Ken DeAngelis (Board Chair)
Ken DeAngelis, is a Co-Founder of Austin Ventures (AV) and has served as a General Partner of all 10 AV Funds, representing over $4 Billion in committed capital. He is one of the most experienced venture capitalists in Texas. His 35+ year track record parallels the emergence of Austin as one of the leading technology centers in the country, and he is a past recipient of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Central Texas. Ken is presently winding-down the remaining AV portfolio, as well as investing in a myriad of companies through his family office. He continues to provide financing, board level guidance and mentorship to numerous entrepreneurs.
Ken has had a long involvement with UT Austin, having served on the Executive Committee of the Development Board, Chair of the McCombs School of Business Advisory Council and, in 2019, became the inaugural Chair of the President’s Austin Innovation Board. In addition to his work with UT, Ken is a past Chair of Austin’s PBS Affiliate, KLRU-TV and has been the long-time Chair of the Austin City Limits Committee, which has been providing oversight to the iconic Austin City Limits TV show and brand.
Ken received his MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and his BA from Harvard University.
Jag Bath is the CEO & president of Favor and the chief digital officer at H-E-B.
In less than five years, under his leadership, Favor has launched in over 200 Texas cities with more than 100,000 Runners on its platform, who have completed over 40 million deliveries to-date. Jag also led Favor to become the first U.S. on-demand delivery company to achieve profitability, and in February 2018, he led the sale of Favor to H-E-B – one the country’s largest privately held companies – making Favor the first business to be acquired by H-E-B in its now 115-year history.
Today, he is also the chief digital officer at H-E-B and oversees H-E-B’s digital strategy and roadmap.
Jag joined Favor and H-E-B with a 20- year track record of scaling startups from early stage to successful mature companies, with a focus on product innovation and revenue creation. Prior to Favor and H-E-B, he was most recently the senior vice president of product at RetailMeNot, Inc. – the world’s largest marketplace for digital offers – facilitating over $5 billion in gross retail sales a year. Prior to RetailMeNot, Jag held several executive positions at the luxury retailer Gilt Groupe, including vice president of strategy and new business, vice president of product management and engineering, and Acting CIO. Before his time at Gilt Groupe, Jag was the director of global business development at WeightWatchers.com – the world’s leading weight management company, with over 1 million online subscribers. He also held several management positions at the company, during his almost 8-year tenure, in product development, marketing and international expansion, focused on the core product suite and the launch of the online subscription business in the UK, Europe, Australia and China.
Jim is the Founder and CEO of Breyer Capital, a premier venture capital firm based in Austin, TX and Menlo Park, CA. Jim has been an early investor in over 40 technology companies that have completed highly successful public offerings or mergers.
As a lead investor and Director, many of these investments, including Facebook, returned well over 100 times their cost, and over a dozen more have returned well over 25 times their cost.
Over the past several years, Jim has developed a deep personal and investment interest in long-term oriented entrepreneurs and teams working in artificial/augmented intelligence (AI), quantum technology, and human-assisted intelligence (HAI) and he has made numerous investments in this space.
Jim has served on the Board of Directors of Blackstone (BX) since 2016 where he has been instrumental in helping to initiate Blackstone’s Life Sciences Funds and Blackstone’s Technology Growth Funds. He has previously served as an investor and/or lead Director at Circle, Dell, Etsy, Facebook, Legendary Entertainment, Marvel Entertainment, Spotify, Wal-Mart, and 21st Century Fox as well as many others.
Jim is a Fellow Emeritus of Harvard Corporation, Harvard’s Senior Governing Board where he also Co-Chaired Harvard’s Finance Committee. He is a member of Harvard Business School’s Board of Dean’s Advisors, a founding member of Harvard University’s Global Advisory Council; a founding member of the Dean’s Advisory Board at Stanford’s School of Engineering; Chairman of the Stanford Engineering Venture Fund as well as a Founding Member of the Advisory Board of the Stanford Institute for Human-Assisted Artificial Intelligence (HAI) which was launched in March 2019.
Jim is also the past Chairman and remains a Board Member of the Tsinghua University Advisory Board for the School of Economics and Management. In addition, Jim is a long-time active volunteer as a Trustee of The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, SEMOMA, the American Film Institute (AFI) in Los Angeles, and Stanford’s Center for Philanthropy and Civil Society (PACS).
