Amanda is a Vice President at Amplify, a pre-seed venture capital fund based in Los Angeles. Amanda joined Amplify from Primary Venture Partners, a New York City seed stage venture capital fund. Prior to Primary, Amanda was on the founding team and Vice President of Marketing at Karma, a venture backed hardware startup. At Karma, Amanda focused on building and implementing multi-channel customer acquisition strategies and led the teams focused on communications and brand. Amanda joined Karma after working as an Associate in the Techstars New York City program. Prior to Techstars, Amanda was an Investment Banker at Bank of America Merrill Lynch where she worked on IPOs within the Technology sector. Amanda earned a BS in Finance and Marketing from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
Shane Kelly is Founding Partner of Wolverine Angels, an early stage investment firm and mentor network with investments including Neurable and Phase Four. The firm pools capital and expertise from the global University of Michigan alumni community to accelerate early-stage tech startups. Its Los Angeles and San Francisco chapters host demo nights and private events featuring investors and entrepreneurs in the tech community.
Previously, Shane helped GreeneStreet Films raise several rounds of venture capital and build a slate of over 20 motion pictures generating over $250 million at the box office. His operational responsibility spanned film finance, international distribution, and digital media. His motion picture credits include Movie 43 and Awake.
Shane holds an MBA with distinction from University of Michigan where he was a Consortium for Graduate Study in Management Fellow. He earned a BS cum laude from Morehouse College where he studied Math and Physics. During school he circumnavigated Earth by boat in 100 days through Semester at Sea.
Leah Volger is Vice President of Bonfire Ventures.
Prior to Bonfire, Leah worked at Santander InnoVentures, investing in payments, lending, e-investment, risk analytics, and distributed ledger sectors.
Leah also served as the CMO of a WeWork-style start-up in London, launching the world’s largest co-live/co-work build of its kind, and serving as an investor on their Collective Growth Fund.
Prior to her experience abroad, Leah spent four years at Google in Boston and the Bay Area, working in Sales and Product Marketing. During her time at Google, she advised C-level decision-makers on revenue and customer base growth by using best of breed online media advertising solutions and led Google Fiber brand and product marketing efforts in launch markets–Austin, Provo, and Kansas City.
Leah earned her B.A. from University of Pennsylvania with summa cum laude honors and her MBA from Harvard Business School. Leah lives in Venice and is passionate about technology, travel, wellness and films.
Erin Shipley is the co-founder and Managing Partner of The Helm, a venture fund and investment community that rethinks how people invest in female entrepreneurs. With offices in New York and Los Angeles, The Helm invests in high-growth technology companies with female CEOs, primarily at the seed stage. Before The Helm, she was an investor at Karlin Ventures, an LA-based seed and Series A stage fund that invested across marketplaces, enterprise, and commerce technologies, backing companies including Laurel & Wolf, ChowNow, Verge Genomics, and Policy Genius. Before Karlin, she held a variety of investment and innovation roles at the Weinstein Company and Deutsche Bank. She graduated from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Austin Clements is a venture capitalist with TenOneTen Ventures, a seed stage fund base in LA. Prior to TenOneTen, Austin worked at Sony Pictures, licensing film and TV content to emerging video platforms. He began his career in investment management working with AllianceBernstein and has since held roles evaluating early stage tech investments at Creative Artists Agency, Digital Entertainment Ventures, and NY Angels. Austin is also committed to encouraging underrepresented minorities to pursue careers in tech and entrepreneurship. He is an active volunteer in various local youth entrepreneurship programs. Austin received his MBA from NYU Stern with a specialization in Media, Entertainment, and Technology and his BA from Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA.
Marc Mitchell is the co-founder and CEO of Lootsie, Inc., a loyalty and rewards platform for mobile games and applications. Prior to Lootsie, he served as the Chief Operating Officer of UrbanDaddy, a leading digital media lifestyle brand. Before operating UrbanDaddy, Mitchell was the COO of SRC Entertainment where he oversaw SRC Records/Universal—a joint venture with Universal Music Group, and SRC Marketing—a partnership with Mosaic Media Group. Mitchell started his career as a corporate attorney in the New York office of Chadbourne & Parke, an international law firm. He has advised Refinery29, ForYourArt, and Intermedia Vibe Holdings. He serves on the Board of Zoo Commissioners for the City of Los Angeles and the Board of Directors for Bright Star Schools, and the Harvard-Westlake African American Alumni Network. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Mitchell earned a JD from NYU, and his AB in International Relations from Stanford.
Gregory B. Davis
Based in our Santa Monica office, DeMarcus Williams is the Director of SVB’s Early Stage Practice, joining by way of Zealot Networks a LA based VC backed digital media company, where he served as Vice President of Business Strategy. DeMarcus’s work at Zealot, including strategic planning, corporate development, and business development, is directly relevant to his current role at SVB, where he is focused on fostering collaboration within LA’s early stage technology/innovation ecosystem and leveraging SVB’s brand to add value to early stage entrepreneurs. Prior to joining Zealot Networks, DeMarcus was a financial advisor with Merrill Lynch’s Private Bank and Investment Group, where he focused on cultivating relationships within LA’s entertainment and technology communities.
A scholar-athlete, DeMarcus played basketball at the University of Washington. His playing days were unexpectedly cut short by a career-ending injury, which ultimately led DeMarcus to transfer and complete his bachelor’s degree at the University of California, Irvine. His experience as a student-athlete gave him first-hand insight into the importance of securing a future beyond sports, initiating his curiosity with technology
Passionate about charitable causes, DeMarcus has been recognized by the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office for his contributions to the community and, since 2006, has served as an Athlete Ambassador and Steering Committee Member at Cedars-Sinai’s Sports Spectacular. In addition, he has worked with the Challengers Boys and Girls Club, the Brotherhood Crusade and numerous schools in underserved communities.
Currently residing in Los Angeles with his family, DeMarcus is a loyal Philadelphia Eagles fan and student of Capoeira, the Brazilian martial arts form. With his passion for startup life, DeMarcus is also actively engaged with a sports technology startup ranked by Fast Company as one of the “Most Innovative Companies of 2016.”
Currently, Chief of Staff at Atom Factory and Cross Culture Ventures, Danny’s main objective revolves around helping maintain his team’s position at the intersection of tech and culture. He focuses on the relationships with the 90+ startups between both portfolios, as well as continues to find entrepreneurs whose concepts fit the thesis of “Cultural Investment.” Additionally, Danny leads on special projects and curated events/activations focused on bringing together and nurturing their community spread throughout the various industries that call LA (and often SF, NY, and beyond) home.
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