EVP, Security, Compliance, Identity & Management at Microsoft
Charlie Bell is executive vice president of security, compliance, identity, and management at Microsoft. He leads a team of engineers focused on advancing cybersecurity technologies designed to protect the digital systems integral to empowering every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.
Bell has more than 40 years of experience developing the foundation of the technology we use every day. He began his career developing software for space shuttles before going on to manage transactional systems at Oracle. In 1996, he founded Server Technologies Group to build e-commerce transaction software. Prior to joining Microsoft, Bell served as senior vice president of Amazon Web Services, where he unified the company’s database, networking, and systems engineering teams to create a decentralized engineering system.
Bell has a bachelor’s degree in business/management information systems from California State University, Fullerton. His leadership is defined by continuous learning, he is deeply curious about quantum mechanics, artificial intelligence, and human evolution, his favorite use of free time is camping anywhere in the vast Pacific Northwest wilderness.
Founding Partner at Kin Ventures
Tina Hoang-To is the Founding General Partner of Kin Ventures, a venture capital firm founded by former operators that helps companies by providing access to the best engineering talent through their in-house technical recruiting team.
Tina invests across a wide range of sectors with direct experience in both consumer and enterprise software businesses and a passion for SaaS, health & wellness, marketplace, edtech, fintech, and web3 companies. Kin Ventures’ portfolio includes companies like Logixboard, Edge Delta, Scratchpad, and Alloy Automation.
Before launching Kin, she led emerging growth investments for Obvious Ventures and served on the board of Torch and invested in Medable. Prior to that, Tina was Executive Vice President at TCV focusing on growth deals and invested in companies like Splunk (NASDAQ: SPLK) and Merkle (acquired by Dentsu).
She previously founded and served as CEO of Wedding Spot (acquired by Cvent), the first online marketplace to offer instant price quotes for wedding venues across 43 states in the United States.
Tina was one of Venture Capital Journal’s Top 40 Rising Stars in 2020.
Mayor of Seattle
Bruce Harrell was born in Seattle to an African American father who was one of the first Black union lineman at Seattle City Light, and a Japanese American mother who had been incarcerated at Minidoka during World War II. His mother “Rose” worked for the Seattle Public Library and was elected to the Seattle City Credit Union Board of Directors. He is Seattle’s first Asian American and first biracial mayor and Seattle’s second Black mayor.
From an early age to today, Bruce has drawn from the experiences of his parents and lessons learned from his youth to challenge injustice, celebrate the diversity of our communities, and bring people together around our shared Seattle values.
The Harrell family lived in Seattle’s redlined Central District, where Bruce graduated from Garfield High School in 1976 as valedictorian of his class. Bruce went on to attend the University of Washington on a football scholarship – declining offers from Harvard and Stanford to stay in his hometown. At the University of Washington, Bruce earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science, won a Rose Bowl, and made the national Academic All-American First Team in football. In 2013, Bruce was inducted into the Pacific Northwest Football Hall of Fame as a College Player.
Bruce later earned a Juris Doctor from the University of Washington School of Law. As an attorney, he spent his early career in technology and telecommunications as an in-house attorney. He later joined a downtown firm representing employees, youth, small businesses, and nonprofit organizations. He frequently served as a mentor and coach for students and young people across South Seattle.
Bruce was elected to the Seattle City Council in 2007 citywide, and re-elected twice, later serving his home district of South Seattle after City Council positions became districted. He was twice elected City Council President by his peers, one of just a few to ever serve multiple terms in that role. And, in 2017, Bruce served as interim mayor.
On the Council, Bruce was a leader on issues of racial equity, public safety reform, and economic and educational opportunity for all. He sponsored the law to “Ban the Box,” led efforts to pass Seattle’s first bias-free police law and was the first to advocate for the use of body cameras by SPD officers. He championed Seattle’s Race and Social Justice legislation, requiring all Seattle policies to be reviewed through an equity lens.
Bruce was the first to enact the pilot program that eventually became the Seattle Promise, providing free college education to Seattle Public School students, and he originated the Great Student Initiative that provides 20,000 Seattle Public School students with access to computers and high-speed Internet access. He helped lead negotiations to pass the $15 minimum wage and supported other groundbreaking pieces of legislation to advance support for workers and small businesses before retiring from the Council in 2019.
