GSE Heads to Silicon Valley for 2016 Startup Hacking Boot Camp

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104 founders and 15 speakers joined us for the SFO Silicon Valley edition of the free business boot camp. We had visitors from TechWadi and China Tour Group in the audience.

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Hosted By Forbes 30 Under 30 Entrepreneur-Christine Souffrant Ntim 

Date: Tuesday, September 6, 2016, Time: 9:30am-2:30pm 

9 am-Registration

9:30-Opening Remarks & Orientation

9:45-10:15am- Product Development 101+ Customer Acquisition 101  

  • 15 Minute Workshop-
  • 15 Minute Q/A session

10:15- 10:30am- Break 

10:30-10:45am Legal 101 (1 Speaker)

  • Top 10 Tips- Keynote

10:45-11:15am Press & Marketing 101 (1 Speaker)

  • 15 Minute Workshop- Pitching, social media campaigns, press, and PR, event management
  • FireSide Chat- Press, Media & Entrepreneurship

11:15-11:45pm Funding 101 (3 Speakers)

  • 10 Minute Workshop- How to raise capital via crowdfunding, crowd equity, and unconventional methods
  • 10 Minute Workshop-Funding angel & VC investment
  • Panel of Perspectives

11:45-12:30 Lunch Break 

12:30pm-1:00pm Branding 101 (3 Speakers)

  • Speaker Keynotes
  • Spotlight Entrepreneurs

1:00-2:00pm Startup Ecosystem Panel 101 (4 Speakers)

  • 10 Minute Workshop on how to leverage startup ecosystems
  • Panel of Perspectives

2:00-2:15pm  Mental Engineering and Entrepreneurship (1 Speaker)

2:15-2:30pm Closing remarks

2:30pm- Networking event TBA + Draper U Tour



Legal 101 Speaker

Debra Vernon is a corporate lawyer at DLA Piper who advises tech companies in Silicon Valley. She has represented notable emerging growth companies and investors for 20 years since attending law school at Stanford. Her practice centers on corporate formation, venture financings, mergers and acquisitions and public offerings, with an emphasis on cross border transactions which leverage DLA Piper’s global platform. DLA Piper has offices in over 30 countries and employs over 5,000 attorneys worldwide.She is the founder of LabGirls, a nonprofit committed to helping elementary school-age girls develop a lifelong passion for technology. She also is a member of the founding board of directors of Athena Alliance, an organization dedicated to increasing gender diversity on corporate boards. She was named a2016 Women of Influence in Silicon Valley Business Journal.

Press & Marketing 101 Speaker

Masha Drokova, entrepreneur and publicists with 12 years in PR. Masha started working at 15 years old, and until now, she has gained the experience of an entrepreneur and executive working in business, social and political projects across 50+ countries in Europe, Asia and Americas. She became the leader of the largest youth movement (100K+ participants) in Eastern Europe at the age of 17, and performed multiple social actions and projects while working with journalists as a spokesperson at that time. Later she founded her first business — social media and branding agency.Broadening her experience, Masha became interested in science, and  kickstartered Russian Quantum Center, non-profit scientific institute. Then she continued her path in PR, working as the PR Director of Runa Capital venture fund, where she transformated an unknown VC firm into the most well-known and reputable VC fund with investments in Eastern European tech companies. At Runa Capital, she advised and helped more than 30 portfolio startups to launch their products, do PR, marketing, business development and HR. Later, as a Vice President, Masha led global communications for Acronis (data protection company with 700+ employees with over $200M annual revenue) where she ran PR activities across 18 countries managing dozens of agencies and million dollars budget. Masha Drokova, is on the Business Insider 50 Top PR list Masha’s experiences has helped her to build her own international  PR Studio, with offices in New York and Moscow, that focuses on emerging tech companies. As an angel investor, she is looking for perspective tech projects which help to improve life’s solving social and business problems. Masha is also a popular blogger with 60K+ followers.

