Raised in the rawhide trade, an ancient profession tied closely to Greece’s rural economy, it was generally expected Sotiris would follow suit like the generations before him. But his love for numbers and circuits led him to pursue engineering and a career in semiconductors, growing his design automation software startup to multi-million dollar accounts in Silicon Valley and Japan. Returning to his roots, Centaur allows him to create innovative technology that makes food production safer – proof that creative solutions can help crack tough humanitarian problems. Sotiris has a degree in Electrical Engineering and a Ph.D. in semiconductor design. He holds four US patents. One of his major influences has been studying the art of Product Development under Prof. Clayton Christensen (author of the Innovator’s Dilemma) at Harvard Business School.
As a child, Vasilis wandered the marbled hallways of the Ministry of Agriculture, where his father, Athanassios, introduced Greece to
the fumigants that would improve the country’s crop yield and safety. Years later, after studying agronomy at university and working with respected scientists in the field, Vasilis returned to the family business to work alongside his father. Bringing research and technology together, he synthesized the solution that helped solve the greatest challenge of modern farmers – crop loss control – and began cultivating the vision that is Centaur. Now with children of his own, his work is an extension of his family’s legacy. Adding precision and control to the world’s food supply chains, he hopes to improve global food security and transparency so all families can enjoy the benefits of a healthy and robust diet.
A parallel entrepreneur and active inventor, Avi is founder of XponentialWorks™ that helps advance the knowledge of and access to exponential technologies. Between 2003 and 2015, Avi served as 3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) President, CEO and Director. Under Avi’s leadership, 3D Systems emerged as a formidable global 3D printing provider with revenue growth exceeding 6-fold and market valuation growing over 12-fold. Previously, Avi held senior executive leadership positions with Sealed Air (NYSE:SEE) a leading global provider of food safety and security, facility hygiene, and product protection solutions. Avi is part of Singularity University’s core faculty, serves as a Trustee of Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian’s Design Museum and is a member of the XPRIZE Innovation Board. His TED talk titled ‘what’s next in 3D printing’ has over 2.4 million viewers. In 2013, Avi was listed as one of Fortune Magazine’s Top 50 business leaders, in 2012 he received the Financial Times Boldness in Business award and in 2011 he was a recipient of the 2011 E&Y Regional Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
A semiconductor industry veteran and world-renowned expert in wireless systems engineering, Dr. Ronald E. Ham has a PhD from Natal University (1986), a MSc from Southern Methodist University (1972) and a BSc from Texas A&M University (1967). He has held senior technical positions at various aerospace and defense companies such as Tracor Aerospace and Flight Systems (now BAE), LTV, Texas Instruments, has made specific contributions and/or major design segments for over a dozen major companies, and has been the senior scientific contributor for numerous successful startups including NewLogic (now Wipro), Netspeed (now Cisco), Thomas-Conrad (now HP/Compaq) and Scientific Communications (now Andrew). He was Senior Lecturer at Natal University, Associate Professor at Clemson University and has supervised doctoral students at Cambridge University. He has worked as international consultant in high speed IC design, antennas, propagation and systems design, measurements, analog and digital signal processing, and high speed data transmission circuits and systems. His international projects have included major work in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Russia, and South Africa. Ron has more than twenty professional publications and twenty patents granted.
A serial entrepreneur and software guru extraordinaire, Toli was most recently cofounder and CTO of Metanautix, a Silicon Valley Big Data Analytics infrastructure startup funded by Sequoia Capital and acquired by Microsoft. Before Metanautix, Toli was at Facebook developing infrastructure behind the world’s largest photo repository. He single-handedly created and implemented the dynamic image processing architecture that drives the photo layouts in Timeline and News Feed. Toli is a veteran of several technology companies, including Align Technology (a public company that makes the Invisalign orthodontics device), Marketcetera, Techfuel, CenterRun (sold to Sun Microsystems), and Trilogy Software. He also co-founded a residential treatment center for eating disorders which he sold to private equity. He holds an MS and BS in Computer Science from Stanford University.
A noted global speaker and author on the strategic transformation of agriculture and food industries, Richard has created and led the five largest global agriculture and food professional service platforms including Accenture, IBM, Lehman, KPMG and Rothschild. He has represented over 66% of the known value (non-State owned) of global agriculture and food processing sectors at the C-suite level over his career. Richard has delivered over 100 major media and industry keynote speeches for over a dozen distinct global sub-sectors of agriculture and food. He has been a trade delegate for the G8, an advisor to the World Bank and UN FAO, one of 12 members of the US-China’s 1st agricultural summit, an agricultural advisor to President Obama’s African Leaders Summit and African food security initiative, and a think tank leader for the prestigious 120-member Farm Foundation which was set up by President Eisenhower as the USA’s primary industry think tank advisor for agriculture. Richard also ran classified US laboratories for the creation of sensors, data and analytics tied to fighting terrorism and Homeland security.
- Renowned global expert in entomology
- Professor at University of Thessaly
- Advisor to USDA on stored crops protection
- 20 years of experience in marketing and operations
- Set the operational foundations of several highly successful startups
- Bachelor's in Human Biology and Economics from Stanford University
- Seasoned entrepreneur and investor in the Australian Ag Market
- Board member of AgQuote
- Master's in Marketing & Bachelor's from University of Canberra