Mentors

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.

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.

Eric Gallegos, Business Development at inDinero

EricEric Gallegos just joined Founders Space as a mentor and advisor.

Eric is inDinero’s biz dev manager based out of San Francisco, California. Equipped with an accounting degree from the University of Southern California’s Leventhal School of Accounting, Eric has started two companies and assisted with the formation of two others.

Eric’s experience spans across a broad array of industries–from international accounting, with Ernst & Young, LLP in Saudi Arabia, to film production & distribution on an independent film Bite Size.

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.

Dan Hussain, Inventor, Entrepreneur & Patent Agent

DaniarDan Hussain has joined Founders Space as one of our mentors. He is an inventor, entrepreneur and patent agent who comes from a diverse, multicultural background which has inspired his creativity to attack world-wide problems like climate change and global healthcare. Dan’s educational background spans multiple institutions, including studies at MIT (electrical engineering, biomedical engineering, and computer science), Harvard (law and philosophy), and the University of Cambridge U.K. (theoretical geophysics).

Joe Boyle, Startup Veteran in Network Software & Security, Virtual Reality

JoeJoe Boyle has joined Founders Space as a Mentor. He has been designing and building production infrastructure and product solutions in startups since 1997. After cutting his teeth with real-time process control systems, in 2001 Joe began to specialize in computer security.

With nCircle Network Security, Joe built and deployed several network security solutions including intrusion detection systems, upgrade management systems, and a risk assessment system. In 2009 Joe moved into the hardware security space where he designed and deployed a software management system for Cryptography Research’s anti-counterfeiting solutions, providing a secure key delivery mechanism to manufacturing sites around the world.

Sylvester Kaczmarek, Entrepreneur

sylwester_kaczmarek_200x211_circleSylvester Kaczmarek is an award-winning entrepreneur and product manager with over 16 years of international, quality-driven IT industry experience.

His expertise in business strategy, operations, and product strategy has brought leadership and financial growth to companies such as Viacom, GREE, Disney, Nickelodeon, BBC, and many more. He has worked with brands such as Marvel, The Godfather, Pacific Rim, Rolling Stone Mag, Prada, and celebrities.

Andrew Romans, General Partner of Rubicon Venture Capital

Andrew Romans is the co-founder and General Partner of Rubicon Venture Capital, an early stage VC fund with offices in San Francisco and New York City. He is the author of Masters of Corporate Venture Capital and The Entrepreneurial Bible to Venture Capital: Inside Secrets from the Leaders in the Startup Game.

Leisl Schrader, CEO of Remix Design

Leisl Schrader portraitLeisl Schrader is a creative entrepreneur with a passion for Agile, branding, design, and the Web. She is a constant innovator, an enthusiastic public speaker, and a respected leader. As the CEO of Remix Design, Leisl and her team help entrepreneurs launch their brands quickly and cost-effectively. Before going into business, she worked as a Senior UI Engineer and has extensive experience as a graphic designer, front-end UI Web developer, and art director. Leisl earned her bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design from the School of Visual Arts in 2007.