Innovation Showcase 2018

May 24, 2018

The Computer History Museum

1401 N Shoreline Blvd, Mountain View, CA 94043

Featuring a blend of world-class keynote speakers, startup success stories, early-stage research teams, and moderated panel discussions that will showcase the amazing breadth and depth of SoCal’s vibrant innovation sectors. The event is intended to inform and engage a professional investor audience and showcase the caliber of SoCal innovation overall. Networking cocktail reception to follow presentations.

You’ll see…

Thriving companies commercializing scientific breakthroughs discovered and developed in SoCal

What makes startups in SoCal uniquely positioned to benefit from their geography

How SoCal’s innovation ecosystem thrives on a robust, diverse culture


Check-in 12:30 PM | Keynotes & Panels 1:30 PM | Cocktails 7:00 PM

There is no charge to attend thanks to generous underwriter support from:

Goldman Sachs | Google | Silicon Valley Bank | Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

The intimate afternoon event is invite-only and capped at 200 guests so please register now.

Thank you to our Sponsors

Goldman Sachs


Silicon Valley Bank

Wilson Sonsini

Agenda & Speakers

Keynote Panel: The Opportunity for Silicon Valley in Southern California — 1:40 pm

Larry Sonsini

Larry Sonsini - Senior & Founding Partner

Wilson Sonsini


Larry W. Sonsini has gained international recognition for his expertise in the areas of corporate law, corporate governance, securities, and mergers and acquisitions. He has been instrumental in many of the financings, IPOs, mergers, acquisitions, and other key transactions of Silicon Valley and beyond.

In addition to his duties at the firm, which included serving as chief executive officer as well as chairman for more than 35 years, Larry served as chairman of the New York Stock Exchange’s Commission on Corporate Governance, which was formed in 2009 and issued its final report in fall 2010. Larry is also a member of the NYSE’s Proxy Working Group and served as a member of the NYSE’s board of directors from 2001 to 2003. He also served as chairman of the NYSE’s Regulation, Enforcement and Listing Standards Committee until 2008, and previously was a member of the NYSE’s Legal Advisory Committee and the NYSE Committee for Review.

Larry has served on a number of advisory boards and committees, including: SEC’s Advisory Committee on Capital Formation and Regulatory Processes; ABA Committee on Federal Regulation of Securities; and Legal Advisory Board of NASD, Inc. Additionally, he is a member of the board of trustees and a founding fellow of the American College of Governance Counsel.

In 1999, Larry was selected as a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is a trustee of Santa Clara University (SCU). Larry was recently chosen as the honorary chair of SCU’s High Technology Law Institute, and is a Foreign Policy Association Fellow. He was formerly a trustee at the University of California, Berkeley (1990-1996), and has served on the Board of Advisors, Technical Law Journal at Boalt Hall. He has taught at Stanford Law School and at Berkeley School of Law.

Mark Stevens

Mark Stevens - Managing Partner

S-Cubed Capital


Mark Stevens is the managing partner of S-Cubed Capital, his family investment office based in Menlo Park, California. He is also a special limited partner and former managing partner of Sequoia Capital, a prominent and leading venture capital firm in Silicon Valley, known for backing iconic technology leaders including Apple Computer, Cisco Systems, Google and Nvidia. Mark joined Sequoia in 1989, focusing on semiconductor, software, and Internet investments.

Prior to Sequoia, Mark worked at Intel Corporation from 1982 to 1987 and at Hughes Aircraft from 1980 to 1982. He earned a B.S. in electrical engineering and a B.A. in economics (both magna cum laude) in 1981, and an M.S. in computer engineering
 in 1984, all from USC. He also earned an M.B.A. from Harvard University in 1989. Additionally, he is a member of the Board of Councilors of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering and serves on the Board of Dean’s Advisors for the Harvard Business School. Mark has served on the USC Board of Trustees since 2001.

Currently, Mark serves as a director of Nvidia, the world’s leading graphics technology company, Second Spectrum, a sports data analytics software company, Innovium, a next generation data center technology supplier, and Quantenna, an innovator of leading-edge performance Wi-Fi solutions. Mark is a director of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Foundation (USOPF) and is an owner and executive board member of the Golden State Warriors basketball team.