In 2021, Bruce was elected mayor of Seattle on a commitment to address the homelessness crisis with urgency and compassion, to ensure public safety for all communities, and to restore trust, hope, and unity in local government and civic life. With a belief that we can accomplish more when we work together, Bruce is working every day to drive innovation and effective solutions addressing the challenges – and opportunities – in front of Seattle. He believes creating One Seattle will be critical to address the needs of the day; a Seattle where we embrace our differences and celebrate our commonality.
Bruce and his wife Joanne are proud to be the parents of three children and the grandparents to two grandchildren.
Partner at Bessemer Venture Partners
Talia Goldberg is a partner in Bessemer’s San Francisco office and invests across consumer internet and software businesses. She is especially passionate about networks and platforms that create new categories and progress the way we live and work. She partners with ambitious entrepreneurs building radically better products with unique distribution models.
Talia joined Bessemer in 2013 and later became the youngest elected partner in firm history. She has partnered with Discord, Lithic, Newfront Insurance, Papaya Global, Rupa Health, ServiceTitan, Shippo, Stubhub, Syndio, Teachable, and Toss, among others. Learn more about many of the entrepreneurs she has backed by listening to This is Series A. She was featured in Forbes 30 Under 30 for Venture Capital.
Talia graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania. Talia grew up in Portland, Oregon, which she insists is home to the best ice cream and pizza in America.
Founding General Partner at Ascend VC
Kirby Winfield is a seasoned startup operator and investor, and is currently the Founding General Partner at Ascend.vc, the most prolific pre-seed stage venture fund in the Pacific Northwest.
Early in his career, Kirby was a founding team member and operating executive at back-to-back tech IPOs, with Go2Net and Marchex.
He is also a two-time venture capital-backed CEO, with AdXpose (DFJ, Ignition) acquired by comScore, and Dwellable (Maveron, VersionOne) acquired by HomeAway.
Kirby has invested in more than 80 technology startups, and currently serves as a Board Director at Bean Box, Keepe, and SyncFloor. Other notable investments include Cap Hill Brands, Crowd Cow, Fabric, and Wrench.
CEO at Syndio
Maria Colacurcio is passionate about helping companies build equitable workplaces where every worker is valued for who they are and their contributions.
Colacurcio is CEO of Syndio, a SaaS startup helping companies around the world create an equitable workplace for all employees, regardless of gender, race, or ethnicity. Prior to Syndio, she co-founded Smartsheet.com, which went public in 2018, and spent three years at Starbucks, one of the first Fortune 50 companies to go public with pay equity results. Having started her career working on congressional campaigns, she has a long history of mission-driven work, and a compassionate and competitive attitude to spur change.
Colacurcio serves on the board of the nonprofit Fair Pay Workplace and has been named by Goldman Sachs Builders + Innovators Summit one of this year’s 100 most intriguing entrepreneurs. A total shoo-in for Hamilton, she holds a BA in History and Political Science from Whitworth University, where she minored in music and studied vocal opera.
As a CEO, Colacurcio is walking the walk on eradicating workplace inequities. In our Zoom-centric world, she was able to raise a $17.1 million Series B investment in January 2021 while 8 months pregnant (most people had no idea she was expecting). Today, you can find her working from home, with her husband and 7 kids.
Managing Director at Westriver Group
Anthony Bontrager joined WestRiver in January 2018 where he enjoys partnering with entrepreneurs working on transformative ideas, contrarian approaches within companies and building long-term, sustainable value. He led WestRiver’s investments in and serves on the boards of Viewpath, Wicket Labs, Tectonic Audio Labs, PTO Exchange, and Qorus Software. He is also a strategic advisor to Madrona Venture Labs and serves on the limited partner advisory committees for Energy Innovation Capital and Two Sigma Ventures. Prior board roles include Igneous Systems, Inc. (acquired by Rubrik, Inc.).
Before WestRiver, Mr. Bontrager founded Soda Media, Inc., a strategic advisory firm for several family offices in the Pacific Northwest managing select venture investments. He was President of Onecast, a mobile video news aggregation platform launched via Craig O. McCaw’s Eagle River Investments and was co-founder and CEO of IPTV transport provider Broadstream Communications, where he negotiated $36 million in capital and infrastructure funding from various investors, including the world’s largest satellite operator, Intelsat.
Throughout his career, Mr. Bontrager has been involved in over $600 million worth of venture/angel funding, content syndication, strategic acquisitions and partnerships within the digital media, software, and wireless industries.
Mr. Bontrager holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from Seattle University. He is a former member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, Interactive Media Peer Group, and was a co-author of Washington State’s Wireless Siting Policy.
The 2022 GeekWire Summit will offer both a limited capacity in-person experience and a completely virtual option.
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