Erik Rannala, Co-Founder & Managing Partner
Prior to forming Mucker Capital, Erik was most recently at Harrison Metal Capital where he helped lead one of the most successful seed-stage venture capital firms in Silicon Valley. Since 2008, Harrison Metal has invested in over 50 companies, including Aardvark (GOOG), DocVerse (GOOG), Heroku (CRM), Manymoon (CRM), MixerLab (Twitter) and ZipZapPlay (ERTS).
Before Harrison Metal, Erik was most recently vice president of product management and strategy at TripAdvisor, the largest travel community site on the Web. In that role, he led product strategy and development globally for TripAdvisor sites in the US, UK, France, Italy, Germany and Spain, as well distributed applications and syndicated content on partner sites like Facebook.
Prior to TripAdvisor, Erik spent over four years at eBay, where he held a variety of positions, including leadership of eBay’s premium features business, which grew during his tenure from $124 million in revenue in 2002 to $410 million in 2005, significantly outpacing overall eBay revenue and listings growth.
Previously, Erik held leadership roles at MVP.com, where he was the online sporting goods retailer’s first marketing employee, and at Accenture, where he advised Fortune 500 retail, communications, and consumer products clients on strategy, operations and technology engagements. He was also an early member of Accenture’s first practice group dedicated to Internet strategy and development.
Erik earlier served at the Domestic Policy Council in the White House, where he worked on issues such as equal employment opportunity and Native American affairs. Erik holds a BS from the University of Delaware and an MBA from Duke University.
Erik can be reached at erik at muckercapital dot com.
William Hsu, Co-Founder & Managing Partner
William has spent his career as both an entrepreneur as well as an executive of a Fortune 100 company.
Prior to forming Mucker Capital, William was the SVP and Chief Product Officer of AT&T Interactive where he owned P/L, Product Management, Product Marketing, and UX responsibilities for all digital advertising initiatives for greater AT&T. In 3 years at AT&T Interactive, he doubled revenue to over $1B and helped established AT&T Interactive as the 9th largest digital media company (ahead of Facebook), the largest digital local advertising company (ahead of Groupon), and the 2nd largest mobile advertising company (behind Google) in the U.S.
Almost 13 years ago, as a 23-year old, he was the founder and EVP of Product Development for BuildPoint – the leader in providing bidding management & marketplace services to the commercial construction industry. William helped the company grow to over 250 employees and raised over $50M in venture capital. The company was acquired in 2004.
In between, William has led product teams at eBay, Green Dot (GDOT), and Spot Runner.
William has a BS in Industrial Engineering from the Terman School of Engineering at Stanford University and a MBA from the Wharton School of University of Pennsylvania.
William can be reached at william at muckercapital dot com.
Peter Brack, Venture Advisor
Peter spent many years in Asia, where he was CEO and co-founder of two media companies (Redgate Media Group and One Media Group) which he took public on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Prior to his experience as an entrepreneur, Peter was a senior executive at Time Warner, where he held roles such as Senior Vice President of Time Inc. in Asia, and Vice President of Turner Broadcasting System in Asia.
Peter can be reached at peter at muckercapital dot com.
Kiyan Yazdi, Venture Associate
Before joining Mucker Capital, Kiyan was member of the founding team at The Beard Club (Formerly, The Dollar Beard Club) where he helped build the company to over 70,000 monthly subscribers and $18 million in revenue in just its first 18 months.
Prior to his time at The Beard Club, Kiyan worked in private equity, where he assessed standalone investment opportunities as well as strategic add-on acquisitions in the SaaS and Enterprise software industries.
Kiyan holds a BS in Business Administration with a Concentration in Finance from USC's Marshall School of Business.
Kiyan can be reached at Kiyan at muckercapital dot com.
The Mucker Network consists of more than 200 of the best, brightest, and most generous entrepreneurs, executives, and investors from Southern California and Silicon Valley. They have all graciously volunteered to mentor and advise Mucker entrepreneurs by offering their time, experience, and networks. In addition to spending time one-on-one with founders, they also hold office hours, roundtable discussions, and instructional sessions at Mucker’s office in Santa Monica.
Aaron Dodez VP Digital Marketing, RPA
Aaron Dodez is a seasoned, data-driven marketing executive who built and currently runs the Digital Content Strategy (DCS) department at RPA - one of the largest independent ad agencies in the country. In the past he has held leadership positions, P&L responsibilities, and built teams at LendingTree, The Search Agency and Machinima and have both client and agency-side experience. He has managed dozens of hardcore, multi-million dollar customer acquisition campaigns leveraging SEM, Paid Social, Display, and around driving Mobile Application installs. Aaron holds an M.A. in Integrated Marketing Communications from Emerson College.
