Stores, Malls, Bars – there locations are facts. Not owned by anyone, but gathering that data and just as importantly keeping it accurate is expensive. What can a startup do? Can they depend on larger players’ APIs? Should they buy the data? Should they depend on their users? Or should companies pool together and just maintain one canonical database of places?
TOM COATES is a technologist and writer, focused on the shape of the web to come and on developing new products that thrive in it. He’s worked for many prominent companies including Time Out, the BBC, and Yahoo! where he was Head of Product for the Brickhouse innovation team. He’s most known for the Fire Eagle location-sharing service, and for his work on social software, future media and the web of data. He writes (sporadically) at plasticbag.org.
Darian Shirazi is the CEO & Founder of Fwix, which is organizing the world’s information by location. Prior, he was an early employee on the engineering team at Facebook. Darian studied Philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley prior to dropping out to start Fwix. He also advises several early stage startups including Udemy and Mall World on Facebook.
Justin Shaffer is a Product Manager at Facebook, where he currently manages the Events and Places products. Previously, he worked on Groups. Prior to Facebook, Justin was the Founder and CEO of Hot Potato, an early stage startup that helped people socialize around live events and share what they’re doing with friends. Hot Potato was acquired by Facebook in 2010. Prior to founding Hot Potato, Justin served as Senior Vice President, New Media at MLB Advanced Media, the online arm of Major League Baseball. Previously, Justin served at ScreamingMedia Inc., a content aggregator and syndicator in New York. He’s an avid skier and racing sailor, and also enjoys engineering pursuits of all kinds.
Christof Hellmis has a track record of more than 13 years experience in Research & Development, Consulting, Management and investing in media- and software-related technology areas. He currently serves as Director, Navigation & Context Services Platform in Nokia´s Services & Software Business Group, for Nokia. On top of Nokia’s context platform Nokia Maps, the world’s leading hybrid mapping and navigation service is being developed and operated. Christof Hellmis joined Nokia in 2006 and is located in Berlin. Prior to joining Nokia, Christof Hellmis took the position of Chief Operating Officer at gate5 AG where he helped to grew gate5’s navigation and mapping software business and built a strategic partnership with Nokia´s Multimedia devision. He also served as Manager, Case leader and Consultant with the Boston Consulting Group in various European countries. At Nokia he acted as Director, Head of Navigation and Context Services Platform, before he took the position as VP, Product. Christof Hellmis has spoken at conferences on navigation and location related topics. Christof Hellmis holds a masters degree in Electrical Engineering from RWTH Aachen (Germany) and a Master of Business and Administration (MBA) from INSEAD in Fontainebleau (France).
Matt Galligan, 25, is the CEO and Co-Founder of SimpleGeo, based out of Boulder, CO that provides a ready-to-use location infrastructure for app developers. He previously founded Socialthing, a company that was chosen to be part of the inaugural year of TechStars. Socialthing.com went into private beta in March, 2008 at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas. The company was acquired five months later by AOL. Socialthing was later rebranded as AOL Lifestream.
Matt currently resides in Boulder, CO and is an active member of the startup community there.
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