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Sophia Viklund 

Sophia Viklund is an entrepreneur, public speaker, advisor, mentor to startups, investor, and an advocate of women and girls in STEAM education (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics). Sophia is currently centrally engaged as CEO of New Sun Technologies Inc., a company that produces innovative products designed to connect, empower and excite massive user audiences around the world. In addition to being an entrepreneur, Sophia is also an investor, and is a managing director at Golden Seeds, a network of angel investors that invests in women-owned companies. Sophia is a co-founder of Silicon Valley Deep Learning Group (SVDLG). SVDLG is a professional organization that was founded in 2015, at a time when Deep Learning was just beginning to emerge as one of the defining topics of the modern Silicon Valley Landscape. SVDLG currently has over 3,200 members who are engineers, scientists, developers, entrepreneurs and investors interested in artificial intelligence and deep learning, starting companies in deep learning and investing in the companies in that space. Many times a successful founder, Sophia’s projects and companies are enhanced by her strong interest not only in technology, but education, design and experience of her customers. Prior to Silicon Valley Deep Learning Group, the previous company that Sophia co-founded specialized in serious games development, working with clients such as Gates Foundation, IARPA, and Lockheed Martin, among others, creating immersive educational games and training simulators for high-stakes environments. One award-winning example of such a product was The Missing, a cognitive-bias recognition serious game, developed for the military in collaboration with the Johns Hopkins and Carnegie Mellon universities. While students played this game, tools also developed by her company assessed the student’s biases and cognitive processes such that these individuals could be coached to better and more accurate ways of approaching problems. Sophia was also as a co-founder of PyLadies, a world-wide educational initiative for women who program use Python, supported by Python Software Foundation and Google. Sophia was born in Russia and started her first company in college. Immigrating into the US in 1998, she continuing her work in the United States as a technology entrepreneur. She has completed two masters’ degrees, one in computational linguistics (Pedagogical University in Russia, Lipetsk) and the other in design and architecture (University of Los Angeles). Now a naturalized US citizen, Sophia is a speaker for the US State Department on issues of women entrepreneurs and one of her public roles is to inspire more women from Eastern Europe to start technology companies.