Abdul Khan Serial Entrepreneur
Abdul Khan is currently founder & CEO of a consumer mobile startup, and co-founder of YOMYOMF Network, along with prominent YouTube content creators Ryan Higa, Kevin Wu, Chester See and Fast Five director Justin Lin. Launched in June 2012 as a partner of YouTube's funded original channels initiative, they create original episodic content for digital distribution. Original programming partners include Danny Pudi (Community), Russo Brothers (Arrested Development, Captain America 2), Andy Fickman (Parental Guidance), Lance Reddick (Fringe), Vin Diesel & Tyrese (Car Talk). Previously he was founder of Apoko Group, a digital branding company for athletes and celebrities, which also counts NBA stars Baron Davis and Steve Nash as co-founders. Prior to Apoko, Abdul was the founding CEO of IBeatYou, the largest pro-athlete owned platform for branded user generated contests, having reached 100 million views and over 250,000 contests and powering contests for multi-million user platforms such as Photobucket. Abdul was IBeatYou’s CEO through its sale to OVGuide in 2010. Previously, Abdul was a VC with Crosslink Capital, where he was responsible for consumer Internet and digital media investments in companies including Pandora, Omniture and Ancestry.com. Abdul started his career as a technology investment banker at UBS, where he worked on digital media financings with companies such as Activision, Midway Games and Acclaim Entertainment.
Adam Nash President and CEO, Wealthfront
Adam is a proven advocate for development of products that go beyond utility to delight customers. Adam joined Wealthfront from Greylock Partners, where he was an Executive-in-Residence. Prior to Greylock, he was VP of Product Management at LinkedIn, where he built the teams responsible for core product, user experience, platform and mobile. Adam has held a number of leadership roles at eBay, including Director of eBay Express, as well as strategic and technical roles at Atlas Venture, Preview Systems and Apple. Adam holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and BS and MS degrees in Computer Science from Stanford University.
Aileen Lee Founder, Cowboy Ventures
Aileen has many years of experience helping start ups build products customers love, and helping companies scale, both as an investor and operator.
Prior to Cowboy, she joined the venture firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers in 1999. At KPCB she worked hands-on with a range of consumer, enterprise, media and greentech companies including Bloom Energy, Blue Nile (NILE), Good Technology (acquired by MOT), One Kings Lane, Plum District, Rent the Runway, Shopkick, Tellme (acquired by MSFT), and Trendyol. During that time she was also founding CEO of RMG Networks (RMGN), the leading digital out-of-home media company, backed by KPCB. Aileen has also held operating roles at Gap Inc., The North Face and Odwalla and started her career at Morgan Stanley.
She has degrees from MIT, Harvard Business School, and Millburn High School; and she's the proud mom of 3 kids plus a dog, chickens and bees, and the wife of a series A stage co-founder/CTO.
Ajay Chopra General Partner, Trinity Ventures
Ajay Chopra is a General Partner at Trinity Ventures. Since joining Trinity Ventures in 2006, Ajay has developed a reputation as an entrepreneur’s coach. His passion is helping entrepreneurs execute their Big Idea. He has over 20 years of operating experience at the senior management and board level with start‐ups, private companies and public companies. Prior to joining Trinity Ventures, Ajay co-founded Pinnacle Systems, a seminal media technology company that pioneered consumer generated media creation. During his tenure at Pinnacle, the company grew from start‐up stage to a global $350M public company, won several Emmy awards and completed over a dozen M&A transactions before being acquired by Avid Technology. Previously, Ajay was with Mindset Corporation, a computer graphics start‐up. Before Mindset, he held various technical and management positions at Atari Corporation, a video games company, and Unisys Corporation, an IT services company. He is a charter member of The Indus Entrepreneurs, an active group providing support for entrepreneurs and is on the Board of Trustees of the Harker School in San Jose. Ajay holds a M.S.E.E. from Stony Brook University and a B.S.E.E. from the Birla Institute of Technology & Science in India. His investments at Trinity include 21 ViaNet (VNET), CrowdFlower (Dolores Labs), Dynamic Signal, Mobile Messenger, RadiumOne (formerly gWallet), Red Aril, Skyfire, TubeMogul, White Sky, and Ankeena (acquired by Juniper Networks - JNPR).
