Mentors

MENTORS

Maven Ventures is honored to have assembled a team of mentors who are simply the best and brightest minds in the consumer growth space who’ve helped to build some of the largest Internet and mobile consumer brands (see logos below). In addition to this select group of the best consumer growth experts in Silicon Valley, a few other select expert mentors have relevant skills to help startups at the very early stages in fundraising, product, UI/UX, and scaling.

  • AARON BATALION
  • AKASH GARG
  • ANDREW CHEN
  • ANDY JOHNS
  • ANNIE CHANG
  • DAN BARAK
  • DARIUS CONTRACTOR
  • ELLIOT SHMUKLER
  • GUSTAF ALSTROMER
  • JOSH ELMAN
  • NIR EYAL
AARON BATALION
Lightspeed Venture Partners, Living Social
Aaron Batalion is a co-founder and former CTO of LivingSocial, where he lead the growth team that grew membership to 80M customers around the world. He also grew the team from 4 to 4,000 employees across 20+ countries and to billions in revenue. He’s currently investing and advising startups on product, technology, and consumer growth.
AKASH GARG
Uber, Twitter
Akash Garg leads the mobile and web platform teams at Uber. Prior to Uber, he was the Director of the Growth & International teams at Twitter, where he helped drive tens of millions of active users to the platform. Prior to Twitter, Akash co-founded hi5, one of the early social networking leaders, and was the company’s original technical visionary and CTO. Having helped hi5 achieved a user base of over 250M registered members, Akash is one of the foremost experts in the field of consumer viral marketing. Akash graduated with a BS and MS in Computer Science from Stanford University.
ANDREW CHEN
Uber
Andrew drives supply growth at Uber. In addition to his professional role, he’s a writer and entrepreneur focused on mobile products, metrics, and user growth. He is an advisor/investor for tech startups including AngelList, AppSumo, Barkbox, Cardpool (acq. by Safeway), Frankly (an SK Planet co.), Gravity (acq. by AOL), Grovo, Kiva, Mocospace, Product Hunt, Qualaroo, Qik (acq. by Skype), Secret, Wanelo, and ZenPayroll. Previously, he was an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Mohr Davidow Ventures, a Silicon Valley-based firm with $2B under management. Prior to MDV, Andrew was director of product marketing at Audience Science, where he started up the ad network business that today reaches over 380M uniques.
ANDY JOHNS
Facebook, Twitter, Quora, Wealthfront
Andy is one of the leading consumer growth experts. He was an early member of the Facebook growth & engagement team where he helped grow the membership from 100M to 500M. He left to lead the Twitter growth & engagement team where he helped grow the membership from 40M to 140M. Prior to joining Wealthfront as the Director of Growth & Revenue, Andy was the product manager of user growth at Quora. In addition to his growth and Internet marketing expertise, Andy also has deep product management experience that includes PM for the homepage, new user experience, email, signup/login flows, conversion rate testing, new user experience, contact importing and invite systems, and most products that have to do with driving active user growth.
ANNIE CHANG
Homejoy, Lolapps
Annie Chang is a growth and user experience oriented product leader. Currently, Annie is Head of Product at Homejoy, one of the fastest growing startups in Y-Combinator history. Previously, Annie Co-founded Lolapps, a leading Facebook games and apps company. She designed the Lolapps Quiz Creator and Gift Creator user-generated application platforms, reaching over 100M users worldwide. Prior to co-founding Lolapps, Annie has held various technology roles at companies including Adobe (Advanced Technology Lab), SquareTrade, and BitTorrent. Annie holds a BS in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from University of California, Berkeley. Annie was named one of the Most Influential Women in Technology by Fast Company (2010), Tech Founder to Watch in Huffington Post (2011), and Female Founder to Watch in Forbes (2012).
DAN BARAK
Facebook, BloggerBase
Dan has been leading the people tagging products at Facebook and has recently started focusing on enhanced photo experiences for people in emerging markets. He’s an expert brining high-end technology to user facing products in a natural, clear, and delightful way. Dan has joined Facebook through the face.com acquisition, where he headed product management and business development, working on both consumer applications like the real-time face recognition camera KLIK, through the company’s API serving a community of 60K developers. Before that, Dan was the founding CEO of BloggersBase, a content discovery platform that was funded by investors Yossi Vardi and Jeff Pulver. Dan holds a Masters degree in Computer Science from the Weizmann Institute of Science and has started his career as a software engineer developing complex automotive cad/cam software and fault tolerant aircraft maintenance systems.
DARIUS CONTRACTOR
Dropbox, Bebo, PhotoSugar
Darius Contractor has moved up the entire Silicon Valley stack from Programmer to Angel Investor. In the process, he’s learned about viral, scaling, agile management, rapid iteration, and the sweet spot between what works and what is possible. He’s currently a growth engineering manager at Dropbox. His previous experiences include CEO of PhotoSugar.com, VP of Engineering at Bebo (acq. by AOL), and PM/Senior Eng at Tickle.com (acq. by Monster). He focuses on building the right product as simply as possible, get-it-done engineering, and having fun. Darius earned his BS in Computer Science at Stanford University, and blogs at darius.com.
ELLIOT SHMUKLER
Instacart, Wealthfront, Linkedin
Elliot Shmukler is the VP of Product at Instacart and an accomplished Silicon Valley “growth hacker,” having led the strategy and execution behind LinkedIn’s growth from 20M to more than 200M members. At LinkedIn he restarted the company’s work on Growth in 2008, starting as the sole product manager on the Growth team and ultimately growing the team to 20+ members. He ended his time at LinkedIn as a Sr. Director of Product Management, where in addition to Growth, he also oversaw much of the consumer product experience, including Profile, Search, Endorsements and People You May Know. Previous to LinkedIn, Elliot held technical and leadership roles at eBay, About.com, Sombasa Media, and Microsoft. Elliot holds an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he was an Arjay Miller scholar, and holds a BA magna cum laude in Computer Science from Harvard University.
GUSTAF ALSTROMER
Voxer, airbnb
Gustaf Alstromer is one of the leading experts in consumer mobile growth. He’s currently the Product Manager of Mobile Growth at airbnb, one of the fastest growing consumer startups today. Previously, Gustaf was the Head of Growth at Voxer where he helped the company acquire tens of millions of customers and grow to the 12th most downloaded app worldwide in 2012. He also founded a startup that he launched out of YC in 2007 that he grew to more than 1M members.
JOSH ELMAN
Greylock, Facebook, Twitter
Josh joined Greylock as a principal in 2011. Over the past 15 years, Josh has worked in product and engineering roles at some of the leading companies in social, commerce, and media. Prior to Greylock, Josh was a product lead for growth and relevance at Twitter, and helped Twitter grow its active user base by nearly 10x. Before Twitter, Josh worked on the platform at Facebook and led the launch of Facebook Connect. Earlier in his career, Josh led product management for Zazzle, was part of the early team at LinkedIn focused on growth and jobs, and led product and engineering for RealJukebox and RealPlayer at RealNetworks. Josh holds a BS in Symbolic Systems with a focus on Human Computer Interaction from Stanford University.
NIR EYAL
TechCrunch, Business Insider, Psychology Today
Nir Eyal writes, consults, and teaches about the intersection of psychology, technology, and business. Nir founded and sold two companies since 2003 and has taught the “Using Neuroscience to Influence Human Behavior” course as a Lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Nir is the author of the best-selling book Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products and is an advisor to several Bay Area start-ups and incubators. In addition to blogging at NirAndFar.com, Nir is a contributing writer for TechCrunch, Business Insider, and Psychology Today.
Testimonials

