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Monday, August 1, 2011

Spotlight On: Veronika Sonsev

Name: Veronika Sonsev
Company: Founder & CEO of inSparq; Founder, Women in Wireless
Location: New York, NY

1. A little on your expertise... As an entrepreneur you do a little of everything; however, my core expertise is business development and strategy. In my 12-year career as a business development and strategy executive for AOL and Jumptap, I built new lines of business, developed strategic partnerships and launched international markets. I love problem solving and finding creative ways to grow a business through deals.

2. Why did you join WiW? I joined WiW because I was invited by a group of powerful industry women to a spa day at CTIA. At the time, it was an informal group that gathered together at trade shows. It was refreshing to network with other women at a show that was dominated by men. I participated in this fashion for a few years. Later, I realized that WiW really struck a cord. Women wanted an opportunity to network with each other because they were committed to helping other women with their careers and business objectives. As I read more about the lack of women in the most senior roles in corporate america (and saw it play out in the tech industry), I realized there was an opportunity for us to get more organized and really make a difference. The WiW leadership team met early this year decided to focus our mission around empowering and developing female leaders in mobile and digital media. Once we got focused and spun out from the Mobile Marketing Association (our original home), our group really started to flourish and take off!

3. What is your favorite thing about digital/mobile? My favorite thing about digital media is that it's constantly changing, especially the mobile industry. When I first got into mobile in 2004, it was all about getting on-deck carrier distribution for your app or mobile site. With iPhone and Android, the industry changed tremendously in just 3 years. Mobile went from primarily a B2B business to a direct to consumer business. As phones get smarter and smarter, innovative companies will continue to develop products that make our life easier on the go. Can you imagine getting around NY without google maps on your phone? How would you find that presentation in a pinch if you didn't have Dropbox? I can't wait to see what's next.

4. What do you think is the hottest trend in wireless right now? If you look at the WiW job board, you will see that Mobile Advertising is red hot. Media spending on mobile is growing incredibly quickly and I keep hearing about more and more mobile advertising companies cropping up. Mobile seems to be a powerful outlet for everything from brand advertising to targeted local campaigns -- just check out the 'Specials Nearby' on FourSquare. According to eMarketer, mobile advertising will reach $15B in 2015, so it's definitely a category that cannot be ignored. The other thing that seems to be hot these days are apps. Every time I reach TechCrunch, I learn about a new app that's trying to gain user adoption. I'm not sure how long this trend will last though. There is a lot you can do with HTML5 and it's only getting better. My prediction is that the apps are going to scale back and most content sites will be built on HTML5 like the wired web.

5. What is your favorite app? Why? I don't have much free time, so my favorite apps are all productivity oriented: Skype - has great android integration for making cheap international calls Dropbox - great for pulling up a presentation in a pinch, Google maps - I would get lost in NY otherwise, Tweetdeck - my favorite Twitter app, Pandora - I like to listen to Pandora while running

6. Why did you get into the digital/mobile space? I got into mobile because online started to feel like traditional media. It was boring!

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