Board of Directors

Hilmi Ozguc, Founder & CEO at Swirl

Hilmi founded Swirl with the goal of revolutionizing the retail industry by leveraging the power of mobile technology to transform the in-store shopping experience. He has been a successful entrepreneur and executive in the software industry for the past 20 years, having created groundbreaking companies worth over a quarter billion dollars that realize the Internet’s potential as a global advertising and marketing vehicle. Hilmi previously founded Maven Networks, an early leader in Internet video technology, which was acquired by Yahoo! and today powers the video advertising infrastructure for the world’s largest network of Internet media properties. Earlier, Hilmi was founder and CEO of Narrative Communications (acquired by Excite@Home), a pioneer of rich media Internet advertising technologies that brought more effective branding capabilities to Fortune 500 advertisers and more engaging web experiences to consumers.

Hilmi has been named CEO of the Year by Mass High Tech, is a frequent speaker at industry conferences, and has been featured in Business Week, CNBC, CNN, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. Hilmi holds a bachelor’s degree in Systems Engineering and a master’s degree in Software Engineering from Boston University.

Ron Fisher, SoftBank

Ron is Director and President of SoftBank Holdings, as well as Director and Vice Chairman of SoftBank Group. Ron is also Vice Chairman of the Board of Sprint Corporation, Chairman of Brightstar Global Group and Executive Director of ARM Holdings. Ron has over 30 years of experience working with high growth and turnaround technology companies. He joined SoftBank in 1995, overseeing its U.S. operations and its activities outside of Asia, and was the founder of SoftBank Capital. Prior to joining SoftBank, Ron was the CEO of Phoenix Technologies, LTD., the leading developer and marketer of system software products for personal computers. He previously served on the board of GSI Commerce (sold to eBay in 2011). Ron earned his MBA from Columbia University and a bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa.

Scott English, Hearst

Scott is a Senior Managing Director and Head of U.S. Investments for Hearst Ventures. He is responsible for investments and acquisitions for Hearst in the digital media space. He has invested in, and served as a Board Director or Observer of, over sixteen companies. Most recently, Scott led the investments in portfolio companies Buzzfeed, Pandora, Relationship Science, Brightcove, Sling Media, and Wide Orbit. Scott joined Hearst in 1995 and has had a variety of operational and investment responsibilities during his tenure. Aside from his venture activities, Scott helped oversee two of Hearst’s digital businesses and acted as interim CEO of UGO Networks. In his first position at Hearst, Scott ran business development and strategy for Hearst’s network of magazine websites culminating in the merger of and (iVillage). Prior to Hearst, Scott worked for Details Magazine at Conde Nast. Scott graduated with a bachelor’s from Trinity College and earned his MBA from Columbia Business School.

Nilanjana Bhowmik, Longworth Venture Partners

Nilanjana brings a rigorous focus on B2B technology to her current role as Founder and General Partner at venture capital firm Converge, drawing on her 23 years as a venture capitalist, investment banker and operating executive. Prior to founding Converge, Nilanjana was General Partner at Longworth Venture Partners where she led the firm’s investments in enterprise tech, including Swirl Networks. She currently serves on the Boards of Jibe, NuoDB, RapidMiner, TrackVia and Rize. In addition to her current Board responsibilities, prior investments and portfolio involvements at Longworth include Viewfinity (acquired by CyberArk), VKernel (acquired by Quest), Softricity (acquired by Microsoft) and Thor Technologies (acquired by Oracle). Previously, as an investment banker at Broadview (now Jeffries), Nilanjana led the bank’s research publications of market maps on middleware, application and security software, and honed her ability to assess emerging tech trends with massive potential. She executed numerous M&A transactions of leading enterprise tech companies in software, services and digital media. She began her career at Object Design, Inc., where she held several leadership positions in software engineering and professional services during the company’s fast growth from startup to successful IPO. Nilanjana received a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, a master’s in Computer Science from the University of South Carolina and an MBA from INSEAD. She is a charter member and serves on the board of the Boston chapter of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE).

Woody Benson, Independent Director

Woody is an independent Director of Swirl and a Venture Partner at LaunchCapital. Considered a business partner and company builder by his CEO’s, Woody’s 35-year tech career has been half spent on the operational side (Apple Computer, Sony Corporation, Lotus Development, Shiva Corporation and MCK Communications) and the other half on the investing side (Lazard Technology Partners, Prism VentureWorks and now LaunchCapital). He has been named Mass Telecom CEO of the Year and Top 50 VC by AlwaysOn Media. He has been involved with several IPO stories, including as CEO of MCK Communications and as the first investor and now 14-year Board member in LogMein. Woody is also an Executive in Residence at Bentley University and hosts a weekly radio show on Bloomberg discussing Alternative Investing with a focus on Venture Capital. Woody holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Communications from Bentley University.

Mike Golden, Independent Director

Mike is an independent Director of Swirl and an experienced retail and business executive. He is the Founder of ShopRunner, a members-only shopping service with an online retailer network that spans today’s most popular brands. Previously, Mike was co-founder and COO of GSI Commerce, a leading e-commerce services company acquired by eBay in 2011. He also served as Chairman of Complex Media and led Home Decor Products as President and CEO. Earlier in his career, Mike served as EVP of Corporate Development and Managing Director of Organic Online, Inc. (now a part of Omnicom) and was the founder and President of Organic Media, Inc. He also co-founded Iguana Studios Inc. and was Chairman until the eventual sale of the company to Change Technology Partners. Mike received a bachelor’s degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from the University of Pittsburgh and a JD degree from Villanova University School of Law.

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