Simon Tam: Entrepreneur, Author, Musician, Activist, & Troublemaker

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My Native Admission Statement: I’m a self-proclaimed artist, activist, author, and troublemaker who likes to shake things up with unconventional conversations fueled by compassion. I’m known for starting the world’s first and only all-Asian American dance rock band, winning a landmark case at the U.S Supreme Court, having the world record for most number of TEDx talks, being a serial entrepreneur, and relentlessly fighting for marginalized communities. I believe all of our actions should be grounded in our values and that apathy is not compatible with love. My biggest success so far is inspiring another generation of Asian American artists and activists through my work. Also, getting shout-outs from Ruth Bader Ginsburg. My aspiration is to never be complacent in the face of injustice. I would be honored to be able to continue doing the work that I do.

How did you get into the industry?

I first stepped into the worlds of involved with arts and activism when I made the decision to start The Slants, an Asian American band that would provide a bold portrayal of our community’s culture. Little did I know that this would resonate with so many others. That got me involved with numerous organizations which taught me about public policy development, social justice, and grassroots community activism. That eventually put me on the path to the Supreme Court, to fight for civil rights and civil liberties. Running a band is also like running a startup: you have to find your target audience, raise capital, build a brand, find distribution, and so on, so it was also a great lesson in entrepreneurship as well. I leveraged that experience to start multiple other businesses, both in and out of the entertainment industry. This helped me learn ideas like strategic philanthropy, purpose-driven companies, and addressing problems with unconventional solutions. If you ever want to learn how to be a jack-of-all trades, just go on tour with a punk band: you’ll learn survival techniques real quick.

Darrah Brustein: Serial Entrepreneur & Networking Guru

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My Native Admission Statement: I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that I was put on this planet to be a connector. I’m best and putting the puzzle pieces together of who should know whom for the advancement of both. Equal parts teacher, connecter, and founder, my work stands for entrepreneurial empowerment. In the fall of 2018, I launched "Life by Design, Not by Default" sharing stories with visionaries like Deepak Chopra, Adam Grant and Jen Sincero in a 45 speaker online summit reaching over 7,000 people. For the past 10 years, I founded and scaled two businesses in tandem: a networking events company serving 30,000+ people and a payment processing company spanning 38 states. As a writer and interviewer, my articles have been read by over 1 million people across Forbes, Entrepreneur, and Thrive Global.  My motivating motto is "build a life of your own design, a career to fund it, and a network to support it" which has inspired thousands to reach higher and dream bigger. Most recently, I launched the video series “Diving Deep With Deepak & Darrah” to make deep topics relatable and translatable into your life. Also, don’t take yourself too seriously.

Career advice to those in your industry?

Stay true to yourself. There are a lot of entrepreneurs, specifically those in the digital content space, who get caught up comparing themselves to how everyone else is doing it. So, they mimic their style, and water down their authentic voice and message. Thus, not standing out. There is one you. Own it. Also, be sure the business you create is in service to the life you want. I was guilty of getting on the hustle/grind/burnout wagon so that I could build a ‘bigger is better’ company. Until, I realized that I was neglecting my values and things I cared about for years. Then, I reverse-engineered my companies to work in favor of the life I wanted, not consume it.

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Dr. Greg Reid: World-renowned speaker, Best-selling Author, Filmmaker & Entrepreneur

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My Native Admission Statement: As an entrepreneur, I highly value expressing to others how they can turn seemingly complicated situations into simple, digestible concepts for success. There is a firm belief in the importance of win-win partnerships and aiding others to succeed. It brings me great pride to be as much as a service to others. My tenth novel, Wealth Made Easy: Millionaires and Billionaires Help you Crack the Code to Getting Rich, has been recently released which is an extremely rewarding accomplishment for me as this was one of my favorite pieces of work I have ever been a part of.  Sharing some of the most effective tips for success from the minds of the most reputable millionaires and billionaires was an experience that was like no other.

How do you motivate others?

