unique blend of business acumen and technical knowledge to help companies and clients to achieve their objectives. He enjoys the process and challenge of starting and growing a company. Ryan (@ryanfrederick) currently serves as Vice President of Marketing & Sales for AWH (@awhnet), an application consulting & creation firm in Dublin, OH.

  • Ryan Wilson Ryan Wilson
    Ryan Wilson
    Auckland Chapter Director

    Ryan Wilson is a delivery focused entrepreneur with a proven track record for successfully taking an idea from concept to reality. Co-founder of Generator. In the historical heart of the Auckland CBD, Generator is a truly inspirational workspace for creative thinkers, entrepreneurs and dynamic small businesses who are serious about their success and enjoying their entrepreneurial lifestyle.

  • Sam Osborn Sam Osborn
    Sam Osborn
    Los Angeles Chapter Director

    Sam Osborn is a Los Angeles based media professional with a passion for the intersection of digital entertainment and technology. He has created content for networks including JASH, Havoc Television, This Week In, West Park Pictures, Digital Magics and others.   Sam is a graduate of USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, a two-time College Television Award winner, and an avid surfer and waterman.

  • Sandra Lollino Sandra Lollino
    Sandra Lollino
    Los Angeles Chapter Community Manager

    Sandra Lollino is a LegalShield Independent Associate, providing access to attorneys on any legal matter and business consultants on any business topic without expensive hourly fees - for businesses, individuals, and families.  She created forthepets.net to fulfill her passion of helping animals by providing the option to allocate a portion of LegalShield memberships to pet charities.  Sandra is an entrepreneur at heart, having founded a successful event planning business as well as a non-profit helping pet owners that could not afford veterinary care.  She has a Mechanical Engineering Degree from Loyola Marymount University.

  • Sebastian Schwemer Sebastian Schwemer
    Sebastian Schwemer
    Copenhagen Chapter Director

    Bavarian-European enthusiast between tech, business and law. Sebastian launched his first startup while still being a student and has worked for leading mobile advertising, consulting and law firms. He is addicted to the concept of "hygge", good coffee, and the alps and has a strong passion for disruptive online & mobile businesses and their ecosystem. He currently lives in Copenhagen.

  • Son Le Thanh Son Le Thanh
    Son Le Thanh
    Singapore Chapter Director

    Son Le Thanh is a professional software developer with more than 10 years of experience. During his career, he progressed from being Java programmer at Saigon Software Park, a Vietnamese Government-linked company, to his current role as a Product Manager at Deskera Open Source, a Sequoia-backed company in Singapore.   Son launched his foray into the Singapore startup scene at Startup Weekend in October 2011, where he spun off a social mobile application project that had been conceptualized at the same event. Being a hustler, Son was rejected by the Founders Institute four times and by sheer grit, he soldiered on and was finally accepted into the April 2012 intake.   In June 2012, Son launched the StartupGrind event series in Singapore after his trip to the Silicon Valley in April 2012. The event currently gathers a consistent crowd to share startup experiences and foster new networks.   In his spare time, Son enjoys participating in side projects and mentoring technology projects through Start Up Nation. His greatest joy, however, is his young son, who will turn two this year. Son graduated from NUS with a Master of Technology in Software Engineering and has been awarded the PMP certification.

  • Sophie Hughes Sophie Hughes
    Sophie Hughes
    London Event Manager

    Founder of Sophie Alexander Events. Passionate about planning and delivering beyond expectations. Strong desire for the startup community and entrepreneurship. Usually found running or eating chocolate.

  • Sriram Sekhar Sriram Sekhar
    Sriram Sekhar
    Chennai Startup Grind Chapter Director

    He found his entrepreneurial calling early in life, and after working with top global and Indian consulting companies & finance houses for several years, he started his own venture  - S.M.A.R.T Advisors, a financial consulting and advisory firm based out of Chennai, India, focused on helping entrepreneurs with business strategies and raising funds. He also recently started South India's first professional dog walking service - though this is still a very nascent concept in India.

  • Timothy Chuma Timothy Chuma
    Timothy Chuma
    Zurich Switzerland Chapter Director

    With a background in enterprise application development, having worked as a freelance CRM/ERP consultant for over 7 years, Tim brings Startup Grind to Zurich, Switzerland to prove that Switzerland is more than cheese and chocolate. Tim is the founder and CEO of Censeo Computing, a Microsoft Bizspark startup that provides Saas front office applications for the financial service sector. An über fan of anything CRM/CXM, he shares his experiences through his blog The CRM Guy Swiss. He is currently lives in Zug, Switzerland with startup CEO wife and  two lovely kids.

  • Tom Denison Tom Denison
    Tom Denison
    Chicago Chapter Director

    Tom's passion is mentoring, advising, funding and founding tech startups. Like many, his digital experience started with a glamorous yet struggling internet startup, but blossomed into strategy and business development with some of the most recognized digital powerhouses. He has also nurtured and made profitable a top 200 internet retailer. Today, he is the Founder of Funl, a collection of savvy digital marketing experts who “Provide the expertise and resources needed to drive a large, loyal and profitable customer base.”

  • Vickie Mendoza Vickie Mendoza
    Vickie Mendoza
    San Diego Chapter Director

  • Vincent Hunt Vincent Hunt
    Vincent Hunt
    Tallahassee Chapter Director

    Vincent Hunt is the Founder & CEO at MASSIVE Corporation, a privately owned and operated, United States based research and development company. With over two decades of experience in the fields of creativity and innovation, Hunt leads MASSIVE initiatives designed to help organizations innovate and grow.

  • Yan Yan Yan Yan
    Yan Yan
    Shenzhen Chapter Director

    Yan is currently working as a sales manager for Bafo Technologies, a multinational telecommunication company. Amazed by the passion of Shenzhen’s business people and can’t wait to find out what the next big thing is going to be like in Shenzhen, he devote some of his time in helping out building the startup community here, he’s helping organizing Startup weekend Shenzhen among other stuff.

  • Yuri Katanov Yuri Katanov
    Yuri Katanov
    Sofia Chapter Director

    Yuri is a dreamer and traveler. His experience ranges from being a lifeguard, husband and father to journalism and partnership in a multi-industry investment business. Responsible for Alfa Finance Holding’s strategic management and exploring ways to support entrepreneurs and new, exciting ideas. Yuri embraces startup ideas of his friends, smiling at the big fails on the way. Genuinely believes in the benefits of open and frank communication, curious about human relations, psychology and (energy) efficiency.