Shikhir Singh: Beyond the Password – The Future of Account Security

Most designers agree password management can be a UX nightmare – in fact, 72% of companies are planning to get rid of them in 5 to 9 years. This session will cover various innovations in passwordless authentication technology which you can use to improve the UX and account security of your applications.


Shikhir Singh currently works at TeleSign ( as a Director of Product Innovation. He specializes in JavaScript technologies, enterprise mobility, and cryptography. Prior to joining TeleSign, he worked at Sencha, BlackBerry, Lockheed Martin, Sun Microsystems and a couple of other startups.

Twitter handle: @shikhirsingh

Speaker email:

Nikhil Jain: Future of Personal AI + Pasadena as a start-up location

AI is everywhere: AI driving cars. AI replacing doctors. AI writing music. Taxing robots. AI is taking over the world. By tying our data profiles to artificial intelligence, we can breathe life into our personal information and turn them into our very own 3D avatars; avatars that depict our identical likeness and can perform tasks as our representative. ObEN ( is developing Personal Artificial Intelligence (PAI), a 3D digital twin avatar that looks, talks, sings and thinks uniquely like its human counterpart. ObEN is also the leading developer for Project PAI (, a fully decentralized block-chain based network designed to give people trackable ownership and management rights to their intelligent data profiles, or their PAI. In this talk, you will learn more about what role Personal Artificial Intelligence will play in our future lives.

Most AI companies are based out of Silicon Valley, however, ObEN decided to make Pasadena its home. One of the most common questions ObEN gets is: “Why Pasadena? Why not Silicon Valley?” In this talk, you will find out the critical role location plays in determining if a startup can build a team, raise an initial round of financing, get off the ground, compete in the marketplace, and survive.

Listen to the podcast here or on iTunes here.


Nikhil Jain is co-founder and CEO of ObEN, an artificial intelligence company based in Pasadena. Prior to ObEN, Nikhil spent five years at Kaiser Permanente after which he founded two startups, Up and Running Software and OnGreen. Nikhil has an MBA from University of Southern California and a Bachelors in Electrical Engineering. Learn more at

ObEN is an AI company that develops Personal Artificial Intelligence, a 3D digital avatar that looks, talks, sings and thinks uniquely like its human counterpart. ObEN was cofounded by Nikhil Jain and Adam Zheng in 2014 with the belief that every person in the world should have their own AI-driven virtual copy which can do things on behalf of the human for which he/she might not have the time or the capability. Nikhil and Adam started the company based on their personal experiences when their kids missed them as they were traveling on business and wished they could leave a virtual copy of themselves behind.

ObEN is based out of Idealab ( in Pasadena, CA. All technology is developed in-house and is patented. It currently has a team of 35+ of which almost 70% have PhDs and other advanced degrees from top schools such as Caltech, Berkeley, MIT, Princeton, USC and UCLA. ObEN has raised $13.8 million to date in Series A funding from top investors including Tencent, Softbank Korea and HTC.

List of other investors and partners can be found here:

Twitter handle: nikhilrjain



William Hung from American Idol fame: From Obscurity to Prosperity

Are you looking to make your own unique impact in the world? How do you find your unique identity? If you want to improve sales and be more successful with your business, then you are in for a treat! William’s presentation will show how you can:

– Break their mental barriers to success
– Build your business by following your true passion
– Embrace your identity and stop worrying about the perceptions of people around you

Listen to the podcast here or on iTunes here.


From his experience working in the entertainment industry and overcoming rejection, William Hung learned the importance of perseverance to make dreams become reality. After American Idol, he appeared on Extra, Ellen, Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel Live, to name a few. He also recorded 3 albums for KOCH records and his first album, “Inspiration”, was the #1 independent album on Billboards! Also, he appeared on numerous commercials, including AT & T,, and Jack in the Box. His fans celebrate the impact he has on their lives.He now hopes to help YOU maximize your potential and wants YOU to achieve YOUR dreams as an inspirational speaker. Audiences include business groups, associations, and conferences.

Twitter handle: @wh53

Speaker email:

How to Network with Investors

How to network with investors – the right way. What does that mean? It means knowing what not to do in front of potential investors and how to maximize your potential at networking events. During this presentation you’ll learn about how investors think and how to navigate in their world. You’ll be able to identify and attend the right events for your startup and set achievable networking goals for each event. You’ll work on some good examples of elevator pitches and other strategies for making the most out of each networking event you attend. Finally, you’ll learn how to follow up after the event.


Matthew Crowley is a venture lawyer, with a practice focused on assisting entrepreneurs in creating new businesses and achieving their goals for growth. Crowley regularly represents startups, with startup clients representing at least 70% of his practice.

