Marketing & Venture Capital Forum
Emma leads communications and PR at Casper — the company reimagining sleep from the ground up and making bedtime cool again.
Prior to Casper, Emma managed PR and corporate communications at Kate Spade & Company. She also spent several years at Edelman providing strategic communications for Unilever brands such as Dove and Dove Men+Care.
Emma holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan.
Born and raised in New York, Jesse Horwitz has always had a strong grasp of economics and finance. He studied both fields at Columbia University, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa/Magna Cum Laude. During his time at Columbia, he also developed an interest in Film Studies, although following an internship with Sony Picture’s Television Division, he quickly learned that a life in Hollywood was not for him.
Horwitz ultimately decided to take a different path, and spent a year at Harvard Law School, where he met his husband, Mark Severs and secured an internship with Bridgewater Associates. It was at Bridgewater that Jesse met his future business partner, Benjamin Cogan. Horwitz moved on from Harvard to work full time for Bridgewater and then founded Gadfly, a systematic trading firm with Michael Naber, a colleague from Bridgewater.
Horwitz joined the investment team for Columbia University’s endowment in 2013, where he spent the last few years investing across the alternatives landscape – private equity, venture capital, hedge funds and real estate. During his time at Columbia, he built a strong network across the investor community, including Two River, a life sciences merchant bank that invested in and brought together the round for Hubble.
Now Horwitz is Co-Founder and Co-CEO at Hubble, a direct-to-consumer, subscription contact lens company, where Horwitz focuses his efforts on fundraising, business development and regulation compliance. Since launching in November 2016, Hubble has become one of the fastest growing, direct-to-consumer e-commerce companies in the U.S. Horwitz and Cogan earned a spot on Forbes’ prestigious “30 Under 30” list in 2016 and Hubble recently extended its footprint into Canada, the UK and the Netherlands in the past year.
Jonathan Struhl is the Co-Founder and General Partner at Indicator Ventures, an early-stage Venture Capital Fund that invests in entrepreneurs leveraging technology to drive massive efficiencies for businesses and consumers. Jonathan focuses on seed stage investments in businesses using technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Immersive Computing, and Automation. He is an active Mentor, Board Member and Advisor to a number of companies and accelerator programs, and has spent the past 10+ years deeply ingrained in the startup ecosystem. Jonathan's experience is deeply rooted in digital marketing and social media having previously founded a Digital Marketing Agency that worked with global brands, athletes, and celebrities to help navigate the early days of social media. Jonathan is a Board Member and Observer at IrisVR, Mezzobit (acquired by OpenX), Gift of Life, Pienso, Wade & Wendy, and EntrypointVR.
Strategic Analytics and Insights Executive with extensive experience in measuring and improving the effectiveness of marketing, sales and digital programs, enhancing customer experience and in uncovering new and innovative business opportunities through analytics, machine learning and consumer research; Comprehensive knowledge and experience in working across geographies (US, Europe and Asia), various industries (consumer goods, healthcare / pharma, financial services, retail and media) and with all types of marketing programs including brand marketing, digital marketing, direct marketing and multi-segment marketing; Proven track record of success in building and managing teams and driving operational excellence to improve scale and efficiency.
Adina is a founding partner of Brandgenuity, an award-winning, global brand licensing agency. Her areas of expertise include brand strategy, licensing planning and the development of products, packaging and marketing materials. She was classically trained in brand management at Kraft Foods and as a licensing agency has worked with renowned corporate and entertainment brands, including BMW, Anheuser Busch-InBev, Food Network, ARM & HAMMER, MGM, Viacom, Playtex, and many others.
Adina was named as one of the Top 18 Influential Women in Licensing by License! Global, and has been a guest lecturer at NYU, the Sy Syms School of Business at Yeshiva University and The Ohio State University. She is a frequent speaker at the Licensing Expo, the Licensing Industry trade show. Adina is an alumna of Princeton University and Columbia Business School. She sits on several non-profit boards.
