Over a decade ago, our founders made a simple observation. Conferences are often tedious. Success is measured by the calibre of the people you meet and whether you manage to do any useful business together afterwards. Snowball has been designed to build trust, forge relationships, share knowledge and catalyse new ideas in a friendly environment. Aimed at leaders and power-brokers from technology or affiliated industries, it serves well-connected people at the top of their game. It takes the form of an invitation only, informal, private retreat, set in a ski resort.
Everyone invited is handpicked by the Snowboard using stunningly simple criteria – great people, with great minds, who are fun to be around. They’re a diverse group of smart, successful people, chosen from a wide array of sectors, connected by a passion for entrepreneurialism and technology. Snowball is informal and welcoming, yet it’s productive. Time away from your normal business life, with this carefully curated group, produces alchemy.
As well as the skiing, we organise lunches, dinners and après ski drinks at the best places, interspersed with thought-provoking discussions hosted by knowledgeable experts from the group. These activities are designed to bring everyone together. And we jiggle with the seating plans so you get to meet as many people as possible. If you’re not a skier, we provide a range of alternative activities; from husky dog racing to winetasting.
The stylish Swiss hideaway of Gstaad has been chosen for 2015. Sporting one of the largest ski areas in The Alps, it offers around 250km of skiable terrain, including groomed pistes, cross-country and heli-skiing opportunities. There’s something for everyone - nursery slopes for beginners, miles of quiet blues and reds or the chance to grab an expert guide and head off-piste. Gstaad’s après ski is equally indulgent. The charming main street is pedestrianised so you can stroll between the bars, galleries, gourmet restaurants and designer boutiques. The nearest airport is Geneva (1hr 30 minutes from London). From there, we’ve arranged a coach transfer, which will take approximately 2 hours.
My last paradise in a crazy world
The recently renovated Grand Hotel Park has retained all of its Alpine charm. The rooms and suites have a cosy chalet feel and offer beautiful mountain or forest views. Luxury amenities and contrivances abound – from Aromatherapy Associates bath products to Bang & Olufsen entertainment systems. The hotel also has a fabtastic spa and a wide choice of places to drink or dine. The lobby bar (always a crucial spot during Snowball) is a delightful place to hang out and the hotel also boasts a fully-loaded wine tasting room and a positively smoking cigar lounge.
Chosen for their long list of friends and contacts, meet the curators of content and purveyors of invitations.
Bindi currently leads Silicon Valley Bank’s early stage efforts in Europe as “Vice President – Accelerator”
Having devoted much of her career in and around the startup ecosystem, most recently as the Venture Capital/Emerging Business lead at Microsoft UK where for five years, she lead BizSpark in the UK. She focused on how Microsoft could drive success for early-stage technology companies as well as being responsible for working alongside the UK Investor Community, including Venture Capitalists and Angels on behalf of Microsoft. She also sits on many Industry Advisory Boards, and has recently been appointed a trustee for Startup Weekend Europe.
Her previous role at Microsoft was as a Business Productivity Advisor, where she was responsible for managing relationships with business decision-makers in the UK Financial Services Sector. She worked to deliver on the benefits and business value of investing in the latest Information Worker technologies.. Prior to Microsoft, Bindi worked as Associate Director in Interregnum, a UK-based Technology Merchant Bank; as Business Development Manager at Trayport Ltd, a successful commodities trading technology start-up; as Strategy Management Consultant at PwC Consulting; and as Senior Business Analyst at Datamonitor.
Bindi has been on the Wired UK Top 100 Digital Power Broker list from 2010 – 2012, on the 2012 Girls in Tech Euro 100 Women’s list, named as one of the Six Most Connected Women in the UK by the IoD in 2011, shortlisted as a finalist for Asian Business Woman of the Year in the 2010 AWA Awards. She was also given a special mention in the 2010 TechCrunch Europas Awards as Best Startup Advisor/Mentor & nd re-nominated in 2011. She is a regular speaker and judge at Technology Events, and most recently spoke at TEDxAthens 2012.
Having grown up in Western Canada , Bindi now lives in London, and her hobbies include competing in Adventure Races, running marathons/duathlons, and skiing.
