Web3 Investor Day 2022
Real Leaders, Real Places, Real Adoption
Innovation happens when capital meets ideas.
On July 28th, 2022 we had the pleasure of assembling key leaders in Chicago for an inaugural invite only event of shared insights from the leading capital providers and builders of Web3 innovation.
Web3 Investor Day 2022
WEB3 Investor Day Lessons in Building Web1 to Web3 with Sam Yagan & Victoria Bills
WEB3 Investor Day: NFT's with Francesco Melpignano, Andra Nicolau, Brian Cho, Le Zhang
Web3 Investor Day: Opening Remarks given by Paul Hsu and Brian Walls
Meet The Speakers
Prior to joining FTX US, Brett was Head of Semi-Systematic Technology at Citadel Securities, where he managed technology for the firm’s Options, ETF, OTC, and ADR trading globally. He began and spent the majority of his career at Jane Street, where he led the firm’s algorithmic trading system development. He also previously worked at Headlands Technologies as a senior software developer. Brett received his M.S. and B.A. in Computer Science from Harvard.
Director of Investments, DCG
Rumi Morales is a global investor, executive, and entrepreneur bridging traditional institutions and emerging technologies at Digital Currency Group. As Director of investments, Rumi also works extensively as head of venture and growth investing for DCG. Before joining DCG, Rumi was a partner and board member of Outlier Ventures. Rumi is a Board Member of several non-profit institutions including the Girl Scouts of the USA, the Negaunee Music Institute of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the BitGive Foundation, and the Chamber of Digital Commerce.
Managing Director, The Pritzker Org
Jason Pritzker operates as managing director of The Pritzker Organization. Known as a strong leader of the community, Jason and his family have led various philanthropic efforts across Chicago. He is executive chairman of TMS International and serves on the board of directors of Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Lithko Contracting LLC and Omni Logistics. He held roles at The Marmon Group, Goldman Sachs, and Hyatt Hotels Corp. Today, Jason is on the Board of Trustees of the Museum of Science and Industry.
Founder, CEO Decasonic
Paul Hsu is Founder and CEO of Decasonic, the venture and digital assets fund building blockchain innovation. As a tech investor and operator, Paul partners with outlier founders to accelerate product market fit and systematically scale early stage companies. Paul has been a blockchain investor since 2013 and previously an executive with Zynga. Paul is a speaker, writer and media commentator on web3 topics, with his perspectives appearing in broadcast outlets including the Wall Street Journal, Reuters, Coindesk, Forbes, Bloomberg TV and Yahoo! Finance TV.
Deputy Mayor, City of Chicago
Samir Mayekar is Deputy Mayor for economic and neighborhood development in the City of Chicago. Samir is a specialist in business development & organizational growth, from negotiating complex deals with multinational companies to leading transformational change on nonprofit boards to increase capacity.Samir has a rich history in politics, most notably working as Budget Manager for Obama’s presidential campaign in 2008; furthermore, he graduated with a finance degree from Northwestern, which he went on to use as an advisor of Albright Stonebridge Group for seven years.
Founder, CEO, Entertainmint
Genevieve Thiers is co-founder and CEO of Entertainmint, a web3 company dedicated to redesigning TV and streaming in web3. Genevieve Thiers is the founder of Sittercity.com which she sold to Bright Horizons in 2020. Genevieve has supported women running for office, especially BIPOC women, and she is dedicated to fixing the imbalance of women in tech and power. She is co-producer and tech trainer of RUN the Series, now on Amazon Prime, and she also has a crypto podcast by women and for women called Byte Size Crypto.
Founder, CEO, Corazon Capital
Sam Yagan is co-founder and managing director of Corazon Capital since 2014. He recently served as the CEO of ShopRunner, Inc., which provides its millions of members free two-day shipping and seamless checkout at over 100 leading online retailers. Before ShopRunner, Sam served as Vice-Chairman of Match Group (Nasdaq: MTCH), a position he assumed after leading the company as CEO. Sam also co-founded OkCupid in 2003, which he led as its CEO through its sale to Match Group in 2011. Sam has earned recognition on TIME’s “100 Most Influential People in the World,” Fortune’s “40 Under 40,” Crain’s Chicago “Tech 50” and “40 Under 40,” Billboard’s “30 Under 30,” and Silicon Alley Insider’s “Most Inspiring and Influential People.”
