Meet the Speakers
Kunal is a seasoned operator and deal professional with over 15 years of cross-functional experience as an operator, investor, startup entrepreneur and M&A dealmaker. In his current role as Head of M&A and Investments at Mozilla, he helped build and scale the function and processes that have led the company to their first ever acquisitions and strategic investments.
David B. Allen is a partner in the Corporate and Securities Practice Group of Pepper Hamilton LLP, resident in the Orange County office.
Mr. Allen’s practice focuses on capital markets, mergers and acquisitions, and general corporate and securities matters.
He represents issuers, underwriters, investors and placement agents in a broad range of securities law matters. His securities work focuses primarily on public offerings and private placements of debt, equity and convertible securities, including through initial public offerings, secondary offerings, and private investments in public equity (PIPEs).
Mr. Allen additionally represents acquirers, targets, financial advisors and special committees in a wide variety of transactions involving both private and public companies in a broad range of industries, including medical devices, biotechnology, pharmaceutical, real estate, semiconductors, technology and hotels and gaming.
He also provides general corporate counseling to privately and publicly held corporations and their boards of directors on a broad range of issues, including public company reporting, obligations of directors and corporate governance matters.
Before joining Pepper, Mr. Allen was a partner with K&L Gates LLP and Latham & Watkins LLP.
Mark Andress is a journalist with 20 years' experience writing on business and general news in the US, Mexico, the Czech Republic and the UK.
Based in San Francisco since 2006, Mark is deputy editor of the eight-person technology, media and telecoms team at Mergermarket and dealReporter. Prior to that, he opened Mergermarket’s Mexico City office in 2005 and launched Mergermarket’s Central European coverage in 2004. In 2000, Mark co-founded Prague News Agency, writing on Central Europe for the Financial Times, Business Week, Billboard, Platts and Reed Business. Mark has a BA (Hons) in English from York University, England.
Kristin DeClark is a Managing Director and Head of Technology Equity Capital Markets for Deutsche Bank, based in San Francisco. Kristin rejoined Deutsche Bank in 2015 after eleven years in Equity Capital Markets at Credit Suisse where she primarily covered Technology companies except from 2008-2010 when she also covered Financial Institutions. Prior to Credit Suisse, Kristin worked at Deutsche Bank Alex Brown in the Equity Capital Markets group. Kristin earned a B.S. in Commerce at the University of Virginia.
Mike is a Managing Director of Akkadian Ventures. Previously, he was a member of the founding team of Industry Ventures, where he served as a Managing Director since 2004. Mike led Industry Ventures' investments in Facebook, Twitter, Pandora, LifeLock, Jajah, MedeAnalytics, Cloudmark and Lowercase Capital. He also helped grow Industry Ventures from less than $10 million AUM to over $1 billion AUM.
Prior to Industry Ventures, Mike worked at BV Capital (formerly Bertelsmann Ventures) in San Francisco, a $275 million international venture capital fund. At BV, he sourced, structured, and managed direct venture investments. Earlier in his career, Mike worked in Business Development at Personify, a CRM analytics software company.
Mike holds a BA from University of California, Berkeley, where he was a Regents and Alumni Scholar, and an MS from the London School of Economics.
David Kim is a Principal in EY’s Transaction Advisory Services and leads the West Region for Operational Transaction Services. David has worked across the full transaction cycle from strategy development to operational implementations for synergy capture post acquisition. He has more than 20 years of transaction experience, including numerous cross-border deals and joint ventures. David’s industry focus has primarily been technology, refining and chemicals, and industrial clients. He advises clients on value capture through operational improvements, due diligence, structuring, contract issues, and integration. David holds Bachelor degrees in Chemical Engineering and Economics from Rice University with honors and a MBA from The Wharton School (University of Pennsylvania) with a major in Finance.
Jocelyn Kinsey is a principal at DFJ Growth. She joined the team in 2014 and has been actively involved with DFJ Growth’s investments in Giphy, Helix, Mapbox, Patreon, Ring, and Splice. Prior to joining DFJ, Jocelyn was with J.P. Morgan’s Alternative Investments Group in New York where she worked on the placement, diligence, and structuring of private equity, venture capital, real estate, and hedge fund products.
