Panel: A Year in Review {Sponsored by Verizon FiOS}

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Join us as we take a look back at the biggest tech headlines of 2014 and look forward to what lies in the year ahead.

Learn more about our moderator

Mike Chan

Mike is the Co-founder of ribl (, a location-based message board where you can share and access the most relevant information about your current location. He is also an Organizer of Startup Weekend DC, blogger for the Consumer Electronics Association and , Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University, ex-marketer for the Washington Capitals, and an expert at power napping.

Learn more about our panelists

Rob Pegoraro

Rob Pegoraro writes about computers, gadgets, telecom, the Internet, apps, and other things that beep or blink. He covers tech-policy issues at Yahoo Tech (, answers consumer questions at USA Today (, writes for other clients and holds forth about tech topics on radio, TV and podcasts and at the occasional conference.

Patrick Merfert

Patrick is passionate about disruptive technologies and helping companies grow. Pursuantly, he is driving growth oriented marketing efforts at 9Lenses, an Organizational Intelligence SaaS platform for gathering, connecting, and quantifying human insights in the enterprise.

Previously, as a venture capitalist, Patrick invested in and advised healthcare and technology startups. Patrick has worked at three additional early-stage technology startups (biotechnology, enterprise software, SaaS), during their first year of operations, including DC-based Contactually. These startups were funded by DARPA, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, and 500 Startups.

Mike Leurdijk

Mike Leurdijk is a VP with Core Capital Partners, a local early-stage venture capital fund focused on enterprise software, and a consultant for Paul Capital Partners, a secondary private equity fund. He was previously CFO of Riggs Capital Partners. Mike is a mentor with the Mach37 Cyber Accelerator and the AccelerateDC Venture Mentoring Service.

David Young

David E. Young, Vice President, Verizon Public Policy, is responsible for identifying and assessing emerging issues, developing corporate positions on Internet and Technology industry policy matters, and assessing key technology and communications industry trends. He is also responsible for developing relationships with high technology industry members, technology associations, research institutes, and think tanks. Previously, he was responsible for items before the FCC dealing with broadband and emerging issues. Prior to 2000, he spent six years working in Verizon’s Research and Development (R&D) group on many advanced technologies including VoIP, data network architectures, and audio, video and image compression. He has been awarded ten U.S. government patents for his R&D work. David is a member of the IEEE and IEEE Communications Society. David holds a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology.

Lauren Maffeo

Lauren oversees content strategy at Aha! ( -- the world's #1 product roadmap software. Her work utilizes digital channels -- including LinkedIn, Quora, and targeted blogs -- to engage product managers.

Prior to Aha! Lauren was a contributing writer to titles including The Next Web, The Guardian, Mic, and more. She reported on DC startups for Web Summit's Global Blogger's Network last year, and her writing has been cited by The Atlantic, Huffington Post, and the textbook, "Digital Innovations for Mass Communications: Engaging the User".

She earned her BA from The Catholic University of America and her MSc from The London School of Economics and Political Science. Her MSc dissertation was presented as a working paper at the University of Brighton in April 2013, and she has also been published by The LSE Review of Books.


6:30pm - 7:00pm Networking

7:00pm - 8:00pm Panel Discussion

8:00pm - 8:15pm Q&A

More about our Headline Sponsor

Verizon FiOS (

Verizon’s 100% fiber-optic FiOS network delivers market-leading broadband speed – with symmetric upload and download throughput – as well as brilliant HD TV service to homes in parts of 12 states and the District of Columbia. Our unique wireless, broadband and cloud assets give us the ability to do what others can’t: deliver truly integrated connected solutions that work across all devices and platforms.

Verizon is at the center of today’s connected world, working independently and with tech industry partners to put simple, yet incredibly powerful digital tools in the hands of our customers. With the nation’s most advanced and reliable FiOS fiber-optic and 4G LTE mobile networks, Verizon’s customers enjoy the benefits of the digital lifestyle, while we provide the communities we serve with new ways to prosper and grow in the Internet Age – connecting them to the global economy, expanding access to opportunity, and offering new approaches to the challenges of health care, education and environmental sustainability.

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