“Who are the rising star pre-partner venture investors in your network that you would like to recognize?”

This list highlights the most promising and influential pre-partner investors in the venture capital  community, as recognized by their peers.

This year’s selection process involved extensive input from the venture capital community. Alpha Partners invited over 200 VCs, primarily through the firm’s network, to nominate pre-partner peers from another fund who they believe are rising stars. In return, Alpha Partners received an overwhelming response, with over 150 votes for 140 junior VCs from 130 firms across 23 cities.

All nominations were thoughtful, well-considered, and supportive of pre-partner VCs whose behind-the-scenes work is crucial to the success of their firms’. Their efforts are instrumental in shaping the VC landscape but often go unnoticed. 

The individuals nominated for this year’s list consistently demonstrate sound judgment, provide valuable contributions to the venture community, and have cultivated notable influence within their inner circles and beyond.

“We are immensely proud to showcase the extraordinary talents of our pre-partner professionals through our second annual Rising Stars list,” said Steve Brotman, Founder and Managing Partner at Alpha Partners. “This initiative not only celebrates awardees’ remarkable achievements and keen investment insights but also reflects our commitment to fostering a diverse and dynamic venture capital environment.”

“These rising stars are the driving force behind our industry’s future; they bring fresh perspectives and innovative strategies that continue to shape the landscape of venture capital,” said Brotman. “We hope to encourage continued excellence and innovation in the industry while fostering a more inclusive and dynamic venture capital landscape for the future.”

Thank you to all the firms who submitted nominations, we couldn’t do this without your participation!

If you are a VC and want to nominate a pre-partner for the 2024 list, please fill out this form. 

Below is a list of the contributing funds:

75 & Sunny CEAS Investments Hyperlink Ventures Pack Ventures
Adam Street Partners Cowboy Ventures Hyperplane Venture Capital Primetime Partners
AlleyCorp CRV KapVista Ventures Renegade Partners
Altimeter Capital Management Decisive Point Leadout Capital Ridge Ventures
American Family Ventures Dynamo Ventures Lightbank Rocketship.VC
Amplify.LA Earlybird Venture Capital Lux Capital Management SaaS Ventures
Andreessen Horowitz Edison Partners M13 Santa Barbara Venture Partners
Arcturus Fluent Ventures Magic Fund Spring Mountain Capital
At One Ventures Foothill Ventures March Capital Schematic Ventures
Avid Ventures Frist Cressey Ventures Moneta Ventures Stormbreaker Ventures
Bain Capital Ventures Glasswing Ventures Motivate Venture Capital The Chernin Group
BAM Ventures GreatPoint Ventures Newark Venture Partners TDF Ventures
Better Tomorrow Ventures GreenHawk Capital NewView Capital Trail Mix Ventures
Blue Cloud Ventures Greycroft Next Ventures Tribeca Venture Partners
Blue Collective Grishin Robotics Niya Tru Arrow Partners
Bullpen Capital G Squared Norwest Venture Partners Trucks Venture Capital
Company Ventures High Alpha Omers Ventures VamosVentures
Cantos Ventures Interwoven Ventures One Way Ventures Wing Venture Capital

And now, without further ado, we are excited to announce this year’s rising star investors.

Congratulations to you all!

