Meet AV's 2023 Venture Fellows
The Venture Fellow Program is thrilled to announce its January 2023 cohort of fellows
Alumni Ventures is excited to welcome its January 2023 cohort of the Venture Fellow Program (VFP). The program is a one-of-a-kind career accelerator and educational experience that offers a groundbreaking on-ramp to a career in venture capital (VC).
The mission of the VFP is to provide world-class professional development and hands-on learning opportunities in the venture capital industry, thereby serving as an on-ramp to careers in VC and entrepreneurship for a talented cohort of early and mid-career professionals each year. The program seeks to increase opportunities for underrepresented groups in VC, promoting gender, racial, and ethnic diversity in the industry.
Since its inception in 2014, the VFP has over ~575 program alumni with 40% of fellow alumni transitioning to a career in VC, entrepreneurship, or a related field.
Interested in joining the Venture Fellow program? Submit your information below to receive future VFP communications!
of Fellows come from a traditionally underrepresented background in VC
of Fellows come from a traditionally underrepresented race/ethnicity in VC
of Fellows come from a traditionally underrepresented gender in VC
Meet our 2023 Venture Fellows below!
Meet the newest fellows joining 116 Street Ventures — our fund for the Columbia community.
Katie Amos116 Street Fellow
Katie is a Product leader fashioned from nearly a decade spent in high-growth, early stage environments. Her experience has spanned a number of industries, technologies, and business models - from EdTech to Pets, subscription DTC to two-sided marketplaces. This tenure equips her with the operational know-how, broad exposure, and deep expertise involved with scaling a product and business from 0-1. She employs her background to approach founders with empathy and kindle the hard-won gains of the most promising upstarts.
Pablo Cruz116 Street Fellow
Pablo is a Senior Product Manager at frog Design, a global innovation consulting firm, where he advises and builds transformative tech products for Fortune 50 companies. Previously, he was an early employee and shareholder of Booster Fuels and co-founded JULO Exchange – a marketplace for secondary capital assets. Before moving into tech, he worked for Vanguard and Morgan Stanley under the tutelage of investment management. Pablo holds an MBA from the Frank G. Zarb School of Business and a BBA in Information Technology Management (ITM) from the University of Notre Dame.
Meet the newest fellows joining Bascom Ventures — our fund for the Wisconsin community.
Kathryn ClouseBascom Fellow
Kathryn brings 14 years of industry experience in innovation, product development and people-centered strategy. An engineer by background, Kathryn currently leads innovation programming for Kohler Co’s, Kitchen and Bath business unit. In this role, she focuses on idea generation and concept development efforts. She is a part of the Advanced Development engineering team and, therefore also assists with technology strategy and strategic patent portfolios. Previous ownership over a Diversity and Inclusion program in a corporate HR setting and former presidency of Kohler’s women’s group allows her to bring people-focused perspectives to a technical role. Kathryn has an MBA from the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh and a BS in Engineering Mechanics from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.
Semra EzedinBascom Fellow
A data enthusiast, Semra has recently occupied roles where she has leveraged her product data and startup experience to influence decision-making. Currently, Semra is a Product Data Analyst at Newsela, an innovative ed tech company that empowers teachers and students with meaningful classroom content. She partners closely with Product and Content teams to embed data-driven insights into company strategy by working on product experimentation and platform optimization. Previously, Semra worked at Adyen, a Dutch-based fintech company, driving cost optimization and network partnerships for strategic merchants such as Uber, Spotify, Netflix and Meta. While at Apple, Semra helped implement analytics products that streamlined delivery of insights and analysis for different clients. Her tech career started at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory where she developed business frameworks and automated processes for various programs like Mars 2020. Semra holds a BS in Applied Economics and dedicated her academic career to graduate research, student investment fund and sustainability projects. She enjoys traveling the world, watching European football and reading a book or cooking for friends in her free time. Semra hopes to bring a unique perspective to the venture world through seamlessly integrating creativity and data to validate investments, inspiring a new generation of investors and founders.
Abhinav MulagadaBlockchain Fellow
Abhinav is currently the Data Lead at Sawyer and prior to this he was a Data Engineer at cLabs, the company behind the Celo blockchain. With experience working at several venture-backed startups, he hopes to bring his engineering background and passion for early stage companies to the venture space. Abhinav graduated with a B.S. in Computer Science and a B.A. in Mathematics from the University of Portland.
