We are excited and honored to announce the talented members of Cohort 7, who will work with us to identify and support founders building the next generation of startups.
We started the Venture Scout program in 2020 with the goal of helping aspiring angel investors learn more about early-stage investing and becoming an active participant in the VC community. . After successfully onboarding six cohorts of our Venture Scouts, we know that there is massive demand among emerging angel investors and young professionals to learn the “behind the scenes” of venture capital, to build their own portfolio of investments, and to help founders beyond sourcing capital. To meet this demand, for each cohort we hold a series of in-depth discussions and educational sessions. The topics covered include deal sourcing, evaluating startups and markets, partnering with early-stage founders, and Grishin Robotics’ investment framework.
Our Venture Scouts link us with emerging founding teams that they encounter in the entrepreneurial community. Many of our Venture Scouts are past, present, or future founders – we learn a lot from them and value their input both at the stage of investment and during the ongoing startup journey. Our Venture Scouts, together with our team of Senior Advisors, form strong bonds with both entrepreneurs and other VC investors.
If you are interested in the program, please apply for the 8th cohort here.
Remember these names and reach out to them if you are raising or need advice:
Ilya Levyant VC at Azuro Capital. Ilya got into VC when one of his close friends and colleagues from Morgan Stanley founded a BNPL in Mexico, where he was an angel investor. Since then they raised $50m+ from leading global VCs. Spent the last couple of years working closely with a family office and a venture boutique in New York. Currently running a small VC fund focused on fintech, consumer and enterprise SaaS verticals.itiatives through venture investments and M&A.
Roshan Srinivasan Product at Roblox. Roshane is a product manager at Roblox and formerly co-founded a company in the inventory management space out of college. He loves exploring different topics in e-commerce, blockchain/Web3, and gaming. Outside exploring new startup ideas and investing, you can find him drinking lots of coffee and surfing whenever he gets free time.
Delara Mohtasham Founder & Hardware Consultant. Delara is the founder of a stealth startup focused on closing the gender health gap through wellness tracking for women. She also does hardware and product development consulting on the side. Previously she worked at Apple where she was building new health products and iPhone hardware. Before industry, she was in graduate school at Stanford and MIT building mechanical grippers for industrial robots.
James ValadezVenture Capital at Beta Boom. James is an operator with people management and process improvement experience currently focused on investing in pre-seed companies within the fintech, digital health and consumer SaaS verticals for Beta Boom, a Salt Lake City and Chicago based fund. In the last two years he has coached over 200 pre-seed founders to develop and refine their pitches for competitions and initial investor meetings. He has previously helped to grow two startups from pre-seed to Series A.
Varun Athreya Sr Product Manager at Palo Alto Networks. Varun Athreya is a Sr. Product Manager on the Access team at Palo Alto Networks, where he’s focused on driving product strategy, and GTM acceleration for Palo Alto Networks’ Access offerings. Previously, Varun was a Platform PM in OneTrust helping drive Integrations, Identity, Customer Engagement capabilities to better position SaaS Privacy solution to mid-large enterprises. Prior to that, Varun collaborated with Director of Product at Nuvizz in bringing to life 0-1 initiative in the Gig Economy space.
Kunal Dharmadhikari Product Manager at Yahoo. Kunal is a Product Manager at Yahoo, where he focuses on building Ad Products for the targeting and identity organization. Before being a PM, Kunal completed his undergrad in Bioengineering from UMD and worked as a tech consultant in the public sector. Kunal loves following and playing soccer, reading, and exploring NYC in his free time.
Vishal MotwaniPrincipal Product Manager at UiPath. Vishal is a geek and Principal PM building a high growth sustainable business at UiPath by leveraging all the advancements in Machine Learning, NLP, Compute Vision and more. He actively contributes to fun side projects for himself and for Non Profit Organizations. He enjoys sharing his learnings and experiences at tech talks and conferences.
Isabella Teng Product Manager at Intuit. Isabella is currently a Product Manager at Intuit working on data platform capabilities. Prior to Intuit, she studied Computer Science at Yale where she transitioned from software engineering into product. She is originally from San Jose, California and now lives in New York City. Outside of work, she loves to explore new spots to snap on her film camera, visit museums, and paint.
