For years, we saw passionate consumer entrepreneurs struggle to find the support they need to grow their brand—to hire more employees, produce more product, and share their dream with more consumers. Consumer companies were often forced to reach out to friends and family—a long and often awkward process. At the same time, we saw investors that were passionate about these innovative consumer product and retail companies, but didn't know how to get in touch with the entrepreneurs. We created CircleUp to make this process more efficient.
Sarah joins Circleup having worked across a diverse range of design projects. From an agency focusing on internet of things products, to a community-focused startup, Sarah has applied her skills as a designer to clarify and bring the user to the center of the discussion. Her interests in designing for complexity and creating positive change, makes her excited to work at CircleUp.
Sarah holds a BFA in Industrial Design from the Savannah College of Art and Design. She also received an MFA from the School of Visual Arts at one of the country's first graduate programs in Interaction Design. She currently helps run a design talk series called SeeThinkMake, which highlights the work and thoughts of some of the most talented interaction designers in the Bay Area.Sarah Adams on LinkedIn
Founder and CEO
Before he founded CircleUp, Ryan Caldbeck worked in consumer product and retail-focused private equity at TSG Consumer Partners and Encore Consumer Capital. His experience in private equity exposed him to many great consumer and retail businesses that were too small to obtain funding through the customary private equity channels. As a result, he decided to make funding available to these small and promising companies through CircleUp.
Ryan received his MBA from Stanford and BA from Duke. He holds Series 24, 63, and 82 licenses. If you have a 15 minute conversation with him, you will learn that he grew up in Vermont, which explains his love of cheddar cheese and maple syrup.Ryan Caldbeck on LinkedIn
Kevin joined CircleUp from Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. At Mayo Clinic, Kevin worked to develop innovative technical solutions for providing health care to large patient populations.
Kevin received his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He enjoys watching college football and is patiently waiting for his Nebraska Cornhuskers' return to dominance.Kevin Chevalier on LinkedIn
Joe joins CircleUp with experience building highly scalable, secure systems and a plethora of internal productivity tools. Most recently, he helped develop and launch AWS CodeDeploy and AWS CodeCommit.
Joe holds a BS in Applied Mathematics from University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. While not working, he enjoys hacking on open-source projects and creating intricate chainmaille pieces.Joe Cross on LinkedIn
Chris joins CircleUp with a history of developing systems for firms of all sizes, from the smallest startups to Fortune 500 firms. Most recently, he built and managed the billing and expense management systems for a large law firm in New Jersey.
Chris holds a BS from Carnegie Mellon. When he is not writing code, you can find him hiking up mountains, or skiing down them.Chris Curvey on LinkedIn
Shane comes to CircleUp from FitStar, a mobile fitness company, where he developed partnerships with major health and fitness companies. He also managed the social media team and contributed to several different marketing initiatives. Prior to that, he spent time at Square and Rent the Runway gaining business development, marketing, and product experience. Shane began his career as an associate with SVB Capital, a division of Silicon Valley Bank Financial Group. While at SVB, he researched companies and helped to manage venture capital relationships.
Shane received an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business and an AB in English from Dartmouth College. In his free time, he enjoys cycling around the Bay Area, watching Formula 1 racing and Premier League soccer, and learning about sustainable food/farming.Shane Douglas on LinkedIn
Bryce first started tinkering with web development on GeoCities. He has worked on a variety of projects dealing with statistical analysis, text-mining, geo-mapping, mobile applications, data-validation, and customer retention. Although he doesn't like to talk about it, Bryce also developed CoolestDates.com – a site used often by his colleagues at CircleUp.
Bryce received his Bachelor of Science in Information Systems, and his Master of Information Systems Management degree from the Marriott School of Business at BYU. He was briefly a PhD student at the University of Utah. CircleUp maintains six types of trail mix to meet Bryce's ever expanding interest in the snack.Bryce Drennan on LinkedIn
Prior to joining CircleUp, Katy was Vice President of Internal Audit at the financial services firm Guggenheim Partners. While there Katy worked closely with management of the various business units to develop policies, procedures, and controls that would provide for well controlled, efficient operations. Before that Katy was an Audit Manager with the public accounting firm Deloitte serving hedge fund, private equity fund, and broker/dealer clients.