Peter BouchardBlockchain Fellow
Peter is a data, analytics and technology executive with experience building products and partnerships with some of the top organizations across media, insurance, entertainment, government, telecom, nonprofit, automotive, political and technology sectors on how to reshape their futures by leveraging data, insights, and technology. He is currently the Head of Strategy and Partnerships within the Innovation team at Allstate. Previously he worked at Google where he consulted clients on how to transform their digital operations and cloud strategies. He was a founding member of Civis Analytics in 2013, a company born out of the 2012 relection campaign of President Obama focused on transforming how companies use person level data to inform some of their hardest consumer problems. Prior to that he held positions with Omnicom, Starcom and National Geographic.
Edison SiuBlockchain Fellow
A first-year MBA student at Yale University, Edison brings a wealth of experience and diverse background to the table. Raised in Hong Kong with a Taiwanese family background, Edison is fluent in multiple languages and skilled in problem-solving. He has pursued a career at the forefront of financial and technological developments, starting his own business and working across industries, including cryptocurrency, media and entertainment, and traditional finance. Edison is passionate about web3 investment and is eager to continue exploring this exciting field.
Lynn HsiehBlockchain Fellow
Lynn is an Executive MBA student at Columbia Business School with a deep interest in Blockchain, Digital Assets, and Web3. Prior to business school, she represented clients in litigation and counseled employers on complex compliance issues across multiple jurisdictions as well as measures to mitigate risk in the workplace. Lynn also has experience in intellectual property law having helped entrepreneurs obtain trademarks and patents. She holds a J.D. from Notre Dame Law School and a B.A. in journalism with a concentration in science and the environment as well as a minor in political science from Stony Brook University.
Greg KnutsonBlue Ivy Fellow
Greg is passionate about helping the deeptech and frontiertech ecosystem innovate the future. He is a Defense Ventures fellow from Pallas Ventures, a startup advisor with FedTech, and SBIR/STTR evaluator for AFVentures. He has a Master’s degree from the University of San Diego, a Bachelor’s degree from the United States Naval Academy and executive education in Venture Capital from the University of California Berkeley. Greg is particularly interested in space, aerospace, AR/VR, AI/ML, and autonomy.
Jasmine PengBlue Ivy Fellow
Jasmine is an MBA and Master’s in Asset Management candidate at Yale School of Management. Prior to pursuing her MBA, Jasmine worked at an investment bank for 3 years in various roles spanning equity derivatives sales, cross-asset structuring, and business management. In addition to her experience on the trading floor, she also worked at a fintech startup and contributed to a range of business development initiatives from product roadshows to investment pitches. Jasmine graduated from The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology with a BSc in Economics and Finance.
Aswini Narayana PrasadCastor Fellow
Aswini is a professional with 12+ years of experience in automotive product and technology strategy. She has been in diverse engineering and leadership roles across Tesla, Eaton and a handful of early-stage startups. She graduated with a Masters in Engineering Management from MIT, after a specialization in Design Engineering, from IIT Delhi. She has always worked in the intersection of new product development and market commercialization, and is passionate about venturing into the world of technology investment.
Burak DuraCastor Fellow
Burak is a biomedical scientist and engineer with expertise in technology development for life sciences, biotechnology and healthcare. He is passionate about innovations that improve human health and his experience includes commercialization of the first bench-top genome engineering instrument at Inscripta and development of next generation sequencing instrumentation at Qiagen. Burak holds a PhD degree from MIT and an MS degree from Stanford University.
Danielle WenCastor Fellow
Danielle is the founder of Lace & Liberty, a direct-to-consumer custom-design wedding dress company that is challenging the industry’s traditional players by utilizing technology to reimagine and radically improve the entire process. Prior to her entrepreneurship journey, Danielle had 7 years of experience at UBS & Credit Suisse Hong Kong as a fixed-income specialist covering the region’s central bank Hong Kong Monetary Authority, and top asset managers. Danielle received her BSc in Economics from MIT.
Kashyap ShahCastor Fellow
Kashyap has spent the last four years at JioSaavn, a music streaming app with over 150mn users. He has overseen everything from advertising strategy, product strategy, international expansion, and business planning. He also oversaw the company's acquisition and integration into Jio, a large telecom and media conglomerate. Prior to JioSaavn, Kashyap spent three years in investment banking at Lazard and BMO Capital Markets. Kashyap graduated with a BS in Commerce, Finance from the University of Virginia in 2015.