In 2011, Chris founded Pure Growth Group. Pure creates, invests in, and advises businesses that change the status quo. Pure is the parent company of Pure Growth Consultancy, a digitally-led advertising, brand and innovation company; and of Pure Ventures, a division designed to build and invest in sustainable businesses.
In 2015, Chris co-founded a line of youth-focused sunscreen products called Pure Sun Defense, along with co-founders Hugh Jackman and Sabrina Peterson. Pure Sun Defense was launched in partnership with Marvel, Disney and Universal Studios and is currently distributed at Walmart, Target, Safeway, Albertsons, H.E.B., KMART, and other retailers.
In 2016, Chris co-founded, along with Sabrina Peterson, Pure Growth Organic – an affordable organic snack and food company. Pure Growth Organic launched in Walmart nationwide in February 2016. All products are USDA Organic and proudly made in the USA.
Prior to founding Pure Growth Group, Chris founded Pure Creative. It quickly expanded into seven offices, from Melbourne to Beijing, and became one of the hottest creative agencies in the world. Clients included Mars Inc., Procter and Gamble, Coca-Cola, and the Australian Tourist Commission. Pure Creative was sold to Leo Burnett in 2000.
Chris founded Nitro in Shanghai in 2001, redefining the advertising industry by vertically integrating holistic industry offerings: innovation, brand strategy, traditional advertising and digital advertising. Nitro quickly became a global network with seven offices around the world with a client base that included Mars Inc., Nike, Unilever and Coca-Cola. In 2009, after being the most awarded agency in the world, Nitro merged with Sapient, creating SapientNitro, which became the largest independent advertising and digital agency in the world. When SapientNitro sold to Publicis Groupe for $3.7billion it had 11,500 employees and 35 offices around the world.
Michael Arking has more than 20 years of experience in ecommerce, marketing, and entrepreneurship. Michael served as President of Frenchtoast.com for over thirteen years, as well as the CMO for the company’s wholesale division where he lead the brand to the #1 online destination for school uniforms.
In 2015, Michael successfully launched Brand Commerce, an ecommerce advisory that assists brands with planning, technology, and business strategy for ecommerce and online marketing.
Most recently, Michael completed a team reorganization and re-platform for both GAIAM.com, a leader in the premium yoga space, and SPRI.com, the professional source for fitness products.
An experienced serial entrepreneur, Michael is also co-owner of DRH Rejoint, a health supplement distributed through physicians and health professionals sold nationally.
In 2018, Michael partnered with an award-winning filmmaker to launch his newest initiative, Social Motion Films, to provide affordable, engaging video content that increases sales conversions.
Responsible for the oversight of client & agency business from both brand and marketing perspectives, as SVP, Integrated Marketing, Brand & PR, Smith leads teams cross-country. In her role, Smith seamlessly communicates and collaborates with all departments, participates in pitching/executing client programs, drives ideation of integrated marketing opportunities with production, digital/social, programming & sales, plus oversees brand standards and creative synchronicity with REVOLT, it’s consumers and clients.
Prior to joining REVOLT, Smith spent over 15 years at top-tier advertising agencies including Dentsu/360i, Young & Rubicam, Deutsch and Ogilvy, where she served as a Partner. Her branding and marketing experience spans a diverse array of industries, including luxury, beauty/fashion, music, retail, technology, spirits, consumer product, energy, automotive, television and financial services categories and consumer product categories. During her career, Smith has also worked in marketing within insurance and financial services at two Fortune 100 organizations, TIAA-CREF and JPMorgan Chase.
A Midwesterner turned Manhattanite, Smith is a graduate of Loyola University of Chicago. She currently resides in Manhattan with her husband.
As Founding Partner and Chief Strategist of Ready Set Rocket, Alex oversees innovation and digital strategy for brands like Ann Taylor, Sweetgreen, Michael Kors, NBA, Lacoste, Seagram's Gin and Univision. He’s a frequent speaker on Digital Strategy and E-commerce topics at industry events hosted by Social Media Week, MediaPost, DigitalDumbo, Gramercy Forum, VentureBeat, and The Hub, and is a written contributor for publications spanning Marketing Land, Bloomberg, AdWeek, Internet Retailer and Brandchannel. Prior to Ready Set Rocket, Alex was the Director of E-Commerce at Freshpair and CMO of digital agency Purple, Rock, Scissors. Outside the office, he is an adjunct professor at Columbia University, New York University and Baruch College.