Co-Founder, CEO, CoinFlip
Ben Weiss is a co-founder of CoinFlip. In 2015, Ben co-founded CoinFlip with the goal of providing everyone in the U.S. with access to cryptocurrency. In his first five years at coinflip Ben worked as chief operating officer, just a year ago he became chief executive officer. Ben’s model for CoinFlip’s success is focused on his crypto ATMs which he has 2,500 operating throughout the U.S. His personal ethos is normalizing decentralization and the ability of cryptocurrency to create an open financial system.
Associate, Allos Ventures
Victoria Bills is an associate for Allos Ventures. Based in Chicago, Victoria assists with their deal flow and due diligence for investing in Illinois based companies. Prior to joining Allos, she was an Investment Analyst for the Illinois State Treasurer’s Office assisting in conducting investment due diligence, analysis, and monitoring external program managers on the Illinois Growth and Innovation Fund. Prior to starting her career in finance, Victoria graduated from Babson College where she concentrated in global business management and economics.
Partner, Bridge Alt Digital
Brian Walls is a partner of Bridge Alt Digital, an independent brokerage firm focused on providing advisory, capital introduction, index development, and research events within the alternative investments industry. Brain specializes in NFTs, DAOs, web3 venture capital, crypto hedge funds, DeFi, and esoteric investments more broadly. He has been an early investor in many top tier crypto venture funds including Multicoin, 1kx, and Decasonic.
Partner, Drive Capital
Zunaira Arshad is a partner at Drive Capital. Zunaira specializes in seed to pre-IPO investing.
After her education at Yale, Zunaira worked in product and content for two years at ConsenSys, a company developing GTM strategies and content/brand identity for projects across various verticals including finance, healthcare, government, education, and real estate. Zunaira has also been an investor in Kyro Digital Corp. for 7 months.
Sr Policy Analyst, Bloomberg Intelligence
Nathan Dean is a senior policy analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence. There, he helps provide political intelligence and research to over 300,000 Bloomberg Terminal clients on government policy and its impact on equity, commodity, and debt markets. Nathan is a senior advisor skilled at disseminating political intelligence to the C-suite, institutional investors and risk managers. Prior to that Nathan worked at CME Group as a Government Affairs Manager.
Co-Founder, General Partner, Patron
Brian Cho is general partner and co-founder of Patron, an early-stage venture firm investing in the convergence of games, consumer, and web3. Brian has deep experience in gaming specifically, most notably his affiliation with Hypixel Studios and Riot Games. He was also honored by Forbes Magazine in their Forbes 30 Under 30 Article in 2013 and 2014 issues.
Founder, Managing Partner, Sinefine
Yasmine Lacaillade is a founder and managing partner of sinefine, an alternative asset management firm that specializes in bringing the best in class female venture capitalists with the innovative limited partners. Yasmine is an experienced leader in alternative assets and venture capital and now focuses . After graduating Princeton, she spent a decade in investment and investor relations roles at Artist Capital, Gruss & Co., and at TPG-Axon Capital, and notably, before starting sinefine, a key part of the leadership team at Drive Capital as Chief Operating Officer.
CEO, Pool Data
Shiv Malik is a Chief Executive Officer at Pool Data. Shiv is the author of two books, the co-founder of the Intergenerational Foundation think tank, an award nominated broadcaster, and a former investigative journalist for the Guardian. After three years advising the Web3 projects, Golem and Streamr, and co-creating a revolutionary framework for monetising personal data, he co-founded Pool in 2021. Shiv fuels Pool’s drive to bring Data Unions to the world and ensure people have control of their data and a genuine stake in the digital economy.
