Business of New Media III Gaming: The New Frontier



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    Business of New Media III
    Gaming: The New Frontier


    Speaker Bios:

    David Anderson, Partner, Nixon Peabody. David’s practice focuses on a variety of business, corporate, and intellectual property law matters. He has a special focus on the videogame industry. David also has experience in connection with mergers and acquisitions, including intellectual property due diligence and new media acquisitions. David’s trademark practice focuses on counseling clients with respect to selection, prosecution, protection, and brand management. David attended the University of California, Davis where he earned an A.B., Economics (with honors) and the University of California, Hastings College of the Law where he earned his J.D.

    Ian Atkinson, Director of Corporate Development, THQ. Ian joined THQ in 2007 as Director of Corporate Development to lead THQ’s acquisition, investment and business partnership efforts, as well as support THQ’s online strategy and operations. Prior to joining, Ian was a Vice President with Roth Capital Partners in its Digital Media investment banking practice. Ian holds an MBA from The UCLA Anderson School of Management and a BA from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

    Ben Bajarin, Director of Consumer Technology Practice, Creative Strategies, Inc. Ben joined Creative Strategies in 2000. Since then he has researched the global transition from analog to digital in consumer technologies and entertainment media. He has focused on projects and strategies in the emerging markets of the digital home ecosystem and the digital lifestyle. His expertise is in understanding the Gen X and Millenial consumers and their present and future demands for technology. Ben manages Creative Strategies digital electronics and digital home research center.

    Guy Ben-Artzi, Founder and CEO, Mytopia. Guy grew up playing games in the heart of Silicon Valley. A fan of the classics, he draws inspiration from old Sierra Online and Nintendo titles.Before Mytopia, Guy founded and was CEO of Real Dice, one of the first gaming companies in the emerging Smartphone market. Prior to Real Dice, Guy designed and built content management systems at Orbotech. Guy has a BA in Political Science from the Colorado College in Colorado Springs.

    Lars Buttler, Founder and CEO, Trion World Network, Inc. Prior to founding Trion, Lars was the Vice President for Global Online at Electronic Arts, the world’s largest independent developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software. Buttler led EA’s strategy for online games and services and ran EA’s Online Studio. He holds a Ph.D. in Engineering from Dortmund University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and earned an M.B.A from Harvard Business School.

    Tim Chang, Principal, Norwest Venture Partners. Tim brings a combination of operational, technical and international business experience to Norwest Venture Partners, focussing on investments in wireless, gaming, digital media as well as Asia-Pacific projects. Tim led NVP's investments in PCH International, Brite Semiconductor and Lumos Labs. Tim also works with the boards of deCarta, Double Fusion and Veveo.

    Lee Crawford, CEO, Twofish. Prior to starting Twofish in 2006, Lee was Director of Engineering at Yahoo!, overseeing development efforts across all of the Yahoo! Games properties. He joined Yahoo! through the acquisition of Stadeon, a mobile multiplayer technology company he co-founded in 2001. Before Stadeon, Lee served as VP of Product & Technology at Trintech, a leading supplier of financial governance, risk management, and payment processing solutions. Lee holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Florida State University.

    Mark Duncan, Principal, Askmar. Mark has been engaging with startups by working effectively as an extension to their team, in addition to helping launch products and performing a myriad of other marketing activities at larger firms for over twenty years. He has a BSEE from UC Berkeley.

    Ranah Edelin, VP, Business Development and Marketing, Raptr. Ranah is the VP of Business Development and Marketing at Raptr. Raptr is a free service that helps you connect with friends who play games. Raptr’s goal is to make playing games more fun and social by letting you know when your friends are playing and what achievements they receive. Prior to joining Raptr, Ranah was a VP at EA after EA acquired the online karaoke website he was co-founder and CEO of called SingShot. Ranah was also part of the core executive team that built the Rhapsody music service at / RealNetworks. Ranah has an MBA from Stanford and a BA from Brown University; he also received a Japanese government scholarship to study at Nagoya University.