Ari is a veteran of the IP-communications industry and currently serves as the CEO and Cofounder of Phone.com, Inc. a leading cloud based communications and collaboration company.
In past roles he served as a senior executive at VocalTec Communications, the VoIP industry pioneer, leading business development and marketing and as a strategy manager for Lucent Technologies. Ari also served as president and advisor for two VoIP companies both were acquired.
Ari currently serves on the boards of two non-profits: the NJ Technology Council and the Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership as well as for US Pharma, a multinational pharmaceutical company. He holds an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University, and a law degree and BA in Economics, both from Tel Aviv University.
Cindy McLaughlin is CEO of Envelope, a 3D software company that allows you to search for and visualize NYC real estate development potential under zoning constraints. Prior to Envelope, Cindy held CEO and President roles in a range of technology companies, from fashion tech to prison tech. Cindy has an MBA from MIT/Sloan, a BA from Mount Holyoke College, and spent 2 years in Congo as a Water/Sanitation volunteer for the US Peace Corps.
Gabriel has been building internet software products and concepts since 2007. His latest focus has been on the Blockchain. Gabriel is personally interested in the development of blockchain based applications.
Emmy award winner Micha Riss is the founder and Creative Director of Flying Machine, a New York-based branding and design company. A visionary broadcast designer shaping the airtime of HBO, MTV, NBC, and the Sci-Fi Channel, Micha is applying his creative sensibilities with his team on award winning branding campaigns for a broad range of clientele, including ESPN International, Sky Italia, Shop Japan, Starhome, and Douglas Elliman.
Sebastian Jespersen is an innovator, a business strategist, and a breakthrough digital thinker.
He founded independent digital agency Vertic over a decade ago; today it has a footprint on three continents and serves some of the world’s best-known global marketers and brands. Both a digital guru and evangelist, he has successfully taken a start-up from the birth of the online marketing era through to the advertising world’s new Internet playground. All while shepherding Vertic to extraordinary year-on-year growth and profitability. Clients include Microsoft, SAP, GE, Eli Lilly and, Paypal.
Steven Cress is the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of CressCap Investment Research. CressCap provides investment research to professional investment managers. The firm is considered a pioneer in the fusion of statistical computing systems and autonomous research analytics.The genesis of CressCap was from Steven’s desire to automate many of the functions of a financial analyst. Throughout his experience running a hedge fund, the Cress US Equity Long/Short Fund, and his 13 year tenure at Morgan Stanley running a risk trading desk, Steven developed the skill set and core expertise to formulate CressCap’s core technologies and launch this revolutionary company. CressCap’s unique technology provides long/short ideas based on the platform’s buy and sell recommendations which are refreshed everyday using the most recent data.
He also served at Northern Trust as a Managing Director and the Head of International Business Development & Client Services, as well as, Managing Director and Head of Equity at Sunrise Brokers. He is also a contributing author on Forbes.com.
Tadd is the Chief Executive Office and Founder of Stylinity Go2Buy, an automated influencer marketing campaign management platform serving primarily fashion, beauty, and accessories retailers. Tadd has been issued three domestic patents covering key components of Stylinity’s underlying technology.
Prior to founding Stylinity, Tadd held senior sales, management, and product development positions at HSBC and Catamaran. At Catamaran, Tadd was responsible for the ideation and development of a value-based pharmacy benefit management solution that measurably improved adherence rates for multiple disease states and a proactive real-time claim subrogation engine. Tadd’s prior interest in technology entrepreneurship led him to found NRGOnline, a web development company, while earning his degree in International Business and Management at Dickinson College, with specializations in in econometrics and Latin American Studies.
