Meet Our Judges
Partner & Chief Exit Officer
Middle East Venture
Rabih I. Khoury is the Managing Partner of Melwood Capital, a merchant bank that specializes in structuring private investments in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey. Mr. Khoury has extensive experience in private equity and advisory, having executed more than US$5 billion in transactions and raised more than US$2 billion in capital.
Adil Al Zarooni
Al Zarooni Emirates
"Adil Al Zarooni founded Al Zarooni Emirates Investment (ZEI) in 2009. He has 16 years of experience in executive management and sales, investments, and IT security in UAE, including 2 years in Saudi Arabia. Adil has strong expertise across multiple industries, such as investment and operations of family owned businesses, industrial business zones and logistics, UAE government owned entities, as well as software and IT development. Adil has assumed the role of Senior Vice President for Sales at Economic Zones World (EZW) and JAFZA. Prior, he was Director of Business Development at Titan Holdings and has worked in IT security at Mobily and Etisalat. While structuring his family business, Mr. Al Zarooni grew an academic interest in the subject of institutionalising family businesses in the UAE and the region. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering from Etisalat College of Engineering, and an MBA from the American University of Sharjah. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in the subject of family businesses."
Victor was formally the Vice President of Investments for Gobi Partners and managed two Southeast Asia focused early stage funds. Some of his notable investments include Carsome (Malaysia), Triip.me (Vietnam) and Travelio (Indonesia). Prior to that he was the largest venture capital fund of Malaysia, MAVCAP and was involved with direct and indirect investments. His earlier days was with Willis Towers Watson, advising corporate, pension and sovereign wealth funds on investment strategies. He was an honoree of the Forbes Asia 30 under 30 in 2017, Chairman of the Malaysia Venture Capital Association (MVCA) as well as a CFA charterholder and a Mensa member.
Pinto Ventures AG
"João Monteiro - is a Swiss based Angel Investor. João started his career at Mercedes Benz and was a Top Management consultant at Roland Berger in Munich. Thereafter, he was 10 years Senior Executive at the Lufthansa Group and Managing Director at affiliated companies, where he gained experience in food service, transportation and complex corporate situations. He was then 8 1/2 years Vice President at Kuehne+Nagel, one of leading global logistics companies. Among others he led global sales of Contract Logistics and was Managing Director of LogIndex AG, an alternative data and predictive analytics company.João is a Harvard Business School AMP and a member of the board of the Alumni Club of Nova School of Business and Economics in Lisbon"
Albert joined Burda in 2017 and is Managing Director for Burda Principal Investments Asia. Previously he was at GREE Ventures from 2014 to 2017, where he led the fund's investment team in Southeast Asia and India as Principal while working closely with many of its portfolio companies including Kudo, Berrybenka, and Bukalapak. Prior to this, he served as a Director at Lazada Group, Southeast Asia’s largest ecommerce retailer, helping build the company’s Marketplace business across the region.
Fil Rouge Capital
Julien has over 20 years of experience in manufacturing and services, much of it at CEO level. He has worked in more than 80 countries across five continents and participated in over $1.7bn of purchase, sale and financing transactions. He is no stranger to starting things: in his early career he travelled the world building mobile phone networks from literally from the ground up, and as his career progressed he ended up building whole mobile phone companies from scratch.
Mehul is an MBA graduate from ISB Hyderabad and has been working in consulting and venture capital for over 7 years. He has worked in management consulting for Accenture and A T Kearney and most recently Brand Capital which is the venture capital arm of the Times Group. Parallel to this, he has been investing in silicon valley startups for about 5 years.
ff Venture Capital
Andrew works on everything from sourcing & diligence, to attending board meetings, helping with strategic thinking, and providing critical operational support directly for portfolio companies. Andrew’s specific areas of interest include AI/ML, computing, healthcare, fin-tech, drones/robotics, energy, and biotechnology.
Alex is a Venture Associate for OCA Ventures, a early stage firm now in its second decade and fifth fund. He was an early member of betaworks, working as product leadership at Chartbeat, before serving as the founder and lead engineer of Double Bounce, a crowdfunding membership platform, and Head of Product at a community-focused distributed app. He recently joined OCA and is focused on blockchain and SaaS opportunities in the New York area.
Big Basin Capital
Phil is the founder and General Partner of Big Basin Capital.Since founding Big Basin, he has raised two seed-stage funds and invested in more than 20 startups in Korea and the US in various sectors such as mobile application, e-commerce, enterprise software, digital content, education technology, and gaming. Phil serves on the board of many companies he backed, including ODK Media, Kong Studios, ZEPL, Cookat, Goodtime, and Swingvy.
