Mike Vorhaus, President, Magid Advisors, Frank N. Magid Associates, Inc.
Mike Vorhaus, President, Magid Advisors founded the Magid Internet and New Media research and consultation practice in 1995, with AOL and Excite as his first two clients. Mikeâ€™s team has completed over 2,500 engagements with over 100 Internet clients. Mike began the Magid Gaming Practice in 2001 with EA and Sony Online as his first two clients. The Magid Game Practice now works with most of the major game publishers. Mike provides research and consulting services to a number of major traditional media companies in regard to their new media initiatives, as well as consulting a number of leading Internet and gaming companies. He has also provided advice to venture capital and private equity firms in regard to investments in the media space. Mike has been involved in strategic and tactical consulting, including the launch of new services and programming, as well as development and implementation of online and offline marketing programs. Mike has also been extensively involved in video and PC gaming strategies for a number of our companies, as well as the development of game concepts. Mike has consulted on a number of film projects such as Youâ€™ve Got Mail and The Matrix. He holds a B.S. in psychology and sociology from Wesleyan University and has worked as a fundraiser and transfer of technology officer at the California Institute of Technology and the University of California. Mike also worked for the U.S. House of Representatives, The U.S. Senate, and for two Administrations in the White House.
John Welch, CEO
John Welch is veteran leader of the casual games industry and one of the early pioneers of digital distribution of entertainment. His new venture, Making Fun, is focused on connected, cross platform games, applications and technology for the web and mobile devices such as iPhone and Nintendo DSi. The Making Fun Platform provides user profiles, social graph, leaderboards, achievements, virtual items, virtual currency, telemetry, reporting, and other horizontal features critical to running modern game deployment and operation. The company’s first product, NFL TRIVIA MATCHUP, is a cross-platform web and iPhone game created under license from the National Football League. Previously, as co-founder & CEO of PlayFirst, the casual games publisher famous for its best-selling DINER DASH brand, John was responsible for the vision, financing, strategic direction and operations of the company for its first five years. Prior to forming PlayFirst, he spent nearly five years building Shockwave.com into one of the Internet’s top game portals as the company’s Vice President of Games and Product. He was a key member of the Dreamcast Network leadership team at SEGA from 1998-1999. Previously, John spent several years running a small consultancy he co-founded, and he began his career at Andersen Consulting. John has served as steering committee member and chair of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) Online & Casual Games groups, and he is a regular faculty member of the annual Game Developers Conference. John is an active member of the Golden Gate chapter of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO). He holds degrees in Mathematics and Computer Science from MIT and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Ralph Simon, CEO, The Mobilium Group
Chairman Emeritus & Founder, MEF – America
Ralph Simon is recognized as one of the founders of the modern mobile music and entertainment business in the USA and Europe. He is chairman emeritus and founder of the Mobile Entertainment Forum Americas, the principal global trade association and leading advocate for the Mobile Entertainment industry established to represent the commercial interests of content, application and service providers and telecom operators, and President & CEO of The Mobilium Group, the respected mobile strategic advisory firm that guides US and international media companies, networks and brands to grow revenues and market share from mobile content, mobile entertainment properties and technologies. His involvement in the global mobile entertainment and content business since its inception brings together a vast array of skills acquired from a distinguished career in the music, music publishing and the mobile technology industry. Ralph has proven expertise in strategic company development, content & copyright usage, mobile rights architecture, super-distribution, mobile platforms, copyright usage and mobile business development. In 1998, he co-founded and funded the USA & UK & Europe’s first ring tone company, Yourmobile/Moviso (now known as Infospace Mobile the US market leader in mobile aggregation). He currently advises prominent companies, entertainment properties and artists (including U2) in the USA and internationally on ways to maximize and develop their mobile businesses and revenues and create significant commercial opportunities on a global basis. On July 2, 2005, he organized and executive produced the mobile and mobile messaging layer for the Live 8 world concert event that established the validity of cross-platform mobile strategies as well as ultimately leading world leaders and G8 governments to commit $50billion to reduce global poverty. In December 2005 he was picked as one of the Top 50 mobile entertainment executives world-wide, in an authoritative poll conducted by the respected trade journal, Mobile Entertainment Magazine. Prior to starting the mobile entertainment revolution, he co-founded the Zomba Group and Jive Records which grew to become the world’s most successful independent record and music publishing company. In the mid-1990s, he was Executive Vice President of Capitol Records, Blue Note Records and created EMI’s New Media business. Ralph Simon is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in the UK and a member of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences in the USA. He maintains offices in Los Angeles, London and Berlin.
