Speakers at MakerCon 2015 Bay Area


Adam Conway

VP of Product Management, Aerohive Networks
Adam co-founded Aerohive Networks, a Wireless networking company 9 years ago and has been interested in and experimented with how Drones, IoT and Wireless come together.


Alasdair Allan

Scientist, Author, Hacker and Tinkerer
Alasdair Allan is a Scientist, Author, Hacker and Tinkerer, who is currently thinking hard about how to fix the Internet of Things which he thinks is broken. He is the author of a number of books, and from time to time he also stands in front of cameras. You can often find him at conferences talking about interesting things, or deploying sensors to measure them. Last year he rolled out a mesh network of five hundred sensors motes covering the entire of Moscone West during Google I/O. He's still recovering. He sporadically writes blog posts about things that interest him, or more frequently provides commentary in 140 characters or less. He is a contributing editor for MAKE magazine, and a contributor to the O'Reilly Radar. A few years ago he caused a privacy scandal by uncovering that your iPhone was recording your location all the time. This caused several class action lawsuits and a U.S. Senate hearing. Several years on, he still isn't sure what to think about that. Alasdair is a former academic. As part of his work he built a distributed peer-to-peer network of telescopes that, acting autonomously, reactively scheduled observations of time-critical events. Notable successes included contributing to the detection of what—at the time—was the most distant object yet discovered.


Ben Einstein

Managing Director, Bolt
Ben Einstein is an experienced product designer and investor. Ben is currently the Managing Director of Bolt, an early-stage seed fund focused exclusively on hardware startups. In addition to seed capital, Bolt invests full-time staff, shop equipment, and extensive expertise with manufacturing and commercialization. Prior to starting Bolt, Ben ran Brainstream Design, a product design and development consultancy in Massachusetts. Ben has been directly responsible for bringing a long list of products to market covering diverse sectors including consumer electronics, high-performance audio, sporting goods and green energy.


Bethany Koby

Co-founder and CEO, Technology Will Save Us
Bethany Koby is a CEO mom, designer, educator and art director. In 2012 she co-founded Technology Will Save Us.


Bram de Zwart

CEO, 3D Hubs
Bram de Zwart began working in the 3D printing industry in 2009 with the mission to make manufacturing more local and sustainable. After a career at 3D Systems he co-founded 3D Hubs, the world’s largest and fastest growing network of 3D printers.


Bryan Galusha

Co-founder, Fighting Walrus
Bryan Galusha is the Co-founder of Fighting Walrus and Founder of SF Drones Startup Meetup striving to educate and enable individuals and small businesses about the power of the nascent drone industry


Chris Anderson

Co-founder and CEO, 3D Robotics
Chris Anderson is the co-founder and CEO of 3D Robotics and founder of DIY Drones. From 2001 through 2012 he was Editor in Chief of Wired Magazine, AdWeek’s “Magazine of the Decade” (2009). Before Wired Chris was with The Economist for seven years, and prior to that spent six years at the two leading scientific journals, Nature and Science. Chris is the author of two New York Times bestselling books, The Long Tail and Free, and in 2013 published Makers: The New Industrial Revolution. He was named to the “Time 100,” the newsmagazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world (2007), and in 2013 was named among both Time Magazine’s “Tech 40—The Most Influential Minds In Technology” and Foreign Policy Magazine’s “Top 100 Global Thinkers.”


Cyril Ebersweiler

Entrepreneur and investor, Cyril is a Partner at SOSventures and the founder of HAXLR8R ("HAX"), the first startup accelerator building "lean hardware” startups, which lead to its recognition as the most active VC in the hardware space. With over a decade experience in China and Japan, Cyril also founded the first mentorship-driven seed funding program in China, Chinaccelerator. A guest blogger on Techcrunch, Cyril has been invited to keynote in numerous conferences and featured in media such as The New York Times, The Economist and WIRED notably.


Danielle Applestone

CEO, Other Machine Co.
Danielle’s background blends science, technology, and entrepreneurship. Danielle cofounded her first company in 2003 after earning a BS in Chemical Engineering from MIT. She holds a PhD in Materials Science from UT Austin.


Dara Dotz

Designer and Innovative Humanitarian

Dara holds a BS in Industrial Design with a minor in International Business from MSCD. Dara

combines her design strategy experience and rapid ethnographic assessment to empower others

through technology.

Her projects have included job development in Sovereign Nations for Natives, branding for various

nonprofit organizations in Germany, pioneering a 7-10 day Social Entrepreneurial program which

facilitated basic business skills, and implementation of permaculture alternatives to subsistence

farming in Nepal.

