Panel: Global Innovation Ecosystems
When & Where
10:00 am – 10:30 am
About This Talk
No longer is venture capital, technology or innovation is confined to Silicon Valley. In fact today there are far more unicorns outside of the US and that trend is only accelerating. The innovation economy is truly global and go well beyond the US and China.
Please join us for a discussion with leading Venture Capitalists from Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia Pacific - the Pearl River Delta. We’ll cover the latest from their respective markets.
Christine Kenna is a Partner at IGNIA, a cross-border venture capital fund focused in Latin America. Christine invests in innovative companies that are reinventing the way to do business with the emerging middle class in Latin America in sectors such as fintech, edtech, Saas, and marketplaces. In addition, Christine serves on the Board of Directors of The Mexican Association of Venture Capital (AMEXCAP). Previously Christine worked in various operating roles in EF Education First, Google, the Guggenheim Foundation, and EY Parthenon. As a passionate advocate for developing high-potential professional women and networks, Christine co-founded Mujeres Invirtiendo (Women in Venture Capital in Mexico), MBA Mujeres de México, and was recognized as one of the top female investors in Latin American by the Latin American Venture Capital Association. Christine graduated from Duke University, Harvard Business School, and is a Kauffman Fellow with Class 23.
Andy Tsao (Moderator)
Silicon Valley Bank
Andy Tsao is a Managing Director and leads SVB's Global Gateway, which assists innovation companies in the emerging markets with their US and international market expansion. He brings more than 20 years of experience banking dynamic companies in technology industries worldwide. In his roles, Andy manages SVB's relationships with venture capital and private equity firms outside the U.S., and also helps emerging market companies as they seek U.S. market entry and U.S. companies as they seek to expand abroad. In both capacities, Andy provides these firms with strategic advice and banking services, including debt financing, based on a deep understanding of their needs. Previously, Andy led and helped found SVB's U.K.-based operation, SVB Financial Group UK Ltd, which was established in 2004. For six years, he was responsible for building senior debt relationships with high-growth technology, life sciences and clean technology companies in the U.K. and Europe. Tsao routinely speaks about technology and venture financing at conferences such as events held by the Latin American Venture Capital Association (LAVCA), AMEXCAP, and the Global Entrepreneurship Summit. Andy is on the Board  and was a former President of the Asia America MultiTechnology Association (AAMA) , on the Advisory Board of Asia Society Northern California, Advisory Board of BayBrazil, TiE Silicon Charter Member and Venture Council of LAVCA.
Founder & Chair
Founder & Chair
Robert Hersov, 60, is a South African/UK entrepreneur, senior executive and private investor currently based in Cape Town (after 30+ years in the US, Europe and mainly the UK). He currently serves as chairman (and founder) of Invest Africa, chairman (and founder) of African Capital Investments, chairman of Alternative Capital (and founder), chairman/CEO of the S-Group (100% owner and founder), and deputy chairman of the VistaJet advisory board. Hersov's grandfather, Bob Hersov, founded AngloVaal, one of Southern Africa's largest mining and industrial companies, which his father, Basil Hersov, ran from 1973 to 2001. Rob has been a member of many public and private boards and founded and owns companies in the aviation, resource, media/marketing, member network and finance sectors. He has been focused in the last decade on investing in Africa, a continent close to his heart given his upbringing and family ties. In May 2013, Rob founded Invest Africa with the specific purpose of delivering on the demand for high quality relationships within growing African markets amongst investors and the business community. The private club has amassed over 400 high level members. Rob also founded African Capital Investments in 2014 to build an Africa-focused investment platform. And more recently he founded both: AltCapInvest (2017), a London-based international Family Office advisory and placement firm which is growing rapidly; and, the S-Group (2019), an exclusive international business- and community-focused private members organization with a mantra of "pay the goodness forward". In 2020, Rob bought Fisantekraal Airport (to be renamed Cape Winelands Airport) and is launching a SPAC - African Gold Acquisition Corp (expected to go public on NASDAQ Q1 2021). Rob received a B.B.S. from the University of Cape Town and a M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School (class of ’89). He is married, with four children, plays golf and enjoys swimming in open seas and in cold water. His nickname is "Chief". He is not politically correct at all.
Co-Founder, Managing Partner
Steve co-founded DN Capital in June 2000 and is currently Managing Partner based in the Sand Hill Road office, running DN Capital’s US operations. Steve Schlenker began his career in venture capital and private equity in 1990. His investment experience has been in software and software related businesses. His sectors of focus include enterprise software, fintech and digital health. Amongst his select investments are Auto1, Datanomic (acquired by Oracle), Endeca (acquired by Oracle), Familybuilder (acquired by Intelius), Lagan/Kana (acquired by Verint), RecargaPay, Remitly and Parallel Wireless. Steve was previously at SUN Capital Partners, based in their London office, where he served as chief investment officer for technology investments. At SUN Capital Partners, he spent five years investing in US and European technology companies as well as assisting raise and manage a growth equity emerging markets fund and making private investments in growth companies. His investments there include eMode (acquired by Monster.com), Endeca (acquired by Oracle), SUN Brewing (listed on Luxembourg, then acquired by Interbrew). Prior to SUN Capital Partners, Steve was one of the first analysts for the buyout firm Interlaken Capital in Greenwich, CT, where he was involved with sourcing companies and applying technology to augment profitability and investment returns in legacy industries such as food processing, industrial distribution and facilities management. Steve is a mentor for Stanford undergraduate students via the E145 technology entrepreneurship course and graduate students via the ME273 course. Areas of interest: Fintech, SaaS, Digital Health
Edith is a General Partner at Race Capital - an early-stage Silicon Valley venture capital fund. A few sectors we are particularly interested in infrastructure, fintech, and deep tech verticals. She has invested in over 50 startups including Agora.io (Nasdaq: API), Lightyear/Stellar (valued $1.2B), Silk Labs (acquired by Apple), Chirp (acquired by Apple), Fleksy (acquired by Pinterest), Human (acquired by Mapbox), Solana, Oasis Labs, Hooked, DayDayCook, AISense, and many more. Prior to Race Capital, Edith was a partner at 500 Startups, the world's most active early-stage fund and incubator invested in Twilio, Credit Karma, Grab, and 2000 more companies. Before 500, Edith was the general manager at Dolphin Browser, a Sequoia-backed mobile browser with over 150 million installs worldwide. Edith also worked with many Fortune 500 companies such as Siebel, AMS, AT&T Wireless, and Autodesk. She frequently speaks on China and Silicon Valley technology and investment landscape. She is also a frequent guest lecturer at Berkeley and Stanford and commentator on BBC, CNBC, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, SCMP, Techcrunch, etc.