Speaker Schedule

Thank you to All of The Blockchain Event's Attendees, Speakers, Sponsors and Exhibitors for Making the 2018 Fort Lauderdale Event an Amazing One! Stay tuned for details on The Block Chain Event May 16-17, 2018 | MGM Grand, Las Vegas.

Jeff Pulver

Vice Chairman, Alchemist



Nick Spanos

Founder, Bitcoin Center NY

Bitcoin Center NY

Nick Spanos, one of the earliest adopters of bitcoin and blockchain, founded the Bitcoin Center NYC and serves as CEO of Blockchain Technologies Corp. as well as co-creator of the Zap Project, which works to solve one of the biggest challenges in the blockchain industry by providing an open marketplace for oracles that can provide smart contracts with access to off-chain data. The Zap Project includes the Zap technology stack and the Zap.Store. Spanos was featured in the recent documentary Banking on Bitcoin and has been part of many conferences on blockchain technology.


Eric Weiss

Founder & Chief Investment Officer , Blockchain Investment Group

Blockchain Investment Group

Eric Weiss heads the team at Blockchain Investment Group. Mr. Weiss’ background is uniquely suited to evaluate and make investments in hedge funds with a focus on blockchain-assets. Prior to forming BIG, Mr. Weiss had careers as a proprietary bond trader; a technology venture capitalist and an internet entrepreneur. Mr. Weiss started his career as a US Government bond trader at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter. After earning his MBA from Columbia Business School, Mr. Weiss was a Director in the Private Equity & Venture Capital arm of GE Capital and focused on making investments in internet related companies. While with GE Capital Mr. Weiss made an investment in Internet Capital Group (ICG), and thereafter joined ICG were he made investments in business to business internet companies. Mr. Weiss served as ICG’s board representative for number of companies. Subsequent to ICG, Mr. Weiss was a founding Principal at Stripes Group where he identified and lead investments in the online direct marketing space. Mr. Weiss left Stripes Group to form a number of technology based online direct marketing companies focused on lead-generation, search engine marketing and social media.Mr. Weiss has personally been an active investor in hedge funds and hedge fund of funds for over twenty years.


James Tagg

CEO, Cen


James Tagg is a serial entrepreneur and award winning author. He was one of the original inventors of the touchscreen and has founded several companies that specialize in man machine interfaces and communications. He founded Truphone, the world’s first global mobile network, sending the first SMS over the Internet, making the first mobile phone call over the Internet and developing the eSIM for mobile communications. He holds over 200 patents and his first book, Are the Androids Dreaming Yet? explores the limits of Artificial Intelligence and the differences between humans and computers. He studied Physics and Computer Science at Manchester University and Engineering at Cambridge University and is Director of The Roger Penrose Institute.


Andrey Voronkov

CEO, cryptocurrency angel investor, DigitalBioPharm, Ltd.

DigitalBioPharm, Ltd.

As a founder of Voronkov Ventures, Andrey Voronkov works on several projects, which are based on a principle of decentralization and use blockchain technology. One of those projects is DrugDiscovery@home; it is a distributed computing project, which uses the power of different computing devices worldwide to solve global health problems. Andrey Voronkov was participating in SONM (Supercomputer Organized by Network mining) as one of two main co-founders of the project. Recently, Andrey Voronkov has taken part in the development of the bill concerning regulation of decentralized virtual property in Russian Federation, and this bill is now under consideration in the State Duma of Russian Federation.Andrey Voronkov has PhD degree in bioorganic chemistry and biochemistry and he is still working in the field of computational chemistry, chemoinformatics and medicinal chemistry. He is also a cryptocurrency angel investor.


Steven Nerayoff

ICO Architect, Ethereum


Steven Nerayoff, Esq. LL.M. is a prolific serial entrepreneur, attorney and inventor of 20 international patents, having founded seven companies in Silicon Valley and New York City. Steven is a blockchain pioneer with his involvement in top projects including: Ethereum, Lisk, Bancor, tZERO, ZenCash, ZCash, Ripio, Aion and Storm. Steven is also the Chairman of the publicly listed company Global Blockchain Technologies (OTCMKTS:BLKCF) (TSXV:BLOC).Stevens innovative work as the legal architect of Ethereums record setting token sale continues to be the basic structure used throughout the world today. Steven innovated the concept of utility, specifically using the concept of gas” or “fuel” for legal purposes. Steven continues to be instrumental in defining the industry standards.In 2017, Steven founded Alchemist specializing in blockchain project development and investment. Steven has assembled a team of industry leaders having advised and invested in over 25 projects.Steven has had involvement as either a founder, advisor or investor in following projects: Aion, Bancor, Basic Attention Token, Blocktix, Civic, Enjin, Ethereum, Factom, GlobalBlockchain, Investfeed, Kudos, Lisk, Metrosage, Po.et, Polymath, Ripio, Shopin, Sirin, Status, Steemit, Storm, Stox, Streetwire, tZERO, Veridium Labs, Vezt, ZCash, ZencashHe is the Founder & CEO of Maple Ventures, a venture capital firm focused on emerging technologies including blockchain-based payment systems, consumer internet companies, and socially conscious enterprises. He is also the Founder & Executive Chairman of CloudParc, a patented next-generation artificial intelligence smart city platform that has groundbreaking technology for the city of the future.


