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  • 7 Sep 2022
  • 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM
  • Webinar


Bahrain, Israel and the UAE startups are invited to join the U.S. Accelerator Connector Program and be introduced to top tier accelerator and incubator programs throughout the United States!

  •  Learn golden rules for startups from U.S. experts.
  •  Get your questions answered about growing and scaling your startup.
  •  Find accelerators and incubator programs that fit the specific needs of your startup.
  •  Choose between tech neutral or agtech-specific presentation sessions following U.S. accelerator presentations.

    U.S. Accelerator Connector Program Agenda

    September 7, 2022 - Webinar - 5:00-6:30pm (Bahrain Time)

    5:00pm BAHRAIN           Opening

                                                    Doug Wallace, San Francisco U.S. Export Center Director

    5:05pm                              Welcome Remarks

                                                    Diane Farrell, Department of Commerce International Trade Administration Deputy Under Secretary

    5:10pm                             Draper University Accelerator

                                                    Tyrone Lee, Venture Partner

    5:18pm                              Plug&Play Accelerator

                                                    Daniel Delgado, Program Associate

    5:26pm                           TechStars Accelerator

                                                    Laila Partridge, Managing Director

    5:34pm                           Audience Q/A on Presentations

    5:45pm                          Presentation by Select USA

                                                    Stephanie Rothman, Investment Consultant

    5:50pm                          Split into two virtual rooms for Agtech and Tech Neutral Presentations

                                                    Agtech                                                Tech Neutral

    5:55pm                          America’s Cultivation          Central Florida Tech Grove

                                                    Corridor                                Carol Ann Logue

                                                    Billi Hunt, Executive              Director


    6:03pm                          Water, Energy and               Schwartz Center

                                                    Technology Center               Dave Mawhinney

                                                    Helle Petersen, Manager        Executive Director                            

    6:11pm                          SVG Ventures Thrive           Boom Startup

                                                    Danny O’Brien                       Tara Spalding

                                                    Managing Director of             Managing Director

                                                    EMEA & Global Programs


    6:20 pm                         Audience Q/A                         U.S. Market Access Center

                                                                                                    Alfredo Coppola, Co-CEO

    6:30pm                         Wrap-Up                                 Audience Q/A



    Diane Farrell

    Deputy Under Secretary for International Trade

    International Trade Administration

    Diane Farrell is the Deputy Under Secretary for International Trade. In this role, she plans, determines, and coordinates policy; directs the International Trade Administration; and oversees the daily operations of the International Trade Administration (ITA), which has an annual budget of $483 million with approximately 2,100 trade and investment professionals—based in more than 100 U.S. cities and 70 markets around the world.

    She most recently served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Asia, where she was the principal advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Global Markets on all matters concerning international economics, trade, investment, and commercial policy programs and agreements with respect to Asia. In this role, she also oversaw planning and execution of Commerce commercial diplomacy and export promotion strategies at United States Missions in Region Asia.  Previously, Ms. Farrell was Executive Vice President at the U.S. India Business Council.  She also served on the Board of Directors at the Export-Import Bank of the United States. Ms. Farrell was elected as the First Selectwoman in Westport, Connecticut.

    Ms. Farrell holds a B.A. from Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts with a degree in American Government.

    Tyrone Lee, Venture Partner

    Draper Associates

    In 2018, Tyrone began working with the broader Draper Ecosystem and its portfolio companies in strategic cross-border business development in Taiwan. Tyrone spent nine years managing Asia and Global Long/Short for ARTIS CAPITAL, based in Taipei, Taiwan and was responsible for sourcing and evaluating Pan-Asian/cross-border transactions. Prior to joining ARTIS, Tyrone was an Assistant Vice-President at Banc of America Securities (BofA) and began its research franchise in Taiwan with initiating coverage and lead sellside research for several IPO transactions. Tyrone began his career as a technology investment banker with the Credit Suisse First Boston Technology Group in Palo Alto, working on a number of financing and M&A transactions in its Internet Group. Tyrone attended San Jose State University and holds a bachelor’s degree in economics.

    Draper Associates is a leader in early-stage venture capital having funded companies including Hotmail, Skype, Baidu, Tesla, SpaceX, Twitch, Cruise, Carta, Webflow, Robinhood, and Coinbase. Draper Associates continues to innovate in providing capital to technology companies of all sizes and all geographies. The firm is well known for being entrepreneur friendly, and supporting entrepreneurs through thick and thin, and for the long haul.

    • Daniel Delgado, Program Associate
    • Plug and Play

    Daniel delivers the Global Overseas Acceleration & Learning (GOAL) program at Plug and Play Tech Center that meets startup needs and prepares them for success as they enter and explore new markets. Holding a Master’s in International Policy and Development with a concentration in Evaluation and Analytics and a Bachelor’s in International Development, he has traveled, studied, and worked across 20 countries.

