Early stage founders: move your startup forward in one day.
Join us to gain knowledge, connect 1:1 with experts, and build community.Get Tickets
FFA Founder Day will run from 9:30a PT to 2:30p PT on November 19th
Workshop: Fundamentals of Fundraising with Cooley (9:30a- 10:45a PT)
Investor 1:1s, legal 1:1s, and Community Networking (10:45a – 1:45p PT)
Inspirational Fireside, Speaker TBA (1:45p – 2:30 p PT)
Learn the Fundamentals of Fundraising, connect with experts in meaningful 1:1 mentorship sessions, build community with fellow founders, and be inspired by founderswho have walked your path. Our goal is for you to leave Founder Day with new knowledge, new network, and actionable insights so you can move your startup forward.
Speakers and Mentors
Colleen Badgley practices corporate law, with a focus on all aspects of emerging company development, including corporate formation, venture capital financings and M&A.
While at the University of Michigan Law School, Colleen served as an international fellow at the World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. She was also a member of the
Danielle Naftulin’s practice focuses on the representation of issuers and venture capital investors in the formation and financing of emerging technology and life sciences companies.
She also counsels emerging companies with respect to mergers and acquisitions, recapitalizations, spin-outs and general corporate matters, and she has experience representing companies with respect to their initial public offerings and various other public financing and strategic transactions.
Danielle also advises public companies with respect to their reporting requirements and corporate governance obligations.
Danielle has been a guest speaker on venture capital transactions and other corporate matters at UCLA School of Law, Santa Clara University School of Law and Stanford Law School.
Partner, Flying Fish Ventures
Geoff Harris spent 15 years at Microsoft in engineering leadership and executive leadership positions. His career at Microsoft began in digital media where he ran the Windows Media Player team. He then moved on the mobile space where he founded the first mobile services team within Microsoft, growing the team from zero to 250 in just over a year, which included a medium sized international acquisition. Geoff was then General Manager for the Speech and Natural Language team where he led advancements in Speech Recognition and Natural Language Processing which were shipped in Xbox, Windows Phone and Cortana.
Geoff was an active angel investor with a portfolio of more than 40 investments. He has become heavily involved in promoting angel investing within Seattle in an effort to grow the funding ecosystem for local startups. Geoff is an avid musician.
Geoff holds a BA in Political Science from Brown University.
Giselle Rivers represents high growth companies in the technology, media, fashion, e-commerce and consumer product industries.
She advises clients throughout their lifecycle on general corporate law matters as well as complex transactions including debt and equity financings, strategic partnerships, mergers and acquisitions and public securities offerings.
Giselle also regularly represents venture capital and private equity investors in connection with their investments and acquisitions.
Impacting the future, one company at a time.
Iris Fujiura grows and leads teams to deliver results. She’s been successful in profit/loss and central roles, and understands the synergy necessary to optimize an enterprise. She is a passionate believer and practitioner of mentoring and diversity inclusion, recognized numerous times for her leadership in STEM. She has acted as a change agent for organizations needing course correction or revitalization to a new strategic vision. Currently, she supports diversity and inclusion in early-stage investing, as Chapter Lead for Golden Seeds in the Silicon Valley/San Francisco and West Coast Area. Golden Seeds is a National Angel investing organization that focuses on Women-led companies.
Over 30 years in the space industry, a strong systems engineering foundation and P&L leadership roles give her the executive presence, business acumen, and strategic vision to lead organizations to the next level.
Fujiura worked extensively in international venues in Europe and Asia while supporting a joint venture with two Russian companies, including significant on-site time in Russia, and Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
Fujiura is a skilled communicator, adept at framing. Her years of experience on rocket launch crews honed her decisive and timely problem analysis, prioritization and execution.
Her interests include emerging technology, social trends, and global economics. Bombelyn supports her Alma Maters, Washington State University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, providing mentoring , industry insight, and leadership and innovation presentations. She is Chair of the WSU Harold Frank Advisory Board.
Angel Investor, Global strategy, Organizational Leadership, Space Systems Engineering, Customer Relationships, Sustainability, Team-building, Mentoring, Culture change, Diversity Inclusion DoD TS/SCI
Managing Director, Techstars
Serial founding technology executive and investor.
Hi – I lead the Seattle Techstars Accelerator Program. With our #givefirst approach, we provide entrepreneurs with the skills, tools, and networks to build excellent teams and companies and #domorefaster. If you’re an entrepreneur seeking to take your game to the next level or an experienced pro looking to mentor great teams, please be in touch!
Most recently, I served as President of Mighty AI, a training data platform and service company which provided high quality training data to autonomous vehicle developers and other enterprises in the computer vision space. We were acquired by Uber in July, 2019. Before that, I co-founded and led two enterprise technology companies; one was successfully acquired, and the other is a leader in the global data center business. For 10 years, I served as Co-Founder, CFO, and EVP of Verne Global, an international growth stage data center business based in the UK with operations in Iceland. At Verne, I conceived the business, raised $200M+ of equity and debt capital, built the team, and managed several functions of the company.
