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What impact will the new administration have on the tech economy?  Get a 360 degree view of the economic outlook for the Bay Area, California and the nation for technology companies in 2017—including the expected impact on Nordic companies seeking to enter the US. Hear our experts discuss their technology predictions for 2017 and the state of the economy, venture capital, mergers & acquisitions, and IPOs in the year ahead.


John Chiang, Treasurer of California

John Chiang was elected on Nov. 4, 2014, as California’s 33rd State Treasurer. As the State’s banker, he oversees trillions of dollars in transactions every year. One of his top priorities is to conduct the State’s business in the most transparent manner possible.

Chiang sells California’s bonds, invests the State’s money and manages its cash. In addition, he manages financing authorities that help provide good-paying jobs, better schools, improved transportation, quality health care, more affordable housing and a cleaner environment. He handles those duties while sitting on the governing boards of the nation’s two largest public pension funds – the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS).

Chiang has made transparency a top priority, believing that sharing information with taxpayers enables them to hold government officials accountable. In November 2015, he unveiled DebtWatch, a website that offers the public easy access to three decades of data related to debt issued by State and local governments.

Prior to being elected Treasurer, Chiang served from 2007 through 2014 as State Controller, during which time he:

  • Took steps during the Great Recession to preserve cash to meet obligations to education and bond holders. His cash management decisions – which included delaying payments and issuing IOUs -- were cited as instrumental in keeping the State’s credit rating from plunging into junk status, which saved taxpayers millions of dollars.
  • Worked to ensure the fiscal solvency of the State’s pension plans, and was a leader in pension and corporate governance reform. He proposed a plan to address the unfunded liability of providing health and dental benefits for State retirees, and successfully sponsored legislation requiring all State pension systems to adopt disclosure policies regarding board members and placement agents. He also has sponsored bills to curb pension-spiking, require placement agents to register as lobbyists, and require CalPERS and CalSTRS board members to file more campaign contribution disclosure reports
  • Aggressively used his auditing authority to identify more than $9 billion in taxpayer dollars that were denied, overpaid, subject to collection, or resulted in revenues, savings and cost avoidance.
  • Ensured that $3.1 billion in unclaimed property was returned to the rightful owners. He also led the effort to reform the State’s Unclaimed Property Program, which currently holds about $7.1 billion in bank accounts, utility deposits and other property that businesses have deemed abandoned by their owners.

Chiang was first elected to the Board of Equalization in 1998 where he served two terms, including three years as chair. He began his career as a tax law specialist with the Internal Revenue Service and previously served as an attorney in the State Controller’s Office.

The son of immigrant parents, Chiang graduated with honors from the University of South Florida with a degree in finance. He received his law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center.

Scott A. Anderson, Ph.D.  Chief Economist/Executive Vice President, Bank of the West

Scott Anderson is a Chief Economist and Executive Vice President at Bank of the West. In this role he analyzes and forecasts international, national and regional economic trends for Bank of the West management, business lines and clients. He currently authors Instant Analysis reports of daily economic releases, a weekly U.S. Outlook Report with longer-term economic and interest rate forecasts. He also creates international chart books on China and European economies, as well as regional reports on the California Outlook and a broader Regional Quarterly Review report. As an experienced economic advisor in the financial services sector, Anderson has consistently been recognized as one of the Top economic forecasters in the country by Bloomberg and USA Today. Scott’s economic research is widely read and cited by the financial and business communities, and he is a sought after national expert and speaker on macroeconomics issues. He is currently a regular contributor to Forbes. He has appeared in numerous print, television and radio media outlets which include the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Bloomberg, CNBC and NPR. He was appointed Chairman of the American Bankers Association Economic Advisory Committee in 2012 and has served on the Committee since 2004. In 2015, he was appointed to the California Council of Economic Advisors. Among his numerous professional affiliations, Anderson is a member of the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Professional Forecasters and the National Association of Business Economists. Prior to Bank of the West, Scott was a Director and Senior Economist at Wells Fargo where he produced the macroeconomic forecast and was the author of global outlook reports, U.S. economic and financial commentary and regional California and Minnesota Outlook reports. Anderson has also held positions at Moody’s Analytics in Philadelphia and the International Monetary Fund in Washington D.C. Anderson earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the University of Minnesota and his Doctorate in Economics at George Washington University.

