Mark Quigley is responsible for a number of key initiatives within SoftLayer, including overarching responsibility for the company’s Catalyst program. Mark previously served as vice president of international for SoftLayer, where he was responsible for business units within EMEA and APAC. Before joining the company, Mark was the director of strategic planning for Devonshire Investors, the private equity arm of Fidelity Investments. There, he supported the international expansion of HR Access, a French payroll and HR provider. Mark has also held senior management roles with Bell Canada, Canada's largest telco, and the Yankee Group, an ICT market research company. Mark holds a Bachelor of Science from McMaster University
Kelley Hilborn manages community development as well as Catalyst operations for SoftLayer in the eastern region of the US, Canada, and Latin America. Kelley also serves as the technical liaison between SoftLayer and technology-based startup companies everywhere. Prior to joining SoftLayer, Kelley spent 19 years in information technology where he managed support, infrastructure, administration, VoIP, networking, and security for companies such as Interstate Batteries, Time Warner, and The Planet. Though not a programmer, Kelley served as the COO and CTO of two startups and currently serves as a mentor and CTO advisor to multiple startups.
Erik has been working in the hosting industry in both the USA and Japan for over 10 years. After graduating from Wayne State University in Detroit with a Degree in Computer Science, he worked as a software developer and systems engineer in the automotive and aerospace sectors. While in Tokyo, Erik worked for Rakuten's ISP/Hosting division followed by 2 years in the financial markets yelling and screaming on a trading floor. After his 5 year stint in Japan he has spent the most recent years working at startups and web hosting companies. Now based in Austin, Texas he enjoys eating BBQ, travelling, and working on sports cars.
Rich’s mission is to transform the world through innovation and entrepreneurship. He believes that startups give all people the opportunity to grow, learn, and earn. He lived and worked in NYC for 14 years where his first career was in finance, specializing in analytics and reporting. His second career was in sales where he was a multiple-time President’s Club performer. And now startups are his third career, based out of Boulder, CO. Rich has helped early stage companies raise angel and venture financing, develop sales & partnerships, and create better pitches. He’s uniquely positioned to offer resources, mentorship, and connections to early stage startups. He loves his wife, tech, video games, sci-fi, and skiing.
Brendan is an experienced technology entrepreneur, mentor and investor whose career in online started at age 14 when he developed an online service that his friends with 300 baud modems could dial into. At aged 19, Brendan worked for the world’s first commercial online service CompuServe while studying a degree in technology. Brendan worked at Optus Vision in Australia deploying cable modems in a world first trial on an HFC network. In 1999 Brendan founded ShopFree.com which expanded to 7 countries and over 1 million members. In 2004, Brendan relocated to San Francisco to further ShopFree’s push into the USA market. As a mentor and consultant Brendan has worked with VinoMofo, Shop A Docket, SportsBet, the Australian Radio Network and rock band INXS. Brendan currently is Director of Community Development for SoftLayer, which was recently acquired by IBM. Brendan is also a mentor at MuruD, Accelerating Commercialisation, TechBeach, NRMA Jumpstart, Incubate and SlingShot.
Caleb Hunter began his career in technology as a systems administrator at NASA. His professional background includes positions with startups ranging from director of IT for a SaaS platform to technical architect for technology services companies. He’s even been a technical founder and advisor. Caleb has also worked in technology enterprises as a technical project manager. With more than 15 years of experience in the San Francisco and Silicon Valley areas, Caleb shares his passion for entrepreneurism and his personal network to mentor startups in the areas of technology, operations, business development and marketing. When not wearing his self-proclaimed nerd hat, he enjoys learning languages, autocross racing, snowboarding and playing the guitar.
Casey began his digital career in the DotCom era. Based in Hong Kong, he co-founded four startups, sold two of them, crashed one, and currently serves on the board of the fourth. He is also the co-founder of StartupsHK, Hong Kong's premiere tech startup and entrepreneur network that hosts 3,000 members and startups. Casey is a social media ambassador, a self-proclaimed professor of pop culture, enjoys writing comic books about super-powered monsters in his spare time, and is really funny.
Fabrice Jakubowicz Kohen is a leadership consultant turned entrepreneur and investor. He is seeking to meet entrepreneurs buddy in multicultural environment to suit his envy of learning, sharing strengths and values. Fabrice loves businesses, and moreover he is fascinated by people behind businesses and he enjoy helping entrepreneurs buddy in their endeavors by offering listening skills and entrepreneurship experience. Having many people to work with, with their unique challenges is very important to him and to his happiness. Oh yes, and he loves going to a golf course.
Howard has experience in marketing strategy, consumer research, finance & accounting, and business development in a variety of industries including consumer packaged goods, construction, venture capital, and startups. After mentoring startup founders in Seoul, Howard fell in love with entrepreneurship and the startup world. He has an MBA from UCLA Anderson and is working on a Master in Computer Science from Georgia Tech. Howard spends too much time at the gym, loves to cook, and will happily take your book & restaurant recommendations.
Jennifer has a decade of experience working as a management consultant and project manager at several global investment banks. She decided to undergo a career transition and joined Startup Institute New York in the Sales & Business Development track to catapult herself into the city's vibrant startup community. Originally from Washington, D.C., she now calls NYC home, and loves to take advantage of the diverse cultural attractions the city has to offer. In her spare time you can find her traveling, dodging taxis on her bike, or eating out at restaurants.
Based in London UK, Jonathan manages community development for the Softlayer Catalyst program covering the EMEA region. He began his career working as a technical consultant in the telecoms industry before joining the founding team for a podcasting startup responsible for producing & distributing shows by Tim Ferris, Lewis Howes and other well known American entrepreneurs. Now immersed in the startup scene in London, he has lead a number of community initiatives, including #techlondon, an online network for tech & startups with over 2,000 members. In his spare time, he can be found practicing Jujitsu & playing Brazilian percussion.