Sohrob Farudi

Co-Founder & CEO, Fan Controlled Football League

Fan Controlled Football League

Sohrob is an accomplished international C-level executive and venture-backed entrepreneur. He’s held the CEO role at multiple startups, spent two years overseas working in Europe, raised more than twenty million dollars in angel and venture financing, and served as an investor and advisor to numerous companies over the last decade. He has spoken at events including SXSW, Hashtag Sports, MIT Sloan Sports & Analytics Conference, and Block-Con. He is currently the CEO of the FCFL, responsible for strategic direction, partnerships, and financing.Prior to the FCFL, Sohrob founded Fanchise in 2015, the company that built the real-time play calling and fan engagement application with the Salt Lake Screaming Eagles that lead to the creation of the FCFL. In his time with Fanchise, he secured millions of dollars in angel funding, led product design for the mobile play calling app, negotiated partnerships with Sports Illustrated and Twitch, and attracted notable executives from the worlds of entertainment and professional sports to help push the league forward.Before disrupting the world of sports and entertainment, Sohrob led companies across sectors in analytics (SeeVolution), digital marketing (ActBold), and mobile (Flipswap). As co-founder and CEO of Flipswap, Sohrob led the company from “garage startup” to venture-backed company, securing $14M from RRE Ventures and NGEN Partners. Under Sohrob’s guidance, Flipswap secured the #81 ranking on Inc Magazine’s list of 500 fastest-growing companies, and in 2011, Sohrob led the merger/sale of Flipswap to HYLA Mobile in a transaction that included a $35M investment from Kleiner Perkins.Sohrob started his career as a consultant at Accenture. He holds a MS in Information Systems from the George Washington University School of Business and a BS in Finance from the University of Maryland, where he graduated in just three years. He currently resides in Manhattan Beach, CA with his wife and two young daughters.


Shidan Gouran

President, Global Blockchain

Global Blockchain

Shidan Gouran is a cofounder and president of Global Blockchain Technologies Corp., the largest listed private equity firm in the Blockchain sector. He is a serial entrepreneur who founded Nuovotel Corp., one of the first and largest wholesale VoIP service providers of its time, Jazinga Inc., developers of an award winning unified communications system and Home Jinni Inc., developers of the first Android based Smart TV platform. Shidan is a seed investor and advisor to a number of the leading financial technology and blockchain startups. He mined his first Bitcoin in early 2010 and has been involved with Cryptocurrencies ever since.Shidan studied Pure Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at the University of Western Ontario.


Jason Kelley

General Manager, IBM Blockchain Services , IBM


Jason Kelley leads IBM’s Global Blockchain Services, partnering with client organizations and consortia to unleash the exponential business value of blockchain technologies and reinvented business process. His teams provide the thought leadership and consultive capabilities needed to design, develop and rapidly adopt digital ledgers, digital identity, trust and transparency with IBM Blockchain offerings and solutions.Prior to this role, Mr. Kelley led IBM Global Business Services Solutions, Design, &Innovation, helping clients transform to differentiate and lead in the market through digital reinvention, applying IBM Design Thinking and the application of Agile, DevOps and innovative technology. His teams bring endless energy, creativity, and outcomes for IBM clients around the world, delivering unique business capability with the marriage of analytics, automation/robotics, Watson, and cloud technologies. Mr. Kelley also served as IBM CTO and design leader for IBM Business Process Outsourcing, and previously managed IBM’s Analytics business in North America, China and Asia Pacific. He has also led initiatives in IBM’s Software, Global Technology Services, and Sales and Distribution units across industries.With 13 with years of military service as an Army Airborne Ranger, Mr. Kelley values integrity, leadership, and loyalty, and proudly serves on the Board of Directors for the Corporate America Supports You (CASY) organization and the Military Spouse Corporate Career Network, both national nonprofitsoffering employment assistance for current and former military personnel and their spouses. A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Mr. Kelley also earned an MBA from the Cox School of business at Southern Methodist University, with a concentration in Technology and Entrepreneurship. Mr. Kelley contributes to IBM’s ongoing leadership in patents as the holder of three U.S. Patents with others pending.


