CARTA INNOVATORS SUMMIT

Speaker bios

Learn more about the speakers at the 2024 Carta Innovators Summit.

Alexa von Tobel

Founding Partner, Inspired Capital

Alexa von Tobel

Alexa is the founder and managing partner of Inspired Capital, a $500M+ early-stage venture capital firm.

Prior to Inspired Capital, Alexa founded LearnVest in 2008 with the goal of helping people make progress on their money. After raising nearly $75 million in venture capital, LearnVest was acquired by Northwestern Mutual in May 2015 in one of the biggest fintech acquisitions of the decade. Following the acquisition, von Tobel joined the management team of Northwestern Mutual as the company’s first-ever Chief Digital Officer. She later assumed the role of Chief Innovation Officer through which she oversaw Northwestern Mutual’s venture arm.

Allison Murray

Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, Acuicy

Allison Murray

Allison Murray is the Co-founder and CEO of Acuicy, an AI-powered business intelligence platform that helps to decarbonize supply chains by incentivizing suppliers with tailored data and insights to help them select the right low-carbon options for their business along with the financial ROI.

Allison is an award-winning global sustainability leader with over 20 years of experience building and scaling sustainable business strategies for some of the world's largest companies, including DHL, T-Mobile and Vodafone in the UK and Australia. She is a 2x founder and successfully grew her first business, Upswing Solutions into a national consulting firm supporting some of Canada’s largest brands and government agencies to embed sustainability into strategy and operations, supporting the transition to the clean economy.

Ben Challgren

Principal, Top Tier Capital Partners

Ben Challgren

Ben Challgren is a Principal on the Investment Team at Top Tier Capital Partners (Top Tier), where he is focused on due diligence, monitoring and data analytics for Fund investments. He also advises a large U.S. state pension plan on their Venture Capital and Growth investments. Ben joined Top Tier as a part of the 2016 Analyst Program. Before joining Top Tier, Ben was an intern with Ernst & Young and Hillenbrand, Inc.

Bora Kim

Portfolio Manager - Private Equity and Venture Capital, ICONIQ Capital

Bora Kim

Bora Kim is the Portfolio Manager for the Private Equity and Venture Capital funds programs at ICONIQ Capital, and has over 10 years of experience in manager selection and co-investing. She was previously at Perella Weinberg Partners, investing on behalf of a strategic investor of the firm across asset classes, but mostly into venture capital and private equity asset classes. Prior to that, she was part of Grosvenor Capital Management's Private Markets team, underwriting private equity funds, co-investments, and secondaries.

Camille Ricketts

Marketing Partner, Emergence Capital

Camille Ricketts

Camille Ricketts is the Operating Partner focused on marketing and communications at Emergence Capital, the B2B investor in Zoom, Box, and Ironclad. Prior, she was the first marketing hire at Notion, where she helped build out the team and global community, and founded First Round Review, the publication showcasing operator advice, for First Round Capital. She started her career as a reporter at The Wall Street Journal, and has her BA in History from Stanford.

Chante Harris

Founder and Managing Partner, Climate Stealth Platform

Chante Harris

Chante Harris is a champion of social and financial innovation. Throughout her career, she has successfully scaled nationwide campaigns, technologies, and ideas for the Obama Administration, Fortune 500 companies, and startups. Her writing and work have been featured by ImpactAlpha, Business Insider and The Milken Institute.

As an operator, she secured and deployed millions of dollars for the implementation of climate projects and energy-efficient technologies. In 2020 she built a $10 million early stage climate tech venture studio in the U.S. focused on global companies deploying technologies across mobility, buildings, agriculture, waste, water, materials, and carbon. After her time as a climate tech strategist with Schmidt Futures she founded a derisk-as-a-service studio and investment platform addressing the multibillion dollar funding gap for deep tech climate technologies at the critical early infrastructure project stage.

