Business Development Manager, Styria Data Science, Croatia
Business and Sales Development Manager for Data Science products. Since 2015 hands-on experience on successful cutting-edge AI implementations (based on Computer Vision and Natural Language Processing) in classifieds, marketplaces, and news such as ads categorization based on images and text, revolutionary visual search, recommending similar products and news articles or audience segmentation. In short – all components that lead to superior and personalized AI-backed user experience that grow and transformtoday's digital ecosystems. Experienced in working in corporate, academic and start-up environment. Hands-on entrepreneurship experience from both the entrepreneur and angel investor side. 15+ years of experience in managing business and software development in different industries like telco, finance, scientific R&D, online publishing, and e-commerce.Proven success-record inproject writing, patent draftingand developing successful business from innovative concepts. Passionate about working with cutting-edge technology and bringing them all the way from idea to the product loved by the user.
Founder & CEO, FairNinja, Croatia
Zac is a CEO and disrupter proudly from Croatia. An impassioned young creative professional, an overview of Zac’s career shows a lifelong commitment to delivering change, with rich creativity at its core. His early work as Founder and Chief Architect of ARHDE co.(architecture & design) affirmed his skill set holds great value across multiple spheres and professional pursuits. On account of his international experience - having lived in Hamburg, Moscow, and London alongside Zagreb - Zac brings to his architectural pursuits a unique capacity to create designs that convey an authentic local identity, while also conferring cutting-edge international trends and stylings throughout each and every project. Though Zac is each day in the business of bringing about change and disruption, so too has he acquired an extensive reputation for a traditional and ‘old school’ skill set. Zac is able to identity numerous avenues within an existing business or operation for growth, innovation, and optimization of personnel and processes. At the same time, he has proven capable of doing so without diminishing the existing structure or ongoing profitability of a brand. This ability has been evidenced throughout his work as CEO of OGLASNIK group (founded 1989) - the largest and oldest classifieds co. in Croatia ( Oglasnik.hr Posao.hr Auti.hr ). From hardware optimization, to new marketing plans, and the refinement of visuals and editing across the print and digital publishing business, Zac illustrates a unique capacity to envision what a business could be tomorrow, while also addressing the concerns of today. At present, Zac is most enthused about implementing new technologies and marketing those niche products through digital media. With a constant pursuit of the next big idea in software and hardware he also consults and helps build startups from idea to market.
Chalid El Ashker
Founder, POP UP SHOPS, Switzerland
Chalid El Ashker is the Founder of POP UP SHOPS (www.popupshops.com), a leading international marketplace for short-term rental of retail space, shelves and walls. POP UP SHOPS facilitates and streamlines the booking process for retail space using artificial intelligence. He is a serial entrepreneur (2 exits) and digital leader with over 15 years of experience in online businesses. His experience includes building digital cooperations for Switzerland’s biggest bank UBS and helping to transform the traditional business of DKSH, a global market expansion services provider with a focus on Asia, into digital strategies. Chalid holds a Master of Law degree from the University of Zurich.
Jens Paul Berndt
CTO, Homegate AG, Switzerland
Jens Paul Berndt is an online-product-delivery enthusiast. His objective is to be a business leader who’s driving technology strategy and delivering cutting edge, best of breed technological solutions to meet the needs of the business. Jens stepped into the role for serving Homegate AG, the leading Swiss real estate marketplace, as CTO one year ago. In the last 20 years, Jens has become proficient in a broad range of areas in the digital environment. He previously worked for the Berlin office of the Scout24 Group, operators of digital marketplaces for real estate and automobiles. He left there as Head of Technology for the "Developer and New Home Builder" market segment and as Head of Product Engineering in Vienna, after expanding the Austrian real estate portal. Jens will talk about the journey to deliver products designed for the digital world. The digitalization of the newspaper speeded up the search and gave users a way bigger choice while speeding up their search. Voice search combined with natural language processing and some machine learning ingredients will redefine the way how users find their new home in the future. Join us and learn more about Jens and his teams‘ journey on their way to deliver cutting edge search experience in the future.
Head of Technology, Homegate AG, Switzerland
Patrick is a technology enthusiast with focus on product delivery and a strong experience in classified business. He started the re-engineering journey of Homegate.ch the leading real estate marketplace in Switzerland as Head of Technology. He has been working in classified portals for the last 12 years after originally starting his career in software engineering. Patrick worked as CTO for Austrias largest classified property portal Immobilien.NET, before moving on to Immobilienscout24, overseeing the product engineering strategy as well as the expansion of the Austrian market segment.