As Chairwoman and CEO of WP Engine, Heather Brunner has steered WP Engine through hyper-growth into global technology leadership. WP Engine is home to many of the WordPress community's most beloved brands including WP Engine, Flywheel, Local, Advanced Custom Fields, and Genesis. Heather has led the expansion of WP Engine from an Austin start-up to a global brand with 1100+ team members around the world with hubs in Austin, Brisbane, Limerick, London, Omaha, and Krakow to now serve millions of customers in more than 150 countries. A 30 year technology veteran, Heather has generated billions in enterprise value, delivered growth, and led business strategy for privately funded new ventures and Fortune 500 companies. During her tenure as WP Engine CEO, Heather has been honored by Great Place to Work with the CEO Leadership for All award, EY Entrepreneur of the Year for Central Texas, the Austin Business Journal Best CEO award and a Stevie Award for executive leadership. Heather serves on the board of directors for Camden Property Trust (NYSE: CPT), a S&P 500 company. She holds a bachelor’s degree in international economics from Trinity University.
Blake Chandlee is currently the president of global business solutions for Bytedance overseeing the teams and strategies responsible for growing the TikTok business in markets around the world. Working closely with ByteDance's global teams, Blake is helping to guide the company outside of its domestic China market as it’s user base continues to scale and TikTok begins to introduce brands and monetization into this unique environment.
Prior to his current role, Blake served as the global vice president of Facebook’s GMS Partnership and Solutions Engineering Team. In this role, Blake oversaw the strategy, partnerships and commercial relationships across all of Facebook and Instagram's strategic technology partners such as PMD’s, DSP’s, Martech, and Data/ Audience, and content partners, as well as its engineering team focused on the most sophisticated clients and agencies.
Blake started at Facebook in 2007 as FB’s first international employee based out of London and spent the first four years building Facebook's international business, responsible for launching offices across EMEA, APAC and LATAM before returning to the U.S. where he launched teams responsible for all of the Global Agency businesses and Global Accounts teams.
Prior to Facebook, Blake spent 5 years at Yahoo! in a variety of domestic and international roles, the last of which was at Yahoo! UK Ltd as the vice president and commercial director of the business. There, he played an instrumental role in setting the strategic direction of the organization, leading agency and client sales teams and driving partnerships across the UK and Pan-European market.
Blake divides his time between Austin, TX and NYC...and of course the rest of the key markets he oversees!
Julia Cheek is the Founder and CEO of Everly Health, the digital health company at the forefront of the virtual diagnostics-driven care industry. Julia founded Everlywell, the consumer brand of Everly Health, in 2015 to provide consumers access to affordable at-home lab tests. Everly Health served over 40 million people in 2021 alone and partners with major health plans and diagnostic companies to close care gaps and improve health outcomes.
Julia serves on the Board of Directors for Headspace Health and the President’s Innovation Board at The University of Texas at Austin. She is an investor in over a dozen healthcare startups, with an emphasis on those led by underrepresented founders. She has received industry recognition and awards, named one of Fortune Magazine’s 15 Most Powerful Women in Startups in 2022 and 10 Women to Watch by Forbes in 2021.
Julia attended Vanderbilt University and earned her MBA from Harvard Business School where she graduated as a Baker Scholar with high distinction. She is based in Austin.
Cotter is the CEO of ExpertVoice, Inc., a leading advocacy platform that connects major brands with relevant experts. He worked with Tritium Partners to purchase the company in September 2022.
Prior to this, he was the chairman and CEO of RetailMeNot, Inc., a savings destination that enables brands to engage active shoppers and influence purchase decisions. He founded the company in 2009, made more than 16 acquisitions, and raised more than $280 million from investors that included Austin Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners, GV, IVP and JP Morgan before leading the IPO in July 2013. In 2017, RetailMeNot was acquired by MacAndrews and Forbes. Through these efforts, Cotter has saved millions of consumers billions of dollars across the U.S. and beyond. He achieved an approval rating on Glassdoor of 91% based on employee feedback, making him one of the top-rated CEOs in the U.S.
Prior to RetailMeNot, Cotter was CEO-in-Residence for Austin Ventures. Cotter also previously worked as the Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Bankrate for seven years, taking the company public in 1999. He served as a Vice President and General Manager of VML and Assistant Vice President, Corporate Development at H&R Block. He wrote the book "Your Financial Action Plan: 12 Simple Steps to Achieve Money Success."