Gene Sykes

Gene Sykes - Co-Chairman

Alliance for SoCal Innovation


Gene Sykes is the Chairman of the Alliance for SoCal Innovation. A native Angeleno, Sykes is a trustee of the California chapter of The Nature Conservancy, a board member of Common Sense Media, a member of the Advisory Council of the Stanford University Graduate School of Business and a member of the Stanford board of trustees. Sykes joined the Advisory Council for the Alliance for Southern California Innovation in 2017.

Sykes received a bachelor’s degree in government from Harvard University and an M.B.A. from Stanford Graduate School of Business. He remains an employee of Goldman Sachs but has stepped down from his leadership positions. While at LA 2028, he does not participate in Goldman Sachs’s day-to-day operations and serves the firm in a limited capacity as a Managing Director. His work with LA 2028 is unpaid.

Steve Poizner

Steve Poizner - Co-Founder, Chairman & CEO, Moderator

Alliance for SoCal Innovation


Steve Poizner has launched, grown, and sold three tech companies in Silicon Valley; managed a portfolio of a dozen start-ups as an SVP for Qualcomm; worked at the highest levels in state and federal government; and volunteered for a year as a public high school teacher.

A few of his key accomplishments include transforming the mobile phone market by inventing a way to integrate GPS into handsets thereby saving tens of thousands of lives and enabling a new multi-billion-dollar location-based services sector. While working as a White House Fellow, he helped develop a post-9/11 Homeland Security plan for the National Security Council. As the elected CA Insurance Commissioner, he modernized California’s Department of Insurance, resulting in multi-billion dollars in cost savings for consumers. Mr. Poizner was inducted into the Silicon Valley Engineering Hall of Fame in 2014.

Panel: Tech adoption and disruption within Entertainment and Media — 2:30 pm

Thomas Gewecke

Thomas Geweke - Chief Digital Officer & EVP, Strategy & Business Development

Warner Bros. Entertainment Group of Companies

Thomas Gewecke serves as Chief Digital Officer and Executive Vice President, Strategy and Business Development, with responsibility for driving the Studio’s worldwide digital growth, managing its global business strategy, including its M&A and investing activities, and leading its worldwide technology efforts. Gewecke is charged with oversight and coordination of the Studio’s various digital strategies to maximize the value of Warner Bros.’ content across all current and emerging digital exhibition platforms. Additionally, he oversees the Studio’s Corporate Business Development and Strategy, Technology, Content Protection and Anti-Piracy groups.

Prior to his current role, Gewecke served as President of Warner Bros. Digital Distribution, a position he had held since January 2008. Gewecke joined WBDD from Sony BMG Music Entertainment, where as Executive Vice President, Global Digital Business he was responsible for worldwide digital business development efforts and oversaw the creation of new digital ventures. Prior to Sony BMG, Gewecke was Senior Vice President of Business Development in the Digital Services Group for Sony Music Entertainment, Inc, where founded and led its mobile business. Gewecke also held the position of Publisher of the PC World Online Network at International Data Group, a leading publisher of print and online technology magazines.

Gewecke graduated from Harvard College in 1991 with a bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, in social studies.

Marcie Jastrow

Marcie Jastrow - SVP

Immersive Media, Technicolor

Marcie Jastrow is an industry veteran with over 20 years in the Entertainment business. Currently the SVP of Immersive Media at Technicolor, as well as the Head of the Technicolor Experience Center (TEC), Marcie is dedicated to bringing artists, technologists, and partners together to build the future of immersive media. Since the opening of the TEC in July, 2016, Marcie has consulted on many immersive projects and has provided her insights in dozens of interviews, published articles, and speaking engagements. Focused on igniting VR, AR, and beyond, Marcie sits on several boards including the Interactive Emmys, Periscope, and BAFTA. In 2018, she was honored with the Advanced Imaging Society’s ‘Distinguished Leadership Award’, which recognizes creative, productive and forward-thinking efforts in visual technology and emerging content. Prior to her current role, Marcie was responsible for growing Technicolor’s post production sales pipeline as SVP of Sales. Before joining Technicolor, she served as EVP of Sales at Laser Pacific, which Technicolor acquired in 2011, as well as SVP of Sales at Modern Video Film for over eight years.