    Daniel has a background in data science, policy, and economic development, where he has created policy proposals on “Foreign Direct Investment and GDP/Capita” and “Electricity, Development, and Income Inequality.” He completed his undergraduate thesis on “The Political Economy of Qatar,” highlighting the synergy between business, technology, and universities to promote economic development and spur endogenous growth.

    Plug and Play Ventures is a global technology accelerator and venture fund. Plug and Play Ventures participates in Seed, Angel and Series A funding where they often co-invest with strategic partners.

    Laila Partridge, Managing Director


    Laila Partridge is an investor, serial entrepreneur, and Fortune 100 trained executive who enjoys working with fast growing technology companies. As a Techstars Managing Director, she works in partnership with Stanley Black & Decker on an accelerator for startups working on advanced manufacturing, sustainability, and electrification for industrial and consumer tool solutions.  Ms. Partridge is also a board member of Cambridge Trust.  Leading up to this role, Ms. Partridge founded and led a range of start-ups from communications technology spin-outs out of Caltech and MIT to innovative mobile and SaaS companies in retail and sustainability.  She has strong operational and technology innovation training from her tenure at Intel Capital, Intel’s venture capital arm.

    Ms. Partridge was an investor and group manager during Intel Capital's formative years, investing in early enabling technologies such as RIM (the first mobile email provider) and in Red Hat and VA Linux (early leaders in the Linux/Open Source market).  While at Intel, she was also part of the executive team that launched Itanium® microprocessor family; her formation of the Intel® 64 Fund provided the basis for a Harvard Business School's case study.  Ms. Partridge has a BA with Honors from Wellesley College.  

    Techstars is a global investment business that provides access to capital, one-on-one mentorship, a worldwide network and customized programming for early-stage entrepreneurs. It was founded in 2006 in Boulder, Colorado.

    Billi Hunt, Executive Director

    • America’s Cultivation Corridor

    Billi Hunt was named the Executive Director of the America’s Cultivation Corridor in February 2018. She brings 25 years of experience in agriculture and the Iowa business community to the Corridor’s efforts to enhance agricultural sustainability and accelerate business development by attracting new companies, talent and capital to central Iowa. She works with America’s Cultivation Corridor investors, partners and other organizations to build the Corridor brand and broaden opportunities within the region. Prior to joining America’s Cultivation Corridor, Hunt served as government affairs manager for DuPont, leading state-level advocacy, public-policy initiatives and government-related business collaborations for the U.S. Central region, and throughout the United States. She also worked for Optimum Quality Grains, LLC, and Greater Des Moines Chamber of Commerce. An Iowa native, Hunt received her Bachelor of Science from Iowa State University and her Master of Public Administration from Drake University. She lives with her family in Urbandale, Iowa.

    America’s Cultivation Corridor accelerates agtech and bioscience startups by connecting them to the global resources, talent, and capital of Iowa.

    Helle Petersen, Manager

    • Water, Energy and Technology Center

    Helle Petersen joined the Water, Energy and Technology Center (WET Center) at Fresno State in 2011, where she currently serves as manager for the center and its programs. She has worked with innovation and entrepreneurship for most of her career, first as a part of the Central Valley Business Incubator and later at Fresno State and the WET Center. Petersen earned a Master of Science in Environmental Engineering from the Technical University of Denmark and is an alumni of Fresno State’s MBA program.  Petersen is native to Denmark and has lived in Fresno since 2003 with her husband and two children.

    The Water, Energy and Technology (WET) Center helps ventures grow healthy businesses starting from innovative ideas to commercially-viable products and services. Since 2007, the WET Center has supported water, energy and agricultural technology entrepreneurs through

    programs and services developed by its experienced team, with the assistance of a diverse network of industry and academic professionals. Its center includes office space for rent, informal and formal meeting space, and plug-and-play space. It can serve as a soft-landing spot for companies looking to establish a presence in California’s Central Valley, through the BlueTechValley program.

    Danny O’Brien, Managing Director of EMEA & Global Programs

    SVG Ventures | THRIVE

    Danny O’Brien leads all investments in the EMEA region while overseeing THRIVE’s award winning accelerator programs in Silicon Valley and Calgary. Now based in Dublin, Ireland, he previously spent time in London and New York working in management consulting and corporate innovation before founding two startups of his own. Danny sits on the Advisory Board of the International School of Agri- Management (ISAM) in Spain where he also teaches Entrepreneurship. He has a particular interest in emerging markets where he sees the potential of Agri-Food Tech to transform the lives of at-risk communities. He holds a Master’s Degree in Marketing Practice from the Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School (UCD) and a Bachelors of Business Studies from DCU.

