Speakers at SURF 2017: Who are they?

Danang International Conference and Exhibition SURF 2017 is the time for the prestigious experts, mentors, investors and speakers from all over the world to gather together. The unique chance this year is for you. Come and meet them at SURF!

Jeff Hoffman

Jeff Hoffman is a successful entrepreneur, proven CEO, worldwide motivational speaker, published author, film producer, and a producer of a Grammy-winning jazz album in 2015. He has been the founder of multiple startups, has been the CEO of both public and private companies, and has served as a senior executive in many capacities. Jeff has been part of a number of well-known companies, including Priceline.com. uBid.com, ColorJar, and more. 
Dominic Mellor

Dominic Mellor, Senior Economist at Asian Development Bank and head of Mekong Business Innitiative, has been a close friend with DNES for a long while. Dominic has varied work experience in both the public and private sectors across the Asia-Pacific, Middle East, and Africa. At SURF this summer, we are happy to have him as our guest speaker in a very exciting panel discussion about entrepreneurship.

Tuan Anh Nguyen

“By a consistent way, I can draw people who make up for my shortcomings to join in many projects. Never run your own business alone!” said Tuan Anh Nguyen, Grab Vietnam CEO. Check him out at SURF to hear more about this Southeast-Asia’s leading ride-hailing platform.

Bobby Liu

Bobby Liu, senior director of the Topica Edtech Group, is active member in the startup community, volunteering his time to mentor startups and helping them achieve their goals. Bobby will attend SURF as a speaker and judge for pitching competition.
If that is what you want, let’s come to SURF 2017 and get it!

Chinn Lim

Adrian Tan

Adrian just started his new role as a Program Director of VIISA, a tech accelerator that will invest $6M into building global startups in Vietnam.He is excited about the possibilities of developing business with $100M market cap over the next 2-5 years.As an innovation coach, he has worked with startup entrepreneurs and large enterprises to scale up their business ideas and innovation projects. Previously, as an entrepreneur-in-residence and lean innovation coach at Singapore-based JFDI Asia, he’s mentored over 1000 startup founders across the region. He also designed and facilitated corporate innovation workshops in lean startup, product development, growth-hacking and design thinking for companies and participants from Schneider Electric, Bosch, Sivantos, Manulife, ProsiebenSat1, Google, Rolls-Royce and Skyscanner.

Hai Ho

Hai Ho- cofounder of Triip.me, once decided to get out of his comfort zone and pursue his startup dream. From what he has been experiencing, it could be said that he understands the challenges of the startup life more than anyone else. Please don’t miss his talk about balancing life as an entrepreneur at SURF 2017!

James Galvin

James is founder and CEO of vsource.io, an Irish HR technology company with over 250 employees in Ho Chi Minh City. He has been involved in a number of tech startups as founder, interim CTO, and investor, in Ireland, Singapore, Vietnam, UK, and US. In 2016, James launched the Talent Analytics Lab, bringing together data scientists in Ireland and Vietnam in a collaboration focused on advanced data analytics for talent management sector.

Geoffrey See

Geoffrey See is an active supporter of frontier entrepreneurship. He founded Choson Exchange to develop the entrepreneurial ecosystem in North Korea. Since then, they have trained over1600 North Koreans as frontier entrepreneurs and helped develop innovation infrastructure. Geoffrey previously worked for Bain & Co. in Boston. He was a board member of a listed Mongolian energy company, a research affiliate at MIT, an advisor to startups at a Singapore-MIT research institute and co-founded two startups, including a co-working space in Vietnam. He is also a Kauffman Fellow, part of a leadership network in venture capital. Geoffrey graduated with a Bachelors (Summa Cum Laude) from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, and completed a Masters at Yale University. Geoffrey has worked in Singapore, China, Korea and the US, and currently lives in Vietnam.

Le Tri Hai

MVP (Minimum viable product) is an essential part of launching your startup idea because it helps entrepreneurs start the process of learning as quickly as possible. Find out more about MVP at SURF from Mr. Le Tri Hai- Founder and CEO of Green Global IT Solutions Consulting on the topic ” MVP and beyond”. Mr. Le Tri Hai has 9 years experience in managing Green Global, which has a proven record of accomplishment of delivering cost-effective solutions to clients, don’t miss the opportunity to learn about MVP from him.

Huy Nguyen

“The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer”. I would like to share my biggest project in life so far from making a plan into realizing the plan with all of challenges and full of passion. At the end of talk, I will give a talk about leadership.