Rising Star Pre-Partners of 2023

Name Location LinkedIn Fund Quote
Brian Nguyen NY LinkedIn SpringBank Collective Brian is a thoughtful investor, operator, and community-builder. He has played a meaningful role in building SpringBank’s fund. He’s not only playing a meaningful role in building out and supporting their portfolio, but is also a super-connector within the VC community.
Sakib Jamal NY LinkedIn Crossbeam Ventures Sakib is simultaneously one of the smartest, kindest and hardest working investors I know. It’s rare when someone is as good an investor as they are a person. Sakib’s an even better person than investor and he’s truly world class when it comes to investing.
Zeeza Cole CA LinkedIn Bain Capital Ventures She’s incredibly diligent and well connected. She always goes the extra mile for founders in her community.
James Hueston NY LinkedIn Primetime Partners James' unyielding commitment to the venture capital ecosystem, along with his dedication to technology-driven generational impact, underscores his mission of making the world a better place. His investment diligence, strong network relationships, and value delivery to LPs all contribute to this vision, benefiting founders, investors, and society as a whole.
Jelena Hoffart NY LinkedIn 9Yards Capital Jelena’s always been incredibly thoughtful with connecting people, is extremely hardworking, and one of the sharpest investors I know.
Laura Hamilton NY LinkedIn Spring Mountain Capital Laura is kind, bubbly and hungry beyond her years. Despite just breaking into the industry, she has already helped lead multiple deals internally and has already built a following by educating the next generation of investors on the realities of venture capital with her podcast Partner Path.
Jane Lee CA LinkedIn Sapphire Ventures Jane is one of the most thoughtful, genuine and hardworking people in venture I have ever met.
Ronnie Martinez FL LinkedIn CEAS Investments Ronnie isn't yet another early-stage investor. She's going to be the next great one. Top founders regularly seek her out as she's the rare combination of impactful, insightful, and down-to-earth. She's not afraid to go against the grain and back founders that others haven't. She's ahead of the curve in identifying growth sectors before others do. She's built CEAS Investments into one of the top early-stage investors around and is wise beyond her years. She's not just along for the ride. She's driving the bus.
Patrick Harmon Lopez CA LinkedIn B Capital Group I can tell Patrick does the work to deeply understand industries, business models, and founders. He consistently offers thoughtful analysis introductions, and I'm always eager to hear his perspective.
Claire Smilow NY LinkedIn Box Group Claire is an amazing relationship builder and is willing to be the first believer in a founder.
Abigail Risse MA LinkedIn Hyperplane Venture Capital Abigail is everywhere in the community. She is a community organizer and tireless supporter of those looking to build new relationships in the ecosystem. She authors Boston VC Deals covering our ecosystem that has become a must read from junior VCs to GPs.
Jacqueline Blackburn NY LinkedIn Decisive Point No one works harder but also smiles more genuinely than Jacqueline. She’s one of a kind.
Eric Shu CO LinkedIn Access Venture Partners Eric is a top investor due to his unique ability to consider problems as it relates to macro trends. Whether cybersecurity, defense or enterprise SaaS, Eric always gets to the root of what does this do and why? He also has an incredible ability to network and has some of the best connections in the pre-partner venture community.
Matthew Lu NY LinkedIn Cowboy Ventures Matt is a very focused and considerate early-stage investor. He willingly helps me with the ideas I am working on and is always ready to offer useful advice to his companies and other investors. I appreciate his thesis-driven approach to sourcing while maintaining a large top-of-funnel.
Amy Wang NY LinkedIn Blue Cloud Ventures From listening to Amy speak about growth trends in enterprise software, you'd never believe she graduated from college just a few years ago. She is building a fantastic track record-- I have no doubt she will quickly ascend the venture ranks at Blue Cloud and beyond.
Grace Hahn NY LinkedIn Edison Partners Grace is an incredibly visible member of the NY women's venture community-- She knows everyone! In addition to being well-networked, she has incredibly sharp perspectives on investing and operating at the growth stage.
Mendy Yang NY LinkedIn 645 Ventures I'm a big fan of Mendy. She has zero ego and takes a thoughtful approach to investing. She's super responsive and I expect that she takes founders' time seriously + always learn something when I talk to her.

Rising Star Honorable Mentions With Quotes
(sorted by first name)

