TC3: Telecom Council Carrier Connections

Main Stage discussions focus on telecommunications networks, network operators, partnerships, case studies, innovation roadmaps, go-to-market, and working with telcos.

  • Case Studies with telcos and their startup partners
  • Fireside Chat with vendors and their innovation partners
  • Fireside Chat with senior carrier executives from R&D, strategy, and innovation divisions



Spotlight Stage topics focus on technologies and opportunities. Discussions on the Spotlight stage put technology companies in front of an interested and motivated segment of TC3 participants.

  • Spotlight topics are exclusive; limited to one agenda session
  • Spotlight topics sponsorship is first come, first served
  • Spotlight stage is located in demo and networking area

Jim Anetsberger
Vice President, Business Strategy
U.S. Cellular
As vice president of business strategy, Jim is responsible for formulating and driving U.S. Cellular's enterprise strategy and plan for growth and profitability, including evaluation of new lines of business, new markets, large investments, strategic partnerships, mergers and acquisitions, and enterprise risk management. He collaborates with several teams to ensure that the business strategy decisions help provide a great wireless experience for our customers. Jim has 20 years of progressive experience in the wireless industry across sales, marketing, operations and finance. He earned a bachelor's degree in finance and management from the University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio, and a master's degree in business administration from the Quinlan School of Business at Loyola University in Chicago.
Azita Arvani
Head of Global Innovation Scouting
As the Head of Global Innovation Scouting, Azita leads Nokia’s leading edge global team to leverage external innovation for driving growth or optimizing internal R&D serving five Nokia business groups. The innovations cover technology, process and business model disruptions. Azita Arvani has over 20 years of progressive management, business development and P&L experience across high-tech sectors, including: mobile & wireless, information and communications technologies, software and services, and handheld devices. As the Head of Innovation Partnering & Ecosystem Ventures, Azita leads Nokia’s leading edge global team to collaborate with disruptive innovators – primarily startups - by identifying, evaluating, and managing partnering and acquisition initiatives in new and emerging telecom domains. These domains include cloud technologies for telecom, Internet of Things, and Big Data/Analytics. Azita holds a Masters degree in Management from Stanford University (Sloan Fellow), a Masters degree in Computer Science from the University of Southern California and a Bachelors degree in Math/Computer Science from UCLA.
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Bob Bilbruck
Directed IoT
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Samer Bishay
President and CEO
Iristel & Ice Wireless
Samer Bishay is President and CEO of Iristel & Ice Wireless, Canada's leading provider of wireless and wireline IP services. As Iristel's founder, Samer led the company from a small startup to an international telecommunications service provider with domestic infrastructure licenses on three continents (North America, Europe and Africa). Samer oversees global and domestic strategies for both Iristel and Ice Wireless to ensure business objectives are in line with telecommunications trending needs guaranteeing continued success in highly competitive markets. Samer is also actively participating in many public forums that are helping shape Canadian Telecommunications broadband policy which will have a significant impact on Canada's future in rural broadband development and advancement. Samer has won numerous awards and accolades. Most notably, he is the recipient of Profit Magazine's Young Entrepreneur Award as the youngest CEO among the Top Profit 100 companies in Canada. Prior to founding Iristel, Samer was a lead systems engineer in the Radarsat program at the Canadian Space Agency. Samer is a graduate of the Space & Communications program at York University, with an Honors Bachelor of Science Degree.
Matt Brannon
Chief Business Development Officer
Master Merchant Systems
Scott Brown
Startup Catalyst
logo_cablelabs_100 logo_cablelabs_100 Scott Brown has been a long time technologist and entrepreneur with a strong history of building companies from inception to profitability. Currently, Scott leads startup/venture capital relationships for the global cable industry as part of CableLabs. In addition, Scott is the Executive Director of UpRamp, a new type of startup accelerator sponsored by CableLabs, that is designed to help emerging technology companies find true product market fit with the cable & broadband industry. UpRamp has a focus on doing deals, not demo days.
