The NextGen Rising Stars is driven by our community - not publications and editorial teams. The industry has grown so much that it's hard for a small panel of judges to keep up with all the amazing people helping founders out there. In the last month, we received nominations for almost 100 different investors!
For 2023, we present the 8 Rising Stars that stood out based on the number of votes and the thoughtfulness of the comments their peers and founders left on them. The list is alphabetically sorted, and you'll be able to hear from each of them about why they are excited about their job, how they got here, and what motivates them.
Adithya Iyengar is a graduate from the Electrical Engineering & Computer Sciences program at UC Berkeley and has worked with The House Fund for over 7 years.
His most recent role prior to The House Fund was as an analyst at ACME Capital (formerly Sherpa Capital) and he has previously worked with the investment teams of DCM Ventures and Cofounders Capital.
Outside of work, Adithya can be found playing soccer or basketball, spending time with friends, and visiting North Carolina (his home state) when possible.
As a Senior Associate at ff Venture Capital, I focus on backing early-stage SaaS and Automation investments in sectors such as Fintech, Insurtech, Robotics, and Applied AI. I'm responsible for sourcing and conducting due diligence on new investments, while also supporting ffVC’s existing portfolio of 160+ companies. Currently, I serve as a board observer for 25+ companies across various stages and sectors. This year, I led seed round investments in two companies: HeyBenny (Fintech) and Purecode AI (DevOps). I am very active within the NYC VC and broader tech ecosystem and host several events, including a quarterly investor gathering for the South Asian VC community. I am extremely involved with my portfolio companies and have helped my founders work through their GTM strategies, connected them to sales prospects and relevant talent, built their financial models, and helped raise over 10M+ in follow-on funding.
Before joining ffVC, I worked as an investor at Florida Funders, the most active VC fund in the Southeast, focused on supporting B2B SaaS Seed and Series A startups. I contributed to initial investments in 15 companies across sectors such as Fintech (MarcoFi and Harness), DevOps (Itopia and Gigantor), and Future of work (Chattr and Rewst), among others. Born and raised in New Delhi, India, I relocated to the United States after my family, and I were granted a green card when I was 15 years old. We packed our lives in 6 suitcases and picked a city on the map: Tampa, Florida. I completed high school and earned a full scholarship to the University of South Florida, majoring in Finance and Accounting. I aimed to become a CPA and interned at PwC and Goldman Sachs and had full-time job offers. But life had other plans.
As part of the Clinton Global Initiative University Program, I founded my startup, Samagreen, which focused on environmentally conscious disposable medical devices. Being on the other side of the table has provided me with a lot of respect and empathy for the entrepreneurial hustle. I am very grateful to be in VC, as it truly makes me a better person. Not only does it allow me to be a kind and just individual but it’s a job where I am paid to be curious and build authentic relationships. I lean into my EQ- and spend a lot of time pondering over the characteristics of a great founder and conducting ethnographic research to build theses around sectors that I am passionate about. I pride myself as a connector and attempt to be helpful to every founder or funder that I meet, especially if they hail from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Beyond the walls of our Empire State Building office, I love to explore NYC restaurants with my VC friends, indulge in sitcom marathons, and practice some dance moves. I'm a big F1 fan and spend way too many dollars on watching live comedy shows, attending indie music concerts, and playing amateur poker.
I’m currently an Associate at Top Tier Capital Partners, LLC, a global venture capital manager focused on primary commitments to venture funds, LP and direct secondaries, and direct investments. Based in our San Francisco office, I focus on growth stage and secondary investing. I’m an industry-agnostic investor who approaches investing with curiosity for innovation and an eye for strong business models. Being part of Top Tier enables me to seamlessly merge my profound passion for finance with the opportunity to invest in who we believe to be exceptional founders.
In business school, I co-founded VC Unleashed, a community focused on increasing access to underrepresented people in venture capital. The need for VC Unleashed became evident as the only Latina out of 650 students at Columbia Business School. VC Unleashed supports the pursuit of a career in venture capital while connecting newcomers to job opportunities and increasing access to the asset class. Since its inception, VC Unleashed has trained and provided access to resources for more than 1,900 community members.
Before working in venture capital, I founded and scaled a business development firm into Latin America spending time in Mexico, Paraguay, and Peru. It was during my time as a founder that I became part of the Tory Burch Foundation Fellows Program for high-growth women-owned companies. This experience illuminated the challenges faced by women and people of color in raising venture capital. Recognizing an opportunity, I identified a unique arbitrage to invest in founders who possess a profound understanding of the evolving demographics in both the U.S. and globally. In my spare time, you can find me lifting or going for long walks around Crissy Field.