Name Location Fund Quote LinkedIn
Alex Chung NY Chai Ventures Limitless energy and passion, astounding people skills, and one of the smartest and nicest people I have ever met! LinkedIn
Caroline Fiegel CA Slack Fund Caroline is on the forefront of the largest trends impacting work and productivity. She brings connectivity and rigorous operating wisdom to the companies she supports LinkedIn
Dan Eidell CA SaaS Ventures Dan has an almost innate understanding of venture investing from top to bottom and I don't know anyone who can synthesize complex situations as quickly and effectively as he can. I hear nothing but A+ things from founders about him LinkedIn
David Resnekov CA GreatPoint Ventures I'm always impressed by David's curiosity and enthusiasm — I learn something new in every conversation with him, and have gotten to see firsthand how much respect the founders he partners with have for him LinkedIn
Eileen Qian CA New Enterprise Associates She is super thoughtful and has a great eye for founders/companies LinkedIn
Eric Theis CA Bling Capital Eric has a unique ability to really distill company diligence and understand the most important question really quickly, and is tenaciously supportive of his portfolio companies LinkedIn
Gabriella Brignardello CA Fika Ventures Gabriella has been an amazing co-investor to work with. She's extremely sharp, dedicated to helping the founders she works with in any way possible, and a pillar of the LA tech community LinkedIn
Garrett Dempsey CA SVLC Garrett started his career in life sciences by working in R&D for a few San Diego-based biotech companies. He moved to the Bay Area to complete a Ph.D. in Metabolic Biology from UC Berkeley. In parallel to his Ph.D. research, he has written comprehensive articles on topics related to healthspan and longevity for FoundMyFitness, aided in pipeline prioritization for an early-stage startup, and generated biotech investment theses through a San Francisco-based life science collective. As a Venture Fellow for Flagship Pioneering, he contributed to Flagship's venture creation process by seeding new hypotheses for bioplatform companies LinkedIn
Gus Domel CA Boost VC Gus brings a level of enthusiasm, energy, and thoughtfulness many only aspire to reach to every interaction he has. He goes way above and beyond for his founders and co-investors. A true team player LinkedIn
Justin Yue CA Geodesic Capital Justin is a thoughtful investor who always has a good perspective on companies, business models, and technology. I enjoy hearing him share his thoughts on sectors that he’s interested in and trading notes on specific companies LinkedIn
Kahini Shah CA Obvious Ventures Kahini is an incredibly hard worker - she is incredibly intelligent and uses her engineering background to go deep into technical topics. She is very thoughtful and provides an immense amount of value to founders in the ecosystem LinkedIn
Max Harrison NY Remarkable Ventures Max is a true collaborator and connector who is valued for his opinions and willingness to spend extra time breaking down complex topics for founders and other investors. He challenges the status quo, is eager to help others, and is knowledgeable across several verticals. Max does an exceptional job seeing the full landscape of VC funds, from sourcing investment opportunities to LP relationship building and communication; there is no task he won't tackle. He is thoughtful about potential business model risks and asks tough due diligence questions. Max has a great balance of emotional and intellectual intelligence that enables him to connect with founders and investors alike. He brings healthy skepticism to opportunities, sparking thoughtful discussions rather than getting drawn into hype. Overall, Max's combination of strategic thinking, industry knowledge, analytical skills, and collaborative spirit make him well-suited to be voted one of the smartest pre-partner investors LinkedIn
Mo Punjwani NY General Catalyst I’d love to nominate Mo Punjwani from General Catalyst on the early stage healthcare team there. He’s incredibly thorough and does really thoughtful work in healthcare thesis areas like revenue cycle management and value-based care enablement. His contributions to the emerging VC ecosystem are invaluable and the work he does for charity (the Pan Mass Challenge he raised over $80K alone) is incredible LinkedIn
Nicholas Kim MA Vestigo Ventures Nick in particular is a networking machine and probably knows every single VC in the ecosystem, which I'm guessing is immensely valuable to his portfolio companies since he always has a warm intro LinkedIn
Nisha Rangarajan NY Insight Partners She is a deep thinker and goes the extra mile to really understand technological innovations. It takes time to get up to speed on new technology in a complete manner, but she studies a new technical topic every week to become an expert LinkedIn
Sara Eadie NY Tiger Global Sara is one of the most thoughtful and reflective investors that I know, which combined with her character as a person makes her a dream for a founder to work with - I'd be thrilled to have the chance to work with her LinkedIn
Sharlene Guiriba NY Lerer Hippeau Embodies the word "hustle" - will go the extra mile to find and close a deal, and support founders. Also a passionate advocate for diversity, and is always ready to help and support others! LinkedIn
Tamar Vidra NY Red Sea Ventures Really smart, very kind and collaborative, and always a pleasure to chat with LinkedIn
Troy Kirwin CA Andreessen Horowitz Really smart, very motivated and well connected, and a key part of their new Speedrun accelerator LinkedIn
Yash Kanoi India Alter Global Alter is a emerging market VC. Yash has been with Alter for almost 4 years and now is the Head of Investments. He was previously based in Singapore/Indonesia working with a Series C fintech lending startup and has also worked in impact investing and consulting in London. He has helped build Alter's investment thesis and has now invested in 30 companies globally. He is always curious to learn, is a deep thinker and has a knack for picking the best founders LinkedIn
Yaz El-Baba CA Emergence Capital Yaz is one of the smartest investors in the ecosystem. He's able to quantify a good company in addition to being a good investment. On the latter, he understands portfolio construction, deal terms, and everything else. One of the intangibles relative to peers in the space is his ability to think as an owner and focus on the long-term.. and easily one of the most competitive people I know LinkedIn