    Jonathan Epstein, CEO, Double Fusion. As CEO of Double Fusion, Jonathan brings a record of launching and building the most successful gaming media properties worldwide. Jonathan is responsible for providing strategic vision and direction for the company. Before joining Double Fusion, Jonathan was co-head of United Talent Agency’s digital media group. Jonathan was founding president and CEO of where he reshaped the way gamers acquire information.

    Hill Ferguson, VP Product, Echovox. Hill is responsible for product strategy and marketing at Zong, a mobile payment service from Echovox. A payments industry veteran, Hill has spent the last decade developing and managing innovative payment services in Silicon Valley. At Yahoo!, Hill produced and managed several consumer products. In his spare time he manages LoanBack, a "friends and family" loan management service he co-founded in 2006. Hill graduated from Vanderbilt University where he earned a BS (1994) and an MBA (2000).

    Jonathan Flesher, Director Business Development, Electronic Arts. Jonathan works across EA’s labels focusing on online business development, including digital downloads, web and in-game advertising, casual games, and free-to-play MMOs. He has worked with EA franchises such as Pogo, The Sims, Spore, Battlefield, Hasbro and Mirror’s Edge. Prior to joining EA, Jonathan worked as a Vice President at Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.’s fixed income funds, a consultant for MC Venture’s venture capital funds, and a Vice President in JPMorgan’s investment banking division. Jonathan currently serves as the Treasurer of the Board of Directors of HandsOn Bay Area. Jonathan has an MBA from the Anderson School at UCLA and a BA in Philosophy from Pomona College.

    Scott Hartsman, Co-Founder and VP of Production, Ohai, Inc. Best known for his work on the EverQuest franchise, Scott’s experience has spanned positions from Game Master to CEO. He’s successfully designed, architected, produced, and shipped over 30 products and expansions, from small team commercial MUDs to flagship, AAA MMOs. He’s worked on market-leading online products through multiple generations at companies such as Sony Online Entertainment, Interplay, Ameritech, and Simutronics.

    Steve Hoffman (Captain Hoff), CEO, ROCKETON. Steve is a founding member of the Academy of Television's Interactive Media Group and the founder of the San Francisco Chapter of the Producers Guild of America. Prior to starting ROCKETON, he was the COO and co-founder of Zannel, the first large-scale mobile instant media messaging platform. Before that, he was the North American Studio Head for Infospace, where he ran the U.S. mobile games publishing & development group.

    Mary Jane Irwin, Reporter, Recklessly disregarding parental warnings that videogames would damage her faculties, Mary Jane launched a career writing about--and playing--games. Now as a technology reporter for, she tracks the trends and thinkers that make digital entertainment tick. Her writing has also appeared in such places as Wired magazine, MSNBC, and IGN. Mary Jane holds a Masters Degree in Journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. She is also a willing volunteer zombie hunter.

    Nate Jones, Vice President, Corporate Development, Glu Mobile. Since joining Glu in March 2007 Nate has led the Company through the acquisitions of Mig and Superscape while also focusing on strategy and business development. Nate joined Glu from Lazard where he advised clients on mergers, acquisitions, investments, private placements and sale transactions. During his tenure at Lazard, Nate focused on the video games, digital media, and mobility sectors, most recently as vice president. In the video games sector, his work spanned the traditional console, online and mobile segments and included advising companies as diverse as Electronic Arts, National Amusements, Jagex, Major League Gaming, Superscape and SkyZone.

