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Driving Consumer Adoption of Mobile Content

Tue May 22, 2012 5:30 PM

MIT Enterprise Forum of NYC Presents:
Driving Consumer Adoption of Mobile Content
View this event live using the Livestream link below:

Mobile content no longer means simply remote access to digital content from a laptop or browser-based access from a mobile device. Today, it`s technology-enabled content designed from the beginning to deliver an optimized user experience on a smartphone or tablet. And demand for content that is mobile by default is exploding along with demand for smart phones and tablets. Tablet sales alone are forecast to blow past PC sales by 2015.

What is mobile content? A new kind of market offering - mobile apps, mobile news and information, mobile games, mobile images, mobile music, mobile video and TV, mobishows and cellsodes. And like all innovations, mobile content faces challenges in winning users and buyers.

- With manufacturers in control of your distribution channels, what techniques can you use to manage distribution? What are some of the app store mechanics and tricks?

- What is the role of the platform? What are your platform choices? What are the pros and cons of each? Is HTML5 really taking off?

- How do you find users? In a market that`s already crowded, how do you break through the noise? How can you go viral? How can you make use of recommendation engines and app discover services? How much advertising do you need? What kinds? What can you do to drive word-of-mouth? What PR? What events?

- What business models work best? What are the pros and cons of various revenue models?

These and other issues will be addressed by a panel of industry experts.

Panel Moderator:
- Somak Chattopadhyay, Partner, Tribeca Venture Partners

Panel Speakers:
- Rahul Bafna, Sr. Director, Product Management, Mobile Advertising, Flurry
- Soraya Darabi, Co-Founder, Foodspotting
- Nihal Mehta, CEO, LocalResponse
- Julia Schulhof, Director of Product, App Lab at Hearst Magazines
- Benjamin Stein, Co-Founder and CTO of Mobile Commons

Thanks to Citibank Commercial Banking Group for hosting this event!

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012
5:30pm - 6:00pm: Reception
6:00pm - 7:30pm: Panel Discussion
7:30pm - 8:30pm: Networking
Citigroup Center
601 Lexington Ave. 14 Floor
New York, NY 10022
(Lexington Ave. Entrance) Directions
Free to members of MIT Enterprise Forum
$50 non-members, $10 extra at door
All members and guests are welcome.

Panel Moderator Biography

Somak Chattopadhyay
Tribeca Venture Partners

Somak Chattopadhyay has been operating or investing in early stage startups in the NY metro area since 1999. Somak leads investments in a variety of sectors including digital media, information services, and the Software-as-a-Service sectors.

Somak is a member of the board of directors at Altruik, StepOut, Mobile Commons, ReachForce and Truveris. Previously, he was at Edison Venture Fund, where he sourced and evaluated investments in the tech-enabled services sector and launched the firm’s New York office.

Prior to entering the venture capital industry, Somak held senior marketing/business development roles at Medtower, a pharmaceutical IT software company and DealTime, a comparison shopping company that was later acquired by eBay. Somak started his career at Broadview International (now Jefferies) and was previously director of the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA).

Somak serves on the board of numerous nonprofit organizations including the MIT Enterprise Forum of New York City, NYCVC, and the Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival. He also serves as a VC Mentor for the ER Accelerator and the Startup Leadership Program (NYC Chapter). Somak is a Charter Member of TiE. He holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from MIT and an MBA from Columbia Business School.

Panel Speaker Biographies

Rahul Bafna
Sr. Director, Product Management
Mobile Advertising, Flurry

Rahul is responsible for articulating and executing on the strategy, roadmap, and go-to-market plans for Flurry’s data-driven advertising platform. With expertise in ad exchanges, networks, real-time bidding and data-management platforms, he has a deep understanding of emerging technologies and industry trends in both online and mobile advertising. Prior to Flurry, Rahul led product management efforts for DoubleClick Ad Exchange and Google AdSense. Rahul holds a degree in engineering from Carnegie Mellon and an MBA from Columbia Business School.

Soraya Darabi

Soraya is a cofounder and lead advisor of Foodspotting, a mobile company providing real-time dining advice to consumers. At Foodspotting, Soraya created the core marketing and partnership strategy for the company, grew its user base from 0 – 2 million. Foodspotting was named by BusinessWeek as one of `America`s Most Promising Startups` in 2011. It was also a TIME Top 50 Website and an “App of the Year` by both WIRED magazine and Apple in 2010.

She began her career as Manager of Digital Partnerships and Social-Media at The New York Times, where she successfully led the drive to syndicate The Times’s news and video across multiple new media platforms. Her NYT multimedia Inauguration Day campaign on Facebook won first prize at the INMA awards for excellence in marketing.