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Ben Chen
SVP Enterprise Business
China Unicom Americas
Mr. Chen is the Senior Vice President of China Unicom Americas in charge of Enterprise Business. He is also the GM of its Silicon Valley Operation. As one of the world largest telecom company, Ben and his team is responsible for providing global telecom services to enterprises in USA. He brings more than 20 years of experience in both fixed and mobile telecom industries. Mr. Chen was the President of Chinese Enterprise Association of Northern California (CEA) representing more than 200 major Chinese companies invested in Northern California from 2012 to 2015. He is now the Co-Chair of HiTech Committee and is on the board of CEA.
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Christina Claure
Business Development Manager
logo_sprint_100Christina has been with Sprint for more than 3 years, after working in Silicon Valley for more than 20 years in various positions in strategic alliance development. She is a technology scout in Sprint's Technology Development organization, located in San Carlos. She is specifically focused on future innovation - helping to ensure that Sprint's early phase business development efforts include ideas and technologies for the best partnership opportunities to enhance Sprint services. She works closely with the VC community, as well as start-ups and developer groups; the Telecom Council is one of the most valuable communities she belongs to.
Skyler Ditchfield
Skyler Ditchfield’s entrepreneurial roots began at the age of 12 when he started his first communications-based systems utilizing local cable networks infrastructure to broadcast ISDN internet signals to his neighborhood. In 2000, Ditchfield built a network business from scratch with $550 in startup capital in his home town of Ojai, California. Ditchfield grew this small I.T. company to 2.1M+ in revenue in 4 years before selling his shares. In 2011, Ditchfield cofounded California Internet L.P. DBA GeoLinks. Under Ditchfield’s leadership, GeoLinks’ has recorded more than 100% growth every year since inception.
John Feland
CEO and Founder
Argus Insights
Dr. John Feland is the award-winning founder and CEO of Argus Insights, a new type of market intelligence company, founded by tech industry veterans seeking to connect the dots between technology innovation and consumer adoption. John holds an S.B. in Mechanical Engineering from MIT, an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University, and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University.
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Lisa Gao
Company: China Mobile Technology (USA) Inc
Lisa Gao is responsible for the operating and management of China Mobile Technology (USA), Inc. Lisa leads China Mobile Tech USA team to focus on the research of ICT technologies and applications in terminal, infrastructure, network, service, service platform, new IT, big data, IoT, deep learning, AI, etc. areas in Silicon Valley on behalf of China Mobile. Lisa has over 25 years work experience in mobile and ICT industry.
Guenia Gawendo
Managing Director
Guenia Gawendo is Telefónica’s Silicon Valley Managing Director. Her mission is to: identify new trends and customer behavior in the digital world, coordinate Telefonica’s relationships with strategic Mobile Industry leaders; and identify new business opportunities, collaborations, and partnerships. Prior to moving to Silicon Valley, Guenia held a number of senior global positions within Telefonica including: CCDO Business Manager; and Chief Operating Officer of Advertising, Telefónica Digital, where she led the expansion of Telefónica’s Mobile Advertising business from Europe to LATAM; Head of Marketing Best Practices, and Senior Manager for Commercial Development. Guenia joined Telefónica as Corporate Strategy Manager after working with management consultant companies like McKinsey and The Boston Consulting Group. Guenia holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from University of Sao Paulo and an MBA from Kellogg Graduate of Management, Northwestern University.
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Will Gibson
Master Merchant Systems
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Amie Gray
N3 Innovation
Amie is a collaborative leader of business-driven innovation and strategy for high-tech, B2B companies. Over the past decade in Silicon Valley, Amie has worked extensively with accelerators, VCs, and investors on behalf of corporate clients. She has combined broad industry knowledge with fundamental innovation processes to help clients realize millions of dollars in new market, new product and new technology opportunities. She brings insights from 20 years in high-tech companies, corporate innovation and management consulting. Her innovation-focused career began with international leadership positions with Nokia, Inet Technologies (now Tektronix), Teradyne and Texas Instruments. She holds an MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management, in addition to a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from Pennsylvania State University. Amie is a Board Member for Super Stars Literacy, a literacy intervention non-profit serving low-income elementary schools. Amie is an advisor for the Infuse Entrepreneurial Program. Amie previously held a board position on the San Jose Unified School District Community Advisory Committee for Special Education.