Funding 101 Speaker

Daring mighty things, Brinkley Warren is a serial-entrepreneur and creative producer.  He has launched and co-founded multiple companies in a wide-range of industries including innovation management, gaming and sports entertainment, music, advertising, robotics, genetics, mobile commerce, and artificial intelligence. Most recently Brinkley co-founded MegaBots, Inc. to launch an international sports league of giant, human-piloted robot combat that will accelerate innovation in the robotics industry, develop futuristic human/machine interfaces, and unite the world with a transmedia storytelling franchise that inspires the next generation of the maker movement, and that blurs the line between reality and augmented reality through unprecedented audience participation. Prior to MegaBots Brinkley was the CEO of a social gaming startup in New Zealand focused on sonic augmented reality.Brinkley is a frequent speaker on hacking global culture, the future, lean startup methodologies, the future of gaming & entertainment as well as applying exponentials to produce scalable positive impact. Brinkley also serves as an advisor to global leaders and companies who are seeking to create strategic impact and drive scalable disruptive innovation from the edge. His work has been featured by CNN, CNBC, Fast Company, NBC, Popular Science, Playboy, The Guardian, Top Gear, Discovery News, NPR, and the Wall Street Journal among others. Brinkley is  an award-winning artist, a Fulbright scholar in the field of art and design, and holds both an MFA and an MA. He is also a graduate of Singularity University where he served first as a class speaker and later as a lean startup advisor to SU Labs and the Global Solutions Program. Early in his career Brinkley held positions at CNN, Discovery Channel, and Cabin Creek Films as a journalist, producer and documentary filmmaker. His first company was a music production startup in college where he had the opportunity to produce music for over 300 artists, including two grammy-award winners.

Funding 101 Speaker

Laina Raveendran Greene–ech Business Planning, Tech Business Development and Intercultural Communication Expert, helping tech and social enterprise startups as well as Fortune 1000 companies succeed globally. Lived and worked in Singapore, Switzerland, USA and Indonesia,and travelled to 47 countries over the 25 years of work experience. Passionate about Tech for Good. Co-founder at Angels of Impact- TAngels of Impact believes that we can address 3 UN SDGs (no poverty, gender equality and responsible production and consumption) all at once, by focussing on women social enterprises which produce responsibly and help take women out of poverty. We are a platform for angels investors (from small to large amounts) and corporates who can help fund these social enterprises, buy these responsibly produced good and help with capacity building/opening doors for them to grow and succeed. Our massive transformative purpose is “women working in unity creating inclusive prosperity for all”.

Branding 101 Speaker (Entrepreneur Spotlight)

Kyle Silvestro, Founder and Chief Executive Officer  SyTrue and Adjunct Facility Singularity University. Kyle Silvestro is a national thought leader in Clinical Natural Language Processing, Semantic Interoperability, Medical Informatics and the use of semantic technologies in healthcare. As of December 2012, Silvestro has been pioneering a new clinical analytics platform, branded as SyTrue. As CEO and founder of SyTrue, Silvestro is helping shape and change the healthcare industry, as we know it. This remarkable business and clinical intelligence platform has finally created a pathway enabling physicians to be proactive in providing necessary care while improving outcomes and patient satisfaction –by drawing from transcribed reports, EMR notes and multiple other sources in seconds, SyTrue permits insurance providers, health systems, physician groups, clinical research organizations and pharmaceutical companies to mine clinical date where earlier, only billing or EMR-keyed data was available. In the recent past, Silvestro has worked with leading healthcare organizations in the utilization and adoption of NLP for meaningful use, clinical research, computer assisted coding, interoperability, semantic search, and other healthcare-critical projects. Silvestro is a frequent speaker on the use of NLP and its role as a catalyst for enabling HIE adoption. For over a decade now, Silvestro has worked alongside industry leaders in transcription, quality, revenue cycle management, interoperability, computer-assisted coding, electronic medical records, and in the adoption of Clinical NLP.

