Andreas Bechtolsheim

Andy Bechtolsheim

Chairman and Chief Development Officer of Arista Networks

Andreas Bechtolsheim is Chairman and Chief Development Officer of Arista Networks. Andy cofounded Arista Networks to deliver scalable and robust cloud networking solutions for very large-scale data centers and high-performance computing environments.

Previously, Andy was a Co-Founder and Chief System Architect at Sun Microsystems, responsible for next generation server, storage, and network architectures. From 1995 to 1996, Andy was the President and CEO of Granite Systems, a Gigabit Ethernet Switching startup company he founded in 1995 that Cisco acquired in September 1996. From 1996 to 2003 Andy was General Manager for the Cisco Gigabit Systems Business Unit that developed the Catalyst 4K switch family, which became the highest volume modular switching platform in the industry.

Throughout his career, Andy has been involved as a venture investor in the funding of numerous companies including Google, VMware, Mellanox, Brocade, and Magma Design. He has served on the Board of Directors of more than 30 companies, the majority of which went public or were acquired. Andy earned a M.S. in Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in 1976. He was a doctoral student in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering at Stanford University from 1977 to 1982. He has been honored with a Fulbright scholarship, a German Studienstiftung scholarship, the Stanford Entrepreneur Company of the year award, the Smithsonian Leadership Award for Innovation, and he is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

Gerhard Casper

President Emeritus of Stanford University

Gerhard Casper is President Emeritus of Stanford University and a Senior Fellow at both the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI Stanford) and the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR). He is also the Peter and Helen Bing Professor, Emeritus, Professor of Law, Emeritus, and Professor of Political Science (by courtesy), Emeritus. From July 2015 to July 2016, he served as President (ad interim) of the American Academy in Berlin.

Born in 1937, Gerhard Casper grew up in Hamburg, Germany. Mr. Casper studied law at the universities of Freiburg and Hamburg, where, in 1961, he earned his first law degree. He attended Yale Law School, obtaining his Master of Laws degree in 1962. He then returned to Freiburg, where he received his doctorate in 1964.

Hartmut Esslinger

Co-Founder and long-time CEO of global innovation firm Frog Design

Hartmut Esslinger was the first designer to bring human-driven, high-touch design to world of complex hardware and software technology. Business Week, who featured him on the cover in 1990, called him the most influential American industrial designer since the 1930s and the first Superstar of High-Tech Design.

In 1969, at age 25, Hartmut Esslinger founded frog design in Germany and expanded the company to the United States in 1982. Together with his wife and business partner Patricia Roller he created the world’s most prominent and successful strategic design agency. In 2005, frog design was sold to venture backed Flextronics, and eventually to Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., and Hartmut Esslinger and Patricia Roller remained investors. Today, frog design employs about 400 strategists, designers and technology specialists in numerous studios around the world.

For the last 38 years, Hartmut Esslinger has worked with some of the most prestigious global companies. For example, he helped companies such as Sony, Apple, Louis Vuitton, SAP, Lufthansa and Microsoft to convert their technological competences and entrepreneurial desire into emotionally appealing global brands.

Hartmut also engages in educating and mentoring young designers. He is a founding professor of the Hochschule fuer Gestaltung (College for Design) in Karlsruhe, Germany, was a professor for convergent industrial design at the University for Applied Arts in Vienna, Austria (2006 – 2011), and is a professor for strategic design and innovation at Fudan/SIVA University in Shanghai (since 2011). He received an honorary doctorate in Fine Arts from the Parson New School of Design, New York (1994) as well as various lifetime achievement awards around the world.

Dirk Kanngiesser

German Accelerator

Founder, Chairman Advisory Board German Accelerator
CEO Cryptowerk

Dirk Kanngiesser is the co-founder and CEO of the German Silicon Valley Accelerator. He is an entrepreneur and venture capitalist having been involved in the founding of many German and international start-ups. He is the principal founder and a Managing Partner of PolyTechnos, a transatlantic venture capital group. He has over 20 years of Venture Capital experience, mostly in partner roles. Dirk is also a partner of Cartagena Capital, a Munich based international investment advisory firm. Dirk has strong expertise in growth strategy definition and execution, and global business development in the ITC space.

He previously held a Partner position at Baring Private Equity Partners which gave him access to one of the most privileged networks in the investment industry. Prior to that, he worked at Procter & Gamble and Siemens, where he was an operative in brand management, product development, and project engineering.

