JUDGES ARE THE MOST PIONEERING LIFESTYLE ICONS, BUSINESS LEADERS, AND SUCCESSFUL FOUNDERS WHO SELECT OUR FOUNDERS.
Sephora, Chief Marketing Officer
Deborah Yeh is the Chief Marketing Officer for Sephora Americas. In her role, Deborah is responsible for cultivating the brand experience at Sephora and ensuring it is differentiated and compelling across all marketing touchpoints — from communications and creative, to loyalty and personalization. Most recently, Deborah helmed Sephora’s “We Belong to Something Beautiful” initiative, introducing a company commitment to inclusion and diversity. The award-winning campaign reflects Sephora’s longstanding brand values and affirms our promise to never stop building a beauty community where all are welcomed.
Deborah has been recognized as one of the 25 most innovative CMOs in the world by Business Insider, Forbes CMO Next, Adweek 50, The Influence 100 by PRovoke, and Women Worth Watching by Diversity Journal. She is on the board of the ANA’s Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing.
Lightspeed Ventures, Managing Director
Jeremy joined Lightspeed in 2006 as the firm’s first consumer specialist, focusing on massive-scale social media, commerce, new media, and financial services. Like many in the industry, he was drawn to venture capital for its forward-looking approach to business.
“I was an operator for a long time,” he says. “And as an operator, you focus on making the month, the quarter, the year. With venture, you’re looking toward the horizon rather than the ground.”
This perspective has proven fruitful. Jeremy has funded several companies that have since been acquired or gone public, most notably Snapchat, where he made the first investment. It’s a track record that has landed him on the Forbes Midas List several times.
In addition to completing an MBA at Stanford, Jeremy spent the ‘90s and early 2000s working for web pioneers such as Netscape, AOL, CitySearch, and Interactive Corp. It was then that he learned to view the world through the eyes of the mass market—not just the digerati—and how to spot patterns in user behavior.
“VCs are editors, not writers,” he says. “Our job is not to predict the future but to recognize an exciting present that can continue to scale. A lot of that is about keeping an open mind, about not rushing to judgment.”
With Snapchat, for example, he recognized a fundamental shift that created opportunity for a disruptor. Conventional wisdom held that the post-Facebook social media landscape was too crowded to accommodate another platform. Yet Snapchat went on to shape popular culture. Why?
Jeremy saw that users on Facebook and Instagram posted mostly highlight reels of their lives, leading to performance anxiety—and less posting. Users worried, “Will I get enough likes?” Conversely, Snapchat’s disappearing photos, and the absence of likes and follower counts, removed the perceived risk of posting a photo. People could be themselves.
“Today, people express themselves through Snapchat stories, gifs, and stickers,” he says. “Before that, it was emojis and emoticons. Before that, it was their AIM Buddy icon or their ASCII signature on Usenet. The same core driver — people seeking individuality — is being instantiated in different ways, through different media.”
Outside of Lightspeed, Jeremy was a founding trustee at Presidio Knolls School, a startup, progressive Mandarin-immersion PreK-8 school in San Francisco.
Stitch Fix, Founder & CEO
Katrina founded Stitch Fix in 2011 to help women everywhere discover and explore their style through a truly client-focused shopping experience. While attending Harvard Business School, Katrina saw an opportunity to combine data science with human stylists to completely reinvent the retail space and deliver an unparalleled, personalized experience. Prior to founding Stitch Fix, Katrina developed extensive experience at the intersection of fashion, retail and technology. She managed the blogger platform at venture-backed social commerce company Polyvore and consulted with a variety of e-commerce and traditional retailers during her time at The Parthenon Group. Katrina holds a B.S. in Economics from Stanford University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. She currently serves on the board of directors at GrubHub and Glossier.
Bain & Company, Worldwide Managing Partner
Manny Maceda is the Worldwide Managing Partner of Bain & Company. He is responsible for all aspects of the firm’s strategy, team and operations across Bain’s global network of 50+ offices. Manny leads the firm in its mission to deliver the best client results in the management consulting industry. Additionally, Manny is Chairman of the Board of Directors of Bain & Company. He originally joined Bain in 1988.
Manny’s past roles include Chairman of the Asia-Pacific region and Global Leader at various times of Bain’s Full Potential Transformation Group, Performance Improvement practice, Reengineering practice and Global Recruiting Team. He has served on the firm’s Management Committee, Nominating Committee and Global Operating Committee.
