Lars B. Thoresen is Senior Advisor at Verdane Capital where he was Managing Partner/Joint Managing Partner from 2008 to 2015. Verdane manages more than NOK 10 bn for Norwegian and international institutional investors, and has 30 employees in their offices in Oslo, Stockholm and Helsinki. At Verdane, Mr. Thoresen has been instrumental in the acquisition of both several portfolios of direct investments, as well as individual companies such as Skandia Life portfolio, Nordic Venture Partners, Ferd and EasyPark. He has also helped build and grow a number of portfolio companies from a board role, such as Opera Software AS, Liaison Technologies Inc., CRF Health Oy and Napatech A/S. Lars is today Chairman of the Board at NextGenTel ASA (listed OSE), and serves on the Board of Napatech (listed OSE), Arundo Analytics Inc, Carn Capital AS and INSEAD Alumni Assoc. Norw.
Mr. Thoresen holds an MBA from INSEAD (France) and a BSc in Finance from St. John’s University, New York (USA).
Liza Benson is a Partner at the early stage venture capital fund Moderne Ventures. Prior to Moderne Ventures, Ms. Benson was a Partner at VC fund StarVest Partners and Managing Director of Highbridge Principals Strategies, primarily focused on digital media, fintech and marketing technologies. Prior to joining Highbridge in 2008, she was a Managing Director with Bear Stearns’ Constellation Growth Capital. Previously, Ms. Benson was an investment banker at Patricof & Co. and First Union. In addition to Cxense, Ms. Benson has been a board member or observer in more than a dozen companies including Widewine, Webify, Siperian, K12, Bench, Ceros, Transactis, Xignite, CrowdTwist and UrbanBound.
Ms. Benson holds a BA in Mathematical Economics, summa cum laude, from Colgate University..
Azeem Azhar has vast experience within AI, technology and startups through various engagements. Currently he is working as Senior Advisor for AI to the CTO of Accenture, sits in the editorial board of the Harvard Business Review, serves as Board Member at Cronycle (a news and information aggregation service tackling information overload and fake news), in addition to several other advisory engagements in the technology sector. Mr. Azhar previously held corporate roles at Reuters and the BBC and has served as editor at The Economist and The Guardian. In 2010, he founded PeerIndex where he applied machine learning to large-scale social media graphs to make predictions about web users.
Mr. Azhar is also an investor in tech startups, particularly in the AI sector. He holds a Master of Arts (politics, philosophy and economics) degree from the University of Oxford.
Ingeborg Hegstad is a partner in the leadership consulting company Imsight and serves on the Board of Director of Q-Free ASA. Prior to current positions, Ms. Hegstad had the position as Associate Partner in McKinsey & Company focusing on strategy and leadership issues within the retail, telecom and IT sectors. Ms. Hegstad has also been a management consultant at Egon Zehnder, where she worked with executive search, coaching of executives and teams, organizational development and board work. She has extensive experience from working internationally with organizations and executives across Europe and Asia.
Ms. Hegstad holds a Master of Business and Administration from Norwegian Business School BI (2000).
Martin Moran is Managing Director for international business at Insidesales.com where he is responsible for growth in EMEA and Asia Pacific. Mr. Moran brings more than 25 years of experience in managing and growing business operations across a variety of industries in Europe and globally, with a proven track record for building high-performance sales organizations. Prior to InsideSales.com he served as General Manager and Senior Vice President for EMEA at Lumesse. Previously, Mr. Moran was responsible for global sales and delivery at ServiceSource International and at Salesforce. As the first employee in Salesforce’s EMEA organization, Martin helped grow the company’s EMEA business to $300 million in annual revenue. He has also driven revenue growth for well-known technology companies like Oracle and Skype.
Mr. Moran holds an accountancy degree from Brunel University in London.