8 Speakers, 8 Lessons, 8 Minutes

October 17th (Sat) 6pm (GMT+8)

Online | 英文演讲附中文同声传译



Inspired by the experiences of the highs, lows, fun, and pressure that make up life at a startup.

Twice a year, Chinaccelerator – the 1st accelerator in Asia – invites 8 of our mentors – serial entrepreneurs, investors and industry leaders – to share their experiences on starting up in China, Asia, and beyond for 8 minutes.

Businesses are not built in isolation. The path to building a global business is a long and treacherous one. And so, it helps to learn from the failures and successes of other founders. We, at Chinaccelerator, aim to leverage our global network to deliver these insights to entrepreneurs and help them in their journey building cross-border businesses from Asia.

In our upcoming 8X8 global event, we will bring to you 8 exceptional speakers to share their insights from working and running businesses across the world. Also get a chance to meet Chinaccelerator’s Batch 18 companies making headway in insurtech, regtech, AI, SaaS, streaming and more.


Mikaal AbdullaInternational SVP, SoFi
Co-founder & CEO, 8 Securities (acquired by SoFi)

I am CEO and co-founder of 8 Securities and a member of the Fintech Asia 100. My startup was Asia’s very first mobile-only investing service and robo-advisor and secured over $US 60 million in venture capital. As one of the largest and fastest growing fintech companies in Asia, 8 Securities was acquired by Social Finance in 2020. I now hold the role of SVP of International for SoFi.

My prior experience includes leading and developing E*TRADE’s international business across Greater China, South-East Asia, Europe and the Middle East and as a management consultant at Deloitte in the United States.

I hold an MBA from both Columbia Business School and London Business School.

Yara PaoliChief Growth Scientist & Co-Founder,Growth OS
Ex VP of Growth, Skyscanner

Yara is currently Chief Growth Scientist for Growth OS [https://www.growth-os.com], a growth enabler Singapore/Barcelona based company and she is board director and growth advisor for Kolonial.no, the leading Norwegian online grocery retailer as well as a growth advisor for She1k Singapore and Chinaccleerator and MOX.

Yara is the ex global VP of Growth at Skyscanner, the leading travel search engine and former interim Chief Growth Officer for Preply, the online marketplace for online language learning.

She works with dozens of innovative startups and established but pivoting companies around the world (like Zublu, DNB, NCE Finance Innovation, Gebo group, Badi, Spiff, ’tise, Monner), training them on growth science and culture and helping them to build their own growth operating system, so to achieve substantial growth sustainably.

As VP of Growth at Skyscanner, she contributed to grow exponentially the company from a 32-employees small startup to a 1.4 Billion GBP valued company with over 1,000 talented people working across 60+ markets (acquired in 2016 by the Chinese travel giant Ctrip).

Adam NajbergGlobal Head of Content, Alibaba Group
Former Global Director of Communications, DJ
IFormer Digital Editor of Asia, The Wall Street Journal

Former Global Director of Communications, DJI
Former Digital Editor of Asia, The Wall Street Journal
#PR #Content #Storytelling

A specialist in corporate communications, crisis public relations, messaging, content, IPOs, digital marketing, owned and paid social media strategy, operations and transformation. He has over 25 years in the news and digital-media business, and – as a polyglot – can wear multiple hats and work anywhere. He is also a podcast specialist, including edits, and can shoot and edit video, serving as EP on three documentaries.

Adam is a well-rounded public relations and communications pro. He has led, planned and executed major event PR (including the largest shopping event in the world), overseen product and service launches, write releases and media communications and is the best editor both DJI and Alibaba have for English-language content. Adam and his team built up Alibaba Group’s content and helped turn it into an award-winner and started up a content lab for Shenzhen DJI.

Per WelinderGeneral Partner, Welinder Shi Capital
A legend skateboarder (a stunt double in
the movide Back to The Future)

As a General Partner and emerging manager in Welinder Shi Capital Per has demonstrated a unique ability to find great investment opportunities in the sectors of culture, lifestyle and consumer technologies. Sezzle one of the earliest investments has proven to be a big success now valued near $1B after their recent IPO. Per also has a history as a legend in the action sports world. Per has co-founded some of the most influential skateboard and lifestyle brands in the industry including Birdhouse, Flip, Baker, JSLV and Go Skateboarding Day. He is also an author, board member, and popular guest speaker on the topics of startups and brand-building. Per earned his Executive MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management. LinkedIn here. Wiki here.

A fun fact about Per Welinder: Per was a stunt double for some of Michael J. Fox’s skateboard scenes in the classic 1985 time travel movie Back to the Future.

Shannon KalayanamitrVenture Partner at Gobi Partners
#Entrepreneur #Investor #SoutheastAsia

Shannon has made her mark in the tech world building businesses [ORAMI/ MOXY, Lazada, PPTVThailand] and driving the ecosystem through tech investments [Currently Partner at Gobi Partners and Shark Tank Thailand] and CEO of the IKIGAI Group and 5GCatalyst Technologies, in Southeast Asia.