Manny specializes in working with large corporate transformations involving strategy, growth, cost reduction, performance improvement and organizational effectiveness across a range of industries with most depth in technology companies. Prior to taking on his current role, he was the lead Bain partner in support of client relationships with a global private equity fund, a global computing company, a global e-commerce player, an Asia-Pacific communications company and a global sports apparel company.
Manny holds an MS in Management from the MIT Sloan School of Management and a BS in Chemical Engineering (magna cum laude) from the Illinois Institute of Technology. Prior to joining Bain, he worked with E.I. Du Pont de Nemours in the Engineering Plastics Group and with Unocal Corporation in Refinery Process Engineering. Manny is a member of the Advisory Board of the MIT Sloan School of Management.
TPG, The Rise Fund, Co-Managing Partner
Maya Chorengel is a Co-Managing Partner at The Rise Fund, the world’s largest, global impact platform committed to achieving measurable, positive social and environmental outcomes alongside competitive financial returns. Founded by TPG in partnership with Bono and Jeff Skoll, and with more than $5 billion in assets under management, Rise invests in growth-stage, high potential, mission-driven companies that have the power to change the world. A longtime impact, private equity and venture capital investor, Maya also leads financial services and fintech investing for Rise globally and is a key architect of the fund’s impact methodology and assessment process.
Prior to joining TPG, Maya was a co-founder of Elevar Equity, a leading impact venture capital firm with a track record of top quartile financial returns and meaningful impact on over 20 million low-income households in Asia and Latin America. Prior to Elevar, Maya was Managing Director of the Dignity Fund, a private investment fund focused on local currency debt financing for high-growth microfinance institutions globally. She began her investing career at Warburg Pincus in New York, Hong Kong and Menlo Park.
Maya serves as a Director of Benevity, EverFi, Varo Bank, Nithio, SEO, and Kiva. She also serves on the Advisory Boards of the Harvard Business School Social Enterprise Initiative and CASE i3 at Duke University, and co-authored a Harvard Business Review article entitled “Calculating the Value of Impact Investing.” Maya earned an A.B. in Social Studies from Harvard College and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
EM Cosmetics, CEO & Founder. Digital pioneer, Entrepreneur, and Award-Winning Content Creator.
Digital pioneer, Entrepreneur, and Award-Winning Content Creator. 11+ years experience as a digital disruptor, acclaimed by Forbes, Inc., TIME and Fast Company for building next generation platforms and tools that cater to the evolvement of the online landscape, connect creators and grow careers.
3.1Phillip Lim, Co-Founder, Chief Creative
Phillip Lim was born in Thailand in 1973 to Chinese immigrants who later fled to Southern California to escape Cambodia’s civil war, where his mother found work as a seamstress and his father became a professional poker player. While his mother clearly had an early influence on his ethos, Lim didn’t fantasize of being a designer. Instead he studied finance for three years at California State University of Long Beach, but soon found himself switching to a degree in home economics.
Phillip Lim debuted his eponymous brand, 3.1 Phillip Lim, in the fall of 2005, with business partner and friend, Wen Zhou, bucking the ostentatious runway trends of the time. His line of youthfully elegant wardrobe classics with a twist, was an instant sensation and adored by critics, fashion editors and customers alike. Widespread recognition of Lim’s talent and accolades quickly followed, including the 2006 Fashion Group International Women’s Designer ‘Rising Star’ Award, the 2007 CFDA Swarovski Award in Womenswear, the 2012 CFDA Swarovski Award in Menswear, and the 2013 CFDA Award for Accessories Designer of the Year.
After nearly fifteen years in business, Lim as creative director and co-founder of 3.1 Phillip Lim, finds himself at the helm of a pioneering modern luxury brand, designing women’s, men’s, accessories, and footwear – making him one of the most talented and successful young designers today.
Prabal Gurung, CEO
Prabal Gurung launched his eponymous collection in February 2009 with a philosophy encompassing modern luxury, indelible style and an astute sense of glamour.
Gurung was born in Singapore and raised in Kathmandu, Nepal. After beginning his design career in New Delhi, he moved to New York to finish his studies at Parsons The New School for Design. Upon graduating, Gurung spent two years with Cynthia Rowley’s design and production teams. Soon after, he was appointed design director at the iconic Bill Blass, a post he held for five years until launching his own collection, PRABAL GURUNG.