Ted Cohen, Managing Partner
Integrating his widespread digital authority in music, mobile, IPTV and product & service development, Ted Cohen is the Managing Partner of TAG Strategic. In an industry that’s been slow to embrace change, Cohen is the exception to the stereotypical music-exec rule. Of course, when you start a career on the road with Alice Cooper and Van Halen, you’re more primed for the unexpected. Known throughout the technology and music industries as being "part ambassador and part evangelist," Cohen was instrumental in crafting the licensing agreements upon which the Rhapsody subscription service and the iTunes Music Store were built. In his previous role as Senior Vice President of Digital Development & Distribution for EMI Music (home of artists including Coldplay and the Rolling Stones), Cohen led next-generation digital business development worldwide for this "big four" record company, which includes labels such as Capitol, Virgin, Angel/Blue Note, Parlophone and Chrysalis. During that time, EMI led the industry by embracing and exploiting new technologies and business models such as digital downloads and online music subscriptions, custom compilations, wireless services, high-definition audio and Internet radio. In addition to seeking out, evaluating and executing business opportunities for the company on a global basis, Cohen served as both a strategist and key decision-maker for EMI’s global new media and anti-piracy efforts. He worked to establish company-wide digital policies, which have provided EMI’s artists and labels a substantial advantage in the digital music arena. Prior to his role at EMI, Cohen served as Executive Vice President of Digital Music Network Inc., where he co-founded and served as Chairman of the groundbreaking Webnoize conferences. Cohen also led two highly successful new media consulting operations, DMN Consulting and Consulting Adults, attracting clients such as Amazon.com, Microsoft, Universal Studios, DreamWorks Records, Liquid Audio, Wherehouse Records/Checkout.com and various other entertainment, technology and new media organizations. Cohen also held senior management positions at both Warner Bros. Records and Philips Media. A 30-year industry veteran, Cohen was recently elected Chairman of the Mobile Entertainment Forum Americas board, and currently chairs MidemNet, an international music/technology conference convened in Cannes each year. Cohen also serves on the NARAS (Grammy) Los Angeles chapter Board of Governors as well as the national Trustee Board, the Board of Directors for the Neil Bogart Memorial Fund, co-chairs the new media arm of the T.J. Martell Foundation, and lends his time and talents to music & technology education efforts such as the Grammy In The Schools Program.
Peter Levin, Co-Founder
Peter Levin is the co-founder of GeekChicDaily.com, a daily email newsletter editorializing all things popular culture. Additionally, Levin is principal & CEO of GYL, LLC, a technology development and investment portfolio focused on digital media companies and video game platforms. Levin serves as an Executive Advisor to Ascent Media and Yoshimoto Kogyo as well.
Prior to GYL, Levin served as President and Co-Founder of Bellrock Media, Inc., a mobile and broadband entertainment company creating and distributing premium content for mobile and broadband platforms throughout North America and Japan.
Levin began his career at Creative Artists Agency (CAA), working in the Corporate Advisory Group with a client list including Matsushita Electric Industry Company, Sony, Nike, The Coca-Cola Company, and Credit Lyonnais. In 1996, Levin joined The Walt Disney Company in the Corporate and Strategic Planning groups and later joined Disney Online as a senior producer. Leaving Disney in 1998, Levin became managing director of Lynx Technologies. Lynxâ€™s investments included Applied Semantics (sold to Google 4/03), Gamespy Industries (sold to IGN 12/03), Ask.com (sold to IAC 3/05) and Atom Entertainment (sold to Viacom 8/06).