She is no stranger to the business world and global conferences, often appearing to speak about entrepreneurship, key subject matters: Strategy, Brand Building, ESG, SDGs, Marketing, Growth Hacking, Fundraising, Women Empowerment, and Mindset and Resilience. Notable speaking events, executive leadership workshops and interviews include: FORTUNE’S Most Powerful Women Asia, The United Nations, YPO, CNN and Bloomberg. She is also an advisor to various Southeast Asian Government Agencies and Ministries on the topic of Digital Transformation, Entrepreneurship and Education for the 21st Century.

With her longstanding career of almost 2 decades, spanning from Lehman Brothers to Singha Beer’s Global operations to Tech, she has consistently paved the way for women in executive, entrepreneurship roles in traditionally male dominated industries from tech to investment banking and has carried this over to her social work in women advocacy with UN Women and groups Asia-wide.

She is a mover and a shaker, deeply connected in sectors of Government, Technology, Business, Media, ESG, UN SDGs, and Social Development for Equality and Education in Thailand and in Asia.

Vu VanCo-Founder & CEO, ELSA
#FemaleEntrepreneur #AI

Ms. Vu Van is a female entrepreneur and the Co-founder & CEO of Silicon Valley-based ELSA, the world’s best and smartest English pronunciation app. She worked with leading speech scientists, machine learning scientists, and linguists from around the world to create ELSA. Powered by the company’s proprietary AI and speech recognition technology, ELSA scores a learners’ speech to pinpoint individual syllable and phoneme level mistakes with real time feedback. Based in San Francisco, ELSA has raised $12 million in capital and is backed by leading VCs in Silicon Valley, Southeast Asia and Japan.

Prior to founding ELSA, Vu lived and worked in Vietnam, Singapore, Denmark where she experienced the challenges of an English language learner abroad. She served as an Engagement Manager at Booz & Co, one of the top four global management consulting firms. Vu earned an MBA and a Masters in Education from Stanford University and is originally from Vietnam.

Lily LiuCo-founder & CFO, Earn.com (acquired by Coinbase)
Co-founder, Operation Masks
Angel Investor
#CFO #Fintech

Lily is a seasoned serial entrepreneur and angel investor. Her fintech startup Earn.com was acquired by Coinbase in 2018. Before founding Earn.com, Lily acted as the CFO of China’s first foreign funded, private and mass market hospital Cilin Hospital, where she was responsible for M&A, procurement, controlling and more. Before Lily kicked off her entrepreneur journey, she had 7-year experience working in Morgan Stanley, McKinsey and KKR Capstone.

Shamik TalukderCo-Founder, BeTagged #martech #influencermarketing #SoutheastAsia #Indonesia

A media and entertainment global professional and tech advocate known for his pioneering work with celebrities in converging media with tech across the globe. He is credited with revolutionizing the airport media in India, was the starting member of the largest Radio FM Network in India and Country Head of a music streaming platform. A start up ace who has scaled and run operations across 17 countries, founded a fast growing Influencer marketing company with an AI Powered Influencer marketing platform for Indonesia and developing another disruptive travel tech platform for Global Tourists.
Favorite Quote: Think Disruptive, Think Scale. Execute with Speed and Passion. Inspired by a Masayoshi Son quote.


5:40pm : Calling link activated, available to join
6:00pm – 6:10pm : Welcome Remarks
6:10pm – 6:20pm : Part I: Meet Chinaccelerator Batch 18
6:20pm – 7:50pm : Part II: 8 Lessons, 8 Minutes Each
7:50pm – 8:30pm : Online Networking (For pre-registered attendees only)

Patrick Lee Co-Founder & Former CEO, Rotten Tomatoes

Patrick Lee is a serial entrepreneur best known for being a co-founder and former CEO of Rotten Tomatoes (rottentomatoes.com), a leading entertainment website focused on movie reviews and news. He is an advisor to a number of startups including Casetify, ChargeSPOT, Instaread, Kiwibot, Oishii, WePloy, and Zeuss Technologies; and a mentor at a number of organizations including SOSV, Berkeley SkyDeck, Blue Startups, and Founder Institute.

Patrick holds a BA in Cognitive Science from the University of California at Berkeley.

Yiying Lu Creator & Artist, "Twitter Fail Whale" & Dumpling 🥟 Emoji

Born in Shanghai China, Educated in Sydney Australia and London UK, currently based in San Francisco, Yiying Lu is an award-winning designer, entrepreneur, educator, and bilingual speaker. She was named one of the Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business and Microsoft’s “Top 10 Emerging Leader in Innovation”.

She is also a sought-after bilingual speaker in both English and Chinese. She specialized in topics of cross-cultural branding, design, and innovation. She has spoken at global conferences such as TEDx, SXSW, Adobe MAX, and Web Summit.

