CONFERENCE & AWARDS
September 20, 2019
CHRIS YEH | Author, Investor, Speaker, Mentor
Chris Yeh is a writer, investor and entrepreneur who has been working with startups and scaleups since 1995. Chris helps founders, venture capitalists, corporate leaders, policymakers, and everyday people better understand how the internet has changed the way we work together to build amazing organizations. His day-to-day is expansive, and includes Founding Partner, Bitzscaling Ventures; Co-founder, Global Scaling Academy; General Partner, Wasabi Ventures; and more. Chris is also the co-author of Blitzscaling, which explains how to build world-changing companies like Amazon, Alibaba, and Airbnb in record time.
MELANIE SHAPIRO | Token | Co-founder / CEO
Token is the first universal identity network – for keys, cards, passwords, and IDs. As co-founder and CEO, Melanie is an advocate for personal freedom. She recently spoke at TED2018, and the United Nations about identity ownership. Prior to Token, Melanie co-founded Digsby, which was acquired in 2011. She received her MBA and BFA from Rochester Institute of Technology.
MARK ONEY | EmployeeChannel | SVP, Product Operations
Mark is a serial entrepreneur living in Silicon Valley. He cut his teeth at Apple, and continued on to launch eight ventures of his own. Most recently, Mark joined EmployeeChannel, Inc., as SVP of Product Operations. He’s an RIT alumni, a founding member of RIT’s West Coast Board of Advisors, and a member of the UNY50 Leadership Network.
JOHN TORRENS | Vertical Companies | President
Dr. Torrens is a healthcare and education entrepreneur with 25 years leading high growth companies. In addition to Vertical Bioscience, John also holds a faculty position at Syracuse University’s Whitman School, where he is recognized as an award-winning Professor of Entrepreneurial Practice.
SOMAK CHATTOPADHYAY | Armory Square Ventures | Managing Partner
Somak has been operating, advising or investing in technology companies since 1999. He Chattopadhyay founded Armory Square Ventures (ASV) in 2014 and serves on the Firm’s Investment Committee. Somak represents ASV on the boards as a director or observer of ACV Auctions, Clerio and Vizbee. He was previously a director at BentoBox where he led the original Series A investment.
GEORGE CHAMOUN | ACV Auctions | CEO
George became CEO of ACV Auctions in 2016. He was an early angel investor in ACV and was drawn by the company’s long term potential. He brings a successful track record of accomplishment as an entrepreneur and senior executive. He co-founded Synacor (Nasdaq: SYNC) right out of college in 1998, and spent the next two decades building it.
DAN MAGNUSZEWSKI | ACV Auctions | Co-founder, CTO
Dan has a broad spectrum of experience ranging from software development, angel investing, startups, and network/systems administration. In addition to founding ACV Auctions, Dans is a member of the University at Buffalo Computer Science Advisory Council, and a member of the WNY Computer Science Teachers Association.
Congratulations to all of the 2019 nominees!
All will be recognized at Unleashed. Winners will receive special recognition for their achievements bringing people together and increasing the amount of capital / early stage investors in their communities.
Congratulations to all of the finalists for Deal of the Year!
These companies had deals that created wealth for investors and founders/employees, as well as made the company a strong contributor to the local economy. The winner will be announced at Upstate Unleashed.