We are thrilled to share names of our fourth cohort of Venture Scouts
We are welcoming a new generation of angel investors and graduates of our fourth cohort of Venture Scouts.
We started the Venture Scout program in 2020 with the idea of helping the next generation of angel investors learn about investing and become part of our community. After the graduation of the third cohort of our Venture Scouts in Q1 2021, we had significant interest from many more emerging angel investors wanting to join the program.
Our Venture Scout program includes a series of in-depth discussions and educational sessions with topics ranging from deal sourcing advice, evaluating startups, markets and partnering with early-stage founders to discussing Grishin Robotics investment framework.
Our Scouts link Grishin Robotics with strong emerging founding teams that they encounter in the entrepreneurial community. Many of our Scouts are past, present, or future founders – we learn a lot from them and value their inputs both at the stage of investment and during the ongoing startup journey.
If you are interested in joining the program, please apply here.
Today we are thrilled to share names of our fourth cohort of Venture Scouts:
Prasant Lokinendi Lead Product Manager at Turo. Prasant is a PM with experience in the consumer travel & transportation industry. Currently a Lead PM at Turo, the world's largest peer-to-peer car-sharing marketplace, he focuses on product strategy & execution on the Guest side of the marketplace. Previously, Prasant was an early PM at mobile travel booking startup Hopper and TripAdvisor’s rotational PM program.
Clio SmurroBusiness Development at Google. Clio leads business development and go-to-market strategy for a stealth startup within Google. She previously led e-commerce growth strategy for Health + Wellness brands at Amazon, and was a vendor manager (negotiator) in the Video Games retail business. She holds a BA from Harvard and an MBA from Stanford.
Anuj Verma Product at Airbnb. Anuj has led product teams at startups and established companies. He is currently a Product Lead at Airbnb, responsible for growing the number of hosts and listings on Airbnb. Previously, Anuj was a Lead Product Manager at Netsil (acquired by Nutanix), Sr. Product Manager at Jive Software and Founder & CEO at Thirst. Anuj is a YC Hackathon Winner, SXSW Accelerator Winner, GigaOm Roadmap Judges Choice Winner.
Grant LongHead of Growth at Koji. Grant is an entrepreneur, operator and startup advisor, with extensive international experience in digital/social media, the creator economy, and social commerce. Grant is currently Head of Growth at Koji ($16m raised through Feb 2020), building an operating system and mini-app ecosystem that sits on top of social media. Grant previously co-founded Dongtu (the Giphy of China) and was Head of Product at Swyft Media, acquired in 2015. His firm Heart Department advises tech, talent, and entertainment companies in digital strategy.
Christina Leigh Morgan Growth at Elpha. Christina is a serial founding team product growth and marketing leader. She currently leads growth at Elpha, validating PMF and leaning into Elpha’s Talent Pool. Previously, she led supply-side growth at Grabr, an international peer-to-peer marketplace, from GTM to 2 million users across 75 countries. Inspired by driving social impact through tech, she aims to invest in consumer founders scaling profits for purpose, particularly in marketplaces, e-commerce, education, travel, and/or wellness.
Sam Sheridan New Product Discovery at Spotify. Sam is a product manager at Spotify, where he focuses on new business R&D. He's particularly passionate about uncovering the most important consumer needs through ethnographic and quantitative research to support early stage discovery work. Previously Sam worked as a research analyst at Goldman Sachs, and in an M&A / strategy role at a Series B start up. Sam loves live music, his dog Ruben, and travelling with his closest friends. He holds dual US / Luxembourg nationalities, and was raised in Asia.
Ngoc ToSeniorProduct Manager at Twitch. Ngoc is an experienced product manager with passion for media and entertainment products, and creator economy. Ngoc is currently a Sr. PM at Twitch responsible for new advertising experiences for viewers and creators on Twitch. Prior to Twitch, she was at Adobe leading machine learning initiatives for video editing apps to automate and simplify workflows of video content creation. Ngoc holds MBA from UCLA Anderson.
Atul GupteProduct Manager at Facebook Reality Labs. At Facebook Atul is building Horizon, Facebook's take on the metaverse in VR. Previously, Atul worked at Uber, where he helped build foundational machine learning, data analytics, and data science platforms that helped teams ensure every trip was magical for customers across continents. Before that, at Zynga he built some of the world’s most popular social games and developed a mobile advertising platform that allowed game-makers to pursue their craft without worrying about revenue streams.
Ghassan KaraProduct Manager at Google. Ghassan is a Product Manager at Google on the Chrome Mobile team based in NYC. Before joining Google, Ghassan spent time as a management consultant advising global US and European firms on M&A and growth strategy in the Middle East and North Africa. Ghassan has an MBA from The Wharton School and a B.S. in Engineering from Boston University. He has always been actively involved in the local startup community, from Boston to Dubai to Philadelphia and now NYC.
Ankit PatelProduct Leader at Recharge Payments. Ankit is a Product Leader with 10 years of experience. He lives in Austin, TX and enjoys spending time outdoors, traveling, playing basketball and volleyball, investing in public and private technology companies. Ankit runs a Real Estate investment company. His mantra is "In the joy of others lies our own."
Tuongvan LeStrategy at Slack. Tuongvan is an aspiring community builder and angel investor. She's currently a Strategy & Ops lead for Customer Success at Slack and has been an operator for ~4 years at both B2B and B2C companies, where she discovered and brewed her interest in internal tooling and future of work domain. She actively builds communities online and offline and believes that when people come together to elevate each other's thinking and surface each other's blindspot, magic and innovation happen.
Matthew SteinmanBusiness Development at 30WEST. Matt is on the Corporate Development & Strategy team at 30WEST, an investment and advisory firm specializing in the media, entertainment, and lifestyle industries. Prior to joining 30WEST, he worked in Film and TV Finance at Endeavor's leading Endeavor Content division and at several artist-driven companies across the music industry. Steinman was born and raised in Los Angeles, where he currently resides. He graduated with high distinction from Indiana University's Kelley School of Business with a BS in Finance and International Business.
Himanshu SahaySoftware Engineer at Snap. Himanshu has deep experience in consumer mobile tech, having built products used daily by tens of millions of people (Snap, Tinder, Bird, Kindle). As an angel investor, he focuses on early stage companies with very strong founding teams where he can provide his expertise as a strategic angel, advising in product and engineering decisions. He also writes a private newsletter where he shares his deal flow periodically with a group of venture capitalists and angel investors.
If you are interested in joining the program and becoming part of the next generation of entrepreneurs and angel investors, please apply here.