Jonathan SirotaChestnut Street Fellow
Jon is currently a senior manager of strategy and business development at atai Life Sciences, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company aiming to transform the treatment of mental health disorders. He has 6+ years of experience within the life sciences and health technology industries, where he’s held a variety of roles across finance, strategy, operations, and business development. Jon holds a BS in Quantitative Economics and a BA in Public Health from Tufts University, and an MS in Behavioral & Decision Sciences from the University of Pennsylvania.
Minette ChanChestnut Street Fellow
Minette is a lifelong learning and longevity economy expert with over 15 years of experience in both rapidly growing startup pre-IPO and Fortune 500 technology companies such as Visa, Siemens, and Ooyala, where she has built and led teams in HR, Sales, Product, and Customer Success to ensure workforce readiness, drive strategic roadmaps, and enable successful global product launches. Minette has been recognized as an Innovation Awardee by the Chief Learning Officer magazine and a Top 40 Under 40 leader by Training magazine. She serves as an advisor to edtech startups and volunteers as a mentor to women in tech. Minette co-founded and currently sits on the board of an education nonprofit which provides free coding classes to middle and high school students with a mission to inspire historically underrepresented minorities to explore STEM-based careers. Minette holds an MA in Learning Design and Technology from Stanford University, and a BS in Electronics and Communications Engineering, magna cum laude, from the University of the Philippines. She is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Education with a focus on the Future of Work at the University of Pennsylvania, Chief Learning Officer executive doctoral program.
Jake AltmanCongress Avenue Fellow
Jake is Chief of Staff to the CEO at Twill, a growth-stage digital therapeutics startup. He has 5+ years of experience spanning technology transformations, business operations, and corporate strategy. Originally a management consultant, Jake has advised multiple Fortune 100 multinational organizations, hospital networks, and pharmaceutical companies. In his current role as Chief of Staff at Twill, he is responsible for all operational components of the organization's technology department and special projects on behalf of the executive team. Jake holds a Bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University. During his free time, Jake enjoys exploring local coffee shops, attending concerts of many different genres, Settlers of Catan, and exercising.
Nikita DekateCongress Avenue Fellow
Nikita has a background in software product management and international strategy where she most recently led initiatives at Adobe in global product development in existing and emerging markets. She launched internationalization features across the Digital Media Business Unit (Creative Cloud and Document Cloud), enabling the Adobe brand, products, and services to reach consumers around the world by developing regionally relevant strategies. She also has experience in business intelligence and marketing analytics across other companies in the cloud services industry and has a deep passion for sustainability, global impact, and innovative technology solutions. Nikita holds a BA in Economics with a Computer Science concentration from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and has completed additional studies in international markets at the Vienna University of Business and Economics.
Allison CoukosGreen D Fellow
Allie has a background in national intelligence and emerging technologies, specifically artificial intelligence. Previously, she worked at Deloitte Consulting in the firm’s Government & Public Services practice, supporting emerging technology implementation and acquisition for clients in the national defense, security, and intelligence sectors. Allie is currently pursuing an MBA at the Tuck School of Business and received her BA in Political Science, with minors in Business Administration and Communications from George Washington University.
Katie GoldsteinGreen D Fellow
Katie is a Product Manager at Microsoft on the Web Experiences Growth and Distribution team. There, she works to innovate on the Search experience across Edge, Windows 10, and Windows 11. Katie earned her B.A. at Dartmouth College where she majored in Computer Science modified with Human-Centered Design and Hispanic Studies. At Dartmouth, she participated in undergraduate research focused on human-computer interaction, which culminated in her senior thesis on digital death and legacy. She is passionate about children’s literacy, which manifests through volunteering at Reading Partners, serving on the board of DREAM, a Dartmouth mentoring nonprofit, and writing children’s books. In her spare time, she is an avid skier and reader.
Angela Koi BaconLakeshore Fellow
Angela is an experienced solutions architect, with over ten years of experience in SaaS, Go-to-Market and revenue operations, Salesforce architecture, and information science. During her career, she has helped build the tech stacks of several VC backed SaaS companies, including Twilio and Sendgrid, Coursera, Nutanix, HackerRank and TripActions, and has served as a Director of Revenue Operations in biotechnology. She is currently the Senior Salesforce Administrator for Outreach.io, an enterprise sales execution software company, and the founder of Erven, an AI-driven trade promotions management platform for cannabis. Angela holds a Master of Library and Information Science from Rutgers University, a MA in Humanities from University of Chicago, and a BA in English from Howard University.