Dirk serves(d) on the board of a number of international start-ups and has been an active angel investor. His most recent start-ups he co-seeded are AppCentral (U.S.) and Hemacon (Germany, India). He invested and/or has served on the board of a number of European success stories such as Danionics (IPO Copenhagen) and Gemplus (IPO France / Netherlands). He has laso served on the boards of a number of Venture Capital firms and as a member of the EVCA High Tech Committee. Dirk was a member of the German stock exchange task force in the creation of the Neuer Markt.

Dirk has studied in the U.S. and Europe and holds a dual citizenship (U.S. and German). He received his degree (Dipl. Ing.) in electrical engineering from Dortmund, Germany, and his MBA from Ann Arbor, Michigan. He served at the German Airforce Headquarters and holds a U.S. commercial pilot license. Dirk lives in the U.S.

Patricia Roller

Co-Founder of Frog Design and Strategic Advisor

Patricia Roller is a pioneer in the integration of design, technology and business. She was born in Germany where she studied languages before coming to the United States in 1984.

As former Co-CEO of frog design, a global design and strategy firm, she brought a creative and hands-on leadership style to managing major accounts in sectors ranging from hi-tech, entertainment, medical, mobile services and automotive. This included working with global companies such as Apple, HP, Motorola, Lufthansa, Disney’s consumer electronics division and Siemens.

She is currently the CEO of Vidlet, Inc., an innovative video management and mobile SaaS solution. Patricia has served as director on the boards of BlinkTwice and Jimmy Jane, has been an advisor to Flextronics and is an active investor in design-driven technology and telecommunications startup companies

Patricia speaks frequently on innovation, entrepreneurship and venture capital as a guest lecturer at UC Berkeley, Carnegie Mellon and Fudan/SIVA University in China.

Sebastian Thrun

Sebastian Thrun

CEO of Udacity

Born in Solingen, Sebastian Thrun grew up in Hildesheim. He attended the University of Hildesheim and the University of Bonn, where he earned a MSc and then PhD in Computer Science. Thrun moved to the US in 1995, joining the faculty at Carnegie Mellon University.

Sebastian Thrun is the CEO of Udacity, a company with the mission to democratize higher education. Previously, he was a Google Fellow and the founder of Google X, and a Stanford professor of computer science and electrical engineering. Thrun has published over 350 papers and 11 books. He has founded 2 technology companies (both acquired). He led the Stanford team that won the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge, and at Google he co-developed Google Streetview and the Google Self-Driving Car. In 2007, Thrun was elected into the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina.

Thrun is also known for his scholarly work on probabilistic robotics and machine learning. Thrun has been honored by the Max Planck Award, the Smithsonian Ingenuity Award, the 99u Alva Award, the Ed Feigenbaum Prize. Foreign Policy names him Global Thinker #4, Fast Magazine the Fifth most creative person in business. Thrun was elected into the National Academy of Engineering at Age 39.

Uwe Wagner

UweWagner_100x100

GABA Director
Advisory Council Chair
Cyber Security Industry Group
Chair

Principal & Founder Tiburon Consulting LLC

www.linkedin.com/in/uwe-wagner-0a66

Uwe Wagner is the Principal and Founder at Tiburon Consulting LLC, a San Francisco Bay Area boutique consulting firm, dedicated to coaching the growth and success of European high-tech entrepreneurial ventures and university spin-off’s by connecting ideas, technology and people. I work with a network of industry experts, venture capitalists, private investors and technologists to provide insights about how to effectively grow high-tech ventures amidst dynamic market risks and challenges. Through my partner ecosystem I offer an excellent opportunity for my clients to network and learn about pivotal business issues, emerging industries and the latest technologies.

Margit Wennmachers

Partner at Andreessen Horowitz

Margit Wennmachers is a partner at Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), a preeminent Silicon Valley venture capital firm with investments in marquee companies such as Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Airbnb, and Quirky. Best known for her ability to create market-leading brands, Margit is a16z’s chief marketer advising the firm and entrepreneurs on their communications and marketing strategies. An entrepreneur herself, in 1997, Margit cofounded the leading marketing and communications firm, The OutCast Agency, who today partners with leaders and disruptors like American Express, Box, Instragram, Jawbone, Sephora, Starwood, Facebook, and more. She has been in technology marketing for 20+ years, is a mentor to countless individuals in the technology and marketing industries, and serves on the board of the World Affairs Council.