Next Big Thing is a series of quarterly gatherings designed to showcase new entrants and disruptors in the media, entertainment, and technology spaces by bringing them together with established leaders and investors in those industries. A mix of elevator pitches, open debate, and cocktail conversation, the Next Big Thing provides a forum for rising innovators and entrepreneurs to meet the pioneers and pillars of the media industry.
Paul Berry is founder and CEO of RebelMouse and Soho Tech Labs. He is a general partner at Lerer Ventures and serves on the digital advisory board of American Express. Previously, he was CTO of HuffingtonPost and before that, vice president at Related Capital. He is married with three kids and lives in Tribeca. You can find him on Twitter @teamreboot or at rebelmouse.com/paul.
Justin Choi is a serial entrepreneur who founded three fast-growing businesses with more than 100 employees. To his credit are Cie Studios, an award-winning digital agency that specializes in creating custom web, social, and mobile apps for top brands; and Cie Games, a venture-funded spinoff that builds mobile and social games including Car Town, one of the top games on Facebook and the Apple App Store with over 50 million players worldwide, and featured partnerships and in-game integrations with more than 50 major companies and brands. Choi is currently CEO of his third venture, Nativo, a patent-pending advertising platform that enables publishers to easily activate, deploy, and manage native ad placements across their media properties. Nativo is a leading technology platform in one of the fastest growing segments of digital advertising.
Shafqat Islam is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of NewsCred, the world's leading content marketing and syndication platform.
As CEO, Shafqat manages the strategic growth of the company, pioneering a new content ecosystem for brands and publishers. Since its founding in 2008, NewsCred has grown to a 75+ person team of technologists, journalists and creative content marketers based in New York, London and Dhaka. The company is funded by leading investors including FirstMark Capital, FLOODGATE, and IA Ventures.
Recently, Shafqat led the company's acquisition of Daylife, an early technology innovator in the media space. Shafqat has spoken at events including Paley Media Center Summits, Business Insider Conferences, Internet Week, Digital Hollywood, the Digital Content Monetization Summit, AAN Media Conferences, and Wharton Entrepreneurship panels. Prior to NewsCred, Shafqat was a Vice President at Merrill Lynch, running technology teams in NYC and Geneva, Switzerland.
Scott Kurnit is Founder and CEO of Keep Holdings.
Global Chief Media Officer, Razorfish
Steve Sachs is chief executive officer of OneSpot, a programmatic native ad company that marries content marketing with the power, data intelligence, and the infrastructure of online advertising. OneSpot customers span B2B and B2C categories, including P&G, Unilever, Remington, Dell, Rackspace, General Mills, Home Depot, and others. Previously, Sachs was executive vice president, consumer marketing and sales at the Time Inc. division of Time Warner. As Time Inc.'s chief consumer marketing officer, he had P&L responsibility for consumer revenue of 22 US brands and led consumer digital strategy and distribution. He was a board member of Next Issue Media, the joint venture digital media company owned by Time Warner and four other major media companies. In prior roles, Sachs has been the president of the Time Inc. Lifestyle Group and the president of Real Simple. He has been a advisor in TechStars New York and First Growth Venture Network. He is a member of the board of directors of The Texas Tribune, a nonpartisan, nonprofit media company based in Austin. He was previously on the board of trustees at Brooklyn Academy of Music.
Brian Sirgutz is the Senior Vice President of Social Impact at AOL/ Huffington Post Media Group, where he leads all aspects of it's global Impact content and engagement strategy; overseeing as the General Manager the Impact, Green and Education sections and developing new Impact business and product development innovations on the AOL/Huffington Post's platform; Impact and Education are one of the largest platforms on the web using content as a means for global social change.
Prior to this he was the President of Causecast, a pioneering firm specializing in cause marketing technology platforms, during which he co-founded and led the launch of the HuffPost's award-winning Impact and Education verticals. In his earlier career in the music industry Brian was a partner, with Shawn Fanning the founder of Napster at NoN Records and president of Elementree Records. Brian was also the manager of recording artist Aaliyah's estate and non-profit foundation after her passing. He holds a Bachelor of the Arts degree from the Gallatin School at New York University.