With a focus on disrupting supply chains and “making” in austere environments she has co-founded

Field Ready, focusing in on-demand manufacturing in post Disaster Zones. Recently in Haiti, they

brought 3D printers to teach locals how to make needed medical supplies and replacement parts for

rural clinics. In the Bay Area, Dara works as Human Factors Lead for Made in Space, Inc., a

company developing 3D printers for use in space.

Dorian J Ferlauto

Dorian Ferlauto

CEO, BriteHub
Dorian Ferlauto saw a gap in the manufacturing industry and decided to build a bridge to connect buyers and suppliers in a more efficient way. With over 10 years of experience in product design, manufacturing and supply chain she launched BriteHub in 2013 with the mission to create a centralized interface to initiate, educate, and guide the relationships between manufacturers and the people that need their services.


Eben Upton

Founder, Raspberry Pi Foundation and CEO, Raspberry Pi
Eben Upton is a founder of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, and serves as the CEO of Raspberry Pi (Trading), its commercial arm. In an earlier life, he founded two successful mobile games and middleware companies, Ideaworks 3d (now Marmalade) and Podfun, held the post of Director of Studies for Computer Science at St John's College, Cambridge, and wrote the Oxford Rhyming Dictionary with his father, Professor Clive Upton. He holds a BA, a PhD and an MBA from the University of Cambridge.


Elaine Chen

Founder and Managing Director, ConceptSpring
Elaine is a seasoned product strategist and engineering executive with a unique background spanning product development and product management.  She is the author of the book, “Bringing a Hardware Product to Market: Navigating the Wild Ride from Concept to Mass Production”.  She is the Founder and Managing Director of ConceptSpring, which provides strategic product development consulting services to executives and leaders of product teams.  She is also a Senior Lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management, where she teaches entrepreneurship, primary market research, and leadership development in startup settings. Elaine has served at the VP level in engineering and product management at several startups, including Rethink Robotics, Zeo, Zeemote and SensAble Technologies.  She is a co-inventor on 19 issued patents to date.  She holds a BS and an MS in mechanical engineering from MIT.


Eric Pan

CEO, Seeed Studio
Eric Pan, founder and CEO of Seeed Studio, life long maker and biker. He is trained as EE with projects about Electronics, Embedded System, Robotics. After graduation, he worked in Intel as chipsets product engineer on quality control and NPI, then took various job including international trading and sourcing. He established Seeed Studio since 2008, providing open hardware modules and service to help makers turn ideas into products. He also created ChaiHuo hackerspace in Shenzhen, co-founded the hardware accelerator HAXLR8R, and introduced the first Mini Maker Faire to China. With all the works done to accelerate small scale hardware innovators, he has been selected as cover page by Forbes China as 30 young entrepreneurs under 30.


Gareth Keane

Investment Manager, Qualcomm Ventures
Gareth Keane is an Investment Manager with Qualcomm Ventures, based in the Bay Area. His career to date has stretched from engineering to venture capital investment. Gareth currently manages Qualcomm Ventures' investments in 360fly, 3DR, LifX, Pelican Imaging, Skycatch and Swift Navigation.
Prior to Qualcomm Ventures he worked for two years in the corporate development teams at National Semiconductor and Texas Instruments, focused on strategic investment, corporate M&A and corporate strategy. Previously he worked for PMC-Sierra and a number of other technology firms across both hardware and software in a variety of technical and management roles.
Gareth has an MBA from The Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania, a PhD in Electronic Engineering from The Queen’s University of Belfast and a BE in Electronic Engineering from the National University of Ireland, Galway. Gareth is also a Kauffman Fellow.

Jason Short

Jason Short

VP of Design and UX, 3D Robotics
Jason Short is a veteran product designer with 20 years of experience creating consumer products and user experiences. In 2009 Jason co founded Ardupilot and created Arducopter used by tens of thousands of drone pilots across the world.


Kate Hartman

Associate Professor, OCAD University
Kate Hartman is an artist, technologist, and educator whose work spans the fields of physical computing, wearable electronics, and conceptual art. Her work has been exhibited internationally and featured by the New York Times, BBC, CBC, NPR, in books such as “Fashionable Technology” and “Art Science Now”. She was a speaker at TED 2011 and her work is included in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Hartman is based in Toronto at OCAD University where she is the Associate Professor of Wearable & Mobile Technology and Director of the Social Body Lab. She is also the director of ITP Camp, a summer program at ITP/NYU. Hartman enjoys bicycles, rock climbing, and someday hopes to work in Antarctica.


Kate Sofis

Executive Director, SF Made
Kate Sofis’ experience integrates a rich background in entrepreneurship, business management, operations and supply chain strategy, and urban economic development with a specialty in artisan/craft manufacturing industries. Throughout her career, she has worked with companies who design, manufacture, and distribute products in a wide range of industries, including ceramics, tile and stone, cement, wood and metal furniture, fabric and sewn products, and glass products. Kate has worked in numerous capacities across the manufacturing sector. She was COO of VIDA, a local artisan manufacturer of wood-based commercial casegoods, and is the founder of CRAFTMAKE, a small supply chain management company for ceramic tile manufacturers.


Kathryn McElroy

User Experience Designer, IBM Watson
Kathryn McElroy is an award-winning, published designer and photographer living in Austin, Texas. She is passionate about smart objects, open hardware, and platforms; and has built and written about wearable technology.


Massimo Banzi

Co-founder, Arduino
Massimo Banzi is the co-founder of the Arduino project. He is an Interaction Designer, Educator and Open Source Hardware advocate. He has worked as a consultant for clients such as: Prada, Artemide, Persol, Whirlpool, V&A Museum and Adidas. Massimo started the first FabLab in Italy which led to the creation of Officine Arduino, a FabLab/Makerspace based in Torino. He spent 4 years at the Interaction Design Institue Ivrea as Associate Professor. Massimo has taught workshops and has been a guest speaker at institutions all over the world. Before joining IDII he was CTO for the Seat Ventures incubator. He spent many years working as a software architect,both in Milan and London, on projects for clients like Italia Online, Sapient, Labour Party, BT, MCI WorldCom, SmithKlineBeecham, Storagetek, BSkyB and boo.com. Massimo is also the author of “Getting Started with Arduino” published by O’Reilly. He is a regular contributor to the italian edition of Wired Magazine and Che Futuro, an online magazine about innovation. He currently teaches Interaction Design at SUPSI Lugano in the south of Switzerland and is a visiting professor at CIID in Copenhagen.


Paul Saffo

Paul is a forecaster with over two decades experience helping stakeholders understand and respond to the dynamics of large-scale, long-term change.   He teaches at Stanford and chairs the Future Studies track at Singularity University. Paul is also a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council, and a Fellow of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences. Paul holds degrees from Harvard College, Cambridge University, and Stanford University.



Robert Stephens

Founder, Geek Squad
A native of Chicago, Robert left a scholarship at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1990 to pursue a degree in computer science at the University of Minnesota. While attending the University, he landed a job fixing computers for the Human Factors Research Laboratory. Over a three year period, he rose to become head engineer of the lab while earning scholarships from the U.S. Navy and the FAA building flight and driving simulators. It was also during this time he started a computer consulting business. In April 1994, after three years at the University, he formed The Geek Squad with $200. In 2002, The Geek Squad acquired by Best Buy and opened Geek Squad precincts in all Best Buy US and Canadian stores. With over 6000 Agents , The Geek Squad is now North America's largest technology support company offering phone, in-store, and in-home support.


Ryo Koyama

Founder and CEO, Weaved
Ryo Koyama is a Silicon Valley serial entrepreneur who has been active in the networking & Internet connected device space for the past 20 years. Currently he is co-founder and CEO of Weaved, a cloud service company for IoT.


Sam Ortega

Program Manager, NASA's Prize Program
Sam Ortega is a graduate of Texas A&M University and has worked for NASA for 27 years in numerous areas from Prize purse competitions to microgravity science research.


Yobie Benjamin

Co-Founder, Avegant
Yobie Benjamin is a Co-founder/COO, CTO, Advisor, Angel Investor, Entrepreneur, Conservation/Environmental Activist, Coder and Biohacker, recently honored as a 2015 Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum (commonly known as the Davos Conference). As Co-founder of Avegant, Yobie has advanced the development of a next generation wearable device - Avegant Glyph - The Smart Headphone and raised $1.5MM on Kickstarter and $9.4MM on Series A and A1. As an advisor for Skully, Yobie has raised $3.4MM via crowdfunding and $11MM in venture funding. Yobie is currently a volunteer civilian advisor for NASA AMES Collaboration Labs and is a partner at Innovation Arts, a specialty innovation and technology consulting firm.


Zach Kaplan

CEO, Inventables
Zach Kaplan is the founder and CEO of Inventables, the hardware store for designers. Inventables is igniting the digital manufacturing revolution by simplifying the path from idea to finished product. To do this, Inventables sells digital manufacturing machines including 3D printers and over 10,000 materials and supplies for designers to make products ranging from jewelry and signs to furniture.


Zach Supalla

CEO, Spark
Spark founder and CEO Zach Supalla is an entrepreneur, a designer, and a maker. Zach juggles hardware design, front-end software development, and leading his team through the trials and tribulations of a hardware startup.