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Freemium to Premium: Making Money in the Smart Device App World

June 20, 2013

The Mobile Software Development SIG presents…

Generating paying customers and increasing revenue opportunities with the user base are critical to the success of today’s mobile software companies.  Our panel of experts will discuss a variety of business models used in various sectors of the mobile software space to generate revenue.  We’ll touch on the challenges inherent in converting users to customers and monetization strategies that create additional and recurring revenue streams.

David Allison
CTO and Co-Founder,
Nulu, Inc.
David serves as Chief Technology Officer for Nulu, a language learning startup founded in 2012 seeking to teach people English in 5 minutes a day using fresh and fun news content as the basis for learning.  With Nulu, David is seeking to redefine the way 1.5 billion people are learning a foreign language by harnessing the power of habit formation, personalized content, and game mechanics to keep people engaged for the long term. Prior to launching Nulu, David founded and led a number of high tech firms including and Arcaio, which provided consulting services for technology firms. David also served as CTO of BrightScope, a prominent financial analytics firm in San Diego, where he led the engineering and technical teams to develop data and analytics products that bring transparency to opaque markets and enable better decision making for individual investors. David’s technical background is in machine learning and natural language processing. He has published numerous works and holds a BA in Linguistics from the University of California Berkeley where he developed his thesis on Computational Linguistics.

Lee Jacobson
CEO, Apmetrix

Lee Jacobson is an entertainment executive whose career spans over twenty years in the video game industry. A recognized and accomplished engineer, producer, licensing and publishing veteran Mr. Jacobson has been fortunate to have worked with some of the most well known publically traded entertainment companies in the world including; Virgin Entertainment, Viacom, Midway Games and most recently Atari, where he served as Senior Vice President of Publishing and Licensing. Currently, Mr. Jacobson serves as CEO of Apmetrix Inc. a mobile analytics company which offers next generation of state of the art business intelligence and analytics for mobile apps and video games, enabling companies to visualize and deeply understand player behaviors as well as automate and target their marketing efforts to maximize revenues.

Chris Ulm
CEO, Appy Entertainment
A twenty year veteran of both the publishing and video game industries, Chris Ulm is currently CEO and co-founder of Appy Entertainment, a mobile game developer and publisher that is “Deadly Serious About Stupid Fun!” Appy’s iOS games have been downloaded over 23 million times, have all achieved Top Twenty status in their category and have all been featured by Apple. Prior to Appy, Chris co-founded console game developer High Moon Studios and was co-creator of its original video game property, Darkwatch. As Chief Development Officer, Chris was a key player in building High Moon into a AAA developer and was integral to the acquisition of High Moon by Vivendi Games in 2006 and in its later transition to Activision-Blizzard.

Roland Ligtenberg
Managing Partner, Light Mountain Partners
Roland is a technologist whose passions encompass all things mobile, startups, and disruptive ideas accelerated by technology. He is currently doing mobile product & business development for Gimbal, which enables developers to make smarter iOS & Android apps by delivering a more personal experience to end users in real-time, based on their location, interests and situational context. His experience includes founding several successful startups including: First Bank of Rock, a technology platform for musicians leveraging a hybrid factoring/VC investment bank model – San Diego Music & Technology Conference, a multi-day conference exposing the intersection of technology, electronic music, and the future – and Conquest Adventures, a world-class PADI scuba-diving outfitter in Cabo San Lucas. He is constantly looking for opportunities and ways to help startups & entrepreneurs create value through agile mobile product development and constant innovation.

Eric Otterson
SVP Business Development, Cooley LLP
Eric has served as the Senior Vice President, Business Development for the law firm Cooley LLP for the past six years.  Before joining Cooley, he held executive positions in three venture-backed technology companies in San Diego. Staying closely connected to his entrepreneurial roots is important to Eric and he accomplishes this by staying an active member in the technology and life science communities  and leveraging the Cooley network to connect entrepreneurs with executive team members, advisors, board members, investors and attorneys to help fuel their growth. He is currently an advisor to Anametrix, Embarke, and Social Positive and has served as a mentor to hundreds of San Diego entrepreneurs.  He sits on the board of the Connect Foundation and is Chairman at the San Diego French-American School.  He is an active committee member and contributor to San Diego Venture Group, EvoNexus, CommNexus, and the Founders Institute. Eric received his BA in Civil Engineering (Architecture) from UC Berkeley and an M.B. A. from the Anderson School of Business at UCLA.Vincenzo Belpiede
Sr. Manager, App Discovery Global Business Owner,
Vincenzo Belpiede is global business owner of App Discovery at Nokia, responsible for App Highlights which promotes some of the best 120,000 Windows Phone apps. Born in Italy as a true mobile fanatic he moved to cold but cool Helsinki in 2007 to join Nokia: at that point the largest and most profitable manufacturer of mobile phones. At Nokia he assumed numerous roles around the globe managing mobile devices ranging from feature phones to smartphones, services like search & maps and recently even planning future Nokia Windows Phones. When not travelling, Vincenzo resides in California since 2009 after relocating to 12 different cities across 8 countries: Mexico City, Switzerland, Belgrade, Germany, Beijing just to name a few. When not working, Vincenzo loves to speak at mobile tech events and organize hackathons for mobile app developers.


Alex Shah, Chief Architect, TeamSOA, Inc. & CTO, CommerceTel Inc.
Vincenzo Belpiede, Senior Manager, Smart Devices Global Portfolio Planning, Nokia
Eric Otterson, SVP Business Development, Cooley LLP
Deepak Kundra, Principal Staff Software Engineer, Motorola
Jake Fields, Creative Director, Treeline Interactive
Devang Thakkar, Principal Consultant, DCM Consulting
Paul Johnson, Partner, Procopio

June 20th 2013

5:30PM Registration/Networking/Refreshments
6:00PM Program Begins
7:30PM Program Ends

Scripps Northridge Technology Plaza
10636 Scripps Summit Ct, San Diego, CA
1st Floor

Pre-Registration: (Please pre-register by noon on 6/19/13)
$10.00 – CommNexus Sponsor
$20.00 – Non-Sponsor
FREE –  Mentor Sponsor

At the Door:
$20.00 – CommNexus Sponsor
$30.00 – Non-Sponsor
FREE –  Mentor Sponsor

Students, Military & Press: FREE


Questions? Contact Brittany Bjerke at


June 20, 2013
Event Category: