Hidden Truffles is proud to have an eminent panel of Judges, Coaches and Mentors for our BuckStarter Pitch Event and we can’t wait for you to meet them! In this article let’s get to know them a little better…
The founder and CEO of Next Chapter , Nicole is an Australian who lives in Hong Kong with her husband and two children. Nicole is passionate about female entrepreneurship, and changing the way the funding system works so that the world benefits from the so-far undervalued and under-utilized talent and wisdom of women.
“As an entrepreneur and a mum I’m passionate about providing an environment that empowers other women to succeed in business. I believe women are best able to understand the needs and problems of other women, and to come up with practical, innovative solutions. And I believe women can and should dare to dream big and make their dreams come true. So my dream is to create a place where women feel confident, inspired and empowered to take action on their business dreams and create thriving, sustainable enterprises.”
Lori Granito is the founder of Kitchen Sync, Hong Kong’s first culinary incubator for start up food entrepreneurs. She is also the owner of Go Gourmet Catering and the award winning Magnolia private kitchen. She is the co-founder of Little Burro, a growing chain of San Francisco Mission style burrito restaurants.
Lori was responsible for the development and marketing of her company’s concepts, including implementing the marketing plans, developing all dishes, organizing all PR, as well as the recruitment and training of staff. The ongoing success of her companies is directly attributable to her vision, energy and skills. Lori was previously named Entrepreneur of the Year by Skal Hong Kong. She is a former chairwoman of the Hong Kong Women Business Owner’s Association and Former Vice Chair of the Soho Association.
Nidhi Kush Shah
Nidhi is an experienced and passionate Keynote Speaker, Writer, Facilitator and Coach specializing in Executive Personal Branding, Communication Skills and Business Networking. In the last eight years, Nidhi has gained leadership and training experience across Australia, Hong Kong, China, Macau and India. Since its inception in 2012, her firm ‘Alchemy Consulting’ has rapidly gained popularity for providing unique, interactive and effective Learning & Development solutions.
Over the years, Nidhi has helped hundreds of professionals build their executive personal brand and transform their communication and people skills into powerful assets. She is a sought-after speaker and is regularly invited to speak at and train companies, trade bodies and universities across Asia.
The Co-Founder and Director of Startups HK and a serial entrepreneur, Gene has launched businesses in tech and fashion space. He is a computer engineer by training and has worked in Silicon Valley as an engineer at SanDisk and also at Accenture as a management consultant.
Gene has been active in pushing for a better startup ecosystem in Hong Kong and has been involved in technology, mobile, gaming and fashion start-ups space. Gene received his BS and MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University as well as a MBA from Columbia University.
Yosha is the founder of LafaLafa.com and Meraki. Belonging to a family of entrepreneurs, it is hardly a surprise that Yosha is a successful entrepreneur herself! In 2015, LafaLafa.com was chosen for the 500 Startups Accelerator Program in Silicon Valley, one of the best accelerators in the world.
“Building LafaLafa has been an amazing experience as and given me the confidence to start another venture. With LafaLafa the experience has been to build a scalable mass market business and one of the most memorable experiences was being chosen for 500Startups and spending 4 months in Silicon Valley to learn from the best in class.”
Michelle Lam is the founder of Spoilt, the leading provider of unique experience vouchers in Hong Kong. Spoilt offers experience vouchers for over 300 experiences in the categories of driving, water, flying, gourmet, creative, outdoor and pampered for individuals as unique gifts, for corporate employee reward programs and corporate gifting programs.
Prior to starting Spoilt, Michelle was a strategy consultant at the Boston Consulting Group in Hong Kong specializing in Sales and Marketing. Michelle holds a BSc (Hons) Economics from the London School of Economics and Political Sciences. She has studied at the Cheltenham Ladies’ College, UK and Chinese International School, Hong Kong, from which she was awarded an Outstanding Alumna
James is the Program Director at Garage Society, a collaborative entrepreneurial community with locations in Hong Kong & Thailand. He focuses on building community events and training for the HK startup ecosystem as part of the Garage Academy platform.
Originally from London, he studied law before entering project teams in the public sector, from the Cycle Road Race at the London 2012 Olympics to EU grant funded regeneration projects.
Jennifer is the Founder & Chief Glam Girl, CGG of Glam-it! a passion project and now a self-running beauty, fashion, lifestyle technology brand. Born and raised in the US. Jennifer graduated with a BA in International Relations from Brown University and received an MBA from Hong Kong University of Science & Technology. A serial entrepreneur, she held management positions at companies and startups including Director of Business Development APAC for Rackspace, Vice President of uBuyiBuy and Vice President of BEECRAZY. With startup exits under her belt, Jennifer continued building startups including investing and advising in luxury jewelry brand Plukka and Bonham Strand and others.
Jennifer continues to contribute to the startup ecosystem as a mentor and judge for Startup Weekend, Cocoon, and was a founding member of NexGen. She is an active angel investor and equity advisor in high growth startups in the US & Asia. Jennifer is also involved in philanthropy work and acts as an advisor for HER Fund and sponsors and partners for The Women’s Foundation (TWF). Jennifer is a business columnist for the South China Morning Post and has spoken at TEDx, Google Women’s Panels, InnovFest, and General Assembly, inspiring other young entrepreneurs.