Bill Reichert,  Managing Director, Garage Technology Ventures

Bill Reichert has over 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur and operating executive. Since joining Garage in 1998, Bill has focused on early-stage information technology and materials science companies. He has been a board director or board observer at CaseStack, WhiteHat Security, ClearFuels Technology, Simply Hired, MiaSole, D.light Design, ThermoCeramix, and VisaNow, among others. Prior to Garage, Bill was a co-founder or senior executive in several venture-backed technology startups, including Trademark Software, The Learning Company, and Academic Systems. Earlier in his career, he worked at McKinsey & Company, Brown Brothers Harriman & Co., and the World Bank. Bill earned a B.A. at Harvard College and an M.B.A. from Stanford University. He was a founding board member and a Chairman of the Churchill Club, and a Board Member of the Silicon Valley Association of Startup Entrepreneurs. Currently he is the Chairman of the Small Fund Roundtable of the VC Taskforce and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

Sean Randolph, Senior Director, Bay Area Council Economic Institute

Sean Randolph is Senior Director of the Bay Area Council Economic Institute, a public-private partnership of business, labor, government and higher education that works to foster a competitive economy in California and the San Francisco Bay Area, including San Francisco, Oakland and Silicon Valley. The Economic Institute produces authoritative analyses on economic policy issues affecting the region and the state, including infrastructure, globalization, energy, science, and governance, and mobilizes California and Bay Area leaders around targeted policy initiatives.

Dr. Randolph previously served as President & CEO of the Bay Area Economic Forum, which merged with the Bay Area Council in January 2008, and as director of international trade for the State of California, where he developed trade strategy and directed international business programs to stimulate exports and introduce California companies to overseas markets. Before service with the state, he was Managing Director of the RSR Pacific Group, an international business consulting firm specializing in Asia and Latin America, and before that served as International Director General of the Pacific Basin Economic Council, a 15-nation international organization of leading U.S., Asian and Latin American corporations.

His professional career includes extensive experience in the U.S. Government, including the U.S. Congress staff, and the White House staff. From 1981–85 he served in the U.S. State Department, as officer for Asia on the Policy Planning Staff, as Special Adviser for Policy in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, and as Deputy/Ambassador-at Large for Pacific Basin affairs. From 1985–88 he served as U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Energy for International Affairs, managing nuclear non-proliferation, energy research, and global oil and gas issues.

Dr. Randolph holds a JD from the Georgetown University Law Center, a Ph.D. from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (Tufts and Harvard Universities), a B.S.F.S. from Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service, and studied at the London School of Economics. He currently serves on the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC), which he chaired from 2005–2012, and on the State of California’s Public Infrastructure Advisory Commission (PIAC). He is a member of the District of Columbia Bar Association, the Council on Foreign Relations and the Pacific Council on International Policy, and serves on the Advisory Board of the University of San Francisco Center for the Pacific Rim, and the President’s Advisory Council of Excelsior College (New York). Dr. Randolph speaks frequently before business, government and university audiences, and writes for U.S. and international media on global, national, state and regional economic and policy issues.

Carl Fritjofsson, Principal, Creandum

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Carl is a battle-scarred entrepreneur and investor who have seen many sides of the tech ecosystem. He started his career in management consulting and went on to co-found the digital ad network AdProfit, bootstrapping the business into one of the leading digital channels for b2b advertising in the Nordics.

Following this he joined the leading Nordic VC Creandum as a member in the investment team but soon left to co-found Wrapp, which became a portfolio company of not only Creandum but also prominent VCs like Greylock and Atomico. As COO of Wrapp, Carl was responsible for scaling the company internationally across 18 markets and raising an aggregate of $27M in VC funding.

After close to 4 years with Wrapp Carl left to work with the world’s most active seed investor 500 Startups in San Francisco, coaching and mentoring early stage companies through an intensive 4 months accelerator program. In parallel to this Carl was a part-time Venture Partner with Creandum supporting its portfolio in the US market, while also launching a few startup projects within hardware and consumer internet.

As of mid 2016 Carl is a full-time Principal at Creandum being responsible for its US presence, primarily looking for European entrepreneurs scaling into the US. Carl is also a Kauffman Fellow of Class 21, and is particularly interested in foodtech, marketplaces, and any products leveraging data transparency and collaboration.

Christian Lagerling, Co-Founder & Senior Advisor, GP Bullhound

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Christian is one of the Founding Partners of GP Bullhound. He has spent the past fifteen years advising global companies on technology transactions and investments with a particular focus on cross-border M&A and Private Placements. Christian has particular experience and expertise in the Consumer Internet, Software and Mobile sectors. He moved to San Francisco in 2008 to open up the firm’s US West Coast office, and he also oversees the firm’s research activities.

Having started his career in management consulting, Christian moved to London to finish his degree studies at LSE and then joined the investment banking division of Barclays Capital.

Christian holds a B.Sc. in Finance and Economics and a M.Sc. in Finance as well as the FINRA Series 7, 24 and 63 securities licenses.

Barry Broome, President & CEO, Greater Sacramento Area Economic Council

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Barry Broome has launched a new economic development effort in Greater Sacramento that includes innovative initiatives to support startups.  This effort is dedicated to building an advanced economy for the State's Capital Region and combining the Bay Area and Sacramento into a Northern California Megaregion which provides access to the California innovation ecosystem, world-class talent and resources. Among other initiatives implemented, the City of Sacramento has formed a partnership with 500 Startups. The Board of Directors includes 37 CEO's and 17 public leaders focused on a single market strategy.