Bhavik brings 14 years of operational and business development experience at early, mid and late stage startups in Enterprise Software and Clean Tech industries.
He is a Senior Fellow at the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship at UC Berkeley where he is a founding mentor for the campus-wide startup accelerator. Bhavik holds an MBA from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley where he now co-teaches a class in customer development and business model design. Bhavik assisted Steve Blank for the Lean LaunchPad classes taught at UC Berkeley and the National Science Foundation (NSF) Innovation Corps program at Stanford University.
As a recent dad, he is mastering the art of a quick diaper change and swaddle.
Robert is a hands-on technology leader with over 15 years experience in startups, internet services, and financial technology. Robert was previously VP Engineering at SoFi where he created the student loan systems and built a team that handled over $100 million in loans in the first year (with full SEC/FINRA compliance and security). He has delivered numerous new products and businesses in finance, communication, and enterprise SaaS including a $75 million spin-out of UBS (later acquired by Microsoft). Robert has also been lead technologist at Finaplex (acquired by ADP), Xpert Financial, and a founding partner at Gordian Labs.
Robert once foraged an entire lunch from within a 10 minute walk of our office.
Kevin brings a truly multi-displinary view to our team. His previous experiences span engineering at POWERleap to user experience at Indiegogo. He came to California with the sole purpose of making a dent in the universe to improve society via education, and his overflowing drive toward entrepreneurship and education help move this company forward.
Kevin can be found eating nut butters by the spoonful, and is the resident grill master for team barbeques.
Ash is an incredibly passionate engineer with the rare ability to analyze problems from the customer's perspective. Her Master's Thesis Project (supported by NSF grant) involved the development of "A Machine Learning Approach for Assessment and Prediction of Teamwork Effectiveness in Software Engineering Education". Her passion for analytics fuels the engine of innovation at LaunchPad Central, driving us forward in our goal to decrease the failure rate of startups everywhere.
And did we mention she speaks four languages? That doesn't even include PHP...
Michael is a software engineer who doesn't enjoy writing about himself. He does enjoy wrangling code, drinking acceptable espresso, and sailing. He has worked for a handful of companies over a 20-year career.
For some reason he is also known as "walrus".
Jim has decades of experience growing, leading, advising, and investing in explosively successful startups. He has been instrumental in shaping the Lean LaunchPad curriculum, always on the hunt to improve entrepreneurship education. His love for the game keeps us level-headed and always moving forward.
Steve is a serial entrepreneur and the architect of the Lean LaunchPad framework. He has authored two ground breaking entrepreneurship texts: The Startup Owner's Manual and The Four Steps to the Epiphany. Steve's experience and knowledge are truly irreplaceable components to our DNA, which drive us with steadfast clarity.
"I am incredibly excited for LaunchPad Central. There are two kinds of startups which can result in creative destruction: (1) changing the way we do things; or (2) changing the way we think about things. LaunchPad Central has them both."
Prior to becoming a founding member of Formation 8, Tom formed CMEA Capital in 1988 with New Enterprise Associates (NEA). Tom was responsible for managing a total of $1.2 billion of capital across seven funds from inception to July of 2010. While at CMEA, Tom also led investments including major IPO’s and significant liquidity events for Aclara Biosciences, Codexis, Inc., Entropic Communications, Flextronics, Inc., Intermolecular, Silicon Spice and Symyx Technologies. He is now Partner Emeritus of CMEA. Earlier in his career, Tom worked at Exxon Mobil for 12 years. When he left in 1982, he was serving as President of the Exxon Materials Division. Next, he founded Microwave Technology, Inc., a manufacturer and seller of gallium arsenide (GaAs) integrated circuits for defense applications. Baruch served as CEO for 6 years prior to founding CMEA Capital.
Currently, Tom serves as Chairman of the Board of Codexis, Inc. (NASDAQ: CDXS) and Intermolecular, Inc. (NASDAQ: IMI). Tom also currently serves on the boards of CNano Technologies, Exela Pharm Sci, Foro Energy and Wildcat Discovery Technologies.
Tom is a member of the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (NACIE), where he advises the U.S. Department of Commerce and the White House. Tom is a member of the Executive Committee of the U.S. Council of Competitiveness and a member of the Steering Committee of its ESIS (Energy, Security, Innovation and Sustainability) Initiative and the U.S. Manufacturing Competitiveness Initiative. Tom is also a member of the “Brain Trust” of the ARPA-E program within the U.S. Department of Energy. Tom recently served as a member of the IPO Task Force advising the U.S. Department of the Treasury in connection with necessity of programs to stimulate startup activity in the U.S. Tom is also a member of the board of directors of the Society of Kauffman Fellows, a member of the Climate Recovery Cabinet of the Sierra Club, and a trustee of the “That Man May See” program within the University of California San Francisco. Tom is an advisor to Hasso Plattner Ventures, a leading German venture capital fund.
In addition, Tom is a Trustee of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute where he was Co-Chairman of its recent $1.1 billion Capital Campaign. He and his wife, Johanna, are Founders of the Baruch Center for Solar Biochemical Energy Research at the School of Science of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the Richard Baruch, M.D. Endowed Chair in metabolic pathways of the School of Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies.
Tom holds an engineering degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a Juris Doctor degree from Capital University. He is a member of the State Bar of Ohio and is a registered patent attorney.