Karen Alter is a Partner to Founders.  Karen is passionate about growing businesses that use technology to solve important business and societal problems. Karen began her west coast career at Intel Corporation, where she held several senior management positions from 1992-2000, including Vice President, Microprocessor Marketing and Business Planning. After leaving Intel, Karen helped lead or advised numerous startups. She was Vice President, Strategy and Chief Process Architect for Rapt, a pricing optimization firm (sold to Microsoft in 2008); Vice President, Global Marketing at Better Place,  a global electric vehicle services and network provider; and Chief Marketing Officer at Solyndra, an innovative manufacturer of solar rooftop panels.

Karen has served on the Board of Trustees of numerous non-profits over the last two decades, including the Palo Alto Jewish Community Center, the Gideon Hausner Day School, the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley and Hillel at Stanford. Karen holds both BA and MBA degrees from Harvard University.

Jennifer Bruckner has 30 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, primarily in education and children’s services. She has been responsible for developing programs and funding for several successful nonprofit and education-focused organizations, all with an emphasis on strengthening the links between industry and education, and broadening opportunities for Silicon Valley’s children. Most recently she served as Executive Director for Industry Initiatives for Science and Math Education.

Jennifer’s formal education includes a Masters in Business Administration with academic concentrations in both Marketing and Finance from Santa Clara University, and a Bachelors Degree in Child Development from Humboldt State University.

Liesel Folks, PhD is of Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at the University at Buffalo-SUNY. Prior to her appointment at UB, she engaged in fundamental research at IBM Almaden and Hitachi Global Storage in San Jose, CA.

Dr Folks is the first woman to serve as president of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Magnetics Society. She also serves on the congressionally mandated Triennial Review of the National Nanotechnology Initiative, and is a regular reviewer for the National Science Foundation.

Dr Folks is a long-time supporter of STEM education initiatives, from her promotion of innovative programs at the PreK-12 level, to her role in launching a magnetics summer school program through the IEEE, which provides summer study opportunities each year to nearly 100 graduate students from around the world.

A native of Australia, Folks earned a BS and a PhD in physics, from the University of Western Australia in Perth and an MBA from Cornell University.

Yoky Matsuoka, PhD is VP of Technology at Nest. Prior to joining Nest she served as the Head of Innovation at Google and Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington. She received the MacArthur Genius Award in 2007 for her work in robotics and neuroscience.

Dr. Mastuoka graduated from UC Berkeley and earned an MS and PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT.



Alejandro Arnaiz is a Director at Microsoft with over 22 years of domestic and international experience. His area of expertise is formulating and implementing go-to-market strategies for emerging and established players in the communications, wireless and Internet space. He has supported expansion activities in Latin America, Europe and US for 3Com and Juniper Networks, as well as for startups, holding several managerial positions in sales, marketing and business development. He has lived in Mexico, Chile and the US.

Alejandro holds a B.S. degree in electronics and communications from Tecnológico de Monterrey, México, an MBA degree from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley and marketing studies from Kellogg School of Business at Northwestern University. He speaks English, Spanish and conversational Portuguese, and enjoys the outdoors, cycling, running, reading and spending time with his family. He believes all kids should have access to education, and in nurturing creativity and imagination for a better world

Angela Biggs is an Assistant Vice President in portfolio management at the Sares Regis Multifamily Fund.  She has over 10 years of experience in real estate finance and private equity real estate fund management.  Previously, she founded Capalio, a platform connecting Chinese investors with multifamily opportunities and worked at Farallon Capital Management in real estate acquisitions.  Angela has a lifelong interest in STEM education starting from deriving the quadratic equation on a white board as a child to recently learning to code Ruby on Rails.  Angela received her undergraduate degree in business economics from the University of California in Los Angeles and her MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, where she received the Dean’s Spirit Award of Excellence.

Bill Casey is an attorney with the law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.  He represents private and public companies in both federal and state court, focusing his practice on intellectual property litigation.  Prior to joining Skadden, Bill worked in various engineering and marketing roles for companies in the life sciences industry.