Thomas Vu

Thomas Vu - Head of Creative Development

Riot Games

Thomas Vu has designed and produced beloved and iconic experiences such as The Sims, SimCity, and League of Legends. He is currently leading Creative and Franchise Development at Riot Games where he and his team are developing deep, engrossing characters and universes. He believes in a future where games, streaming, and traditional media are converging and will be seamlessly interchangeable for audiences. Thomas studied bioengineering and neuroscience in a past life. He currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Rebecca, and daughters, Lauren and Katherine.

Vicki Dobbs Beck

Vicki Dobbs Beck - Executive in Charge

ILMxLAB at LucasFilm

Vicki Dobbs Beck has more than 28 years of broad-based management experience in the entertainment industry. She drives top-level strategic vision and translates that into successful, sustainable strategies that foster creative growth, innovation, and excellence. She strives to be holistic in her approach and a catalyst for transformation in this increasingly dynamic environment.

Currently, Beck is the Executive in Charge of ILMxLAB, a new division launched in June 2015, whose mission is to create, develop, and release premium, story-based immersive entertainment experiences for the home, theater, and public venues. ILMxLAB wants to make it possible for people to “step into our stories.” The division combines the storytelling and innovation talents of Lucasfilm, ILM, and Skywalker Sound and builds on a foundation of pioneering R&D in real-time computer graphics and virtual production.

Beck received her MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business where she also completed her undergraduate studies, earning a BA with distinction in International Relations.

Alex Barinka

Alex Barinka - Moderator + Event MC

Bloomberg News Deals Reporter: Tech M&A, U.S. IPOs

Alex Barinka is Bloomberg’s San Francisco-based deals reporter covering technology mergers and acquisitions and U.S. initial public offerings across all industries. She has broken some of the biggest news on the beat, including the details on the multi-billion dollar IPOs of Snap and Dropbox, as well as Dell Technologies’ considerations to once again become a public company.

Her written work appears on the Bloomberg Terminal, and Bloomberg Businessweek. Alex has interviewed prominent players in tech and finance on Bloomberg TV and Radio, from Dropbox’s CEO Drew Houston and Blue Apron’s co-founder Matt Salzberg to Goldman Sachs’ investment banking division co-head Gregg Lemkau and Sequoia partner Bryan Schreier.

Prior to covering deals, Alex was Bloomberg’s New York-based technology reporter and broke news on topics including IBM’s aggressive buybacks and firing practices, and Etsy’s opaque overseas tax structure. Alex attended UNC-Chapel Hill, where she studied business journalism and art history..

Computer Science Track — 3:30 pm

Stefanno Soatto

Stefanno Soatto - Keynote, Professor


Professor Soatto received his Ph.D. in Control and Dynamical Systems from the California Institute of Technology in 1996; he joined UCLA in 2000 after being Assistant and then Associate Professor of Electrical and Biomedical Engineering at Washington University, and Research Associate in Applied Sciences at Harvard University. Between 1995 and 1998 he was also Ricercatore in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at the University of Udine – Italy. He received his D.Ing. degree (highest honors) from the University of Padova- Italy in 1992.

His general research interests are in Computer Vision and Nonlinear Estimation and Control Theory. In particular, he is interested in ways for computers to use sensory information (e.g. vision, sound, touch) to interact with humans and the environment.

Dr. Soatto is the recipient of the David Marr Prize (with Y. Ma, J. Kosecka and S. Sastry of U.C. Berkeley) for work on Euclidean reconstruction and reprojection up to subgroups. He also received the Siemens Prize with the Outstanding Paper Award from the IEEE Computer Society for his work on optimal structure from motion (with R. Brockett of Harvard). He received the National Science Foundation Career Award and the Okawa Foundation Grant. He is Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence (PAMI) and a Member of the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Computer Vision (IJCV) and Foundations and Trends in Computer Graphics and Vision.