Christine Heiss
Chief Development Officer
The PLDT Group
Daniel Herb
Director, IoT
Faraz Hoodbhoy
Director, Ecosystem, Outreach & Innovation
Faraz has 20 years’ experience in the mobile & software industries. Faraz was the Founder & CEO of PixSense, a mobile social networking company with 40M+ subscribers that he successfully exited in 2011. Currently Faraz leads AT&T’s Outreach, Ecosystem & Innovation team at AT&T where he & his team are the formal front door and face of AT&T to the innovation ecosystem (Startups, entrepreneurs, VCs, & big company innovation orgs.) Faraz & his team meet and evaluate 500+ startups a year for technology & business fits and also run AT&T’s equity program. Faraz is an engineer from Rensselaer and the co-author of “Applied XML – A Toolkit for Programmers”, one of the first 10 books published on XML. Faraz is an active mentor to several startups and continues to teach entrepreneurship at UC Berkeley’s College of Engineering where he’s been a course mentor for 9 semesters.
Rob Hull
VP, Consumer and Networks Scouting
BT Technology, Service and Operations
logo_bt_100"Rob Hull is the VP Network and Consumer Scouting for the External Innovation team within the BT Research & Innovation Directorate. He heads up the Innovation Scouting function whose role is to identify, qualify, then introduce companies with innovative technologies, propositions and business models into the BT Lines of Business. The team is charged with helping BT find new sources of revenue, reduce costs and improve customer service. The team also reports back on Global market trends and helps manage BT's small venture capital activity. He is the author of BT’s external venturing strategy and plays a major role in the evaluation of innovative technologies and propositions with a view to their strategic fit within BT. He then leads the initial business development activity into BT. Projects that Rob has been heavily involved with include BT’s VoIP services for consumers and business, IPTV, Gaming, FTTH and fixed mobile convergence propositions. Before commencing this current role, Rob worked in BT’s Group Strategy and Development Department for 15 months being heavily involved with BT’s strategy on Application Service Provision and API utilisation. Immediately before that, he was Head of Marketing and Business Development for one of BT's F2000 sales sectors where he had had a number of sales and marketing roles over a period of 9 years. Rob has a Master's Degree in Electronic Systems Engineering, and has lived in the Bay Area with his wife and 3 children since September 2000.
Ankur Jindal
VP, Business Strategy and Planning
Tata Communications
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Dirk Jungnickel
Senior Vice President, Business Analytics for Innovation
du - Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company
Thomas Kicker
SVP Group Business Development and Partnering
Deutsche Telekom
Thomas Kicker heads Deutsche Telekoms Group Business Development and Partnering Unit. Based out of San Francisco, he is responsible of scouting for innovative partners across the globe (with teams in the US, Europe, Israel) to help differentiate and amend DTs product portfolio as well as manage existing partnerships across the groups European footprint. Thomas has 15 years experience in the telecom industry, where he held several senior management positions to drive revenues and new business development. In his prior role as Chief Commercial Officer at T-Mobile Austria, he was responsible for marketing, sales and service both for B2B and B2C. Thomas started his career in strategy consulting and is ever since engaged with start-ups.
Christos Kolias
Orange Silicon Valley
logo_orange_100Christos Kolias is a principal research scientist and head of the Netsquared Studio at Orange Silicon Valley (a subsidiary of Orange). He is a co-founder of NFV and the ETSI group and had led the formation of the ONF's Wireless & Mobile working group of which it was its first chair. He has lectured on NFV and SDN at several events. He has more than 15 years of experience in networking and is the originator of Virtual Output Queueing (VOQ), used in packet switching. Christos holds a PhD in computer science from UCLA where he studied under Prof. L. Kleinrock.
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Tom Komuro
Senior Manager
NTT Communications Corp.
Tom is in charge of making good relationships with startups to do business globally with strength of both of startups and NTT Communications. In order to achieve it, Tom facilitates the startups' business. Currently, Tom focuses on emerging technologies like SD-WAN, AI, Robotics, Healthcare, IoT (Smart home, Connected Car), AR/VR.