Soraya frequently speaks at tech and media events in the U.S. and abroad, and she has been featured in numerous publications as a representative of the new generation of digital thought-leaders. She appeared on the June 2010 cover of Fast Company’s annual “Most Creative People in Business` issue. She was also featured on the cover of Brandweek`s annual `Digital` issue in October 2010, and in Inc. magazine’s `30 Under 30` issue in June 2011.

In 2011, Soraya became the first ambassador to The United Nation`s group `Global Pulse,` which aims to communicate the work of UN agencies through data visualization. She has provided services to NGOs, including Charity: Water, The Robin Hood Foundation. She sits on the digital advisory board for General Electric, and recently became a mentor for Tech Stars.

Nihal Mehta
CEO and Co-Founder
LocalResponse, Inc.

With over 12 years experience in innovating marketing technologies through founding five startups to date, Nihal Mehta, is a noted expert in the emerging adoption of mobile technologies for media properties and consumer brands.

Named a 2012 AlwaysOn "Power Player NYC," a top 10 NYC `game changer` in the 2010 New York Enterprise Report, one of twenty RCR Wireless News `mobile movers and shakers` in 2008, a BusinessWeek `M-Commerce Baron` in 2006 and named one of AdAge`s `top 20 marketers in their 20s` in 2005, Nihal is currently CEO and co-founder of LocalResponse, Inc. which helps marketers respond to real-time consumer intent.

Prior to LocalResponse, (which pivoted from buzzd, a leading real-time city guide), Nihal founded ipsh!, one of the first full-service mobile marketing agencies in 2001, which he sold to Omnicom (NYSE: OMC) in 2005. Nihal is also a Founding General Partner at the world`s first venture fund focused on mobile startups, ENIAC ventures; a Founding Partner of the India Internet Group which incubates and invests in Indian startups; and is an active angel investor including investments/advisories in Admob (sold to Google), Greystripe (sold to Valueclick), Movoxx (sold to Adenyo). Nihal graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a BA in Philosophy and a BSE in Computer Science.
Julia Schulhof
Director of Product
App Lab at Hearst Magazines

Julia Schulhof began her career in the world of print magazines. She began producing websites and online databases, and eventually moved into online and mobile video production and syndication. In 2005 she produced a series of made-for-mobile video news quizzes, one of which won a Mobie at the TV market MipCOM in Cannes, France, beating out Disney, Sony, and others in its category. Julia joined CondeNet, where, as Director of Emerging Media, she was instrumental in the launch of Conde Nast`s first iPhone Application,, in August 2008. The team with which she worked went on to produce award winning applications for several brands. Julia joined Hachette Filipacchi Media in 2009 and became Director of Emerging Platforms, responsible for mobile products and tablet apps, including the launch of ELLE Magazine`s iPad app, a 2012 Webby award nominee. With Hearst Magazine`s acquisition of Hachette in 2011, she is now Director of Product for the Hearst App Lab, overseeing mobile and tablet app development for 20 brands, including Cosmopolitan, Popular Mechanics, Good Housekeeping, Seventeen and Car and Driver. She is a graduate of Cornell University.

Benjamin Stein
Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer
Mobile Commons

Ben is the co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of Mobile Commons, where he is responsible for product development, system architecture, and technical operations. He is one of the leading pioneers shaping how organizations successfully use mobile for healthcare, advocacy, fundraising, organizing, and other forms of communication.

Ben has 15 years of experience building Internet applications of all shapes and sizes. He spent much of his career building distributed software for B2B customers. With a background in both the financial and medical industries, he has extensive experience with high-availability systems with a focus on security and data sensitivity. As a software engineer at Bloomberg LP, Ben developed their trading system, search engine, and web services. After Bloomberg, he worked at ShadowTV, transcoding, indexing and streaming hundreds of terabytes of video data for government and corporate customers.

He earned a BS in electrical and biological engineering and a Master`s in medical image processing, both at Cornell University. After completing his studies, he took a position as a Visiting Scientist, developing medical software used in clinical trials for lung cancer screening and image analysis tools used in General Electric`s CT scanners.

Ben lives on a small urban farm in Brooklyn with his wife Arin and son Gabriel and he can usually be found coding, biking, or rock climbing. He sits on the board of and advises nonprofits on effective uses of technology.

Board Member Organizers:

Eleanor Haas
Managing Director
The Calyx Group, LLC

Mark Caron
Snac, Inc.

Event Host:
Citibank Commercial Banking Group

This is a service of the MIT Enterprise Forum of New York City.
Copyright 2012 All rights reserved

Location: Citigroup Center

For more information:

Contact: Eddie Quiroz
Phone: 888-639-9321

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