A focus on quality and innovation has placed Gurung at the forefront of American fashion with designs worn by leading ladies including First Lady Michelle Obama and The Duchess of Cambridge, to name a few. Notable accolades include the 2010 Ecco Domani Fashion Fund Award, 2010 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund runner up, USA Network’s Character Approved Award recipient in 2011, named goodwill ambassador of Maiti Nepal, a finalist of the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award, recipient of the 2011 CFDA Swarovski Award for Womenswear and was honored in 2015 with the inaugural Creativity Award from The Drawing Center. Gurung was the official 2013 designer collaborator for Target, launched a product collaboration with MAC Cosmetics in 2014, collaborated on a collection with TOMS to support Shikshya Foundation Nepal in 2016, launched a capsule with Lane Bryant in February 2017 and was named the Global Creative Director of Tasaki in September 2017. In November 2019, Gurung was named the first ever Honorary Designer of the National Portrait Gallery Celebration at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC, and published his first coffee table book.
Prabal Gurung chooses to manufacture in New York city to uphold standards of quality while supporting the local community. With over 80% of the collection made in New York, Prabal Gurung is committed to sustaining domestic employment and income. The brand recognizes the importance of domestic production, particularly in respect to the quality of the finished product and helps to bring this awareness to an international audience.
Instacart, Former CFO
Sagar Sanghvi was Instacart’s Chief Financial Officer until February 2021, overseeing the company’s Accounting, Finance, Business Operations and Corporate Development teams. Sagar joined Instacart in 2015, serving as the company’s Vice President of Finance & Strategy and a member of the company’s senior leadership team (S-team) prior to becoming the CFO. Before Instacart, Sagar spent time on the private equity team at KKR and on the investment banking team at Goldman Sachs, focusing on the consumer and media sectors. Sagar holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he was the Henry Ford II Scholar, and a B.S., summa cum laude, from Duke University.
Umai Hospitality Group, Founder; Caviar, Co-Founder
Shawn is a proud Chinese-American immigrant who grew up in the Los Angeles area. He is an alumnus of UC Berkeley class of 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture and Minor in Sustainable Design. During his senior year, he joined his college friends to start a daily deals company called Munch On Me (YC class of S11) and dove into the tech startup industry. He later co-founded a food delivery company, Caviar, in early 2012. Caviar was acquired by Square, now a public company, in 2014 and then acquired again by DoorDash in 2019. He is currently a Co-Founder and General Partner of Beluga Capital which has invested and advised in several food tech startups, restaurants, and numerous other companies. He is also currently a Senior Advisor at Grishin Robotics. Besides tech, Shawn is the founding partner of Umai Hospitality Group, a restaurant group invested in major franchises like The Halal Guys and Bonchon Fried Chicken, along with local brands like Rooster and Rice.
Care.com & NEA, Founder & Venture Partner
Sheila Lirio Marcelo is a Venture Partner at New Enterprise Associates (NEA). Prior to NEA, she founded Care.com in 2006 and served as Chairwoman and CEO until early 2020. With Sheila’s leadership since founding, the company had year-over-year growth of over a hundred percent prior to going public in early 2014 and was sold to IAC in early 2020. Today, Care.com is the world’s largest online destination for finding and managing family care—serving more than 35 million people across 20 countries.
Marcelo founded the company when faced with the challenge of balancing a career with child and senior care responsibilities—spotlighting for her both the massive care needs of families everywhere and the untapped opportunity to provide solutions for those challenges.
Sheila started Care.com with a conviction that technology and innovation can address real world social challenges, and created the largest marketplace for care, consisting of a matching service for families and providers, a payroll and tax platform, and an enterprise solution for companies to support workers with their family care needs. Through both organic growth and numerous acquisitions, the company also offered everything from household tax and payroll services and customized corporate benefits packages covering the care needs of working families, to innovating new ways for caregivers to be paid and obtain professional benefits.
Prior to founding Care.com, Marcelo’s growing appreciation for the power of technology to help solve real problems for people led her to mission-driven companies like Upromise, where she was VP of Product Management and Marketing for the service which helped families save for college. Following Upromise, she was an Entrepreneur in Residence at Matrix Partners where she developed the plan for Care.com.
