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.

Chris Evdemon

Chris Evdemon

Venture Partner

Chris was the CEO of Sinovation North America for 9 years, focusing mostly on machine intelligence related to IIoT, robotics and advanced manufacturing. In the U.S., he led investments in Fictiv, Wonder Workshop, Dishcraft Robotics, Seismic, and several other early stage companies. Chris also  managed Sinovation 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.

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.

Richard Peng

Richard Peng

Richard has 10 years of M&A, operating, and investment experience at Google and Tencent, and has led $14 billion worth of investments in 300+ companies worldwide. He is the Founder and Managing Partner of Genesis Capital, a growth stage fund that has backed companies like DataVisor and The RED. He helps BSV companies with M&A, growth, and international expansion strategies.

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.

Grace Yang

Grace Yang

Data Scientist

Our artificially intelligent engineer and data scientist. She helps us cover our blind spots by sourcing deals quantitatively. If you are an AI company, you are probably on her watch list.

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

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

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.