CEO, Comunicano, Inc.
Andy Abramson is the founder of Comunicano, Inc., a 30 person asymmetrical communications consultancy, geared to providing clients with Senior Advising, Marketing Communications, Corporate Communications and Marketer-In-Residence services to start-ups, companies in transition and established brands with regard to influencer relations, marketing, advertising, public relations, social media, promotion, events and reputation management in the technology, consumer products and business to business markets.
A veteran of the media, marketing and public relations industries, Andy has 35 years of experience in all facets of marketing and corporate communications. He started his career in the marketing department of a professional sports team at age 14 before earning his degree in Journalism from Temple University.
In the period of 2005-present seventeen Comunicano startup clients have been acquired ranging from Cisco, IBM, Google, eBay, Nokia, and other similar companies being on the acquiring side. Most recently in November 2008 Citrix Online acquired HiDefConferencing while Logitech acquired client SightSpeed. This was followed by the acquisition of Mobivox by Sabse in 2009 and then ShoZu by CriticalPath in January 2010.
Prior to starting Comunicano in 1993 Abramson guided The Upper Deck Company’s Public Relations and Sports Marketing; served in Account Management with Foote, Cone & Belding’s IMPACT group developing Integrated Marketing programs. His agency role followed a 14-year career in sports marketing with the Philadelphia Wings, Denver Nuggets and the Philadelphia Flyers including as President of the team’s youth hockey operation, Hockey Central/Office of Amateur Hockey Affairs from 1976-1988.
Andy is also Ken Rutkowski’s eleven-year running co-host on KenRadio’s World Technology Roundup and an active blogger with both VoIPWatch and Working Anywhere, two blogs that focus on emerging communications and the virtual workplace.
During his career Andy has worked with numerous clients and corporations in traditional package goods product and manufacturing companies, promoted sports and entertainment events and place based properties, worked for professional sports teams and within amateur sports organizations as well as leading entertainment figures. He was also involved in the launch of a record label.
Peter van der Gracht
Chair, Board of Directors, Wavefront
Peter van der Gracht is a successful start-up veteran with over thirty years of experience leading companies through multiple financings, operational build-outs, acquisitions, mergers and buy-outs. Co-founder of Nexus Engineering, a supplier of CATV equipment, Peter grew the company to the number two market position serving customers in North America, South America, Europe and Asia before selling it to Scientific Atlanta. Throughout his career, Peter has identified, funded, designed and launched hundreds of innovative technology products and has been responsible for all aspects of corporate operations, making him a much sought after board member of technology companies.
Peter is currently chairman, director, consultant or an investor of Ocean Floor Geophysics, a deep ocean mineral exploration company; Quick Mobile, a personalized mobile marketing company; Light-Based Technologies, a solid state lighting supplier; Wimatek Systems, a developer of LTE wireless technologies; Wurldtech Securities, a supplier of M2M security products and services; CounterPath, a supplier of SIP-based products and solutions; Wavefront, Canada’s wireless business accelerator; entrepreneurship@UBC and Alacrity Foundation.
Peter holds a Master's Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of British Columbia and is a winner of multiple awards for entrepreneurship.
Stephen P. Cho, Ph.D.
Director, Channels and Business Development, Google Enterprise
Stephen Cho is Director of Channels and Business Development for Google Enterprise. He is responsible for the syndication of Google's consumer products, in particular Google Apps (Gmail, Calendar, Talk, Docs, Start Page, Sites) and Search, to different groups of partners around the world (telco/ISP, media/portal, mobile, OEM). He was previously Director of Google's Global Online Sales and Operations division responsible for millions of Google Apps users and online customers, and prior to that was Director of New Content Initiatives where he was responsible for business development efforts around video/YouTube, Google Maps/Earth, Google Books/Scholar, and new areas, including non-music audio, government content, and news.
Prior to Google, Stephen was Senior Director of Product Management and Marketing for Cisco's Application-Oriented Networking Business Unit, where he led product management, marketing, business development, sales strategy, and overall business operations and planning for a several hundred person organization he helped found in 2003 and which focused on delivering intelligent application infrastructure (messaging, middleware) through the network. Earlier at Cisco, he was Senior Director of the Service Provider Solutions Practice in Cisco's Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG), which developed Cisco- and partner-based solutions for major service providers around the world leveraging Cisco's advanced technologies (IP Telephony, contact centers, content delivery networks, ...). And prior to this he managed the the Cisco IBSG Customer Care and e-Commerce solutions organizations.
Before joining Cisco, Mr. Cho spent several years in business strategy and technology consulting with McKinsey & Company in their Telecommunications, Multimedia, and Electronics Practices and as a leader of their North American Data Networking Initiative. Prior to this, he was with The Boston Consulting Group focusing on technology areas. Mr. Cho was a Fulbright Scholar and holds a Ph.D. from Yale University and a B.A. from Dartmouth College.