Sandesh IyerLakeshore Fellow
Sandesh has a background in AI/Software, and Financial Services. Previously, he helped apply science to the art of investing at Wellington Management, a global asset management firm by building their next generation data science tools, methodologies, and machine learning models to drive better investment decisions. He received his BS in Computer and Electrical Engineering at Northeastern University, and is currently an MBA candidate at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business and an MS - Data Science candidate at Johns Hopkins University. During his time at Northeastern, he worked with the machine learning group of the US Air Force Research Labs and has considerable exposure to the manufacturing sector working with Flex in Product Development at their Design and Innovation Labs. Sandesh is excited by the prospect of working and dreaming alongside founders who see a world that doesn’t yet exist and hopes to learn the ability to see technological trends and consumer behaviors evolve before they become mainstream.
Bersabel WondimagegnhuNassau Street Fellow
Bersabel is a PhD candidate at Johns Hopkins University studying telomere biology particularly the role of TERRA RNA in telomere maintenance and in ALT cancers by using single molecule techniques. Prior to graduate school, she had 4+ years of experience in Biotech. She first worked at Bio-Rad Laboratories where she contributed to the development of emulsion-based DNA sequencing platform to be used as medical diagnostics instrument. She then joined SQZ Biotech exploratory team transitioning from diagnostic work into therapeutics. At SQZ, she worked on identifying and generating proof of concept for multiple diseases and led the development of an early-stage oncology product to enhance T cells responses to cancer that had advanced to clinical trials.
Jessica Traver IngramNassau Street Fellow
Jessica Traver Ingram is the Co-Founder & CEO of IntuiTap Medical, where for the past 7 years she has been successfully leading the company to develop and commercialize a device that improves the accuracy and efficiency of spinal taps & epidurals. Her innovative work at IntuiTap Medical landed her a spot on the esteemed Forbes 30 Under 30 list. Prior to founding IntuiTap Medical, Jessica conducted research into why healthcare startups fail and how to define the key strategies and actions necessary to be successful in healthcare innovation. She then went on to help design and launch the acclaimed TMC Biodesign Innovation Fellowship, out of which many health-tech companies have successfully been launched. Jessica received her BS and MS in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University and currently sits on their Early Professionals Advisory Committee there where she provides strategic advice for how to improve the Purdue Mechanical Engineering curriculum and better prepare students for success after graduation.
Olivia GrahNassau Street Fellow
Olivia works on the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) team in Blackstone’s hedge fund division. She previously worked with the Center for Carbon Transition at J.P. Morgan providing sustainable financing and advisory services to corporate clients. Olivia graduated from Princeton with a degree in economics and minors in finance and environmental studies.
Tony LuNassau Street Fellow
Tony is an experienced machine learning engineer and product manager. He is currently splitting his time between being a tech lead for search and discovery quality at Youtube and supporting Google Cloud ML efforts as a PM. Previously, he has worked on using NLP models to automate ads targeting for SMBs, interned at a political trading startup, and co-founded an education business when in high school. Tony is a graduate of Princeton University, where he received his Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science and served as a director for the Entrepreneurship Club.
Avni MahagaokarPurple Arch Fellow
Avni received her BS in Manufacturing and Design Engineering from Northwestern University. She has worked in both startups and large mature companies, during which time she developed an appreciation for the nuances of the product lifecycle. During her tenure at a major consulting firm, she honed her skills in the Retail, Aerospace & Defense, and Industrial industries while also gaining experience with strategic initiatives. Currently, she is a Digital Product Manager at Capital One and enjoys her experience delving into the FinTech space as a team lead. Avni hopes to bring her passion for the intersection of business and technology to the world of venture capital.
Benjamin NaovaratRing Fellow
Ben is pursuing an MBA from the University of Michiganm Ross School of Business where he cofounded Michigan Venture Consulting- a pro bono start-up consultation service for Michigan graduate students. Prior to business school, Ben spent three years conducting translational research at the University of Texas McGovern Medical School under the mentorship of Dr. John Reveille where he focused on topics ranging from infectious diseases to rheumatological diseases. Most recently, his research focused on the long-term follow-up and outcomes of HIV patients over time. This past summer he was a summer associate at UPMC Enterprises on their Translational Science team. He is passionate about healthcare innovation, biomarkers, immunotherapy, and the growing science of longevity. Ben holds an M.D. from the University of Texas McGovern Medical School as well as a B.A. in philosophy from Texas A&M University. In his free time, he enjoys chasing US powerlifting records, cooking Thai food, and convincing friends and family to watch documentaries with him.