Chris Mifsud Bonnici
Senior manager, PwC Malta, Malta
Chris is part of the Tax and Legal Services line of service at PwC Malta with a special focus on tax and regulatory matters affecting asset management businesses. He also has an interest in regulatory trends and innovation and is part of the PwC Malta Regulatory, Asset Management and Blockchain focus teams. He has gained considerable experience in assisting with structuring new fund and investment service provider set-ups and has advised funds with diverse investment strategies including investment in emerging technologies and virtual currencies. More recently he has advised on the set up of potential Virtual Financial Asset (VFA) service providers in terms of the recently issued Maltese VFA regime. Chris joined PwC Malta after three years with PwC Legal LLP in London and is a dual Maltese and English qualified lawyer. He graduated in law from the University of Malta in 2008, specialised in International Commercial Law at Kings' College, London in 2009 and is an associate of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
Manger, PwC Malta, Malta
Michael is a Manager within the PwC Malta Tax and Legal line of service, forms part of the PwC Malta DLT strategy team and is one of the FinTech industry champions of the firm. Michael has diverse background having gained 5 years of work experience in the assurance practice of the firm before joining the tax and legal line of service. Michael currently services a large portfolio of Maltese and international clients operating in a variety of industries on various direct and indirect tax matters, including the provision of direct and indirect tax compliance and consulting services. He also actively participates as a speaker in conferences, lectures and presentations delivered by PwC in Malta and overseas. Michael joined PwC Malta in 2008 whilst reading his Masters degree in Business Administration. He is a Chartered Public Accountant and Certified Auditor and is also a member of the Malta Institute of Accountants and the Malta Institute of Taxation.
Lead Innovation & New Markets DLT, Inacta, Switzerland
Isabella is a Fintech business professional with a focus on enterprise architecture and blockchain technology and an international background. Isabella is Lead Innovations & New Markets for Blockchain and DLT at Inacta AG. She explores and develops functional architecture design of disruptive business models around decentralisation, network economies and web 3.0. Isabella combines experience in funcional solution design & architectures in financial services, applied blockchain and DLT, blockchain token models, and database technologies. As a board member of the Bitcoin Association Switzerland she is promoting the understanding of digital currencies and assets. In her previous role at Ernst & Young (EY) she worked with fortune 500 companies on digital transformation projects and was fundamental to the rise and growth of EY Switzerland’s Blockchain & Crypto Technologies Advisory practice. Leading this practice she delivered first DLT pilot projects in the insurance, crypto storage and treasury space.
Chief Revenues Officer, Russmedia Solutions, Romania
Strategic Consulting, including business plan & sales strategy development, has been the focus of Adrian at RussMedia. He was project lead on a Drupal 7 e-commerce solution for digital and print subscription with responsibility of Development Lead, Scrum management and Project concept. He's been managing portals' development process and he is responsible for creating innovative concepts in the online recruitment business. Last, but not least Adrian build SaaS features based on micro-services architecture. RussMedia Solutions is an international company that offers software services for online businesses. Our main offering is Job Board Software, but we also have solutions for car portals, real estate or general classfieds.
CEO, Besedo, Sweden
Patrik has a master degree in Engineering Physics with a focus on Nuclear Physics and a master in Business Administration. He is passionate about AI, the digital world and data and started his career as a data analyst focusing on making sense of big data sets. He then started his own company with the goal of monetizing user generated content. In his capacity as CEO for Besedo, Patrik has been introduced to most CEO's of the major classifieds sites around the globe. He has used the opportunity to motivate positive thoughts towards online marketplaces starting to share fraudulent data, with the goal of making the Internet safer for all users and facilitate ingrained trust in the digital world.
Director, Used Cars NI, Ireland
Cecil Hetherington is Managing Director of Used Cars NI, the leading used car marketplace in Northern Ireland. The company offers numerous additional services to car dealer customers as well as private sellers, and also operates a used car website in Scotland. Cecil has more than twenty years’ experience in internet-related development and for the past eleven years he has been primarily working within the auto classifieds space.
