Keynote Speakers


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Joel Cutler

Co-Founder and Managing Director

General Catalyst Partners

Joel Cutler cofounded General Catalyst Partners with David Fialkow, whom Cutler met as an eight-year-old at a Maine summer camp. The duo went on to cofound three travel-related tech companies, later using that experience to invest in Kayak in 2004. The move paid off when General Catalyst got $460 million in Kayak's 2012 IPO and again in its $1.8 billion acquisition by Priceline in 2013. Other notable deals include Oscar, Warby Parker, Airbnb, Handy, Sabre, M.Gemi, Chloe + Isabel and Paribus. Cutler's previous investments include Venmo (sold to Braintree for $26.2 million in 2012), ITA Software (sold to Google for $700 million in 2011), GroupMe (sold to Skype for a reported $85 million in 2011), GameLogic (sold to Scientific Games Corp. in 2010) and Reveal Imaging (acquired by SAIC in 2010). Cutler has a strong interest in consumer companies, especially those related to commerce, travel or conversational tools for mobile. Cutler's attitude toward the current fundraising market: "Really good startups and really good venture firms will still have really good access to capital." Grateful for the care he received at Boston Children's Hospital as a child, Cutler now serves on the hospital's board and helps with its fundraising efforts. 

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Michael Chae

Sr. Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer


Michael S. Chae is the Chief Financial Officer at Blackstone and serves on the Management Committee. Mr. Chae has management responsibility over the firm’s global finance, treasury, technology, and corporate development functions. Since joining Blackstone in 1997, Mr. Chae has served in a broad range of leadership roles including Head of International Private Equity, Head of Private Equity for Asia/Pacific, and overseeing Private Equity investments in various sectors and the investment process for the Tactical Opportunities fund. Mr. Chae led or was involved in numerous Blackstone investments over that time period. Before joining Blackstone, Mr. Chae worked at the Carlyle Group, L.P. and prior to that with Dillon, Read & Co. Mr. Chae graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College, and received an M.Phil. in International Relations from Cambridge University and a J.D. from Yale Law School. He has served on numerous boards of private and publicly traded portfolio companies. Mr. Chae is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Lawrenceville School and Chairman of its Investment Committee, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Board of Trustees of the Asia Society.