The Team

Jessica Alter

Founder CEO

Jessica is Cofounder & Chief Connector of FounderDating.  She is passionate about helping entrepreneurs through her work and is also a 500 Startups mentor. Previously, Jessica was CEO of Formative Labs and led Business Development and was GM of Platforms at Bebo (Acquired by AOL).  She holds a BBA from University of Michigan and an MBA from Harvard.

JA photov4

Abby Beck

Designer Extraordinaire

Abby is the Designer Extraordinaire for FounderDating where her passion for design and HCI allow her to build lean, clean and user friendly products. She has a BFA from the School of Visual Arts in NYC where she graduated in the top 10% of her class. She can also be found curating art shows, on a plane going anywhere or fostering a sense of community wherever she goes.

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Pete von Petrin

Software Engineer

Pete is a Software Engineer at FounderDating. He learned BASIC on a TRS-80 at summer camp and has been programming ever since. He can sometimes be found performing experimental music in small San Francisco venues.


Michelle Forcier

Software Engineer

Michelle is a Software Engineer at FounderDating. She graduated from USC with a BS in Computer Science and has since worked for Microsoft and as a cofounder on her own startups before joining FD. She loves to travel and spend as much time as possible exploring the outdoors.


Neha Palacherla


Neha is an intern at FounderDating. She runs the blog, works on outreach and is super excited about entrepreneurship! She is a student at UC Davis, where she studies English and philosophy. When Neha isn’t at school or busy being an intern, she writes short stories and performs with her dance team. 


Mike Preuss

ManagingDirector San Francisco

Mike leads Business Development initiatives for Formspring where he oversees distribution across the web, media partnerships, and monetization. He is also in the Orr Entrepreneurial Fellowship and an advisor at EveryMe. Prior, Mike helped get a startup off the ground at Indiana University from which he graduated with degrees in Entrepreneurship and Finance. 


Kevin Adler

ManagingDirector San Francisco

Kevin is an entrepreneur and sociologist. He is the founder and CEO of inthis, an angel-backed startup that connects people around their shared experiences, beginning with the Potlucks app. His core belief is that we are all in this together as brothers and sisters; he aspires to help people connect, realize their common humanity, and transform the world. 

Kevin Adler

Ryan Jackson

ManagingDirector San Francisco

Ryan most recently founded MicroEval, a company focused on offering modern employee performance reviews. He was previously a product manager for Ooyala, helping to run the analytics and CMS teams. Ryan received his BS & MEng in computer science from MIT.


Reza Akhavan

ManagingDirector San Francisco

Reza is an business-minded software engineer with design and SEM experience. He began his career in 1999. Since then he worked for marketing agencies, bootstrapped a web services company, hacked at a YC startup and most recently joined Yahoo. He loves helping people fulfill their dreams.


Adi Levanon

ManagingDirector Tel Aviv

Adi Levanon manages the Initial Screening and due dilligence process for all dealflow leads seeking capital funding from Rhodium, a privately-held investment firm. Actively sourcing talented entrepreuners backed by game-changing ideas, she is exposed to and analyzes new trends and technologies in the local and international markets. Previously was Head of the Compliance Team at Conduit, one if Israel’s billion dollar high-tech companies. She is obsessed about innovation, idea makers, and Do-ers, was born in the USA and is currently living in Tel Aviv. She graduated from the IDC Herzeliya with an LLB in Law and BA in Business Administration, and joined the Israeli Bar in 2009.


Jonathan Zazove

ManagingDirector New York

Jonathan is the CTO of Tip or Skip, founder of Dear MTA and Papervitamins. You can find him writing on Medium, Twitter and Quora. 


Nathaniel McNamara

ManagingDirector New York

Drew Austin

ManagingDirector New York

Drew Austin is the co-founder of Augmate, a venture backed startup revolutionizing the workplace through digital eyewear. Drew is active in the startup community, acting as a mentor for the Startfast Accelerator Program and an advisor/investor in early stage ventures. He graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in Entrepreneurship & Emerging Enterprises.  


Scott Sanchez

ManagingDirector Austin

Eli Aleyner

ManagingDirector Toronto

Eli manages products at XtremeLabs during the day and bootstraps a startup evenings and weekends. Previously, he held engineering and product positions at Amazon and Microsoft. In hist free time (a rarity), he enjoys running, traveling, sailing and skiing.

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Mani Fazeli

ManagingDirector Toronto

Mani has co-founded three companies and fostered their growth from inception to steady execution in a variety of industries. He typically holds a technical role while helping address operations, branding, and fundraising needs. Mani graduated from the University of Toronto (M.Sc. Medical Biophysics) and the University of Waterloo (B.A.Sc. Computer Engineering).

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Jimmy Jacobson

ManagingDirector Las Vegas

Jimmy is currently an API Developer and Advocate at by day. By night he is developing and attending hackathons and Startup Weekends in between. Loves #Vegastech


Kyle Kelly

ManagingDirector Las Vegas

Kyle Kelly heads the Business Development team that identifies, analyzes, negotiates, and helps execute partnership opportunities for Zappos and 6PM. He’s highly passionate about all things data analytics and he leads a hackathon and speaker series community called Vegas Hack. His other past experience includes co-founding Lean Startup Machine – a multiple-city metric-driven workshop for entrepreneurs. 


Cheryl Tom

ManagingDirector Montreal

Serial entrepreneur with the rare combination of technical expertise & business acumen. Passion is creating great product-focused companies. Finalist – 2013 International Startup Festival Pitch Competition. Alumni of TechStars NYC and TechWomen Canada (C100, Silicon Valley).

Cheryl Tom

Irene Pylypenko

ManagingDirector Montreal

Irene cofounded two companies, with experience in enterprise software development, web development and design, and data analysis in various industries including Technology, Life Sciences and Real Estate. She holds a BSc from University of Western Ontario, and MSc from McGill University.


Aren Kaser

ManagingDirector Hardware

Aren has a background in business and marketing as well as product development and is a co-founder and CEO of Igor Institute, an engineering consultancy dedicated to working with small inventors, emerging companies, and hardware design teams. He is also an adjunct professor at Seattle University and on a mission to expand the world of hardware design.

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Joaquim Canet

ManagingDirector London
Joaquim most recently co-founded Develapps UK, an IT factory that creates MVPs for early stage startups. 
He is currently startup mentor for various programs, the London Manager for, runs the Developers and Entrepreneurs meetup with over 1.7k members and was previously co-founder and CTO at 
Joaquim received his MBA from ESADE Business School and BS & MEng in Telecommunications from UPC – Polytechnic University of Catalonia. 

Mike Duchen

Associate ManagingDirector

Shannon Ong

Associate ManagingDirector

Stefan Negritoiu

ManagingDirector Seattle

Anuj Singhal

ManagingDirector Vancouver

Nikhil Bhardwaj

ManagingDirector Vancouver

Sean Patrick Murphy

ManagingDirector Washington D.C.

Dean Dieker

ManagingDirector Boston

Dean is a software engineer who decided to stay in Boston after coming east in 2003 to study engineering at Olin. He has been a YC co-founder, an engineer at a defense contractor, and helped run a 400-person karate studio, and is currently a software engineer at a mobile advertising company. He has a passion for teaching, which he pursues by being a Teacher / Mentor at Startup Institute’s RampUp program.


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