Specialties:Strategic Business Development and Sales, Strategic Consulting and Advisory, Networking, Rainmaking, Programme Management
Belinda (or B as she’s often known) has spent the last 18 years adding sparkle to live events in the often dreary technology sector.
Having trained as dancer and a PR exec, B knows a thing or two about presentation and stagecraft. Her repertoire of skills enables her to achieve remarkable things such as:
– Generating fabulous audiences of gagging prospects.
– Morphing tedious content into spellbinding theatre.
– Plucking Oscar winning performances out of amateur presenters.
She does all this without pain or brutality – instead a word of praise here, a lifted eyebrow there and a lot of hard work.
B’s deep knowledge of the tech sector has been forged by working with companies such as: AT&T, BlackBerry, BT Global Services, Cisco, Hitachi and Microsoft. Along the way, Belinda has collected a clutch of awards and accolades for her ingenuity and creativity, ruthless attention to detail and focus on client objectives.
In 2010, Belinda became one of the two founding partners of Forgather – a company that sets out to deliver intelligence, exuberance and fun to the events business. Forgather is doing pioneering work enhancing live human interaction.
Forgather’s first event in March 2010 was the Snowball ‘retreat’ for 60 European investors and entrepreneurs. Feedback from participants included such comments as:
• ‘The business benefit far outweighs anything else I do’
• ‘Hands down the most useful conference I have been to’
• ‘Belinda Raynes rocks’
Last year, Forgather launched Collision, www.colisn.com, a series of events that explores the opportunities for knowledge transfer between Adland (the established communications sector),Techville (technology entrepreneurs) and brands.
Forgather co-creates and manages programmes for clients including Microsoft (BizSpark European Summit for 4 years), Essence (seek.essencedigital.com), and works with organisations championing entrepreneurism, including Young Enterprise, TEDx Parliament and SVC2UK.
Clients range from dynamic-growth SMEs to some of the world’s largest businesses. Significant experience in helping US, Asian and European companies on international business expansion and cross-border, multi-jurisdictional matters, and trusted adviser to many emerging growth businesses.
Broad TMT focused practice. Head of firm’s Advanced Media and Technology Group and co-Head of Growth Company practice, working currently particularly in internet, digital media, software, and cleantech sectors.
Established clients include: Digital UK, eHarmony, Enterprise, Ernst & Young, Foursquare, G-Star Raw, Hearst, HSBC, Lionsgate, Nickelodeon, Tempur, Tesla Motors, and Webtrends.
Growth company clients include: AMEE, Apricot Square, Bizworld, Clinithink, Eseye, F Sharp, Fan Factory, Frameblast, Imagini, Lytbulb, Minimonos, Rated People, Reward Technology, Rightster, Seeker Industries, Stubble & Glasses, Telnic, Tictrac, and Videoplaza.
Specialties: Outside counsel, transactional deal lawyer, and commercial and regulatory strategy adviser for tech, media, internet, communications and IT (hardware and software) industries. Leading digital media practice.
Founder of CU, an invitation-only, informal networking group for CEOs/Company Founders.
Experienced entrepreneur, team leader, and digital media/imaging expert.
Specialties: Product Development/Strategy, ECommerce, Professional and Consumer Imaging Business & Technology, Digital Photography, Digital Media Search, Internet Marketing, Software as Service (SaaS), Digital Asset Management, Business Development, Raising Capital, Photographer
Frequent speaker, moderator and tech conference Master of Ceremonies at technology conferences such as The Next Web/Amsterdam, BizSpark Euro Summit, IDCEE/Ukraine, Pirate Summit/Germany, Seedcamp Investor Day and others around the world.
Prior to setting up my own company I was part of the executive team that grew a technology recruitment business from a team of 30 to a listed, international business of over 500 people with a market cap at peak of £250M.
In 2007 I left to start La Fosse Associates to fulfill a long held belief that there was a need in the market for a full service, values based technology recruiter able to recruit at all levels from the board downwards.
Everyone in our team has a slice of the equity and this has helped to attract top talent, drive a great team ethic and establish a collective pride in being the best we can.