Over the course of Care.com’s growth, Marcelo has also been honored with numerous accolades, including one of the “Top 10 Women Entrepreneurs” at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit and Fortune Magazine. She is a Henry Crown Fellow with the Aspen Institute, a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum, was awarded a Marshall Memorial Fellowship, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Marcelo graduated from Mount Holyoke College, which also conferred upon her an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters in 2015. She received her J.D. and M.B.A. degrees with honors from Harvard University and, in 2014, was the youngest recipient of the Harvard Business School Alumni Achievement Award.
Somesh Dash joined IVP in March of 2005. He focuses primarily on later-stage investments in Internet, software, wireless, and technology-enabled services companies. Somesh was recognized by The New York Times and CB Insights in 2019 as one of the top 100 venture capitalists.
Somesh actively participated in IVP’s investments in AddThis (ORCL), Akamai (AKAM), Amplitude, AppDynamics (CSCO), At Road (TRMB), Ayasdi, Brex, Business Insider (Axel Springer), CafePress (PRSS), Care.com (CRCM), ComScore (SCOR), Datalogix (ORCL), Danger (MSFT), Digital River (DRIV), Discord, Dropbox (DBX), FleetMatics (FLTX), Gaia Online, Hipmunk (SAP), Humu, Klout (Lithium), Lime, Loopnet (CSGP), MotoSport (LINTA), MySQL (ORCL), Netflix (NFLX), Personal Capital, Pindrop, Pure Storage (PSTG), Expanse, Qubole, Quigo (TWX), Rubrik, Shazam (AAPL), SoundCloud, Tanium, Thrive Global, TuneIn, Uber (UBER), Uproxx (WMG), Walker & Company (PG), ZEFR, and Zynga (ZNGA).
Prior to joining IVP, Somesh was an Analyst in the Corporate Finance Division of Credit Suisse’s Technology Investment Banking Group. While at Credit Suisse, Somesh focused on strategic financing initiatives for a number of public and private technology companies. Prior to joining Credit Suisse, Somesh worked for Luxmi Capital, an early stage venture capital fund focused on digital media investments. He also worked for the Corporate Development Division of Sony Entertainment Television (SET) in Mumbai, India.
Somesh is currently a member of the Management Board at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business (GSB) and the Advisory Board of Malaria No More. He’s a former member of the Advisory Board of the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship, the Haas Alumni Board and the Haas Development Board at UC Berkeley. He’s also formerly served on the Tech Advisory Group of UCSF and the Advisory Board for Stanford’s Center for Philanthropy and Civil Society (PACS). Somesh is a term member of the Council of Foreign Relations.
Somesh earned a B.S. in Business Administration from the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley and an M.B.A. from Stanford University.
Susie oversees both client business relationships and operations of the agency – all in service of generating impact and influence on behalf of our clients’ businesses. Susie has led growth for Droga5 by marshaling all disciplines of the agency to scale from a 35 person crew in the 12 years since she started. She has also been a critical driver and agent for designing systems and culture to deliver breakthrough ideas and advance best in class talent.
Susie is an Aspen Institute First Movers Fellow (2020) and recipient of Campaign US 40 over 40 (2020), GoldHouse A100 (2018) and Adweek 50 (2017). She has also consistently served as an executive leader, champion, and advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion – and sits on the Board of Directors of ADCOLOR, the premier organization celebrating and promoting professionals of color and diversity in the creative industries.
Tony, Andy, Stanley Xu, Fang, Tang
Stanley Tang is the co-founder and Chief Product Officer of DoorDash. DoorDash launched in Palo Alto and, as of May 2019, had expanded to more than 4,000 cities and offered a 340,000 selection of stores across the US and Canada. DoorDash has raised more than $700 million over several financing rounds from investors including Charles River Ventures, SV Angel, Khosla Ventures, Sequoia Capital, SoftBank, GIC, and Kleiner Perkins. The company is currently valued at more than $13 billion and is the largest third-party delivery service in the world.
Tang grew up in Hong Kong, and was an Amazon Best-Seller at the age of 14 years old when he authored a book called ‘eMillions,’ interviewing 14 of the world’s most successful Internet marketers about their rags-to-riches stories. He then moved to the Bay Area to study Computer Science at Stanford, where he met his co-founders Andy Fang and Tony Xu.