In the last decade, she has created iconic art for global brands like Disney and Microsoft, and built brands for hundreds of tech startups during her time as a creative director at 500 Startups. Yiying is also the artist behind the Dumpling Emoji and the “Twitter Fail Whale”. She was the first international creative collaborator at IDEO.

Yaw Yeo General Manager For International Product And Business, Alibaba Cloud
Former Head of APAC Twillio

As the product and business leader for CDN, Edge Computing, Video and cPaaS under Alibaba Cloud, Yaw leads several product teams to build global products and drive international business growth.

Prior to Alibaba, Yaw was responsible for new market expansion in the Asia-Pacific region for Twilio (NYSE:TWLO). Yaw started working with Twilio as an investor in 2012. He joined Twilio as employee #1 in Asia-Pacific in 2014 and witnessed Twilio’s growth from a startup of 50 employees to a publicly-traded company of 2,500 employees.

Yaw graduated with a B.Sc in Computer Science from Cornell University and M.Sc in Mgmt Science and Engineering from Stanford University.

Patrick Riley CEO, GAN - Global Accelerator Network Managing Partner & Co-Founder, GAN Ventures

Patrick Riley is the CEO at GAN and Managing Partner and Co-Founder of GAN Ventures, a seed-stage venture capital fund. Most recently, he was on the executive team at Techstars, where he oversaw its business development. He started his career working for W.L. Gore and Associates and moved into the leadership of the American Red Cross in Washington, D.C. Patrick left the Red Cross to manage the West Coast sales and operations for a venture-backed healthcare company that had an exit before joining Techstars and GAN. In his spare time, he skis, cycles, travels and spends time with his incredible wife and two daughters.

Cheryl Goh Founding CMO, Grab

Cheryl is part of the early founding team at Grab. Starting in Kuala Lumpur as a one-man marketing team, she has set up the marketing practise across Southeast Asia for Grab over the last six years. Today, she leads marketing in over 300 cities, covering all of Grab’s business verticals including transport, food, payments and logistics. She oversees Grab’s marketing efforts across the region, leading a team of over 500 marketers across Southeast Asia.

In 6 years, Cheryl has built the Grab brand into a household name across Southeast Asia, and played a critical role in the company’s growth and progression from ride-hailing, into the region’s leading superapp. Under her leadership, the marketing team has led the development of demand shaping platforms which drives Grab’s growth using technology and automation. She also manages Grab’s social impact programme and published Grab’s first social impact report earlier this year.

Fritz Demopoulos Co-Founder & Former CEO, Qunar.com (acquired by trip.com)

Fritz Demopoulos has been an entrepreneur and investor within the media and internet industries for over 15 years. He co-founded Qunar.com, China’s largest travel internet company; and Shawei.com, China’s largest sports internet company. Fritz also had senior positions at Netease and The News Corporation.

Edith Yeung General Partner, Proof of Capital

Edith Yeung is a General Partner at Proof of Capital (an early-stage Silicon Valley venture capital fund focused on Blockchain), creator of the China Internet Report and advisor at 500 Startups – the world’s most active early-stage incubator. Recognized by Inc Magazine as one of the Silicon Valley investors you must know, Edith has invested in over 50 blockchain, mobile, AI startups including Lightyear/Stellar, Silk Labs (acquired by Apple), Chirp (acquired by Apple), Fleksy (acquired by Pinterest), Human (acquired by Mapbox) and many more.

Before 500, Edith is the general manager at Dolphin Browser, a Sequoia-backed mobile browser with over 150 million installs worldwide. Edith also worked with many Fortune 500 companies such as Siebel, Oracle, AMS, AT&T Wireless and Autodesk.

Abel Zhao Co-Founder & CEO, TravelFlan

Abel is a co-founders and CEO of TravelFlan an Award-winning AI Digital and Big Data Solutions company, utilizing proprietary Travel and Lifestyle – specific B2B2C strategies and solutions to empower Fortune 500 companies like China Mobile, Samsung, SITA and Lotte Group to create incremental revenue streams and improve customer engagement.

Abel has over 16 years of experience in Travel IT and Consulting industries in strategic planning, turn-around management and Sales & Marketing. Previously he was the regional head in Travelport and Amadeus responsible for commercial and strategic initiatives and local market expansion strategy. He also spent 5 years with Air Canada in Toronto as Corporate Analyst, Global Sales and Strategy responsible for revenue optimization and global strategic expansion and 2 years with Hyatt Corporation in Chicago.

Abel holds Dual – Masters degrees from Columbia University and London Business School, and undergraduate in Hospitality Management in Switzerland.



2020 marks Chinaccelerator’s 10th year of accelerating world-changing founders, businesses and technologies. To celebrate our 10th anniversary, we are planning on a series of events to deliver practical and invaluable business insights in the light of our 10-year cross-border experience siding with global entrepreneurs.

The global 8X8 speakers series will be part of the 10th-anniversary celebrations.

Stay tuned with more upcoming events.

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