Cotter holds an MBA from Vanderbilt University. He is a Venture Partner at Next Coast Ventures, Chair of the Board of Directors for Waterloo Greenway, and serves on the board of several private companies.
Rod Favaron is an investor, board member and advisor to fast growth software companies. Rod has spent most of his career in enterprise software, he is a "serial" startup guy with three very successful B2B software startups. Most recently, Favaron stepped off the board of Upland Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: UPLD) to serve as it's President and re-tool the business for the future. Prior to Upland, Rod served as Chairman and CEO of Spredfast from 2011-2018. Under his leadership, Spredfast grew from a pre-revenue start-up to a global leader in social media software and was acquired by Vista Equity Partners in 2018. Prior to Spredfast, Favaron was CEO of Lombardi Software where he led the business from an early start-up into a global leader in Business Process Management software and through a successful acquisition by IBM in 2010. Favaron earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Louisiana State University and an MBA from the University of Dallas Graduate School of Management. He currently serves on the board of directors for Vyopta and LeanDNA.
As the Co-Founder and CEO of Siete Family Foods, Miguel Garza is on a mission to build the leading, better-for-you Mexican-American food brand. Strong family values permeate the company culture, and Miguel upholds the shared belief in “Family first, family second, business third.”
Since launching in 2014 with an almond flour tortilla created by his sister Veronica Garza and sold in a single Texas retailer, Siete Foods has expanded to be the fastest growing Latin-focused brand in food & beverage. Today the thriving business spans more than 16,000 grocery stores nationally, features more than 60 product SKUs, and has surpassed more than $300M in annual retail sales.
Beyond supporting Siete’s upward trajectory, Miguel is also focused on the core value of “Juntos Es Mejor” – together is better. To support the broader community, Siete launched the Juntos Fund, an annual opportunity to bolster Latinx businesses through financial awards.
In 2017, Miguel was named one of Forbes 30 Under 30, in addition to coverage on The Today Show, Good Morning America, CBS News, The New York Times, Inc., and NPR How I Built This. Prior to his role at Siete, Miguel graduated from law school at The University of Texas in Austin after earning his BBA at McCombs School of Business.
Rick Hawkins is the CEO of Lumos Pharma. He has extensive expertise in the biotechnology industry, as founder of Pharmaco, founder of Lumos Pharma, co-founder and chairman for the Sensus Drug Development Corporation, co-founder and director of Covance Biotechnology Services, Inc., and CEO, president and chairman of LabNow. Rick currently serves as a director for Cytori Therapeutics, Savara Pharmaceuticals, and AiCure. In 2005, he was inducted into the Hall of Honor for the College of Natural Sciences at UT Austin and was named one of the Top 10 Life Sciences CEOs in Texas by the Texas Healthcare & Bioscience Institute. Rick is also a recipient of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Central Texas. In 2015, he received Ohio University’s Konneker Medal, the highest honor given to a faculty member or former student for entrepreneurial excellence. Rick holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Ohio University.
Amir Husain is a serial entrepreneur, inventor, technologist, and author based in Austin, Texas. He is the Founder and CEO of an award-winning artificial intelligence company, SparkCognition, and is the founding CEO of SkyGrid, a Boeing and SparkCognition joint venture that is building an aerial operating system to power the next century of aviation.
Amir’s work has been featured in world-leading outlets such as Forbes, Fox Business News, and Proceedings from the U.S. Naval Institute. He is the author of the best-selling book “The Sentient Machine: The Coming Age of Artificial Intelligence” and a co-author of the compilation “Hyperwar: Conflict and Competition in the AI Century.”
Belinda Johnson currently serves as a member of the Airbnb and PayPal Board of Directors. Johnson joined Airbnb in 2011 as their first executive hire and general counsel. In 2018, she became Airbnb’s first Chief Operating Officer and worked in that capacity until 2020.
Prior to working with Airbnb, Johnson served as general counsel at Broadcast.com, which was sold to Yahoo! Inc. in 1999. After the purchase, Johnson relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area to work for Yahoo! Inc. During her tenure at Yahoo! Inc., Johnson served in multiple roles and progressed from Associate General Counsel to SVP and Deputy General Counsel, including at various points, overseeing the legal strategy for Yahoo’s global products, content alliances, compliance, public policy, trademark, consumer protection, litigation and privacy.