Alex Godelman CTO at Sony New Media Solutions / rGENERATOR
Alex Godelman is the CTO & SVP at Sony New Media Solutions / rGENERATOR, the leading provider of D2C (direct to consumer) eCommerce and data-driven BI & marketing solutions to the major entertainment industry. He is also the founder and board member of DRESR, Inc., a SaaS e-commerce platform that empowers influencers and tastemakers to amplify their monetization potential through e-commerce. Prior to rGENERATOR and DRESR, Inc., he was the CTO at Evolve Media (formerly Gorilla Nation Media), a global company that offers premium content to its consumers while offering marketers the tools needed to execute custom, content-led targeted solutions that reach its audience of near 90 million globally each month. Alex is an Engineering and Product Executive with near 20 years of global leadership experience and solid track record of success delivering web-based products and services. Alex holds an M.A. in Computer Science & Applied Mathematics from Universitatea de Stat din Moldova.
Alex Sherstinsky VP Product Development, Qualaroo
At Qualaroo, Alex Sherstinsky leads product development, R&D, and web operations. Qualaroo is a DIY ("do it yourself") tool that enables marketers to target incoming site visitors with engagements, such as conversion feedback questions, lead generation forms, and promotions. Most recently, Alex Sherstinsky – with Eugene Mandel – co-founded MustExist, Inc. Responsibilities included the leading of all aspects of starting and running a software company: incorporation, product strategy, development, sales, partnerships, intellectual property, etc. The company's core technology, Social Content Curation, was embodied in a product called Buzzworthy, which was used by more than 7,000 websites on Webs.com for content marketing. Before MustExist, Alex was a member of the founding team at NebuAd, Inc. Funded by Menlo Ventures and Sierra Ventures, NebuAd built an online advertising network in partnership with Internet Service Providers. As the V.P. of Product Development, Alex headed Product Management, Product Development, and Network Operations. Prior to NebuAd, Alex was Senior Director of Products at FaceTime Communications, Inc. (now Actiance, Inc.), a leader in security, management, and compliance for Internet communications. At FaceTime, he led the development, delivery, and marketing of FaceTime's technology platform, product lines, and partnerships since the company's founding in 1997. Before FaceTime, Alex worked at several other start-ups, consulted for AT&T, and held internships at LSI Logic and Hewlett-Packard. Alex Sherstinsky holds PhD/ScD and MS degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a BS degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences. His doctorate and post-doctorate research work was conducted at the M.I.T. Media Laboratory. Alex Sherstinsky is the holder of four U.S. patents.
Alexander Lloyd Managing Director, Accelerator Ventures
Alexander Lloyd is the founder and managing director of Accelerator Ventures, a venture fund focused on seed-stage investments. Prior to founding Accelerator Ventures, Alexander was a venture partner at Rustic Canyon Partners, where he oversaw the development of their seed-stage investment strategy. Before working in Venture Capital, Alexander was the Business Development Manager in Microsoft's Silicon Valley office responsible for Microsoft's relationships with the West Coast venture capital and startup community. Alexander has also worked as a Product Manager in SGIs workstation division and has held marketing positions at Activision and Apple Computer. Alexander began his career at Goldman Sachs, where he spent three years as a financial analyst. Born in New York City, Alexander was raised in Paris, France, and is fluent in French. Alexander earned a BA in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA in Entrepreneurial Management from The Wharton School. He sits on the boards of SF Camerawork and Junior Achievement of San Francisco.
Ali Rosenthal VP Strategic Partnerships, Wealthfront Inc.
Ali Rosenthal was recently hired by Wealthfront to run its strategic partnerships. Most recently, she was the COO (Chief operating officer) of MessageMe. Prior to the messaging startup, she was an executive in residence at Greylock Partners for a year. Ali Rosenthal served as Senior Manager of Facebook, Inc. from February 2006 to July 2008. From February 2006 to January 2011, Ms. Rosenthal led various initiatives in the Business Development Department at Facebook, Inc., where she served as Head of the Global Operator Program, Mobile from July 2008 to January 2011. Ms. Rosenthal also served as an associate at General Atlantic Partners, LLC, a global private equity fund focused on IT, from February 2001 to June 2003 and as an analyst at Goldman, Sachs & Co., a leading global investment banking and securities firm, from July 1998 until July 2000. Ms. Rosenthal joined General Atlantic Partners in 2001. She has been Independent Director of AutoNation Inc. since March 14, 2011. She obtained her B.A. from Brown University in 1998.
