K. Shelly Porges
Co-Founder & Managing Partner
Shelly Porges is Managing Director of Reservoir Q Global LLC and Co-Founder of The Billion Dollar Fund for Women, mobilizing venture capital for women-founded firms. She is also President of the North American Jury for the Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards, a Board Member of the Global Banking Alliance for Women, and on the Advisory Board for Cornerstone Capital, Global Invest Her, Mindshift Capital and Different Funds. She is also an Expert on Call for Georgetown University’s Entrepreneurship Program.
Ms. Porges also served as the former Senior Advisor, Global Entrepreneurship Program (GEP) at the U.S. State Department, a program she expanded to almost 150 countries, under Secretary Hillary Clinton. Before joining the State Department, she had a distinguished career in the private sector, including both corporate and entrepreneurial ventures. She served as executive head of marketing for American Express Canada and as chief retail marketing officer for Bank of America during a historic turn-around. Ms. Porges then founded or co-founded a number of start-up ventures including one sold to Wachovia Bank; Third Age Media, the leading Internet portal for baby boomers; Scudder Weisel Capital LLC, a joint venture between Thomas Weisel Partners and Zurich Scudder Investments; and Global Payments Experts LLC, a payments industry advisory firm.
Porges is a compelling speaker who has inspired audiences globally at gatherings such as The Web Summit (Lisbon), Inspirefest (Dublin), WOMEN UP/McKinsey (Stockholm), The Global Entrepreneurship Summit (Istanbul, Dubai and Kuala Lumpur), Disrupt Conference (Athens), The Women’s Forum on the Economy (Deauville), WEConnect International (London), The UnConference (Israel), The Women’s Leadership Summit (Bali) and at universities such as American, Babson, Columbia, Cornell, Georgetown, George Washington and Harvard in the U.S. and many others outside the U.S.
Ms. Porges holds both a BS with Honors and MPS degree from Cornell University
Co-Founder & Managing Partner
A global investment professional – some of Sarah’s accomplishments include leading a franchise of MRINetwork and pioneering a corporate venture capital unit within $13Bn Asian conglomerate, Sime Darby. Notably, she worked on the $30Million investment in a US biotech company, for which signing was witnessed by former President Obama. Today, she is Chief Strategy Officer of Bloxed.It, a tech startup solving the problem of eroding trust in digital assets and is also Co-Founder of The Billion Dollar Fund for Women. As a venture investor, she believes in backing #nextgen ventures with wider impact metrics.
Seeing the lack of women in leadership in Malaysia where Sarah began her career; she co-founded Lean In Malaysia, a non-profit platform which is recognized as the voice of credibility for women issues in Malaysia, running community programs and contributing to policy frameworks by the government. In 2016, she was appointed by Sheryl Sandberg (COO, Facebook) as Regional Leader, championing the movement in Asia with a reach beyond 300,000. She was also named “Top 40 Under 40” in the same year.
In 2018, she was appointed to the board of BEACON DC, a partnership between Washington DC Mayor’s office, Google and Georgetown University to elevate female entrepreneurship in the United States.
A sought-after media personality, she made her first appearance on TV at 9 years old and to this day continues to be called upon internationally to challenge discussions in conferences and TV shows. Among others, she has spoken at Facebook in Palo Alto, the Cleantech Forum in Italy, the Women in International Trade group in DC, moderated panels with senators and ministers.
Sarah holds a Bachelor of Laws, LL.B (Hons.) from King’s College London, where she was under a full scholarship and is pursuing the Chartered Financial Analyst qualification.
Dr. Anousheh Ansari is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Prodea Systems, a leading Internet of Things (IoT) technology firm. When she launched her new company in 2006, she also blasted off for an 11-day space expedition, capturing headlines around the world for accomplishing her childhood dream of becoming the first female private space explorer, first astronaut of Iranian descent, first Muslim woman in space, and fourth private explorer to visit space.
As a successful serial entrepreneur and active proponent of world-changing technologies, Ansari, along with her family, sponsored the Ansari XPRIZE, a $10 million cash prize that ignited a new era in private space industries. She published her memoire, My Dream of Stars, to share her life story as inspiration for young women around the world.