Phan Viet Hoan

Phan Viet Hoan as a talent leader, Hoan has always been passionate about create innovative products or services that serve the need of customers and businesses optimally. You will find interesting and valuable lessons from his talk “Job maketplace innovation” at SURF 2017

Victor Chua

Victor Chua is a vice president of investment at Gobi and also an honoree of Forbes Asia 30 under 30. He joined Gobi in early 2015. He was an investment manager with Malaysia Venture Capital Management (“MAVCAP”), Malaysia’s largest venture capital firm and a company wholly owned by the Ministry of Finance of Malaysia, where he invested in early stage high growth tech companies. He was also associated with 500 Startups, through their ASEAN extension, 500 Durians. Before that, he had several years of investment consulting experience with Towers Watson, where his portfolio of clients were sovereign wealth funds, pension funds and other institutional entities in Southeast Asia. With the experience of researching and evaluating the capabilities of different asset managers around the region, he brings onto the table insights which will help the firm in upholding best practices in investment process. He also founded a few online and offline ventures which has provided him with hands on entrepreneurial experience. Victor is a graduate of Macquarie University, Sydney with a bachelor of commerce in actuarial studies, a CFA charterholder, and is also a member of Mensa Malaysia. He is currently serving his second term as the Honorary Secretary of the Malaysia Venture Capital Association (“MVCA”). 

Dang Van Tran

Using data science to transform daily lives around the globe. Sharing 20+ years industry experience with the new generation in Vietnam.

Tran Dang Van is a co-founder of MITFive Startup and Entrepreneurship Program, and co-founder/CEO of Butterfly Hub, a start-up using data analytics to disrupt the beauty and personal health industries.

Having spent all of his 20+ year career making big impacts at global corporate leaders like Samsung and Mitsubishi, Dang has extensive experience in managing teams and projects in multiple countries simultaneously. He had lived in Japan for 4 years, and traveled to South Korea on a regular basis during his 10 year tenure at Samsung. He enjoys collaborating with hungry, intelligent, and diverse individuals in global settings.


With the theme “The Role of universities in the Start-up Ecosystem”, SURF is honored to welcome three distinguished guests in the field of education to join this panel discussion: Mr. Marko Seppa – Entrepreneur in Residence at IPP (Vietnam-Finland Innovation Partnership Program), Ms. Huong Nguyen- Vice President of VNUK and Nguyen Trung Dung – CEO of BK Holdings. 

Marko Seppa

“My passion is to help Good People build Great Companies”, said Marko. During his works at IPP, Marko has put a considerable amount of efforts in helping Vietnamese entrepreneurs to access to the Finnish startup ecosystem. Coming from the country who is well known for the best education in the world, his insight about the role of education in startup would revitalize our perspectives on education.
Ha Bui

* MsC at LOUISIANA UNIVERSITY, major in Computer Engineering

* Former lecturer of Alabama in Huntsville University and Louisiana at Lafayette University, USA

* Research Assistant at Texas A&M University

* Experience engineer on Java, Java Script, C/C++, Python, Sysbase, Oracle, MySQL, Clear Case, SVN, Tortoise Hg.

Wesley Chang

Developing startup ecosystems in Southeast Asia through investments in startup companies and real estate, based on finance innovation initiatives.

Christopher Beselin

Mr. Beselin co-founded Endurance Capital in 2014. From 2008 to 2011, he was on the investment team of Europe’s largest active ownership fund, Cevian Capital (ca 10 bnUSD of AUM)

Since 2012, Mr. Beselin resides in Vietnam where he has co-founded and as CEO built the country’s largest e-commerce company from scratch to over 500 employees (invested by Tesco plc, Rocket Internet, Kinnevik, et. al.). The Lazada Group was sold to Ali Baba Group (BABA.US), valued at 2bnUSD, rendering a 15x return on investment for early stage investors.

Mr. Beselin has also held the role as CEO of a baby products retailer in Scandinavia and has been on the board of the private Scandinavian textile company, Back on Track (with operations in over 20 countries) for over a decade.

Tri Nguyen

Tri Nguyen, co-founder and CEO of Mimosa Tek,once made a bold decision to quit a sought after job and follow his passion about smart argiculture in Vietnam. At SURF 2017, Mr. Nguyen will broaden our knowledge about smart agriculture as well as his insightful experience about entrepreneurship.

Matt James

Matt James is Senior Manager of Corporate Strategy at Amadeus Asia Pacific, based in Bangkok. His mission is to seek out innovative, game-changing technology; his role is to drive Amadeus’ partnerships with travel tech companies across the region. This includes through the Amadeus Next community that mentors, nurtures and partners with travel startups in Asia Pacific on their journey to scale into awesome companies. He has been based in Bangkok for the past 9 years, but first entered the industry as a travel agent in London, before moving to Australia where he worked for an OTA in numerous roles. Matt is passionate about technology and innovation and loves techy gadgets. 

