The Disruptor 50 is CNBC’s annual list of breakthrough venture-backed startups developing revolutionary new technology into scalable business models to build the next generation of great public companies. Join Disruptor 50 leaders, founders and investors, along with startup founders from around the world as we honor the class of 2020 in a new, expanded virtual celebration. At the summit, attendees will hear directly from founders and CEOs of 2020 Disruptor 50 companies, along with other special guest speakers, and have opportunities to meet and mingle in a customized virtual experience.
Gail Simmons is a cookbook author, judge on “Top Chef” and host of “Top Chef Amatuers.”
Tom Colicchio is Chef and Owner of Crafted Hospitality, and Head Judge on “Top Chef.”
Jeff Lawson is Founder and CEO of Twilio.
Maryam is a transformational inventor, technology executive, and entrepreneur in the field of electrical engineering, with a focus on wireless technologies. She was co-founder of Innovent Systems in 1998, and has been listed on the National Diversity Council’s Top 50 Most Powerful Women in Technology. Maryam was instrumental in starting and building the wireless business at Broadcom and in growing it to annual revenues of more than $3 billion. Maryam holds over 250 issued patents.
Doug Hirsch is Co-Founder and Co-CEO of GoodRx.
Gregg Renfrew is Founder and CEO of Beautycounter.
Leigh Radford is SVP and General Manager of P&G Ventures.
Kobie brings to Upfront deep expertise in enterprise SAAS and emerging technologies including VR and AR. Over his career he has invested early in notable companies including Exact Target (sold to Salesforce for $2.5B) and Oculus (sold to Facebook for $2B).
Kobie joined Upfront in June 2016 after having previously been an investor at Accel. Prior to Accel, Kobie was the Chief Marketing Officer at LA-based REVOLVE, one of the largest global fashion e-commerce players. Earlier in his career, Kobie helped found OpenView Venture Partners and was an investor at Insight Venture Partners. Kobie graduated from Harvard College.
Theresia Gouw was a co-founder and partner at Aspect Ventures. Prior to Aspect, Theresia was a Managing General Partner at Accel. Theresia has been fortunate to work with many successful companies through IPOs or acquisitions including: Forescout (FSCT), Imperva (IMPV), Trulia (TRLA), Hotel Tonight (AirBnB), Astro (Slack; WORK), LearnVest (Northwestern Mutual), Jasper Design (CDNS) and Kosmix (WMT).
As an entrepreneur, Theresia was founding VP of Business Development and Sales at Release Software, a venture-backed company that provided SaaS to enable digital rights management and payment technologies for the software industry. Earlier, she worked at Bain & Company and as a product manager at Silicon Graphics.
Theresia led early investments in Cato Networks, Deserve, Exabeam, The Muse, Crew, ShieldX and PredictHQ.
Theresia is a first generation immigrant and a passionate supporter of educational causes and increasing diversity in the tech industry. Theresia was named to Forbes’ 100 Most Powerful Women list, has been recognized 9 times on the Forbes Midas List, including 2020, was named one of the 40 most influential minds in tech by Time Magazine, as well as being named to the Carnegie Corporation’s annual Distinguished Immigrants list.
Luis von Ahn is Founder and CEO of Duolingo.
Luis von Ahn is a professor at Carnegie Mellon University, the inventor of CAPTCHAs, and a MacArthur Fellow. He has sold two companies to Google and given popular TED talks.
Vishal Garg is Founder and CEO of Better.com.
Chris Britt is Co-founder and CEO of Chime.
Allon Bloch is Co-Founder and CEO of K Health.
Eric Lefkofsky is Founder and CEO of Tempus.
Leah Belsky is Chief Enterprise Officer of Coursera.
Nick Desai is Co-Founder and CEO of Heal.
