Monday, May 13, 2019

Keynote Panel for SAC XV explores the impact of SAC Alumni

Over the last 8 years, the Seattle Angel Conference has engaged close to 350 new Angel Investors. Some of those new Angel Investors have leaned-in, and now are impacting our startup ecosystem in new ways. The creation of Flying Fish Ventures, Grubstakes and the expansion of Angels groups in the area have their genesis in the Seattle Angel Conference. Additionally, the Angel Conference has provided lift for dozens of new startups.  We will explore this at the Seattle Angel Conference XV on Wednesday, May 15th. 

Yoko Okano
Yoko has a non-traditional path to tech and startups, studying music history at Stanford and playing Taiko (Japanese drums) professionally before joining Google. In her 8 years at Google, she worked in operations and strategic partnerships for Google AdWords, Google Books, Google News and Google Play, launching Google eBooks in 13 countries and managing partnerships with comic book publishers and the distribution businesses for the largest US publishers. She has been as a product leader for 2 startups, and invests both independently as well as through groups including Seattle Angel Conference and Grubstakes. Yoko served as the fund manager for SAC XIV and assistant fund manager for SAC XIII. She is passionate about mentoring and sharing what she’s learned to help others with non-traditional or underestimated backgrounds have a smoother path into the startup ecosystem.

Fran Dunaway
Fran Dunaway is a media executive-turned-fashion entrepreneur and co-founder of TomboyX, an innovative online underwear company that is disrupting a $16B industry by focusing on fit, quality and function. The TomboyX brand is about inclusivity, body positivity and empowerment. Fran and her wife, Naomi Gonzalez, co-founded the company and in 2014, TomboyX introduced the first boxer brief designed for women. Last year, TomboyX made it into Inc 500 list at #231. They continue to see 2x growth and closed their Series B last week. 

Geoff Harris
Geoff Harris spent 15 years at Microsoft in Engineering Leadership and Executive Leadership positions. His career at Microsoft began in digital media where he ran the Windows Media Player team. He then moved on the mobile space where he founded the first mobile services team within Microsoft, growing the team from zero to 250 in just over a year, which included a medium sized international acquisition. Geoff was then General Manager for the Speech and Natural Language team where he led advancements in Speech Recognition and Natural Language Processing which are shipped in Xbox, Windows Phone and Cortana.

Geoff was an active angel investor with a portfolio of more than 40 investments. He has become heavily involved in promoting angel investing within Seattle in an effort to grow the funding ecosystem for local startups. Geoff serves on the Seattle Angel Board of Directors, a non-profit with a mission of educating both entrepreneurs and potential angel investors. Geoff is an avid musician.

Sharad Agarwal 
Sharad is a computer science researcher, engineer, and angel investor in the Seattle tech industry. He has been at Microsoft Research for over 14 years, working on advanced research in mobile computing, networking, and cloud services. He has co-authored over 35 academic publications with over 5,600 citations, and co-invented 47 issued patents. He has served on over 50 technical committees for international conferences, workshops, journals and the NSF. He has impacted Microsoft products, including Windows 10 and Windows Phone 8. He recently became an ACM Distinguished Engineer. Sharad has been an active angel investor for several years and has 15 companies in his portfolio. He learned how to invest through Seattle Angel Conference, where he also served as an assistant fund manager, and now he invests actively with Grubstakes. You can connect with him here:

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