$8.75 Billion Startup Valuations and Mark Zuckerberg’s Early Mentors

$8.75 Billion Startup Valuations and Mark Zuckerberg’s Early Mentors

May 19, 2015 by Anna O'Hare

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We thought it was time to give an update on some incredible new speakers announced for RISE. These guys are massively competing with the likes of Airbnb and Uber. Watch this space.

Melissa Yang – Tujia

China’s millions of vacant apartments and unique customer demand gave rise to Tujia. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Melissa pointed out that the company’s online-to-offline business model sets it apart from competitor Airbnb. She founded the company in 2011, and before that was an executive of travel company Expedia and Microsoft’s search engine division.


Joe Lee – Kuaidi Didi

Kuaidi Didi is backed by Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Didi Dache, in which Tencent Holdings Ltd. is an investor. Joe is co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer at the company rapidly transforming the concept of moving people – starting in China. U.S. hedge funds are jumping on board China’s dominant taxi-hailing app business, putting an $8.75 billion valuation on the Chinese startup.

Michael Wolf – Activate

Michael Wolf is Managing Director and Co-Founder of Activate. Michael has an impressive resume. Before founding Activate in 2010, Wolf was the President and COO of MTV Networks, a Director at McKinsey and board member at Yahoo! During his tenure at MTV, he became one of Mark Zuckerberg’s early mentors, as chronicled in “The Facebook Effect”, by David Kirkpatrick

michael wolf

Brian Koo – Formation 8

Brian is a founding member of Formation 8, a venture capital firm that provides financial and strategic capital to early growth smart enterprise and energy technology companies. Brian keeps busy serving on the boards of AKAStudy, Illumio, Kidaptive, and Learnsprout. Fun fact: he’s the grandson of the founder of the LG conglomerate.

Kirt McMaster – Cyanogen

Kirt is the CEO and cofounder of Cyanogen Inc. Forbes recently described them as the startup that wants to steal android from Google. Kirt is a tech executive and entrepreneur with 20 years experience working with Fortune 500 companies around the world. He co-founded Boost Mobile, now wholly owned by Sprint, has spent time at Sony and Sega defining mobile strategy and has been a senior executive at multiple startups; 3 were acquired and 3 IPO’d.



Bryan Mistele – Inrix

David Moloney – Movidius

Eric Klinker – BitTorrent Inc

Alison Gianotto – Snipe IT

Jim Kim – Formation 8

John Cowan – 6fusion

John Dalton – Engine Yard

Jono Millin – DroneDeploy

Junyang Woon – Infinium Robotics

Lucas Englehardt – WaimaiChaoren

Maggie Jauregui – Intel

Mel Torrie – ASI Robots

Phillip Kingston – Trimantium Capital

Romeo Durscher – DJI

Shay Banon – Elastic

Simon Loong – WeLab

Teemu Arina – Meetin.gs

About the Author

Anna O'Hare
Anna is a storyteller at heart and is particularly passionate about telling the stories of startups. After returning from a year working in New York City's tech sector, she now writes for Collision, Web Summit, RISE and SURGE.