Takashi joined GB as an expert in B2C online sales/marketing and promotions. He built his career in Amazon, Microsoft and TripAdvisor, and currently works with portfolio companies on advertising/promotion strategies.
Ka Yu Eric Ho focused on deep technology, fintech, blockchain, PaaS, Internet, telecommunications and industrial.Ka Yu has decades of experience in direct investment. Apart from investing growth capital, Ka Yu is actively involved in distress, restructuring and debt financing opportunities spanning the East and West. Prior to Ventech, Ka Yu was an investment professional with a renowned venture capital and private equity firm in Asia, where he was responsible for the firm’s investment and divestment activities in Asia and North America. Before embarking on his journey into private equity, Ka Yu spent a decade with high-tech (TMT) startups out of the Silicon Valley. During this time, he worked alongside entrepreneurs, angel investors and venture capitalists on business expansion to the Asia Pacific region, among other strategic initiatives.
Anuj Varma has 10+ years of experience as a startup consultant, investor and advisor. He also serves as a Venture Partner at NextGen Venture Partners, working with early stage companies across the consumer landscape.
Daniel is the founder of a tech-landing pad in Asia, FutureWard. With his experience as an international business development executive, Dan has been helping startups and tech companies expanded their business in Asia.
Adam J. Plotkin
ff Venture Capital
Adam Plotkin is a Partner at ff Venture Capital. Prior to ffVC, Adam spent several years in business development, advisory and operational roles with several startups in New York and Los Angeles. Adam was the first hire at Lake Baldwin Management, a Princeton, New Jersey opportunistic hedge fund, where he was a generalist investor, managing an array of public and private market investments. Adam began his career at Goldman Sachs in the Leveraged Finance Group, and in the Risk Markets Group.
Dr. Sue Xu is a Partner at Amino Capital, and her focus areas of investment include data-driven solutions. She was interim CEO of CandyHouse, Databeyond and CyteSi. Since 2012, she has involved with more than 160 investments, including Assemblage (acquired by Cisco), Orbeus (acquired by Amazon), Ozlo (acquired by Facebook), GrokStyle(acquired by Facebook), Woomoo (acquired by Priceline), Contastic (acquired by Sugar CRM), Mobike (acquired by Meituan/Tencent), Evertoon (Acquired by Niantic | PokemonGo), Yiqixie (Acquired by Kuaishou/Tencent), Voyage, AIFI.io, Vicarious, Paperspace, WeTravel, Whova, Webflow, Grail, Chime Bank.
Eric J. Kim is a Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Goodwater Capital. Prior to co-founding Goodwater, Eric was a Managing Director at Maverick Capital. Eric has led early and growth stage investments into leading consumer and mobile technology companies such as Kakao (IPO – KOSDAQ:035720), Musical.ly, Zenefits, and Upsight. Eric currently serves on the Board of Directors of Coupang, Memebox, Frank & Oak, Viva Republica, Pager, and Retrica.
Henry DC Lee
Henry founded the Hendale group of companies in 1996, after being a Principal in the Bass Brothers Investment Office in Fort Worth, Texas, and an M&A banker at First Boston in New York. Over the past 20+ years, he has managed hedge funds, alternative fund of funds and now a long term private growth capital fund. He has previously held positions as CIO of the Nan Fung Group, Head of Asia for Sandell, Executive Director of UBS Global Asset Management and is a frequent contributor at industry conferences. In addition to many portfolio company board positions, he is an Exco and Investment Committee member of the HK Cancer Fund, founder and chairman of the Mongolian Chamber of Commerce (HK), and a member of the Xi'an PPCC. Henry is bi-lingual in Mandarin Chinese and English and has grown up in equal parts Asia, America and Africa. He is a resident of Hong Kong and is married with three daughters.
Tomasz is an expert in innovation management. At Rebels Valley, he is responsible for building innovation ecosystems between corporations and technology startups. In addition, it builds and coordinates cooperation with external partners. He gained professional experience in consulting companies in Poland and Asia. In 2011-2015, he worked in Growth & Innovation teams in the Warsaw office of one of the consulting companies belonging to the so-called Big4. He realized, among others projects related to the assessment and strengthening of innovative potential.
Based in San Francisco, Kenneth Chew oversees investment deals in the USA and South Korea for Vickers Venture Partners. He started his career with the Singapore government, eventually establishing and running the Seoul office for the Singapore Economic Development Board. Prior to joining Vickers in 2018, Kenneth co-founded a consumer tech startup in Silicon Valley, and also ran the Singapore outfit for KOSPI-listed Noroo Holdings, looking at food and agri-tech deals. Kenneth has an Engineering degree from the University of Michigan, and is at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.