Bill received his law degree from the University of California – Hastings College of the Law, received a degree in mechanical engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and received a Master of Bioscience from Keck Graduate Institute.

Selina Kaing leads strategy for global transportation and supply chain analytics as part of Google’s retail operations. She joined Google in 2010 as part of the supplier sourcing team handling the company’s multi-billion dollar spend base and more recently led partner development for Google’s Motorola division (now part of Lenovo) focusing on new technologies and initiatives related to mobile. Prior to Google, she worked extensively in procurement and supply chain across a variety of major companies including Gillette (now part of P&G), The Walt Disney Company, Nestlé, and Express (formerly part of Limited Brands). Selina holds a B.A. in English Literature from Harvard University and an MBA from Oxford University.

Gaurav Khanna is Vice president at EMC. Gaurav leads the engineering team for cloud storage & protection services at EMC and has been building software and product development teams for 19 years. At EMC and most previous jobs (Symantec, VERITAS, Quorum, Shasta IP Services). He has been responsible for driving change in technology, product strategy or the organization to create more usable and profitable offerings.

Gaurav grew up in India, studied engineering and has lived and worked in India, Australia and US. He is married and has 2 kids in elementary school. Gaurav’s family has been contributing in the field of education and he’s learning more ways to do it with his kids.

Tamara L. McInerney is a partner in the tax practice of Burr Pilger Mayer Inc. Ms. McInerney has over 19 years of experience in providing accounting and tax services to closely-held businesses, high-net worth individuals, trusts and non profit organizations.

Ms. McInerney specializes in trust and estate taxation, non profit entities, and in providing income and estate planning to high net worth individuals and closely-held businesses. She has extensive experience working with charitable remainder trusts and private foundations.

Santiago Sinistera is a Colombian-American marketing executive with 10 years of experience in both the client and agency side. With a diverse background that includes a degree in Music Production and Engineering from Berklee College of Music in Boston, 6 years as the head of marketing and content at QiClub, a startup led by a Grammy award-winning composer in Miami, 4 years as the Director of Strategy at Zooka Creative, a Silicon Valley digital marketing agency, and currently the Creative Director at Kitty Hawk, a startup focused on transforming the world through aerial vehicles (flying cars). The common thread running through these wonderful opportunities is the desire to always learn, to discover, to explore. This is a direct correlation to the privileged education he received in Colombia, which included a strong component of science in his early years.

Judith Szepesi is an attorney and founding partner of the law firm HIPLegal LLP. She has over 20 years of legal and technical experience and has represented both public and private companies as an attorney focused on high-technology intellectual property law. She enjoys working at the intersection of technology and the law, and knows that a deep understanding of science is essential for the future.

Prior to forming HIPLegal LLP, Ms. Szepesi was a partner at Blakely Sokoloff Taylor & Zafman.

Ms. Szepesi has been involved in mentoring and encouraging women to participate more fully in business, technology, and the law. She has mentored young girls just starting to worry about math, women in engineering and law school, as well as professional women in the prime of their careers. She is a charter member of The Women’s Club of Silicon Valley (, a diverse community of inspiring, professional women helping each other accelerate their leadership journeys .

Ms. Szepesi earned both her law degree and her degree in electrical engineering from Santa Clara University.

Jawhara Tariq is an Associate at Atlas Peak Capital and focuses on Atlas Peak’s various marketing, business development, and strategic initiatives.

Prior to joining Atlas Peak Capital, Jawhara worked at the Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP) as an analyst on their Assessment and Advisory Services team, where she worked with quantitative and qualitative data to provide actionable recommendations to philanthropic foundations such as the Pisces Foundation, Hewlett Foundation, and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. Jawhara also operated as a fellow at NeigborWorks America, a federally appropriated nonprofit dedicated to affordable housing, where she worked on the Resource Development team to spearhead prospect research efforts.

Jawhara earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from UCLA, with a major in Geography and Environmental Studies.


Comments are closed.