Katy is a CPA and received her bachelor's degree in Business Administration and Accounting from the University of Kansas. When she is not busy thinking debits and credits, she likes to spend her free time running on Chicago's lakefront, cheering on her sports teams (the Bulls, Jayhawks, and Cubbies) and hanging with her family.Katy Dunne on LinkedIn
Founder and COO
Rory has supported entrepreneurs nearly all his career, most recently as Director of Investments at Humanity United, part of the Omidyar family enterprises. At Humanity United, he invested in small businesses and social enterprises to stimulate job creation and promote stability in fragile economies. He began his career at a startup providing financial training to small businesses in Cape Town, South Africa. Rory is a former consultant with The Boston Consulting Group.
Rory received his MBA from Stanford as well as a public policy degree from Princeton. He holds Series 24, 63, and 82 licenses, and enjoys listening to weekend NPR quiz shows a little too much.Rory Eakin on LinkedIn
Prior to joining CircleUp, Jules was the Head of Customer Success at Soldsie, a social e-commerce company where she helped small businesses increase their social media generated sales. Jules has a background in customer service and has built and managed two customer service teams. She loves working for and with small businesses and is excited to use her service skills to support the CircleUp Team.
Jules received her B.A. in Religious Studies from Westmont College, and in her free time can be found oil painting, printmaking and exploring the nooks and crannies of San Francisco.Jules Faas on LinkedIn
Prior to joining CircleUp, Allison spent four years working in Private Wealth Management at Goldman, Sachs & Co. She assisted high-net worth clients and institutions with account opening, asset transfer, investment implementation, and brokerage trading. Before Goldman, Allison was a Consulting Associate at Cambridge Associates, LLC where she helped advise institutional clients on asset allocation and investment manager selection.
Allison received her BA in Economics from Scripps College and holds her series 7 and 66 licenses. She enjoys snowboarding, urban hiking, rugby, and dancing to house music.Allison Fitch on LinkedIn
Business Development Manager
Katie joined CircleUp after gaining substantial experience from positions in investment banking and private equity. She began her career at Deutsche Bank advising technology companies in mergers & acquisitions. Later, Katie was with H.I.G. Capital, a global private equity firm, where she focused on identifying and evaluating investment opportunities, executing transactions, and working closely with portfolio companies across various industries and sectors, including consumer products. In joining CircleUp, she was able to combine her strong interest in the consumer sector and the investment process, as well as embrace her entrepreneurial spirit.
Katie received her BA in Economics from the University of California, Irvine where she graduated with honors. She holds Series 63 and 82 licenses. Katie also has a passion for soccer and wine and when not working she can be found on the pitch or in wine country.Katie Fitzgerald on LinkedIn
Maurice joins CircleUp with a wide range of experience including OS development at Microsoft to building trading platforms at Bank of America. Prior to joining CircleUp, Maurice was a full stack web developer at Kanerai, a financial pricing and analytics provider for structured products.
Maurice received his Bachelors of Computer Engineering and his Masters of Computer Science from NYU Polytechnic. Maurice enjoys playing tennis, snowboarding and watching documentaries, as long as they are narrated by David Attenborough.Maurice Flanagan on LinkedIn
Senior Data Scientist
Arvind joined Circleup from Visa, where he worked for 5 years in the Data Sciences team. While getting cozy working at a large company, he worked on using intelligence from data to improve and build new products in the payments space. He has worked on a variety of projects dealing with statistics, machine learning, measurement sciences, recommendation algorithms & customer loyalty.
Arvind received his undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign in Material Sciences & Engineering, where he also worked as research assistant in an ceramics lab. In his spare time, he likes finding new places to eat spicy food, playing tennis & watching basketball.Arvind Ganesan on LinkedIn
Business Development Associate
Mike Giordano recently joined the CircleUp Business Development team with six years experience working in Venture Capital and Private Equity. Previously, Mike worked at Raptor Consumer Partners as a Vice President where he invested in growing consumer brands with a focus on apparel, food, beverage, restaurant/hospitality, personal care, spirits and internet retail concepts. For two and a half years, Mike operated as a critical member of the investment team and was involved in all aspects of the deal origination and execution process. Prior to Raptor Consumer Partners, Michael worked at DLB Capital, where he focused on evaluating venture and growth equity transactions in the financial services and technology sectors in the United States, China and the Middle East. Mike also worked as a consultant with Accordion Partners in New York City.