In 2016, Johnson was named to Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business list. In 2017, Johnson was included in Elle magazine’s fourth annual Women in Tech list. She was also ranked one of Forbes 100 Most Powerful Women in 2017 and 2018.
Johnson earned her undergraduate degree and Juris Doctor from The University of Texas at Austin.
Garheng Kong founded HealthQuest Capital in 2012 to improve people’s lives through improving healthcare on a significant scale. His vision was to build a best-in-class team of the highest talent and integrity to work with outstanding entrepreneurs to transform healthcare through high growth companies while generating outsized risk adjusted returns for investors.
A physician, scientist, and engineer by training, Garheng has over two decades of experience investing in innovative healthcare companies with a long list of successes (29 IPO/M&A exits). He has represented HealthQuest on the boards of Ajax I, Ajax II, Ajax III, Alcresta, Avedro, Avizia, BardyDx, Castle Biosciences, CleanSlate, Etairos, ENT Specialty Partners, Everlywell, HealthChannels, Lunit, Magnolia Medical, Nomad Health, Perspectum, Pulmonx, Spirox, TigerConnect, Trice Medical, Venus Concept, and CareMetx/VirMedica.
Some of his notable past successes include IPO’s with Alimera (ALIM), AmWell (AMWL), Applied Genetic Technology Corp. (AGTC), Avedro (AVDR), Castle Biosciences (CSTL), Cempra (CEMP), Histogenics (HSGX), Lunit (A32813), Proteon (PRTO), Pulmonx (LUNG), StrongBridge (SBBP), TransEnterix (TRXC) and Venus Concept (VERO). His companies going on to successful M&A transactions include: Ajax I (Medtronic), Aldagen (Cytomedix), Athenix (Bayer), Avedro (Glaukos), Avizia (AmWell), BardyDx (Hillrom), Calibra Medical (J&J), CareMetx (General Atlantic), Cellective (AstraZeneca), NovaMin (GlaxoSmithKline), Salveo Specialty Pharmacy (United Health), SARCode (Shire), Serenex (Pfizer), Spirox (Stryker), Strongbridge Biopharma (Xeris) and Virmedica (CareMetx).
Garheng’s interests and industry footprint are broad as he also serves on boards of LabCorp (LH), Alimera Sciences (ALIM), Xeris Biopharma (XERS), Be The Match, Duke University Medical Center, and has served as Chairman on nine boards. He is an Aspen Institute Health Innovators Fellow, Kauffman Fellows Mentor, and member of YPO.
Garheng received undergraduate degrees in both Chemical Engineering and Biological Sciences from Stanford, while on an athletic scholarship. He then earned a MD, PhD and MBA from Duke University, graduating at the top of his class in each instance. His early career included stints at GlaxoSmithKline, McKinsey and a medical device start-up, TherOx, before joining Intersouth Partners and then Sofinnova Investments. He is married to his physician wife (a board certified cardiac electrophysiologist), has 3 children, and was a nationally ranked volleyball player (and avid “foodie”).
Kevin M. Lalande is Founding Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer of Santé, an investment partnership with $1 billion in capital under management in two different strategies.
The first strategy, Santé Ventures, was founded in 2006 to create and finance innovative new healthcare and life science companies, including LDR Medical (Zimmer Biomet), Explorys (IBM Corp), AbVitro (Bristol Myers Squibb), Molecular Templates (Nasdaq: MTEM), Millipede Medical (Boston Scientific), TVA Medical (Becton Dickenson), Claret Medical (Boston Scientific), Lumos Pharms (Nasdaq: LUMO), and Farapulse (Boston Scientific).
The second strategy, Santé Capital, is a systematic hedge fund that began trading capital in 2015 based on quantitative and natural language machine learning algorithms. Kevin conceived the investment strategy, developed the original MindRank algorithms, and assembled a seasoned team of data scientists and software engineers to help drive this business.
Before his current roles, Kevin was a venture capitalist with Austin Ventures for seven years and was a management consultant with McKinsey & Company. Kevin received a bachelor’s degree with honors in Electrical & Computer Engineering, an MBA with the highest distinction from Harvard Business School, where he was both a Baker Scholar and a Siebel Scholar, and a graduate certificate in Artificial Intelligence from Stanford University.
