Mission Control

These guys and gals are rocket scientists.  They’re technology industry rock-stars.  They’re helping us help you.  They’re as passionate about mobile entrepreneurs as we are.  From every sector -to every function – in the mobile technology ecosystem. They’ve truly ‘been there, done that!’   Our network of mentors and advisors keeps growing daily.   So you’re just looking at the tip of the iceberg.


Steve Pollock
Serial Entrepreneur, Master Marketer, Product Guru.

One of the brightest, most facile, brains on the planet.  A creative and versatile Software Marketing Executive, he is able to structure and lead hyper-paced go-to-market strategies that drive market share and revenue..

[EXPAND more]Despite his Stanford MBA- he is deeply respected by engineering. Steve’s fundamental understanding of technology allows him to translate real-world customer demands into workable, leading-edge, solutions that sell.

Experienced in most every aspect of the software industry he is highly regarded by VCs, Founders, and Board Members alike.  The youngest Vice President at Apple’s software subsidiary, Steve lead the rapid and massive redefinition and growth of its products and revenues.

As a strategist , innovator, and implementor, he has founded companies, managed successful M&A outcomes, and served on multiple Boards of Directors.[/EXPAND]


Manish Dixit
Engineer, Architect, Founder

Manish’s latest venture is SocialEkwity.  A 15 year veteran of Silicon Valley and the mobile and enterprise space, his experience includes architecting and deploying large-scale services.  He and his co-founders have assembled a team of engineers and product professionals who have successfully launched high volume mobile and enterprise platforms..

[EXPAND more]Prior to co-founding SociaEkwity, Manish was the Director of Engineering at Oracle for the WebCenter Connect project, which integrated social connections with enterprise portals.

At Sun Microsystems, (acquired by Oracle) he led the Engineering team in the development of web portal products.  Having recognized the value of the Mobile Application Storespace- Manish was instrumental to Sun’s acquisition of Pixo where he served as the Chief Technology Architect for the Pixo Mobile Messaging Platform- a significant innovation in the area.

Previously Manish held several key engineering and management roles at Nokia.
Manish received his Bachelors of Engineering from MNIT (REC) in Bhopal, India.[/EXPAND]

Soudy Khan

He sees what the User wants – and gets it built.
Soudy has been taking products from conceptual design through engineering, manufacturing, marketing, and product launch for over 20 years.  He has deep knowledge of all aspects of the product design and development process.

[EXPAND more]A visionary and highly creative thinker, (and the recipient of multiple patents) Soudy is valued for his fearless approach, his sharp analytical skills, and his ability to deliver exceptional results under tight timelines.

While his client roster includes companies such as Nokia and Intuit – he’s has start-up DNA coursing through his system.  He understands the unique challenges faced early in the life of a company.

Soudy was a pioneer in hand-held computing devices and is an expert in mobile and embedded user-interface design, a skill he honed while serving as Director of Product Concept & User-Experience at PalmSource.

After PalmSource, as Senior Director of User Experience, his product offerings at Savaje won the coveted “Device of the Show” award at the 2006 JavaOne conference.  Savaje was subsequently acquired by SUN Microsystems.

An entrepreneur at heart and a passionate design enthusiast, Soudy established Vertical Product Development as a product development and design consultancy.  He and his team lead clients through each phase of product development experience to deliver coherent, cohesive, and on-brand, user experience.

Born in Stanford, CA and raised in the USA, Africa and Asia, he cannot think of anywhere else he would rather be but in the magic of Silicon Valley.[/EXPAND]

Dennis Marshall
Product Maven

Vice President- Product at Ongo, a personal online news service backed by The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Gannett..

[EXPAND more]An early leader in consumer internet and software Product Management,  Dennis was part of the original PowerPoint team prior to it’s acquisition by Microsoft. He then took the reigns of the FileMaker database product and was instrumental in it’s acquisition by Apple’s software subsidiary, Claris.

At Claris, Dennis built FileMaker from a single product with $5M revenue to a multi-platform worldwide product line franchise generating over $100M annually.  Dennis also oversaw M&A activity, technology licensing, and spearheaded the company’s early internet strategy.

After his success at Claris, Dennis joined Adobe as Director of Consumer Products and online services.

During his tenure at Adobe, he also served as Director of Adobe Ventures, evaluating and managing investments including Shutterfly (NASDAQ:SFLY), TuVox (acquired by West Interactive), Digital Fountain (acquired by Qualcomm), Biz360 (acquired by Attensity), Kinecta (acquired by Stellent), Kontiki (acquired by Verisign), and PictureIQ (acquired by Eastman Kodak).