CEO, Tomorrow Tech, Finland
Sami Honkonen is the CEO of Tomorrow Tech. Tomorrow Tech builds digital products using blockchain and artificial intelligence. One of their biggest products is a trading platform for the residential real estate market using blockchain technology. They’ve built it together with banks and government officials. Sami is also the host of Boss Level, a podcast that studies people and organizations that are breaking existing management and leadership paradigms. Guests of the podcast include Nobel laureate Bengt Holmström, US four-star general Stanley McChrystal, Spotify’s VP of Operations Simon Marcus, and many others. Presentation topic : Blockchain-based trading platform for residential real estate Presentation description : Sami's company Tomorrow Tech is building a digital blockchain-based trading platform for residential real estate. Using smart contracts, it allows real estate agents, banks and government entities to programmatially enforce all the steps involved in selling or buying a house or an apartment. Sami will talk about digitizing real estate transactions and how blockchain can help with that.
CEO & Founder, Working in Digital, Finland
Arto Joensuu is a digital change agent with over 20 years of professional experience across startups as well as large multinational corporations. His professional expertise lies within a profound understanding of the digital landscape and its impact on companies both small and large. Whether it’s about leading a large corporation into the digital era, or helping startups cross the tipping point, Joensuu has been there in the trenches and has the battle scars to prove it. Throughout his career, he has held several leadership positions, ranging from pioneering in digital/mobile marketing at iobox/Terra Mobile during the late 90's to spearheading the company wide digital strategy and execution at Nokia. At dubizzle.com, Joensuu spearheaded a transformational re-branding initiative, which had profoundly positive implications across the entire company. This initiative led to a streamlined vision, common set of values and a cultural transformation that could serve as a platform for growth across the organization. He later continued as dubizzle’s CEO, leading the company’s monetization efforts, regional expansion, operational alignment with majority owner Naspers, as well as facilitating the early stage growth of classifieds spin-off Shedd. (www.sheddapp.com) Today, Arto Joensuu is the founder and CEO of Working in Digital, a network of digital change agents that invest in early stage startups and actively support these organizations as non-executive directors. Current portfolio consists of: -Soma: a disruptive blockchain based classifieds platform (https://soma.co/) -Fuzu: an innovative learning/job platform for the emerging markets (www.fuzu.com) -Golf GameBook: the driving force behind the digitalization of golf (www.golfgamebook.com) -Sports Travel Group: providing unique travel experiences for golfers around the world (www.golftraveller.com)
Founder and Managing Director, mobileJob.com, Germany
Steffen Manes is the founder and Managing Director of mobilejob.com, a multi-award winning startup in the blue-collar recruiting market. mobileJob.com combines social media recruitment with a completely mobile application approach and, thus, successfully addresses both active and passive candidates. Steffen looks back at a professional career in investment banking and as venture capitalist before he established mobileJob.com in 2014 - with success, as 70+ employees and more than 2,000 clients show.
Anti-Fraud Specialist, anibis.ch, Switzerland
Jelena Moncilli is the Anti-Fraud Specialist at anibis.ch. She joined the company as a project manager in 2010, and she quickly developed a passion for fraud prevention. Jelena’s hard work and dedication led to a promotion to Anti-Fraud Specialist in 2015. Today, Jelena has an extensive responsibility for all aspects of fraud prevention. Every day she faces the challenge of balancing user expectations and needs while delivering an engaging and safe user experience on the anibis.ch marketplace.”
Co-founder and CEO, Homsters, Singapore
Over 15 years of international experience in online real estate, consumer finance, private equity, venture capital, e-commerce and digital marketing across multiple European and Asian markets. Since founding Homsters, a pro-tech company which builds online marketplaces for the property development segment, Andrew has not only created a market leader of this segment in Kazakhstan,but also led its international expansion through offeringglobal classifieds aSaaS implementation ofHomsters’ technology. Homsters has since secured partnerships with Schibsted and other leading only classifieds. Today the Homsters platform operates in 4 markets and the company is expanding rapidly. Prior to Homsters, Andrew was part of the senior founding team at Platinum Bank (Ukraine), one of the top success stories in consumer finance in Eastern Europe after having generated over $100 million of net capital gain for its international private equity backers. Andrew held several positions in his nine years at Platinum, including the roles of chief sales officer and deputy CEO where he was responsible for leading a 3,000-strong nationwide sales organisation. Andrew brings with him considerable growth capital experience in his previous roles as managing director(Amber Capital, Poland), mentor(EastLabsVenture Capital Incubator), and angel investor and board member for a number ofstart-ups in emerging markets. An active speaker at industry conferences, roundtables, and media programs, Andrew has presented on a wide range of topics, including on marketing strategy, understanding consumer behaviour, and intercultural management. Andrew hold a Master’s Degree in Banking & Finance from Warsaw School of Economics, Poland.