Prashant Arya Sr. Product Manager at Visa. Prashant is a Senior Product Manager at Visa. He leads the global User Experience team for Visa Installments. He has a background in management consulting from Deloitte. He has extensive experience in developing products from scratch. On a typical Sunday afternoon, you can find him watching some sci-fi thriller on Netflix or killing zombies on Steam!
Adil Islam Founder of Prompt Engines & Flow, bringing AI to students. Product manager, marketing, sales, business development, customer success, design - Adil ran a unified team for all of these at Petuum on MLOps. Studied at Dartmouth, Harvard, Amherst. Worked at World Bank, Dell, IBM, and his own startup. Dedicated to helping his dad's mission for girls' education at ggss.gizri.strikingly.com.
Justin SaehengFounder at Almansor Group. Justin was the former Executive of Construction Technology at Stanley Black & Decker leading its first division and launching their initial software products. He worked closely with the Ventures and Corp Dev team in investments and acquisitions. Currently, he advises a few startups on product strategy, GTM and scaling. He was also an early Product Lead for Uber Freight's marketplace, analytics, and carrier teams and previously co-founded a few startups from computer vision software to insurtech.
Ting-Ting ZhouProduct Manager at Oculus VR. Ting-Ting spent the last three years at Meta, first building products like Mentorship and Social Learning for FB groups and now building the homepage of VR. Prior to Meta, she built consumer-facing and internal tools for early stage fintech startups for five years, becoming an expert on student and small business lending. Pre-tech, she managed restaurants — she was on a first-name basis with Steve Carrell and Terry Crews but more importantly, she loved creating a “4D” experience for their guests.
Jacqueline MillsEmployee Success & Change Management at Adobe. Jackie loves making connections - across people, programs, and technology - to accelerate change. Before joining Adobe’s Employee Experience team to scale change management globally, she consulted for communications, media, and technology clients and drove enterprise transformation programs. In her San Francisco community, she enjoys supporting the arts, serving on the California Symphony Board; touring the Bay Area food and wine scene; and learning new hobbies—from DJing to fencing.
Chino LexInvestor at AngelList. Chino is an exited startup founder; investor: 15 startups, 14 raised follow-on financing from a16z, Tiger Global, and more; scout: HustleFund & Grishin Robotics; alum of LaunchHouse & OnDeck: ODF6; product strategist & designer: 170+ apps, 50 top-charting iOS apps. His end game: start a multi-stage fund for alternative founders, geographies, and sectors (incl sex, now-legal drugs, etc)
Zinnia HorneGroup Product Manager at WW (formerly Google, Facebook). Zinnia is currently a Group Product Manager at WW (aka Weight Watchers), where she is responsible for product development of new user experiences at the intersection of content, coaching, & community. Previously she worked at Facebook where she led Product Operations for products like Friending, Stories, & Facebook Pages. Earlier in her career she worked at Google focusing on deeply understanding users and identifying product opportunities at scale. She holds a B.S from Stanford and an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania.
Hannah Cassius Product Lead at Meta. Hannah Cassius is a product lead at Meta with nearly a decade of product experience. She's currently on the New Product Experimentation team that is focused on innovating from within Meta to build products that meaningfully impact people's lives. Previously, she led a number of zero to one product experiences at The New York Times in the K-12 education and B2B spaces. In her free time, Hannah enjoys traveling, skateboarding, and playing pickleball.
Lara Trowbridge Director of Partnerships at Paytient. Lara first got the start-up "itch" in college, as the first hire at WeddingWire (now The Knot Worldwide). She then spent some years on Wall Street before starting her own macro investment fund, which she still manages today. After business school, Lara joined BCG, where she focused on Strategy, Social Impact, and Marketing Sales and Pricing work. Post BCG, Lara joined The Skills as Head of Strategy and Product. Currently, she serves as Director of Partnerships for Paytient, a series-A funded fintech focused on disrupting the healthcare payments space.
If you are interested in joining the program and becoming part of the next generation of entrepreneurs and angel investors, please apply here.