Tadd has been featured in Forbes and as a panelist at PricewaterhouseCoopers, in addition to serving as a subject matter expert for their "Total Retail 2015: Retailers and the Age of Disruption" report. An avid hiker, skier, and traveler, Tadd enjoys combining his love for technology with his passion for the great outdoors.
After 25 years on Madison Avenue, Executive Creative Director Terri Meyer and her creative partner Sandy Greenberg left the big agency world with a fervent mission: To bring Big Ideas to clients in faster, smarter, more efficient ways.
Terri has built brands for Mars, Kraft, Nestle, Campbell’s, Starbucks, and Time Inc.—many of the largest companies in the world. Yet her agency guarantees a level of personal service and a passion rarely found in today’s advertising world.
Ask clients about Terri and you will hear about her reputation for achieving startling success in the marketplace. While at FCB, for instance, she spearheaded the Oreo campaign “Milk’s Favorite Cookie,” which led to eight spots on Ad Age’s list of the Top Ten Most-Liked commercials of the month, an outdoor installation that made headlines in The New York Times, and a social media campaign that helped propel Oreo to the number two brand on Facebook. “Milk’s Favorite Cookie” was twice-named Kraft’s most successful global advertising campaign.
At her agency, Terri & Sandy, she has continued to forge great success on behalf of esteemed clients like Gerber, Disney, GSK, People Magazine, Freshpet, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Hain Celestial, Avon and Peeps marshmallow candy. In fact, Terri & Sandy was named the fourth Most Effective Independent Agency in North America by the Effie Awards in 2016 and Ad Age’s Small Agency of the Year Northeast Gold in 2015. Most recently, Terri & Sandy was awarded Ad Age’s top honor, Small Agency of the Year Gold for 2017.
Over her career, Terri has won virtually every industry award, including eight Effies for marketing effectiveness. She has also garnered the #2 spot on the Olympics for Oreo and the #9 spot on the Super Bowl for Planters. Her work has been featured on TBS Funniest Commercials, Conan, CNN, The View, Fox News, Access Hollywood, and Today.
Zach is the lead operator overseeing all service-led engagements at Bullish. It’s his responsibility to guide the agency and its clients through the development and production process, while applying, adapting, and re-writing the operating principles and tools necessary to thrive in S-curve moments.
In his 12-plus years in advertising, Zach has worked with an array of local, national, and global brands, including: ANN INC., Dwyer Group, Flatiron School, GNC, GoDaddy, MatchaBar, Microsoft, PNC, Primary, Tylenol and more. He has also led teams that have won multiple Effie Awards—most notably for the category-busting “Feel Better, Tylenol” work—as well as a Jay Chiat Planning Award.
A Philadelphia native, Zach graduated Boston University, furthered his education at Miami School in San Francisco, and ultimately launched his career at Deutsch Inc. in New York. Prior to launching Bullish in 2015, Zach was a card-carrying member of Consigliere Brand Capital (the precursor to Bullish), and was Director of Strategy for The Bindery, a New York based, full-service production company.
Ari Ackerman is a successful serial entrepreneur and proud philanthropist. Ari’s role in his business ventures include strategic development, growth, and overall management. His entrepreneurial history includes being the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Bunk1.com, the enormously popular technology company that allows parents to see pictures, and send emails/Bunk Notes to kids at summer camp. He recently had a successful sale and exit of Bunk1 to a private equity firm. Prior to Bunk1, his career has included product management with Procter & Gamble and the marketing department of Cendant Corporation. Additionally, he worked for 4 years on Capitol Hill for a member of Congress and on the Banking and Financial Services Committee. Ari has been fortunate enough to have been featured in dozens of media outlets including CNN, the Today Show, the New York Times, and Wall Street Journal. Ari grew up in New York City and received
his undergraduate degree from Duke University and an MBA with honors from Northwestern University (Kellogg). His philanthropic endeavors included serving on multiple boards such as the JCRC, AIPAC, UJA. In addition, he has hosted dozens of leading political figures in his home including John McCain and Michael Bloomberg. One of his latest entrepreneurial ventures is Tribe, a unique dating app that facilitates meaningful connections for Jewish singles. Most importantly for Baseball and sports fans, he was also recently a partner in the Derek Jeter led group that purchased the Miami Marlins.