Mike received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Spanish from Bowdoin College. He holds Series 63 and 79 licenses. Despite their lackluster performances in recent years, Mike maintains an unwavering loyalty to his hometown sports teams in Washington DC.Mike Giordano on LinkedIn
Business Development Analyst
Melissa joined CircleUp in September 2014. Prior to joining CircleUp, Melissa worked as an Investment Banking Analyst at Allen & Company, focusing on the Tech, Media and Entertainment sectors.
Melissa graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a BBA in Finance from the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. She holds Series 63 and 79 licenses. In her spare time, Melissa enjoys exploring her new home in San Francisco, discovering new music and eating fresh blueberries.Melissa Goodhart on LinkedIn
Business Development Associate
Zach has spent his professional career advising brands that operate across all the major sub-verticals of consumer. Prior to joining CircleUp, Zach worked as an associate in Piper Jaffray's consumer investment banking group where he focused on providing various capital raising and M&A advisory services for both private and public companies.
Zach received a BS in Business Administration from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo where he graduated with honors, concentrating in financial management. He holds Series 63 and 79 licenses. Zach spends his spare time following professional sports and frequenting the independent restaurants and fashion boutiques scattered throughout the North Beach and Hayes Valley neighborhoods of San Francisco.Zach Grannis on LinkedIn
Jeremy comes to CircleUp as an Engineer after developing for numerous start-ups including LoveGov, a website for comparing users' beliefs with politicians running in the 2012 election as well as a news aggregation platform. He has worked on a diverse set of projects relating to networks, security, databases, graphics, and web search. He also has a background in biology and intellectual property work.
Jeremy received his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Brown University, where he helped develop from scratch and TA the Modern Web Applications course. He enjoys folk music and making quiches.Jeremy Greenfield on LinkedIn
Prior to joining CircleUp, Dara spent 7 years with a Private Wealth Management group at JP Morgan Securities and UBS Financial Services, Inc. In her role as relationship manager, she was responsible for building and maintaining relationships with ultra-high net worth clients, and helped create solutions to serve each client's unique and complex needs.
She received a BBA in Finance and Marketing from the Goizueta Business School at Emory University, and holds Series 7 and 66 licenses. Dara lives in NYC with her husband and enjoys watching the NY Rangers, running, and creating healthy recipes for her food blog in her free time.Dara Grossman on LinkedIn
Director of Product Design
Gunthar has been working in product design of software for consumer and professional users for 15 years. He joins CircleUp after stints at Zynga and Youtube, where he lead user experience for a range of socially connected products and services. His background also includes working on a .com era startup enabling e-commerce capabilities for small businesses, making the opportunity to help emerging entrepreneurs via CircleUp extremely exciting. He is still searching for the product that will enable people to actually, truly, fully, finally, for-real remove all that playa dust.
Gunthar holds a BA in Anthropology from Pomona College, and a MS in Digital Media from the Georgia Institute of Technology.Gunthar Hartwig on LinkedIn
Asher joins CircleUp after nearly a decade of investment management experience across private equity and public-equity disciplines. He was previously a Managing Director at Crestwood Capital Management, a growth-oriented equity hedge fund based in NYC, where he researched and generated investment ideas across variety of industries including financial services, consumer/retail, leisure/travel, media, telecom, and data services. Prior to this role, Asher spent over 3 years evaluating private equity investments and working with portfolio companies within the Principal Investment Area (PIA) of Goldman, Sachs & Co. He began his career advising technology, media and telecom (TMT) companies on M&A and corporate finance transactions as part of Goldman Sachs' Investment Banking Division.
Asher received his AB in Economics from Harvard University with honors. When Asher is not searching for the next great vegan meal, he enjoys being active outside, ideally in deep powder if it ever snows again in Tahoe.Asher Hochberg on LinkedIn
Head of Legal Affairs
Lucas joins CircleUp from Electronic Arts Inc. where he was Senior eCommerce Counsel and Lead Counsel for the Pogo Label. As Senior eCommerce Counsel, Lucas directed eCommerce policy, provided counseling regarding direct-to-consumer initiatives, and led a global eCommerce legal group to support online business initiatives. As lead counsel for Pogo, Lucas advised that business unit on a wide range of legal issues, including contractual rights and obligations; marketing, advertising, and promotions; business initiatives; and consumer issues. Before joining Electronic Arts Inc., Lucas was a patent and complex commercial litigation attorney at Farella Braun + Martel, LLP.