Julia Boorstin is CNBC’s Senior Media & Tech Correspondent based at the network’s Los Angeles Bureau. She covers media with a special focus on the intersection of media and technology. Boorstin also plays a key role on CNBC’s bi-coastal tech-focused program “TechCheck” (M-F, 11AM-12PM ET/8AM-9AM PT) delivering reporting, analysis and interviews around streaming, social and the convergence of media and technology. She joined CNBC in May 2006 as a general assignment reporter and in 2007 moved to Los Angeles to cover media.
In 2013, Boorstin created and launched the CNBC Disruptor 50, an annual list she oversees, highlighting the private companies transforming the economy and challenging companies in established industries. Additionally, she reported a documentary on the future of television for the network, “Stay Tuned…The Future of TV.” She also helped launch CNBC’s ‘Closing the Gap’ initiative covering the people and companies closing gender gaps, and leads CNBC’s coverage of studies on this topic. She is currently writing a book called, “WHEN WOMEN LEAD: What they achieve, Why they succeed, and How we can learn from them,” about female founders that Simon & Schuster’s Avid Reader imprint is publishing in October 2022.
Boorstin joined CNBC from Fortune magazine where she was a business writer and reporter since 2000. During that time, she was also a contributor to “Street Life,” a live market wrap-up segment on CNN Headline News.
In 2003, 2004 and 2006, The Journalist and Financial Reporting newsletter named Boorstin to the “TJFR 30 under 30” list of the most promising business journalists under 30 years old. She has also worked for the State Department’s delegation to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and for Vice President Gore’s domestic policy office.
She graduated with honors from Princeton University with a B.A. in history. She was also an editor of The Daily Princetonian.
Frank Holland is anchor of CNBC’s “Worldwide Exchange” (M-F, 5AM-6AM ET), which broadcasts from CNBC Global Headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.
He is also a Transports & Tech Correspondent for the network. Holland focuses on reporting and executive interviews for cloud computing, enterprise software and cybersecurity companies in the technology sector as well as trucking, e-commerce and shipping companies in the supply chain sector. Previously, he was a general assignment reporter for CNBC starting in September 2018.
During his time at the network, Holland has covered a wide range of national stories including: the first shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine, the death of George Floyd, Hurricane Ida and the first Kentucky Derby after the pandemic.
Holland also covers Diversity, Equity and Inclusion under CNBC’s Equity and Opportunity brand including the 100th Anniversary of Black Wall Street, diversity in tech and various network specials.
Before joining CNBC, Holland was an anchor and reporter at NBC Boston and WCVB in Boston covering national stories and major local news including the famous “28-3” Patriots Super Bowl victory, The “Texting-Suicide” trial and the Boston Marathon. Holland also enterprise original series and hosted live events, including “Black in Boston”, a weekly business segment and the NBC Education Town Hall in Boston.
Prior to Boston, Holland spent three years as an anchor/reporter at WGN-TV in Chicago, where he covered the presidential inauguration of Barack Obama, the Republican and Democratic national conventions, as well as the National College Football Championship. He also held positions at NBC Affiliate WDIV in Detroit, News 12 in New York, and spent several years in television news in both the Virgin Islands and Alaska.
Holland holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Bentley University and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Pittsburgh. He is a proud member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., the Urban League and the National Association of Black Journalists.
Kate Rooney is a technology reporter based out of CNBC’s San Francisco bureau, with a focus on financial technology, payments and venture capital. She also writes and reports for CNBC’s digital platforms.
Rooney joined CNBC in 2015 as a news associate before working as a producer for CNBC’s “Squawk Box” (M-F, 6AM-9AM ET) and was most recently a markets reporter for CNBC.com.
She graduated from Boston College with a bachelor’s degree in communication and earned her master’s degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University where she received an Eric Lund Global Reporting and Research Grant to film and produce a documentary in the Philippines. She also worked as a multimedia reporter in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2015 with a focus on housing and politics.
Bertha Coombs is a reporter for CNBC, covering financial markets, business news stories and health care throughout the business day. She is based at the Nasdaq Marketsite in Times Square.