Ansari is a Board of Directors Member & Chair of Management at the XPRIZE Foundation. She serves on the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council and has received numerous honors, including the WEF Young Global Leader, Ellis Island Medal of Honor, and STEM Leadership Hall of Fame, among others.
Ansari is a UNESCO Good Will Ambassador and serves on the board of Jabil (NYSE: JBL) and Peace First, as well as several other not-for-profit organizations focused on STEM education and youth empowerment. She currently works to enable social entrepreneurs to bring about radical change globally, with organizations such as ASHOKA, which supports social entrepreneurship around the world.
Ansari holds a BS in electronics and computer engineering from George Mason University, an MS in electrical engineering from George Washington University; and honorary doctorates from George Mason University, Utah Valley University, and International Space University.
Anu Jain is an entrepreneur and philanthropist driven to make a positive impact in the world. She is passionate about empowering girls and women.
Anu is a Founding Member of the Billion Dollar Fund, Founder of the Anu and Naveen Jain Women Safety XPrize and President of the Anu Jain Family Foundation. She is also the Co-Founder of InfoSpace and Lavish Life and currently the VP of Community Relations at Viome, a company focused on disrupting healthcare with the goal of making chronic illness elective .
Anu recently launched a $1 million XPrize competition to incentivize innovators to design a technology-based solution that sets a new safety standard for women and awarded the winner at the United Nations in June 2018.
Anu sits on several boards including UCSD Health and their Science, Technology and Global initiatives committee. She is a trustee at the X-Prize Foundation focused on using exponential technology to solve problems. Anu is also a founding member of the investing circle and advisory board member of the UN Foundation Girl Up focused on empowering adolescent girls in the US and around the world. Anu is also a member of Women Moving Millions.
Anu holds a BA in business administration and economics from SUNY, Stony Brook, NY, and an MBA from Rutgers University in New Jersey.
Nadereh Chamlou is an international development advisor. She was formerly a Senior Advisor at the World Bank. In her three decades with the World Bank Group, she held technical, coordination, managerial, and advisory functions in diverse sectors and geographical regions. She authored seminal publications on topics of corporate governance, women’s entrepreneurship, and gender and economic development.
More recently, Mrs. Chamlou has engaged with organizations focusing on innovation and entrepreneurship while stressing women’s potential in these domains. Among others, she is a member of the Board of Berkeley University’s iBridge initiative for IT entrepreneurship; member of the Board of the Arab International Women’s Forum; founding member of the World Bank-sponsored Gender Economic Research and Policy Analysis for Middle East and North Africa; advisor to the Board of the Center for Arab Women’s Training and Research; advisor to the Center for International Private Enterprise; member of International Advisory Board of Nyenrode Business University in the Netherlands. She speaks frequently at international conferences and appears in the media on women’s economic empowerment issues. She attended Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and Graduate School of Economics. She is the 2015 recipient of The Global Alliance for Women’s “Making a Difference” Award.
Uk’s top VC’s to watch list. TopTech100 list. Great British Entrepreneur finalist. Founder/CEO of Corporate Venture Development Studio Venturespring. Ex WPP/GroupM.
Cassandra us Currently CEO and founder of Venturespring, a venture development studio and digital transformation firm that match makes the biggest corporate brands and the best entrepreneurs. In 2017 Cassandra and her team launched Venturespring Ignite a corporate accelerator designed to collect resources from corporations in association with by Tata Communications, Singularity University and Sir Richard Branson through their affiliation with Virgin Unite. The startups that join gain exclusive access to hard-to-reach corporate resources including capital that allow them to scale quickly and the corporates get to fully embrace innovation in a way that future-proofs their business. Besides obtaining investment and free resources to scale, selected startups are also invited to Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island to pitch their business models.
Cassandra was featured in the Sunday Times in 2018 for her contribution to angel investing. She was named on the UKs Top VC’s to watch list in 2017. Named on the Innovate Finance Women in Fintech Power list 2016. Selected as the Top Tech 100 people redefining digital business in UK & beyond as part of the Techcity 100 list 2015. Nominated as Great British Entrepreneur finalist 2015 & 16, the Duke of York New Entrepreneur of the year 2015 and selected as O2 Smarta Female Entrepreneur of the year 2014.