Rising Star Honorable Mentions

(sorted by first name)

Name Location Fund LinkedIn
Abbas Haider San Francisco, CA Scale Venture Partners LinkedIn
Abbie Strbala San Francisco, CA True Wealth Ventures LinkedIn
Ada Yin Sydney, Australia AirTree  LinkedIn
Adam Chadroff New York, NY Equal Ventures Management LinkedIn
Adele English Santa Monica, CA March Capital LinkedIn
Alex Chen San Francisco, CA Kapor Capital LinkedIn
Allyson Ahlstrom New York, NY Vista Equity Partners LinkedIn
Aman Babbarwal New York, NY Apax Partners LinkedIn
Amanda Joseph New York, NY American Family Ventures LinkedIn
Amanda Way San Francisco, CA Jazz Venture Partners LinkedIn
Amira Khatib Chicago, IL Bluestein Ventures LinkedIn
Amy Dai New York, NY Golding Capital Partners LinkedIn
Ananya Vasagiri San Francisco, CA Schematic Ventures LinkedIn
Andrew Vogeley Austin, TX Sapphire Ventures LinkedIn
Andrew Wegrzyn Saint Louis, MO SixThirty Ventures LinkedIn
Apoorva Goyal New York, NY Insight Partners LinkedIn
Asif Moosani New York, NY Gradient Ventures LinkedIn
Bailie Salk San Francisco, CA Outlander VC LinkedIn
Brian Gong New York, NY Cameron Ventures LinkedIn
Brian Wei San Francisco, CA BMW i Ventures LinkedIn
Bryan Shill San Francisco, CA Prelude Ventures LinkedIn
Caroline Broder San Francisco, CA Base10 Partners LinkedIn
Casey Flint Sydney, Australia Square Peg Capital LinkedIn
Charlie Renzoni Toronto, Canada Omers Ventures LinkedIn
Chase Prather Boulder, CO Sweater Ventures LinkedIn
Chris Abshire San Francisco, CA Toyota Ventures LinkedIn
Claire Pan New York, NY Inspired Capital (New York) LinkedIn
Danielle Jing San Francisco, CA Pear VC LinkedIn
Danielle Zhang Santa Monica, CA Clocktower Technology Ventures LinkedIn
Dave Weschler San Francisco, CA Omers Ventures LinkedIn
De'Havia Stewart Atlanta, GA Serena Ventures LinkedIn
Deepak Mishra San Francisco, CA Avanta Ventures LinkedIn
Elisa La Cava Seattle, WA Trilogy Equity Partners LinkedIn
Elizabeth Brown New York, NY Vanterra Capital LinkedIn
Gaby Garcia New York, NY Two Sigma Ventures LinkedIn
Grace Kasten New York, NY Pace Capital LinkedIn
Gregg Starr Atlanta, GA Panoramic Ventures LinkedIn
Hannah McQuaid San Francisco, CA Ansa Capital LinkedIn
Isabel Steinhaus New York, NY Nyca Partners LinkedIn
Isabela Becerra Austin, TX 8VC LinkedIn
Jack McClelland New York, NY Afore Capital LinkedIn
Jack McKim Boston, MA Silversmith Capital Partners LinkedIn
Jackson Bubala Chicago, IL Motivate Venture Capital LinkedIn
Jazmin Medina San Francisco, CA NewView Capital LinkedIn
Jess Schram New York, NY Remedy Product Studio LinkedIn
John Lynch Los Angeles, CA Hedosophia LinkedIn
Josie Ishimwe New York, NY RTP Global LinkedIn
Julian Marcu Austin, TX Insight Partners LinkedIn