CEO, Global DCA
Gabriella Kusz is Chief Executive Officer at Global Digital Asset and Cryptocurrency Association (GDCA), a global self-regulatory association for the digital asset & cryptocurrency industry. With 17 years in financial services, public policy, and sustainable programming innovation, Gabriella is skilled in developing organizational strategy, engaging with communities, and furthering program achievement globally and locally. Gabriella also pays it forward through her immense effort to help women in web3.
Illinois State Representative
Margaret Croke represents the State of Illinois’ 12th District. Margaret comes from a robust background in politics where she worked on a few campaigns such as Hillary for America and JB Pritzker for Governor until she ultimately joined the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. After her undergrad at University of Michigan Margaret spent nearly a year and a half working in business development at Proper Suit.
Co-Founder, CEO PechaKucha
Sean Smyth is co-founder, president, and CEO of PechaKucha, a free online global platform that celebrates people, passion, and creative thought. Sean claims to be sharply focused on business growth and expansion, with a knack for forging meaningful relationships and creating partnerships and programs across multiple platforms. Before PechaKucha, Sean was a Global VP and GM at Groupon for eight years. Even years before Groupon, Sean was in marketing and content positions at various startups.
Research Partner, 1KX
Dmitriy Berenzon is a research partner at 1KX, a token network fund. Out of college Dmitriy started working at Deutsche Bank for 6 years as he climbed the ranks to become assistant vice president in charge of Deutsche Bank Labs. After that he co-founded Polyledger, a cryptocurrency portfolio management platform that helps users create, track, and analyze their investments. Dmitriy spent roughly two years working as a research partner at Bollinger Investment Group.
CEO, Kadena Eco
Francesco Melpignano is CEO of Kadena Eco. Francesco is a talented software engineer, joining Kadena in 2019 as an engineer and worked his way up to CEO of Kadena Eco. Prior to his work at Kadena, Francesco was CEO of Robobunker, an Italy based company manufacturing state-of-the-art vehicles for golf course maintenance automation. Prior, Francesco was CTO at YellowLabel Technology, a UK based company that focuses on data processing, hosting and related activities.
Managing Partner, Intrinsic Capital
Dylan Hunzeker is a managing partner at Intrinsic.Capital. Dylan has experience in governmental organizations, NGOs, and start-ups. Dylan is a novice programmer who has authored seminal papers in the blockchain and cryptocurrency sphere with an understanding of how blockchain applications can be used elsewhere. After her undergrad, Dylan spent time as an associate at Eigen Capital. Dylan eventually became an investment analyst at Iconic Holding which lead her to Intrinsic Capital.
Co-Founder, CEO HXRO Network
Dan Gunsberg is co-founder and CEO of Hxro, an exchange that includes several new ways to trade crypto options and derivatives. Dan has refined knowledge in cryptocurrencies, blockchain based derivatives, and other digital assets. Before Hxro, Dan was a co-founder of Gordian Block Capital LLC, a multi-strategy cryptocurrency hedge fund. Just before he started at Gordian Block Capital LLC, Dan worked as a chief operating officer at DV Trading LLC for over 6 years.
Portfolio Manager, ARCA
David Nage is a portfolio manager at Arca, an asset management firm concentrated on digital asset investing. David is a former Family Office professional and now Portfolio Manager for the newest Arca fund: Endeavor, which focuses on early-stage investment in founders focused on Gaming, DeFi, and Web 3.0. David has spent the last few years focused on the revolution that digital assets could have on our society; providing new methods for identity, financial inclusion, and governance.
Investor, Listen Ventures
Hylton Irons is an investor at Listen Ventures. After graduating from Brown University in 2020, Hylton worked as an investment banking analyst at Goldman Sachs for just over a year. Since then, Hylton has been focused on growing Listen Ventures. Hylton was awarded the honor of being placed in Forbes Under 30 Scholar 2019 Issue, recognizing his hard work and leadership.