Branding 101 Speaker (Building Relationships)

Monica Phillips is a Client Development Executive at DLA Piper, a leading global law firm. She has a passion for technology and women’s leadership and 18 years of experience developing and executing strategic initiatives to help organizations identify and expand successful lines of business and strengthen client relationships. As a certified professional co-active coach, she has proven success working with corporate executives and entrepreneurs on team culture, business growth, and strategy. She mentors entrepreneurs and the start-up community through Draper University, Founder Institute, Cal Poly’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, RocketSpace, and as a founding coach of The Coaching Fellowship.She is the host of a weekly radio show/podcast, Powerful Conversations, featuring interviews with thought-leaders from across industries. Follow her @bodegabay1 or connect on LinkedIn.

Branding 101 Speaker (Entrepreneur Spotlight)

Michiel Rauws is the co-founder and chief executive officer of X2AI, after gaining experience in corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, risk insurance, and innovation working for a variety of companies, including IBM and Marsh and McLennan. X2AI’s mission is to provide affordable, quality mental healthcare, regardless of income or location. One of their most well known projects aims at providing free psychological support to Syrian refugees in Lebanon. Our work for refugees in Lebanon was covered over here in The Guardianon BusinessInsider, and on video by Reuters.

Startup Ecosystem 101 Speaker 

Anitha Vadavatha is a global strategist, innovation & partnerships architect, and an entrepreneur. She is the founder of Misu Labs, an innovation & growth company, and has had a checkered career with 15+ years in management consulting & industry, working for global corporations and startups.  Anitha is deeply engaged with community & social impact organizations on entrepreneurship, technology & international affairs. In Silicon Valley, she is a mentor at GSV Labs, co-Leads XPRIZE San Francisco Think Tank (meet up) & is a core volunteer (Executive Director) at Code For India. Prior to that, she was Head of global partnerships at Women@TheFrontier and mentored on ‘startup development’ for TiE Atlanta SocialX/TYE programs. She was a founding Chairwoman & advisory council member of Young Leaders of World Affairs Council of Atlanta. Anitha designed, led & moderated topical conferences on International Strategy for BRICS & frontier markets, Globalization & emerging markets, Executive Leadership & Global Outsourcing; along with serving as Managing Editor of ICA Institute’s economic sectoral outlooks.  She is a recipient of Outstanding Leadership award from World Affairs Council of Atlanta and was nominated for ABC 40 under 40 of Atlanta, GA.

Startup Ecosystem 101 Speaker 

Scott has spent the last 20 years building and selling technology products, leading three Silicon Valley startups each to their first millions in revenue. Now with SalesQualia, Scott works with startups across the world, helping them grow their sales faster.  His clients include enterprise SaaS, analytics, consulting, and food product companies across the higher education, FinTech, retail and food services industries. He is top writer on Quora and the author of two books – “Startup Selling: How to sell if you really, really have to and don’t know how” and “52 Sales Questions Answered.” His next book is scheduled to publish in Fall 2016.Outside of work, Scott is an accomplished endurance athlete as a three-time Ironman, ultra marathon runner and marathon swimmer. He lives in Davis, CA with his wife and son. Scott lives in Davis, CA with his wife and son. Contact him or (415) 596-0804.

Startup Ecosystem 101 Speaker 

With over a decade of experience in education, cross-cultural community development, marketing and event management, Oakland native Lajuanda M. Asemota specializes in grassroots project design, diversity and inclusion in educational spaces, and higher education access and preparation in underserved communities. She currently serves as Director of Diversity & Inclusion at Singularity University, where she previously held roles as Director of Program Operations and Director of Logistics. SU has been Lajuanda’s home since 2011, and it is here that she has worked with thousands of global entrepreneurs and executives to fuel innovation at the intersection of technology and social impact. For much of her career, Lajuanda has worked extensively on empowering communities with equitable and inclusive access to resources. This work has included roles as Executive Director for the Black Recruitment & Retention Center at UC Berkeley, as well as Head of Marketing & Development for World Bridges, a nonprofit dedicated to providing low-income youth with international opportunities. She developed and led SU’s beta youth program, Exponential Youth Camp.