Justin Ernest San Francisco, CA Playground Global LinkedIn
Katherine Plumlee New York, NY Canvas Ventures LinkedIn
Katie Kopan Indianapolis, IN High Alpha LinkedIn
Kevin Wang Boston, MA .406 Ventures LinkedIn
Khira Gabliani New York, NY VMG Partners LinkedIn
Luke Skertich New York, NY FJ Labs LinkedIn
Marc Bouchet San Francisco, CA TDK Ventures LinkedIn
Marc Rosenberg New York, NY Northpond Ventures LinkedIn
Marielle Ednalino San Francisco, CA Initial Capital LinkedIn
Marina Girgis New York, NY Precursor Ventures LinkedIn
Matt Gura Chicago, IL Baird Capital LinkedIn
Max Liebeskind San Francisco, CA Nyca Partners LinkedIn
Mia Farnham New York, NY SteelSky Ventures LinkedIn
Mia Medicus New York, NY OpenView LinkedIn
Monica Lim New York, NY Eniac Ventures LinkedIn
Morgan Blumberg New York, NY M13 LinkedIn
Moses Adubi New York, NY Deerfield LinkedIn
Nandini Agarwal New York, NY FFVC LinkedIn
Nick Bunick San Francisco, CA NewView Capital LinkedIn
Nicole Bentz Austin, TX S3 Ventures LinkedIn
Nicole Friedman New York, NY Blue Collective LinkedIn
Olivia Baribeau New York, NY Haymaker Ventures LinkedIn
Omar Smith New York, NY Blackhorn Ventures LinkedIn
Paraj Mathur Atlanta, GA BIP Ventures LinkedIn
Paras Patel Dallas, TX Anchor Capital (Texas) LinkedIn
Peter Oriaifo Washington, DC Oui Capital LinkedIn
Priyanka Suri San Francisco, CA Forerunner Ventures LinkedIn
Richard Gu Los Angeles, CA March Capital LinkedIn
Rohan Gupta Palo Alto, CA Next Legacy Partners LinkedIn
Sam Baker San Francisco, CA Scale Venture Partners LinkedIn
Samantha Ginther Bloomington, IN High Alpha LinkedIn
Sanjana Basu Toronto, Canada Radical Ventures LinkedIn
Sarah Du New York, NY Uncork Capital LinkedIn
Sasha Pilch New York, NY Fin Capital LinkedIn
Sean Simons Newark, NJ Newark Venture Partners LinkedIn
Shaq Vayda San Francisco, CA Lux Capital LinkedIn
Simran Suri New York, NY Equal Ventures LinkedIn
Sophie Hoffman San Francisco, CA Goodwater Capital LinkedIn
Sruthi Ramaswami San Francisco, CA ICONIQ Capital LinkedIn
Tanner Cerand Austin, TX Ionic Partners LinkedIn
Tara Campbell New York, NY Imaginary LinkedIn
Thabet Mahayni New York, NY Definition Capital LinkedIn
Thea Pham Los Angeles, CA OCV LinkedIn
Tim Armstrong Palo Alto, CA Sageview Capital LinkedIn
Tyler Olkowski New York, NY Greycroft LinkedIn
Valentina Rodriguez Los Angeles, CA Wonder Ventures LinkedIn
Veronica Orellana San Francisco, CA CRV LinkedIn
Veronica Reaves San Francisco, CA Serena Ventures LinkedIn
Vincent Caruso San Francisco, CA DBL Partners LinkedIn
Vishal Tripathi Palo Alto, CA Next Legacy Partners LinkedIn
Will Bird Chicago, IL SCOR Ventures LinkedIn
Zak Kokosa San Francisco, CA Salesforce Ventures LinkedIn
Zann Ali New York, NY 2048 Ventures LinkedIn

Save the Date: AlphaMarket, October 16, 2024.