Lucas received his JD from Stanford Law School and a BS in Genetics from the University of California, Davis. In his free time, Lucas enjoys all things soccer, visiting wine country, and discussing the merits of the cover 2 defense versus the cover 3 defense with his toddler.Lucas Huizar on LinkedIn
Director, Investor Relations
Before joining CircleUp Aaron lead Private Equity Fundraising at Coronado Investments where he assisted global private equity managers with fundraising strategy and execution. Prior to Coronado Investments Aaron spent 11yrs at Macquarie where he lead North American client relations & distribution for their private equity funds management business.
Aaron studied at the University of New South Wales in Sydney Australia where he earned his Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering & Masters of Commerce degrees. Aaron now lives in San Diego and when not on the road meeting with CircleUp investors he can be found out running with his dog Simba, down at the local microbrewery or at the beach with his wife and son.Aaron Jamieson on LinkedIn
Kevin joins CircleUp as an Engineer after having previously been the Director of Software Engineering at BuyHappy in Nashville, Tennessee where he worked to provide an e-commerce pricing analytics platform. He also works with several companies in Nashville as a technical adviser and co-founder.
Kevin received his Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Vanderbilt University while also studying English and Engineering Management there. While not working, Kevin enjoys traveling, hiking, and finding new restaurants to eat at.Kevin Johnson on LinkedIn
Prior to joining CircleUp, Alex was an associate at General Capital Partners. She managed client and investor relationships, communication, and due diligence for the company’s portfolio. She focused on developing new clients in the LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability) space in addition to providing recommendations and identifying investment viability. Alex started her career at Nestlé in ingredient procurement.
Alex graduated magna cum laude with a BA in Economics with a business management emphasis from Occidental College. Alex enjoys exploring the outdoors with her dogs, traveling and practicing yoga. She is a certified yoga instructor who is passionate about expanding health and wellness to the mainstream.Alex Kearns on LinkedIn
Business Development Analyst
Before joining CircleUp, Christian worked at Houlihan Lokey in its Media & Telecom Group in Los Angeles. He has experience working on mergers and acquisitions within the media, gaming and education sectors.
Christian graduated from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California and holds Series 63 and 79 licenses. Outside of work, Christian enjoys outdoor activities, listening to new music and discovering new fun spots in San Francisco.Christian Lai on LinkedIn
Director of Business Development
Ben comes to CircleUp with experience in both startups and consumer products. He previously worked at JH Partners, a consumer-focused private equity firm, where he invested in and supported companies in a variety of industries, including personal care, home goods and direct marketing. When he couldn't shake his interest in smaller companies, he went on to spend time at GoSmile, a developer of innovative teeth whitening products, and TaskRabbit, an online services marketplace. Ben started his career as an investment banker at Thomas Weisel Partners.
Ben received a BS in Physics from Stanford University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He holds Series 63 and 82 licenses. As a South Jersey native, Ben desperately misses Philly cheesesteaks and is patiently waiting for the Philadelphia Eagles to win their first Super Bowl.Ben Lee on LinkedIn
Zach comes to CircleUp as an Engineer after having previously been the Director of Research for Optio Labs in Nashville, Tennessee developing mobile cybersecurity solutions for next generation mobile devices. Aside from that, Zach is involved as a technical advisor for a handful of companies in Nashville.
Zach received his Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and Mathematics from Vanderbilt University. He enjoys cooking, traveling, and exploring the food and drink scene in all of the cities he visits.Zach McCormick on LinkedIn
Director of Marketing
Jay has been working on technology growth and marketing for over a decade. Before joining CircleUp, he led marketing strategy and execution at SigFig, where he helped grow the largest online investment dashboard with over $400 billion tracked. Previous to SigFig, he founded an ecommerce marketplace for gourmet food that was backed by Ycombinator. Jay has also held leadership roles at Digitas, where he led direct marketing strategy for American Express, Charles Schwab and eBay.