Clifford Gross

CEO & Commercialization Lead, Lucyd ltd

Lucyd ltd

Cliff is an executive with leadership experience in academia and commercial enterprises. He is passionate about bringing university intellectual property to the public. He is an author of four books and is a named inventor on 19 issued patents. Cliff has founded three listed companies, in which he served as CEO and Chairman. Currently he is CEO of Tekcapital plc. Previously, he served as CEO of Innovacorp, a provincial venture capital fund in Nova Scotia, was a Director of the graduate program in biomechanics and ergonomics at New York University, Chairman of the Nelson Rockefeller Department of Biomechanics at the New York Institute of Technology, and research professor at the University of South Florida.


Susan Akbarpour

CEO-Cofounder, Mavatar Technologies

Mavatar Technologies

As a media guru, product designer, entrepreneur and investor Susan Akbarpour has over 30 years of hands-on experience in building innovative products and businesses in technology and media. She is currently the CEO and Co-Founder of Mavatar, the company she founded in 2011 based on her research in graduate school, soon after receiving her MS in Management from Stanford University in 2010.Mavatar’s “360 marketplace and shoppable content publishing” solutions provide retailers and media companies with a new way to measure IMPACT at the convergence of data intelligence, content and consumer-centric commerce .Susan’s recent mission is leading her world class team to create a “ Decentralized Attribution Protocol that combines advanced blockchain technology and a fresh approach to Basket Shopping and Influence Marketing to address the lack of transparency and trust in the retail marketing value chain. Throughout her journey as an entrepreneur, journalist, publisher, investor, board member, community advocate and political fundraiser, Susan has received multiple media, community and business awards, spoken at various conferences and is frequently featured in mainstream media. Susan is also a general partner at Monjeri Investments, member of the board of directors at IMA International Executive Council and VOMax Corporation, member of Stanford Business School Alumni Association, Stanford Women On Boards, a prestige member of Watermark (a nonprofit organization that is a community of executive women) and an official Member of Forbes Agency Council.


Ken Silverman

CEO nationpay.io, nationpay.io


Ken Silverman is an American entrepreneur, inventor and computer scientist with 20+ years architecting platforms, systems and complex algorithms. Chief Scientist and CEO of blockchain-based cardless banking solution, NationPay ( Nationpay.io ), he is the inventor of the bank account ==> token wallet solution. Ken is also CEO of RealSafe ( RealSafe.co ) Proof of Ownership, corporate management platform that can potentially replace subscription-based management companies such as the Gust Equity Management platform owned in part By David Rose. RealSafe could become a recognized facilitator of the Delaware Electronic Ledger Initiative. Formerly, co-founder and vice-president of technology at Webmind Inc. co-founded with Ben Goertzel, architecting the AI-engine that formed the base of the Webmind project for hundreds of scientists, the precursor for what became Open-Cog, which will be the mind of Sophia the robot, the first robot citizen and spokes-android for SingularityNET. Former Chariman and CTO of Spotwired, Ken built a sophisticated architecture that provides the heart of his latest social commerce engine under the developer name KenGenius. Designed for merchants to setup their online community representing their real-world location in minutes, each community features point of presence social gifting, on the fly editing of real world parameters, news and information. Users are provided the tools of each merchants real-world location, embedding gifts in their messages, interacting, meeting new people and gifting old friends alike. Ken first spoke on an open blockchain panel with Alexandra Levin Kramer at the IBREA blockchain conference in New York in 2017 regarding the future of crypto in real estate. There he was the first person to present to the public the idea of solving the entire titling problem by abstraction at the corporate level, in other words via tokenization of the company share unit as a passive action. Since he has authored whitepapers and architected platform designs for several companies planning ICOs and appeared on over 50 blockchain panels at places such as IT Expo in Ft Lauderdale among others.