Named by Forbes as a 30 Under 30 in the Energy Category, Nasdaq as a Woman to Watch in 2022, ACEEE as a Champion for Energy Efficiency, GreenBiz as 30 Under 30 Leader, and Women Enews as a Pioneering Woman in Sustainability, Chante is at the helm of driving climate innovation and advancing the energy transition across the globe.

Chante was appointed to the advisory committee for the first-ever global Climate Center being built on Governor's Island in New York City.

David Hughson

Chief Revenue Officer, Remofirst

David Hughson

David Hughson is Chief Revenue Officer at Remofirst, one of the fastest growing startups in the HR tech industry. In his role at Remofirst David leads sales, marketing, partnerships and customer success. Remofirst provides a platform to help companies employ talent in 160+ countries around the world. David joined as one of Remofirst’s first 10 employees and the only sales hire 2 years ago. Remofirst is now a team of 70+ and scaling and they have raised over $14M in the largest seed round in their industry. Prior to Remofirst David was the National Vice President of Sales, at TriNet, leading a team of 200+ sales people focused on payroll, benefits and HR technology for innovative small and medium size employers. Before TriNet David was an early employee at Globalization Partners, at the time, one of the top 10 fastest growing companies in the US on the Inc 5000 list and GP has since grown to over $4BN in enterprise value. David is an LP in the GTMFund, GTMfund is an early-stage VC fund focused on investing in the most exciting, up-and-coming B2B SaaS companies. For more than 15 years, David has been focused on helping technology businesses to scale and grow globally. David is a graduate of the University of Connecticut, and lives in Boston.

Dwayne Caldwell

Founder and CEO, Enspi Technologies Inc.

Dwayne Caldwell

Dwayne is a serial entrepreneur with over 10 years of experience in the renewable energy sector. Dwayne has both failed and succeeded in multiple companies, each one focused on making a positive impact on society and the environment with extensive expertise in solar energy, having designed and installed systems in several states. Dwayne is a champion for diversity and inclusion, both within Dwayne’s companies and in the broader community. Dwayne diligently works to create an inclusive culture that fosters collaboration, innovation, and empowerment. Dwayne is  a veteran, a leader, and a learner, who is always looking to the future and making a difference in the world.

Edward Norton

Founder and Chief Strategy Officer, Zeck

Edward Norton

Edward Norton is one of the most celebrated actors of his generation. He has starred in over 50 films, produced 13, written 5 and directed 2.  He has been nominated for three Academy Awards, 3 Screen Actors Guild Awards, 2 BAFTAs, 2 Golden Globes and has won the Golden Globe, an Emmy, an Obie and numerous other awards for his performances and productions.

Norton has a substantial parallel career as a serial entrepreneur, investor and activist in both environmental sustainability and technology ventures. Norton is the founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Zeck, a business software company offering a subscription cloud-based board governance and presentation platform. Norton also recently co-founded Conservation Equity, and Stax Engineering, a company providing emission capture as a service to shipping companies in California ports.

Norton currently serves as the United Nations Ambassador for Biodiversity and for nearly 20 years he has served as the Board chair of the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust, an organization he helped create.

Previously, Norton co-founded the water treatment technology company Baswood Technologies, which was acquired by Cambrian Innovations. He co-founded CrowdRise, a charitable crowdfunding platform and fundraising software platform that merged with GoFundMe. And Norton also co-founded EDO, a company applying advanced data science and machine learning to the development of highly innovative audience measurement signals for the media and advertising industries.

Erica Dorfman

Head of Global Financial Products, Brex

Erica Dorfman

Erica Dorfman is the Head of Global Financial Products at Brex, the AI-powered global corporate spend platform with cards, expense management, payments, and travel, all in one place. In her role, Erica oversees the design, development, and launch of new and existing products that empower businesses to manage their cash flow and spending. Erica also currently serves as an LP at Operator Collective, a venture fund that invests in and supports the next generation of enterprise tech.

Prior to Brex, Erica held executive roles at Tally Technologies (Head of Finance & Operations) and SoFi (VP of Capital Markets), where she was responsible for fundraising and scaling the capital markets, finance, and operations teams.