Luckily as a public speaker, I am able to motivate others for a living and it is one of the most rewarding experiences each and every time I am able to speak somewhere. For me, I think the best way to motivate others is to instill in them a “no quit” attitude and emphasize the overall power of perseverance. When you can grant your audience with a sense of inspiration that they can accomplish whatever it is they set their mind to, they start to believe that themselves. This, in turn, inspires the drive for a great sense of personal achievement, which is exactly what I want to motivate every individual to aim for.

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Nisa Amoils: Investor & Venture Capitalist

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My Native Admission Statement: I have a diverse background which makes me a good investor – attorney, entrepreneur, media executive. I am passionate about new technology and enabling gender equality. I break down complex concepts into simpler analogies. I sell and promote ideas with passion. I wrote a book called “WTF is Happening? Women Tech Founders on the Rise” about this.

How did you get into the industry?

I started investing in technology about a decade ago and joined a VC firm to do the same. I started to focus on fintech a few years ago. As a securities lawyer, I was early to see the opportunity in security tokens and decentralized finance. I have been writing about that space in Forbes. I see Blockchain being an evolution that will make traditional finance more efficient, transparent, global, liquid and democratized – that is incredibly exciting.

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Wendy Day: Rap Coalition Founder

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My Native Admission Statement: I am a woman who has built a career on helping rap artists while living my dreams. I fell in love with rap music in 1980, and in 1992 built Rap Coalition, a not-for-profit artist advocacy organization to help educate and support rap artists, and break unfair contracts in the music business. I enjoy building millionaires. I’m in the process of building an incubator for rappers so I can positively impact more careers. I am most proud of my Youtube channel. Most people can’t afford to hire me, so in 2016, I started building a Youtube channel with free how-to videos about succeeding in the music industry. The channel is youtube.com/ThisIsWendyDay. My clients have gone on to sell over a billion albums during my 27 year career. I want to make an even bigger impact with rappers—help them fund, market, and promote their music and help build even more successful careers.

My Biggest Success?

(I’ve been fortunate to have done some of the best deals in urban music. I’m best-known for negotiating the $30 million Cash Money deal at Universal. But the truth is that I’m more proud of some other deals that I’ve done that empower rappers and teach them how to run their own companies. I’m also proud of my relationship with my husband, Tony. We met while he was incarcerated—at the end of a 17 year sentence he was serving in the Feds. Most people would have looked past him but he’s such an amazing person and after 7 years, I’m as in love with him as I was in the beginning of our relationship. I’m grateful everyday to have him in my life.

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Nils Berger: Viewpointsystem CEO

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My Native Admission Statement: I am an experienced founder and serial entrepreneur with a proven track record in information services, technology consultancy and in the automation industry. As an entrepreneur, there is not so much difference between your personal and business attitude. So as a human being, I want to be happy in every aspect of my life and sharing that with others on my journey. My private passion is motor sport and i am a successful amateur car racer himself. My specialty, endurance racing, trains both my ability to make quick decisions as well as perseverance and team spirit. I never give up. Whether it is about my personal or business situation: Life is all about commitments. I keep mine.

Ideal experience for a customer/client?

In general, it is about making distance irrelevant with regard to the know-how required on-site in form of a specialist. So it is about being more effective (doing the right things) and then more efficient (to do things right), by first of all not wasting hours and days getting on-site (time and travel expenses of the expert, plus the costs having the problem not resolved whilst travelling), not being sure whether you have to send someone (assessment of the situation) and if you have to send someone, whom to send (expertise needed). So the customer saves time and money, has an improvement of the service level and does not have to have people travelling all over the globe without really knowing what´s going on on-site. So you reduce a lot of unnecessary CO2 footprint, too. It is good for your production, your customers, your suppliers, your employees and our planet.

