Investor and advisor team
Causes is supported by a world-class team of leaders in technology, philanthropy, entertainment, and venture capital.
Founders Fund: Peter Thiel and Michael Polansky
Founders Fund is a venture capital firm in San Francisco that focuses on early-stage technology investments in the $500K-$5M range. It also operates FF Angel LLC, a seed fund that invests in the $50K-250K range; and jointly with Accel and Facebook it operates fbFund, a micro-seed fund that invests in Facebook-related startups.
NEA: Scott Sandell and Jon Sakoda
NEA strives to be the leading venture capital and venture growth equity firm in the world focusing on technology and healthcare.
Scott Sandell joined NEA in 1996 and became a General Partner in 2000. Scott focuses on investments in information technology and alternative energy, and is responsible for NEA's activities in China.
Jon joined NEA in 2006 and focuses on information technology and energy investments. He is a Director of OPOWER, ScienceLogic and Suniva, Inc. and serves on the National Venture Capital Association's Clean Technology Advisory Council, where he advises on federal policies to promote investments in U.S.-based energy technology companies. Prior to joining NEA, Jon was an entrepreneur and co-founder of IMlogic, Inc. (acquired by Symantec Corporation) and served as its Chief Technology Officer and Vice President of Products.
Case Foundation: Jean Case and Erich Broksas
Created by Jean and Steve Case, the Case Foundation seeks to democratize philanthropy, encourage civic engagement, and promote new and innovative technologies to make giving more informed, efficient, and effective.
Jean Case is an actively engaged philanthropist who, together with her husband Steve Case, created the Case Foundation in 1997. Jean spent her early days at the Case Foundation doing a deep-dive into philanthropy and seeking the best ways she could make a difference. After having success with some early initiatives (and learning some really valuable lessons!) Jean realized that she and Steve could make the biggest impact by centering the Foundation around many of the same entrepreneurial approaches they cultivated throughout their business careers. As Jean would be quick to tell you, a good investment is a good investment—even if the way you measure a return changes somewhat as you move across sectors.
Erich Broksas joined the Case Foundation in 2008 after spending the previous years in the private sector leading business development efforts in international telecommunications and technology. Originally from the beautiful Pacific Northwest, Erich is obsessed with sports and will find any way to use sports analogies to make a point. While not spending time with his family, Erich enjoys attending just about any sports event he can get tickets to, reading, and finding ways to spend money at REI and Home Depot.
Dustin Moskovitz is the co-founder of Facebook and was a key leader within the technical staff, first in the position of CTO and then later as VP of Engineering. Dustin attended Harvard University as an Economics major for two years before moving to Palo Alto, California to work full-time at Facebook. He is the currently the co-founder of Asana.
Marc and Lynne Benioff
Marc Benioff is the Chairman and CEO of Salesforce.com. He founded the company in 1999 with a vision to create an on-demand information management service that would replace traditional enterprise software technology. Benioff pioneered the 1//1 Integrated Philanthropic model, bywhich companies contribute 1 percent of profits, 1 percent of equity, and 1 percent of employee hours back to the communities it serves. In June 2010 Lynne and Marc Benioff announced a $100 Million Gift to UCSF Children's Hospital with the goal of not only seeing the new hospital built but significantly advancing children's health worldwide. In 2010 Benioff and his wife were named one of the Top 25 Most Effective Philanthropists by Barron's.
Ron Conway and the SV Angel Fund
Ronald Conway has been an active angel investor for over 15 years. He was the Founder and Managing Partner of the Angel Investors LP funds (1998-2005) whose investments included: Google, Ask Jeeves, Paypal, Good Technology, Opsware, and Brightmail.
Merrill Brown, a veteran journalist, media executive and consultant, has worked for print, broadcast and Internet outlets. He also was a pioneer in the delivery of online news, having been the first editor-in-chief of MSNBC.com, the largest news site in the U.S. In addition to reporting on Wall Street as a correspondent for the Washington Post, he was the editor of Channels, a magazine about television, during the 1980s. He was later hired to help create Court TV, where he was a founder and served as senior vice president. Following consulting work with Time, NBC, US West, and others, he was named MSNBC.com's first editor-in-chief, stepping into that role in August 1996 after serving as acting manager for the July launch of the service. Brown was also a founder of News21, an educational effort involving journalism grad students from five major universities — Columbia, Berkeley, USC Annenberg, Northwestern, and Harvard — a program that was guided by a support team of faculty and professional journalists. He was brought on board at NowPublic, the citizen journalism news network with contributors from around the globe, in the spring of 2006 and his relationship with the organization grew until he was part of the board and eventually elected chairman.