Jocelyn graduated from Stanford University with a BS in management science and engineering. While at Stanford, she was involved in the early development of StartX, Stanford's student accelerator, and was president of the Stanford Chapter of 85-Broads, a professional women's networking organization committed to the economic empowerment of women globally.
Jocelyn was featured on 2017 Forbes 30 under 30 Venture Capital list as "investing in the next great tech companies."
Philip Kirk is a Senior Director in the Corporate Development Group at Cisco, responsible for Acquisitions and Venture Investments. Philip leads a team responsible for Cloud / Infrastructure Software as well as Big Data & Analytics, and also has responsibility for all of Cisco’s Corporate Development activities in EMEA. Philip has been with the team for over 10 years and has led numerous small and large acquisitions for Cisco, including the $3.7B acquisition of AppDynamics. As a strategic investor, Philip works with portfolio companies including Puppet, Turbonomics, Moogsoft, and MapR.
Philip earned an undergraduate degree in Economics from the University of Chicago and an MBA from The Wharton School at The University of Pennsylvania.
Rich Lawson is the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of HGGC. Based in Palo Alto, California, HGGC is a leading private equity firm with over $4.3 billion in cumulative capital commitments and oversees portfolio companies that employ more than 61,000 employees globally. Over its history, HGGC has completed platform investments, add-on acquisitions, recapitalizations and liquidity events with an aggregate transaction value of over $17 billion. Mr. Lawson has been involved in all phases of the firm’s development since its inception and directs HGGC’s firm governance, investment decisions and investor relations.
Mr. Lawson currently serves or has served as a director or chairman on the boards of HGGC’s portfolio companies, including HelpSystems, IDERA, Denodo, Nutraceutical, etouches, Davies Group, Integrity, FPX, Selligent, Dealer-FX, Survey Sampling International, Serena Software, AutoAlert, MyWebGrocer, hybris Software, Innovative Interfaces and Sunquest Information Systems.
Mr. Lawson also serves as a director, chairman emeritus or trustee of several philanthropic and cultural institutions including the Capital Impact Foundation, San Francisco Zoo, Wasatch Adaptive Sports and the Forever Young Foundation, the organization that is a primary benefactor of HGGC's carried interest proceeds used to support extensive philanthropic work in children's causes around the world.
Prior to leading HGGC, Mr. Lawson established predecessor private equity funds Huntsman Gay Capital Partners in 2007 with industrialist Jon M. Huntsman and Robert C. Gay, as well as Sorenson Capital in 2002 with medical products pioneer James LeVoy Sorenson. Mr. Lawson also worked at Morgan Stanley in its mergers and acquisitions department and served as President and Chief Executive Officer of enterprise software company Found, Inc.
Chris Metinko is a reporter for Mergermarket and Dealreporter, covers technology, media and telecommunications from San Francisco. Chris has worked for Mergermarket since 2013, and before that covered business and local politics for a variety of Bay Area newspapers, including the Oakland Tribune and Contra Costa Times, since 1999. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan.
Julian serves as Qylur's chief legal officer, and is responsible for providing corporate governance, strategic direction and legal services for all of Qylur’s initiatives and functions. Qylur is an intelligent machines company that is disrupting the market for guest entry technology for large public venues. Qylur provides a suite of integrated software and hardware systems designed to streamline fragmented processes and empower autonomous machines with collective artificial intelligence (‘‘AI’’) capabilities through the use of its Industrial Internet-of-Things (‘‘IIoT’’) platform. Qylur harnesses various AI technologies including machine vision, machine learning and deep learning, which let machines make accurate decisions in complex situations, as well as evolve and adapt.
Julian joined Qylur from the London-based law firm of Simmons & Simmons LLP, where he led a cross-border transactional capital markets practice, and advised both underwriter and issuer clients on a broad range of U.S. Securities Exchange Commission (‘‘SEC’’) regulatory compliance issues and SEC-registered as well as Rule 144A equity and debt issuances. Throughout his career, Julian has advised leading technology companies on a variety of corporate areas, including corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance and compliance. Julian has advised issuers from over 20 countries, and listings of securities on the New York Stock Exchange, NASDAQ, the London Stock Exchange and over 10 other exchanges, raising in aggregate over $41 billion. Julian spent time at the SEC's Division of Corporate Finance, where he helped draft "Use of Electronic Media", Exchange Act Release No. 34-42728. Julian began his career with the law firm of Clifford Chance LLP in New York, London and Hong Kong. Julian holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biopsychology from Vassar College and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Michigan Law School.