Haley Bryant

Principal, Hustle Fund

Haley Bryant

Haley is a pre-seed investor at Hustle Fund. After graduating from the University of Virginia, Haley led teams at Apple retail. Apple’s small business program led her to startup customer success leadership roles at I Done This (acquired), Brazen, and b2b SaaS content marketing agency Animalz where she became COO and started angel investing in founders from and/or supporting underserved communities. Haley broke into VC by growing Hustle Fund’s Angel Squad community, on a mission to democratize access to wealth creation through startups for the next 10,000 angel investors.

Henry Ward

Chief Executive Officer, Carta

Henry Ward

Henry Ward is the CEO and co-founder of Carta. The company is trusted by more than 40,000 companies, over 7,000 investment funds and SPVs, and over two billion equity holders to manage cap tables, compensation, valuations, liquidity, and more. Carta’s liquidity solutions have returned $15B to shareholders in secondary transactions. The company has been included on the Forbes World’s Best Cloud Companies, Fast Company’s Most Innovative list, and Inc.’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies.

Prior to Carta, Henry was founder and CEO of Secondsight, a portfolio optimization platform for retail investors. He also held leadership positions at software companies including Reddwerks Inc. and BetweenMarkets.

Henry graduated from University of Michigan with a BGS in Mathematics and Computer Science and holds a MSC in Market Finance from EDHEC Business School.

Himalaya Rao

Managing Director, The BFM Fund

Himalaya Rao

Himalaya Rao is one of the Managing Directors and General Partners of The BFM Fund, a seed-stage fund focused on highly scalable Black and diverse-led deal flow across industries, within the United States. Prior to becoming a GP, Himalaya got an MBA and specialized training in Venture Finance and worked in seven different firms as an Associate, Deal Lead, and eventually Fund Manager.

She is also currently the co-Executive Director of Venture Partners, a non-profit aimed at training people at the intersection of race, class, and gender- and helping them break into VC to facilitate more representative decision makers. This non-profit was launched in partnership with VertueLab and NVCA’s Venture Forward/VC University with their most recent cohort going through a partnership with San Jose State University.

Through her work in creating equity within venture capital, she has been recognized as one of the Rising Stars in Venture Capital by the NVCA/Venture Forward, a Forty under 40 recipient by the Portland Business Journal, a VCI Fellow, and a Recast Fellow. As a national leader in demographic-based investing, she was invited by Senator Wyden to present expert witness testimony in front of the United State Senate Finance Committee on her work with BIPOC founders.

Himalaya has a passion for expanding accessibility of entrepreneurship to BIPOC and rural communities as a pathway for economic development and generational wealth building.

Jane Alexander

Partner, CapitalG

Jane Alexander

Jane is an investment partner at CapitalG focusing on enterprise software, bringing with her deep operating experience gained over a decade and a half in go-to-market roles. Immediately prior to joining CapitalG, Jane was the Chief Marketing Officer at Carta where she led Marketing, Business Development, and Government Affairs, and before that was chief of staff to the CEO. Prior to joining CapitalG, Jane attended business school at Stanford, worked with the investment team at Accel, and spent 5 years in various sales and sales leadership roles.

Jennifer Chao

Chief Technology Officer, Pinwheel

Jennifer Chao

Jennifer joined Pinwheel in 2023 as Chief Technology Officer to lead the engineering team in an effort to build a fairer financial system. Prior to Pinwheel, she was at Redfin, a publicly traded company that uses technology to make real estate more accessible and affordable for everyone. She joined Redfin as a software engineer before eventually making her way onto the executive team as VP of Engineering. Before Redfin, she was a software engineer at BEA Systems and Plumtree Software. Jennifer graduated from Stanford University with a degree in computer science.