Mark McClain is co-founder and CEO at SailPoint. Mark brings to bear over 30 years of experience in the enterprise technology market. Under Mark’s direction for the past 12 years, SailPoint has grown from a venture-backed startup into a publicly traded leader (NYSE:SAIL) in the identity management software market. Mark directs and drives the overall vision and strategy for SailPoint, which is underpinned by his commitment and passion for building top-performing teams, creating a collaborative and innovative work environment, and focusing continuously on the needs of customers. Prior to SailPoint, Mark founded Waveset Technologies, which was ultimately acquired by Sun Microsystems, where he served as vice president of software marketing. Mark’s career also includes diverse experience in international sales and marketing with Hewlett- Packard and IBM/Tivoli Systems.
Mark Papermaster is Chief Technology Officer and Executive Vice President of Technology and Engineering at AMD and is responsible for corporate technical direction, product development including system-on-chip (SOC) methodology, microprocessor design, I/O and memory and advanced research. He led the re-design of engineering processes at AMD and the development of the award-winning “Zen” high-performance x86 CPU family, high-performance GPUs and the company’s modular design approach, Infinity Fabric. He also oversees Information Technology that delivers AMD’s compute infrastructure and services.
His more than 35 years of engineering experience includes significant leadership roles managing the development of a wide range of products, from microprocessors to mobile devices and high-performance servers. Before joining AMD in October 2011 as Chief Technology Officer and Senior Vice President, Papermaster was the leader of Cisco’s Silicon Engineering Group, the organization responsible for silicon strategy, architecture, and development for the company’s switching and routing businesses. He served as Apple Senior Vice President of Devices Hardware Engineering, where he was responsible for iPod and iPhone hardware development. He also held a number of senior leadership positions at IBM overseeing development of the company’s key microprocessor and server technologies.
Papermaster received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin and master’s degree from the University of Vermont, both in Electrical Engineering. He is a long-term member of the University of Texas Cockrell School of Engineering Advisory Board, Olin College Presidents Council and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Most recently, he was appointed to the CTO Forum Advisory Board, IEEE Industry Advisory Board, and most recently the Global Semiconductor Alliance Board of Directors.
Sarah Jones Simmer
Sarah Jones Simmer is an executive, investor, board member and C-level operator. In September 2021, she joined Found as CEO, with a mission to make evidence-based, sustainable weight care accessible for all. Found is quickly emerging as a leader with its innovative approach to weight loss by leveraging the best of modern medicine with personalized support.
Prior to Found, Sarah was an executive at Bumble, the women-first social networking app for four years. From 2017-2020, she was the Chief Operating Officer of the Bumble app, where she was responsible for core strategy, international growth, marketing initiatives, and business operations, as well as the expansion of Bumble’s rapidly growing team. Sarah also led the investment strategy for the Bumble Fund, Bumble's early-stage investing vehicle launched in 2018, focused on the next generation of women-led businesses.
Sarah has spoken at Dreamforce, SXSW, Techcrunch Disrupt, Traction, the Global Partnership for Education, and UN special sessions on topics ranging from venture investing to girls’ and women’s rights to the future of ethical business, and the challenges and opportunities of scaling rapid growth businesses. She has a Masters’ in Public Policy from Northwestern University. She used to run marathons and has completed an Ironman, but now spends her time outside of work raising two young daughters.
Martin Taylor joined Vista Equity Partners in 2006 and was the initial President of Vista Consulting Group. He sits on the Vista Flagship Funds’ Investment Committee and is responsible for driving the transformation and operational improvements of the Vista Flagship Funds’ portfolio. Mr. Taylor serves as a member of Vista’s Private Equity Management Committee, the firm’s governing and decision-making body for the overall management of Vista’s private equity platform. Mr. Taylor is also active in portfolio executive development. He currently serves on the multiple public and private boards and has served on over 50 boards over the last 15 years.
In addition, Mr. Taylor is the President of OneVista, responsible for leading the OneVista executive strategy across strategic clients, portfolio companies, partners, and the external directors program.
Prior to joining Vista, Mr. Taylor spent over 13 years at Microsoft. During his tenure at Microsoft, he managed corporate strategy, sales, product marketing and various segment focused teams in North America and Latin America. Mr. Taylor also served as Chief of Staff and Director of Business Strategy, working directly for Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer, whom he assisted with strategic projects and long-term planning for the corporation.