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X Media Lab Wellington Mentor Biographies

X Media Lab Wellington Mentor Biographies

New Media Pioneer; Co-Founder, Participant Productions (Los Angeles)

Chris Adams is an internationally recognized new media pioneer, entertainment industry executive and social entrepreneur with nearly 20 years of experience developing programming and relationships between media, entertainment and online brands.

Current clients include Comcast, HBO, and Prior to launching his own company, Chris co-founded Participant Productions in 2004 with Jeff Skoll, eBay’s first President. Participant’s films include Syriana, Good Night and Good Luck and North Country. Chris also proudly identified and helped to develop former Vice President Al Gore’s Oscar-winning documentary, An Inconvenient Truth.

Founder, TradeMe (Wellington)

Sam Morgan is the founder and General Manager of TradeMe. Since launching in 1999, TradeMe has become New Zealand’s most visited internet site, and its leading online auctions, classifeds and e-commerce business. Sam remains at the helm after selling TradeMe to Fairfax in March 2006 for $700 million.

CEO, The Opportunity Management Company; Second Vice Chair, Academy of Television Arts & Sciences; Board Member, Producers Guild of America (Los Angeles)

Brian Seth Hurst is CEO of The Opportunity Management Company, Inc., a strategic consultancy and cross-media production company that is driving the next generation of entertainment. Referred to as “the father of cross platform”, Brian coined the term in 1998 as Managing Director of Convergent Media at Pittard Sullivan, where he launched TV Guide as the first ever cross-platform brand. Brian was instrumental in the establishment of the Prime Time Emmy® for Interactive Television and spearheaded the initiative that extended Primetime Emmy® eligibility to original programming distributed via broadband. In November 2007 Brian was named in the Hollywood Reporter’s PGA “Digital 50” for the second year in a row.

Founder and President, Virgin Comics and Virgin Animation (Bangalore, New York)

Suresh Seetharaman is the co-founder and President of Virgin Animation and Virgin Comics. Virgin Comics is a character entertainment company creating original IP for worldwide audiences. It creates content for the entertainment industry for the production of movies, animation, games and merchandise. Virgin Comics’ other co-founders include Deepak Chopra, Shekhar Kapur and Sir Richard Branson.

Chairman, Codemasters; formerly President of Sony Computer Entertainment – Europe (London)

Chris Deering has been involved with film, video and interactive entertainment in Europe since 1982, initially as Vice President - International for Atari game consoles and computers, and subsequently as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Columbia Pictures International Video, and from 1995 to 2005 as President of Sony Computer Entertainment - Europe (SCEE). Chris now serves on the boards of Codemasters, In Game Advertising, Geomerics, HandHeld Learning Ltd, Jalipo and Wayfinder, and is an advisor for Jetix Europe, PlaySpan and Text Appeal. Chris is also Chairman of the Edinburgh Interactive Entertainment Festival.

CEO and Co-founder, mInfo Inc (Beijing)

Alvin Wang Graylin is the CEO of mInfo, the leading Mobile Search Service in China, providing natural language search services to users throughout China via SMS, WAP, IM and embedded client applet. Alvin is a seasoned technology entrepreneur and business leader with over 15 years of management experience, seven of which are in Greater China.

President, The Inspiracy (San Francisco)

Noah Falstein is the President of The Inspiracy, a consulting firm providing game design and interactive production expertise for entertainment and for serious games. Designing and producing award-winning games since 1980, Noah was among the first 10 employees at Lucasfilm Games (now LucasArts Entertainment), The 3DO Company, and Dreamworks Interactive. He was project leader for the classic arcade game Sinistar, the PC titles PHM Pegasus and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and co-designer of Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis. He has had the privilege of working with a wide range of notable game developers, educators, writers and filmmakers, and has led brainstorming sessions with George Lucas and Steven Spielberg.

General Manager, Interactive Content, Services and Advertising Development, Intel Digital Home Group, Governor of Interactive Media, Academy of Television, Arts and Sciences (Los Angeles)

Marcelino Ford-Livene is currently the General Manager of Interactive Content, Services and Advertising for Intel's Digital Home Group. In this capacity he leads and manages the organization charged with developing new interactive content experiences and advertising business models on Intel's platforms in the digital home entertainment marketplace. He sits on the Television Academy's Executive Committee and is a Co-Governor of the Interactive Media Peer Group. He is also Division Chairman of the Interactive Media and New Technologies Division for the American Bar Association's Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries.

Founder and Editor, ReadWriteWeb (Wellington)

Richard MacManus is one of the world’s most respected digital media and web technology analysts and strategists. Richard’s ReadWriteWeb blog is one of the most widely read and influential digital media blogs on the web. In December 2007, ReadWriteWeb was ranked #15 in Technorati’s Top 20 blogs, and #5 on the Techmeme Leaderboard, putting it way above traditional news sources such as the BBC and Wall St Journal. In June 2007 ReadWriteWeb was named as one of the “100 Blogs We Love” by PC World magazine, who hailed it as the “source for news on the latest Web 2.0 developments”.

Emerging Technology and Digital Distribution Analyst (Toronto)
Jason Roks is recognized across North America for his networking and media distribution acumen, and for his ingenuity in predicting and pioneering new directions on the Internet and other communications technologies. He has been featured in Wired, Time, Maclean's, Saturday Night, Yahoo! Internet Life, Shift, Macworld and Silicon Alley Reporter for his insights on new media economies, digital music and video, p2p file sharing and networking, online communities, piracy, copyright and intellectual property.

Partner, Pembridge Partners LLP (London)

Following training as a documentary TV producer-director with the BBC, Hugh Mason founded and grew a multiple-award-winning broadcast TV production company. Finding himself interested in the business side of running a creative company, Hugh co-founded Pembridge Partners in 2001. Pembridge Partners LLP provides finance and advice exclusively to creative industries SMEs to help their owners build and realize value. Pembridge has raised or invested over £10 million since start-up.

Vice President, TriplePoint (San Francisco)

Sean Kauppinen is responsible for consulting, business development, branding, and for providing strategic counsel to a wide range of clients, from Fortune 100 companies to start-ups, while handling international operations for TriplePoint. He has launched more than 400 titles in his career ranging from big budget blockbusters, to value games on every major platform in the past decade. He has worked on brands including Star Wars, EverQuest, Tom Clancy, Rayman, CSI, The Sims, Warhammer, and Hellgate: London.

Founder and CEO, Xero (Wellington)

Rod Drury is founder and CEO of Xero, a Software as a Service (SaaS) online accounting solution for Small Businesses. An experienced entrepreneur and early stage investor, Rod is passionate about software development and building value. Rod won a World Class New Zealand award in 2008 and was NZ Hi-Tech Entrepreneur of the Year in 2006 and again in 2007. Rod won the Absolutely Creatively Wellington Award in 2007.


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