Dan Adler is the founder and principal of media consultancy Media Eagles. A longtime entertainment and new media executive and consultant, Adler has spent much of his integrating talent and technology to successfully launch new initiatives and companies. He started as a trainee in Creative Artists Agency's infamous mailroom in 1986. He served as key architect of CAA's early initiatives in the New Media field. He then spent several years as a VP of Creative Development at Walt Disney Imagineering before rejoining CAA, at the height of the dot-com boom, to rebuild and run the New Media division, quickly assembling a 20-person department. He subsequently secured funding for an online shopping destination for movies, music, games, and books. As part of that mission, he produced "Burma: It Can't Wait," a groundbreaking campaign of 38 short films in support of the people of Burma and Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Jenna, a CAA Music agent, and their two young sons.
Mike is a leader in business strategy and management services to the entertainment industry. As founder of SRO Consultants, Mike has fostered close business relationships with almost every major talent agency, management firm, and concert promoter in the world. He's been involved as a strategic advisor to various industry leaders such as Best Buy, Sting, DirectTV, Tom Petty, and Tony Hawk; and, foreseeing the trend in the intersection between media and technology, Mike began consulting with several high-profile Silicon Valley technology companies including Facebook, Skype, Intervu, and Napster.
Saar Gur is a Co-Founder of Carebadges.com (Acquired - Facebook Causes) and Co-Founder at BrightRoll (Formerly Postroller). He is also an angel investor or advisor to Flixster, RockYou, Admob, Xobni, Voicestar and Frengo.
Sam Lessin is a Product Manager at Facebook. Previously, he was the co-founder and CEO of Drop.io. He graduated from Harvard University (Magna Cum Laude & PBK distinctions)
Kevin Colleran is the longest tenured employee at Facebook other than the company's founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Colleran joined Facebook in early 2005 and has been based in NY, Boston, and California ever since. Colleran currently oversees the global partnership between Facebook and Procter & Gamble, Facebook's largest corporate partner. Previous to this current global role, Colleran oversaw the US partnerships between Facebook and Coca Cola, Johnson & Johnson and others. Prior to joining Facebook, Colleran was a consultant working in the music and entertainment industries as well as developing several internet and marketing companies. Colleran is also an Angel Investor and on the Advisory Board of several technology companies.
Dave is the CEO and Co-Founder of Path. He's an angel investor, advisor, and avid skier.
Ariel is the CEO of TextMarks, and has been involved with a number of successful internet start-ups. He was the founder and CEO of IPRO, and founder and CEO of Topica, a leading provider of email publishing and lead management solutions. Ariel was founding board member of Kana Software, a pioneering provider of CRM solutions, he was founding Chairman of LinkExchange (now Microsoft's bCentral service for small business marketing); and he was a board member of Silicon Investor (now part of InfoSpace). Ariel currently serves on the board of directors of Bills.com, a provider of consumer debt resolution and lead generation services, LOLapps and SpeedDate
Chris Silbermann is the president of International Creative Management, a predominant talent and literary agency representing clients in the fields of publishing, motion pictures, television, music, theater and new media. Silbermann is involved in all aspects of the day-to-day and strategic management of the agency, which encompasses a team of more than 150 agents in Los Angeles, New York and London. In his leadership role Mr. Silbermann also oversees the careers of many of the most successful actors, directors and writers in film and television.
Michael Whouley is an American Democratic Party political consultant who specializes in get out the vote operations. Whouley is President of the Dewey Square Group, a consulting firm that works for both political and corporate clients as lobbyists and campaign strategists. Whouley was a key strategist for Bill Clinton, serving as his field director during the 1992 election. Following Clinton's inauguration, Whouley became a lobbyist on behalf of pro-North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) interests. During the 1996 election, Whouley served as director of Vice Presidential operations. Whouley is regarded as one of the Democratic Party's best field strategists and as a result has earned the nickname "The Wizard". Despite this, he is fairly reclusive and very rarely does media interviews. He avoids reporters as much as possible.