Allen Gruber

Allen Gruber - Co-Founder

Brain Corporation

Dr. Allen Gruber is a neuroscientist, physician, and founder of several successful technology companies. In 1993, Dr. Gruber co-founded INTERVU, Inc, a streaming video provider, which went public and was sold to Akamai Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: AKAM) for $2.8 billion. He founded Kintera, Inc., in 1999, and later served as Executive Vice President in charge of Engineering for Kintera, Inc., an online fundraising and marketing platform for nonprofit organizations. Kintera reached a market capitalization of $500 million and was sold to Blackbaud, Inc. (NASDAQ: BLKB).

Dr. Gruber graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a BA in Biochemistry and also with an MD. He attended Washington University for clinical and research training and was on the faculty of the University of Texas. Dr. Gruber was a Senior Fellow in the Institute of Neural Computation at UCSD in 2007. His professional memberships include the American Academy of Neurology, the Society for Neuroscience and IEEE.

Roberto Medrano

Roberto Medrano - COO

Venture Network

Previous GM of HP Software, CEO Polivec, President Finjan, Executive VP Akana, Executive Sun Microsystems, Advisor, Board Member

Executive in the information technology fields of cybersecurity, middleware, governance, API security, microservices, DevOps, software, SaaS, cloud integration, SOA/API management and enterprise architecture. Experience with major fortune 100 on digital transformation initiatives for Digital Business using cloud, mobile or web initiatives with SaaS, on-premises or cloud hybrid products. Deep experience not only in technology but also on launching and marketing products and companies, company strategy and growth. Has been a cybersecurity pioneer by working in the early phases of the firewall, content security, and security policy. Was selected as a participant in President Clinton’s White House Security Summit on cyber security. Founder/Board member for Information Technology Information Sharing and Analysis Center (IT-ISAC) and participated in the National Cyber Security Summits and The White House National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace. Have extensive general management and marketing experience with start-ups and large companies. Was one of the top 100 Sr. Executives at Hewlett Packard(HP). At HP was General Manager of HP Software. As division general manager for HP, served a vital role as head of HP’s key strategic emerging businesses that included cybersecurity, middleware, management, web services, CRM, and E-commerce. I was CEO of PoliVec, President of Finjan (FNJN)and Executive VP for Akana, leader API Management/API security. Was VP of Milkyway Networks (IPO 1996), firewall pioneer, and was VP at Avnet Inc (AVT) and an executive at Sun Microsystems.

Mr. Medrano was recently ranked (2014) as #12 CMO Worldwide. Medrano has been selected as one of “The 100 most influential Hispanics in US”, “the 100 most influential Latinos in Silicon Valley” “Top 100 most influential Hispanics in Information Technology” and is co-founder and previous CEO for Hispanic-Net, a non-profit organization.

He has been on the board of directors or board of advisors for many security companies and organizations among others: Arcot (Acquired by CA), Aventail (aquired by SonicWall, acquired by Dell), Encentuate (Acquired by IBM), Netscaler (Acquired by Citrix), Bigfix (Acquired by IBM), AirZip (Acquired by Willow Tech), Confluent Software (acquired by Oblix/Oracle), PivX (IPO 2004), Polivec, Clearpath Networks, Sand Hill IT Security (reverse IPO with EdgeWave), JackBe (acquired by SoftwareAG). Medrano has received numerous awards for business and product achievement from leading business and industry publications including Fortune, and others. Mr. Medrano has published many articles and quoted numerous times.

Medrano holds a master’s degree in business administration from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), a Master of Science degree in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Southern California (USC).

Michel Sika

Michel Sika - Founder & CEO

Lucid Circuit, Inc

Michel is the founder and CEO of Lucid Circuit, Inc. where he leads a team of experts working on blockchain enabled AI edge processors and an engine for accelerating resilient microelectronic development.Michel is an active researcher with over 15 years of experience in the areas of high-performance adaptable-computing architectures, machine learning, side-channel analysis and radiation-effects mitigation for space and terrestrial applications. He is an experienced researcher and manager who has led multi-million dollar microelectronics research programs for different government agencies. Michel successfully converted converted over $30M of government funded university research in to commercial IP in use today. Michel’s broad experience reaches across research and commercial organizations in the areas of Space, RFID and high-reliability banking microelectronics.

