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Tinder Swipe, Bitcoins and Six Californias: Highlights from Day 1 of GMIC SV 2014 Thought Leader Stage

Day 1 of the Thought Leader stage at GMIC SV 2014 was action packed with leading mobile leaders delivering keynotes and panels discussing everything from Building an Effective Mobile Strategy to The Future of Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency.


GMIC SV house band kept the audience entertained before and in-between sessions.

The Thought Leader track is a two-day track comprised of keynotes, fireside chats and panels from 100+ visionaries and executives representing the world’s leading mobile, Internet, cloud and big data companies that are redefining the future of the industry. This year’s theme of Mobilizing the Next 5 Billion explored industry shifts caused by billions of new users coming online through mobile.

The Thought Leader stage was kicked off by CEO of GWC, who spoke about his journey from 6 years ago when he wanted to bring together mobile innovators and leaders from around the world. GMIC expanded to two new locations this year – Bangalore and Tokyo. This was followed by the first session of the day, fireside chat with Dave Morin, CEO of Path. Jason Tanz, Executive Editor, Wired and Dave Morin discussed Path’s growth and strategy in Asia, Path’s newly launched offering Path Talk and evolution of mobile internet in various geographies. ” Path is meant to be a ‘home’ for people, this resonated more strongly in Asia. South East Asia has been the biggest region for us. The Asian consumer is perhaps the most evolved in the social media space,” shared Dave. Bhavish Aggarwal, Co-Founder & CEO of India’s Ola Cabs was next on stage speaking on “Riding the Next Wave of Mobile.” Mobile app based taxi hailing services like Ola are disrupting the transportation market in India. In October this year, Ola Cabs raised $210 million from SoftBank Internet and Media Inc. and its existing investors: Tiger Global, Matrix Partners India and Steadview Capital. Ola Cabs has 35,000 cabs on its platform and provides cab services in nearly 20 cities, according to this report on 1st November 2014 by Indian TV network NDTV.

The focus shifted from India to China as Sheng Fu, CEO of mobile internet company Cheetah Mobile delivered a keynote and participated in a fireside chat with Ina Fried, Senior Editor, Mobile at Re/Code.  Cheetah Mobile is a mobile internet company with more than 340 million monthly active users as of February 2014. Cheetah Mobile is the second largest internet security software provider in China by monthly active users as of February 2014, according to iResearch. Clean Master app by Cheetah Mobile the #1 mobile app in the Google Play Tools category worldwide by monthly downloads in March 2014, according to App Annie. “It only took us four years to build an IPO company, and it only took us eighteen months to expand globally,” Fu shared. Despite its products being free, Fu said Cheetah’s business is strong, with sales increasing 150 percent per year for the past two years, with third-quarter sales of more than 478 million Chinese Yuan ($77.7 million). Fu was followed by Pavel Durov, Founder & CEO of Telegram on stage, who delivered a keynote on “Telegram: Disrupting a Crowded Market.” Next, a panel comprising of Jay Eum, Co-Founder & Managing Director, TransLink Capital; Kent Wakeford, COO, Kabam; Peter Hamilton, CEO, TUNE; Jeff Liu, President, Huawei Honor and Dippak Khurana, Co-Founder & CEO, Vserv discussed Building An Effective Global Mobile Strategy, sharing insights from the various verticals they represent.

Jonathan Badeen, Co-Founder & VP Product of hugely popular dating app Tinder, credited with the “Swiping right/left” interface, took the stage next in a fireside chat moderated by Tim Bradshaw, San Francisco Correspondent, Financial Times. “One of the things we tried to do with Tinder was to reduce the time to sign up,” he shared. “We want to make Tinder synonymous with meeting people, not just dating,” he added about Tinder plans on adding functions other than dating. Andrew Ng, Chief Scientist, Baidu, and Chairman & Co-Founder, Coursera demystified Deep Learning for the audience, focusing on current innovations especially by Baidu. Deep learning will impact speech recognition, language recognition and image recognition, which will the revolutionize mobile and connected devices market. The afternoon session was kicked off by a fireside chat with Tim Draper who spoke on Silicon Valley Macroeconomics, tech-savvy governments globally, his proposal to split California into six states and the potential for bitcoins to disrupt the finance and commerce industries. Ben Bajarin, Principal Industry Analyst, Creative Strategies; Maverick Shih, President, BYOC & Tablet Business Group, Acer and Joseph Ziskin, VP Corporate Strategy, IBM took the stage next to discuss Building the Platform for the Internet of Things.

Michael Song, CEO of SkyMobi delivered his keynote on Navigating and Surviving China’s Ever-Evolving Mobile Game Distribution Ecosystem, focusing on the huge opportunities for game developers in China. ‘The Role of Mobile Cloud in the Enterprise’ panel looked at the B2B space for mobile with panelists Karl Mattson, VP & GM, Maxthon; Whitney Bouck, SVP of Global Marketing & GM of Enterprise, Box; Noah Wasmer, VP of Product Strategy, VMware and Steve Nellis, Reporter, The Information, sharing business cases and opportunities available in the space. This was followed by an insightful keynote on the current state of the global app market by Marcos Sanchez, VP of Global Corporate Communications at App Annie. The last panel of the day comprising of Adam Draper, Founder, Boost; Bobby Lee, CEO and Co-Founder, BTC China; Adam White, Director of Business Development & Strategy, Coinbase and Bob McMillan, Senior Writer, Wired, discussed the current state of the Bitcoin market, professionalization and Bitcoing startup investments.

Day 2 of Thought Leader stage promises to be very exciting, with robotics taking the center stage in the first half, followed by sessions and keynotes on various topics, from connected devices to VC funding for startups. Follow Us on Twitter at @TheGMIC and look out for the hashtag #GMICSV2014 for full coverage of Day 3.

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