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Tim Lafferty
Chief Operating Officer
Colleen LeCount
SVP, Sales & Marketing
Colleen LeCount leads Sales, Marketing and Product for Mobolize, enabling mobile providers around the globe to better See, Control and Monetize data. Mobolize's device-based software solutions provide a 360˚ view of the customer, providing enhanced mobile data orchestrating to Discover, Optimize, Secure, Block, Push, Sponsor and Reward. LeCount has extensive experience in the mobile industry, including 12 years with Sprint. As General Manager of Global Product & Business Development for Sprint, she was responsible for driving revenue through professional services and the licensing of intellectual property to mobile operators globally. LeCount also has run her own consulting practice, advising telecommunications and technology companies on product launches and market expansions. Previous clients include Enterprise Networking and IoT leader Cradlepoint, where she was responsible for their global expansion and mobile operator partnerships.
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Mark Lowenstein
Managing Director
Mobile Ecosystem
Mark Lowenstein is a prominent industry consultant, analyst, executive, and thought leader. He founded and led Yankee Group's wireless practices, and was a VP, Market Strategy at Verizon Wireless. He now runs his own firm, Mobile Ecosystem.
Pat McCamley
EVP Corporate Development
Crius Energy, LLC
Graeme Millar
Jersey Telecom
JTGraeme graduated in Natural Sciences and gained a post graduate engineering qualification from Cambridge University. After a brief period working for 3i plc, he embarked on a career in technology and telecommunications. He has worked for Motorola, Vodafone Group, MTS and latterly JT Group. His work has led him to live in locations as diverse as the UK, USA, Russia, France, Netherlands, Hungary and most recently Jersey. At JT he has led the transformation of this state-owned business from a civil service culture to a 21st century telco. JT recently deployed an LTE-A network and is replacing its legacy copper broadband network with fibre. Currently 90% of homes and businesses on Jersey are Gigabit fibre connected with the project due to complete by the end of 2017.
Tom Mitchell
Business Development
Wireless Communications Alliance
Nitin Motgi
Founder & CTO
Nitin Motgi is Founder and CTO of Cask, where he is responsible for developing the company’s long-term technology, driving company engineering initiatives and collaboration. Prior to Cask, Nitin was at Yahoo! working on a large-scale content optimization system externally known as C.O.R.E. Prior to Yahoo!, Nitin led the development of a large-scale fabrication analysis system at Altera, and he previously held senior engineering roles at FedEx. Nitin holds a Master’s degree in computer science from University of Central Florida (UCF).
Austin Noronha
Managing Director, Growth Ventures & Innovation
Sony Corporation of America
Steve Papa
Chairman and CEO
Parallel Wireless
logo_bt_100Steve leads the senior management team in setting the company’s strategic direction and is guiding the company’s evolution from its successful first customer deployment into broad commercialization and growth. As founder/CEO of Endeca, he reimagined the database to support faceted information ultimately leading to Oracle acquiring the company as its 6th largest acquisition ever when announced. He was part of the team creating Akamai that reimagined global Internet content distribution and led the team at Inktomi that reimagined the network cache to create carrier-class caching. Earlier, he worked with AT&T Teradata where enterprise computing was reimagined with the first use of Intel processors for enterprise servers. He has a BS from Princeton University and MBA from Harvard Business School.
Lukas Peter
CEO Swisscom Cloud Lab & Head of Outpost Services
Christie Pitts
Venture Development Manager
Verizon Ventures
logo_verizonWireless_100 Christie Pitts joined Verizon Ventures in 2015 and is part of the Venture Development team. Christie works with the Verizon Ventures portfolio companies to create compelling new value propositions for Verizon, source new technology, and identify emerging technology trends. Christie has been with Verizon for over 10 years and has held a variety of sales, marketing, and operations leadership roles. Most recently, Christie focused on developing fruitful relationships in the startup community, with a focus on IoT and the sharing economy. Christie began her career in retail sales and moved on to lead the marketing and sales operations teams for the Northern California/Nevada/Hawaii market. Christie holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from San Jose State University and a MBA from University of Phoenix. She is based in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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Joseph Radecki
Managing Director, Group Head, Communication Systems and Technologies
KPMG Corporate Finance
Joseph is a Managing Director and leads the Communication Systems and Technologies sector practice at KPMG Corporate Finance, the investment banking arm of KPMG. In his nearly 30 years as an investment banker , Joseph has worked as a trusted advisor to his clients on over 100 transactions including merger, acquisition, divestiture and equity and debt capital formation assignments. His clients have ranged from emerging innovators to large, multinational industry leaders in verticals including IoT, Connected Car, carrier, industrial and enterprise networks, communication software, and data centers. Prior to joining KPMG, Joseph was a Partner at St. Charles Capital, and before that Global Head of Communication Technologies at RBC Capital Markets.