    SVG Ventures | THRIVE is a leading investor in agri-food tech. THRIVE’s mission is to connect the expertise of tech companies to on-the-ground knowledge of agricultural companies, the financial backing of investors, and the entrepreneurs solving problems in the agtech and foodtech space. THRIVE unites these communities in order to drive the development and adoption of sustainable technology enhancements necessary for securing the global food demands of the future. Through its corporate open innovation program, annual seed accelerator, technology & innovation forums, and investment fund, THRIVE helps innovative technology companies disrupt, scale and lead in the global market.

    Carol Ann Logue, Director, Co-Founder and Principal Investigator

    Central Florida Tech Grove

    Carol Ann Dykes Logue serves a Co-Director of the University of Central Florida’s Innovation Districts and eight-site Incubation Program. Four incubators are located in the three UCF Innovation Districts anchored around UCF campuses focusing on early stage companies in specific clusters of technology and industry that are key drivers of Central Florida’s economy. Four others are located in other parts of the MSA serving a wide range of fast growing companies. Prior to joining UCF, she was a member of the University of Florida faculty serving as Associate Director of the Southern Technology Applications Center supporting, federal laboratories and universities across nine southeastern states in their technology commercialization activities and the companies commercializing that IP. She has served as Vice President of Information Services for Technology Strategic Planning Inc. in Stuart, FL, providing global competitive technology analysis for Fortune 50 clients and as an Information Specialist at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock. Carol Ann serves as the UCF representative on the Orlando Tech Council, i4 Business Magazine Advisory Board and Athena Orlando Powerlink Program. She represents UCF as well on the Boards of the military’s Team Orlando, NDIA Central Florida Chapter, VRARA Central Florida and Florida Photonics Cluster. She also serves as Chair of the Board of Directors of the Central Florida STEM Education Council.

    Central Florida Tech Grove is a unique virtual and physical collaboration space established through a Partnership Intermediary Agreement with the UCF Research Foundation by the Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division. Tech Grove is specifically created to foster collaboration and the acceleration of novel, non-traditional, modeling, simulation, training & human performance solutions to our national defense partners at Team Orlando. 

    Dave Mawhinney

    Executive Director, Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship;

    Dave Mawhinney is executive director, Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, and executive director, Donald H. Jones Center

    for Entrepreneurship.  Dave is also associate teaching professor at the Carnegie Mellon Tepper School of Business.

    Prior to joining Carnegie Mellon, Dave was co-founder, chairman and CEO of mSpoke, an internet content and advertising recommendation engine, that was acquired in 2010 by LinkedIn.

    Before mSpoke, Dave was general partner of PNC Technology Investors. Earlier in his career, he co-founded three successful startup ventures, including Premier Health Exchange (acquired by Medibuy), Hawk Medical (acquired by McKesson), and Industry.Net (merged with AT&T Business Network to form Nets, Inc.).  He holds an MBA with Distinction from Carnegie Mellon University and a B.S. in physics, Summa Cum Laude, from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Dave was a 2017 recipient of the Tepper School Alumni Award. He lives with his wife Kristan and three sons in Fox Chapel, Pa.

    Tara Spalding, Managing Director

    Boom Startup

    Tara Spalding is Managing Director of BoomStartup Accelerator, an inclusive accelerator that concentrates on financial and funding education and access for pre-seed companies. Tara co-authored “10 Preparation Stages to Start a Successful Business” designed to help founders think through company creation to improve their success rate when starting their business. She is on the board of trustees for and is the recipient of the 2020 Utah Business 30 Women to Watch award.

    BoomStartup is an open accelerator program designed to grow businesses that are willing to commit with grit. Its platform provides a foundational analysis of areas where your startup is strong and where it’s struggling. With support and know-how from its community of experts, mentors, and sponsors, you’ll put in the effort to fix the flaws and progress toward your goals. As you create a plan for success and gain ground, Boom Startup stays in touch. And when the time is right, Boom Startup will invite you to consider allowing it and its investor community to invest capital in your company.

    Alfredo Coppola, Co-CEO

    U.S. Market Access Center

    Alfredo Coppola is Co-CEO at US Market Access Center, the longest-standing startup incubator in Silicon Valley for foreign companies seeking to successfully enter global markets through Silicon Valley, through its flagship program: “Thing Big, Start Smart, Scale Fast”. Alfredo is also a founding board member of Marin-Sonoma Impact Ventures, an angel investor organization based in the San Francisco Bay Area that invests in both American and global startups. Alfredo is a seasoned chief executive with a proven track record in helping foreign governments to bolster their tech ecosystems by increasing the strength of their startup communities along with their respective stakeholders. Since 2011, Alfredo has had direct influence in helping more than 1,500 startups to enter global markets from Silicon Valley – 52% of which have been successful in winning customer contract and PoCs, and more than 20% has raised more than $1.5 billion USD in capital from investors.

    US Market Access Center (USMAC) is a Silicon Valley-based startup accelerator and innovation enabler that helps international tech companies with global market access and helps governments with ecosystem creation.


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