Also, I have 12+ years of experience as a venture capital, growth equity, and angel technology investor with General Catalyst Partners and Summit Partners. In those roles, I sourced, led, structured, and negotiated several investments, and served as a Director on multiple boards. I have an extensive network of technology investors and entrepreneurs with concentrations in the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, Boston, and London. I am also an angel investor in early-stage technology startups.
Venture Capital and Growth Equity Investing
Complex Deal Structuring
Pricing and capacity management
Managing Director, Voyager Capital
James has been working with high growth technology companies as an adviser and investor since 2005 and focuses on early stage and seed investments in the Pacific Northwest. He currently serves on the boards of Voyager portfolio companies Kaskada, Lighter Capital and WellSaid Labs. He previously served as a board member or observer at Casper, DoubleVerify, General Assembly, Sauce Labs and Zerto, among others.
Prior to joining Voyager, James worked for Institutional Venture Partners (IVP), a later stage VC based in Menlo Park. While with IVP, James worked on investments in AlienVault, Carbonite (NASDAQ: CARB), Casper (NYSE: CSPR), Checkr, DoubleVerify, General Assembly, Kayak (Acquired: PCLN), LegalZoom, Prosper, Sauce Labs, SoFi and Zerto.
James earned a B.A. in Economics and a B.A. in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from the University of Washington, where he was a first team Pac-10 All-Academic football player at free safety. He has also earned his M.B.A. from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania with a concentration in entrepreneurial management.
Full time individual angel investor and member of different angel groups in Seattle (Grubstakes, Alliance of Angels, SWAN Venture Fund).
Early stage mentor and investor
Karin Kidder is an early stage mentor and investor based in the Pacific Northwest. She works with Grubstakes (Core Member), SeaChange Fund, E8 and the Seattle Angel Conference.
Karin is also the Vice President of Marketing for Microvi Biotech, a green tech company focused on water, wastewater and renewable chemicals. She started with Microvi early in their entrepreneurial journey and has an MBA with a Marketing and Entrepreneurship focus from London Business School.
Karin also has a background in education and in the arts and currently serves on the Board of the Bellevue Arts Museum.
Founding GP, Ascend VC
Kirby Winfield is a seasoned startup operator and investor, and is currently the Founding General Partner at Ascend.vc, a pre-seed stage venture fund investing in marketplace, e-commerce/D2C, and B2B software startups in the Pacific Northwest.
Early in his career, Kirby was a founding team member and operating executive at back-to-back tech IPOs, with Go2Net (GNET) and Marchex (MCHX).
He is also a two-time venture capital-backed CEO, with AdXpose (DFJ, Ignition) acquired by comScore (SCOR), and Dwellable (Maveron, VersionOne) acquired by HomeAway (AWAY).
Kirby has invested in dozens of technology startups, and served as a Board Director of the real estate CRM platform Sharper Agent (sold to LEDR/Z), and the in-store customer experience platform Spectrio (sold to Bertram Capital).
He currently serves as a Board Director at Bean Box, the premier Direct to Consumer gourmet coffee gift and subscription brand, and Keepe, the leading vetted, on-demand contractor network for property managers. Other notable investments include Wrench, Crowd Cow, Dolly, Stackery and Blume.
Kirby has served as Board Chair at Special Olympics of Washington, where he helped bring the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games to Seattle. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of Seattle Preparatory School, Board Member at the University of Washington’s Haring Center Capital Campaign, and Board Advisor at the Friendship Circle of Washington. In his free time, Kirby coaches youth sports, and enjoys running, tennis, and traveling with his wife, son and daughter.
Lauren Creel primarily represents start ups and venture capital funds, with an emphasis on early-stage companies and financings.
She also has experience with public offerings for both domestic and foreign private issuers, SEC reporting and compliance and mergers and acquisitions.
Before joining Cooley, Lauren was an associate with Vinson & Elkins in Austin, Texas. In her former career, she worked for several economic consulting firms, supporting expert witnesses in class action litigation and qui tam lawsuits.
While at the University of Texas School of Law, Lauren was associate editor of the Texas Law Review
and a teaching assistant in the first-year writing program (or Teaching Quizmaster as the Longhorns like to call it).
• “Why the Enforcement Agencies’ Recent Efforts Will Not Encourage Ex Ante Licensing Negotiations in Standard-Setting Organizations”, 89 TEXAS LAW REVIEW 967, 2011
Global Director, Anheuser-Busch InBev 100+ Sustainability Accelerator
Maisie Devine is the Global Director of the Anheuser-Busch InBev 100+ Sustainability Accelerator. She is also a guest columnist for Inc Magazine and the Huffington Post.
Before her role in sustainability, Devine was an investor at ZX Ventures, the global incubator and venture capital arm of AB InBev.
Earlier in her career, she co-founded a recruitment app for busy, professional women. In 2015, she was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30, Tech.co Top 20 Startup Founders Under 30, and 26 Women to Watch in Tech by AlleyWatch.
Devine also worked in digital media advertising at Interactive One and handled the 30 largest clients, including P&G, Walmart, Comcast, and J&J. She earned her B.A. from Princeton University.
