Kamil Bajda-Pawlikowski: Starburst Data Co-Founder & CTO

Kamil Bajda-Pawlikowski Highlights

Kamil Bajda-Pawlikowski Highlights

My Native Admission Statement: I have patience and perseverance, but also flexibility. My aspirations are to make both my company and our customers successful. and to find more time to read books and spend more time outdoors. At Starburst, we incubated our enterprise support offering for Presto while at Teradata. When we first got involved in early 2015, the Presto community was relatively small. No traditional enterprise adoption existed due to the lack of both security integrations and ease-of-use. Plus, not everyone wants to do-it-yourself without any support since running any software at large scale and in production is a serious responsibility. Starburst Data built on its initial customer base and rapidly accelerated product development and adoption across a large number of companies in a variety of industries.

What's next for the Business in the near future?:

We are investing in a major way in the cloud offerings that we introduced after forming Starburst Data. While on-premises deployments are still frequent, we are seeing a lot of activity across major cloud providers, like AWS, Azure, and the Google Cloud Platform. Also, Kubernetes is gaining significant adoption in both private and public clouds.

Click to Read More:

Ahmed Bhuiyan: Groupon Senior Manager, Strategic Partnerships

Ahmed Bhuiyan Highlights

Ahmed Bhuiyan Highlights

My Native Admission Statement: I build relationships. Like most first generation immigrants, knowing where I came from and seeing the hardships my parents went through by leaving their family and friends to come to a new country to give my sister and I a better life absolutely inspires me and drives me to be a better version of myself. My aspirations are to help people around me, help those that are less fortunate and make a difference in their lives and my community. I would like to open a school in Africa or South Asia where kids can come to learn for free. I would also like to teach those underprivileged in developing nations skills to succeed and take themselves out of their current socioeconomic situations. I believe in the phrase “give a man a fish he will eat for a day, but teach a man to fish then he will feed his family for life.” However I would like to add to the phrase: “give a man a fish he will eat for a day, but teach a man to fish and then what to do with the fish/how to market, package and sell the fish then he will feed his family for life.”

Industry Opportunities & Challenges?

A big industry opportunity is cutting down on the noise to instead offer truly personalized content. We get a lot of deal emails, trip planning suggestions and travel content, but are they relevant? If I am a solo traveler then family travel deals or trip planning content are not relevant to me and similarly if I am a budget traveler then luxury travel deals or content are not interesting. Everyone is claiming to have personalized content or using artificial intelligence, but no one is doing it properly yet. Whoever figures it our first has a big opportunity. And a big industry challenge is sustainability. Travel is an amazing experience so naturally we are seeing people travel more as cost of travel and reachability are getting better. However with increased tourism brings new challenges to infrastructure, local culture and the surrounding ecology. Italy, Peru, Spain and Thailand are some recent countries to limit or prohibit tourists from certain over touristy places—more are to come.

Click to Read More:

James Sun: Beautytap Founder & CEO

James Sun Highlights

James Sun Highlights

My Native Admission Statement: I am an entrepreneur, managing partner, and angel investor of several companies. I’ve been a fan of good skincare since I was a little kid. My mom was probably a big influence on that. I would rub my face with the inside of orange peels thinking that the acid will neutralize the oil on my face. Then, as I progressed my career in consumer tech, it was a natural progression to start an omnichannel online/offline business within the hot beauty sector. Originally, the inspiration for the business was to allow anyone around the world to discover and purchase cross border beauty products. This is still the vision, but we are realizing the importance of omnichannel since touch and feel are a huge part of beauty discovery. Now, after launching our first brick-and-mortar store, our vision is to maintain a physical presence where people can try samples from all types of products in person before making a final purchase online.

What’s next? In the next 18 months, we plan on opening up 5 more flagship premium stores and more than 50 automated popups so customers can touch and feel the products before making a purchase. We are also planning to launch some new product lines as we have found some gaps in the market through our data points. Lastly, we are launching an online television show called BeautytapTV that will feature top beauty experts and celebs sharing the latest on their beauty and skincare secrets. This show will launch in December 2018.

Click to Read More:

Joanna Popper: Global Head of Virtual Reality for Location Based Entertainment, HP


My Native Admission Statement: I am a Hollywood and Silicon Valley media executive I was selected as “50 Women Can Change the World in Media and Entertainment,” “Top Women in Digital: Game Changers,” “101 Women Leading the VR Industry” and is on the Coalition for the Women in XR Fund. The two areas that I have found most interesting in recent roles are content creation and the fast-moving and innovative pace of digital change. VR is the perfect intersection of these passions.Achieve a world, a work force, and leadership structures where we are all represented. My aspiration is to achieve a world, a work force, and leadership structures where we are all represented. Let’s build a new wave in computing, let’s make sure all of our voices are represented in this wave of computing and make a positive impact for another woman or URG in tech.