Hardy Schmidbauer
CEO and Co-Founder
Hardy Schmidbauer is the Regional Chairmen of the LoRa Alliance and one of the original founders of the Alliance. Currently he is CEO of a new LoRa based company, Tracknet. Previously he was Director of Wireless and IoT at Semtech Corporation, a leader in wireless solutions and IoT connectivity. Mr. Schmidbauer has more than fifteen years’ experience in wireless design, product definition, and strategic marketing for wireless and IoT solutions. At Semtech, Hardy successfully transition the wireless division to be a leader in IoT/LPWAN with LoRa and increased revenue 50-100% each year under his management. He holds a MBA degree from Santa Clara University, MSEE and BSEE degrees in electrical engineering from Oregon State University.
Ben Sharma
Co-founder & CEO
Ben Sharma is CEO and cofounder of Zaloni. Ben is a passionate technologist with experience in solutions architecture and service delivery of big data, analytics, and enterprise infrastructure solutions. With previous experience in technology leadership positions for NetApp, Fujitsu, and others, Ben’s expertise ranges from development to production deployment in a wide array of technologies including Hadoop, HBase, databases, virtualization, and storage. Ben is the coauthor of Java in Telecommunications and Architecting Data Lakes, and he holds two patents.
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Mark Sherman
Managing Director
Telstra Ventures
Telstra Venture logo_Telstra_100pxMark is the Managing Director of Telstra Ventures, which is the corporate venture capital group Telstra Corporation. Telstra Ventures’ mission is to invest in market leading, high growth companies that are strategically aligned with Telstra. We target innovative technology companies that: (i) are typically in the mobile, cloud, analytics and media sectors; (ii) are geographically based in the USA, Asia or Australia; (iii) are managed by lighthouse entrepreneurs; and (iv) typically have between $1M to $50M in revenue. Telstra Ventures plans to complete ~6-8 new investments (typically $5M to $15M investments) plus follow-on investments per year. Mark was previously a General Partner at Hidden Lion Partners, an emerging growth equity firm focused on technology-enabled services. Prior to this he was a General Partner at Battery Ventures where he led the firm’s enterprise IT and India investment practices with investments in Coupa, Mformation, Neoteris, and Tejas. He also served as Managing Director at Robertson Stephens & Company, where he ran its software investment banking practice working with companies such as BEA, HNC, Informatica, JD Edwards, Quest, and Siebel. Mark received his MBA from Harvard Business School and BS in Economics from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Curtis Snyder
VP, New Business, Strategic Development Group
Takashi Suzuki
Senior Managing Director
NTT DOCOMO Ventures, Inc.
Mr. Takashi Suzuki has been working in mobile communications industry for 20 years. Takashi became the Senior Managing Director of NTT DOCOMO Ventures - Silicon Valley Branch in Jan 2017. He is also working as the President & CEO of DOCOMO Innovations since July 2016. He manages these organizations to enable the future growth of NTT DOCOMO by accelerating open innovations with US-based startups. Prior to that, he was in charge of Device Development at NTT DOCOMO, and he led projects in the fields of biometric authentication, content security (DRM), and mobile device management (MDM). Through multi-party collaboration with handset manufacturers and start-up companies, his team launched mobile biometric authentication for DOCOMO’s in 2015. His current focus is AI and IoT, and security. He earned a Master’s degree in Communication Engineering from Osaka University in 1996.