Partner, Madrona Venture Labs
Maria Hess has a passion for and experience in researching the customer; vetting and validating startup ideas; testing user acquisition, engagement and retention tactics; and driving outcomes to achieve growth goals. She’s led product management, product marketing, or product-led growth in big tech (Google, Amazon, and Expedia), as well as SaaS startups (Picnik, PicMonkey) and mobile recommendations startup, Likewise.
Through a series of strategic roles, she’s led the launch of new products, built a talent acquisition pipeline and process, and drove media engagement, partnerships, and social media programs.
Micah brings more than twenty years of startup experience as a serial founder, mentor and ecosystem supporter. While steeped in all things startup, Micah joins us from Amazon Web Services, where he developed and operated the AWS Connections program, which helps enterprises identify and collaborate with tech startups.
Phoebe Huang practices corporate and securities laws and represents companies across a broad
spectrum of industries.
Phoebe has experience with corporate formation, venture capital financings and general counseling.
Enhanced Beverage Lead, Anheuser-Busch InBev
Renata Bergman works at Anheuser-Busch InBev as Enhanced Beverage Lead, leading enhanced and functional beverages globally, supporting investment strategy and local teams to launch new beverages in the space.
She has wide experience with launching new products from a cross-functional perspective (marketing, sales, supply, legal) using agile methodologies.
Prior to joining ABI, Renata worked at Rocket Internet launching and managing multiple tech business in Latin America (beauty subscription, shopping club, social media, e-commerce, real-estate listing) and got a degree from Harvard Business School.
Managing Partner, Tapas Capital
Rob is an experienced strategic and operational leader with product management, finance, and investment banking experience at world-class technology companies in the US and Asia. For more than a decade, he led global teams at Amazon.com in a variety of roles actively building, operating, and scaling one of the world’s most innovative companies. These roles included: Vice President, Product Management (FBA), CFO of Asia and Emerging Markets, Vice President of Investor Relations and Vice President of Technology Finance. During his tenure, he was involved in the formation of Amazon Web Services, the launch of Amazon.in, and built innovative Customer experiences in China, and for Sellers globally.
Prior to Amazon, he was a senior M&A banker at Broadview International, where he was a strategic advisor to private and public company Founders, Boards, CEOs and CFOs engaged in the internet, software, media and semiconductor industries where he completed transactions worth more than $2B in total consideration. Earlier, he worked at Sun Microsystems and as an equity research analyst covering public technology companies in Taipei, Taiwan.
He holds an MBA from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and a BS in Chemistry from the University of Washington.
Sara Semnani counsels private and public companies at all stages on formation and financing activities, securities law compliance, public company disclosure and corporate governance matters.
She also represents companies in initial public offerings and follow-on securities offerings as well as other equity financings, primarily in the life sciences industry.
Prior to joining Cooley, Sara was an associate at Hogan Lovells US LLP.
Sonya has over 30 years of experience counseling emerging growth companies, established technology businesses and venture capital funds. Her clients range from early stage startups to larger public companies.
Sonya advises clients on a variety of legal and business issues. Her particular expertise is in private and public financing, strategic technology transactions and mergers and acquisitions. Sonya is counsel to public and private companies in a broad range of industries, with a focus on the software, biotechnology and medical products and services industries. In the last 10 years alone, Sonya has worked on more than 500 venture capital and private equity transactions, as well as numerous public offerings, M&A structured buy-outs, spin-offs and other complex business transactions.
Sonya serves on Cooley’s board of directors. Prior to joining Cooley, she was a shareholder at Heller
Ehrman and a director and one of the founding members of the Seattle, WA office of the Venture Law Group (VLG) before the merger with Heller Ehrman. Prior to that, Sonya was an associate and VLG in Menlo Park, Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison in Palo Alto and Jones Day in Los Angeles.
Sonya is listed in The Best Lawyers in America in the category of Venture Capital Law since 2004, is
listed as a leading attorney in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business from 2013 –
2018, and listed in Washington Super Lawyers from 2014 to 2018.
Early stage impact investor
Stephanie Jin is an investor and entrepreneur with the mission of promoting gender equality.
Lived and worked in Shanghai, Beijing, Singapore and Chicago, she has over a decade of
experience in business development & strategy and had an atypical career path due to her critical thinking, which she continues to leverage in her current investment decisions.
She is also the founder and CEO of SHExposure Consulting in Shanghai, where she provides local
corporate business consulting for international clients and female leadership coach domestically.
She believes when asking the right question, the answer will come to you. She also believes that
insight separated from practice remains ineffective, and that is also why she keeps building a female friendly ecosystem to support female founders in general. In her spare time, she is both an avid learner and an enthusiastic traveler.
Managing Director, Madrona Venture Group
Tim is focused on investing in B2B software companies in the Pacific Northwest. He currently is particularly interested in the areas of intelligent applications and SaaS, cloud native software, ML and data analytics, and security. He is a board member of numerous Madrona portfolio companies.
In addition to his work at Madrona, Tim is a member of the Investment Committee for the Alliance of Angels Seed Fund I and is on the board of the Technology Alliance. Tim also serves on the Investment Committee for Global Partnerships’ Social Venture Fund.