Ideal experience for a customer/client?

I was on the media and TV side for a long time prior to HP. The person who focuses on Enterprise/ Military/First Responder Training for VR was a Marine. Many of the people in our Omen esports and gaming division were professional gamers at the highest levels. HP has done a great job of bringing people together to work on these emerging technology lines of business who have deep expertise, passion for and relationships in their areas. This impacts the vision, strategy, products, the processes and I think positively impacts our entire business and our partner’s experiences with us.    

Click to Read More:

Jason Hsiao: Animoto Co-founder & Chief Video Officer

Screenshot 2019-04-17 at 12.58.32 PM.png

My Native Admission Statement: I am the Co-founder and Chief Video Officer of Animoto, an award-winning online video maker that makes it easy for anyone to create professional marketing videos. I’ve always loved video, even as a kid… making cool home movies with my school buddies.  Later in life, the opportunity to find a career as a TV producer for MTV and Comedy Central in NYC was in many ways a dream.  But what was even more exciting was witnessing the change all around us and the emergence of so many game changers… everything from mobile devices to social media to cloud computing.  It seemed inevitable that the role of video in our everyday lives was about to undergo some dramatic change. Instead of watching it all happen I felt the urge to be a part of it all. According to my coworkers, I’m really good at PowerPoint slide transitions.  I also think I make pretty delicious breakfast sandwiches. One of my role models is Jiro Ono (from the documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi) and his tireless quest to improve and hone his craft. “Even at my age [of 85], after decades of work, I don’t think I have achieved perfection. But I feel ecstatic all day––I love making sushi.”

Inspiration for the business idea, and your vision for the Business?

A core inspiration for our product & technology is believing that what happened with things like websites, emails, and graphic design will happen with video. For example, ten years ago it was not easy creating a website unless you knew HTML editors or wanted to spend $15K to hire someone who did. Today, anyone can create beautiful, professional websites with drag-and-drop builder tools like Squarespace and Wix. We strive to offer this same builder tool paradigm for video.  Though simple building blocks, a WYSIWYG interface and a collection of starter templates, Animoto makes it drag-n-drop easy for anyone to create beautiful, professional looking video on both web and mobile.

Click to Read More:

Nisa Amoils: Investor & Venture Capitalist

Screenshot 2019-04-12 at 11.36.05 AM.png

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.

Click to Read More:.

Nils Berger: Viewpointsystem CEO

Screenshot 2019-04-19 at 11.52.28 AM.png

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.

Click to Read More:

Cory Rellas: Drizly CEO & Co-Founder

My Native Admission Statement: Drizly is the world’s largest alcohol marketplace and the best way to shop beer, wine and spirits. Our aim as a company is to make good times just a little bit better. To be there to celebrate life’s important moments – no matter how big or small. Building something that doesn’t exist is always hard and that complexity only compounds over time. However, it always comes back to people. Working at a small, ambitious company is an incredible investment for someone to make — an investment of time, of energy, and most importantly, an investment of trust in the people who have made that same pact. Inevitably, there are moments when the paths of the people there no longer intersect with the path of the company. While those moments will always be hard, we’ve learned that when the company places its people first and truly values their career progression, we can look back on however long the paths intertwined and know that both sides are better off for making the investment in each other.

Industry opportunities and challenges?:

The alcohol industry is incredibly complex and highly regulated. Instead of seeing this as a barrier, we saw an opportunity to establish and grow a business where others did not. As we learned more about the industry, we realized that not only was the idea of Drizly great for consumers, but that it could also be a catalyst for local retail, and a way to provide suppliers with insights that they’d never been able to access. This trifecta has allowed us to grow Drizly into the leading alcohol e-commerce platform benefiting consumers, local retailers, and the biggest stakeholders in adult beverage alike.

Click to Read More:

Audrey Wu: CONVRG Co-Founder & CEO


My NativeAdMission Statement: I’m the CoFounder and CEO of Convrg, an AI voice and messaging platform powering experiences for brands such as Estee Lauder Companies and the GRAMMYs. I was lucky to be in the right place at the right time and fell into conversational AI, starting with chatbots in 2015 to now where we build world class voice experiences. I’m a walking wiki on all things chatbots and voice assistants and most recently spoke about the topic at SXSW and Mobile World Congress. I also write for Adweek. Chatbots and voice assistants are a very nascent industry which means there is no “traditional” background. One of my co-founders comes from a beauty, creative and editorial background while the other has an MBA and is a master coder. I came from a digital marketing via investment banking background.