He graduated with a BA from Harvard. Jay has an unusual fascination with prime numbers, dry-aging beef and DIY projects.Jay Moon on LinkedIn
Prior to joining CircleUp, Aran designed a mobile realtime event stats monitoring tool and ticketing/event management platform at Ticketfly. Her previous work includes Siemens Corporate Research, Razer and several independent projects where she applied her UX skills on behalf of many users across several industries. She has designed everything from a medical device interface, to in-game chat software, to the mobile app companion of a wearable device.
Aran has a BA in Industrial Design from Auburn University. Outside of the office, she loves redwoods (both for hiking and as bonsai), tinkering and doodling.Aran Mun on LinkedIn
Ryan started his programming obsession very early when he discovered BASIC on his VTech PreComputer Power Pad Plus. In high school he colocated and operated a 501c3 shell server Nonlogic, and programmed professionally for a health care staffing agency building their internal tools. Today, he enjoys following the latest trends in computer science, exploring alternate forms of computing (FPGAs), and getting involved in the tech community through meetups and conferences.
When not on his laptop, he can be found gaming on his desktop, or hiking on Mt Hood.Ryan Munro on LinkedIn
Business Development Executive
Prior to joining CircleUp, Eric was a Senior Associate at a Growth Equity Firm in the Washington D.C. area. He was responsible for actively identifying, originating and analyzing investment opportunities primarily in the software, business services and healthcare industries. He previously worked for Dinan & Company, a middle-market investment bank that specialized in mergers & acquisitions, valuations and merchant banking advisory services. Before Eric found his passion for finance, he worked in the United States Senate for a Montana Senator where he researched and advised the Senator on Military, Defense and Foreign Relations issues.
Eric received a B.S. in Political Science with a concentration in Foreign Policy from Arizona State University. He currently holds Series 79 and 63 licenses. In his free time, Eric enjoys hiking, camping, being on the water, exploring Arizona and keeping up with current events. Eric Ogren on LinkedIn
Director of Investments
Chris began his career in finance with Fisher Investments, a registered investment advisor focused on serving high net worth and institutional investors. During his seven and a half years, he spent time in a number of roles including Account Executive, Account Executive Team Leader, Institutional Team Leader, Co-Chief of Staff and Group Vice President. In his last role, Chris was charged with creating infrastructure and staffing the sales, sales support and manager roles required to accelerate growth in a new business unit focused on affluent clients.
Chris received his BA in Economics from California State University, Chico with Honors in Economics and Honors in General Education. Chris currently lives in the Pacific Northwest but remains fiercely loyal to his hometown SF Giants and 49ers. He enjoys spending time with his wife and two young boys, fishing, hiking and reading increasingly offbeat science fiction novels.Chris Pachinger on LinkedIn
Justin has worked with investments and small businesses for his entire career. An assortment of investment banking, startup, and M&A positions led him to the consumer industry and the CircleUp team. Prior to joining CircleUp, Justin led the business development arm of Fresca Foods – a manufacturing and capital partner to some of the highest growth natural foods companies in the industry.
Justin received his MBA from the University of Denver, a finance degree from the University of Colorado-Boulder, and holds Series 82 and 63 licenses. He enjoys time with his wife and young children, lifting heavy things for sport, and watching documentaries.Justin Raddatz on LinkedIn
Business Development Manager
Pat comes to CircleUp with extensive experience working with entrepreneurs of high growth businesses. Prior to joining CircleUp, Pat worked at Mainsail Partners, a private equity firm focused on investing in high growth, privately held businesses. Pat focused on sourcing and executing new growth equity investments as well as supporting existing portfolio companies. Pat began his career with the technology investment banking team at ThinkEquity, where he assisted private and public companies raise growth capital and provided strategic M&A advisory.
Pat received a B.B.A. in Finance from the University of Notre Dame. When not watching his beloved San Francisco 49ers or Notre Dame Fighting Irish play football, Pat can be found figuring out ways to put hot sauce on every meal he eats.Patrick Robinson on LinkedIn
Prior to joining CircleUp, Megan was Senior Vice President at EnTrust Capital, a fund-of-hedge-funds in New York City. She was responsible for managing the firm's investment consultant outreach and communicating company and portfolio updates to investors. Megan also has experience in public relations and marketing. She has managed corporate and financial press and marketing campaigns from both the agency side, and in-house at several large professional service firms.
