We focus on high impact entrepreneurship
Our team is made up of experienced investors and entrepreneurs that have been there and done that. Our founders have successfully built and sold companies while based out of SoCal. More importantly, our team is passionate about finding extraordinary entrepreneurs and help them turn their visions into successful businesses.
Collectively, the team has decades of experience building successful and lean businesses, and has experience in every aspect of business including product concept and development, fund raising, business model development, sales & marketing, operations, and merger & acquisition.
Amir is a successful entrepreneur whose work experience includes more than 14 years of advising startups.
His focus has always been identifying and developing future and emerging technologies that can impact society with special emphasis on predictive business intelligence, knowledge sharing & education, and real-time technologies.
Amir likes to work with startups on their product strategy, pricing, business model, go-to-market, and fund raising.
Amir is currently a member and President of the Tech Coast Angels Orange County and actively involved with venture funds and angel investors to help continuous and sustained funding of startups.
As an active angel investor with a successful 25 year track record as a king/queen maker, Ray is committed to partnering with entrepreneurs to lead them to success. Working in tandem with these entrepreneurs, Ray loves sharing his passion and knowledge with the next class of game-changers. Ray has extensive experience within the tech startup industry. Ray is currently a member and Board Member of Tech Coast Angels and ACE Fund I and II Investment Committee. In 1985, he co-founded NetSoft, a leader in communications solutions between PCs, mainframes, and AS/400 systems. NetSoft was acquired by NetManage Inc (NETM).
Follow him @rtchan
Kai Tao is an experienced consumer and technology investor through Park One Capital, his family office, which invests in both private and public equities utilizing a variety of capital structures. Currently, he is the Chairman of Phluant Mobile, a leader in mobile rich media advertising and analytics, as well as Lifetopia Corp, a provider of housing management solutions for Colleges and Universities.
Previously, he was the President and Chief Investment Officer of Watson Asset Management, a hedge fund with peak assets of $300 million, specializing in long short US Equities.
Kai contributed to the chapter on Fundamental Investigative Investing for the book Master Traders, published by John Wiley and edited by Fari Hamzei, and was a featured guest on the PBS show, Wealth and Wisdom. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Steve Block has more than 40 years of broad, legal, management and executive experience at Fortune 500 corporations and a major New York law firm. Mr. Block has had extensive experience in domestic and international mergers and acquisitions and joint ventures. He serves on the Boards of Directors of both private and public companies including the Board of Directors of Senomyx, Inc. (NASDAQ:SNMX) and ChromaDex Corporation (OTC:CDXC.OB),
Chairman of the Board of Blue Pacific Flavors and Fragrances, Inc., and a director of Allylix, Inc., XSCapacity, Inc., Vigilistics, Inc. and Masher Media, Inc. (of which he is co-founder). Mr. Block holds a Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School and a Bachelor of Arts degree cum laude from Yale University.
Robin Pimentel is VP of Network Engineering at a recently acquired startup (Gaikai, a SCE Company). Robin's prior employers include Onlive, Facebook, Google and Yahoo; with experience designing large scale MPLS-TE, BGP, ISIS, Datacenter Networking and Load Balancing architectures.
Laurie Pettinella Zorn
Laurie is a strategy and business development professional with a decade of experience advising companies across various growth stages, from startup to Fortune 50. Her work with entrepreneurs focuses on go-to market, new product/market development, and organization/business process design. She currently is a partner at High Spark Advisors in New York and a mentor for innovation and entrepreneurship at Columbia University.
Previously, Laurie held a management position with Mattel where she led multiple projects for the International division, including extending Mattel’s footprint in emerging markets and managing the strategic planning process. Prior to Mattel, Laurie was a management consultant with A.T. Kearney in New York. In this role, she led engagement teams advising corporate and private equity clients on growth strategy and business process initiatives. Additionally, she held Finance roles with Unilever where she participated in the launch of the Dove brand into the beauty care market. Laurie holds an MBA from Columbia Business School and an undergraduate degree in Finance and Organizational Behavior from Boston University.
Gunther is a world-renowned speaker on digital convergence and the power of modern storytelling, having keynoted alongside the likes of Sir Richard Branson, Guy Kawasaki, Arianna Huffington and Jonathan Harris. He is currently co-writing a new book entitled The Big Pivot, a guidepost for companies looking to build emerging market opportunities in an era of deep cultural acceleration
As a creative entrepreneur, Gunther has spent the majority of his 20-year career building leading-edge content and analytics systems within the entertainment, brand and corporate spaces, including a dozen proprietary platforms and a host of digital and social media tools. The social media monitoring software he co-developed, eCairn, won a Forrester Groundswell award in 2010, and his work on previsualization software, 3D Pipeline, has won several military and gaming awards. As an SVP at Omnicom Group, Gunther was instrumental in developing global digital anthropology platforms such as Cultura and Brand Channel, and leveraged these products to create innovative branded content and analytics initiatives for the likes of Skype, Toyota, Nestle, Adobe, Mattel and Charles Schwab.