Mats TerwieschRing Fellow
Mats is a product manager at WHOOP, a digital health company focused on using wearable technology to unlock human performance. At WHOOP, he is primarily responsible for leading the product development of new features related to exercise quantification and coaching. Prior to joining WHOOP, Mats conducted research on digital health, artificial intelligence and innovation at Harvard Business School. His interests in health and technology were first kindled at Bates College, where he studied economics and authored a senior thesis on machine learning and hospital patient length-of-stay forecasting. Outside of work, Mats has a passion for endurance sports - especially rowing, where he recently competed as a member of Team USA at the 2022 World Rowing Championships. Mats became a US citizen in 2016 and retains dual citizenship of the United States and Germany.
Christina RenSpike Fellow
Christina is a board-certified genetic counselor passionate about pushing the frontier of individualized medicine to benefit human health. Her domain expertise covers genomics and health tech in research, clinic, and startup settings. She writes Health & Wealth, which distills insights on the innovation theme park of biology and ways to solve healthcare's rate-limiting problems. She also works as a private practice genetic counselor at Advocate Genetics, seeing patients seeking fertility treatment. Previously, she was employee #2 at an early-stage genetics startup. Christina earned a BS in Biology from Stanford University and an MS in Genetic Counseling with clinical training from UCSF and Kaiser Permanente.
Kyle AsaySpike Fellow
Kyle is the Director of Strategic Initiatives at Stanford Medicine, where he assists the executive team with system-wide special projects. He previously worked at UCLA Health and the University of Utah Health, focusing his efforts on strategic initiatives, business development, and early-stage innovation. With a background in hospital operations and corporate finance, Kyle has a passion for assisting entrepreneurs navigate complex industries to scale their products and services. He holds a Bachelor's in Finance from the University of Utah and a Master of Health Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University.
Shilpa BeesabathuniStrawberry Creek Fellow
Shilpa is a strategy lead at Quaker Houghton, a chemical company, where she is involved in long-term enterprise strategy development and planning. Her experience spans new product development, research in emerging technologies, corporate strategy and M&A. She has also been an advisor to startups for early-stage product development. Shilpa holds a PhD in Mechanical Engineering and Nanotechnology from the University of Washington, Seattle with expertise in advanced materials ranging from bio, food, metals to nanomaterials. She is currently pursuing an MBA at UC Berkeley, Haas School of Business.
Teo GumusogluStrawberry Creek Fellow
Teo worked as a financial regulator for the government and then chief of staff at Lenovo for the corporate business development and strategic alliances team, managing global teams spanning 15 countries. He is passionate about emerging technologies, having worked at and founded multiple startups. He also has experience working for an early-stage DeepTech VC as well as an accelerator. Teo is currently pursuing an MBA at UC Berkeley Haas and holds a BS in Physics and an MS in Financial Engineering from NYU.
Marina RosteinTowerview Fellow
Marina has a background in HR and experiential and B2B marketing. With roles at OneTable and Cue Health, her experience spans nonprofit and healthcare. A first generation American, she hopes to bring her passion for female empowerment, financial security, the future of work, and parenting to venture capital. She is currently pursuing an MBA at UNC Kenan Flagler and holds a BA in International Affairs from The George Washington University.
Will HamiltonTowerview Fellow
Will is currently an equity research associate at Royal Bank of Canada covering the internet sector. Prior to that, he worked at Prentice Capital Management, a consumer-focused hedge fund, covering mainly retail and restaurant equities. Will has a Master of Management Studies degree from the Fuqua School of Business and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Duke University. While at Duke, Will was the manager and film coordinator for the Duke lacrosse team.
Ewa PrzybylkoTriphammer Fellow
Ewa is an investment research analyst with five years of professional buy-side equity research experience. She is primarily focused on the US Healthcare sector, though she has studied a wide range of industries and business models through her work with US Growth, Emerging Markets, and ESG-focused strategies. As a first-generation college student, Ewa became involved in advocacy for the first-gen community during her undergraduate years at Cornell and is passionate about promoting access to quality education for underserved populations. She holds a BS in Operations Research and Engineering from Cornell University and is a CFA charter holder.
May ChinavanichkitTriphammer Fellow
May is a business operations leader with over 10 years of experience in both the tech and food industries. She has demonstrated success in solving operational challenges and implementing efficiency standards in a lean startup environment. After obtaining a master’s degree in Food Science at Cornell University, she worked for a leading food importer as a quality and supplier development manager, where she sourced new food products and inspected food processing facilities around the world. From there, she joined Mode.net, a Software Defined Networking company, where she spearheaded Human Resources, Business Operations, Finance & Accounting. Currently, May is the VP of Business Operations at HDS Global, a robotic fulfillment startup looking to disrupt the ecommerce industry.