Tang works on moonshot projects at DoorDash, and passionate about topics that revolve around robotics, design, cities, and transportation. In his free time, Tang angel invests in various start ups, and started Bearcat Content with his partner Gloria Zhu to invest in unscripted content, documentaries, and entertainment companies.
Andy Fang is the co-founder and Chief Technical Officer of DoorDash. DoorDash launched in Palo Alto and, as of May 2019, had expanded to more than 4,000 cities and offered a 340,000 selection of stores across the US and Canada. DoorDash has raised more than $700 million over several financing rounds from investors including Charles River Ventures, SV Angel, Khosla Ventures, Sequoia Capital, SoftBank, GIC, and Kleiner Perkins. The company is currently valued at more than $13 billion and is the largest third-party delivery service in the world.
Fang grew up in the Bay Area, and holds a BS in Computer Science from Stanford University, where he met fellow co-founders Stanley Tang and Tony Xu.
Fang leads the engineering team, and is responsible for the overall product vision, technology roadmap and architectural direction of the DoorDash platform. His free time is dedicated to basketball.
Tony Xu is the co-founder and CEO of DoorDash. Starting with restaurants, DoorDash is building the infrastructure and logistics platform to allow any local merchant to deliver. DoorDash launched in Palo Alto and, as of May 2019, had expanded to more than 4,000 cities and offered a 340,000 selection of stores across the US and Canada. DoorDash has raised more than $700 million over several financing rounds from investors including Charles River Ventures, SV Angel, Khosla Ventures, Sequoia Capital, SoftBank, GIC, and Kleiner Perkins. The company is currently valued at more than $13 billion and is the largest third-party delivery service in the world.
Xu’s family came to the U.S. from China in 1989 and settled in Champaign-Urbana, Ill. Xu’s mother ran a Chinese restaurant to build up the funds to go to medical school. Xu’s father waited tables at a University of Illinois on-campus restaurant to defray the costs of his aeronautical engineering studies. After graduating from UC Berkeley with a B.S. with High Honors in Industrial Engineering and a MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business, Xu worked as a business analyst for McKinsey & Co., as a corporate strategy consultant for EBay and PayPal, in business development at technology firm RedLaser, and spent time at Square before founding DoorDash.
Wayne Wu & Robin Tsai
VMG, General Partners
About Wayne Wu
Wayne Wu is a General Partner at VMG and cohost of VMG’s Unfinished Biz podcast. He currently serves on the board of Hello Bello, Velocity Snack Brands, Lily’s, among other brands within the portfolio. Previous board roles have included Justin’s, Babyganics, and Perfect Snacks.
VMG works intimately with founders and leaders of branded consumer product companies, providing the resources and guidance needed to propel them to their next level of growth and value.
Beyond capital, our value-added investment philosophy commits our deep experience, strategic guidance and passionate focus to help our partners accelerate growth, brand awareness and achieve their own definition of success.
Unfinished Biz focuses on the highs, lows, and challenges of being a Founder. Unfinished Biz hopes to make this journey more accessible to aspiring Founders and anyone interested in the ins and outs of running a business and building an emerging brand.
VMG has worked closely and successfully with brands such as Ancient Nutrition, Babyganics, Briogeo, Drunk Elephant, Hello Bello, Justin's, KIND, Nature's Bakery, Lily’s, Perfect Snacks, Pretzel Crisps, Quest, Spindrift, Stone, SunBum, and Vega to name a few.
The VMG team is excited to partner with the next generation of innovative, consumer product entrepreneurs, helping them to fully realize their founding vision to build iconic brands.
About Robin Tsai
Robin Tsai is a General Partner at VMG Partners and co-host of VMG’s Unfinished Biz podcast. Robin joined VMG in 2009 and works closely with Founders and Leaders of branded consumer product companies. He currently serves on the Boards of Briogeo and Spindrift and was previously on the Boards of Vega, Drunk Elephant, Vermont Smoke & Cure and Yatsen (Perfect
Prior to VMG, he was a consultant at The Boston Consulting Group with a focus in consumer products and retail. Prior to BCG, he worked as a middle school history teacher at The SEED Public Charter School in Washington, D.C. Robin graduated from Stanford University and received an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.