Koichi Saito

Koichi Saito is founder & General Partner of KK Fund, a venture capital fund investing in seed stage internet and mobile startups across South East Asia, He previously worked at Private Equity Fund founded by George Soros. Koichi holds a Master of Business Administration degree from IE business school in Spain.

Khemara Ros

Let’s meet Khemara Ros, Regional Access to Finance Manager at Asian Development Bank (ADB) at SURF 2017. Khemara has over 10 years of professional experience in economic and private sector development with in-depth knowledge about political economy, investment and business environment in Cambodia and countries in the Mekong sub-region.

He will share his above-mentioned knowledge in our panel discussion, topic ” Lessons from startups in Asia and South East Asia”.

Ngoc Nguyen

Ngoc has engaged in the media industry for 7 years, and has extensive works on the startup ecosystem. Since being with DEALSTREETASIA, she has been featuring the investment activity into startups as well as other businesses in Vietnam. Other than just a conventional reporter, Ngoc is devoted to helping connect stakeholders in the community. She is one of a few dedicated journalists to the local startup ecosystem who introduce Vietnam to international audience.

Lam Thi Thuy Ha

Ha co-founded Triip.me is a VC-backed sharing economy platform for unique and private local experiences, connecting people who desire to experience local culture with those who are looking to offer specially designed tours. Currently, the platform focuses on creating unique local experiences in 98 countries and 655 cities with over 6,000 hand-picked tours. Ha previously spent over 9 years in the travel industry in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Her passion comes from bringing joy to every single person she meets. Out of that passion she sold her house and bootstrapped Triip.me in its early days, to connect travelers and local experts around the globe. Ha is also a cultural explorer and a mother of three. Ha was recently included in the Forbes Asia’s ‘30 under 30’ in 2016.

Donald Huynh

A passionate traveler turned to a travel start-up builder helping travelers to plan their trips easily and travel with confidence. 

Daren McKelvey

Daren McKelvey runs R1 Labs, an innovation event strategy consultancy out of NYC that helps corporates and service providers maximize ROI and make meaningful connections in the startup + tech community. He’s also US Partner for Startup Guide, a curated physical and digital book series for navigating a city’s startup community.

An Nguyen

Young generation of government official: work hard, play harder. Interested in creativeness, fashion, photography, addicted to traveling and posting “deep feeling” images on Instagram.

Kim Cuong Pham

Ex-Google, Ex-Airbnb engineer who returned to Vietnam to join the rank of startup founders. Kim is working on AI bots for the hospitality industry. Previously founded ChonGiaDung.com, a shopping search engine and Athena Media, a social ads company.

Eddie Thai

Eddie Thai is a partner with 500 Startups, the world’s most active early stage VC firm based in Silicon Valley. He is focused on investing in Vietnam’s next great tech startups as well as helping develop 500 Startups’ offerings in corporate innovation and startup ecosystem development. His efforts have been covered by Bloomberg, BBC, the Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch, and various regional outlets. In 2015 he was recognized as one of Forbes Vietnam’s 30 Under 30, and in 2016 he was selected to attend and speak at the World Economic Forum’s flagship conference in Davos. He received degrees from Harvard University and Yale University, and serves on the global Board of Directors of the Harvard Alumni Association.

Tu Thu Hien

Tu Thu Hien is the Vietnam Country Manager of the Mekong Business Initiative, a program jointly funded by the Asian Development Bank and the Government of Australia. She leads the development of and manages the Vietnam project portfolio, including the advocacy process for better support to women-owned businesses (WOBs) in the SME Support Law, the pilot of alternative financing mechanisms for WOBs, and development of research and analysis on women-owned businesses.

She recently founded and leads the Women’s Initiative for Startups and Entreprenership (WISE), targeting support to startup women. 

Shuyin Tang

Shuyin currently leads investing activities in the Mekong region and the Philippines for Patamar Capital (formerly known as Unitus Impact), the most active social impact venture capital firm in Southeast Asia. She has experience spanning strategy consulting (Bain & Company), development consulting (TechnoServe) and impact investing (Unitus Impact, LGT Venture Philanthropy), across Australia, India and Southeast Asia. Shuyin was named one of Australia’s “100 Women of Influence” by the Australian Financial Review in 2015 and an Asia 21 Young Leader by the Asia Society in 2016. She graduated summa cum laude from the Australian National University where she was also awarded the University Medal.

( to be updated… )

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