    Jeff Karras, General Partner, Levensohn Venture Partners. Jeff Karras joined Levensohn Venture Partners in January 2001 and specializes in digital media and security. Before joining LVP, Jeff was a Group Product Marketing Manager at Sun Microsystems, where he was a key strategic driver behind their Portal Server product line. In the past, Jeff has worked closely with a number of LVP portfolio companies. Currently, Jeff is a board observer at ShotSpotter and holds board seats at Plum, Sim Ops Studio and Astia. Jeff received a BS in Commerce from the University of Virginia and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

    Han Kim, General Partner and Co-Founder, Altos Ventures. Han focuses on investments in the areas of software and business services, and concentrates on companies with significant business in Asia. Han currently serves on the board of Blogcocktail, Bluehole, Lohika, OutSpark,, Provade, Nable Communications, SeeControl and TVU Networks. Before founding Altos Ventures in 1996, Han worked at Booz Allen & Hamilton. Han received an MBA from Stanford University and a BS in Engineering from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

    Michael Kim, Partner, Rustic Canyon. Michael joined Rustic Canyon Partners from Accelerator Venture Partners. Formerly an investment banker, Michael was with Morgan Stanley's Technology Mergers and Acquisitions Group in Menlo Park. Michael was directly involved with 27 announced transactions worth over $77 billion for such clients as Hewlett-Packard, Ciena, Seagate, Bay Networks, Netscape and Texas Instruments. He is an honors graduate of Cornell University, has an MS from the School of Foreign Service of Georgetown University, and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business.

    Dan Kolkowitz, CTO and VP Operations, Playspan. Dan has been involved in technology development and distributed system development for more than 25 years. Dan co-founded and was VP of Engineering for Swan Labs Inc., which was sold to F5 in 2005. Prior to that, he co-founded MobileAria Inc., Securify Inc, and Compact Devices. Dan has been active in networking and security industry and standards organizations for the past 20 years. Dan lectured in the CS Department at Stanford University where he completed his Masters in Computer Science.

    Keith Lee, CEO, Booyah. Keith Lee has a proven track record in the interactive entertainment industry. Prior to founding Booyah, Keith was the Lead Producer at Blizzard Entertainment for the Diablo franchise including Diablo III. Before Blizzard, Keith worked at Insomniac Games as the Lead Programmer and Project Manager for the Ratchet & Clank series. Prior to the gaming industry, Keith worked at several investment banks, including Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs. Keith graduated with a BS in Computer Science and a BA in International Relations and Economics from Stanford University.

    Daniel Offner, Partner, Nixon Peabody. Dan is the Chairman of Nixon Peabody's Advertising Interactive and Media Practice Group. Dan is a corporate and intellectual property lawyer who represents some of the leading videogame publishers and developers, major media companies, as well as emerging digital content and technology companies on their mergers and acquisitions, venture financing, licensing and business development matters. Dan attended Yale University where he received his BA and Boston University where he earned his J.D. and M.B.A.

    Michael Powers, Advisor, MyMinilife. Michael was part of the early YouTube team where he was the Lead Product Manager. After Google purchased YouTube he became team leader of the monetization effort with emphasis on engagement programs (e.g contests). Prior to YouTube Powers was the first employee and Product Manager of He is currently an advisor/investor in MyMinilife, a social play experience that emphasizes collection, decoration and sharing of personal environments.

    Anne-Marie Roussel, Director of Strategic and Emerging Business, Microsoft Corporation. Anne-Marie manages Microsoft’s Digital Media portfolio – which includes Xbox, Zune, Video, Mobile Entertainment and Advertising. Prior to Microsoft, Anne-Marie was Vice President at Research at Gartner Group, based in Paris. Prior to Gartner, Anne-Marie served as Paris Bureau Chief for McGraw-Hill and CMP Publications and Washington D.C. Editor for Communications Week. She also served as a correspondent for various McGraw-Hill publications.

    Paul Rowland, Head of Financing, Star Fever Agency. Entertainer and committed believer in the game for everyone movement, Paul’s career path serendipitously led him from a successful dance music artist to event management, IT product development, mobile communications and wireless business solutions, to finally end up where he belongs: the casual gaming community. Partnering with Sarbakan, a QuÉbec City-based studio, he's currently heading the financing and creative structure of Star Fever Agency's beta stage.

    Lisa Rutherford, Vice President, Twofish. An experienced entrepreneur and VC, Lisa has actively invested in and advised over 10 start-ups in the gaming and digital media space over the course of her career. Notably, she oversaw the gaming and simulation investments at In-Q-Tel, the venture capital arm of the CIA, including the firm’s interests in @Last Software (acq: GOOG) and Destineer. Lisa earned a BA from Penn State, a MA from the University of Chicago, and then went on to earn a MBA from Stanford University.