Ari is currently the Chief Revenue Officer of Nudge, a Content Marketing analytics platform that measures digital storytelling investments for top publishers and brands across the Fortune 100.
With a background growing marketing platforms and products that empower brands to tell their stories via new media and mediums, he previously served as Head of New Business for Gary Vaynerchuk at VaynerMedia, lead Agency Development & Brand Strategy at Tumblr, and has consulted for emerging media companies including, All Def Digital, 9gag, and Scary Mommy.
Constantin is currently an Investment Relations Officer at BitBull Capital. BitBull is the first cryptocurrency fund of hedge funds with a mission to provide clarity and insight into the crypto markets and crypto asset investment.
Prior to BitBull, Constantin was part of a disruptive blockchain project - Nimses. An innovative free location-based mobile application that is available for download on Google Play and Apple Store. Being a post-Internet economy tool, the app got 3 million downloads during first 3 weeks of alpha launch.
With a background in stock trading, sales, marketing, business development project, and product management, Constantin helped companies to grow locally and internationally.
Buying his first bitcoins in 2012 made a significant impact in his view to decentralization and blockchain technologies. Right now, Constantin is invited to different panels as a speaker on topics of investments in cryptocurrency sector. Constantin enjoys combining his love for technology with his passion for educating people.
Jemi is an NYC based Producer who sits at the crossroads of eCommerce and Marketing. He is a dedicated partner to creative leaders, digital marketers and merchandisers, copywriters, artists and designers. Some of the brands that he worked closely for the past five years are Heineken, Cartier and Victoria's Secret.
Rebecca Horn has worked in PR, Brand Marketing and Celebrity Engagement for over 8 years, she is currently a Talent Executive at Flying Television. She has worked with brands such as Under Armour, Vita Coco, Google, Viktor & Rolf and Rebecca Minkoff. Rebecca has also used her professional contacts to help many non-profit organizations with celebrity engagement, such as the American Heart Association, Samsung’s Hope For Children and Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Foundation. Rebecca helps elevate a brand’s exposure with celebrity marketing and partnerships through social media, events and endorsements.
Sansan Fibri is the founder of DreaMe, the ONLY AI-powered, Jung-inspired Dream Interpretation App that allows you to reduce your stress while improving your sleep without having to spend a lot of money, search through resources or even leave the comfort of your own bed! DreaMe is also a Psychotherapist-Matching Platform and a Global Dream Wisdom Bank. Sansan was a Finalist for Apple’s “Planet of the Apps” with DreaMe at its infancy.
With 15+ years of experience in film & TV, Sansan prides herself on skills such as open communication (fluent in 4 languages), an undying passion, and clear vision. These skills were honed by years of embracing not only collaboration but also adversity.
As a producer, she is known for “Lucky Loser”, a Comedy Central pilot, and Better Than You - The Patrice O’Neal Documentary, co-produced with Comedy Central. Her first screenplay, Dream in American, was produced as a SAG feature film in 2010.
This event starts on April 26th at 6:00 PM.
This Forum will bring together top executives, industry game changers, and like-minded professionals from the Marketing, Venture Capital, and Tech/Startup industries.
The evening kicks off with dinner, drinks, and networking, where you’ll find fresh faces and reconnect with some familiar ones. Afterward, you will take a seat at a roundtable session where you will join in on a meaningful discussion regarding the current market trends and various investment philosophies. You will have the option to choose an industry focus; either Marketing or Venture Capital.
The roundtable format is designed to create an open atmosphere for valuable group discussion. This your opportunity to personally to connect and get to know some of the most talented and successful professionals within the industry.
Discussion Topics Include:
- Retail Transformation Using Intelligence and Insights
- Storytelling & Branding; Communications, PR, the value of brand, building brand love, standing out in a crowded industry and world.
- Building a direct to consumer business
- Investing in early-stage frontier technology + When is the right time to raise capital and how to set up a successful fundraising process