Associate Attorney, Croke Fairchild
Paige Bolinger is an Associate Attorney (VC) at Croke Fairchild Morgan and Beres. Paige helps founders, emerging companies, investors, and funds achieve their goals by advising, strategizing, and executing on matters including venture financings, corporate and fund formation, and growth strategies. Prior to her time at Croke Fairchild Morgan and Beres, Paige worked as an advisory board member at BlkArthouse for roughly a year and a half. And a year before BlkArthouse, Paige worked as a corporate associate attorney for Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP.
Head of BD, Origin Protocol
Andra Nicolau is head of DeFi BD at Origin Protocol, an Ethereum-powered platform that aims to normalize NFTs and DeFi. Previously, Andra led growth at 1inch Network, where she spearheaded the Series B fundraise. After graduation from The University of California Berkeley, Andra became founder and CEO of AN-RO Global, a UK based company helping startups scale through innovative monetization strategies, systems & product design, strategic partnerships & management consulting. In 2020, Andra founded Mavensights, a company offering IT Services and IT Consulting working with early stage startup specialists.
Partner, Distributed Ventures
Mike Peri is currently a partner at Distributed Ventures, a company that invests in companies that are transforming the future of risk across Insurtech, Fintech and Health & Benefits. After college, Mike became a founding team member in product development for a year until he decided to work as a manager at Erie Family Health Center. After a few years Mike began working at Yaro and became vice President in charge of product and analytics. Mike has taken on various positions as board observer at Axio, Wellth, and Vivante Health.
Managing Principal, Sterling Bay
Dean Marks works as managing principal of Sterling Bay. In his thirteen years at Sterling Bay, Dean has overseen all legal aspects of their business, including acquisition and disposition transactions and lease negotiations. One of Dean’s biggest successes includes the assemblage and execution of the transformational Lincoln Yards project and the acquisition and development of more than 20 properties in Fulton Market between 2013-2014. Prior to joining Sterling Bay in 2009, Dean worked in private practice as a commercial real estate attorney at Greenberg Traurig LLP and Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP (now Dentons US LLP).
Founder, CEO Mawari
Luis Ramirez is Founder & CEO of Mawari. Luis’s main focus is to democratize the creation and distribution of XR Content. He is a pioneer in cloud rendering and streaming technology for interactive XR experiences. Prior to Mawari, he spearheaded and co-founded the Japanese version of MUTEK, a world-renowned festival dedicated to the dissemination and development of digital creativity in sound, music, and audio-visual art. He also served as a Global Head of Marketing at MUSIC Tribe, one of the world's largest holding companies for pro audio and music instruments
Founder, CEO, Spaceport
Le Zhang is the founder of Spaceport Technologies, a software company building the future of NFTs in a $300B market. Before founding Spaceport Technologies, Le was founder and CEO of Squadle Inc., a company that provides digital checklists to simplify complex operations and streamline food safety compliance. Le is also an angel investor, currently invested in Wishroute, Cactivate, and Phiex Technologies. He just recently joined the board of advisors at ACE NextGen after being on the board of directors there for over three years.
Venture Investor, Decasonic
Alejandro Ballesteros is a technical builder and venture investor in blockchain at Decasonic. After graduating from Stanford in 2019, Alejandro took advantage of various internship opportunities in CS, after college he worked as a fixed income trader at Gelber Group LLC until recently joining Decasonic as venture associate. At Decasonic, Alejandro focuses on technical deal evaluation, deal sourcing, as well as leading incubation for Decasonic Labs.
Community Manager, Decasonic
Cami Darling is marketing and community manager at Decasonic, as well as host of the Blockchain for the Billions Podcast. Prior to joining Decasonic, Cami helped start-up companies grow their social media communities, and managed customer experience in the beauty and wellness industry. Cami studied communications at Northern Michigan University.
Managing Director, Transcend Fund
Andrew Sheppard is managing director of the Transcend Fund. Andrew has over 20 years of experience building, managing and advising multi-billion dollar consumer businesses. Past leadership roles Andrew has held included stints at Electronic Arts, Gamespot, Kabam and GREE. Andrew serves on the Board of Directors for Nexters and Rakuten Games. He has direct experience working in online media, social media game services, subscriptions, free-to-play, console games, online/PC games, mobile games and apps.