Since his time as an engineering undergraduate, Joaquín has been passionate about mobile computing. Joaquin has extensive high tech experience, from enabling data-center grade Linux, to ushering in web-based apps and scalable internet software at companies such as Hewlett-Packard, Sistina Software, Zimbra, and Gear6.
As an executive for those companies, Joaquín defined and executed innovative product strategies and business models. He has also served as Entrepreneur-in-Residence at El Dorado Ventures. Joaquín has a B.S. in Computer Engineering, and M.S. in Electrical Engineering, and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Joaquín is addicted to growing Silicon Valley-based start-ups and can't imagine a life without his Mac, iPhone, iPad and his Nike Running Kit.
Michael Yang is managing director of Comcast Ventures. Michael joined Comcast Ventures in 2009 and focuses on consumer Internet applications and services.
Previously, Michael was vice president and general manager at Yahoo! in the Media Group as well as the Local Markets & Commerce Division. During his tenure at Yahoo!, he managed Yahoo! Autos, Yahoo! Real Estate and Yahoo! Health; co-led Yahoo! Shopping; and was part of the team that formed Yahoo!’s strategic alliance with the Newspaper Consortium. Michael also worked at Atlas Venture, Zaplet and was a member of AOL's Business Affairs team.
Michael Yang graduated from Harvard University with a M.B.A. and the University of Pennsylvania with a B.S. in Economics from The Wharton School.
John is Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Relay Ventures, an early stage venture fund exclusively focused on mobile software. John has a history of assisting entrepreneurial companies through significant growth and eventually to the public markets. His ability to work with and advise senior management of investee companies, as well as his skills in filling supporting roles where existing management lack the experience or skill set, has been vital to the success of past investments.
John currently serves as a director of QuickPlay Media, Nexage, Padopolis, Digby, Aepona, Achievers, NetShelter, ClearFit and Blue Ant Media. In addition, John serves as a director of the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA) and is an advisory board member of the North American Venture Capital Association. John is a Chartered Financial Analyst and received his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the Schulich School of Business at York University.
Osama Arafat joined Q9 Networks as Chief Executive Officer in 2001, where he quickly established Q9 as the leader in the Canadian outsourced data center services market. Osama raised $115 million then led the company in a successful IPO that raised a further $32 million. In October 2008, Q9 was acquired by ABRY Partners for $361 million.
In 2009, Osama received the Canadian Venture Capital Association's "Entrepreneur of the Year" award in recognition of his achievements.
Prior to joining Q9, Osama was a partner at J. L. Albright Venture Partners where he directed a number of emerging technology companies in Canada. Previously, Osama co-led Isolation Systems, an award-winning manufacturer of VPN solutions. In 1994, he co-founded InfoRamp, one of Toronto's largest and best-known Internet service providers.
Osama holds a Master of Engineering from McGill University and a B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from George Washington University.
Jim Alexander has over forty years experience in the retail/mail order industries. In 1980, he founded Alexander & Company, LLC, a consulting firm that provides merchandise, marketing and financial analysis to high-ticket, name-brand, consumer catalog and retail companies. His clients have included Brooks Brothers, Coach, Design Within Reach, Garnet Hill, Gorsuch, Nordstrom, Orvis, Pendleton Woolen Mills, Saks Fifth Avenue, Tiffany and Williams-Sonoma.
In 1989, he co-founded Tucker Alexander (tuckercapital.com), an investment banking alliance focused on providing strategic advice and/or merger & acquisition representation to the consumer catalog industry. Jim is a director of Coldwater Creek (NASDAQ: CWTR) and serves on its Audit Committee and chairs its Compensation Committee.
Rick Binger is President of Digital Factors, a new ecommerce-focused creative agency launched by SysIQ, the leading ecommerce custom solutions provider to retailers around the world. Previously, Rick was Chief Content Officer at Catalog Spree and was instrumental in the initial vision, launching the company, bringing in initial catalog partners, developing analytics reporting, developing strategic partnerships, and maintaining close relationships with each of the catalog partners as the company grew.
Before co-founding Catalog Spree, Rick spent 20 years as President of Binger Catalog Marketing, a creative and marketing agency specializing in catalogs. At Binger Catalog Marketing, Rick focused on new catalog launches, redesigns, creative services, art direction, marketing, circulation planning and analytics.
John Kelly is VP of Retail Sales at Criteo, where he has been instrumental in helping Criteo grow revenue more than 20x in the US market since he joined in 2010. As one of the first US Criteo executives, John has been influential in launching successful performance display campaigns for Criteo’s Internet Retailer Top 100 clients.
John has been a leader in the eCommerce space for over twelve years in a variety of capacities. He spent four years at Yahoo!, where he led business development at Yahoo! Shopping, launched Yahoo! Deals and was part of the Global Strategic Partnerships group. Prior to Yahoo! John led corporate development and telco relations at PaymentOne and managed Business Affairs at America Online.
Visual... one of the founders of Writely -- aka Google Docs -- which Google acquired in 2006. At Google, she learned what large-scale really means, plus how not to do a surprising number of things. Before Writely, Claudia was already a veteran software engineer, having worked at big valley companies like Intuit and HP for more years than she’ll admit.
A savvy product designer and UI engineer, she has created dozens of consumer apps and a number of innovations you probably use every day. Not coincidentally, Claudia is an avid catalog fan who *loves* that she gets to shop for shoes as part of her job.
Martin Patterson brings 25 years of infrastructure experience to Catalog Spree. Most recently he was Vice President of Software at Violin Memory where he was instrumental in building the organization from the ground up and delivering a range of high performance storage products. Prior to Violin, he was Vice President of Engineering at Gear6, has held positions at Sun Microsystems and founded a successful internet infrastructure company.
He has authored 30 patents since he began his career at British Telecom and he holds an Honors Degree in Computer Science from the Queen’s University of Belfast.