Megan received her MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management and a BA from Boston College. She holds series 7 and 63 licenses. A recent transplant to the West Coast, Megan spends as much time as possible exploring the Bay area and taking advantage of San Francisco's proximity to wine country. She is also an avid online shopper and bought everything from her ironing board to her wardrobe via the web.Megan Roeske on LinkedIn
Investment Services Manager
Tracy joins CircleUp from Goldman Sachs, & Co., Private Wealth Management, where she worked for the last 3 years in New York. Tracy managed the implementation of investments, the onboarding process, and served as a key relationship manager for UHNW individuals, families, and private corporations.
Tracy received her BA in Comparative Literature and Slavic Language and Literature form the University of Virginia. A self-declared “language nerd” Tracy speaks English, Spanish, French, Italian, and Russian. Tracy spends her free time learning languages, trekking to places where she can speak other languages, playing sports, and enjoying the outdoors.Tracy Rubin on LinkedIn
Prior to joining CircleUp, Eric helped build a New York equity crowdfunding startup from the ground level up. In his former role as an investment banker at RBS/ABN AMRO, he executed M&A and ECM deals across Europe and the US. Earlier in his career, Eric was a journalist for the French Embassy.
He received his M.A. from the Fletcher School at Tufts and B.A. from Emory. He holds Series 7, 79 and 63 licenses. As a native New Yorker, he suffers as a Mets fan and gets little solace supporting Arsenal as an adopted Londoner. His softball team and two dogs, Max & Lenny, provide more joy, however.Eric Sacco on LinkedIn
Meghan joined CircleUp from Ampush, a San Francisco based ad-technology startup. She joined Ampush as one of the first 20 hires and helped the company grow to over 100. Before Ampush, she worked at QuinStreet through their IPO and for the March of Dimes in fundraising, marketing, and events. She loves the way that CircleUp is disrupting finance and the entrepreneurial spirit of the company.
Meghan graduated with a BA in psychology from Harvard University. She spends her free time exploring Bay Area restaurants, traveling, and dog-watching.Meghan Simkover on LinkedIn
Matt joined CircleUp from HarQen, a startup in Milwaukee, WI, where he led the Engineering team in building an audio and video interviewing platform for job applicants and hiring managers. His experience also includes building trading software for a global alternative investment firm with billions of dollars in investor base, and completing a two-year Engineering leadership development program at General Electric.
Matt has a Bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan (Computer Science-Engineering), and a Master's degree from the University of Illinois (Computer Science). When he's not building software, you'll likely find Matt with his head in a book or his feet on a running trail.Matt Stockton on LinkedIn
Director of Product
Ken comes to CircleUp after leading product teams at Mint.com, Amazon's Lab126 and eBay to create fantastic web and mobile products in personal finance, consumer electronics and commerce that have improved the lives of tens of millions of users. Prior to that he worked as an engineer for several startups as well as Oracle, Samsung and RIM.
Ken received an MBA from Queen's University and his B.A.Sc in Electrical Engineering from the University of Waterloo. True to his Canadian roots, he misses donuts from Tim Horton's and chocolate chip cookies from Loblaws' President's Choice brand.Ken Sun on LinkedIn
Director of Engineering
Erik almost got comfortable with big-company life during his years at IBM and NEC, working on technology ranging from video streaming to fingerprint identification. He caught startup fever and left to help Tap11, a social media analytics company, tame the firehose of data coming from Twitter. After Tap11 was acquired by the Founders of YouTube, he helped re-launch Delicious.com.
Erik got his undergraduate degree in Computer Science from Stanford University. He was awarded a full scholarship for an MS in Computer Science from UCSD, where he did research on highly scalable systems & network security. He used to purchase carbonated water in 24-packs before he discovered the SodaStream.Erik Vandekieft on LinkedIn
Business Development Analyst
Steven joins CircleUp from Cowen and Co. in San Francisco, where he worked as an investment banking analyst in the consumer group. At Cowen, he focused on M&A advisory and capital markets transactions in the retail, education, e-commerce, and alcohol/tobacco sub-verticals. Prior to his tenure at Cowen, Steven spent time as a business analyst within the Strategy and Operations practice of Deloitte Consulting, working on a variety of engagements while splitting time between Philadelphia and Chicago.