With his experience creating events in San Francisco, Julian founded one of the first crowdfunding platforms for events, and in 2013 graduated from the Catalyst program. Today, he supports startups as the Catalyst representative for Latin America and calls Mexico City home. He is always looking for new and encouraging startups in the region and enjoys connecting entrepreneurs with people and opportunities that may help them grow. Julian sees the rapidly expanding startup ecosystems across LatAm, and is thrilled to be part of the boom. His favorite ice cream is rocky road.
Lee has more than 10 years of experience working in both public and private companies; he graduated with a Bachelors Degree from the University of Washington in 2009. After graduation Lee transitioned to MVP Group The Technology Partners Inc., a Seattle start up that specialized in the development of WNIA (Wireless Notification Intelligence Applications) for commercial and private sector end users. In 2013, Lee was one of five young professionals from Seattle selected by Seattle Rotary District 5030 for the 2013 Group Study Exchange Program. Over the course of six weeks, he participated in multiple business seminars, startup events and innovation forums hosted by some of Russia's largest corporations including Artezio, Magnit, Severstal and Sberbank. Lee’s professional network is diverse, ranging from law firms, manufacturers, commercial distribution partners, angel investors and venture capitalists. At SoftLayer, Lee works with the Catalyst team and oversees partner and member relationships with Pacific Northwest accelerators and other startup initiatives with the goal of supporting the ecosystem.
Mike Nichols started his first business at age 13; since then his startups have been onstage at TechCrunch (Mota Motors, 2009) and have been accepted into Techstars (Rollsale, Boulder 2012). As a consultant, he has overseen the launch of products into a wide variety of business and consumer verticals including automotive, financial services, energy, and others. Problem solving is his passion, which he pursues by soliciting founders' most troubling challenges and offering his own brand of unique insights and ideas. He resides in the St. Louis' historic Central West End with his wife and three children where he enjoys playing hockey and restoring his family's century-old tudor home.
Qasim Virjee’s work has spanned continents, and has often involved multimedia and digital communities. He has brought rural Kenyan schools online with the country’s first ISP, founded record labels and music festivals, performed as a DJ and VJ, launched SaaS startups (including creative portfolio service introduction.io, collaborative travel planning platform tripping.co, and white-label, turnkey video solution svod.co), helped Bollywood studios access online audiences and evolved urban placemaking approaches to planning for digital communities. Now based in Toronto, Qasim works primarily with Canadian companies and institutions to develop the country’s startup infrastructure.
Eric serves as a systems architect/technical mentor for companies in the SoftLayer Catalyst program. He advises startups on how to build out their server infrastructure with scaling in mind. He can also field any questions about our platform and what SoftLayer offers on the technical side of the Catalyst program. His background revolves around immersion in a wide range of system administration, programming (particularly functional programming and principles of programming languages), and IT in general from a very early age. Prior to joining SoftLayer, he got his start in the hosting industry (and his first experience with SoftLayer servers) working as a Linux System Administrator for Hostgator.com. He is currently based in Portland, OR and enjoys traveling whenever he gets the chance.
Ethan brings with him fifteen years of "hands on" experience of turning ideas into successful working realities. Ethan is excited to welcome new adopters and guide implementation. When not skydiving, deepwater diving, meditating in Nepal or perfecting his Chinese penmanship, Ethan has taken ideas from his experience at the Israeli intelligence and two investment banking organizations in NYC. After completing studies at Fudan University in Shanghai Ethan was a team leader at CCB (China Construction Bank) in Beijing. Ethan has helped many startups, both with a local as well as with an international orientation. Ethan also founded and CEOed his own start up. Ethan graduated in Economics, Philosophy and Psychology from TAU. Ethan speaks native English and Hebrew and is fluent in Chinese.
Luke Schantz is a technologist and consultant who has worked on networked activations, interactive media and bespoke hardware & software for major brands and agencies. Notably, Luke spent 5 years working with the Blue Man Group, and most recently he spent 2 years as the CTO of a startup that dealt with computer vision and meta-data tagging of web videos. During 2013, Luke was a senior projects advisor for Drexel University engineering students. He has taught courses in multimedia programing, 3D design, animation, 3D printing and electronics and has been a guest lecturer at NYU, The New School & Temple University. He and his wife were the first couple ever to be 3D laser scanned on their wedding day, and he builds robots in his spare time.
Prior to joining the SoftLayer team, Chris spent the majority of his young career in corporate finance, running quality control management and overseeing lending operations for a multi-billion dollar financial institution. After 5 years in the dark, he finally found the light and joined 500 Startups (Silicon Valley based VC firm & accelerator) to work in business development and manage corporate partnerships responsible for funding operations of their accelerator program. In the role, he gained extensive knowledge on how to build strategic and effective partnerships, and also how effective accelerators operate and how founders can maximize what they take away from the experience. Today at SoftLayer, Chris works with the Catalyst team and oversees partner relationships with VC’s, accelerators, co-working spaces and other startup initiatives with the goal of supporting communities as a means of growing the startup ecosystem as a whole.
Originally from Northern Virginia, Sean Cantarella moved to Texas to study at Trinity University in San Antonio majoring in Business Management and Marketing. After graduating in the summer of 2014, Sean joined SoftLayer as a Market Research Analyst and quickly moved over to the Catalyst team. In his spare time, Sean is a volunteer Soccer Coach for young children and a player himself. The rest of his time he devotes to spending with his family.
As founders and executives of a former startup company, our leadership team happily shares its knowledge and experience with those who are new to the game. SoftLayer executives serve as mentors at incubator/accelerators that we partner with, including TechStars, Mass Challenge, and Tech Wildcatters.