Alex HruskaWaterman Fellow
Alex is a 5th year PhD candidate at Brown University where he develops tumor models to better understand the mechanobiology driving solid tumor metastases. Alex was previously a Research Fellow at the National Cancer Institute where he developed 3D tissue mimetics to study metastasis. Throughout his graduate career he has been building complementary skillsets in early stage biotech and finance by enrolling in business courses at Brown, participating in a Med Tech Education Program through the Rhode Island venture hub NEMIC, and his role in the Brown Biotech Organization, I2B.
Ryan Van-LowWaterman Fellow
Ryan is a Senior Associate at JPMorgan working in various capacities across Strategy/Transformation and most recently Product for the Commercial Bank. Prior to his current position, Ryan was a Management Consultant at PwC in their Operations Transformation practice. Ryan graduated from Brown in 2017 with his Bachelors degree in Chemical and Biochemical Engineering and has since moved to NYC.
Lizzie BrownWestwood Fellow
Lizzie Brown is an entrepreneur specializing in mental wellness and consumer tech. Prior to co-founding award-winning, Apple "App of the Day", Yoga Wake Up, she launched a boutique agency she prides with developing emerging fitness and wellness brand and personalities, notably Carbon38 and Fabletics. She holds a B.S. in Public Relations from the University of Florida and has extensive industry knowledge in publicity, entertainment marketing and influencer marketing. Lizzie is currently pursuing an EMBA at UCLA Anderson School of Management and will graduate in 2024.
Matthew J. SánchezWestwood Fellow
Matthew is a Southern California native, first-generation, Afro-Mexican American VC. He is particularly known for his interest in AI/ML founders and companies that will supercharge how we live. Matthew has a healthy depth and breadth of VC, startup, and corporate experiences. His background spans business analysis, product, operations and strategy, and design, at Capital One in San Francisco and at broadn, a generative AI knowledge startup based in London and NYC. Matthew earned his B.S. in Applied Mathematics from UCLA with two minors in Entrepreneurship and Global Studies (emphasis in International Finance). Sánchez also conducted AI/ML research at the University of Michigan in Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Semantic Analysis.
James WesterbergWestwood Fellow
After graduating from UCLA with a degree in political science, James worked in sales and trading specializing in foreign exchange and interest rate products. Following this experience, he joined a global investment bank focused on origination and execution of equity financing solutions. James is currently based out of New York and is excited to reconnect with the UCLA community through Westwood Ventures.
Elena ChopyakYard Fellow
Elena's background is in nonprofit innovation, fitness and gaming, and product management. Her experience and interests span digital health, VR/AR, AI, "metaverse" technologies, and beyond. Prior to working in health and technology, Elena was an international humanitarian aid worker with the International Rescue Committee. She has been deployed to humanitarian crises in Iraq, Bangladesh, South Sudan, DR Congo, and Yemen. Elena holds a Masters of Science from the Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health, and a BA in Sociology and French from Swarthmore College.
Vaneshia ReedYard Fellow
A public affairs consultant turned chef, Vaneshia is deeply passionate about helping to build a world in which everyone has access to food that is healthy, sustainable, and environmentally conscious. As an agrifood tech investor, she aims to draw on her strategy and culinary skills to back agrifood tech companies that are working towards this future of food, with investments rooted in equity. A social justice advocate at heart, Vaneshia spent the first few years of her career in public affairs working to move policy and practice towards fairness and justice for children and marginalized communities. As a Fellow in the Office of the Superintendent of the LA Unified School District, she managed strategic partnerships and helped secure over $40 million in resources for students. She has completed the Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs and the Public Policy and International Affairs Fellowship, interned with Congressman Charles Rangel, and published policy recommendations on foster care reform. She spent a year living in Salvador, Bahia researching how Brazilians understand and combat structural racism. Driven by a long held passion, Vaneshia most recently embarked on a culinary exploration, where she worked as a line cook for a James Beard finalist, produced food events in Harvard’s Pforzheimer House, and earned a culinary certificate. She also completed a farm-to-table culinary apprenticeship in Tuscany. She is excited by the possibilities in the agrifood tech space, where her passions and industry skills intersect. Vaneshia speaks Spanish and Portuguese and enjoys reading, yoga, music, and travel.