Mentors

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.

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, Entrepreneur, Advisor & Growth/Partnership Specialist

WAL Jake Kuczeruk 150x150Jake is an SF-based entrepreneur, advisor, and growth/partnerships specialist who serves in dual roles as the Director of Partnerships for both Dispatch Labs (enterprise-focused blockchain protocol) & The Bureau (blockchain advisory, accelerator, and fund). Formerly, Jake spearheaded the growth efforts of WeTrust, MegaBots, West Agile Labs, and two 500 Startups Accelerator companies (Tie Society and Console.FM).

Will Wang, Founders Space Innovation Partner

Will Wang Director of Innovation

Will Wang
Corporate Innovation

Founders Space Innovation Program Partner & CEO of Golden Sailing International Business Investment Management Co., Ltd.

• One-stop innovation platform for businesses, which empowers business leaders to innovate with freedom, creativity and agility as Silicon Valley startups


Previous Work History

BestBuy General Manger Training/Customer Solution Manager

• BestBuy Retail Strategies
– Sales strategy
– Service strategy
– Product/Merchandising strategy
– Pricing strategy
– Brand strategy

Carley Jacobson, Strategy Designer

Carley150x150Carley Jacobson joined Founders Space as a mentor. She is a Strategy Designer at Business Models Inc. Through Business Models Inc she supports organizations with strategy, business model generation and validation, and value proposition design.

For 6 years prior, Carley helped grow Autodesk’s maker community Instructables. With over 115 do-it-yourself tutorials, Carley has gained over 13 million page-views and recognition from major publications such as The Huffington Post, GQ Magazine, Popular Mechanics, and more. She uses her experience in online community building, hackathons, content creation, and customer development to build new innovative strategies.

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.

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.

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.

Jacquelynne Suguitan, Technology Consultant for TriNet

PhotoJacquelynne Suguitan just joined Founders Space as a mentor and advisor.

Jacquelynne is a consultant for TriNet where her primary focus is advising technology clients on controlling their burn rate, decreasing operating expenses, and on hiring and retaining top talent.

Previous to TriNet, she worked closely with CPAs and accountants helping bootstrap startups to Series A companies ranging from international subsidiaries, manufacturing, VA/VR, biotech, SaaS, to dating apps. She’s a SF native and spends her free time volunteering by teaching Zumba at senior community centers.

Don Daglow, CEO of Daglow Entertainment

Don-Daglow 150x150Don Daglow is a pioneering game designer, executive and 2008 Technical Emmy® Award recipient whose career spans the history of the video games industry.

A three-time Inc. 500™ CEO, Don’s teams have shipped over $1 billion in software products. He advises a diverse mix of global clients, from small mobile game and app startups to large international publishers.

He also serves as an Advisor at the Founders Space Accelerator in San Francisco, and as the founding President of the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences Foundation, the charitable wing of the Academy.