DreamIt Ventures Co-Founder Speed Dating
What better place to find your co-founder than at SXSW where tens of thousands of like-minded people from around the world are mashed up together? Due to popular demand after the success of last year's sessions, DreamIt is running another speed dating session to help you meet multiple prospects who you can follow up with later at the bar.
How it works:
1. We split the room into technical and business focused entrepreneurs
2. You get 5 minutes with each person to introduce yourselves
3. You follow up with the people you find interesting
4. You find your co-founder!
In just an hour, you meet at least 10 new prospects.
Mark Wachen is the Managing Director of DreamIt NYC, one of the world's leading startup accelerator programs. Wachen is also the Managing Director and Founder of Upstage Ventures, a firm that advises and invests in consumer internet and interactive marketing companies. Wachen is a Board member of Optify and OrderGroove, and has worked with a variety of other companies including ChaiLabs (acquired by Facebook), SeatGeek, YouNow, Thumb, GameChanger, STELLAService, RJMetrics, and CatchAFire. Prior to Upstage, Wachen was the CEO of Optimost, the company that pioneered multivariable testing and optimization on the internet. Wachen founder Optimost in 2001 and served as its CEO up until its acquisition by Interwoven in November 2007. Prior to Optimost, Wachen worked for seven years at Sony. Wachen was Vice President of Online Ventures for Sony Music, where he directed many online initiatives, including Sony Music's investments in Spinner (acquired by AOL for $300 million), and the launch of the Sony Music Online Website in 1994. Wachen graduated summa cum laude from Dartmouth College and has an MBA from Harvard Business School.
William Crowder is Managing Director at DreamIt Ventures where he works closely with DreamIt’s NYC and Philadelphia cycles, overseeing the DreamIt Access track. He is responsible for the operation of DreamIt Access; a partnership between DreamIt Ventures and Comcast to increase the number of minority-led startups.
Outside of DreamIt, William is the Venture Advisor for the Comcast Ventures Opportunity Fund, a $20M seed stage venture fund; and is the Founder and Managing Director of Growth Strategy Advisors, a boutique strategic advisory and business development company that launched in 2008.
With over 15 years of strategy and operations consulting experience; William has been an integral piece in the acquisition and integration of several technology-focused companies including TACODA, Third Screen Media, Quigo, Community Connect and Transaction Network Services, and remains a trusted advisor to senior executives at top media companies such as AOL, Thomson Reuters, Radio One, and Interactive One.
William holds an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University and BS and MS degrees in Computer Science from North Carolina State University.