Duncan is the founder and CEO of RocketSpace, a technology campus and accelerator headquartered in the heart of San Francisco. Since 2011, RocketSpace has helped tech entrepreneurs, startups and corporate professionals bring the future to market. The company offers accelerator-like services to its members including consulting, tech events, access to capital and office-as-a-service, which together create the perfect ecosystem for innovation to thrive. RocketSpace has fueled the success of more than 800 startups, including 17 unicorns who have raised more than $20B, such as Uber, Spotify and Leap Motion. In 2017, RocketSpace will open campuses in London and China.
RocketSpace’s Corporate Innovation Services team has helped more than 100 brands worldwide – including Schneider Electric, Converse, Tata Communications, Royal Bank of Scotland, Pfizer Consumer Healthcare, Samsung, and ABinBev – transform into modern corporations. RocketSpace clients create new opportunities from inside, and outside, their organizations to ensure they are leading the disruption in their industry, not being disrupted. With access to nearly 200 startups on its San Francisco campus and to thousands around the world, its Corporate Innovation Services team specializes in helping its clients learn about, work with, and work like startups.
RocketSpace investors include China’s HNA Group. In August 2016, it was announced that the multinational Fortune 500 powerhouse invested $336M toward RocketSpace’s global expansion and other strategic programs designed to help people bring disruptive technologies to market.
Duncan was born and raised near St. Andrews, Scotland and began his professional career working in derivatives at Swiss Bank Corporation in London. At 24, he started his first company, CITYPRO International. He built it to $8 million in revenue over a three year period, before selling to ASAP Plc in 2000, where he went on to become group managing director. In 2002, Duncan joined MessageLabs, an early SAAS security company, which he helped to build until it was sold to Symantec in 2008 for $700 million. Duncan made the move to San Francisco in 2008.z
Adeo Ressi is CEO of the Founder Institute, an idea-stage accelerator and startup launch program with chapters in over 120 cities worldwide. The Institute’s mission is to Globalize Silicon Valley and help create 1 million new jobs.
Mr. Ressi has also pioneered a number of advances in the field of venture capital and fundraising. He developed “convertible equity” along with Yokum Taku, Partner at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, which is a financing vehicle that provides all of the flexibility of convertible debt without hindering a company with loans. It is estimated that as much as 50% of early stage angel deals use this structure.
Debra Chrapaty is 35 year technology industry veteran with an extensive background having served as the Chief Technology Officer for the National Basketball Association and the President and COO for E*TRADE Technologies.
Debra is currently the COO for Declara, a transformational start up company that uniquely combines search, social and analytics to create personalized knowledge transfer and corporate innovation.
Donna Wells is CEO of Mindflash Technologies, a company on a mission to make employee and customer training radically simpler and actually measurable. Since product launch in 2010, the cloud-based Mindflash platform for online training has rapidly grown to market leadership, driven by five-star ease of use and its simple-yet-powerful feature set. Over 1,000 customers include Apple, Microsoft, Samsung, McDonalds, Airbnb, the Four Seasons Hotels and Uber.
Jason Calacanis is a serial entrepreneur and blogger. His first company was part of the dot-com era in New York, and his second venture, Weblogs, Inc., a publishing company that he co-founded together with Brian Alvey, capitalized on the growth of blogs before being sold to AOL. As well as being an angel investor in various technology startups, Calacanis also keynotes industry conferences worldwide.
Kira Makagon is the EVP RingCentral, the business communications platform. She leading product strategy, product management, research & development, IT and operations teams spread across four continents.
She was recently honored as one of the 2015 Most Influential Women in Business by the San Francisco Business Times and 2015 Women of Influence by the Silicon Valley Business Journal, as well as part of the 2015 Golden Bridge Business and Innovation Awards.
Melanie Arensis is Vice President and Head of Physical Channels Design for Wells Fargo’s ATM and Branch Strategies Group. She has been at Wells Fargo for more than a decade.
Melanie co-created the user-centered design (UCD) process for the Digital Channels Group. She has worked on hundreds of projects while at Wells Fargo, many of them large, complex, and cross-organizational initiatives.
Kristina Shen joined Bessemer in 2013 and is a Vice President in the Menlo Park, CA office and focuses on investments cloud computing, mobile and consumer sectors. Kristina currently serves on the boards of Glint and SpeakEasy, and serves as a board observer on DoubleDutch, Gainsight, Instructure, RainforestQA, Se
Before joining Bessemer, Kristina worked in the finance world as an investor at JMI Equity, and investment banker at both Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse.
Priya Rajan is currently the Director of Early Stage Banking at Silicon Valley Bank, exclusively focused on the innovation sector and engages with founders as they start their journey to build a company. She enjoys the early stage ecosystem and mentoring entrepreneurs as they dream, build and inspire to disrupt the status quo.
Prior to joining SVB, she held financial management roles at various institutions including Charles Schwab. She has an MBA from Cornell University and a California CPA. She also serves on the Board of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bay Area, an organization truly close to her heart.