Our vision is simple; to lead by example to achieve a step change in the standards of candidate care within our industry.
The first six years have been great fun. Word of mouth recommendation has driven our growth on average by over 60% per annum and we’ve won numerous awards along the way.
– 4th Best Company to work for in the UK. Sunday Times 2013 Small Company Category
– 23rd Fastest Growing company in the UK. The Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 2011
– Shortlisted for Ernst and Young ‘Entrepreneur of the year’ 2013
– Shortlisted for ‘most people focused CEO ‘ HR Magazine/Best Companies 2013
– 13th in “Top 50 rising stars” XL Magazine 2011
– Finalist “The Small to Medium Sized Business of the Year” National Business Awards 2010
– Winner “Recruitment Consultancy of the Year” Computing Awards for Excellence 2009
– UK’s No.1 senior IT recruiter [Nielsen Media Research]
Specialties: Technology recruitment and Interim Management digital
Chairman with exemplary track record of scaling and internationalising world class technology business to create and realise outstanding shareholder returns.
Specifically focused on aligning management, investors and founders around clearly defined common objectives.
2011 – Present Just Giving: Chairman
2011- 2013 Ubiquisys: Chairman – Sold to Cisco for $310m
2009 – 2011 Fizzback: Chairman – Sold to Nice for $88m
2007- 2010 Oblicore: Chairman – Sold to Computer Associates (undisclosed sum)
2004- 2013 Tribold: Chairman – Sold to Sigma Systems (undisclosed sum)
2003 – Present Exony: Chairman
2001 – 2004 Cramer Systems: CMO/ Board Advisor – Sold to Amdocs for $440m in 2006
1999 – 2000 Sun Microsystems: V.P/ G.M
1997 – 1999 Forte: CMO/ COO – Sold to Sun Microsystems for $810m
1992 – 1997 Sybase: European Sales Operations
Pre 1992 Variety of roles with StorageTek and Sperry Univac
Set up first business in music importing in school days: became Orbis Records, grew to be one of the UK’s largest record importers. Post MBA Marketing Director for Goodman Graham / Norman Broadbent – technology executive search firm. Headed marketing for the EMC at Price Waterhouse. Set up the European Technology Forum in 1997, sold to CNET Networks in 2003 and joined Ernst & Young in 2005
Awarded the MBE in 2013 Birthday Honours List for services to young people
Victor Basta advises investors and boards on mergers, acquisitions and financial and strategic issues related to maximising value for growth companies. He has worked on over 100 successful transactions during a 25-year career.
Magister Advisors is a merchant bank for late stage tech, media and internet companies. The firm has worked on the sale of LoveFILM to Amazon for $320m and Apple’s purchase of C3 for over $250m, as well as more recently the financing for Borro and the recap of Thomson Benefits.
Victor spent 12 years at Broadview (before its sale to Jefferies), ending up as president responsible for the firm’s $300m+ worldwide advisory business. He then founded and managed Arma Partners for several years, before starting Magister. Victor has along the way been an Adjunct Professor at INSEAD, and was President of the 2010 UK & Ireland Tech Tour.
Nenad Marovac has more than 20 years of venture capital and private equity investment experience in the media, telecom and technology sectors.
Nenad is the Founder and Managing Partner of DN Capital, which is a media and technology early stage and growth capital investor with offices in London and Palo Alto. His investments include Apsmart, Datanomic (Acquired by Oracle), Eyeka, Mister Spex, Shazam Entertainment, Tbricks, Windeln, OLX (sold shares to Naspers) and JacobsRimell (acquired by Amdocs).
Nenad founded DN Capital in June 2000 after leaving Advent International, one of the world’s leading global private equity houses, where he was a Partner in the London office. At Advent International, he spent five years investing in European media, IT services, Internet and telecom companies. His investments include Synergon (IPO: LSE/BSE), Hogart, Internet Securities (acquired by Euromoney) and @Entertainment (IPO Nasdaq: acquired by UPC).
Prior to Advent International, Nenad was a Financial Analyst in the leveraged buyout group of Bankers Trust in New York focusing on media and communications.
