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Team

Dr. Lan Xuezhao, founding and managing partner, built and led the Corporate Development Strategy team at Dropbox during its most acquisitive time. She previously managed teams at McKinsey in New York and Shanghai, advising Fortune 500 companies on issues including big data, AI, and growth strategy. Earlier in her career, Lan designed and developed brain training games as a founder and studied human brain functions for her Ph.D. She also received her M.A. in Statistics, both from the University of Michigan. 

Grace, data scientist, our artificially intelligent engineer & data scientist. She helps us cover our blind spots by sourcing deals quantitatively. If you are an AI company, you are probably on her watch list. 

John Mannes, investor, led TechCrunch’s AI coverage, providing commentary and analysis on everything from machine learning startups to key papers from top AI research labs. He has also contributed to outlets like NPR and The Washington Post. He previously drove technology modernization for the nation’s 17th-largest school district.


Andrew Kim, operations manager, previously managed operations, recruiting, and facilities at Meeno Babies for almost a decade. He brings experience in building out warehouses and office spaces, implementing processes and functionality across departments, and working with vendors, sales representatives, and clients from around the world.


Richard Peng has 10 years of M&A, operating, and investment experience at Google and Tencent, and has led $14 billion worth of investments in 300+ companies worldwide. He is the Founder and Managing Partner of Genesis Capital, a growth stage fund that has backed companies like DataVisor and The RED. He helps BSV companies with M&A, growth, and international expansion strategies. 

Niniane Wang was the founder and CEO of Evertoon, acquired by Niantic, where she is now Senior Director of Engineering. As the former CTO of Minted, she managed a team of 40 engineers and helped the company scale to tens of millions in annual revenue. Previously, she led Gmail Ads engineering and founded Google Desktop and Google Lively. She is an inventor on 30 patents and has her M.S. in Computer Science from University of Washington and B.S. in Computer Science from Caltech, where she graduated at 18.

Kurt Varner is the Design Director at Dropbox where he manages several design teams focusing on the collaboration space. Previously, he was the first designer at Shyp, building and scaling the design team as the company grew from 10 to 200+ employees. Kurt has also worked at a design agency, Zurb, where he consulted with companies like Facebook, Netflix, Mozilla, and eBay.


Dr. Peter Welinder is a research scientist at OpenAI who works on pushing the frontiers of autonomous robotics with deep learning. Previously, he ran Machine Learning at Dropbox and co-founded Anchovi Labs, which built AI-backed photo organization technology and was acquired by Dropbox. He received his Ph.D. from Caltech and has published dozens of papers on robotics, computer vision, machine learning and crowdsourcing.

Dr. Dawn Song is a professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at UC Berkeley. Her research focus is on deep learning and security, including diverse security and privacy issues in computer systems and networks. She is the recipient of numerous awards, such as the MacArthur Fellowship, the Guggenheim Fellowship, the NSF CAREER Award, the MIT Technology Review TR-35 Award, and faculty research awards from companies like IBM and Google. She obtained her Ph.D. from UC Berkeley. 

Hilary McQuaide brings leadership in messaging, media relations, crisis management, analyst relations, and communications strategy for high growth technology companies. She is the founder of Breakout Communications. Previously, she led comms at Yik Yak and Dropbox. Hilary graduated from Yale University and started her career as an analyst at Sequoia Capital.