Crowley began his career in San Francisco at the height of the dotcom boom, practicing law with corporate finance groups including Pillsbury Madison & Sutro (now Pillsbury Winthrop) and Morrison & Foerster. After eight years of private practice, Crowley moved into senior management with Evoke Software in 2001, serving as vice president and general counsel. In 2004, Crowley joined the management team at Technicolor Home Entertainment Services in Camarillo, California, a division with revenues of $2 billion annually. In 2006, Crowley established Crowley Corporate Legal Strategy to offer corporate legal services to entrepreneurs looking to start or grow their businesses ( ). Crowley is the former President of the Los Angeles Venture Association (LAVA) and an adjunct professor at Loyola Law School.

Twitter handle: @crowleystrategy

Speaker email:

Audrey Wu: Chatbots and Conversational Commerce

The bots revolution is happening because the interwebs are going through some fairly dramatic changes—users’ online habits are not what they once were. We’ve all seen that business insider chart that shows the “big 4” messaging apps trajecting past the “big 4” social apps. that chart is at least a year old and shows that messaging surpassed social in 2015!!!!!! Given that messaging is where people are spending their time, and given that ad blockers are now pervasive … bots give retailers a means to fish where the fish are, so to speak.


Audrey Wu, Co-Founder/CEO of CONVRG, is a second generation chatbot entrepreneur and emerging technology executive with experience at imperson, TechStars, JibJab Bros. Studios, iconmobile/WPP, Ketchum, Deloitte and SG Cowen. CONVRG recently launched the first marketplace chatbot in partnership with Shopify and Kik. Previously she was the Head of Studios at imperson, powering AI chatbots such as Miss Piggy, Zootopia and Power Rangers. Audrey was recently named ChatbotConf Top 25 influencers of 2016. In addition, she has spoken at SXSW, MoNage, MAU 2017 (, Social Media Week, American Marketing Association, Silicon Beach Fest, UCLA, USC, GRAMMYs, DigitaLA, Grid110, FIDM and various technology innovation events.

Twitter handle: @mraudreywu

Speaker email:

You’ve Got the SOUL-ution

Young organizations tend to have clear cultures and good-enough workflow practices. These things tend to sprout from the founders and early hires. As these organizations scale into hyper-growth companies, chaos and confusion often ensue. Cultures become unconscious and contradictory and workflow practices descend into endless fire drills.

Hyper-growth organizations that sustain through scale create conscious cultures that align essence with operations and address excesses and blind spots on a regular basis. These efforts require both collective conversations and individual support. Regular all-hands meetings about culture allow for course corrections and targeted individual coaching delivers just-in-time skills for leaders.


David Shechtman is a talented coach, speaker, and facilitator. His experience includes leading change projects, facilitating in-depth leadership seminars, and coaching C-level executives.

David’s experience includes two decades of work in training & development, organizational consulting, and executive coaching. His experience includes work in financial services, high tech, healthcare, automotive, and travel & hospitality. Specific clients include Slack, Collective Health, Tile, Coursera, Northwestern Mutual, ADP, DaVita, Virtuoso, and the Entrepreneurs’ Organization.

David’s main focus is helping clients transform challenges into victories. His clients work in high growth, high challenge environments that require real-time learning and bold action. David helps his clients navigate difficult circumstances, identify golden learning opportunities, and establish straight-forward action plans for success. His expertise comes from over a decade of studying the art and science of behavior change.

David’s education includes a Master of Science in Organization Development from Pepperdine University. He also has taught Organization and Strategy Consulting at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business. David is a regular presenter at the Organization Development Network annual conference


How I became the owner of an $8m business with only $10k to start

Adaobi Gwacham shares her story of she became the Owner/Operator of the Chick-fil-A in Pasadena. She was 1 of 30,000 applicants, and had only $10,000 to start… but she managed to build a successful branch through an effective culture that lead to the acquisition – and retention – of great talent.

Listen to the podcast here or on iTunes here.


Adaobi Gwacham was born in Nigeria and was introduced to Chick-fil-A in 2004 when she started working at the Chino Hills location. She quickly rose into leadership positions and began to pursue Chick-fil-A as a life-long career. After receiving her Business Management degree from California Baptist University, she moved to Atlanta, Georgia to work at the Chick-fil-A home office. This led to her involvement in the opening of more than 100 new Restaurants nationwide. Adaobi’s ultimate goal was to become a Chick-fil-A Operator in California and that dream came to fruition in 2014 when she was selected to be the Owner/Operator of the Pasadena location.

From Startup to Exit: Lessons Learned

Pat Holmes was founding VP Technology of a company which over 20 years went from zero to 4,300+ employees & $750M annual revenue, went public, was bought by a larger public company, and then bought again and taken private! This talk presents highlights and important lessons learned. For an online resume of the presenter’s background, go to


Pat Holmes ( ) was founding VP Technology for IPC Healthcare (NASDAQ:IPCM), a leading national, venture-capital backed, healthcare group practice. Over 17 years, Pat helped IPCM scale from zero to over 4,300 employees in 28 states, 7M annual patient visits, and $750M annual revenue. Pat helped IPCM go public in 2008, and helped lead the integration into a larger public company when IPCM was purchased by TeamHealth (NYSE:TMH) for $1.6B in 2015.  Pat is a technologist with hands-on technical skills & experience in problem-solving, data analysis, programming, application design, software architecture, system design, business process design, and technical management. Previously, Pat managed software development for nine years for an Inc. 500 company that sold computerized accounting and management systems into the printing industry.

