ACG 101 SaaS Industry Panel, Sept 2023


Event Details


September 20, 2023 5:30 PM - 8:30 PM PDT

Location Name
The Provence Room at The Westlake Village Inn
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SaaS Industry Panel: How AI and ML will Power Next Generation SaaS

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are supporting productivity enhancements and will be the enabling infrastructure to drive increased value and outcomes across all categories of software.

Defensibility for most SaaS companies will ultimately come back to product, execution, and distribution.

At ACG 101’s SaaS panel, prominent SaaS executives and founders will discuss these topics and demonstrate how SaaS companies with compelling growth and profitability continue to attract strong interest in M&A and investment from strategic corporates, PE and VC.



  • Ryan Azlein, Shareholder, Stradling (Title Sponsor)

Industry Discussion:

  • Andrew Williamson, Managing Director, Calabasas Capital (Industry Sponsor)


  • Bassem Hamdy, Co- Founder & CEO, Briq 
  • Anil Matthews, Founder & CEO, Near Intelligence
  • Nima Hakimi, Co- Founder & CEO, Convoso
  • Balaji Lakshmanan, Co- Founder & CTO, Vast Communications


  • 5:30PM - 6:30PM: Networking, Drinks & Apps
  • 6:30PM - 7:30PM: Industry Panel Discussion
  • 7:30PM- 8:30PM: Q&A & Final Networking

Register Now! 

  • Members: $99
  • Non-Members: $125 

*** Dress is business casual

*** Drinks and appetizers will be served at the event

ACG 101 encourages Uber or other ride share options when drinking alcoholic beverages




Ryan Azlein, Moderator

Stradling Law

Ryan Azlein is a shareholder in Stradling’s Corporate practice group. Ryan advises a wide range of both private and public clients, focusing on emerging growth, development stage and middle-market companies, as well as the venture capital firms, angel investors and strategic investors that invest in these types of companies. His practice concentrates on venture capital, corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, equity and executive compensation matters, intellectual property development and licensing arrangements, complex partnering arrangements, and general corporate matters.

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Andrew Williamson, Industry Overview

Calabasas Capital
Managing Director

Mr. Williamson is a Managing Director at Calabasas Capital where he advises emerging growth companies and investors in aerospace and defense, software and technology. He has more than 15 years’ experience in investment banking and corporate development in addition to CFO and operating management roles in private equity and venture capital backed companies. He was CFO of the Merex Group and Kellstrom Defense, a private equity backed aerospace and defense company. Previously he was Managing Director of Angeles Capital Group, Director of Alexander Dunham, Associate of Gerard Klauer Mattison (now BMO Capital Markets) and Associate of Chanin Capital Partners (now Duff & Phelps). Mr. Williamson was a Senior Manager at Oracle Corporation and Treasury Services Corporation, a private equity backed enterprise software company acquired by Oracle. Prior to that, he spent four years at Price Waterhouse where he was qualified as a Chartered Accountant (CAANZ). Mr. Williamson received his MBA from the John E. Anderson Graduate School of Business at UCLA where he was selected as a Venture Fellow and received his Bachelors of Commerce degree at the University of Western Australia.

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Bassem Hamdy, Panelist

CEO and Co-founder

Bassem Hamdy is a construction industry veteran with over 25 years of experience. He’s a well-known pioneer in construction tech and played an integral role in establishing an industry for project management software.

Bassem first joined CMiC in the 1990s and was successful in helping construction companies migrate their systems from paper to software. In 2015, Bassem was appointed EVP Marketing and Enterprise Strategy at Procore, a unicorn-valued, cloud-based platform for construction. As Co-Founder and CEO of Briq, Bassem has embarked on his third and greatest act in ConTech – Corporate Performance Management Software (CPM) specifically for construction finance. In June of 2021, Briq announced its Series B funding round, recording a $30 million investment, the second largest in ConTech history.
A subject matter expert on the topics of Construction Technology, Data & Analytics and emerging technologies, Bassem is a frequent national and regional conference speaker for the AGC-IT Conference, AGC Annual Convention, CFMA Annual Conference and other industry events, and has authored numerous articles for trade publications.

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Anil Matthews, Panelist

Near (Nasdaq:NIR)
CEO& Founder

Mr. Mathews currently serves as the CEO and Chairman of the Board at Near (Nasdaq:NIR), a company he founded. He took over the position of CEO in November 2012 and has been instrumental in guiding Near's growth and operational strategies, aligning them with the company's vision and mission. With a background spanning over two decades, Mr. Mathews has consistently demonstrated his entrepreneurial prowess, particularly in engineering, messaging, and social sectors. He possesses a keen interest in fostering emerging market players by combining strategic insight with technological capability, resulting in substantial growth.

Before his tenure at Near, Mr. Mathews held CEO roles at Imere and Netkode, both technology-driven firms. His expertise also extends to supporting and investing in various startups worldwide, showcasing his commitment to nurturing innovation across the globe.




Balaji Lakshmanan, Panelist

Studiobit and Vast Communications
CTO and Co-Founder

Mr. Balaji Lakshmanan is Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer at Studiobit. He is a seasoned executive with over 20 years of experience in the technology sector. He plays a critical role in shaping the company's vision and strategy, specializing in cloud-based conferencing and live streaming solutions. Balaji is recognized for his innovative leadership, earning three patents for his work on cloud switch architectures. He is pioneering development of ultra-low latency audio/video architectures to enhance conferencing and live-streaming experiences.

As an AI enthusiast, Balaji has formulated groundbreaking strategies for integrating artificial intelligence in telecom and live-streaming platforms. Known for his ability to lead high-performing teams, he has successfully executed complex projects that automate processes and streamline operations. His comprehensive areas of expertise encompass technology strategy, digital transformation, cybersecurity, budgeting, vendor management, and global project delivery. Balaji is passionate about leveraging technology to drive business growth. He specializes in AI integration strategies, aiming to position companies at the forefront of technological innovation. His focus is on creating future-ready solutions that embrace emerging technologies.


Nima Hakimi, Panelist

CEO and Co-Founder

Nima Hakimi is the CEO and Co-Founder of Convoso, the leading innovator of outbound call center software solutions, launched in 2006. Nima is passionate about helping Convoso’s customers grow, by persistently focusing on supporting their success, one of the core values he established to guide the company.  Prior to Convoso, one of Nima’s entrepreneurial startups in digital advertising boasted a network with millions of users at its peak

As a member of the Consumer Consent Board of Directors, Nima leads Convoso’s commitment to helping call centers in the lead generation ecosystem be compliant as well as profitable.

Hosted by: ACG
101 Corridor

Event Materials

Event Materials


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