Tom Plunkett

Consulting Solutions Director, Oracle


Tom has written books on big data and cloud computing and is the author of a forthcoming book on Blockchain and Cryptocurrency. Tom is a Consulting Solutions Director with Oracle and also volunteers for AtrocityWatch, a non-profit organization which uses Big Data to detect early warning signs of atrocities. Tom has given presentations at over sixty conferences and has taught computer science courses for Virginia Tech. Prior to joining Oracle, Tom practiced patent law with Fliesler Meyer in San Francisco, representing Oracle and other Silicon Valley companies. Tom has a B.A. and J.D. from George Mason University, an M.S. in Computer Science from Virginia Tech, and has completed graduate coursework in Cybersecurity and Management Science and Engineering from Stanford University.


Marlon Williams

Founder and CEO, PodOne


Marlon manages the day-to-day operations of Fenero and PodOne. His expertise in contact center technology began during his tenure as a Software Developer for a large contact center based out of Miami, FL, where he was eventually tapped to lead all of the organization’s technology initiatives. This included application development, network and systems administration, and telecommunications.Marlon has served as Treasurer for the Miami-Dade County Public Schools S.T.E.M. Advisory Board; President of the South Florida Chapter of the Society for Information Management; and is a current Board Member for the South Florida Digital Alliance.


Felix Shipkevich

Principal and Founder, Shipkevich PLLC

Shipkevich PLLC

Felix Shipkevich is a Special Professor of Law at Hofstra University and principal and founder of forward-thinking law firm Shipkevich PLLC., a law firm head quartered in New York City with offices in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and London. Mr. Shipkevich maintains an active financial derivatives practice providing legal and regulatory counsel to FinTech and money service business, and he also has extensive experience with ICOs regulations since their inception. His practice also includes enforcement defense litigation and regulatory investigations of electronic payments business by federal and state authorities. He has represented money services business as well as technology companies in the money transmitter space in connection with mergers and acquisitions, cross-border purchase and sale negotiations and agreements, and general money service business company arrangements. Mr. Shipkevich regularly represents some of the largest non-bank foreign exchange dealers and money transmitters.Felix Shipkevich is regularly involved with both national and cross-border financial services regulatory issues including representing clients investigated by regulatory bodies such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Mr. Shipkevich is also a special professor of law at Hofstra University teaching corporate finance law. Mr. Shipkevich is Editor-in-Chief of Money Transmitter Law, a resource benefiting business owners and compliance practitioners, and has spoken nationally on panels for the money transfer community on various legal and regulatory topics.From 2008 to 2011 Mr. Shipkevich served as the Chair of Futures and Derivatives Committee of the New York County Lawyers Association. Also, from 2012 to 2015 Mr. Shipkevich was on the Board of Directors of the New York County Association.He received his B.A. in Economics and Political Science, from SUNY Binghamton and his J.D. from Hofstra University.


David Silver

Partner, Silver Miller

Silver Miller

As described in Reuters, The Financial Times, Bloomberg BNA and other media outlets, Silver Miller is one of the preeminent plaintiffs’ law firms in cryptocurrency litigation, with numerous cases, including class actions, successfully being prosecuted against wayward cryptocurrency exchanges and misleadingly presented crypto-investment offerings. David Silver has become a nationally-featured speaker on the subject, and his presentations have been called engaging, brutally honest, and entertaining. Our judgments and recoveries are valued at more than $150 million in the past five years alone. We are not only engaged in cutting-edge litigation, we are at the forefront of shaping the law in this emerging field.


Avi Aisenberg

CEO, South Florida Distillers

South Florida Distillers


John Hooks

President and CEO, Spectramesh


John Hooks is President and CEO of Spectramesh, Inc. Spectramesh combines wireless advances with the emerging technology of blockchain in a core router capable of communicating across a mixed spectrum of wireless TCP/IP, Bluetooth, and IoT spectra – a first for router devices. Additionally, each unit has a built-in functional web server and data store that can host edge computing applications and support backless server support. Mr. Hooks is also a Distributed Ledger (Blockchain) Technologist and Venture Capital/Private Equity Advisor and Council Member in the Technology and Telecommunications Practice of the Gerson Lehrman Group (GLG), and an Advisory Board Member to several emerging Blockchain, and Big Data/IoT and AI companies.His past experience includes executive positions at Accenture, LLP, Anderson Consulting, and IBM Corporation.


Brian Cooper

Visionary Leader and Technology Strategist, Stillwaters Technologies

Stillwaters Technologies

Brian has worked for nearly twenty years as a technology leader, responsible for building high-performing software development teams, identifying technology trends and driving technology strategy and innovation.Brian brings deep experience of software design and architectural principles as well as consultant expertise where he partnered with clients to rapidly build and deliver their products to market.


Deborah Hoffman

CEO, Symmetry Blockchain Advisors, Inc.

Symmetry Blockchain Advisors, Inc.

