VP, Microsoft for Startups
Jeff Ma VP, Microsoft for Startups, Author, and Veteran Entrepreneur: As a member of the infamous MIT Blackjack Team, Jeff Ma created an ingenious method for counting cards—using talent, creativity, math, and teamwork to win millions in Las Vegas. (Card-counting, by the way, is not illegal; casinos just don’t like it). Ma was the inspiration for the best-selling book Bringing Down the House and the hit movie, 21, which topped the box office in its first two weeks. He has since helped start four different companies including CircleLending (sold to Virgin) and Citizen Sports (sold to Yahoo) and become a sought-after corporate speaker. Beyond his work as an entrepreneur, Ma has been a pioneer in the “Moneyball” movement working with professional sports teams like the San Francisco 49ers and the Portland Trail Blazers and media powerhouses like ESPN and Major League Baseball Advanced Media, helping them to make better decisions using data and analytics. His most recent book, “The House Advantage: Playing the Odds to Win Big in Business” draws on his unique experiences at the table and in the sports world to create a truly accessible book about analytics. In 2012, Ma founded a company called tenXer with the vision to revolutionize human capital management by using data and analytics to create better management, recruiting and evaluation tools. In April of 2015, tenXer was acquired by Twitter. Jeff Ma has joined Microsoft as Vice President of Microsoft for Startups overseeing Microsoft’s program to accelerate the success of startups around the world.