As an investor and M&A advisor, Ashish reviewed, was a signer of, or drafted (as principal) over 100 contracts. Serving as M&A advisor to several architecture, interior design, and engineering firms, he understands their business and litigation issues. He has been a principal in several contractual disputes and an advisor during several others. Because of Ashish’s M&A work, many of those 100+ contracts were related to business sales. Since business sale contracts encapsulate agreements rooted in varied areas of law -- including corporate, securities, IP, labor, real estate, international, and tax -- Ashish is broadly acquainted with the many applications of contract law. He will apply his contract and dispute resolution expertise to enable Smarter Contract to support all contract use cases, including M&A and private company investing.
Ashish founded M&A advisory firm Next Bridge Advisors Inc in 2015 and its predecessor Alignment Acquisitions LLC in 2008. Since 2015, he has made several private debt and equity investments, including alongside co-investors through Pico Ventures Inc and Mini Search LLC. In 2012, he started a virtual conference business called Second Meeting. In 2007-08, Ashish worked in the internal M&A group for E-Trade Financial.
Ashish has seen first-hand how deals suffer or fail because of transaction costs such as the expected cost of dispute resolution and risk of a counter-party backing out of their obligations without practical recourse. That is why Ashish became interested in the Smarter Contract concept.
Ashish has an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management, where he specialized in Entrepreneurship. He has a BA from Amherst College, where he majored in math and economics. He enjoys reading about topics in law, math, and computer science. Ashish is also an amateur Java and Python coder.
Vlad is a serial entrepreneur and a 3-time CTO. In 2017, seeing the potential of crypto markets, he started to consult on ICOs, smart contracts, and helping folks to demystify blockchain. Vlad started a design lab called Elemental aimed at disrupting the prefab housing market. The platform has been partially developed on Ethereum Blockchain using Solidity. In his early career, Vlad co-founded a startup accelerator called Unreasonable Institute. Since inception, over 500 companies from over 90 countries participated and raised over $220M. At Unreasonable, Vlad led the development of the crowdfunding platform (before crowdfunding was a buzz word).
Before Elemental, Vlad spent 4 years in New York as a Chief Data Scientist at DonorsChoose.org. There he hired a team, built data infrastructure on AWS from scratch; integrated business intelligence tools, powered by Looker, across the organization; deployed predictive models, classification algorithms; and answered a series of key business questions with machine learning. Prior to a career in Data Science, Vlad lived in India and launched India's largest startup festival in Bangalore (later became known as construkt.me) with over 15,000 participants across featured events. Vlad was the CTO and the CMO: he led all technical API integrations as well as creative marketing for the properties.
He’s received a degree in Applied Mathematics and a Masters in Engineering Management from the University of Colorado at Boulder - a degree with a focus on how statistics can drive decisionmaking in organizations. After graduation from a master’s program, Vlad started Greenlighted, where as a CTO he led a team of engineers to develop 3 web products in referral marketing industry. As a co-founder Vlad managed a series of contracts, term sheets and other agreements that exposed him to the world of contract dispute resolution. Vlad sees Smarter Contracts as an opportunity to usher widespread adoption of smart contracts in industries that are not quite ready to make the full switch, or where dispute resolution is more nuanced.
Ji is a serial entrepreneur who previously co-founded a YC company, a music events-management company, a gourmet burger restaurant, and most recently a digital marketing agency focused on b2b SaaS. He most recently oversaw the launch of Polymath’s record $100 million ICO.
Previously, Ji was a foreign correspondent working for Newsweek Magazine. His journalism career started at The New York Times in college, with stints at Time Magazine and The Economist. He’s been published in The Washington Post, Foreign Affairs, and The Christian Science Monitor. He’s lived on 6 of 7 continents, including Antarctica. He has a bachelor’s in economics from Yale.
Michael Parisi is an Information Systems Specialist with a dedication towards web based technology and system design. His best attributes are his dedication, strong work ethic and his morals.
Michael’s interest in computers started at around age seven when his father taught him the basics of coding. Back then the language was Basic and the computers were a bit less powerful. Despite this he became instantly interested in the technology and quickly found himself dedicated to what he had found.
As the years passed Michael’s interest grew. The rapidly changing landscape that is now known as the computer revolution paralleled his ever expanding knowledge base. Adding a bachelor's degree in Management Information Systems from Rochester Institute of Technology only aided him in his pursuit to make it a career.
Michael’s excitement remains strong as he once again finds himself on the forefront of a new technology. The world of blockchain offers a new world of possibilities and one he is excited to join.
Christine Christopherson is a senior UX designer with over 10 years of experience working on digital projects in several capacities, including front-end developer, serving as a bridge between the business and IT, researching emerging technologies, and leading user experience design projects for fortune 500 companies.
Christine has five years of agency side experience with time spent at Razorfish, Havas, and Isobar and is also a certified usability analyst and certified SCRUM product owner.
Duane is a global citizen with 11+ years experience working across digital marketing and branding for clients including ASOS, Unbounce, Mopp, Telstra, Jack Wills, Grant Thornton and BBDO. The last 5 years has seen him leave Toronto, Canada and live & work in Sydney & Melbourne, London (UK) and Vancouver, Canada.