Amit Jain President, Uber India
Amit Jain is currently the president at Uber India and serves on the board of directors of ReSurge International. He was previously the president at Rent.com, a free rental site that offers a large selection of trusted apartments and houses for rent. Prior to Rent.com, he served as the senior advisor at TPG Capital, one of the largest global alternative investment firms in the world, with total assets under management of approximately $75 billion as of March 31, 2015. Amit holds an MBA in Management from Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Andreas Biebl VP Marketing, Nordstromrack.com | HauteLook, a Nordstrom Company
Andreas Biebl is a marketing executive with 15+ years of global experience working for Fortune 500 companies and startups throughout Europe and the US. He is the VP Marketing at Nordstromrack.com | HauteLook, a Nordstrom Company, which has recently made it way into the “Top 100 Tech Companies in LA” list on builtinla.com. Previously he was the co-founder of Stealth Mode, a Santa Monica based startup that revolutionizes real estate transactions and agent matching with consumers. Before Stealth Mode, he was the VP Marketing at DECA, where he executed strategy for the company and acted as lead person for key technology partnerships. He also served as the director of international internet marketing at eBay Inc from 2007 to 2008, and as the head of marketing at eBay Austria from 2003 to 2007. Andreas earned an M.A. in International Policy Studies from Stanford University.
Andrew Solmssen Managing Director, Possible (WPP)
Andrew has over 15 years experience in digital. Work he’s led has received a Gold Cannes Lion, 2 Emmys, OMMA, BDA, W3, Ad:Tech, and many other awards, and he is a regular columnist in a variety of trade publications. Recent speaking engagements include International CES, Ad:Tech, Digital Hollywood, OMMA, and NATPE. He is a member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (the Emmys). As Managing Director for Possible (WPP), he serves as executive sponsor for key relationships, providing digital strategy consulting to Fortune 500 brands across the agency’s portfolio. In addition, he runs Possible’s Los Angeles office and serves as part of the executive management team that directs the global agency’s 1200 staff across 24 offices. Prior to Possible, Andrew co-founded Schematic where he ran relationships with clients including Target, Comcast, ABC, Viacom, and Microsoft. He was instrumental in the company’s growth from 3 people to one of the world’s top digital agencies and its sale to WPP in 2007. Before Schematic, he served as Executive Producer at KPE (a division of Grey Advertising) in New York. At KPE, Andrew spearheaded major initiatives for Variety, Turner, and AOL. Sent west to start KPE’s Los Angeles office, Andrew grew that business, producing brand-building sites and software projects for clients including Nielsen, New Line Cinema, and Princess Cruises. Before the dawn of digital media, Andrew lived in Namibia working for the Harvard Institute for International Development. He is a graduate of Hamilton College who spends his time away from work playing hockey, surfing, and enjoying his wife and twin sons.
Andy Jolls CMO, Instantly, Inc.
Andy Jolls is the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) at Instantly, Inc., the world’s largest audiences and insights platform that provides researchers and marketers with immediate access to consumers and automated insights tools. Before Instantly, he was the SVP Global Marketing at Digital Postal Mail, a paperless postal system that allows businesses to deliver transactional mail electronically to their consumers’ digital mailboxes. Andy is skilled in Internet retailing, operations management, branding and identity, and market research. He holds an MBA from Northwestern University-Kellogg School of Management.
Anna Barber Partner, Good Harbor Partners
Anna Barber is a senior strategic and entrepreneurial executive in the educational technology, mobile learning and kids media sectors. She is currently a partner at Good Harbor Partners and Consultant at Barber Shop Consulting. She was the SVP Product at Age of Learning, Inc. / ABCmouse.com, where she structured product group, hired key VP level employees, and managed design and development of new technology platform. Prior to Age of Learning, Inc., she co-funded Scribble Press and served as its CEO for almost seven years. During her tenure she raised three rounds of capital, expanded the company from Los Angeles to New York., and designed its new retail format. She was also the VP Product Development at Rentanything.com from 2000 to 2001 and the VP Product Mangement at Petstore.com from 1999 to 2000. Anna graduated from Yale University with a B.A. in American Studies and later earned her degree from Yale Law School.
Anthony Soohoo Co-Founder & CEO, Dot & Bo
Anthony Soohoo is Co-Founder & CEO at Dot & Bo, an emerging home design shop based in San Francisco. Prior to Dot & Bo, he was also Co-Founder & CEO of Rumpus. He was also a member of the Board of Directors for Revision3, which was soon acquired by Discovery Communications. Previously Anthony served as the Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Entertainment & Lifestyle Division at CBS Interactive which included CBS.com, TV.com, The Insider.com, Chow, Chowhound, UrbanBaby, CBS Audience Network, and CBS Interactive Web Original Studio. During his tenure, Soohoo helped grow the CBS Interactive Entertainment Division to become one of the leading entertainment networks on the web.
