Growth Through International Expansion During Times of Tension

Date: Wednesday, May 22, 2019
Time: 6:00pm-8:30pm
Location: BNY Mellon Wealth Management
3000 Sand Hill Road #3-290
Menlo Park, CA 94025



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International Expansion is a key component of almost any company’s long term growth strategy. But how do small and medium size companies get started on international expansion, especially in a climate of increasing trade tension? What do companies need to consider when working with overseas partners, taking overseas investment, or establishing a beachhead in another country? What challenges do foreign companies face when expanding into the US? What resources are available to growing companies so that they can fully understand the national differences in the way business is done in another country?

Join our panel of experts for a lively discussion on International Expansion.


Our Distinguished Panel


Alain Harrus, Ph.D.

Chairman & CEO
Kateeva, Inc.

Alain joined Kateeva in 2013. The company’s inkjet printing manufacturing equipment solution is used by technology leaders to mass-produce flexible and large-size OLED displays, and other products.

Previously, Alain was a Partner at Crosslink Capital, a San Francisco-based venture capital company where he led the firm’s semiconductor and energy technology investment activities.

Before turning to venture capital, Alain developed breakthrough process technologies that kept semiconductor manufacturers on track with Moore’s Law – first as a research scientist at Bell Laboratories, later as Chief Technology Officer at Novellus Systems – now part of Lam Research. There, he championed a total copper metallization solution for advanced semiconductor manufacturing – a disruptive move that made Novellus a category leader and helped catapult the company across the $1 billion revenue threshold.

As an investor, Alain focused on early-stage science-based hardware companies developing challenging technologies. An engaged Board member, he advised executive teams on strategic growth initiatives, particularly technology roadmap development, product and commercialization strategies, and infrastructure, as well as fund-raising, valuation and exits.

Alain holds a BS degree in Mathematics and an MS degree in Physics from the University of Paris XI at Orsay, France, as well as a Ph.D. degree in Solid State Physics from Temple University in Philadelphia. He has authored and co-authored more than 30 technical papers, and is a co-inventor on six patents.


Philippe Bouissou, Ph.D.

Managing Partner
Blue Dots Partners

Philippe has spent three decades in Silicon Valley as an entrepreneur, a CEO, a Venture Capitalist and a Management Consultant. He is Managing Partner at Blue Dots Partners LLC, a firm he co-founded focused on top-line acceleration. Philippe started his career as the founder and CEO of G2i, Inc. a Unix software company that was acquired by Matra. He then was Senior Vice President at Matra Hachette Multimedia, Inc. where he led US business development for electronic publishing for the $12 billion, high-tech and diversified media company before joining Apple as Director of the Worldwide Internet Commerce group, where he founded and managed the online Apple Store and grew its revenue from zero to $350 million.

After Apple, Philippe became a Venture Capitalist and successfully invested $43 million and generated double-digit cash-on cash IRR. For over half a decade, Philippe co-managed the Milestone Group, a management consulting firm serving over 220 Clients. During his career, Philippe led over 120 management-consulting projects with companies such as Cisco, Microsoft, SAP, Verisign and served on the Board of Directors of 20 companies, including Scalefast, Inc. and ACG Silicon Valley where he currently serves.

Philippe graduated from École Normale Supérieure in Paris and holds a BS in Mathematics, a MS in Physics and a Ph.D. in non-linear physics and chaos theory.

Antonia Zierer

Executive Director of Invest
Bavarian US Offices

Antonia Zierer, Executive Director of Invest in Bavaria’s West Coast office in San Francisco, is helping US scale-ups enter Europe’s largest market Germany. She has a broad background in international business promotion and economic development. She worked previously as the deputy head of the unit for economic policy in the Bavarian Prime Ministers’ office and as a policy advisor for foreign trade relations with Russia and Central Asia in the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs. Prior to that she worked as a research assistant for economic and social policy research and gained work experience in the financial sector in Russia and Kazakhstan.

Antonia was born and raised in Bavaria’s capital of Munich. She graduated from the University of Passau with degrees in Business Administration and Economics and studied Russian Language and Economics at Moscow State University (GUU) in Russia. She speaks English, Russian and German.


Eric S. Goodbar

Managing Director
BNY Mellon Wealth Management

Eric Goodbar is a member of BNY Mellon’s Investment Strategy Committee. This committee monitors and analyzes financial markets and economic trends. This committee also establishes BNY Mellon Wealth Management’s outlook and asset allocation recommendations. The topic of trade negotiations between the U.S. and China has been in the financial news for some months now. Investor groups around the world are likely factoring the future of these trade negotiations into the calculus of future investment outcomes.

Eric has more than 32 years of experience in the investment management and finance industry. He previously served as managing director, Global Investment Strategist, at Mellon Capital Management. In that position, he was responsible for articulating various strategies to clients and prospects and was a key participant in the refinement of existing, and development of new strategies.

Eric is a former adjunct faculty member at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Stuart School of Business. He has extensive alternative investment research expertise, including contributions to The Handbook of Managed Futures and numerous conference appearances.


Tao Wang

SAIC Capital

Tao is a partner with SAIC Capital where he leads the technology investment in the automotive and AI areas. Some of his investments include AutoX (autonomous driving), BigML (machine learning), Black Sesame (AI vision chips), Noveto (personal dynamic sound), and Uhnder (digital modulation radar chips). Tao actively helps his portfolio companies to grow via his extensive entrepreneurship experience and SAIC’s vast network. These companies enter into the largest automotive market in the world and expand rapidly through partnership formed with SAIC and its affiliates.

Tao was born and educated in China. He received higher education in US and got PhD in electromagnetics from Syracuse University. His deep understanding of both Asian and US business culture has enabled him to create several successful global alliances for startups and enterprises. He played an instrumental role as an executive team member and co-founder in several startups that went to IPO or M&A.


Our Distinguished Moderator


Joerg Kemkes

Managing Partner
Rueter Partner

Joerg Kemkes provides over 25 years of tax consultancy in the areas of international tax, transfer pricing, real estate taxation and tax compliance. He has been a Managing Partner with Rüter und Partner for more than 20 years as a Steuerberater and is an expert in German related international tax matters. Joerg Kemkes’ success includes representing companies in matters ranging from full tax advisory services, payroll and accounting support up to representation before the German tax authorities. Joerg Kemkes is also a founding member and the Managing Director of Rueter Partner Steuerberatungsgesellschaft mbH.

In January 2014 Rueter Partner Steuerberatungsgesellschaft mbH expanded their US operations with opening a permanent office in San Francisco to better serve their US based clients.