Jeffrey Ma

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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 is also an accomplished entrepreneur, having started four different companies, including GolfSpan (sold to Demand Media), CircleLending (sold to Virgin), Citizen Sports (sold to Yahoo), and tender (sold to Twitter).

Beyond his work as an entrepreneur, Ma has been at the forefront of 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 business bestselling 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 addition to his work as an entrepreneur, Ma has held two executive roles, serving as VP of Data Science and Analytics at Twitter leading all central work in this area. Most recently, Ma served as Vice President of Microsoft for Startups overseeing Microsoft’s program to accelerate the success of developers, startup founders, and students around the world.

Ma has also been a pioneer in the world of sports betting, serving as ESPN's first sports betting expert in 2013 and later launching the Bet the Process podcast. Bet the Process has become one of the top sports betting podcasts and is referenced by mainstream properties like ESPN and Fox.

Ma continues to be fascinated by the intersection of sports, media, analytics and technology and continues to try and lower his handicap.


Sample Keynote Topics-


Ten Times Better- Maximize Performance Through Big Data

Data gleaned through technology is not only supposed to help us do our jobs but do them better. Sometimes, it can even make us ten times better than the average employee. Through the lens of his experiences in blackjack, pro sports consulting, and Hollywood, Jeffrey Ma discusses the importance of setting goals as well as tracking your progress and productivity along the way, and how gaming, analytics, and competitive tracking can lead to more useful, constructive feedback and more motivated teams and employees.


What is ChatGPT, and What Does It Mean For You?

Jeffrey Ma and his MIT blackjack team were pioneers in the use of data and analytics – the foundation for modern AI. The former head of data science at Twitter and the author of a bestselling business book on the topic, Ma continues to be at the forefront of modern AI, having just completed a stint as an executive leading all the startup work at Microsoft. In this role, Ma worked closely with OpenAI, the creators of ChatGPT. In this thought-provoking and funny presentation, Ma uses his colorful experiences to explain and demystify new advances like ChatGPT while giving the audience the building blocks to understand how data and artificial intelligence can help any business. With a uniquely accessible approach to the topic, Ma tells stories with data, showing audiences how to use these tools to make better decisions, overcome cognitive bias, and drive innovation.


The $100,000 Lesson: Business Lessons From The World Of Blackjack

How one deals with losing tells a lot about the person. Losing tests our confidence, our conviction, our ability to deal with future risk, and more importantly, our character. The real story and real lessons of 21 come from the adversity faced on the blackjack table. Sharing the story of losing $100,000 in two hands of blackjack, Ma reveals how he recovered his confidence through teamwork, trust, creativity, and goal-setting. “The $100,000 Lesson” is about more than winning and losing: it is about learning how to fight obstacles in order to create the best team possible.


Citizen Sports and Social Media: How Web 2.0 Is Revolutionizing Business And Branding

As the co-founder of Citizen Sports, which has brought fantasy sports to Facebook and sports information to the iPhone and Android, Jeffrey Ma has a deep understanding of the power of social media in building a brand and business in the digital world. Social media platforms aren’t just a flash in the pan. Ma has worked with media giants as well as blue-chip brands to help them harness the power of new media. Learn how social media can transform your business straight from an expert with unique insights and experiences, and bring your business to the forefront of the media revolution.

Jeffrey Ma's Experiences

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