Director, recruitment & eCom business, Oikotie Työpaikat, Finland
Joonas Pihlajamaa heads the Oikotie Työpaikat job vertical and general classifieds business at Sanoma Corporation, the leading media group in the Nordic countries. Oikotie is the leading commercial Finnish job portal, offering a full range of services to recruiters from job postings to recruitment systems, employer image building and recruiting tools and analytics. Oikotie is a forerunner in the field, introducing AI, video and data based solutions to its customers. Mr. Pihlajamaa has extensive experience digital services both in B2C and C2C, having worked in business management and development roles at Sanoma and earlier at Finnish telecommunications leader Elisa. He is a keen follower of AI and technology related developments, both professionally and during his free time.
Co-Founder, Lalafo, United States
Anna Polishchuk is a co-founder of Lalafo. Before founding Lalafo Anna was a COO at Slando (re-branded to OLX) - a general classified website acquired by Naspers. She worked at Slando before and after acquisition by Naspers helping grow Slando to 27m monthly users in 4 markets. Anna has an MBA from Royal Holloway University of London. Lalafo runs a network of mobile and online classifieds. Our AI powered mobile apps and websites are used by millions of users in different markets.
Co-Founder & CTO, Simility, United States
Kedar Samant is a seasoned technologist and a fraud and risk management expert. Kedar co-founded Simility and crafted the vision for Simility’s disruptive approach to fraud management. He has been key in establishing Similty’s product superiority and driving innovations that culminated in Simility’s acquisition by PayPal. Kedar brings wealth of experience from his prior stint at Google where he built the platform for fighting fraud and abuse across Google’s products. Prior to Google, he held technology leadership positions across industries including banking and online services.
Director, Commercial and Operations, OLX Europe, Netherlands
An e-business specialist with strong experience in leading and scaling ecommerce and classifieds businesses. She leads the Commercial and Operations Strategy for OLX Europe. She has led multiple functions in two of the biggest companies in South East Asia, OLX Group and Alibaba, during their hyper growth phases. She has over 10 years of experience working across functions, across countries, and with big and small teams.
President, Sanoma, Finland
Results-driven and development oriented business professional with versatile experience in media, digital business and business development. Curious mind and eager to learn new things - at the moment steep learning curve in banking and education business transformation. Interested in understanding what makes people tick. Her career has had five distinctly different phases : 1) Legal professional during 1988-2000 responsible for e.g. Contract & Corporate Law, Media Law and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), Mergers & Acquisitions, Corporate restructuring and Tax Law matters. 2) Business support and business development professional in 2000-2008 responsible for Finance, HR, Legal, M&A, Corporate communications & Public relations units. 3) SVP, Business Development and Chief Digital Officer (CDO) in 2008-2011 responsible for Strategic planning, Business development, Innovation management and Digital transformation units as well as two matrix organizations. 4) P&L responsibility from 2011 onwards. At the moment responsible for Sanoma Digital Finland business unit operating in several digital businesses, marketplaces and SaaS platforms in the fields of ecommerce, real estate, recruitment , cars, contract management and digital signing. 5) Several board positions since 1994. Independent board member positions at the moment: Board Member and Risk Committee member of Säästöpankkiliiton Osuuskunta (Saving Banks’ Union Coop) and Chairman of the Board of Haaga-Helia ammattikorkeakoulu Oy (Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences).
Principal, AIM Group, United States
Jonathan Turpin, a principal at the AIM Group, is responsible for day-to-day operations of the company. He has served as CEO, COO and Commercial Director of a wide range of online media and software companies. He first got involved with classified advertising as the Chief Executive of Fish4, a British classified service owned by a consortium of five of the UK’s largest newspaper companies. He led the business for six years from startup. He has also launched a hybrid radio and online recruitment service; run a home moving business focused on lead generation and sale of home moving trigger data; and relaunched the multi-vertical online recruitment business of one of the UK’s largest B2B information businesses. He started his career in the global media and entertainment consulting practice of Arthur D. Little and is an experienced media and marketplaces industries consultant. He has held significant roles at the BBC, Bauer Media, MoveMe.com and AOL-Europe. Jonathan is based in London.