Maurice Werdegar and Western Technology Investment
WTI is a venture debt and equity investment firm. We recently closed our 13th fund of $294 million. Investments have included Facebook, Google, Youku, Quantcast, Palantir. Maurice has made direct personal investments in many companies including Flixster, Xoom, EventBrite, Rupture, GreyStripe, HeyZap, Path, Identified and Milo.com. On the side he is married w/ 3 kids living in Woodside, likes wine and food, Stanford basketball, Giants baseball, and mountain bike as often as I can.
William J. Raduchel is the chairman of the board at Opera Software ASA. He is a director of Blackboard, Inc. and Silicon Image and works with several startup companies. He is a strategic advisor to Naspers Ltd. and the Daily Mail and General Trust PLC. He teaches corporate strategy at the McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University.
Scott is an American entrepreneur and angel investor. He is best known as a co-founder of IronPort and an early advisor and board member at PayPal.
Pejman is the founding managing partner of Amidzad, a seed and early stage technology angel fund. His investments include Danger, Powerset, Vudu, Dropbox, Zoosk, Qwiki, Badgeville, SoundHound, Causes, Webs.com and others.
Pejman is a member of International Sports Press Associations, covered two FIFA world cups as a sport writer and was on the board of directors of International Children Games 2008 in San Francisco.
Based in San Francisco, Ali is an angel investor, startup advisor, and serial entrepreneur. He co-founded and sold two high-profile startups: iLike, acquired by MySpace in 2009, and LinkExchange, acquired by Microsoft for $265 million in 1998. His portfolio as an investor / advisor has included such successes as Zappos, Tellme, Ironport, and Facebook, as well as newer ventures such as DropBox, Flixster, inDinero, Causes, JamLegend, and OPOWER. As a visionary, he was among the first people to see the potential of the Facebook Platform (in 2007), and among the earliest to grasp the business opportunity of search (in 1997).
Hadi is an entrepreneur and angel investor. As an entrepreneur, he was on the founding teams of Tellme and iLike. As an angel investor and startup advisor, Hadi's portfolio includes Facebook, Zappos, Dropbox, OPOWER, Flixster, Bluekai, and many others.
Benjamin Goldhirsh is the founder and chairman of GOOD, an editorially led, member-driven community of people, NGOs, and corporations committed to pushing our world forward. Active in both regional and international philanthropic endeavors, Goldhirsh is the Chair of The Goldhirsh Foundation, which supports dynamic social programs, environmental initiatives, and innovative medical research. Goldhirsh serves on the Board of Millennium Promise, an organization guided by the UN's Millennium Development goals to end global poverty, as well as the Los Angeles Board of the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship and the board of City Year Los Angeles. He currently resides in Los Angeles.
Karl Jacob is a four-time entrepreneur and has been building and advising companies for the last 14 years. He also worked as a manager at Sun Microsystems and an executive at Microsoft. In his career, Jacob raised over $200 million from prestigious investors like Amerindo, Microsoft, eBay, Integral Partners, Norwest Ventures, Bay Partners, Benchmark Capital, Deutsche Bank, Ignition Partners, Vulcan Ventures and others. He started four companies from no revenue to significant revenues or being acquired.
Keith Rabois is Chief Operating Officer at Square, the innovative new payments company founded by Jack Dorsey that empowers anyone to accept payments everywhere. Keith oversees the company's business operations including marketing, communications, business development, distribution, human resources, and risk management. Keith specializes in transforming early-stage startups into successful businesses and has deep expertise in the financial services industry and government affairs. An accomplished executive, entrepreneur and angel investor, Keith has held leadership roles at PayPal, LinkedIn, Slide and began his career practicing law at the prestigious Sullivan & Cromwell. Keith was an early investor in several high-profile Internet companies including YouTube and currently serves on the board of directors of Yelp, Xoom, and Milo. Keith holds a JD from Harvard Law School and an undergraduate degree in political science from Stanford University.