    Sean Ryan, Founder and Chairman, Meez. Sean previously served as VP of music services at RealNetworks, where he managed the music division after selling to Real in August 2003. Previously as CEO of Listen, Sean was charged with overseeing day-to-day operations. Prior to this, Sean ran business development for online game company SegaSoft Networks, spent several years at the GAP helping launch the successful Old Navy clothing line, and worked at Chemical Bank. Sean holds an M.B.A. from UCLA's Anderson Graduate School of Management and a B.A. from Columbia University.

    Anu Shukla, Founder and CEO, Offerpal Media. A serial entrepreneur, Anu founded Offerpal Media in June, 2007, in order to provide social web properties with an effective monetization platform. She was also the founder and CEO of Mybuys, Inc., a venture-backed company in the e-commerce personalization market. Prior to that, she pioneered the category of Internet Marketing Automation as the founder and CEO of Rubric, Inc., which was acquired in 2000 for $366 million.

    Bernie Stolar. Known throughout the interactive entertainment industry as the "King of Content," Bernie most recently served as Game Evangelist at Google, after selling Adscape Media, where he was Chairman of the Board, to Google. His long tenure in the interactive entertainment industry includes several high profile leadership positions including: President, CEO at Mattel Interactive; President and COO of SEGA of America during the transition from Saturn to Dreamcast; EVP at Sony Playstation for the launch of the Playstation; and Atari, where he was responsible for arcade and console businesses. Bernie currently serves as Director for several interactive entertainment companies.

    Shanna Tellerman, President and CEO, WildPockets. Shanna has overseen operations, development, fund raising, and strategic relationships. Graduating with a Masters degree in Entertainment Technology from Carnegie Mellon University in May 2005, she was hired on as commercialization specialist at the Entertainment Technology Center. Shanna received her Bachelor’s in Fine Arts and a Minor in Multi-Media Production from Carnegie Mellon University in 2003.

    David Wallerstein, Senior Executive Vice President, Tencent. David has been a member of the Tencent executive management team since 2001, helping to drive the company's growth from the start-up phase to the present. David is responsible for Tencent's international strategy. Prior to joining Tencent, David was Vice President, Business Development of MIH Asia, overseeing MIH's entry strategy into China's Internet sector. David has a Master's Degree in Political Economy from UC Berkeley, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude from the Jackson School of International Studies of the University of Washington.

    Jeff Weiser, Head of Analytics, SGN (Social Gaming Network). Jeff is responsible for building analytics frameworks and products to optimize game usage and revenue. Prior to SGN, he established MySpace's Data Analytics practice and worked on yield optimization for Yahoo! Search Marketing's bidded keyword and contextual advertising platforms. Jeff has an MBA from Columbia Business School and a BA in English Language and Literature from Yale University.

    Dan Winters, Vice President, Developer Relations/Acquisitions, Activision/Blizzard. Dan is an industry veteran of over 15 years, with stints at Activision, Disney Interactive and Electronic Arts. Before entering into the world of Video Games, Dan spent 4 years playing professional baseball for the Oakland A’s, San Francisco Giants and New York Mets. He also spent 6 years as an actor. After getting his start at Activision in 1993, he spent 10 years at Disney Interactive where he eventually became Vice President of Product Development.

    Rich Wong, Partner, Accel. Richard joined Accel in 2006, with a focus on mobile infrastructure and services, and the enterprise software space. Rich currently serves on the board of AdMob. Rich also works closely with the management team of Getjar Networks, the largest mobile development community and free mobile apps download portal. Rich also serves as a board advisor to Plaxo (acquired by Comcast) , Sana Security, and Simplicita (acquired by Sandvine). Mr. Wong holds a B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and received his MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

    Richard Yen, Director, Saban Ventures. Prior to joining Saban Ventures, Richard was a Principal at Blueprint Ventures where he led the firm's digital media and internet investing practice. Prior to that, Richard was at Rustic Canyon Partners where he focused on early-stage software and wireless investments. Richard began his operating career as an early member of D. E. Shaw & Co.'s Internet incubator, which was acquired by Merrill Lynch. Richard earned a BS in Electrical Engineering/Computer Science from UC Berkeley and an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management. Richard is a graduate of the Kauffman Fellows Program.