Maria Klawe

Maria Klawe - Moderator, President

Harvey Mudd College

Klawe became Harvey Mudd College’s fifth president in 2006. A renowned computer scientist and scholar, she is the first woman to lead the college. Klawe is a North American expert on diversity in science, technology, engineering and mathematics; gender and gaming; utilizing lessons from her own career in STEM industry and education. A fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, she was ranked 17th on Fortune’s 2014 list of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders. Klawe is on the boards of the Alliance for Southern California Innovation and the nonprofits Math for America and She was previously dean of engineering and professor of computer science at Princeton University and dean of science, vice president of student and academic services, and head of the computer science department at the University of British Columbia. Klawe spent eight years with IBM Research in California and two years at the University of Toronto. She received a PhD and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Alberta.

Life Science Track — 4:30 pm

Richard A. Heyman, PhD

Richard A. Heyman, PhD - Keynote, Executive Chairman & Co-founder

 Metacrine Inc.

Rich currently serves as Executive Chairman and Co-founder of Metacrine Inc., a biotech startup company developing new therapeutics for the treatment of diabetes and fatty liver diseases. Previously, he was the co-founder and CEO of Aragon and Seragon Pharmaceuticals; two San Diego biotech companies focused on discovering and developing next generation therapeutics for hormone dependent cancers. Johnson & Johnson purchased Aragon in 2013 and Genentech/Roche purchased Seragon in 2014. Following his post-doctoral training at the Salk Institute, he joined and held various roles at Ligand Pharmaceuticals, including Vice President of Research

Dr. Heyman is also actively involved in ORIC Pharmaceuticals, an oncology based biotech company where he serves as a BOD member and is currently serving as interim CEO. He is also on the BOD of Gritstone Oncology, Yumanity Therapeutics, Vividion Therapeutics and was a Board member of Receptos Inc. (recently sold to Celgene). Dr. Heyman serves as Vice Chair on the Board of Trustees of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, Board Foundation for the AACR and both the Executive Committee and Board of Visitors at the UCSD Moores Cancer Center. Dr. Heyman received a PhD in pharmacology and a BS in chemistry. He is the author or inventor on more than 120 publications and patents.

Dr. Bassil Dahiyat

Dr. Bassil Dahiyat - Co-Founder, President & Chief Executive Officer 


Dr. Dahiyat has been Xencor’s president and chief executive officer since the Company’s incorporation in August 1997, and is the co-founder of Xencor, and co-inventor of Xencor’s breakthrough XmAb® technology. He has led the Company in raising over $700 million in public and private financing, creating a diverse portfolio of monoclonal antibody clinical programs for the treatment of life-threatening and debilitating diseases, and establishing alliances with leading biopharmaceutical companies that generated over $200 million in upfront payments. Dr. Dahiyat holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Caltech and B.S. and M.S.E. degrees in Biomedical Engineering from the Johns Hopkins University. He has co-authored numerous scientific papers in the fields of protein design and drug delivery, is an inventor of over 30 US and numerous foreign patents, and has received scientific awards from the American Chemical Society, the Controlled Release Society, the Protein Society and Caltech.

Leo Petrossian

Leo Petrossian - Co-Founder & CEO 

Neural Analytics, Inc

Dr. Leo Petrossian, Ph.D. is the Co-founder of Neural Analytics, Inc. and has been its Chief Executive Officer since 2013. Dr. Petrossian has been Director of Nanofabrication of NABsys, Inc., since his joining in April 2008. Prior to NABsys, he served as a Product Engineer of KLA-Tencor, a company developing next generation defect detection tools for the semiconductor industry.