Pat Holmes is an active angel investor and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Pasadena Angels. Other leadership roles and community involvement include: President of the Los Angeles Oracle Users Group 1997-2009, President of the GE Healthcare Centricity Group Management Large Users Group 2009-2015, Tournament of Roses 1993-present, Pasadena Breakfast Forum 2005-present (Chair 2011, Secretary/Treasurer 2008-2014), Walden School of Pasadena Advisory Board 2009-2014, University of La Verne College of Arts & Sciences Dean’s Advisory Committee 2013-2014, South Pasadena High School Assistant Wrestling Coach 1986-1996.

Pat Holmes lives in Pasadena with his wife Sylvia, who is a local social, community, and urban environmental activist, and their three daughters. Pat is also an avid Ultimate Frisbee player and season ticketholder for Los Angeles’ own professional Ultimate team, the Los Angeles Aviators: . Pat’s first computer was a Tandy/Radio Shack TRS-80 Model III, with the optional floppy disk drives.

Twitter handle: pdholmes1

Speaker email:

“My First Rodeo”: Campaign Reflections & Insights

After more than 20 years of active public service in the community as a volunteer (including as a co-founder of Innovate Pasadena) earlier this year, Andy Wilson ran for elected office for the first time. Disconnects between expectation and reality were much greater than anticipated (fake news transpires at the local level!). Was it naivety? Or has the modern political process changed dramatically in the last couple years?

In his talk, Andy will reflect on the many lessons learned his “first rodeo.” Specifically, he will share insights on how to run a successful campaign while staying above the unsavory tactics that are unfortunately commonplace. Also, new channels and for local political engagement and better strategies to connect with the electorate with be discussed.

Listen to the podcast here or on iTunes here.


Andy Wilson is a serial entrepreneur having led, founded or invested in almost two dozen Southern California high tech start-ups. He has a long history of service with local not-for-profits including leadership roles at Pasadena Heritage, Pacific Oaks College, the Gamble House and SteamCODERS. Andy is a co-founder and board member of Innovate Pasadena, which is dedicated to advancing the east side of Los Angeles as a vibrant innovation community. He is a frequent speaker on the role of innovation to create high paying local jobs with the goal of enhancing quality of life in our community.

Andy has extensive volunteer experience with the City of Pasadena including service on the Planning Commission, Design Commission, Urban Forestry Advisory Commission and the Pasadena Center Operating Committee. He just completed a two year appointment as the District 7 City Council member and was recently elected to a full four year term after a contentious election. Andy currently serves on both the Municipal Services Committee and the Economic Development and Technology Committee of the City.

Andy holds a degree in engineering with honors from Dartmouth College and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He is a graduate of Leadership Pasadena and has completed advanced certificate programs at Columbia University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Northwestern Kellogg School of Business. He and his wife Liz can often be seen walking with their school aged boys (Spencer & Dylan) and rescue dog (Gandalf) in Madison Heights, their home for 20 years.

John Keatly presents: Fin Tech in 2017 – Are the Fins Circling?

With LendingClub’s and OnDeck’s stocks in the bargain bin and mass layoffs at Avant and Prosper, are Fin Tech’s best days behind it? Or is this the beginning of Fin Tech 2.0?


John Keatley is the Co-Founder and CEO of Scratch Financial, a point-of-sale lender that aims to help merchants increase sales and help consumers quickly and easily obtain low cost financing for high ticket price items. Scratch is initially focused on the veterinary care segment with plans to expand to other verticals in the near future. Scratch takes the sophisticated underwriting and competitive pricing of online lending and puts it where consumers need it most – in the checkout aisle.

Before launching Scratch, John was CFO at Klarna, a European “unicorn” startup that provides short-term consumer financing and payment processing for ecommerce. While at Klarna, John secured over $150 million of private equity to fund Klarna’s rapid growth and international expansion.

Prior to Klarna, John was CFO of Pasadena-based Green Dot Corporation, the leading provider of prepaid debit cards and related services in the U.S. John helped grow the business from startup phase to over $500 million of revenue and led Green Dot’s IPO in 2010 that valued the company at $1.5 billion. John has also been an Engagement Manager at McKinsey and Company where he was a member of the FIG (financial institutions group) practice.

John assists startup companies in Los Angeles and Stockholm, Sweden as an active advisor and angel investor. He received an MBA from Harvard and an AB in Physics from Princeton University.