Deborah Perry Piscione and Val Vercovici met in 2013 at a Formula 1 race in Austin, Texas. They were brought in to speak on a panel for a Silicon Valley tech company customer event (NetApp). While they bonded over their shared passion for Formula 1 racing, Deborah talked about her desire to democratize innovation processes and Val discussed where he thought the world was heading, specifically Cloud, Big Data/AI + how Blockchain ties it all together.
Eight years later, Val founded CLICK, a company that allows people to mint and buy NFTs on already established social media platforms like Instagram.
Deborah founded Sterling Capital with an investment thesis in web3 and made her very first investment in CLICK. Together they launched WAGMAS, web3summit.
Deborah is a VC (Managing Director, Sterling Capital), innovation thought leader + speaker, serial entrepreneur and author of the NYT bestselling book Secrets of Silicon Valley, and author of The Risk Factor + The People Equation. She is a LinkedIn Learning author of "Risk-taking for Leaders" and "Executing on Innovation" and the co-author (with Esther Wojcicki) of the forthcoming book, The web3 Workforce.
Prior to moving to Silicon Valley, Deborah was in DC for 18 years and worked on Capitol Hill, The White House, and as a television commentator for CNN. She is the subject of a Stanford University Graduate School of Business case study, “Deborah Perry Piscione: Finding Opportunity in Silicon Valley.”
Lastly, Deborah is a marathon runner, international explorer and mom of three very cool people, who are equally excited by the blockchain’s potential to decentralize and level the playing field.
Val is a visionary Silicon Valley tech exec, who holds the industry's first NFT patent, alongside other Augmented Reality/Metaverse patents. Throughout his career, Val led the development of next-gen platforms (web1, web2 & web3) with Microsoft, NetApp, VMware, Yahoo!, Facebook, AWS & Google.
After serving as CTO of NetApp/SolidFire and as a founding member of the CNCF board—kickstarting the wildly popular Kubernetes Open Source project—Val dedicated his career in 2017 to Blockchain technologies, Crypto Currencies, NFTs and DeFi, forecasting that the web3 wave will dwarf both web1 & 2 in value.
A competitive skier and father to a mixed family of six children, Val is passionate about equality, inclusion and access to opportunity via decentralization of information, power and wealth.