Alfredo Ramirez, President and CEO at Vyopta Inc.
Alfredo Ramirez is a seasoned entrepreneur with direct experience in building early-stage software technology companies, which is why he proudly serves Vyopta as CEO and Co-Founder.
A nod to his passion for pushing the button of innovation, Alfredo previously co-founded Vitalz (a venture-backed, enterprise software company acquired by Oracle) and Daman Consulting. He also held positions at Andersen Consulting (Accenture), Trilogy Software, and as Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Reddwerks Corporation. He holds a B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin.
Aruna Viswanathan, Co-Founder and COO at AlphaX Decision Sciences
Aruna Viswanathan brings over 20 years of experience in various roles including as an engineer, venture fund advisor, technology accelerator executive, private equity investor, business owner, and family oﬃce CIO/CFO. She was most recently Chief Underwriting Oﬃcer and Co-Founder for Clearspring Capital Group with multiple exits to Fortune 500 companies.
Previously, Aruna served a ﬁve-year term on the Texas Emerging Technology Fund Committee, was a past Director of the Houston Angel Network and was the Vice-President and Director of Operations for the Houston Technology Center. Prior to her work in operations and ﬁnance, Aruna worked in a variety of engineering roles at AMD and Motorola’s Wireless Signal Processing Division. She currently serves on the board of directors of Industial Tech (NASDAQ: ITAC) and on the board of the Houston Chapter of TiE, a global entrepreneurship organization.
She holds Bachelors and Masters degrees in Electrical Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin and an MBA from Rice University.
Carolyn Cushman DeSena, Chief of Staff at VEEPIO; Founder and CEO at WEforum Group
Carolyn Cushman DeSena graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Texas with a degree in Communications (Radio/Television/Film). After spending a short period working for production companies, movies and television shows, Carolyn moved to New York City where she began her Wall Street career working for Spear, Leeds, and Kellogg as an assistant specialist and eventually as a derivatives specialist on the floor of the American Stock Exchange. Carolyn later moved to London where she helped open SLK Global Markets, a London based operation, managing their U.S. Clearing business and equity and derivative electronic trading sales. Goldman Sachs later bought SLK and Carolyn became one of the first employees to transition to GS where she helped integrate product lines and services.
She is currently the Founder and President of WEforum, a female-lead organization devoted to raising community awareness on how to live a healthier lifestyle and to raising money for free educational health and wellness programs and services that are accessible to everyone in the community. She currently serves as Board member of both Monmouth Medical Center Foundation (an RWJ Barnabas Health affiliate), and Global Safe Water Foundation. In addition to her philanthropic endeavors, Carolyn spends her spare time investing in various private equity, independent films, and real estate projects.
David Makarechian, Corporate and Transactions Lawyer at O’Melveny & Myers LLP
David Makarechian is Chair of O’Melveny’s Emerging Technologies Group and Head of O’Melveny’s Northern California Corporate Department. He has more than twenty-five years of experience in mergers & acquisitions, focused on representing acquirers and targets in the technology life sciences and emerging growth company sectors, in Silicon Valley, nationally and internationally. His clients include public and private companies, venture capital and private equity investors, multinational corporations and sovereign wealth funds. His practice also includes joint ventures, corporate governance and 1934 Act reporting of public companies, and the representation of venture-backed companies and venture capital and private equity investors.
David has served as lead counsel in hundreds of mergers and acquisitions, ranging in size from $1 million to over $4 billion. David’s practice covers security, identity management, augmented and virtual reality, energy technology, life sciences, biotech, semiconductor technologies and equipment, optics and other hardware, technology enabled services and software of all types including security, enterprise SaaS, block chain, AI, cloud, data analytics, mobile and consumer internet. David also has experience with companies in the food-tech and ag-tech sectors, as well as growth companies in food and beverage and retail.
David has significant experience with transactions involving South and South East Asia, having co-founded O’Melveny’s Singapore office and serving as a member of O’Melveny’s Asia Practice for approximately five years. He has represented international private equity and venture capital funds, sovereign wealth funds, international investment banks, sovereign issuers and multinational companies in transactions in the region, with a focus on Singapore, Indonesia and India. He earned recognition as one of the top international lawyers in Singapore in the areas of Corporate/M&A and International Capital Markets from Chambers & Partners, the International Financial Law Review and Legal 500.
Frank Wei, Managing Director and Head of China at Warburg Pincus
Frank Wei is a Managing Director and Head of China at Warburg Pincus, a leading global private equity firm which he joined in 2002. Prior to his private equity career, Frank was with the Investment Banking Division of Morgan Stanley in Hong Kong during the late 1990’s and McKinsey & Company in Shanghai during the mid-1990’s. He sits on the boards of ZTO Express (ZTO on NYSE) and several private companies. He received a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.
He is a member of the East China Council of The Paradise International Foundation, the Asia Pacific council of The Nature Conservancy (TNC), and the International Board of Advisors at the University of Texas at Austin.
Stuart Lodge CFO at Inktavo; Partner at Blue Star Innovation Partners
After receiving his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from UT in 1984, Stuart Lodge went on to earn his MBA from the University of Virginia in 1991. He has nearly three decades of experience as the CFO for a variety of technology companies and he spent the last five years as a private equity investor building rapidly growing SaaS and payments platforms. Currently, he serves as a Partner at Blue Star Innovation Partners and CFO at Inktavo. He has unique expertise building high-growth, vertically focused software and payments platforms through acquisition and strong organic growth execution.