Jessica Peltz-Zatulove

Founding Partner, Hannah Grey

Jessica Peltz-Zatulove

Jessica Peltz-Zatulove is a Founding Partner at Hannah Grey, an early stage venture capital fund investing in visionary founders redefining everyday experiences. Prior to founding Hannah Grey, Jessica was the Senior Managing Partner at MDC Ventures, the corporate VC fund of Stagwell Group (formerly MDC Partners). She’s a known thought leader and was recognized on the Global Corporate VC PowerList for top CVC fund managers in 2019 and 2020. Jessica has led investments in Subject, August, Floor, Catch & Release, Upstream, Lively (acquired by Wacoal), Mezzobit (acquired by OpenX), Gradient.io (acquired by Criteo), Netomi, Veritonic, Bennie, Alleyoop, among others.

Before transitioning to VC, Jessica specialized in connecting marketers with emerging tech and spent 10+ years as an operator working with brands including Verizon, Kraft, PUMA, 20th Century Fox, Jim Beam Brands, H&M, and others. She was the second employee at innovation consultancy Evol8tion, where she was instrumental in scaling the business while helping startups secure their first customers through brand partnerships. Her deep understanding of the intersection between customer needs, branding, and technology has enabled her to guide countless startups on positioning and commercializing their business effectively.

Kimmy Paluch

Managing Partner, Beta Boom

Kimmy Paluch

Kimmy Paluch is the founder and Managing Partner of Beta Boom, an early-stage venture fund that invests in software companies that are building the future for women and multicultural consumers in the U.S. Prior to Beta Boom, Kimmy founded and ran a Silicon Valley innovation firm for twelve years and currently sits on the boards of Intermountain Healthcare and Utah Governor's Office of Economic Opportunity. She’s been named one of VC Journal Women of Influence and Business Insider’s 37 Black investors changing the VC industry. Kimmy earned her B.A. in Computer Science from Dartmouth College and MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management.

La Keisha Landrum Pierre

Co-founder and General Partner, Emmeline Ventures

La Keisha Landrum Pierre

La Keisha Landrum Pierre is the Co-Founder and General Partner at Emmeline Ventures, an early-stage VC fund, where she invests in healthcare, financial services, and sustainability solutions built by female founders/women entrepreneurs.

Prior to Emmeline Ventures, La Keisha was the Managing Director of NLA Ventures, an early-stage fund where she also invested in healthcare, sustainability, and cybersecurity. Prior to NLA Ventures, La Keisha built a career working at the intersection of tech, impact, and digital media.

As the CEO of one of Nigeria's largest digital media start-ups, Sahara Reporters Media Group, La Keisha built and scaled the first civic media platform of its kind. With venture backing for an African company when Africa was an overlooked market, she grew the company from 2MM to 50MM monthly users, positioning it for investment by impact funds, and raising millions in funding.

She partnered with the Omidyar Network, MacArthur, Google, and Bloomberg Philanthropies to found the first-of-its-kind Civic Media Lab, Lagos with support from the MIT Center for Civic Media. There, she was the Executive Director and today sits on the board of the Civic Media Lab, Nigeria. She is also now the Chairwoman of Sahara Reporters.

La Keisha is a 3x founder of Harvard Innovation Lab incubated start-ups and was a deep-tech researcher at the Youth and Media Group at Harvard Law School’s Berkman Klein Center where she studied the intersection of digital and media literacies for youth.

Lisa Cawley

Managing Director, Screendoor

Lisa Cawley

Lisa Cawley is the Managing Director of Screendoor, an investment platform that invests as an LP of GPs to support new managers raising their early institutional funds. We back new faces in VC because we believe that’s where alpha exists - outside of today’s firms, networks, and boundaries. At Screendoor, we play an active role in helping managers build their firms with a meaningful capital commitment and curated mentorship from established GPs who have all built their own firms and can assist new managers with the unique challenges that come along with firm-building. We also intentionally facilitate relationships with our institutional partners and our portfolio GPs so they have early visibility into the next generation of leading firms as they scale. Prior to Screendoor, Lisa worked with a private multi-billion-dollar global investment firm where she was involved in all aspects of managing the firm’s private market portfolio, including sourcing and manager due diligence, asset allocation and forecasting, and creating and implementing the firm’s investment data tools and analytics. Lisa started her career at Ernst & Young, & earned an MBA, MSF, and BBA from Loyola University Maryland. She is a CFA Charterholder and holds a CPA.