Startup Ecosystem 101 Speaker 

Mark E. Sackett has no plans to sit still anytime soon. He owns 13 related creative businesses, lives between San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York, and thrives on being inventive daily as he works in Entertainment, Media, Branding, Advertising, Print, Packaging, Identity, Graphic Design, Interactive/On-Line and Website Design, Film Production, Music, Concert Production/Events, and Television. He has been an award-winning Designer/Director/Producer for over 31 years with more than 1000 awards to his credit. Mark consults with CEOs, Venture Capitalists, Brand Owners, and Entrepreneurs around the world to grow their brands, investments, companies, and profits.As a Director/Producer/Art Director, award-winning Graphic Designer and President of The Idea Stone and Reflectur, he is widely published and is a well-known public speaker. As the Founder of Brainfood Creative Programs, he is a thought leader who helps people live more creative lives by teaching them about what he calls “Left of Center Thinking” through his one-on-one and team “Brainfood” trainings and seminars worldwide. Brainfood Creative Programs also produces “The Art of Active Networking” worldwide as a way to help entrepreneurs, business people and individuals make stronger, deeper connections using social media and the power of genuine relationships. Mark also has his own radio show called BrainfoodUSA–Living a Creative Life! As Creator and Founder of The Box SF he produces social networking events, speakers series, seminars, concerts, food and wine events—bringing artists and businesses together into a collaborative, engaging space in his San Francisco studios. His film studio, Articulation Films, produces films with 2–10 million dollar budgets and his recording label, Republic of Sound, helps singers and songwriters get their music to the masses through beautiful production and extraordinary branding and marketing.


Christine Souffrant Ntim is a Haitian-American entrepreneur with over 7 years business management experience across 30+countries. She was selected for Forbes 30 Under 30, AdAge 40 Under 40, and Caribbean Change Makers 30 Under 30 in 2016. She speaks on leadership, disruptive entrepreneurship, and social impact at the United Nations, TEDx, European Forums and over 20+ global conferences each year. She also interviews top influencers in the Middle East as the Managing Director of Startup Grind Dubai, powered by Google for Entrepreneurs. Her entrepreneurial journey started with Vendedy a social network connecting global travelers to street markets. The innovative platform was featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine, Huffington Post, Inc Magazine, IBM Global Entrepreneur, Microsoft, the Clinton Global Initiative, Master Card Priceless Pitch, SheKnowsMedia Pitch, Chivas Venture Million Dollar Prize, Forbes Million Dollar Prize Top 40, SOCAP Gratitude Network, Rent the Runway Project Entrepreneur and Digital Entertainment World. Her efforts to digitize the $10 trillion dollar street market economy has been recognized by top influencers of Singularity@NASA and Draper University. Today, Christine is well recognized as a speaker, traveler and serial entrepreneur who builds startup ecosystems for entrepreneurs. Her global initiatives include (the leading platform of free resources for startup founders), (accelerates 100 startups to market each year), and WeStartupHaiti (the central hub for Haiti’s entrepreneurs).For fun, she travels and binge watches top business shows with her husband and beautiful baby girl.



Einstein Ntim is a leading influencer within startup development networks from Silicon Valley to Africa. As the founder of 2 healthcare startups Bloomer (which leverages exponential technologies to tackle disease) and Enabled International (which leverages AI robotics to digitize data systems in hospitals)- Einstein was able to amass several partners from Singularity, Draper and other silicon valley based groups and launch platforms that support entrepreneurs from emerging markets. Prior to his work in the USA, Einstein completed a career in banking (UBS, Statestreet), authorship (writer of “A New Way”), military (UK), business (care home manager), ministry (Methodist Church minister) and professional sports (National Rugby Squad) in cities within London, China and India. He is a graduate of the London School of Economics (LSE).

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