Ben dropped out from Harvard University to accept an inaugural Thiel Fellowship - a $100,000 grant awarded to the top 20 entrepreneurs under the age of 20 by the billionaire founder of «PayPal» Peter Thiel. During and after the fellowship, he co-founded two startups: «Sprayable», which produced the world’s first topical energy and sleep sprays, and «Stream», which raised over $20 million to help make content creation more profitable for creators, and is advised by Steve Chen, the co-founder of YouTube, and Justin Kan, the founder of Twitch. In his personal life, he is known for various antics such as having lived in an RV for over 4 years to save money, buying a private island with several friends in Canada, traveling all around the world for free and using various life hacks to get hundreds of thousands of dollars in free bitcoins and a free car. Some of his adventures have been seen over 50 million times on Facebook.
Botir graduated from the Tashkent State Technical University (TASHSTU), specializing in financial management. He earned his master's degree from the Redding University (Great Britain) in the field of "International Finance and Economics". The founder of the payment system "Paynet"; online-shop "Lebazar.uz" and "Technobiz" company, that realized a number of projects on automation of large billing and payment systems in Tajikistan, Egypt, United Arab Emirates.
Founder of the Steppe
Representative of the SXSW music, film and interactive festivals (see www.sxsw.com) and SXSW EDU (www.sxswedu.com) in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. He first worked for SXSW between 1990 and 1994 and then re-joined the company in 2006. From 1995-2000, Mirko was based in Hong Kong as the regional director for Asia-Pacific for the Reed MIDEM Organisation, and held similar positions in Paris (1994) and in New York (2000-2001). Between 2001 and 2005 he worked as a consultant for international entertainment events in South Korea, Singapore and Monte Carlo. Prior to 1994, he was based in Berlin where he also worked in the music industry (A&R, management and touring) with artists such as Paul van Dyk, PJ Harvey, and Ultravox. From 1982 to 1987 he worked as a research scientist in the Free University of Berlin, initially at the Institute of Embryology and Pharmacology and then in the Department of Neurobiology.