In product and marketing roles, Gunther is an advisor to several disruptive companies, including Coincident TV (David Kaiser, CEO; creator of Flash/Macromedia, co-Founder of Navisoft; several exits, ex NASA engineer), TruEffect (helped raise $8mm in cash and lines from Goldman Sachs; Martin Smith, CTO, ex Senior Apple engineer), MomentFeed (recently helped raise strategic investment from Location 3 in a $1.3mm seed round), Liquify Digital (Greg Martin, CEO, ex Disney exec) and Glome (Timo Ronkainen, Chairman, MD of Carat-Isobar Finland).
Logan Allin is a Sloan Fellow at Stanford University's Graduate School of Business, and is concurrently advising a number of start-ups across industries, in his role as a Venture Partner at K5 Ventures, as well as continuing to actively serve on multiple boards. Logan most recently served as Head of Management Strategy and oversaw the Foundation/Endowment/Foundation channel, while serving as a member of the Operating Committee at Atlantic Trust, the Private Wealth Management arm of Invesco. Previously, Logan was a Senior Vice President in City National Bank's wealth management division. He spent much of his career in management consulting, in leadership positions at Capgemini, EMC Corporation and PwC LLP. Logan earned Bachelor of Arts degrees in public policy and political science from Duke University. Logan holds the Certified Investment Management Analyst(SM) designation administered by the Investment Management Consultants Association(SM) and taught in conjunction with The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Logan also holds the Certified Private Wealth Advisor(SM) designation, taught in conjunction with The Booth School, University of Chicago. Logan currently sits on the Advisory Board for several companies, including the Family Office Association, Scorpion Computer Services, and KnightsBridge Branding. Further, Logan is actively involved in several local and national charitable organizations - including serving as a national Livestrong Leader, an Advising Founding Member of the UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital, and a member of the Advisory Committee at Stanford's Camp Kesem
A twenty-year telecommunications entrepreneur and founder of Office Telephone Management (OTM) in 1983, a shared-service provider of integrated voice and data communications products and services to tenants of multi-tenant office buildings in Southern California. Sold business to Intermedia Communications (later acquired by Worldcom) in 1995. Since then, involved in an assortment of domestic and international telecommunications consulting engagements, mentoring activities, and investment opportunities involving local telecom and other startup companies. A member of both the Orange County chapter of the Tech Coast Angels and Investors Circle, Chairman of the the advisory board of the Venture Finance Institute of the Claremont Graduate University, founding partner of the LA Chapter of Social Venture Partners, and board member of the Social Enterprise Institute.
Malcolm is an experienced entrepreneur with a strong background in professional management and corporate turnarounds. As an entrepreneur he has started a number of different enterprises which include niche magazine and newspaper publishing, management consulting, venture management, fast foods and internet label manufacturing and marketing. He has been involved in turnarounds in a variety of industries which include consumer goods manufacturing and distribution, industrial distribution, industrial manufacturing, and electronics manufacturing.
Trained by both GE and McKinsey, he was a Business Man of the Year nominee, and the youngest ever recipient of an MIT Sloan Fellowship. Mr. Geffen holds a BS in Commerce from Cape Town University, a Post Graduate Diploma in International Marketing from IMI Harvard and a MS in Industrial Management from MIT.
Hans Imhof holds an Electrical Engineering Degree from the University of in Zurich in Switzerland. Mr. Imhof rose through the ranks at Borg Warner Corporation in the 1960’s to become the Chief Engineer of their Electronics Division in Southern California. Following this, he formed Electrical Power Engineering, EPE, which he successfully grew to become the third largest manufacturer of Uninterruptible Power Supplies in the world. EPE was sold to the Merlin Gerin division of Group Schneider of Paris, France in 1990. Following the successful sale of EPE, Mr. Imhof has continued to be actively involved in a number of successful startup businesses including NetBrowser Communications, and others.
More than 60 mentors currently partner with K5 Ventures to provide cutting edge and pragmatic advice and support. Training provided to startups include product development, revenue model, customer development, sales and marketing.