Additionally, Dennis was Vice-President of Product Management and Marketing at SellPoint Inc., a venture-backed e-commerce video startup.  He is a product maven and mobile addict.[/EXPAND]

Brian Hurley
Management Consultant, Talent Guru

Brian is one of the “secret weapons” in the Silicon Valley.  Having been instrumental in building the original Apple engineering teams, he has  been helping start-ups (Oodle, Netflix, Chemdex, Broadlane, Go, among many others) acquire the right talent at the right time for over 20 years.    He has always worked on the leading-edge of technology and is one of the most respected, and sought-after, consultants in the valley.

[EXPAND more]His depth of understanding of the integration of the traditional online world and its migration to mobile computing is invaluable to his clients.   Hardware, software, firmware, video, mobile- Brian’s breadth is a welcomed addition.[/EXPAND]

Bryan Kruezberger
Sales Driver, Customer Finder.

Bryan is the founder of Someway Media.  He advises mobile technology companies on how to grow their customer base leveraging mobile display, Internet display and search.  He trains  entrepreneurs and startups how to get any meeting with one email, why you don’t need a traditional presentation,, and to how increase closing ratios while doing less work.

[EXPAND more]He was an early team-member at mobile ad serving startups VoodooVox and Jingle Networks (Marchex.)  The companies raised $109 Million from VC’s Goldman Sachs, Softbank, Apax Partners, Village Ventures,  Hearst Interactive Media and First Round Capital.  He sold tens of millions in mobile advertising.  His clients included – Verizon, Master Card, Unilever, Best Buy, Home Depot, McDonalds, GE, Absolut, Nivea, Diageo and Bank of America

In 2009 he founded Someway Media to build a “4 Hour Work Week” company.  312 hours later he’s still affording life in the West Village.  An all-American  swimmer at the University of Arizona, he is creating a non-profit in NYC to teach adults how to swim.[/EXPAND]

Christine Venditti
Headhuntress Extraordinaire

After graduating from Stanford, Christine threw herself into the start-up scene of Silicon Valley.  She leveraged that experience into becoming one of the most valuable Executive Recruiters in technology and media. Operating at the highest levels of both public and private enterprises -often with significant Board visibility- her functional areas of expertise include: marketing, general management, finance, and operations.

[EXPAND more]In recognition of her incredible industry insight, the value that she demonstrates to her clients, and the success she has achieved – Christine has been appointed as one of the founding Mentors at StartX, the Stanford Student Startup Accelerator.[/EXPAND]

Phac LeTuan
The Doctor is ‘IN’ and he is mobile

At 17, Phac left Vietnam hoping to study engineering in Paris. Two years later he had earned enough to be able to help his younger siblings come and study in France as well.

[EXPAND more]Passionate about maths and geometry, he completed his Ph.D computer graphics while working, full-time,  as a software programmer in database applications.  Phac quickly felt the need to develop cool products that could create pictures rather than just rows and columns of numbers.

He joined a French start-up in the computer-aided-design industry where he built the software engineering department from scratch. After acquisition by the multi-national engineering company, Schlumberger, he was sent to Mountain View for a two year assignment.

Determined to stay in Silicon Valley, he joined Apple’s System Software organization where he could completely express his passion for delivering “insanely great” products.

He left Apple run PaceWorks, a start-up creating easy-to-use computer animation  products for the rest of us. Having ridden, and survived, the Internet bubble, Phac transitioned PaceWorks to focus on the mobile space in 2005. Since then he has built a range of mobile applications which connect brands and consumers and built a customer base across Europe and the US.

Author of several US patents, Phac is also an advisor and board member of a number of organizations, including one focused on helping US companies invest and succeed in the rapidly growing South-East Asia economy.[/EXPAND]

Tom Hammer
Engineer, Coach, Visionary

A grizzled, but boyishly charming, veteran of Silicon Valley, Tom started his career at Apple where he formed his view on both product development and how to run development teams. 8 years at Apple will teach you a thing or two.

[EXPAND more]He’s since driven product development efforts for companies such as 3DO and  NetObjects and built and led one of Microsoft’s core, non-PC,  consumer-focused product lines.

He has spent half of his 20+ years in technology building start-ups from doodles on cocktail napkins into viable businesses. He has a  passion for early-stage companies (the earlier the better)  and loves working with smart people to transform great product and service ideas into successful businesses.[/EXPAND]

Micah Baldwin
Serial Founder, serial entrepreneur, serial writer

Micah is CEO and Chief Community Caretaker of Graphic.ly.

[EXPAND more]Graphic.ly provides an immersive social experience and marketplace around digital comics and associated merchandise.

Previously, Micah was VP, Business Development and Chief Evangelist for Lijit Networks, the sixth startup Micah had been involved in (having sold his last startup, Current Wisdom, in the beginning of 2007).