Debbie Hoffman is Co-Founder of Symmetry Blockchain Advisors where she works with clients in their blockchain development and initial coin offerings utilizing her expertise in law, finance, blockchain, cryptocurrency and technology innovation. Debbie serves as the 2017-18 Chairperson of the Association of Corporate Counsel Financial Services Committee. Debbie was previously the Chief Legal Officer of Digital Risk, LLC, where she was responsible for the regulatory compliance and legal functions of the company. She spent a decade of her career as a real estate finance attorney at the law firm of Thacher Proffitt & Wood in New York. Debbie has also been a professor at the Florida A&M University College of Law and the University of Central Florida. In 2017, Debbie was named as a Top General Counsel by the First Chair Awards, received an Honorable Mention as a Leading Lady in the MReport’s Women in Housing issue and was named as a 2017 “Hot 100” in Mortgage Professional America. She was selected as a 2016 and 2014 Woman of Influence by Housingwire Magazine and was awarded a 2015 Stevie® Award, Woman of the Year and a 2014 Stevie® Award, Female Executive. She is a frequent author in industry periodicals, a speaker at conferences and events, as well as a guest lecturer at universities of higher education.


Nelson Petracek

CTO, TIBCO Software Inc.

TIBCO Software Inc.

As CTO of TIBCO Software, Nelson Petracek brings close to 20 years of experience to his customers. A strong technology evangelist, Nelson specializes in the areas of messaging, microservices, cloud and on-premise integration, event-driven architectures, operational intelligence, and event processing. Able to bridge the gap between business and IT, Nelson works with his customers to identify and define the appropriate use of various technologies and architectures – delivering solutions for the next stage of digital business.


Marc Lesnick

President, Ticonderoga Ventures, Inc

Ticonderoga Ventures, Inc

Marc Lesnick has been involved in the internet and technology industry since 1998. He currently runs UTail.com. Mr. Lesnick has been involved in crypto since 2014. As the President of Ticonderoga Ventures, Inc., he is a speaker at numerous conferences and writes for several publications. He is an expert on SEO. He has been quoted in the New York Times, Forbes Magazine, Barrons Magazine, National Public Radio, Business Week Magazine, Time Magazine as well as others.


Moderator List

Carl Ford (Moderator)

CEO, Director of Content, Crossfire Media

Crossfire Media

Carl has been highlighting the key initiatives around the advances of the Commercial Internet since the inception of the worldwide web. Carl’s diverse experience in technology spans the areas of costing, operations, marketing, regulatory, and product development and management. Carl has become known throughout the Communications community for his ability to connect people and businesses; be it in formal conference settings or through the well-planned serendipitous encounter. Carl’s technology experience along with his expertise in building relationships as well relevant, thought provoking conference content, make him an invaluable asset to IoT Evolution.


Rich Tehrani (Moderator)

CEO, Group Editor-in-Chief, TMC


Rich Tehrani is the CEO and group Editor-In-Chief of TMC, as well as the Founder and Conference Chairman of ITEXPO, a leading technology trade show held twice each year. Rich oversees a diverse portfolio of successful technology magazines, web sites and trade events at TMC, which recently celebrated its 44th anniversary. Rich has guided TMC’s ascension and evolution from a print publishing and trade show company focused exclusively on voice/data convergence and computer telephony integration (CTI) markets, into a media powerhouse covering all of today’s most important technologies – Wireless/Mobile, Cloud Computing, IP Communications, IoT, and more. Rich is TMC’s driving force in the creation and implementation of pioneering publications and events. Since launching TMCnet in 1995, Rich has pioneered the development of more than 300 online communities of interest, revolutionizing the online world and changing the way companies leverage their brands online. Rich is a media icon, maintaining an active role as an Editor-In-Chief and a very prominent technology blogger/social media participant. TMC’s event and online platforms serve as an incubator for new concepts from the leading minds in the technology space. Rich launched and oversees the ITEXPO Franchise (which is in its 34th installment) – and is constantly adding collocated events by using his creativity and ability to launch synergistic conferences. Various collocated events include: CVx (ChannelVision Expo), IoT Evolution Conference & Expo, IDEA Showcase, and MSP Expo. Aside from his contributions to the online media world, Rich is an active and engaged philanthropist. He a member of the local JCC, a Board Member of the UCONN Engineering Department, and the engineer behind the future TMC Technology Center at a local Boys & Girls Club. This is all in addition to being an active and involved father and member of the community in Fairfield County, Connecticut where he lives with his wife and two daughters.