Emerging industry trends?:

I am very bullish on voice assistants and conversational AI. Having built voice skills for top brands such as Estee Lauder Companies and GRAMMYs, I see a huge potential on how brands can capitalize on a truly bi-directional conversation with their users.

Click to Read More:

Joel Macdonald: GetSwift Founder & President


My Native Admission Statement: Obsessively curious entrepreneur who likes to solve problems and make people happy. Started and built 5 companies since high school. GetSwift (current) has been the most successful and (for different reasons) one of the more publicized companies that I started and now manage alongside my colleague, Bane Hunter. Product, growth and business development are my passions and that is where I like to play on a daily basis. For an early part of my life (11 years), I was a professional footballer in the Australian Football League (“AFL”) – an incredible time that helped me really develop a strong set of skills that have shaped my business approach & tenacity. I love to travel, read, dream and create! I think what I am most proud of is the level of perseverance, resilience, and resistance to pain that I have been able to develop over recent years. Maybe it was from my previous football life when I was consistently picked or dropped from the weekend team selection. Wherever those traits came from, I am very grateful for receiving them.

What should everyone try at least once?

Think of something that really scares you. As long as it doesn’t put your life in danger, go do that. I think everyone should try and face at least one of their fears this year. Speaking in public. Chatting up someone in a bar. Asking your boss for a raise. Try it sooner rather than later as you will most likely realize “that wasn’t so bad after all” and enjoy a new level of freedom via the realization that fear is just a mental construct. Fear is just an illusion in our minds. It’s amazing how our minds hold us back from doing so many great things. It’s just a program ingrained in our brains to ensure survival. Our job is to identify these daily limitations/fears and confront them until we become a better, freer version of ourselves.

Click to Read More:

Anil Pereira: Felix & Paul Studios Chairman & Serial Entrepreneur


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.

Click to Read More:



Bio: Payal is the Executive Chairman & Founder of ClassPass and the Artistic Director of The Sa Dance Company.

Payal has been a “dancetrepreneur” since the age of 3 when she started training in Indian classical and folk styles of dance.  It was her passion for dance, entrepreneurship, and making the world a more active, happy place that led to the founding of Classpass. ClassPass is a membership program for fitness classes across multiple gyms and studios, making working out more engaging, accessible, and affordable.

With over 25 years of dance experience, Payal also founded The Sa Dance Company, a contemporary Indian dance company. She has led the company to achieve tremendous community support, soldout performance, celebrity endorsements, and positive reviews in The New York Times, MTV, and prominent South Asian publications.  Payal has been quoted as “the dancer possessing not only the stand-out talent, but the undying passion, congenial disposition and sharp business savvy to be truly a force to be reckoned with” as the South Asian culture continues its inevitable integration into America.

Prior to founding ClassPass, Payal worked as a consultant at Bain & Company and in Warner Music Group’s Digital Strategy and Business Development Group. Payal also has a degree from MIT in Operations Research and Economics.

My Goal of the Day:

To keep making progress towards achieving my mission, and to use every minute with intention. Time is our most valuable asset. I won’t waste it. 

My Thought of the Day:

Being unique makes us exceptional. 🙂

My Action of the Day:

To create something meaningful and inspirational every single day. Each new day brings with it the opportunity to heal and improve the world, even if just a bit. 

My Deed of the Day:

To surround myself with an amazing team and empower and inspire them to accomplish more than they ever thought possible.

My Tip of the Day:

Make it your priority to equip yourself with the skills and tools to succeed. Also, take the time to reflect on your purpose, and then chase it with zeal. True purpose will lead you on the right path every time.

A Day in My Life:

What do you love most about Your City? 

  • Its vibrancy

Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?

  • Green tea and a croissant

What are you doing at:

6:00 AM –

  • Drinking my green tea, stretching, and reviewing my goals for the day 

10:00 AM –

  • Conducting a meeting 

12:00 PM – Favorite Lunch spot/meal?

  • Trying out a new exercise class on ClassPass and then grabbing a yummy salad 

7:00 PM – 

  • Heading to dance practice!

11:00 PM –

  • Snuggling with my husband over some Netflix and getting ready for bed

What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?

  • Green tea in the morning and then a glass of water as often as possible 

Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?

  • ClassPass, of course!

What should everyone try at least once?

  • Performing live on stage – singing, dancing, acting, anything!  

Where do you enjoy getting lost?

  • Anywhere I can run! 

