Technical Talks

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How Engineer Angels Evaluate Data-Oriented Companies

Jocelyn Goldfein Jocelyn Goldfein | Managing Director | Zetta
Parker Thompson Parker Thompson | Partner | AngelList
Itamar Novick Itamar Novick | Former Chief Business Officer | Life360
Shruti Gandhi Shruti Gandhi | Managing Partner | Array Ventures

While the vast majority of talks at DataEngConf are unabashedly technical, we recognize the fact that there are many deeply technical attendees who are likely thinking about founding, or joining, a startup. 

In this session we'll feature a unique panel of engineers-turned-investors which we've hand picked due to their technical prowess combined with their business success. Each of them are well-respected and highly sought after as angel investors and some are emerging into new roles as full-on venture capitalists.

Parker was an early engineer at Pivotal Labs. Jocelyn was a Director of Engineering at Facebook and VP Engineering at VMware. Shruti has a MS in CS from Columbia (and an MBA from Chicago). And Itamar has as CS degree and has held engineering and product roles over the course of his career prior to switching over to the business side.

Moderated by Pete Soderling, founder of DataEngConf, the session will dig into insights from our panelist's experiences as engineering leaders and product visionaries as well as uncover their key business strategies and investment criteria. As highly technical investors, what do they look for in founding teams, product differentiation, market dynamics and data defensibility? Listen and learn to discover how their views can help you develop your strategy and prepare you, as an engineer, for the types of questions commonly asked during the fund-raising process.

Jocelyn Goldfein
Jocelyn Goldfein
Managing Director | Zetta

Ex-Facebook Engineering Director Jocelyn Goldfein is a freelance angel investor, startup advisor, and industry spokesperson. Learn more at http://www.jocelyngoldfein.comAt Facebook, she led new product development for News Feed and Photos before taking point on executing Facebook's pivot to native mobile app development.Before Facebook, she was an early VMware engineer who helped drive its hypergrowth into an industry titan. She co-founded Datify and was an early employee at MessageOne and Trilogy/pcOrder. Jocelyn studied Computer Science at Stanford University.

Parker Thompson
Parker Thompson
Partner | AngelList

Parker Thompson is a Venture Partner at AngelList. He likes to help startups in any way he can, but he will respect a restraining order if you're going to be like that. Parker is usually right, except when he's left. His illustrious past includes helping and building startups at 500 Startups and Pivotal Labs, co-founding PlaceSite, preserving the interwebs at the Internet Archive, and wonking on digital copyright at UC Berkeley's iSchool.

Itamar Novick
Itamar Novick
Former Chief Business Officer | Life360

Itamar Novick is a prolific Seed stage Investor working with over 30 Mobile, IoT and SaaS companies. His portfolio includes companies like Peerspace, MileIQ, Honeybook, Zendrive and Airdog. Itamar was previously a venture capitalist at Morgenthaler Ventures and a partner at UpWest Labs, the Israeli accelerator in Silicon Valley. Before moving to the "dark side" of VC, Itamar was head of product at Gigya, the leading social tools provider for web and mobile publishers, and spent several years in product and engineering management roles at a variety of companies big and small.

Itamar also serves as Chief Business Officer at Life360, the biggest mobile Family Network, with over 80 million registered families globally. The Life360 app keeps families safe when they're out and about, in their car, or at home - through its IoT location-based technology and partnerships with Nest, ADT, BMW and MINI.

He holds an MBA from Berkeley-Haas and a Computer Science undergraduate degree from the Tel-Aviv Jaffa College.

Shruti Gandhi
Shruti Gandhi
Managing Partner | Array Ventures

Shruti is a managing partner at Array Ventures. She's also a VC, engineer, and an entrepreneur. Passionate about AI, Robotics, and Data.