Episode #1: High Heels on the Job Site

Tech Optimist Podcast — Tech, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation

Written by

Alumni Ventures

Published on


2 min

Join Mike Collins, Co-Founder and CEO of Alumni Ventures (AV), as he delves into discussions with Bundle founder Janna Wanzdilak on her pioneering tech company, AV Principal Naren Ramaswamy on trending VC topics, and AV Managing Partner Laura Rippy on the evolving role of women in the venture ecosystem.

Episode #1: High Heels on the Job Site

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The Tech Optimist Podcast, hosted by Mike Collins, founder and CEO of Alumni Ventures, explores the intersection of technology, entrepreneurship, and venture capital. In the first episode, Collins interviews Janna Wanzdilak, CEO of Bundle, a tech-powered buying solution for small builders. Wanzdilak discusses the challenges and opportunities in the construction industry, particularly for small builders, and how Bundle addresses these issues. The podcast also features a discussion with Naren Ramaswamy, a principal at Alumni Ventures, about current trends in the venture capital industry. Finally, Collins speaks with Laura Rippy, a leading VC, about the evolving role of women in the venture ecosystem.

Watch Time ~59 minutes

The show is produced by Alumni Ventures, which has been recognized as a “Top 20 Venture Firm” by CB Insights (’24) and as the “#1 Most Active Venture Firm in the US” by Pitchbook (’22 & ’23).


Creators and Guests


Mike Collins
CEO, and Co-Founder at Alumni Ventures

Mike has been involved in almost every facet of venturing, from angel investing to venture capital, new business and product launches, and innovation consulting. He is currently CEO of Alumni Ventures Group, the managing company for our fund, and launched AV’s first alumni fund, Green D Ventures, where he oversaw the portfolio as Managing Partner and is now Managing Partner Emeritus. Mike is a serial entrepreneur who has started multiple companies, including Kid Galaxy, Big Idea Group (partially owned by WPP), and RDM. He began his career at VC firm TA Associates. He holds an undergraduate degree in Engineering Science from Dartmouth and an MBA from Harvard Business School.


Janna (Wandzilak) Colucci
CEO and Co-Founder at Bundle

In construction, the procurement process is complicated, opaque, and lacks data, resulting in nearly every project finishing over time and over budget. Janna is the CEO and co-founder of Bundle, a digital procurement platform developers, builders, and construction teams use to save 90% of the time typically spent procuring products while providing 10-20% cost savings on every project. Suppliers simplify catalog and order management, get custom e-commerce storefronts, and increase sales through our network of builders.


Laura Bordewieck Rippy
Board Director and Managing Partner, Green D & Yard & Women’s Fund at Alumni Ventures

Laura brings operational perspective as a CEO, Chairman, and executive in technology startups in addition to investing experience. As Managing Partner at Ripplecreek Partners’ technology practice and General Partner at FA Technology Ventures, she worked various tech sectors: mobile, consumer, internet, SaaS, cloud-based, marketing, and enterprise software across many economic cycles. She also served as CEO at Handango, creating the first marketplace of mobile apps. At Microsoft, she co-founded two businesses as an intra-preneur in an elite swat team spun out of Bill Gates’ office. Laura holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and AB in Government from Dartmouth (’89).


Naren Ramaswamy
Principal, Spike & Deep Tech Fund at Alumni Ventures

Naren combines a technical engineering background with experience at startups and VC firms. Before joining AV, he worked with the investing team at venture firm Data Collective (DCVC) looking at frontier tech deals. Before that, he was a Program Manager at Apple and Tesla and has worked for multiple consumer startups. Naren received a BS and MS in mechanical engineering from Stanford University and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. In his free time, he enjoys teaching golf to beginners and composing music.

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Important Disclosure Information

The Tech Optimist Podcast is for informational purposes only. It is not personalized advice and is neither an offer to sell, nor a solicitation of an offer to purchase, any security. Such offers are made only to eligible investors, pursuant to the formal offering documents of appropriate investment funds. Please consult with your advisors before making any investment with Alumni Ventures. For more information, please see here.

One or more investment funds affiliated with AV may have invested, or may in the future invest, in some of the companies featured on the Podcast. This circumstance constitutes a conflict of interest. Any testimonials or endorsements regarding AV on the Podcast are made without compensation but the providers may in some cases have a relationship with AV from which they benefit. All views expressed on the Podcast are the speaker’s own. Any testimonials or endorsements expressed on the Podcast do not represent the experience of all investors or companies with which AV invests or does business.

The Podcast includes forward-looking statements, generally consisting of any statement pertaining to any issue other than historical fact, including without limitation predictions, financial projections, the anticipated results of the execution of any plan or strategy, the expectation or belief of the speaker, or other events or circumstances to exist in the future. Forward looking statements are not representations of actual fact, depend on certain assumptions that may not be realized, and are not guaranteed to occur. Any forward- looking statements included in this communication speak only as of the date of the communication. AV and its affiliates disclaim any obligation to update, amend, or alter such forward-looking statements whether due to subsequent events, new information, or otherwise.