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Anil Pereira: Felix & Paul Studios Chairman & Serial Entrepreneur

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My Native Admission Statement: I am a 25 year marketing veteran with deep experience across both startups and large companies with a focus on launching new products, developing highly trusted global brands and building scalable revenue machines. I previously served as a Vice President at American Express (DRTV, New Products); EVP & GM at VeriSign (Corporate Marketing, Enterprise Services, IPO Lead); SVP at Classmates.com (New Products, International, IPO Lead); and also founded two companies of my own—SecondSpace (Acquired by NASDAQ:CSGP) and Verious (TechCrunch Disrupt Startup Battlefield Finalist). I currently serve as Chairman of the Board of Felix & Paul Studios (Immersive Entertainment = VR/AR/MR) and “Virtual CMO” to a number of B2C, B2B, and B2B2C startups from seed to late stage across a range of industries. I look for founders, teams and companies that are tackling large, untapped markets, who have a strong sense of business ethics and shared values and situations where I can add “10X value” by being a part of their extended teams. I am proud of the fact that many of these relationships continue for years and several of them have spanned multiple companies by the same founders.

Career advice to those in your industry?

The biggest piece of career advice I give to others is to stick with something for more than just a couple of years. I spent 7 and 6 years, respectively, at my first 2 professional jobs after business school and that allowed me to gain depth and expertise and move up the ladder within the same company.

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Austin Netzley: Bestselling author, Investor & Entrepreneur

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Bio:

Austin Netzley is a bestselling author, investor and entrepreneur. He is the Founder and CEO of 2X, a company specializing in helping busy entrepreneurs implement the systems and strategies necessary to get their time back, systemize their operations, and double their business in 90 days.

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Vin Clancy: Growth Hacker, Entrepreneur, & Speaker

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Bio:

My name is Vin Clancy. I was on welfare four years ago, living off government assistance. I launched two websites that received over 20 million visitors, two rounds of funding, and got into the TechStars accelerator. After starting a six-figure copywriting and growth hacking agency, I

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Bengt Rittri: Founder & Chairman, Bluewater

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Bio:

Bengt Rittri is a Swedish environmental entrepreneur who is committed to protecting and improving human and planetary health by helping to create a more sustainable future. A father of two children, Bengt believes having access to clean water and air is a basic human right

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Meliss Jakubovic: Facebook Ad Expert, Marketing Strategist, Owner, Meliss Marketing & Founder, The Social Marketing Academy

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Bio:

Meliss Jakubovic is a Facebook Ad Expert and Marketing Strategist. She is the owner of Meliss Marketing in Atlanta, GA and the founder of the Social Marketing Academy. She helps businesses and entrepreneurs worldwide put their product or service in front of the right client or customer

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James Arthur Ray: NY Times Best Selling Author, Mentor & Entrepreneur

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Bio:

James Arthur Ray is considered one of the world’s foremost leadership and performance advisors, coaches and consultants. He began his career consulting with C-Level Executives at the AT&T School of Business.  It was here that he realized his purpose for helping others find their unique gifts, and then leveraging them to take their life and business to new levels.

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Carl Schramm: Author, Professor, Economist, & Entrepreneur

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Bio:

Carl J. Schramm is the author of Burn the Business Plan: What Great Entrepreneurs Really Do (Simon & Schuster; January 2018). He is a University Professor at Syracuse University and former president of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Schramm has served in major corporate roles and chaired the US Department of Commerce’s Measuring Innovation in the Twenty-First Century Economy Advisory

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Jonah Sandler: Founder & CEO, Scene75 Entertainment

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Bio:

Jonah Sandler, CFA, is the founder and CEO of Scene75 Entertainment. Scene75 brands the largest indoor entertainment centers in the country and was named the Top Family Entertainment Center in North America  by IAAPA in 2016. With locations in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Cleveland, and two additional locations under development in Pittsburgh and Columbus, Scene75 will attract more than 1,500,000

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Sefi Donner: Founder, Sports Events 365

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Bio:

After 3 years as a lawyer, I, Sefi Donner, decided to follow my heart and go into the International Business World. From 1994 to 1998 I worked for a Medical Imaging company as a Business Development Manager. In 1998 I established my own company, a trading and consultancy company, assisting Israeli companies to start their International activity.

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