William Lohse is an industry pioneer, having begun his career in the days of pre-Apple hobbyist computers. After founding and selling TimeLine software company to Symantec, he became the turn-around publisher of PC Magazine and president of Ziff Davis Publishing. Lohse founded Ziff/SOFTBANK Forums. In 1990, he began Software Venture Partners, an angel fund which, among other unicorns, invested in the first round of Pinterest. Bill started venture investing in 2010, which led to the founding of the Social Starts fund in 2012.
Mike Edelhart is also the Managing Partner of Social Starts VC partnership. A pioneering media and startup executive, Mike was the original Executive Editor of PC Magazine and later was Executive Vice President at Ziff Davis. Mike has been CEO at many startups, including Olive Software, Inman News and Zinio. Mike was a partner at Redleaf, a VC fund. At SoftBank, he directed content for the Seybold, Interop and Comdex conferences and launched new businesses. Mike has consulted to Bloomberg, Reuters, and AARP, authored more than 20 books, and currently hosts Inception, a podcast about how startups are created, funded, and ultimately, win.
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Paolo has 13 years of experience in the technology industry, with expertise in product development and strategy, international business development, and enterprise sales. He most recently ran Cisco’s Data Center Networking business development team for the region of Asia Pacific. He is an Angel investor and serves in various startup advisory roles, including mentoring at Virgin Startups and TechItalia Lab. Paolo holds an MBA from London Business School where he was recognized for excellence in asset management, and a Cum Laude MS Engineering degree from Politecnico di Torino. He loves hiking, climbing, skiing, and mountains in general. Talk to him about meditation, nutrition, training, and wellbeing if you want to see his eyes light up. Paolo speaks English, Italian, French and Spanish.
Toshi Eguchi is CEO of DMX Ventures, Inc., a subsidiary of a major Japanese consumer goods company, where he leads investments in US-based startups. Toshi has 20+ years of experience in manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, and consumer goods. He began his career at Kawasaki Heavy Industries, where he led a successful turnaround effort for a major business group and built the task force that brought the bullet train to China. At Eli Lilly Japan, Toshi was responsible for finance and strategy for the manufacturing division. Prior to DMX, Toshi led strategic growth initiatives spanning 20+ countries at DMX’s parent company.
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Chief Financial Officer
Anna is an experienced financial professional and NY State CPA. Anna leverages technology and data to improve financial visibility and strategic decision making. She began her career as an auditor at Pricewaterhouse Coopers, then spent time at the customer experience tech startup Calabrio, which was acquired by KKR. In 2011, Anna joined Transactis, where she helped to grow the company and ultimately led the effort for Transactis's acquisition by Mastercard. Anna is also the CFO for Social Starts.
Chief Operating Officer
Kevin Dasch has 20 years of experience in tech companies in software, social media and gaming. With his leadership, both Mass Relevance (before merging with Spredfast) and IMVU grew to over 100 employees and tens of millions in revenue. Prior to moving into the startup world, Kevin ran the corporate strategy group at Dell Inc. Kevin holds a BA in History from Princeton University and an MBA in Finance and Accounting from The McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin. Kevin is an avid reader of American history, a fan of the Texas Longhorns, and a very amateur golfer.
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Neha is a medical doctor in London. Neha spent years as a General Practitioner before transitioning to the Life Sciences industry, where she held various roles in pharmaceutical companies. She holds an MBA from London Business School, where she fell in love working with entrepreneurs and startups. She has since worked with a startup med-tech company, as well as several accelerators and VCs in the healthcare space, most recently with a global venture builder with a focus on early-stage tech companies. Neha is an angel investor, loves tennis and dance, and is a strong advocate for personal fitness and nutrition. She also has a soft spot for wildlife and conservation.
Prior to Joyance Partners, Jon spent 7 years with the Advisory Board Company in internal strategy, operating, and consulting capacities. At the Advisory Board, Jon guided teams on new product launches, proforma analysis, staffing optimization, market research and segmentation, and platform strategies in the healthcare provider and edtech realms while also working in operating capacities for the full suite of products offered. Jon holds a BSE in Operations Research and Financial Engineering from Princeton University and an MBA from the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin. He is also a Principal for Social Starts.
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Holly is an Investment Partner working in both the US and EU. Her focus is on companies in new food, consumer packaged goods, sexual wellness, femtech, farmtech, and earth-positive manufacturing methods. Holly spent her career growing startups through early stage Sales and PR, most recently as the Chief Revenue Officer at Citia, a global content creation, storage and distribution platform servicing Fortune 500 brands including GE (global), Mastercard (US), Viacom (global), and P&G (global). Holly was raised on a farm in California where she became the first graduate of Stanford University’s online high school (EPGY OHS) and an Academic All American Volleyball Player. She later studied bioengineering at UC Berkeley and French at Georgetown University where she played DI Volleyball. When Holly isn’t investing or helping companies scale, you can find her backpacking the Sierra Nevadas or the Appalachian Trail with her dog Smoky (@smokythebeardog).