Since 1981 the Forsyth Group has been a leader in Executive Search in the IT and emerging technology fields. Our typical assignments include CEO, COO, CFO, VP, Director and Country Manager.
We offer depth of experience across the technology sector including expertise in:
. Digital Media
. Cloud Computing
. Enterprise Software & SaaS
· Semi Conductors
Our passion for emerging growth companies, which is where you will find some of our most successful clients. We specialise in helping companies take advantage of their technological lead in Europe, USA & Israel. Throughout our history we have helped Founders,CEOs, VCs and other external investors attract and hire the right talent their company requires. We are proud of the fact that we have placed whole teams in Europe and the USA with great success. Our early stage clients tell us we add substantial value to their companies, not only through the high quality of the talent we but also through our understanding of their market and the competitive intelligence we gather throughout the search process.
Ultimately it is the placed candidate’s long-term impact that differentiates us. We track the retention of our placed candidates and are proud of the fact that our retention rates rank among the highest in the industry, 80 percent of our business is repeat business and of all our statistics, this is the one for which we are most proud.
Specialties:The Forsyth Group, headquartered in London, specialises in international Executive Search of Senior Management within the Information Technology sector. Established in 1981, the company is privately held.
The Forsyth Group can offer its services on a global basis with established partners in the USA, Israel, South Africa and Asia Pacific.
Ardent is an independent investment banking advisory firm, authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority of the United Kingdom.
Ardent provide advice to shareholders and boards of companies on a number of corporate finance activities, principally corporate strategy, finance raises, mergers and acquisitions, management buy-outs, restructuring, and business development.
Ardent has developed expertise around digital media, with a particular focus on Internet Advertising, eCommerce, eMarketing, Online Gaming, and Online Publishing. Ardent maintains close relationships with a broad set of digital media, internet, and technology investors and companies both in Europe and the US.
Our recent transactions include:
• Tryzens: Management Buy-Out from AIM listed Jaywing plc
• MatchesFashion.com: Partial exit to Scottish Equity Partners and Highland Capital
• FeelUnique.com: Partial exit to Palamon Capital Partners
• VoucherCodes.co.uk: Sale to WhaleShark Media
• Swoodoo.com: Sale to Kayak.com
• FSN.net: Sale to Moneysupermarket.com
• my-wardrobe.com: Private placement with Balderton Capital
• Intela Inc: Private placement with Bestport Capital
• UK Web Media: Strategic advice
• SwapitShop.com: Private placement with Greylock Partners
• Assethouse: Sale to Amino
• UTarget.com: Sale to News Corporation
• Cycling.tv: Sale to JumpTV
• Portfolio of Cineworld Cinemas: Acquisition
• Portfolio of Odeon Cinemas: Acquisition
• UTarget.com: Private placement with Foresight Ventures
• Buy.At: Private placement with DFJ Esprit
Specialties: Origination, strategy, fund raising and business development
Rod founded the technology marketing group, Banner Corporation in 1984 and left it in 2009. It had grown to become the largest Business to Business agency in Europe and boasted the best of the world’s blue chip tech firms as its clients.
Since selling Banner to WPP, Rod became an angel investor. Investments include: The Sound Agency, Appinions, EngageSciences, The Filter, EveryOneCounts, Shopa and Prompt.ly. This has proved exciting, dynamic and rewarding.
Rod co-founded Forgather – an events business that’s behind Snowball. Its mission is to build and develop event properties that enhance people’s lives.
Rod is now building a new proposition – 3LA.com. This business offers digital planning services to help big brand CMOs (and their agencies) grapple with the complex, cluttered landscape of marketing automation technologies, social media platforms and increasing mobile priorities. The company leverages the diverse experience of a global group of highly experienced technologists and marketers and focuses on very pragmatic business outcomes.
Specialties: Social media, mobile and marketing automation. 25 plus years in creating tangible, marketing-driven success for technology companies located in EMEA. Architecting brands. Having as much fun as possible – within the law and a good moral compass. Writing Linkedin testimonials.
Snowball 2015 is in the planning stages. Although we can't promise anyone a place, please register your interest on the contact form below.