Yoshiaki Tanaka
Director of Business Development
SoftBank Telecom America
Soft BankMore than 20 year-experiences in telecommunication industries. Yoshi Tanaka has been engaged in mobile carrier for 15 years. The background- Marketing, Corporate Planning, Business Development. Yoshi has been working in Silicon Valley since October, 2013. The mission is to scout business and technology partners for SoftBank Corporation (Japan ) and SoftBank Group companies all over the world. The current big three focus is IoT, AI and Robotics. Particularly , I’ m looking at AI x IoT, Ai x Robotics business. Vertical wise, digital marketing,(including payment and omani channel), connected vehicles (including autonomous vehicle drones) , smart homes, smart city and healthcare.
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Christian Viatte
Christian Viatte is CEO at on-demand tech support company Mila since 2016. Before joining Swisscom (, the leading telecommunications provider in Switzerland, Viatte worked as project manager for an Internet startup for four years. In 2011 he took over management of Swisscom’s Business Development & Innovation division. Together with his team, Viatte established Pirates Hub, the innovation hub of Swisscom, for the targeted promotion of innovation within the company. In this open innovation model, collaborations with startups like Mila played a key role. Under Viatte's leadership, Swisscom Friends (techies that help Swisscom customers in the neighborhood with tech installation and troubleshooting) was launched in collaboration with Mila: After the success of Swisscom Friends, Viatte is now driving Mila's international expansion with customers like Orange, Telstra, Conrad Electronic, Vodafone and innogy. Viatte and his team have won various national and international awards, including the 2014 Golden Headset Award in the area of innovation, the 2015 Crowd Companies’ Crowd Collaboration Award and the KVD Service Management Prize (2016).
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Ron Victor
Ron Victor is a Silicon-Valley based entrepreneur with 20 years of experience and expertise in both Fortune 100 companies and launching new ventures and start-ups. To-date, he has enabled raising more than $30 million in capital for multiple start-ups. He has founded and led three companies to successful exits. His latest venture, IoTium Inc., provides a secure, cloud-managed, easy-to-deploy Networking as a Service infrastructure for all IoT verticals. IoTium is the first secure network infrastructure company for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), allowing mission-critical environments to safely realize the promise of Industry 4.0. Prior to IoTium, Ron served as VP of Marketing and Business Development of Wireless Industrial Technologies, an Industrial IoT company providing IoT solutions for heavy industry such as aluminum smelters, copper tank houses, and more.
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Amy Waterman
Director, Technology Advocacy
Intel Corporation
Sebastien Wickert
Head of External Innovation and Partnerships
Sebastien Wickert is the Head of External Innovation and Partnerships at Winnovation, the Silicon Valley outpost of Bouygues. Bouygues ( is a French conglomerate and amongst the top 40 enterprises in France with diversified activities around the world in construction, real estate, energy, media, telco and transportation. Bouygues’ revenue in 2016 was $35 billions. Sebastien is responsible for sourcing and structuring strategic partnerships, primarily in the startup community. While identifying the potential disruptions that could affect the Bouygues Group in the short term and the long-term, he recommends and implements strategies with partners within different divisions inside Bouygues to solve direct problems or generate new business. Sebastien has created more than 16 partnerships in the past four years, ranging from negotiating with a US-based wearable company to launch their product in Bouygues Telecom’s retail stores throughout France, to deploying drones on quarries for land surveying and analyzing market share of new road construction using AI on satellite imagery. Sebastien has been with Bouygues for more than a decade and has been representing Bouygues in Silicon Valley for the past seven years.
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Mark Yarkosky
Director Product Development
Chip Yorkgitis
Kelley Drye & Warren LLP
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Dave Zilberman
Managing Director
Comcast Ventures
Dave joined Comcast Ventures in 2006, and is responsible for identifying, executing and managing new investments while supporting existing portfolio companies. His investment focus is on enterprise IT and financial services. Prior to joining Comcast Ventures, Dave was a business development manager at Flarion Technologies, where he played a pivotal role in the company’s fundraising activities and ultimate acquisition by Qualcomm. Prior to Flarion, Dave was a communications and media investment banking analyst and asset management associate at Lehman Brothers. Dave holds a B.S. in Management with a concentration in Finance from Binghamton University.