Team

Dr. Lan Xuezhao

Dr. Lan Xuezhao

Founding and Managing Partner

Lan built and led the Corporate Development Strategy team at Dropbox during its most acquisitive time. She previously managed teams at McKinsey in New York and Shanghai, advising Fortune 500 companies on issues including big data, AI, and growth strategy. Earlier in her career, Lan designed and developed brain training games as a founder and studied human brain functions for her Ph.D. She also received her M.A. in Statistics, both from the University of Michigan.

John Mannes

John Mannes

Investor

John led TechCrunch’s AI coverage, providing commentary and analysis on everything from machine learning startups to key papers from top AI research labs. He has also contributed to outlets like NPR and The Washington Post. He previously drove technology modernization in the nation’s 17th-largest school district.

Reid Callaway

Reid Callaway

Investor

Reid previously was a Vice President at Trivest Partners, a private equity firm investing in founder-owned businesses across a variety of industries. He was responsible for all aspects of the investment process, including sourcing, diligence and execution of new investment opportunities. He received a B.A. and B.B.A from the University of Texas and an M.B.A. from Stanford University.

Chang Xu

Chang Xu

Venture Partner

Chang previously was a Principal at Upfront Ventures, the oldest and largest SoCal-based early stage venture capital firm. Prior to joining Upfront, she was a founder and an operator. She was the first Product Manager at the Minerva Project. She co-founded and was the COO of Onion Math, an ed-tech startup in China that has raised $90M to-date. She started her career at BCG where she advised clients across technology, retail, healthcare and private equity. She holds an MBA and AB in Applied Math and Computer Science, both from Harvard.

Rachel Wong

Rachel Wong

Data Scientist

Rachel previously built internal tools and supported portfolio companies at Playground Global, a venture studio managing $800M. Before Playground, she was a data analyst for Mimosa Networks (acquired by Airspan) and was a researcher in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon. She received a B.S. in Statistics and minor in Physical Computing from Carnegie Mellon.

Andrew Kim

Andrew Kim

Operations Manager

Andrew previously managed operations, recruiting, and facilities at Meeno Babies for almost a decade. He brings experience in building out warehouses and office spaces, implementing processes and functionality across departments, and working with vendors, sales representatives, and clients from around the world.

Dr. Peter Welinder

Dr. Peter Welinder

Technical advisor

Peter is a research scientist at OpenAI who works on pushing the frontiers of autonomous robotics with deep learning. Previously, he ran Machine Learning at Dropbox and co-founded Anchovi Labs, which built AI-backed photo organization technology and was acquired by Dropbox. He received his Ph.D. from Caltech and has published dozens of papers on robotics, computer vision, machine learning and crowdsourcing.

Niniane Wang

Niniane Wang

Technical Advisor

Niniane was the founder and CEO of Evertoon, acquired by Niantic, where she is now Senior Director of Engineering. As the former CTO of Minted, she managed a team of 40 engineers and helped the company scale to tens of millions in annual revenue. Previously, she led Gmail Ads engineering and founded Google Desktop and Google Lively. She is an inventor on 30 patents and has her M.S. in Computer Science from University of Washington and B.S. in Computer Science from Caltech, where she graduated at 18.

Chris Evdemon

Chris Evdemon

Advisor

Chris was a partner at Sinovation Ventures for 9 years, focusing mostly on machine intelligence related to IIoT, robotics and advanced manufacturing. He led investments in Fictiv, Wonder Workshop, Dishcraft Robotics, Seismic, and several other early stage companies. Chris also managed investments in China, including Umeng and Wandoujia (both acquired by Alibaba), Anquanbao (acquired by Baidu), and Zhihu. Chris holds a M.Eng in Mechanical Engineering from Imperial College in London and an MBA from INSEAD.

Kurt Varner

Kurt Varner

Design Advisor

Kurt was a Design Director at Dropbox where he managed several design teams focusing on the collaboration space. Previously, he was the first designer at Shyp, building and scaling the design team as the company grew from 10 to 200+ employees. Kurt has also worked at a design agency, Zurb, where he consulted with companies like Facebook, Netflix, Mozilla, and eBay.

Hilary McQuaide

Hilary McQuaide

Communications Advisor

Hilary brings leadership in messaging, media relations, crisis management, analyst relations, and communications strategy for high growth technology companies. She is the founder of Breakout Communications. Previously, she led comms at Yik Yak and Dropbox. Hilary graduated from Yale University and started her career as an analyst at Sequoia Capital.

Brexton Pham

Brexton Pham

Adviser

Brexton was co-founder/CTO of an early stage stealth startup building out universal search engines and co-founder/CTO of Cleo Beauty AI which built facial analytics software for cosmetics brands. He previously built conversational modeling for Tinder’s AI research team, data infrastructure at Slack and product at Yik Yak. His research areas primarily consist of natural language processing and computer vision, which he studied at Stanford University.

Simar Mangat

Simar Mangat

Adviser

Simar was co-founder and CEO of Stream, a company helping creators monetize their content through a decentralized ecosystem for streaming. Previously, he co-founded an EdTech company, Stoodle (acq’d by CK-12), which became one of the Top 21 education apps in 2014, and built deep learning models and data warehousing for Pavlov.ai as their first engineer. He also began Pear’s Fellows program when he studied at Stanford University, where he received his B.S. in Computer Science.