Mentors

Todd Murtha, Legal and Business Advisor

Todd Murtha is a mentor at Founders Space. Todd is an attorney at DJL Corporate Law and founder of Careerwave, a technology and AI-driven leadership development and coaching company.

Todd advises technology companies as outside general counsel and business advisor on a full range of legal and business issues, including formation, financing, M&A, commercial arrangements, strategy and operations. Careerwave provides scalable, broad-based management, leadership, and diversity and inclusion coaching programs to mid-size and large companies.

David Barron, Investor, Startup Mentor, Tech Evangelist

David Barron 150x150David Barron is a mentor at Founders Space and has been working on technology commercialization efforts within large companies and startups for more than three decades. He advises startups, investment groups and corporate innovation groups on a variety of matters including alternative use case and Go To Market strategies, due diligence assessments and strategic partnerships.

Jeff Faust, CVA, Director of Valuation Services at ASL

Jeff Faust 150Jeff Faust joined Founders Space as a mentor. Jeff is a Certified Valuation Analyst and the Director of Valuation Services at ASL and is a part of the Emerging Business Group and Technology Group.

He has 20 years of experience in the valuation of privately held companies for various purposes: stock options grants (IRC § 409A), Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs), estate/gift, fundraising, mergers/acquisitions, and more.

Liz Skalla, Builder of Brands

Liz Skalla 150x150Liz Skalla joined Founders Space as a mentor. Liz enjoys building and growing brands – brands with a purpose that help people and/or the world. Liz has fortune 50 experience, is a past AMA board member and has a masters degree in Marketing Strategy and Management. She has started companies from the ground up, raised venture capital, mentored, advised, held board seats, build boards, and sold her first startup to a competitor. She is currently consulting growing companies and is part of the GIVN Goods team that makes it easy for consumers to make an impact on the world while buying everyday products.

Jean Lombard, Technology PR Expert

Jean Lombard 150x150Jean Lombard joined Founders Space as a mentor. Jean is an award-winning technology PR professional with more than 25 years of high tech PR experience earned in global PR agencies operating in New York, London and San Francisco.

After working within global PR agencies for 10 years, Jean established The Jean Effect, a PR, social media and marketing communications consultancy which she has operated for more than 10 years.

Jean-Philippe Emelie Marcos, Co-Founder & CEO of SignifAI

Jean-Philippe 150x150Jean-Philippe Emelie Marcos joined Founders Space as a mentor. JP is the Co-Founder and CEO of SignifAI (https://signifai.io/), a VC-backed company that leverages machine intelligence to increase system availability and performance.

Prior to founding SignifAI, he was one of the initial angel investors in and served for 5+ years as the Chief Operating Officer at Tango, a leading global mobile consumer application that went from 0 to 400M registered users during his tenure. JP was also a Silicon Valley early stage investor for 7 years. JP’s career spans 20+ years leading teams in technology start-ups and large companies as founder / entrepreneur / CEO / VC and general manager.

Pramod Dabir, Serial Entrepreneur & Investor

Pramod DabirPramod Dabir joined Founders Space as a mentor. After graduating with an EE degree from the University of Illinois, Pramod joined the Goldman Sachs Investment Banking Group in San Francisco. Chasing his interests in investing, Pramod later transitioned to venture capital at TA Associates where he focused on internet and software investing.

Jake Kuczeruk, VP of Biz Dev at West Agile Labs

WAL Jake Kuczeruk 150x150Jake Kuczeruk joined Founders Space as a mentor. He is the VP of Business Development for West Agile Labs, a digital product agency whose clients include Samsung, Ritz-Carlton, and FundersClub.

Previously, Jake founded the popular subscription menswear service Tie Society, which graduated from 500 Startups and expanded into Japanese markets in late 2014, CoFounded ECommerce startup FutureGift in 2015, and was part of the core team at Console.fm, another 500 Startups batch company which helped drive the emergence of digital streaming music applications in mid-2011.

Alessandro Zago, MBA, Ph.D., New Ventures & Innovation

Alessandro2016-150x150Alessandro Zago has been helping startups at Founders Space as a mentor since 2014. With 16+ years of extensive international and executive experience with strong emphasis on Silicon Valley-Asia cross-border business of new technology and innovation, he has a lot to offer.

Over the years he has gained deep and broad experience in managing innovation and commercializing next-gen technology covering roles such as managing director in Corporate VC and VC, business leader in tech-based startups, innovation and business development executive in large corporations, advisor and mentor in technology accelerators. Having served at Japanese, Korean, US and German technology companies closing partnerships and complex deals worldwide, he has gained strong global and cross-cultural management experience.

Lisa Ma, Product Go-To-Market

Lisa Ma smallLisa Ma joined Founders Space as a mentor. She is Senior Director of Global Programs at LivePerson, and drives customer acquisition, product usage and revenue growth through implementation of programs and messaging products to enable brands to engage with consumers via live chat, SMS or mobile messaging.

With years of experience at Deloitte Consulting, Citigroup, Yahoo! and LivePerson, Lisa is focused on helping companies to deliver global software products, plan product go-to-market, and build customer experience programs to drive usage and adoption. She can help startups on strategy & execution, product/pitch messaging, business & roadmap planning, product go-to-market, and voice of the customer insights.