Levin serves on the Board of Directors of Sulake, Inc. (Habbo) and Mind Control Software. He is also on the steering committee of The East/West Sports Council and the Center for International Sport Business Advisory Board at the Western New England College.
Levin is founder and co-owner of the 2006 World Champion Chicago Rush of the Arena Football League and a managing partner in Palisades Baseball, which owns and operates the West Virginia Power, the class â€œAâ€ affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates. He is also a minority partner in and strategic advisor to Strikeforce, a mixed martial arts promotional entity. In June 2009, Levin served as the exclusive representative of Nikki Finkeâ€™s DeadlineHollywoodDaily in its sale to MMC.
Colin Gillis, Director of Research & Senior Tech Analyst
Colin has a decade of sell-side experience as an equity analyst predicting the performance of publicly listed companies. His current focus is on covering and discovering companies that are creating and shaping a new class of globalized media and transaction intelligence that deliver a step-function performance improvement over existing solutions. With the unprecedented quantity of data behaviors currently available â€“ and increasingly captured â€“ on the Internet, a new levelof relevance for media consumption, advertising exposure, marketing messaging, and transaction-driven revenue streams is being created.An electrical engineering graduate with honors from Brown University, and academically published on the topic of computer parallel processing, Colin has 9 years of experience coding and building technology platforms including the first fax-over-IP system. With work experience that includes private startups and public multinationals, Colin has a strong grasp of the details required for small companies to grow revenue and large companies to grow earnings. After receiving his MBA from New York Universityâ€™s Stern School of Business, Colin joined RBC Capital Market as part of the #1 ranked services research team covering emerging digital and traditional head count driven business. In 2004 Colin joined Adams Harkness as an analyst covering Business and Internet Technology Solutions and quickly was promoted to VP then Director. As a senior analyst Colin covered 20 companies creating and hosting the dedicated Internet conference â€œHolidayClicksâ€ focused on year-end trends. Most recently Colin specialized intechnology stocks as Director of Research at TheStreet.com.
Teemu Huuhtanen, President, North America
Sulake Inc. (Habbo Hotel)
As President, North America, for Sulake Inc., Teemu Huuhtanen knows a thing or two about how to navigate and monetize the new brave world of digital entertainment. He heads up operations in North America for Habbo, one of worldâ€™s most popular online social networking and gaming communities for teens. He managed to get Habbo to be the first virtual world to sign a deal with the Hollywood talent agency William Morris and recently announced a dual economy in its online community, allowing users to be rewarded for spending time on the site with â€˜pixelsâ€™, a currency that allows them to purchase discounted virtual items or rent a variety of special effects for their avatars and virtual rooms. Teemu and his team at Sulake offer advertisers real world access to teens’ virtual worlds.
Jon Potter, Consultant / Former Executive Director
Digital Media Association
Jonathan Potter is an independent consultant focused on the future ofmusic and media law, policy and business. Until December 2009 Jon wasExecutive Director of the Digital Media Association (DiMA), aWashington, D.C.-based association of innovative media companies thathe founded in 1998. During his leadership tenure DiMA became aformidable Congressional and Executive Branch advocate for onlinemedia members, including early Internet startups like Broadcast.com,Liquid Audio and Spinner.com, and later for Pandora, Yahoo!,Microsoft, AOL, Amazon.com, Apple, and many more.