Joe Porter is a managing director in the Technology, Media and Telecom (TMT) Group and the Merger & Acquisitions Group within the Investment Banking Division (IBD). Before moving to San Francisco and his current role, he worked in the Executive Office in New York City from 2012 to 2013 with the firm’s executive leadership to develop and execute strategic and client initiatives. Earlier in his career, Joe was a member of the Global Consumer Retail Group in IBD from 2007-2012 and a member of the PSI Group from 2005-2007.
He joined Goldman Sachs as an analyst in 2005 and was named Managing Director in 2017
Joe earned a BS in Accounting from Brigham Young University in 2005.
Abhishek Shukla leads the team focused on finding investment opportunities in Industrial Internet (IIoT), Cloud, Cybersecurity, Big Data/ Analytics, Artificial Intelligence and other technologies associated with GE Digital portfolio. Prior to joining GE Ventures, Abhishek was a member of Cisco’s Corporate Development & Ventures Investments team leading Security and Services portfolio and was involved in multiple acquisitions & investments. In his earlier career, Abhishek has held leadership positions in M&A, Strategy and Sales in Agilent, Sony and SAP while living and working in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, India and the US. Abhishek holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electronics & Communications engineering from Delhi College of Engineering (DCE) and a MBA from Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley.
Ted Smith is a Partner, co-founder and the President of Union Square Advisors. With nearly 30 years of experience executing transactions totaling many tens of billions of dollars in value, Mr. Smith has worked with several of the largest and most influential technology companies – including IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Google, VMware, EMC, Informatica, SAP, Citrix, Nuance and Guidewire – as well as a wide range of high-growth public and private technology companies. Mr. Smith also has worked with many of the most important venture capital, growth equity and private equity firms in the technology ecosystem. Mr. Smith began his career at Morgan Stanley & Co., where he was an early member of the firm’s technology investment banking group. Prior to co-founding Union Square Advisors he was a Managing Director at Credit Suisse, where he headed the global software investment banking practice. Mr. Smith also served as a corporate executive at Novell, including as Vice President of both Corporate Development and Business Development.
Mr. Smith received both his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame and is a member of Eta Kappa Nu. During 2015 Mr. Smith was selected as a member of the first-ever class of Presidential Leadership Scholars (www.presidentialleadershipscholars.org), a partnership between the presidential centers of George W. Bush, William J. Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Lyndon B. Johnson. This unprecedented program brings together a select group of leaders who share a desire to create positive change across our nation and the world, and enables them to enhance their leadership skills to help face the toughest challenges of the 21st century. Mr. Smith also is a board director for Assurance Health System, serves as the Chairman of the Rife Scholarship Fund, and is the past Chairman of the Performing Arts Advisory Council for the University of Notre Dame.
Austin Walne is a Partner with ARTIS Ventures where he invests in biotech, software, and frontier technology. He is a board observer at Locus Biosciences. Previously, he was a board director at Stringify and a board observer at Looksharp.
Before ARTIS, he advised institutional investors in the secondary market for private company shares. He also held positions in product management and growth marketing in a variety of technology sectors and was the digital director for a major presidential campaign. He’s been quoted in the following publications on a wide range of topics: The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, and Inc.
Austin received a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Communication Studies from the University of Tennessee and holds FINRA Series 62, 63, 65 licenses.
Heather West is Senior Editor for Mergermarket and Dealreporter, guiding coverage of M&A from a team of 50 reporters across the US, Canada and Latin America.
Based in San Francisco and a frequent visitor to Los Angeles, Heather is currently focused on the expansion of Mergermarket’s footprint on the West Coast.
Heather has led energy sector reporting from New York, established a high-performing team of 40 journalists in seven offices across Asia-Pacific, and built a Latin American team with strong local leadership.
Her reporting has centered on corporate strategy and M&A in the energy, consumer and technology sectors.
Heather holds degrees from the University of California at Berkeley and the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.