Shauna Jin, Experience Researcher and Designer

Shauna Jin smallShauna is with Sutherland Labs, and she also mentors Founders Space startups.

She is a curious designer, thinker, and doer.

She has a PhD in Sustainable Design and a background in design and engineering. She has worked as a researcher, designer, and strategy consultant for startups and non-profits in Western Europe, the U.S., and SE Asia.

Lauren Nham, Innovation Product Manager

Lauren Nham smallLauren is with Sutherland Labs, and she also mentors Founders Space startups.

She brings the world of ideas and reality together.

Over the past 10 years, she launched growth and design-driven products for startups and enterprise clients.

She specializes in product discovery and development, leveraging design thinking jobs-to-be-done, and agile and lean startup methodologies. Prior to Joining Sutherland Labs, she worked in management consulting and banking.

Tom Byun, Revenue Growth & Retention Leader

Tom Byun 2016 smallTom Byun is a mentor at Founders Space and recently was GM and SVP of the Global Small Business division of LivePerson.

LivePerson helps businesses strengthen sales and customer support via messaging solutions (chat, SMS, messaging). He oversaw all programs for acquisition, retention and growth of small and mid-sized business customers across US, EMEA, and APAC.

Prior to LivePerson, Tom was VP and GM of Yahoo! Small Business, where he focused on serving SMBs to grow and manage their business online via hosting, e-commerce, marketing solutions and other offerings.

Johnson Hor, Mentor, Connector & Adviser

Johnson Hor small 2016Johnson Hor has been involved with Founders Space since 2010 as a mentor, connector, and adviser.

Johnson is the founder and Director of Something at Shoebox Ventures – a 501c3 charitable nonprofit enabling people, organizations, and community programs to excel. Like everyone else, he has worked in various capacities for various industries including, but notwithstanding, automotive, nonprofit, petroleum, textiles, finance, law, health, telemedicine, technology, and telecommunications.

Ryan Shaening Pokrasso, Cofounder of SPZ Legal

2015-09-15 Ryan smallRyan Shaening Pokrasso is a mentor at Founders Space and a founding attorney at SPZ Legal, an Oakland, CA business law firm founded on the belief that business should be a powerful tool for social change and environmental stewardship.

Ryan advises startups and non-profits as outside general counsel on a variety of matters, including: incorporation, employment, financing, intellectual property, regulatory compliance and land use, and custom contracts.

Hash Zahed, Cofounder of SPZ Legal

2015-09-15 Hash smallHash Zahed is a mentor at Founders Space and a founding attorney at SPZ Legal, an Oakland, CA business law firm founded on the belief that business should be a powerful tool for social change and environmental stewardship.

Hash advises startups and non-profits as outside general counsel on a variety of matters, including: incorporation, employment, financing, intellectual property, and custom contracts.

Hash received his J.D. and B.A. from UC Berkeley. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling, being active, and rooting for his SF Giants, Golden State Warriors, and Cal Golden Bears.

Howard Lim, Business and Branding Expert

Howard Lim 150x150Howard Lim is a mentor at Founders Space. As founder of HOW Creative, Howard has been building business and brands for nearly three decades. His passion is helping organizations transform products and services into rich brand experiences that motivate and inspire consumers achieve their aspirations.

Howard has shepherded the brands of emerging, leading and Fortune 100 companies such as Apple, Disney, DreamWorks, Honda, Xerox, Namco, HBO, Mattel, Oracle adding billions of dollars to clients’ profits, brand value and equity.

Umesh Ghodke, Business Strategy & Product Innovation

Umesh Umesh was introduced to Founders Space and has, ever since, enjoyed mentoring startups from an early stage. With experiences in a wide range of industries, he helps provide unique market perspectives as well as technology insights. He enjoys working with people.

With a masters in Robotics and Automation, and a long career in Research & Development, he started looking for opportunities to help and grow small companies. Since then, he has helped several startups in the Bay Area quickly grow into large organizations, breaking down barriers and identifying new business opportunities. He enjoys pushing the envelope in unique ways.

Evert Zelaya, Confidence & Self-Esteem Coach

EvertEvert Zelaya joined Founders Space as a Mentor and Advisor.

Evert is on a mission to help people achieve greater confidence. Through his coaching sessions and workshop’s engaging discussions and exercises, attendees gain insight and actionable tips on confidence.

Evert has been leading workshops on confidence and self-esteem for the better part of a decade and has spoken in front of 100,000 people. He has worked as a coach for UnCollege: An educational startup based in San Francisco. Evert has also worked at academic research organizations such as The Institute for Scientific Analysis and The Public Research Institute focusing on social and cognitive research.

Ed Roman, Venture Investor

edEd Roman is now working closely with Founders Space.

He recently sold his startup HackHands to Pluralsight. HackHands accelerates developer productivity via mentoring.

Ed is the founder of hack.summit(), the largest programmer conference (and the largest virtual conference) in history. He also founded the hack.pledge() movement.

Ed leads a syndicate of 100+ investors on AngelList and runs an Open Source syndicate as well.

Prior to this, he was founder & CEO of Ghostfire Games.