While leading DiMA Jon engaged on legal, policy and business issuesfacing his membership, and worked directly with senior businessexecutives, including strategists and business development leaders,and general counsels. Jonâ€™s leadership in significant industry-widechallenges relating to legislation, royalty rates, industry licenses,interoperability and digital rights management led to his being namedone of Washington’s "top technology lobbyists" by The Legal Times’Tech Counsel magazine, and one of the "25 Unsung Heroes of theInternet" by Interactive Week magazine
An engaging speaker and effective advocate, Jon is a rare conferencepanelist who can make a high-level business case, a broad publicpolicy argument and an in-the-weeds legal point â€“ all in response to asingle question. He has testified before Congress many times and hasappeared in the media and on conference panels several hundred times.
Prior to starting DiMA Jon was a Washington, D.C.-based consultant andattorney, focused largely on intellectual property andtechnology-oriented public policy issues. His clients includedcomputer and consumer electronics companies, cable and satellite mediaservices, investment banks, major museums, and real estate developers.During the 1990s, Jon represented and advised clients on thedevelopment of several significant legislative accomplishments,including the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the DigitalPerformance Right in Sound Recordings Act, the Audio Home RecordingAct and the Fairness in Musical Licensing Act.
While in law school, Jon served as a consultant to several Members ofthe U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives, as well asseveral tax-exempt organizations. Jon graduated from New YorkUniversity School of Law and the University of Rochester.
Nick Veronis, Managing Director
Veronis Suhler Stevenson
Nick Veronis is a Managing Director and is responsible for originating and structuring investment opportunities and for monitoring portfolio companies. He specializes in the business information services sector and digital media. He co-led the acquisition and subsequent development of Ipreo, a VSS Fund III investment, and currently serves on the boards of Ipreo, Previsor, Brand Connections, and User-Friendly Group. He has been involved in numerous buy-side and sell-side transactions at VSS, including the sales of Clipper Magazine, The Official Information Company, and CompuNet Credit Services. Mr. Veronis first gained media experience as a reporter for The Boston Business Journal and then for The Star-Ledger in New Jersey. He also served as Associate Director of the New Media Division of Newhouse Newspapers. He holds a BA degree in economics from Trinity College.
Switch and Data
David Reitman has over 20 years experience supporting clients within the Data Center & Emerging Technologies Services marketplace. Mr. Reitman is a Subject Matter Expert (SME) on how to build large scale Online Infrastructures, Digital Distribution of Media, Streaming Services, Target Content Distribution, Domestic & International Data Center facilities, High-Power Density Deployments, Peering Exchanges and IP Backbone Infrastructures.
Mr. Reitman has been an instrumental figure within the Online Gaming industry, as the Executive supporting the Team that has designed, built and deployed the following Online Games: World of WarCraft, BattleNet, EverQuest, EverQuest II, StarWars Galaxies, PlanetSide, Vanguard, Asheronâ€™s Call, the Xbox 360 Live platform, the PS3 Online Platform, as well as, supported Codemasters, Konami, Onlive Game Services, Gaikai and Big Fish Games.
Mr. Reitman is the Vice President leading Switch and Dataâ€™s Content & Entertainment Practice. To date; the Practice yields an annual revenue stream in excess of $45M, with clients that include: Adobe, Akamai, Amazon, AOL, Big Fish Games, CBS/CNET, CTV, DirecTV, Echostar, Facebook, Fox Interactive Media, Google, Limelight Networks, Microsoft, Onlive Game Services, Time Warner, Virgin, Wikipedia, and Yahoo to name a few.
Additionally, Mr. Reitman was a committee team member within the Project Nigel JV. This JV focused on creating the methodologies needed to support digital distribution of content, their associated platforms and underlying digital rights management technology that needed to be leveraged in order to distribute protected copyright content.
Mr. Reitman comes to Switch and Data from AT&T, where he was the Practice Director responsible for AT&T’s Digital Media & Online Game Services Group. Prior to joining AT&T, Mr. Reitman led CERFnet & EarthLinkâ€™s Sales Teams supporting Data Center products. Before joining the Internet industry, Mr. Reitman was an Executive within the Music Business. He led an artist management firm for over 8 years supporting artists on Warner Brothers, Elektra and Sony.