Soohoo joined CBS in 2007 with its acquisition of Dotspotter, one of the fastest growing community-powered entertainment properties on the Internet where he served as co-founder and CEO. Prior to founding Dotspotter, Anthony was Vice President at Yahoo! responsible for the strategy, management, development and financial performance for various business units. Prior to Yahoo!, Anthony was COO of ALWAYSi, a user-generated video startup, leading the daily operations of the business, and shepherding the company towards a successful acquisition by Hollywood Media Corporation (NASDAQ: HOLL). Previously, Anthony held product management positions at early web search company Inktomi and Apple.
Anthony earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Davis and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Soohoo was featured in The Hollywood Reporter’s Digital Power List as one of the top 50 executives leading the charge in new media. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Revision3 and is an advisor/investor to a number of consumer startups.
Antonio Magnaghi VP Data Science - Engineering, Live Nation/Ticketmaster
Antonio Magnaghi is the VP Data Science - Engineering at Live Nation (Ticketmaster). He leads applied R&D and SW engineering/development on several strategic, large-scale initiatives at Live Nation/Ticketmaster and is in charge of designing and implementing novel machine learning algorithms as the core technology of Ticketmaster marketing and user intent discovery platforms. Prior to Live Nation/Ticketmaster he was the SVP Algorithms and Data at Demand Media, where he bootstrapped a completely new R&D group, developed novel algorithms, and holds several patents. He also served as the Senior Software Engineer at Yahoo! from 2005 to 2008 and was the Software Design Engineer at Microsoft for almost two years. He is skilled in distributed systems, machine learning, scalability, and algorithms, and graduated from the University of Tokyo with a Ph.D. in Computer Science.
Ari Engelberg Former Co-Founder, Stamps.com; Executive Director, BrightStar Charter Schools
Ari Engelberg has expertise in educational leadership and fundraising and has been teaching and coaching at Harvard-Westlake School for the past 14 years. He was also the Executive Director at Bright Star Schools from 2007 to 2015. Prior to being a teacher at Harvard, he co-founded Archive and served as its SVP of Corporate Development. Before Archive,he also co-funded Stamps.com, a website that provides all functions of the Post Office to users’ desktop. As the VP of Product Development and Web Operation, he was responsible for developing product specifications for Internet Postage v1.0 and for managing specification, design, implementation, and deployment of Stamps.com's website, including its online commerce and customer support components. Ari holds a B.A. in Political Science and Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley, a JD from the UCLA School of Law, and an MBA from the Anderson School at UCLA.
Ari Mir Chairman of the Board, Clutter
Ari Mir is a serial entrepreneur, focused on utilizing technology to solve real world problems. He is currently Chairman of the Board for Clutter, a company that simplifies the self-storage experience. Prior to this, he was an advisor for 100 Layer Cake and the CEO to Pocket Change. Prior to co-founding GumGum, Ari co-founded and sold Mojungle, a mobile media-sharing platform. Having worked at BizRate.com and LowerMyBills.com, Ari also has an extensive background in monetizing web traffic. Raised in Los Angeles, he graduated from the University of Southern California with a BS from the Marshall School of Business.
Arnaud Robert SVP, Strategy & Innovation
Arnaud Robert has been Senior Vice President of Technology Strategy at Shaw Communications, Inc. since January 22, 2015. He is accountable for establishing Shaw Communications's technical vision and strategy and determining how current and future technology can be best leveraged to achieve the business goals. Het is accountable for leading the development of strategic partnerships and overseeing the governance of long term technology risk management. He has 15 years of experience in technology and digital strategy in senior leadership roles across various industries in North America. He has expertise as a digital strategist, innovator and technology leader. Arnaud holds a PhD in Computer Science from Swiss Institute of Technology (EPFL).
Arthur Wang CMO, Super Deluxe
Arthur Wang is an online media professional with an emphasis on audience development, audience acquisition, branded response, and direct marketing. He currently holds the position as the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) at Super Deluxe, a digital social video network. He is also the founder and owner of Abax Interactive, an online direct marketing agency. Prior to Super Deluxe he was the VP and General Manager at CBS Interactive, where he founded and launched the Central Audience Development and Acquisition team that supported CBS.com, CBSNews.com, CBSSports.com, CNET, GameSpot, Metrolyrics, TechRepublic, TVGuide, and ZDNet. He also built a team with one of the highest revenue per head divisions, accounting for over $40 million in annualized revenue. He was the founder of SimplyFinance, an online community that provides expert financial content, Terra Matrix Media, a performance-based marketing organization, and CallsDirect, a performance-based media. Arthur graduated with a B.A. in Business-Economics from UCLA and later earned his MBA in Entrepreneurship and Finance from UCLA Anderson School of Management.