Her health care coverage at CNBC has ranged from covering the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and the failed launch of the Obamacare health insurance exchanges, to how cancer researchers are using IBM's Watson to improve cancer care, and how doctors are using mobile technology to treat patients in their own homes. She also covered the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, the impact of the financial crisis of 2008, and reported on the oil markets from the floor of the New York Mercantile exchange.
Before joining CNBC, Coombs was a reporter and anchor for the pioneering online business network, Yahoo Finance Vision, and served as a freelance reporter for the former CNNfn financial network. Prior, she served as a reporter for ABC News One, and a substitute anchor for "World News Now" and "World News This Morning."
She began her career in general news, with previous reporting and anchoring positions at WABC-TV in New York, WPLG-TV in Miami and WFSB-TV in Hartford, Connecticut.
Coombs is a graduate of Yale University and was awarded the Leo Beranek Reporter Training Fellowship at WCVB-TV in Boston. Born in Havana, Cuba, she speaks fluent Spanish.
Riley de León is a Producer for CNBC. He graduated from the University of Missouri with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and an emphasis in strategic communications and entrepreneurship.
Lauren Thomas is a reporter for CNBC in New York covering retail and retail real estate. She joined in January 2017 after graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she studied Business Journalism and Spanish. Thomas previously held internships at CNBC in San Francisco, Bloomberg and TheStreet. She was born in South Carolina and is the oldest of five kids.
Welcome & Introduction
Tyler Mathisen, Co-anchor, “Power Lunch”; Vice President, Events Strategy, CNBC
Stacey Cunningham, President, NYSE
A Profitable 2020: Twilio’s Epic Year
Jeff Lawson knows a thing or two about growing a company in challenging economic times. He founded Twilio, the cloud communications software company, during the worst days of the Great Recession. Now, in 2020, the four-time CNBC Disruptor 50 company has ridden a surge in revenue to surprise profitability, and seen its stock price triple (it’s up more than 2000% since its 2016 IPO). Lawson credits much of the success to a relentless focus on the customer’s needs. In this keynote conversation, Lawson tells the story of Twilio, and the future of digital transformation in the post-pandemic world.
Jeff Lawson, Founder & CEO, Twilio
Interviewer: Julia Boorstin, Senior Media and Entertainment Correspondent, CNBC
Beautycounter: A Makeover for the Cosmetics Industry
It started with “An Inconvenient Truth” and a shocking revelation – that the United States had next to no standards for what ingredients go into personal care products. Since founding Beautycounter in 2013, Gregg Renfrew has been on a mission to change that – building a company that sells safer, environmentally friendlier products, and advocating for ingredient standards for her industry (and succeeding). A disruptor’s story of doing well by doing good.
Gregg Renfrew, Founder and CEO, Beautycounter
Interviewer: Lauren Thomas, Retail Reporter, CNBC.com
Duolingo: The Universal Language
The most-popular education app in the world began as a computer science project. The app would teach people foreign languages while simultaneously translating the entire internet. Co-founder Luis von Ahn, who also helped invent the CAPTCHA and ReCAPTCHA, discusses how Duolingo came to be, how it became Pittsburgh’s first unicorn, and what it’s doing now that the pandemic has made online learning an essential service.
Luis von Ahn, Co-founder and CEO, Duolingo
Interviewer: Frank Holland, General Assignment Reporter, CNBC
GoodRx: Technology Tackling the High Cost of Health Care
Ten years after he tried to find a lower price for a shockingly expensive prescription, Doug Hirsch is the co-CEO of a profitable public company he started to help millions of Americans find discounts for their prescriptions. Doug tells his quintessential Disruptor 50 story.
Doug Hirsch, Co-Founder and Co-CEO, GoodRx
Interviewer: Bertha Coombs, Reporter, CNBC
Movandi: A Network Key to the 5G Future
Maryam Rofougaran started Movandi with her brother, Reza, in 2016. Movandi is her second startup. The first, Innovent Systems, was sold to Broadcom in 2000 and led to Maryam’s 15 year stay at that company helping to build its wireless business. What caused her to venture back out into the world of startups? An opportunity to develop the hundreds of patents she and her brother hold into the backbone of 5G.
