From Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, to Thejo Kote who travelled over 13,000 kms to set up Airbase: meet the international speakers at TechSparks 2021

TechSparks 2021 is back, and it’s bigger and better than ever. This time, we’re looking beyond our borders and exploring how we, as a country, can collectively lead the global startup universe, as well as collaborate with them. Check out some of our Intl speakers

Friday October 22, 2021,

6 min Read

The stars of the startup universe are descending at TechSparks 2021, not just from India but from beyond the borders too.

From Apple Co-founder Steve Wozniak, to Rolls Royce’s India and South Asia President, Kishore Jayaraman, the international speakers at TechSparks 2021 will aim to talk about the many ways in which global startups can unlock the India opportunity, how Indian brands can tap international markets, and how startups around the world can collaborate to solve the world’s most pressing problems.

Here’s a rundown of some of the international speakers you can catch at TechSparks 2021:

Steve Wozniak, Co-founder Apple, Woz U, and Efforce

‘’Woz’, as he’s lovingly known in Silicon Valley tech circles, once said his formula for life is H = F to the third power —  which means happiness = food, fun and friends.

He might be famous for designing Apple’s first computers, and later a personal microcomputer which eventually became the Apple I, but those who know him personally can attest he was acclaimed for staging elaborate pranks around the Berkely campus, as well as building gadgets known as “blue boxes”, which helped students make free long-distance phone calls.

TechSparks 2021 Steve Wozniak and Shradha Sharma

Apart from running Woz U, a tech training platform for learners, higher-education institutions and businesses, Steve has been busy these days launching his own, new cryptocurrency, the WOZX last year, which, by the way, has increased in value by over 1,400 percent, and rolling out his second company, Efforce, a democratised blockchain technology platform.

Catch him at TechSparks 2021.

Yoram Wijngaarde, founder and CEO,

A one-stop-shop for intelligence and insights around some of the world’s most promising companies, is the go-to resource for venture firms such as Sequoia, Insight Partners, and Balderton, among others, as well as corporates including Google, Amazon, Stripe, Unilever, and Pepsi.

Yoram, the founder of, comes from the stables of Lehman Brothers, Nomura Securities and NOAH Advisors, and his words carry a lot of weight in the Netherlands startup ecosystem.

Catch his panel, Destination Netherlands: Europe’s fastest-growing startup ecosystem, on our Indo-Dutch track on October 26, 2021, as well as other speakers such as Marten van den Berg, Ambassador of Netherlands to India, Nepal and Bhutan; Stef Prinsen, Account Manager, Innovation Quarter; and Captain Dhruv Sawhney, Founder and CEO, ShipsKart.

Thejo Kote, founder and CEO, Airbase

As the founder of San Francisco, California-based Airbase, an all-in-one spend management platform, Thejo is an important authority on anything fintech. But what’s most interesting is his journey from Bangalore, to the Bay area where he set up his startup.

He’ll be talking to YourStory’s Senior Editor, Ramarko Sengupta about his move to California, and everything that led to Airbase.

Ryan Hoover, Founder, Product Hunt and Investor

As someone who built one of the most popular product discovery and community engagement platforms — Product Hunt — for startups, entrepreneurs, product enthusiasts, and geeks to discover the “next big things” in tech, Ryan commands a special place in the startup ecosystem as the evangelist of a future where tech and human life are inseparable.

Ryan Hoover

Today, his revolutionary platform, which he sold to Naval Ravikant who co-founded AngelList in 2016, has helped consumers discover over 100 million products and launched at least 100,000 new ones.

His motto for success is simple — Be curious, experiment, and don’t overthink!

Catch his fireside at TechSparks 2021, India’s largest startup-tech conference, between October 25 and  October 30, 2021.

Hans Tung, Managing Director, GGV Capital

Recognised as one of the world’s top 100 venture capitalists, Hans Tung, at his venture capital firm GGV Capital focuses mainly on early-stage startups in ecommerce, social tech, and sharing economy, among others.

Till date, Hans has backed more than 16 unicorns around the world, including Meili, OfferUp, Peloton, Poshmark, Slack, Airbnb, Udaan, Vedantu, Wish, etc.

Hans Tung

An enthusiastic cheerleader of the Indian startup ecosystem, Hans has told YourStory in previous conversations that Indian entrepreneurs are among the best in the world, and the quality of innovation coming out of India is world-class.

At TechSparks this year, he’ll take the stage to talk about India’s next billion users and the opportunities that demographics can offer to global and homegrown startups.

Cal Henderson, Slack CTO

Office messaging major Slack has witnessed phenomenal growth ever since COVID-19 forced companies to switch to the work-from-home model. But even before that, Slack has successfully disrupted the office messaging space with its innovative, user-friendly chat platform.

Cal Henderson, the brains behind Slack, said in an interview once that the secret behind the messaging platform’s success was that, from the very beginning there was very little gap between the people building the product and the customers. In fact, Slack was pieced together because the team that was developing Glitch, an online game, was split between two offices and needed a platform that made it easy to communicate.


Over the last decade or so Cal has spent building Slack, he has picked up not only battle scars on the road, but also many important life lessons. As he takes the stage at TechSparks 2021, expect to hear about his adventures building the startup, and what the business world could look like in the post-COVID-19 era.

Jingjin Liu, CEO & Founder, ZaZaZu

ZaZaZu is not your run-of-the-mill sex toy store —  it goes beyond that.

A personal sexual wellness club for women, ZaZaZu brings together education, products, and digital services to empower women with taking charge of their sexual healths. Through curated pleasure boxes, consultations with sex experts, and workshops, ZaZaZu’s Jingjin aims to combat the stigma associated in most Asian countries when it comes to sexual health, self-pleasure, and wellbeing.

Jingjin, in a panel with others like and IMBesharam, will talk more about breaking taboos and helping people discover their own bodies, only at TechSparks 2021.

Vladimir Novakovski, Co-founder and CEO, Lunchclub

Lunchclub is a professional networking platform that uses artificial intelligence and ML algorithms to create connections between people who have common objectives and interests.

Lunchclub’s creator, Vladimir has worked with companies such as Fannie Mae, Citadel Investment and Quora, before he embraced the entrepreneurial life. Over the years, he has also angel-invested in a host of up and coming startups, as well as built South Park Commons, a “learning community that helps technical people share ideas and explore new directions.”

At TechSparks, Vladimir, along with his Lunchclub Co-founder Stefan Nagey, will talk to YourStory’s Research Director, Madanmohan Rao, about the unicorn phenomenon in India.

Click here to register for TechSparks 2021

Edited by Anju Narayanan