    Michael Zyda, Director, USC GamePipe Laboratory. Michael is the Director of the USC GamePipe Laboratory and Prof. of Engineering Practice in the USC Dept. of CS. At USC, he created the BS in CS (Games) and MS in CS (Game Development), cross-disciplinary degree programs and doubled the incoming undergrad enrollment of the CS Department. From ‘00 to ‘04, he was the Founding Dir. of The MOVES Institute, located at the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA, and a Prof. in the Dept. of CS at NPS as well. Prior to the founding of the MOVES Institute, he was the Dir. of the NPSNET Research Group. He is a pioneer in the fields of computer graphics, networked virtual environments, modeling and simulation, and serious games. 

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    8:15am-8:45am Registration
    8:45am-9:00am Welcome Remarks 
    9:00am-9:45am Opening Keynote: Bernie Stolar
    Interviewed by: Mary Jane Irwin, Forbes
    9:45am-10:45am Panel Discussion: “Mobile Gaming: Challenges and Opportunities”
    Guy Ben-Artzi, Mytopia 
    Keith Lee, Booyah 
    Jeff Weiser, SGN

    Moderator: Mark Duncan, Askmar
    10:45am-11:00am Break
    11:00am-11:30am Michael Zyda, USC Game Pipe Labratory
    11:30am-12:30pm "The Business of Gaming: How to make money in the game?"
    Jonathan Epstein, Double Fusion

    Hill Ferguson, Echovox
    Dan Kolkowitz, Playspan
    Anu Shukla, Offerpal Media
    Moderator: Lisa Rutherford, Twofish
    12:30pm-1:15pm Lunch
    1:30pm-2:15pm Panel Discussion: “What will Gaming Look Like in Five years?” 
    Ian Atkinson, THQ

    Lars Buttler, Trion World Network, Inc,
    Anne-Marie Roussel, Microsoft 
    Dan Winters, Activision

    Moderator: Dan Offner, Nixon Peabody
    2:15pm-3:00pm Panel Discussion:  “Next Generation Gaming- what’s coming up?”
    Lee Crawford, Twofish
    Steve Hoffman, Rocketon
    Sean Ryan, Meez
    Shanna Tellerman, Wildpockets

    David Wallerstein, Tencent
    Moderator: Michael Kim, Rustic Canyon
    3:00pm-3:15pm Afternoon Break
    3:15pm-4:00pm “The Venture Landscape: Who, What and Why?”
    Tim Chang, Norwest Venture Partners
    Jeff Karras, Levensohn Venture Partners
    Han Kim, Altos Venture Partners
    Rich Wong, Accel
    Richard Yen, Saban Ventures

    Moderator: David Anderson, Nixon Peabody
    4:00pm-4:45pm Panel Discussion: “Casual Gaming” in Today’s Market”
    Jonathan Flesher, Electronic Arts
    Michaels Powers, My MiniLife
    Paul Rowland, Starfever Agency
    Ranah Edelin,
    4:45pm-5:00pm Closing Remarks, Lars Buttler, Trion World Network, Inc.

    Organizing Committee: Gary Byrd, 43 PR, Tim Chang, Norwest Venture Partners, Mark Duncan, Askmar,  Itamar Kandel, Twofish, Jeff Karras, Levensohn Venture Partners, David Kaufman, Nixon Peabody, Steve Reale, Levensohn Venture Partners, Anne-Marie Roussel, Microsoft, Lisa Rutherford, Twofish, Kip Sheeline, Levensohn Venture Partners, Richard Yen, Saban Capital Group, Rich Wong, Accel.