Focusing on business development, online marketing and advertising, and product strategy, Micah was instrumental in the growth of companies such as MyPersonal (now Synacor – IPO), ServiceMagic (acquired by IAC), Indigio Group (acquired by Bridgeline Software) and other less successful startups, such as Kozmo.com.

Micah has helped author several books on internet and search marketing, and started the #followfriday meme on Twitter, which has become part of the fabric of the social web. A frequent speaker with appearances on CNN, and articles in many of the leading blogs, including Mashable and ReadWriteWeb, you can read about Micah’s philosophy of success through failure here at www.learntoduck.com.[/EXPAND]

Chad Muretta

Chad Mureta is the author of the soon-to-be-released App Empire: Make Money, Have a Life, and Let Technology Work for You. Mureta knows of what he writes: He made millions starting and running his own successful app businesses. He is the founder of Empire Apps, which focuses on entertainment based mobile applications, and co-founder of T3 Apps, an application development company that rates applications, sorting the good from the bad and the ugly. In just ten years, he founded and managed seven successful companies in three disparate industries: real estate, newspaper, and mobile applications.

Jon Perr

Jon is the president of JP Consulting, helpingstart ups and growing technology firms with corporate and product strategy, marketing strategy and program execution, customer research, public relations, sales tools, web content development and more.

[EXPAND more]He returned to his consulting practice following his role as vice president of marketing for Boston-based Ximian, later acquired by Novell. An accomplished PR strategist and corporate spokesman, his work included briefings and company coverage in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Newsweek, USA Today, BusinessWeek, The Economist, and a host of technology trade publications worldwide.

A proven marketing executive and product strategist with 25 years of experience, Jon possesses an extensive background in the open source, Internet services, mobile application, and productivity software markets. He joined Ximian from Vendavo where he served as vice president of customer experience, driving the company’s product strategy, content production, customer research and support. Previously, Jon served as vice president of marketing at Intellisync, a leader in mobile device synchronization later acquired by Nokia. He also served on the management team at Claris Corporation, now FileMaker, Inc., where he was vice president of product marketing for the global Windows and Macintosh software company.

Jon also blogs on politics and public policy at Perrspectives and other sites. His work has been featured in newspapers, magazines and blogs, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Salon, Slate, Esquire, Vanity Fair, Mother Jones, The Hill, Politico and other leading publications.[/EXPAND]

Melissa Dyrdahl

Melissa is a consumer technology marketing expert with extensive experience creating new businesses, building brands, developing marketing strategy, and inspiring teams to deliver results. She has a unique blend of experience and insight as a result of her executive leadership roles in large public companies, internet startups, academia and numerous non-profits..

[EXPAND more]In addition to taking on interim CMO and executive coaching assignments, Melissa serves as a board member and advisor to a number of private companies, including Nero AG, Resource Interactive, Palcycle, and Dyansys. Melissa was a co-founder of Bring Light, one of the first online fundraising sites to facilitate project-based giving. Bring Light was acquired in 2011 by Rally.org, a social fundraising platform where she now serves as an advisor. Melissa is Chair of the Board of Directors for Humane Society Silicon Valley, and is a Board member of GreatNonprofits.com. She is also an Executive in Residence at San Jose State University’s Lucas Graduate School of Business, where she advises the administration, faculty, and students on brand strategy and marketing, and is a frequent guest lecturer in the MBA program.

Previously, Melissa was Senior Vice President of Corporate Marketing at Adobe Systems, where she was a member of the executive team responsible for growing the company from $700M to almost $3B. Melissa led Adobe’s global marketing organization, eventually becoming responsible for a team of over 500. Under her leadership and vision, Adobe became one of the world’s most recognized technology and consumer brands.
Prior to Adobe, Melissa held marketing management positions at Apple Computer’s software startup Claris (now FileMaker Inc.), and Hewlett-Packard.[/EXPAND]

Chris Plough

Chris is the CEO of Oznog Holdings, whose subsidiaries focus on producing social/mobile media and advising/investing in strategic startups that develop innovative technologies in the same space..

[EXPAND more]Chris is also a Founder and the Executive Director of MavenWire. MavenWire provides a full suite of services (consulting, training, hosting, software applications) around the Oracle Transportation Management (OTM) suite. Since starting in 2006, MavenWire has expanded into multiple geographies to become the largest global provider focused on OTM services. MavenWire is now focused on leveraging the infrastructure built to evolve the TMS space.

Previously, Chris held various roles at G-Log (Global Logistics Technologies) Inc., a software company he helped launch and manage from its inception in 1999. In addition to his contributions to G-Log’s business processes and services, Chris was instrumental in designing and developing the technical architecture for G-Log’s premier Transportation Management Application, GC3. He also designed and launched G-Log’s Hosting Services, increasing G-Log’s client base and introducing a strong profit center. In 2005 Oracle Corporation acquired G-Log and the GC3 was rebranded OTM.