Maryam Rofougaran, Co-Founder, Co-CEO and COO, Movandi
Interviewer: Riley de Leon, Associate Producer, CNBC
Venture Capital in 2021
For the VC industry, 2020 has seen a surge in megadeals, a red-hot IPO market that has so far included the debut of 4 of the 2020 Disruptor 50, and a reckoning with its lack of diversity at all levels. In this panel featuring diverse voices with a wide range of industry perspectives inside silicon valley, outside silicon valley and in corporate VC, we’ll assess the year ahead for VCs, and how the industry plans to grow more inclusive on its way to more record-breaking successes.
Kobie Fuller, Partner, Upfront Ventures
Theresia Gouw, Founding Partner, aCrew Capital
Leigh Radford, SVP and General Manager, P&G Ventures
Moderator: Julia Boorstin, Senior. Media and Entertainment Correspondent, CNBC
Fintech was the largest category on the 2020 Disruptor 50 List, a reflection of accelerated adoption of digital financial services. So-called “Challenger banks” are a big part of this growth, as consumers are more inclined to move to online banking in a stay-at-home world. How will the growth of digital-native banking models impact the industry’s biggest players?
Chris Britt, Co-Founder and CEO, Chime
Vishal Garg, Founder and CEO, Better.com
Moderator: Kate Rooney, Technology Reporter, CNBC
Covid-19 laid bare a litany of public health challenges, which in turn have created opportunity for disruptors to step in and use their breakthrough technology to meet those challenges. Sharing, analyzing and securing health data to track the spread, develop vaccines and treatments, and monitor population health into the next phases of the pandemic will be crucial. These disruptors are helping lead the charge into that next phase, and beyond.
Ali Ghodsi, Co-Founder and CEO, Databricks
Eric Lefkofsky, Founder and CEO, Tempus
Moderator: Frank Holland, General Assignment Reporter, CNBC
Will forced adoption of online learning finally bring down the cost of college? How can we close a stubbornly wide skills gap and retrain workers for the jobs of the future? Disruptors in education are having a moment, bringing employers and academia together to deliver degrees and spread economic opportunity for all.
Rachel Carlson, Co-Founder and CEO, Guild Education
Leah Belsky, Chief Enterprise Officer, Coursera
Moderator: Julia Boorstin, Senior. Media and Entertainment Correspondent, CNBC
In 2019, just 11% of consumers said they were interested in using telehealth services, according to a report from McKinsey. A year later, Covid-19 shoved that number above 75%, and now telemedicine providers are betting enough of those patients will like the experience enough to keep scheduling digital appointments even after it’s safe to go back to the doctor’s office. Checking in with two disruptive players in telehealth and using technology to personalize the to patient care.
Allon Bloch, Co-Founder and CEO, K Health
Nick Desai, Co-Founder and CEO, Heal
Moderator: Bertha Coombs, Reporter, CNBC
Judges’ Table: Restaurant recovery, home chefs and the future of food
It’s been a devastating year for the restaurant industry, with forced shutdowns and limited capacities likely to force the permanent closure of hundreds of thousands of restaurants. But Top Chef – the popular Bravo reality TV show – marches on, with its head judge leading the charge for more federal aid for independent restaurants, and a new spin-off hosted by judge Gail Simmons that will celebrate home chefs, who perhaps sharpened their skills during the Spring quarantine. Speaking of, as Americans got more creative in the kitchen, they started giving disruptive food trends more of a try – so what’s the Top Chef take on Impossible burgers, Just Mayo, and the other Silicon Valley culinary creations? All that and more before we pack our knives and go.
Tom Colicchio, Chef and Owner, Crafted Hospitality and Head Judge, “Top Chef”
Gail Simmons, cookbook author, judge on “Top Chef”, and host of “Top Chef Amatuers”
Moderator: Julia Boorstin, Senior. Media and Entertainment Correspondent, CNBC
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