Dr. Petrossian has a Bachelors of Science in Biomedical Engineering and in Electrical Engineering from the California State University at Long Beach. He then received his Masters Degrees in Electrical Engineering and doctorate from Arizona State University where his research focused on biological applications of nanopores fabricated in a semiconductor substrates. Dr. Petrossian also has an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

David Charlot

David Charlot - Founder & Chief Executive Officer

Charlot Biosciences

David is an experienced inventor, entrepreneur, and manager with 15 years experience building tools to solve challenges in human health. He is a knowledgeable bioengineer with specialization in automation and systems integration for live cell analysis. He received his PhD in bioengineering from University of California, San Diego and BSc in physics from Delaware State University. He worked as a senior systems engineer at Hycor Biomedical. He developed intellectual property (IP) and systems for Vala Sciences. David is also co-founder and former Chief Technology Officer of Biological Dynamics, an oncology diagnostics company based in San Diego. During his tenure from 2009 – 2016, David gained considerable experience translating university IP from research to a commercially viable product. He established the technical vision of Biological Dynamics and developed their proprietary platform from idea through commercial readiness for research use and FDA clinical trials. He helped raise $37M across 3 rounds of funding, managed a diverse cross-functional team of 25, and generated 15 patents for the company.

As CEO of Charlot Biosciences, David leads a multidisciplinary team to implement his vision to provide access to novel tools clinicians and researchers need to detect treatable disease early. His core passions are providing access to advanced live cell analysis tools and expanding opportunities in STEM education. He believes empowering the next generation of researchers with disruptive technology will spark their creativity and reshape the future of clinical diagnostics.

Nirav R. Shah, MD, MPH

Nirav R. Shah, MD, MPH - Moderator, Senior Scholar

Stanford’s Clinical Excellence Research Center

Nirav R. Shah, MD, MPH, is Senior Scholar at Stanford’s Clinical Excellence Research Center. He is a leader in patient safety and quality, innovation and digital health, and the strategies required to transition to lower-cost, patient-centered care. Board-certified in Internal Medicine, Dr. Shah is a graduate of Harvard College and Yale School of Medicine, and is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine.

Dr. Shah serves as an independent director for public and private institutions, advises companies in the life sciences and health services, and has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles. Previously, he served as the senior vice president and Chief Operating Officer for clinical operations for Kaiser Permanente in Southern California, a $25B system with 10,000 physicians and 4.4 million members, and as Commissioner of the New York State Department of Health, with a budget of $55B and overseeing the health of 19 million New Yorkers.

Physical Science Track — 5:50 pm

Julia R. Greer

Julia R. Greer - Keynote, Professor


Greer’s research focuses on creating and characterizing classes of materials with multiscale microstructural hierarchy, that utilize the combination of three-dimensional (3D) architectures with nanoscale-induced material properties. These nano-architected metamaterials not only provide a rich “playground” for fundamental science but also have the potential to enable new technological advances in biomedical devices, nanophotonics, energy storage, lightweight structural materials, 3D logic circuits, and smart multifunctional materials. Greer is a full professor (Ruben and Donna Mettler Chair effective July 2019) at Caltech with appointments in Materials Science, Mechanical Engineering, and Medical Engineering.

Greer has over 140 publications and has delivered over 100 invited lectures. She was named a Vannevar-Bush Faculty Fellow by US Department of Defense (2016) and CNN’s 20/20 Visionary (2016). Her work was recognized as a Top-10 Breakthrough Technology by MIT’s Technology Review (2015). Greer was named as one of “100 Most Creative People” by Fast Company and a Young Global Leader by World Economic Forum (2014) and received multiple career awards: Kavli (2014), Nano Letters, SES, and TMS (2013); NASA, ASME (2012), Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Award (2012), DOE (2011), DARPA (2009), and Technology Review’s TR-35, (2008).

Dr. Michl Binderbauer

Michl Binderbauer, Executive Officer at TAE Technologies, Inc

TAE Technologies

Dr. Michl Binderbauer is the architect of research and development of TAE Technologies and is a co-inventor of many of the company’s technological advancements.