Steven graduated summa cum laude from Penn State University with a BS in finance and a minor in economics. At Penn State, he managed the consumer discretionary sector of the $6M+ Nittany Lion Fund, the largest student-run mutual fund in the country. He also holds Series 63 and Series 79 licenses. Steven is a tortured New York Jets fan who enjoys sampling the local food truck scene in the Bay Area and hopes to one day own a bar/restaurant with his friends.Steven Vigilante on LinkedIn
Business Development Analyst
Prior to joining CircleUp, Ryen was an analyst in Houlihan Lokey’s financial restructuring group, advising debtors and creditor committees in business turnarounds and balance sheet recapitalizations. Most recently, he advised on LightSquared’s free-fall Chapter 11 bankruptcy and Education Management Company’s out-of-court recapitalization.
Ryen graduated cum laude with a BA in Business Economics from the University of California, Irvine. He holds Series 63 and 79 licenses. Besides helping entrepreneurs thrive, Ryen enjoys bingeing on TV dramas, hunting for bargains online and watching NBA Basketball.Ryen Wang on LinkedIn
Andrew joined CircleUp straight out of school with 5 years of experience in software and web development. He was the lead developer and designer at Grab a Bite, a yelp competitor, and has worked on a variety of projects covering networking, language parsing, fall detection, and AI.
Andrew received his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from UMass Lowell, where he worked as a research assistant and was very involved in DifferenceMakers, an entrepreneurial club. When he's not coding, you can find him trying new restaurants, listening to country, or playing soccer.Andrew Webb on LinkedIn
Jayson brings a wealth of experience to CircleUp, most recently as an investment Principal for Francisco Partners, a leading private equity firm. For nearly a decade, he advised and supported entrepreneurs at all stages of the company life cycle. Prior to Francisco Partners, Jayson spent several years as a consultant for McKinsey & Company with a focus on technology and consumer companies. He also spent time as an entrepreneur, helping to found the enterprise software company OverX as the lead product development manager.
Jayson has a MS degree in Management Science and Engineering and BS degree in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University where he was also a Mayfield Fellow.Jayson Yuan on LinkedIn
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CEO, Rose Park Advisors
Matt brings expertise in identifying and applying disruptive innovation frameworks and assessing whether management can capitalize on or defend against a disruptive strategy. Matt was formerly a Senior Associate at Innosight, LLC, leading engagements in the biotechnology, enterprise software, grocery, and financial services industries, among others. Matt was also head of Innosight's small business and workshops initiatives. Before Innosight, Matt worked at the Boston Consulting Group, working on projects in various industries, including specialty chemicals, telecom, technology and industrial goods.
Prior to receiving an MBA from Harvard Business School, Matt graduated from Duke University with a BSc in economics and a BSE in civil engineering with an emphasis in structural engineering. While at Duke, he won a national championship in 2001, playing basketball for Coach Mike Krzyzewski. In 2002, he won the Coaches' Award, given to the player best embodying the spirit of Duke Basketball, as well as the Dr. Deryl Hart Award (Top Scholar-Athlete). Christensen served as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Frankfurt, Germany.
General Partner, Canaan Partners
Dan has been involved in the ecommerce and fintech sectors for more than 20 years, and before turning to the world of venture investing was Chairman and CEO of Shopping.com, one of the world's largest online comparison shopping sites. Dan led the company from zero to $100M+ in just five years and took it public in 2004, after which it was acquired by eBay in 2005 for over $600mm. Dan was also chairman of the Internet Lab, a US-Israeli incubator for early-stage consumer Internet startups, as well as Senior VP of MasterCard International, where he managed all online global debit products.
At Canaan, Dan has an abiding interest in all things ecommerce and fintech, with a special love for marketplaces. He sits on the board of LendingClub, the world's leading marketplace for peer-to-peer loans with a mission to fundamentally transform consumer credit and banking. He's also a board member for ShopKeep, the complete POS cloud-based platform which enables any merchant to have a register and manage their entire business simply by purchasing an iPad; CircleUp, which provides equity based crowdfunding for high-growth consumer companies; and Orchard, which seamlessly allows any investor to plug into any marketplace lender in the world. Dan also joined the board of Joor, a company that sits at the intersection of luxury brands and retailers by operating one of the largest wholesale luxury apparel marketplaces in the world. Dan doesn't stop there - he's also focused on the incredible ecommerce opportunities represented by his board seats at OpenSky, a social shopping marketplace that is cracking the code for social commerce, and Gemvara, a revolutionary leader of custom-made, fine jewelry shopping online. Finally, Dan wants to ensure that anyone who is short on cash but long on assets never has to worry about accessing credit again, through his work with borro, a global personal asset lending platform.