Julius is a startup coach, venture capital advisor, and musician based in Berlin. He supports entrepreneurs around Europe in questions around organisational development, finance, and fundraising. Prior, Julius worked as a venture capital investor and corporate venture consultant in London and Berlin and served as a VC expert to the European Commission on its Horizon 2020 programme. You can also find him playing the guitar on Berlin's stages and recording studios.
Jun has over a decade of experience in biomedical research and years of experience in venture capital investment. Jun shapes the investment strategy for health-tech and bio-tech related investment, leads the “Inception” program for academies and universities, and has led more than a dozen investments across the US and Europe. Prior to Social Starts, she was the Investment Director at TEEC Angel Fund. Jun received her PhD in molecular physiology at UCLA. She is also an investor at Health Tech Capital, a mentor at Singularity University, and an Investment Partner at Social Starts.
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Julien is a Senior Partner and CIO Europe for Forepont Capital Partners, a life science and biotech VC fund. Julien brings 15 years of experience in the financial market, from investments in early-stage tech-driven asset management companies to heading the alternative investment unit for one of the largest French insurance companies (AG2R La Mondiale). He has worked in France, Switzerland and on both coasts of the US, giving him a deep understanding of the cultural differences and how to bridge them. Julien has an MBA from both London and Columbia Business Schools, as well as an MSc in Finance (USA) and an engineering degree in Statistics (France). Julien is a photography and sports fanatic, having played at the NCAA All American Tennis Championship, and now playing golf courses across the world.
Emi is an entrepreneur, running-enthusiast, investor and world traveler based in Boston. Prior to Joyance, she founded a diabetes digital health company, worked for Half Court Ventures, an early-stage VC firm, and was the Director for Harvard’s premier undergraduate competition, i3 Innovation Challenge. She holds a BA in Molecular Biology from Harvard College and is a co-author in two publications related to cardiovascular regeneration in Circulation Research and Nature Communications. At Joyance, she focuses on biotech and healthcare investments. Emi is passionate about health equity and helping founders accomplish their goals.
Shu Tsukui previously was in charge of structuring financial products at an investment bank. He has expertise in driving corporate innovation for a large FMCG brand and is well versed in the European startup scene, with experience in early-stage company work/research across Europe. He re-entered graduate school to pursue his passion in science, earning a Ph.D. from Kyoto University in Structural Biology, with additional studies at Oxford University. Shu is a sneaker freak - ask him about sneakers and luxury brand strategy, and you'll be able to talk for hours.
Chris is a Director of Product at Vimeo, where he oversees the OTT product suite. He is deeply passionate about building great products, teams, and companies. Prior to their acquisition by Vimeo, Chris worked with the VHX team to launch several video products. Before that, he managed new product development for Samsung’s NYC R&D lab, and helped build Shelby.tv, which was acquired by Samsung in 2014 to help build the future of TV. When he’s not working with startups or building products, you can find Chris teaching at Cornell Tech, playing a game of DOTA2, or writing riffs on his guitar. Chris lives in New York with his wife and son.
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Nicole Staudinger has more than a decade of experience helping companies refine, streamline, and optimize their communications systems. Most recently, she consulted with the Journalism Accelerator, where she pioneered the organization’s social media program and facilitated community networking to encourage sustainability practices for journalists. Nicole implements change through innovative media strategy by contributing her time and expertise to a variety of nonprofits. She is also the Marketing Director for Social Starts VC Partnership.
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Andrew Nealon has been managing technology development in New York City for over a decade. Before Social Starts, he was the principal of operations for the New York development firm Insert Culture, which he founded to serve brand’s growing API and data development needs. With Social Starts, he oversees special projects, data analysis, and portfolio companies' technical needs. He splits his time between New York City and a home overlooking the Hudson Valley. He holds an MS in Media Management and Theory from the New School, and a BA in Speech and Rhetoric from Oregon State University. He is also Chief Analyst for Social Starts.
Leena focuses on data analysis, building and implementing statistical models to support the investment team. Prior, Leena worked at the U.S. Embassy in Singapore, growth equity firm Stripes Group, and early-stage VC firm ACP Ventures in Singapore. Leena received her BA in Economics from Columbia University and an LLM from Peking University, where she was a Yenching Scholar. Besides an unhealthy obsession with organizing everything into spreadsheets, Leena enjoys boxing, soccer, cooking, and pre-modern Chinese literature.