Lisha Bell

Economic Opportunity Fund Manager, PayPal Ventures

Lisha Bell

Lisha brings over 20 years of demonstrated technology innovation focused on digital money movement solutions. Her career has focused on building and investing in products that serve community needs to bridge the capital divide. Lisha is currently at PayPal Ventures, where she leads the Economic Opportunity Fund, the 100M investment into diverse emerging fund managers. Prior roles with PayPal, she led Product for the Financially Underserved Segment and Pay with Venmo product. Prior to Paypal, she worked at Wells Fargo, Kohl’s, Feedzai in various payments related roles, where she built the earliest digital financial products like online banking, bill pay, and digital wallets.

Lisha Bell is cofounder of BLXVC, an angel syndicate of moms funding Black and Brown founders. She is the host of the Sisters with Ventures Podcast that aims to tell the stories of women in VC. Bell is also the prior deal flow lead for Pipeline Angels, an angel group of impact investors focused on women and femmes to build over 7M portfolio. Lisha also serves as board chair for Black Girl Ventures. She is a recognized employee resource group leader with over 20 years experience at fortune 500 companies. In her spare time she enjoys traveling, cooking, and dancing, all while balancing motherhood duties with her daughter. Lisha holds a BSc in Business Administration, Information Systems from USC ,as well as MBAs from UC Berkeley and Columbia Business Schools where she was recognized as the USC Widney Outstanding Alumna and 2013 Berkeley Columbia Distinguished Service Award recipient, respectively. She has been featured in Forbes, Huffpost, Bloomberg, Cheddar TV, and Black Enterprise.

Mads Johnsen

Former Chief Product Officer, Calm

Mads Johnsen

Mads Johnsen is the former Chief Product Officer at Calm, the leading digital health brand for mental fitness, meditation, and sleep. Mads joined Calm from Uber, where he led the B2B and Healthcare product portfolio. Prior to Uber, Mads led product strategy teams at LinkedIn and McKinsey, and began his career at Nokia.

Mads is a member of the byFounders collective, an early-stage venture fund actively investing in and supporting a new generation of globally ambitious Nordic and Baltic entrepreneurs.

Peter Walker

Head of Insights, Carta

Peter Walker

Peter Walker runs the Insights team at Carta, focused on illuminating the private market ecosystem. In a former life, he was the head of marketing for the media analytics company PublicRelay and in 2020 led the data visualization team at the Covid Tracking Project at The Atlantic. He and his wife recently welcomed their corgi puppy Penny into the family and are introducing her to every one of San Francisco's many parks.

Ranjeet Bhalerao

Chief Executive Officer, Mortar IO

Ranjeet Bhalerao

Ranjeet is a real estate sustainability and decarbonisation specialist. A two-time founder, he is Chartered engineer and has 17 years of work experience in real estate. He has worked on some of the most iconic buildings like the Battersea Power Station, Imperial college Campus, University College London Campus etc at notable firms like Arup, Buro Happold. He has also been an integral part of his family’s real estate business and holds a patent on solar thermal flux mapping.

Ranjeet is currently the CEO and co-founder of Mortar IO the Google maps for decarbonisation retrofits for existing buildings. Mortar IO offers an ongoing service for commercial landlords to plan, manage, and track decarbonization of their portfolios. He is a thought leader in real estate digitalisation and is working to rapidly accelerate decarbonisation within the industry.

He is a dynamic leader and enjoys delivering value for his customers. Ranjeet is very keen to understand customer problems and enjoys solving them in the most optimal and cost-effective way.