Dan earned an AB from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and an MBA from Yale University. He also spent two years running a UNHCR program on the Thai-Cambodian border, where in order to get to his work at a refugee camp he learned to ride motorcycles and dodge water buffalo. This has proven to be a useful skill in his current work as well.
COO, Lending Club
Scott Sanborn is the Chief Operating officer and Chief Marketing Officer at Lending Club, the leading peer-to-peer lending marketplace in the world. As the COO and CMO at Lending Club, Scott is responsible for connecting to Lending Club's customers through all channels, including advertising, PR, the website, direct marketing, and customer support as well as for managing our customer-facing operations. Before joining Lending Club Scott was the Chief Marketing and Revenue Officer for eHealthInsurance, a publicly traded ecommerce company, where he lead marketing, product, sales and customer service to bring double digit growth in revenue and new customer acquisition.
Prior experience includes various senior marketing roles including President and Chief Marketing Officer of RedEnvelope, Inc., an e-commerce and catalog retailer of upscale gifts, and Senior Vice President of Marketing for the Home Shopping Network, a television and internet retailer of consumer products. In 2014 he was honored with a Sage Group Marketers that Matter award.
Scott holds a BS from Tufts University.
Partner, Union Square VenturesAndy Weissman is a partner at Union Square Ventures. Andy began his career in the Internet at AOL in the mid-90s, then managed a series of venture funds with Dawntreader Ventures. Prior to joining USV, in 2007 he co-founded betaworks, which both created and invested in social, real-time applications and services. Andy was born in New York City and has a BA from Wesleyan University and a JD from Georgetown.
Managing Partner, Google Ventures
David is a managing partner at Google Ventures. He co-manages the fund and invests in a wide range of technology companies including Uber, Nest, CircleUp, and Urban Engines. David's Google career began 15 years ago, as director of Global Communications and Public Affairs. In this role, David oversaw the company's strategic communications programs worldwide, and worked as a member of the senior leadership team to grow Google from a small startup to a multi-billion dollar global enterprise.
David's prior professional experience spanned both startup and public companies, including Apple Computer, QUALCOMM, Four11 (now Yahoo! Mail), and two computer security software developers.
David received his Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Indiana University Bloomington. As a proud Hoosier alumnus, he currently serves on the Dean's advisory board for the IU School of Informatics and Computer Science. David is also a trustee of San Francisco's Contemporary Jewish Museum of Art, a Menlo/Atherton Little League baseball coach, and past board member of the Palo Alto Vista Center for the Blind. David resides in the Bay Area with his wife and three children.
Operating Partner, General Atlantic
David Topper joined GA in 2012. As an Operating Partner, he manages the firms overall relationships with the financial community and the firm's capital markets activities on a global basis. David also provides strategic counsel to GA and its portfolio companies as a member of the Portfolio Committee. Mr. Topper serves on the board of directors at Amherst Pierpont, Affinion Group and TASC.
Mr. Topper was previously with J. P. Morgan where he joined in 2005 as Co-Head of Equity Capital Markets. During his time at J.P. Morgan, he became Chairman of Equity Capital Markets, Vice Chairman of Investment Banking and Chairman of the Commitments Committee, and led many of the firm's major advisory and capital raising transactions in the financial institutions, healthcare, media and other sectors.
Prior to joining J. P. Morgan, David spent 22 years at Morgan Stanley where he served as Co-Head of U.S. Equity Capital Markets, Managing Director and Chairman of the Equity Commitment Committee and numerous other senior management positions.
David serves on the Board of the Duke University Trinity College of Arts and Sciences, the Board of Trustees of the Jewish Museum of New York, and the Board of Directors of the Adams Memorial Foundation. He holds a B.A. from Duke University and an M.B.A. from Stanford University. David resides in New York City with his wife and three daughters.