More from CNBC Article:

“Ideas are a dime a dozen, and people can have ideas, but you need to be able to get stuff done,” Kadakia says. “And I really think it’s the people who know how to work — and whether that’s the big, higher-level stuff and also the nitty-gritty — they know how to get in there and get their hands dirty and solve problems.”

“I think the dance side of my life, which has always been sort of there since I was really young, just taught me if I had a vision to do something, okay, I’m going to work hard and keep practicing, keep rehearsing. And if I put the work in, the output will come,

Ajay Yadav: Roomi Founder & CEO

Ajay Yadav Highlights His Story For The Native Society

Ajay Yadav Highlights His Story For The Native Society

Read The Native Influence Full Q&A Profile


Inspiration for Business Idea? So, no joke, I once got robbed by my roommate. It became very clear to me there was a problem to solve in the way we search for roommates. Craigslist felt unsafe and you never knew what you were going to get. Personal contacts are great, but you only have so many friends looking for an extra roommate. It’s not flexible enough to rely on by itself. I started Roomi because I wanted to solve those problems for everyone.

Career Advice? You need to really care about what your company is doing. Care about solving a problem and satisfying your customers. That is what is going to drive you to build the best company that you can. Yes, I know startups are strapped for cash. And it’s a business, so of course, profits are important. But you might be surprised how much that side of the equation sorts itself out when you focus on the other side. The customer satisfaction, employee happiness, human element of running a business. Any business.

Masoud Motamedi: LocationSmart President & Founder


Read The Native Influence Full Q&A

How did you get into the industry?

When I was in middle school, I took a technology-focused class that taught wiring and it sparked my interest in learning about electronics. I became hooked pretty quickly. Whether it was building a simple circuit to turn a light on and off, or finding a way to fine tune the reception of our TV with rabbit ear antennas, I wanted to learn it all. This interest led me down a path toward becoming an electrical engineer. My involvement in the wireless location industry started more than 30 years ago when I was working for a company called GeoStar. It was a position determination company before GPS was developed and it used two satellites to locate a handheld device or transmitter. GeoStar’s founder was inspired to create this technology after losing a few friends in a private plane crash that occurred while attempting to land on a runway during a foggy night. The founder’s goal was to be able to safely land a plane using precise navigation information based on the technology his company created.

Career Advice? Do what you love but do not get completely consumed by it. Try to remain flexible as change is inevitable. Also, do your best to stay connected to those you meet as you never know where people will end up.

Michael Philippe: Keli Network & Jellysmack Founder


Read The Native Influence Full Q&A

Biggest Success? Our biggest success thus far has been reaching 2 billion monthly videos views in just over a year. On the way to reaching the milestone, The Keli Network’s monthly network views doubled each month since the start of 2017. It was simply amazing to see our hard work speak for itself through the metrics and for The Keli Network to gain traction and recognition in the industry.

Most Challenging Moment? Leaving my home in France to move to the United States was difficult, as any move to a new country is. However, as they say, every challenge is an opportunity and the move was instrumental in starting and growing The Keli Network.

Motto? Move fast and be patient.

Elaine Queathem: Savvy Coders Founder & CEO

Elaine Queathem Savvy Coders.png

Read The Native Influence Full Q&A

How did you get into the industry? I saw a need to educate people to become software developers in a manner different than the status quo.  At the time I was in sales and we couldn’t get code written fast enough to meet release dates that offered new functionality.

Career Advice? Learn to code and continuously learn more and share your knowledge.

Jimmy Wales: Wikipedia Founder


Read The Native Influence Full Q&A

Inspiration for Wikipedia? I was watching the growth of the free software movement, or open source software as many people call it, and I saw programmers coming together to create all the really great software that runs the Internet using free licenses and collaborative techniques.  GNU/Linux, Apache, Perl, PHP, MySQL – all of these technologies and more were created mainly by volunteers sharing their work freely online. I realized that this kind of collaboration naturally started with programmers (because they could create the tools they needed for sharing their work) but that the concept could be extended to all kinds of
cultural works.  Hence, the idea for Wikipedia.

Career advice? Don’t waste too much time on a prior thinking.  Just get started.  Fail faster, which means: do small low-cost low-risk experiments to test your ideas and be ready to change quickly.

Xiaodi Zhang: Chief Product Officer, 1stdibs

My NativeAdVice:


Xiaodi Zhang joined 1stdibs as the first product hire. Over the last six years, she has led the transformation of the luxury marketplace and helped grow the company from <50 people to >350 today. As CPO, Xiaodi manages the Product and Design organizations.

Read More