Outside of work, Chris is the founder and a board member of the Oznog Foundation, a charitable organization that focuses on three main tenants to affect change: children’s health, education and freedom of expression. He is also a board member on several other community organizations, including the OTM SIG.

In order to maintain balance, Chris immerses himself in various adventures while filming them in an experimental documentary format. These include: driving an ambulance 10,000 miles to Mongolia, racing stock cars and motorcycles, running an obstacle course designed by the British SAS and traveling worldwide. In 2011, he spoke at the TED Full Spectrum audition about the lessons he’s learned during his adventures and how it has helped keep him connected to the important aspects of life. Currently he is preparing to participate in the Baja 1000 desert race. It’s really difficult for him to get life insurance.[/EXPAND]

Gene Kim

Gene Kim is the multiple award-winning CTO, Tripwire founder, Visible Ops co-author, IT Ops/Security Researcher, Theory of Constraints Jonah, a certified IS auditor and a rabid UX fan.He is passionate about IT operations, security and compliance, and how IT organizations successfully transform from “good to great.

Eric Owens

Eric Owens is the founder and CEO of AppBusinessBrokers.com and has been successfully brokering businesses for the past 7 years and doing online business for 14 years. His engineering background and attention to detail combined with his natural ability to rapidly understand diverse businesses put him at the top of the elite when putting deals together. Having started, grown, and sold numerous businesses, Eric has an impeccable reputation for efficiency, speed, and integrity making him one of the most trusted and sought after business brokers in the world. With multiple deals closed in the past six months, AppBusinessBrokers.com has quickly become one of the top experts on acquisitions of mobile application businesses.

Doug Young
Software Engineer, Architect

Doug has been designing software at both large and small companies for over 20 years and enjoys getting involved in the earliest creative stages of new concepts. He spent his his early years in Hewlett Packard’s Palo Alto Research Labs, but finding his passion for building software that gets used in the real world at odds with the research environment, he moved to Silicon Graphics to help architect a suite of software tools that were used by SGI’s customers for building everything from dinosaurs to the Mars Rover.

[EXPAND more]With the internet exploding, Doug became CTO for a small startup founded by Elon Musk, Zip2, later acquired and folded into the then-leading search engine, AltaVista. After Yahoo acquired AltaVista, Doug further developed the Machine Learning-based approach he helped build at AltaVista, allowing Yahoo to catch up with Google’s search accuracy.

After nearly eight years of back end work on search engine algorithms with large teams, Doug rejoined former colleages to co-found a tiny startup, now known as JobFlo, where he relishes both the necessity and
the freedom of doing whatever it takes to build a web-based product.

In his spare time, Doug is an avid musician, a guitarist who performs, records, writes, and is a Contributing Editor to Acoustic Guitar Magazine.[/EXPAND]

Jesse Boudreau

Jesse Boudreau was Vice-President BlackBerry Software with Research In Motion (RIM) Limited, operating out of the company’s Kanata office. His development team is responsible for RIM’s BlackBerry Connect developer program, its messaging client software for Novell GroupWise as well as the client and server software for RIM’s new BlackBerry Maps product.
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Jesse joined RIM in 2004 after the company acquired technology assets from his firm J.B. Technologies Inc. Prior to this, Jesse was CEO of Pictorious, a venture-backed pioneer in the web application server, application development environment and content management software markets. Jesse joined Pictorious after a ten-year career at Bell Northern Research’s information systems group where his responsibilities included being the global Program Director, development and acquisition, and a team of 350 people.

Hadi Nahari

Hadi Nahari is a software security professional with over 19 years of experience in software development, including extensive work in design and architecture, verification, proof-of-concept, and implementation of secure systems. Hadi has worked on large scale, high-end enterprise solutions, as well as resource-constrained embedded systems, with primary focus on security, cryptography, complex systems design, and vulnerability assessment & threat analysis. He is the author of the book: “Web Commerce Security: Design & Development”, published by John Wiley & Sons in 2011.

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Hadi is a frequent speaker in U.S. and international security, risk mitigation, and mobile events and has led various security projects for Netscape Communications, Sun Microsystems, United States Government, Motorola, MontaVista, eBay, PayPal, and NVIDIA, among others. Hadi is currently in charge of the security architecture and strategy of Mobile and Software Solutions at NVIDIA as Chief Security Architect. Hadi is also the technical representative of NVIDIA in main standardization bodies such as NFC Forum and GlobalPlatform.

Elise Cutini
Jesse Boudreau
Greg Walker