Rebecca Lynn

Co-Founder & General Partner, Canvas Ventures

Rebecca Lynn

Rebecca is a Co-Founder and General Partner at Canvas Ventures where she leads Series A and B investments in Healthtech, AI, and Fintech. Rebecca has been named to the Forbes Midas List five years running, a Woman to Watch: Senior Deal Maker by the Wall Street Journal, and a Top Woman VC by the New York Times. Rebecca's passion lies in working closely with early-stage founders, helping them refine their product market fit and expand their go-to-market strategy. Notable investments include Doximity (NYSE: DOCS), Luminar (NASDAQ: LAZR), Casetext (acquired by Thomson Reuters), Lending Club (NYSE: LC), Check (acq Intuit), Gabi (acquired by Experian), RelateIQ (acq Salesforce), FutureAdvisor (acq Blackrock) and Figure Eight (acq Appen).

Renata Aráuz-DeStefano

Investments Manager, Pivotal Ventures

Renata Aráuz-DeStefano

Renata has spent the past decade bridging the finance and social impact sectors, having held roles in microfinance, investment banking, social enterprises, and venture capital. Most recently, she served as a Project Manager for the New Capitalism Project, an initiative co-creating a strategy to guide philanthropic investment. Prior to that, she was an impact investor at Nairobi-based KawiSafi Ventures, where she invested in the clean energy space. She is currently an investor at Pivotal Ventures, a Melinda French Gates company.

A proud SEO and Toigo alumna of Ecuadorian descent, Renata is passionate about increasing access to capital for diverse GPs and founders and building a bench of future capital allocators who reflect the changing demographics of the US. She holds a BA in International Relations and French from Tufts University and an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Sean Mendy

Partner, Concrete Rose

Sean Mendy

Sean is Co-Founding Partner of Concrete Rose Capital, focused on capitalizing underrepresented founders, investing in companies serving underrepresented consumers, and helping early stage companies build diverse teams. He serves as an Advisor to Sixth Street Partners and Next Play Ventures, and on the board of Tipping Point Community and the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Peninsula. He is an Advisor to Mount Tamalpais College at San Quentin, the first independent accredited college operating within a US prison.

Seif Salama

Head of Product Marketing, Carta

Seif Salama

Seif leads the Product Marketing team at Carta. Prior to Carta he spent his career connecting people to products they love at Google, Zynga, Affirm, and AngelList Venture. In his free time, you can find him watching The Simpsons, running, or riding his bike.

Shubhi Nigam

Group Product Manager, Carta

Shubhi Nigam

Shubhi Nigam is the Group Product Manager leading cap table and early founder experiences at Carta inc. Prior to her role at Carta, she was the co-founder of Insight Browser (YCW19) and a product lead at Newgen Software Inc. Shubhi is passionate about taking products from zero to one, early stage customer acquisition tactics and continuous user discovery.

Stacy Brown-Philpot

Founder & Managing Partner, Cherryrock Capital

Stacy Brown-Philpot

Stacy Brown-Philpot is Founder & Managing Partner of Cherryrock Capital, an early stage venture firm focused on investing in Black and Latine entrepreneurs. She is the former CEO of TaskRabbit: the leading task management network, which she led to global success. Prior to that, Stacy spent over a decade as a key figure with Google and Google Ventures.

Stacy is a founding member of SoftBank’s $100mm Opportunity Fund. She is on the Board of Directors for HP Inc, Nordstrom, Noom, StockX, Joy, Black Girls Code, and The Urban Institute. Named a 2016 Henry Crown Fellow with the Aspen Institute, Stacy is also ranked by Business Insider as one of the 46 Most Important Blacks in Technology.

Originally from Detroit where her love of all things Motown was born, Stacy now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and two daughters. She holds a B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School of Business, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude, and an M.B.A. from Stanford University.

Vrushali Paunikar

Chief Product Officer, Carta

Vrushali Paunikar

Vrushali Paunikar is the Chief Product Officer at Carta where she leads the team that is responsible for developing new products and advancing existing solutions. Vrushali’s team delivers value to Carta’s more than 40,000 customers in the venture and startup ecosystem, and generates growth for the overall business.