Dr. Binderbauer has dedicated the past two decades to evolving the knowledge and technology of TAE. He is an expert in reactor kinetics, equilibrium, and stability of advanced beam-driven Field-Reversed Configurations and aneutronic fusion systems. Recently, he has focused on reactor physics, engineering and enabling technologies, and a wide array of applications of the core TAE technologies — from medicine to isotope production and chemical processing. He holds more than 40 issued and pending U.S. patents and numerous international technology patents, and he has authored or co-authored many peer-reviewed publications in the areas of plasma physics and fusion. Dr. Binderbauer holds a Ph.D. in physics from the University of California, Irvine.”

Eric Hoek

Eric Hoek - Founder & CEO

Water Planet

Eric Hoek is an internationally recognized expert in water treatment, UCLA environmental engineering professor, founder of 6 successful water technology startups, and considered a thought leader in the water industry. He has worked on various aspects of water treatment including drinking water treatment, wastewater treatment, desalination, oil & gas produced water treatment, municipal and industrial water reuse and oil spill remediation. He has served as a consultant to municipal water authorities, water technology startups, hedge funds, venture capital funds, law firms, private research foundations, non-profit foundations, US federal, state and local agencies and foreign national research agencies. He has over 130 scientific publications, over 70 patents filed in the U.S. and internationally, and serves as the Editor-in-Chief of the Nature Publishing Group journal npj Clean Water. He is a graduate of Penn State (B.S.), UCLA (M.S.), Yale University (Ph.D.) and the Executive Management program at the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

Krisztina ‘Z’ Holly

Krisztina ‘Z’ Holly - Moderator, Founder & Chief Instigator

Make It In LA

MIT-trained engineer, tech entrepreneur and adventurer, Krisztina “Z” Holly is the host of The Art of Manufacturing podcast and Founder & Chief Instigator of MAKE IT IN LA, a non-profit launched out of LA Mayor Garcetti’s office. Z is known for curating and hosting the first ever TEDx (TEDxUSC) in 2009 and founding two innovation centers at MIT and USC. She has an instinct for finding and amplifying undiscovered talent and ideas, whether it’s helping dozens of faculty spin out new venture-backed startups, or curating nearly a hundred different speakers whose talks have garnered 14 million views online; ten have appeared on

Early on, Z played key roles at tech startups, such as Stylus innovation (acquired by Artisoft), Direct Hit Technologies (acquired by Ask Jeeves), and Jeeves Solutions (acquired by Kanisa). She started her career as an undergraduate researcher at the MIT Media Lab and a member of the Space Shuttle Main Engine advanced manufacturing team. She served as Vice Provost for Innovation at USC and has been advisor to nearly two dozen companies and organizations, including the River LA, World Economic Forum, and the Obama Administration.

She is an avid traveler, backcountry skier, mountain biker, rock climber, and the quartermaster of the Black Rock City airport logistics team in her spare time. Z has two engineering degrees from MIT and currently lives and plays in Los Angeles.

Closing Remarks + Wrap-up — 6:50 pm

Andy Wilson

Andy Wilson - Executive Director

Alliance for SoCal Innovation

Andy is a leader in the Southern Californian innovation ecosystem and has started, led or invested in more than two dozen tech start-ups. In addition to leading the Alliance as Executive Director, he serves on the City Council for the City of Pasadena and he is a founder of Innovate Pasadena (, which is dedicated to advancing the Eastside of Los Angeles as a vibrant innovation center for deep tech.

Previously, as founder of Momentum Ventures, an early stage tech accelerator and venture fund, he personally led more than a half dozen SoCal tech start-ups and invested in almost a dozen others. He previously held senior executive roles (President, SVP Product, CIO, COO) at Overture Services/Yahoo!, RiverOne, Bowne & Co and RR Donnelley & Sons. He has extensive board experience in not-for-profit and community organizations such as Pacific Oaks College, Pasadena Heritage and STEAMCODERS. He is a regular speaker at entrepreneurs’ events and business schools and was named one of the 50 Most Innovative Men in the San Gabriel Valley. Andy holds an engineering degree with honors from Dartmouth College and received his MBA with a concentration in operations and technology management from Harvard Business School.