“Everything changed after we met Jim and Maven came on board. Jim helped us focus on our core strategy and articulate our unique vision — a fun, positive place to share your real self — and implement hyper-growth strategies. Since then, our growth has been explosive, reaching over 5M users in a year. Maven also went above and beyond to make critical intros to our most strategic investors in our $8.5M Series A round.”

John Shahidi
Co-Founder and CEO, Shots

“We worked closely with the Maven Ventures team in their incubator from the initial idea and vision for Epic! through our Series A. Not only were they incredibly helpful in the early days as we launched the company, but their introductions to Series A investors and guidance through that process was invaluable in raising a successful round.”

Suren Markosian
Founder and CEO, Epic!

“Maven Ventures has been an exceedingly-helpful investor. Their background in consumer startups gives them great insight into our business, and their introductions have been spot on.”

Eric Romo
CEO and Co-Founder, AltspaceVR

“Jim Scheinman at Maven has been one of our strongest supporters and most trusted and helpful advisors. He has been a great sounding board on strategy, product vision, and fundraising.”

Kyle Vogt
Founder and CEO, Cruise

“Jim and the Maven team are true partners and go the extra mile to support Pley. Jim’s insight on the product was instrumental for our growth, we met some of our most valuable advisors through the Maven ecosystem and the Maven team has played an important role with investor introductions through our fundraising efforts.”

Ranan Lachman
CEO and Co-Founder, Pley

“Maven was our first investor and has provided essential support and advice along the way. The Maven team transformed our initial pitch with feedback and training, and we ultimately raised an oversubscribed Seed round from world-class investors.”

Joe Du Bey
Co-Founder and CEO, Eden

“Probably the best decision we made in 2008 was bringing Jim on board. He mentored us through the fundraising process and has always been an invaluable, highly dependable resource for us to build our company. Jim has reached out to his network and helped us with a jump start that as a young startup we could have only dreamed team.”

Vikas Gupta
Co-founder and CEO, SocialGold. Founder and CEO, Wonder Workshop.

“From the start, Jim was instrumental in helping us focus our strategy on becoming the leading mobile video call platform. His insights and expertise in consumer UI, viral marketing, & the smartphone market are invaluable, as are his incredible senior level contacts in both the industry and the venture capital community. He’s also great to work with.”

Uri Raz
CEO and Co-Founder, Tango

“Jim played an integral part in shaping Check and helping us grow into the mobile personal finance leader we are today. Jim brought consumer experience and helped us successfully raise financing at a high valuation. He has also done a terrific job of recruiting and hiring top talent to the team, including our new COO, the former GM of Yahoo Finance!”

Guy Goldstein
CEO and Founder, Check

Tap to view the mentor profile.
Swipe-right to reveal the mentor name and swipe-left to hide.
Short-press to read the mentor name then show the mentor profile. Long-press to reveal the mentor name only.