Dr. William Guttman, Chairman, is Special Advisor to the Provost of Carnegie Mellon University, and Chairman of iCarnegie, Carnegie Mellon's for-profit education company; he previously co-founded Cylab, one of the world's largest University-based research initiatives focused on dependability and security in software and networked systems. Bill has been instrumental in a variety of University tech transfers; most recently he co-founded the video search software company, Panopto, whose board he also chairs.
Guttman is also Investment Partner and leads the financial technology practice at Philadelphia-based TL Ventures. In addition to his investing activities on behalf of TL, he has founded, co-founded, or held other leadership roles in more than a dozen institutionally-backed ventures, serving as chief executive at several of these, including Printcafe (NASDAQ: PCAF), a 500-person software developer acquired by Electronics for Imaging (NASDAQ: EFII).
Earlier in his career, Dr. Guttman served in advisory capacities for the United States, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the OECD. He is the author of Pacific-Asian Capital Markets (OECD/Oxford & IBH), Between Bailout and Breakdown: A Modular Approach to the Latin American Debt Crisis (Center for Strategic and International Studies), US Telecommunications Policy in Sub-Saharan Africa (U.S. Agency for International Development), along with other publications and patents. Bill completed his Masters and Doctoral degrees at Balliol College, Oxford University, where he was a British Council Scholar.
Eric Burns has 15 years of successful innovation experience in the video-on-demand, distance education, and digital library sectors.
Mr. Burns was the co-inventor of the SlideCentric and Focus courseware projects at Carnegie Mellon University and oversaw the design, development and implementation of both systems. While at CMU, he also spent eight years with the Universal Library Project building massive-scale digital library search and archiving systems. This research led to the creation of a parallel-computing, turn-key digital library search appliance.
Mr. Burns went on to become a senior engineer at Microsoft Corp, spending two years helping to lead development of the Books and Academic search engines for Microsoft's Windows Live division. He received his Bachelor of Science from Carnegie Mellon University.
Dennis Farkos is an early- and growth-stage financial executive with over 20 years of experience in driving business results and shareholder value. Most recently, Mr. Farkos served as Senior Vice President, CFO and Treasurer of Confluence, a leader in financial technology for asset managers. In this role, Mr. Farkos was an integral part of Confluence’s global strategy development and was responsible for leading all aspects of accounting, finance, human resources, IT and facilities operation. He set up, from scratch, the systems and controls required to manage and mitigate risk and provide executive management with the views and analysis needed to enact change for a positive impact on shareholder value.
Farkos was also instrumental in one of the largest high-tech private equity transactions in Pittsburgh during the last decade when Confluence secured a $114 million valuation during its 2006 recapitalization by Polaris Ventures. As a result of his efforts on this transaction and in the years leading up to it, Farkos was voted 2006 CFO of the Year by the Pittsburgh Business Times.
Prior to joining Confluence, Farkos held roles in finance at International Merchant Finance, Ltd. (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reed Smith), Federated Investors and Hadid Development Company. He has also worked in government serving on the US House of Representatives staff for the Honorable Austin J. Murphy (retired). Farkos holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Economics from Allegheny College.
Tom Davy set up Panopto Europe in 2011 to provide same time-zone support and expand the customer base. His background is in media and publishing, particularly in relation to education at all levels. Equally at home in a start-up as in a corporate board room, Davy spent the 1990s with Pearson Plc., where he held a number of senior leadership positions. These included Managing Director of Longman Higher Education, Executive Director of the worldwide English Language Teaching Group and Chief Executive of Addison Wesley Longman (now Pearson Education) EMEA.
Always an early adopter of technology, Mr. Davy introduced and championed new products and services to engage students using digital media. He presided over a period of rapid growth in sales of educational resources for students, teachers and professionals and helped pave the way for Pearson's success as the world's largest educational media group.
In 1999, Davy founded Spark Learning, a start-up with a mission to motivate reluctant learners to become more literate and numerate through the use of educational games. In 2006 he joined Thomson Learning, now Cengage, as CEO for Europe, Middle East and Africa. Following the sale and relocation of that company, Mr. Davy has worked as an independent consultant assisting media businesses, both large and small, to reposition themselves in response to seismic shifts in the economic and technological landscape.
Gil Taran is the Chief Executive Officer of Panopto International, where he leads the company's strategy, operations and business development efforts outside the US and Western Europe. In this role, he is charged with expanding Panopto's presence into new international markets and industries, and with the establishment of unique global partnerships.
Mr. Taran's professional background spans educational strategy, entrepreneurism, government, and teaching at Carnegie Mellon University in one of the world's top computer science schools. Prior to joining Panopto, he managed a number of growth-oriented companies focused on business development in both technology and education-based services out of Amsterdam, Tel Aviv and Moscow. Taran is also the Chief Executive Officer of iCarnegie Global Learning, a Carnegie Mellon University company that offers large-scale, world-class educational and workforce development programs to businesses, governments and universities around the world.
Originally from Israel, Mr. Taran has lived in the UK and the US and has travelled extensively around the world for business over the last 15 years. He was instrumental in establishing business ventures and collaborations/partnerships in Central Asia, the Far East, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Latin America and Africa. He holds degrees in Economics, English Literature and Information Technology Management.