I'm a founding investor at Springbank, an early-stage venture fund investing in the infrastructure that addresses women's and working families' unique challenges and goals. At an early age, I was exposed to the gaps in our public infrastructure, especially within care and healthcare, which catalyzed my career in building and funding solutions for overlooked industries to better support underserved communities. After studying computer science and cognitive science at Berkeley, I joined the product teams at 2 very mission-driven startups - Helix and Unite Us - that have further inspired me to continually seek out companies that are making a societal impact through their business metrics.
At Springbank, I invest and work across a myriad of industries, including the next generation of healthcare, fintech, and the future of work. I've invested in companies including Guaranteed, Season Health, and Carefull, and have ultimately shaped and supported all of Springbank's 14 investments to date. I'm an operator at heart and love to use my former product and design skills to help companies quickly iterate toward product-market fit and build simple and effective products.
Outside of venture, I love to work with nonprofit organizations and research areas I'm passionate about. I worked with the former Chief Medical Officer of Medicaid on the Dual Eligible Populations, publishing studies for the California Health Care Foundation. I also provided product consulting for the Commons Project Foundation and their endeavor to build Apple Health for Android, which now has more than 1.5 million users.
I’m a VP at Insight Partners where my focus areas are global high-growth fintech, internet and software companies from Series A to pre-IPO stages. I am an operator at heart and engineer by education - enjoy getting into technical details of a product and working with founders on everything product, finance and strategy.
Before joining Insight Partners, I managed operations for a $300M+ consumer business at ITC, one of the largest CPG firms in India, and led technology investments at a leading Indian early-stage investment fund. I have also spent time with Baring Private Equity Asia (now EQT Asia), a leading middle-market private equity fund, and Fidelity Investments. I hold a Bachelor of Engineering degree from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (IIT Kanpur) and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
I recently joined GGV Capital U.S., where I spend time in cloud infrastructure, developer tools, AI/ML, and cybersecurity. I am excited to invest in these sectors as developers' growing need for software fosters a product-led growth approach that enables early-stage startups to disrupt these spaces. GGV's mission resonates deeply with me, specifically how the fund devotes key resources to help companies scale and work through the growing pains.
One of my favorite parts about being an investor is speaking daily with passionate founders who have experienced the problem they are solving firsthand and the hustle that goes into building a solution. I started my VC career as a software and digital healthcare investor at Spring Mountain Capital, working alongside a close mentor of mine, Kenny Soll. Through my observer seats at SMC, I was able to help my companies with their hiring efforts, strategic planning, and fundraising. Before moving to New York, you could find me on the UPenn soccer field, trying not to let Princeton score.
Outside of investing, I host a Venture Capital podcast called 'Partner Path,' where my co-host and I interview up-and-coming entrepreneurs and investors. It's been a blast diving into rising sectors (fintech in LatAm, defense tech, matcha in the UK, etc.) and getting to learn from the best. If you're ever in New York, you can find me refreshing Resy for a reservation anywhere!
I am a Senior Associate at FUSE VC where we invest in early-stage vertical SaaS and B2B software startups, primarily based in the Pacific Northwest. We have an emphasis on investing in AI innovation at the infrastructure, system of record, and application layer. Our belief is that Seattle, in particular, is the epicenter of AI innovation, and that by being local and early, we have unique edge to partner with elite founders and technical talent. Having just closed our second fund of $250M, we are actively investing from day one (pre seed) through Series A as companies discover and scale product-market fit. While at FUSE, I have had the pleasure of working closely with an exceptional set of founders and companies like Intuned, Zuper, Carbon Robotics, TipHaus and more.
I joined the FUSE team after beginning my career building out the private investment arm at Brighton Jones - a national RIA headquartered in Seattle, WA. During this time, I was part of a small team that raised and deployed two private investment funds, primarily investing in companies based in the PNW. This included everything from sourcing and diligence to LP relationships and fund management. This experience developed my passion and excitement for the software startup ecosystem, specifically in the PNW. After building a relationship and leading the underwriting of Brighton Jones’ investment in FUSE, the GPs at FUSE approached me about joining the team.
Outside of venture, I love to spend time with my family and friends and be active (golf, tennis, etc.). We’re huge Seahawks and Mariners fans so always trying to go to or watch a game when we can. That said, my wife and I just welcomed our beautiful baby girl into the world this past October, so this is where all the non-work time goes!
I am an Investor at Sidekick Partners, where I work with early stage founders across the enterprise technology and consumer sectors. After graduating from Princeton University, I began my career at Accenture as a M&A Strategy Consultant, working closely with Fortune 500 companies to craft and execute their strategic plans for inorganic growth. Part of my role involved identifying and facilitating the acquisition of early stage companies, an experience that ignited my passion for working with startups.
Although a generalist at Sidekick, my heart gravitates towards supporting companies committed to not only achieving profitability but also making a positive impact on the world, particularly in regard to people’s physical or financial health.
Beyond my professional life at Sidekick, I spend my time playing soccer with my old college teammates, cooking, and attempting to play guitar. I also serve as a mentor at Techstars NYC and Techstars Sports.